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Comment: Massively patent-encumbered (Score 5, Informative) 377

by roca (#48570937) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

The problem here is that H.265 and by extension BPG are heavily patent-encumbered. These are not just latent patents but patents that the H.265 contributors are using for a revenue stream.

Bellard suggests "just use the licensed hardware decoder you probably already have" but a) that doesn't make technical sense in lots of cases and b) most people don't, in fact, have such a thing currently and c) the encoding situation is even worse.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 981

by roca (#47933545) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Christians throughout history have understood that the laws God prescribed for Israel in the Old Testament are not mandatory outside that context, and in particular are not to be applied wholesale to gentiles (i.e. almost everybody). This isn't some modern opportunistic innovation, it's explicit in the New Testament (e.g. Acts 10-11,15).

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 981

by roca (#47933519) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

The Protestant reformers would have objected violently to your characterization. To them, rejecting the human authority of the Pope in favour of 'sola scriptura' was a move *away* from secularism. You're right that ironically it provided room for true secularism to grow.

But the grandparent post is right nevertheless. The Christianity of the New Testament is fundamentally compatible with secularism and pluralism because it grew up as a minority faith in the Roman Empire and took hold through mostly-peaceful implementation of the teachings of Jesus. There have been a lot of deviations from that course but those deviations can be corrected/stripped away without doing violence to the core, and in the modern era have been.

Comment: Re:no thanks (Score 0) 172

by roca (#47511459) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

> In short, the designers are (willfully?) ignorant of the fact that
> not everyone uses their web browser exactly the same way
> they do.

Aren't you make that mistake yourself? I know our designers collect a lot of data on what many users actually use. More data than individual Slashdot commenters have collected, I expect.

> Any time they change the interface, add an easy-to-find
> checkbox under the options to restore the old functionality.

That leads to an explosion of difficult-to-understand checkboxes in the UI, and an unmaintainable mess under the hood.

Comment: Re:Misfeatures (Score 1) 172

by roca (#47510913) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

> "Automatic handling of pdf and ogg files" - I have a pdf reader
> already. I dont need another one, and I dont need one
> 'integrated' in my browser, period.

From the release notes: "audio/video .ogg and .pdf files handled by Firefox *if no application specified*" (emphasis added).

> "loaded with new features for developers." Pretty sure that
> means for advertisers.

You just made that up.

Comment: Re:Spyware companies will love it (Score 2) 172

by roca (#47510859) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

Preventing canvas tracking isn't simply a matter of fixing a bug. A solution would require something like "don't use the GPU" or "don't use platform font rasterization", either of which are completely unacceptable for most users due to degradation of performance or visual quality.

If you've got a simple fix to canvas tracking, let the world know what it is, OK?

Comment: Re:Spyware companies will love it (Score 3, Informative) 172

by roca (#47510775) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

sendBeacon was already possible with JS using XHR, just in a slower and more user-unfriendly manner. And unlike XHR, you can disable sendBeacon without breaking the Web, so it's actually better for privacy.

However, if you want to completely prevent any sendBeacon-like activity, you need to just disable JS on that page.

Comment: Re:Well, uh, yes actually (Score 1) 435

by roca (#47471483) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Considering fission weapons have been around for 70 years, we've done surprisingly well at limiting their proliferation. I think mass-market availability of fission weapons is pretty far down the list of things to worry about. However, terrorists and rogue states having them in small numbers is definitely high on my list.

Mass-market small-scale kill-bots based on rockets and drones are also high on my list.

Unfortunately the most effective method to prevent use of such weapons will be to put a chip in everyone's head. I honestly think that might be worse than mass murder, but you can imagine it looking attractive both to the Powers That Be and the public.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone