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Comment: Re:Reality interferes... (Score 2) 197

by intnsred (#45956925) Attached to: How Quickly Will the Latest Arms Race Accelerate?

The anti-missile bases and technology are quantitatively and qualitatively utterly inadequate to make a flyspeck of a difference. Russia knows this.

They likely do. But as we've wasted well over $100 billion on our so-called "Star Wars" anti-ballistic missile system over the years, and even more money on the anti-missile systems we're developing with/for Israel, I'd bet the Russians fear the day that we finally get it working.

Consider that after the breakup of the USSR, Russia has engineered and deployed substantial new nuclear weapons and delivery systems. The US has not.

I think this is misleading. Of course Russia has developed new ICBMs. First, this ignores what may or may not have been in the developmental pipeline. But more importantly, it ignores that we did unilaterally break the ABM treaty and started deploying ABM sites and mounting systems on ships. To expect the Russians not to counter our aggression is to expect them to act foolishly.

Is it the US who is really the only problem here?

Considering the US has launched multiple wars of aggression since the breakup of the USSR, the US gov't wages blatant proxy wars, the US gov't ignores all int'l law dating back to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia and claims a "right" to attack any country even if we have not been attacked first, and considering things like we have used flat-out torture as a national policy and spend almost 1/2 of the entire world's military spending, the US gov't may not be the "only" problem but most definitely our gov't is the largest and most aggressive problem country in the world.

Not surprisingly, but still sadly, it's not just me saying this; in one Win/Gallup International survey of people in 65 countries, the US is seen as the greatest threat to world peace.

"The organization has concluded that the United States is now the principle violator of human rights and freedoms worldwide." -- Amnesty International's annual report on human rights.

Comment: Re:Reality interferes... (Score 1) 197

by intnsred (#45955505) Attached to: How Quickly Will the Latest Arms Race Accelerate?

However it is also true that every nation which entered NATO practically begged for it.

I think it's important to remember some of the skulduggery that we did in Europe -- for decades. Remember, we essentially bought elections in France and Italy in the late 40s to prevent communists from being elected into power; we beamed divisive ethnic propaganda into Yugoslavia for decades. Hell, even as late as the 1980s we had our CIA work with European rightists to conduct flat-out terrorist actions against our own NATO allies in a strategy of tension designed to push western European gov'ts to the political right.

Given the fact that many of the new leaders of the former Warsaw Pact we funded and backed for years and years, and in such an atmosphere of such skulduggery, it's not surprising that they'd want to snuggle up to the west if only to increase the odds that they would not continue to remain a target.

After all, it's not like the vast majority of the common people of those countries had a lot of say in the economic shock therapy that was inflicted on their nations, nor in whether they should become a member of NATO or not.

Comment: Reality interferes... (Score 5, Insightful) 197

by intnsred (#45954077) Attached to: How Quickly Will the Latest Arms Race Accelerate?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

The reality is that the US and west never stopped waging the Cold War. We broke the understanding with Russia and pushed NATO eastward, even incorporating parts of the former USSR into NATO.

Then we tore up the ABM treaty and put anti-missile bases in Eastern Europe claiming we were doing that because of Iran. The Russians didn't find that laughable claim one bit funny and understood that the west was seeking to negate their nuclear deterrence.

NATO has been used offensively both inside and outside of Europe and shows that it has nothing to do with "defense".

We portrayed a rag-tag group of Muslim fundamentalists as some sort of existential threat to the US and west, but now the US gov't has made a "pivot" and is portraying China as militarily aggressive because they are squabbling over some worthless islets with their neighbors. It's clear that China is the focus of a new Cold War.

It's clear the US is in search of a "new enemy" because that's what keeps Americans distracted from how much we waste on our military and our continuing economic decline.

"Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy." -- Ambassador to the USSR and US State Dept. strategist George F. Kennan.

Comment: Re:Country spies on other country (Score 1) 158

by intnsred (#44867573) Attached to: Belgium Investigates Suspected Cyber Spying By Foreign State

> Performing actions that US govt sees as 'acts of war', against other, *allied*, country?

Well, the European Parliament has found that the CIA in conjunction with right-wing Europeans committed many different acts of terror -- acts killing and wounding hundreds of civilians -- on our own NATO allies during the 1980s in US gov't's pursuit of a strategy of tension.

So for the US gov't to do this would be nothing new. :-(

Comment: Re:I happily block ads, and will continue to do so (Score 1) 978

by intnsred (#43139927) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

Yes, exactly. If some site wants to bar me from using their site because I block their ads, or only allow session cookies, or lobotomize JavaScript -- or whatever -- they're free to do that. I have no problem with that.

For example, I refuse to read NYT articles that require me to create an account. I feel not only is the NYT overrated, but the overzealous way they track users means I'd rather not use their "service". Ditto for Facebook, once aptly described as a surveillance service disguised as a "fun" social network.

More and more people are going to have to decide whether they're sheep being led to the slaughter, sacrificing their privacy, attention (in the case of ads), and forced to do this or that because some "service" wants this, or whether they're actual customers or consumers with real rights and the ability to make decisions. IMO since the Internet was privatized/corporatized after the 1990s telecomm act, the pendulum has swung way too far towards users being considered sheep for exploitation.

As Andrew Lewis bluntly put it: "If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."

Comment: I happily block ads, and will continue to do so... (Score 2) 978

by intnsred (#43130443) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

There are several reasons I block ads: I don't want to be tracked. And I don't want to be conned, gamed, decieved and/or lied to (and for most ads, this is their goal). But most of all, to me it goes back to a fundamental concept of computing: This is my computer, I'm paying for the network link, and I get to choose what enters my computer and how I use/display that data/info.

Sadly, advertising permeates our society and is forced down people's throats everywhere. Back in college when they had ideals, Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google said, "We expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers." They were right. The same concept applies to other advertising.

Does this mean that Destructoid or other sites might disappear because people like me don't want advertising? Yup, it might. But that's not my problem -- it's an "adapt or die" mindset. If they choose a less deceptive way of funding themselves -- straight subscription, crowd sourcing, whatever -- I'll decide whether their value is worth me paying what they ask.

Then I'll decide whether to allow their text, data, pics and videos, etc., into my computer, and I then I'll decide how I want to use/display that content.

There's an old saying in business: The customer is always right. If the customer doesn't like your advertising or business model, the business has a problem, not the customer.

Comment: Nice from a tech point of view, *BUT*... (Score 2, Insightful) 226

by intnsred (#38780987) Attached to: Engineered Stomach Microbe Converts Seaweed Into Ethanol

But considering the fact of global warming/climate change and the topic of greenhouse gases, isn't our core problem that we are simply burning too much stuff? With that in mind, is this really going to help?

Shouldn't our focus be on creating forms of energy that produce energy without burning things?

Comment: Why constantly reinvent things? (Score 1) 1040

Airplanes today have basically the same controls on them -- joystick, foot pedals, etc -- that they did when the Wright Brothers invented the airplane early in the 20th century -- they haven't changed the UI in that amount of time.

Cars haven't basically changed since they removed the manual lever throttle and went with the gas pedal -- many decades of a standard UI.

Why can't we do that with computers? Stop reinventing the wheel!

Do normal people really care about KDE versus GNOME? Don't they just want a UI that works and isn't constantly changing things?

Look at Windows. What are the UI changes between Win95, Win2K, XP, etc. etc. Aren't they just cosmetic BS to make people say, "Gee whiz, they changed X, Y and Z -- isn't that cool?!" Were people really demanding that Microsoft keep rearranging the Control Panel?

What was wrong with the UI standard that every program will have a pull down menu, and on that menu will be a File menu, and in that File menu will be a Close/Exit option, and on every pull down menu will have a Help menu, etc, etc.

The problem with our UIs isn't the UI, it's a lack of standards and a bunch of clueless coders that keep reinventing the wheel and confusing the hell out of 90% of people for no good reason.

Comment: Re:How does he sleep at night? (Score 3, Insightful) 109

by intnsred (#37598770) Attached to: Anti-Piracy PI Talks About Building Cases Against File-Sharers

First, piracy is a copyright violation; piracy is NOT theft.

But to a address your point:

I'm not sure how busting people for making counterfeit hardcopy and selling them for money qualifies as a "corrupt scheme/racket".

The corrupt scheme is the inflating of the value of the so-called piracy by counting every blank disc as a pirated copy and lying like this for political purposes. This is the same immoral/sleazy tactic used by police to inflate the "street value" of seized marijuana plants. The corrupt cops count seeds, seedlings, leaves, stems, root balls, etc. when they know that only the bud of the pot plant gets sold and has real value. They lie this way to make the "crime" seem bigger.

This is the same reason the corrupt PI lies about the value of pirated material. But in this case, they're also doing it to influence corrupt, corporate-funded politicians to pass harsher laws.

The Courts

SCOTUS Nominee Kagan On Free Speech Issues 664

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the she's-a-shoo-in-anyway dept.
DesScorp submitted one of a few stories I've seen about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, whose confirmation hearings are supposed to start today (despite being a formality, given that she has the votes pretty much locked up). "SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan hasn't left much of a paper trail during her legal career, which may make gauging her ideas and opinions somewhat difficult. But there are some positions she has made clear statements on, among them, pornography and 'hate speech.' In a 1993 University of Chicago seminar on the subject, Kagan argued that the government wasn't doing enough about the spread of porn or hate speech. She argued that new approaches were needed to fight their spread, as well as taking a fresh look at old approaches, such as obscenity laws. Kagan included herself among 'those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation,' and told participants that 'a great deal can be done very usefully' to crack down on such evils."

ACTA Is Backta, New Round of Talks Start Today 73

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the forgive-me-rhyming-gods dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement resume today in Lucerne, Switzerland, with the ninth round of talks. The Toronto Star highlights the mounting opposition to the deal from developing world countries such as India and China, while Michael Geist has posted a video of a recent lecture that provides background on the agreement and where things currently stand."

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.