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Comment: Re:Don't let the facts get in your way (Score 1) 703

by Jeremiah Cornelius (#47562731) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

So. You are able to regurgitate the Israeli propaganda that was fed to the world's press organizations, 40 years ago - building the myth of the ruthless Palestinian and the incomparable IDF.

But the BBC - that revolutionary hotbed of anti-Israeli sentiment - had this to report, confirming what Victor Ostrovsky and others had intimated for many years:

But newly released documents contain a claim that the 1976 rescue of hostages, kidnapped on an Air France flight and held in Entebbe in Uganda, was not all it seemed.

A UK government file on the crisis, released from the National Archives, contains a claim that Israel itself was behind the hijacking.

An unnamed contact from the Euro-Arab Parliamentary Association told a British diplomat in Paris that the Israeli Secret Service, the Shin Bet, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) collaborated to seize the plane.

The flight was seized shortly after it took off from Athens and was flown to Entebbe, where 98 people were held hostage, many of them Israeli citizens.

Comment: Re:Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza - Debunked (Score 2) 703

by Jeremiah Cornelius (#47561709) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Israel's problem is that they have an ethno-centric, fascist state ideology - based on mythical stone tablets from a fairy story.

Israel's problem is that this ideology breeds a sociopathic self-righteousness - one that allows them to keep children walled into a cage, and then to bomb the cage, because of Israel's innate "tolerance" and because they are an "embattled victim".

If everyone on earth has rejected "you", for five centuries? Maybe the problem isn't "them"... But psychological subtlety has never been a strength of fascist ideology.

Comment: Re:I find it interesting (Score 1) 703

by msobkow (#47561093) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Not at all. At this point the Israelis have killed well over 1000 civilians (roughly 80% of the total dead.)

Even if they have hundreds of launchers, Israel has bombed well over 2000 sites. It does take some time to move a rocket launcher, so I'd have thought most of them to be destroyed by now if Israel were truly bombing launch sites.

Add in the fact that no independent observers of any kind have verified the presence of Hamas munitions or launches at any of the sites Israel has attacked, and it stinks as bad as the US claims of WMD against Iraq. (We have tubes! Aluminum tubes!)

Comment: Erlang is a tough chew (Score 3, Informative) 260

by msobkow (#47560839) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

I spent over two years working every day with Erlang on a project, and I still don't consider myself to be anywhere near an "expert" at the language. It's just too weird and special case for a lot of the functionality I was trying to code, so while certain tasks were easier than they would have been in Java or another procedural-object language, others were damned near impossible and took obscene amounts of time to get working at all -- never mind working efficiently.

Personally I'd avoid it like the plague unless you have some special case need for it's features. Even with regards to concurrency, it's not really any better than any other language's concurrency features. They aren't really baked into the language as the summary suggests, but provided by frameworks in the API libraries, much as they are by other languages.

The main difference with Erlang concurrency is that the concurrent models are the "normal" way to program Erlang, so you're likely to find a lot of good examples of how to do it. I've found the documentation for other language's concurrency features to be somewhat limited in comparison, and less "real world" in their examples.

The main thing that I found neat about the Erlang framework was the ability to specify auto-restarts of failed threads. It takes all of about 4 lines of configuration to get a thread to be persistent/self-starting. That's the densest code I've ever seen for achieving such a task.

The big downside to Erlang is that it's almost as bad as LISP -- everything is a list. Even "structures" are just lists of objects with tags that identify the list indices for accessing the members. Be prepared for a nightmare of tail recursion if you get into this field of programming.

That said, it can be a fun and entertaining language to work with. For the things it is good at, it can be a joy to use. Much as with any language.

Comment: Re:Exploited procedural loophole (Score 1) 344

by Cyberdyne (#47559675) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

The two times I've had in-store card referrals (high value transactions: the first time was buying a P3 laptop, which was quite high end in those days; the second was furnishing a new apartment after moving to Houston), I'm pretty sure it was the issuing bank ultimately handling the call - I can't imagine the bank would have transferred the personal information they were asking for as a security check to the merchant services provider: past unlisted contact details, previous transactions etc. I suspect the call may have been transferred to them, though, rather than called directly.

I had a similar issue this year with British Telecom working on a broadband fault. The service manager wanted to speak directly to the field engineer working on the fault (different divisions: the engineer's BT Openreach, the manager was BT Wholesale) - but the Openreach guy said he couldn't call the Wholesale one directly. So, the Wholesale one called my number and asked to speak to him ...

Comment: shift of blame. (Score 1) 344

by Cyberdyne (#47559595) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

it is the retailer who is supposed to make the call to the financial institution on the retailer's own phone line

To be fair, the Apple Store staff tried phoning on their own iPhones first, but none of them could figure out how to hold it to get a signal, so they had to borrow the customer's phone instead...

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw