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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More on Syria:
Obama's history-defying decision to seek Congressional approval on Syria
Walter Shapiro 16 hours ago
Quote:
President Barack Obama, according to background briefings by his aides, reached a fateful decision late Friday afternoon as he strolled along the White House lawn with his chief of staff Denis McDonough. Contrary to every expectation by his national security team, Obama concluded that he should ask Congress for authorization to bomb Syria.

The full reasoning behind the president’s turnabout remains murky. He may have wanted to share responsibility for a risky strategy to punish the barbarous regime of Syrian strongman Bashir al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people. Obama may have recognized the political dangers of attacking another Middle Eastern country without popular support at home.

And the president, a former part-time constitutional law professor, may have also belatedly recalled the wording of Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution that grants Congress the sole power “to declare war.”

But whatever Obama’s underlying motivations and however the Syrian vote plays out on Capitol Hill, the president’s decision to go to Congress represents an historic turning point. It may well be the most important presidential act on the Constitution and war-making powers since Harry Truman decided to sidestep Congress and not seek their backing to launch the Korean war.

Just a few days ago, before Obama’s decision was known, legal scholars from both the right and the left were in agreement that waging war over Syria – no matter how briefly – without congressional approval would bend the Constitution beyond recognition.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who served as a Bush administration lawyer during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war, wrote in the legal blog Lawfare, “The planned use of military force in Syria is a constitutional stretch that will push presidential war unilateralism beyond where it has gone before.” And liberal constitutional scholar Garrett Epps, writing for the Atlantic , concluded, “It’s pretty clear that an American attack would violate the Constitution.”

Virtually no one in politics, the press or the academic community expected Obama to go to Congress for approval. That isn’t the way the presidential power works in the modern era. It is a sad truth that whomever occupies the Oval Office invariably expands rather than trims back the Imperial Presidency. Obama himself has reflected this pattern with his aggressive enhancement of the National Security Agency’s efforts to monitor electronic communications.

For more than six decades, the war-making powers of Congress have been eviscerated by presidents of both parties.

Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-s-history-defying-decision-to-seek-congressional-approval-on-syria-143201825.html

But, it seems, this, in many ways, is not likely to be the next Iraq:

Arab states urge action against Syrian government

CAIRO | Sun Sep 1, 2013 5:25pm EDT
Quote:
(Reuters) - Arab states on Sunday urged the international community to take action against the Syrian government over a chemical gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians.

The final resolution passed by an Arab League meeting in Cairo urged the United Nations and international community to "take the deterrent and necessary measures against the culprits of this crime that the Syrian regime bears responsibility for".

The League foreign ministers also said those responsible for the attack should face trial, as other "war criminals" have.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said condemnation of Syria over the poison gas attack, which U.S. officials say killed 1,429 people, was not enough.

He said opposing international action on the grounds that it was "foreign intervention" was no longer acceptable.

"Any opposition to any international action would only encourage Damascus to move forward with committing its crimes and using all weapons of mass destruction," said Faisal.

"The time has come to call on the world community to bear its responsibility and take the deterrent measure that puts a halt to the tragedy."


Full story: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/01/us-syria-crisis-arabs-idUSBRE9800GJ20130901

And a snap shot of current forces in the area:


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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 1907
Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schoolchildren no longer required to kneel before Zod.

Quote:
YUCAIPA (CBSLA.com) — School district officials in San Bernardino County say they will discontinue a policy that required elementary school students to kneel down before being dismissed to class.

Principal Dana Carter at Calimesa Elementary School had reportedly instituted the policy, which called for students at various times of the school day to kneel down on one knee and wait for the principal or another administrator to dismiss them, as a safety measure.

A flyer had been circulated among parents alleging Carter began the policy as “a positive way to enforce safety” among students, usually right before classes begin or immediately after recess.

Yucaipa Calimesa Unified School District Superintendent Cali Binks told KCAL9 the policy – which was described as “positive behavior intervention” – will no longer be enforced at Calimesa Elementary after several parents spoke out against the practice.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hackers find weaknesses in car computer systems
Hackers find ways to hijack car computers and take control; auto industry fights back
By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | Associated Press – 2 hours 52 minutes ago

Quote:
DETROIT (AP) -- As cars become more like PCs on wheels, what's to stop a hacker from taking over yours?

In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown they can slam a car's brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine — all from their laptop computers.

The hackers are publicizing their work to reveal vulnerabilities present in a growing number of car computers. All cars and trucks contain anywhere from 20 to 70 computers. They control everything from the brakes to acceleration to the windows, and are connected to an internal network. A few hackers have recently managed to find their way into these intricate networks.
In one case, a pair of hackers manipulated two cars by plugging a laptop into a port beneath the dashboard where mechanics connect their computers to search for problems. Scarier yet, another group took control of a car's computers through cellular telephone and Bluetooth connections, the compact disc player and even the tire pressure monitoring system.

To be sure, the "hackers" involved were well-intentioned computer security experts, and it took both groups months to break into the computers. And there have been no real-world cases of a hacker remotely taking over a car. But experts say high-tech hijackings will get easier as automakers give them full Internet access and add computer-controlled safety devices that take over driving duties, such as braking or steering, in emergencies. Another possibility: A tech-savvy thief could unlock the doors and drive off with your vehicle.

"The more technology they add to the vehicle, the more opportunities there are for that to be abused for nefarious purposes," says Rich Mogull, CEO of Phoenix-based Securosis, a security research firm. "Anything with a computer chip in it is vulnerable, history keeps showing us."
In the last 25 years, automakers have gradually computerized functions such as steering, braking, accelerating and shifting. Electronic gas pedal position sensors, for instance, are more reliable than the old throttle cables. Electronic parts also reduce weight and help cars use less gasoline.
The networks of little computers inside today's cars are fertile ground for hackers.

Full story: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hackers-weaknesses-car-computer-systems-150144427.html
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After implanting one of its former executives there to lead the company, and convincing them to ditch their acclaimed in-house OS offerings to go with Windows Phone, Microsoft has now just bought Nokia outright.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things that's been bothering me is "how does it make sense for Assad to use chemical weapons?" It's not going to win the war, so why poke the bear (so to speak) by flagrantly committing war crimes? This Slate piece shed some light on possible reasoning.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:
One of the things that's been bothering me is "how does it make sense for Assad to use chemical weapons?" It's not going to win the war, so why poke the bear (so to speak) by flagrantly committing war crimes? This Slate piece shed some light on possible reasoning.


Damn that's some depressing shit.

But it lead me to this:

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/09/microsoft_nokia_deal_a_great_idea_that_came_too_late_and_killed_windows.html?wpisrc=most_viral

Quote:
Windows is dead. Let’s all salute it—pour out a glass for it, burn a CD for it, reboot your PC one last time. Windows had a good run. For a time, it powered the world. But that era is over. It was killed by the unlikeliest of collaborations—Microsoft’s ancient enemies working over decades, in concert: Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds, and most of all, two guys named Larry and Sergey.

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Michael



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a bit silly, Microsoft hasn't been wiped off the PC market by far. Linux won't be dead if android fails either.
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Jinx



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mindslicer wrote:
Schoolchildren no longer required to kneel before Zod.

Quote:
YUCAIPA (CBSLA.com) — School district officials in San Bernardino County say they will discontinue a policy that required elementary school students to kneel down before being dismissed to class.

Principal Dana Carter at Calimesa Elementary School had reportedly instituted the policy, which called for students at various times of the school day to kneel down on one knee and wait for the principal or another administrator to dismiss them, as a safety measure.

A flyer had been circulated among parents alleging Carter began the policy as “a positive way to enforce safety” among students, usually right before classes begin or immediately after recess.

Yucaipa Calimesa Unified School District Superintendent Cali Binks told KCAL9 the policy – which was described as “positive behavior intervention” – will no longer be enforced at Calimesa Elementary after several parents spoke out against the practice.


Holy shit! I lived in Calimesa when I was in HS. I didn't go to Yucaipa though, 'cuz I lived on the "other" side of the county line, which runs through Calimesa. I went to Beaumont HS, in Riverside County.

I can't believe that was going on there.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, it looks like it was instituted under the current principal, so may not have been in place when you were there. i'm curious as to how this "enforced safety".

