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Comment: Re:Is this really hacking? (Score 1) 703

by Sparkycat (#34502742) Attached to: WikiLeaks Defenders Threaten Amazon

The fact that Amazon stopped hosting Wikileaks — but is now selling an e-book edition of the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks — could reasonably be considered cause for outrage.

A better analogy for Operation Payback might be a sit-in, where protesters block a public space with the intention of garnering coverage through inconvenience.

Comment: The Golden Age of browsers (Score 5, Insightful) 120

by Sparkycat (#34479290) Attached to: Google Quietly Posts Big JavaScript Engine Update

We'll all look back on this era as a golden age for browser competition and progress.

I can't even think of an analogous situation, with four different entities with vastly different philosophies, improving their browsers at a breakneck pace, embracing(at least publicly) open standards over proprietary technology, and competing almost exclusively on the merits of their products.

Comment: Re:Urine? (Score 1) 322

by Sparkycat (#33562262) Attached to: Is DIY Algae Farming the Future?

That may be true enough for some cancers, especially ones that cluster in older demographics, like prostate or colon cancer.

Longer life spans don't explain geographic cancer clusters though, especially when those clusters tend to be in low-income population centers near industrial facilities that use and/or produce lots of carcinogenic chemicals and/or byproducts.

Comment: Re:What should do (Score 2, Interesting) 323

by Sparkycat (#33451670) Attached to: Woman Wins Libel Suit By Suing Wrong Website

The lawyer would have at least gone to the website with her in person. If she cared that much about some nasty comment in a website, you think she would notice that the lawyer was on the wrong site, wouldn't you?


If you are pissed about some website, you don't exactly forget what the website looked like!

Not necessarily. Remember a little while back, when a quirk in google's page ranking sent searches of "" to an unrelated news site? Hundreds of non-techie users were extremely confused, trying to "log into facebook" through the news site's comment form.

Just because you would never forget what a website looks like, doesn't mean a less net-savvy person and her lawyer wouldn't.

Comment: Re:Just a passing fad or... (Score 1) 521

by Sparkycat (#33137690) Attached to: Filmmakers Resisting Hollywood's 3-D Push

But is modern 3D more like the introduction of color, or more like the introduction of Smell-O-Vision? One was a genuine sea change in cinema, and one was a pointless gimmick; I think the jury is still out.

Film audiences were initially pretty lukewarm about color films, it took movies like the Wizard of Oz for audiences to really grok the potential of the technology from an artistic and storytelling point of view. As far as 3D goes, I don't think we've seen that yet. Avatar was well constructed, but it didn't provide that kind of revelatory experience.

I'm skeptical that 3D will find that moment, but something like a big-budget film version of, say, Karl Schroeder's Virga series could be it.

Comment: Earth-like may be the exception, not the rule (Score 3, Interesting) 206

by Sparkycat (#33047256) Attached to: Kepler Investigator Says 'Galaxy Is Rich In Earth-Like Planets'

It's great that we can now detect Earth-sized planets, but it's starting to look like Jovian moons are a more common life-friendly environment. In our solar system alone there are three, possibly four moons of Jupiter and Saturn that may be able to support life.

Since the moons get most of their heat from the gravitational pull of their planets rather than from their star, they aren't dependent on getting lucky in the narrow "Goldilocks Zone" of a system.

It may be that aquatic, vent-feeding moon ecosystems make up the vast majority of life in the universe, and photo-synthesizing, dry land ecosystems like ours are the rarity.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 264

by Sparkycat (#31736098) Attached to: Android Copy of Young Woman Unveiled In Japan

I'm starting to suspect that the Uncanny Valley gets weaker as you enter the Aspergers/Autism spectrum: such people tend to have more difficulty recognizing human facial cues, so dysfunctional facial cues in robots are less disturbing to them. Thus, you get crowds of Aspergers folks admiring a robot, entirely obvious to its poor human mimicry.

Comment: You need a disc? (Score 2, Interesting) 171

by Sparkycat (#31616584) Attached to: Netflix Streaming Arrives For the Wii

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I gather that you need to load the netflix disc every time you want to stream stream something?

On my 360 (and I assume on PS3s as well), netflix streaming is built into the software of the device: I can play a game off of a disc until my wife gets home, then switch over to netflix and watch some tv with a few button clicks.

If you have to get up and fumble with discs every time you want to switch tasks, this is a big Fail for the Wii in terms of convenience. Why not a WiiWare application?

Comment: Re:I don't understand (Score 1) 325

by Sparkycat (#31569180) Attached to: IE Not Faring Well In the EU Ballot

Reasons vary from browser maker to browser maker.

Apple cares about Safari because it gives them greater control over its platforms(especially the iPhone/Pad/Pod).
Opera licenses its browser technology to phone manufacturers and Nintendo.
Mozilla is technically a non-profit endeavor, though it supports it's Holy Work with revenue from Google's search bar, and I think some tech licensing.
Google's browser is just a stepping stone in the development of Chrome OS, not an end in itself.

Comment: Breaking News: Pyramid Schemes are Sketchy? (Score 3, Insightful) 155

by Sparkycat (#31502436) Attached to: One Year Later, Zer01 Web Site Disappears

"Salespeople were promised payment based on how many other salespeople they signed up to the program, although few appear to have received payment."

The only newsworthy part of this is that Slashdot and others thought this business model was newsworthy in the first place.

It's a Pyramid Scheme with the phrase "Cell Phone" tacked on, anyone who bought into this deserved what they got.

Comment: Re:Uphill Battle (Score 1) 473

by Sparkycat (#31500528) Attached to: Microsoft Previews IE9 — HTML5, SVG, Fast JS

As a Mac user whenever possible (home, not work), I can appreciate that, though I tend to use Chrome most of the time.

Safari's a special case; on OSX it's a fast, capable browser, but on Windows it's kind of a dog. I mentioned Safari in the "non-techie" category because of its default status on Macs, no disrespect to "conscious" Safari users intended.

Comment: Uphill Battle (Score 5, Insightful) 473

by Sparkycat (#31498642) Attached to: Microsoft Previews IE9 — HTML5, SVG, Fast JS

That's great and all, but Microsoft isn't competing with other browsers for market share, it's competing with its own older browsers. Anyone who knows anything about browsers is already using Firefox or Chrome or Opera, and anyone who knows nothing about browsers is using whatever came pre-installed on their computers:

IE6 if they're still on XP, Safari if they have a Mac, or IE 8 if they're running Windows 7.

Unless this is a mandatory upgrade to IE 8, it's not going to gain any ground.

And of course, the 30% of users still using IE6 will continue to do so until their computers die, or a techie relative replace it with Firefox.

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected. -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June 1972