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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Archtech Re:Of course it won't (352 comments)

"Anyone stupid enough to just dismantle nukes instead of selling them is a moron".

Thanks, that's the best laugh I've had this year! So, to whom do you suggest selling the British nuclear deterrent:

1. The USA (which sold it to us years ago, doesn't accept trade-ins, and has masses of more up-to-date equipment of its own);

2. The potential enemies against whom the deterrent has been directed;

3. Or nations that currently don't have nuclear weapons (thus breaking the NNP treaty and making the world a far more dangerous place)?

Or perhaps you would prefer they be sold directly to a terrorist group?

10 hours ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Archtech Re:Betteridge (352 comments)

"Scotland has only been invaded by, erm, one country, many times as it happens, in the last 1000 years".

Nice try, and I agree with the spirit of your post. But have you forgotten Norway?

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

Although the Scots gave back as good as they got:

http://www.scotsman.com/lifest...

10 hours ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Archtech Re:No it will not. (352 comments)

"The real question is what are Scotland going to do about their currency post-independence?"

Why not use the dollar, like everyone else?

10 hours ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Archtech Re:Start building a new wall (Hadrian mk2) (352 comments)

"My other half is from Inverness. ALL, repeat ALL of her family will leave by the end of the year is there is a Yes vote in September".

Great, that means there will be lots of cheap houses for sale in that beautiful, tranquil (except near Lossiemouth) part of the world. Where are those estate agent pages?

10 hours ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Archtech Re:Here's the interesting paragraph (352 comments)

"Nukes are, well, the nuclear option, so they are of little use except in extreme circumstances..."

Very true. To clarify matters, we might ask ourselves: against which nations are the UK's thermonuclear weapons potentially useful today? (I hope no one is going to suggest that they frighten ISIS, for example).

Russia? If so, why? Russia's interests do not clash with the UK's anywhere on earth - quite the contrary, it is in our best interests to live in peace with the Russians. Whereas we lived in fear (rightly or wrongly) of the USSR invading Western Europe, Mr Putin has shown supernatural restraint in not even invading Ukraine after 750,000 of its citizens fled to Russia for safety. As for Georgia, he was "in and out quickly", as the saying goes.

China? Likewise, only if possible even more so. The Chinese are quite extraordinarily pacific (especially compared to other superpowers that shall be nameless), and what's more they are very nearly on the far side of the world.

India or Pakistan? I don't see it. They're not quite so peaceable, but they have no quarrel with us, and we should make sure that remains the case.

Israel? Not really - they would probably get in a first strike, and they have far more missiles and warheads.

And as for France, that's just childish. We should be content just to go on annoying them.

10 hours ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Archtech Re:No. It would not. (352 comments)

Sod it, I meant "Newcastle-upon-Tyne or Barrow-in-Furness". Too early in the morning... er. afternoon.

Apologies to citizens of those two noble towns.

10 hours ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Archtech Re:No. It would not. (352 comments)

Most likely Newcastle-on-Tyne or Barrow-on-Furness. The main reason for siting the base in Scotland was presumably to get it as far away from London as possible.

Futile, though. Either the Russians decide to take out Britain, or not. (They might as well, since they have plenty of missiles). Half a dozen big warheads should render the entire country uninhabitable - why would they take out the Holy Loch and not finish the job?

Given the US administration's evident enthusiasm for starting WW3, the UK would be well advised to throw away - not drop - its nuclear weapons as quickly as possible. In a war they would make not the slightest difference to either side, but they would probably get us all fried.

10 hours ago
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China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

Archtech Re:Applaude (147 comments)

"Sorry, the corporate card has no bearing on scientific topics. Save it for politics".

You don't sound stupid, so you must be cynical. It goes without saying that no scientific results can possibly be trusted without a clear understanding of ALL corporate influence and funding behind them. Witness, to take just one example of hundreds, the current advocacy of statins by panels of scientists most of whom have received huge sums of money from the corporations that manufacture statins.

"Do you really think the scientific community, which overwhelmingly supports GE crops (don't even try to deny this), does not pause to consider such things?"

You do make your astroturfing obvious, don't you? 8-)

1. In science, it doesn't matter in the least if anyone "overwhelmingly" supports any conclusion. All that counts is whether that conclusion is true. Copernicus and Galileo were right; tens of thousands of "experts" were wrong. Semmelweiss was right; the vast majority of the "medical profession" who had him fired, drove him mad, and had him confined in a lunatic asylum were wrong.

2. We have no way of knowing what the "scientific community" (whatever that may be) considers. All we know is what published papers say - always remembering that, when a corporation funds a study, any paper that does not suit that corporation's goals is most unlikely to be published.

yesterday
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China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

Archtech Re:Applaude (147 comments)

No, actually: not in the least bit like any of those. Like grafting in genes from entirely different species, without the slightest idea (or any way of finding out) what the effects will be in the long term.

