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Comment: Re:von Braun didn't take his place (Score 1) 130

by ultranova (#47580709) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Are you this stupid to compare long working hours and ability to quit any time to being literally worked to death?

They can quit any time, and then do what? Beg for a job in another factory that's just as bad?

Chains are always the most effective when they're invisible. Slavery is a crude form of a few dominating the many. Our current society looks nicer on the surface, but the underlaying mechanic is still the same: exploitation based on coercion. We have simply hidden the violence needed to keep such a system going in our property laws, ready to be used on anyone who opts out of the game yet refuses to voluntarily starve, and legitimated as defending someone else.

Of course, the problem is that such a society is fundamentally unstable: everyone hates living under someone else's thumb. Our current method of placating the masses is a promise of social mobility: if you work harder than everyone else, you can become one of the exploiters instead the exploited. But the problem with that is that it's a threat to those currently on top: for everyone who rises to the ruling class, someone else must fall, otherwise the hierarchy will flatten and erode the associated privilege. So they do everything in their power to stop social mobility and make the hierarchy steeper. The final stages are what we're seeing now: all the wealth concentrates on top, people at the bottom get heavily in debt, and finally you get a revolution when desperation reaches a critical level (or an oligarchy if those on top are smart enough to pay basic maintenance for the system their position depends on). But a revolution simply changes who's at the top, it doesn't solve the real problem - the concept of a social pyramid - so it'll just be the same system of exploitation in a shiny new package.

This is what happened to Russian revolution: Lenin and later Stalin were all too happy to use Tsar's methods to wield Tsar's power, so how could the end result be anything but Tsarism under a new name? And as Putin keeps demonstrating, the form of the system might have changed but the spirit is still quite intact.

Comment: Re:Van Braun built weapons for Nazis (Score 2) 130

by ultranova (#47580503) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

There's actually a long story behind this, and Von Braun was actually arrested because Hitler suspected he was a traitor. Von Braun was a visionary who just loved rockets and wanted to land on the moon and colonize space. The Nazis were a funding means-to-an-end for his rocketry studies. After the Nazis tried to arrest him and his team, he escaped with some equipment and top scientists to defect to the allies.

So no, it's not at all accurate to speculate that Von Braun was a Nazi or into that whole ideology.

Heinrich Himmler betrayed Hitler near the end of the war. Would it therefore be inaccurate to speculate that Himmler was a Nazi, or at least had sympathy for the ideology?

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 1) 130

by ultranova (#47580449) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Well no, sometimes the monsters are actually real.

But those who fight them should still take care not to become monsters themselves. It's hard to not see a frightening similarity between Hitler's attempt to take his country with him in the last days of the Fourth Reich, and the US's - and the USSR's - policy of taking the world with them - MAD - in the Cold War. How much of it was the superpower's own inherent evil, and how much was absorbed from Nazi Germany during the war?

That's one of the nastier aspects of cultural evolution: fighting an opponent exerts pressure on you to fall on his level. Nazis terror bombed London, so the Brits firebombed Dresden. An aspect of Nazism managed to seep into the British Empire precisely because they were mortal enemies, just like an aspect of it seeped into the United States, and later an aspect of Soviet-style communism - the omnipresent surveillance systems that are apparently impossible to dislodge.

I'm not sure if such contamination can be prevented, and that rises some serious questions about whether using warfare to deal with rogue nations is not unlike trying to stop Ebola by wrestling the victims to the ground.

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 0) 123

by pla (#47580153) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded
It is only simple because you speak English. You need to widen your cultural perspectives.

Sorry, which culture has come begging the other to employ them?

Maybe you should take that as a hint as to which of us needs to change their perspective.


And for the record, I vehemently oppose the indentured-H1B program (particularly while we have above-average unemployment and college-educated CS grads working as Barristas). I've worked with H1Bs before, and although skill-wise I've found them basically comparable to middle-of-the-pack Americans (not saying much there, but I wouldn't call them totally incompetent), the exact cultural barrier you describe made them nearly useless. They'd agree on a detailed spec for a printer driver, and three months later, proudly show off a photo editing suite. Okay, not quite that bad, but getting good work out of an H1B requires daily (or more) handholding and walking them through the same shit over and over and over. And at the end of the project, I could have just done it (and my own work) faster without the extra body in the way.

Comment: For those who came in late (Score 1) 225

by dbIII (#47580119) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
Yes, IPC - however this comment thread was about running multiple things at once versus NOT and how we have machines with multiple CPUs/core so can do more than one things at once and get the job done more quickly - whether it's a process or a thread. Which is why I'm sure you are winding me up and pretending I'm "confused" just because you've chimed in with another way to use multiple cores - a subset of what I was going on about something like six posts back!
Pay attention before calling others "confused" :)
I probably could have written "multiple threads or programs that spawn multiple processes" instead of actually using the word "thread" but from the context it should have been obvious, as I'm sure you know, so please lay off the senseless nitpicking with pretended ignorance of what the discussion was about - it's annoying.

Comment: Yes it's an example of your point (Score 1) 123

by dbIII (#47579933) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded
Ultimately my example was about: "level of incompetence and lack of planning is strong in several levels", as you suggested but it was driven that way by the new vendor having far too much control over the situation and no risk to bear in the event of failure.
The government took them to court twice (outgoing and incoming - Queensland, Australia) and could not scratch that vendor (IBM) for any of the $500 million+ in estimated extra costs.

