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Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 219 219

Drinking water is not distributed evenly over the surface of the planet. Some areas have an abundance, others do not. Climate change means that some areas become more arid, causing widespread and long lasting droughts. Usage of various poisons in agriculture and other pollution is making it into ground water, slowly causing well after well to be unfit as a source for drinking water. On top of that, the consumption of water in many areas is larger than the replenishment due to rainfall, so local reserves are dwindling. In the richest parts of the world this is not much of a problem as alternatives exist, but they come at a cost.

Regarding fracking, the heavy use of water is an issue that has been raised, albeit I think mostly due to fear of the chemicals used seeping into ground water.

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 2) 219 219

I think the fundamental difference here (so to speak) is that ISIS is not a fundamentalist uprising.

The leadership of ISIS is dominated by military officers who served under secular dictator Saddam Hussein (source). So, unless all these people just had a religious awakening (not entirely impossible), the leadership of ISIS is simply trying to grab a lot of land and power for themselves. And they found that a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist agenda would aid in their recruitment. Especially in Iraq, where the Shia dominate government and Sunnis are being persecuted.

Comment: Re:Security (Score 1) 242 242

4. Upon following the URL you will be prompted to answer two security questions you set up on registration from a set of predefined questions. You must answer both correctly to proceed. Internally, when this URL is hit, the account in question is flagged in the DB that it is now in Recovery Mode.

That one would leave me out. Given how "security questions" have been handled in the past, i.e. to be anything but, my response to that sort of thing is to type in random text and usually a lot of it. I also don't see how it increases the security. If the email address of the user has been compromised, it is likely that the intruder would have an easy time finding the correct answers to the questions. In your example, there is actually also no need to send a password to the user. If the questions are answered correctly, you could send the user directly to step 6. Indeed, most recovery tools that I have used include steps 1, 2, 3, 6.

Comment: Re:C++ with Java for networking (Score 1) 296 296

JNI is the absolute most awful native interface system I have ever seen.

In my experience, JNI is not significantly worse than similar wrappers, but the approach certainly would not be my first choice. I used JNI for an embedded Android app, where the performance of raw C and C++ was needed to do the heavy lifting. Good points with SWIG and the JVM overhead, though.

Comment: C++ with Java for networking (Score 3, Informative) 296 296

It is possible to use C++ with Java. Try to look at Java Native Interface (JNI). It comes with a performance penalty on each call across the interface, but if you are using it for networking, the penalty will be negligible.

If you are working on Windows, it is possible to do the same with C# using a CLI interface wrapper. I have no idea if that trick works on Linux/Mac.

Comment: Re:How to get rid of the free upgrade icon? (Score 1) 468 468

Sooooo..... A free offer for the next version of the OS that is trivially removable with the most basic of knowledge counts as "malware" now? And you want to SUE them for this?

Trivially removable would be to provide a dismiss item to the context menu. Having to figure out that it came with a windows update and which one to remove to get rid of the icon required actual work on my part. I agree that it is silly to suggest suing MS for a free upgrade, but I *do* find it to be bad manners on their part to not supply an easy way to remove their advertising from my desktop. Sort of like a guest not leaving her or his muddy shoes at the entrance to your home.

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 1) 104 104

And if you think organization is necessary and only a big military machine can win, are you familiar with what's happening in the middle east? Have you ever heard of a place called Vietnam?

Where in my post did I write that organization is the same as a "big military machine"? Regarding your second point, I think that Islamic State and the Vietnamese Liberation Front qualifies as organizations.

The people don't need to be organized to hold their own, they simply need to all agree.

They need to agree on what to do and do it. In my view that is organization, even if the structures are informal.

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 1) 104 104

Our country is "uninvadeable" because of geography, not people with small arms. You can bet if a large standing army were to decide to enter the US, a handful of people with 9mm pistols aren't going to stop it. Thankfully, we have oceans to our east and west, Canada is too passive to do anything, and Mexico's largest standing army is in the hands of drug cartels who would much rather sell us drugs than try and take over.

The total war scenario was enacted in Europe in two acts, showing that even with millions of armed men defending a country it was possible to invade and conquer if the invading army also had millions of armed men. Armed populations did, however, make it a lot more difficult for the Nazis to hold (e.g. Russia and Greece). But if we are looking at present day, nuclear weapons on intercontinental ballistic missiles pretty much means an end to that kind of invasion. At least until one side manages to nullify the nuclear deterrent of the others. It is a MAD, MAD world :-(

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 3, Informative) 104 104

We're all the same, Milgram proved that. Given similar circumstances you or I would behave the same way, so let's stop perpetuating the stereotypes.

No, Milgram did not prove that we are all the same. Quoting wikipedia:

In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment; some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment. Throughout the experiment, subjects displayed varying degrees of tension and stress. Subjects were sweating, trembling, stuttering, biting their lips, groaning, digging their fingernails into their skin, and some were even having nervous laughing fits or seizures.

So, 100% of the participants knew that they were doing something wrong and spoke up. Some 35% of the participants did stand up to the authority figure and refused to follow their orders. As I remember it, the initial experiment was conducted on white middle class college students, so I would be very hesitant to use it to generalize anything about the rest of us.

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 3, Insightful) 104 104

Isn't this the thing the Second amendment was supposed to prevent?

As I understand it, the 2nd Amendment was supposed to ensure against invasion from the British Empire by keeping the population armed, so any attempt at invasion would allow the armed population to spark a popular insurrection.

But it is really beside the point. A population is only able to stand up to oppression if it is organized, and in most advanced countries, governments and corporations are going to back down if an organized population demands change, e.g. Eastern Europe in the late 80s and early 90s. In most cases governments and corporations will just be biding their time, waiting for people to go home and settle back down into their lives, so they can roll back the concessions. A recent example is Egypt. Sometimes they will fight, but it is extremely dangerous, as there is no telling where it will end, e.g. Syria and Libya, not to mention destructive.

Going back to the US, it should be clear for everyone that the US rulers have successfully managed to keep its population disorganized through a variety of techniques such as sowing distrust between its citizens, massive surveillance, union-busting, mass media and the stacked circus of democracy.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 1) 243 243

Not necessarily. As prices increase, number of sales decrease and profit per sale decreases. I'm sure Amazon has done a lot of studies into these relations in the ebook market, and found the sweet spot that maximizes their profit. Increasing prices to pay taxes may result in lower profit than paying the tax out of their own pocket ... or they may leverage their dominance in the (e)book market to force publishers to cover the tax. This notes that Amazon forced UK publishers to cover their 20% UK VAT in 2012, even though they actually only paid the Luxembourg 3% VAT, with Amazon pocketing the difference themselves.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.