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Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Archtech Re:Sounds reasonable (234 comments)

"If you knew anything about our political system you'd know that US Senators have zero power to actually make good on those threats".

We stupid foreigners actually know a little about the American legal system, and not purely from watching old Perry Mason episodes. One of the glaringly obvious things we know is that it isn't so much the facts of the matter that count, but who has the most money and thus influence. If you have political clout - and anyone rich enough can get it - no prosecutor will even be found to indict you. ("Shucks, awful sorry, wish I could be more help, just too busy tracking down terrorists...").

US senators have an awful lot of power, but most of it lies under the surface. They know people who can get a surprising number of things done (or not done, as the case may be) and they are among the world's leading experts at trading favours for favours. The law is so immense and complex that almost anyone can be charged with crimes that would lead to extremely long prison sentences - the main thing that protects the normal, innocent citizen is that the police have no particular reason to want to frame them up. Try reading (for instance) Harvey Silverglate's book "Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent".

yesterday
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Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Archtech Re:Extradition (234 comments)

"If he didn't want to be charged with a fairly serious CRIME, then don't commit the crime".

Have you ever heard of the "presumption of innocence"? It is morally and legally wrong to imply that Assange committed any crime, until he has been convicted in a court of law.

yesterday
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Open Source Self-Healing Software For Virtual Machines

Archtech Re:As we say in help desk, get rid of users... (50 comments)

See "The Shockwave Rider", passim. One of the classic definitions of life involves "irritability" (not quite what it might sound like). Brunner's worm demonstrates irritability in both senses; when the authorities try to wipe it out, it retaliates by destroying banking systems.

about a week ago
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Open Source Self-Healing Software For Virtual Machines

Archtech Re:Wrong approach (50 comments)

I guess the main difference is that the promises are being made by academics, in a formal paper. Not by salesmen and enthusiastic executives. Far from conclusive, I agree - but it's a step in the right direction. It's probably still a 1000-mile journey, but the first step has to be taken some time.

about a week ago
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Open Source Self-Healing Software For Virtual Machines

Archtech Re:Wrong approach (50 comments)

Er, did you realize that vaccination and other forms of inoculation consist of injecting a small sample of the bacterium, virus, etc. to give the immune system a smell of it? Then the immune system tools up and is ready for the full-scale infection if it occurs.

One of the many nice things about A3 is that (optionally) sysadmins could emulate inoculation by handing specific details of threats directly to A3 instead of waiting for it to detect them itself. That would eliminate delay and enable A3 to be lined up on the border with tank divisions, a howitzer every 2 yards, and millions of men when the invasion starts.

about a week ago
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Open Source Self-Healing Software For Virtual Machines

Archtech Re:Immune system for operating systems? (50 comments)

And I simply adore the idea of "stackable debuggers". (Anyone remember Gary Larson's "stackable livestock"?) 8-)

about a week ago
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Open Source Self-Healing Software For Virtual Machines

Archtech Immune system for operating systems? (50 comments)

The analogy is a big stretch, as it would take a very long time and huge effort to approach the unbelievably complex sophistication of the immune system. But the outlines are there: software that detects previously unknown threats, quickly mobilizes to defeat them, and then stands guard against each (now known) threat in future.

about a week ago
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Is Public Debate of Trade Agreements Against the Public Interest?

Archtech Re:Misleading summary (219 comments)

'Its just another example of "we have to pass it before we can find out whats in it"'.

And that's just the Congress...

about three weeks ago
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British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks

Archtech Re:I Suggested systems like this years ago (163 comments)

"He got rather angry for some reason..."

I can't imagine why - it was your own ignorance you were exposing. Fighter aircraft are too small to carry more than one (or, at most, two) crew. Otherwise they are big, slow, unmanoeuvrable, and shot down. The F-14 Tomcat featured in "Top Gun" is a 2-seater, mainly because it was designed for naval use and flying long distances over featureless ocean is difficult and dangerous for a lone pilot. WW2 demonstrated that 2-seater "heavy fighters" like the Me110 didn't fare at all well in combat with smaller, more responsive planes like the Spitfire. That conclusion has never changed since.

Tanks, by contrast, weigh many times more and function rather more slowly. Hence the tradeoff is different, and usually favours a crew of around 3-5. Again, at the start of WW2 some (otherwise very good) French tanks suffered badly because the commander also had to load and fire a main gun. While doing that, he generally lost track of the tactical situation with often disastrous results. The T-34/76, too, had only 2 men in its turret which left the commander to handle the gun - a failing which was remedied with the T-34/85.

Apart from anything else, in most tanks the driver sits in a compartment in the front of the hull, while other crew members are in the turret.

about a month ago
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British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks

Archtech Re:Surely not the "largest" tank? (163 comments)

That's because Scout SV isn't a tank - as someone already pointed out, it's essentially an armed personnel carrier. (Otherwise known as a "tank target" - one shot from a real tank and it dissolves in a ball of fire).

