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Comment: Re:Your taxes at work (Score 4, Informative) 501

Great Wall of China... Mongols. I rest my case.

Yeah, that worked real well.

Actually, it's a common misconception to think that the Great Wall was built as a military defense mechanism in the event of full scale war. For one, it's too low, easily scalable by an army with the right tools. And secondly, it's too long, and can never be effectively manned along the full length. All in all, the Great Wall was never designed to function like a city wall.

What the wall really does, and it does well, is act as a deterent and early warning mechanism against the annual and semi-annual small scale border raids from the northern nomadic tribes, where riders would just charge down south, loot what they can and quickly retreat back into the great prairies. It's actually a (relatively) economical answer to a persistent problem -- for it's very expensive for a settled agricutural civilization to mobilize an army, while it costs almost nothing for the nomads to gather up a group of riders and raid a small border settlement.

And BTW, China is far from the only one in building a wall. Almost every settled civilization on the Eurasian continent, from Korea all the way to England, built a wall at some point in their history. The Chinese wall was the largest simply because China face the greatest threat from the Mongolian plains, which produced some of the most brutal and effiecient nomadic people in human history.

Comment: Re:hum (Score 2) 215

by sadboyzz (#47268099) Attached to: Was <em>Watch Dogs</em> For PC Handicapped On Purpose?
If you read some of the comments it seems enabling the graphics also enhances performance at the same time. The theory is that the decision to castrate the PC version was perhaps made at the last minute and they didn't have enough time to test and optimize the crap version.
Disclaimer: this is second hand info as I do not own the game.

Comment: Re:SIM card (Score 1) 259

by sadboyzz (#47161649) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

Yes, the problem with Verizon nowadays is the other way round -- it's impossilble to get a non-Verizon phone to work on the Verizon network, because of their proprietary CDMA, and their non-contract phones are generally way overpriced. Which was quite a headache for us when my wife dropped her new HTC One in the sink last year...

Hopefully this should become less of a problem once they start their VoLTE rollout.

Comment: Re:Replicant (Score 1) 105

He probably means the availability of drivers

Since the OP is talking about privacy concerns, more likely he means the possibility of replacing the manufacturer supplied binary drivers with free/opensource ones that can be audited. To that end one needs to reverse engineer the binary drivers, and he presumes this job would be easier on Tizen (standard Linux) than on Android.

Comment: Re:Mod parent interesting (Score 1) 226

by sadboyzz (#47100045) Attached to: Domain Name Suspended

So spam and poisoning is a real problem, but not an unsolvable one.

Email spam is a very different problem from p2p file sharing spam. With email, the spam filter has the luxury of getting to see the entirety of the message before deciding if it's spam. On the other hand, a p2p file sharing client only gets a filename + hash. With better heuristics it could conceivably rank the filenames based on relevance to your search term, but that is unneccessary in most cases. What's more important is to decided whether the filename actually describes the content identified by 'hash' (which could be tens to hundreds of GBs). The only reliable ways to "solve" this problem, as far as I can see, are: 1. Download the file and see for yourself (emule, gnutella, etc.) 2. Have a centralized authority/community screen the file for you (BitTorrent)

Comment: Re:Simpler: Electrical Fire (Score 1, Insightful) 245

You are probably scoffing and going "Bah, what are the odds of that!"

Indeed. You haven't even got to the part where the plane apparently flew around Indonesian radar.

But your alternative scenarios are "Plane was hijacked by... conspiracy... secret landing... passengers killed/being held.... etc..."

No, the alternative scenarios simply involves a suicidal pilot, which has happened before. This one may be holding a grudge against the Malaysian gov, and trying to inflict maximum political damage by crashing the plane and making it as hard to find as possible.

Comment: Re:One of these things is not like the others... (Score 1) 166

by sadboyzz (#46859617) Attached to: China Censors "The Big Bang Theory" and Other Streaming Shows
Not really. In fact, The State Media (CCTV) itself is in the process of translating The Big Bang Theory and releasing it in mainland China , and that is probably the real reason for this ban. IOW this isn't about censorship at all, this is simply using the censorship tool to protect the (incompetant) state media from competition by the more competant private media streaming companies.

Comment: Re:Sad, and not black and white either (Score 1) 351

by sadboyzz (#46705421) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them
And to think in this vast Universe, we are likely just another tribe, living on this tiny isolated planet we call Earth. I just hope we don't get to meet the metaphorical White Man in my life time, because no matter what their intentions are, it never ends well for the tribers...

Comment: Re:Conservative?? (Score 2) 138

Jefferson was much more Hamiltonian when he himself was in the presidential office. Just sayin'.

"Ideals" and "beliefs" are mostly useful in getting the sheeples in line, because sadly for most people "ideals" and "beliefs" are much easier pills to swallow than facts and evidence. How many "ideals" and "beliefs" have we had throughout the centuries, and how much good has ever come out of those? Those great men who actually got things done and moved our society in a positive direction almost always compromised.

Well, erm, so I guess my point is, it may be more constructive to critise a politician based on the actual issues, rather than painting him with a brush and attacking his "ideal".

The end of labor is to gain leisure.