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Old 2012-12-09, 18:10   Link #25021
ganbaru
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AP Exclusive: Georgia details nuke investigations
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...12-09-16-42-56
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On the gritty side of this casino resort town near the Turkish border, three men in a hotel suite gathered in secret to talk about a deal for radioactive material.

The Georgian seller offered cesium, a byproduct of nuclear reactors that terrorists can use to arm a dirty bomb with the power to kill. But one of the Turkish men, wearing a suit and casually smoking a cigarette, made clear he was after something even more dangerous: uranium, the material for a nuclear bomb.
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Old 2012-12-10, 08:26   Link #25022
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Syrian rebels build homemade tank out of car chassis, game controller

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Forget 3D printed guns, Syrian opposition fighters are taking backyard weapons manufacture to the next level with a homemade tank. First reported by Russian Today (video below), the Sham II (which apparently gets its name from ancient Syria) is built from the chassis of a car and packs a turret-mounted machinegun. The gun is aimed with what else but a video game controller, with visual data from external cameras relayed to the pilot’s LCD display. Sure, the Sham II isn’t going to stand up to something like an M1A1, but whether it’s building homemade tanks or turning to satellite phones and Skype, hacking and ingenuity are proving to be critical to the opposition’s ongoing campaign.
http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/9/37...toller-sham-ii
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Old 2012-12-10, 09:00   Link #25023
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I'm sure the fanaticism of the Royals' followers accounts for much of the intensity of the reaction to this prank. Also Kate has quickly become a beloved figure around the world. After the uproar over the naked sunbathing pictures her admirers probably have little patience for the media and paparazzi. The DJs may be bearing the brunt of these feelings.
The DJs have given their first interview after news of the nurse's suicide and, yes, they're clearly shattered.

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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Nearly every story this morning calls it a suicide.
It should be noted that quite a lot of people seem to be jumping to conclusions (not you specifically, but people in general and, hypocritically in my view, the British press, who aren't exactly paragons of good editorial sense when it comes to Royal coverage). All we know for now is that the nurse apparently killed herself, but we don't know why, let alone if her death is linked to the prank call.

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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
In this story it is suggested the DJs behavior might constitute a breach of the Commercial Radio Code of Conduct which the article incorrectly categorizes as a "law."
The most glaring revelation from the DJs' interview is how they blindly submitted their recording to their "team", who supposedly puts the material through a "process" and all the "necessary filters" before deciding whether to put the recording on air. They openly conceded to not even knowing the "process". They blindly trusted it to work, as it has possibly hundreds of times before.

Now, I well understand their point that this is something they've always done, that they couldn't have reasonably expected something like this to happen. Still, it disturbs to me to hear the DJs say that the matter was out of their hands once they handed over the recording. They clearly believed that the responsibility for making the decision to air or not to air lay with someone else, presumably the producer or, as was reported earlier, the station's lawyers.

That's the point to debate. Should the DJs have asked whether it was ethically correct to broadcast the call? Is right for them to blithely surrender that personal responsibility? Shouldn't they have at least thought of raising a warning for the decision-maker to consider?

At what point does the joke cease to be a joke? That the DJs didn't even stop to consider this question is damning, in my opinion.

Granted, none of these are easy questions to answer within the context of a highly competitive media environment where every player has to outdo each other for the sake of vital ratings.

In the end, the sad answer is that consumers get the media they deserve.
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Old 2012-12-10, 09:47   Link #25024
willx
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^ So I was speaking to a lawyer friend of mine over dinner about this topic and reviewing some of the articles that have come up in the past about similar type things ..

From a legal perspective, unless the act of accessing Kate's medical records was itself a crime, the impersonation to get access to such, is itself not likely criminal. The U.K. doesn't appear to have privacy laws that would cover this .. so despite the morality of it all, it doesn't appear to be illegal.

Reply hazy, ask again later
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Old 2012-12-10, 09:54   Link #25025
ganbaru
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Insight: Making France work again
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8B802A20121209
Quote:
Unemployment is at 14-year highs as plant closures mount, France's share of export markets is declining, and the fact that no government in three decades has managed a budget surplus has created a public debt pile almost as big as national output.
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Old 2012-12-10, 09:55   Link #25026
ArchmageXin
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I mean, if I recall correctly, British Media is pretty infamous in its ability to do anything it wants in the name of "public interest".

There was a teen-barely-legal model who testified. "It is ok for a gang of men to chase a underage girl down a dark alley as long as they carry cameras"

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Old 2012-12-10, 10:41   Link #25027
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Originally Posted by RRW View Post
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http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/9/37...toller-sham-ii
Technically that's more of an armored car than a tank, but still pretty impressive!
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Old 2012-12-10, 11:05   Link #25028
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
From a legal perspective, unless the act of accessing Kate's medical records was itself a crime, the impersonation to get access to such, is itself not likely criminal. The U.K. doesn't appear to have privacy laws that would cover this .. so despite the morality of it all, it doesn't appear to be illegal.
The prank may or may not be illegal, but were the DJs' actions ethical?

Should the media be a slave to ratings? Must media always pander to the lowest-common denominator to survive? At what point should a media worker say enough is enough? It's one thing to say that a decision is out of your hands, but quite another to not even raise an opinion over potentially questionable material.

I should clarify that I'm not blaming the DJs per se, but rather the system that allows them to believe that they had no say over the decision-making "process".
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Old 2012-12-10, 12:05   Link #25029
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The prank may or may not be illegal, but were the DJs' actions ethical?
Late last night the BBC reported that there may have been a violation of the Australian law that forbids recording people without their prior consent. The head of Austero, the corporate network that owns the radio station, said the station had made five fruitless attempts to reach the nurses by phone to obtain permission to run the tape.
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Old 2012-12-10, 14:42   Link #25030
Klashikari
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Just giving my 2 cents in the "prank" incident:
Regardless the possible criminal charges for false identity taken here or not, I'm not surprised why the nurse went to such extremes in this case.

Few people don't know that, but our profession has a very strict code of deontology, one of which with an enforced importance towards patient privacy, the so called professional secrecy.
I have no idea how it works in UK (as per the consequences), but in Belgium and France, should a nurse disclose information regarding a patient to anyone who isn't supposed to have that, it would be considered as a grave offense that would cost your work on the spot, and such thing will not be easely forgiven.

In the nurse case, not only she was played for a fool towards the world and her own country, but her work also got endangered by that. And suffice to say, adding the royal family in the equation and you have a major stress source.

It isn't just a mere prank, really.
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Old 2012-12-10, 15:51   Link #25031
ganbaru
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"47 Percent" Remark: Quote of the Year
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012...ark-quote-year
Romney said the first and second place.
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Old 2012-12-10, 17:38   Link #25032
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
"47 Percent" Remark: Quote of the Year
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012...ark-quote-year
Romney said the first and second place.
Mitt Romney's "47 per cent" was just an off-the-cuff remark taken out of context, but with unfortunate consequences for his presidential campaign. I don't feel it revealed much about him that people didn't already know.

This, however: "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

...is beyond the pale. To me, it's by far the most shocking quote in the list.
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Old 2012-12-10, 18:47   Link #25033
ganbaru
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Obama decries right-to-work proposal during trip to Michigan
http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2...-michigan?lite
Quote:
The audience responded enthusiastically as the president continued: "These so-called right-to-work laws, they don't have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics. What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."
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Old 2012-12-10, 19:49   Link #25034
SeijiSensei
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I've been working on a study of how health insurance coverage varies across the states. So far I've isolated four factors that explain about 70% of the variation in state-level coverage rates for adults without dependents, the most difficult group to cover. Given our system of employer-based health care, it's not surprising that factors related to employment matter a lot. Along with the statewide unemployment rate and the proportion of the workforce employed in mining and construction, unionization rates also have a significant effect. (The other significant factor is the proportion of the population who don't speak English.) I was frankly surprised by how powerful unionization rates influence health insurance coverage.

"Right-to-work" laws have a powerful suppressive effect on unionization rates. In my data, states without RTW laws have about 10% of their workforces in unions; in the RTW states the rate is half that.

I intend to write up these results on my blog, http://politicsbythenumbers.org/, in the next few days. Stop by if you're curious.
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Old 2012-12-10, 19:54   Link #25035
kyp275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Obama decries right-to-work proposal during trip to Michigan
http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2...-michigan?lite
As a Michigan resident with no stake in the debate, I completely agree it's purely political. This came out of nowhere after years of Snyder saying he won't support such bill, yet they literally rammed this through a lame-duck session in a few days with zero committee or public debate on it at all.

Perhaps it's just retaliation for the union proposal in the election, but either way I find the way they did this to be rather distasteful, and Snyder probably guaranteed himself to be a one term governor with this move.
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Old 2012-12-11, 00:59   Link #25036
KiraYamatoFan
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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
It isn't just a mere prank, really.
And for that reason alone and how it ended, I hope the Australian court of law will throw the entire book at both Mel Greig and Michael Christian. They deserve to serve time in jail.
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Old 2012-12-11, 01:05   Link #25037
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Philippines backs rearmed Japan to 'balance' China

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In an interview with the Financial Times, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines would strongly support a rearmed Japan -- its World War II foe -- as a counterweight to what it sees as Chinese provocation.
"We are looking for balancing factors in the region and Japan could be a significant balancing factor," he told the paper amid growing tensions over the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by China.
I don't if I'll be happy... cause it appears we are adding another wall to where we can hide.
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Old 2012-12-11, 02:20   Link #25038
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It has been a long time since WWII. The children born following the war are starting to retire in their 60s. The Veterans of the War are getting less and less every year.

And the situation has changed (reversed prehaps). With China now seen as the possible Imperialist-expansionist power and Japan as the stagnent one. The Western Powers are still in play, but not in the colonial/imperialist sense anymore. The Americans are the closest to that and they (as then) are more interested in free trade than anything else.

The locals don't have the firepower nor manpower to hold of China if it ever got the notion to go full on Imperialist. The only edge they might get is if Japan rearms. They still won't have the manpower to hold the Chinese off, but they will probably have the technological advantage to make up for it. Add to this the Americans, and you have enough to keep the Chinese from going Imperialist since it would be too costly (economically first, then in manpower and lands after the war gets going).

The Americans are still the main defense force in the region, but I imagine the locals would want to have their defense more local in nature. Japan can provide that extra strength so they don't need the Americans as much.

But it will take time to rearm Japan to the levels "needed" to face off against the Chinese without nuclear weapons. Japan is mostly defensive in nature. They lack offensive punches to counter the Chinese if something happens. The simple ones would be fitting out their ships with cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles. Similar with aircraft. It is just need more and that takes construction time and money.


The hope of course is that it will not be needed. But I've suggested rearming Japan for years now. If only so we don't need our troops deployed there to defend them in case of invasion. US troops have been there in one fashion of another since 1945. nearly 70 years later, maybe we can allow Japan to defend herself again?

I'm not sure if the South Koreans will like this idea. They and Taiwan are generally against anything military involving Japan it seems. Especially if Japan reverts to any nationalistic vibes.
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Old 2012-12-11, 03:37   Link #25039
SaintessHeart
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http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/9/37...toller-sham-ii
The Poles want to sue.
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Old 2012-12-11, 03:47   Link #25040
Vexx
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Late last night the BBC reported that there may have been a violation of the Australian law that forbids recording people without their prior consent. The head of Austero, the corporate network that owns the radio station, said the station had made five fruitless attempts to reach the nurses by phone to obtain permission to run the tape.
Basically, if the two DJs take the rap on their own -there's a miscarriage of justice. Everyone up the chain of command is equally liable.
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