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Comment: Re:Still photos (Score 1) 180

by ultranova (#49364835) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

You are assuming we have to pander to pilots preferences. Just TELL them, "you will be videoed or alternatively you can choose another profession".

And some percentage of them will, which makes the available pool of pilots at a given price smaller, resulting in either lower quality or higher prices or both.

Comment: Re:WIMPs (Score 1) 213

by ultranova (#49364229) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "alter orbital structure and energy levels"?

I mean part of the electrostatic attraction between atomic nucleus and orbiting electrons should be countered by expansion of space between them, which in turn affects stable electron orbits. In fact all forces should get weaker with distance faster in an expanding space than in flat space.

Electromagnetic force is mediated by virtual photons, who's wavelength gets longer as space expands, thus sapping electromagnetism of some of its native strength and somewhat altering the lowest-energy point of all structures held together by it.

Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 71

by ultranova (#49364033) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

I was a little confused when I saw that wording in the story, and now that I'm hearing this wording is the important part, I'm getting a little concerned. Are we not all citizens? Have we been divided into citizens and ruling class, now?

We've always been divided into serfs and lords. Human spirit simply doesn't have the strength to resist using power to get more. The lords, blinded by the seeming invincibility of their position and the system which grants it then end up draining that very system to the point of collapse and revolution, and the cycle repeats.

Whether it can be broken is anyone's guess. Democracy has slowed and complicated the gravitational collapse of current system somewhat, but it couldn't alter the end result, since all manifestations of power in our societies are not under democratic control, and are thus free to join biggest existing masses of power and make them even bigger.

I'm all for popularizing science among all citizens, but I'd rather we word that as "science for the masses" or something.

That very desire should already answer your question. As our masters keep telling us: if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.

Comment: Re:The true sticking point - China (Score 1) 129

by khallow (#49363977) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

But you remember Ukraine ONLY, not North Caucasus, not Volga region. Why?

Because most of the deaths were Ukrainian as reported by Wikipedia's sources. And Ukrainians would have died elsewhere than just in the Ukraine. A lot of people had been moved around during this period.

Second, I find it interesting that considerable argument has been put forth that there was a weather/climate contribution to the Holodomor, but no one can say what this contribution was. Along this vein, I see no evidence that Romania was suffering from this famine despite being right next to the Ukraine. Instead, their cereal production was higher in 1933 (which would have been the peak of the famine) than in 1932, despite a nasty economic depression.

Comment: Re:DVD patents expiring (Score 1) 64

by evilviper (#49363805) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

At least the patents on DVDs are expiring if not already expired. The first DVD player was sold in 1996, and patents can be good for up to 20 years from the filing date, so it would seem that by late next year, all necessary patents should have expired.

This is HORRIBLE legal advice. Patent laws were different before 1996, that's why MP3 patents are still around (and will be until 2017) despite the fact that specifications were published back in 1991!

In the United States, "patents filed prior to 8 June 1995 expire 17 years after the publication date of the patent, but application extensions make it possible for a patent to issue" quite a few years after initial filing.

MP3 patents have mostly expired, though one US patent expires later this year.

I wish that was true, but it's certainly not:

Comment: Re:The true sticking point - China (Score 1) 129

by khallow (#49363741) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

1) "Terror" famine in 30-s was EVERYWHERE in USSR. There are some territorial variations of famine but they are depended on structure of agriculture, not on nationality. Being a grandson of kulak I know these facts from my parents.

Those "territorial variations" ended up with Ukraine getting much harder than anywhere else.

2) The famine was result of mass exchange of grain to Western industrial technologies, and destruction of peasantry created masses of hungry industrial workers. Both were needed to survive WWII.

This is an interesting rationalization. We have here the bald assertions that Russia had to starve Ukrainians in order to have industrial technologies and that there had to be "destruction of peasantry" resulting in "masses of hungry industrial workers" in order to survive WWII.

The US went through trying times too during that part of history, but they didn't have to starve millions of an uppity ethnic group in order to survive those times.

Comment: Re:The true sticking point - China (Score 1) 129

by khallow (#49363599) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

Actually, there's nothing really secret about TDRSS.

They're encrypted, TDRSS communications is routed through US military infrastructure, and the US military is the primary user of the system. There might not be much secret about the TDRSS system and protocols, but a lot of stuff associated with it is secret (in the sense of (IMHO legitimately) classified as secret).

Comment: Re:The true sticking point - China (Score 0) 129

by khallow (#49363103) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

That is the sticking point - USA, a racist country, doesn't want anybody from China to get into space

No, the US, a racist country, doesn't want its stuff stolen by China, another racist country. Given that the US already works with Russia, Japan, and the ESA countries, which are all racist countries, I'm sure something can be arranged. Probably what would happen is that the relatively secret stuff that the US has on the ISS like the communication system (TRDSS) will either be opened up or a few wheels will be reinvented in order to eliminate a good portion of the stuff that China would want to steal.

Moving on, I think the real problem with this concept is how badly the ISS turned out. It's an awful lot of money spent for little outcome. I suspect that the parties involved would both want a bigger and flashier space station than the ISS, would want the US to pay most of the cost, and there would be the same massive inefficiencies, vast cost overruns, and corruption as were present in ISS

Comment: Re:When did validation actually help anyone? (Score 1) 146

That's why you don't use newer features until they're absorbed by the standard.

Well, OK, so when should I expect that I can build a brochure site for a hotel that uses HTML5 videos and have one video format and one set of custom controls to work with? Because the world has moved on and Flash is no longer a viable option for this kind of work despite offering those advantages for many years, thanks to much the same browser developers who can't get their act together and actually provide a better replacement. They can't even manage to make the default "this is a video" overlay look the same, or even put it in roughly the same place so you can design placeholder graphics accordingly.

If your company's video site actually is YouTube then this kind of problem probably doesn't affect you all that much. However, for normal web sites that are just trying to take advantage of multimedia as part of the presentation, HTML5 audio and video are a bad joke, and the punchline is that all the much better technologies that used to be viable alternatives have been deliberately killed off anyway.

You may not care for the practice, but nothing leaves my hands into production until it validates

But this brings us back to the original question from my first post in this thread: why? What objective advantage do you or your employer/client gain by insisting on such compliance?

I do sympathise with your position, in that it should be an advantage to follow standards, and browser compatibility now and in the future should be practically guaranteed by doing so. The world would be a better place if this were the reality. But it isn't, and so pragmatically, I'd rather build web sites and apps that work than sites and apps that dogmatically tick the right boxes even though it requires more effort and offers no demonstrable benefit.

Comment: Re:When did validation actually help anyone? (Score 1) 146

Were you doing websites 10 or 15 years ago? I was. Browser compatibility today is phenomenal in comparison.

Yes, I was, and I respectfully disagree. Browsers today do a lot more, but frequently the support for newer features is so specific to each browser and in some cases so unstable that it is completely useless for real world projects, it requires silly amounts of boilerplate and prefixing (= will break at some future point you can't predict, so also useless for production sites that won't have ongoing maintenance), or at best it requires implementing something in multiple independent ways.

An example of useful standardisation would have been all browsers using the same default stylesheet. Imagine how much developer time could have been saved and how many glitches could have been avoided over the years if we had never needed things like CSS resets or Normalize.

If it breaks my JS or CSS, I won't use it unless the stakeholder absolutely insists.

But the point is that these non-standard-compliant implementation techniques don't break anything in practice, because every browser is tolerant of them and will always remain so because far too much would break otherwise. The only downside to not following those standards is that someone can complain you're not following their preferred standards. And someone always will, but unless it really does matter (for example, because it excludes customers and damages your bottom line, or it actually does undermine some sort of accessibility aid) you can just ignore them.

Comment: When did validation actually help anyone? (Score 1) 146

In my opinion governments should require that their sites are passing the HTML Validator and CSS validator tests.

Genuine questions: Who do you think that would help, and why?

This kind of validation can be useful if you need to follow a standard for something to work. If browsers all followed proper de jure standards then this would offer a useful benefit for compatibility, particularly forward compatibility with future browsers.

Unfortunately, most of the major browsers today do not do this at all consistently. Even some of the people writing the standards have basically given up. (HTML5 "living standard"? Seriously? If it changes arbitrarily then it's not a standard.)

The de facto standards that actually matter are how real browsers behave, which dictate whether your page looks right in the browsers your visitors are using today. Nothing else you do today is guaranteed to work tomorrow without regular attention anyway, which is foolish regression from the situation a few years ago for which we can thank Google and Mozilla, but it's the reality all the same.

In my entire career doing Web work -- which is measured in decades -- I'm not sure I have ever seen an example where a project was objectively better off because it routinely enforced having valid mark-up and stylesheets. I have, however, seen plenty of cases where someone has deliberately deviated from W3C standards for a specific, useful reason.

For example, Google have been known to omit mark-up that they were sure wasn't necessary in any browser in order to save a few bytes. Multiply those bytes by a bazillion visitors to their site every day and that's a lot of traffic saved overall. Another common case is trendy MVC frameworks like Angular, which often use non-standard attributes on HTML elements for their own purposes. They could use standard "data-*" attributes, but once you've got a few of those sitting on many elements in your mark-up, it's just noise and excess weight, so they use their own prefix for namespacing instead. And yet, I don't see anyone claiming that either Google's search engine or Angular as a JS framework have failed as a result of these heinous crimes...

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