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Comment Re:ONE THING I agree with Chomsky on (Score 5, Insightful) 530

The normal rule of gunnery is to shoot, and then whatever you happen to hit: call that the target. ;-) With terrorism, whoever you missed is the target. And whoever you hit, is your weapon against that target. But in order to work, it requires the cooperation of the target. If the target does not choose to react fearfully, then the terrorism does not accomplish its objective.

Does the same thing apply to carjacking? Armed robbery?

No. The goal of carjacking is to get a ride; the goal of robbery is to obtain value. Deciding to not fear it, does not deny your adversary his goal.

But terrorism is about persuading the survivors, the technically-not-victims. Nobody ever carjacks in order to get the next car to lock their doors. Nobody commits armed robbery in order to manipulate a third party (movie script counter-example: Die Hard, but the FBI was manipulated as part of a "Briar Patch" strategy, rather than terrorism(*)).

e.g. Not Terrorism: "Your tank factory and its workers are gone. This gains me a numeric advantage in next month's tank battle." Terrorism: "Your tank factory and its workers are gone. Surrender or else I'll wreck more of your expensive factories and kill more of your workers."

(*) Does this happen in real life? What believed acts of terrorism were actually not?

Comment Constitutional basis for compulsory terroree-ism (Score 1) 530

The president has constitutionally-granted authority over of the armed forces. We have a legal draft. Combine those two things, and ergo, it is within generally-accepted powers for the president to be able to label you a Designated Terroree, such that you're required to be afraid whenever told to, if people being afraid is believed to be militarily advantageous.

OTOH, the Third Amendment means that you don't have to be afraid whenever you're at home. So the president's legal powers over your emotions are limited, somewhat.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 4, Insightful) 533

Killing 3 people and maiming 234 using explosives and shrapnel counts as mass destruction in my book.

It definitely doesn't count, in my book. You post-cold-war kids are so cute. Did you know the band Megadeth got their name from something that was believed to be reasonably likely could happen? 237 casualties isn't even a blip on the WMD scale. WMDs are for serious scale murder.

Exaggeration sounds like good idea when you're going after a specific bad guy, but it reminds me of how "registered sex offender" used to mean "rapist" and now, for all you know, it can mean some kid who sext-messaged his girlfriend or maybe even got drunk and peed on a parking meter.

Overbroad terminology abuse will remove stigma. Now the next time someone wants to start a hideously expensive war over alleged WMDs, the public will say "why should I care if Saddam II has a hand grenade?"

Hmm... now that I think of it, this could save us a shitload of money. Ok, you've convinced m-- wait, what if Saddam II actually has (oldschool definition) WMDs? Are we going to need a new term that means the same as WMD used to mean, like "WMDs, no I mean for real, 'Threads' and 'The Day After' style, dude!"?

Comment Re:Not really HTML5 (Score 1) 337

In the UK, the content was so abysmal that "leave it" is what I did.

90% of everything is shit, and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

I'm sure 90% of your TV is shit, but so is ours. What you're doing is concentrating on our 10% and your 100%. Over here on the other side of the pond, I do the same thing but from opposite perspective: "Damn, so there's much great stuff we're watching from the BBC."

Comment Resume bug or "overqualified" (Score 2) 472

Traditional hiring processes seem to revolve around.. not one's track record and accomplishments.

I'm surprised. First guess is that you've misdiagnosed it being about formal education.

You might have something horribly wrong on the resume. Maybe have a friend look at it and figure out why no one should ever hire that awful person. Then remove the part about how you made the Nazi Party's website 100x faster, or whatever it is. ;-)

Other idea is that people are seeing it and thinking "this guy wants a real job, not our job; there's no way we can afford him." You have to address that in the cover letter, hopefully without throwing away too much money. Think about whom you're approaching. They shouldn't all necessarily get the same spiel.

Good luck, buddy.

Comment Re: Backlash (Score 1) 148

This is like saying "you were hit by a car but we left you to bleed to death by the side of the road because you didn't express your preference to be scooped up and taken to hospital"

Yes, and?

