Posts by glennd

  • Hard News: You know what ..., in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Of course I agree he was fervently anti-Israel. He was a religious fanatic with delusions of restoring a romantic vision of the past, a character type that plagued the 20th century along with the mirror-image character of the utopian re-inventers of humanity.
    But I doubt that if the first gulf war had happened that he would have gone on quite the same trajectory to the WTC, six day war or no, more likely he'd have ended up in Chechnya fighting the old Russian foe (who curiously backed Egypt in the war). That's the thing with these guys, there is no end of real enemies. But that is only my speculation.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: You know what ..., in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Well my impression of the reaction to the dancing in the streets is more along the lines of the non-plussed reaction of Danes to the wave of hysteria created by some cartoons in one of their dailies. I think far too much can be read into a concept of a national psyche and people end up painting on it more of what is in their own thoughts than the average American (or Dane, or ...)

    Still, Osama said himself that it was the presence of infidels in the land of Mecca and Medina that was the primary cause for al Qaeda's war against America. If you say it was a war in 1967 then I'll just have to take your word against his. But then the *road* to the six day war also started somewhere, which is the problem with roads, they go ever on. We might as well say the Soviets caused 911 by deliberately misinforming the Egyptians about Israeli activities in the runup to the war in which America sided with Israel. But that I fear is a long bow being drawn to breaking point.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: You know what ..., in reply to Simon Grigg,

    I don't think 911 was much of a surprise inside the USA either. The WTC had already been attacked, with car-bombs. The USS Cole had already been attacked. The African embassies had already been attacked. All by al Qaeda. al Qaeda had declared war on the USA many years earlier in their fatwa following the presence of US troops in the Saudi Arabia (there by the sanction of the UN). Clinton had already tried to kill Osama. That the threat was not taken seriously enough is no secret either. 911 surprised on its *scale* and daring, but not in any sense of being unique. But the reasons are well known, even inside the USA.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: You know what ..., in reply to Russell Brown,

    And don't forget the numerous killings before 2001 (the embassy bombings for a start). It did not start on 9/11 but at least a decade before, 9/11 was merely halfway along Osama's career with al Qaeda although clearly the spectacular crowning achievement of his life. And, in the analysis, do not forget the numerous and regular reports of deaths of various "number 2" and other highly placed men in al Qaeda in Afghanistan over the years. The story isn't over, but that al Qaeda has not been able to significantly orchestrate a far more bloody series of killings is due in great part to having been forced into a more conventional war in Afghanistan and lost many of its best practical men and leaders.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: You know what ..., in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Since 2001? Much earlier than that! Clinton put out the original US "capture or kill" on bin Laden and missed him a couple of times. Others have been after him for longer as well...

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The file-sharing bill,

    Apart from anything else, that is plenty of legitimately-shared content on P2P networks, Blizzard and other game companies use the same protocols to legitimately serve their updates, etc. OTOH, the ignorant blatherings of Lee,Shanks and Young are hardly cause for confidence.

    Well if I ever saw a law that had protocol descriptions I'd probably faint! You are right about the protocols being used for a lot more than dodgy filesharing, however I don't think the lobbyists will be trumpeting the distinctions. In a less paranoid frame of mind one could also imagine a deliberately badly worded law that would allow an ISP to be sued by an interested party if they felt they needed to. Maybe just the chilling effect of one or two suits would be enough to turn ISPs towards more throttling or denial of service to avoid the performance. Time to take off the tinfoil hat now, but sometimes those legislators seem to make anything possible.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The file-sharing bill,

    And, if they can persuade Power to flip the switch, expect them to get someone terminated as soon as possible pour encourager les autres .

    Sometimes I idly wonder if the end goal of certain groups is just to get P2P and similar activity banned altogether, and make it illegal for ISPs to allow such traffic. A bit extreme maybe, but given that they must know (even if cute little politicians don't) that the various current laws are technicaly useless then it does look like that in the end they'll go for the jugular of the whole activity. After all, ISPs are relatively few and more open to intimidation and lawsuits, compared to millions of Joe and Jen Sixpack wanting the latest releases. Still, only idle speculation.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The file-sharing bill,

    They're going to go after the low-hanging fruit, the people with enough understanding to successfully torrent things but not enough to be smart about it.

    Precisely, those who know what they are doing will nearly always find a way to do it discreetly. I'd also be somewhat wary of trusting a VPN with one end in China.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The file-sharing bill, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    With a strong VPN your ISP has no ability to see what you are doing, you can connect to an entirely different network encapsulated in normal IP traffic that no-one can see, unless they have very serious interception and cryptanalytic abilities. The only way that the NZ-end ISP could stop it is by suspicion of the identity of the server being used to setup the other end of the encrypted link and block the VPN altogether. But then they run the risk of blocking legit activities by companies and individuals using VPNs for the normal run-of-the-mill business.

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Perverse Entertainment, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Nah not a cunning plan, just a beneficial byproduct. If they're shouting and screaming crazy stuff like he's a non-citizen (and probably also that he's a muslim marxist macaroni man) it keeps them above the radar and makes the whole "opposition" look barmy. Tarred with the same brush and all that. I really don't know if he has an original hospital certificate or if he's lost it, and I agree it is irrelevant. But if I was Obama I would be doing nothing to dissuade them from their shouting and even holding back any older certificate, again not saying it exists but just that it'd be a mildly cunning plan. I suppose that is what the Don is after as well, either hoping Obama will one day reveal that a certificate does exist and show he was playing a game or, most likely, just planting the idea in the mass psyche of his own "originality".

    Since Mar 2011 • 45 posts Report Reply

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