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In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

Savage-Rabbit Re:About Fucking Time (370 comments)

Make no mistake, this is about nothing less than money and power, and has nothing to do with the fact that it may be long overdue.

Actually, I'm guessing that this has more to do with the fact that Obama is now a lame duck President who is desparately looking to establish some sort of lasting legacy.

Plus he has nothing to loose by pissing off the Republicans who aren't going to approve a single bill his administration pushes anyway even if they had to do it to save their lives. Hell, half of those people don't even believe he was born in the USA. Of course Obama is going to veto all the most important stuff the Tea party and the Republican want to do so basically everything is exactly like the Tea-baggers and Republicans like it. Congress will be in complete and utter gridlock for at least another two years, four if you get a Democratic president (read: Hilary Clinton, which will have every Republican/Tea-bagger reaching for his vampire killing kit). Every time I despair over the state of politics in my own country I take a look at the US congress and the way your Republicans and Democrats are behaving like a bunch of petulent kindergarteners to remind me that things could be a lot worse. Compared to the lot of morons you guys have managed to vote into office my lot looks like a panel of Nobel prize winners.

yesterday
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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Savage-Rabbit Re:You don't know your Bible or your history (865 comments)

In the book of Numbers, chapter 31, Moses orders the murder of every man, woman, and child in a city that was promised to his own people. When his army came back with children prisoners of war, he rebuked them, ordered them to slay the male children on the spot, and allowed them to keep the female children for themselves as spoils of war (there are plenty of other stories similar to this about the OT, and involving Moses specifically).

So, yeah, warlord.

And about Constantine founding Christianity...

When the religion was illegal by Roman law, there were many separate Christianities with very different beliefs (and they quarreled with one another, as well as with the Jews that wanted to stay Jewish). Once Constantine decided to make Christianity the official religion of Rome, he also picked the specific set of churches that he agreed with and established their representatives as the proper religious authorities. They promptly declared the other varieties of Christianity to all be heresy, had their books burned (some recently recovered in the Nag Hammadi library revealing just how different these Christianities were).

So, Christianity (or at least Catholicism) as we know it today was very much the work of Constantine.

Let's not forget either that Constantine's personally approved proper religious authorities didn't just clamp down on Christians that didn't agree with them they embarked on a campaign of destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalising pagan temples, tombs and monuments as well as raping and murdering adherents of these religions who weren't willing to see the light and accept the state approved flavour of Christianity (i.e. the same basic package heretic Christians were treated to). Examples of Christian intolerance and willingness to subject minority religions and secular groups to extreme persecutions and violence (which is a base insult to everything Christ preached) are legion.

You can find examples of such violence and intolerance beginning at the moment Christianity became dominant enough to be able to afford committing such atrocities and they continue until today with one of the latest, worst and most frequently forgotten being the mass murder of Moslems in Bosnia by Christian Croats and Serbs. It pisses me off every time Christian fanatics in my community try to portray Christianity as the religion of love charity and peace while Islam is the religion of war and hate, yet whenever I bring up the subject of Bosnia and what was done there in the name of Christianity they are unwilling to even discuss the issue. The obvious conclusion is that Christianity is not an inherently violent religion any more than Islam is even if some of it's adherents have found clever ways to user these religions to rationalise acts of violence and downright inhuman criminal acts like blowing yourself up on a bus, sawing peoples heads off on camera, torching places of worship or setting up a concentration camp camp where the local Christian perverts can get their rocks off raping moslem women. I don't really see the difference between the way the Serbs behaved with their rape campaigns in Bosnia and the way ISIS is doing by selling Yazidi women in markets in Syria like cattle at an auction.

3 days ago
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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

Savage-Rabbit Impressive (160 comments)

And Hitler only wanted to improve Germany, therefore his actions are righteous.

You managed to Godwin this thread on with the fifth post.

4 days ago
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Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

Savage-Rabbit Re:EUgle? (237 comments)

Huh. I just Googled "Free email account" and the first three links were mail.com, gmx.com and yahoo.com. Google's GMail came in fourth. I guess Google doesn't understand how to properly bundle/discriminate against competitors given they're not doing what you say they can/are doing.

I suppose this could not possibly be because Google dialled down the abuse now that they are under the microscope of the EU competition authorities? I have to say I am in awe of how you managed to render any anti competitive investigation of Google's business practices unnecessary with a single web search!

about three weeks ago
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Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

Savage-Rabbit Re:EUgle? (237 comments)

We tended to scream because we were forced to pay for Microsoft's software when we bought computers, and despite non-Microsoft software being the preferred software for some types, Microsoft bundled their lesser-software with their OS and even when we changed to something else, made it prompt to try to become the preferred application again.

When I open my web browser, if it's Microsoft's, I default to Microsoft's Bing search engine. If I choose a different browser then I probably default to Google, but I can change it and it stays changed. I am also not required to use Google as my default start page, and I can visit any site on the Internet that I choose. I am not required to use a search engine if I know the URL that I want to go to, and even if I use Google to search for the name of another company that does something that Google also does, I get that company's result first, not after Google's own product. Funny enough, Bing's search for "maps" brings up Google's maps for me as the top link.

I don't think that Google takes away the consumer's choice in the way Microsoft's policies do. Microsoft doesn't provide links to competitors' software. Google may provide links to their own services first, but they don't provide only links to their own services.

Personally I think they'd have a much better argument, though still incomplete, arguing on Android instead in how it uses Google Mail and other Google services, but since Apple is so strong in phones and tablets that would be hard to support.

Like I tried to explain to presidenteloco this isn't about a monopoly per se. What we are talking here is Google leveraging their search engine monopoly to take away the consumer's right to choose services that compete with Google's which IIRC is one of the things people got their panties in a twist over when Microsoft tried to do it, i.e. Microsoft decided to get in on the some segment of the software business , so they built their own Microsoft brand specialist software and bundled it with their OS with the result that hardly anybody bothered to investigate competing alternatives. They took away consumer choice by leveraging their dominant desktop OS to kill off competitors just like Google is now leveraging its dominant search engine to put links to the products of competing service providers on the second page of search results or some similar skullduggery. That's a conflict of interest. It was recognized by German law makers back in the 12th century that it's a bad idea for a physician to be his own apothecary because they invented diseases so that they could sell drugs to cure them and for the same reason it is bad for Microsoft to have their consumer and OS software operations in the same business unit and for Google to have the same business unit that handles web searches also pushing Google services. It encourages them to abuse one to gain a competitive advantage for the other.

about three weeks ago
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Slack Now Letting Employers Tap Workers' Private Chats

Savage-Rabbit Re:Not a good name for enterprise (79 comments)

Wouldn't "Work Hard" be a better name for your app?

Product names should be descriptive. How about Quisling? ... or Canary? ... Stool Pigeon? ... Rat? ... Grass?

about three weeks ago
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Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

Savage-Rabbit Re:uh, no? (340 comments)

How about the Dutch preliminary report, that contains those photos?

I'll wait for the final report thank you very much.

about a month ago
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Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

Savage-Rabbit Re:uh, no? (340 comments)

> that the airplane was hit by a continuous rod warhead

It absolutely was not. The images of the fragments *clearly* show shrapnel, and there isn't any evidence of anything hitting the plane that's longer than maybe an inch.

And you are basing this on what? A few low resolution pictures in some news reports?

about a month ago
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Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

Savage-Rabbit Re:uh, no? (340 comments)

I've watched the Russian original, and it's very weird. Their claim is that pilot first strafed the cockpit with guns which resulted in cockpit detaching from the aircraft, which they claim Dutch investigators have confirmed. The goal was apparently to silence the crew and prevent calls for help. Then the aircraft fired a heat seeker into the engines causing aircraft to spin out of control and crash.

Their other point on the other hand sounded much more reasonable. They note that BUK missile makes a very brightly visible plume and persistent smoke trail as it goes through its trajectory, and there were apparently no confirmed instances of footage of this in relation to the plane. Considering just how obviously exceptional it would look in the sky and how many photos there are of pretty much anything weird happening in the warring region, it does sound odd that no one got any footage of the missile. It should be visible for tens of kilometers in all directions.

Overall, the case is getting stranger with every revelation.

Why would they bother with the missile if they had disabled the flight deck?

Because this is is an really strange story that does not make sense on any level. I would have expected better fiction, even from a conspiracy theorist. The fighter in that picture looks like a MiG-29 or a Su-27 to me. The UkAF has both of these fighters and they can fire BVR missiles. BVR missiles are big fat 3.5-4 meter long monsters with a massive range and a large warhead intented for air to air use for anything up to bomber and large transport sized aircraft. The main BVR missile variants used by the RuAF and the UkAF are the R-27 (Nato code: AA-10) and the newer R-77 (Nato code: AA-12). The range of the AA-10 and AA-12 BVR missiles is something like 80-110 kilometers. I'm not sure if the Ukrainians have any AA-12s but they definitely have the older AA-10 whose seekers they have extensively upgraded to the point where they are still able to sell the AA-10 abroad for use on modernized MiG-29s and SU-27/30s with other air forces. So why the hell would a Ukrainian air force fighter have had to shut up the crew of MH17 with gunfire before downing the airliner with a WVR missile (presumably an AA-11, 7kg fragmenting warhead) when they could have picked MH17 off with a more powerful AA-10 radar guided missile (which has a 39 kg fragmenting warhead) that more closely mimics a BUK? I'm pretty sure that even if a UkAF fighter had fired a BVR missile from a 60 degree cone behind MH17 to make sure the crew did not see it coming (a more realistic scenario), they could still have fired it from about 25 km away and that missile would have come like a bat out of hell for the crew of MH17. They wouldn't have known what hit them, i.e. no need for gunfire and with a 39 kg warhead... you can imagine the rest.

about a month ago
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Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

Savage-Rabbit Re:You don't have it straight ... (328 comments)

If he taught people to beat a polygraph and **always** said to never lie to government investigators he would not be in trouble.

So it's okay to lie to other people?

And his methods are universal. I find it funny how people can teach about beating a pseudoscientific lie detector without a problem up until someone tells them that they're going to use the methods to beat a government polygraph test. Then it's somehow 'bad.'

Word! Here's another similar conundrum: Is it OK to teach people how to manipulate a ouija board session until you teach people how to manipulate the outcome of a ouija board session being run by the government for the purpose of contacting the spirit of a murder victim in order to solve that person's murder? This is a completely ridiculous situation no matter how you look at it. Polygraphs are pseudo science and as such a completely unreliable metric for determining truthfulness. It's not the people who teach others to beat these gizmos who should be answering to a judge. The ones who should be in deep trouble with the law are the government officials who use polygraphs despite their glaring shortcomings as investigative tools, who pressure people into taking polygraph tests and who convince juries that refusal to take a pseudoscientific test is equivalent to an admission of guilt.

about a month ago
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Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

Savage-Rabbit Let me get this straight... (328 comments)

... a former police officer has been dragged into court by the U.S. Department of Justice for teaching people how to beat a pseudoscientific method of detecting whether somebody is lying, a method that itself isn't even admissible as evidence courts in most parts of the world? What's next? Will the surgeon general drag people into court for pointing out that when consuming a homeopathic remedy with 30C dilution, one would need to swallow a volume greater than all the water present in all the oceans of our entire planet in order to stand a good chance of swallowing just one molecule of the original substance?

about a month ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Savage-Rabbit Re:Huh (223 comments)

"It seems to me the design and/or planning of this mission were poorly thought out"

Is the funniest fucking thing I've heard all day. Do you have any idea how well thought out this mission was? FFS look at the trajectory it took 10 YEARS(!) to get to the comet. And you think they overlooked the fact that the comet is craggly?

Jesus-Dunning-Kruger-Christ.

http://www.esa.int/esatv/Video...

True, it's easy to throw snide comments at the people who designed this mission but until now nobody really even knew any details of what the surface of a comet looks like. Furthermore landing on Mars is difficult enough, the success rate for landings on the Martian surface is something like 30%. Getting a probe to rendezvous with a comet and land on the surface is a way bigger achievement. Finally I'm not exactly surprised that some systems failed after almost a decade in space. I just hope they manage to milk the maximum amount of data out of this probe.

about a month ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Savage-Rabbit Re:two bounces (223 comments)

Philae bounced twice, the first bounce was about two hours, the second one 7 minutes. If the gravity on the comet is 1/200,000th that on earth (a reasonable estimate, it varies around the comet because it's *way* not round) then the first bounce was about 1,000 feet off the surface, but the second one was only about three feet. Seven minutes to fly up and down three feet; that's almost impossible to imagine.

I've been watching this mission with a certain degree of anticipation for a while but I'm no space/physics nerd so I have two questions for those who are:

1) How likely is it that anything will come of the drilling now that the harpoons that were supposed to hold the probe down have failed given the low gravity?
2) Will the comet ever again come into a position that might cause the probe to get enough sunlight to do any worthwhile science?

about a month ago
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Study Shows How Humans Can Echolocate

Savage-Rabbit Re:Haha, very funny... (136 comments)

You guys can cack as many jokes as you want but being able to navigate in pitch darkness using echolocation is a pretty awesome skill to have.

Especially when there is a blackout and you are looking for your chocolate.

Mmmmmm..... chocolate.....

about a month ago
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Study Shows How Humans Can Echolocate

Savage-Rabbit Haha, very funny... (136 comments)

You guys can cack as many jokes as you want but being able to navigate in pitch darkness using echolocation is a pretty awesome skill to have.

about a month ago
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Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

Savage-Rabbit Re:Shame, shame! (158 comments)

Actually, it's a sensible behavior. America taxes 39% to corporations regardless of where they earn profit: an American HQ company pays 39% on everything it sells in China and Japan. In most other developed nations, it's different: a German company selling cars in the US pays taxes to the US on the profits from its US sales, but pays no taxes to Germany on those profits; it does pay German taxes on profits made from selling cars in Germany.

Americans are essentially crying about American companies not wanting to make $10 million selling to Britain, pay Britain $2.5 million in taxes, and then pay America $3.9 million in taxes; instead, these companies want to have a British arm headquarters, make $10 million in Britain, and pay $2.5 million to Britain and NOTHING to America.

Actually, by what I have been hearing lately they want to have a British operation doing their European business so they'll be in the EU common market, then they want to route all their $10 million of product sales though a shell company in Luxembourg where they make a secret tax agreement with the authorities to pay taxes of less than 1% while nominally paying the much higher Luxembourg corporate tax and VAT. There are many other variations on this, licence fees, internal loans, etc... but they all boil down to the same thing: you pay no tax. Eric Schmidt may claimed to be very proud of his companies tax structure, IIRC he even called tax avoidance 'capitalism'. I understand the desire of companies and private individuals to minimise their tax bills and that you can over-tax both companies as well as the unwashed masses. However, it pisses me off in a big way how these corporate bozos like Schmidt consider themselves entitled to using infrastructure and services bought and paid for by tax revenue but also consider themselves entitled to not contribute a dime to this infrastructure and the services that enable them to do business in the first place. The state confiscates over a third of my income as taxes and every time I buy something, import something or use a public service they leech some more with VAT, customs fees and miscellaneous other charges while Eric Schmidt and his company hardly pay anything at all. I do not have the option of doing a Irish Sandwich, a Double Dutch or a Luxembourg Flip to reduce my tax bill to zero and if the blood hounds at the tax office want to roast these corporate weasels on a rotisserie over an open flame then all I have to say to that is 'do you guys need any more wood'???'

about a month ago
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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

Savage-Rabbit Re:Pretty cool (267 comments)

Let me ask you this: did we really need a pod race? What does it establish? What does it add? Is it exciting? And yet we spend a good half hour on that bullshit on Tatooine, half an hour that could have been spent observing the ways of the Force. I wonder if there's even a hundred people who liked the original trilogy who had a positive opinion on Watto. Was that something we needed, George Fucking Lucas?

The Pod race? Is that really the worst way you can think of that they ruined Star Wars? They ruined Star Wars for me with the battle of Endor, Awwww ... cute little teddybears. I would not shed any tears if they reshot that entire part of the original trilogy with Wookies like was originally intended (or so some SW fanboy told me). Then they threw in Jar Jar Binks... and that asinine battle between the Gungans and the Droids. A civilisation that can produce shield generators is tossing stuff at the enemy with catapults and throwing cavalry at tanks? Really? I can't decide which is worse. And then there is the scene where Yoda stumbles onto that landing pad with his cane and alluvasudden is he bouncing off the walls like a rubber ball as he duels Count Dooku. The list goes on, and on, and on... The whole movie theatre burst out in hearty laughter when that Yoda/Dooku duel scene came up. For a moment I felt like I was watching a Monty Python movie. I rather like the animated Clone Wars/Rebels series though, since there is a bit less braindead slapstick in it and once in a while you are treated to a scene where the clone troopers and commando droids are behaving in a way that vaguely (emphasise vaguely) resembles the way real soldiers would behave (the regular of the Droids are so stupid even the kids think it's unrealistic). It's really a pity how Lucas and the studio marketing and management monkeys have managed to screw up Star Wars, it's an awesome fantasy universe in many ways. It's also remarkable how popular Star Wars is despite all the ways they have FUBAR'ed it.

about a month and a half ago
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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

Savage-Rabbit Re:No thank you (267 comments)

Might as well be box or cube shaped for all I care.

We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile ...

Wouldn't it be great fun if Star Trek invaded Star Wars?

about a month and a half ago
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PC Cooling Specialist Zalman Goes Bankrupt Due To Fraud

Savage-Rabbit Re:socialism (208 comments)

I'll take free market capitalism over socialsim/communism ANY DAY!
At least in a democratic form, you have the ability to do better.
Under socialism, there is no reward, for doing better, and you become
LAZY, quality of work, goods & services suck.

You mean a free market capitalist democracy where wealth steadily gathers into the hands of an elite clique of super wealthy individuals with the result that the free market capitalist democracy inevitably evolves into a plutocracy where the clique of hereditary plutocrats (aka. the 1%) step on anybody who seeks to rise by his own merit while the underclasses become steadily impoverished. This is usually followed by a revolution of the underclasses and the free market capitalist democracy is replaced by some form of more socialist order with many of the shortcomings you mentioned. Lather, rinse and repeat at nauseam.

about a month and a half ago
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PC Cooling Specialist Zalman Goes Bankrupt Due To Fraud

Savage-Rabbit Re:Just (208 comments)

Except that, of course, in modern capitalism banks are too big to fail and take these risks because they know it's not their own money that's at stake, but that of tax payers.

But well obfuscated.

More like simplified. The people whose money was lost were bank customers, the ones who lost it were bank employees. All the customer can do is choose a bank as best he can based on the bank's reputation. It is his money that is lost because the bank handed control of it's money to a bunch of morons. So the market punishes the customer not the moron who made the bad decision. It is the law that is supposed to punish the bank employee. However, in view of the fact that not a single bankster seems to have been put on trial as a result of the 2008 mortgage crisis we can rest assured that the worst that is likely to happen to the bank employee is that his bonus will be reduced that quarter and his career prospects may be dampened for a while. Now one may still criticize the customer for picking a lousy bank to do business with but let's face it, when it comes to finding a honest bank to handle your finances, the average capital owner is not exactly spoiled for choice these days. The best he can do is choose the least scummy bank. Ether that or invest his money in guns, ammo, canned goods and a heavily fortified dwelling with a built in water source.

about a month and a half ago

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