And for good measure, Ukraine should "sell" its ownership in the Ukrainian section of the gas pipeline to a Nato country and then shut off the flow of gas.
Cutting off the flow of gas would hurt Europe a lot more than it would hurt Russia at this point. Entering the winter with your largest gas supplier no longer providing you with the gas that you use for heating would suck. And as gas is fungible, it doesn't matter to Russia if we stop buying it from them, unless everyone else stops buying it from them - if China doesn't join in with the boycott then it just means that they'll be buying more has from Russia because the price of everyone else's gas will go up.
I'm 45 and recruiters bother me more than ever.
I'm not that old, but I work with quite a lot of people who are older than you at various big companies. They're all exceedingly competent. I suspect that's part of the problem for the grandparent: the older you are, the greater the expectations. If you're as competent at 45 as someone else at 25, then people start to wonder how you've managed to work for 20 without gaining more insight. If you hire a competent 25 year old, then there's a good chance that they'll mature and improve over the next 5-10 years. If you hire someone who has only achieved the same level of competence by the time that they're 45, then they don't look like such a good investment.
Actually, come to think of it, my first hard drive (40MB!) didn't fail, but my second one (60MB in a laptop) did.
We've actually paid more tax per head, and received less back per head, than England for every one of the last 110 years, which is as far back as the available data goes
A big citation needed there. The last time I looked at the data was in 1998, but back then English tax payers were paying an average of around £100 each for the upkeep of Scotland, if you didn't include the north sea gas revenues.
The problem is that X was designed for network transparency in a usage model that no longer exists. X is great for network transparency when the server is doing all of the drawing. Unfortunately, the server can't do simple things like antialised line drawing, so people render on the client and then push (uncompressed) pixmaps to the server. A few issues with X11:
Some trivial things, like the fact that command IDs are 8 bits and over half of them are taken up by 'core protocol' things that no one uses anymore. this means that every extension (i.e. the stuff people actually do use) ends up providing a single 'do stuff' command and then a load of subcommands. This limits the number of extensions that you can have loaded and, because the assignment of extensions to command numbers is dynamic, makes intelligent proxies just that little bit harder to write.
There's no easy way for an application to get all of its server-side state. This means that you can't, for example, have the X server crash (or even restart cleanly after an upgrade) and have all clients reconnect and recreate their windows. The Windows and BeOS display servers, for example, have this feature. You also can't tell an application to disconnect from one server and move its windows to another easily. This ought to be basic functionality for a client-server windowing system. There are proxies that try to do this, but they break in the presence of certain (commonly used) extensions.
There is no security model. Any app can get the entire input stream. Keyloggers for X are trivial to write as are programs that inject keystrokes into other applications. Neither requires any special privilege, nor do applications that subvert the display hierarchy (e.g. window managers).
The XRender extension is basically useless. It lets you do server-side compositing, which ought to make things fast. OS X gets a lot of speedup from doing this for text rendering: programs (well, system libraries that programs use) render glyphs in a font to server-side buffers and then the server composites them in the correct place. This doesn't work well with X, because most toolkits aren't set up to do text drawing on the server but everything else on the client (which is needed because the server doesn't provide a rich set of drawing primitives). Fixing this would mean adding something like the full set of PostScript or PDF drawing commands to the server.
XLib is an abomination. It starts with an asynchronous protocol designed for latency hiding and then wraps it up in a synchronous interface. It's basically impossible to use XLib to write an application that performs well over high-latency (more than a few tens of ms) link. XCB is somewhat better, but it's fighting toolkits that were designed around the XLib model so ends up being used synchronously.
None of the network-transparent audio extensions caught on, so your remote apps can't even make notification beeps (worse - they can, but on the remote machine).
If you designed a modern protocol for a network-transparent windowing system, you'd end up with something a lot like a web browser. You'd want PostScript drawing contexts (canvas tags, in HTML5 parlance), server-side caching of images and sound samples (image and audio tags, in HTML5 parlance), and OpenGL contexts. The library would keep a list of all of the contexts that it held on behalf of the program and would be able to recreate them on demand and request that the program reinitialise them. You'd be able to run small snippets of interpreted code on the server (so that things like pressing buttons or opening menus didn't require a full network round-trip - something that DPS and NeWS got right in the '80s, but X11 got wrong). You'd ensure that input events only went to the current view or its immediate parent (if explicitly delegated), or to a program that the user had designated as privileged.
It's possible to do a lot better than X11. Unfortunately, most projects that try seem to focus on irrelevant issues and not the real ones.