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India Turns Down American Fighter Jets, Buys From France

Slashdot Assistant Re:Many versus Awesome (600 comments)

This is pseudo-profundity of the kind one would expect from a humanities student, trying to sound profound in the hope of getting his fingers inside an impressionable fellow student.

War as a means of culling the population is inefficient and brings with it serious issues for any "ruling class" that'd wield the scythe. Western democracies have a very strong political need to minimize casualties, as excessive death would invite popular revolt. Iraq was invaded back in 2003, and in that time the US has lost less than five thousand servicemen. The powers that be could have killed far more people through encouraging gluttony, either through choking (which kills thousands each year) or by its long-term deleterious effects on health. It's also worth noting that military service is a pretty good way for people from poorer backgrounds to get an education and healthcare that they otherwise could not afford.

Anyway, why would somebody want to trim the population? A sinister ruling class would surely profit most from keeping a workforce poor and minimally educated. A significant drop in population would serve only to increase the value of the survivors - making it more difficult to maintain control. This was the experience of English landowners when the Black Death had ravaged the population, and arguably the same was true for women when World War II led to a shortage of working men.

War has far more practical uses. It's great for industry, and as it happens, the people making the decisions on war would tend to be rather chummy with the guys who can provide the tools. It can be a rather good way of uniting a nation, and helping them to ignore domestic deficiencies. War, and emergency in general, is a great lubricant for slipping in otherwise repugnant legislation.

more than 2 years ago
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The Destruction of Iraq's Once-Great Universities

Slashdot Assistant Re:why werent YOU there ? (444 comments)

The oil fields had to be protected - you'll no doubt recall what Hussein did when he was forced out of Kuwait? Oil revenues were to provide much of the funding for reconstruction. The allies should have made plans to secure the oil fields and cultural facilities. Iraq has an amazing cultural heritage, that if encouraged, could help provide a basis for a proud nation - not to mention tourism when they stop shooting one another.

more than 2 years ago
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The Destruction of Iraq's Once-Great Universities

Slashdot Assistant Re:That's one way to look at it.. (444 comments)

Agree completely. Everyone (including many in the US) seems to blame the US for everything.
Looters ransacking universities - oh, that's the fault of the US. Oh, Iranians being cantankerous - well, that's the fault of the US for proviking them. Pirates in the Indian Ocean - that's the fault of the US for not going ashore and pacifying Somalia. Problems in Somalia - that's the fault of the US for going in to Mogadishu in the 90's. Terrorists running around the World blowing innocent folks up - well, that's gotta be the fault of the US for doing nothing or too much (take your pick).

Everyone blames the US for these things? Please don't presume to speak for me.

The US and the coalition of the willing bear responsibility for having neither a plan nor an intention to secure these important cultural sites. Hussein needed to be removed - he was a murderous and evil bastard, but the invasion was followed by a plan that paid scant attention to Iraq's cultural treasures. Neglecting the security of these institutions, having Bush appointees (in some case, Bible college graduates in their 20s, with no relevant experience) instead of a people actually qualified to manage reconstruction, and banning all Baath party members from participation in the new regime. Party membership didn't mean that someone was a Hussein loyalist. Think Mugabe's policy of indiscriminately removing white farmers that heralded the collapse of agriculture in Zimbabwe.

Most of the examples you cite are things for which I've rarely heard the US blamed. On blaming the US, although more generally the west, for enflaming Islamist passions, the basic motivation of the Islamists is ignored. Those fuckers aren't simply happy to see the world divided in to Islamland and Freedomland - what they require from is unquestioning compliance with their ideology. Look at Denmark's experiences. Denmark, hardly a bastion of western imperialism, saw its embassies burnt, its companies boycotted, and its citizens threatened because of a series of cartoons published by a private business. Even here in Ireland, Liam Egan, thinking himself a latter-day Lawrence of Arabia, became more Wahhabi than the Wahhabis and began his mission to bring Islamism to Ireland. In Egan's case, he seemed to spend most of his time posting anti-Semitic shit to the MPAC website (an Irish branch of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which in this case, was practically a one-man council) and arguing with people on the Internet. Some have unkindly said that this is why his wife fucked off to the UK. Egan's dream of seeing Ireland transformed in to a caliphate were cruelly dashed when MPAC was closed (allegedly by intelligence services) and he fled to Saudi Arabia. In reality I suspect that his Wahhabi paymasters simply cut their losses, on realizing that Egan was indeed completely fucking useless, and serving only to make Muslims appear violent and dumb as a sack of hammers (as if their co-religionists in Buttfuckistan weren't already doing enough here).

