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Comment Not bad, not great (Score 1) 584

So $1 a week is doable. I'd be willing to pay $4/mo for any number of high-quality sites (Wired, Ars, NYT, etc. - the biggies). On the other hand, I'd also like to echo many other people in this tread: the problem isn't ads, it's the third-party ads delivered via ad networks via HTML/JS/Flash/etc..

I might still pay the $4/mo to get rid of the ads, but I'd also be fine whitelisting Wired if they served ads first-party that were vetted by Wired staff (like they used to do with print ads). Right now, I'll simply not patronize any site that disallows ad blockers. That's crazy talk, and dangerous to boot.

Comment Kinda Pricey... (Score 1) 584

Given that I never paid more than around $20/year for their print subscription, that's a bit steep. I'm all for subscription models for my favorite sites (Wired's one that I go to for entertaining tech news). $5-10 a year, and I'm in.

Heck, for that price, I'll even be OK with static ads that I know are sourced by Wired directly. Wired's demographics are people who like geeky toys. A few car companies could probably fund the whole site. You don't need targeted tracking and all the schemes to make sure everyone who ever showed an ad to the user gets a cut of the sale. Keep it simple!


Comment Re:Cores Schmores (Score 1) 136

They didn't, the fastest P4 Xeon outperformed the fastest Athlons, but for any given Athlon the equivalent speed P4 was a lot more expensive. Once the Opterons came out, that changed: if you wanted the fastest x86 chip you could buy, you bought from AMD, especially in multi-socket configurations (quad-processor Opterons wiped the floor with memory-starved quad Xeons until Intel integrated the memory controller on die). Worse (for Intel), if you were willing to recompile your code you could get another 20+% out of the Opterons using the x86-64 ISA (more GPRs and cheaper PIC made a big difference, and a floating point ABI that used SSE exclusively and not x87 could give you a 100% speedup in float-heavy code, where even if the x86-32 compiler was using SSE registers for compute it was still losing performance moving them to and from the x87 register stack for function calls / returns).

Comment Re:I am not a physicist but... (Score 2) 313

If memory serves, and google says it does, the temperature of the sun is around 15 million K. I'm not gonna bother googling it, but I'm pretty sure 15 million K is lower (much, much lower) than absolute 0. So the numbers flat out don't work.

A. The reaction rates differ by about 16 orders of magnitude: The sun is going to run about 10 billion years with no refueling. A Tokamak fusion reactor would run for a few seconds or minutes.
2. The sun is using a completely different set of nuclear reactions with completely different fuel. There is no direct comparison anyway.

Comment Re:The one lesson developers should learn (Score 4, Insightful) 39

There's nothing wrong with depending on 3rd party tools and products. The problem is that most of the REST APIs that people are more and more dependent on are services, not traditional libraries.

If a library vendor goes out of business, I still have the last copy of the library and possibly even the source code. My product can continue to function until I find a suitable replacement. This is an acceptable cost of doing business, especially since commonly used libraries rarely just disappear.

If a service API goes down, my product is essentially bricked until I find and implement a replacement. This is one of those risks that most modern (er, young) developers don't appreciate. We haven't had a bust yet that shuts down a number of services over a relatively short period of time (hint: if you're using the service for free/at-a-cost-less-than-power-consumption or if it's not the vendor's core business, such as Parse, there's a good chance it will go away at some point). When that happens, the successful apps that relied on less successful services will be in a tough spot.

It'd be fun to do an analysis of the various API services people use and their interdependencies. I bet we'd find a few really scary single points of failure...


Comment Re:Cores Schmores (Score 3, Informative) 136

The Thunderbird was nice, but it was more of a price/performance winner than overall performance. A 1GHz Thunderbird ran stable at 1.3GHz and was similar performance to a 2GHz Pentium 4 at a fraction of the cost (particularly as the P4 required RAMBUS DRAM, so you could stick twice as much DDR in Athlon for the same money). It wasn't until the Opteron that AMD really started winning on performance. The integrated DRAM controller was a big win and being first to 64 bits (which, on x86, means more GPRs, sane floating point ISA, and PC-relative addressing) gave them a huge advantage. Unfortunately, they haven't really been competitive since the Core 2, except in market segments where Intel intentionally cripples their offerings (e.g. no more than 2 SATA ports on the Atom Mini-ITX boards to avoid competition with the i3 boards, making AMD the only viable option).

Comment Re: All I know is that this: (Score 2) 272

It's about both cost and risk analysis. If you've got a lot of infrastructure, then you've probably already got a team of decent admins. Adding another server has a very small marginal cost. If you haven't, then the cost is basically the cost of hiring a sysadmin. Even the cheapest full-time sysadmin costs a lot more than you can easily spend with GitHub. Alternatively, you get one of your devs to run it. Now you have a service that is only understood well by one person, where installing security updates (let alone testing them first) is nowhere near that top priority in that person's professional life, and where at even one hour a week spent on sysadmin tasks you're still spending a lot more than an equivalent service from GitHub would cost.

In both of the latter cases, the competition for GitHub isn't a competent and motivated in-house team. It is almost certainly better to run your own infrastructure well, but the competition for GitHub is running your own infrastructure badly and they're a very attractive proposition in that comparison.

Outsourcing things that are not your core competency is not intrinsically bad, the problem is when people outsource things that are their core competency (e.g. software companies deciding to outsource all of the development - it's not a huge step from there to the people working for the outsourcing company to decide to also handle outsourcing management and start up a competitor, with all of the expertise that should be yours), or outsourcing without doing a proper cost-benefit analysis (other than 'oh, look, it's cheaper this quarter!').

If you think outsourcing storage of documents is bad remember that, legal companies, hospitals and so on have been doing this for decades without issues - storing large quantities of paper / microfiche is not their core competency and there are companies that can, due to economies of scale, do it much cheaper. Oh, and if that still scares you, remember that most companies outsource storing all of their money as well...

Comment Re:The gun is pointing at the foot (Score 1) 419

Something of a biased set. I've been using Firefox on Android for over a year, and I am very happy with it. I wasn't aware until your post that Mozilla was collecting satisfaction stats, and even now I can't really be bothered to post there - but I probably would if I were unhappy with it. Firefox with the self-destructing cookies add-on is the only mobile browser that I've found that gives me the cookie management policy that I want.

Comment Re:Firefox 44 (Score 1) 419

Perhaps they're expecting people to install add-ons? Fine-grained cookie management was why I switched to Firefox on Android, but I actually ended up using the self-destructing cookies add-on, which has exactly the policy that I want: any site can set a cookie, but unless I explicitly opt in (which I can do retroactively with the undelete button) to keeping it, then it's deleted when I navigate away from the site. Everything works as if I had cookies set to automatically accept, but doesn't get to persist any state for me across visits unless I permit it to.

Comment Re:legalism is a crap philosophy. (Score 1) 582

Because, of course, the great majority of people carefully analyze the potential hazards that might appear on a road, such as cars backing out of driveways, and slow down to a speed that allows time to avoid collisions.

That's why, for instance, nobody ever runs into boulders on the road when driving around curves on mountain roads -- they know that turn very well and regardless of the silly regulatory 40 mph sign they know it's perfectly safe at 65.

Submission + - Hillary Clinton Forwarded Classified E-Mail From John Kerry Private Account (

An anonymous reader writes: The latest batch of emails released from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's home brew personal email server includes an email (pdf) sent from then Senator John Kerry, head of the Senate foreign relations committee, using an unofficial account. As Hot Air notes, "The e-mail in question has four sections redacted in the body, two of which are explicitly marked as SECRET. The declassification date is 5/27/2036, exactly twenty-five years after the original transmission of the message — indicating that the information within it was classified at that time, not by the Inspector General or the State Department as a precaution on its discovery within the system." Hillary Clinton then forwarded that information to another person in the State Department. Also copied on the email was President Obama's National Security Adviser, which raises the questions of what did the White House know, and when did it know it?

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