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Comment Re:When will Iran apologize to humanity? (Score 1) 663

Or after the U.S. apologises for the killing of all 290 passengers and crew aboard Iran Air Flight 655. An attack carried out by an American warship that was illegally in Iranian waters against a scheduled airliner in Iranian airspace.

It's safe to say that if any (weak) country blatantly shot down a US airliner in American airspace it would be taken as a declaration of war. But then what would America be without hypocrisy?

Strangely enough the sailors were actually awarded medals instead of facing a court martial.

Comment Re:Buy the department of justice (Score 2) 175

Not a good idea in the UK.

The UK is far behind the USA when it comes to political corruption and accepting corporate control of our courts and politicians.

Our equivalent of the US Department of Justice is staffed by largely independent career civil servants who will happily leak attempts to buy policy. They stay when the actual politicians come and go and are resistant to political interference with their day to day work.

We have the equivalent of rabid ferrets for a national press who love nothing more than ripping apart politicians for the sake of a headline and regularly set the politicians up. The tabloids tend to tear into anyone with fame or political/economic power and once they draw blood the BBC and other broadcast media will finish off the 'victim'.

We also have a judiciary that regularly gives the government the finger by managing to interpret new laws in ways the politicians never expected.

Corporations that try to buy legislation/political power have sometimes gotten away with having an influence, but more often than not end up getting their balls handed back to them on a platter.

As a UK citizen I'd love it if the music industry tried the crude methods they use in the USA as the backlash against them would be entertaining.

In the long run only change in the USA can stop the cancer of the American media industry trying to remake the rest of the world in it's own image.

Comment Directly targeting just incase. (Score 1) 96

I seem to remember in the last gulf war a lot of civilians were killed when they took shelter in an old command and control bunker that the Iraqi military had vacated because it was no longer considered safe.

Unfortunately for the civilians taking shelter the bunker was still on a targeting list, either in error or just to be sure that it hadn't reverted to military use.

I would think these bunkers are likely to remain on secondary targeting lists for the same reason, but then maybe just the fact that they are now key Internet facilities would promote them back onto the primary list anyway.

Comment Re:Religiosity gene? (Score 1) 729

Nonsense. Nobody is saying that Catholicism is a Mendellian trait. Just that there are inheritable personality aspects that make on more likely to stay in a religion if you are born into it, or even to join a religious group in the right circumstances. Homosexuality is complex too. It would not be shocking to suggest that effeminate men are more likely to be gay and vice versa. This can be related to hormone levels in the womb during brain development. Which is far more inheritable than a matter of "choice". Anyway, what is choice but a product of our genes and environment? "Free will" just means we cannot see the mechanism that produced it.

Fails to explain cultures where religion of all types has shown a massive decline in followers. Only a few generations ago in the UK nearly everyone went to church and most seemed to even believe and follow religion. Now many of those churches have closed or been turned into bars. There are relatively few natives following religion now in the UK with the only growth being driven by immigration. Has the "gene" somehow disappeared from the people of the UK or is the idea of a significant genetic component to religion been over-hyped? This isn't just the case in the UK as many parts of Europe follow the same pattern.

Comment Re:US (Score 1) 302

I think half the reason for having so many propriety designs is to force the consumer to buy expensive chargers and docks from the manufacturers. It has always been cheaper to go with a 'standard' design but where's the profit in that? You can find the same situation with home printers where the likes of HP still likes reinventing the wheel if they can find a way of charging more for commodity hardware.

Comment Schools deciding who needs maths. (Score 1) 1153

At the age of ~13 the school I went to (in the UK, under a Grammar school system) decided that 2/3 of the pupils didn't need any maths education beyond basic arithmetic so I and many others left school with a certificate in arithmetic that even the local college didn't recognise. I then had to go to college and night school (over 3 years) to get the equivalent qualifications and knowledge that I would have had if I'd been lucky enough to be in the other 1/3 of the students in my school. After 3 more years at night school I was able to go to university where I got a degree in Mathematics. All this despite the fact that teachers and schools had decided that I had no need for any maths education. I've learned never to trust an education system that decides what skills a child needs at an early age. Schools should give student an education that broadens their choices, not deny those choice in the belief that they know what a child will need to know in the future.

Comment Weapons arn't the problem. (Score 1) 368

The article reads like an attempt to stir up a panic and get loads of tax dollars thrown at a simple problem. Once a drone is detected then they can easily be take out. Home made ones that 'terrorists' might have are vulnerable to someone with a shotgun or a hunting rifle. I'm sure the first attempt to hit the White House with a GPS controlled drone will make good target practice for the snipers on the roof. Larger and faster ones would stand little chance against someone chasing and shooting from a Police helicopter. And the really fast ones, that even America doesn't have yet, they can be treated as normal foes and the air force can have them. Care needs to be taken not to deploy defensive missiles that cause a greater danger than the attacking weapons. I seem to remember that when Isreal became a target for Iraq's missiles the Patriots used to hit them were nearly as dangerouse as the incoming Scuds to the people on the ground. The real problem isn't the weapons to shoot the drones down, it's the ability to detect and track them. I doubt much of the USA is covered by radar that could track small drones flying at rooftop height. But I think upgrading radar systems and air traffic control is a harder sell than nice expensive weapons.

Comment Common sense ruling. (Score 2, Insightful) 238

In the UK journalists have never had a right to remain anonymous.

In fact there are only a handful of people with a right to remain anonymous when their identiy may be easily found out and these are typically rape victims or minors.

As to the blogger who is certainly breaching his own employment contract and may in fact be breaking the law by disclosing confidential information it is the height of arrogance for them to assume they are somehow above everyone else.

There is an assumption that a persons private life can remain private unless there is a "public interest" that overrides it, but a person's identity is not protected.

In this case there is a clear 'public interest' in the identity of a police officer who thinks confidentiality doesn't apply to them as otherwise how could you ever trust the police not to blogg about whatever you tell them.

Comment Aircraft? (Score 1) 347

Seeing as fabric skins have been used on aircraft since the Wright Brothers ( there are still tens of thousands of fabric covered aircraft flying today ) I can't see any practical problems with fabric covered cars. Clearly many car buyers will worry that such a car might be less safe than a steel box, but proper research and marketing will reduce this fear. The real plus point would seem to be the light weight and morphing ability. We can buy a the car pretending we are getting it because of it's fuel efficiency, when in reality we just think changing shape at the lights would be cool. Stuart G

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