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Comment: Re:Barely credible (Score 0) 292

by Arker (#47545991) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine
Russia is certainly a bit authoritarian, but they dont tolerate outright neo-nazis.

Whereas the Ukrainian putsch relies heavily on two overtly neo-nazi parties. Their members hold several cabinet posts including security and defense. Their names are Svoboda and Right Sector, you can look them up yourself.

Comment: Re:Slippery Slope (Score 1) 154

"The choices are unelected leaders, elected leaders or no leaders. "

That's not actually an exhaustive list to start with, and even if it were it still conceals differences. Perhaps it does not matter so much exactly how the 'leaders' are chosen, but instead their competence, loyalty, and relationship with the law? Perhaps even more important than their personal properties are the properties of the office itself, as Lord Acton observed?

The kings were filthy thugs, but they never dreamed of being able to visit the sort of horror on their 'subjects' that modern states have visited on their supposed citizens, in e.g. Nazi Germany, the USSR, Turkey, and many other places over the last 200 years. They simply did not have that kind of power.

Comment: Re:What's your point? (Score 1) 15

by Arker (#47541043) Attached to: Practical socialism
"By bulk are you referring to the number of people in the political system, or something else? "

The number of people whose livelihoods depend on taxation, if that is what you mean by 'in the political system,' would be one good proxy for bulk. Another would be the percentage of GDP spent by government, either directly or indirectly (through mandates for example.)

"If instead the argument is that government is trying to help too many people (ie the country is so large that government from a federal level is impossible and should be abandoned), I don't necessarily disagree."

That's a whole different barrel of worms, and not what I was saying at all. Power is the problem, power itself. It's essentially the same creature whether it is the local strongman and busybody or the national ones, except that the national level can obviously arrange for larger disasters. Devolving power from the national to the local level may be worthwhile, but it's not an end-all. Local tyrannies are still tyrannies.

A subsidiary problem is government trying to follow heart-wrenching but utterly inchoate missions like 'help people' btw. Government programs are easy to institute but damn near impossible to shut down, so if you have any interest at all in stopping it somewhere short of complete totalitarianism you really must come up with much more specific, well-defined, and suitable missions. Like 'provide a court and law enforcement system of last resort' or 'prevent Mexico from reclaiming her northwestern states' for example.

"I do think it is likely time to split our country up into 2 (or more) independent nations. Frankly I don't expect that our country will survive more than another 10-20 years without that happening anyways"

You know, when other countries have problems with different groups not seeing eye to eye on everything, one common remedy suggested by Merikans has been something called federalism. It allows the country to keep the benefits of union, while avoiding much of the squabbling, by keeping the central government relatively weak and small so that it doesnt matter so much which region controls it. Perhaps we should investigate that before splitting up?

I seem to recall some old white dudes named Jefferson and Madison and that whole generation even talked about it a bit. Nah, couldnt be. If they had, we would have a federal system here already, and we wouldnt be talking about breakup, right?

"Is regressive taxation not state action? "

Taxation *is* state action. It is the primordial state action, because it is the see of all other state actions which require funds.

"How about restrictions on health care for certain parts of the population?"

Restrictions on health care, like all restrictions on peaceful honest business, should be repealed.

Comment: Misfeatures (Score 3, Informative) 171

by Arker (#47510679) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released
"Malware blocking" = yet another bad signature/reputation based scanner. If I wanted one, I would have one installed - and Firefox versions without this misfeature would still use it to scan, so in what universe was this worth doing?

If you really want to do something about malware, disable javascript by default.

"Automatic handling of pdf and ogg files" - I have a pdf reader already. I dont need another one, and I dont need one 'integrated' in my browser, period.

"loaded with new features for developers." Pretty sure that means for advertisers.

Comment: Re:So (Score 0) 194

by Arker (#47509615) Attached to: A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting
"There are those who say you need to use RequestPolicy and Ghostery and AdBlock and NoScript (and some other stuff, like a cookie blocker) to catch everything...."

It's a sign of utter insanity among the browser maintainers.

All this crap should be guaranteed off by default, and require an extension to enable, rather than the reverse.

Comment: Re:The point? (Score 0) 454

by Arker (#47507399) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures
"So how much is your family worth?"

An emotionally resonant argument but not a rational one.

Cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes are the leading causes of death in Israel. Rockets fired by Hamas is waaaay down the list, and it would still be waaaay down the list without the interceptors.

Let's say you can spend a billion dollars to save one person from death by rocket, or the same billion to save 250,000 from cancer, but of course you cant do both, once the money is spent it is spent. Which is the wiser use of the money?

Comment: Re:Yet another reason to turn off Ecmascript (Score 2) 194

by Arker (#47507137) Attached to: A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting
Not really. The Amish reject technology across the board, whether useful or not. People that are on the internet are obviously not rejecting technology across the board - javascript-in-the-browser is a single, very problematic technology, which is responsible for the vast majority of computer infections.

So no, people that do not allow javascript are not much like the Amish of the internet. We are more like the 'people who know how to use condoms' of the internet.

Comment: Re:The point? (Score 0) 454

by Arker (#47506749) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures
So it's designed to stop the threat that does not exist, and therefore should be excused for failures against the one that does? That makes little sense.

"And eve if it really was only 5% effective, I'd take 5% less ballistic missiles headed at my town thank you."

Irrational. When the damage done by the ineffective rockets is less than the cost to shoot them down, the money could clearly be better spent elsewhere.

That would be true even if the conflict were not one of choice, but is doubly so in the current situation.

Comment: Re:As it should be (Score 1) 233

by Arker (#47503137) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads
"Sacrificing upload to gain extra download makes perfect sense when the person at the end of the line does far more downloading than uploading"

Two false postulates concealed here.

First that upload and download can be totally separated. Common misunderstanding. The way the internet works, all traffic is bidirectional - even if you are coming as close as possible to 'pure downloading' you are still using your upstream for traffic management. So while a certain amount of asymetricality can be tolerated, as long as the usage cases are very narrowly limited, even with all those caveats it can still amount to fraud. At least, if you are paying for 100mbit download but given so little upload allowance that you could not use it, you would probably call it fraud (when and if you caught on.)

But that is relatively minor in comparison to the second, which is that the internet is designed and should be used as a peer to peer network. It is not a broadcast network, and it was not designed to replace TV or facilitate more intrusive advertising. Asymmetrical bandwidth caps are thus seen correctly as direct attacks on the Internet itself - attempts to limit customers, to prevent them from truly and fully joining the Internet, since the cable companies prefer to keep making their monopoly rents instead of having to compete for our dollars.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.