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Comment: Re:Pascal (Score 1) 643

by Halo1 (#48857041) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

It teaches good habits (but with the demise of Turbo Pascal I am unable to suggest a worthy compiler).

May I suggest the Free Pascal Compiler with Lazarus as IDE. There's even a Lazarus add-on to automatically configure it for pupils/beginners.

Disclaimer: I am and have been one of the FPC developers for the past 17.5 years (also starting originally with Turbo Pascal, and then moving on to FPC once it became clear Borland wouldn't come out with a 32 bit DOS version).

Comment: Re:To curb terrorism (Score 1) 219

by Halo1 (#48840215) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

If you are convinced that part of the population has the destruction of a lot of what you hold dear as their secret agenda

How it is a secret agenda? It seems pretty out in the open to me.

Well, I thought that in case of the moderate muslims it could be a secret agenda in your view. In any case, feel free to ignore the "secret" in that sentence.

Comment: Re:To curb terrorism (Score 1) 219

by Halo1 (#48839815) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

And yet there large numbers of moderate muslims that do not feel at all obliged or even inclined to impose the sharia on the rest of the Western country they live in.

Are you sure?

About as sure as you can be from watching documentaries, listening to interviews, reading opinion pieces, talking to people etc.

Maybe they don't feel a need to do it by force, but that's not really the whole story, is it? That's far morally superior to those who do, but it's still going to be an unending source of conflict.

If you are convinced that part of the population has the destruction of a lot of what you hold dear as their secret agenda , then I don't see a possibility besides endless conflict either.

Comment: Re:To curb terrorism (Score 1) 219

by Halo1 (#48839705) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

This is an inherent contradiction between Islam and western society, and it cannot be reconciled without either giving up on religious freedom, or throwing away the Quran. They're not allowed to edit it.

And yet there large numbers of moderate muslims that do not feel at all obliged or even inclined to impose the sharia on the rest of the Western country they live in. Maybe they're not real muslims in the eyes of fundamentalists, but why should we take the same view as fundamentalists in this regard while we reject them on all other points?

Comment: Re:2nd/3rd generation of immigrants are IMMIGRANTS (Score 2) 219

by Halo1 (#48838937) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

America is a civil state.

The Americas were, for the most part, colonised by European immigrants that kicked the shit out of the people that already lived there. I really don't see how that's different than what happening now (or is about to happen) in Europe in the mind of many scared/aggressive people. And for the record: I don't hold current day Americans responsible for that, it's not like they got to choose what their forefathers did or did not do, although of historically/societally you do have some kind of responsibility (just like e.g. Belgium has one vis-a-vis its ex-colonies).

The European countries are ethnic states, have been for thousands of years, and their borders are almost literally written in blood.

Ethnic states? Our borders are indeed written in blood (then again, so are many in the Americas), but I doubt there are many "ethnic Belgians" in existence. Or have ever existed, other than one tribe in a distant past that was termed as "the bravest of all Gallic tribes" by Julius Caesar.

While Europe is exceedingly liberal and politically correct in general, it would be 'unwise' indeed, to mistake generosity and kindness for weakness.

The way many people are reacting, it seems they did find a quite weak spot though.

Comment: Re:2nd/3rd generation of immigrants are IMMIGRANTS (Score 4, Insightful) 219

by Halo1 (#48838747) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

... are second and third-generation immigrants ...

France belongs to the French

Germany belongs to the Germans

Sweden belongs to the Swedes

Italy belongs to the Italians

In other words, they are the indigenous for their ancestors, for thousands of years, have settled in that place

And immigrants ? No matter if they are 2nd / 3rd / 4th or whatever generation, once they have decided to harm the indigenous they should be kicked out, immediately !

America belongs to...
Australia belongs to...

Ah, never mind.

Comment: Re:Come On (Score 1) 257

by Halo1 (#48827673) Attached to: Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

Boko Haram has stated openly they are an Islamic group and are trying to form an ISIS like African Caliphate . What more do you need to see the truth?

Have a look at http://www.cfr.org/nigeria/bok... . Yes, Boko Haram is a very violent and abhorrent group (or rather a set of groups) right now, but they weren't always like that. Their current actions also have little or nothing to do with Islam (a bit like how "spreading democracy" had little to do with the Iraq war). At the same time, the Nigerian "Joint Task Force" of Nigerian police, army and private security forces (primarily funded by oil companies) is regularly accused of "summary executions, use of excessive force, and widespread arrests of suspected extremists, many based on little or no evidence" (words of the US Department of State, not mine) in the Niger delta (where Boko Haram is active). The paragraph in which that sentence appears also sketches the situation after 2009 (when Boko Haram became violent) quite well.

The JTF has been active since 2003 though, and some people directly argue (albeit in a mess of many missing/broken links that make it hard to check several argued points) that they basically made Boko Haram into what it is today with the objective of being able to justify the use of excessive force against them.

I still have to read up more on it from different sources, but from what I've read until now it seems that really has very little to do with Islam. It's just the banner they use due to their origins, just like we in the West (not just the US) justify almost all of our actions with "helping democracy", "supporting human rights", "increasing free trade" etc, even when that banner doesn't cover the actions at all. In many cases, it's mainly a cultural reference to something that the people involved (on the "aggressor's" side) can identify with as "good" or that they can relate to.

