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Comment Re: They'll say anything (Score 1) 129

Oh, and I don't want to sound like the coalition hasn't done anything bad. They've actually had their worst incident in quite some time (perhaps the worst during this entire conflict) during the SDF siege of Manbij, after misidentifying a crowd as fleeing Daesh fighters; they killed dozens of civilians (including a number of children), with some reports over 80. That was about a week ago. Much of the Syrian opposition issued a unified demand that they stop the bombing (even though they're also fighting Daesh). They've long been very uncomfortable with how close the coalition is working with the SDF (Kurds, primarily) - they accuse the Kurds of ethnic cleansing arab villages in order to build "Rojava" (their Kurdish state in Syria)

I'm trying to think of the last time they specifically hit a hospital however. They recently captured the hospital in Manbij, but it wasn't bombed in the process.

(Honestly, if you asked the opposition the worst thing they'd done, the NySA would probably argue that it was abandoning them right as the assault on Al-Bukamal began, in order to pursue the Daesh convoy fleeing from Fallujah... they and their sleeper cells really got slaughtered because of that one)

Comment Re: They'll say anything (Score 3, Informative) 129

I follow the Syrian conflict very closely and there's a new hospital or clinic hit by airstrikes about once a week on average... sometimes more, sometimes less. It's not always clear which airforce (Syrian or Russian) is doing it, but more often than not when the distinction can be determined it's Russian. There was a multiple clinic hit in Idlib about a week ago, while an ambulance was hit in Aleppo 4 days ago.

It's really a meat grinder over there :(

A lot of the time the hits on civilian targets are accidental. Sometimes they're on purpose. Most of what Russia uses, and virtually all of what the Syrian air force uses, are "dumb bombs". For the past month the vast majority of Russia's air power has been directed at north Aleppo (Handaraat / al-Mallah, primarily), so there's been a great amount of white phosphorus and cluster bombs, but in denser-populated areas near Castello Road they use a lot more high explosives. So there's a lot of potential for accidental hits. On the other hand, in many cases it's hard to interpret the attacks as anything but deliberate attacks, particularly on hospitals that are treating wounded rebels - multiple hits on the same target, targets with no conflict in the immediate area, with no obvious targets of value nearby, etc. They do a lot of "double tap" hits on them as well.

Just in case anyone isn't aware... this isn't "ISIS" that they're focusing on. Daesh (ISIS) doesn't exist in Aleppo, let alone Idlib (further), let alone Latakia (even further), let alone the freaking Jordanian border which they've been bombing recently much to the anger of the Pentagon (whose "New Syrian Army" is there trying to take Al-Bukamal from Daesh and cut off Daesh traffic to and from Iraq). When they do bomb Daesh, it''s overwhelmingly in two areas: Palmyra and Deir ez Zour. The latter is a Syrian government pocket in the middle of Daesh territory that they've been struggling to hang onto for a long time, against constant assault. The former is well known. One exception: the government forces, with some Russian air support, tried an assault from Ithyria toward the Daesh city of al-Taqbah, but they were basically baited into a trap and suffered massive losses. They retreated back to Ithriya and haven't retried since then.

Oh, and while we're talking about Syria, two things of mention:

1) The massive "factory of death" southwest of al-Safira exploded last week, with a huge earthquake that rattled houses 50km away, was visible 75km away and audible 100km away. Hopefully that'll reduce the barrel bomb and elephant rocket attacks... at least somewhat...

2) There's a lot of chatter that Nusra is imminently going to break with al-Qaeda. This would be huge if it happens, but I'll trust it when I see it.

Comment Re:Here's more credible evidence of Trump-Russia t (Score 2) 129

A more assertive US? From the guy who wants the US to leave Ukraine to Russia, and overrode the Republican party on the platform issue? Stating that he wants to give Putin a free hand in Syria? Insists that there's no evidence that he kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries? The guy who's exchanged repeated back-and-forth praise with Putin on the campaign trail, with fawning language like "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond" and "a very bright and strong leader"... so much of a bromance that people in Eastern Europe have started painting murals? Are you talking about the same Donald Trump here?

Comment Re:XKCD Predicted this (Score 1) 48

The sad thing is that Spirit could still be with us today too if things had played out differently. When Spirit got stuck a lot of their early attempts to get out so that they could get to a good wintering grounds were in vain. However, right near the end they came up with a clever way to "swim" the wheels through the sand and were nearly out when winter hit and they had to leave it in a poor location... where it failed to wake up the next spring, most likely due to excessively low internal temperatures.

Curiosity is great, but the cost of Curiosity-style rovers is just so high. When I think of all that could be done with the Mars 2020 budget (Curiosity-style clone).... ugh. I would have rathered they make incremental improvements to a Spirit / Opportunity style design than a Curiosity one. Maybe more / larger radiothermal heaters so that they're not as cold-sensitive and improved wheels and flash storage, for example. Get their price down to ~$350M USD per mission (from $410M/rover for Spirit & Opportunity) rather than 2,1 billion USD per mission (aka Mars 2020, down from $2,5M for Curiosity). Send a new pair for $700M with new sets of instruments to new areas, save $1,4 billion, and put, say, $800M toward a new Titan mission and $600M to a new Venus mission.

I just don't like how Mars keeps becoming more and more of a money pit that sucks the funds from exploration of every other part of the solar system.

Comment Re:Most advertising is geared towards idiots (Score 1) 5

From Kurt Vonnegut's 1962 short story 2 B R 0 2 B:

âoeIn the year 2000,â said Dr. Hitz, âoebefore scientists stepped in and laid down the law, there wasnâ(TM)t even enough drinking water to go around, and nothing to eat but sea-weedâ"and still people insisted on their right to reproduce like jackrabbits. And their right, if possible, to live forever.â

Also, there was a telephone booth in the story!

And slashdot STILL mangles unicode. I'd be ashamed to work there.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 5, Insightful) 453

Indeed, I've never had a modern 3,5mm headphone port wear out. I've had a lot of micro-USB ports wear out. : And it's only logical that would be the case, the electrodes on the headphone port are far more robust than those on a micro-USB port.

I know that the standard response to "3,5mm port removal is the feature that nobody requested" is "it'll be painless and we'll be able to use the extra space to more useful internal hardware without having to make the phone bigger". But just ignoring the "painless" thing... how much more "capability" can you add in such a little space? That's enough for what, maybe 5% more battery time?

Maybe I'm wierd, but I couldn't give a rat's arse how thick a phone is... I just want it to be robost and not a big headache.

Comment Re:Eugenics (Score 1) 92

What right of reproduction is it that you speak. I have never heard of this right, it sounds very suspiciously like some acient greek right of ownership of children, the right to do to them as you wish, to bake them and enjoy them with a dish of fava beans. The new child coming into to the world has rights and you have no rights to bring them into the world or to use them as you wish.

Hey, you want those who are least able to contribute to society to reproduce through intoxication and laziness and in far greater numbers than those who contribute the most to society, go right a fucking head. I, myself have chosen to liberate myself from that pending abuse by not reproducing, by not burdening myself with the guilt of future generations being subject to the abuse of the idiocracy. In fact I find the growth of idiocracy to be quite humorous, what the fuck do I care, I feeding victims to it (I still do my part it trying to stop it happening, it is the fair and reasonable thing to do but I burdened by the suffering the idiocracy will cause). I am sure it will be quite humorous when the idiots hit twenty billion and still counting.

Parenting and breeding licences are the common sense choice and no amount of wishing it away will make it less sensible, the earth is not infinite and as such breeding limitations are an inherent requirement.

Comment Re:Pull the plug on TSA (Score 1) 121

The TSAs function is to establish a precedented and accustomise people to restrictions, all encompassing restrictions. It is a totally class structured organisations in principle. Certain people a minority get to completely avoid it, never ever experience (except to sneer at those who are forced into it, look down upon those who are being taught their place in society). The majority of course are being trained, you go only were you specifically are allowed to go, upon demand you can be stripped searching, molested, your belongings searched and taken at a whim. You are also taught that there are other people who do not go through this, superior people and you are a lessor person a nobody and you should become accustomed to this, it is your place and it you attempt to leave it watch out.

They fully plan to push it to all public transport, even local buses stopped, passengers abused, taught their place, forced to learn to obey or be physically abused as well as their families, full sexual abuse, parents in front of their children, publicly degraded so that their children learn their heroes, their parents, are zeros.

