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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Xest Re:Wait.... what? (217 comments)

"BTW, these protests were even covered by BBC."

I'm actually beginning to understand what's wrong with someone like you to be so susceptible to propaganda like that fed to you by RT. It seems that if the media covers something then it must be backing up that of your preferred propaganda outlet, that the BBC was covering it because it agreed with RT, rather than the reality of the situation that the BBC covered it because it appears to be neutral.

If you recognised the latter you'd also note that the BBC has in the last week unearthed a lot of evidence about a full fledged Russian invasion of Ukraine, so tell me, if "the BBC covered it" is evidence of it must be as I believe, then how does Russia's now demonstrable invasion of Ukraine as reported by the BBC fit in?

10 hours ago
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Xest Re:Wait.... what? (217 comments)

"So how about the overwhelming majority of the citizens choosing independence in a referendum? Is it any more valid than a poll?"

Well both referendums were verifiably rigged, the Crimea one where the real results were accidentally posted publicly coupled with impossible numbers (120%+ turnout in one area relative to the actual amount of people living there) and the local Donetsk one where we have video evidence of people voting multiple times. As we have evidence that neither is trustworthy then no they're not more valid than polls where we have actual data available (as in the original City.am mentioned poll etc.).

"There are many thousands rebels now fighting the Ukrainian army. And winning. I think it's your sense of proportion that is off."

No, there were a bunch of Russian irregulars fighting the Ukrainian army with a bunch of actual genuine Ukrainian-Russians who want independence from Ukraine, and they were losing. Now there is a full batallion of Russian regulars and the Russians are winning. Who'd have thought? a full blown Russian invasion can defeat the Ukrainian military? There's a reason the Russians are having secret ceremonies for their military dead back home, and why tanks only operated by the Russian military are in Ukraine - because the actual full blown Russian military is now in Ukraine.

"Do you claim to know situation any better?"

Yes, absolutely, because the anecdote of a pro-Russian individual does still not somehow override the thoughts and opinions of the majority that are widely publicised. You seem to feel that as someone who lived in the Ukraine you have authority, okay, if that's so, then why does the City.am poll which was also carried out by Ukrainians not have authority over you given that it was a more widespread study in neutral times? Just because you claim to be Ukrainian, why should I listen to you when you show a demonstrable inability for objectivity other other Ukrainians and Russians who tell a more well evidenced story?

"There is no plurality in Ukrainian media. It's all controlled by Kiev. All the opposition channels are blocked. But that's OK, censorship is fine if it's pro-European. Right?"

I don't know what opposition you're referring to? I know that a wide range of Ukrainian voices have their say in Ukraine whether it's the old pro-Yanukovych channels, whether it's those who are pro-Tymoschenko, or whether it's the numerous miner's associations, or whether it's the far-right. You seem to think opposition = Russia Today, Moscow's propaganda outlet, but that's false. What you're actually saying is that Ukraine should fight the propaganda war with one hand tied behind it's back - it should broadcast Russia Today to it's citizens, but in Russia it's okay for Moscow to deny all opposition, whether external (as RT is to Ukraine) or internal. Long story short, the only censorship you hate and the only censorship that matters is censorship of Putin's propaganda. Do I support censorship, even of propaganda? Not really, but to pretend the Ukrainian media is somehow more biased than the Russian is insanely comical. Even journalists agree putting Ukraine at 127 and Russia at 148 and this was tainted by the Yanukovych era censorship so Ukraine will likely be even higher now!:

http://rsf.org/index2014/en-in...

"And except the EU. And China. And the US. Well, on the plus side, Nigeria probably did leave Ukraine the fuck alone."

Ah, so you share Putin's paranoia that the Ukrainian revolution happened because of the West, rather than the actual fact of the matter than for the third fucking time the Ukrainians tried to make it clear to Russia that they do not want to be part of Russia because it's simply a fucking shithole and their neighbours have grown more prosperous since fleeing it's grasp and so they want part of that too. Good one, I mean, obviously most people would choose end up living in a corrupt shithole over a prosperous future wouldn't they? Actually, don't answer that, because you're obviously the type of idiot that would.

Out of interest, you said you lived in Ukraine until June this year, where do you live now? Russia by any chance?

10 hours ago
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Xest Re:Wait.... what? (217 comments)

"No, because they are biased and/or simply fabricated."

Whereas a handful of protestors standing in front of a Ukrainian APC couldn't possibly be? It's obvious that wide scale polls are fabricated but small scale actions aren't? This is your problem - you have lost all sense of proportionality and rationality.

"So just like the Maidan uprising?"

You still really struggled with scale don't you? I know humans have an inherent problem imagining large numbers, but most people are capable of telling the difference between tens and hundreds, and hundreds of thousands. It seems you are not.

"Ya ne veru v eto. Seychas Kramatorsk controliruetsa vojakami is kieva, tak chto zhiteli boyatsa za svoi zhizni i govorat to, chto nuzhno. Ili ischezaut. Pokazat video togo, kak pravij sektor izbivaet ludej?"

You love Putin and believe everything he says? Why am I not surprised. Oh wait, you think that posting something in Russian somehow makes your argument more valid, silly me, there was me thinking you'd understand why anecdotes were meaningless as a measure of determining the will of the majority.

"Nobody kicked rebels out, they simply pulled orderly out. They didn't have strength to hold an extended front line back then."

Nice story. Shame it's false. Mariupol is a heavily populated city of just under half a million. If the rebels had popular support then how could the Ukrainian military drive them out so easily? How come there were only tens of casualties involved when their self-proclaimed HQ there was surrounded and attacked? Again, you seem to struggle with scale - a handful of people, numbering in the tens, in a city of almost half a million highlights how utterly isolated their viewpoint was. If they generally had support there as you're suggesting then there'd be far more than only a few tens of people there.

"So the main goal of democratic Ukraine is to be just as bad as Russia?"

How is having plurality of viewpoints as bad as having one viewpoint? I'll try again as you don't seem to grasp it: in Ukraine there are many viewpoints ranging across all aspects of the spectrum from far right, to right, to centre right, to centre, to centre left, to left, to far left - all of these are represented politically in the Ukrainian media. What's finally been banned however is Russia's propaganda channel- that doesn't decrease the overall plurality of the media beyond eliminating Russian propaganda (if you want Russian fact, without the propaganda, you can still get it). Contrast this to Russia where media plurality has been decimated such that many views that don't align exactly with Putin's have been silenced.

If Putin had just left Ukraine be, it would be well on it's way to being a modern democratic Eastern European nation like Poland - it came from the exact same background they did of being controlled by the USSR, the only thing that's different is that it's large border with Russia means it's the one nation above all others that Russia has desperately tried to hold on to.

Look I get it, you're from a pro-Russian background, and you love Russia, that's fine. Most Ukrainians no longer do however, most Ukrainians just want to be left the fuck alone to grow their country in a way that all their neighbours except Russia have - they've recognised that the Russian way just does not work. They've looked at what their neighbours have done in the last 20 years and and they want to follow in the footsteps of Poland, Czech republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia in becoming modern increasingly prosperous nations. I'm sorry that democracy has spoken and wants something you do not, but it is what it is- Russians can always go and live in Russia, but Ukrainians only have Ukraine - that's not for you to take away from them.

13 hours ago
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Xest Re:Wait.... what? (217 comments)

"Please, get the CNN polls and stuff them deep into your rectum. They are worth just that."

Why, because they're inconvenient for your pro-Putin lies? What about the City.am one which stems from a neutral Ukrainian polling outfit before it all kicked off? I guess that was so inconvenient you couldn't even address it?

"Here's a video of locals stopping a tank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Here is an iconic picture of Putin's agent provocateurs blocking a railroad crossing to stop Ukrainian tanks: http://www.rbc.ua/rus/news/acc... and another one http://crisisua.net/zhiteli-sl."

You know that repeating yourself doesn't make something true right? As I said, hundreds, some of whom are legit, but others who are agent provocateurs does not equate to popular support.

The fact you're persisting in arguing that numbers in the hundreds, or thousands in a specific circumstance in a specific place controlled by Russian's is somehow representative of the millions whilst also claiming polls that are objective and more representative are useless tells us one thing - you're not arguing based on rationality, you're arguing based on an agenda, a pro-Russian, pro-Putin one.

"I was personally in Kramatorsk helping to move my friend's family from there during the start of the conflict. And I certainly know that the reason for the conflict was not Putin."

I was there yesterday and everyone told me they hate Putin and it's all his fault. Last night on the phone Putin even told me it's his fault. See how that works?

"And? Mariupol is fairly far from Donetsk, and after one month or brainwashing by the Ukrainian media,"

So what was the excuse last time the Ukrainians liberated Mariupol because the populace helped kick the Russian's out? That was over a month ago, or is that also too much of an inconvenient truth for you? Why is it a problem if Ukraine blocks Russia today after months of pro-Russian propaganda but the fact that Russia only allows pro-Moscow propaganda? You only think it's bad when Moscow is at the receiving end of censorship? What you said about Ukraine having no opposition TV/Radio, that's false, what they don't have is Russia's propaganda outlet, RT, that's not the same as no opposition voice.

"Incidentally, if we're talking about the people digging trenches: http://gordonua.com/news/war/P... then it turned out to be a photo-op, staged by Ukrainian media."

Wow, who'd have thought it? Russian media outlet claims Ukrainian trench digging is photo op! Let's try a more neutral source that's historically aligned with Russia shall we, I suppose the Chinese are supporting Western propaganda too right? - http://news.xinhuanet.com/engl...

I think you need to stop swallowing Putin's propaganda, it's not good for you, you're siding with anecdotes and propaganda over polls and objective sources.

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Xest Re:How I know that Russian troops are not in Ukrai (217 comments)

"You know, maybe some of us should complain to Slashdot about the Obama/Poroshenko-bots that reliably and consistently troll every single story about this conflict? You know, the ones who imply that anyone who even slightly skeptical about the propaganda we're all being fed, must be Russian or a paid Kremlin propagandist?"

No, we don't think that, we just think you're naive and stupid. But those who clearly are Kremlin propagandists (maybe not paid, just naive native Russians) with their broken English and undisguised love of Putin should just as well be allowed to be called out on it.

I wouldn't pretend to defend everything the Ukrainian army has done, but I'm still siding with Ukraine on this because everything from shooting down of a civilian airliner to annexed Crimea's Tatar population having their houses marked with X's and the disappearance of those who protest that annexation are all kinds of evil created by Putin that simply cannot be defended.

What you don't do is help your case with arguments like this, which are trivially debunked:

"Poroshenko has claimed Ukraine was invaded like ten times already."

So? Maybe that's because he is?

"He claimed he was being "invaded" by a fucking aid convoy, including after Putin's honesty about it's contents had been verified by international journalists and the Red Cross."

Why on Earth are you lying about this? The Red Cross themselves explicitly said they were only allowed to examine about 35 of 70 lorries that crossed the border and so could not support it, a bunch of journalists got a glimpse inside some they weren't supposed to see and they were basically empty. Why? What was going to be put in them at the border?

"We know what an invasion looks like. It looks like what the USA did to Iraq."

Oh I see, you're one of those people who in 2003 was, like many of us saying "The Iraq war is wrong!" but unlike the rest of us you're unable to let something go from 11 fucking years ago? That doesn't paint you as someone rational we should listen to. This has nothing to do with Iraq - that happened, it was an unacceptable fuckup, but it was a fuckup perpetrated by a regime who hasn't been in power for 6 years.

"It looks like Russian flags flying above Kiev and Russian tanks rolling down the streets to the parliament building."

This is just stupid. Why do you feel an invasion has to be fully fledged? Are you saying that Israel didn't in fact recently invade Gaza because they only kept tanks on the outskirts, only sent troops into the streets, and didn't raise the Israeli flag over Gaza? Putin has done what he's done because plausible deniability allows him to cast doubt on whether Russia deserves full blown sanctions, he was hoping he could take over Eastern Ukraine and not have anyone able to hold him immediately responsible for it. Unfortunately for him due to a variety of fuckups such as Russian soldiers being captured in Ukraine, and tanks that are operated by no one in the world other than the Russian military (T-72BMs) now turning up it's pretty clear it's Russia in there and no one else:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl...

What's worse is that this is exactly what they did a few months ago in Crimea and now even admit it - why are you so adamant that they wouldn't do the same in Eastern Ukraine as they admitted to doing there? Something which is, for what it's worth, a war crime- dressing a professional army as civilians is a breach of international law, and unlike Bush who was simply arguably a war criminal, Putin is a self-admitted war criminal.

But you keep defending a war criminal based on half-assed information if it makes you feel like a cool counter-culture hipster or whatever you think you are.

Using the age old argument of "America fucked up once, so this isn't Putin and if it was it'd be justified anyway" makes you look like an exceptional kind of idiot. The world isn't that black and white, and two wrongs don't make a right.

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Xest Re:Why are the Ukrainians using facebook? (217 comments)

Because that's where everyone they want to listen to their plight - i.e. Westerners can be found.

Ukrainians want their voice to be heard by the rest of the world, and the rest of the world is on Facebook.

It's not just about being heard by each other.

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Xest Re:Wait.... what? (217 comments)

No it doesn't, the separatist movement has never had popular support in east Ukraine, the argument for populist support was tenuous even in Crimea that is by far the most pro-Russian part of Ukraine.

"If you don't believe me, just look at the photos of the East Ukraine during March and April when citizens were blocking off roads to stop tanks, in some cases just like the Tiananmen Man."

If you think tens, at most hundreds of people, some of whom were themselves "rebels" aka Putin's agent provocateurs in regions of millions is a sign of popular support than I urge you to go and get a better grasp of millions of numbers. A counterpoint to yours would be the citizens of Mariupol who are currently helping the Ukrainian military dig trenches against the Russian invaders and who formed a many mile long chain of people to make the point that they don't want Putin's soldiers to take over their territory.

There are polls both before:

http://www.cityam.com/blog/139...

and after shit kicked off:

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05...

That show that the Russian made myth of support for joining Russia or being independent from Ukraine is just that, a myth.

Putin is trying to make Eastern Ukraine a buffer zone by injecting his own Russian puppet leadership there just as he did with Crimea, and just as he did with Ukraine (which is what led to this situation). It has nothing to do with what the people there want and everything to do with Putin's paranoia that Europe is somehow out to get him, rather than the actual reality - that Ukrainians would rather just join modern prosperous democratic Europe, than corrupt, poverty stricken, dictatorial Russia. That's why Putin has manufactured the myth you're parroting.

Stop propping up the propaganda of a brutal dictator, because that's what Putin is.

yesterday
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Xest Re:What's the point? (508 comments)

"It is widely understood to be true that Java has, as an actual, real-life thing in its "pros" column (and in its "cons" column) that it is easier to use by low quality, replaceable programmers."

More so than systems languages like C/C++? Sure, more so than other mainstream languages used for business development like C#, PHP, Python? Absolutely not, so I don't really know what your point is. If anything I'd argue that Java developers are, on average, better than developers of scripting languages, because there's a higher barrier of entry. Java developers at least have to have a basic grasp of object oriented structure, and to be able to write something compilable before they can even get their application to execute - PHP programmers can have anything execute no matter how tragically badly structure or written it is. This is why big companies like Java - it enforces a baseline of quality so that even the worst programmers have to adhere to some baseline, that's barely true with scripted languages at all. Those interchangeable parts Wall is referring to are interchangeable without a reduction in quality to the level you will see with a change towards scripted languages where much more problematic code can reach a point of execution.

None of which of course addresses the point I've made and the question I posed that you've conveniently dodged - what methodology exists to allow scripting languages with no compile time checks to be inherently better quality than compiled languages that force entire classes of bugs to be dealt with before execution that can make it through to execution in scripted languages? I'm intrigued to know what this methodology is because I've never heard of it despite years of working with both large compiled and scripted projects.

Fact is, as a project gets larger, you cannot build something with a scripted language in the same time frame and for the same cost to a better quality level than with a compiled language like Java, or C# - the inherent disadvantages of scripted languages over managed languages make this a certainty. The performance disadvantage of translated languages over JIT compiled languages alone makes sure of this, the inherent quality difference and resultant increase in maintainability costs in large code bases just adds further weight to guarantee it.

yesterday
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Xest Re:What's the point? (508 comments)

What efficient methodology is there to write a large codebase using a scripting language that can't be used with a compiled language exactly? The "you need better developers" fallacy is exactly that, a fallacy - it doesn't matter how good your developers are, all developers introduce bugs, certainly the number decreases as you increase the skill of developers but there is not a developer on this earth that does not introduce bugs.

So there lies the problem with scripting languages, because many scripting languages don't have any kind of toolchain that prevents bugs from creeping all the way through until runtime, you have entire classes of bugs that a compiler would catch creeping through to your executing application at runtime, as the codebase grows scripted applications therefore by and large almost entirely all become much more time consuming to debug, as bugs only appear in fringe cases and it is not immediately obvious how to reproduce them. Often you find yourself having to implement tremendous logging infrastructure and so on and so forth to have confidence that your application is solid and the net result is that it's just way more efficient to develop large projects with a compiled technology. Also, whilst it's not a fault of scripting languages per-se, you tend to find that compiled languages have far superior toolchains for developing large projects in the first place anyway.

I don't say this as someone spouting opinion and theory, I say this as someone who has had experience as both a lead developer and technical architect in implementing large projects in both compiled (native and managed) and translated languages (which is usually what people mean when they say scripting, though it's getting muddier with more use of just in time compilation etc.), and even some projects mixing it all together.

For anything large the amount of time spent debugging scripted applications just gets too large for it to be worth it, at that point you might as well have used compiled because any early benefits of getting up and running quickly have long been lost.

Which isn't to say I'm of the opinion that scripting languages are always useless, not at all, I think they're fine for small non-mission critical tasks such as task automation, and for prototyping, but I think the larger a project gets, the less worthwhile scripting languages become - that's not to say you can't use them, as I say, I have myself been involved in such projects, but the project is always much more costly. This is evident at companies like Facebook with their use of PHP - last time they released server specs they had equivalent of 8gb of RAM per user of Facebook which is insane, even if a lot of that is being put into big data type processing and analytics, and the amount they've spent trying to turn PHP into something compiled similarly paints the same picture. So yeah, sure, Facebook is there, and it works, most of the time, but it's also costing them way more to run than it should if it was a properly planned project using something like Java, C++, or even C# from the outset. The flip side is, someone like Zuckerberg who was just hacking a de-facto prototype together may also never have been bothered, (or potentially even competent enough?) to do so with a compiled language and a more professional architecture, so it's a double edged sword in that respect, and I can see why many startups like to just get something developed no matter how crappy using the quick to launch (but poor to maintain) benefits of scripting languages.

The Google approach (well, it's probably unfair to call it the Google approach, other big players were doing it long before them) of writing the mission critical or speed critical stuff in Java or C++ respectively and using something like small manageable chunks of a scripting language like Python to string it together is not a bad option.

about a week ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Xest Re:What's the point? (508 comments)

People do use it outside of Windows, it's become the defacto primary language for indie game developers nowadays developing on engines like Unity, or game development frameworks like MonoGame. Both of which support iOS, Android, Linux, MacOS X, and of course Windows.

As a Windows developer I never saw Mono as a viable option for development on Linux/MacOS X so I always reverted back to C/C++ or Java, but when I started fiddling with MonoGame and used it on Linux I was actually incredibly pleasantly surprised as to how good it is - it's good to the point of being a perfectly viable option, which is not something I expected.

about a week ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:Farce (375 comments)

Well, England also pays for things in Scotland it doesn't get to use too, so that kinda works both ways I'm afraid. You could just as well argue that the rest of the UK has to pay 91.1% of Scotland's railways even though they're by definition not in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. I don't think that argument really has any logical grounding given it's two way nature.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:close to population (375 comments)

So just remind me why Scotland wasn't Nazi Scotland during World War II?

No?

Can't answer?