Western nations should be blamed for support given of some pretty unpleasant regimes, and their support of pretty unsavory groups under the philosophy of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Of course, just like with colonialism, these events can only for so long be cited as the source of contemporary woes. Sooner or later a people sound like a middle-aged man, blaming all that is wrong in his life on his childhood. Muslims in the middle-east have made it perfectly clear that they're more than capable of fucking things up without western aid.

You're a non-US citizen, and you now have it on record that I blame you for the stream of hyperbole and nonsense that is post #38925625.

more than 2 years ago
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Oklahoma Politician Wants To Tax Violent Video Games

Slashdot Assistant Re:There's an easier solution. (312 comments)

Yeah, I'm in one of those neighborhoods in Europe. It's also important to have room for the kids to play. An area where I used to live was pretty neglected, so the kids had little beyond a patch of grass and a load of alleys. Surprisingly enough, a fair few of the kids in the neighborhood turned in to little shits that'd throw stones at passing traffic, abuse passers by, and graduate to stealing cars. There has been investment in the area (facilities and general civic involvement in the neighborhood) and this has indeed improved matters. It's still not a charming area, but far improved over what it was ten years ago.

One problem here was parents raising kids the way they keep their dogs - let them run around outside, and let them back in at night. This of course leads to two problems:

1) The area is covered in dog shit, and charmingly enough, the occasional human shit.

2) Kids end up forming gangs, and generally making a nuisance of themselves. This in turn creates a vicious feedback loop that encourages some parents to keep their kids indoors. This I can understand. Who wants their well raised kid to be spending their days in the company of track suited mouth breathers doing little other than hanging around outside convenience stores or lurking in alleys.

Parents should be encourage to socialize their children - not just to have them play outside. Parents must know what they're children are up to. The city has to provide adequate facilities so that children aren't simply hanging around on the street, and I'm not against the idea of a curfew for people under 16. It's bizarre to walk around this area, and see young teens hanging around in the dark at 10pm. Parents need to be held responsible for the actions of their children - particularly if a child is repeatedly offending. In such cases, if the parent can't raise the kid, then the state needs to become involved, whether that be taking a child away or hopefully just offering assistance in raising child.

more than 2 years ago
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Oklahoma Politician Wants To Tax Violent Video Games

Slashdot Assistant Re:Lost Logic (312 comments)

Yeah, as noted earlier, it's a sin tax with not strong correlation between the accused and the sin. I see no reason why I should pay a tax on Left 4 Dead 2, because Fourkiller blames it for bullying and kids not getting enough fresh air. Definitely, if he wants to do this, he should be even-handed. Tax movies and music intended for a teen or higher audience, and the same with books.

His concerns about bullying and kids not getting enough exercise are valid. What's fucked is his way of raising money to solve the problems.

more than 2 years ago
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Oklahoma Politician Wants To Tax Violent Video Games

Slashdot Assistant Re:Half, hmm? (312 comments)

It is indeed a sin tax - no more justified than a blanket tax on TV, DVDs, music, books and everything else that could possibly keep a child from playing outside.

Money could be used to provide better facilities. Where I work, for a long time there was fuck all for kids to do, so it was hardly surprising that we'd end-up with crowds of tracksuit clad hoody wearing kids looking for trouble. Personally I wish those kids had spent more time indoors, so at least they'd be too fat to run away when I have to chase the fuckers for throwing stones at my then wife when she was walking home. But, I digress. A sin tax is no way to raise money for this kind of thing. Fourkill thinks that video games are to take the blame for a generation of fat fucks with no social skills? Well, what about other media and the parents who allow their kids to be playing games or just hanging around the streets, acting the maggot. If Fourkill won't tackle the root of the problem, then let him find another way to fund this boondoggle. He could lube up and sell tricks on the streets of Oklahoma City. A cavernous anus is a small price to pay for the children.

more than 2 years ago
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Norway Brings DNA Sequencing To National Healthcare

Slashdot Assistant Re:Socialized Medicine (91 comments)

And, of course, you can't cut the tax on fruit and vegetables without the dairy and meat industry complaining and wanting cuts too. Overall, eating healthy is a lot more expensive than eating junk food (assuming you're educated enough to *know* what food is healthy).

I find that eating healthily more expensive in terms of time spent preparing food, while the food itself is cheaper to buy - excepting of course shit like the giant bags of "chicken" nuggets and chips that the stereotypical mum in sorely strained stretch-pants will be shoveling down the necks of Chantelle and Darren. Vegetables are generally cheaper than processed stuff, and a far better option if mum doesn't want Chantelle's future boyfriends to struggle to differentiate a hole from a fold in her flesh. Chubby can be cute. Waddling down the road, with an arse that would send Sir Mixalot running, is as attractive as being punched in the neck.

more than 2 years ago
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Oklahoma Politician Wants To Tax Violent Video Games

Slashdot Assistant Re:Great idea! (312 comments)

I don't see why gamers should pay for this Democratic Party fuck's drive to get fat kids out in the sunshine? Same with cigarette taxes to pay for the healthcare of children, although a cigarette tax that's focussed on smoking related illnesses would seem more equitable. Have more physical education in schools, and require it be passed in order to graduate - with obvious dispensation for people with genuine handicaps or injures. i.e. not a free ride for someone who can't put down the fucking fork and consequently has legs like larded-up tree trunks. The parents who think it okay that their fat and pale kid has a KFC bargain fucking bucket for breakfast might think again, and if not, have them shot. This makes as much sense as Fourkiller's suggestion.

about 2 years ago
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Facebook Reportedly Filing $5 Billion IPO Today

Slashdot Assistant Re:Well it's hot and techy, what could go wrong? (268 comments)

If everyone fails to realize that data posted to Facebook must necessarily be stored by Facebook, then everyone you know is a fucking moron. The same is true of people who think it appropriate to broadcast news of your divorce. Get new friends.

Accidents will happen - particularly from newbie users unaware of the site and social conventions for the users.

more than 2 years ago
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WikiLeaks To Ship Servers To Micronation of Sealand?

Slashdot Assistant Re:Wow, does that PR stunt even work anymore? (350 comments)

Yeah, it's a very unlikely series of events, as proposed by the guy I was responding to. I don't believe Sealand has to worry about an unprovoked naval assault. If Sealand ends, it will be due to an accident, or as you said, through legalistic means.

more than 2 years ago
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Kazuo Hirai To Assume CEO Position At Sony

Slashdot Assistant Re:At least they didn't make Stringer commit seppu (52 comments)

Truth! I followed the SCO story, thinking that there must be an amazing master plan being hidden by McBride's apparent bumbling destruction of a healthy company. It came as a surprise when McBride was ditched, as this was when I realized that McBride and SCO's board and shareholders were seriously expecting McBrides almost decade long string of consistent failure was going to be replaced by some kind of success.

Come on Sony, don't disappoint me! What's this amazing secret plan that forces you to give the impression of a company being run by a severely autistic couple in the middle of a messy marital breakdown.

more than 2 years ago
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New Privacy Laws Could Boost EU Cloud Industry

Slashdot Assistant Re:But which places are... (119 comments)

50 odd years ago the French state was still executing people by decapitation. Would that invalidate modern day French criticism of states partial to height reduction among criminals? Obviously not, yet that seems to be your argument.

more than 2 years ago
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New Privacy Laws Could Boost EU Cloud Industry

Slashdot Assistant Re:But which places are... (119 comments)

You don't seem to understand that I'm not using Islamist as a synonym for Muslim - read the fucking post. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that I don't think that all Muslims are pining for a caliphate, but then that's only going to obvious to people who aren't dumb as a sack of hammers; find one and ask them to read my post to you.

Would you describe as "Islamist" all Muslims who took to the streets over the Danish cartoons? How about the ambassadors from countries with predominantly Muslim populations. I wouldn't, because I know what the word "Islamist" means. I think it's fair to say that Muslims are somewhat prone to taking offense when they feel that their religion has been slighted, and Allah knows, it's not difficult to find some way to piss them off. Christians will do the same - particularly in countries that don't trouble themselves too much with rule of law.

My memory fails me! I have managed to forget the worldwide riots and attacks on people and property that resulted from the launch of Monty Python's Life of Brian. Similar tragic events must have occurred when Jesus Christ Superstar premiered, yet for some reason my memory fails me. There are indeed moderate Muslims, but those are not the ones "owning" the name. Where are these moderates when embassies are being set ablaze by angry protestors? Where is the unconditional condemnation of bounties being placed on the heads of writers? Muslims aren't the only ones in the wrong here, as we saw with Christian leaders bending over backwards to express sympathy with offended Muslims who'd been driven to calls for murder by fucking cartoons - some of which had been fabricated by the Danish Imams in order to rouse the rabble.

  Accepting that some Muslims are moderate, and indeed many come to the west because of this, it's still evident that Islam is an angry, insecure and relatively young religion. There is no compromise possible when anything can arbitrarily sacred, and respect demanded without cause. Dwell upon that.

If my ignorance can be seen a mile off, then excuse me while I wait for a trip to Mars in order to fully appreciate your breathtakingly vast ignorance.

more than 2 years ago
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WikiLeaks To Ship Servers To Micronation of Sealand?

Slashdot Assistant Re:Wow, does that PR stunt even work anymore? (350 comments)

Thus Sealand, whatever it may be, is not a nation, and thus while it may not be within Britain's sovereignty, if the Royal Navy decided tomorrow to blockade it or sink it, there is no lawful means by which the owner could hope to prevent it, save by appealing to a British court, which means the owner recognizes the sovereignty of Britain.

A lack of nationhood does make fair game of structures and ships. Why would a Royal Navy attack on Sealand be any different to the navy using cross-channel ferries for target practice? Even with Sealand currently sitting in waters claimed by the UK, there remain limits on what the navy can do - both under British law and international conventions. An unprovoked attack would be what's more commonly known as piracy.

more than 2 years ago
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German Appeals Court Confirms Galaxy Tab 10.1 Ban

Slashdot Assistant Re:Princess Syndrome (161 comments)

The analogy really doesn't work, but yes, I've seen those 80s movies. Not to worry! The geek will stage an electro concert, or some strange shit like that, which will get the school on their side - with of course some hot cheerleader chick who all along had a soft spot for geeks.

There is no geeky underdog in this real-life story. Instead what we have are two corporate behemoths, slugging it out - neither of which come out of this spotless.

If I missed the point, and this analogy isn't based on 80s movies, then please at least teach your son that the past shapes us, but it should not be a prison. Move on, and understand that peaking at high school isn't always a good thing. The princess is probably now just one of many fairly mundane people, or loaded up with a bunch of kids with more fathers than most of us have limbs. You are among friends!

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Expected To Go Public Next Week

Slashdot Assistant Re:"company's ability to innovate"? (192 comments)

I'd have to ask, why? A distributed model could be useful for load sharing (hosting files and such like) and for failover, yet for those to be of much there'd have to be some way of sharing the data across the network - same for the idea of the company providing backups and redundant services. Wouldn't this set-up undermine the notion of greater control and privacy?

Security and privacy may in fact suffer if the system is reliant on each user securing their own systems. The main advantage I can see of a decentralized system would be in terms of not being reliant on a company to keep the lights on. Overall though it seems to be a step backwards, to the era when people ran their own web and mail servers from home. It's fun for the more geeky types, yet not really something that the average social networks user is likely to want. I'm pretty geeky, and I appreciate the simplicity of Facebook - particularly the way in which it's made communication with less technical relatives far easier. I have decent enough privacy settings there, and I don't see how a distributed network would make much of a difference. Either way, the data are going to be flying around, and with both approaches, I can choose what I want to make public. Facebook are bound by data protection laws, although there'd be no harm in the US tightening things up a bit.

Apple and MS could try to get in to this market, but it'll be a tough fight. Ping, despite being tied in to the most popular legal downloads system, has hardly been a roaring success.

