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Comment Re:Reminds me of a conversation with a colleague (Score 1) 260

Your assertion 2 posts above that it would be undesirable for Israel to be the only US ally assumes that any of the Muslim countries in the region are. In a post Cold War and post 9/11 world, the metrics have changed. The only friends that a country has is another country where most of the people like the people of the country in question: that's the only scenario where friendship is sustainable. So if the Sauds, or the Thanis (of Qatar) or the Hanafas (of Bahrein) are pro US but their populaces ain't, then those countries are not our allies. We discovered that the hard way for a few weeks in Egypt, but for much longer in Libya and Tunisia. In the case of the Saudis, they were unpopular, so they redirected the hatred of their population towards the West, and hence, 9/11 happened.

You're also assuming that ISIS is opposed by everyone else, and is unrepresentative of Islam. As a Sunni Arab group, they are certainly opposed by the Shias as well as Kurds, Assyrians and other non Sunni groups. But they're certainly not opposed by Sunni Arabs at large. Yeah, the Saudis have problems w/ them b'cos they claim leadership of all Muslims - which is what a caliphate is. Al Qaeda has problems w/ them b'cos while al Qaeda believes that only peninsular Arabs can be leaders of all Muslims, ISIS uses the Umayyad and Abbasid examples to demonstrate that Arabs outside the peninsula have the same legitimacy. But the reason ISIS grew so strong is that they have popular support among the Sunni Arabs of Iraq and Syria. To pretend otherwise is what would get us into a rabbit hole.

As I have noted many times on /., no Muslim country is capable of peace b'cos religious pluralism is considered heresy among them. 'Live & let live' is not something they live by. If a country is an Islamic state (not talking about ISIS now, but more generically), then its rules are written by the leading Muslim sect/school of jurisprudence in that country. For the Saudis, it's Wahabist. For Iran, it's Khomenite. For Iraq, it's Shia. For Syria, it's Sunni. For Oman, it's Ibadi. And so on.

That's a big part of almost all the conflicts in the region. The civil war in Yemen is a religious war b/w the Shia Houthis and the Sunnis of the south. In Iraq, the reason they had the insurrection is that the Shia militias started persecuting Sunnis and Christians, who used to be a part of Saddam's Baathist coalition. In Syria, Bashar Assad did attempt reforms, but the history of his father's relationship to Sunni Arab states defined events. During the Iran-Iraq war of the 80s, President Hafez al Assad made Syria one of the two Arab countries that supported Iran - the other being Gadaffi's Libya. That was driven by the fact that he was an Alawite general suppressing a Sunni majority, while next door in Iraq, a fellow Baathist Saddam Hussein was busy driving a Sunni minority against a Shia majority. Result was that other Sunni Arab countries in the region, like Saudi Arabia or Qatar, wanted to topple the regime, and the death of Hafez al Assad in 2000 didn't change it. So even while Saudi Arabia helped the Hanafas in Bahrein suppress a Shia revolt, they are busy funding an insurrection in Syria since the people doing the insurrecting are fellow Sunnis.

The solution to the Middle East is to just let internecine taqfiri civil wars of Muslims against Muslims continue, and leaving them out of the West. Which is why Merkel's decision to allow them into Europe was idiotic, and why US courts striking down the travel bans are treasonous. There is also nothing to be gained by the US sending troops there: they should indeed carpetbomb Raqqa and Mosul, and let the Kurds take over whatever territory they want. One other thing - Turkey is not an ally: hasn't been since the Cold War ended. It's time to cut them loose - end any alliance w/ them, and if needed, support an independent Kurdestan in all the countries that they are present - Syria, Iraq and even Turkey and Iran. With an air campaign, help the Kurds carve out an independent country out of these 4, on condition that they are secular and allow all non Muslims in the region, like Assyrians, Yazidis and so on, to settle down.

The final part of the solution would be to redraw the maps according to ethnic lines. The borders we have today b/w Iraq and Syria were defined by the Brits & the French after WWI, according to their spheres of control. That is completely irrelevant in today's geopolitical setup in the region. So carve out Kurdestan, and then divvy up the rest of the areas along ethnic & religious lines. Give the Iraqi Shia Arabs the southern part of their country - like Basra, Najaf and Qarbala, as well as Iran's Qhuzestan. The Sunni Arab areas of Iraq and Syria - annex them to Jordan. The coastal areas of Syria, like Ladakiya, can go to the Alawites. Just recognize every ethnic group as its own country.

Oh, and finally, don't bother rebuilding that place. Just make sure their people can't leave the place for Western or other non-Muslim lands. Let them learn how to live peacefully themselves, w/ no persecution or insurrection against either Muslims of other sects, or non-Muslims.

Comment Re:Thanks Samsung! (Score 1) 260

Actually, given all the publicity behind the Note 7, which the next story indicates is making a comeback, why did the Jihadists not think of that? Just bring your normal Note 7, wrapped up in a casing of a different phone, and then you can carry it on you into the check-in luggage. No need to pack explosives in an iPad - just use a real phone as one, while pretending that it's a different model, and nobody will be the wiser.

Comment Re:Windows is the Only One (Score 1) 441

I'm assuming that you're not trolling, so here are a few things:

- Linux is command line only if you want it to be: otherwise, you have the widest choices of desktop environments to choose from. Some hold that bonanza of choices against it, claiming that users are left confused. If you want something like Windows, but lightweight, Razor-qt or LX/QT would be a good place to start

- If you are on a Linux command line, putting an '&' after your command and pressing enter will run that command in the background, and enable you to continue running other commands. Particularly if the first is something you know will take a while. There are other commands like bg or fg followed by the process ID that enable you to change the priorities of running commands. Incidentally, Microsoft too supports such things, using START and then the command name.

- Linux does have a lot of commercial software available for it, albeit at the server or workstation level. Things like Verilog or VHDL. The usual desktop software like LibreOffice is $0 only b'cos they are a lot worse than MS Office, particularly for Excel, PowerPoint and Access

Only thing you said that's right - the support. In Windows, when anything is broken, you call the PC vendor or take the PC back to the place you bought it, and they may help you. With Linux, since you got it for $0, there is no support involved unless you explicitly buy a short or long term support contract.

Comment TrueOS issues (Score 1) 441

I'll say yes & no to this one. TrueOS is very simple to install, but you're right - it did not recognize my WiFi, and I use a standard Intel WiFi that comes with the chipset.

I have had upgrading issues recently, since February. I had originally ordered a DVD from and installed it from there. The first few times, the upgrade was smooth, but in February, there was one, which after installing, my computer wouldn't boot. So I rebooted to a previous install, deleted that latest one and tried again. After a few times, I've given up.

Normally, I wouldn't bother, except that this latest release has support for Steam on WINE, which I want to play. Also, somehow, I'm unable to install any new software such as FreeCiv w/o installing to the latest release, which then invokes the above issues. I plan to at some point order a new DVD, which would presumably have the latest version, and install it from there. It's a shame, b'cos I never had these sorts of problems when TrueOS was PC-BSD. Lumina is great, but their updates leave a lot to be desired.

Comment ChromeOS (Score 3, Interesting) 441

But that's where the bulk of usage is. In the last 2 decades, the only people who went Linux were those who knew and loved the various shells, programming environments, UIs and so on. Those who wanted something to simply work went the Windows or Mac route.

It's a different story today. While there's still no reason to go from Mac to ChromeOS if you've already sunk money into a Mac, people were unhappy first w/ Windows 8, and now Windows 10. But their choices - if they want to look at a Mac, they'll normally find it out of their budget - if they're not the Photoshop buffs but are just interested in email and websites. If they look at Linux, they'd have to be wary about what might not get recognized during the installation.

ChromeOS gives them much of their use case, and once it has the ability to run Android apps, they'd have a leg up over even Linux. Only thing - the Chromebooks currently in the market are vastly underpowered. It would be nice if ChromeOS DVDs were available, so that if one wanted to install it on an i7 w/ 8GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, one could, and not be restricted to those entry level toys. Another thing - not everyone wants to store everything on 'the cloud', so it would be nice if the OS allowed you to store your photos, music and the like locally, particularly if you're not using an 8GB SSD.

Comment Re: Mint (Score 1) 441

I second the choice of Mint.

Surely Android?

Nothing else is even remotely close to the ease of use and availability of apps.

Either that, or ChromeOS. In fact, they should distribute ChromeOS on CDs/DVDs so that one can install it on whatever laptop he has, and not necessarily a low end that you find in Best Buy.

Comment Re:Too late... (Score 1) 94

Fully agree w/ you - I haven't seen that on my 550. Another side benefit - while the lack of some major apps is an issue, people who want to entice me into loading their apps are disappointed when I show them this phone and invite them to install their app on it - which is unsupported.

Comment Re:Microsoft Phone (Score 1) 94

While I'd never get rid of my iPhone, which I use exclusively for personal use, a Windows 10 Mobile phone is pretty good for work use. Be it usage of the mobile Office, OneNote, OneDrive storage... From a POV of synchronizing w/ my laptop, this phone is actually the best, since it allows me to pick up where I left off.

However, it does fall short in some key apps that would be useful - VOIP/video conferencing apps, such as 8x8 or Vonage, Lyft (if I'm travelling and want to use a ride share), Meetup or any groupware apps, ADP or other payroll apps, and so on. If all those could be filled, this would be ideal. I don't need to have Pokémon Go on this, or even Netflix, but I do think that anything that a business needs and uses should be on there.

Comment Re: Here's what I'd like to see... (Score 1) 94

1. Have an option like on laptops - screen A, screen B, both screens...

2. Android is fine, if doable. How many apps are there on iOS, but not on Android?

3. Have a portable docking station that has all the required slots. Pull it out when charging is needed

4. Have that too as something that can only be used on the docking station. Avoids loading the phone

5. Again, just have an HDMI connection from the dock to the TV

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