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Comment: Remember this event when listening to any US claim (Score 1) 231

by Eternal Vigilance (#48724397) Attached to: US Slaps Sanctions On North Korea After Sony Cyberattack

This level of evidentiary "certainty" is what's used all the time by the U.S. to justify killing thousands with drones, or millions in war. It's merely easier in this case to recognize the claims as being laughably - or perhaps disturbingly - false.

What's even more frightening than the idea the U.S. would conduct an act of war just to save a large corporation from some bad PR is the realization the people doing this are either too clueless to know how obvious is their charade or they're too deranged or too honey badger to care.

I suppose one could go for the clueless deranged honey badger (with WMD) trifecta.

But as long as lies distract people from talking about CIA torture, Wall St. crimes and economic collapse, and anything else meaningful, and direct Americans' desire for accountability and punishment away from powerful people and onto shadowy phantoms...then the lies have worked.

Comment: The NK story was cover to protect Sony (and NSA) (Score 5, Insightful) 282

by Eternal Vigilance (#48670543) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

Of course North Korea didn't attack Sony. Asking "Did North Korea really attack Sony?" is like asking "Does NORAD really track Santa?"

The North Korea story was spin to save Sony from the devastating bad publicity about the depths of their business and technological incompetence. (The politicians who defended them will get repaid for this favor during the next election cycle. My previous comment about this from last week: They may even start using this to try to rescue that disaster of a movie. "You have to see 'The Interview'! To support free speech and America!")

The Dear Leader Of The Free World announcing "don't blame poor Sony, they were helpless victims of the evil North Koreans" totally changed the media story, saving Sony huge $$$ in both public perception and future lawsuits.

But just how America's President and trillion-dollar national security state could get things so wrong - but should always be trusted when saying who's bad and deserves to be killed, like some kind of psycho-Santa delivering death from his sleigh filled with drones - will never be questioned.

Businesses and politicians will never stop lying when it works this well.

Merry Christmas.

Comment: The bogus NK claim protects Sony (and NSA) (Score 1) 236

The Sony hack is just a simple case of incompetent corporate management and the lengths to which big-money donors and their political friends will go to protect themselves and advance their own ends.

By claiming this is all North Korea (the best Korea!)'s doing, what was initially lose-lose (Sony burns their multi-billion-dollar business to the ground, and the NSA gets exposed for not having any ability to stop it or even give warning) is now suddenly win-win (Sony gets to portray itself as a helpless victim and thus no liability, and NSA gets to argue for even more spying).

Sure makes it easier to avoid bad press and expensive lawsuits when the President himself comes out and tells the world "It wasn't Sony's fault."

(I bet that will be worth a lot come campaign contribution time. Sort of the Hollywood version of how Obama sold all Americans to the health businesses, in exchange for their support and donations to D's.)

And the Rahm Emanuel playbook - "Never let a good crisis go to waste" - is still clearly in use in D.C. Instead of people demanding to know "why didn't the outrageously expensive and unconstitutional NSA surveillance of every American (and the whole world) protect anyone against this?" the political spin can now be "see, this is why we need restrictions on everyone's use of the Internet."

(As an amusing political side note, even though the Republicans are well aware North Korea had nothing to do with this, and are seething at how the Democrats will be able to use Obama's move for huge amounts of Hollywood support in 2016, the R's can't say a damn thing - because if they do they end up looking like they're defending North Korea!)

But it is impressive the level of influence some people have. "Tell Obama we need him to hold a press conference and say our negligence and malfeasance that destroyed our company wasn't our fault."

They may even start using this to try to rescue that disaster of a movie. "You have to see 'The Interview'! To support free speech and America!"

Who knows, maybe someone will even dig up from the Archives that patriotic old WWII song "Good Old Sony."

Comment: A lesson with perhaps unintended consequences (Score 1) 644

by Eternal Vigilance (#46062089) Attached to: Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

Never ejaculate anywhere near America.

At least, not without your lawyer present. ;-)

To be safe, your lawyer and all parties involved should probably be male.

(I wonder if this court recognizes their attempt to defend heterosexual reproduction is also indirectly championing gay sex? I guess it's a reproductive politics version of the "dropping a cat with an open-face peanut butter sandwich on its back" paradox.)

"Kansas Welcomes You And Reminds You Of The Severe Consequences Of Non-Homosexual Sex"

Comment: Hardware vs. software implementation...of slavery (Score 2) 464

by Eternal Vigilance (#45752513) Attached to: Reuters: RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA

You see, the easiest slave to control is one who doesn't realize he's a slave.

