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Comment: Re:I remember... (Score 1) 172 172

Firefox's plugins are both it's greatest strength and it's greatest weakness. The "API" isn't really an API at all, it's just Javascript running in the browser process where it can hack about with the UI. It's extremely insecure and prone to conflicts, or breakage as the UI changes.

And with great power comes great responsibility.

Addons have nearly unlimited control over the browser, allowing them to do all sorts of amazing and useful things. Part of the price of this is a flexible framework -- using Javascript inside the browser's context instead of some limited DSL or something -- and another part is a more fragile connection to the user interface -- directly creating and manipulating XUL via the DOM -- which really isn't horribly fragile since they've pretty good about keeping element IDs and class names for a long time.

Security between addons isn't an issue, since they're intentionally not sandboxed from each other (and that wouldn't even make sense). Keeping them isolated from web pages is simpler, since that's already required for core browser functionality. The biggest issue is making sure addons themselves don't expose the user (such as Greasemonkey's unsafeWindow), but again, that comes at the expense of the power that addons can wield.

at the expense of requiring add-ons to be rewritten.

This would kill Firefox, so they will never do it, and I'm fine with that. We would undoubtedly get something worse than we have now (e.g., Chrome's limitations).

Comment: Re:My Plans for Firefox (Score 1) 172 172

They should have done nothing.

Completely agree, and it's what makes me more angry than anything else related to the mess that is Firefox today.

They utterly discarded their core user base, the people who loved and brought the browser to the point it was, chasing some pipe dream of market share percentage points. They became convinced that trying to maintain that share was more important than anything else, and so, like an anorexic person, went on a self-destructive rampage trying to achieve that impossible and truly undesirable goal.

Firefox should have let Chrome cater to simpletons, if that's the direction Google wanted to go. We now have four(ish) primary browsers -- Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE/Edge -- all of which seem to be made for the clueless. All the edges have been sanded down, extra buttons and knobs removed, and privacy only an afterthought. Instead of a bright standout in that lineup, Firefox is just another loser, trying to blend in with the "cool kids".

Comment: Re:Moan moan moan (Score 5, Insightful) 166 166

Here we go, the usual slashdot moan-fest when there's any Firefox news.

You know what, guys? Get over it.

So just because Firefox might be the least bad browser, we should just grin and bear it? That sounds like a recipe for mediocrity and a successful tyranny of the minority to me.

I love Firefox. I love what it stands for (and especially what it used to stand for). That's why seeing it in this death spiral bothers me so much. If it was some stupid new Chrome or Safari features being discussed, I wouldn't give a damn. We care about Firefox -- that's why we "moan moan moan moan".

everyone still wants to hate Firefox

We hate the direction Firefox is going, and the people who are mismanaging the browser into obscurity.

Comment: Re:Adverts (Score 1) 79 79

Is this just a pre-hype for a kickstarter to get people to rush on day one ?
come on slashdot this is not news yet ...

or am I getting old

Well, if it helps, that shitty Hot Hardware ad-farm doesn't even link to the Kickstarter page. The only links in the article are "tags" to more crap on their site. I was mildly curious about how it attaches to the laptop and where power comes from, but oh well.

It's articles have been posted a few times to Slashdot in the last couple of weeks and every time there's never a link to the real content. The site is useless garbage.

Comment: Re:We're All Dicks (Score 5, Interesting) 263 263

We're all dicks.

I dislike how this phrase is being used because I think it trivializes the extent to which Jobs was not a good person and introduces an inappropriate levity into the discussion. A much better term would have been acute sociopath.

And another movie about Jobs? Sounds more myopic than biopic. When Hollywood starts making remakes of their failed biographies you know they've scraped through the bottom of the barrel. Most people today only know Jobs as the other Santa who introduced shiny new toys once a year. If you want to read about the interesting stuff, just check out It's filled with fascinating stories written by the people who created the Macintosh. Steve Jobs even shows up a couple of times.

Comment: Re:Design by Fisher-Price? (Score 1) 302 302

Having taken a look at the screenshots, I can't help but think of words like "garish", "cartoonish" and "Oh, dear, it looks like Rainbow Brite puked all over the screen".

I like to call it the "Fisher Price: My First Computer" syndrome. It's a pandemic on mobile devices, and has recently jumped the species barrier to desktops. Symptoms include:

- Completely flat and simple user-interface made from a small color palette
- Simple shapes comprised of 90-degree angles
- Uninspired colors and themes made up of primary colors so as not to distract from learning exercises
- Huge buttons and other user-interface targets, designed to make it easy to use by those with undeveloped eye-hand coordination
- Utter lack of gradients, transparency, translucency, or any other hints as to Z-order, which are confusing to children that haven't developed spacial awareness
- No way to perform complex actions (even if necessary) to prevent accidentally making the computing toy inoperable

Additional symptoms can be found in this article, but if you encounter any of the above I strongly suggest you discontinue use of the affected product, and find a replacement not yet affected by this crippling illness.

Comment: Re:Why doesn't Google just stop advertising malwar (Score 1) 70 70

If so, why don't they just stop hosting malware or scam sites. There are certain keywords for legitimate services or products that are always guaranteed to give top hits in malware.

There's an old saying: "Fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!"

After several people in my family got bitten by advertising malware, primarily due to clicking the top Google result after searching for popular open source projects such as "firefox" or "open office" or "vlc" (I literally watched as this happened to one of them), I helped them install Firefox if they didn't have it, and AdBlock+ with an auto-updating subscription. The two more tech-savvy I showed NoScript and explained how it use it.

Since then they've had next to no problems with this kind of drive-by malware. They also really love ad-free YouTube videos and a much faster annoyance-free browsing experience.

In the (distant) past I would have felt a little bad about this kind of carte blanche blocking advertising. Not anymore. It's defensive driving for the Web, and the only smart way to use it.

Comment: Re:It has this. (Score 1) 191 191

If you mean thing like side-loading just random crap, like if I were a private detective hired by your wife, and had 60 seconds of access to your iPhone, I could sideload some serious backdoor onto your phone to enable me to monitor your texts, phone calls, email, Facebook, and so on ... I'm pretty sure no one wants someone else to be able to load that kind of crap on their phones, but if you can do it, they can do it, too.

Well hey, now -- I've seen some wobbly straw men in my time, but that one might just take the cake.

The hostility Apple fans have for those who still want computers (even hand-held ones) to be general purpose computing devices that are actually owned by their owners never ceases to amaze me.

Comment: Re:The Majority Still Has Follow the Constitution (Score 5, Insightful) 1083 1083

And again, I reiterate what I said earlier. Where do rights come from?

You're missing the whole point of what the founding fathers and the US constitution was attempting to create.

These inalienable rights "come from" nowhere. They exist innately and the constitution was written largely to express this, and to prevent laws from being created which would stifle or try to remove them. The social construct aspect applies insofar as to how to balance things when the desires or actions of one person impact the rights of another person. They certainly don't come from a god.

Even the creation of the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments to the Constitution) was criticized by several high-profile people of the time because they were concerned that it would be interpreted as a "list of rights", and if a specific right wasn't in that list, then the People didn't have that right. A concession was the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

One of the dissenters of the Bill of Rights was Hamilton, who said, among other things:

It has been several times truly remarked, that bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. [...] Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain every thing, they have no need of particular reservations.

One of the biggest differences between the newly created United States versus other old-world countries was this very thing. The recognition that all people have innate and inalienable rights, not bestowed by society or god or privilege or bloodline, but simply because they are a living, thinking human being.

High ideals, perhaps, and we slipped badly sometimes (slavery probably being the biggest), but every time I see people say things "gay marriage isn't listed in the Constitution" I cringe because they have such a fundamental misunderstanding of the country they live in.

Comment: Hardly Surprising (Score 5, Insightful) 179 179

This is hardly surprising:

- It seems like an unwritten rule that the tools and websites (third-party and homegrown) that business use for hiring are horrible. I have to assume they're designed to be a gauntlet so that only the most stubborn and persistent candidates make it to the end.

- Automated tools that scan resumes looking for specific things have led to people putting all sorts of crap on their resume, just in hopes of getting a foot in the door. This leads to interviews like "So it says you have a lot of experience in SQL. Can you elaborate on that?" Candidate: "Oh, yeah, I took an online class a few years ago and I did some SELECTs!"

- Most recruiters have a clear conflict of interest and some of them take a scattergun approach that interviewers need to filter through.

- Wishy-washy managers always want to wait and put off giving an offer "in case something better comes along" (I've heard that many times in post-interview discussions).

- Internal politics when there's any kind of restriction on how many open seats will be filled leads to infighting between groups, delaying an offer because nobody knows who they'd work for yet.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say that HR at most places is filled with depressing things, but the hiring process is one of the worst.

Comment: Re:But Google Code? (Score 5, Insightful) 44 44

No, Google Code was project hosting, this is (effectively) just repo hosting.

The difference between project hosting and a "service to host and edit source code repositories" is a few wiki pages for a description and documentation. They closed down Google Code claiming competition and saturation from sites like GitHub and BitBucket, but now they're starting a new service that still directly competes with those?

I can only assume the primary problem with Google Code which caused its closure was the lack of "cloud" in the name.

Comment: Re:While we're at it (Score 2) 127 127

Bring back 'Read more' or a 'View comments' link or button PLEASE!

I put together a user style that attempts to undo some of the recent changes, including this one. It might be a little rough around the edges, but it's made the site much more usable for me.

I'm planning on maintaining it (at least for a while), so any suggestions are welcome. It's also public domain if anyone wants to go nuts.

Comment: Re:hey DICE newfags (Score 1) 172 172

Completely agreed. And moving the "number of comments" link to the title bar was just batshit, since now you can't just scan down the page seeing what stories are popular.

A bit rough around the edges, but I put together a userstyle to adjust these two things. It looks like this. Feel free to fix/adapt it:

@-moz-document domain("") {
    #firehose article header span.topic {
        top: 45px;

    #firehose article .comment-bubble {
        right: auto;
        top: auto;
        left: 30px;
        bottom: 5px;
        border: none;
        background-color: inherit;
        font-size: 90%;
        width: 38px;
        height: 25px;
        line-height: 1.6rem;

    #firehose article span.comment-bubble::after {
        border-color: rgb(1, 103, 101) transparent transparent;
        border-width: 5px 5px 0 0;
        bottom: -5px;

I have a feeling that we're seeing the start of a very gradual rollout of Beta. Fuck that noise.

Comment: Re:Prototypical (Score 1) 80 80

It's just sugar.

True, but the end result is the same. All the same people will continue to pretend that the language is built for classes and ignore prototypes, but now even more will just use the classes interface since it's "official" now. This leaves projects or developers who do use prototypes even farther out in left field, since classes have become an even more common practice.

I'm not going to say it's good or bad thing in a productivity or business sense, since classes are clearly more common and familiar to most people. But from just a language identity standpoint, it's a loss and that's too bad.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.