I wonder why.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:close to population (375 comments)

"There has been absolutely no appetite in England up until now for reorganising the system of government to provide improved localism. Scotland has consistently voted differently to the rest of the UK. The Scottish Parliament was an acknowledgement of that."

You don't see how nonsensical your argument is? really?

The Scottish parliament IS an example of improved localism and has seen consistently more devolved powers offered to it, as has Wales, as has Northern Ireland.

The fact you believe that somehow moving the power to Edinburgh when most of Scotland isn't Edinburgh seems to completely miss the point. Sure a bunch of people at the centre of power in Edinburgh will be more happy but then what of those areas of Scotland that are still not represented?

It's not like all of Scotland wants to be independent for the reasons I cited- say Scotland gets a majority for independence but areas such as the outlying islands whose ocean territory is oil rich want to stick with the union, then how do you think they feel being ruled by Edinburgh against their will? Do you feel self-determination is a thing that they deserve too such that the oil heavy parts of Scotlands coast that support the union can stay with it?

Again, the only people served by moving the centre of power to Edinburgh are those close to that centre of power in Edinburgh (who are already well served by the devolved parliament) - it does absolutely nothing to resolve the underlying problems of lack of representation for everyone else, and again, Salmond has proven that over and over with cases such as that of overruling a local decision against Trump, in favour of Trump because it suited him and those in power in Edinburgh, not the people of Scotland in general.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:Farce (375 comments)

No you're missing the point of 20 minutes up north. It's 20 minutes up north to a station that's 20 minutes away from the place you most likely want to go. HS2 to Leeds is going to end at a new station that's 20 minutes away from the center where all the businesses and shops are, to Sheffield it's going to stop at Meadowhall which is convenient if you want a 3 hour shopping round trip from London but puts you a 20 - 40 minute tram/train journey from Sheffield centre.

The point is that HS2 is literally 100% useless it seems - it doesn't stop at the normal city center destinations, it stops at destinations that are far enough out from where you most likely want to be that all benefit is lost. Worse, studies (including the official ones despite the fact they "forgot" to include the relevant pages in the original report) show areas not served will suffer economically, so you'll even see economic decline as a result. I regularly travel between Leeds, Sheffield and London and I'll still just take the East Coast Mainline, or the Sheffield - St Pancras route, because it'll be direct to where I want to go rather than me having to hope between the end points to where I actually want to be at further expense.

So fundamentally HS2 isn't useful at all, it's the anti-thesis of useful, it has no benefits when built, and destroys many people's homes at colossal tax payers expense. Make no mistake - it's a scheme designed to create jobs at the tax payers expense, whilst achieving nothing useful in practice.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing for Trident either, I agree I'm not convinced it serves any purpose, I get the feeling if we're ever at serious threat of being nuked then having a deterrent wont make or break the decision to nuke us anyway, but my point is that Trident if nothing else is at least a very cheap waste of money compared to pointless schemes like HS2 - on the money wasting scale Trident just doesn't even come close to the top of the scale. I'd rather we ditch Trident AND HS2 and have an extra £70bn to £100bn to spend on useful things like nationwide 1gbps internet connections, better maintained roads, additional capacity on the East Coast Mainline, free university tuition and so forth and still had enough change left over to make the NHS more awesome.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:The real question (375 comments)

Right, but you have to remember also that Salmond has been allowed to rig this poll in his favour, precisely so even if the result is that close the Westminster parties can say that he couldn't even win the referendum on his terms.

It's unheard of in the UK for you to not be able to vote in a referendum because of your residency, rather than your nationality yet Westminster let Salmond have his own way on exactly this such that the 20% of Scots most likely to vote against independence (those not currently resident, but otherwise nationals of because they were born there) cannot vote in the referendum. Similarly he was allowed to continue with a loaded referendum question, and he was allowed to bring in the 16 - 18 bracket who are more naive to and hence swayed by populist nationalist rhetoric.

Given that Salmond can't even get a 50:50 split when the thing is slanted completely in his favour then I think saying there's no popular support is a fair argument. If all Scots were allowed a say rather than those Salmond has fiddle the figures for it seems the polls would be running closer to about 66:34.

This is a risky but potentially smart gamble by Westminster in letting Salmond have his own way - it means Salmond cannot come back and say the vote wasn't fair, that it should be re-run, he wont have a leg to stand on because everything was allowed on his terms and yet he'll still most likely lose it seems.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (375 comments)

"In fact it's an open question whether he would continue to even be an EU citizen."

I don't think it is an open question in anyone's mind other than Salmond's. Given that even those within the EU who would be responsible for making such decisions have made it abundantly clear that Salmond would have to reapply, and the likes of Spain's PM have said he'd likely veto them joining then I think it's pretty clear what the stance of Scotland's EU status would be.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:No. It would not. (375 comments)

No, it's mostly where it is because they wanted to put it somewhere where it's easy to get it out into the deep water of the Atlantic - you can rapidly disperse them to places where they'll be almost impossible to find from the North Western side of the country. Putting it on the East coast like Newcastle isn't ideal because it's much easier for a country like Russia to get it's forces there to start searching, and there's less room for a sub to run.

So most likely places would, given that Ireland gets in the way to much of the West coast would be Wales, or Cornwall.

If you look at a depth map of the world's seas then you'll see that the current location gives some of the quickest access to very deep waters that our coasts offer.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (375 comments)

I think Kirchner is too busy ruining her nation's economy to worry about that now. She seems to have dropped that topic now she's realised that it's no longer effective at distracting her populace from the fact that she's making them lose all their jobs and rapidly pushing them to a point where they wont even be able to afford things like bread.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:Farce (375 comments)

I used to think that, but then I saw the price tag of HS2. We could triple our nuclear deterrent for the price of that and what does it give us? 20 minutes faster journeys to new stations that are 20 minutes from the outskirts of the handful of cities you can visit giving no actual benefit in practice anyway and with no doubt much higher fares to use it on top?

Trident is an absolute bargain compared to some of the wastes of money our government has a love affair with.

Even the handful of trains themselves are going to cost 1.5x more than a 4 acre aircraft carrier. I used to think many military projects were a colossal waste of money until I saw the cost of HS2. Now I think they're a bargain.

about two weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Xest Re:close to population (375 comments)

"Scotland has only been invaded by one country in the last 1000 years, it's a country to our south."

Why do you think that might be? Do you think, if say, Scotland was independent and the rest of the UK left it to fend for itself that you wouldn't have been attacked by the Nazis?

The whole reason Scotland hasn't been invaded by anyone other than the English in the last 1000 years is because the English have been running the single biggest empire in history for most of it and Scotland has thrived and been protected as a result of that.

"we just don't like the arseholes in Westminster telling us what to do (neither does large areas of England as it happens)"

Sure, and I'm in one of those parts of England where we have even less localism than you because we don't have a devolved parliament, but the idea of independence is far more retarded because we'd be even worse off again - sure we'd have more local politicians but you think someone in Glasgow is really going to be any more represented by a parliament in Edinburgh than they are London? All Salmond is selling you is that he'll get to fuck you over instead of the politicians in London, god only knows if Salmond's deal with Trump to overrule the rights of a Scotsman and his local council so that Trump could build a golf course isn't evidence of that I don't know what is - he doesn't give a shit about you any more than the politicians in Westminster and he's proven that enough times already.

Moving the place the people in control of you sit changes fuck all, increasing the accountability of whoever controls you and changing it to a relationship of serving you rather than controlling you is the only option to achieve what you're after, and you can do that far more prosperously in the union.

But perhaps instead of chasing independence you'd have worked with those of us in England to get that accountability and improved localism for the regions we might have got somewhere, but instead you're taking the worst possible option out of laziness.

Thankfully though, it seems that plenty enough Scots aren't quite retarded enough to take the stupid option that you're pushing so fingers crossed we can soon start focussing on a solution that makes sense, rather than one that's destructive fed by petty populist nationalist rhetoric.

about two weeks ago

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Man jailed for trolling

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "A man in the UK has been jailed for just over 4 months for trolling, and has also been given an order banning him from using social networking sites for 5 years. The trolling in question involved insulting a person who committed suicide by jumping in front a train by posting offensive remarks on a page dedicated to her memory, and creating a YouTube parody of Thomas the Tank with the deceased girls face in place of Thomas'.

