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Comment: Re:FFS just keep the Warthog (Score 1) 271

As far as I can see (not having a military background, but as a military history enthusiast), much of the "historical antagonism" between the forces is largely because of the battle for funding. The normal inter-service rivalries are probably more like fights between brothers. As soon as an outsider steps in and threatens one of them, they'll all stand together.

Comment: Re:Download link? (Score 1) 139

by Dutch Gun (#48681851) Attached to: 13,000 Passwords, Usernames Leaked For Major Commerce, Porn Sites

It's likely few if any of the major retailers are compromised. In fact, I'd say it's probably NONE of the sites have been compromised at all. This is probably nothing more than a list of people infected with a particular piece of malware which has extracted their passwords. The broad range of sites, both retail and adult-themed, seem to bear this out. The malware was probably just harvesting passwords with a keylogger or had extracted them from the browser.

You can generally tell when a breach occurs with a retailer, because getting usernames and passwords is an all-or-nothing proposition. If Amazon was breached, then ALL Amazon accounts would be vulnerable. This is clearly not the case with only 13,000 names in the list.

In short, unless you think you've been compromised by some malware that stole your passwords, or if all the sites you visit are suspiciously on this list, then there's probably no need to change your passwords.

Comment: Re:Knuth is right. (Score 3, Insightful) 141

Discreet mathematique are the basis for computing

Not at the semiconductor junction level.

You are confusing computing with computers. Indeed, a "computer" used to be a human being implementing algorithms with a mechanical adding machine, and then were tube-based electrical systems, and in the future may use something wholely other than semiconductors; computing, however, remains the same. A bubble sort is still a bubbble sort.

Comment: Re:Motive (Score 1) 281

by Dutch Gun (#48671611) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

And frankly, we're all human beings, lines on a map are just drawn to divide up stuff, shouldn't we all care that millions have starved to death there?

A lot of us do, but when both NK and China have nukes, it's a tricky proposition to effect change. Would China happily leave NK out to dry, or would they send their tanks in? If their backs were up against a wall, would NK retaliate by sending over a nuke in a shipping container to one of our port cities? Also, with a recent look at our history, freeing up the Iraqi people hasn't gone all that swimmingly, what with the Islamic State forming their own little territory and chopping off every westerner's head they can.

It's great to say "we need to help them", but what you're saying is "we're going to send a lot of young American men and women into harms way, and many of them will end up dead or maimed. It's something that needs to be weighed very, very carefully. Despite our military and economic power, we can't simply march in and right all the wrongs in the world. I wish we could... I really do. But the world isn't that straightforward.

Comment: Re:Going for cop's gun drastically escalates situa (Score 1) 361

by Mr. Slippery (#48667159) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Brown was shot because he escalated the situation to a "high risk arrest" by going for the cop's gun. Period.

We have no evidence that Brown was trying to take Wilson's gun, only the word of a cop who's been caught lying before. Cops know that "he was going for my gun" are magic words to justify themselves when they commit murders.

And of course it's irrevelvant whether Brown tried to get control of Wilson's gun earlier in the confrontation. Brown was not trying to do so when he was murdered, he was (according to the majority of witness testimony) attempting to surender.

Comment: Re:Action movies are boring. (Score 1) 328

Modern action movies are incredibly boring.

Action movies are awesome if you care about what happens to the characters. I think too many directors and writers seem to forget about this part, or maybe are just inept at creating interesting and empathetic characters. For all the billions of dollars that Hollywood spends on flashy effects, it's always astounding to me that one of the most difficult things is still apparently writing good dialogue and creating interesting characters.

Comment: Re:*sips pabst* (Score 2) 348

by Dutch Gun (#48666731) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

kept Tom Bombodil in the first one

What crucial plot point did Tom Bombodil advance, especially in a two hour movie adaptation? One could argue (and Peter Jackson in fact did argue) that if he adapted the books precisely, much of the dramatic tension of the movie would have been dissipated for no good reason. For instance, Frodo actually waited around for many months after getting the ring before starting out on his journey. Read the description of what Tom Bombodil looked like again, if you haven't recently, and think about how ridiculous he would have appeared on screen. Or how about how flippantly he treated the super-scary-bad One Ring? As heretical as you might think this is, I think even the book would have lost very little except length if Tolkien had left those chapters out.

While I disagree with some of Jackson's introductions of unnecessary elements or changes in LOTR, I agreed with his decision to trim unnecessary storyline fat, and focus more on action. After all, movies are a visual/aural medium, and can convey different elements better than books can. Books are great at providing depth, detail, and backstory, but frankly, reading about battles in great detail would probably be rather boring - you'll notice Tolkien wisely avoided doing this. I've suffered through some books that made me read through a giant battle blow by blow, and now I understand why that's not necessarily a book's strength. Movies, on the other hand, do better at *showing* you a world, and it would be a great disservice to try to copy the strengths of the written word instead of providing what film can offer somewhat uniquely. I think it's entirely appropriate for a movie to show a battle in detail when a book may have given it just a paragraph.

Comment: Re:The good outweights the bad (Score 1) 208

by Dutch Gun (#48666543) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

I'll propose modifying your "The world is an awesome place now" with "many places in the world are great, but many places are not". It really depends on where you live. We probably won't see it in our lifetimes, but if any luck, our grandchildren or maybe our great grandchildren may see a larger world that's starting to enjoy a lot more what we in the first world currently enjoy. It seems like we're making progress, so I'm hopeful.

In terms of providing economic improvement, I think it's important not to focus on redistribution, as that's a short-term means to an end, and taken to extremes, can cause as many problems as it attempts to solve. Rather, we need to make sure equality of opportunity is provided for people to climb the economic ladder on their own. Disparity in income is not necessarily a problem so long as we provide a way for people to improve their own lot in life by working smart and playing the rules of the game fairly.

Comment: Re:Big bags of water... that's what we are. (Score 0) 156

by Mr. Slippery (#48648969) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

Yes there are good reasons for going to Mars. Greatest among them is to safeguard the species from any catestrophic impacts on Earth they would extinguish us.

No potential impact to Earth would render it less hospitable to life than Mars is. For speicies survival a set of fortified underground bunkers/mini-cities would be far more practical -- and unlike Mars, we do have the tech to do that.

The suggestion that we currently have the technology to colonize Mars is, in brief, ridiculous. No human has been move than 500 miles from Earth's surface in over four decades, and the farthest we've ever sent a human is under 250,000 miles; at its closest, Mars is 38,000,000 miles away. We do not know how to safely get a human being that distance through interplanetary space, and the first few people we try to send are quite likely to die.

That investment of blood and treasure might be worthwhile if there was something useful for humans to do when they got there, but there isn't. We'll get better scientific results by building and sending better robots.

There is no practical reason to send humans to Mars in the near-term -- say, next five centuries. Especially not when all of our resources are needed over the next century or so to put human civilization on a sustainable footing. We can probably do some useful stuff with humans in Earth orbit and maybe on Luna, but deep space is for robots.

The only justification to put humans on Mars is some vague hand-waving about "inspiration" -- i.e., it's a huge performance art project. Maybe someday humanity can afford that. But not now.

Comment: Re:people still watch that crap? (Score 3, Insightful) 106

by Dutch Gun (#48643959) Attached to: Behind the Scenes With the Star Trek Fan Reboot

1) the opening theme music. It's absolutely horrible. I don't know WTF they were thinking with that whiny emo crap.

They were thinking: "Hey, kids like this shit, right? We need to appeal to the younger crowd. That's where the money is. So we'll toss the old symphonic opening scores. We'll also sex it up a bit with a hot-bodied Vulcan in a skin-tight suit. Oh, and we'll make sure to fabricate a few excuses to strip that suit off and smear a bunch of oil on her. This is gonna be big! ... Plot? Shit, the writers will figure that stuff out. Don't bother me, I'm figuring out the important stuff here!"

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)