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Comment Re:Past (Score 1) 658

Have you read Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch Redemption? It's a time travel story where the people who invent time travel decide to stop Christopher Columbus from discovering the Americas, in order to prevent the slaughter of the natives. While researching, they realize that their current reality resulted from someone ELSE changing the past to try and avoid a future with a mainstream religion that included human sacrifice. Interesting problem to have to deal with.

Comment Re:Thank God. (Score 1) 428

Jobs that can be outsourced(relatively successful in manufacturing[and if you choose the CNMI you can even use 'made in USA' stickers while paying at roughly Chinese rates!], rather a mixed record in white-collar tech) or done under-the-table with reasonable safety for the people who matter(Gosh, officer, I had no idea that my janitorial contractor's subcontracted cleaning crew might not be 100% on the up-and-up immigration wise... I figured that they were so cheap because they just had a good work ethic...) don't really need H-1Bs...

Translates to:

Jobs that can be outsourced or done under-the-table with reasonable safety for the people who matter don't really need H-1Bs...

You might want to consider using less parenthetical statements---at least, assuming you want people to actually read and absorb your statements.

Comment Re:I know what's gonna happen now (Score 1) 662

They get groped all the time on trains--so often that there has been talk of making train cars available just for women

Your info seems to be a bit out of date. For at least the past few years (during which I've spent time in Japan) there have been female-only cars during the morning and afternoon rush hours. The proportions of cars:people is such that in the ladies cars mostly everyone can sit down, while the rest of the cars are packed like sardines (very uncomfortable, especially if you're mildly claustrophobic, like myself). With all of the time I've spent on public transit in Japan, I've never heard of any chikan. Westerners like to talk about this like every woman gets groped every time she goes on a train...probably because they watch too much anime, which is not indicative of real life.

Japanese women are in a completely different situation than other western women--they're really more in the position of women in the 50s or even more similar to women prior to WW2, where they had a predefined role to perform and certainly were not at the same level as men.

This is also not quite as bad as it used to be, and certainly not to American pre-WWII levels. Career women are very much a fact in Japan these days, and while there is still quite a bit of discrimination against them, it's not as bad as the discrimination against foreigners (especially other Asians; Koreans and Filipinos are especially looked down upon). The worst discrimination, IMO, go to other Japanese; e.g. the Burakumin
Japan's problems mostly arise from the fact that because of their recent feudal roots they are in in effect if not in name still a "class" society, dragged unwillingly into an industrialized world. The majority of their human rights and anti-discrimination laws are on the books due to external pressures, and are rarely enforced. For example, while it is technically illegal to discriminate based on race, there is actually no penalty for the offence.
Of course, all of this is terribly impolite to talk about, and I apologize if I've offended anyone. I actually love Japan and the Japanese people and culture; they just still have a lot of catching up to do, which is made very difficult by their unique culture of conformity and obedience.


Submission + - New Secure Credit Card has Keypad and Display

Hugh Pickens writes: "A new secure credit card that has a microprocessor, battery, numeric keypad and built-in display is being tested by Visa with the aim of reducing internet fraud. The new card requires that a PIN number be entered on the keypad which then generates a four digit one-time password on a built in display that is required before a transaction can go through. One of the problems facing developers was how to make sure the card could be handled like any other card without accidentally pressing buttons or breaking the display. "We've made the buttons in such a way that you need to 'pinch' them, rather than just press, for them to work," says Sandra Alzetta, head of innovation at Visa. "One of the things we're testing is how long the battery lasts — the plan is for it to work for more than three years, which means your card should expire before it runs out of power." The card is designed to combat fraudulent orders placed by phone, internet, or mail order where the card is not actually present and Alzetta says that the purpose of the card was to bring the principles of chip and pin technology to the online world. "The card needs to be globally compatible: that means embossed characters for mechanical swipes, a magnetic strip for systems that require a signature, the fixed three digit security code and now the unique four figure code." Field trials with four banks should be completed this year and once certified by Visa it is then up to banks and credit card companies to decide if they take up the new technology."

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