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Comment: Re:Weakest Russia ever (Score 1) 470

by shutdown -p now (#47547387) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Oh, and the other aspect of it is who is going to come to power if Putin steps away. If you asked me that question in 2011, I still had hopes that pro-western liberals had a chance (at least in a coalition with moderate nationalists). Now, though, I'd say that the people who will use the opportunity will be the ones like Strelkov and Borodai - and Putin will be a sane angel in comparison.

In fact, given that there is seemingly some bickering between Kremlin and DNR/LNR leaders, I would say that the most likely (as in, more likely than anything else - still rather unlikely in general) possibility of Putin being ousted at this point is if Strelkov and his guard escape Ukrainian forces, cross the border to Russia, and announce that they're heading for Moscow to punish the traitors who backstabbed them. There's already plenty of talk going around about how Putin is "betraying the Russian Spring" by refusing to commit full support to the rebels. If a charismatic figure like Strelkov would formally voice such a complaint, and have several thousand battle-hardened fighters standing behind him, I honestly don't know how that would go - except that there would be a rush of volunteers (from extreme nationalists, monarchists, maybe even some Stalinist-type communists) to his ranks.

Comment: Re:Weakest Russia ever (Score 1) 470

by shutdown -p now (#47547377) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

You missed the point. It will not take 2 or 5 or 10 years to get rid of him. If the economy crashes now (or in 5 years), he'll just blame the West (cuz sanctions), and will use it as an excuse to crack down on the "fifth column" and the "national traitors", that he already identified as the enemies in his speech earlier this year, even more. If it gets really tight, why, time for another war, nothing like some shooting to make sure people don't grumble too much about rising prices and lack of goods. Georgia, perhaps?

Comment: Re:What is the business case of SpaceX? (Score 1) 95

by Kjella (#47546545) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

They don't do space tourism yet, but once they got the Dragon man-rated I don't see why not. The seven people who've been space tourists so far have in total paid $170 million, while SpaceX has quoted $140 million for a crewed Falcon 9 launch so they're at a price at least some is willing to pay. If they can make the rockets reusable it could significantly increase their launch volume even if only a few hundred super rich want to go. It would be real space flight in LEO and make you a genuine astronaut, not just "pop your head in" suborbital flight. Maybe they could even use the cargo room of the Dragon to hold some kind of deployable/inflatable mini-hotel for the stay. 100 mile high club anyone? ;)

Comment: Re:Weakest Russia ever (Score 3, Informative) 470

by shutdown -p now (#47546305) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

The problem with economic sanctions is that they, ironically, work to solidify Putin's power hold.

The original reason for strong popular support behind Putin was that he oversaw a decade of steady economic growth. For many people in Russia, it was the time where they saw their lives change from borderline poverty to something reasonable. It can be argued that he is not the one to take credit, and that it's all due to high oil prices etc, but either way he got to reap the benefits. It's also what triggered the entire "imperial revival" mentality: people see that their country is more prosperous, therefore it is stronger, therefore it is time to remember the old squabbles.

Now, Russian economy was already in recession as it is, and likely one from which it will not require. The sanctions will undeniably accelerate it, but at the same time they give Putin and his clique the ultimate excuse with respect to anything bad that happens with the economy: "Americans did it". Thus, all the rage will be channeled overseas, instead of the people in charge. And if economy does collapse, what you have now is a country of 140 million, raging, armed to teeth, with a history of willing and able to pile up the bodies two to one (and even higher) to win. Oh, and with nukes.

I strongly suspect that, if the sanctions are ultimately successful, the immediate consequence will be the full-on ground invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Not the present proxy war with subtle aid here and there, but Russian tanks on the streets of Kiev, that kind of thing.

If the West really wants to help Ukraine, it needs to give it direct military assistance.

Comment: Re:When I was born... (Score 1) 95

by Kjella (#47546275) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

When I was born Mankind had not set foot on the moon. By the time I was five, we had been there, done that and decided to never go back again. If aliens do exist, they are sitting back saying "What the f?ck man, you want to meet us but don't have the energy to get off the couch and answer the door?" Mankind does not deserve space travel. We had our chance and refused to take it.

By the time you were five, we had been (384 400 kilometers) / (4.2421 light years) = 9.57827017 x 10^-9 = ~0.000001% of the way to the closest star. Eight years later they launched the Voyager 1 which is now about (127.98 Astronomical Units) / (4.2421 light years) = ~0.05% of the way. And it's probably uninhabited. What chance did we miss to go visit aliens? Do you think if we just put enough money in it we'd invent the warp drive? Chemical rockets can't do it, it'd be like trying to ride a horse to the moon. The ban on nukes in space kills fission, we still haven't got a working fusion reactor here on earth and antimatter only exists in extreme lab experiments.

