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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

shutdown -p now Re:Wait.... what? (228 comments)

They actually correspond reasonably well to past polls in the area, and the well-known attitudes of the locals.

yesterday
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

shutdown -p now Re:I can't believe we're afraid of these assholes (459 comments)

He did. Your problem is that you're confusing atheism (the lack of belief) with militant anti-theism (the belief in the lack of).

yesterday
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

shutdown -p now Re:I can't believe we're afraid of these assholes (459 comments)

Iran also by and large left the 8th century a long time ago. Under Shah, say, it wasn't really any different from other authoritarian European regimes from a decade before.

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

shutdown -p now Re:Rules of war (228 comments)

It's a bit more complicated.

Ukrainian military right now basically consists of three distinct parts. One is the regular army - those are reasonably well equipped (all the usual stuff, artillery, tanks, air etc - if somewhat outdated), but poorly motivated. The other is the National Guard, which was basically recreated and stuffed with mostly ex-MVD and internal troops - these are neither well equipped nor well motivated (many of them were on the "wrong" side of Maidan).

Then there is that part of the National Guard that consists of the volunteer batallions - Azov, Dniepr, Donbas, Aidar etc. These consist mostly from people who were on Maidan and wanted to keep the fight going, but also from the newly reinvigorated far right groups like Right Sector (in particular, Azov is almost 100% neo-Nazi, and they aren't even hiding that fact - take a look at their insignia, and if you're not familiar with the symbolism, look up Schwarzezonne and Wolfsangel). Now these guys are very motivated, and they are one of the few units which sometimes even refuse to retreat against direct orders to do so, and are generally very battle efficient. However, they are not well equipped - in many cases the state didn't even issue a proper uniform, so they're wearing the stuff that was crowdsourced for them, and they have very little heavy armor or artillery.

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

shutdown -p now Re:Some people might unfairly judge Ukraine (228 comments)

If Russia had been "rolling tanks, armoured personnel carriers, rockets, heavy field guns, anti-aircraft guns, and airbourne [sic] troops" into Ukraine, it would have been subdued within a week at most - just as Czechoslovakia (sp) and Poland and Hungary were subdued, despite being far better organized than Ukraine today.

Czechoslovakia and Hungary were subdued in an open invasion - the Soviet troops that were rolling in on the tanks did not disguise their allegiance or which state sent them. And comparison doesn't work on many other levels. In Czechoslovakia, in particular, there was pretty much no open resistance. In Hungary, resistance was fierce, but poorly organized and very poorly equipped - basically, they had small arms, but little else, and definitely no artillery or armor. In Ukraine, the undercover Russian troops are facing the Ukrainian military, complete with UAVs, artillery, tanks and air support. It's not a "pacification" operation, it's modern warfare, almost at a full scale (the only thing that's missing is air support on the separatist/Russian side - though they already use UAVs for recog).

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

shutdown -p now Re:Some people might unfairly judge Ukraine (228 comments)

They are unapologetically acting like the USSR; using the old national song as the basis of russia's national anthem is like the Germans taking up "deutchland, deutchland uber alles".

Guess what the official state anthem of the Federal Republic of Germany is?..

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

shutdown -p now Re:How I know that Russian troops are not in Ukrai (228 comments)

I'm not GP, but the two tell-tale signs that I'm seeing are the spelling of "Abhasia" (direct transliteration of Russian "x" into "h" - it doesn't make sense for an English speaker, because the sounds are very different, which is why normal transliteration is "kh") and "08.08.08" (date format with dots and leading zeroes that is normally used in Russia, and it's also one of the few countries that refers to that conflict by the date alone, much like 9/11 in US).

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

shutdown -p now Re:Actually Russians not well informed ... (228 comments)

Not all Russians live in Russia. And even in Russia, there's still mostly unfiltered Internet, you know.

85% of the citizens may be sucking Vova's dick and enjoying it, but the rest of us are not so enthused, thank you very much. So don't dismiss a point just because of the person's native language. Dismiss it based on the validity or lack thereof of his arguments.

yesterday
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

shutdown -p now Re:Wait.... what? (228 comments)

Last time I checked, Ukraine was fighting a separatist movement that wants to liberate the east of Ukraine after a coup occured in Kiev.

"Liberate" is a funny word here. The previous leader of separatists, Alexandr Borodai, said in an interview that he does not consider himself a separatist - rather, Ukrainians are the separatists from the "Russian World", and his fight against them will only be over with the militia's tanks on the streets of Lviv.

If the separatists have the support of the majority of the local people, why would we oppose them?

They haven't shown any clear evidence that they do have the support of the majority of local people. Unlike the referendum in Crimea, the ones in DNR and LNR were so ad-hoc that their results are basically meaningless.

yesterday
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

shutdown -p now Re:Tax evasion (360 comments)

Just as Christianity, Islam often adapted to the circumstances. However, the original restrictions on dhimmi did include armed service and bearing arms in general, and this was enforced in the original Caliphate.

2 days ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

shutdown -p now Re:Tax evasion (360 comments)

I wouldn't exactly call it voluntary. For one thing, Qu'ran is pretty harsh on people who refuse to pay it when they have the means, to the point of calling such munafiq. For another, a state-administered system of collecting it (which was not voluntary) was in place from a very early time, since the second Caliph.

But, yes, the original intent was charity, and specifically a form of guaranteed basic income.

With jizya, yes, it was positioned as a monetary compensation for lack of armed service. On the other hand, the reason why armed service was not expected was also telling: non-Muslims were prohibited from owning and bearing weapons in general.

2 days ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

shutdown -p now Re:Looking for a real conversation (360 comments)

Those quotes are correct. The problem is that taking them like that completely ignores their context. For example, take by far the most widely known verse advocating such things, known as ayat al-sayf, or the Sword Verse:

"So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

The context of this is a war that Muhammad and his followers are waging against a hostile pagan Arab tribe in Mecca (while Muhammad himself is in Medina, where he escaped from Mecca due to persecution). There was a truce in effect at that time, but it was violated by the Meccans, and Muhammad gave them four months to make amends, or else hostilities would be resumed.

Now, most Muslims today interpret this quote in that context - that it was a specific commandment given to the followers within the boundaries set by that particular conflict, and that it ceased to be relevant afterwards. Some - in particular, Salafi - interpret it the way you did, by saying that the context doesn't matter, and that the commandment is generic and applies to the entire Ummah from there on.

The governments are, in fact, fighting the propaganda war - for example, make the state-approved Islamic authorities condemn such interpretations, and issue fatwas against following them.

3 days ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

shutdown -p now Re:Sources (360 comments)

The Sword Verse is very widely known and there's no dispute about its authenticity. It's a matter of its interpretation in context, and contexts can vary.

3 days ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

shutdown -p now Re:Tax evasion (360 comments)

No, it's not. GP is entirely correct, zakat is a tax on Muslims, jizya on non-Muslims.

Also, Islamic rulers in the past have extended the notion of "People of the Book" to pretty much any religion that fell under their control in practice - Zoroastrians, even Hindus. The only ones that they truly cannot tolerate is the ones that appeared after Islam and are derived from it or borrow from it heavily (like Yazidi, Ahmadiyya or Ba'hai).

3 days ago
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

shutdown -p now Re: But is it reaslistic? (360 comments)

What made you believe this is meant to target USA? ISIS has killed one American so far, and what, around 10K Syrians and Iraqis?

How about Shiite-dominated areas of Iraq, for instance? I doubt their hygiene and medicine is on par with US - can it combat such a threat?

3 days ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

shutdown -p now Re:Send in the drones! (827 comments)

It depends on how US would represent it. If it's official like Vietnam, then no, it wouldn't be Ukrainian forces, it would be American troops.

3 days ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

shutdown -p now Re:Send in the drones! (827 comments)

Then I get back to my previous point: in "political reality", there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. You can't order to attack what's not there.

3 days ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

shutdown -p now Re:Send in the drones! (827 comments)

I can't tell about Vietnam and Americans, but I can assure you that e.g. fighter pilots on both the UN (Americans) and the North Korean (Soviets) side knew full well who they were aiming to. And in Vietnam, it was most certainly presented as an American puppet regime with direct involvement in the USSR, so any Soviet troop fighting there would also know full well that he was killing Americans, not just South Vietnamese (indeed, to him, South Vietnamese would be the people that he came to save from American imperialism).

3 days ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

shutdown -p now Re:Her work (1221 comments)

It's not enough to merely show suffering if there's no path to rectify the suffering.

It's a bullshit argument, sorry. Not every piece of entertainment is supposed to be a full-fledged women studies teaching material.

But most importantly, there's a question as to the value of this 'realism', even if it were accurate. A lot of terrible things happen in the world that we see fit to ignore. Physics, for one thing. We also don't seem to care about going to the bathroom, cancer or getting oil changes. We're willing to suspend disbelief; this is probably an area where we could live without the casual gendered violence that we've really become accustomed to.

Different games draw the lines differently here. There are some where dying of old age is a possibility, say, and racing games do include oil changes sometimes. With respect to physics, many games are actually trying to make it as real as possible.

Ultimately, the value of this particular bit of realism as a whole is drawing attention to the problem. You can complain that it's not sufficient, but it's way better than nothing.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Microsoft adds Node.js support to Visual Studio

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  about 9 months ago

shutdown -p now (807394) writes "Coming from the team that had previously brought you Python Tools for Visual Studio, Microsoft has announced Node.js Tools for Visual Studio, with the release of the first public alpha. NTVS is the official extension for Visual Studio that adds support for Node.js, including editing with Intellisense, debugging, profiling, and the ability to deploy Node.js websites to Windows Azure. An overview video showcases the features, and Scott Hanselman has a detailed walkthrough.

The project is open source under Apache License 2.0. While the extension is published by Microsoft, it is a collaborative effort involving Microsoft, Red Gate (which previously had a private beta version of similar product called Visual Node), and individual contributors from the Node.js community."