When we're talking about what someone else's computer internally does with the information you choose to send to it, they liter-- uh -- analogously do have the right (and more importantly: the POWER, even if you disagree about the right) to get away with away with the attitude that you just described. If it helps, think of them as Powerful Assholes Who Have The Law On Their Side.

Sure, PAWHTLOTS are going to let most people bleed to death. The weird strange thing that happened, though, is that while they're all always free to let everyone bleed to death (whether they want to go to the hospital or not), a few of the .. shall we say.. evil-yet-honorable PAWHTLOTS said they'd take people to the hospital if those people said "I thought about it and decided I would prefer to go to the hospital" as opposed to two other choices (the other choices were "I don't care" and "I thought about it and would prefer to die").

Microsoft came out with a medical bracelet, where the "I'd rather go to the hospital" and "I don't care" part was smudged, so that people trying to read the card can't tell the difference.

If you are trying to read such a bracelet, I think you're going to say "well, they clearly don't say they'd prefer to die" and I think you're going to take that person to the hospital. But what do you predict an evil-yet-honorable PAWHTLOTS will do?

The people who invented the DNT medical bracelet thought about that last question and were very explicit that people who make bracelets should use care in making sure the bracelets don't display ambiguous information, but Microsoft blew it.

Look at it another way: we all want this bullshit to be opt-in. But we send information to trackers, where they get to decide how it works. And they want it to be opt-out. It's their computer, so they win, period. If we work within opt-out, some of us can get some of what we want. If we defy it, then we haven't opted out.

This, BTW, is half of the tracking issue. The other half of the issue is that we leak so much damn information, which is what has put so much power into the adversaries hands. And FWIW, this actual Firefox story is about that. So there's at least something to be cheerful about. I prefer technical means to dealing with the problem, but DNT was a brilliant social prong of the action too, and MS has spoiled it.

Comment Re:I've come out of hiding just to say... (Score 1) 98

Years later it's still clearly nothing more than a nasty hack.

Sometimes a hack is what you need, and it's the difference between being able to accomplish the goal, and not being able. But key is "years later." Now Citrix is irrelevant, but 20 years ago it let you do things which otherwise simply couldn't be done, and "p0wned" is largely a non-issue when talking about machines not connected to the Internet.

Let's say it's 1994 and you have a legacy MS-DOS application where porting it to Linux or whatever isn't an option. The application talks a lot to a database, and it's fast enough over 10M ethernet. But your medical practice has a satellite office a few miles away, and for a shitload of money, you can get a 56K link. (Yes, these numbers all sound so quaint today, but that's the whole point.) You're not going to have 8 users running that app doing its database queries sharing a 56k link. The patients will die of old age in the waiting room if you do that.

But you put a Citrix box at the main office, which is OS/2 2.0 plus Citrix's hacks, an 8-serial-port digiboard, plugging into a serial multiplexer which plugs into your synchronous mode USR Courier plugged into the 56k link. At the satellite office the other Courier plugs into the demultiplexer and serial lines go to the terminals, and there you go. You've got 8 users at dumb terminals running an MS-DOS legacy app which is really running at the main office where it can easily query the database fast enough. And it works.

Of course it's a hack. But it's a hack that lets you tell the client Yes, we'll take your money and make it work and you'll be able to see patients. That's better than telling them No, it can't be done. Don't you agree?

Ten years later, you might say "screw Citrix, just run dosbox on some Linux machine instead, and connect by ssh over an IP link (or the Internet itself)" and dude, I would totally agree with you. But no fair, you're in the wrong decade, unless you have dosbox working on Linux and talking to Netware servers in 1994 -- and you don't. Believe me, I know, I looked, and you just don't have that in 1994. Or forget dosbox, just port your shitty legacy app to Linux, right? *sigh* Once again, you have my agreeing with you in principle, but it's 1994 and you're trying to sell Linux and you've been pleading for years that we ought to work on getting our app no-longer-dependent on unportable proprietary libraries (and compilers!), and .. holy shit do I NOT miss those days. OMG do I love my new job. Sometimes I forget how much I love my new job and how much crap I'm not dealing with anymore. :-) Fuck you, 1990s. I don't ever want to see the fucking 1990s again. If I'm ever walking down the street and the 1990s are there .. I don't know if I can be held responsible for what happens.

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Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899