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Comment: Re:Misfeatures (Score 1) 172

by Arker (#47563015) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released
"The pdf javascript reader wastes kilobytes on your / or C:\ partition, that's all."

It also adds more lines of code that need to be carefully analyzed, audited, and constantly re-audited for exploitable bugs to the codebase.

Web browsers are the main point of vulnerability, they have an absolutely horrible track record for anything related to security. There are several relatively good .pdf programs that are actively maintained and whose security track records are not nearly so tarnished as Mozilla's. Some are Free Software as well. So I am seriously having a very hard time imagining a scenario where this has any reason to exist. And I am usually the one that's all in favor of having 15 slightly different choices for every role.

Comment: Re:None of them. (Score 1) 106

by Arker (#47562427) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?
"Screw your acceptable ads, there's no such thing as an acceptable ad."

You are entitled to your point of view. I personally do not agree.

I like to expose myself to advertising. By seeing what is currently being pushed I know which products to avoid, which is a big time-saver. And the notion that some small payment comes to a website as a result of giving me this information is 100% ok with me.

Yet I almost never see ads. Why? Because I refuse to allow random servers all over the net a free hand to run programs on my computer. And ad companies apparently have some sort of problem with using the web, the only thing they know how to do is javascript, java, and flash.

Comment: Quite obviously. . . (Score 1) 35

by smooth wombat (#47559183) Attached to: Better Living Through Data

this person had nothing better to do with their life, no outside activities to occupy their time, no significant (or insignificant) other to fool around with, or anything else that "normal" people would do.

Clearly they are so bored and don't have enough work to do that they had to find something to occupy their life.

Congratulations! You are the shining example of someone living in their parents basement.

Comment: Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 130

by hey! (#47558273) Attached to: A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

It doesn't have to be linear to be useful. It simply has to be able to sort a set of choices into order -- like movie reviews. Nobody thinks a four star movie is "twice as good" as a two star movie, but people generally find the rank ordering of movies by stars useful provided they don't read to much into the rating. In fact the ordering needn't be unique; there can be other equally useful metrics which order the choices in a slightly different way. *Over certain domains of values* minor differences in orderings may not matter very much, especially as your understanding of your future requirements is always somewhat fuzzy (e.g. the future cost of bandwidth or computing power).

The problem with any metric occurs outside those domains; some parameters may have discontinuities in their marginal utility. A parameter's value may be good enough and further improvements yield no benefit; or the parmater's value may be poor enough to disqualify a choice altogether. In such cases such a metric based on continuous functions will objectively misorder choices.

For example Suppose A is fast enough but has poor compression ratios; B is not quite fast enough but has excellent compression ratios. There's really only one viable choice: A; but the metric may order the choices B,A.

On the other hand suppose A has better compression ratios than B; B is faster than A, but A is already so fast that it makes no practical difference. The rational ordering of choices is A,B but the metric might order them B,A.

This kind of thing is always a problem with boiling choices down to a single composite number. You have to understand what goes into that number and how those things relate to your needs. You have to avoid making your decisions on one number alone. But some people *will* fasten on a single number because it makes the job of choosing seem easier than it does. Just don't be one of those people.

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 1) 670

by Arker (#47557831) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline
"So what do you think should be Israel's response to the constant bombing of their country?"

What constant bombing? Hamas has honored truces and cease-fires in the past, it's the IDF that keeps breaking them. How do you think the Palestinians should respond to Israel periodically 'mowing' their families down 'like grass?'

Ultimately you simply cannot keep a nation captive forever, nor can you exterminate them, and Israelis of all people should realize that.

Comment: Re:Arneson (Score 1) 159

by hey! (#47557795) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

After Gygax's treatment of Arneson and the way he attempted to attack other games in the roleplaying hobby, I find it hard to feel much sympathy for him.

Well, if you put yourself in his shoes you might well play hardball with other games in the hobby.

D&D as a system wasn't really all special; there were competing systems back in the days he was at TSR which were every bit as enjoyable and arguably easier to play. But D&D had two big things going for it. First, when the three basic manuals for AD&D were published it had by far the best organized and written materials. The Monster Manual was particularly useful. Second it had the network effect: it was the best system to learn to play because everyone else knew how to play it. You could start a campaign at a drop of a hat -- no need to bring everyone up to speed on yet another set of rules.

