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Comment: Re:It's not limited to the US (Score 1) 220

"As far as cold in Europe, cherry picking a few UK averages doesn't actually impart much information about what's happening."

You chose Britain. If your cherry picking backfired, don't blame me. Just learn to realise that if you're going to cherry pick based on some factually incorrect newspaper article then you're going to look a massive fool when it backfires.

You talk of facts, science, and actual data. I've provided that all along - you're still just spouting bollocks without managing to back it up in the slightest with anything other than the exact opposite of facts and data - you're backing it up with others opinions who agree with yours. That is not fact, that is not science, and that is not data.

Stop being a zealot and get over the fact your argument is broken and there's a severe lack of data to back the points you've made, and, if anything, an awful lot (as I've pointed out) showing the opposite.

You spoke of cold winters in places like Britain that had bad CCD, I pointed out with actual data we have had incredibly mild winters in those years, I showed the temperature records, and you still try and deflect and call me the zealot. I can only assume you either work for Bayer, or are actually retarded.

Science and data aren't things you get to declare, you have to actual do and show them, you've failed hard. Get over it.

Comment: Re:Plant? (Score 1) 382

by Xest (#49768663) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

Have you considered learning to comprehend posts that you read?

Of course Java is used heavily for server-side programming. I know this, because I have leader server side Java software projects.

None of which changes the fact that that's still not even close to a majority of developers, and not even close to a majority of the world's computer using population.

I can only assume therefore that you're either incapable of reading posts on the internet and comprehending them. Or you're just plain batshit insane and like to say things that make no sense in the context of the discussion.

Which is it?

Comment: Re:Plant? (Score 1) 382

by Xest (#49750919) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

Pretty much everyone using the Microsoft stack, which is a fairly sizeable proportion of the world's developers, even those not doing .NET and using C++ such as an awful lot game developers for example quite happily avoid Java applications on the desktop because they just use Visual Studio.

What you most likely mean is that if you're doing Java development then Java development tools written in Java for the desktop are fairly common. Some other languages spin off that to some degree (i.e. Zend Studio for PHP which is based on Eclipse), but even in the development world it's not like Java development tools are anything close to ubiquitous, and developers are a tiny portion of the world's computer users.

Comment: Re:Plant? (Score 3, Insightful) 382

by Xest (#49749973) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

You seem to be declaring Java dead, because Java applets are uncommon, and that Java desktop applications are uncommon. Both these things are true, but it still only tells an incredibly small picture.

Java is still massively strong on mobile, in embedded devices, and for server side applications.

There are a lot of phones, routers, ATMs, websites, and so forth still using Java rather heavily. It's a very long way from dead, it's still used at least in part to run key elements of some of the largest sites on the web - eBay, Amazon, Google for example as well as being a big deal in nearly all the world's banks and financial institutes. It does well in the academic world, and in the medical world, from doctors surgeries to big pharma.

I hate Oracle, but I'm afraid as much as I'd like to see it, they wont be going away any time soon - there's a lot of money in providing to those sorts of companies.

Comment: Re:I think it's really ugly (Score 1) 414

by Xest (#49749063) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

So what's the alternative? I don't see how having code lumped arbitrarily somewhere, with no clear indication that it's the application entry point is better either.

There needs to be some indication in a project that that's where the program starts, else what happens when you have say 3 or 4 lumps of code in separate files in the project all lumped in the global namespace, where does it start?

It also makes it explicit that there even is a starting point, as opposed to it being, say, a library with no application entry point.

I fully get what you're saying about making things easier for beginners to spew out code, but for a multi-purpose language it also needs to support maintainability too. I'm not even convinced that making it easy for new developers to get used to bad practice even helps them that much. I remember when I learnt C as my first language, I became dependent at the start on the global namespace because that's how the tutorials said it was easy to get started. It took a while to break out of that awful habit, and start writing actual good code. God only knows I've seen others fall into that trap - I had the misfortune of temporarily maintaining a massive VBA based application whilst simultaneously throwing it away to replace it with something that was actually not shit. Everything was a global variable, the list of globals went on for page after page. It was brutal.

Long story short, I'm not convinced that making it easier for beginners to fall right into bad practices is in any way superior to making them learn a bit of boiler plate to keep things structured from the outset. I agree the syntax can be cleaned up and improved a bit, but I don't agree that it's pointless, or that writing straight into the global namespace in an unstructured manner is superior.

Comment: Re:I think it's really ugly (Score 2) 414

by Xest (#49743791) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

I see this sort of mindset a lot, but it's illustrative of short sightedness.

If you can't understand the importance of namespaces and structures, then you can't have worked on anything but the most trivial and small of codebases utilising little or no external libraries. If all you know are CS101 examples then sure, having to declare namespaces, methods, and so forth might look relatively bad.

If however you work on anything that actually matters then methods, namespaces and so forth become kind of important.

I don't see how endif is superior to }. Why would I want to type more than I have to to convey the exact same meaning? Curly brackets are meant to be jarring and to stand out, they do that to tell you a block has ended.

Comment: Re:Is anyone else bothered? (Score 1) 95

by Xest (#49741999) Attached to: Grand Theft Auto V Keeps Raking In Money

"Ever wanted to hit a car that cut you off? Well in GTA it's perfectly ok for you to do it till your hearts content and it's out of your system. Just because I take great joy in forcing other drivers in GTA off the road doesn't mean I'll plow into the car next to me on the freeway."

Man you're tame. Normally if I get cut up in GTA, I ram them off the road as hard as possible, stab them in the back with a broken bottle as they run, shoot them in the head on the floor and then pour petrol on them and ignite it, often following up with a firefight with the police, ambulance and fire engine that rocks up.

I can also safely say though that I've never even remotely attempted this in real life.

Comment: Re:It's not limited to the US (Score 1) 220

Debunked by a blog post parroted by Bayer? No you're okay, I prefer peer reviewed papers thanks, you know, actual science.

"but here's the top link from google when I search:"

Great. A newspaper whose assertion of a cold 2012/2013 winter is trivially disprovable by actual MET office records which show that much of the winter was spent above the already relatively warm (historically) 1982 - 2010 average:

Even on the coldest weeks it only just barely crept below 0c reaching -2c on only two occasions at worst. The UK hasn't had a truly cold winter now since 2010. All our winters have been incredibly mild since that point. This is what an actual cold UK winter looks like:

Here are the other recent winters:

So you see, using the UK as a point to suggest cold winters in recent years is laughable. In 2013/14 we barely dropped below average for a single day.

Besides, your assertion on Australia isn't even correct. There are plenty of issues in Australia too, whilst it may not be on the scale of other places, there are issues. As such, it's still entirely plausible that neonicotinids are a major contributing factor, and the fact that Australia always has warm weather merely cushions the impact. To pretend it's not happening at all there is just an outright lie.

So maybe stick to actual science and data, rather than blogs and newspaper articles. You might stop looking so much like a Bayer loving shill then.

Comment: Re:Threatens security (Score 1, Informative) 102

by Xest (#49739189) Attached to: Do Russian Uranium Deals Threaten World Supply Security?

Yeah it's nonsense, unlike oil, the vast majority of the world's Uranium deposits sit on Western/Western allied soil. There's no energy security threat to the West when it comes to Uranium because we have access to the vast majority of it. Australia and Canada alone hold 40% of the world's reserves.

Comment: Re:Substantially correct, but . . . (Score 0) 263

by Xest (#49734209) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

"Except that IS has a religious rather than secular ideology."

Right, in the same way that the Taliban preach strong anti-homosexual views and cite that as a reason to fight the west because it dares to offer them equality all whilst having sex with boys?

If you haven't figured out that religion is commonly used as a tool of recruitment and control then you're probably out of your depth here. Throughout pretty much the entirety of human history religion has been claimed as the ideology and purpose, whilst simultaneously being ignored by the people who are leading those groups because they know it's an effectively tool for rallying the footsoldiers whatever you do and don't believe about it. For Saddam's old guard, when you no longer have the country, and know that Iranian funding and militias are moving into your country, there was simply no better option that to rally the Sunnis against Iran's staunch Shia movements.

"Hitler, the PIRA and Pol Pot all carried out atrocities, that doesn't make them ideologically similar."

Right, but Hitler, the PIRA, and Pol Pot weren't active in Iraq in recent history either. The fact that others have carried out atrocities in history is neither here nor there, the point is that Saddam's regime is the player in the region that has the most experience deploying these sorts of atrocities and using them as effective propaganda tools. IS isn't simply carrying out atrocities for the sake of it, the high profile ones are incredibly well planned - if you think it's as simple as "An infidel, lets kill him!" then you need to explain why they've kept John Cantlie alive when others have been beheaded. IS only carry out atrocities where the propaganda value is greater than the value of keeping them alive, that is, they don't carry out high profile atrocities because they're unthinking warped psycopaths, it is entirely planned, and done entirely with a propaganda goal in mind.

This is quite distinct to what Hitler did, because in contrast the worst atrocities such as the Nazi death camps were kept entirely secret.

But the irony is, in parroting popular myth you've highlighted that there is plenty of fodder out there who aren't aware of the fuller picture, highlighting that their methods work. You think they're just a bunch of rag tag terrorists, you think there's no organisation and that they'll go on surprising you by defeating organised forces.

The worst part is, a lot of it is even quite easy to verify. It's not even much of a secret that Adnan al-Sweidawi, one of Saddam's top lieutenants is in charges of IS' military council. It's not a secret that another of Saddam's lieutenants, Fadel al-Hayali is ISIS Iraq deputy. It's not a secret that the now deceased Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, America's King of Clubs from Saddam's regime was leading his own force that was instrumental in taking over Mosul, one Iraq's biggest cities, on behalf of ISIS. There are plenty more examples.

It's really only some elements (albeit some of the most prominent) of Western media that try to condense it all down into a ISIS = Terrorists = Unthinking bad people type simplistic world view, then act surprised when they turn out to be incredibly effective, more so than mere unthinking bad people could ever be. Unthinking bad people terrorists are folks like those who did the Glasgow airport attacks whereby they did more harm to themselves than anyone else, but it's pretty clear that the folks in Iraq/Syria are rather more competent, organised, and effective than that. That's precisely because they're led and run by experienced smart people (though still rather horrible smart people either way), not unthinking wannabe jihadists, no matter how simplistic some of the media want to try and make it.

Comment: Re:Substantially correct, but . . . (Score 2, Insightful) 263

by Xest (#49724739) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

That's the common Americanised view of how you could've made Iraq go better, but this is precisely the sort of ill conceived view that I suspect this book is trying to deal with.

The problem is that the Baath party was brutal. Like, really brutal. We're talking about the people who gassed the Kurds, who had no qualms with using human shields, and took no issue with putting power drills through the eyes of captured PoWs as a form of torture.

Given that, it'd be naive to think that that country wouldn't have collapsed into chaos at some point anyway in the exact same way that Libya, or Syria has. You would've also needed to moderate the Baath party to a level whereby it wasn't just gagging for an uprising too.

But, and this is something that review and presumably the book itself in more detail refers to and that's the fact that the Baath party didn't just vanish into non-existence.

In Western media we're constantly being given the impression that IS is a rag tag bunch of bandits. A bunch of local militants and a bunch of foreign militants that have teamed up to cause a bit of case. This begs the question, if they're so rag tag then how the hell are they managing to run a defacto state with all the institutions you'd expect from a state (even if rather warped) like courts, banks, industry, tax collection, communications, media and so on. How are they managing to stand firm against a standing army backed by the most powerful airforces in the world? How are they managing to stand firm against Iranian forces and militias? Against the Syria government with it's battle hardened soldiers and it's typically not available to rag tag militia Russian/Iranian equipment?

The answer? Because the idea that IS is just a bunch of rag tag militants is wholly false. IS is in large part the modern incarnation of the Baath party. Those atrocities they carry out? they're straight out of the Baath party's playbook from the last 40 years. That defacto state they run? It's got all the qualitities of a state because backing it are many professional judges, politicians, and business folk from Saddam era Iraq. Those battles they're fighting? those cities they're capturing? those are the cities they were born in, or served in under Saddam, these are the generals that fought powers like Iran in the 70s and 80s and won, those are the foot soldiers who comprised Saddam's Republican Guard which was one of the most effective special forces units in the region in the 80s and 90s. Every now and then, evidence of this slips through:

When you stop thinking of IS as a rag tag bunch of militants, and start understanding that much of their backbone is comprised of the remnants of Saddam's regime it makes a lot of other things clear. Those atrocities IS carries out? it's not simply because they're evil people (though they are), it's a continuation of the sort of shock and awe horror tactics that Saddam's regime was famous for. When you understand that much of IS is comprised of professional special forces and experienced generals from Saddam's era fighting in the regions they lived in and served in, it starts to be a lot more understandable as to how IS has made so much progress in Iraq. Then finally, in the context of your point on Iran, you begin to understand why IS and Iran are so interested in fighting each other, why the Kurds are willing to so vehemently fight IS even outside of their own territory helping the Yazidis in Iraq, and pushing well beyond Kobane and Kurdish Syrian regions - these are old scores that are being settled. It's the 80s Iran-Iraq war in continuation.

IS can stand up to nation state's standing armies, because it is a defacto nation state with a professional standing army of battle hardened experienced soldiers who know where the military bases are, how they're laid out, how to assault them, and where the guns are hidden, precisely because they used to be garrisoned in them. They know how to use all the military equipment they capture effectively including tanks, anti-aircraft guns, artillery, and countless types of guns and rocket launchers because they've been formally trained in it all when they bought the equipment in the first place all those years ago.

We didn't roll into Baghdad in such short order in 2003 simply because we have superior military power. We did so because Saddam's political base and military forces knew they'd be fighting a war they'd never win, so they melted into the population to fight a shadow war which we've seen their brutal effectiveness at ever since. By the time we turned up to fight them they'd already melted away. That's why it was so easy, but we didn't realise this, and we've paid the price ever since - the real solution therefore in Iraq would've been to ruthlessly hunt down those powers in every house in every street rather than assume the job was done, instead resulting in us getting caught up in a brutal proxy battle between Iranian backed forces, and Baathist backed forces.

Iran, Iraq et. al. are doing what they've done for decades. The West is pratting around at the edges, not really having a full grasp of what's going on instead being more worried about keeping up the idea that IS is just a bunch of rag tag militants that should be targeted and contained as such rather than a full blown state force that should've been hunted down and finished off over a decade ago.

I will pick up this book as it sounds like it covers a lot of these points that I've picked up here and there from Arab and Persian blogs and media over the last decade. It is not a coincidence that so many voices from Saddam's Iraq keep popping up inside IS and it's associates. If IS was just a rag tag bunch of militants, they'd be long done in by now by a coalition that comprises everyone from the Iranians to the Americans, and the Kurds to the Turks, and from the FSA to Al Nusra.

Comment: Re:Facebook isn't free (Score 5, Insightful) 147

Because even if they were just tracking data of users who sign up, contrary to popular myth, peddled mostly by people who think they know the law but apparently don't, contracts are not magical legal instruments that overrule everything ever.

In just about every jurisdiction in the world contracts have limits. They cannot overrule statutory rights, you cannot sign away your life in a contract, you cannot sign away your legal responsibility for a crime onto someone else poor and desperate enough to be willing to take it for money.

Hence, it doesn't matter what is in a contract, if that contract doesn't adhere to the laws of the country in which the agreement is made then either the whole or that portion of the contract are meaningless and irrelevant.

Facebook doesn't get to rewrite the law, so rather than blaming users for agreeing to a section of a contract that has no legal merit in the first place, you should be asking, "Why can't Facebook adhere to the laws of the countries in which it chooses to operate if it wishes to operate there?". That's the real question- you see, your question is meaningless; Europeans ARE abiding by the contract they wilfully sign because it's a meaningless contract with large portions that hold no legal merit in the first place. It's not their fault Facebook wrote a contract that tries to claim rights that it has no legal standing to claim - that's Facebook's fault, they should've drafted a contract that's wholly enforceable within the confines of the law.

Most companies manage, but it seems a number of tech companies really struggle with it, because profit.

Comment: Re:His viewpoint is staggeringly ignorant (Score 1) 618

by Xest (#49711545) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

"I will close this piece with a truth. "For all their sins, ads fuel much of the Web. Cut them out and you're strangling the diversity of online publishers â" I think users really want that."

I think this is exactly right, you are indeed strangling diversity of publishers, but the problem is, I'm not convinced it matters.

The problem as I see it, is that monetisation of information on the web via ads has simply led to a rush for psychological "you should click this and see what happens next" type bullshit, as well as incredibly inflammatory and often false headlines in a desperate rush to further increase ad revenue.

As such, whilst it may increase diversity of publishers, I do not believe it's a useful increase in diversity of publishers.

Comment: Re:It's not limited to the US (Score 1) 220

But you still have two problems there. Firstly, when the US has had cold winters, Europe has had mild winters, yet suffered the exact same problem. So your argument of a correlation of cold winters is also false - it only correlates if you take an arbitrary subset of known data.

Secondly, you argue that usage of neonicotinoids don't correlate - at best you can say they don't appear to correlate in the data you have seen, but plenty of studies show otherwise. For example, this study finds a correlation between the use of imidacloprid and cold winters, rather than varroa mite and cold winters:

One could equally argue from this, and the European experience of mild winters, actually shows that neonicotinoids are in fact the common factor in the problem.

A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.