Link to Original Source
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Python Tools for Visual Studio 2.0 Beta Released

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  about a year ago

shutdown -p now (807394) writes "My team at Microsoft, which works on Python Tools for Visual Studio — a free, open source extension for Visual Studio that adds support for Python to that IDE — has just shipped a beta version of the upcoming 2.0 release with numerous new features and improvements.

PTVS supports most Python interpreters including CPython, advanced code completion, debugging, and profiling. Some highlights of this release are mixed-mode debugging of Python and C/C++ code with integrated call stacks, stepping and breakpoints; the ability to remotely attach to and debug Python programs running on Linux and OS X; and Django support with ability to conveniently deploy Django websites and services to Windows Azure.

PTVS works with Visual Studio 2010, 2012 and 2013 Preview, as well as the free Visual Studio Shell."

Link to Original Source
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Code from Microsoft submitted to jQuery

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 3 years ago

shutdown -p now (807394) writes "Microsoft has previously announced its support for jQuery JavaScript client framework when it started bundling it with Visual Studio back in 2008. Since then, Microsoft developers, in direct cooperation with the core jQuery team and the community, have developed three new plugins — Templates, DataLink and Globalization. Today, this contribution has finally found its way upstream into the main jQuery code base, and will be included into the upcoming 1.5 release. As all other jQuery code, the plugins are dual-licensed under MIT and GPLv2, making it another rare case of Microsoft contributing code to an Open Source project under the GPL."
Link to Original Source
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Windows Phone 7 Series - Developer Perspective

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 4 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "As previously promised, at MIX10 developer conference, Microsoft has released details about the development side of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series.

It is now confirmed that two frameworks for application development will be XNA for games and game-like fullscreen, high-performance applications, and a subset of Silverlight 3 for everything else. Both frameworks support managed .NET code only — no native (C++) code support. Furthermore, the applications are sandboxed, and "unsafe" functionality, such as P/Invoke, is not available. A fairly detailed set of UI guidelines for developers has been made available as well.

The integrated web browser is claimed to be based on Internet Explorer 7 engine with some extra features, such as proper XHTML support.

An single centralized store will be available, called the Marketplace. It will include both applications and other media (such as music). The Marketplace will be the only way to install applications onto the phone (though, supposedly, "enterprise customers" will have some workaround). There will be an approval process for publishing applications on the Marketplace, and, aside from filtering out malware, it will also require that applications are "generally good taste excluding pornography, hateful/inflammatory speech, and gratuitous violence".

On the hardware side, the specifications will be tightly controlled for the benefit of developers. A standard set of hardware buttons is mandated on all phones ("Back", "Home" and "Search"). Screen size is limited to two standard resolutions: 320x480, and 480x800, and touchscreen must be capacitive, with at least 4-point multi-touch. Other requirements hardware requirements include 3D acceleration, GPS, and accelerometer.

Unlike past mobile SDK releases from Microsoft, a free version of development tools for Windows Phone will be available, named "Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone". A preview of that is presently available, complete with an emulator. In the future, a mobile-oriented version of Expression Blend 4, a designer-centric development tool, will also be available."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 Released, Supports ODF

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 4 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "On April, 2008, Microsoft has released service pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007. Among other changes, it includes the earlier-promised support for ODF text documents and spreadsheets, featured prominently on the "Save As" menu alongside Office Open XML and the legacy Office 97-2007 formats. It is also possible to configure Office applications to use ODF as the default format for new documents.

In addition, the service pack also includes "Save as PDF" out of the box, and better Firefox support by SharePoint."

Link to Original Source
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ISO publishes final Open XML specification

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "ISO/IEC 29500:2008, better known as Office Open XML, is now a published ISO International Standard. Major changes since last public drafts include splitting the standard into "strict conformance" and "transitional conformance" parts, with all the Microsoft Office compatibility hacks going into the latter, "for Office Open XML consumers and producers that comply to the transitional conformance category ... provide support for legacy Microsoft Office applications". The complete standard, including the transitional part, is still rather unwieldy at 7,228 pages; of those, the transitional elements take up only 1,475 pages.

In addition, the ISO press release explicitly references something called "Microsoft Office 2008" at least one time. Presumably, it would be a Microsoft Office release fully compliant with the newly released specification in its final form; however, there haven't been any announcements from Microsoft about a product named "Office 2008" yet."

Link to Original Source
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Exploits generated autpmatically from patches

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shutdown -p now writes "A group of researchers wrote a paper (PDF) on automatic generation of exploits from security patches. It works by performing flow analysis on the code that is changed by the code to find the boundary conditions that lead to vulnerability in an unpatched version. It's not just theory, either: they have successfully generated exploits for 5 known vulnerabilities in Microsoft products using their algorithm. The authors note that a successful attack using this method is particularly likely when vendor deliberately delays releasing security patches to the general public, to push them in a single bundle on a regular schedule — as is the case with Windows Update and its infamous Patch Tuesday."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Contact me

shutdown -p now shutdown -p now writes  |  more than 2 years ago

If you want to contact me without spamming article discussions (i.e. if you're new here), just reply to this post.

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