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Comment: Contradiction (Score 2) 322

by Hercules Peanut (#39688777) Attached to: New Targeted Mac OS X Trojan Requires No User Interaction
I understand the purpose and value of malware protection but from the article we first read:

The Java exploits appear to be pretty standard, but have been obfuscated using ZelixKlassMaster to avoid detection by anti-malware products.

then

This Trojan further underlines the importance of protecting Macs against malware with an updated anti-virus program as well as the latest security updates.

Doesn't that seem to come off as a slightly counter-intuitive statement? Is it unreasonable to come away from this article asking yourself "Why buy anti-virus when the malware just avoids it anyway?"

Comment: Of Politicians and Sheep (Score 2, Insightful) 444

by Hercules Peanut (#38926435) Attached to: The Destruction of Iraq's Once-Great Universities
We are so quick to condemn the US based on the words of politicians but I sometimes wonder if we can glean the truth from the events.

One September 11, 2001 the U.S. suffered it's most devastating and deadly attack in history. With the death of over 3,000 U.S. civilians and the destruction of property that will likely never see it's equal, Americans faced an enemy they could not easily identify knowing only their approximate (financial, political, support) origin. The question of the new era was how to fight an enemy without a country, without a standing army. How do you fight an enemy so ruthless that they will slaughter innocent men, women and children without warning and without regard to their own destruction?

America's response was simple. They invaded the lands of their enemies. The politicians spoke of weapons and camps and funding but the words of politicians are for sheep. Their actions spoke to the enemy. They destroyed armies, killed the leaders of nations and their families and left behind the smoking ruins of two nations as a message to a people never truly swayed by the words of American politicians. "If you attack us, we will lay waste to you. We will destroy your armies, we will destroy your government and we will destroy your past and we will destroy your future. We don't care who among you truly did it. We are sending a message to you all, this is what happens when we are attacked. Consider this while you wonder who among you is next."

And so America continues to fight a war on two fronts. Politically it insists that it is the world's policeman enforcing justice that mirrors its own enlightened legal system while militarily it responds to the threats of the new world in a way that it believes the new world can understand, ruthlessly, selfishly and decisively. At home, the only place America truly cares about, the words of the politicians sooth those want to be soothed. Others see the actions of the military for what they are, revenge and warning. The rest continue to rail against the U.S. because they have some misplaced and completely unfounded belief that their elected leaders words should somehow match their actions. Over 200 years of history has taught them nothing. The words of politicians are for sheep and the actions of the military, like all great military, are ultimately for destruction.

Comment: Idiots! No you. (Score 1) 196

by Hercules Peanut (#36668586) Attached to: US Army Spent $2.7 Billion On Crashing Computer
I just can't take it. I have to say it. Troll me if you must but all of you "typical Republican" or "Leave it to the Democrats" people are just that. Idiots. You look at the opposing party and shake your head and condemn them for mindless, greedy, morally bankrupt actions as if your party would do any better. They won't. I've sat in Senate Arms committee meetings and heard both parties pander to their own constituencies. They will spend every dime we have buying votes from their own state. There is no long term vision among them.

You blame the republicans because they won't cut defense spending. Well, at least providing for the common defense is a part of the governments clear responsibility. It's only 25% of the budget . Healthcare and pensions make up a whopping 46% of the budget. I'm not sure the Constitution supports that. In fact, the 10th amendment would seem to support the contrary. In fact, for every $1 we spend on the military we spend 50 on welfare (another 12% on top of the aforementioned 46%). Why is the federal government spending money on welfare (see 10th amendment)? So screw you Democrats.

But wait, G.W. Bush and the Republicans had 6 years controlling every aspect of government, didn't they? How much streamlining did they do? Did they cut the budget? No. Screw you Republicans.
In fact, did Reagan get rid of the then recently formed Department of Education? My best friend works for the Dept. of Ed. I can't believe the horrible waste going on there. And what the hell is the federal government doing getting involved in education? That's a state matter if not a county matter. Refrain (screw you republicans and democrats)

But wait, the Democrats (and some of you sub-geniuses on slashdot) want to fix the deficit by increasing taxes. In fact, some have criticized republicans for funding wars without tax increases. But, in 2011 the federal budget was ~3.8 trillion dollars while the income was less than 2.2 trillion dollars. That means we would need to increase our income (READ TAXES) by ~73% in order to balance the budget. THAT's a 73% tax increase children!!! If the average American is taxed ~18%, their new tax rate would become ~31%. Do you have any idea what would happen to the American economy? Worse, we don't get any new benefits from this tax increase and we don't even pay off the debt, we just keep it from getting worse. Oh and those of you who want to tax the wealthy consider that their tax rate would be over 60%. How many wealthy people would simply take their money and go elsewhere at that rate? Remember, that's just federal income tax. Add state income tax, sales tax, property tax. How close to 100% can you get before even the wealthy become poor?

Now some brilliant people like to say "tax the corporations." Well guess what. Corporations aren't people. They are entities. If Exxon makes 100B profit and you tax 50% of it, that's a free 50B in taxes, right? Wrong! Where do you think that money was going to go? Some was going to R&D. You know research and technology advancements. Something slashdotters seem to love and something that benefits pretty much everyone as advancing technology eventually tends to do. Well the rest goes into the pockets of the employees in the form of bonuses and is paid out to shareholders in the form of dividends or price increases. No fair, the government doesn't get that oh wait they all get taxed and what is left tends to stimulate the economy. If you don't believe that last part then you MUST be dead set against any form of government stimulus so you are already saying screw you democrats. In other words, taxing corporations takes the money out of the hands of people who would have paid taxes on the additional income so there is little or nothing or less than nothing to be gained there.

I'm sorry to be such a jerk about this but you slashdotters forgot a very simple saying: "The more you learn, the less you know." Hopefully a few facts, a few calculations (mine), and a slightly broader perspective will help you to understand that you don't know anything.

Even if the information I posted above is not exactly correct, it's pretty close. You should get the idea.

I don't have the answer. I don't know who does. I know the American system of government is designed to be inefficient and our government was never designed to fix our problems. Only we can do that. Regardless of the party, they are just writing more and more laws (that's what lawyers do) at a time when most of the important stuff was already a law ~200 years ago. I'm pretty sure blaming the "other" party, whoever they are, only elevates the opposite party to an undeserved height.

So, consider this the next time you say those &^*@@# republicans or those ^@$*& democrats. What are you accomplishing? They all suck.

End of rant.

I wonder if anyone actually read this tirade all the way through.

Comment: Let's Run with This (Score 1) 239

by Hercules Peanut (#34606774) Attached to: Drop Out and Innovate, Urges VC Peter Thiel
Star golfer and notable college drop-out Tiger Woods is offering two-year fellowships of up to $100,000 (£63,800) to 20 athletes or teams of athletes aged under 20 in a worldwide competition that closes this week. With the money, the recipients are expected to drop out of university — Woods calls it 'stopping out' — and work full time on their sport. 'Some of the world's most exciting sports were created by people who stopped out of school because they had talent that couldn't wait until graduation,' Woods says. 'This fellowship will encourage the most brilliant and promising young people not to wait on their talents either.' Thiel says the huge cost of higher education, and the resulting burden of debt, makes students less willing to take risks. 'And we think you're going to have to take a lot of risks to build the next generation of athletes.'"

You know, this has been tried before and it still doesn't sound like a very good idea.

How about fellowships to students or universities to support innovative new ideas a parts (just part) of the curriculum or area of study? If one is good, couldn't both be better?

Comment: Sounds Like Chess to Me (Score 1) 412

by Hercules Peanut (#33379570) Attached to: Teacher Asks Students To Plan a Terrorist Attack
Isn't that kind of like what they teach you in chess? Think about the opposing players moves in advance. Are they going to shut down the chess club or is it because he used the "T" word.

What if he had suggested that they plan an attack on an aggressor nation causing the most collateral damage in order to demoralize the enemy? Would that have been OK?

Comment: Nonpartisan? (Score 1) 584

by Hercules Peanut (#32639142) Attached to: What US Health Care Needs
I suppose to the many in the slashdot community it may seem that way. It sure seems to me that the whole premise here presupposes that complete and total health care is a right.

Last time I read the constitution, it wasn't.

To put this "Health Care" crisis in perspective, Americans spend about three times as much on transportation as they do heath care.

Of course we would wouldn't want facts to get in the way of our political agenda.

Let the flaming commence.

Comment: Apple's Spotlight Did it for Me. (Score 1) 511

by Hercules Peanut (#31561310) Attached to: What Is Holding Back the Paperless Office?
OK, I'm not totally paperless. My collegues keep giving me the stuff but I almost never print anythng out since I started really using spotlight. Suddenly it no longer matters where the dcument is, cmd-Space and the first few letters and there it is. "cmd-~" switches to the next document and expose lets me see everything. About the only thing I ever print out anymore are coupons and directions. I know, a slashdot reader with no GPS and a crappy smartphone phone...shameful. Give me a few more months to get out of my contract and I should be truly paperless.

Apologies for sounding like a fanboy. I have a couple of friends who are similarly comfortable nigh paperless with their linux boxes. I really think the portablility is key. When sitting at your desk, computers these days do a pretty good job of eliminating the need for paper but what happens in the car? What happens when you want to show it off to someone who isn't armed with a really nice handheld or tablet, like me:( ?

Another problem is file sharing. Where do you put stuff to share with others? The network drive? Many people with whom I work are not employed by my organization so they can't get to the network. Google Docs is great but not everyone uses it and many are not comfortable having been asimilated by MS Office.

The technology is there. We just aren't comfortable with it yet. We will be though and it will be very soon. I thank Google, Facebook and the iPhone for bringing the necessary technologies to the mainstream. No, not being a fanboy this time. It's about the non-geek impact here. Facebook gave us a tool to easily and COMFORTABLY create information and share online. GoogleDocs gave us the power to collaborate with anyone and while there were plenty of smartphones before the iPhone and there are still plenty with more fuctionality, the iPhone put the smartphone is the hands of the non-geek and got them excited about it too!

Enough, I need some cookies.

Comment: Why is This an Issue? (Score 1) 1747

by Hercules Peanut (#30393022) Attached to: The Science Credibility Bubble
Am I correct in understanding that there is concern over he concept of questioning science or math? Shouldn't we be doing just that? Isn't questioning these things a good thing? Couldn't it (wouldn't it) lead to greater interest and understanding? Isn't that the nature of science? It's more than just saying maybe they are right. Doesn't it include saying maybe they are wrong?

It seems like hubris to think the unwashed masses should just accept these things because it is beyond them to undertsand. Perhap I just don't understand.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 304

by Hercules Peanut (#29710845) Attached to: Server Failure Destroys Sidekick Users' Backup Data

Ultimately, with a complex application like this, you can't guarantee 100% that the code doesn't have a bug in it that could result in loss of user data. You can be ALMOST sure it won't, but 100% is not possible with current analysis techniques. (even a mathematical proof of correctness wouldn't protect you from a hacker)

I admit that this is beyond the scale of aything I have managed but why can't we be 100% sure? I could take my backup and restore it to a test server where I could then check the data. That's what I used to do with my backup system. Who would perform backups without testing them to ensure they were useable in case of an emergency like this? O.K. who else?

I remember my tech mentor often saying to me "It should be tattoed on every systems administrator's forehead. It can only get so bad if you are properly backed up."

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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