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Comment: Annoying prediction in Find dialog (Score 0) 158

by AFCArchvile (#48919661) Attached to: Opera Founder Is Back, WIth a Feature-Heavy, Chromium-Based Browser

I installed both the Windows and OS X version, and it looks pretty good (aside from having that disgusting "page flattened" look of every fad-chasing program ever since Windows Metro and OS X Yosemite). However, I tried to search for a specific word in text, and the prediction pre-empted user input (which violates the trust of user input always being respected). I tried to reproduce this a minute ago on the slashdot.org front page, and it couldn't find the word I was typing in, despite me looking straight at it. That's a whole other flavor of broken, so I'm guessing that the "Find" functionality needs to go back in the oven.

(I reproduced the text prediction bug just now; the cursor seems to jump back on a prediction hit, but the lag between the start and end of the jumpback seems to be dependent on the complexity of the rendered page; perhaps it's Javascript complexity. This is not good, because heavier pages will always exist, and will always behave slower.)

To its credit, when you find a specific word, it will highlight its location in the scroll bar on the right. That's really cool.

One other thing that Vivaldi so desperately needs is tighter control on content. These days, browsing on websites is a nightmare of cross-domain Javascript scripts, to the point where users are no longer rendering a document, so much as involuntarily debugging a Javascript programming mess. (NoScript listed 76 blocked scripts when I went to an article from The Verge; Vox loves them some web fonts and crazy canvas effects.) Back in the day, Opera gave the user a lot of control on how to parse CSS, whether to play embedded sound (the old "BGSOUND" tag), whether to load images, and so on. Vivaldi has the "Block images" switch (but unfortunately forces a page reload when its state changes; IMO it should not force a page reload, but should instead leave loaded images cached, or hide all images). Vivaldi could use a modern CSS hackery option akin to Stylish, but I'd really love to see something like NoScript used instead. And of course there's add-on selective block, but hopefully that will become less of a problem once I uninstall Flash.

Also, I'd love to see a themes / skin option, complete with a few selections of "anti-flattened" themes, for those of us who don't want to follow along with the design diatribes of Jony Ive or Julie Larson-Green. I like drop shadows and 3D raised elements; they help me locate controls in the window. I'd like to see a Vivaldi theme with 3D raised buttons, and with an option to disable all slide / fade animations (because those animations are a waste of time IMO).

That said, it's really good to see a proper successor to Opera, instead of that Chrome-clone joke that I unfortunately installed under the pretense of it being called "Opera". THAT browser is NOT Opera; Vivaldi is the true Opera.

Comment: Re:3, 2, 1... (Score 1) 224

by AFCArchvile (#48919515) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

Yeah, I've been waiting for YouTube to drop Flash (and for Firefox to get up to speed with other browsers in terms of HTML5 video playback). I've avoided installing Java if I don't have anything that uses it (if only LibreOffice didn't use Java; alas!), I don't have Adobe Reader installed (previously there was Foxit, and now there's pdf.js in Firefox), and now I'm going to hold the same policy for Flash.

Flash (and by extension Shockwave) had their time as an extension to interactive multimedia back in the late 90's (remember the [Baz Luhrmann] Romeo & Juliet interactive CD with the "Made with Macromedia" slideshow demo?). Unfortunately, these kinds of addons are too lucrative as attack vectors, since they get used so often among so many different ranges of content.

I don't think I'm going to uninstall it right this minute, but I'm going to make an inventory of all the websites I visit, and whether they legitimately use Flash (BeepBox is one that is a legitimate and fun use of Flash). And if I've reconciled all the outliers, I'll uninstall it, and use the same policy as I have for Java: never install it again, and avoid programs that use it (or contain its effects).

Comment: Re:No (Score 4, Insightful) 545

by AFCArchvile (#48535083) Attached to: Should IT Professionals Be Exempt From Overtime Regulations?

As a newly unemployed individual contributor, I vote yes, because we're at the point where most businesses are too entrenched (or incompetent) to correct their business model. Well over 75% of the job listings I review have phrases like "Availability to occasionally work some evenings and weekends", which could mean anything from once a quarter to every single week, depending on staffing (or lack, thereof). Also, in multiple phone screens and interviews, I have heard the expectation of departmental employees working over 40 hours a week, even for locations with long train commutes. Just because I'm single doesn't mean I want to stay that way forever; I need to eat right, exercise, have a decent amount of life in my mythical "work-life balance", and so on.

We are past the point of companies regulating themselves in this matter; we need a law to enforce it. There are going to be many companies whining about lost revenue, but most of that revenue will come back to them in consumer spending, and frankly, it's the fault of the United States government for leaving these regulations so stagnant for so long.

The Media

Cory Doctorow Calls Death To Music, Movies, Print 336

Posted by timothy
from the low-hanging-fruit dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow depicts an unfortunate near-future for a handful of media industries being transformed or killed by the Internet. Predicting a large-scale transformation of the music, movie, book, and newspaper industry, Doctorow says, 'The Internet chews up media and spits them out again. Sometimes they get more robust. Sometimes they get more profitable. Sometimes they die.' While the Internet has the potential to help the dying book industry, for example, Doctorow predicts the 'imminent collapse' of the American newspaper industry because advertisers are uninterested in spending money on the remaining offline readership, such as senior citizens, who prove less valuable."
Medicine

Stretching Before Exercising Weakens Muscles 339

Posted by kdawson
from the everything-you-know-is-wrong dept.
Khemisty writes "Back in grade school you were probably taught the importance of warm-up exercises, and it's likely you've continued with pretty much the same routine ever since. Science, however, has moved on. Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes' warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but are actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg's muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements."
Cellphones

