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The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Ash Vince Re:Hamas are Terrorists (402 comments)

Is it Hamas, because the 'evil Jew' refuses to make peace? And because they were there before the Jews came? Is it the 'evil Jews", because they were there before the Ottoman Empire practically kicked them out if they didn't want to convert to Islam? At least here we know that Judaism existed first.

Just like the native american indians existed first in the US before they were fucked over by the european settlers who now rule the country and own all the land? if every country had to go back to the borders it had last time the Jewish people were actually in the promised land then the world would be very different. That is never going to happen though, and most people would not want it to.

The two state solution involves pretty much drawing the borders where they are now with the exception of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is sacred ground to Christianity, Islam and Judaism so the only fair option is that it is ruled by no single religion and is shared by all as the cradle of all religions. This is simply the only fair option.

Sure, there are extremists on the arab side who would like to drive into the sea, they have to realise that simply will not happen. There are also people within Israel though who view the promised land, as handed down to the Jews by god as sacred and that includes all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates rivers, these people also have to realise that driving that many Arabs from their current homes is also out of the question. Once all parties back away from these extremes only then will there be peace.

about a month ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Ash Vince Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

Everyone can say whatever they want, but this much is worth repeating: If Hamas, etc., disarmed, there would be peace. If Israel disarmed, they would be utterly destroyed.

What utter crap. Who would destroy them?

Egypt is now a puppet state of the US, that is why the army threw the Muslim brotherhood out of power. Syria is too fucked to have a go at anyone, and most other countries nearby like Jordan would not want to do anything to upset the US. The only country that would consider attacking Israel now is Iran and they do not actually have a border with them.

The only people who still have a grievance with Israel are Gaza and Palestine, and they would never be in a position to use military force to take Israel back for the Arabs. The truth is that the only problem with Israel giving up its huge armed forces that the US subsidises is that they would have to stop expanding.

about a month ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Ash Vince Re:Radicalization (868 comments)

No, Israel has no territorial claim to Gaza strip.

Not everyone in Israel agrees with this. The hardcore Zionists consider it part of the promised land that was given to the Israelites by god.

about a month ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Here in the UK we had a 50% tax rate imposed on the very richest a few years ago. There were lots of stories about how this was going to drive away people who were successful abroad but in the end it made very little difference

Was it a personal income tax, or a capital gains tax?

I suspect the latter, which would explain why the very richest were not actually bothered all that much.

Income tax actually, although over here is there is less difference than you would think.

about a month ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Even when people are supposedly more mobile, moving is a big thing for most people so they do not do it.

Here in the UK we had a 50% tax rate imposed on the very richest a few years ago. There were lots of stories about how this was going to drive away people who were successful abroad but in the end it made very little difference because while these sort of exceeding rich people might threaten to take their family somewhere else, but then when they talk to their wife and she refuses to move more than a 20 minute drive from her family and refuses to move the kids out of school and away from their friends.

as well as moving, people at that level can move their income elsewhere, pension it, or defer it to avoid the tax. Avoidance is not illegal (evasion is).

Key issue with the 50% rate is - did it raise 20% more money than the 40%, for incomes over 100k ? If not, then people _did_ move either themselves or their income, and the country's finances got less benefit.

HMRC reckons the income moved - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2... - chart on P28 is very interesting, 25% fall in total declared income over 150k, on the introduction of the tax. Other stats: before 50% tax rate 16,000 people with income over £1M, after - 6000. Gradually increased to 10,000 in following years, but that is still 6k people with 1M+ income who went somewhere else (at least 2Bn in tax they would have paid at 40% rate, gone).

Actually what happened was that many bankers deferred their bonus payments then took them after the rate was abolished. This means the stats are pretty worthless. If it had stayed on the books for a few more years it might have worked, but since people were allowed to just defer paying tax at the higher rate until after it was abolished we will never really know.

about a month ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Crazy (778 comments)

. Case in point, gas stations used to employ yonge ppl in usa to wipe your windshield, check tire pressure, oil level and of course pump gas for you. With the govt created inflation and its political game to make it look like it cares and thus raising minimum wage over time these jobs disappeared.

What utter crap.

Part of the reason those jobs disappeared because people filling their cars up started being driven to buy the cheapest gas they could, that often meant going to gas stations where you served yourself. The end of the gas station attendant probably had more to do with the price of oil going up sharply in the 80's than minimum wage. People were forced to economise, but when the prices started going down again by then they were used to filling their cars up themselves so few businesses bothered moving back to the old system.

The other huge factor now is trust, and this is probably more important than minimum wage and the reason above. Back in the late 70s the only indicator of how much fuel you bought was on the pump. That nice fella who wiped your wind shield was actually doing it because you the business could not do without him, they needed him to use the pump so they knew how much fuel you used and how much to charge you. Once technology enabled the till in the store to be connected to the pump and CCTV to monitor the whole place and record the licence plate of anyone who drove off without paying the businesses realised that customers could be trusted to serve themselves.

This is just another example of technology doing someone out of a job .

about a month and a half ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Crazy (778 comments)

Minimum wage is actually minimum ability. It cannot extract non-existing money from small business, but it can prevent people with abilities that are below minimum wage from finding jobs

The assumes that business hires people it does not really need, they don't. Any sensible business hire the minimum number of people they need at any one time, there is a little bit of slack as businesses hold on to people they might not need now but might need in a month or two but that is usually a symptom of the cost to train someone up again if you let them go.

In light of this, all that happens when you raise minimum wage is that employers pay more and then have to raise their prices a little to cover it. If a business lets someone go as a result of the minimum wage increasing then that business must be able to do with out them anyway, or they are right on the edge of bankruptcy and are letting someone go who they cannot do without, but in my experience businesses like that are doomed anyway since they are clearly not profitable anyway.

None of this is to say that large increases in the minimum wage would be a good idea, but a slight increase to cover inflation is not going to do anywhere near as much harm as the media make out. Of course very few news outlets in the US put this view across though because they are generally owned by people who are very rich and will have to pay their cleaners and nannies more if the minimum wage goes up.

about a month and a half ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Ash Vince Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Moving to the state whose laws work best for you may work for people who can move, but I expect the people affected by these laws are pretty closely representative of the set of people who can't move.

Even when people are supposedly more mobile, moving is a big thing for most people so they do not do it.

Here in the UK we had a 50% tax rate imposed on the very richest a few years ago. There were lots of stories about how this was going to drive away people who were successful abroad but in the end it made very little difference because while these sort of exceeding rich people might threaten to take their family somewhere else, but then when they talk to their wife and she refuses to move more than a 20 minute drive from her family and refuses to move the kids out of school and away from their friends.

A few years ago I wanted to move to the states as there were few companies that I could have worked for that might have appreciated a few niche skills I had picked up in their field. Although I would have been a ton financially better off in the states and we could have bought a much bigger house to start a family in than the 3 bedroom London house we have now, my wife would not have moved that far away from the family support. I could have explained how the US tax code would have benefited us until I was blue in the face but she simple wouldn't have cared enough to pay attention.

The idea that people will move is just a scare story that the rich use to try and maintain the ability to pay less in taxes or employers use to justify being able to pay as little in wages as possible.

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

The entire Israel is "land that has been stolen from others", depending on who you ask (e.g. Hamas believes that to be the case). So if Israel stops expanding, or even lets go of most of what it took after 1948, the rockets won't stop flying.

I personally think that if Israel stopped tearing down Palestinian homes and agreed to the immediate formation of a Palestinian state with borders that were where they are now then peace could be attainable. The huge problem though is that many Zionist Jews would find that utterly unacceptable as it as such a departure from the promised land as it was given to the Jews by god.

I don't think Israel needs to tear down a single settlement, just promise not to build any more and then actually live up to that promise for a year or two.

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (379 comments)

Their not allowed to repair the buildings as concrete is on the list of goods that Israel prevents from being imported:

Seriously? Let's think about this:

He says if Hamas stops with the rockets, they can use the money to make repairs to buildings.
You say "but they can't fix stuff because they can't get concrete".
Israel says they can't import concrete because they keep launching rockets.

Hrm. I don't know about you, but I think I see a solution somewhere in there.

Even during the last ceasefire the blockade was still in effect so it is not as simple as you suggest.

about a month and a half ago
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The Least They Could Do: Amazon Charges 1 Cent To Meet French Free Shipping Ban

Ash Vince Re: Not France vs US (309 comments)

Screw france and any other country that thinks they have a right to control how markets operate.

How about screw companies that want to do business in a local area without following local laws?

Does your same logic apply to columbians who want to sell crack in the US? That is just the good all free market too isn't it?

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

Using a nuclear device at high altitude? You do know what happens if you do that, right? That one test bomb knocked out street lights and long distance phone service nearly 1000 miles away and took out a third of all satellites in orbit around Earth at that point in time.

Yup, that is the point. You do not have to actually HIT the incomming nuke, as the effects of nuclear weapons in the upper atmosphere cover such a huge area. Like I said in my post, the outcome you describe is a far better one for the US that a nuke landing on Washington or New York.

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

I understand that of the 120+ people killed in Gaza in the past week, about 20 were civilians (not militants).

No, 20 were children. The number of civilians is more like 53 according to this article: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/israe...

Thank you for that link. I was going by the figures that Hamas provides, not by the Gaza ministry of health. I wonder if Hamas inflates its numbers to show that they being targetted, or if the ministry of health is unaware of some of the people being affiliated with Hamas.

Either way, it shows that there are statistics, and there is the truth!

Hamas probably try and bolster their numbers by counting all adults as being serving members :)

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (379 comments)

f you count the prices of the missiles launched at Israel, you'd have enough to get food to most of the Palestinians, to repair most of the buildings, to create medic centers, schools, ...

Their not allowed to repair the buildings as concrete is on the list of goods that Israel prevents from being imported:

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

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

You might want to research other population swaps, both forced and non-forced. I am aware of what was done to the Muslims who stayed in Beersheba, which is nothing in comparison to what happened to the Jews who were forced out of their homes in Muslim states at the same time. Your recollection of history is one sided.

You seem to ignore that Israel is STILL doing this now though. The IDF tears down hundreds of Palestinian homes each year in the name of punishing those involved in terrorism, and the dept of agriculture builds more and more Israeli settlements. You might do it more slowly now, but the end result is still that Israel is expanding and taking more and more land.

Do you actually want Israel to be the size of this map?

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

The problem is that other people live there now and they have a right to carry on living there.

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

Why the hell are you still living there?

It's my home.

The Palestinians who have their houses pulled down each year to make way for more Jewish settlements probably said that too. That is the real problem, until Israel stops expanding on land that is being stolen from others around it this conflict will carry on.

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

I understand that of the 120+ people killed in Gaza in the past week, about 20 were civilians (not militants).

No, 20 were children. The number of civilians is more like 53 according to this article: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/israe...

about a month and a half ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ash Vince Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

I worked on the beginning of Regan's Star Wars project. We viewed the problem as one in which you try to stop a bullet with a bullet. Add long range and intelligence to the bullet and the problem gets harder.The problem is hard and physics places many constraints on the solution. At one point management thought that space based defense was what we wanted until we showed that the time/distances were too great to be effective. Now we just have a scaled back terminal defense with very limited capabilities.

After all these years the only value that I think that missile defense has is PR. Effective? Not really. Forget Star Wars the movie. It's not going to happen.

Star wars to me actually made sense (although maybe not in the way it was pitched to the public).You could use a small nuclear device to screw up a much larger nuclear device while both were at very high altitude. Ok, you are going to cause a shit load of nuclear fallout to come down but hopefully that will be somewhere else like over the atlantic, pacific or mainland Europe. Either way, better a bit of fallout than an actual missile targeted at Washington or New York.

The things about Iron Dome though, is that the rockets they are trying to hit are basically crap. The rockets might have a decent range but they have no way of targeting them so they generally do sod all apart from scare people. Hamas have been launching them for days with no real effect in the latest conflict but even if you go back years they have very rarely killed or even hit anyone. Israel on the other hand kill hundreds of Palestinian civilians every year with their very advanced military hardware, often provided by the US for free.

Don't get me wrong, I think the launching of rockets randomly against the civilian population of Israel is utterly wrong, but the reality seems to be that both sides are quite happy to kill civilians on the other side its just that Israel is much better at it.

Maybe, the people of Gaza should all just up and leave so that Israel can have its promised land. It's not like then being there is stopping Israel building new settlements anyway and with the US always backing Israel there is no chance of that changing.

about a month and a half ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

Ash Vince Re: How about (385 comments)

"pro-unrestrained capitalist propaganda" I guess is what leftists are calling anything that disagrees with their own viewpoints. Funny how we're all supposed to be tolerant of different opinions, until those opinions don't follow left-wing thought. Then the most vile denunciations are appropriate to use, and dehumanizing your targets is a suitable response. Sickening, but here we are.

Hey, I am not advocating any sort of violence against you for your opinions so I am tolerating them. I respect your right to be led by those that pay the money into brainwashing you rather than try thinking for yourself, that would be too difficult.

And I don't think this of everyone who disagrees with my own viewpoint, even those who are on the right wing side of the political spectrum. I do think that most people I see espousing smaller government on here though are not actually very well informed on what exactly government does, and why it is a bad idea. I also think that most of them do not really every try to make an informed judgement by reading about things from a wide variety of political perspectives in order to come an informed decision.

about 2 months ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

Ash Vince Re: How about (385 comments)

...in most of Europe the view that governments should be reigned in is not so widespread as the governments there do a better job.

Somebody please, mod this funny, as we watch the continent burn under the revival of old time fascism of right wing nationalists.

Lol, if you lived here you would realise that is far from the case. Right wing parties did well in a few recent european elections, but they did NOT win enough votes to form any sort of majority government. Most of Europes current government is pretty centrist, certainly compared to the US.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Bleszinski: "I'll never make another disc-based game"

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  about 6 months ago

Ash Vince (602485) writes "Ex-Epic design chief Cliff Bleszinski has had it with disc-based games.

In a new interview with Gamasutra, the former Gears of War designer said he wanted to make a PC game in the modern online environment that allows creators to have closer relationships with their players."

Link to Original Source
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Save MySQL petition

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ash Vince (602485) writes "A petition has been started which aims to try and ensure an open source future for MySQL after the acquisition of SUN by Oracle.

In April 2009, Oracle announced that it had agreed to acquire Sun. Since Sun had acquired MySQL the previous year, this would mean that Oracle, the market leader for closed source databases, would get to own MySQL, the most popular open source database.

If Oracle acquired MySQL on that basis, it would have as much control over MySQL as money can possibly buy over an open source project. In fact, for most open source projects (such as Linux or Apache) there isn't any comparable way for a competitor to buy even one tenth as much influence. But MySQL's success has always depended on the company behind it that develops, sells and promotes it. That company (initially MySQL AB, then Sun) has always owned the important intellectual property rights (IPRs), most notably the trademark, copyright and (so far only for defensive purposes) patents. It has used the IPRs to produce income and has reinvested a large part of those revenues in development, getting not only bigger but also better with time."

Link to Original Source
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Subversion for Database Changes

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Ash Vince (602485) writes "Where I work we have recently moved to subversion to manage our codebase. We have been running it for several months and have now had a number of successful releases of our software using it. As far as source code management it seems to do everything we need but since the application we provide is heavily database reliant we need something to track changes to both table structure and content of certain tables.

Since we cannot be the only people in this situation what solutions have other people come up with to fill this gap. At present we have been using a text file containing the SQL which we then keep in our subversion repository. This just about does what we need but seems a bit messy. Is there a better solution out there?

(In case its relevant we use MySQL as a database server)"

Journals

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Google Blocks Pings

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Google are now not responding to pings from the outside world so all of us who ping their servers to check if the internet is up now have to find any something else to ping instead.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a decent site you can ping to see if your local internet connection has crashed?

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Slashdot - Are you getting paid to read it?

Ash Vince Ash Vince writes  |  more than 6 years ago

After reading the Media Defender email leak recently it got me wondering as to how many other companies actually pay their employees to read slashdot. In the case of media defender it seems as though they pay staff to read it but probably don't mind them posting the occasional comment as at one point they talk about a comment being friendly and ask if it was one them posting it.

This led me to wonder how many people actually read and post on slashdot through choice nowadays. Now don't get me wrong, this is not one of those moaning posts where people just carp on about dupes and the like, but I am curious as to how many other companies might have people in their public relations departments reading slashdot, digg and other tech sites to keep them appraised of how well received a particular campaign or product is.

We know there was the whole Intel section recently but alot of companies that are currently less well liked here amongst the regular users (I can think of one in Redmond in particular) would not want to draw any attention to their staff involvement, even if it was only supposed to be in an observational capacity. This also assumes that if you paid staff to read slashdot all day they would be able to resist the urge to post the occasional comment.

Then there are all the strangely modded comments. Even if you were only supposed to READ slashdot, if you happened to log in one day and noticed you had some points, would you not be tempted to use them? The more paranoid amongst us might even realise it would be possible to write a script which looked at a number of different slashdot accounts and inspected the HTML after they were logged in and flagged any that did have mod points. And this is assuming the captcha prevents automated account creation and has not been defeated as well.

If I was getting paid to read slashdot, I would not mind spending a few minutes each day signing up a new account. Then at the end of the day the account gets entered into a database and as soon as the random mod points come round, bingo. I would be very surprised if I am the first person to realise how easily this could be achieved.

Some of you regular readers will also remember that someone recently wrote an algorithm to rate how reliable an article on wikipedia is (http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/31/0259224&from=rss). So does anyone out there have any ideas how we would do this for slashdot to flag up corporate trolls in a similar way? Then they might me able to read, but any regular posting be counter productive if the site could flag your posts with who was paying you.

On another similar note, could any of the paid readers here tell me how they got into the gig, as I would really like to get paid to sit about and read slashdot too.

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