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Comment: Re:Urban Fetch (Score 1) 106

by omfgnosis (#47915051) Attached to: Uber CEO: We'll Run Your Errands

Uber, charges more money for the same service

Wait, what? There's a ton wrong with Uber, but this does not seem to be on the list. In my experience, Uber X charges approximately 50% or less what a conventional cab would charge (and about 75% what a flat-rate cab would charge). Even so, Uber greatly increases the driver pool (at least here in Seattle, not sure how limited cab licenses are in other markets) and pays their drivers more (at least so says every driver I've met who formerly drove a conventional or flat-rate cab).

There's other stuff wrong with your post, but that just stood out as crazypants.


Restoring Salmon To Their Original Habitat -- With a Cannon 147

Posted by timothy
from the going-up? dept.
StartsWithABang writes Hydroelectric dams are one of the best and oldest sources of green, renewable energy, but — as the Three Gorges Dam in China exemplifies — they often cause a host of environmental and ecological problems and challenges. One of the more interesting ones is how to coax fish upstream in the face of these herculean walls that can often span more than 500 feet in height. While fish ladders might be a solution for some of the smaller dams, they're limited in application and success. Could Whooshh Innovations' Salmon Cannon, a pneumatic tube capable of launching fish up-and-over these dams, finally restore the Columbia River salmon to their original habitats?

Comment: Re: Cheapest Ticket (Score 1) 811

The two aren't equivalent. An overweight person in most circumstances has some recourse in terms of diet and physical activity, where a tall person has no recourse except dismemberment. (And none of this was said in any kind of judgment, I am both overweight and tall.)

That said, there is already precedent for charging extra to the tall: charging extra for more leg room. They already do it.

Comment: Re:talk about "old tech" (Score 1) 94

by omfgnosis (#47807433) Attached to: Google Introduces HTML 5.1 Tag To Chrome

Literally none of the features discussed in your post are desirable for users.

Nonsense. Most so-called responsive techniques were driven by user demand:

1. for the "real web" on mobile devices
2. for actually usable web pages on mobile devices
3. for high resolution displays with sharper text and more detailed images
4. for respectful and reliable behavior in varying network conditions

These sorts of demands have been so strong that they upset the entire mobile industry, destroying huge incumbent companies.

As far as specific features...

Device-pixel ratios are how users get sharper text—and now images—when their hardware allows it. The alternative is that either users see smaller and smaller content/UI, or they are stuck with low-resolution displays. Neither of those are desirable outcomes for users (and sales show pretty well that users prefer high-resolution).

Mime-type alternation allows:

- all users (rather than some) to view content—this is self-evidently desirable by users;
- some users to reduce bandwidth—this is self-evidently desirable by any user who is bandwidth-constrained (either in terms of speed of data cap).

Element queries allow UI elements to be reusable components, so that they always behave the same way under the same circumstances. This is fairly obviously desirable by everyone, as the alternative is to have things work in myriad ways depending on unrelated circumstances.

User-based settings for preferring faster downloads/reduced data consumption is obviously desirable. I can't for the life of me imagine how you could say it's not.

If you're hosting different versions, provider links to the versions and let the user choose.

Nothing is preventing a responsive site from doing just that, but still being smart about which (and how many) bits to send down the wire to a particular user.

Don't serve up different content to different browsers unless you absolutely have to (and when you absolutely have to, odds are your UI is terrible).

You seem to fundamentally misunderstand what responsive design is about. This is not about serving different content (at all) nor distinguishing between browsers (at all). It's about providing optimal rendering of the same content for different viewing/network conditions. Fundamentally, what is optimal for 2560x1440@1x is not optimal for 2560x1440@3x. What is optimal for LTE is not optimal for EDGE.

Comment: Re:talk about "old tech" (Score 1) 94

by omfgnosis (#47804103) Attached to: Google Introduces HTML 5.1 Tag To Chrome

What's appropriate for my display, exactly?
You have to base it on the VIEWPORT, but that's VARIABLE because the USER can change that shit.
Any viewport change and you risk having to download the newly "appropriate" version.


The whole premise of why we'd want to do this is retarded as well. Phones are getting resolutions of 2560x1440 now.

There's more to it than that, and yet more coming in the future. Yes, media queries tend to be primarily viewport queries. Viewport data is more complex than just pixel dimensions though, because a browser pixel is not a device pixel. This is why device-pixel-ratios are also supported. A 2560x1440 phone likely responds to a media query as ~854x480@3x (the math isn't right, I wonder what the real device pixel viewport size is).

Picture/source also supports mime-type alternation, just like video/audio sources do. This allows content to be delivered in preferred media types (e.g. webm, webp) where possible with fallbacks to less-preferred types (e.g. h264, png/jpg/gif), potentially reducing bandwidth and cost.

The same group that led the picture element is now leading element queries, which will allow size-based queries to be derived from the size displayed on screen, rather than the size of the viewport itself (as in, placing a responsive image in a sidebar will have different download characteristics from placing it in a full-width column).

And browser vendors can develop selection algorithms based on user preference (e.g. prefer faster downloads) and network conditions (e.g. high latency cell, bandwidth limits, etc) rather than viewport conditions alone.

Literally none of the features discussed here are possible with the feature set that existed before picture. Some (some!) can be approximated with JavaScript, generally badly and often with very undesirable consequences.

+ - Stop starting school days so early, doctors say->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "U.S. high schools and middle schools should start classes later in the morning to allow kids some much-needed sleep, a leading group of pediatricians is urging.

Ideally, the American Academy of Pediatrics says, the first bell should ring at 8:30 a.m. or later — which is the case at only 15 percent of U.S. high schools right now.

At the very least, classes should start no earlier than 8 a.m., said Dr. Judith Owens, the lead author of a new academy policy statement on school start times.

The recommendations, published in the academy's journal Pediatrics, are based on research showing that U.S. kids are sleep-deprived, which has consequences for their health, school performance and safety.

"This is an important issue," said Dr. Marcel Deray, a Florida sleep specialist who wasn't involved in the recommendations.

"I see a lot of teenagers who are tired and have problems in school because they have to get up so early," said Deray, who directs the Sleep Disorders Center at Miami Children's Hospital. "Some kids are getting up at 5 a.m., 6 a.m."

Many people think the answer is for kids to just get to bed earlier, Owens noted. But it's not that easy, she said, because biology has other plans.

Around puberty, the body's natural sleep-wake cycle shifts, and it's actually hard for teenagers to fall asleep earlier than 11 p.m.

"Teenagers' bodies release melatonin later than (adults') do," Deray explained, referring to a hormone the brain secretes in the evening to induce drowsiness.

"The other issue," Owens said, "is that teenagers' sleep needs are greater than many people think. They need nine to nine-and-a-half hours."

Yet, 43 percent of U.S. public high schools start classes before 8 a.m., according to the U.S. Department of Education. Middle schools, meanwhile, typically start classes at 8 a.m. — with about 20 percent starting earlier than that."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 548

Turning novel programming problems into an implementation that is non-clever, simple and clear is absolutely a creative pursuit. The "cleverness" that is (and/or should be) lambasted in programming is that which hides complexity. It's an expression of lax creativity. Creative programming can be a combination of a keen application of solved problems and actually clever solutions for unsolved problems. That cleverness is expressed by arriving at solutions that are simple and clear.

This is work that is a long way off from being expendable. It will come eventually, but until then a large subset of programming problems require deeply creative work.

Any programmer who feels that their work does not fit what I said above is almost certainly working on solved problems.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 608

by omfgnosis (#47415921) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

There's a problem with efforts to make programming more accessible to non-programmers at the technology level: it turns out that you still have to become a programmer to use the technology effectively. This very notion is how programming languages were developed in the first place—what if we could specify what a program should do, rather than writing the code that does it, and then have the computer generate the code? That is a programming language.

Modern programming is increasingly abstracted away from the metal, and compilers are a wonder unto themselves, but ultimately in order to effectively write a program you still need to do two very specialized things:

1. Design the damn thing well enough to at least get it working (and hopefully well enough to maintain and extend it).
2. Either know or discover—usually both—how to work around the warts of the chosen technology (because they all have warts).

Even if programming could be made so abstract that it's essentially a series of opaque building blocks, you'll always need to do #1, and only by vast inefficiencies and ignorance be able to avoid #2.

- - -

Side note:

Speaking of HyperCard, in many ways its spiritual descendant is Flash. Flash hosts a monstrosity of a language, with concepts from Java bolted onto JavaScript. I'm not saying it couldn't have been done another way, but it's little surprise that something designed to be simple for content producers could become so enormously complex.

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard