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Comment Re:Bad Headline (Score 1) 449

The other companies gave no answer, which for any company that didn't have a history of inadvertently enabling genocide was IMO the right thing to do. Such political trolling really shouldn't even be dignified with a response, in general.

But you're right about IBM. Ethically speaking, they should have been the first to say no, given what happened the last time they helped with a database of everyone in a particular religious group. Then again, it is also possible that because IBM and its employees were not punished for their role in enabling the Holocaust, the bean counters that run the place would dutifully enable another one. Scary thought.

Comment Re:Stop using cars at all. (Score 1) 201

Which precisely describes the opposite of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens.

Nobody is saying you ought to be forced to take the streetcar from Mayberry to Petticoat Junction. From Monmarte to the Bastile -- transit makes more sense than driving, especially if you factor in time for parking.

Comment You really do not know who the beds are for? (Score 2) 96

Also one or two full-size beds will be included inside the vehicle's enormous cab.- For who?

Have you really no clue about what trucking does or how it works?

Yes trucks will be self-driving in the future. But the truck driver is not just a driver, he is also a GUARD. Do you really not understand what a fantastic target fully automated trucks would be, when they would obviously be programmed to stop for any blockage in the road?

As for the gas angle, natural gas is OK but has nothing on Hydrogen, which will be the mass replacement for the gasoline engine.

Comment For the Bank of Russia it's not even pocket change (Score 3, Insightful) 75

It's just numbers on a spreadsheet. The Bank of Russia is Russia's central bank and there is literally no amount of money you can steal from a central bank that will harm it. That's because they're the people who issue the fiat in "fiat currency".

The harm is to the economy as a whole, in the form of inflation. In this case we're talking about the release of thirty one million spurious extra bucks into a two trillion dollar economy. Just a tiny bit of inflation, diluted to homeopathic concentrations and applied to everyone who uses rubles.

Of course the bank has to pursue this because it undermines confidence in the system, but this is as close to a victimless crime as any illegal way of obtaining thirty-one million dollars can be.

Comment I find this kind of depressing. (Score 1) 214

I'm all for things that go boom. I love weird, clever little gadgets. I admire a clever and subtle subversion of a system, even when I don't condone its use.

But geez; this thing is not exactly elegant. It uses a fairly basic circuit to exploit the completely unsurprising fact that the interface isn't designed to handle high voltages.

Comment Re:Not much. I do look at data which may upset you (Score 4, Interesting) 293

Attempting to simplify the crises in Syria by pointing at climate change seriously under states all other factors. Hell, one of your own links (the usda one) clearly shows that Syria has been able to meet its needs IF allowed via imports

The USDA link shows no such thing; it shows Syria eating up its reserves as it fails to import enough wheat to make up the shortfall. Yes, Assad underwrote the price of bread, but there wasn't enough subsidized bread to meet demand, forcing people to buy non-subsidized bread which increased in price six-fold. The net bread expenditure went up by 20% in a country where many people spend half their income on food.

I'm not a reductionist; situations like this have multiple important factors. The Assad/Islamist thing had been simmering for decades -- generations really. Had that situation been different, the climate shock might not have destabilized the country. In point of fact bread prices were an issue throughout the Middle East and a major factor in the Arab Spring. Syria was arguably better positioned than most other Arab countries, but the stress of having 5% of your population displaced on top of the deep and old fault lines broke the country apart.

This is precisely how climate shock is going to work. It won't be like the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water; it'll be formerly rare occurrences happening more frequently and stressing vulnerable populations. Take sea level rise; cities won't drown slpowly, but what was once a hundred year flood will become twenty year flood. That will stress coastal cities, and the results depend on how stable and wealthy a particular city is.

For example were sea level to rise almost a meter by 2100 (as is now within the scope of mainstream positions), the very wealthy coastal city I live in would go the Venice route and build a tidal barrier, which would conservatively cost at least ten billion dollars. Chittagong Bengladesh, however, will be screwed. My city has twice the GDP of Bengladesh as a whole even though it has 3% of the population.

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