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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Gorshkov Re:Can I have some of what you're smoking? (334 comments)

A land-grab in the ocean? The Battle of Ellesmere Island?

I think there's about as much chance of having a small arms conflict in the Arctic as there is of Putin invading Greenland riding a polar bear. What exactly do you envision? Canadian troops invading Novaya Zemlya? The Arctic is unpopulated in a way that is difficult to describe. There is no one to shoot, and even getting there is a huge logistical problem. I'm pretty sure you've never been to the Arctic, but for the sake of argument, is there any basis to these ideas of yours?

It's when reading things like this that I miss the Cold War ..... :)

CFS Alert, on the northern tip if Ellesmere Island is an intelligence station (COMINT & SIGINT). I had two tours there, 6 months each, during the lat '70s.

During my 2nd tour, we had a base defense exercise. The scenario (such as it was), was that for some strange reason, the Soviets decided to drop a regiment of paratroopers to attack the base while the Bears flew overhead to rain nuclear destruction on North America. Our mission was to defend the base - specifically, the operations building - long enough to destroy all the classified material contained therein.

We were freaking squints, not frikking pongos ....... even so, they figured we should be able to hold out for 4-6 hours before being overrun. Personally, I think they were being optimistic.

Too bad they also discovered that it would take us 3-4 weeks to destory all the classified material .......

about 2 months ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Gorshkov Re:May I suggest (334 comments)

Except in this case, their not military. Police have different requirements than the military, not the least of which is sticking to a budget.

Except the Rangers *are* military. Their officers are Army, they are trained by the Army, supplied by the Army, and paid by the Army.

about 2 months ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Gorshkov Re: May I suggest (334 comments)

Full disclosure: I'm 56 years old, and still own a Lee-Enfield that was given to me by my father when I was 13, which originally belonged to HIS father. It still works as well as it did the day I got it.

I grew up in Labrador, hunting fishing and camping. I had two tours of CFS Alert, at 82 deg 30 min North. I've been to Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Churchill, Tuktoyuktuk, Iqualiuit, and very many places in between. Believe me, I've seen cold - but cold isn't even the biggest problem.

The Rangers are generally either Innu or Amerind. Technically, they are on duty or on call 24/7. Most of those involved in the Rangers still follow their traditional lifestyles - they hunt, fish, and trap for a living, and spend their time outdoors.

They don''t carry multiple weapons - they don't have the space or weight to spare, given the rest of their kit. That's why the Lee-Enfield has lasted as long as it has - it can be used to hunt for seal, moose or caribou, or defence against moose (ugly, nasty brutes - very evil tempered), wolves, or polar bears. You can hit a target out to about 350 yards or so - more than sufficient for any practical use, and long enough that you don't have to do extra laundry because a polar bear decided that you looked like a snack.

In the meantime - the rifle is carried around on your back while you're going through thick brush, getting banged and nicked as you go. It's sitting in the bottom of a canoe, or a kayak. it's getting banged around while sitting on the running boards of the snowmobile. It's in the bottom of a 12 foot motor boat while you go from island to island in the Arctic Ocean, getting banged around and covered with salt spray. It's stuffed where ever it can fit on the dogsled (yes, they are still used in some places). And after all that crap and abuse, you just have to pick the thing up, and it will hit what you aim at. No fuss, no muss.

Bottom line: Stand me in the world's best gun shop, give me unlimited credit, and tell me I can take one - and ONLY one weapon. I'll take the Lee-Enfield, every time. And I'll still be using it when every other weapon there has died of old age or just disintegrated because of the environment.

I pity the poor bastard that has to make the decision on the replacement. I'm just glad it's not me.

about 2 months ago
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Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Gorshkov Re:Why just vaccines? (493 comments)

People with any number of diseases are a potential public health threat. HIV comes to mind. But putting health records into one big database might allow for the types of research to identify patterns of disease that don't rise above the 1 in 1000 or 1 in 10,000 threshold that most studies are limited to. Picking on vaccinations rather than just linking all health records to a centralized database seems narrow and punitive rather that good public policy.