Comment: It's like learning to drive vs taxis (Score 1) 225

by dbIII (#47579915) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?
For example because people get the shits when their trivially parallelisable CPU bound python process is using one core out of eight and taking forever, while it would take a lot less time with more than one thread. See also learning how to program properly any time after 1980 (or possibly even earlier). Some tasks don't need it but some benefit enormously from it.
To use a car analogy - you don't really need a car but can instead just wait for a taxi to turn up.


However it's very clear that you are just winding me up for a bit of fun and nowhere near as ignorant and stupid as you are pretending to be.

Comment: Re:well, when you put it that way... (Score 1) 240

Yes - poor diddums was upset they caught him selling weapons to terrorists and embezzling some of the proceeds to pay for a convertible and house airconditioning. Poor little Ollie North.
Funny how people see him as a "patriot". I wonder what the families of the Marines killed by Hezbolla thought of him selling weapons to them less than a year after the Marines were buried?

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 123

by dbIII (#47579721) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

If computers fails, have people forgot how to do the same process manually?

Yes.
As an example. I've been rushed to a steel mill rolling line with a pocket calculator because the operators were not taught how to divide the number on the dial of the test machine by the cross sectional area of the rod that they had measured the diameter of - they were just told to manually enter those two numbers into the computer. By knowing how to calculate the area of a circle I was saving downtime of hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour - which is pathetic on so many levels since the operators also knew how to find the area of a circle but nobody had told them that's what the computer was doing. They had only been told that the process was to put two numbers into a computer.

It's not about stupid operators/counter staff it's about relying on fragile links with no workaround when they break. There's also the fear of taking responsibility - it's seen as safer for the supervisor of all those staff to say "nothing should be done" than to work around the problem.

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 1) 123

by dbIII (#47579687) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded
There are sometimes very "political" problems that prevent rollback because for instance that means buying more time on the licences from an earlier vendor when the new vendor is heavily embedded with the management that are driving the change. Such a problem in my state resulted in such an enormous fuckup in Hospital payroll systems with no rollback that there was real political fallout - after the bill went beyond 500 million the government lost office to be replaced by a bunch of baby fascists led by a Pocket Putin.

Comment: Useless toxic puffer fish for President (Score 4, Interesting) 130

by dbIII (#47579637) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

And the witches McCarthy were far more dangerous and worthy of being hunted

Ah yes, like that dangerous playwright who was offered a way out if his wife, Marilyn Monroe, agreed to be photographed with McCarthy for political promotional material. That was one part of the witch hunt, in that case more accurately called a shakedown.

It was an utterly worthless grab at power by an immoral, corrupt and ultimately cowardly man who wanted to skew the political playing field in his direction when opposed by a large number of far more worthy candidates for President from both parties. It's just as well that he bit off more than he could chew by getting a lot of special favors for one of his friends in the military and then attempting to prove that General Marshall (of the Marshall plan and a lot of other things, such as running a big chunk of WWII) was a communist. His stupid stunt meant to send him into the White House was exposed for what it was - a power grab by a man who had achieved very little in his life attempting to drag down others who had and make himself look bigger.

So do you think he had a list of spies like he said he did? Why didn't he hand them over then? Wouldn't it be a bit like treason to have a list of foreign spies and not hand it over to law enforcement?

Comment: Can't really point the finger (Score 1) 165

But don't worry, they're already exporting that success model. We're getting there. And, frankly, when I look around me, how people pay for "services" that hardly qualify as a service because they're too closed minded to even fathom how they could do it themselves for free and at little if any expense and effort, I dare say we're already there.

I don't see how we can point the finger when most of us don't personally change the oil and oil filters in our cars.

Comment: However the FBI (Score 2) 130

by dbIII (#47579111) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So
However remember the FBI was too incompetent back then to remember to bring handcuffs to the arrest of "public enemy number one". A necktie had to do the job.
And then they fell for the scam of the "lie detector" - or did they really fall for it or was Hoover just accepting yet another kickback before spending Government money?
What you see today is nothing like it was back then.

Comment: Re:Quote from the article (Score 1) 162

by ultranova (#47578849) Attached to: Unesco Probing Star Wars Filming In Ireland

Likely translation: He tried to shake the movie company down for a few weeks worth of work rather than a day or two, and they told him to piss off, then contacted someone more reasonably inclined. They obviously got the permits, meaning that someone was able to do the work in just a few days.

Or someone pulled the assessment from their ass for quick cash.

Comment: Re: Change management fail (Score 1) 123

by pla (#47578755) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded
Sorry but DevOps requires you upgrade all servers at the same time very fast, with no regard to individual server ordering.

Did you mean NetOps? DevOps refers to a development paradigm. If your development paradigm risks actual user-impacting down-time, you need firing ASAP.
Assuming you meant NetOps, can they live with provisioning me at least four (dev, test, UAT, and training) clones of the entire production environment? No? well then, they can make their case to the CTO whether inconveniencing them or our end users will have more of an impact on the bottom line. If the CTO says "go", hell, I'll code right in the production environment - Oh, you wanted that mortgage payment to go through this week? Bummer!

Developers should never have the power to affect end users. If they do, it represents a failure not on their part, but on the entire IT corporate food chain, all the way to the top. Choosing customer-facing downtime over a few more terabytes and VMs amounts to corporate suicide.

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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