You are all being taught that those that fly in private jets are special and you are shit, they have power and privilege because they are anointed by "In Money we trust" and you are nothing. The longer you put up with this bullshit the more you sell yourself and future generations out, pathetic cowards that you are and that's a fact, if you had any real courage the TSA would have disappeared years ago.

Comment Re:You can load them even faster... (Score 1) 105

Men, get a real job, you snooty DH ;). You know the kind of job you people sneer at and say it's only a training job that deserve less than the already shitty minimum wage. Want to express your creative talents, do it in your own time, out of your own pocket and like any busker, beg for money.

Unsympathetic, yep, because to many rich geek/nerd arseholes do not give one fuck about those doing hard work, real fucking work, on shitty minimum wage, not being able to afford a reasonable place to live or much of anything else. You fuckers still demand access to their wallets. Ain't no limit on how rich anal tech types become and still greedily demand to be able empty the wallets of the poorest.

No fucking protection for advertisements unless they stick to the rules, no fucking screaming, no fucking lies, no false association and no targeting people and absolutely no targeting of minors. PS fucking off with the psuedo celebrity bullshit would also be cool, I would rather pay for some quality in the product being sold than paying the bloated wage of some egoistic dickhead lying to me about how great the product is (which it would be if they had spent the money on the product instead of paying some egoistic dickhead to lie to me about that quality of the product because that quality is missing as they had to pay the dickhead instead).

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 5, Insightful) 453

So instead you want to break your power charging plug hole, the one you now generally use once per day and that with a fixed battery. So instead a potential proprietary socket, that will wear out, destroying the phone because no it connects to nothing and you can not pull out a flat battery and replace it with a charged battery. Yep, gullibly being sold another B$ marketing line. So with an existing ear socket phone you can listen through the usb socket with the right hardware and software but not fucking while you are charging the phone but that's OK you can swap out the battery and charge it separately, oh wait no you fucking can't.

When I am sitting back at home listening to my phone with a headset, as I am not moving, I charge up the phone at the same time, it's common sense and I have decades old cd/radio players that still plug fine their headsets work fine, so worn socket, likely crappy off spec plugs.

Comment Re:The Verge is 100% wrong (Score 1) 52

History has also shown us that most new ideas fail. Even good ideas.

I agree that the idea of accessories per se, attractive as it is to me, isn't enough to make a product a success these days. However I should point out that back in the day of PDAs it was normal for mobile devices to have a CF or SD slot that could also be used to add features. This was in the day when mobile devices didn't have cell data connections, GPS or even wi-fi, and it was quite common for people to add memory cards, wi-fi, bluetooth, and GPS. I have a box full of accessory cards in my attic.

Handspring, a company that made Palm Pilot clones, initially did very well with their Springboard modules which allowed you to add any kind of functionality to the base system, just like what we're talking about here. Then a few years after introducing the Springboard module Handspring stopped making PDAs altogether in favor of what was then called a "converged device" -- aka a smartphone -- without the slot. It's all about timing; Handspring was perhaps a little ahead of the curve on convergence, but a lot of manufacturers were getting pushed that way because of falling hardware retail prices made it attractive to put more stuff in the base device to keep the price high.

The standard inclusion of GPS + Cloud + Camera + Bluetooth built-in means that there really isn't a need to physically connect a device to a mobile device. The only exception is battery; there is a real need for a more elegant and secure way to extend the operation of a smartphone than plugging it into a powerbank via USB.

But I may be wrong. Maybe there's a compelling use case for a modular architecture that I just haven't thought of yet. That's why I like to see vendors trying something different, although I usually expect them to fail. I've watched tech long enough to realize that success isn't just about an idea being right, it has to come at the right time.

Comment Re:Old stuff "discovered" by the ignorant (Score 1) 437

While I don't necessarily disagree with you, let me point out that orthodox economic models are also based on assumptions that are not entirely true. For example you don't necessarily assume that any one agent (e.g. the central planner) has all the information relevant to making decisions, but you do assume that all relevant information is available to parties making decisions about transactions they'll take part in. That's not true, but it's close enough to being true that the models have practical utility. Oh, and there's the bit about people being rational in their decision-making.

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