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Comment Re: Airport lounges suck (Score 1) 55

Thomas Cook tourists from England. Drunk, loud, red sunburnt skin, loud, messy, loud, zero manners, loud. An absolute menace at every holiday destination. Almost as bad as rich Russians who think everything is theirs to damage and everybody is there to serve them only.

As somebody who lives in Central Europe (which, to most Brits, is apparently the same thing as Eastern Europe), I can fully attest to your observations. British tourists are incredibly uncultured and rude compared to pretty much all other tourists you see around here. Which is quite funny when you think about how, historically, they tended to portray themselves as more sophisticated than other folk*. Rich Russians are a menace, especially if they're anywhere near a car, but they have a niveau of behavior your average Brit could only dream of.

[*] I once even heard a group of them outright declaring that they're the "best" people in the Universe, and that "we've kicked these guys' arses every time we came here" (never mind that this country has never been at war with Britain). They then proceeded to threaten the nightclub owner (who threw them out of his club, hence the argument) to go to the British embasssy and "you'll see what happens". They were bloody serious too; I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but these things happen practically all summer, every summer, if you live in a touristy city.

Submission + - Winner of the 2015 Underhanded C Contest announced (

Xcott Craver writes: The Underhanded C contest results have now been announced. This time the contest challenge was to cause a false match in a nuclear inspection scenario, allowing a country to remove fissile material from a warhead without being noticed. The winner receives $1000 from the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Submission + - Receiving Meteor-M N2 Russian Weather Satellite Images

An anonymous reader writes: The Meteor-M N2 is a low orbit Russian weather satellite which broadcasts live weather satellite images, similar to the APT images produced by the NOAA satellites. But Meteor digital images are however much better as they are transmitted as a digital signal with an image resolution 12x greater than the aging analog NOAA APT signals. Radio enthusiasts are receiving images with hacked cheap digital TV dongles. There is even the AMIGOS project which stands for Amateur Meteor Images Global Observation System: users around the world can contribute Meteor images through the internet to create worldwide real-time coverage.

Submission + - Low Cost EEG Head-Sets Promise Virtual Reality Feedback Loops (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from the University of Memphis have found that it's possible to use a low-cost EEG device such as the $300 Emotiv Epoc to understand how a user is feeling — opening up the path to genuine psycho-biological feedback in virtual/augmented reality scenarios. The Epoc has been used, in combination with the Razer Hydra, to give users control over VR/AR environments, but integrating emotional feedback into VR environments heralds many new possibilities in the fields of medical research, gaming — and, of course, marketing research.

Submission + - Governments Could Censor Internet as US Relinquishes ICANN Oversight

dkatana writes: The US contract with ICANN,the organization responsible for registering all Internet domain names, ends on Sept. 30th. If the US government doesn’t act, it is effectively allowing the Chinese, Russian or others to censor a part of the Internet worldwide.

The concerns stem from controversy swirling around ICANN's 2012 decision to allow anyone to buy a Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) and to resell the registrations of the domain without supervision.

The controversy started in 2011, when ICANN decided to auction off gTLDs as a way to raise funds. ICANN raised over $64 million from new gTLDs registrations. The .app TLD raised $25 million alone. Critics say the organization is not effectively upholding the lack of restrictions traditionally associated with TLDs.

Submission + - John Cleese Warns Campus Political Correctness Leading Towards 1984 ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner that, "The Monty Python co-founder, in a video for Internet forum Big Think, railed against the current wave of hypersensitivity on college campuses, saying he has been warned against performing on campuses. "[Psychiatrist Robin Skynner] said: 'If people can't control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people's behavior,'" Cleese said. "And when you're around super-sensitive people, you cannot relax and be spontaneous because you have no idea what's going to upset them next." Cleese said that it's one thing to be "mean" to "people who are not able to look after themselves very well," but it was another to take it to "the point where any kind of criticism of any individual or group could be labeled cruel." Cleese added that "comedy is critical," and if society starts telling people "we mustn't criticize or offend them," then humor goes out the window. "With humor goes a sense of proportion," Cleese said. "And then, as far as I'm concerned, you're living in 1984." Cleese is just the latest comedian to lecture college students about being so sensitive.

Submission + - Secret US flight flew over Scottish airspace 'to capture Snowden' (

schwit1 writes: THE UK GOVERNMENT is facing demands to reveal the details of a secret flight through Scottish airspace which was at the centre of a plot to capture whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The plane, which passed above the Outer Hebrides, the Highlands and Aberdeenshire, was dispatched from the American east coast on June 24 2013, the day after Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow. The craft was used in controversial US 'rendition' missions.

Reports by Scottish journalist Duncan Campbell claim the aircraft, traveling well above the standard aviation height at 45,000 feet and without a filed flight plan, was part of a mission to capture Snowden following his release of documents revealing mass surveillance by US and UK secret services.

Comment Congratulations (Score 3, Insightful) 373

Wow, what a sight to behold. It was pretty hard to stay quiet while watching that streak of light come down with everybody cheering. Probably the first "USA! USA!" chant I've ever heard that was both entirely well-deserved and not even a little bit sarcastic. An historic occasion indeed. :-)

Congratulations SpaceX, this is like that 4th launch where everyone suddenly went from doubt to astonishment.

Comment Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

I think that for prepackaged food products, if there's no way to reseal the packaging provided, then the calorie content and other information on the packaging needs to state the total for the entire contents, not for some obtuse 2.5 servings.

That's what you already get in the EU: there is a column for nutritional content per unit mass (100mg, for solids) or volume (100ml, for liquids) as well as a column for content per product. At a glance you can compare different substances using the first column, or read your total energy input if you eat it from the second.

Given how much certain processed food ingredients seem to affect our 'digestive behavior', however, I feel that looking at just the basic nutritional content is only half the story at best.

Comment Re:Fraudulent herbal supplements? (Score 1) 412

"people in general are honest" .. I think those tests probably did not include lawyers, advertisers, salesmen, corporate CEOs, etc.

You bring up an interesting point: while we do expend some effort doing psychological research to assess the honesty of people (and it's well-accepted that humans have an innate desire for correct information - even if this can be subverted), those same people might make radically different choices when put into inpersonal positions (such as CEO or marketing employee). Their actions are then taken as an extension of the organisation, rather than an expression of personal convictions. Thus it feels more like the company's present situation (and expectations of superiors) is the thing dictating the choices they make, rather than them; this makes any assessment of the person's honesty in normal social circumstances all but irrelevant.

Interestingly, this illusion seems to disappear when people break rules. THEN we see them as acting out of their own interest.

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Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken