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Comment Why the Thai miliary also insists they work (Score 2) 151

This also occurred in Thailand a few years ago, and it's a very sad story of (military) politics triumphing over reason.

During the early years of the Thaksin Shinawatra government, Pornthip Rojanasunand, a very high-profile CSI official, claimed that there was corruption in the Thai police. She became something of a media personality, and a National Geographic documentary was even made of her. She became very popular with the Thai military, who are rivals with the police and eventually launched a coup to remove Thaksin from power. After the coup, the military government spent over $20 million on the "bomb detectors" (not including "commissions") for and gave them to patrols in the deep South to deal with Muslim insurgents.

The military junta eventually organized an election, which a Thaksin-friendly government won. During an anti-government protest, a lady died in an explosion, and many protestors lost limbs. There was some suspicion that the protestors were carrying IEDs which exploded prematurely. "Our team has used a GT200 substance detector and found no substance used in making bombs. We've already checked the clash scenes and the bodies and clothing of the injured victims," Pornthip Rojanasunand said. She concluded that police tear-gas grenades used by the police caused the injuries and death. Despite evidence to the contrary. The public trusted her and the forensic powers of the "bomb detectors," the Queen attended the funeral of the dead lady, and a military-appointed court soon replaced the elected government with one that supported the military.

Soon, evidence started accumulating the the "bomb detectors" weren't working in the South and civilians and low-level soldiers were dying as a result. Pornthip lended her public credibility to the devices. "Personally, I have never handled the device myself. But my people have used it and it is accurate every time. Long long time ago, people believed that the Earth is flat and anyone who said otherwise faced execution. Things which are not visible does not necessarily mean they do not exist. The devices are there and no one has the right to ban their use. I will continue to use it."

The basic detector costs about $20,000, but additional "sensor cards" can be bought to "detect" things like dead bodies. The military-leaning government later killed many protestors in a large protest a few years ago. There were rumors that even more were killed and their bodies placed in containers and sunk off the coast. When containers was found sunk off the coast, Pornthip put a dead-body sensor card into her "bomb detector" and concluded that the containers didn't have dead bodies. Therefore, it wouldn't be cost effective to actually open one of the containers up to check and see.

In conclusion, people like Pornthip support such non-sense "bomb detectors" - not because they personally have to use them - but because they or people they have a vested interest in have supported the frauds in the past, and suddenly recanting and saying that they don't actually work would cause them to lose face.

Comment This has long been US/Israeli military doctrine (Score 1) 215

Taking the initiative (i.e., firing the first shot to surprise the enemy) and applying overwhelmingly dominant force have long been core tenets of US and Israeli military doctrine. It's not as if they've any reason to be humble about it.

I'm just surprised that Israel hasn't yet bombed the research facilities and turned Iran into a radioactive wasteland, ala Ian McDonald's "The Dervish House.". Send a loud message to all Muslims that only friends of the West can be trusted with nuclear energy.


Submission + - Thai labor activist gets 11 years in jail for insulting King (

patiwat writes: "Leading Thai labor activist Somyos Prueksakasemsuk has been sentenced to 11 years in jail for lese majeste, insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Somyos was jailed without bail for a year prior to the ruling. Somyos joins a comedian, a drunk tourist, a high-school student, a grandfather recovering from cancer (who died in jail), and thousands of others who have been arrested after the universally revered monarch publicly invited criticism in 2005. Cases have involved sharing insulting Facebook posts, not censoring a web discussion board fast enough, and making insulting blog posts while outside Thailand. Helping identify online insults are a Facebook group called Social Sanction (SS) and the Cyberscouts, a volunteer youth group organized and trained by the previous government."

Submission + - Thailand jails dissident for what people thought he would have said ( 3

patiwat writes: "A Thai court has convicted a man for censoring himself. In a 2010 anti-government rally, Yossawarit Chuklom said that several people were against the dissolution of Abhisit Vejjajiva's government. He mentioned a few names, and then put his hand over his mouth and said he wasn't brave enough to continue. A court ruled that he would have mentioned King Bhumibol Adulyadej — thus earning him a conviction for insulting the King, who is constitutionally banned from any political role."

Submission + - RetroFoam Toledo (

helenaOya writes: "RetroFoam Toledo is one of the trusted brands when it comes to providing spray foam insulation to homes, offices, and establishments of all types and sizes in Toledo."

Submission + - Thailand welcomes Twitter's censorship plans, roya (

patiwat writes: "The Thai government has called Twitter's tweet censorship move a "welcome development." Tweets may now be blocked at the request of the Thai government; the system will be used to discourage and punish lese majeste (criticism of the Thai King). The government previously declared that Facebook users worldwide "liking" a lese majeste Facebook link would also be prosecuted; over 10,000 Facebook pages have been removed and hundreds of individuals, including children and academics, have been jailed. Calls to reform the lese majeste laws have been fiercely criticized by no less than the Army Commander, whose backing is critical to the government's stability."

Submission + - Why Android Isn't Gaining On Apple In The Enterpri (

bonch writes: While iOS and Android fight in a tug-of-war for consumer sales, Apple's lead among enterprise buyers continues to increase. A combination of factors--including a 'bring your own device' trend in IT, the failure of Windows Mobile to generate interest, and the success of Firefox--has led to an embrace of non-Microsoft infrastructure and a rise in corporate iPhone users. Microsoft contributed to its own demise by licensing Exchange ActiveSync protocols for iOS 2.0. This has caused the iPhone to make up 53% of enterprise phones and the iPad to make up 96% of tablets. In contrast, Android, Palm, and Microsoft have focused on catching up to iPhone in the consumer space; for example, Android currently lacks IPsec VPN support and complete Exchange Server integration. Device fragmentation is also cited for increasing IT support costs.

Submission + - 15 years in jail for clicking "Like" ( 2

patiwat writes: "Thailand has warned Facebook users that they could face 3 to 15 years in jail for if they press ''share'' or ''like'' on images or articles considered unflattering to the Thai monarchy. And it doesn't just apply to Thai subjects: a US citizen was arrested and convicted while visiting Thailand for posting a link to an unauthorized biography of King Bhumibol on his blog. Convictions for virtual lese majeste have sky-rocketed in recent years as efforts to defend the widely revered royal family from criticism have ramped up."

Submission + - Google News revamped, to loud criticism ( 1

patiwat writes: "Google News has been revamped, to the loud and overwhelming criticism of users. The old Google News had news organized by sections, shown in two columns, with the content and layout of sections and exact number of news items in each section customizable. The new Google News has one very long column of news, with no apparent organization or ordering. The right hand side of the page is given over to local weather, local news, and long "Spotlight" and "Popular" sections of news that Google has determined that most people should be interested in. Users have zero control over the right hand column."

Submission + - Evading internet censorship in Thailand (

patiwat writes: "The Thai government has very vigilantly censored access to websites that don't agree with its recent crackdown on protesters. Access to Prachatai, an independent news and discussion site, was first blocked after the state of emergency was declared in April. Here is how Prachatai attempted to evade the government's censorship:

" has been blocked by the [Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation] CRES since about 11 am today., the original, was among the first batch of 36 websites ordered blocked by the CRES on 8 April. Its domain name was changed to until it was blocked on 5 May. Prachatai then changed its domain name to which was immediately blocked on the same day. could continue until 20 May, and had to change to until today. As of now (4.31 pm, 26 May), Prachatai can be accessed at""

Comment Re:Prem the dictator (Score 1) 130

> So who are these 20 people that were killed? Well 5 were soldiers that were killed from gunshot wounds by the protesters that you're so quick to label as "protesters".

And 15 were killed by troops that the government originally claimed shot only tear gas and rubber bullets...

> Who are these protesters and what are they doing?

People who'd sincerely like to know and hear it themselves can't - because the government is censoring them.

Comment Re:Hardly apples and oranges (Score 1) 130

> It is the protestors that are firing live rounds at the police.

The government has already come out and admitted that troops actually fired live rounds directly at protesters. This contradicts earlier government statements that claim that only rubber bullets and not live rounds were fired at protesters.

The only reason the government was forced to admit the truth is because of video footage shot by the foreign media - all footage that was shown on Thai media was critical of the protesters.

Comment Re:Actual crime (Score 1) 130

> I'm not saying I like it, but I'll respect Thailand's right to govern itself.

Respecting the Thai peoples' right to govern and the Thai government's right to govern are two very different things. The Thai government's refusal to call for elections shows that it doesn't think the Thai people will agree with it.

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