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Comments

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"We are actively evaluating. That's as distinct from passively evaluating."

Arker Re:Sorry (25 comments)

"the pax Americana has been a great cost avoidance for the European social welfare states, who can maintain smaller, localized defense forces, knowing that the 800lb gorilla is there."

Sure the short term incentive for them is clear, but why should the US taxpayer be expected to go along with this?

Back in the day, it was because the Soviet Union was considered a credible and common threat. The Russian Federation is neither, yet the bill for confronting him only increases.

"Let's not be surprised at any of these unsurprising developments."

Not surprised at all, I caught onto the racket years ago. Just disappointed at how little the oath of office seems to mean these days.

yesterday
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"We are actively evaluating. That's as distinct from passively evaluating."

Arker Re:Sorry (25 comments)

"I think that anecdote points to a broader, American Exceptionalism-based difficulty: we regularly hold peaceful revolutions at the ballot box. While the rest of the world, and Russians are arguably among the more egregious cases, have much greater policy time horizons, the U.S. has trouble remembering anything."

Too much truth to that, but it does not mean we should not try to do better.

"The State Department should provide a more "traditional" geo-political interface, but then you come to the question of to what degree agreements with the U.S.S.R. hold any sway. One might be tempted to pretend something like the referenced agreement never happened. Fine. But you really don't want the Russians weaponizing space, as we agreed to eschew in the Outer Space Treaty, do you?"

Exactly.

Now with that thought in mind think back on how the US government has in fact treated Russia since the Soviet Union dissolved. Is it just me or does it seem like our government as a whole actually WANTS to provoke them into something drastic like that? First off, why expand, instead of disband, NATO if we are not planning to attack Russia? And why pour all this 'democracy promotion' money into the likes of Svoboda if we are not actively scheming against Russia? I have no trouble believing this has been on the Russians minds all this time because it has certainly been on mine, and I cannot come up with another credible answer.

The Europeans were involved at first and they were thinking of expanding the EU to the Ukraine (which was probably a bad idea from the get-go given their economic woes) but they have since backed off quite a bit. Less because of their economic woes and more because of the sheer unsavoriness of the new regime.  You could see street protests bring down several EU governments if they even get close to admitting a country where the likes of Svoboda is in government, and I've started seeing admissions that there is no way in hell Ukraine will be invited to the EU for the foreseeable future.

"While I understand that paranoia is the Russian national sport, I still thing BHO was a complete fool for, inter alia, abandoning the missile shield in Poland."

Really?

What value would it have been?

I mean in general I think interceptors are a great idea, but there? Whose missiles would it ever have a chance to intercept, if not the Russians? The Iranians never had missiles with that range and are unlikely to develop them, and still less likely to actually use them. Turkey is a member of NATO after all, and who else outside of Europe has the range to hit that area? Seems like a damn short list.

It does not seem paranoid to me for them to worry that a missile site ostensibly aimed at Iran, yet not in range of Iran, but nicely in range of them, might actually be intended for use against them. Combine that with the color revolutions, the expansion of Nato, the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the recent events in Libya (Russia agreed to a resolution with strict limitations only to see the limitations ignored basically from day one, and a regime friendly to them eliminated as a result,) and Syria (where the Russians have refused to agree to even a token resolution because after Libya they simply do not trust us not to do the same thing again) - I do not think it's paranoid for the Russians to feel a bit persecuted.

That's without even mentioning some of the cruder anti-russian propaganda that you can be sure is being rebroadcast for them with captions.

yesterday
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Thrifty system for volume billed Internet. -HELP

Arker Suggestions (1 comments)

I dont think OS matters too much, but I would recommend Slackware specifically, since most Linux based systems these days have a lot more automatic stuff to disable for what you want.  But you can do it with any OS if you take the time to customize.

For the web browser you want to disable loading of images, scripts, and other extraneous nonsense automatically. This could mean lynx or links or emacs-www but it could also be FF with no script and request policy.

Seems to me the most important thing would be to have your own meter running though, so you have a way to check where you are at on your quota. I dont have a solution there, offhand.

2 days ago
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"We are actively evaluating. That's as distinct from passively evaluating."

Arker Re:Sorry (25 comments)

No, this:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/08/13/a_diplomatic_mystery

That article is very short and does not really explore the implications but it does give a reference for what I am talking about.

2 days ago
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"We are actively evaluating. That's as distinct from passively evaluating."

Arker Re:Maybe if you understood the the business of war (25 comments)

"I will not endeavor to understand why, it's only to point out a factual observation that you are mirroring those blogs you read, and they get their crap from the same wire as the "liberal" press. I'll let you in on a little secret, the press releases hardly ever reflect what goes over secured communications. I believe you would need specific clearances to know what's happening. I'm going on the assumption you don't"

The logical conclusion to this argument is that you need a security clearance to form an opinion on policy and that is hogwash. In fact many people without such a clearance, including academics and others, have good track records of getting issue after issue right when the people with the clearances were getting it all wrong.

2 days ago
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"We are actively evaluating. That's as distinct from passively evaluating."

Arker Re:Sorry (25 comments)

"This is where I'm going with the argument. It's one thing to say "we cannot take any direct action now"."

THAT actually sounds very weak to me. The implication I would take is that you feel you should be taking action, but you've been deterred (for now.)

My position is really much stronger. If there were a good reason to be involved then fine, WWIII, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, I am down. I am one crazy mofo and I cannot be deterred when I choose to act.

But this? We have no vital interest to defend here, the only thing on the line for us is the prestige of the STUPID SOBs that started and continued the deliberate policy of antagonizing and encircling Russia.

Their personal prestige is on the line and deserves to take the hit. But that is not the same as our national prestige and we should be clarifying that line right now instead of trying to blur it.

But we are not doing that. Our government by its actions is making clear that it values these officials personal prestige more than it values many other things one might think would take precedence - including the well-being of our troops in Afghanistan. As I am sure you are aware, they have a bit of a supply chain problem, and Russia is being enormously helpful in regards to that. So far they have not withdrawn that help, but how much longer? What happens to our troops when both the southern and the northern route is cut? Is it not completely irresponsible to go around bear-baiting without at the very least getting our men out of Afghanistan first?

"As an example, we have NATO allies in the Baltics. Have we signaled anything to them other than "You are effed"?"

I think it's important to question WHY we've been violating our agreement with Russia and expanding NATO east before addressing that directly. This is a history of provocation that is part of the context here, and while it would be wonderful to have a time machine and just go back and avoid that error, the fact that we cannot do that should not be allowed to become an excuse to perpetuate the errors - to double down on bad bets. That's a road to ruin.

Now, we are here now, and yes we have NATO allies in the Baltics. And we have been sending both ships and planes into the area in the reports I have seen. Sounds like just enough to start a war but nowhere near enough to win one. And I think that's silly. I would advise taking a step back and asking whether or not there is any need to be worried about them, and I would have to say no. Russia has not threatened them, and seems highly unlikely to do so.

But then again bears ARE dangerous. Keep poking it and sooner or later you might well cause what you want to avoid.

2 days ago
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"We are actively evaluating. That's as distinct from passively evaluating."

Arker Re:Sorry (25 comments)

I just cannot buy the line that the only options are 'assuming the fetal position' and picking a fight with Russia. Surely there is some kind of middle ground where we can be tough when we have to be without taking every possible opportunity to prove it?

3 days ago
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For my stalker (and any amused bystanders.)

Arker Re:Can confirm (5 comments)

Probably shouldnt even bother responding to an AC here but what the heck.

"Ended up here because your choice of font annoyed me."

No, YOUR choice of font annoyed you.

My choice of font has no affect on you. I can change it every 5 minutes and nothing changes on your screen.

3 days ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

Arker Solved? (51 comments)

Does not sound like they solved it. Headline should be "Astronomers Ponder Puzzle..." perhaps?

3 days ago
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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

Arker There is (140 comments)

It's called the epoch of Bureaucracy.

http://miriadic.wikia.com/wiki/The_Five_Stages_of_Chaos

3 days ago
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"We are actively evaluating. That's as distinct from passively evaluating."

