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Comment: Re:thats crazy talk (Score 1) 515

by mjwx (#49177445) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Because a pale white guy can blend in well in SE Asia...

A pale white guy wont be able to work or own land in SE Asia.

If Snowden had the cash, there's plenty of places with nice beaches, attractive women and no extradition treaties with the US. The problem is, you need to have money that the US has no access to.

Comment: Re:Russia (Score 1) 515

by mjwx (#49177395) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Wow, I never realized Russia was that bad of a place to live. This speaks volumes.

A friend (Russian born, Aussie citizen) of mine when back to Russia and he said on return "its older and crappier than I remember". The fact Russia is a terrible place to be isn't news.

Something tells me Snowden isn't there for the great beaches and excellent food.

Comment: Re:Don't do it, Snowden! (Score 1) 515

by mjwx (#49177353) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

plus, well, russia is a shit-hole. who in their right mind would want to STAY there if you've known and grown up with better?

Compared to Club Fed (if you're lucky - Death Row if you're not)?

I'll take "Shit-holes I'd rather spend the rest of my natural life in since prison or death are the only other alternatives" for $1000, Alex!

The thing is, living in shit-holes is only good if you have access to a lot of money the US cant touch. Money can buy a lot of "justice" and a much nicer locale than Russia. Lots of rich fugitives lived happy lives in Argentina for decades.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 515

by mjwx (#49177319) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

I don't know if Russia is a good place for someone like Snowden who likes to expose government corruption. Then again, maybe he'll have better luck than Boris Nemstov.

Luckily, if the Russians ever decide to jail him for exposing government corruption, he's likely to get that "fair and impartial" trial that he evidently thinks he needs a guarantee for in the US.

The fact that Putin's Russia is also a bully does not absolve the US of it's hypocrisy and misdeeds.

I think you really missed his point.

He's not saying that Russia is no longer a better place for Snowden, he's saying that Russia may no longer be a safe place for Snowden.

Snowden is safe as long as Russia is still interested in rubbing the US's proverbial nose in it. After that, he is likely to become a bargaining chip for Russia to get something they want. Give us "concession A" and we'll "lose" Snowden.

Comment: Re:Yes, I agree (Score 1) 476

by mjwx (#49177259) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

It's a terrible name though. Typical conversation at work:

Me: Hey, did you save that in My Places?
Them: No, I logged you out. I saved it on my profile.
Me: I know. Did you save it to your My Places, or somewhere else?
Them: Oh yeah, I saved it on my desktop.

Actually this is what makes it brilliant for work. The last thing you want is everyone saving their cat pictures in the same directory, it's terribly confusing when the CEO opens MrFluffy.jpg and finds it's not his kitty.

For most "average" users you should be using roaming profiles so when Jeff saves files to "My Documents" on Joe's computer, they're easy for Jeff to find again because they're saved to a central repository (where they can be backed up all at once).

There is a lot we can lambaste Microsoft for, but My Docs and roaming profiles are one of the few things they've done right (of course it doesn't help when software abuses it, but this is why Itunes got banned from many a corporate network).

Comment: Re: Right, but does it correctly model... (Score 1) 243

by mjwx (#49177067) Attached to: Statistical Mechanics Finds Best Places To Hide During Zombie Apocalypse

There's at least 4 flights a day to Perth from Schiphol. You're not very isolated at all.

Not true, there are 0 flights a day from Schipol to Perth.

International flights from Perth only go to a limited number of locations, Most flights will go through Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Denpasar, Hong Kong or Aukland. If you want to come to Perth, you'll need to transit through one of these hubs first.

Secondly, the closest international hub to Perth is Singapore which is a solid 5 hours of flying away, the closest domestic hub is a Adelaide, which is 2.5 hours flight time. Many will argue that Adelaideans are already zombies.

Thirdly, if a Zombie invasion does begin, air travel will be shut down completely, meaning that the Zombies will need to make the 2650 KM trip from Adelaide to Perth overland which takes 2 days by train. If you dont notice your train has zombies on it in 2 days, humanity is clearly too stupid to live.

Comment: Re:The Optimistic viewpoint hade a source (Score 1) 230

by mjwx (#49168681) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

Feel free to submit to a gentle, peaceful decapitation. Be sure to let us know how that works out for you.

I see what you did there.

Actually, decapitation historically was considered about the most humane and dignified means of execution there was. Commoners were hanged, royalty was decapitated. The guillotine was invented to make the process even more humane by making decapitation less likely to be botched.

Decapitation and hanging weren't always human forms. However as society progressed they learned that breaking the neck at the base of the spine was the least painful way to kill someone. Eventually they refined it that hanging would break the neck rather than strangle someone. Society went backwards when someone thought electrocution was a good idea but advanced when lethal injection became common and even further when we realised death penalties are abhorrent and ineffective.

Comment: Re:Zombie apocalypse universe rules (Score 1) 243

Brooks quickly discounts the effectiveness of military weapons like cluster munitions, Gatling guns and other kinds of weapons designed to put a large amount of shrapnel or projectiles into an area quickly. Even if it didn't result in killing of an entire horde, I would expect it to kill a large number and greatly reduce the threat of most of them by seriously degrading their mobility through damage to their ability to walk or move.

You're assuming that a zombie horde acts like a human enemy.

The enemy does not panic, does not fear and it's numbers are far in excess of of the survivors opposing it.

In World War Z, by the time the Battle of Yonkers occurs, New York was already zombiefied, so that's up to 14 million zombies with a conservative estimate still being several million. Further more, the enemy will not stop even if incapacitated they will continue on their hands and knee stumps. Further more, you have to be very accurate and the majority of our area effect weapons are designed to be indiscriminate and inaccurate.