"Totalitarian" governments control their populations physically, with chains, clubs, physical restriction. "Democracies" control their populations mentally, with imagery, thoughts, mental restriction.

They're both the same process - one implemented in hardware, the other in software.

Comment: Land of the Free Range (Score 1) 464

by Eternal Vigilance (#45752483) Attached to: Reuters: RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA

Well said. History is just the cognitive version of those hagiographic paintings rulers like to put up in the palace.

And as far as "Land of the Free," there's free as in speech, free as in beer, and free as in range. Americans are "free" in that final sense: "Land of the Free Range."

Hey, at least we're waking up.

"When we said 'We the People,' we didn't mean you."

Comment: Re:Google's first try got the age algorithm wrong (Score 1) 157

by Eternal Vigilance (#45646807) Attached to: Google Doodle Remembers Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper

Nope, stopped reading reddit long ago after discovering the mods' penchant for silently censoring comments and entire story threads they didn't like.

That the original Doodle might have accurately depicted poor-but-industry-accepted COBOL coding practices (i.e., approving and committing code where the program logic is wrong but the result of the calculation may still appear correct if an invisible dependency on a separate section of the program happens to work out in the programmer's favor) is either deeply nuanced, deeply disturbing, or both. ;-)

(Showing enough COBOL to correctly calculate age-in-years would make for a verrrry long Doodle.)

Comment: Google's first try got the age algorithm wrong (!) (Score 2) 157

by Eternal Vigilance (#45643511) Attached to: Google Doodle Remembers Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper

The first version of this Doodle got the algorithm to compute age wrong (!). The original version of the Doodle used the COBOL expression

SUBTRACT CurrentYear FROM BirthYear GIVING Age

which actually computes the negative of the age (for most people born after Christ, anyway).

I wondered whether this might be a nod to her pioneering work in software debugging, as also referenced in the flying moth at the end of the animation, but since Google has since corrected the bug, it seems even the mighty Google still sometimes commits the simplest of programming errors. (Right on their main page and logo, too. Oooops. I suppose there's also the view that the code was wrong because it was a woman doing the coding. You misogynist Google bastards.)

Whatever the reason, happy birthday and many thanks to Amazing Grace.

(full disclosure: I submitted this as a story overnight, but since it didn't get picked up, it seemed too funny to let it completely slip into the ether.)

+ - Google Doodle Honoring Grace Hopper Has A Real Code Bug->

Submitted by Eternal Vigilance
Eternal Vigilance (573501) writes "Today's Google Doodle honoring the 107th birthday of computer pioneer Grace Hopper has a bug (no, it's a feature!) in the COBOL algorithm to calculate age. The animated gif uses the expression "SUBTRACT CurrentYear FROM BirthYear GIVING Age" — but since CurrentYear >= BirthYear that actually calculates the negative of the person's age. Whether this bug is truly a bug, or a subtle reference in code to go along with the animated bug at the end of the doodle celebrating Hopper's popularizing of the word that is both the bane and job security of the world's programmers, the doodle doesn't calculate. Perhaps this is as close as we get in COBOL to a joke (there's your setup, +5 Funny people)."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Well, the prize *is* for "business ethics" (Score 4, Insightful) 131

by Eternal Vigilance (#44983683) Attached to: Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work

"The mandate of the competition," Dzamba notes, "is to instill business ethics among college and university students..."

Hmm, steal the winning idea, take the prize money, threaten to sue the original inventor...I'd say the competition succeeded.

Comment: From Microsoft - the masters of great UI (Score 1) 338

by Eternal Vigilance (#44563029) Attached to: Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring

Given how shoddy Microsoft's interface to computing has been over the decades, I'm nauseated by the idea of the same people creating - and if this patent is granted, controlling - an interface to (some subset of) reality.

Though it's ironic that people who used to insist text was the only interface the world needed and anyone who wanted more was mentally feeble are now basing a patent application on their ground-breaking insight that text is sometimes limiting.

I do look forward to all the hilarious ways this latest variation of the intelligent PDA will screw up.

"It looks like you're trying to murder your father and marry your mother. Would you like help?"

p.s. The appropriate solution to students finding textbooks boring is better textbooks and a society that demands quality education for its people. What Gates and Myhrvold are attempting to provide is the educational equivalent of an energy drink - instead of true health and fitness.

p.p.s. Knowing how difficult the process is Gates and Myhrvold are attempting to claim they can implement, I'm surprised TFA didn't include


[0011] FIG. 1 and then a miracle occurs.

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928