Let us not forget.

I was browsing the net tonight and stumbled on this, via digg.com… Photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bomb.

I’ve been here.

Hiroshima - I’ve been here.

I’ve stood in the shadow of this wrecked building. Besides this, a few other monuments and the museums, today you wouldn’t know Hiroshima had been hit by an Atomic weapon.

At work I’m involved with making a video game about World War II. I’ve “enjoyed” playing WW2 shooters like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. It seems weird when you see galleries of images like those of Hiroshima to think about taking enjoyment from simulating the conflicts of the 20th Century on your couch in front of your TV.

I came upon these images via a blog post that has been on the front page of Digg. The post has attracted all sorts. Among them many ignorant people, people with various political agendas and biases, and some who are informed or more balanced, such as those who posted these nuggets.

“…the greatest thing in history.”
– Harry S. Truman
President of the United States during the Atomic Bombing

“It always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.”
– General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold
Commanding General of the U.S. Army
Air Forces Under President Truman

“I had been conscious of depression and so I voiced to (Sec. Of War Stimson) my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at this very moment, seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’ ”
– General Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Japan was at the moment seeking some way to surrender with minimum loss of ‘face’. It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”
– General Dwight D. Eisenhower

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was taught not to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying woman and children.”
– Admiral William D. Leahy
Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“I am absolutely convinced that had we said they could keep the emperor, together with the threat of an atomic bomb, they would have accepted, and we would never have had to drop the bomb.”
– John McCloy

“P.M. [Churchill} & I ate alone. Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. of telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.”
– President Harry S. Truman
Diary Entry, July 18, 1945

“Some of my conclusions may invoke scorn and even ridicule.

“For example, I offer my belief that the existence of the first atomic bombs may have prolonged — rather than shortened – World War II by influencing Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and President Harry S. Truman to ignore an opportunity to negotiate a surrender that would have ended the killing in the Pacific in May or June of 1945.

“And I have come to view the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that August as an American tragedy that should be viewed as a moral atrocity.”
– Stewart L. Udall
US Congressman and
Author of “Myths of August”

“Certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”
– U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey’s 1946 Study

“Careful scholarly treatment of the records and manuscripts opened over the past few years has greatly enhanced our understanding of why Truman administration used atomic weapons against Japan. Experts continue to disagree on some issues, but critical questions have been answered. The consensus among scholars is the that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan. It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it.
– J. Samuel Walker
Chief Historian
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

It’s too bad so many people don’t learn more about history than their high school history class. It doesn’t make your actions good just because the actions of your enemies are evil.

It makes no sense to discuss the legitimacy of dropping the Atomic bombs on Japan. You can quote whoever you want and there will be a counter to that quote, you can bring up any evidence you want and there will be a counter to that evidence.

These pictures should not be viewed as an indictment of the US, but as evidence of events we want never to see again.

On a separate note, it is easy to look back now and say that it is wrong, especially when viewing pictures such as these. However, it is also unfair and wholly reliant on hindsight.

It is unfortunate that lately it seems people have forgotten that war, or conflict of any type, is not necessary and those who seek it should be considered defective.


iPod/iPhone – the roach motel business model

With my iPod going the way of the Dodo I’m beginning to think maybe I should use a media player that is a little less focused on the roach motel business model.

But then I’d have to re-rip all my CDs again in MP3 (instead of iTunes’ usual AAC) format. And iTunes is actually a very good little (big) app. It’s pretty good at podcasts and managing your audio and has some nice bling. Guess I’m stuck in the roach motel.

Blu-ray Encryption Defeated & Why I’ll Never buy Windows Vista.

It seems the hackers have been at it again and this time profess to have cracked Blu-Ray disc encryption. Yeah for freedom.

A comment on this article notes that this initial cracking of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray encryption is only possible because people are using Windows XP. Microsoft’s new OS, Vista, is going to plug many of these holes. Microsoft did a deal with the likes of the MPAA and RIAA and have specifically engineered Vista to be much more “secure”.

If you look at the DRM technology in Vista, you realise they have implemented a framework there specifically for Content Protection. Stuff like polling the system a number of times per second, revocation of drivers if its a known leak of HD content, and checking for electrical fluctuations against possible tampering for hardware.

Such technologies will have an affect on system performance and stability. (It doesn’t take a genius to realise where there will be scenarios when the monitoring of certain components is too aggressive and causes problems for the user).

For an indepth analysis of the “cost” to users of Microsoft implementing this technology check out this article by fellow Kiwi Peter Gutmann. Also check out the Security Now podcast for other related stuff.

Not only is Vista more restricted, hardware vendors have been sneaking in hardware onto motherboards and such that has up until now remained dormant, but is poised to strike. Remember the whole “Trusted Computing” issue.

MS is basically “encouraging” hardware makers to implement crap like HDCP and in the future, extra chips in relation to sensing possible modifications to hardware. (called “tilt bits”). Hardware makers need MS, as MS controls 90% of the desktop market.

And implementing DRM technology doesn’t benefit the hardware makers. It doesn’t improve performance, provide new features worthy of selling, etc…In fact, hardware makers try not to emphasize it! (Otherwise, people won’t buy the hardware!)

Its interesting that the law makers have basically made the rules up of how a hardware company is supposed to act. That is, they must prove themselves worthy. What annoys me is that some of the technologies used to enforce DRM can also be used for security of the PC. So PR/marketing dept can use the excuse of security for selling the hardware, when the truth is, its to control the end-user.

And of course most countries have bowed to preasure for the US and WIPO/WTO hegemony and implemented stupid new digital copyright laws.

Stuff like DMCA or in Australia, the Copyright Amendment 2006. (America has infected Australia with a version of DMCA as part of the Free Trade Agreement). 😦

So I’m going to stay away from Vista as long as humanly possible and to stick to open formats like CDs for music. As for movies, well the internet is rife with that stuff… Broadband is the future, not this optical media crap.

In the end industry will listen to peoples wallets. Don’t spend your money on products that restrict your freedom. Don’t buy mainstream dross, check out alternatives, use You Tube, etc.

We are sooooo fucked!

I was listening to the Science Show today on my iPod. It was a rerun of an episode from earlier in 2006. It is about Gaia theory and global warming.

Basically we’re fucked. We did it to ourselves and if we don’t do something about it pronto we’re all going to die. You might have seen Al Gore’s little movie An Inconvenient Truth. Well that little horror tail was the “lite” version. There is a very real possibility that if we do nothing about global warming the seas will boil away into space and we will be very overcooked little poached humans. Sure it is probably only a 1% chance that that will happen but a 1% chance is too damn large for my liking.

Even the far more likely outcomes are decidedly grim. No rain forests, large cities (including Melbourne, where I live) under water, no arable land in the tropics, mass exoduses of people to cooler regions, wars, famines, etc.

The really fucking stupidly amazing thing is that there are groups of people, particularly in America, one of, if not the, largest contributor to global warming, who want this to happen! And happen faster! They want this to happen because it signals the end times when we all get judged by god and either ascend to heaven of spend eternity in hell. Are these people mental?

Why, yes indeed they are.

So, what do we have to look forward to this century?

  1. Wars between radical Islamic ideologues and the (predominately) secular “western” world for what can only be described as insane reasons.
  2. Ideological and political battles between the looney Christian fundamentalists and the secular population over ethics, science and medicine.
  3. Wars between nations in need of Oil and those who have it as we rapidly race towards Peak Oil and a complete lack of it.
  4. Environmental disasters on a scale never witnessed before.

We are soooo fucked.

What is DRM? It’s defective by design.

October 3rd, Anti DRM DayOctober 3rd is anti DRM day over at DefectiveByDesign.org. DRM bad. Creative Commons good.

DRM (aka Digital “Rights” Management). More accurately known as Digital Restrictions Management is bad for artists and bad for consumers. The only people it is good for is “Big Media”.

If you use the iTunes Store with Apple’s Fairplay DRM or any online music/video service that uses Microsoft’s Plays for Sure DRM technology or even just own DVDs you might as well be burning your money. You don’t own any of that audio/video content. DRM controlled media can be turned off at a whim by a copyright holder so that you never get to see or hear it again without paying them more money.

DRM software on your PC, spies on you, treats you as a criminal and curtails your rights. DRM does nothing to stop piracy as any pirate with half a clue knows how to defeat it. The only reason it exists is to extract more money from you the “average joe” consumer. Learn more at DefectiveByDesign.org.

Down with DRM. Spread the word.

The language we use gives value to our ourselves and our creations.

I was reading about the thefts of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Halo 2 on the web today and something struck me when I read the quote, “the proper authorities … are continuing to investigate all possible leads to ensure there is no further dissemination of our creative content”.

“Creative content”? What the hell is “creative content”? Work you mean, someone stole your work. Content is a word of the 90s. Everything on the web screamed content this, content that, it was all about the content. The 90s have past yet we still hang on to this word. I believe we should cease to use the word content to describe peoples creative endeavour. The word content is meaningless and belittles our work as creative people. It screams out from the corporate machine, to artists and programmers, “you don’t matter, you’re replaceable, its our product, you just create content, we control you”.

On the other hand “work” is a much more meaningful word, a word that connects with peoples emotions. It is concrete, something anyone can understand. As a verb it means to exert strength or faculties, to toil. As a noun it means that which is produced as the result of labor. As developers and artists we work to develop games, and we work hard.

If we acquiesce and subjugate ourselves to the word “content” over what it truly is, our work, so will others, and forever will we be preyed upon by those who do not value us, or our work.