Comment: Re:Support the developers! (Score 1) 91

by Halo1 (#48520671) Attached to: <em>Dragon Age: Inquisition</em> Reviewed and Benchmarked

At least one of us is. I basically gave up on AAA games after (a) DRM stuff got silly, and (b) several titles in a row had such serious bugs that they just weren't enjoyable to play, and often they were never fixed.

A couple of AAA games have been/will be released on day 1 via http://gog.com/ without DRM: Age of Wonders III, Divinty: Original Sin, The Witcher 2 and 3, Pillars of Eternity.

Comment: Re:Can I have my money back? (Score 1) 187

by Halo1 (#48134641) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights

Florian Müller and the FFII always have been different entities. No money donated to the FFII ever went to Florian Müller (even if we had wanted to, there was no way we could ever afford his salary). The FFII did cooperate with him while he was being funded by MySQL and later Red Hat, but even at those times the cooperation was everything but easy.

Comment: Re:Thinking back to my undergraduate days (late 70 (Score 4, Interesting) 547

by Halo1 (#48103395) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

Pascal was/is a much better language than Fortran or Cobol.
I would be shocked if it completely died out.

Me too. Especially since I've been contributing for 17 years to the Free Pascal Compiler, and it supports more platforms than ever. I also don't see any particular declines in our download statistics or the bug reporting rate. Whether Borland-Inprise-CodeGear-Embarcadero Delphi will survive, that's another question. If they'd disappear, that would however be unfortunate for us too though, since many of our users use both products (Delphi for its polish and commercial support, ours for the multi-platform support).

Comment: Re:Just to get through the misleading stuff: (Score 1) 94

by Halo1 (#47423231) Attached to: Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

this is the first term that the European Parliament's members will presumably have the power to block EU directives (something that remains to be seen how it works out)

That's incorrect. Look up the codecision procedure, it's been around since a long time. Since the Lisbon treaty, directives on more topics have come under codecision, but that one has been in effect for quite a while now.

and this is the only part that they will have in the law-making process

No, it's not just blocking or passing. They can, and do, also amend directives. These amendments then have to agreed upon with the Council of Ministers, but the opposite is also true.

--the European Parliament DOES NOT have the power of legislative initiative.

That's true, only the Commission has this power.

FYI, so you do not get carried away by flashy designations and think that this is an actual parliamentary representative democracy akin to national parliaments: it is not.

It's indeed not, since a lot of member states are heavily opposed to a "Federated States of Europe"-style organisation.

Comment: Re:Article is wrong (Score 2) 239

by Halo1 (#47373475) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

You can go first by defining such a rule about the first, second, fourth, ... amendment to the US Constitution. I'll even let you include all judgements by the Supreme Court on that particular amendment. Laws and judgements involving fundamental/inalienable (human) rights are never condensable into a simplistic rule.

Which is totally and completely irrelevant to this discussion and a rather poor attempt at a straw man.

How is asking you to do exactly the same as what you were asking of me a straw man? I was just trying to illustrate what I wrote above: "Laws and judgements involving fundamental/inalienable (human) rights are never condensable into a simplistic rule."

Your argument of Google not being a civil rights NGO (even leaving aside the issue that, once again, this is about a clash between different civil rights rather than against the oppression of civil rights period), or me spending money on fighting the ruling, are however great straw men: I never claimed they would fight it out of altruism, and I literally said I didn't mind the judgement at all (so why would I want to spend money fighting it?).

Google would try to convince judges that it interpreted the judgement in a reasonable way simply because the alternative seriously threatens their business model. As to the drama about Google risking fines and whatnot: companies skirt tax, employment, competition and other laws/judgements all the time if those even threaten to reduce their bottom line. Not to mention that, again, this judgement explicitly gives search engine companies the mandate to decide in part for themselves what is reasonable and what is not, unlike tax/employment/competition laws.

Comment: Re:Article is wrong (Score 1) 239

by Halo1 (#47372915) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

Define "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant".

Keep in mind your definition must apply to every single situation and under no circumstance a judge will disagree with your assessment and assign damages.

You can go first by defining such a rule about the first, second, fourth, ... amendment to the US Constitution. I'll even let you include all judgements by the Supreme Court on that particular amendment. Laws and judgements involving fundamental/inalienable (human) rights are never condensable into a simplistic rule.

Because that is what Google is facing, people can have any search result that lists their name removed if it meets whatever arbitrary definition of those three words a judge wishes to interpret.

The judge has to interpret the entire judgement by the ECHR, which is quite a bit more elaborate than that.

There is a very legitimate argument that those terms are so vague Google has no choice whatsoever but to simply delist every single thing they are asked to delist.

And there is a very legitimate argument that it does not have to do that. Such expressions don't say very much.

Given that Google strongly opposed the judgement and given the fact that the further interpretation of the judgement has not yet been set in stone, it's a bit silly to conclude that Google now doesn't have any choice, in particular since the judgement also explicitly mentions that search engine operators only have to act ‘within the framework of their responsibilities, powers and capabilities’. A good and fairly short analysis sketching the picture of the various points of interest can be found here.

There is simply no black and white argument to be made either way right now, because while the judgement does start from considering the right to privacy as trumping both economic interests of search engine operators and the public's "general" interest into details about other people's lives, it does counterbalance/nuance this in various ways. Given the beating that the right to privacy has been getting lately, I personally don't mind at all that it now got a pretty strong reinforcement.

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