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Comment: Re:Hidden Files section? (Score 1) 314

Nah, you're not very knowledgable yourself. I'm not an expert either but at least read up a bit on history rather than referring to wacky websites. You're mentioning one of their historical justifications, but one of minor importance. (It's also among the most silly ones, because the Kalifats they admire so much and wish to rebuild were at their height at a time when the Muslim world was the most tolerant, when people of all faith were living together without problems while Christians were slaughtering each other in Central Europe.)

If you want to understand the motivation of these terrorist movements (which are pretty evil, no doubt about that), you need to look at the colonial history of the Middle East and how the French, Brits and the US messed up the region. And if you think that's the past and they have learned from their mistakes, think again, because they have just repeated them in Iraq and, very recently, in Egypt. When you install dictators and puppet military juntas in foreign countries and the only notable opposition left is radical islamic, then you ought not be surprised if radical islam arises in the long run.

Comment: Re:Hidden Files section? (Score 1) 314

While I generally would agree with this suspicion, I don't think you're right this time.

IS poses a huge threat at least to European countries because they have so many fanatic supporters who will return with combat experience and indoctrination from Syria and Iraq. They are more radical than Al Qaeda in some respects. I'd be surprised if there weren't an increase in (attempted) terrorist attacks. Whether that justifies all the Western security theater is another question, of course.

Comment: Re:"Moderation?" Don't you mean "Censorship?" (Score 1) 69

by aaaaaaargh! (#47787661) Attached to: Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

It has nothing to do with moderation anyway. People on social networks barely interact with each other, they're reading about others like in news feeds, and they don't really do anything together. It's kind of obvious that things like (random examples) playing in a band, having a barbecue, watching a movie with friends or doing wild river rafting tend to make most people more happy than browsing web pages all day.

Comment: Re:"Programmers" shouldn't write critical software (Score 1) 153

by aaaaaaargh! (#47786041) Attached to: Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

Classical fallacy. The safety records for human drivers include each and every moron who drives piss drunk or under other drugs or simply cannot drive. Unless you're one of those, they will give you almost no useful information for deciding whether you should consider SDCs safe in comparison to your driving skills. And by adding personal anecdotes you confirm the OPs point even more.

Comment: Statistics as standalone field (Score 3, Informative) 113

by aaaaaaargh! (#47765013) Attached to: Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students

Quite the opposite is the case. Unless we are talking about experiments with terrabytes of data most software packages are complete overkill anyway, you could make your statistics with a pocket calculator instead. The problem is the conceptual work. Most institutes and individual scientists would be much better off if they employed a well-trained full-time statistician. Provided they were interested in correct and robust results rather than getting one more pilot study published as soon as possible (which will in turn be based on an insignificantly small non-random sample using an inadequate model).

Comment: Re:I hope not (Score 1) 507

by aaaaaaargh! (#47744271) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Ada favors readability over brevity, so it takes a longer to type programs but makes them much easier to understand. I find it so easy to read that I can dive into the code bases of packages and even GNAT itself and understand them without resorting to commentaries or additional documentation. It has its quirks, though, and a relatively steep learning curve.

Comment: Re:Irrelevant (Score 1) 74

It's irrelevant anyway, because the info is from April.

I don't know how much a workplace for FinFisher costs but we're talking about the military/intelligence/law enforcement sector here. It would be kind of stupid to assume that they haven't written an access module by now. And if not, these types of companies are surely happy to provide a suitable exploit as an upgrade upon request - provided that the client has the necessary credentials and is willing to throw enough money at it.

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 4, Interesting) 158

by aaaaaaargh! (#47548211) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

The goal of school education in computers is not to prepare pupils to use commercial software and become better consumerists. They already know how to use commercial software anyway, most of them even better than their teachers. What they lack and need to learn is the fundamentals of how computers work, how operating systems work, what safety and security means (especially online), and the basics of programming. In a nutshell: No, Windows is definitely not needed or desirable in schools. To be fair, iPads and Android tablets are even less useful, because it is almost impossible to teach programming on them in a fruitful way.

I'd even go farther and state the obvious that commercial software packages should be banned in public institutions entirely when there is an acceptable free substitute for them.

To give a typical example of how Windows computers are used in such environments, our institute at a public university in Europe has dozens of +5 years old PCs that are overloaded with tons of viruses and trojans and the crappy paid anti-virus we're using fails to detect them. The machines have become even slower after they had to be upgraded from XP to Windows 7 recently. I've test run Ubuntu on one of them for years and it worked better and faster in each and every respect except compatibility of LibreOffice with Word (which is broken intentionally by Microsoft, but strange enough it also breaks routinely between versions of their own software). The tax payer is paying huge fees to Microsoft with no benefits at all - and you have to check your USB stick for viruses each time you've used one of those machines.

Comment: That's great (Score 2) 78

by aaaaaaargh! (#47516493) Attached to: Researchers Print Electronic Memory On Paper

However, this technology will very probably disappear like so many others. Anyone remember the technology that allows you to store giga- to terrabytes of data on a few layers of Tesa strip? Read by laser without any moving parts, prototyped at a time when CDs were still the standard medium? Well, this never made it into a buyable product either.

My humble theory is that market forces do not always promote the best solution. After all, why should corporations put something new on the market if it would give them less opportunities to rip you off in the long run? :-(

The good news is that this technology has better chances of success than the Tesa strip solution, because ... ink cartridges! ;-)

Comment: Re:lol (Score 1) 667

by aaaaaaargh! (#47499233) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

That's right, Putin is leading a secret proxy war like the ones that were common on both sides of the iron curtain during the Cold War. It's so sad that we still have to watch such a retarded behavior nowadays, what a bad and disconcerting beginning of the 21st Century. Not to speak of the long-lasting harm Putin's 'soviet union light' aspirations cause to Russia.

Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 667

by aaaaaaargh! (#47498915) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

The "rebels" do not receive their weapons from "Bob the arms dealer", they receive them directly from Russia. More specifically, they received the BUK launcher with a large transport on rails from Russia sometime around June and were subsequently trained by Russian specialists in using it. Unfortunately, they were not trained in distinguishing civilian from military planes.

As a matter of fact, probably every third of the "rebels" you speak of is a Russian intelligence officer or another member of the Russian military without insignia. That alone is a breach of the Geneva Convention (Article 4).

"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra