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Comment: Re:a progressive new group (Score 0) 283

by jafac (#48653057) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

Oh look, here come the same "social engineers" that brought us soaring male suicide rates and burgeoning single motherhood with it's associated social outcomes,

The only problem with this statement, is while these theories on raising children are a relatively new thing (last 100 years or so) - it can not be demonstrated that any kids are ACTUALLY being raised this way. Maybe a few, here and there, but by and large, most parents still raise their kids using traditional violence-based methods.

So to blame these new science-backed techniques for the "decline of modern civilization" is just a bunch of bullshit; to justify frustrated parents whose first tool in their parenting toolbox is the paddle.

Comment: Re: Sorry, not corporate enough. (Score 3, Informative) 69

You're probably unaware that the GP specifically used 'HSBC' because they were caught laundering trillions of dollars of drug money and nobody was indicted.

He probably isn't unaware of that. He may well have actually read the indictment itself or a detailed summary of it, which made clear that the US case was very weak to the point of hardly working at all. In particular, not only did they fail to clearly establish that drug money was really moving (their case was "there is so much cash, some of it must be from cartels") but in particular they failed to show intent by HSBC execs to help drug cartels. Actually their case boiled down to HSBC didn't try hard enough, they weren't suspicious enough, etc. (I'm ignoring the Iranian transactions here which gets into issues of international jurisdiction, as you only brought up drugs).

The reason you think the are guilty is twofold. Firstly US anti money laundering laws are unbelievably extreme. The PATRIOT Act removed the need to have intent to be found guilty of money laundering. Bankers can now be found guilty of AML violations even if they genuinely tried hard and had no intent to break the law. Hence the accusations from the DoJ that were of the form "HSBC should have designated Mexico as high risk", etc. Secondly as part of the plea agreement HSBC had to act guilty and accept whatever the DoJ said about them. So you only heard one side of the story, the prosecutions side (except there was no court case). No surprises that you think the whole thing is cut and dried.

It's no crime to be ignorant of such things, but just try not to hold any policy positions on the subject.

Given that there was never any court case and HSBC was never able to defend themselves, pretty much everyone is ignorant in this case because we never heard the full story. But I'm pretty sure if DoJ had emails from HSBC execs that looked like the ones from BitInstant there would indeed have been prosecutions.

Comment: Re:of course it wasn't NK (Score 1) 236

Well exactly. In this case the FBI and the President are saying it. Ergo that carries some weight they don't think they will be proven wrong. The issue is not how to start trouble with an enemy. The issue is how credible is such a statement when it does come from a high official. You are forgetting what you are supposed to be cynical about. :)

Comment: Re:of course it wasn't NK (Score 1) 236

That's actually a counter example similar to speculation of Soviet involvement in the JFK assassination. The yellow journalist press was sure it was Spain but the USA government never made that assertion. Even when we declared war 2 months later McKinley did not cite the sinking of the Maine as a reason.

Comment: Re:of course it wasn't NK (Score 1) 236

What did the USA blame Iraq for having done to us they didn't do? I can't think of much of anything. Now they certainly got stuff wrong about what was happening in Iraq and our record isn't so hot on that but accusations of specific violations we are pretty good on.

And Iraq on WMDs is somewhat exceptional in that they were sending out fake signals for internal and external reasons.

Comment: Re:of course it wasn't NK (Score 2, Interesting) 236

The reason is the USA government has a pretty good track record of not blaming foreign countries for stuff they didn't do. Meanwhile US opponents have a long history of denying involvement when they were. Comparing what is know 10 years later is pretty close to what you get from blindly believing the USA government on culpability.

Comment: Re:Math author dies rich... (Score 1) 169

by DNS-and-BIND (#48642635) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

"It's too bad the Soviet Union didn't survive" is an odd phrase indeed. Is this the first time it has ever been used?

The Soviet Union couldn't have gotten on the internet, there would have been too much free information floating around. To heck with the internet - the Soviets couldn't even sell Xerox machines to the general public, they would have been used by the people for anti-Communist activities. But don't trust me, listen to one of the Soviet leaders (and, by extension, one of the smartest people in their entire empire).

In a remarkable tete-a-tete with a US journalist and former arms control official, Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, First Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff, interpreted the real meaning of SDI:
"We cannot equal the quality of U.S. arms for a generation or two. Modern military power is based on technology, and technology is based on computers. In the US, small children play with computers... Here, we don't even have computers in every office of the Defense Ministry. And for reasons you know well, we cannot make computers widely available in our society. We will never be able to catch up with you in modern arms until we have an economic revolution. And the question is whether we can have an economic revolution without a political revolution."

What were those reasons that everyone knew well? Ever heard of samizdat? No, eh?

Comment: Re:Misses the point (Score 1) 575

by jbolden (#48639677) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

How will this apply to N.Korea?

Its hard to see how it would apply. The two local actors most likely to act against North Korea other than ourselves is South Korea and Japan. And as you point out we already back South Korea. We are talking about substantially arming Japan, though Japan's goals are still defensive. The analogy might be to encourage the more militant elements in Japan. Though I'm not sure we have that much influence over Japan for it to matter.

But anyway your original claim is we didn't do anything in those other cases and you can see we did.

What do you imagine we will do against (nuclear armed and sitting on the border of China right next to Russia) Korea?

If our goal is not to annoy them then we either have to shift Japan to being more responsive or China to being less protective. I can think of things we could offer China for them to sell out North Korea. Heck I'm not sure if we promised an orderly dismantlement they might not go for it. China sends out very mixed signals when N Korea acts up.

As for nuclear armed in a real war I have serious questions about how much damage their nuclear program is capable of, though there is always risk. North Korea is a dangerous foe.

We'd blame them and condemn them and attempt to get sanctions. We already do all those things so it's an empty threat.

We don't have a full on blockade. Though a full on blockade would likely mean ship to ship battles and they could respond with attacks against South Korea. So escalating to blockade we have to be at least willing to have a war.

Comment: Re:Sony security: strong or weak? (Score 1) 334

In your own post you listed a half dozen mistakes the IT organization made. I don't know how Sony's hack was done. But..

a) Is there any reason attachments shouldn't be sandboxed?
b) Is there any reason that executables should ever pass through?
c) Is there any reason that end users should be able to run an arbitrary executable? If PDFs are going to execute from email why not have that environment sandboxed?
d) Is there any reason servers should be compromised just because clients are?
e) Is there any reason they aren't running internal security on their network?


That sounds like they did a dreadful job.

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet