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Comment: Re:jscript (Score 2, Informative) 505

by timmyd (#46128963) Attached to: The JavaScript Juggernaut Rolls On

You might want to look at TypeScript if you're already using Visual Studio. It infers types, type checks your code, is open source, and supports writing plain JavaScript. When using Visual Studio, you can do the things you're used to doing like "go to definition" and "find all references". If you decide to annotate your definitions with types, it can do type checking and catch errors which is really useful when you need to refactor a lot of code. The video at the bottom of is a really good tutorial. It compiles to JavaScript and accepts plain JavaScript so you can use it without having to rewrite all your code.


Australia Elects Libertarian-Leaning Senator (By Accident) 343

Posted by timothy
from the people's-popular-front-of-new-south-wales-came-in-third dept.
LordLucless writes "Australia's Liberal Democratic Party, which describes itself as a classically liberal, free-market libertarian party, has had their candidate for New South Wales elected to the upper house, with roughly double the number of votes they were expecting. In part, this has been attributed to them being placed first on the ballot paper (which is determined by a random process) and similarities in name to one of the major parties, the Liberal Party of Australia."

Comment: Re:Chrome and IE (Score 2) 151

by courtarro (#41229389) Attached to: Firefox, Opera Allow Phishing By Data URI Claims New Paper

To solve this latency problem, most well-designed websites use a single large GIF or PNG for all their tiny CSS images, then slice the image to indicate each independent icon, border, etc. This not only reduces the total image overhead but also greatly reduces the total number of 304s to receive.

Example: one of Facebook's icon resource files

Comment: Re:Why not link to the original video? (Score 4, Informative) 105

by SKPhoton (#36280846) Attached to: Time Lapse Video of the VLT In Chile
It actually isn't traditional HDR (where multiple exposures are combined into one frame to create a final image with higher dynamic range.) What you're talking about is somehow gradually increasing the exposure to progressively let more light in as it gets darker as the sun sets. There's currently no magical way to achieve this, but there are a number of different techniques that people have implemented thus far including using light meters to watch the ambient light and either lengthen the shutter speed or gradually stop down the lens aperture, using multiple cameras to bracket different exposures and bounce between the cameras in post-processing, and so on.

You can read about these techniques in more detail at the very bottom of this tutorial under the header labeled Timelapse "Holy Grail"? Sunset, Sunrise, Day to Night Transitions.

Comment: Re:Didn't do the math (Score 2) 294

by courtarro (#34889630) Attached to: Amazon, Not Developers, Will Set New App Store's Prices
A similar rule applies to amateur rally races in Finland, covered on the BBC show Top Gear. In folk racing, every car is given a nominal and equal value, such as €1000. At the end of a race, if anyone asks to buy your car then you have you sell it to them, which keeps anyone from putting too much into a car.

Comment: Kids these days? (Score 4, Insightful) 510

by courtarro (#33735708) Attached to: Android Software Piracy Rampant

Android Market apps are mostly super cheap. Who can't afford $1 on a game they'll play for a few days non-stop? Or a few bucks on a ROM management app? Prices for most paid apps are so low that I imagine that the largest barrier to entry is not price, but the effort required to set up one or more credit cards. My hypothesis, for that reason, is that a large portion of the piracy comes from the age 15-20 crowd who have fancy phones and lots of free time to figure out piracy options, but no credit card(s).

Google can greatly reduce this kind of piracy by working out pricing deals with the carriers to allow charges to appear on phone bills. How else would the ringtone industry thrive as it has? Verizon certainly doesn't offer a direct-bill Android Market option. Maybe this is already the case on other carriers? How does piracy compare in those cases?

Another annoyance of the Market is currency conversion. I've bought apps for sale in both Yen and Euros, and for those purchases I had to set up a Visa card since my AMEX didn't support foreign purchases (on the Market, at least). Most users don't want to deal with that kind of crap ... again, piracy is easier. Can't Google Checkout handle currency conversion on the developer's end without hassling end-users?


Lego 'CubeDudes' By PIXAR Animator 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the toy-art dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PIXAR Animator Angus MacLane has created an incredible series of LEGO 'CubeDudes' modeled after beloved characters from sci-fi movies and comic books. From Star Wars heroes R2D2 and C-3PO to Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear and Jessie, the pixellated creations bear a remarkable likeness to their forebears. MacLane says, 'When I had a moment here and there I chip away at a few at a time. I'll have the body of one Dude and a head of another that I will be working on at the same time. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to make one CubeDude and I average about two a day.' The hardest part is the color palette — LEGO doesn't make purple bricks, so villains like Lex Luthor, The Joker, and Grimace are a challenge."

Comment: Re:For those complaining (Score 3, Insightful) 258

by courtarro (#32663520) Attached to: New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again

This is true until they release a first-party game with the update included as a requirement. For example, Super Mario Galaxy 2 includes the 4.2 system update and requires you to update your system before you can play the game ... unless you start the game with a homebrew tool that blocks the update. Funny how the very feature they're trying to remove is capable of blocking the removal.

Homebrew users know to avoid system updates at all costs, so the only people affected by them are people who have not yet hacked their Wii. Once updated, though, those people will have a harder time installing homebrew should they choose to try it.


WordPress 3.0 Released 79

Posted by timothy
from the now-even-wordier dept.
An anonymous reader writes "WordPress 3.0, the thirteenth major release of WordPress and the culmination of half a year of work by 218 contributors, is now available for download and comes with 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements. Major new features in this release include a new default theme called Twenty Ten. Theme developers have new APIs that allow them easily to implement custom backgrounds, headers, shortlinks, menus (no more file editing), post types, and taxonomies."

Comment: Re:Pay for service, not hours (Score 1) 335

by be-fan (#30899678) Attached to: Universal, Pay Those EFFing Lawyers

1) Lot's of software engineers do get paid by the hour, for similar reasons. It's not really always predictable work.

2) A lawyer has to deal with opposing counsel screwing up with his work. Usually software engineers don't have to deal with sentient beings in their computer adding bugs.

3) There is a huge difference in information accessibility. The information you need to know to, say, write a program is there and (relatively) easily accessible to you. The information you need to build a case may be in the minds and desks and file cabinets of someone who has every incentive to try to keep it from you. You may not have any idea until you get far into the discovery process how much a case will actually cost to litigate.

Comment: Re:Safe Harbor Limits for Fair Use (Score 1) 335

by be-fan (#30899454) Attached to: Universal, Pay Those EFFing Lawyers

Laws are written by lawyers, voted in by politicians (80% of which are/were lawyers), and judged by judges who were lawyers.

Loopholes and vague wording are things that lawyers are GOOD at creating in our system. They are lawyers, they are supposed to be smart enough to make laws very clear; yet wherever you look, laws are written with loopholes and vague wording that permit loads of points of contention to which lawyers must be hired to resolve...

The law tries to be clear, but it never can be because it's fundamentally trying to encode all sorts of fuzzy human emotions/motivations/tendencies, etc.

Let's take your lawyer-free utopia. Rules are crystal clear and the process of checking whether a rule has been followed is straightforward and mechanical. How do you handle something like a fair use rule? A 30 second time limit? What if it's a 35 second clip that's on quietly in the background of an Indie movie? What if it's a 15 second clip of an advertisement lifted directly from a competing company's ad?

Look at laws that have crystal clear applications: statutory rape laws. Did they have sex? If yes, is she under 17? If yes, then guilty! No mind that it was her 18 year old boyfriend. How about drug possession? No need for judges to do the sentencing, we can simply make sentencing mechanical. 10 years for 10 grams, 100 years for 100 grams. No need to consider stuff like that the same amount of LSD can weigh a ton more when it's dissolved in sugar cubes rather than blotter paper.

The criminal justice system is one of those areas where lawyers and judges have been taken out of the loop, with 95% of cases being disposed of quickly through plea bargaining and sentencing being dictated by tables and formulas. It is also one of the most completely messed up, random, and downright unfair areas of the law.

Comment: MIT versus the world (Score 5, Informative) 68

by courtarro (#30331242) Attached to: MIT and the DARPA Network Challenge

MIT's strategy is very interesting. Several groups (like our team) have been forming their teams for weeks, but MIT appeared on the scene just today, and it's fascinating that they got a front-page Slashdot plug. I give them lots of credit for flooding the scene with mentions in such a short time. Whereas some teams give their winnings to charity (like ours), others entice balloon spotters with cash portions of the earnings, and MIT has decided to do a little of both.

DARPA is the sole decider of how difficult this competition will be. Will they place the balloons in dense urban areas, or will the launch them in small rural communities?

Best of luck to all the teams tomorrow, MIT included. I hope that the contest winner will write a paper describing their strategy, both in network-building and in launch-day data collection.

Comment: Re:Questions? (Score 2, Informative) 540

by SKPhoton (#30314716) Attached to: Google Launches Public DNS Resolver
You can view the Google Public DNS privacy and logging policies here. (It's nice and relatively short. Very un-EULA-ish.)

From the page:

We don't correlate or combine your information from these logs with any other log data that Google might have about your use of other services, such as data from Web Search and data from advertising on the Google content network.

Assembly language experience is [important] for the maturity and understanding of how computers work that it provides. -- D. Gries