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Comment: Re:But to really propel Russia Today to the fore.. (Score 2) 254

by MrSteveSD (#44557969) Attached to: Russia Today: Vladimir Putin's Weapon In 'The War of Images'
I could point out that the BBC is really just Britain's Russia Today, and go into details why, but it would be a distraction from the more fundamental issue.

Most news organisations operate in the same non-objective way whether they are government controlled or completely commercial. They report more favourably on their host country (and allies) than on enemies. For example, the BBC will report on Iranian police violence against protesters very harshly. It will be implied that the police violence is extreme and unwarranted and the unarmed and peaceful nature of the protesters will be emphasised (with protester violence even being ignored). In contrast, the same kind of violence perpetrated by UK police will be reported very differently. It will either be under-reported ("Police scuffled with protesters") or the focus will be on protester violence.

All you have to do to see this for yourself is do a search and replace on country/city names in articles. Suddenly that article damning Russia for the Seige of Grozny will be an article damning the US for the Seige of Fallujah. You will notice that sentences like "What right does the US have to order the citizens to leave." are quite jarring and do not seem like the kind of thing the news would normally say in this situation. This is your clue that something is very wrong with mainstream media reporting.

Comment: Average Joe today, "Mover and Shaker" tomorrow (Score 1) 393

The thing is, yes, the NSA et al are not interested in the average Joe as long as he remains an average Joe. But if that average Joe suddenly emerges as a "threat", by organising some big Occupy movement etc, they will already have all the private dirt on him they need to discredit him if necessary. This is why the average Joe should care, even if he doesn't. It's about the future, not just the present.

Comment: Re:This is bullshit. (Score 1) 737

by MrSteveSD (#44019173) Attached to: Sexism Still a Problem At E3

The vast majority of industry trade shows look quite professional. A small minority of industries that attract people with developmental problems (automobiles, guns, and games) don't.

I can't speak for the "vast majority" of trade shows, but many of the energy industry shows I've been to have had "booth babes". It is quite a common tactic (not the only one, but common nonetheless). It's about catching your eye. This can been done with brightly coloured displays, animated signs, movement etc, but with a large male patronage, attractive women seems to be effective.

If we are going to damn some companies for being so "stupid" or exploitative that they require beautiful women to attract men to their products, then perhaps we should also damn them for using other cheap tricks like bright colours, flashing signs etc.

Is it really wrong for attractive women or men to exploit their good looks for commercial gain? How about a man exploiting his natural physical strength for financial gain? Is it really so much better to be exploited for your brain than for your body? Being exploited for your brain can be very demeaning indeed. If I could earn good money standing around smiling at a trade show, I'd certainly consider it. Perhaps I'd feel exploited, I don't know, but I've certainly felt exploited in software development jobs I've had.

Comment: Unbreakable BNC Connections (Score 4, Insightful) 159

by MrSteveSD (#43808487) Attached to: Ethernet Turns 40
Those BNCs were pretty tough connectors. When I first got an IT job, the network consisted of two 486s connected via a BNC cable dangled over the carpet across the room. A clumsy co-worker tripped over it and both machines flew off the desks, hit each other in mid air like conkers and crashed onto the floor. The BNC cable and connectors were completely undamaged though.

Comment: Work Ethic Propaganda (Score 1) 292

by MrSteveSD (#43219181) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To (or How NOT To) Train Your Job Replacement?

If you're taking any other approach, namely one that will force your client to remain attached to you I'd have to question your ethics, motive, and ability because what you're doing is creating a dependence on you that is borderline blackmail (if that's something you're doing).

Why is it that employees are supposed to work hard, be as professional as possible, take pride in their work, be ethical etc? All these virtuous practices are things that largely benefit the employer. It's effectively work ethic propaganda that has been drilled into the population.

In contrast employers work you as hard as possible for as little reward as possible (often including unpaid overtime which is effectively theft of your time) then dump you for a cheaper college graduate at the first opportunity. Employers do not adopt a strategy that benefits the employee as much as possible, they adopt a strategy that benefits them as much as possible. Why then shouldn't employees be just as ruthless, conniving and unethical as employers?

"Virtuous" work ethics have been drilled into successive populations over the aeons by those who directly benefit from them, i.e. the powerful. Don't fall for them.

