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Comment Re:Meh. (Score 1) 220

I grew up on Lebanon and I lived for a year in Syria(left in June because the situation there was getting quite unstable). I've talked to a lot of people from almost all sides of these debates, and I can definitely say that nobody that I've ever met and talked to hates/dislikes the US because of anything like the crap usually spouted on western media(they hate our freedoms, etc, etc).

Most people in these parts have a general distrust of the West because for a very long time they were colonies of either Britain or France(until they gained their independence, most of them around WW2). Right before leaving, however, the British decided to impart one final gift to the region, however, and that is the state of Israel(in honor of the Balfour declaration of 1917).

Right now, there is one world power that continues to sustain Israel in the region and in general act like a colonial/imperial power and that is the US, that's the primary reason most people who hate it do so.

Comment Re:How is this news? (Score 1) 355

I think you make the GP's point about bad PR management in the Church. Most of the reforms and the doctrine of the Church, in general, were guided by Joseph Ratzinger(now Pope Benedict XVI) under Pope John Paul II. The fact that most people have a dislike of Pope Benedict is a PR failure more than anything else because on matters of actual policy both men do not differ by anything substantial(at least not that I can tell).

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 2) 220

Democracy != puppet government that doesn't even have sovereignty over the land(in the case or Iraq).

As for Israel, I think the GP's point would better be phrased as: "The US will never tolerate Arabic/Muslim democracies in the Middle East". Polls of most Arab countries have shown that people overwhelmingly dislike/hate both the US and Israel and see Iran as less of a threat or no threat at all. A true democratic government in any of these countries would definitely not be in the best interest of the US. It is therefore not a big leap to assume that the US would try to stop the formation of such governments since it has been shown in the past to be proactive about defending its own(and Israel's) best interests.

One counter-example you could have given that might have been more correct of a democracy in the ME that the US does tolerate, would've been Lebanon. Although that still sort-of fails under the "sovereignty over the land" criteria of a proper government as the country is in a very precarious state and the government is not free to act as it wants to(for fear of civil war). Especially since there exists a militia in the country that has greater military might than the actual military(cf. Hezbollah).

Comment Re:Well, duh (Score 2) 290

Which is why I really *love* the "data usage" feature of android 4. I get to know exactly what has been using my bandwidth as well as set limits at which I should be warned or the internet turned off. Also, it's possible to prevent apps from using background data. Given that I have a cap of 100MB/mo + 0.1$/MB once I'm over that, this is *really* useful(I'm in a 3rd world country if you find the cap appalling, now you know why). This way, I get to use my connection for things like googling stuff + wikipedia + mail without running the risk of a high bill or getting cut off due to some app that decides to suck away all my bandwidth.

Comment Re:What about Google driverless car? (Score 1) 603

How do you mitigate someone going the wrong way on a highway at 80km/h(about 50mph) in what is, to you, the fast lane(he's driving on the right side of the road from his perspective, which, in two way roads makes sense but not on a highway). Yes, that happened to me and I almost died that day. I saw him when he was barely 40m away while I was coming out of a left turn, I swerved right and lost control of my car for what was probably the scariest 2s of my life. I managed to stop without hitting anything eventually and thank God there weren't any other cars around so nobody slammed into me, but there really wasn't anything I could do.

For the record, I live in a 3rd world country(Lebanon), such incidents aren't common, but they happen. In this particular case there was a lot of people in downtown Beirut(2 year memorial for the assassination of Rafic el Hariri) and I was driving the highway into Beirut from the east(known as the road to Damascus). There was a lot of traffic at the endpoint of that highway and some dumb idiot decided to U-turn and go the other way so as not to wait in traffic.

You can be a good driver but sometimes there's simply nothing you can do. My example is a pretty drastic one but there are countless drunk drivers out there who do sometimes stupider stuff and that can get you in an accident even when you're driving perfectly well.