Mindslicer wrote:
Him wrote:
I'd be curious to know where and how this "ever increasing" amount of money is being invested in public education in the U.S
In my experience the exact opposite is happening. Furthermore this has been a sustained attack on teachers and public schools for decades, spearheaded by politicians funded by the very same corporate interests who make a profit from private education and corporate funding of schools. Then these politicians turn around and are shocked, shocked I tell you, that this underfunding has had an effect on the quality of education.


http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

It has been a 'sustained attack' because per-pupil spending has steadily increased for decades, while student test scores are generally stagnant.

actually, it looks like the only major increase was between the 60's and 70's, and then to a lesser extent to the early 90's - since 95/96 it's averaged 2%/yr (inflation-adjusted dollars). since that time has also involved increasing demands on things teachers should cover (like DARE programs and all kinds of other things), as well as increased expenses for things like school security and advances in technology, like computers - i'm not sure that this constitutes a huge increase.

Mindslicer wrote:
Quote:
Private schools might work well for those who can afford them, but that's hardly most of us. Actually I'd probably have to take that back because private schools in Sweden has pretty much been one long story of failure. And it might surprise you to know this privatization has gone further than in many other countries. Turns out, running schools for profit and not for education can turn out pretty badly. Who would've thought it? I mean who could've predicted that a for-profit school who feels they are unable to meet their bottom line would bail on students and leave public education to pick up the bill?


Given that teachers unions strive to make it difficult to replace underperforming teachers and respond to any indications of poor performance with a demand for more money, I find it curious how you think profit doesn't play a role in the current system.


so unionization is somehow profiting the school systems, in the same way that private schools provide profit for the school owners? not quite following your logic here.
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Him



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Special report: We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/09/microsoft_nokia_deal_a_great_idea_that_came_too_late_and_killed_windows.html?wpisrc=most_viral

Quote:
Windows is dead. Let’s all salute it—pour out a glass for it, burn a CD for it, reboot your PC one last time. Windows had a good run. For a time, it powered the world. But that era is over. It was killed by the unlikeliest of collaborations—Microsoft’s ancient enemies working over decades, in concert: Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds, and most of all, two guys named Larry and Sergey.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

Given that an August 2013 survey showed that Windows has a 90% of the desktop OS market covered, with Apple only having 7% and Linux 1.5%, it seems rather silly to say that Windows is dead.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he's making a prediction, that this deal marks MS entering into a position that is unlikely to be profitable. He lists two problems, one is that Android is free where WP is licensed, and the other (less substantiated) is that hardware is important (people will pay more for better) but if it becomes a cheap commodity and people start picking phones based on software then buying a hardware manufacturer won't help them make money (they'll have the slim margins desktop PC makers have). That's just a big if, and even if it happens (he talks about a day when a $50 phone works as well as a $200 one - whenever that is) it might be thirty years from now. That's a lot of time for MS to make money on hardware.

Anyway, I think the first point is worth noting. Android is free, and lots of people make Android phones. WP is not free, and not many people make WP phones. And, if we're looking at some distant future commoditization of hardware in favor of attractive software brands... shouldn't WP be worried about their app catalogue? No Instagram app? No Pinterest, no Google Maps... WP8 doesn't even have Pandora! What's that Nokia VP Brian Biniak on July 27th, 2013? You agree? So, if MS wants to adopt Apple's strategy it now has the hardware capability, but it needs to step up (that is: spend) and get its app ecosystem to the point where people feel good switching. Then maybe other manufacturers will see the value of licensing WP8 (after all, no one stopped making Android phones when Google bought Motorola).
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TIAB



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, except that Android isn't free.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'd make some sense if windows phone was even one percent of microsoft's income. Declaring all of windows dead because one version of it fails is way over the top.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TIAB wrote:
Yeah, except that Android isn't free.

True. Ironically, the biggest cost is licensing fees to Microsoft. So, I don't know how the cost to license WP compares to the cost of licensing IP to run Android... but whatever it is, still almost no one is making WP8 phones. So maybe all they need is to get better apps. Or to sell their phones for next to nothing to get enough users to lure developers in (which, if Surface is any indicator, they're not likely to do)... I dunno. Not really my area.
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