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Comment Re:Just fix the imagery problems (Score 1) 97

A few annotations:

As some one pointed out most of the images are arial photographs of lower quality - where they use satellite images (res. >1m) they have no control over the time of flyover - that is determined by the flightpath of the commercial operators. Only military sentinels and some scientific platforms carry enough fuel (or have a very short life span) to adapt their flight paths to the customers need.

Aligning images is non-trivial - you got minimal tilts which could be corrected and professional arial images (ie. not the ones used by Google) are corrected and coded for stereoscopic measuring (some specialists can determine the hight of the terrain up to a few centimeters). But you still got the height differences of earth surfaces within an image which are hard to correct and Google wont pay anyone to adapt their geo-models and image models to fit within a few decimeters.

Far more problematic is the underwhelming cartographic quality in regards to symbols, generalization ea. - heck even Apple Maps is better than Google maps in that respect.A lot of pupils don't know what a good map should look like or how to tell what determines a good map... sigh...

Comment Re:That's just too damn bad. (Score 1) 767

That might be partly true for some countries but the problem with Waze ea. does also exist in other countries in Europe where the situation differs a bit, because:
we (as house owners) paid up to 90% of the roads construction cost (for residential roads - others might be "free" of direct cost),
we live often in a reduced traffic area with no through traffic (especially of lorries) allowed,
we often have a significant speed limit of 30 km/h in residential areas.

Modern traffic planning does actually divide streets up into different classes (aka functionalities) but most apps don't take modern planning into consideration - Eg. the street I'm living in is a low traffic residential area designed for some traffic going through because of an elementary school and a hospital in nearby areas. Whenever one of the larger motorways or state roads in the vicinity of our town is blocked the traffic rises exponentially ( also the speed) to cut through or bypass the traffic jam. If this happens in the morning quite a few school children will attempt to cross the roads or use the same roads by bicycle, which sometimes leads to dangerous situations.

And you want to know whats really funny about that? Those detours won't save you much time, money or fuel - I was working with some traffic scientists in our geoscience department which calculated the time difference between staying on the congested road or using the detour suggested by apps - their finding was that it might save you time for short journeys, big jams or road closures but not for most other situations and you will need at least as much fuel.

Comment Re: Yes, but it's a Dyson (Score 1) 434

its all bollox. if you've washed your hands properly there will be no germs to spread.

Nope it is not - Actually institutes in England (1997, Westminster report) and Germany (2005, TÜV) ran tests regarding handwashing and drying with different means. The conclusion? Handwashing may reduce the pathogen level on your hands by about 40% (if using only soap) but the funny thing is that this holds only true if you use paper towels. If you use Cloth the reduction might be only 20% while when using Hot Air Dryers you might ending with the same count (or even more) than before. But normally you won't get infections this way - thats because your skin (and the hydrolipids covering it) will protect you - except if you destroy the hydrolipids by washing your hands too often.

And in case you want really clean hands:
There is a reason why hospitals ask you to wash your hands and then disinfect them with specialized agents. Since the 60ies most surgeons disinfect them for about 5 to 8 minutes with antiseptics (there are even EN norms for that) to be sure they won't carry pathogens.

I wouldn't worry about people not washing their hands but about people not washing and disinfecting their hands in high risk areas like hospitals, nurseries and care institutions...

Comment A bit of nitpicking... (Score 3, Informative) 49

It is not a preliminary ruling per se but an Opinion registered by the General Advocate - usually the court follows his arguments but only then it will be a ruling. Nevertheless is this a great step towards a open wifi in some of the EU states. The case centers around a german law which forces you, if running a hotspot, to ensure that your hotspot is not used to violate IP (by using passwords or providing detailed logs afaik - as if that would help). But the law also determines that you can be hold liable if IP violations are committed using your hotspot without those countermeasures. That is what happened in this case as the party seeking this ruling was billed 800,- for alleged IP violations by Sony. As far as the registered Opinion goes it seems that the EU court will uphold the rights of free speech instead of hindering it by making wifi operators liable.

Comment Re:Progress in Human Geography? (Score 5, Informative) 523

Actually Human Geography is how humans create and maintain spacial interactions and how those interactions may form space. It is just a way of dividing geography into different branches (human geography and physical geography). And since I both studied and lectured geography (specializing in human geography and regional econometrics) - I haven't dug through the whole article, but it seems rather legit albeit more about how glaciological knowledge is created and how this knowledge is influenced by gender and how some of the presentation of that knowledge to the public has a strong gender bias.

Comment A bit misleading... (Score 5, Informative) 143

I just read the original post by the Polizei Hagen and the context is not so much about pedophiles but the emphasis is more on basic privacy concerns... A quick and dirty translation (usual caveats apply):

Please stop posting photographs of your children for all to see on Facebook and Co! - Even your children have privacy!
A snapshot naked on the beach or bathing in the pool: Many of you publish pictures of their little ones on Facebook and Co. And very often those are visible to everyone, without any appropriate safeguards in the privacy settings. Maybe you consider the pictures adorable today, but they might prove endlessly embarrassing for your children in a few years - or they might even get bullied! Even worse: pedophile inclined people may use such photos for their own purposes or publish them elsewhere. Your children have a right of privacy. We feel that pictures of children should not be published in social networks. Because the Internet never "forgets" anything. View your pictures of your little ones wtih grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, friends and acquaintances rather personally. Because: Isn't it so much nicer to talk and smile about them together?
Thank you!
Your Police Hagen

Submission + - Schrems vs. Facebook: US/EU Safe Harbour Decision invalidated

nava68 writes: The EU Court of justice has invalidated the Safe Harbour Decision between the US and the EU, forcing the Irish Data Protection Authority to investigate the compliance of data use by Facebook. Despite quite heavy lobbying by US officials the court followed the suggestions of the attorney general and declared that national states might demand Internet companies to follow European Data Protection guidelines whenever storing data in the US. Expect updated EULAs within the minute...