But that doesn't matter, does it? To those whose only reality is profit, there is no future beyond the current quarter.

yesterday
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China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

Archtech Very wise indeed (147 comments)

In stark contrast to Western nations, China is largely ruled by qualified engineers and technicians. They presumably understand the insanity of radically undermining the technology that feeds most of the world's human beings: agriculture. Any experimentation with agriculture should be done with extreme caution, and as far as possible contained so it is reversible.

Less important, but also worth considering: do we really want a world where one or two vast bloated Western corporations literally own the food that keeps everyone alive? I don't think so.

And that's without even considering the multiple proven and documented cases of specific harm caused by GM "food".

yesterday
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

Archtech Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (145 comments)

Very wise. I agree that it's best to use cable whenever you can - faster, more secure, more reliable. Wireless is trendy but relatively insecure; and, in houses like mine, radically unreliable. One stone wall stops it cold, so there are very few working geometric configurations.

I also use powerline networking to complement the Ethernet cables. It's faster and more secure than wireless, and far more reliable. And it's available from every power point in the house.

yesterday
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Apple Begins Storing Chinese User Data On Servers In China

Archtech Re:What's the problem... (92 comments)

But surely the reason is to keep the data out of the hands of the US courts?

about a week ago
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Leaked Documents: GCHQ Made Port-Scanning Entire Countries a Standard Spy Tool

Archtech Re:And we're surprised why? (58 comments)

No, no, no! You've got it all wrong! When private individuals do such things, they are terrorists, saboteurs, or thieves. But when governments do them, it's perfectly in order - they are only doing what all governments do.

"Il est défendu de tuer; tout meurtrier est puni, à moins qu’il n’ait tué en grande compagnie, et au son des trompettes".
("It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers to the sound of trumpets").

- Voltaire

about a week ago
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The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Archtech Re:Some of us do still assemble, even now (291 comments)

The problem is that they are expected to keep writing new articles about (more or less) fresh topics. Thus guaranteeing that they never learn much about anything.

about two weeks ago
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The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Archtech Re:COBOL was better than JavaScript. (291 comments)

"There's a good chance that, without JavaScript, the web would have vanished".

How amusing - but quite untrue. Haven't you noticed how, throughout the history of computing, old standards regularly become unfashionable but virtually never disappear? Now consider that the Web was originally designed purely and simply to let people read hyperlinked documents - an extremely useful and indeed fundamental capability. It wasn't meant to display moving pictures, or serve as a virtual shop, or allow people to keep the world updated with what they have eaten or worn.

Without JavaScript, none of that would have been lost. Possibly, a new standard would have been invented to support all the trivial, self-indulgent uses, leaving the real Web unpolluted, efficient, and secure. Pity.

about two weeks ago
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Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

Archtech Re:Nobody kills Java (371 comments)

In about 1990 Gartner estimated that there were over 100 billion lines of COBOL in commercial use. By 2003, that had become 180 billion lines. Extrapolating, I'd expect that the figure is over 250 billion lines today. It's rather like the IBM mainframe, whose "death" was being loudly trumpeted in the early 1990s. Yet mainframe sales went right on growing, and today more of them are being used than ever. Most of them probably run COBOL applications.

What you need to decide is what software is for. If it's for fun, an art form, or a fashionable vehicle of self-expression, then by all means go with the latest and greatest languages, frameworks, and tools. But if it's a business-critical (or even safety-critical) component of vital engineering systems, doesn't it make sense to use something that is *known* to work reliably? "A legacy application is one that works", and I for one prefer to fly in aircraft that are programmed with Ada and use banks whose computers run COBOL. Call me a boring old fuddy-duddy, but some things are just better if you can count on them working.

http://scs.senecac.on.ca/~timo...

about two weeks ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

Archtech Consistent with known incidence (267 comments)

As I write this, 7% of votes are for "mild" and 1% for "severe" red-green colour blindness. Remarkably, about 8% of males are believed to suffer from red-green colour blindness. (It's perhaps reasonable to assume that great majority of slashdotters are male - if not, apologies to the ladies).

about two weeks ago
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Archtech Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (224 comments)

So you really think never signing the treaty - but acquiring nuclear weapons anyway - is better than withdrawing?

about three weeks ago
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Archtech Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (224 comments)

"South Africa dismantled their nuclear program when it was no longer "necessary" to defend apartheid".

Because nuclear missiles are the repressive nation's weapon of choice against rebellious workers.

about three weeks ago
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Archtech Re:Oh, hi there, threat of extinction (224 comments)

"To do so, these countries would have to withdraw from the NPT".

You mean the way Israel had to?

about three weeks ago

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