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Comment Re:So an American hero might be jailed for life (Score 4, Insightful) 294

In fact the entire reason Putin took Snowden in was to embarrass Obama.

And the entire reason Edward Snowden was stranded in Russia against his will was because the US aggressively cut off all other escape routes and invalidated his passport.

He chose to risk his freedom and even his life to reveal illegal and arguably unpatriotic behaviour by the US "intelligence" agencies, but he never chose to become a pawn in Putin's, and now Trump's, game of self-aggrandizement.

Submission + - Slashdot site redesign ( 6

Sits writes: The Slashdot site has undergone some web design changes (such as altering the menu at the top). What do readers think of the changes and are you seeing any issues (e.g. lack of space)?

Comment Dear Timothy (Score 1) 55

Survivors' Blood Holds Promise, But Draws Critics, As Ebola Treatment

Survivors' blood holds promise as Ebola treatment, but draws critics

Following Slashdot via RSS feed isn't without some level of cognitive pain.

(or as Tim would put it: Following Slashdot Isn't Without Some Level Of Pain, Via RSS Feed)

Comment New class definition (Score 1) 76

"The DeepFlight Super Falcon (pictured above) was our first positively buoyant craft. If you get in one, and you've previously flown an aircraft, you'll realize that you're flying an aircraft, just in a different but very similar medium: water. The Dragon is effectively an aircraft. I know we can't use that name, but it is in fact an aircraft for the water."


Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 82

Having minor border disputes with India, and handling Tibet as an internal matter when nearly all, if not all recognize it as part of China doesn't count as imperialism.

Are you funny or what. The native inhabitants of those several northern Indian states that China's communist regime is claiming to own might have an issue with your characterizing the threats and landgrabs something other than "minor". Maybe they'd see the wisdom and benevolence of the CCP differently if any of them or their ancestors had had anything to do with China before... But nope, China only showed in drab uniforms behind the newly sealed borders up after invading Tibet in 1950-51 and now they (or rather their ancestral land) just belongs to the PRC apparently? Right.

Same thing with Tibetans and Uighurs. Before Mao grabbed power and embarked on massive population transfers do you have any idea how many Chinese were actually living in the Tibetan plateau or beyond the few inhabitable settlements in "Gansu"? A few hundred or thousand at most versus the millions now (somewhat) settled under the various Go West campaigns with a PLA-issue AK-47 knockoff?

Before Mao's genocidal Lebensraum policies there were only the typical handful of adventurous merchants and, at times, small garrisons that the people of the land found only a minor annoyance. Being persecuted and murdered for their religion, language and ethnicity and hounded off their lands only came after Mao repurposed the paper claims of the past Chinese emperors he so hated.

Taiwan started receiving some Chinese migration from 1700s onwards before General Chiang kicked things up a gear or few in late 1940's (after USA first kicked the Japanese out) and as expected immediately began oppressing the native islanders. Since 1945 Taiwan's situation could be considered similar to UK's half-assimilated "home nations". The Scots have a little referendum coming up...

In modern era only the brainwashed supporters of Mao, Stalin and Hitler have proudly justified their genocidal expansionism as "no big deal" while pointing fingers at past European colonialism. Congratulations.

So you might be a proud Han Chinese giving the impression of living in North America which you appear to detest (in which case offspring of a corrupt Party cadre springs to mind, they tend to migrate early and often). In any case the ability to put oneself in the other person's shoes is considered a high virtue in virtually every culture including confucianism which is again espoused in the PRC after the "minor" issue of the murder and total mayhem of "cultural revolution".

The Chinese or Russians don't seem to like living under foreign occupation even briefly or partially, but they sure like to dish out the genocidal "Final Solution" to their own peace-loving (former) neighbours! "But it's not the same, just look at the evil western kingdoms in the 1700s! See!" It's almost like compassion for those outside the tribe has been bred out over the centuries and replaced by distrust and hate.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 82

The US's push west in the 1800s wasn't imperialistic. It was expansionistic. That's what China did (or is doing).

Definition of imperialism in English:

[mass noun]
1A policy of extending a country's power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means

1.1chiefly historical Rule by an emperor

Both China and Russia have been both expansionistic and imperialistic from their very inception. China had some less expansionistic dynastic spells but the emperors always claimed the greatest borders their armies had even briefly controlled (and beyond).


And China isn't going outside the bounds of areas that were previously China (yes, some debate exists on those points)

That's China's imperial dogma indeed. Any past imperial military excursion or simple claim by the emperor (possibly plotted on some vague imperial map) or now the Communist Party annexes that land or territory eternally into the Chinese empire. That's one imperial behaviour that instead of rejecting the presently ruling murderous Communist Party has really relished.

Territories in Central Asia, Tibet, South Asia, whole sea all the way down to the coast of Brunei and Malaysia and other coastline countries... simply because some Chinese despot centuries ago made an imperial claim. They don't give a fuck what the neighbouring or occupied peoples think, or even if they survive as a people.

That's not just imperialism, but rather malevolent and even genocidal form of it. And not just before the modern era but right now in the 21st century. And territorial expansionism isn't the only form of China's reinvigorated imperialism (aka domination over others).


That you are too dumb to see a difference doesn't mean there isn't one.

Now that you "won" the argument with the regular "but USA did it!" attempt at redirection while ignoring the actual content it was time to discredit the other party with an ad hominem?

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 82

China is not imperialistic. It never has been.

Chuckle. And any Tibetan, Uighur, Mongol or Manchu claiming otherwise will have subjected their remaining family to paying for the cost of execution.

Oh and forget about the Manchus making any claims. Their people are for all practical purposes completely extinct after only sixty odd years under Chinese rule.

Of course that's only the contemporary expression of China's imperialism; the current "outer regions" still writhing in their death throes before the inevitable sinicization. The Han-chinese chauvinism and violent Lebensraum policies makes China's imperialism quite grim for these former neighbours turned victims.

Before them there were the previous "outer regions" which were swallowed up and turned into the dozens of singing and dancing "minorities" still technically recognized as non-Han and considered lesser by those already fully Hanified.

The massive change in China's imperialism happened when towards late 1800s first the "republicans" and then Mao's dictatorship adopted a version of Western nationalism based on One Empire, One People, One Leader and One Language. Then western inventions allowed population growth and soon western technology became crucial in hunt for expanded Lebensraum. It's always been those evil western masterminds behind the cultural genocide in "modern" China!

When's the last time China sent an army to the other side of the globe?

Beautiful logic that's been in incessant use by the likes of Mao and Stalin and their successors. "Let's just redefine the whole concept of imperialism and claim ourselves to be the victims! With enough indoctrination, re-education, strict controls on education and media and proper rewriting of history that will keep the masses doing our bidding for generations!"

Just look at the average chinese or russians who are kept "informed" exclusively by the state media. Their great peace-loving empires and dear leaders are pure, righteous and of course never corrupt and nepotistic while their smaller scheming neighbours are resisting their inherent imperial right to various land and sea territories and natural resources nearby. And the yeardstick of their nearby just keeps wandering further and further out after each consolidation of territory. That's how imperialism works.

Comment Re:cyanogenmod? (Score 3, Informative) 249

I've done a lot of custom ROM installations, and many of them to support AppOps to expose these granular permissions. Cyanogen has actually expanded upon this functionality.

Google have chosen to remove user access to AppOps from recent Android releases and while CM's Privacy Guard is a slightly improved and much easier to use approach on those system calls it requires a custom ROM and even those are still limited to a minority of devices. (Hint: consider only buying devices that will be supported by custom ROMs!)

There is something that is more comprehensive and granular, although more complicated to use as a result. XPrivacy is built upon the well-known Xposed framework (requires root) and it lets the user to control essentially all permissions individually.

Here's a brief and useful recap by xda-developers about the main options.

Comment Re:considering what is known about the NSA (Score 1) 200

In the 80s, Deng Xiaoping finally got people to listen to the fact that science & technology isn't just a "western" idea - that it's decidedly Chinese - and that it was time that the Chinese were no longer dependent on western interests.

The red-tinted glasses...

What, apart from the maoist revision of Soviet Thought and its current national-corporatist followup (another foreign revision), is inherently Chinese? Even their nationalism and even ethnic supremacism harks back to the worst of western ideas.

Their system leaves little room for human characteristics other than hard work, the benefit of immediate family and whatever the State sloganeers at the time. There are some liberal jewels, but most only rebel - violently - for immediate self-benefit. (witness some 100,000 "mass incidents" annually)

Would the Chinese Communist Party's economic "miracle" have been possible without full access to western ideas, sciencific development and unlimited funding? And who invented the "selling the capitalists the rope" idea? The ultra-rich politburo members must really love that one.

