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langosta_fla 401 posts  |  Last Activity: Dec 17, 2014 10:23 PM Member since: Feb 6, 2002
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  • Reply to

    Sanity on Cuba at last

    by w.heinlein Dec 17, 2014 4:30 PM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 10:23 PM Flag

    fyi:

    General Augusto Pinochet was indicted for human rights violations committed in his native Chile by Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzón on 10 October 1998. He was arrested in London six days later and held for a year and a half before finally being released by the British government in March 2000. Authorized to freely return to Chile, Pinochet was there first indicted by judge Juan Guzmán Tapia, and charged with a number of crimes, before dying on 10 December 2006,
    ==

    So, yeah, Castro has good reason to want to pass away on his own time before getting too cozy with the USA.

  • Reply to

    Sanity on Cuba at last

    by w.heinlein Dec 17, 2014 4:30 PM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 7:37 PM Flag

    The guy he had shot was General Ochoa, and I believe it was in the mid 1980s. I remember it because Cubans wrote the shorthand of his name as "8A" which is Ocho-a in Spanish. He was a popular general who led Cuba's successful expeditionary force that fought alongside Angolan leftists in Angola's civil war. Castro supposedly had him shot because he was becoming more popular than Fidel and was not sufficiently committed to Communist ideology. The "drug dealing" was a red herring.

    I think Fidel has mellowed out considerably since then and no longer imposes such draconian sentences. But there is no statute of limitation on murder. He could be, and would be, put on trial if his regime ever falters. He's taking on the risk of a popular revolt by increasing intercourse with the USA. It seems unlikely a popular uprising against Castro would take place, but it seemed unlikely that it would take place in the USSR until it happened.

  • Reply to

    Sanity on Cuba at last

    by w.heinlein Dec 17, 2014 4:30 PM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 5:21 PM Flag

    There's a lot more than just "a voting block of Cuban ex-pats" that have prevented normalized relations. Normalizing relations is going to involve dealing with issues that neither country wants to deal with:

    1. Cuba is going to have to make amends for the American-owned property Castro stole when he took power. Those claims haven't gone away.

    2. The USA is going to have to evacuate Gitmo if we normalize relations and the Cubans tell us to leave.

    3. Castro is going to have to recast his propaganda to stop blaming his regime's failures on "The Yankee Blockade." Once the embargo ends he's going to have to explain why HIS Commie regime can't feed its people from the most fertile land in the Caribbean.

    4. There are going to be charges of crimes against humanity filed against Castro by Cuban exiles for the murder and torture of regime opponents from the 1960s to the 2000s. So, they're either going to have to wait until Fidel and whoever else among his henchmen croaks, or else write some sort of "hold harmless" clause into the normalization agreement to prevent endless prosecutions and litigations.

    There are lots of issues to be settled, and most of them don't have anything to do with "voting blocs."

  • langosta_fla by langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 4:08 PM Flag

    My neighbor trapped the raccoon that had been poaching the cat food he set out on his porch at night to feed his kitties. He brought it over to see if Henry, the black dude who does my yard work, wanted it. Henry said, "Yeah, I'll take him. Raccoon like that would cost $50 in town." They shot the raccoon in the neck and Henry throwed it in the back of his truck. Said he's going to barbeque it for his folks' Christmas party. Seems like inflation is kicking up its heels if you have to pay FIFTY DOLLARS for a raccoon. Henry got his free, though, as a Christmas present from the neighbor.

  • Reply to

    Cuba normalization

    by langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 10:21 AM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 1:35 PM Flag

    Cigars aren't as dangerous as ciggies because you don't inhale the smoke into your lungs. I don't get to smoke them very often anyway because my wife can't stand them. She's out of the country now, so it's time to head to the Cigar Bar. There's a great one in St. Augustine. It's in an old Victorian mansion, so you can ramble around with a stogie in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, blowing clouds of smoke everywhere!

  • Reply to

    Cuba normalization

    by langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 10:21 AM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 1:32 PM Flag

    That's a great point. Cubans have their share of well educated people, but they have no way to make money on the Commie island. Microsoft, Oracle, and HP would go orgasmic over being able to "offshore" their staffs to an island country 40 minutes away that pays $8,000 a year for techies.

    btw. There are Cuban émigrés all over North Florida. Their cuisine is popular here. The most famous refugee in our neighborhood is the Little League coach. He's popular because he wins most of his games. One time I asked him why he left Cuba. Was it because of oppression by Castro's government? "No," he replied, "I never had any problem with Castro. But my wife was driving me bananas. The only way to get away from her was to hitch a ride to Miami."

  • Reply to

    Cuba normalization

    by langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 10:21 AM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 1:24 PM Flag

    The "economic dislocation" is what has made the Castro as wary as we were of normalizing relations. The Cuban exile community is wealthy enough to turn Cuba into a suburb of Miami. All of Cuba's socialist independence will be compromised once "Yankee" money buys out the place.

