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Comment: Re:I can't see the tags... (Score 5, Informative) 237

by Draykwing (#32800860) Attached to: A Look Back At Bombing the Van Allen Belts
That is a misconception, though unfortunately a common one. The real situation was that a single scientist on the project posited that it might, all of the others disproved it mathematically, he irresponsibly went to the press, and they kicked him out. That's the truth, though it makes a much less sensational headline.

Comment: Re:Why so discriminating? (Score 1) 1036

by Draykwing (#32783716) Attached to: Google To Add Pay To Cover a Tax For Gays

There is a crucial flaw in your argument: Neither animals nor children can give informed consent, and that is why marriages with them are not permitted. I don't think anyone can argue that homosexual persons are incapable of giving informed consent.

(Group marriages are an entirely different issue, because society has come to associate them both with shady tax manipulation as well as underage 'marriages'. Those were the reasons they were made illegal, rather than any inherent issue. I personally have no interest in group marriages, but feel that they should be permitted provided that 1.) They provide no financial benefit beyond what a single marriage provides [thus eliminating the shady tax manipulation] and 2.) that they follow the existing laws regarding informed consent [thus eliminating the pedophilia sub-issue])

tl;dr:
1.) Restrictions who is eligible for marriage should be limited to issues of consent
2.) Financial benefits from marriage should be identical in all cases

Anything beyond that is not the government's business.

On a side topic, I find myself wondering how long the Republican Party can continue to exist as a single entity, when it has two diametrically opposed motivations. Motivation #1 is 'small government' - that the government should stay out of citizens' private lives. Motivation #2 is the 'moral crusade' - the portion of the party that feels that gay marriage is immoral, etc. These motivations are opposed because while #1 decries any invasion of individuals' right to make their own choices, #2 requires such invasions to succeed.

Comment: Re:Firefox futures (Score 1) 261

by Draykwing (#32662784) Attached to: Firefox 3.6.4 Released With Out-of-Process Plugins
Backspace or alt+left_arrow for back, alt+right_arrow for forward. HTH, HAND. Firefox for Linux disables backspace acting as back in the default build, but you can re-enable it by setting browser.backspace_action to 0 in about:config. The alt+arrow_key ones work in every browser I've ever used. (IE on Windows, Opera on Windows and Linux, Chrome on Windows and Linux, Firefox on Windows and Linux, Konqueror on Linux, Arora on Linux)

Comment: Re:End of Firefox? (Score 2, Interesting) 477

by Draykwing (#32225618) Attached to: Firefox With H.264 HTML 5 Support = Wild Fox

..could Firefox devs not offer a means to pipe the video stream to the player of the user's choice? Eg, vlc or mplayer running as a content-transparent plugin?

There's a patch floating around if Firefox's bugzilla that uses GStreamer as the backend for the <video> tag, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=422540

Internet Explorer

Schooling Microsoft On Random Browser Selection 436

Posted by kdawson
from the let-me-show-it-you dept.
Rob Weir got wind that a Slovakian tech site had been discussing the non-randomness of Microsoft's intended-to-be-random browser choice screen, which went into effect on European Windows 7 systems last week. He did some testing and found that indeed the order in which the five browser choices appear on the selection screen is far from random — though probably not intentionally slanted. He then proceeds to give Microsoft a lesson in random-shuffle algorithms. "This computational problem has been known since the earliest days of computing. There are 5 well-known approaches: 3 good solutions, 1 acceptable solution that is slower than necessary and 1 bad approach that doesn’t really work. Microsoft appears to have picked the bad approach. But I do not believe there is some nefarious intent to this bug. It is more in the nature of a 'naive algorithm,' like the bubble sort, that inexperienced programmers inevitably will fall upon when solving a given problem. I bet if we gave this same problem to 100 freshmen computer science majors, at least 1 of them would make the same mistake. But with education and experience, one learns about these things. And one of the things one learns early on is to reach for Knuth. ... The lesson here is that getting randomness on a computer cannot be left to chance. You cannot just throw Math.random() at a problem and stir the pot and expect good results."

Comment: Re:Proxy is overkill (Score 1) 228

by Draykwing (#30828708) Attached to: Hiding From Google
My solution back in high school, which was the last time I ran into Websense (I'm in college now), was to get a portable app named TorFox or something of the sort. Of course, since I'm a firm believer in the idea that censoring information is a cure that is invariably worse than the disease, I proceeded to distribute it. To my classmates at first, but I told them to keep distributing it, and also gave it to anyone who asked. No idea if they've gotten it to block Tor yet though.

Comment: Re:Is there an IRC chat bot? (Score 2, Informative) 148

by Draykwing (#30796734) Attached to: CMU Web-Scraping Learns English, One Word At a Time
Well, Bucket's based on the (rather widespread) 'infobot' Perl program. The original infobot is hosted at http://sourceforge.net/projects/infobot/, but the XKCD variant of Bucket has a very detailed page showing the various interactions one can have with it, as well as a link to the Github page. See http://wiki.xkcd.com/irc/Bucket.

Comment: Re:This has taken too long (Score 2, Informative) 160

by Draykwing (#30350788) Attached to: The Perl 6 Advent Calendar
In addition to what wayland++ said, there's also the fact that the Perl 6 implementation on Parrot, called Rakudo, is intended to be able to mix programming languages with great ease. For example, one syntax that's been bandied about is this:
use v6;
# Perl 6 goes here
{
use P5;
# Hey, now I'm writing Perl 5 code!
}
# I'm writing Perl 6 again!

The amazing thing is that the object models will be able to interact, which means that CPAN modules will be trivially usable. That's a different kind of interop from what I showed above, and it's working (to a degree) now. Of course, the languages it works between are Cardinal (Ruby on Parrot), PIR (Parrot's native language), and Rakudo (Perl 6 on Parrot). The syntax is currently like this:
use opengl:from<PIR>;

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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