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Comment: Parent Post Semantic Content: Null (Score 5, Insightful) 255

by FreeUser (#49354007) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

It's only those damn Russians are doing this, all other countries are saint.

Yeah, because that makes it all OK then.

Your comment is designed to distract from the issue at hand, shut down intelligent conversation on the topic, and imply the wrongdoer is just fine because, by implication, "everybody else does it, too" (no evidence to said implication provided, certainly not proven, and probably not true), all without contributing a single creative or new thought to the discussion at all.

Nice job, (Russian?) troll.

Comment: Re:Reminds me of one thing (Score 1) 727

by IamTheRealMike (#49352757) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Because then everyone dies when the computer fails. Autopilots regularly fail and expect the pilot to take over

I think this depends on your definition of "fail". As far as I know true computer failures where the machine just goes crazy and tries to crash the plane are non-existent. What happens more regularly is the autopilot sees that something weird is happening and chooses to disengage itself - presumably an autopilot program could be written that never disengages and always does the best it can to fly the plane, unless deliberately disengaged.

This is particularly problematic when sensors fail, as they did in AF447, and the computer doesn't know what's going on any more.

No, this is irrelevant. If the planes sensors completely fail then the pilot doesn't know what's going on either, and the plane is probably doomed no matter what. In normal operation these planes are flying in a very small speed corridor between disintegration and stalling. If you don't know how fast your going a stall or overspeed is pretty much inevitable, and if you don't know how high you are even basic visibility problems can cause a crash into the surface. Neither human nor computer can succeed in such a situation.

Comment: Re: Linux? OS X? Chrome OS? Nope. OpenBSD! (Score 1) 167

by FreeUser (#49349361) Attached to: NJ School District Hit With Ransomware-For-Bitcoins Scheme

Until systemd is removed from a major Linux distro, I would consider that distro to be less secure than even a Windows system.

Some Poettering apologist will probably mark you as a troll, but for completeness there are a number of distros that default to non-systemd init architectures, including but not limited to

Calculate, Gentoo, Funtoo, Source Mage, Dyson, indeed all kinds of distros either default or support running a systemd-free system.

Comment: Re:He's just in a hurry to get to the future (Score 1) 78

by mcgrew (#49338655) Attached to: The Kevlar Kandidate Wants A 7-Day Workweek, No Days Off

I don't vote party, except that I avoid both D and R whenever there's a candidate who doesn't want to put half the people I know in prison for smoking pot.

If anyone but Bruce Rauner had run against Quinn I would have voted for the Republican, becuase Quinn just wasn't a good governor. I think Rauner will be even worse, maybe even as bad as Ryan(R) or Blago(D), both were crooks. I don't know if Rauner is a crook but his policies are terrible. There were only two named on the ballot, so it was indeed a choice between two evils.

Look, Republicans are against the Social Security I paid into all my life and am now enjoying, against unions, without which I would have no pension, against the single payer health care system which has countries with it in place enjoying half the costs we face with far less infant mortality and longer life spans (Obamacare is really Romneycare in disguise); against the Medicare I again paid into and will get in a couple of years; against food stamps (that's simply un-Christian, yet they claim to be Christians?); against taxes (again, an un-Christian stance). Tell me, what Democrat views that the Republicans don't share are detrimental to me, a middle class retired guy?

But both parties are against pot legalization, for our insanely long copyrights, and quite a few more where there really isn't a valid choice.

Comment: Sloppy's One Rule of Robotics (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#49338263) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

My one rule of robotics (and pointed sticks, cars, crackpipes and umbrellas) is this: my stuff ought to perform in accordance with my wishes.

There might be additional laws ("weld here and here, but nowhere else," or "use the rules in /etc/iptables/rules.v4" or "don't shoot at anyone whose IFF transponder returns the correct response") which vary by whatever the specific application is, but these rules aren't as important as The One above.

There are various corollaries that you can infer from the main law, but since they can be derived, they don't need to be laws themselves. (e.g. if my interests conflict with someone else's, then my robot and my umbrella ought to serve my interests at the expense of the other person's interests.)

With regard to harming other robots, that also can be derived. If I desire to kill a knight on a robot horse, then my robot ought to turn them into a pile of bloody gore and shredded circuitboards immediately. OTOH, if I don't desire to kill a robot, then my robot should not do things that incur unnecessary liabilities.

Comment: Re:Is today Tuesday? (Score 1) 7

by mcgrew (#49338157) Attached to: We've been spelling it wrong for over a quarter century

Well, when a child says bye-bye, it sounds like a contraction (b'bye), but bye-bye is not a contraction. It's more like Cory Doctorow spells sidewalk: side-walk. Wnat contraction uses a hyphen instead of an apostrophe? Not bye-bye, it isn't a contraction of anything.

As to "SyFy", that's a trademark, not a word. It only applies to that bad cable channel. Hi-fi and sci-fi aren't contractions of high fidelity and science fiction, but new words made out of old ones.

I guess that could argue the validity of e-mail and e-books, though.

Comment: Re:Kill them all. (Score 1) 335

As you say it was stable under the Ottoman empire, because they took over and kept it, America needs to do the same thing. The US, Canada, Australia, NZ were all British colonies, but the difference is the white people never left, so they remain beacons of progress. Hate to sound all racist here, but there is a strong correlation between those and African, Middle Eastern states that were given back.

I think you should probably read a good history of the British empire, followed by 20th century history, before posting nonsense like this.

The causes of problems in the middle east have a lot to do with the long term history of the "beacons of progress" fucking with the region. Specifically when the Ottoman Empire collapsed the colonialists divided the region up along entirely arbitrary borders that often drew straight lines right through native tribes and populations, then appointed flunkies to rule these new countries. There was zero attempt to make something that worked for the people who lived there. This caused serious long term resentment.

Have you ever watched the ISIS video of them blowing up border posts? The ISIS soldiers keep talking about the end of Sykes-Picot. Even though I actually have read a history of the British Empire, I still had to look that one up. It turns out to be the British-French treaty that created the borders of Iraq. Families in different villages were suddenly divided from each other, etc. The people who live there apparently still hate Sykes-Picot to this day.

Plus, when countries in the region got leaders the western powers didn't like, there were interventions (e.g. Iran). There were invasions. Not to mention the gaping wound that is Israel and the absolutist support for it from the US.

There hasn't ever really been a time when more powerful militaries weren't fucking with people who live in the middle east. Religion certainly plays a part, but the USA is a lot more religious than other western developed countries and it doesn't seem to hurt them much ....

Comment: Re:Your government at work (Score 2) 335

You are an idiot. The entire purpose of drone strikes is to carry out very targeted killings.

.... of civilians. You know, when the US says it killed "militants" what it means is "any adult male in the strike zone". This has been verified beyond doubt now, they openly admit it. Often they have no idea who they are killing as the drone strikes are targeted based on e.g. NSA tracking of a mobile phone. Whoever holds the phone at the time gets whacked. This is how they end up drone striking weddings and the like.

If we didn't care about collateral damage and didn't mind indiscriminately killing people, expensive drones would not be necessary.

Obviously you care about collateral damage, not because the USA is such a bunch of caring hippies but because the purpose of drone strikes is to exercise power. You cannot exercise power over dead people. You have to instead kill anyone who does something against your will, or is suspected of doing so, or just someone who got in the way to serve as a lesson to others. If you see the purpose of drone strikes as minimising casualties in a conventional war then you don't understand what drone strikes are for or why the USA uses them. Their purpose is power.

Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 2) 569

And there it is! That European smugness. I didn't expect to see it in this thread but I can't say I'm not surprised. Tells us again, for the millionth time, how your shit doesn't stink....

Yes, there are a lot of smug sounding Europeans posting on Slashdot when stories about the US doing something dumb crops up.

However, today is not one of those days. The OP talked about "other countries". The USA is practically alone in having a problem such as "swatting". It's not just Europe that lacks this issue - it's Australia, Canada, China, Russia, India ...

SWATing seems like a natural consequence of a heavily militarised society that worships soldiers and has decided it makes sense for everyone to be heavily armed all the time. If the rest of the world didn't point out that decisions have consequences, you guys might think it was normal.

User Journal

Journal: We've been spelling it wrong for over a quarter century 7

Journal by mcgrew

I'm surprised that this hasn't been addressed by the academic communities. Someone with a degree in English or linguistics or something like that should have though of this decades ago.

This word (actually more than one word) has various spellings, and I've probably used all of them at one time or another. The word is email, or eMail, or e-mail, or some other variation. They're all wrong.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein

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