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Comment: Re:Van Braun built weapons for Nazis (Score 2) 102

by radtea (#47579763) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Then he came to the USA, and played the same con on Congress to fund his continued work here.

So in your view von Braun was an amoral, self-agrandizing liar who was willing to actively engage in the selection of slave labour working in death camps to build rockets that killed thousands of strangers just so he could play with cool toys? Because that's what you're describing.

I say "self-agrandizing" because everything that von Braun wanted to do would have been done without him, without the 12000 dead slave labourers, without the 9000 dead British civilians.

I've had some pretty extreme scientific and technical ambitions in my time, but have somehow been able to realize many of them without killing people, and have given up the rest because: killing people. So I'm willing to pass judgment on von Braun in this respect: if he faced a choice between following his dreams and not killing people I'd have to say the latter is the far better choice.

Comment: Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (Score 3, Interesting) 227

in fact, given the increased US involvement and the general unrest in the Middle East it probably pushed back their goals somewhat

Not at all. It made the position of Islamist groups that were arguing from more moderate positions, and generally preferred a democratic transition to their goal (like Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots), much weaker. At the same time, it made the position of groups arguing for violent jihad much stronger - especially since, with foreign intervention in Muslim countries, they could declare jihad to be fard ayn (individually obligatory for any observant Muslim) on scriptural grounds. It also created lots of martyrs.

Think about where things were before the intervention, and where they are now. Taliban is rapidly regaining control over Afghanistan, and in the meantime Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are also rapidly Islamized by similar Salafist strains. In Pakistan, military and intelligence are stuffed with Taliban-friendly Islamists. In Iraq and Syria, large swaths are under control of an armed jihadi group that has officially declared itself to be the Caliphate, and which practices the version of Islam that even many other extremist Salafi organizations find too brutal - and they keep expanding territory and getting a steady influx of volunteers. Volunteers, I must add, that come from our own countries, and are in many cases not only our citizens by law, but are born and raised here within our culture - and yet falling under the influence of extremist preachers who convert them. Do you really think that we could see anything on that scale without the free (to them) advertising that the West gave to jihadis?

Comment: Re:And no one will go to jail (Score 1) 227

Unless you believe that intelligence gathering is an act on war (in which case every single country on the face of Earth is at war with every other country, with the possible exception of some African countries and microstates), then, no, CIA is not an organization of war.

And as a libertarian, you should be ashamed of yourself - you're engaging in exact same kind of sophistry that you decry in your opponents the statists whenever they "creatively reinterpret" some constitutional provision, like in Wickard v. Filburn.

Comment: Re:When will we... (Score 2) 227

CIA is just one TLA out of many more that are part of the same problem. This mentality, that they can do whatever the hell they want, and fuck law, due process and constitution, so long as they catch the arbitrarily defined bad guys of the day, is pervasive throughout all government agencies that have anything even remotely to do with law enforcement or military. NSA and CIA spying are links of the same chain that includes DEA no-knock warrants, police departments buying MRAPs for bragging rights etc.

And yes, there are some agencies that should literally go to jail wholesale. For example, I don't see how you can be working for DEA and not be complicit in activities that, 50 years ago, would be decried as stereotypical police state jackboot thug activity - and all that violence for the sake of suppressing non-violent, consensual activity (well, at least nominally - in practice, these days, it's more often an excuse, and the actual goal is cashing in on asset forfeiture).

Comment: Re:Vendor vs In House (Score 1) 182

by radtea (#47577529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

One of the key problems I've run into, not only in regards to ERP, but in general, is that when you outsource all of your development your future is in the hands of someone who doesn't have your companies best interests as their primary concern.

Even in those cases where you get a good service provider (which will depend on the specific people you've got working on your project much more than the company they work for, so anyone who says "Oracle = good" is missing the point) you still run into one of the most fundamental human problems: we suck at communication.

When you outsource something the degree of clear, concise, validated communication required is many times what is required for in-house development (where communication can still be a major problem). Capturing user needs and implementing them in a useful and user-efficient manner is hard enough with a high-bandwidth internal-communications channel. With outsourcing it is almost impossible for the people designing and building the system to get the information they need from the end-users.

So one question I would ask the OP is: how often do your provider's developers talk to your end users? (not your end user's managers, who don't have a clue what the system requirements actually are). If the answer is "never or hardly ever" then in-house is definitely the way to go, because your in-house team will have at least some chance of building a system that will serve end-user needs.

Comment: Re:USB 4.x to offer signed USB device signatures?? (Score 1) 193

by Mr. Slippery (#47577479) Attached to: "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

Plug your USB stick or disk or keyboard into the Pi, and if it reports that there's a new not-a-USB-stick/disk/keyboard, you know there's malware on the device.

So I'll make my malware pretend to be a plain old USB stick for the first N hours. Then it will simulate an unplug and replug itself in as a keyboard that types "format c:\ncat /dev/zero > /dev/sda\necho bwah hah hah!\n"

It's a basic principle that if an attacker can compromise your hardware, you're fscked. But it looks like the new part is that the malware can go viral, reprogramming USB devices. Whoever was careless enough to release a USB controller with firmware that can be arbitrarily reprogrammed from the host computer needs to be taken out and shot.

Comment: Re:And no one will go to jail (Score 4, Insightful) 227

The way I see it, if they don't go for prosecution, they've more or less given these agencies carte blanche to violate the law, lie about it, and have no consequences.

Welcome to the American legal system, where selective prosecution is standard operating procedure. The only reason to have a legal system which does not require prosecution for known crimes is to permit treating some people differently than others. It leads to the proliferation of bad laws.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 571

by shutdown -p now (#47575489) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

I am a little disturbed, by the way, that you think that the terrorist organization that the Strelkov is running is not getting enough support.

Uh... I do not support the present Russian politics at all (even though I am a citizen). What I'm saying is that the separatists themselves - and many Russians - believe that they are not getting enough support from Russia, and blaming that on "traitors". "Enough support" here generally equates to moving the troops in openly.

I'm certainly not relishing the thought of an all-out military conflict between Russia and the West, either.

Comment: Re:Have you actually been to China? (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#47575337) Attached to: Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches of Monopoly Law

You do realise the US does exactly this as well, and the prisons are corporations, and America even has more prisoners.

And? I didn't say the US didn't have any of these elements. I said that China did.

Posting ac as I spent all my mod points before reading this complete rubbish.

I note you didn't actually disagree with me. Obviously it isn't complete rubbish.

Comment: Re:So China is going to do (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#47574349) Attached to: Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches of Monopoly Law

So, non-free dependencies? Not on my watch!

The specifications for the required ammunition are well-known. The stuff is harder to make than the firearm, however. For that to differ you'll have to use something substantially higher- or lower-tech, e.g. caseless or black powder. And caseless ammo is only easier to produce if you disregard the difficulty of producing a practical propellant.

Comment: Re:Have you actually been to China? (Score 0) 104

by drinkypoo (#47573739) Attached to: Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches of Monopoly Law

Slave labor? 'Fraid not.

The Chinese government itself literally operates labor camps where criminals are forced to produce consumer goods.

Your argument would be more credible

You clearly do not decide who is credible when you say that slave labor is not slave labor.

Comment: Re:So China is going to do (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#47573723) Attached to: Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches of Monopoly Law

RMS doesn't do guns because only one or two are open-source, and he's seen the code and knows they're shitty.

The 1911 is Open Source today, you can literally download blueprints for every part of the weapon. It's one of the best-loved and best-performing firearms of all time. It does require the use of appropriate ammunition, but the openness of the design has permitted developers to adapt it to several different types.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 571

by shutdown -p now (#47572255) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

What makes you believe that it's Putin that's playing for that side, and not the other way around?

One thing that I'm actually seriously afraid of is that Putin will use the separatists to stage a coup inside the country. Consider this: right now, it seems clear that without outside intervention, rebels are doomed - Ukrainian forces grind them down slowly but surely, even despite the heavy losses. They know it full well, and they have been demanding help from Russian government since the declaration of independence - and then complaining that what they get is still not enough (which is true). Some of the lower-level commanders and rank and file have already been calling Putin a traitor on record. But never the top brass, like Strelkov. In fact, Strelkov is pretty much always very deferential to Putin, and called him "supreme commander" on occasion.

Now, imagine what happens when the last stronghold is overrun. The remaining forces - doubtlessly, the most loyal and battle-hardened of Strelkov's troops - will try to retreat across the border into Russia. If, by some "miracle", they are allowed to pass safely through, what do we have? A charismatic leader, widely popular in Russia itself, with a clout of an almost-martyr for the cause that most people root for, valiantly and losing the battle only because of "traitors" - even if he's not pointing any fingers at them (just makes him that much more noble, hey!). And several thousand armed loyal troops at his command. Now, what if Putin declares that the only reason why he was not able to order a direct intervention and turn the tide is because of all the traitors in the government, and that he needs help purging them? Strelkov then turns the entire Dolchstosslegende around and says that, yes, the people who were complaining about treason were right all along, but Putin was not the traitor, the traitors were the one who bound him and prevented him from acting - and marches straight onto the Kremlin. No-one would stop him; heck, I know for sure that a lot of people would cheer, and most police and military units would just step aside if not join outright. Once he arrives, we have a bloody but brief purge, with some bodies displayed for the amusement of the crowd, and Putin is now officially a dictator for life, Defender of Holy Rus or whatever titles they decide to bestow on him, with his own personal loyal guard to protect him.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths