Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 789

by shutdown -p now (#47786509) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

I can't tell about Vietnam and Americans, but I can assure you that e.g. fighter pilots on both the UN (Americans) and the North Korean (Soviets) side knew full well who they were aiming to. And in Vietnam, it was most certainly presented as an American puppet regime with direct involvement in the USSR, so any Soviet troop fighting there would also know full well that he was killing Americans, not just South Vietnamese (indeed, to him, South Vietnamese would be the people that he came to save from American imperialism).

Comment: Re:Her work (Score 1) 1178

It's not enough to merely show suffering if there's no path to rectify the suffering.

It's a bullshit argument, sorry. Not every piece of entertainment is supposed to be a full-fledged women studies teaching material.

But most importantly, there's a question as to the value of this 'realism', even if it were accurate. A lot of terrible things happen in the world that we see fit to ignore. Physics, for one thing. We also don't seem to care about going to the bathroom, cancer or getting oil changes. We're willing to suspend disbelief; this is probably an area where we could live without the casual gendered violence that we've really become accustomed to.

Different games draw the lines differently here. There are some where dying of old age is a possibility, say, and racing games do include oil changes sometimes. With respect to physics, many games are actually trying to make it as real as possible.

Ultimately, the value of this particular bit of realism as a whole is drawing attention to the problem. You can complain that it's not sufficient, but it's way better than nothing.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 789

by shutdown -p now (#47780935) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

If you think majority of Russians living in Ukraine will consider themselves Russian and be happy to be invaded

Er, what even made you believe that I was making an argument along those lines? What I wrote is pretty much the opposite... the separatists were getting crushed precisely because of what you say - that not even most Russian and russophone Ukrainian population in the areas they claim supports it. Russia actually had step up and send in its own troops, and not just weapons and advisors as they did before, to reverse the tide.

The problem is that fighting spirit and dedication are not enough; you still need artillery and tanks and planes to win a war, and people who know how to strategically apply all this. That's where Ukraine is lagging far behind, especially after the significant build-up that Russia had since 2008. And Russian troops are not exactly lacking in motivation, either - they've been fed propaganda about fascists burning people alive and crucifying children, on one hand, and about the "Russian World" on the other hand, and are itching for a fight.

So, regardless of where the sympathies of the majority of Ukrainians lie, if Putin does give the order, Ukraine will fall with no outside help. And I don't know whether it'll get that help. A few months ago I thought that it would be a given, but then we saw basically nothing done over the annexation of Crimea, and very little done over all the affronts since then... and even today Western newspapers are still mulling over maybe more sanctions (?!!).

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 3, Informative) 789

by shutdown -p now (#47779921) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

It would actually be easier than Georgia, I suspect. The big problem that Ukraine has is that, like most other ex-Soviet states, it let its military deteriorate in the 90s to the point of utter inefficiency (did you see the photos a govt guy just posted of what their BTR reserves look like, in response to a Facebook question as to why volunteers aren't getting vehicles?), but unlike them, it didn't get a wake-up call until now, like Russia itself got in Chechnya, or Georgia got in Ossetia and Abkhazia. So now they have to recover and learn very quickly. There's a lot of enthusiasm on the troop level, but logistics is in shambles, their officers seem to have a poor grasp of tactics (like e.g. ordering an artillery unit to stay in one place while firing... needless to say, they get fucked by counter-battery fire, and the reason why we know about this story is because there were survivors), and their generals don't understand that grand plans they make bear little in common with reality. This, again, is a lot like Russia was during the first conflict in Chechnya, but that was an easier opponent, and consequences of defeat were not as far reaching.

What's going for Ukraine is that their population reserves are bigger, and they retained a larger arsenal as part of the Soviet legacy. Also, the fact that a significant part of Soviet military industry was in Ukraine, so they have experience manufacturing the things they need.

Either way, I think that the only reason why they can still fight effectively, even with large casualties, is because Russian involvement is still undercover. It became noticeably less so over the last week, what with armored columns openly crossing the border (but still with removed flags) etc, and notice how the situation that was so dire for the rebels suddenly became so dire for the Ukrainian troops. If Russia were to go all in, openly, throwing all units that it already converged at the border, I don't think Ukraine stands a chance without outside help.

How long can Russia occupy Ukraine, now, is a different question. That area has a long history of guerrilla warfare against occupiers of all kinds, including Soviets back in WW2 days. And there's a strong resolve to resist among the populace today. An occupying force might win in the field, but find itself facing bullets from every window in the cities at night.

Comment: Re:Still no Unicode? (Score 1) 112

by shutdown -p now (#47779665) Attached to: PHP 5.6.0 Released

iconv lets you convert things, but what are you going to convert it to? UTF-8? Sure, and how many libraries (including core PHP ones) are UTF-8 aware? Most won't use mbstring, they'll just treat strings as arrays of bytes, and you're really lucky if they don't assume byte = char anywhere.

Treating strings as 8-bit clean works well in some cases, but fails pathetically in so many others. Yet that is the game that PHP is trying to play.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 789

by shutdown -p now (#47779365) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

But they wouldn't be killing Russian soldiers, that's the point. They'd be killing the "militia of the Donetsk People's Republic" etc. For Russia to start fanning up the public opinion, they would first need to admit that their regular soldiers are in Ukraine in the first place, and they seem to be very averse to that. Just look at how they immediately disowned their own captured soldiers (a disgusting thing, by the way, regardless of one's position in the conflict).

Comment: Re:Her work (Score 2) 1178

Her complaint is rather that the brutal depictions of violence against woman in video games always seem to have clear sexual subcontext, while violence against men does not.

Which I think is a valid point, but then isn't this also the case in real life? So she's complaining that the games accurately reflect how things are (in many cases that she's referring to, in fact, to draw attention to that problem even)?

Comment: Re:History of Ukrain (Score 1) 789

by shutdown -p now (#47778717) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

1954 Crimea was given as a "Gift" to Ukraine by Russia/USSR and Nikita Khrushchev (an ethnic Ukrainian) as a symbolic gesture commemorating the 300th anniversary of Crimea becoming part of the Russian empire.

It was actually an exchange of territories. While USSR got Crimea, RSFSR got a bunch of land from across its southern border with the former, too.

Comment: Re:The Russian bear only understands force (Score 1) 789

by shutdown -p now (#47778657) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

After WWII, the US should have had Patton march east and take care of uncle Stalin.

Luckily, US leaders after WW2 were not idiots, and understood that this was a war they had no guarantee of winning - and that regardless of the outcome, whatever was still left of Europe would burn to the ground in the process.

No doubt Russia's military build-up in the last decade takes this scenario out of the realm of possibility,

The Russia military build-up is still miles behind what the USSR has been.

I expect to be modded down, as many here won't understand a sentiment generated by having survived the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. No, things haven't changed. The bear's beastly character is immutable, a fundamental aspect of it that can't be tamed or cured by diplomacy, education, or civilization.

It's convenient when racists openly identify themselves as such.

Comment: Re:beware the source (Score 1) 789

by shutdown -p now (#47778617) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Well, the setback that it suffered is in a region (Novoazovsk and Mariupol) that was previously completely outside of the war zone, with a very fair distance. So either the rebels have come up with technology to teleport several dozen tanks across enemy lines, or they came from the Russian border (which is very close to that area).

In addition, the rebels have been consistently losing ground to Ukrainian forces for the last two months, which can be seen even in their own propaganda (just look at the maps they publish). And now all of a sudden they mount a massive counter-attack, with heavy use of artillery and tanks, taking back large swaths of territory, and striking new ground (again, this is all from rebels' own propaganda!). Do you think they just broke out their stimpacks, or is it that they've got assistance that they previously didn't have?

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. -- George Orwell