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Jabberjay



Joined: 31 Jul 2012
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oxytocin release in animals - yes, they may actually feel love too! (duh, but...)

the article notes that oxytocin is released during uterine contractions. i've gotten a bit hooked on kitten cams, and it sure does look like the mother cats love their babies. which would fit with them releasing oxytocin during labor...which makes sense, of course, it's probably a mammalian-wide phenomenon. still...always nice to have data.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://boingboing.net/2014/07/14/listen-to-comcast-torture-ryan.html



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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 1835
Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazon thumbs its nose at France.

Quote:
In a long-running legal battle that stretches back nearly a decade, Amazon has again emerged as the winner, despite both a court ruling and legislation against it.

In 2004, France's bookstores took the company to court over its discounts and free shipping, arguing that the online retailer was killing off local businesses. Three years later, the court emerged with a ruling that declared Amazon would have to start charging for shipping or face a 1,000 euro per day fine until it did. Amazon chose the latter option, opting to allow aggrieved merchants (and press covering the legal battle) to provide it with some very low-cost press.

Since that strategy didn't pay off, French retailers began pushing for a law aimed at all online retailers -- but most specifically Amazon -- that would make it illegal to offer free shipping to French book purchasers. This was on top of an existing law (put into force in 1981) that forbade anything more than a 5% discount on new titles. This new law forces Amazon to charge for shipping or face being banned from selling in France completely, along with stripping away the 5% discount.

No doubt this was seen as a huge victory for all the local stores that managed to weather the last 10 years of low-level, government-aided price fixing. It probably felt like one, too, right up until Amazon announced its new shipping rate.
Quote:
France's "anti-Amazon" law prohibiting free shipping and discounts has now gone into effect, and Amazon quickly announced that it had conformed -- technically. Though it no longer ships books for free, it only charges 0.01 euro, conforming to the letter if not the spirit of the law (French Prime members still receive free book shipping).

Enjoy your symbolic victory, French legislators. A whopping centime per shipment "containing books" (no matter how many items are in the cart) will no doubt restore the financial glory of local retailers, especially when unaffected items start flowing into France with both discounts and cheaper shipping.

That's the sort of "victory" that's often achieved by legislating "fairness." There are others ways local retailers could have handled this problem, but they chose the long, expensive and ultimately fruitless courtroom/legislation route and the end result is 1/100th of a Euro per shipment. And this won't be the end of it. Amazon is apparently eyeing an appeal with the EU Commission, which views the new law as anti-competitive.
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Ennis



Joined: 09 Jun 2013
Posts: 784
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why doesn't Australia ever get free shipping from Amazon? >Sad It costs about $10 minimum, then usually $5 for each extra book. Actually it might be more.
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 1835
Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11291109

Quote:
Fundamental pillars of the criminal justice system may be eroded whichever party wins the election this year, as both National's and Labour's proposals would look into changing the right to silence or the presumption of innocence in rape cases.


This sounds pretty terrible. Either a person accused of rape refusing to testify in court would be looked at negatively rather than neutrally, or a person accused of rape would no longer be presumed innocent.
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Jabberjay



Joined: 31 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removing the "innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt" part of a criminal justice system seems like it could get dangerous, no matter the nature of the crime. Removing their version of "pleading the fifth" in the case of a rape accusation still seems like a civil liberties violation, but less-so than the elimination of presumption of innocence.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you probably can't stop the jury members from drawing whatever conclusion they like from a refusal to testify, although allowing the judge to put a negative interpretation on it definitely seems to tip the balance of fairness. and removing the presumption of innocence seems like a nasty slippery-slope sort of thing - the wrong people do get prosecuted, and this seems like a way to railroad convictions, which may make your statistics look better but doesn't really solve the crime problem.
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Mindslicer



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CA's death penalty ruled unconstitutional.

Quote:
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney handed down an order Wednesday, finding that the system is arbitrary and in violation of the Constitution's 8th Amendment.

"California's death penalty system is so plagued by inordinate and unpredictable delay that the death sentence is actually carried out against only a trivial few of those sentenced to death," Carney writes. "For all practical purposes then, a sentence of death in California is a sentence of life imprisonment with the remote possibility of death -- a sentence no rational legislature or jury could ever impose."

Carney continues: "Inordinate and unpredictable delay... has resulted in a system in which arbitrary factors, rather than legitimate ones like the nature of the crime or the date of the death sentence, determine whether an individual will actually be executed. And it has resulted in a system that serves no penological purpose. Such a system is unconstitutional."


Um, seems a little curious. I can understand the argument of it being considered cruel, and therefore unconstitutional, but I'm not sure if I agree that the nature of delays in the process renders it so. I guess I could maybe see it as a violation of due process? Maybe?
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I understand it, the cruel part is having this death sentence hanging over your head, never knowing if and when it will be carried out. The sentence is death, but the actual sentence is, "Life imprisonment with extreme anxiety for you and your loved ones."
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Jabberjay



Joined: 31 Jul 2012
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eventually the death penalty any any prison sentence exceeding 40 years will be replaced by Lunar Exile. We'll need somebody to man the H3 mining facilities, might as well be convicts.

