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Comment vs WebP (Score 5, Insightful) 377

I don't think we should compare BPG with JPEG, since it is very outdated. I wonder how it stacks against WebP - does it also support animation? Better compression? Licenses? Faster encoding/decoding? Browser manufacturer support? I'm all for making web more optimal, because you can never have "fast-enough" bandwidth, especially on a mobile device in bad connection area, but lets compare similar things.

Comment Re:This seems different (Score 1) 134

Wikipedia Zero does NOT, ever, pay any ISPs anything. Frequently, you, the client, might not have any internet access on your mobile device, and yet will still be able to access Wikipedia for free. This is frequently done as a CSR initiative or other reasons by the mobile operator.

Privacy

The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users 180

New submitter qqod writes this story at The Guardian that raises privacy concerns over the Whisper app. "The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be the “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed. The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives. Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws."

Comment Same problem at Wikipedia (Score 1) 60

I am part of the Wikipedia Zero initiative, and we need to ensure that http://m.wikipedia.org/ runs on ALL platforms, including the mostly forgotten flip phones with no JavaScript. Which obviously presents the problem of testing. There are some sites (we have an account with one of them) that provides multi-platform testing, but all that means is multiple flavors of Android & IOS... with possibly the latest BB thrown in. Unfortunately, the bigger problem is the older devices, where capabilities were much more varied. One day I hope we can have access to the most commonly used labs testing, including various Nokias, etc. Hoping...

Comment "Physics" is not science (Score 1) 292

"Physics" is a fairly artificial concept of separation of knowledge - after all, knowledge is just one. Our brains, on the other hand, are too tiny to fit all of it in. We started learning about surroundings "midway", e.g. F=ma - basic physical phenomenon, and from there started moving towards the very small (quarks), very large (galaxies), and much more complex - chemistry, biology. I think the discoveries tend to go in waves, and when there is an imbalance of knowledge, the area at the bottom shoots up. For example - enough data accumulated and enough mathematical tools were developed to boost physics and chemistry, which helped with computers, which in turn boosted biology. Next step - exact predictions of social sciences, terraforming, ... Time to travel far far away.

P.S. Even though I couldn't find who was the original author, my physics teacher once told me that when governor visited Franklin's lab, and was shown all the electrical research, he wondered what was the purpose... to which Franklin replied "Physicists will tinker with it for a bit, and later you will start taxing it". It might have been someone else of course, but does not change the point - something gets discovered, and later it becomes ubiquitous in our everyday life.

Comment Only benefits smaller devices (Score 1) 217

The raw speed of the code might actually diminish since the .net runtime could have optimized it better for the specific environment (CPU model, available RAM, phase of the moon, etc). On the other hand, the startup would benefit - no more need to just-in-time compile. Plus there is no need for memory to compile it. On the other hand, the runtime might use some cycles to further optimize code during execution, whereas with this approach the code won't change any further. In any case, great for instant startup, but I suspect conceptually this is not much different from the older binary pre-compiled cached versions of the assemblies.

Comment Re:Reviewed by volonteers, donated to Foundation (Score 1) 125

Thekohser, thanks for the reply, could you point me to the correct info? I only found http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi... and that doc is not trivial, so any help explaining your position would greatly help. Where do 49+% go? Is it the same for all non-profits or non-profits in the same sector (if there is such a division). Thank you!

Comment Reviewed by volonteers, donated to Foundation (Score 1) 125

Disclaimer - I work for the Wikimedia foundation, but expressing my own opinion.

Donations go to the Wikimedia Foundation, covering various technology/organizational costs, but the foundation is not involved in the actual editing or reviewing process - that has always been done exclusivelly by the community. Donations would never affect the content of an article simply because its a different group of people - those who receive the money spend it on internet/development/building/conferences, while volonteers independently decide what should stay and in what form. An analogy here would be donating money to ISP to support the service, while abusing one of the web sites on the web.

Businesses

Tim Cook: If You Don't Like Our Energy Policies, Don't Buy Apple Stock 348

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Nick Statt reports at Cnet that at Apple's annual shareholder meeting Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shot down the suggestion from a conservative, Washington, DC-based think tank that Apple give up on environmental initiatives that don't contribute to the company's bottom line. The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), hasn't taken kindly to Apple's increasing reliance on green energy and said so in a statement issued to Apple ahead of the meeting. 'We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards,' said NCPPR General Counsel Justin Danhof demanding that the pledge be voted on at the meeting. 'This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender.' Cook responded that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues. 'When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind. I don't consider the bloody ROI,' said Cook. 'We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive, We want to leave the world better than we found it.' Danhof's proposal was voted down and to any who found the company's environmental dedication either ideologically or economically distasteful, Cook advised 'if you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.'"

Comment Chrome is a virtual box too - NaCl (Score 1) 201

This seems to talk purely about virtual servers, not hardware. Everything above hardware is nothing but programs, even if we call them virtual PCs. They only differ in the level of integration with the rest of the machine and peripheral devices. For example, javascript running in a browser could be considered as much of a virtual pc as Oracle's VirtualBox, with the only difference being the interface with which internal code communicates with the outside. Chrome's native client (NaCl) ability to run native code without any interpretation while still maintain complete isolation from the OS and other processes is the best example of complete virtualization.

Comment Wikipedia (MediaWiki) is also deploying Lua (Score 2) 311

MediaWiki developers are almost ready for Lua scripting to be enabled for all Wikipedia and related sites, and It has already been deployed to http://mediawiki.org./ Lua was chosen mostly because of how easy it is to sandbox and limit memory consumption.

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Lua_scripting/Tutorial -- Introduction

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