Comment Re:Think ahead, move sideways, not up.... (Score 1) 473

Well yes, his name is in Arabic and given that Arabic has quite a few sounds that do not exist in English it's quite hard to spell his name in English. Particularly the first letter in his second/middle name, which is usually written as 'kh' in Latin letters. I've never seen an English speaker(or most non-Arabs for that matter) pronounce that one correctly. German has something close but it's not the same.

(I'm Lebanese, same nationality as that writer)

Comment Re:It's not age - it's money and misogyny. (Score 1) 473

~15 years ago, I was an outsider brought in to observe a startup. In one all-programmers meeting, the only female employee sat there silently while the guys engaged in what can only be called "p*ssing contests." Afterwards, I asked her why she didn't say anything even though she was by far the smartest of the bunch and I *knew* she had the answers; she felt that she couldn't. It was obvious that speaking up would have been taken as challenging their "combination dominance game and mutual admiration society". It was just as obvious that they were totally oblivious to the effect they were having.

Well, I don't know about IT but I think this is a problem everywhere where a significant part of the team is made up of men. I spent a year doing social/missionary work after I graduated from college. There were 3 other men and 4 women(a 50/50 split). Now, we were all friends and had good personal(non-work) relationships with each other, so when such situations occurred in planning meetings we could simply talk things over with each other afterwards, aside, one on one(to avoid pissing contest situations). I learned a lot about differences in psychology between genders during that year.

Apparently, men and women simply have different ways to debate things and argue about them. Each has their problems, and if the differences aren't specifically pointed out to someone at some point they are usually oblivious to it. Men appear to women very aggressive when giving their opinion about something although they may not be trying to intimidate anyone(I know that I was told that's how I come across a lot of the times and to me I'd just be talking normally, I progressively learned to recognize what things give this impression and change them accordingly). Women tend to over-think what the other party would think of them or label them as to the point of usually not speaking up(when, generally, nobody would have been bother by them speaking up or tagged them as anything negative).

I really don't know how these issues apply to the business world and when company politics kick in(I'm still only 24 and have had a job for barely a year), but they were an issue even in a tight-knit group of 8 friends doing social work for a year together. But from my (limited) experience they're usually a misunderstanding problem that would usually be fixed by talking things over calmly aside and pointing to the things in a person's way of talking/acting that cause this impression of being overly aggressive/sexist(by not listening to a women's opinion/argument about something). I know that in the beginning we were constantly told by the women in the team that they felt they had to be 10x as aggressive as us to get their point in and that we wouldn't listen to them and we couldn't figure out why they felt that way until patterns in our actions were pointed out to us and clearly identified then acted upon and changed. Likewise, they learned that certain things were just personality traits in a way a person expressed themselves and definitely not meant as trying to drown someone out/sexism/etc... and became less sensitive to them.

Another thing that helps is the existence of someone who is clearly in a leading position and who can moderate such meetings and who can arbitrate and decide on tough decisions. We didn't have that since we were all pretty much the same age, but having worked on other projects with a subset of that team where there was a clear leader it made a world of difference.

Comment Re:Outside of the code, all documentation is worth (Score 1) 312

One other useful source of documentation is version control software. If used correctly that is(small commits that do one thing with a proper commit message). I recently joined a team working on a project that has been underway for quite a while and whenever I find myself wondering what a certain piece of code does or why it was written the answer is usually easy to obtain by going "svn blame [codefile]" then "svn log -r[version of last change]" as well as "svn diff -c [version of last change]" if I want to know what that commit did as a whole.

Comment Re:You know why Apple's winning? It's not about sp (Score 1) 390

' I think it's pretty telling that the "touch" event in the Android API is called "click" '

Not true, a quick look at the reference for the View class from which all UI elements derive in android(you can find it here: http://developer.android.com/reference/android/view/View.html) will tell you that there are two different events you can handle, onTouchEvent and onClickEvent. A touch event is what you would use if you want the raw touch event(for a game for example). The click event is what you use for things like buttons, or tabs, a more appropriate naming would possibly be 'onTapEvent', maybe. But I don't see anything wrong with onClickEvent personally.

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