True, we don't care much about developing the propulsion technology but we sure as hell would like the energy generation technology so to pretend we're not working on it is false. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try building the applied technology before we got the basics working, if we can make a fusion reactor here on earth then maybe we can turn it into a fusion drive. Trying to skip that step earns us nothing, it doesn't bypass any of the problems we already have and creates a whole set of new ones which makes it that much less likely to succeed. The only tech that's pretty much ready to go is fission, but good luck selling a rocket that'll nuke its way through space.

Comment: Re:Great... (Score 5, Insightful) 470

by Kjella (#47545799) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

The side that apparently blew a 300-civilian passenger jet out of the sky because they're too dumb to know what a Boeing looks like is getting direct military support from a major regional power which just happens to have nuclear weapons. And I thought my hometown of Detroit was fucked.

Well, if you want to put it that way the plane would never have been shot down if Russia had supplied a professional crew instead of teaching the separatists how to aim and pull the trigger. At least with the Russian military firing they probably know what they're aiming at.

Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 596

by Kjella (#47545407) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Except in this case there's no signs that anyone was being particularly reckless, lazy or disregarding the rules, it was a fairly complex interaction between debug settings, ASM optimizations and dependency management. This is more like when the Space Shuttle blew up and nobody cares about the 9999 parts that didn't fail because the O-ring did and as a result it's now small chunks of scrap metal with dead astronauts. You don't get points for effort, style or the parts that work it's the end result that counts and in this case GCC poops on the floor because the final output is shit.

I think it's a good attitude for a kernel manager, because when he gets shit code from driver or subsystem maintainers that goes into a release kernel and starts corrupting data and throwing panics the shit is going to land on him. You can't just shuffle that responsibility downwards and say no, the kernel is 99% fine but that driver is crap because as far as the end users are concerned the kernel is crap and the internal bickering about whose fault that is doesn't matter one bit to them. It's your project and your job to get it fixed. And that might require some harsh words about the O-ring and the people who made it, because it's making them all look bad which is totally unfair to everybody else.

Comment: Re:That's why I dropped AdWords (Score 1) 93

by Kjella (#47543753) Attached to: Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, if your AdWord campaigns are being sabotaged it's extremely hard to say what your conversion rate should have been without the sabotage unless you've got really good historic data to show we used to get good leads but now we get crap. For example if my botnet all likes to visit Google and click your ad links, but never buy anything. Yes, you know the conversation rate is very low - as a few real customers are in the mix - but it doesn't tell you anything about who or why, it just looks like random IPs visiting and not buying. Nor do you have any obvious reason to sue, it''s not illegal to visit and leave without buying. To use a real world analogy, it's like you have an organized band to clog up your stores, circulating and acting like customers but ending up just browsing. I've done that in real life, exiting the store without never buying so individually it's not unheard of. But if hundreds or thousands did that in an organized fashion, there'd be trouble as legitimate customers would pass on your store because it's too crowded, even though they have no intention of buying..

Comment: Re:Nudity (Score 4, Informative) 170

by Kjella (#47543587) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

If there's a distinct non-human advantage to them, yes. Most sports are extremely tightly regulated, mainly I've looked at the Nordic sports and for example the jump suit used in ski jumping is highly regulated. Likewise in ice skating, they proved some years ago a "Donald Duck" like suit would improve skate times. It was banned. The support biathlon athletes can get while shooting is likewise regulated. The rules themselves are arbitrary, as long as they're equal for everyone. Why it is "three strikes, you're out" in baseball? Couldn't it be one strike? Five strikes? Sure it could, but the game says three. And then you compete under the rules of the game. Everything else is the other way around, they're allowed to wear baseball caps because everyone can wear one and it doesn't favor anyone in particular. You can't call ut unaided because bicyclists obviously outpace runners, pole vaulters outjump high jumpers and so on but the aid is considered neutral. Anything that isn't you ban.

Comment: Re:As soon as greenpeace touches it (Score 1) 279

by Kjella (#47539935) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

John Stewart Mill made the point that you should consider every argument, even if only one person in the entire world is making it against the consensus of everyone else, on its merits. The person speaking does not matter, only the merits of the argument.

Knowing that someone has a very warped perception of reality - at least from your point of view - pretty much destroys all their credibility to make arguments about the real world. If the argument had any merit then "normal people" would use it too, it's not worth the effort to track every argument back to the underlying root causes. Very often it boils down to "that's not the way real people act or the real world works" because so many get caught up in an ideology and forget to ground their beliefs in reality. They're immune to normal feedback mechanisms, it's like watching people cut themselves and if it hurts the solution is to cut more. I suppose if you cut yourself enough the pain may stop permanently, but it still seems a rather bad idea.

"An entire fraternity of strapping Wall-Street-bound youth. Hell - this is going to be a blood bath!" -- Post Bros. Comics

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