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Comment: How (Score 5, Informative) 161

by farnsworth (#38261314) Attached to: Browser History Sniffing Is Back
This seems to work by loading well-known resources into an iframe and using a heuristic of the "time to load" to tell if it's cached or not. Hence, whether or not you have visited that site. I just scanned the source code, but this is what it looks like. It any case, it's not like this code reveals your history -- just whether or not your browser has visited one in a set of popular sites.

Yay stateless web.

Comment: What does this have to do with Sendmail? (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by farnsworth (#38260254) Attached to: Email Offline At the Home of Sendmail
In the video, they don't even mention sendmail at all. Are they using it?

Also, they mention that the cost of the system is something like $1.30 per account per month. I don't know much about IT budgeting, but that seems like a really low number for something as critical as messaging and calendaring. I have to imagine that they spend more money per user just cutting the grass around the campus.

Comment: Re:Updates to phones (Score 2) 309

by farnsworth (#37766042) Attached to: Android Ice Cream Sandwich SDK Released

Also why would a manufacturer spend money updating your phone when they rather you buy a new one?

I'm sure Apple would also rather everyone buy a new iPhone every year, and yet they bend over backwards to get the latest OS working on every conceivable model they have sold. Same with the Google phones, from what I understand.

The manufacturers who ship Android phones and then never publish updates obviously don't care one bit about their customers experience. It's as if they don't even perceive the people they sell to as "customers", but rather as "transaction generators". This approach might work fine for these businesses, but it's bad for the people who end up buying from them.

Comment: Re:TV has been great for our kids (Score 1) 210

by farnsworth (#37758528) Attached to: Doctors Recommend Against TV For Kids Under 2

I did not say that TV was a requirement for a child to develop, so why the straw man?

All children should have limited time in front of the TV, because they should be out doing things with family and friends. But there is no way to severely restrict or eliminate TV, nor to suggest that it isn't a good avenue for learning.

I did not intend a straw man at all. You seemed to be implying that TV was needed (or significantly helped) your son to develop speech, therefor this science is nonsense. I was countering that with the fact that your son was over 2, and this study is specifically about kids under 2. Also, for a ~2 year old who is not in school, "much of the day" must be like 6-8 hours.

What works for your kids does not debunk general scientific guidance or support a position that it is nonsense. I'm glad you found something that works.

Comment: Re:TV has been great for our kids (Score 1) 210

by farnsworth (#37758294) Attached to: Doctors Recommend Against TV For Kids Under 2

This is just nonsense.

My son wouldn't talk till he was over 2 years old. We were starting to worry. Then he discovered Thomas the Tank Engine. Suddenly he wanted to say the names of the engines and he learnt his colours too. [...]

Billions and billions of kids have developed fine without any TV at all, it's not necessarily nonsense. There are always outliers and special circumstances that are contrary to "normal", but that is not to say that spending "much of the day" with a TV is helpful to most kids under two years old. There is a big difference between a kid who is over 2 years old discovering Thomas The Tank Engine compared to someone who has not even turned one spending much of the day watching TV.

Comment: Re:As compared to... (Score 1) 210

by farnsworth (#37758200) Attached to: Doctors Recommend Against TV For Kids Under 2

[...] is there ever a good answer to distracting kids so you can do laundry, make food, take a shower or other necessary tasks?

This finding seems to be specifically about kids two and under. It's not that hard to wrangle those kids and make dinner at the same time. They will slow you down for sure, but, for much of the time they can't even walk. The thought of an 11-month-old being plopped in front of a TV or a tablet for "much of the day" frankly makes me sad.

Comment: Re:Amid all the FUD... (Score 1) 98

by farnsworth (#37488120) Attached to: Facebook Unveils Timeline, Updated Open Graph

I'm having a hard time coming up with anything negative to say about the new timeline based layout. For those of you that have enabled it, what are your thoughts?

I don't use Facebook, so maybe I'm not the best person to answer your question. But, I was there today and attended several sessions, so I saw a lot more about how they are thinking about this stuff. It is really slick. From a technical and UI point of view, it's a really nice combination of the existing Facebook and Twitter and Google+.

The abstract purpose of the timeline was made lucidly clear, and it's pretty obvious that, if you don't think too much about how it is appealing to essentially ones naturally narcissistic slants, it's totally great in many ways. However, exactly how it works was less clear. What other people see of your timeline was characterized differently throughout the day. This could be just poor communication, or internal confusion about how it works. It was mentioned that other people will get a magically generated view of your timeline that matches interests relevant to them. My take on this was that, eg, you, a sailing fan but not into technology, if you were to be friends with Larry Ellison, his timeline to you would be populated with tons of sailing stuff but nothing about Oracle. That was contradicted at other talks, so I'm not really sure. It seems kind of mushy either way. Perhaps the speakers were just mixing up pronouns...

If you are someone who has a decent attention to detail, and decent taste, and will carefully curate all your stuff, it seems like it will be great. However, I suspect that comprises about 0.5% of all facebook users. What will the "giant photo" be on the majority of timelines? Who will make sure that this giant single document containing years of data will be appropriately "shared"? What does it look like when something profoundly bad happens to someone (dealing with death, divorce, etc)?

It reminds me of Windows Metro -- In the absolute best case, it's beautiful and great and highly functional. How will the average case work, though? My prediction is, "far from great".

Aside: The keynote was completely lame. A large group of Facebook employees were laughing uproariously to the unfunny jokes, and applauding and cheering to slides before the slide even appeared. I've never noticed this at any other tech keynote, is it normally done this way?

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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