Just NEVER let them get ahold of a magnetic cargo catapult. Ever.
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Yinello



Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 2717
Location: Behind you

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2014/07/17/passenger-plane-carrying-shot-down-adviser-ukrainian-official-says/m1sQJvByNCi7Vn5ncwEAjL/story.html

I'm freaking out a bit. My hubby and I were thinking of going to Malaysia to visit my family. We possibly could've been on that plane. It gives me chills.

News is really terrible though. The plane came from Amsterdam so they are constantly reporting it here.
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I literally just sat down and the first news story I opened up was about that.
As far as I know, none of the separatists have anything that can shoot down a plane 6 miles up.

*edit* So a couple of weeks ago some separatists announced they'd captured a base with Buk missile systems from the Ukranian military. These missiles are capable of striking targets flying at the level of that passenger liner.

Earlier today Ukraine claimed Russia took out one of its SU-25 attack jets and rebels clipped another one that managed to land safely. A few days ago an AN-26 transport plane, flying at 6,000 meters was shot down.

Meanwhile, Russian troop levels along the border swelled from a low of 1,000 up to 12,000, and there are reports from Ukrainian officials of uniformed but insignia-less Russian-speaking troops having crossed the border.

*edit edit*

I'm seeing rumors that some separatists boasted on social media about taking out another AN-26 this morning in about the same area as the downed airliner, then started to disappear those posts when news of the passenger liner broke. Haven't been able to find a definitive source, though.


*edit edit edit*

This conversation is allegedly intercepted from separatists and may involve the plane. Translations provided from here:

Quote:
17.07.2014 at 16:20

fighters in the "Beza" group (Russian Federation I. Bezler), using Russian SAM, shot down a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 passenger aircraft (flight from Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur)

At 16:40, "Bez" sent notification of the downed airplane in his corridor to

a colonel of

the Russian central intelligence service,

Geranin, Vassily Mikolaivych

[transcript starts]

Plane, just shot down a plane. Miner's group. It fell behind Yenakievo.

- Pilots? Where are the pilots?

- Drove to search for and photograph the shot down plane. It's smoking...

- How many minutes ago?

- Approximately 30 minutes ago.

------

- Yes Major!

- Anyway, Chernukhians shot down a plane. From Chernukhian roadblock. Cossacks that are stationed at Chernukhino.

- Damn.

- The plane broke up in mid-air, near Petropavlovskaya mine. First "200" (Russian slang for a corpse), found the first "200". Yes, a civilian.

- What's going on over there?

- In short, it's for damn sure a civilian flight.

- Understood. Many people there?

- It's a fucking mess. Debris fell right into peoples' yards.

- Which flight?

- I haven't figured out yet. I haven't yet visited the main part. Still looking where the first bodies started falling. Remains of internal parts, chairs, bodies.

- Understood. Any weapons?

- Absolutely nothing. Civilian things, medical fragments, towels, toilet paper.

- Any documents?

- Yes, an Indonesian student from fucking Thompson university.
...
- About this plane, the one shot down in the Snezhniy - Torez area.

- Well?

- It turned out to be a passenger airliner. It fell in the Grabovo area, a sea of dead women and children there. Cossacks are there now, looking over it all.

- TV is saying that it seems to have been an An-26, Ukrainian transport, but they're also saying there was 'Malaysian Airlines' written on it.

- And what was it doing in Ukrainian territory?

- Must've been bringing in spies. They had no fucking business flying here, there's a war going on.

- Exactly.

- Understood.


The BBC is also reporting that earlier tweets from separatists about capturing the missile launch system have been removed:

Quote:
19:00:
A tweet (in Russian) from a key Twitter account used by pro-Russian separatists, in which they claim to have captured a Buk surface-to-air missile system, has now been deleted, BBC Monitoring observes. Ukrainians say the Malaysian plane could have been downed with a Buk, but pro-Russian rebels have now denied they have it.
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Yinello



Joined: 10 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the seperatists may have indeed shot the plane down, thinking it was another cargo plane of the enemy. Possibly a costly mistake?
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fritterdonut



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 1184
Location: Hedonism

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buckle up folks, I have a feeling the shit is going to be hitting the fan quite shortly.

Also, the ceiling for the Buk missile system is ~22000 meters, or ~10 miles, which means that all commercial traffic is at risk as commercial usually flies around 37000 ft, or ~12000 meters.

I imagine however, that they won't be holding onto the Buk for long now.

I've heard the theory floated so far that whoever was using the missile system received a crash course in it's use, but wasn't told how to discern civilian radar signatures from military aircraft ones. They probably assumed it was another military transport.

Quote:
More than 100 of the world's leading Aids experts are believed to have been killed as they travelled aboard the flight to an international conference in Melbourne.

Oh my god
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