Is it about time trolling to this extent saw this kind of punishment, or is this punishment simply too harsh for someone who perhaps didn't realise how seriously his actions would be taken by the authorities?"

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Android takes 2nd place for the quarter

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "For the quarter July, August, September Android has now pushed into second place for handset sales accounting for 25% of all phones sold, with Apple taking 3rd place and RIM taking 4th. Symbian is of course still king, largely due to it's massive userbase of low end phones in places like Africa, India, and China where handsets such as the iPhone and high end Android devices are simply unaffordable to many. The article notes that sales by smaller handset manufacturers such as HTC, Huwaei, and ZTE who often develop phones on behalf of other companies to brand themselves now account for a third of phone sales. With devices like the Orange San Francisco developed by ZTE selling at £99 without a contract and sporting an AMOLED screen whilst also being able to run some of the most popular games and applications today such as Angry Birds, perhaps even Symbian will see itself displaced over the next few years to be replaced with some of the highly competitive Android devices beginning to trickle out."
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A brighter future for freedom in Britain?

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "Over the last decade on Slashdot since the events of 9/11 we have constantly been bombarded with stories reporting the continued deterioration of freedom and civil liberties in the West as governments come up with their new latest and greatest scheme to track down terrorists and criminals however negative the effect is on the rest of the law abiding population.

Today, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister of Britain's new coalition government who came to power just last week outlined the new government's vision for the future of British civil liberties. The government has so far confirmation that they will be abolishing Britain's ID card database, abolishing the National Identity Register, abolishing the ContactPoint database, look into reforming libel laws to protect freedom of speech, will be restoring protections for the right to peaceful protest, and will improve the fairness of the DNA database to ensure innocent people's DNA is no longer held on it. This all begs the question; is the tide finally turning against deterioration of our rights and freedom?

The results of this rhetoric are yet to be seen, but if they are sincere in their aims, and truly even wish to allow citizens to recommend laws for removal as stated, then might we perhaps even see the dreadful Digital Economy Act repealed? Right now it's too early to tell, but a positive vibe on civil liberties from people now in power is often news in itself when taken in the context of the last decade of mostly doom and gloom for civil liberties and freedom."

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PS3 plagued by similar problems to the XBox 360s i

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Xest writes "More and more reports are appearing of Playstation 3 consoles failing in a similar way that the earlier models of the XBox 360 did, except for Sony, it's the Yellow Light of Dead. The BBC has an interesting article, which suggests the problem could be almost identical to that which caused the earlier XBox 360 models to fail — poor soldering connections. From the article:

"Several of those businesses have told Watchdog that the vast majority of consoles they see with the "yellow light of death" can be repaired by heating up specific parts of the circuit board. This process is called solder re-flow. By heating the connections between the components and the circuit board to temperatures in excess of 200 Celsius, the metal solder joints melt, just like they did when the device was first assembled. Console repairers say that this process method is commonly used to repair fractured connections, or dry joints."

But it's not the only rule from Microsoft's playbook on the issue that Sony have been following, whilst they have admitted 12,500 out of 2.5million (a convenient 0.5%) of systems have failed, they refuse to release full figures of failure rates citing them as being commercially sensitive. Unfortunately one rule Sony does not appear to be following Microsoft on is an extended warranty, stating that if it fails after 12 months, it is not their problem. In the UK however at least, the Sale of Goods act would disagree with that statement."

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Microsoft announces "YouTube for Games"

Xest Xest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Xest (935314) writes "At this years Game Developers Conference, alongside the announcement of Gears of War 2 due for release this November, Microsoft have announced another interesting feature — homebrew game sharing. Utilising XNA, developers and gamers will be able to share games that they have created over XBox live and rate them in a similar manner to YouTube's video sharing service. Microsoft have released 7 games to showcase the capabilities of the service at the event.

If this idea is extended to Windows users through Microsoft's Live for Windows program and with XNA Game Studio being a nice environment for amateur and professional game developers alike this could provide a powerful new path to mainstream users for indie game developers."

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