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Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 363 363

In reality, the only way to fight a war like ISIS is to do what was done to Germany -- level all cities (and all buildings in the city) that even are rumored to have insurgents. Without the commitment to do actual, yucky warfare that completely breaks all resistance... half-ass measures just creates emboldened enemies (think "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!".)

This has been the weakness of the US military since at least Viet Nam and possibly even Korea.

The only way to "win" a war is to defeat the people, not just the army or the fighters. Sure, it's ugly because you kill a lot of people who don't really deserve to die in any conventional moral sense. But not doing it just causes you to lose lives for nothing.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 363 363

and yet 9999 times of 10000 or more they continue to treat the enemy humanely and frequently place themselves in grater danger to do so.

But do they do it for humanitarian reasons or fear of punishment?

I don't know how true to life it was, but in "Lone Survivor" when the 3 SEALs capture two random Afghanis they have all manner of animated discussion about what to do with them -- if they let them go, they will likely get a whole bunch of Taliban after them, if they kill them or tie them up so they can't get away, they might end up with some kind of war crimes problem.

During their debate, it wasn't "what kind of a humanitarian are you" it was "Do you want to go to Leavenworth for the rest of your life?"

Frankly, I think they probably should have just executed them. It was pretty clear they were aligned with the enemy (one guy was carrying a two-way radio, and I don't think Afghanistan has a CB club) and the results of not killing them were kind of as predicted -- a company-size band of Taliban chasing them down and trying to kill them, succeeding at killing two of them.

It's hard to think of any other military campaign that would have allowed an operation to get compromised like that when snuffing the enemy would have been so effective.

Maybe a better future compromise is a little autoinjector they could carry with a strong dose of a short-acting (eg, 4-6 hours) but powerful sedative/hypnotic. Nighty-night for them and when they wake up, the soldiers are long gone.

Comment: Re:Look outside, not inside (Score 1) 169 169

So you're one of those losers who wrecks their plane with their relatives in it because you have no experience and no ability to fly by instrument and get killed because you think you can fly by the seat of your pants.

People shouldn't even be allowed to fly with only a private license. If you can't fly at the standard of a commercial pilot, you have no business piloting an airplane.

Comment: Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 172 172

Well yes. People are insane, and have all kinds of ludicrous arguments, especially those which see the world as a single absolute. I often compare ghettos to suburbs in death penalty arguments: in the ghetto, so many murders and so much gang crime make it hard to investigate and identify murderers, and, besides, the murderers are like 99% likely to die by gang rival murder, and 1% likely to even get arrested by police for murder; whereas in suburbs, people aren't as exposed to crime, and reflect on themselves as criminals in terms of "the police will find me, and they will give me the chair", and so encode deep into the core of their subconscious that committing murder means death by state execution. People want to argue that human psychology doesn't contain any such thing that would identify, interpret, and react to the threat of execution for a crime, or that it's absolutely a deterrent.

Ludicrous people are ludicrous.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 363 363

I tend to ignore GDP as an indicator because it's utterly useless. My favorite indicator is AGI, and the best indicators are things like per-capita income and proportion of money spent on things. Even those distort: in the 70s, you made $13k and spent $7k on a car; in 2014, you made $65k and spent $32k on a brand new Camaro--that's less, 49% instead of 53%--yet the damn Camaro has a much-better-engineered engine, suspension, drive train, electronic stability control, satellite navigation system, five-DVD MP3 changer, built-in Spotify, etc. Not to mention people tend to measure cost of the car by amortization of aggregate car payment, maintenance, fuel, insurance, and so forth.

I've given the 15-paragraph explanation of wealth growth over time too many times. People respond mostly by freaking out or mis-interpreting it as supply-and-demand economics (it's not even vaguely supply-and-demand), because it's a god damn brand new theory, because historians have briefly commented on things like the Industrial Revolution without actually writing the damn pattern down. The above is the short of it, so you can work out the unifying theory of economics yourself and figure out why it's hard to measure economic growth and productivity. Bonus points if you suddenly understand why supply doesn't just increase, instead of price; why some markets overcharge huge mark-ups, and how competition does and doesn't control this; and what technical condition will occur if communism is suddenly the correct economic practice.

Aside from that, a one-time cash infusion does very little, kind of like if you drop off 500 pounds of rice to an Ethiopian and never feed him again.

Comment: Re:The problem... (Score 1) 169 169

Exactly: is it better to have pop-ups from your nav system telling you when and where to turn, or is it better to fumble with a paper map, or drive around endlessly in circles lost, or pulling over and stopping constantly to ask some codger for inaccurate directions (and then getting lost again because the directions were bad)?

Comment: Re:The problem... (Score 1) 169 169

I like HUD, but I think that GPS-enabled cruise control (with camera backup) is the best way to handle avoiding excessive speed with technology. The hardware for that is in most cars now.

You can't use cruise control (of any kind) on most non-highway roads. If you're driving through town on a road with stoplights, cruise control is obviously not safe to use there. However, that may be a place that's a favorite spot for cops.

On a highway, you have a good point, but cops do not only issue speeding tickets on limited-access highways.

Comment: Re:The problem... (Score 1) 169 169

Downside on the latest one is it will display some radio information (station freq. or CD track number) when you make a change to the radio settings - they don't "stick" for very long. I suppose the idea is to keep the driver's eyes up rather than looking at the center stack for radio settings, but I could live without that info on the screen.

That's exactly the idea. It's better for you to get a quick update (esp. if you're actively adjusting the radio) on your HUD, rather than divert your attention to a different device on the dashboard that requires you to refocus your attention. If you're used to the vehicle and don't need the information, it should be easy for you to mentally ignore it.

Comment: Re:The problem... (Score 1) 169 169

I don't know about the OP, but my new Mazda3 has this feature as well. There's a HUD (it projects onto a piece of clear plastic that sits in the driver's view right on top of the instrument panel), and it also has a FOW (forward object warning) system which changes the HUD display to "BRAKE" with an alarm sound if it senses an impending collision.

The HUD itself I find very useful, because it doesn't require me to refocus my eyes much to see it, and has useful information: the current speed, the set speed for cruise control, if the cruise control detects a car ahead, what the following distance is set to, if lane-departure warnings are enabled, and arrows from the nav system telling me when to turn.

I can see how some people might think it's distracting to constantly see your speed like that, but that's a product of our idiotic insistence on arbitrary and overly-low speed limits with harsh penalties for violations. Instead of watching the road for dangers and generally driving safely at a speed we're comfortable with, we need to constantly compare our driving speed to the allowed speed and make sure we aren't going more than, say, 5mph over. Of course, on the highway you can set the cruise control and not worry about it so much, but on surface streets CC isn't such a great idea for obvious reasons, and those are also the roads where you're more likely to need to swerve or brake to avoid a collision. So to anyone complaining about this stuff being distracting, go complain to the cops about it, they're the reason for it.

Comment: Re:Kaspersky (Score 1) 24 24

Given what's pretty well known about the overlap between FSB/KGB and Russian organized crime, the generally corrupt nature of Russian government and the cronyism in Russian business, it's hard not to see Kaspersky being reticent about talking with a foreign reporter about Russian cybercriminals.

That being said, it may have more subtle influences. Maybe they're in social scenes that overlap? Maybe there's a certain nationalism or national pride going on where they want to talk about something OTHER than the usual narrative of Russian corruption and crime.

The base problem I have with Kaspersky is that given what we know about money-grubbing American corporations and their willingness to cave to the security apparatus, how does Kaspersky operate in Russia without caving or being strongarmed by the government, criminals, or worse?

Comment: Re:Not to say it's unnecessary (Score 1) 363 363

Even the latest American jets had a hard time dog-fighting against the obsolete MIG-17.

This is why I said, up-thread, that we should consider perhaps that the F16 is superior, and that maybe we don't need to build new planes unless we're having trouble winning wars, since we used to have trouble fighting obviously-inferior MIG fighters 30 years out of date with our state-of-the-art hardware.

Comment: Re:Umm... (Score 1) 139 139

Also, why do we care what a former biologist, now sci/tech article writer for the WSJ has to say about technology-related education? Is there some connection that I'm missing?

Wall Street dreams of coding to become yet another minimum-wage unskilled job. It probably will, simply because coding isn't all that difficult, just tedious, and as computers continue getting everywhere programming will ultimately become like literacy is now.

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.