China's policies stem from the 1800s (the period of late western imperialism when race theories and nationalism were all the rage). Effective, but brutal.

However I can't see them replicating the liberties that were integral part of that (social and scientific) development.

If you want to see the past repeated, but this time without certain crucial moderating factors, you just may get your wish.

Comment Re:considering what is known about the NSA (Score 2) 200

Why should the US give a single shit about any other country? It's not like any of them are doing anything besides bitching and moaning about how the evil US has ruined the world. The hatred hurled at the US over the past decade has eroded any chance of the average American really caring about what foreigners think.

Yet there was a time in that distant past before the 1990s when most of the free world, and even many outside it, looked up to the USA as the defender of great values such as freedom.

After that exhilarating period when the Iron Curtain came down there was great hope and expectation, but something had changed... and only a few years later both the PRC and the post-USSR Russia realized they were free to act whatever way they wanted while the USA was busy waging various pointless religious oil wars against proxies. Those explosive shows were greatly enjoyed by audiences in China and Russia (to the great benefit of the regimes!) but no quite so much in democracies having the benefit of a free press.

There's even a certain leftover TLA in the title of this very thread. Do you reckon the peoples in free democracies (in fact everywhere) should just ignore that all-encompassing shit?

From where I look, already since both Clinton and GWB the USA has stood less for all the respectable and moral things and more for the arrogant total surveillance and business-before-rights realpolitik than any time in the history of world democracy. The way I feel about american democracy activists is increasingly similar to what I feel towards actual freedom fighters elsewhere, although the latter are still more likely to lose their life or be incarcerated and/or tortured in the process. So far America only tends to afford that treatment to non-americans.

I realize that American leaders will always continue to make grand speeches for domestic consumption (it's now part of the "culture") claiming to not just hold dear all the fine moral values but be the very torch-bearers of those values for the rest of the world, and for the foreseeable future enough people there will just lap it up. Well God bless you!

Elsewhere you are judged by your actions however. And that "elsewhere" is pretty big and some day it will suck to just have a massive and aging military, small ruling elite and lots of religious rightwing fervour but no real friends. Pax Americana is soon entering the post-free-for-all.

Comment Re:considering what is known about the NSA (Score 2) 200

And nothing better to do that than to basically have the rest of the world boycott your fucking products and stop cooperating with you.

When Americans finally realize their own jobs are on the line, they'll make their own politicians do something.

As long as the rank and file American is oblivious to this ... well, then they're part of the fucking problem, and deserve to be caught up in it.

If the overwhelming response in the US is "who cares what happens in some foreign country", then it's too fucking bad, and it's time to bring it home to them.

Americans like to hide behind the fact that most of your populace is ignorant ill informed. It's time that became your problem, and not ours. If your populace is stupid and allows your politicians to do shit like this, then your populace should be the ones who pay the consequences.

I agree with that sentiment in general and while the United States of America continues down a very slippery slope they can still be talked out of it. Their crippled institutions still have a large, albeit disparate civil society interested in change of direction.

But since the issue here was initially about the Chinese "Communist" Party (aka self-declared government of China with more tentacles than most outsiders realize) banning a significant american export from that market, I can't but see the irony here.

It was the USA in 1970s (as proudly represented by Kissinger and Nixon) who rehabilitated the most murderous regime in history just to flip the USSR the finger, and Clinton completed the task 20 years later by granting that regime the Most Favored Nation status and trade priviledges. Most. Favored. Nation.

Next the US let the PRC become full-fledged member of the WTO and again without any concrete concessions. The US however gladly dropped their earlier post-WWII human rights objectives (like freedom for Tibetans whose country was invaded and annexed by China in 1950), being happy to continue with a less trade-disruptive and brief annual criticism facade.

This was the final call for certain types of wealthy europeans to join the "party" and join forces with the CCP's upcoming 5-year plans.

In the last twenty years the PRC has been busy massively building up all their military forces, acquiring nearly all available western manufacturing knowledge (fairly or not) and vacuuming foreign currency reserves with the help of globalization and the wealthiest class of westerners keen on maximizing their "ROI" without bothersome welfare taxes.

Now that the second twenty-year cycle is complete we suddenly find a People's Republic of China that is aggressively claiming maritime territories very far from its shores (but very near most of its Asia-Pacific neighbours!) and increasingly willing to attack anyone willing criticize it in any way.

See where this is going?

Czar Putin already did. He engineered a significant gas/trade-dependency for major European economies and that completed he knew he could repeat China's anachronistic land grab of neighbour's territories without any noticeable repercussions.

Point being that when trade was stopped to be harnessed towards achieving positive political and human rights development, the new unfiltered free trade was turned into a tool against those very objectives.

So here we are. With a political hierarchy in the western world having the business class dictating that economic sanctions are not acceptable. Interestingly it is very much simpler under CCP and Putin, both of which are accomplished in punitive boycotts. And now, "Yes they can!"

Comment Re:THis is why I hide behind (Score 1) 236

We could really use some standards-based open-source broadband modems and modem/routers to cover this unaccountable section of the land link, both in the free world and elsewhere.

Of course there's no panacea against the morbidly interested parties who see encryption and tunnelling as a red flag. Some wireless-centric projects are trying to skip the land line hurdles altogether.

Comment " Basically, if you communicated with someone ..." (Score 3, Interesting) 274

"Basically, if you communicated with someone that is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, you've lost constitutional protection against searches without a warrant"

Fair game. Really. And I speak here as the pacifist humanitarian that I am.

But how do you make distinction between a terrorist and a freedom figher whose people are trying to survive genonide under your friendly ("preferred") trading partners? Tibet (unique in every way; language, culture, ethnicity, script etc.)? Ukraine (unique and close to Europe)? Or perhaps just a member of some rural middle-eastern belief system from the 6th century?

What value system are you basing this "terrorist" label upon? Believing in freedom? Self-determination? Or something else? Saying unpleasant things about the militaristic occupying nation? (you'd disappear in China)

It's the 21st century so please make up your mind and finally make more than a pretend stand on this issue: who are the terrorists (who you may actually trade with) and who are the actual victims of terrorism (often state-sponsored)?

The whole democratic majority of the world (as long as it exists) has a last chance to decide what they consider acceptable, at a state level. Are your real opponents mere misguided goat herders or something state-sponsored and fundamentally game-changing?

Comment Re:Reassembling the Soviet Union (Score 1) 309

Sadly, Russia is turning more and more to Soviet ways. Putin was even rehabilitating Stalin.

Well the West, thanks to the upstanding duo of Nixon & Kissinger, "rehabilitated" Mao's empire already in the mid-seventies and helped the fine western industrialists relocate their ("means of") production over to the PRC while helping their own profit margins in the process, at least for a while.

Mao Zedong, despite having achieved double the body count of Stalin, doesn't even need rehabilitation as his "Communist" Party's princelings have continued to rule the empire, albeit now under new and improved nationalist-corporatist style policies. Nothing wrong with that in the 21st century, right?

Mao also successfully (re-)incorporated the vast western territories of Tibet, South Mongolia and East Turkestan (chin. "Xinjiang") to the Han Chinese empire; Tibet actually well after WWII in 1950-51. Nice grab of Lebensraum, natural resources and new geo-political/military influence over South and Central Asia... and they're still militarily claiming control of massive maritime territories extending deep into South-East Asia and of course large areas belonging to both north-western and north-eastern provinces of India.

China's national (and increasingly international) media is naturally still totally harnessed to spreading CCP's nationalist propaganda.

I have zero sympathy for Putin or his policies to rebuild the Soviet/Russian Empire through threats and military aggression, but hey, the West (USA, EU et al) have okayed and are of course currently perfectly fine with the People's Republic of China doing all these things. The key lesson learned has been that business always wins in the end over morality or international law. We often reap what we sow.

Should we be surprised if a Soviet-groomed KGB agent turned Russian authoritarian strongman feels that his regime deserves the same imperial carte blanche priviledges both domestically and over their smaller/weaker/more peaceful neighbours as China has been afforded (essentially with zero concessions)?

My old signature below may seem totally pointless to many, but the West set their tone already some forty years ago and the only reason the western democracies are now even considering diplomatic and economic sanctions seems to be that Ukraine happens to be located in eastern Europe, unlike those inconsequential (former) neighbours of China.

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