So put yourself in his position. The future success of D&D is contingent on no other game reaching critical mass. You're completely dependent on D&D, you have no other marketable skills or assets. You have a company with over a hundred employees (which is surely a mistake on your part), and that company has nothing else bringing in cash *but* D&D products. You've made D&D your life work. It's not a situation to bring out the best in people.

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 1, Insightful) 670

by smooth wombat (#47557509) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline
If Gazans disarmed then Israel would have absolutely no grounds to strike it

Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy of the situation. People who are under occupation, subject to the whims of a foreign country are supposed to roll over and play dead and cannot, in any way shape or form, defend themselves or retaliate against their oppressors.

Funny I didn't see the Jews in Warsaw roll over and play dead, I didn't see the Jews before the creation of Israel roll over and play dead under British rule. Apparently everyone else is supposed to roll over and play dead except Israelis who are the poor, oppressed people and so should be able to defend themselves.

Again, thank you for the hypocritical stance.

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 0, Redundant) 670

by smooth wombat (#47556905) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline
So what do you think should be Israel's response to the constant bombing of their country?

So what do you think should Palestine's response to the constant checkpoints, blockading of their ports, airport and border crossings, as well as the occupation and continued confiscation of their land by Israel should be?

See the problem? One side says, "Look! See how evil they are. They [insert some random nonsense]. That is why we do what we do."

Then the other side says, "See! See how they are. They [insert some random nonsense]. That is why we do what we do."

The fact is, Israel has two parties as part of its government who are just as hellbent on the destruction of Palestine and the removal of all Palestinians from Israel and the land they want to confiscate as those who claim Hamas wants to do the same to Israel, YET no one has a problem with these de facto terrorist groups being part of the Israeli government. It's only when Hamas gets its voice in the Palestinian government that people have a problem.

The double standard is truly staggering when you consider Israel was South Africa's lone partner during the Apartheid regime, and it, Israel, learned well from those policies, policies which it now implements with impunity because its lobby has bought and paid for the the U.S. Congress to do its bidding, regardless of what happens.

So when you say what should Israel's response to X be, turn it around and ask the same of what Palestine's response should be to Y. You'll never hear any Israeli spokesperson answer the question, "What would you do if you had to live under the same conditions" because to do so would expose the hypocrisy of their position.

Comment: Re:Hilarious (Score 5, Interesting) 152

by Arker (#47556551) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
Which makes it sound like some sort of attack on the ad network.

Without more details it's hard to say, but it sounds like the ad network should file a complaint with the UK and get these overenthusiastic corporate cops charged.

There's a battle to love - ad networks versus the 'city of london.' May they fight forever and leave the rest of us in peace.

Comment: Re:Spruce Goose (Score 1) 85

by hey! (#47550163) Attached to: World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

Different requirements drive different designs. Before WW2 seaplanes were common because of the lack of runways. After WW2 airports proliferated, and seaplanes couldn't keep up with technical advances due to the compromises involved in allowing them to land and take off from water. But that doesn't mean there aren't applications for aircraft with a flying boat's capabilities, it just means there isn't enough of a market in places like the US to support an industry. Even so, here in North America there are some 70 year-old WW2 Catalinas being used in aerial firefighting. China is a vast country which is prone to many kinds of natural disasters that could make airlifting in supplies difficult, so they may see potential applications we don't.

It's also interesting to note that seaplanes were highly useful in the pacific theater of WW2, and there hasn't been a protracted struggle for sea control *since* WW2. Also, China is a country with no operational aircraft carriers; aside from its training ship the Liaoning, it has a handful of amphibious assault ships that can carry a few helicopters. The US by contrast has ten supercarriers and nine amphibious assault ships that dwarf the aircraft carriers of WW2. The technology and expertise to run a carrier fleet like America's would take many years for China to develop. It's conceivable that the manufacturers imagine a military market for aircraft like this in the interim.

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