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Comment Re:Priceless (Score 1) 108

No it isn't.

The web has video that works these days, yes. This is progress. It also has platforms like Twitter and Facebook that encourage ordinary people to publish and hyperlink to things, even if those people are not wordsmiths and would never have had a regular blog.

Despite all these wonderful new things, I have not noticed people suddenly ceasing to write long form articles. It's been purely additive.

Comment Are they sure? (Score 4, Interesting) 114

I didn't actually see any evidence of Facebook censoring content because it's insulting to Ataturk on the linked page. The "evidence" appears to be a document that doesn't mention Facebook anywhere, but, let's take it as read that this really is a list of Facebook content abuse standards.

Even with that assumption, things related to Turkey are not listed as always banned. They are under a section labelled "escalate", meaning, if it gets hot, send it to management.

It may well be that Facebook has decided to enforce Turkish laws about this in order to get themselves unbanned there. But it may also be that upper management just wants more precise control over this hot potato. Once I see a clear message from Facebook saying a group was suspended for violating Turkish censorship laws, then I'll agree.

Comment Re:The Firefox OS project needs to be terminated. (Score 1) 103

In fact, as a developer, Firefox OS is much more closed to me than Android or iOS are.


The problem with FirefoxOS can be summed up in one word: web. The Mozilla guys have NEVER accepted that the web is a shitty platform. The closest they ever came to that was inventing XUL and XBL, but I read that they have been trying to move away from them for a long time in favour of (gah) HTML 5.

Android and iOS utterly spank FirefoxOS because the engineers who built them have no starry-eyed ideological driven illusions about web technologies. Android manages to be open through the clever trick of .... wait for it .... being open source. Not marriage to a more or less randomly evolved technology stack. iOS simply doesn't care: it's an explicit non-goal for them.

Mozilla will continue to waste effort on ridiculous projects like this until they accept the fundamental truth that Javascript is not the worlds best language, HTML is not a particularly great layout language and CSS is not a great styling language. And the combination of all of them is less than the sum of its parts.

Comment Re:Not Quite (Score 1) 66

For many software patents, I'd agree with you.

The problem with video compression is that many of the patents involved do represent real research, the expensive kind. They aren't one-click shopping patents. They're fundamentally pushing forward the state of the art. The people who do that work are expensive and need a lot of time, so, there has to be some way to pay for their efforts. Google's approach of subsidising all research via search ads is perhaps not as robust as one might hope for, even though it's convenient at the moment.

I don't know if DASH specifically is complex enough to deserve patent protection, but if you look at the massive efforts that go into the development of codecs like h.264, h.265 etc, the picture gets more complex. It's not pharmaceutical level research budgets but it's probably the closest the software world gets.

Comment Re:Closed Ecosystem (Score 1) 92

No, the issue is that it's open source and carriers customise the components. Android had a working online update infrastructure since day one, actually since before Apple did. But that's no use when the first thing OEMs do is repoint those mechanisms at their own servers and make huge changes to the code.

The comparisons with Linux are especially strange. Guess what? Upstreams who develop software for Linux and see it get repackaged by distributors are in exactly the same boat as Google. They see their software get packaged up, distributed, bugs possibly introduced and then upgrades may or may not make it to users. Yeah yeah, Debian say they backport security fixes. That's great when it's a popular package and a one liner. When the security fix in question is a major architectural upgrade, like adding a sandbox to an app, then users just get left behind on old versions without the upgrades because that's the "stable" version.

And of course many users are on Linux distros that stop being supported pretty quick. Then you're in the same boat as Android: old versions don't get updates.

Comment Re:Is it 64-bit yet? (Score 1) 132

Sounds like the answer is "64 bit is hard work and we'd rather do other things + it'd break our plugins". Same issue everyone else faced when porting to 64 bit. And apparently it's easier to port code to run on the .NET VM than port it the old fashioned way whilst keeping it as unmanaged C++?

Secondly, from a cost perspective, probably the shortest path to porting Visual Studio to 64 bit is to port most of it to managed code incrementally and then port the rest. The cost of a full port of that much native code is going to be quite high and of course all known extensions would break and we’d basically have to create a 64 bit ecosystem pretty much like you do for drivers. Ouch.


But the .NET 64 bit JIT has historically been very low throughput, and the CLR is a less advanced VM than the JVM which can run code in an interpreter until compiled code is ready, so slow compiler == slow startup and high latencies on loading new screens, etc. Not good for a desktop app.

Comment Worthless judgement (Score 2) 64

This isn't going to make any difference.

The EU "Right to Privacy" and indeed all the human rights encoded in the relevant document are so riddled with exceptions that you can drive a bus through them. The fact that any government lost at all is amazing and surely the result of incompetent lawyering. From the text:

There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The national security exception by itself seems enough to allow nearly anything, but then they add public safety and economic well being on top! In fact every reason a government might have for engaging in surveillance is covered, which cannot be an accident.

But anyway, GCHQ is not about to suddenly discover that it cares about these things. It's been obvious since the start that the 5 Eyes agencies perceive themselves as being entirely outside ordinary democratic constraints, unfortunately, that perception is largely true as senior ministers think real life is like an episode of 24 and gives them essentially blanket immunity to do whatever they like.

Comment Re:another win for the 1% (Score 1) 432

Yes, I had the same experience the few times I've used Uber. The drivers always seem happy. They don't feel like they're being exploited and often feel it was an upgrade on what they were previously doing. The flexibility comes up a lot too.

Whilst it's just anecdotes, that would still seem to be a serious problem for the "Uber is exploiting the poor proles" camp.

Where are the calculations that go with a calculated risk?