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Comment: Fighting on eastern front was not in isolation ... (Score 2) 54

by drnb (#48288363) Attached to: Khrushchev's 1959 Visit To IBM

You know without someone like Stalin at the helm, the USSR might not have survived WWII. Cold, brutal, but effective :( Clearly the man was a monster -- but I think people forget that the bulk of the fighting in Europe during WWII was on the eastern front, not the western; by the time D day happened, the Germans had mostly been defanged, by the Russians.

While it is true that the bulk of the fighting was on the eastern front this did not occur in isolation. Allied fighting in Africa caused armored forces to be diverted from the invasion of the Soviet Union to Africa. In particular this included the one German commander who would and could get away with openly defying Hitler's orders. Field Marshal Rommel. A commander of such stature and trust in the German military that when Rommel asked an SS general what he would do if his (Rommel's) order contradicted Hitler's the officer replied that he would follow Rommel's order. There were numerous examples where SS officers of various ranks in fact did follow knowingly contradictory orders of Rommel. Imagine such a commander on the eastern front where idiotic orders of Hitler were followed and hundred of thousands of German troops were killed or captured.

Now consider the Italian campaign where Italy surrendered and Germany was forced to commit and tie down elite units with brilliant commanders in order to slow the allied advance up the Italian peninsula. These German forces fought brilliantly and extracted a high cost for their retreats.

Now consider the forces tied down in France. Add to this the enormous and unknown reserves that were created and used with surprise at the Battle of the Bulge.

In short the allied actions in Africa, Italy and France/Holland/Belgium/etc greatly aided the eastern front by removing massive forces and perhaps key commanders.

Now consider the US aid supplied to the Soviet Union. Without early US aid the Red Army may have starved. Without US aid the Soviets would not have had the steel to build the magnificent T-34 tanks. Without US aid the Soviets would not have had the tank busting aircraft like the P-39 Air Cobra at key moments. The Soviets hid for many years just how critical this aircraft was. However since the Soviet collapse historian have learned from official Red Army documents just how effective, critical and beloved by its pilots (and the infantry below) these aircraft were.

So yes, the Soviets fought more Germans than the west. And the Soviets certainly suffered far greater casualties, although a bit of those military casualties of that had to do with Stalin's military incompetence. However this was not done in isolation. The west enabled the Soviet victories in many ways.

Comment: Stalin was Hitler's secret ally at first ... (Score 5, Informative) 54

by drnb (#48288247) Attached to: Khrushchev's 1959 Visit To IBM

You know without someone like Stalin at the helm, the USSR might not have survived WWII. Cold, brutal, but effective :( Clearly the man was a monster -- but I think people forget that the bulk of the fighting in Europe during WWII was on the eastern front, not the western; by the time D day happened, the Germans had mostly been defanged, by the Russians.

Stalin did not save the Soviet Union. The Soviet privates, corporals, sergeants, farmers and workers saved the Soviet Union despite Stalin's stupidity.

Stalin was Hitler's secret ally at first. He actually helped start WW2. Stalin's non-aggression treaty with the Nazis had secret parts where Stalin and Hitler agreed to split Poland and other countries, it defined the respective Nazi and Soviet sphere's of influence of Eastern Europe. So Hitler's invasion of Poland, the event that triggered WW2 in Europe, was in fact done with Stalin's blessings. It was not until Hitler invaded the Soviet Union that Stalin fought against Nazism. If the Soviets had a leader that was a true ally of Britain and France and stood against the Nazi's and promised to defend Poland as Britain and France had done there may have been no WW2. Plus with a different leader the Soviets may have fought more effectively during the early parts of the war. Stalin and Hitler were very much alike in many ways. Besides brutal murderous dictators who killed millions of their own people, they erroneously thought themselves military geniuses and through their idiotic orders destroyed their own armies.

To be honest, Stalin expected that the Nazi's would invade, it just happened years before Stalin expected. He ignored one piece of evidence after another indicating an imminent invasion preferring to cling to his earlier personal expectations. His military incompetence was largely covered up, however since the Soviet collapse Red Army records have become available to western historians and his incompetence has been shown to be far greater than imagined. The west was aware of his various pre-war purges that decimated the leadership of the Red Army, officers being selected for loyalty to Stalin rather than military competence, and the previously mentioned self-denial regarding imminent invasion by the Nazis. Today the world knows, via official Red Army communications and unit records/diaries that some of Stalin's so called great military successes were pure propaganda fantasies. For example official Red Army documents show that Stalin did **not** order the Red Army to fall back to draw the Nazi's deeper into Soviet territory, with longer and more difficult to defend supply lines, and draw them into a trap. He actually ordered units to stand and fight at all costs, to not give any ground, much like Hitler did. Again, the two were so much alike. However the Red Army collapsed and retreated in a disorganized and somewhat panicked manner. The Nazi's going too deep and over extending their lines had more to do with Hitler's idiocy of pushing forward at all costs. Both Hitler and Stalin were incompetent military strategists whose idiotic orders destroyed their own armies. The Soviet Union was only saved because of huge reserves it could pull from Asia, including armies from Siberia that were well equipped for brutal winter warfare.

Comment: Nothing changes except cost of recruit training (Score 1) 308

by drnb (#48237957) Attached to: US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

Because people who do not qualify cannot be ordered. You have to lower the criteria, and accept the previously unacceptable, before you can order then to undergo physical training until they are no longer obese.

Lowering the criteria to enter recruit training and maintaining the current criteria for completing recruit training would not change the capabilities of those entering the service. The only real change is higher costs for recruit training. The marginal would just spend more time in recruit training. In the past the services could reduce costs by weeding out the marginal rather than habilitating them. That strategy may not be their best option right now.

Comment: Similar to WW2 Women's Auxiliaries ... (Score 3, Insightful) 308

by drnb (#48237677) Attached to: US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors
In some ways it is similar to the WW2 Women's Auxiliaries that the various services had. The idea back then was to free up a man from a "desk job" so he could be sent to "the front".

That said, if we need a cyber whatever it could be an entirely different branch of service. These specialists could be placed with the military as needed.

Comment: Its about more recruits being available for combat (Score 3, Interesting) 308

by drnb (#48237637) Attached to: US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

... "Buy it for 250% the cost of doing it in house from the contractor with the most congressmen" compromise ...

While that is a factor it is exaggerated. The bigger factor, and the military's motivation, in turning to contractors is that fewer recruits have to be used for support and logistics, so more are available for combat specialties. We are seeing the exact same thing here. Highly technical roles filled by those physically unfit for combat, freeing up those recruits who are physically fit for combat specialties. In some ways it is a little bit parallel to the various WW2 Women's Auxiliaries for the various services. The idea at that time was to free a man from a desk job so he could go to the field.

Comment: Actually its Democrats that kill Nuclear ... (Score 1) 151

by drnb (#48122675) Attached to: Z Machine Makes Progress Toward Nuclear Fusion

Exactly. If this was close to working, the Republicans would have killed it already like they've killed every other form of clean energy.

Actually its Democrats that kill nuclear research. For example Clinton shutting down various research labs working on next generation reactors.

Democrats do this to appease their brand of science deniers, the far left environmentalists who oppose everything and anything nuclear. Note that not all environmentalists are of this type, some are even former deniers who decided to listen to what actual physicists say rather than what far left environmentalist leaders say on the topic of physics.

These people, the nuclear deniers, really are the left's version of the right's climate deniers. And they do control the Democratic party to a frightful degree.

Comment: Re:Senders *are* vulnerable too (Score 1) 90

by drnb (#48122069) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

But you still can't blame everybody else using the official client for sending TO that person just because THEY used a third party service.

Why not? They willingly transmitted data via at least one intermediate party (snapchat itself plus 3rd party clients). If there is anything well known and consistent about the internet it is that private data gets leaked in many unexpected ways. The sender knows the data is sitting on at least snapchat's servers for some indeterminate time frame.

In short the sender knowingly gave control of their private data to an outsider. There is no way to say that the sender does not share some portion of the blame.

Comment: Re:Excuse me while.. (Score 4, Insightful) 101

by drnb (#48122005) Attached to: More Details On The 3rd-Party Apps That Led to Snapchat Leaks

"I don't feel sorry for those who thought banks were seriously secure, and two [where's "one?"], who the hell sends dollars to banks and actually thinks other people won't steal them? 1999 called and it wants it's noobs back."

Banks are regulated by the government. Bank deposits are insured by the government. When banks get robbed depositors do not lose money. If you want to refer to "noobish" days when depositors were vulnerable you have to go back long long before 1999.

Comment: Re:Both a whistleblower and a traitor ... (Score 1) 228

by drnb (#48121981) Attached to: Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs In China and Germany

The US says that hypocritical crap the chinese every other day of the week. Its nothing special.

It is quite special when the Presidents of the US and China are going to meet at a face-to-face summit and the President of the US is going to formally complain about cyber attacks at such a high publicity event.

As to leaks being done to drive a wedge between the US and germany... maybe... rather doubt it.

Whether highly effective or not isn't the important part, the timing itself that can be incriminating. If releases continue to appear strategically timed then coincidental seems less likely and the planned more likely.

As to paying rent, he doesn't need to pay more. Simply causing problems for the US intelligence services for any reason is payment in full.

For intelligence agencies payment in full has not been met until **every** piece of information you have has been shared.

Comment: Senders *are* vulnerable too (Score 1) 90

by drnb (#48121947) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

At least the evidence so far implicates recipients as playing a pivotal role, rather than senders.

Wrong. As I speculated, a 3rd party app that sends the images of recipients to a 3rd party website may very well also send images of senders to a 3rd party website.

"SnapSaved was a Web-based client built for Snapchat that allowed users to access “snaps” from a Web browser. However, the service, which according to DNS records ran on a server at the hosting company HostGator, apparently kept all images received or sent by its users without their knowledge."
http://arstechnica.com/securit...

Comment: Re:Both a whistleblower and a traitor ... (Score 1) 228

by drnb (#48120671) Attached to: Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs In China and Germany

I am prepared to forgive it to end this nonsense. Nothing is gained by keeping him out of the country. Bring him in, give him amnesty... and then tell him if he keeps going then he'll be back on the list. its the best option we have left.

The disclosures will most likely continue though. He seems not to be the lone holder of the data nor the keys.

Plus it is very likely Chinese and Russian security services have the info. As I said, he had to pay the rent somehow. The leaks will continue to strategically undermine US efforts. The US and Germany need to cooperate in order to address the crisis in Ukraine, coincidentally its leaked that the US conducted cyber operations against Germany?

It probably as coincidental as the mass surveillance being leaked just as Obama was about to criticize China for Chinese cyber attacks.

Comment: Re:Senders may be vulnerable too (Score 1) 90

by drnb (#48120631) Attached to: Snapchat Says Users Were Victimized By Their Use of Third-Party Apps

Except that the signs point to SnapSaved.com, which only let you receive and save images; sending was to come at a future time, either via webcam or file upload.

Go to Google Play and you will find numerous snapchat clients. It really is premature to say we know the full story.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.

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