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Comment Re:Dominican Republic, Iran and Thailand stats (Score 1) 322

Tenfold is between the Netherlands and DR.

Forget about the friends example. Just try to understand the difference between ~1:50 (DR), ~1:200(US), ~1:500(Netherlands) chance of dying in a traffic accident over the period of 50 years or 1:1.175x10e8 chance of winning the Powerball.

Comment Re:Dominican Republic, Iran and Thailand stats (Score 1) 322

Might be some truth to what you are saying, but driver discipline is probably more important.

This based on my experience driving across Europe a couple times - driving in Germany is a pleasure, people respect the law. Compared to that, driving in the Washington DC region is a nightmare and I can fully understand why the death rate is 2.5x higher even though speed limits are ridiculously low here...

Comment Re:Dominican Republic, Iran and Thailand stats (Score 1) 322

First, your math: 10 in 100 000 is 0.01%, not 0.1%.

You might say this just further supports your "x times nothing" argument but let's present this as follows:

If the number of fatalities are 0.01% per year, over a period of 50 years this means 0.5% chance of being killed in a traffic accident - that's 1:200. Or almost 1:1 chance of loosing someone whom you have known relatively closely (classmate, family member, co-worker, friend) in a traffic accident. A rate of 40 per 100000 means 1:50 chance.

Definitely more chance than winning the lottery, what I prefer considering practically nothing.

Comment Re:Dominican Republic, Iran and Thailand stats (Score 4, Insightful) 322


First, a 10-fold difference is quite important. Second, I would like to see the average speed of motorized traffic in these countries.

Fatality rate is 41.7 per 100000 in DR and ~4 in Germany. Now my guess is that should people try to drive in the DR as fast as it is customary in Germany, that 41.7 rate would go much higher...

Comment Re:First and third (Score 1) 290

More recognition : I work surrounded with MDs and PhDs in biomedical research. 95% of my colleagues just say "I have nothing to hide / I don't see what's the problem with this? / If this is necessary to combat terrorism, I'm for it"

I just don't see it coming...

Comment Re:First and third (Score 1) 290

I don't know if should thank you or ... for making me feel like a complete idiot!

No I did not know that it's a fake.

Still, the billion dollar data center in Utah will be used for something - I just hope the reality is not worse than what the fake page suggests.

Comment Re:First and third (Score 1) 290

First : I don't think the Guardian copied images for their famous article from here.

So no, I don't have the recollection that before the article the government admitted to doing anything.

Why I don't believe they will only collect metadata:

1) Data storage capacity : The storage capacity of the Utah Data Center will be measured in "zettabytes". What exactly is a zettabyte? There are a thousand gigabytes in a terabyte; a thousand terabytes in a petabyte; a thousand petabytes in an exabyte; and a thousand exabytes in a zettabyte. Some of our employees like to refer to them as "alottabytes"

2) Eventually, all of the domestic data flow will be routed to the new Utah Data Center when it opens in Fall 2013. The NSA also monitors all satellite communications in and out of the U.S. via satellite receivers located across the country.

In fact, they just state that they will collect all the data they can get their hands on. Say hello to Big Brother.

Comment Re:First and third (Score 2) 290

As I pointed out in my post just seconds ago - me and my wife, we already had inconveniences and extra runs with administration just because something did not add up in a database (DHS in this case).

The more information lingers about you in central databases, the more things can go wrong, even unintentionally.

As for how much NSA has : they admitted to collecting "metadata only" but I don't really buy that. This place is capable of doing much more...

Boring individuals are safe : that's a nice way to cement in 100% compliance from citizens.

Comment Re:First and third (Score 3, Interesting) 290

That's a good one, too.

Personally I had enough experience with federal databases and tracking individuals. I'm in the US on a J-1 visa, my wife is a J-2 dependent. Now we had to have our drivers license renewed every year as my contracts were one-year each time and they did not want to give me a DL valid longer than my lawful status in the US.

Renewing included checking with DHS if we are lawfully present - if my contract is valid. For me it was always OK right away. For my wife, it was 2-3 weeks before DHS gave the nod, the automated system never cleared her right away even though her visa was sponsored by the exact same program ( since she is a "dependent"). Why? We'll never know.

The day they will link the NSA dabases up with DMVs, FBI, DHS, ..., now that will be a nice clusterfuck.

Comment Re:First and third (Score 1) 290

I'm not worried about a conscientious NSA employee coming after me.

The real problem is that the NSA servers {will be / are} a one-stop shop for heaps of interesting information about individuals. And I'm pretty sure that they will be breached sooner than later.

Comment Re:What about long term? (Score 1) 237

Conservation : I'm not speaking about conservation, I speak about not being wasteful - I agree that not living in the city, driving oversize cars, buying 2000+ sqft single family homes is the American way but hey, maybe it's time for a change?

Government subsidized : and so what? Germany is still doing fine and you should factor in the humungous amount of money they pour into the Eurozone. It is their choice. Just as the average american house is oversized, poorly isolated, costs too much to cool/heat and far from civilization. Now step up and pay the bills.

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