Even though there's a chance they could kill hundreds, you're dealing with thousands of zombies per gun. This is why later in the books, a simple repeating rifle used with tactics designed to counter an enemy that could not fight at range but outnumbered you 100 to 1 was shown to be more effective than a gatling gun and airburst weapons.

The Battle of Yonkers was written to demonstrate the futility of human tactics against a non human enemy.

Comment: Re:Zombies versus Predators (Score 1) 243

Nevertheless, this is silly.

Humans are the most deadly predators that the planet has ever had. Killing stuff is what we're really really good at. Making weapons is something we're really really good at.

Zombies... their weapons are teeth and fingernails. Their tactics are go straight in and attack regardless of tactical situation.

They wouldn't have a chance.

The thing about zombies is not their tactics or weapons but their numbers and drive.

A human needs to sleep,
A human needs food and clean water,
A human needs ammunition,
A human is vulnerable to infection,

If you have one infected or even five infected, they can be dealt with easily using modern gear. However once their number reaches a critical mass, humans are instantly on the back foot. It doesn't matter if a survivor kills 20 zombies when there is 100 of them. Max Brooks' World War Z book does a good job of explaining how they reach these kind of numbers, mainly through panic, ignorance and occasionally greed. However compared to humans, zombies have several key strengths.

The zombie does not need rest,
The zombie does not feel fear,
The zombie will not despair,
The zombie will not give up,
The zombie can still operate with debilitating injuries,

Humanity's only reprieve is the zombie is not real :)

Comment: Re:Best idea is not to hide. (Score 1) 243

4) So please tell me how in the real world a single zombie can infect all the rest of us?

Stop thinking of it as a Zombie and start thinking of it as a highly infections, virulent disease spread by direct contact with bodily fluids and a 100% mortality rate.

Basically thats what they were moddelling, the Zombie angle just gets publicity (which is good as it draws attention to their research and gets backers).

This is less trying to track a Zombie horde over the US than trying to extrapolate if a hyper deadly mutation of Ebola somehow takes root in a populated area.

Comment: Re:seriously (Score 1) 243

Yes, traditional zombie-ism is modeled like a disease that is highly contagious, highly virulent, and requires direct contact to transmit. Truthfully, the prominent characteristic of zombie-ism is that the infected are easily distinguishable.

Traditional zombies are magically reanimated creatures (the origin of the word is from Haitian Voodoo lore) and the original Zombie movies from the 60's and 70's tended to follow this even if it implied and not indicated outright.

Viral and parasitic zombies are a new concept in cinema. Personally I prefer the biological explanation compared to a magical one as far as stories go (World War Z (book) and 28 Days Later even though it's technically not a zombie movie), but the original concept of the living dead was supernatural.

Comment: Re: Right, but does it correctly model... (Score 1) 243

Your warehouse might work, but a high rise tower would be a terrible position. You have to figure that the power grid would go down and emergency generators would soon be out of fuel, so no elevators. How many flights of stairs do you want to climb on a regular basis while carrying food, water and fuel?

Being in a tower with only a couple of escape routes also leaves you very vulnerable to human predators who will be looking to steal everything you have.

If I actually lived in such a place, I'd probably try to stay put during the mass exodus and the initial die-off, but I certainly wouldn't seek out a tall building as a permanent base of operations.

Its a trade off, stairwells are also very defensible positions. Especially when your enemy isn't nimble and has a small problem with staying balanced.

Obviously you wouldn't live on the top floor of a high rise, but the second or third floor is ideal. As for lugging up supplies, for that you'd need to put in a simple rope and pulley system. A limited number of escape routes is a feature, not a bug of security because it also means points of ingress for the horde are equally limited.

Ultimately what you want is an easily sealed building with few doors and no windows that is connected to a seal-able tunnel system that allows egress at multiple locations... I dont know of any such buildings in my city?

I live in Perth, Western Australia. One of the most isolated cities in the world, by the time the Zombie invasion gets here, it will have wiped out the United States, most of Europe, all of Asia and much of Africa. Whilst is may seem like a good idea to go bush that can kill you easily too as you run out of water in a land that is very hot and has very few fresh water sources that are reliable year round. Beyond this, if you think zombiefied humans are bad, wait until they get the Wombats. A Zombat would be nigh upon unstoppable.

Comment: Re:Just damn (Score 1) 407

by mjwx (#49160823) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

if it 's bad for the companies to profit off a legal product, it's just as bad for the government to profit off it.

the biggest profiteer from cigarettes is the government.


Taxes from Tobacco sales doesn't even cover the medical costs of long term treatment of smokers in Australia, where tobacco taxes are high.

This is just medical costs, it doesn't include fires started by cigarette butts or costs that the government doesn't have to pay (such as cleaning a car or house after it's been occupied by a smoker) that have a net drain on the economy.

Comment: Re:news, why? (Score 1) 52

by mjwx (#49160769) Attached to: 42 Artificial Intelligences Are Going Head To Head In "Civilization V"

Civ V, a game historically known for its poor programming, rushed schedules and years of repair to get playable. This game still has one of the most artificially stupid AI's in the history of the Civ series, so I fail to see how this is even mildly interesting.

For the same reason people prefer to watch 42 meat heads wrestle each other for a ball rather than watch 42 of the brightest minds debate.

I dont mean the suppressed homoerotic desires either.

Given my experience with Civ V, they'll build about 2 cities each and never actually go to war, let alone attack. It will be a paint drying simulator. The incredibly stupid AI was what ultimately forced me back to Civ IV.

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.