Except that you're not going to catch HIV from somebody standing next to you at the bus stop, just because they said hello to you and breathed in your general direction

about 7 months ago
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New Russian Fighter Not Up To Western Standards

Gorshkov Re:Hrm...fuck off (354 comments)

Except, nothing according to ANY wiki can be considered to be anything but suspect. Personal (and professional) opinion is that they did exist. -- signed, somebody who has an honours degree in Soviet & East European Studies, and has used the name Gorshkov (yes, from the self-same Admiral) on the internet since the early '80s.

about a year ago
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New Russian Fighter Not Up To Western Standards

Gorshkov Re:Hrm...fuck off (354 comments)

model villages to model aircraft - an (obvious, I think) reference to Potemkin Villages. And a damned good comparison, at that.

about a year ago
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Russian Government Takes Over Country's 289-year Old Scientific Academy

Gorshkov Re:Truly a shame (192 comments)

Back during the Cold War the question was often posed, is Russia the most backward advanced country in the world, or the most advanced backward country in the world

The "rule of thumb" breakdown was like this: Anything that required physical equipment (powerful computers, test rigs, etc) they sucked at, because they didn't have it. Anything that did NOT require physical equipment (mathematics, optics, theoretical physics, etc), they excelled at.

I remember when I was doing my linguist course while in the Navy, back in '82. One of my instructor's husband had PhD in physics - they were Jewish, and had only been able to leave the Soviet Union the year before. He saw the chess programme I had on my Radio Shack Model I (yes, I'm that old), and nearly freaked - not because of the chess programme, but because he'd never seen a computer that powerful - and he couldn't believe he could just go to the store and actually *buy* one.

about a year ago
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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

Gorshkov Re:It was a myth (986 comments)

Actually French Candians speak a more historical accurate french than people from France.

Same for Newfoundlanders, if you want to be accurate.

Am I the only one here who understood my comment to be a joke?

about a year ago
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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

Gorshkov Re:It was a myth (986 comments)

Maybe but French Canadians have such a wonderful french accent. That excuses everything else.

Calling what is spoken in Quebec "French" is just as silly as saying what is spoken in Newfoundland is "English"

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

Gorshkov You already answered (331 comments)

You answered your question in your question. To wit:

.... and has been parroting what his subordinates have told him without question.

In other words, he's not managing.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Chinese Hacking Is Only Part of the U.S. Security Problem

Gorshkov Just plain silly (101 comments)

The whole idea that China should be 'held responsible' for the hacking is just plain silly on it's face. Governments and private corporations have been spying on each other ever since the first cave man tried to keep a secret.

Can you imagine during the cold war of the US President went to Stalin and said "please stop spying on us"? Because that's exactly what's been suggested here.

about a year and a half ago
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The Canadian Government's War On Science

Gorshkov Re:US Government's War On Science (474 comments)

Well, I grew up in a small town myself - only 3,500 - in the interior of Labrador. It don't get no smaller than that :)

Also, the riding of Ottawa-Vanier wasn't exactly what you would call The Big CIty ....... Vanier was (still is?) a small French slum surrounded by Ottawa. We had grade 8 kids come to the campaign office asking questions for their social studies classes who literally couldn't speak a word of English. It honestly reminded me of being on the North Shore up past Quebec City, it was so provincial.

about a year and a half ago
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The Canadian Government's War On Science

Gorshkov Re:Excuse me? (474 comments)

You must be a conservative. Despite that fact, it is still based on valid science.

There is a big difference between thinking that Climate Change is a myth, and being against Kyoto. I am a (Canadian) conservative.

Do I think that climate change is real? Yes.
Do I think it's mostly man-made? Yes.
Do I think Kyoto is a GOOD THING(tm)? No freaking way.

Kyoto exempted two of the biggest carbon producers in the world - India & China - from having to reduce their emissions, while expecting the developed world to not only reduce theirs, but to PAY EVERYBODY ELSE TO DO NOTHING.

Kyoto, in practice, was more about wealth redistribution to the developing world than climate change.

And in the specific Canadian case ..... the Jean Cretien government, which actually signed the treaty, did absolutely nothing to implement it - to the point where not only did we NOT reduce our emissions, but they had actually increased by a rather large percent - to the point where we would have had to shut down every gasoline & diesel engine in the country for a year to even begin to meet it's objectives. All the Tories did was call a spade a spade, and face reality.

about a year and a half ago
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The Canadian Government's War On Science

Gorshkov Re:US Government's War On Science (474 comments)

There are other reasons why the Conservative Party got that majority; it would be an exaggeration to say we elected them.

Reality Check: It ain't just the Tories. I remember one particular election I was working on for the Tories in the 80s. It was in Ottawa-Vanier, a riding that had elected a Tory only *once* since Confederation. That was back in the 1920s, when - for one election - Rockliffe (old money, filthy rich part of Ottawa) had been included in the riding. It was removed next election, and everything went back to Red, where it's been ever since. The previous election, the LIberals had won by over 22,000 votes - the Tories didn't even get their deposit back, which means they got less than 10% of the vote. It was about as safe a seat as could possibly exist. So, what happened? The Liberals "forgot" to enumerate whole apartment buildings in polls that had gone Tory the previous election. Signs were ripped down literally faster than we could put them back up. On election day, they moved the polls in Tory areas without notice. In the 6 polls that I was an scrutineer for, my Liberal counterparts literally tried to disqualify every Tory vote they came across.

The moral of the story is this: bad behavior during elections is hardly confined to the Tories. There are idiots on *all* sides - what saves us is our system, which is pretty good at catching this sort of thing, and the fact the the idiots are rare IN ALL PARTIES.

I think you need some more windex for your glass house there.

about a year and a half ago
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Canadian File Sharing Plaintiff Admits To Copyright Trolling

Gorshkov Re:A Sad Day for Canada (87 comments)

The problem is the First-Past-The-Post election system. If you say that General B'weto received less than 40% of the votes in the Republic of Masuto, but rules with absolute power, this person will be called a dictator. Now look at Canada's latest election results. Yes. The Ruler received just under 40% of the votes. Less than 4-in-10 voters gave their support. But the rule with absolute majority.

1) First-Past-The-Post favours different parties at different times - it all works out in the end, provided you think about time scales larger than one meal to the next. One thing it *does* do, is give a party chance to form a stable government and actually govern. In most proportional systems, you wind up with an almost permanent gridlock system, where the tail winds up wagging the dog. YMMV
2) The Prime Minister does not have absolute power - nothing even close to it.
3) General B'weto will remain in power until he dies, or is overthrown by a coup; any elections he decides to have, will be elections where he gets over 90% of the vote.
4) The WILL be another election - there is no choice in the matter. If the Prime Minster looses, he will leave 24 Sussex Drive on his own, without requiring police escort of military prompting.

Yeah - we live in such a brutal dictatorship.

about 2 years ago
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We Aren't the World: Why Americans Make Bad Study Subjects

Gorshkov Re:If you wanted to know about humans, (450 comments)

But, even if your system in Canada is better, by some metric of measuring health care, I still do not want our inept federal government messing up what health care we do have.

The problem in the USA is not the health care that you do have. The problem is the health care that so many people *don't* have.

about 2 years ago
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We Aren't the World: Why Americans Make Bad Study Subjects

Gorshkov Re:If you wanted to know about humans, (450 comments)

Most of the Arab Spring countries had pretty decent militaries too. Didn't stop them from being overthrown.

Having some really cool bang-bang toys to play with doesn't help you much if the people using them have no training, no spare parts, no discipline, and rely on foreigners to maintain said toys because they find it too much like work.

about 2 years ago
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Mega Vulnerability Reward Program Starts Payouts: 7 Bugs Fixed In First Week

Gorshkov Re:New way to get software made cheap (41 comments)

1. Pay unskilled programmers little money to quickly turn out software.

1. Pay the best programmers you can find and give them the time and resources they need to turn out a top quality product.

2. Release software you know is completely buggy and insecure.

2. Release software after it has been tested in every way you can think of, and fix even the smallest bugs you can find.

3. Offer bounty for better programmers to find bugs at overall cheaper rate.

This step remains the same - because it doesn't matter who you hire, how good they are, or how much time they have - any significant software system is so complex that only a total idiot would assume there are no bugs.

about 2 years ago
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PayPal Preparing To Address Frozen Funds Policy

Gorshkov Re:WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (175 comments)

In my experience, if you adhere to their rules, PayPal is about as "evil" as any credit card company or bank I've dealt with. No more, no less.

I would certainly not feel it necessary to "go ballistic" if a colleague suggested dealing with them.

Big difference - banks are regulated, paypal is not. What the banks can and cannot do, and WHEN they can and cannot do it, is very precicely defined by regulators. What papal can and cannot do, and when, is absolutely up to them, with no oversight whatsoever. As far as "going ballistic" is concerned - I'm guilty of hyperbole. Sue me.

about 2 years ago
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PayPal Preparing To Address Frozen Funds Policy

Gorshkov WAAAAAAAAAY too little, too late. (175 comments)

Until recently, I was on the board of directors for a local homeless shelter here in town. RIght now, we're in the middle of planning a major fundraiser. When it was suggested that we get a paypal account so that people could purchase tickets on-line, I went ballistic - I've heard way too many horror stories over the years. I'm not sure others on the fundraising committee quite believed everything I said, but my reaction was so strong it spooked them, and they backed off the idea completly. Paypal's changes will have to be effective, and in place for a very long, long time before they even have a *chance* of having people like me deal with them. That's a very large part of the market they've never had, and quite possibly never will.

about 2 years ago

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