Comment: Re:Preserved To Show Who Took over $100 Billion... (Score 1) 215

by MrSteveSD (#43128635) Attached to: The Science of Hugo Chavez's Long Term Embalming

How can the people support or oppose Chavez's policies if they don't even know what he's doing?

Well if they watched the privately owned media in Venezuela, they will certainly have no idea what he was doing. The hugely powerful privately owned media spent most of the time writing stories about how he is insane or a criminal. It was the private media that took an active part in the coup attempt against Chavez in 2002. There was plenty of incredibly critical coverage of Chavez in Venezuela, make no mistake about that.

Comment: Re:Oh, you're going to get an F on that one for su (Score 5, Funny) 128

by MrSteveSD (#42946625) Attached to: <em>Duke Nukem 3D</em> Code Review
At my old job I was once writing a while loop and decided to use "i" as the name of a counter variable I was incrementing. After a while I noticed that I had not declared the i and was perplexed as to why there was no compile error. Then to my horror I discovered that someone was using a global variable named "i".

Comment: Re:I don't.. (Score 1) 453

by MrSteveSD (#42506681) Attached to: Why JavaScript Is the New Perl

The weird scope rules and lack of proper object/class support drive me up the wall when working on projects with ~40,000 lines of code.

HAXE has has classes, static typing and all the things you probably want. Then you can just transpile it into javascript (among other languages). There are other efforts along similar lines. Increasingly it seems, due to it's unsuitability for large projects, Javascript is being treated as a sort of assembly language you compile to as a last step.

Comment: Re:I am not defending the USA (Score 2, Insightful) 325

certainly nowhere near as much as what their strangely negative reputation in the U.S. would lead you to believe

There was a lot of propaganda against Al Jazeera but it really was just nonsense. The US and Allies had grown used to their own media's kid-gloves reporting on their military adventures and were absolutely incensed that a news outlet would question their motives and/or pay too much attention to their victims. Al Jazeera has really been a breath of fresh air in the world of news media. They cover issues that are simply ignored by other outlets and have become one of my primary news sources.

Comment: Re:Patriot Missile Propaganda All Over Again? (Score 1) 377

by MrSteveSD (#42067319) Attached to: Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel
Due to their wild inaccuracy, a lot of these rockets land in the middle of nowhere anyway. Would you really even know if a rocket was intercepted successfully or whether the Iron Dome missile just exploded nearby to one? Are there journalists monitoring every single Iron Dome launch and somehow accurately verifying a success/fail for each missile?

I'm not saying Iron Dome isn't successful, but given that targeting missiles is very difficult and we are relying on official IDF sources, there should be much more scepticism about the system's effectiveness.

Comment: Patriot Missile Propaganda All Over Again? (Score 4, Insightful) 377

by MrSteveSD (#42063859) Attached to: Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel
Some people here may not be old enough to remember all the propaganda about the Patriot anti-Missile system's effectiveness during the first Gulf War. The media/public were fed total lies. Patriot turned out not to be very effective at all. Given that Israeli officials are currently the only information source for Iron Dome's amazing 90% success rate, surely we should be highly sceptical. Instead all I have seen in the media are endless uncritical articles about how amazing Iron Dome is.

Comment: Re:Israel has nuclear weapons. (Score 0) 569

by MrSteveSD (#42049609) Attached to: Israeli Infrastructure Proves Too Strong For Anonymous

All they need to do acknowledge that Israel is a legitimate nation. But you know, Hamas won't do that.

By continuously building settlements in the West Bank in violation of international law, Israel refuses to even recognise basic Palestinian land rights. Yet we expect Palestinians to recognise Israel?

Comment: Re:Accuracy (Score 1) 861

by MrSteveSD (#42047297) Attached to: Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

I would like nothing better than for the Palestinians to have a normal economy

The Palestinians would like that too, but Israel will not allow it. This all goes far beyond firing rockets at each other. Israel really believes that all the Palestinian land should belong to them, which is why there are so many settlements in the West Bank (in violation of international law). Israel has always viewed the Palestinians as a demographic threat, which is why they never allowed Palestinian refugees to return.

One way to help ease the whole situation in Gaza would have been to allow in a peacekeeping force, but Israel will not allow it. Their excuse in the past has been that a peace-keeping force would "interfere with Israeli security measures". The truth is that a peacekeeping force would remove many of the excuses the Israeli government has for blockading Gaza and preventing it growing economically.

So yes, Hamas are terrorists, but Israel behaves no better and they have their own agenda.

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