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Comment: Radicalization (Score 5, Insightful) 179

by Comboman (#49385949) Attached to: Tatooine Youth Suspected In Terrorist Attack

If you do it right, you don't even need to change the references:

Desert Youth Radicalized by Bearded Religious Zealot
He seemed to others like a typical teen; having fun with his friends, going into town to pick up some power converters. But the boy's foster parents were worried he would follow a local anti-social, desert-dwelling hermit on some "damn fool ideological crusade". There are reports the old man may have lied to the youth about his birth father's involvement in the religious movement in order to gain his trust. From there, the two joined up with a couple of mercenary smugglers involved in human trafficking in an attempt to sneak past coalition blockades and gain access to military facilities. The old cleric apparently martyred himself in the initial attack on the base, which only strengthened the youth's resolve to follow in his mentor's footsteps. Even the mercenaries appear to have been radicalized, abandoning their business interests to join up with the movement.

Comment: High-speed rail instead? (Score 2) 226

by Comboman (#49343735) Attached to: Russian Official Proposes Road That Could Connect London To NYC

While still ridiculously expensive, a high-speed (or even regular-speed) rail line linking Asia and North America would at least be a little more practical. No need to build (and man, and resupply) gas stations/rest stops/etc every 50 miles or so across thousands of miles of frozen tundra. I'm not sure how far a train can go without needing to refuel, but they never have to stop to pee.

Comment: Re:Metadata (Score 2) 213

Sure there is. All you have to do is use stegnography to encode your message into a photo, then use that photo in what looks like a spam email message, then pretend your computer is taken over by a botnet and send the spam to a few thousand email addresses (including the one you actually want to send to). Absolutely no useful metadata there.

Comment: Re:Weird Al.... (Score 5, Informative) 386

Weird Al is safe for two reasons:

1) He gets permission from every artist prior to doing a parody, despite the fact that he doesn't really need to because...

2) US Copyright law makes specific mention of parody as fair use. Some parody is subtle, but Al's is broad and obvious. I would like to see a lawyer try to argue his works are not parody.

Comment: Also fails history. (Score 1, Informative) 648

by Comboman (#48856513) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Since BASIC was introduced in 1964 and C was not released until 1972, it is highly doubtful that BASIC is in any way "based on C". BASIC is patterned after Fortran and to a lesser extent Algol. Those language also influenced C, though in different proportions (more Algol, less Fortran), but any claim of BASIC being C-based is quite laughable.

Comment: Null Terminated Strings (Score 3, Interesting) 729

- strings terminated by a binary zero rather than their physical size. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea?
Well, age old argument. Basically a matter of taste or sadly a historical "evolution".

I'm pretty sure null-terminated strings come from the days of punch cards/punch tape where an unpunched area is read as null (binary zero). Wherever the data-entry clerk stopped typing was the end of the string and the string could be appended to latter (impossible with a non-zero end-of-string symbol or a string length in the header which can't be rewritten on card/tape).

Comment: strained logic (Score 1) 667

by Comboman (#47497273) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

But still, interpreted literally the new statement is far more factually correct and unbiased than what it replaced. Whoever shot down the plane, they were "soldiers" or fighters of some variety and almost certainly can be described as Ukrainian, given that everyone seems to agree that the fighters are actually eastern Ukrainians and at most Russia is supplying weapons to them.

By that logic, "Saudi Arabian soldiers" were responsible for flying airliners into the World Trade Center.

Comment: Why I vote Republican (Score -1, Flamebait) 50

by Comboman (#47416997) Attached to: DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

Why I vote Republican

I vote Republican because I believe it’s okay if our federal government borrows $85 Billion every single long as it's spent by the Department of Defense.

I vote Republican because I claim to care about the children but don't want any money spent on education or healthcare.

I vote Republican because I believe it is okay if conservative activist judges rewrite the Constitution to suit some fringe kooks, who would otherwise never get their agenda past the voters.

I vote Republican because I believe that corporate America should be allowed to make profits for themselves, by outsourcing American jobs, busting unions, destroying the environment and lobbying corrupt politicians.

I vote Republican because I’m concerned about millions of babies being aborted, but don't care what happens after they're born.

I vote Republican because I don't know the difference between weather and climate.

I vote Republican because The Right To Bear Arms is not as important as preventing people from being murdered.

I vote Republican because I believe lazy, uneducated rednecks should have just as big a say in running our country as entrepreneurs who risk everything and work 70 hours per week.

I vote Republican because I see absolutely no correlation between corporate welfare and the rise of income inequality.

I vote Republican because I see absolutely no correlation between lenient gun laws and surging crime rates.

I vote Republican because I believe you don’t need an ID buy a gun, but do to vote.

I vote Republican because I think AIDS is prevented by keeping children ignorant about safe sex.

I vote Republican because I think “freedom” is far more important than fairness.

I vote Republican because I think an “equal opportunity” means anyone can apply for a job but only white males will get one.

I vote Republican because I would rather hide in a boardroom while others fight for my freedom.

I vote Republican because I’m not smart enough to own a gun but think I should be allowed to anyway.

And lastly, I vote Republican because I’m convinced that government is the source of all our problems... and prove it every time we're in office.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky