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Comment I claim a Godwin dispensation... (Score 1) 179

The following (translated) quotation describes this syndrome perfectly.

"The great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil ... therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big".

- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1971; original version 1925), Vol. 1, chapter 10, p.231

Comment Re:Linux Is Still Free (Score 2) 207

Where is this free Linux cloud service where I can stand up entire enterprise architectures and applications securely

You can stop your rant right there. If you want security and to be sure your data and operations will continue predictably, don't use a cloud service at all. Why does it make sense to entrust your crown jewels to a bunch of complete strangers, who use computers you know nothing about in a place that you don't even necessarily know, if you can't run them yourself? Besides, as you know full well, it is FOSS software that is (mostly) free of charge. No one has ever pretended that the necessary hardware and services came free - to do so would be ridiculous. But if you really want to run your software on someone else's equipment, why not go to AWS? Then you'll be using tried and tested FOSS, professionally operated for you. (Although I would never entrust really vital data to any remote service; basic risk analysis will show you why).

25 years ago I was warning people about the perils of what has come to be known as "hacking", and most of them were completely unaware and unprepared. I told them that the problem had barely even started yet, and wouldn't until serious professional criminals and state actors became aware of the potential and began to exploit it.

That would be about now, and those who entrust their IT to "the cloud" are simply meeting the black hats half way. They may very well get away with for a long time - just as people get away with leaving their houses unlocked, their windows open, and their cars unlocked with the keys in. But it isn't smart.

Comment Every cloud has a silver lining (Score 1) 207

Yet another practical reason to stop paying Microsoft! There is a plethora of excellent and transparent FOSS, which is growing every day. Because it is open-source and free, instead of continually reinventing the bicycle people can build new and more useful applications on top of infrastructure that already exists and can be freely reused. (As in the Unix software tools philosophy).

Comment Re:Math, medicine and science (Score 1) 221

With the notable exception of the self proclaimed "caliph" Al-Baghdadi, they're mostly all dead now.

Yeah, we've been hearing that for a good thirty years now - about various terrorist groups. How do you explain that, as the years go back, there are more terrorists, more terrorist groups, and more terrorist victims?

"For months we have been making triumphant retreats before a demoralised enemy who is advancing in utter disorder". - "Wasp", Eric Frank Russell

Comment Re:Math, medicine and science (Score 1) 221

And yet they seem to have learned nothing from their "studies" other than bomb making and religious nonsense.

I think you will find that it was not Muslims who first started bomb-making. (Well, the Chinese probably began it, but they mostly used their pyrotechnics for celebration). It was European nations and the USA that first mass-produced high explosives for the express purpose of killing as many people as possible. Indeed, they actually went so far as to define civilisation as the possession and use of guns, bombs and warships.

What goes around, comes around.

Comment Re:No surprise here. (Score 1) 221

ISIS is "essence of Saudi", leaking out of the Kingdom and spreading slowly across other people's lands to convert them all to Wahhabism (or kill them). Think it through, and you' see that ISIS is just a microcosm of Saudi Arabia. The obvious differences are having a caliph instead of a king, and having no fixed borders. Both great advantages when you are in the conquest'n'conversion business.

Comment Re:Patriarchal Society gets a 'Come-up-ins'... (Score 2) 566

Given that 50 percent of the population is female, yet most jobs and management positions are held by males - a correction is in order.

Given that many females still become mothers, a position that entails a huge amount of work no matter how much paid or unpaid help is available... and given that many females still like to run their own households with all the work that entails... and given how many women are emotionally disinclined to give orders and boss other people around... good luck with that.

I am all for female managers, and have seen some very good ones. I have also seen some real Medusas, but nothing worse than many male managers. It's just a question of practicality and feasibility.

Comment Re:Suck it up. Be a man. (Score 1) 566

Then want to turn the world from one where only merit matters to the same one that existed prior to the civil rights act, equality acts, and so on.

And there it is: that simple little word "merit". It can mean almost anything that anyone wants it to, and thus legitimates almost any act. As far as I can see, in a meritocracy merit is defined as the collection of qualities that enable you to get to the top. Which are probably the same qualities that enable anyone to get to the top of any organization. Which, as we can see by inspection of our top CEOs and political leaders, are entirely compatible with (and maybe identical to) selfishness, the ability to fake friendliness, skill in manipulation, callousness and cold calculation.

Comment "Flatline" is not "flat" (Score 1) 342

"The movie theater business has seen flatline revenue, Hastings said".

That's a truly beautiful example of deceptive speech. He meant that revenue has been "flat" - in other words, they are not always getting more money with every passing year. When you think about it, how bad can that really be? Must everything grow eternally, without limit?

But the word he chose to use was "flatline", a medical term for "the continuous straight line displayed on a heart monitor which indicates cardiac arrest or death". (COED) A "flatliner" is someone who is dead! So, even if you understand his real meaning, there is the connotation of death and decay in the background.

Of course, I suppose it's always possible Hastings was merely following the common instinct to lengthen words by adding extra syllables.

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