Regardless of Facebook's perceived hardware and software shortcomings, they have an amazing amount of momentum and social lock-in. A competitor is going to have to do something good to make a dent in that. I walk around town, and I see signs on a lot of businesses now inviting patrons to follow them on Facebook. This is pretty serious name recognition for an online service. Twitter too is big in this area.

more than 2 years ago
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New Privacy Laws Could Boost EU Cloud Industry

Slashdot Assistant Re:But which places are... (119 comments)

Sure, the Islamists are perfectly happy to let us enjoy our lives, so long as we leave them alone. You're somewhat underestimating the Muslim capacity for butthurt and completely unjustified notions of superiority. The only way that Islamists will be content is when we either adopt Islam or agree to live under its rule. Even then, which version of Islam? Muslims have a rich tradition of killing Muslims who belong to different sects.

The Danes have a long history of charity and are hardly known for militarily throwing their weight around in the middle east, yet a few simple cartoons was enough to cause the Muslim world to erupt in to riots and the issuing of death threats. We can no more find accommodation with Islamists than we would be able to with 14th century Christians. Muslims will demand too much, and offer little in return. These are the people who happily see anti-semitic cartoons in their newspapers, yet will demand death for someone who'd poke fun at a dead schizophrenic with a hard-on for little girls. How about the "God bless Hitler" sign, and similar, that were being held by angry Muslims? Religion of peace, my arse.

There is no compromising with this mentality. We cannot reason with it, and we certainly cannot make it happy enough to leave us alone. Either we face it down, and preserver or values, or we allow these repressed bigots to impose theirs on us.

more than 2 years ago
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Employee-Owned Devices Muddy Data Privacy Rights

Slashdot Assistant Re:what about companies that make you buy / pay pa (165 comments)

How common is this arrangement? The closest thing to this that I've seen is with home-based employees who pay for their Internet access, which of course is factored in to their salary. Contractors may be another case in point, but then the questions you asked should have already been answered in their contract. It's definitely not something to be ignored until things go wrong.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA Makes Strange Bedfellows

Slashdot Assistant Require elected officials to wear endorsements (439 comments)

Much of this donation information is available, but not very visible to the average voter.

Require all elected officials to wear a cloak, on to which the total amount of money received in the last six months is printed, and have logos pasted on to represent donations received over x amount of dollars. It'd be cool, like NASCAR, but serving a purpose. Some of these guys are going to need cloaks longer than a royal wedding dress train.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA Makes Strange Bedfellows

Slashdot Assistant Re:Stand up, people! (439 comments)

The DMCA doesn't necessarily need to be overturned, but certainly it needs to be revisited. The DMCA provides a standardized method for handling alleged copyright infringement, allowing the host to avoid being caught in the cross-fire. This has been abused by infringers, and certainly by people wishing to censor. I've had both types of complaints, albeit not under circumstances covered by the DMCA. In the case of some guy trying to remove an embarrassing critique of some private messages in which he libeled me, I was fortunate to have had a hosting company who didn't just buckle for their own safety, and had the DMCA applied, the complainant could have sent a take-down, which I could have countered - leaving the host off the hook. I think it helped that the guy sending the complaint was clearly a whining bitch, demonstrating his fundamental lack of legal knowledge through his references to "Internet laws". The DMCA also poses problems for content owners who find themselves playing whack-a-mole with sites that repeatedly allow copyright infringement. I see that as a legitimate concern. I'm very much in favor of equitable copyright protection, the cornerstone of which should be severally shortened copyright terms. Things have clearly swung too far in favor of rights owners, with the bulk of the money appearing to miss the pockets of the producers themselves.

My main issues with the DMCA lie in how it interferes with the bypassing of DRM, and reverse engineering. Another problem though is that the DMCA introduced pretty stiff penalties for infringement, yet what happens when a media company, with the presumption that they have legal people who should know better, send pretty obviously frivolous take-down notices. In theory this is perjury, yet how many prosecutions do we see? Out of curiosity, should I receive a malicious take-down notice from an American entity, how would I get a prosecution rolling? Send a letter to the FBI, or would I instead need to engage a solicitor to begin civil proceedings?

more than 2 years ago

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