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Comment Re:Assange lacks integrity. (Score 4, Interesting) 560

From my understanding, a president has two options: he can pardon someone, meaning the whole conviction is removed and things like e.g. voting rights are restored; or he can commute a sentence, which lowers the penalty but upholds the original conviction. So, after being released from her commuted sentence, Manning will still be a convicted felon and traitor, probably won't be eligible to vote or stand for election, will never get security clearance, etc etc. Also emotionally, a pardon would acknowledge that what she did was (somewhat) right, while a commutation means that she is still guilty and her acts were wrong, just not deserving of such a hash treatment. This also sends quite a different message to would-be whistleblowers.

So, the difference between pardon and commutation is not a technicality, it is very real.

Comment Re:I wanted a G5 ! - Could not find a demo of DAC (Score 1) 78

If your hope in humanity was pinned on underpaid mall shop staffers knowing about DAC I think you had it coming :)

I'm curious though, do you really hear/appreciate the sound quality while you're cycling? I can maybe understand it in an environment where you can concentrate on the music, but on a bike...?

Comment Re:ALREADY HAVE IT! (Score 2) 121

Nucular from the '50's' works as good today and tomorrow as it always have. Trust me. I know. I am a nucular enginer in charged of safeney.

I can see "nucular" as being sort of witty (or at least a cheap dig at the previous POTUS), but I would hope that an "enginer in charged of safeney" could pay a little bit more attention to detail...

Comment Re:I wouldn't take that bet. (Score 2) 426

I think you underestimate how hard killing a lot of people is.

The nazi's spent ~4 years setting up a formidable killing industry, partly automated and partly mechanised (especially in Eastern Europe most jews and other victims were killed by (machine)gunfire, not in the extermination camps), which resulted in around ~10 million deaths (of 6 million jews and of which 3 million in extermination camps), or 2.5 million people per year. Stalin took around 20 years to kill 10-60 million people, so a similar death rate, and communist China also has similar numbers per annum, depending on whether famine counts or not.

Compare that withthe current global population growth is 1%, or about 70 million people per year. So, to keep the population from growing, you need to setup killing at 25 times the rate of Hitler or Stalin. To significantly decrease the world population in a 'reasonable' time frame you would need to up that by at least an order of magnitude again.

tl;dr: you can kill some people some of the time, but it gets really tough to do do so in demographically significant way

[see:,, and references therein]

Comment Re:Doctor Doctor Give Me The News (Score 3, Interesting) 508

My guess* is that they are from separate stems. In Dutch, kleven (clay-vun) is to stick together, and klieven (clee-vun) is to split apart.

No idea where the contradictory meaning in sanction comes from, in Dutch 'sanctioneren' (v) also has both meanings and people get confused.

*) And Internet confirms it :)

Comment Re:Meanwhile, the fucking Mars rover (Score 1) 40

From what I read, they want to prevent having a noise source that could interfere with future missions. I'm not sure I buy that, with what power the satellite could get from broken solar panels on the comet surely the noise would be quite limited, but that's what the local newspaper said.

Also, I guess they just want to wrap up the project, shut off the receivers, and move on.

Comment Re:Well, I thought we had settled this (Score 3, Informative) 282

As far as I understand the ruling, the infringement is *not* that GS linked to a site where it is legally hosted, but that they are linking to a site that hosts the pictures illegally, and the GS should have known that it was illegal (and you can be damn sure they knew that the linked site was not authorized by the copyright holder)

So, this case is more akin to pirate bay, which also just hosts links to places where stuff is hosted illegally; and has little to do with linking to something someone intended to distribute on the web.

Now, whether it should be legal to link to something you know is illegal is another matter. I for one am curious whether the court proceedings contain the hyperlink itself. While the central government is not liable for criminal persecution, it is liable for civil suits...

Comment Re:Misleading? (Score 4, Insightful) 122

I don't think "own" means what you think it means :-). If there were no government, you would "own" something until someone with a bigger club comes around. If there is a government obeying the rule of law, you "own" something until your ownership is removed by due legal process. Expropriation is limited in scope and requires renumeration (U.S.C. 5th amendment: "Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."), so ownership is more than a temporary lease, but it is certainly no unlimited perpetual right. Hint: there's not an awful lot of those :).

In Dutch law, ownership is defined as the maximal rights that one can enjoy on a good. Not "full" or "unrestricted" rights, but "maximal".

(and yes, if you start breaking the law, either by refusing to pay taxes or in some other way, you will find that a lot of your rights are quite relative, including ownership, freedom of movement and ultimately freedom from physical abuse)

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