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+ - Interview with Gervase Markham of Mozilla->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In this interview, Gerv discusses Firefox market share, the revenue impact of the Yahoo! deal, whether Mozilla still has the clout it needs to direct the evolution of the open web, Firefox and Chrome comparisons, Firefox OS adoption, Rust, Servo and the future of the Mozilla organization.
Link to Original Source

+ - Microscopic underwater sonic screwdriver successfully tested->

Submitted by afeeney
afeeney writes: Researchers at the University of Bristol and Northwestern Polytechnical University in China have created acoustic vortices that can create microscopic centrifuges that rotate small particles. They compare this to a watchmaker's sonic screwdriver. So far, though, the practical applications include cell sorting and low-power water purification, rather than TARDIS operations. Appropriately enough, one of the researchers is named Bruce Drinkwater.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Stop it already (Score 3, Informative) 29 29

by afeeney (#49800843) Attached to: The Underground Hacking Economy
In the United States, at least, you can get any nonprofit's 990 form, either on their website or at www.guidestar.org. The 990 lists how much the top executives make, who their top vendors are, and how their budget gets spent.

Depending on the organization's lifecycle and purpose, about 15-20 percent of the budget on overhead is normal. A very new nonprofit has to spend a lot more on outreach and fundraising, as would a nonprofit that's raising funds for a major capital project.

I've found one of the most telling signs is a big gap between the CEO's salary and that of the next highest-paid staff. Unless there's some obvious reason (the CEO is the only full-time employee), that's the sign of a big CEO ego and a weak board.

The CEO and upper exec salaries should reflect their real market value, including the perks of the nonprofit sector. Most CEO turnover in the nonprofit world is voluntary, for example. In addition, the CEO of an organization with a lot of independent chapters has a lot less to do with their revenue stream than the CEO of one that's highly controlled from the parent organization.

Unless the organization is doing fundraising for a capital campaign, there shouldn't be big payments to professional fundraisers, compared to total income. Big consultant fees are another warning sign.

Comment: Re:Brain-controlled? (Score 3, Informative) 50 50

Well, more like "brain controlled" in that all our physical motions are brain-controlled. They're using the brain's signal to move the prosthetic as well as the nearest muscle. So somebody amputated above the knee would be able to control an artificial leg if normal functions of the leg could be coded into the prosthetic. (When this muscle flexes, move the leg like this, when that one flexes, move it like that.)

Comment: Re:Compelling? (Score 0) 244 244

by afeeney (#49728603) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

A lot of Apple's value to the consumer comes from the perception that one is standing out from the crowd as an Apple product user or for conspicuous consumption. That's the main reason that their headphone cords are white instead of black, for example.

While definitely somebody can talk about having the iTV, it's not the same as being able to carry it around.

Comment: Re:Can't they just... (Score 1) 151 151

by afeeney (#47466963) Attached to: Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes
As I understand it, by the time you reach the steam, you've gone deeper than most drilling equipment can go and gotten hot enough to melt most drills. Worse, you can't safely predict the results of releasing that much pressure, especially since there's no reliable way of imaging what you're drilling into at that depth and heat level.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497 497

by afeeney (#47415243) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

You know things like "ostracize those who speak to outsiders", "venerate central personality who makes all decisions", or "target and harass ex-members".

In the political sphere, at least, I'd say that does happen. Political compromise gets a lot of scorn poured on it, there are certain political figures/organizations who get venerated and call most of the shots, and while there's very little side-switching in national and state politics, so not quite the equivalence to becoming an ex-member, those who do stray from doctrine get targeted, most definitely.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 4, Interesting) 497 497

by afeeney (#47414799) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

The oil companies/heartland institute don't have to create spin anymore, because they've had the most important success possible: making denialism an important part of the identity of a lot of people.

In some ways, it's very cult-like in the way that it forms identity. Denialism gives you victim/threatened status (those evildoers are attacking our beliefs, we need to be warriors), enough victories to think of oneself as a winner but maintain the communal aspects of thinking oneself under threat, charismatic leaders, the companionship of shared beliefs, a sense of superiority to those who disbelieve, and, in the most cult-like aspect, the assurance of being above mere facts, of living in a world where your personal beliefs trump mere objective facts.

Comment: Re:Brand Value? (Score 1) 84 84

by afeeney (#47065407) Attached to: Google Overtakes Apple As the World's Most Valuable Brand
Google has made so many investments in experimental and developing technology (robotics and energy to name just two examples) that its portfolio of companies and patents is tremendously valuable. It has the money to be almost anything that it wants to be and can afford to take more product development risks. Even if Google Glass turns out to be an absolute failure, the odds are strong that it can redeploy most of the research and lessons learned from developing it for something that will be successful.

Comment: Re: finally (Score 1) 160 160

by afeeney (#46294869) Attached to: Another Possible Voynich Breakthrough
But there are some linguistic patterns in it. It also makes sense that the text isn't entirely random, since it would be easier to write something coherent than to come up with something entirely random. It might be the equivalent of Lorem ipsum, but the odds are that it's not entirely random.

Comment: Re:great (Score 2) 128 128

by afeeney (#43917323) Attached to: GM Crop Producer Monsanto Using Data Analytics To Expand Its Footprint
True for some plants but not others. Most plants with seeds (fruits, grains) need to be delicious and nutritious so their seeds get excreted some distance from the original plant so that they don't compete for light and nutrients. Only leafy plants (the tops of root vegetables like potatoes, spinach, etc.) tend to be bitter or poisonous.

Comment: Destroying priceless sites for petty reasons (Score 3, Interesting) 276 276

by afeeney (#43719467) Attached to: Mayan Pyramid In Belize Leveled By Construction Crew
This kind of destruction for the pettiest of reasons isn't anything new. In Malta, a group took a bulldozer to the stone temples at Mnajdra, a glorious megalithic site, older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Mnajdra is breathtakingly lovely and enigmatic and fascinating. Fortunately, it's largely been restored and is again open to the public. Why? People had constructed illegal bird-hunting hides on the adjacent land and objected to their hides being destroyed. People will be vicious destructive assholes for any number of reasons, including just because they can. Profit, sheer revelry in destruction (Persepolis), symbolism of dominance or victory (Summer Palace in Beijing), religious fanaticism (Buddha statues), a fanatical dislike of cities (Mongols and most of the cities in their way), to discourage attacks (Carthage), any number of reasons.

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."

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