I was surprised at first when I read TFA, then I quickly realised this is just the "facts don't matter" school of journalism - in which writers use technical terms in any way they fancy, and don't bother to do any research. As in the recurrent use of "battleship" to mean "warship", or "warplane" to mean "a fighter, bomber, or ground attack aircraft but I couldn't be bothered to find out which".

If anyone is old enough to remember the Falklands War, it was either hysterically amusing or very annoying (depending on your temperament) to see the media for months on end describing "Belgrano" as a battleship. (In fact, she was a war-surplus WW2 US light cruiser, similar to HMS Belfast which is parked in the River Thames near the Tower of London to this day).

And before the usual suspects start calling me a "pedant" - as if that were a bad thing - just remember that experts in any field have specialist terminology, and misusing it is a sure-fire way to create confusion and error. Imagine if it were software that was being discussed. "Sure, Mr Pedant - constant, variable, whatever".

about a month ago
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Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

Archtech Re:Hint (115 comments)

Don't do critical things in hastily-written, poorly designed software. Instead, take sufficient time and make the design and implementation robust. Tried and tested methods exist for all of this. (Consider avionics, for example).

about 1 month ago
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Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

Archtech Re:Why 40 millions? (115 comments)

The word "architecture" is bandied around a lot, partly because it sounds so important. But if architecture means anything, it should include scoping out ALL limits embedded in the software or adjustable through a UI. At the very least the limits should be documented in such a way that those responsible for managing and maintaining the system are fully aware of them at all times. Because they are just as important as the speed at which your car will come off the road when you drive round a tight bend.

Ideally, resources permitting, a better solution should be systematically adopted. Such as having the software itself warn (in good time) that a built-in limit is being approached. Or simply allocating a type that can store numbers vastly greater than could ever conceivably arise. This, of course, is one of the useful aspects of strong typing: before using any variable, you MUST specify its type, and a good programmer will learn to stop at that point and find out what the requirement is.

about 1 month ago
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NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Archtech Re:Women prefer male bosses (399 comments)

"While men do also tend to develop something of an internal order of their own, it's less likely to take precedence over established Rank and Command protocols..."

That's because the established rank and command protocols are nothing BUT the underlying pecking order. Ever wonder why certain people end up in big corner offices issuing orders, while others who are far more capable end up doing what they are told? Simple: primate dominance hierarchy.

about a month ago
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When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

Archtech Re: Missing option (219 comments)

Thanks - that's a really brilliant article. It covers pretty well everything, and does so crisply and lucidly. That site's on my Morning Coffee list now!

about a month ago
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Book Review: Scaling Apache Solr

Archtech Re:Not a computer problem (42 comments)

"Computer searching is a crude form of human memory: human memory is associative, and computer searching is keyword-driven".

Computer searching is completely different from human memory (to the extent that we really should use different words for them): for a start, human memory is associative, and computer searching is keyword-driven. More to the point, human memory is inextricably tied up with all our senses and the ways in which the brain remembers them, whereas computer searching consists of running algorithms on successive sets of bits until an algorithm is satisfied.

FTFY.

about a month ago
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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Archtech Re:Author of TFA is an idiot (240 comments)

"Here's an idea: if you don't know shit about C++, don't post shit about C++. Save your precious insights for systemd maybe?"

It seems you don't take your own advice (hardly surprising, I suppose). If you don't know shit about Paul Chiusano - which you obviously don't - don't post shit about Paul Chiusano. Who probably knows about 5 times more about programming than you ever will.

about a month ago
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When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

Archtech Re: Missing option (219 comments)

Actually that is a very low estimate of the defense budget. There are many other expensive items that should be added in. See, for example

http://www.cjr.org/united_stat...

which estimates a total of about $1.3 trillion - about the same as Social Security and Medicare combined. By some recent estimates, US military spending has been nearly as great as that of the rest of the world put together. It is certainly far, far greater than that of countries like China (whose population is about four times greater, and which faces far greater threats - e.g. its long border with Russia, and the proximity of powerful rivals such as India and Pakistan).

The thing is that most of that "defense and security" spending is unnecessary, excessive, or both. The USA really doesn't need a highly militarized police force or a score of separate intelligence agencies or the immense pork barrel that Homeland Security has become. To be honest, the USA does not face many foreign threats provided it minds its own business and avoids poking wasps' nests (and bears) with sticks.

'As the French ambassador to the United States said in 1910: "The United States was blessed among nations. On the north, she had a weak neighbor; on the south, another weak neighbor; on the east, fish, and on the west, fish."'
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/p...

The whole of that article by Stephen M. Walt is well worth reading.

about a month ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

Archtech Re:web design (254 comments)

In other words, when other people make mistakes they are wrong: we must set them right and rebuke them. But when we make mistakes, anyone who sets us right should be rebuked for acting like a "Nazi".

about a month and a half ago

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