Arker Sorry (25 comments)

""The answer is what is so obvious -- you immediately fly in major supplies of light weaponry and defensive weaponry, anti-tank, anti-aircraft, so you begin to arm the Ukrainians, so when Putin make a calculation, he understands there will never be any NATO troops in Ukraine to oppose him,†Krauthammer said."

/me facepalms hard.

I will not disagree that Obama has done an awful job here but this guy is nuts! What he's really saying is that he would double-down on Obamas foolish bets and deliberately start WWIII right now. Over Crimea?

Sorry man but this is the dumbest plan imaginable. Massive costs in blood and treasure over something that does not matter in the slightest to us, and that is best case.

3 days ago
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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Arker Re:I Pay (324 comments)

Problem with that line of argument (besides the stupid personal attacks which do not contribute) is that this was never on Netflix's end and that has been confirmed over and over again. Problem only affects people on comcast, and only after someone at comcast got the bright idea to shake Netflix down.  Comcast customers (the few of them with the technical knowledge that is) could get around the breakage by disguising their traffic and many did so.

I hope you are getting paid well to astroturf here, enough to compensate you for your integrity.

4 days ago
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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Arker Re:I Pay (324 comments)

"It is not Comcast's responsibility to provide enough bandwidth for you to stream a 3rd party software at maximum bandwidth"

Yes, if you paid them for that bandwidth, it is indeed their responsibility to provide it. Third party software? Everything on your computer is third party software, what else would you be using?

Your argument appears to make no sense whatsoever.

4 days ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Arker Re:Wat? (580 comments)

"The problem here is that people have been using the argument that Open Source is better because these issues can't happen "because" of the visibility."

No, just no. No one with any sort of a clue ever argued these issues cannot happen with Free Software. It's good practice, it helps, but it's no silver bullet. That's just as true as it ever was and this news in no way contradicts that.

4 days ago
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The Security of Popular Programming Languages

Arker Re:The whole approach is wrong (188 comments)

"Or at least no such thing as a project that only employs or accepts contributions from such programmers."

You could probably find a few drawing decent salaries in less public areas, but certainly it's a skill that the tech world in general has no appreciation for at all. And even though I hate it I can understand why - if you have two companies developing a similar product, one does it quick and cheap, the other takes the time to do it right - the first one will 'own the market' before the second can get there. And with that position it has the cash flow to keep paying programmers, while the second one closes their doors.

The same dynamic still plagues non-commercial projects as well, a quick but shoddy project can gain mindshare and take off before one that does things right has a product to show at all.

There are a few places where people are willing to pay the price for secure code, and the way things are going I suspect that is increasing, but it's still a tiny minority of available positions.

4 days ago
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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Arker Re:So Netflix wants to change how it connects (324 comments)

"Otherwise, Comcast has no contractual obligation to Netflix at all."

That's right. Their contractual obligation is to their customers. Who already paid Comcast for the passage of their packets back and forth to Netflix.

4 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Arker Re:Government jobs (416 comments)

Yeah it sounds to me like you are making some really broad, sweeping comments about a large group of people as if they were all clones.

4 days ago
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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Arker Re:So Netflix wants to change how it connects (324 comments)

You have basically everything backwards here.

Netflix is not the comcast customer. Netflix pays their own ISP for their bandwidth already.

It's not Netflix which is using all this bandwidth on comcasts network - it's comcast customers who are using it. And they already paid for it.

Comcast wants to bill twice. I am sure they would bill 20 times if they could get away with it.

And they are the 800lb gorilla with an effective monopoly position in many markets and no scruples whatsoever. Netflix folded to extortion, and the precedent is certainly not one that will benefit any users, unless it's the users that are also comcast stock owners.

4 days ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

Arker Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (297 comments)

The sanctity of treaties? That's your argument? A better argument to quit signing them so promiscuously but let that go for the moment.

The idea that the putsch in Kiev is legitimate successor to the elected government they deposed is... let's just say problematic. At best.

4 days ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

Arker Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (297 comments)

"Any and all counter-arguments like "but they voted" are meaningless: first, the voting took place under the "gentle" guidance of Russian military"

By that logic the vote for statehood in Alaska was meaningless as well - in fact it's even worse, because the US troops voted!

If you are just making an abstract point, fine, conceded. If you are implying that there is any legitimate US interest to be pursued through pressing that point and pursuing confrontation with Russia? I do not see one.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Federal Court Rejects NDAA - Issues Injunction

Arker Arker writes  |  about 2 years ago

Arker (91948) writes "A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction late Wednesday to block provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of knowingly or unknowingly supporting terrorism.

The Obama administration had argued, inter alia, that the plaintiffs, including whistleblower and transparency advocate Daniel Ellsberg and Icelandic Member of Parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir lacked standing, but Judge Katherine Forrest didnt buy it.

Given recent statements from the administration, it seems safe to say this will be the start of a long court battle."

Link to Original Source
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New Asus ships with malware included

Arker Arker writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Arker (91948) writes "Computer Sweden reports that Asus Japan is warning customers that the new Eee Box B202 contains a virus. How the virus got there, and how widespread the problem is, they are not saying.

Very little more in the article text, the malware is apparently found at d:\Recycled.exe and Asus Japan will not confirm whether or not affected units have been shipped outside Japan."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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For my stalker (and any amused bystanders.)

Arker Arker writes  |  about a week ago

So, at some point, I really do not know exactly when but approximately two or three months back, I changed my default formatting on new posts here to 'code.'

Why did I do that? Because slashcode does not interpret 'plain text' as plain text, and I ran into that bug one too many times.

'Code' sucks less, so code it is.

Understand I tested all available posting options here and the only difference that I see between 'plain text' and 'code' is that 'code' behaves more like plain text. And that is all I am sending. Plain text.

Now, having posted like this for some time, just a few days ago I started noticing that I had attracted another special 'admirer'. Someone with mod points that has somehow developed enough of a fascination with me he will go back through my older posts and start passing out 'underrated's - I imagine most people reading this have had such a fan at one time or another and can sympathize.

Then my fan spoke up. In fact I think there might possibly even be two of them! (Sockpuppet routines in effect as well of course.) And he lets me know what he's mad about. And it's... the font of my posts?!?

Made no sense to me. I do not send any font information. I do not see any difference in fonts. Problem is on your end, doh.

Having gotten a little more information that initial evaluation has changed, but very little.

It appears that slashcode inserts a tag in posts when they are submitted as code. A tag which I would be happy to put on screen for you to see, except no matter what options I choose, slashcode is bloody broken and filters it out. Spell it out; less than, double tango, greater than.

Holy crap you people have time to break EVERYTHING to make an ugly beta but after 17 years you still cannot find the time to fix our text input!?!

That tag, like all font tags, is a presentation tag that never really belonged in html to begin with, but we will let that slide. It stands for 'teletype' and it does not specify a font, but suggests that a monospace font would be appropriate.

Well, as long as we are letting presentation slide, that's a damn fine tag. Nothing wrong with it at all. If your system has a bad choice set as the default for *LT-double-tango-GT* then don't bitch at me, go into your options and fix it!

After I started getting love letters over this, I started pulling up my posts in additional browsers out of curiousity. I normally use Firefox but I have a few others available for testing and odd-jobs. Some of them did show my posts in a different font from all the others, and you know what? In those browsers, my posts look better than those surrounding. Although actually the fonts just sucked all the way around, particularly in IE.

I spent 20 seconds correcting my settings and now everything looks great now no matter which browser I use.

So, in all seriousness, if you are one of the people stalking me because your browser settings suck... FIX YOUR SETTINGS.

And leave me be. Following me around posting off-topic flamebait about my supposed choice of font (when my actual choice of font does not affect you at all, your choice of font is at your command locally, and anyone that understands the internet at the crudest and most basic level could have told you that) serves no purpose and I am not going to continue to play into it.

Fix your browser. And quit whining.

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