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Comment: Re:The universe does not need us.... (Score 1) 312

by Runaway1956 (#46756195) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

"No matter how far we travel, I expect a lot of cultural baggage will come with us, and a lot of our irrational behavior is hard-wired into our brains."

Futuristic combat story tellers would agree with you. You might try David Drake. His own story is interesting, and his Hammer's Slammers stories were written as a sort of rehabilitation. There are a lot of Slammer's stories - you might like to start with Redliners.

Comment: Re:There isn't enough rubles in Moscow (Score 1) 312

by Runaway1956 (#46745931) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

In the history of mankind, I've only heard stories of a couple of people who didn't die. In fact, most people die horrible deaths. That fact won't change, no matter how far mankind travels - or doesn't travel. If we manage to cure cancer, and all mankind's other ills, that will be great. But, I don't believe that we ever will. Even if we cured the five most lethal diseases that we know of today, there will be something new to worry about tomorrow. We have been waging biological warfare against nature since the earliest ancestor crawled out of that primordial soup, and nature will continue that war until the last man and woman have died.

There is no utopian solution to poverty, hunger, and disease. I simply don't believe in such a solution. The past hundred years or so have been remarkable victories for mankind, but there is simply no reason to suspect that we will see no setbacks. Polio has been defeated, mumps, measles, and others have been set back seriously, but we are breeding new superkiller bugs in our hospitals and medical centers right now. Oh - the flu. It mutates and changes rapidly - we could experience another 1918 at any time. What was the number? 21 million dead, around the world, I believe? With our population levels today, the next time around could see those numbers increased by a couple orders of magnitude.

Life is precarious. If you are a Russian, I would suspect that you are more aware of that fact than I should be.

Comment: Re:There isn't enough rubles in Moscow (Score 3, Interesting) 312

by Runaway1956 (#46745633) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

Your view, and mine, are diametrically opposed. To me, there can be nothing more important than getting mankind established in places off the face of the earth. We have plenty of evidence of big rocks striking the earth in the past, and we have plenty of evidence of major extinction events. Throughout all of our history, we have kept all of our eggs in one basket. We need to distribute our eggs into as many baskets as we possibly can.

There are reasons to dislike Russia's government - but this is one great reason to salute and respect Russia's government. I support any and every effort that can possibly result in distributing those eggs.

Comment: Re:Talk is cheap (Score 3, Interesting) 312

by Runaway1956 (#46744639) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

First we had an omnipotent Bush who took blame for things that happened long before he became president. Now, we have a super-omnipotent Obama.

Obama was a young punk, still wet behind the ears, when the United States decided to scrap all it's moon and deeper space capabilities in favor of a dumb ass space plane concept. A shuttle was a pretty cool idea - as a means to an end. The shuttles should have been there to service the REAL exploration efforts. But, instead, the shuttle program became an end, in and of itself, and the larger programs were simply ignored, and filed in the circular file.

Comment: Re:Is it: "Don't Be More Than 49% Evil" Now? (Score 1) 114

Okay - you think Google is evil. I'm less happy with Google than I was in years past, but I'm still willing to argue that assessment.

Which entity would you choose to replace Google today? You may choose any government, corporate, or nonprofit entity you wish. Look around, and choose carefully. You may pick that entity, you may strip Google of all it's resources, and hand those resources over to that entity. Which one is going to do better than Google? If you should bother to post back with a reply, PLEASE offer some rationale for your decision. And - be prepared to have your decision torn apart.

At this point in time, I honestly believe that Google is still pretty damned good, and that they have a ways to go before you can call them "evil". I am also pretty damned sure that I don't want the federal government or any of it's agencies running Google's assets. I can't think of any company that could do a better job, and certainly none that would. Nonprofits? Maybe if the EFF were interested . . . Let's not EVEN consider any religious organizations, whether it be my favorite, or yours.

Comment: Re:power honeypot (Score 1) 114

"I don't want to "weaken government", I want to weaken the federal government."

In theory, I agree with you. The feds have gotten far to fat and powerful, in all aspects. Transportation, communication, education, commerce, intelligence, first amendment and second amendment rights, every thing.

Got any ideas, though? Let's set aside any utopian views. Let's pretty much ignore how things "should have been". Right now, today, in the real world, how do we go about limiting any aspect of government control in our lives? Can it be done? What will it take to effect any change, how can governmental control be weakened?

A lot of people are beginning to believe that it will take a revolution of some sort. Witness events near Las Vegas in recent weeks.

Comment: Re:Does this mean no more Gnome desktop? (Score 5, Insightful) 686

by Runaway1956 (#46741037) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Respect is, after all, a two-way street.

First, we heard that Ubuntu was going to push a Metro-like desktop. Then, almost immediately afterward, we heard that Gnome was going to push a Metro-like desktop. All across the *nix world, there were protests that rapidly grew into revolutions against the concept, but neither Ubuntu nor Gnome could be dissuaded.

I feel a bit bad that Gnome is in financial straits today. But, there is no real depth to my sympathy. I'm managing quite well on this Mate desktop. Had Mate not come along, I would probably be bouncing back and forth between XFCE and E17. Or, more likely, I would have finally settled on an E17 configuration that I liked. There are SO MANY variables and decisions to make when configuring E, whereas Mate and most other desktops just offer a well rounded "default" when they are installed.

Oh - you were talking about respect. Gnome should be an object lesson for other projects. Don't just abandon or try to bully your dedicated fan base. Don't insult their intelligence. Respect your users, or your users will abandon you in turn.

Comment: Re:Dumbasses (Score 1) 70

by Runaway1956 (#46673755) Attached to: Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

And, what happens with a MIM? Someone spoofs a cell phone tower, and intercepts your communications. They get the strong certificate, and they are in. Wireless communications (radio) has been known to be inherently insecure by the armed forces since the days of the first radios.

Comment: Re:Dumbasses (Score 1) 70

by Runaway1956 (#46671153) Attached to: Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

No, you, sir, have chosen not to understand. I am MOCKING every moron in the world who wants all that information to flow out over the intarwebs in real time. The "managers" at my plant choose passwords like "1234abcd". They think it's witty or something.

The fact is, our nation worries itself sick about cyberattacks, when there is no need to worry.


As for passwords, encryption, or any other security measures, recent events have pretty much demonstrated that the government works against all of our best interests. Do they really have backdoors into encryption methods, do they really have the source code to popular operating systems? Can they really waltz into your network, undetected, at will? And, if gubbermint can do it, why can't anyone else?

Comment: Dumbasses (Score 1) 70

by Runaway1956 (#46669593) Attached to: Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

Boys and girls, SCADA IS A FRIGGING BUG!!

Let's think about this for just a second or ten. I own a corporation that has produced products for a century or more. In the old days, people did EVERYTHING by hand. Then, along came the assembly line - making things easier and faster. Then came automation. At each stage, my corporation has been pretty secure. Then, along comes this newfangled internet thing. Every Tom, Dick, and Javier in the world can get on this internet thing, and play Hack-a-Day with any device they can possibly connect to.

Suddenly, all the investors expect me to connect all my robots and crap to this INTERNET?!?!?! What are they, frigging CRAZY? They expect me to expose my hardware to this huge-ass Hack-a-Day game?

No thanks. Those bugs for brains executives and investors who think this is a good idea are all security risks, and I need to boot their asses OUT!!

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"