    But, on humanitarian grounds alone, the U.S. trade embargo on Cuban-made products should be lifted. I shouldn't have to go to Montreal to buy a Havana cigar.

  • langosta_fla by langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 10:21 AM Flag

    Obama is scheduled to hold a press conference at 12:00 today to announce normalization of relations with Cuba. For those wishing to play the news, there's a stock called CUBA (Hertzfeld Caribbean Fund) that promotes itself as an ETF investment in Cuba. Most of its holding are actually construction and hotel companies in Florida and Puerto Rico that might b benefit from doing business with Cuba. It's up 20% already since the announcement, but it usually runs to $10 to $12 whenever relations improve. Depending upon what Obama says, relations could be normalized and Americans come and go to Cuba the same as any other country.

  • Reply to

    Executive Power According To The GOP

    by trueallday Dec 15, 2014 12:17 AM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 17, 2014 10:12 AM Flag

    Do we REALLY have to apply all our rules of justice to terrorists? Do we have to read them all their Miranda Rights before we waterboard them? I'm not even sure that waterboarding is all that discomfiting. According to the report we only waterboarded 3 terrorists, but one of them went into the drink 181 times. He must have enjoyed it, because he kept coming back for more.

  • langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 16, 2014 2:51 PM Flag

    Another thing is that the Saudis will only hurt themselves if they cut production. Imagine you're the Saudi Arabian Oil Minister. Somebody from another OPEC country asks you to cut oil production. You'd say, "What will that gain us? The Americans are producing 9 million barrels of oil a day. They have doubled their production in only two years by innovations in fracking. They can produce 15 million barrels a day if they want to. They can substitute natural gas for oil. They are sooner or later going to access the Canadian oil, which is larger than all the reserves in the Middle East. If we cut our production, they will respond by sourcing 100% of their oil production from their continent. Then who are we going to sell to?"

  • langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 16, 2014 2:21 PM Flag

    ---The interesting question--to which I don't have an answer--is why the Saudis refused to cut production as they have done in the past to maintain crude prices

    Hint: the name of their largest neighbor, also totally dependent on oil exports, starts with an "I" and ends with an "N".

  • Reply to

    Why HP Enterprise Is Failing

    by trueallday Dec 15, 2014 11:00 AM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 16, 2014 1:22 PM Flag

    Let's assume, then, than HPQ makes the best "cloud" servers on the market. They are still going to sell far fewer large servers to the "cloud farms" than they are currently selling to end-user companies. Would HP make the same profit from selling servers to 100 "cloud farms" as it is making selling 10,000 smaller servers directly to end-user companies? I don't know, but I can't imagine that the profit margins would be large either way.

    The real money is going to come from the maintenance contracts that end-user companies pay the "cloud farms" to keep the servers up and running. If you ran SAP, Oracle Financials, Workday, or Salesforce as your system of record, would you pay them or HP to maintain your systems on "cloud farms?"

    I am not speaking skeptically about HP on the basis of any ill-will toward the company, but the fact is that they have not executed well in betting their software future on Autonomy. In fact it was a $10 billion catastrophe. If a company can't get their own software right, how in heck are they going to convince any clients that they are competent to run THEIR software?

  • langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 16, 2014 12:54 PM Flag

    I'd think radioactive petroleum would be an advantage. If it's radioactive enough to glow in the dark, you could fill your car up at night without having to turn on a light.

  • langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 16, 2014 9:43 AM Flag

    A fellow was talking on another blog the other night about "Operation Gasbuggy" that he took part in back in the late 1960's. It was part of the "Atoms for Peace" program whereby experiments were done to develop peaceable uses of nuclear devices. He said they exploded 30 nuclear devices in the low kiloton range in the Colorado and New Mexico oil and gas fields to determine how much petroleum products could be shaken loose by NUCLEAR FRACKING (I guess fracking has been around a while).

    He said that the release of all that energy in a confined space heats the sand to 50,000,000 degrees and fuses it into a glass tunnel a few hundred feet in diameter and a few thousand feet going up toward the surface, creating an oil well without drilling. Then, the crater fills in with oil and gas, which can be pumped without expensive high pressure conventional fracking techniques. He said the oil and gas contains a bit of radioactivity, which might bother some people, but being as it's produced cheaply there should be a market for it.

    We should give the Koch Brothers some of those 30,000 surplus nuclear warheads we're dismantling and let them have at it. Let off a few dozen of those in the tar sands and we'll have a RIVER of oil flowing like water!

  • Here's another Quack Science I encountered today. It's called INTERRUPTION SCIENCE:

    ====
    Interruption science is the "study of the effect of disruptions on job performance".[1] Office workers face a number of interruptions due to e-mail, phone calls, and visits from co-workers, all of which may be annoying and affect their productivity. For professions such as pilots or nurses, interruptions could have major consequences, as they could lead to costly or even life-threatening errors.
    ===

    These Interruption Events happen all the time in cube farms when your nosy colleague drops in to tell you the latest on who's sleeping with who, or who got the big raise or promotion.

    Another Interruption Event is when you're trying to watch an IMPORTANT football game and your wife starts annoying you by reopening the never-ending saga of her sister's botched gall bladder operation.

    Anyway, there's a QUACK "science" associated with tall of these mundane everyday evenits. When the weather changes the quacks call it "climate science." When somebody annoys you it's "interruption science." The word "science" has certainly been devalued, isn't it!

  • Reply to

    According to Lang Computer Science Is A Sham

    by trueallday Dec 14, 2014 12:06 PM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 15, 2014 1:54 PM Flag

    I would NEVER rely on just one doctor's opinion about a major medical issue. I would always seek a second opinion. True story: I contracted a severe cough when I moved to Michigan. I was coughing up gobs of multicolored phlegm. Our doctor up there was "certain" that it was caused by an allergy to "oak tree moss." "I've seen it several times," she said. "People move up here from Florida and they have no tolerance from the pollen from oak tree moss."

    So, she sent me in for blood analysis for $400 and was going to put me on an "allergy matrix" to narrow down the specific type of oak tree moss that was causing the problem. That would have cost me another $2,500.

    In the interim I went to the dentist for a check up, and he found a cracked tooth. It had become infected and abscessed. The infection was the source of the cough and the phlegm. When he pulled the tooth the symptom disappeared.

    The doctor was competent and generally served our family well during the 3 years I was up there. But she had been conditioned to believing that my symptoms were caused by "oak tree moss" because she had seen it in other patients. Her conditioned bias made her incompetent to diagnose my problem of severe cough. A dentist had to fix it by pulling an infected tooth.

    This is typical of "climate scientists" who think they know everything just because they might know something about one particular field. They are victims of their own biased conditioning to see "man made global warming" as the reason for every "climate change" whether real or imagined. It really isn't "science" at all, but a political vendetta waged by people who don't like the Koch Brothers for whatever reason.

  • Reply to

    According to Lang Computer Science Is A Sham

    by trueallday Dec 14, 2014 12:06 PM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 15, 2014 12:45 PM Flag

    So how can any one of these people, who see only a tiny portion of the climate picture, pretend to know that man has any measurable affect on it?

    A couple years ago I asked if anyone on this board understood which hemisphere of the earth (North or South) receives more solar radiation than the other, in the course of a year, and what the effect will be on the climate as the cycle changes. You were the only person who made a stab at the answer, and even you, a computer PH.D., only got about half of it right. Nobody else was even aware that there was an imbalance in solar radiation between the hemispheres, and that the climate changes according to how the imbalance increases or decreases.

    And yet you all claim to know beyond any shadow of doubt that climate change is primarily a man-made phenomenon, independent of cyclical changes in solar radiation, the changing shape of the earth's orbit and earth's axial orientation, and the cycles of ocean currents.

  • Reply to

    Why HP Enterprise Is Failing

    by trueallday Dec 15, 2014 11:00 AM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 15, 2014 11:32 AM Flag

    You're likely to be dead-on right about that. Ever since the mid-80's I've heard my clients say, "I don't want to capitalize my hardware and software. Just give me a meter than bills me for (CPU cycles, number of user seats, etc.).

    Now it's finally practical to do that. "The cloud" will massively decrease the number of server sales. There'll be a few mega-servers at the offices of SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, and any other software vendor who provides the "system of record." HP would have been better positioned to compete in that market if they had bought a higher quality company than Autonomy, or if they had done it the old-fashioned way by developing their own in-house software.

    Can HP compete in operating enterprise servers for its clients WITHOUT selling bundled software. If I were still an IT manager I'd rather have SAP or Salesforce or Workday manage my servers, because they understand the hardware and software. Why would I contract with HP to manage my servers running those other people's software?

  • Reply to

    According to Lang Computer Science Is A Sham

    by trueallday Dec 14, 2014 12:06 PM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 15, 2014 9:32 AM Flag

    Thanks, you said that way better than I could have, and in a lot less words. It was short, sweet, and to the point, especially the "dingbat' part!

  • Reply to

    According to Lang Computer Science Is A Sham

    by trueallday Dec 14, 2014 12:06 PM
    langosta_fla langosta_fla Dec 15, 2014 9:31 AM Flag

    You are right, VT:

    "Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes”. The study of computer hardware is usually considered part of computer engineering, while the study of commercial computer systems and their deployment is often called information technology or information systems. Computer science research also often intersects other disciplines, such as philosophy, cognitive science, linguistics, mathematics, physics, biology, statistics, and logic.
    ===

    The question is whether you would proclaim yourself to be an expert on all these fields of knowledge. Being an intellectually honest person I would guess you wouldn't. And yet we have all these so-called "climate scientists" who pretend to be experts on every true science that affects the climate --- chemistry, physics, astrophysics (dynamics of earth orbit and sun's radiation), oceanography (changing currents), geography (continental drift), and perhaps other factors that haven't been identified.

    What would YOU think of a so-called "climate scientist" who claimed to be an authority on each and every one of these fields. Probably not much. And neither would I or any other sensible person.

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