Additional reporting by the Telegraph and the NY. Times

Comment Re:The ruling is pretty scary (IANAL) (Score 1) 401

Some of the comments do refer to killing or harming the responsible persons:
  • [2] ... Proposal – let’s do as in 1905, let’s go to [K]uressaare with sticks and put [L.] and [Le.] in a bag
  • [14] ... As they sow, so shall they reap, but they should nevertheless be contained (by lynching as the state is powerless towards them – it is really them who govern the state), because they only live for today.
  • [17] ... Estonian state, led by scum [and] financed by scum, of course does not prevent or punish antisocial acts by scum. But well, every [L.] has his Michaelmas ... and this cannot at all be compared to a ram’s Michaelmas. Actually sorry for [L.] – a human, after all... :D :D :D

Comment Tip: Read the ruling... (Score 1) 401

I fear that not all posting here have read the ruling. There are a few things to consider:
  • 1. The Ruling was made by the ECHR, which is not a part of the EU but an instrument of the European Council which is based on the CPHRFF (European Convention on the Human Rights)
  • 2. The ruling only stated that the Estonian Law did not violate the human rights of the complainant and notes why the ruling by the Estonian court was held up.
  • 3. The Annex and Concurring Opinions of the ruling describe the interpretation of the court that "Delfi was [not] liable as it did not “prevent” the unlawful comments from being published, and its liability was aggravated by the fact that it did not subsequently “remove” the comments; ... [but] Delfi did not “prevent” the unlawful comments from being published, and as it did not subsequently “remove” the comments without delay, it was liable for them." The judges issuing the concurrent opinion urged the Court to clarify this important part of the ruling (and there is a big difference in those 2 interpretations...)
  • 4. The ruling makes clear that the original Estonian laws and ruling is within the "margin of appreciation afforded to the respondent State" and "the measure did not constitute a disproportionate restriction" on the human rights of the complainant.

So if any country within the European Council does issue a law that binds professional outlets to monitor comments and take down hate speech and comments incensing violence it may feel justified by this ruling, but vice versa no government within the European Council may be forced by this ruling to pass such laws.

The downside of all this is, that certain governments (I'm looking at you [name redacted]) will use this ruling to implement laws which will restrict the free expression of opinions online, but then there is still the ECHR to decide if such a law would violate Article 10.2 of the European Convention of Human Rights ...

Comment Re:Their software cost an arm and both legs yet... (Score 3, Informative) 35

No, but as soon as the Market leader does propagate a new data exchange format, the actual creators of the data (commercial companies as well as state agencies) will follow. ESRIs market share is dominating and unfortunately many GIS users are not interested in open tools. So if a more efficient and comfortable format will be available then the GIS community will willingly accept it - without even considering the problems of a further lock in. In addition to that, the Open Source Geo community is already providing the LASzip format for the same functionality and that format is far superior to the classic one and probably as efficient as the one ESRI is developing - plus it is open, documented and all, albeit so far not subjected to the process of standardization.

Comment Re:Risk Management (Score 3, Informative) 737

That is not entirely true; the procedure takes the following steps - The door is normally pre-locked and can only be opened from inside - Crew trying to enter from outside have first to contact the cockpit via intercom and then press a code on a pad. The cockpit gets a visual and aural signal and has a time period to confirm the entry. - When the crew finds that the cockpit is not responding to a request they (mostly the Purser) can enter a security code on the pad which will unlock the door after a time period - but the cockpit can still override the opening request within 20 seconds. So whenever a pilot or crew is not able to enter a cockpit for an extended period, then somebody in the cockpit is denying them the entry by an action (flipping a switch). That is why some airlines allow a cockpit member to leave the cockpit only while two crew members are in the cockpit for that time (4 eyes principle).

Comment Re:The tomb of Geryon! (Score 4, Informative) 164

Since Roxana (Alexanders wife) and his son Alexander IV were killed in Amphipolis by one of the Diadochen it could be either one of them or the Diadochen (Cassandos) who was buried in that tomb. Btw the excavation is running now for more than one year - hardly news except that Samaras went there for a visit and archeologist plan to enter within the next few months...

Comment Great plan for "businessmen" (Score 3, Insightful) 518

Oh yes and this would give rise to a new species of business plan: Groom the favelas and ghettos of this planet for the illiterate and hopeless, get them to sign a binding agreement, harvest the organs and then export them to the U.S.. If not legal in the country of origin, just fly them to whatever clinics they may have a contract with, harvest there and dump the human trash back where it belongs. This would solve the organ donor problem for just a nominal fee - and give all those valuable business students a great way to earn money... On the other hand those entities could promote organ donor-ship and try not to mess it up like in Germany (where hospitals manipulated the lists to get their patients/the highest bidder to the top of waiting lists and where organ donations have now dropped to an all-time low as a consequence of the scandal).

Comment Re:day base price consumer price (Score 1) 226

The prices are not inflated for all industries - some companies (at the moment app. 1700, until the end of 2014 another 1000 - all of them industries with high energy input) are exempt from some fees AND are able to procure energy directly at the electricity trading exchange. The strange situation at the moment is, that german companies with high energy intake (>40 GWh/a) pay less than the european average and that future prices for 2015 or 2016 are well below lets say dutch or french prices (36€/MW for D, 42 €/MW for F, 44€/MW for NL). German utilities do love wind power, but only as far as small and medium customers with no access to EEX or PHELIX are concerned...

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