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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

TranquilVoid Re:Incompetent Administration (Thanks GWB) (425 comments)

However, I really think if we were going to invade, then yes we should have taken the country and made is US territory.

I disagree. When it works democracy does so because it gives people with different voices a say in the system, alleviating the need to solve differences with violence. You may contend that the Iraqi people are not currently suited to democracy, but for the US to autocratically rule Iraq it would be forced to do so with an even more brutal hand than Saddam Hussein, since you've not only ruled out democracy but must rule as complete outsiders devoid of ethnic glue. Doing so would be for the US to lose a piece of its soul.

about two weeks ago
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Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

TranquilVoid Re:April Fools? (137 comments)

That was my initial reaction but then Tetris' total lack of plot

I'm tipping Michael Bay to direct.

about three weeks ago
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US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

TranquilVoid Re:DAESH, not ISIL (478 comments)

Exactly. Applying the "No True Scotsman" fallacy is fallacious itself, as being Scottish has a strict definition of being a registered citizen in the internationally-recognised country of Scotland. Most people applying this to ISIL want self-identification as the test of Islamicism, but that makes any discussion on the role of Islam in their behaviour meaningless.

about three weeks ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

TranquilVoid Re:They need to get their shit together (169 comments)

Well wind farms are an eyesore, and tend to be more distributed than coal mines. Same with solar, I recall a posting of a group of German houses all with panels. From the comment I gathered it was meant to show how pretty it was, but to me it looked horrible. Sure, panels are shiny when new, but after ten years, when the novelty of the technology has worn off, they will be seen as industrial looking - they won't age rustically like shingles or tiles.

Of course in Australia it would be much better to do mass solar rather than vote-buying subsidies for rooftop systems. There's certainly a lack of political will (otherwise called democracy) and we're not going to see any environmental leadership from the current government.

I wouldn't single out SA, since WA, QLD and Tasmania are all the butt of jokes about being backward (NT and Canberra are ignored). So interestingly, the more populous NSW and Victoria are making the jokes, much like city dwellers always mock townfolk.

about three weeks ago
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Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

TranquilVoid Re:International Copyright (172 comments)

Licensing is the direct cause, but greed is the reason there were exclusivity agreements to begin with.

I disagree. Networks seek exclusivity agreements to reduce risk, it's standard business practice for large companies. Without there's a chance their investment will be suddenly worthless as another network shows the same content, so they pay a premium for certainty.

Of course everything in capitalism is greed in some sense, even the salary you as a worker can ask for from your employee. There's a fine line between standard market practices and profiteering.

about a month ago
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

TranquilVoid Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (324 comments)

It's the government that grants itself permission to take away my property.

The counter-argument would be that property is defined by the government, i.e. society as a whole, not the individual. You may consider the piece of land you sleep on to be yours in some intrinsic way, but there is plenty of debate on whether property is an inalienable right, if such rights exist.

about a month ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

TranquilVoid Re: illogical captain (937 comments)

Actually it is quite natural because, for religious people, moral meaning relies on the eternity of their metaphysical beings. Philosophically meaning is about affect. If object A has precisely no affect on object B, then for object B, A is meaningless. If all we are is a chance, temporal assembly of atoms and, no matter what our actions, the end result of the universe is extinction, then morals are indeed meaningless.

Certainly ethical behaviour has non-religious sources, mostly from a (short term) species survival point of view, but this is different from the absolute sense with which most people consider morality.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

TranquilVoid Re:Consider owner !=user (471 comments)

or swinging an axe

I've lost count of the number of times I've been in mid-swing, got a call, and had to waste a valuable split second while the head fell before answering.

But interesting post.

about a month ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

TranquilVoid Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

The proper response to this is to strengthen military forces in new NATO member states surrounding Russia, including US boots on the ground. This will make a clear line that Russia knows it cannot cross without provoking all-out war. Unfortunately Ukraine is not part of NATO.

I don't think this is unfortunate as the expansion of NATO is partially responsible for Russian aggression - they have a motivation to maintain a strong buffer. What you otherwise suggest has merit but is still risky. The U.S. is unlikely to engage Russia in war over an invasion of Latvia, for example, regardless of what the NATO agreement says. Placing U.S. troops there might change that, but the risk is that Russia considers it a bluff.

about 2 months ago
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Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

TranquilVoid Flamebait (221 comments)

I also wonder if the vaunted Canadian healthcare system plays a role. When advances in medical science are something you automatically expect to benefit from personally if you need them, they look a lot better than when you have to scramble just to cover your bills for what we have now."

Or conversely, maybe when the government looks after your health you don't need to worry about researching it yourself, and you take it for granted and don't value it as much. But let's stir up a big argument about capitalism versus socialism.

about 2 months ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

TranquilVoid Re:Amazing (276 comments)

Possible, like the saying that musicians have the worst sound systems. Still I'd say this is backwards. The more you value any activity, the more likely you are to seek out the community and other indirect aspects of what you enjoy.

For example, technology. Surely discussing IT on Slashdot indicates you are more an enthusiast than someone who clocks more 'technology' hours than you simply web browsing on their consumer device.

about 2 months ago
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News Corp Australia Doesn't Want You To Look Closely At Their Financials

TranquilVoid Not Unexpected (132 comments)

It's hardly surprising for a company to hold its financial results close to its chest, but this is made more delicious given how much time they spend pointing out the downsizing of rival Fairfax Media.

Fairfax papers, especially, have suffered from the internet while News Corp has soldiered on, but it was only a matter of time. Being more left-wing, Fairfax's demographic is younger and more inclined to embrace new technology. As they age, and likely become more conservative, they will still consume news online rather than return to dead tree papers.

about 2 months ago
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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

TranquilVoid Re:Dissappointed (291 comments)

I think you misunderstand the concept of a mandate. It is used when a party wins an overwhelming majority in the lower house to suggest that the upper house, where the party has a minority, should capitulate on a particular issue. I.e. suggesting the checks and balances should step aside. It has nothing to do with complaining about losing in a democracy.

Personally I think a mandate almost never exists. In a representative system you might say that all elected members have a mandate to vote as they campaigned.

about 3 months ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

TranquilVoid Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (461 comments)

Very informative. The density of the German population makes sense, but can you explain why Germany, a nation with a lot of manufacturing, would have less troubles than the US with balancing?

P.S. I'm hoping the answer is their lack of strong sunlight, for delicious irony.

about 4 months ago
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Robert McMillen: What Everyone Gets Wrong In the Debate Over Net Neutrality

TranquilVoid Re:Everybody is wrong... (270 comments)

All caches have a non-zero miss change, it doesn't mean the concept is useless. In this case it could still work. If it predicts your Sunday night show 80% of the time, then for the 20% miss you'll have to stream from the original server. However if the 80% applies to all customers then network congestion has been significantly reduced and your streaming can work at HD.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

TranquilVoid Re:Forum admin disput (310 comments)

It's not stated but my assumption is that the admin was removing his/her sig.

about 4 months ago
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Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

TranquilVoid Re:Gox used margin trading & fractional reserv (143 comments)

How does fractional reserve work with Bitcoin? If they loan out some deposited coins, fair enough, but if the original owner draws on it they cryptographically need that exact coin, not some other random one.

Or do depositors hand over the coins to the exchange for a virtual account, destroying the signed-ownership benefit of Bitcoin and replacing it with trust in an institution?

about 5 months ago
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Places Where the Silicon Valley Bubble Could Pop

TranquilVoid Re:I Read TFA... (107 comments)

It's worse than that, half the posters don't even read the post they're replying to, they just want to say their bit.

about 6 months ago
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What It's Like To Be the Scientific Consultant For The Big Bang Theory

TranquilVoid Re:Not for Nerds (253 comments)

Spot on, it's basically a modern version of Friends with a few popular science references. It's not about science, it's character and relationship-based and easily digestible.

about 6 months ago
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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

TranquilVoid Re:Roman empire killed by geometry and resources (384 comments)

Without military force, [they] developed the art of religious coercion and control, and the Roman empire eventually became the Holy Roman empire.

Perceptions are interesting, my understanding was completely the reverse, that as the empire declined the church had to pick up the slack of looking after the population, and so developed the attributes of a state rather than being a pacifist religion.

And the money continued to flow to Rome, for centuries....

A good point, it helps explains how the empire survived for centuries after its territory had ceased expanding. I think we see the same effects today within former colonial powers like Britain and France. The trade connections don't disappear just because they no longer officially own the country.

about 6 months ago

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