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Comment Why didn't she just untag? (Score 1) 201

Tagging in Facebook, in some sense, does require a person's permission, because a person may remove a tag from any picture on which they are tagged. Further, they can not be retagged on that same picture unless they reinstate the tag themselves. This means that while FB initially assumes permission, that permission can be revoked.

Comment Re:The fix is in (Score 1) 530

It depends on you mean by the "whole play was written." Do you mean that the US had it in for Assange before the accusations came to light? That is certainly true. But exactly what they were doing about it is another matter. It is possible that one or both of the women were CIA plants, and there have been suggestions to that effect However, while this is a plausible story, it doesn't seem likely nor is it necessary to explain events. Several things to remember: 1) Assange was trying to gain Swedish citizen at the time; 2) so, the US would have reason to put pressure on Sweden about the issue; 3) Sweden's interests mostly align with those of the US and they probably don't want to become known as a haven for international Robin Hoods, so they had their own reasons for not wanting to grant Assange a citizenship; 4) rape laws in Sweden have the lowest evidential bar in the entire world, essentially a woman can decide at any time after sex that she was assaulted, even if it was apparently mutual and she seemed to enjoy it; 5) there is a history in Sweden of women using these laws to their advantage, such as suing for large sums of money, that is has nothing to do with governmental pressure; 6) ultimately, it doesn't matter whether Assange is found innocent or guilty (for the US it would be a bonus, but not necessary), simply the charge of rape is enough to tarnish his image. So, I would suggest that if we were to be able to Wikileaks the behind the scenes chatter we would probably see some diplomatic pressure from the US on Sweden to find a way to deny Assange citizenship. We would likely also see internal pressure within the Swedish establishment to deny Assange citizenship. We would probably also see that he was watched closely by the authorities. When his sexual escapades came to light, it was hard to miss since one of the women tweeted them all over the net and the other texted to all her friends, there may or may not have been some suggestions given to those women that maybe he didn't treat them as nicely as they would have liked. However, it is also quite likely that the women came to the conclusion to accuse him on their own, given that some Swedish woman have used these laws for less than upright purposes. The "coincidence" of two women charging Assange at the same time can easily be explained by the fact that they talked to each other beforehand. Regardless of whether these charges were influenced by suggestion or not, the Swedish government certainly jumped at the opportunity. So, while it is possible that there were deep machinations involved, the events can easily be explained by conjunction of governmental business as usual (basic diplomatic pressure, and pressures internal to the Swedish system), Swedish rape laws, chance and jumping on opportunities when they arise.

Comment Re:Destruction of evidence (Score 1) 364

While I agree that US is guilty of many human rights abuses (as are most, if not all, governments in the world), where do you get the idea that the US ran "extermination" camps in the 1940s? There were "internment" camps for citizens of Japanese descent. These camps certainly qualify as human rights abuse, since the individuals were forced to forfeit their property and were then held in detention under poor conditions for several years (which sadly did cause some deaths) for no reason except that their ancestors were from the wrong part of the world. But they hardly qualify as "extermination" camps, especially when compared to Nazi camps during the same period where 6 million people were exterminated.

White House Edited Oil Drilling Safety Report 368

bonch writes "The Interior Department inspector general has released a report stating that the White House edited a drilling safety report by reordering paragraphs to make it appear as though a seven-member panel of independent experts supported the six-month ban on offshore drilling. The IG report states, 'The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,' but the panel had only reviewed a draft of safety recommendations and not a drilling ban. The White House has issued a statement saying that there was 'no intentional misrepresentation of their views.' This follows complaints from scientists and environmentalists that the administration has not been holding to its promise of policy guided by science and not ideology."

Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu 133

eldavojohn writes "A lizard long served on the menu in the Mekong Delta has recently caught the attention of scientists when it was noted that all animals in the species appeared identical as well as female. The species appears to be a hybrid of two other species (like a mule or liger). But the curious thing is that this hybrid isn't sterile — it reproduces asexually. The species, known for some time in Vietnam, has now officially been named Leiolepis ngovantrii."

2012 Mayan Calendar 'Doomsday' Date Might Be Wrong 144

astroengine writes "A UC Santa Barbara associate professor is disputing the accuracy of the mesoamerican 'Long Count' calendar after highlighting several astronomical flaws in a correlation factor used to synchronize the ancient Mayan calendar with our modern Gregorian calendar. If proven to be correct, Gerardo Aldana may have nudged the infamous December 21, 2012 'End of the World' date out by at least 60 days. Unfortunately, even if the apocalypse is rescheduled, doomsday theorists will unlikely take note."

Comment Re:Please, no Shaftoe/Waterhouse (Score 2, Insightful) 140

Funny, I couldn't get through Snow Crash after trying several times. But the Baroque Cycle is one of favorite series (an experience much enhanced by the language). In any case, whether you like Stephenson's earlier books or his later books, he is inarguably one of the more daring speculative fiction writers out there. If authors don't experiment then literature goes nowhere. I am very much looking forward to this book.

Feed Feds Pull Traveler Help Site (

Homeland Security pulls down a website link for travelers with watchlist problems after 27BStroke6 points out security flaws. But TSA won't say whether the site was legal. In 27B Stroke 6.

User Journal

Journal SPAM: Vanuatu cargo cult marks 50 years 2

Residents of the South Pacific island of Tanna worship an American "messiah" named John Frum who first appeared to them in the 1930s. According to a village elder quoted in a recent Smithsonian article, John promised to someday return and "he'll bring planeloads and shiploads of cargo to us from America if we pray to him. Radios, TVs, trucks, boats, watches, iceboxes, medicine, Coca-Cola and many other wonderful th


Submission + - End of the World? Nah,.Only 3 Football Fields Wide

j2xs writes: "So a funny thing happened today as I was checking my web stats report. This company was surfing DataRush, so naturally I went out to take a look at 'em... then I found this quote regarding what the world can expect in 2036. Heck, forget that! Look what happens seven years earlier!

"Some believe that all of this is science fiction," Ailor stated, "but we know that an asteroid (Apophis) 300 meters in diameter, large enough to cause serious damage, will pass within 20,000 miles of Earth — closer than our weather satellites — in 2029, and an impact by the same asteroid in 2036 cannot be ruled out. This conference will help improve our readiness should we need to defend our planet in the future."

I for one, am hereby donating my software to the effort !! Hey Aerospace Corporate guy, uhhh, just TAKE the darn software and start modeling its trajectory!!
[nervous laugh turning to the screen fades to black]"

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