T-Mobile G1 Faster Than iPhone 3G 304

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the couldn't-be-much-slower dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET UK have run some very simple in-house tests comparing the T-Mobile G1's 3G connection against the iPhone 3G's. Result? The G1 loaded Web pages almost twice as fast as the iPhone's. Of course, the test only applies to the CNET UK offices if you're being scientific about it, as stated, but it's still impressive nevertheless."
Government

President Signs Law Creating Copyright Czar 555

Posted by kdawson
from the ip-con dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "President Bush has signed the EIPRA (AKA the PRO-IP Act) and created a cabinet-level post of 'Copyright Czar,' on par with the current 'Drug Czar,' in spite of prior misgivings about the bill. They did at least get rid of provisions that would have had the DOJ take over the RIAA's unpopular litigation campaign. Still, the final legislation (PDF) creates new classes of felony criminal copyright infringement, adds civil forfeiture provisions that incorporate by reference parts of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, and directs the Copyright Czar to lobby foreign governments to adopt stronger IP laws. At this point, our best hope would appear to be to hope that someone sensible like Laurence Lessig or William Patry gets appointed."
Games

Politician Takes Enlightened Stance on Gaming 68

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the this-shouldn't-be-unique-but-it-is dept.
GamePolitics is reporting that one Australian would-be politician is taking an enlightened stance on gaming in general, and especially with respect to censorship. "Censorship is odious because it removes community choice. Censorship says that the thought is the action; that the common person can't distinguish between depiction and actuality... Censorship says, 'Let me decide who talks.' And games are talking. They're talking very loudly, to a great many people, in strong and clear voices. They're speaking in places that have never read a newspaper and in houses which have never listened to politicians. It's okay to be worried by what games are saying. It's okay to disagree. But it's not okay to stifle those voices. It's not okay to kill the game."
Windows

Vista SP1 Update Locks Out Some Users 410

Posted by kdawson
from the lather-rinse-repeat dept.
Echostorm writes with word that Windows Vista SP1, which began rolling out via Automatic Update, has left some users' machines unbootable. The update loops forever on "Configuring updates: Stage 3 of 3 — 0% complete. Do not turn off your computer." "Shutting down"... restart and loop. Echostorm notes having found traces of what sounds like the same bug in early beta releases of SP1. It's unclear how many users are affected. So far there is no word on a fix from Microsoft.

C# Memory Leak Torpedoed Princeton's DARPA Chances 560

Posted by Zonk
from the omg-a-tumbleweed dept.
nil0lab writes "In a case of 20/20 hindsight, Princeton DARPA Grand Challenge team member Bryan Cattle reflects on how their code failed to forget obstacles it had passed. It was written in Microsoft's C#, which isn't supposed to let you have memory leaks. 'We kept noticing that the computer would begin to bog down after extended periods of driving. This problem was pernicious because it only showed up after 40 minutes to an hour of driving around and collecting obstacles. The computer performance would just gradually slow down until the car just simply stopped responding, usually with the gas pedal down, and would just drive off into the bush until we pulled the plug. We looked through the code on paper, literally line by line, and just couldn't for the life of us imagine what the problem was.'"
Microsoft

If This Was a Month Ago, OOXML Would Be Over 230

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the games-of-corporate-chess dept.
Andy Updegrove writes "Public announcements of how Participating members of ISO have voted on OOXML are now rolling in one at a time, and the trend thus far is meaningfully weighted towards 'No with comments.' By my count, there are now four announced Yes votes, with comments, two abstentions, and seven public No with comments votes for OOXML in ISO/IEC JT1. Korea has reportedly voted no as well, and I expect at least Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom to announce 'No with comments' today or tomorrow. There will be more no votes on the roster when the final results are announced in a day or two. But even if the 11 votes I know of now were the only votes, the vote would now have failed — but for the 11 countries that upgraded their status from Observer to Participating member status in the last few weeks. Without those extra 11 'P' countries, it would only require 10 votes to block OOXML from immediate approval. If most or all of those additional 'P' members vote 'yes' as expected, it will confirm suspicions that Microsoft has promoted extra votes in favor of OOXML not only within National Bodies, but within ISO itself."
Businesses

The IT Industry's Red Shift Theory 176

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the like-a-big-shiny-bubble dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "Sun Microsystems' CTO, Greg Papadopoulos has come out with a Red Shift Theory for IT which posits that an 'elite group of companies are consuming inordinate amounts of IT infrastructure, well beyond most other businesses, and that their demand is growing exponentially. This trend, Papadopoulos maintains, has implications not just for IT's most insatiable consumers, but for the structure of the computing industry itself. It's not just about how many CPU cycles a company uses. Papadopoulos argues that red-shift companies will enjoy exponential business growth in the coming years. Blue-shift companies — those whose processing needs aren't exploding — will grow at about the same rate as GDP, he says.'"
Sun Microsystems

Sun Moves Into Commodity Silicon 236

Posted by kdawson
from the whole-lotta-threads dept.
Samrobb writes "According to Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz, Sun has decided to release its UltraSPARC T2 processor under the GPL. Schwartz writes, 'We're announcing the fastest microprocessor we've ever shipped this week — delivering 89.6 Ghz of parallel computing power on a single chip — running standard Java applications and open source OS's. Simultaneously, we've said we're entering the commodity marketplace, and opening the chip up to our competition... To add fuel to the fire, the blueprints for our UltraSPARC T2... the core design files and test suites, will be available to the open source community, via its most popular license: the GPL.'" Sun is still working on getting these released; early materials are up on OpenSPARC.net.

"The algorithm to do that is extremely nasty. You might want to mug someone with it." -- M. Devine, Computer Science 340

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