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Comment Re:Turkey downing plane (Score 1) 483

More to the point, the Russian pilot was probably not expecting the attack until he got a missile launch warning. I'd imagine that the fighters were lighting him up with their FC radars every time they came out to intercept.

And no, Russian planes are not shitty, but this is a Su-24. That model first flew in the late 1960s, which actually makes the model somewhat older than the F-16s Turkey has.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 1) 483

I agree. Turkey cares more about keeping the Kurds down than about ISIS. It is thinking like this which historically can groups like ISIS the breaks they need to become a real threat.

For the record, I do think ISIS will get squashed or fade out, but the longer that something like that festers, the longer it has to influence Muslims around the world to radicalize. Unless decisively dealt with, the ideology and the aftereffects tend to leave openings for follow-on movements, just like ISIS came out of al-Qaeda and the Baathists.

In many ways, it feels like the right thing to do is to split up Iraq, but an Iraqi derived Kurdistan means that Turkey would have to deal with its own Kurds, and a completely Shiite dominated area will likely ally with or even join Iran. In that sense, it feels like a no-win situation because the most stable state of the region is one where you're empowering the troublemakers and enemies.

Comment Re:I have an idea (Score 1) 483

Except I don't see the CIA being interested in destabilizing Egypt and getting Mubarak overthrown. Egypt has been a good ally of the US. I would be willing to believe the other operations were possible, while in the case of Syria, it happened to fail miserably.

On the other hand, the chances of the CIA being involved in a secret overthrow plan seems rather remote under an Obama administration and too subtle for the Bush administration. Obama mostly failed in Syria because he did far too little to actually try and take advantage of the unrest, and that does not seem to jibe with an covert program to overthrow Assad.

Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 420

Anakin's fall was also completely forgettable. You never really got any feeling from what happened that anything that happened was enough for him to be willing to sell out the Jedi, it just seemed like he was a whiner who didn't get what he wanted. And suddenly he's a murderous bad ass. When he marched into the Jedi temple, it was like they added a new character who just happened to look like Anakin Skywalker because you couldn't see how the two of them were at all related.

Admittedly, all the pieces were there. His mother being killed, the forbidden love interest who was also threatened, being denied the title of Master, Palpatine's manipulation of Anakin's ego.

The problem was that those things just sat there like limp dishrags. It was like they had to check some boxes off on the plot so Anakin could get around to turning into a monster. The dialogue and acting for Anakin's part was absolutely critical, and on both accounts Lucas dropped the ball hard. Hayden Christensen was more wooden than a stack of 2x4s, but it isn't clear to me if that is just him or it was Lucas' direction (or both).

If someone who could actually write dialogue and narrative could re-do the prequels, you could almost keep most of the major plot points and make them 100x better just by changing the dialogue and narrative. And if they got an actor who could give off the sense of that slowly building rage, you'd have a winner.

Comment Re:This is stupid ... (Score 1) 143

Really, if anyone needs this sort of precision, they shouldn't be using calendar dates and times, they should be using epoch seconds or milliseconds. Then you can map calendar artifacts to a particular second all you want.

Designate Jan 1 00:00 of each year as some specific second value and jitter to it. Or better, set certain dates of the year to less than a second and jitter to those.

Comment Re:Crowd Funded = Scam Artist (Score 4, Insightful) 211

Presumably that can and does happen, although most are not scams, just poorly run or run into unforeseen difficulties.

Kickstarter is about backing projects, and when those projects are advanced, like this concept, the project can fail due to either technical difficulties or inability to cost effectively manufacture the objects.

So, realistically, while most people would prefer to invest in projects that will produce a result, there is a substantial difference between a Kickstarter for something like a board game, which is relatively easy to publish, compared to an advanced drone, which is not easy to build, and the manufacturing process has to be built from the ground up.

People who get into Kickstarter projects expecting a product at the end are advised to have some understanding of the relative difficulties involved of the project they are supporting and then not support it if it is too speculative.

In this case, the project was sort of speculative. They were asking for 120,000 to get started, and they got two million. While that improved their ability to work on the project, it caused expectations to rise, and probably caused the team to make the mistake of increasing the scope of their project beyond their comfort zone.

Comment Re:Need more emotion?!!? (Score 1) 291

Bad physical security, poor password security

Ramifications: Because terrorists were able to steal the password to your hibernation pods, they were able to steal your baby and kill your spouse. Now, because of that, you need to go on a rip roaring rampage of revenge through a post-apocalyptic wasteland to get your baby back.

Comment Re:Having followed their exploits for a while now. (Score 1) 318

That way they will effectively pissed off 80-90% of the worlds population against them.

That's exactly what they want. You think that is a suicidal tactic, but they believe God is on their side. They're trying to act to bring about the apocalypse. Why would they want any enemy to feel safe?

They believe that the little quagmire they have in Syria and Iraq will allow them to draw their enemies into a battle that they can't win.

The truth is, they may be right, especially if our answer is to keep bombing them without challenging their hold on the ground. You can't win a war without infantry. It doesn't have to be *our* infantry, but it seems that the fighters that are there have not been up to the task so far.

Comment Re:Climate has never not been changing. (Score 1) 369

I think that is mostly incorrect.

Yes, many religious people are conservative, but I have yet to see where God has made a pronouncement on AGW. In fact, the Catholic Church seems pretty accepting of the possibility that it is happening.

The real problem is that they feel that this is a political issue, not a scientific one because the science is hard to grasp and easy to misrepresent. At the same time, they feel that a crisis is being rammed down their throat in order to push an agenda which increases government regulation and oversight over what people are doing.

To most people, these pronouncements on AGW are effectively taken on faith, not investigation. Yes, you can read lots of peer reviewed papers, but all that says is that some other scientist agrees with the author. If that produces something tangible like a cell phone, these people will eat that stuff up. If all it does is produce calls for a policy agenda that they don't like, you don't have to believe anything religious about it to be suspicious about it.

That's why people keep trying to point at this or that weather system as "proof" or "refutation", even though climate change is going to be much more complicated than a simple hot or cold spell. They don't understand the science, and they are less inclined to go along with it unless they can somehow touch it.

Comment Re:Before a human walks on Mars... (Score 1) 277

I fully understand that we could face a similar situation, but the cyclic nature of such extinctions is not proven, so I didn't refer to the possibility. I wanted to draw a line where 100% was 100% with a deadline. That is not to discount the reality that something is much more likely to happen in the far nearer term.

For instance, if the extinctions were caused by perturbations of the orbits of things like comets or other objects by us passing close to another star, it is likely we will face similar scenarios in the future as we pass close to other stars in our path through the galaxy.

That isn't a given, of course. It was reported recently that we actually had a small red dwarf with a brown dwarf companion pass through the Oort Cloud about 70,000 years ago. This did not coincide with an extinction event on Earth.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas