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Comment Re:... More effort than ... ? (Score 1) 153

not sure why you say arabic countries...

HSBC Holdings P.L.C. is a British multinational banking and financial services organisation headquartered in London, United Kingdom and is one of the world's largest banks. []

"HSBC ... [has] resolved charges accusing the bank of having become 'preferred financial institution' for South American drug cartels"


Ontario School Bans Wi-Fi 287

St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ont. is the latest Canadian school to decide to save its students from the harmful effects of Wi-Fi by banning it. Schools from universities on down have a history of banning Wi-Fi in Ontario. As usual, health officials and know-it-all scientists have called the move ridiculous. Health Canada has released a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."

PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License 356

Anders writes "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the largest animal rights organization in the world, endorse a new FLOSS license. From the article: 'The Harm-Less Permissive License (HPL) is a permissive, non copyleft, software license. It is based on the FreeBSD license but with one additional restriction; the "harm-less" clause. It prevents software, licensed under the HPL, to be used for harming humans or animals.'" I guess this leaves the bunny-fueled power plant in Stockholm out in the cold.

Comment Re:Both, of course (Score 1) 468

How else do you explain that I will be fined $950 because I exercised a Pro-Choice decision not to have hospital insurance

Calm down. You're not being "fined". Your taxes are going up.

Your taxes are higher if you rent rather than own your home; your taxes are higher if you don't have kids; your taxes are higher if you purchase one sort of vehicle over another; your taxes are higher if you don't sock money away in a retirement fund. You still have the choices, and these are not fines or "oppression", and it's ridiculous to label them as such.

Neither are you being fined for making the (stupid) choice to fail to carry health insurance. If you are seriously injured or fall gravely ill, you will not be able to "pay cash directly to the doctor", that's the whole point of insurance. Tax policy is giving you an incentive to behave more intelligently, and is making you pay your share of the costs for a public good, but you still have the choice.

Comment Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (Score 1) 243

thats bullshit. Programmers spend a good amount of their time writing code that is the first do something in a specific area. Because if someone else had already done it before then we'd just use the software someone else already wrote for that task.

Have you never heard of Not invented here syndrome? It's chronic in software developers. The reasons are many, but often the reasoning is "Well, that other version doesn't do what I need in exactly the way I need it" or "I don't want to pay a royalty for that" or "I can do it better/faster/cheaper".


Jordanian Mayor Angry Over "Alien Invasion" Prank 217

krou writes "Jordanian mayor Mohammed Mleihan has taken a dim view of local newspaper Al-Ghad's April Fools prank, which saw a front page story claiming that 'flying saucers flown by 3m (10ft) creatures had landed in the desert town of Jafr.' The paper claimed that communication networks had gone down, and people were fleeing the area. The mayor called the local security authorities, who combed the area, but they were unable to find any evidence of the aliens. Mr Mleihan is now considering suing because of the distress it caused to residents: 'Students didn't go to school, their parents were frightened and I almost evacuated the town's 13,000 residents. People were scared that aliens would attack them.'" I guess they've never heard of Orson Welles in Jordan.

Comment Re:Would be interesting... (Score 1) 147

There are plenty of systems I work on and develop for wherein I depend on the domain knowledge of others to help me along. I normally learn just enough of the systems to get the requested functionality to work. They tell me how to do things legally (as the time constraints don't permit me enough time to research all the statutes, nor am I a lawyer to trust my parsing of the requisite statutes). I can easily envision a scenario wherein the coders did break the law, but didn't know that the specific situation was unlawful.

Granted, the details will probably come out in the trial, but if they're innocent (or innocent enough not to go to pound me in the ass prison), I hope they can afford to defend themselves. I know ignorance of the law isn't an escuse, but I hope that the ones who designed the system are the ones to get punished.

To use a car analogy, who would you rather have sent to jail, the man who designed the Slim Jim used to break into your car, or the person that procured said Slim Jim, used it to overcome the locks in your car, and drove away with it while getting you to fork out for the loss of the vehicle.

Printing Replacement Body Parts 101

Deep Penguin sends in a piece that appeared in The Economist a couple of weeks back about a developing technology to "print" body parts for transplant. "A US and an Australian company have developed the $200,000 machine, which works by depositing stem cells and a 'sugar-based hydrogel' scaffolding material. (The stem cells are harvested from a transplant patient's own fat and bone marrow, to avoid rejection down the line.) The companies are Organovo, from San Diego, specializing in regenerative medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in Melbourne, Australia. The initial targets are skin, muscle, and 'short stretches of blood vessels,' which they hope to have available for human implantation within five years. Down the line, they expect the technology could even print directly into the body, bypassing the in-vitro portion of the current process."

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."

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