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Comment "Chaos Monkey"? (Score 1) 66

"Chaos Monkey" sounds like it ought to be the name of the next iteration of Firefox's Javascript subsystem.

Hang on.... "Chaos Monkey is a piece of software that deliberately takes out random parts of your live production system".... hmmmm.... maybe it *is* the Firefox Javascript subsystem?

Comment Re:why? (Score 1) 778

If your site requires JavaScript or Flash or whatever then I can temporarily enable them just for your site if you can convince me that the risk is worth your content.

It's a laudable idea. The only problem I have with that is how practical is it? Virtually every website I've seen in the last few years uses JS and makes a basic assumption that JS is enabled. If you visit a lot of sites, you're going to be spending your whole life switching the JS flag off and on.

And as for convincing yourself that any given site is safe... well, yeah. I can really see you spending hours poring over all the complex minified/compiled JS code that comes with most sites these days.

My point is that for all the earnest good intentions, switching off Javascript is not really a sensible option, even for most power users. Maybe those who are ultra-paranoid might be still using it, but even those users will be finding it a pain.

In my opinion, the decision to remove the option from Firefox is probably a good one. I don't have to deal with front-line support, but if I did, I'd be very happy that options like this are being removed.

Perhaps there's a case to be had for Mozilla to release a separate "paranoid" version that retains options like this? Perhaps. It might be popular among parts of the Slashdot crowd, but overall I doubt it would have enough takers to make it worthwhile.

Comment Re:It will mostly convince me to drop Windows as m (Score 1) 403

I think MS is seriously underestimating the reluctance of its base to move off Win7 to Win8 (or even 8.1).

The upgrade we're discussing here is from Win8 to 8.1.

Win7 users can upgrade or not as they please; the point here is that Win8 users can -- and frankly *should* -- upgrade to 8.1. Win 8.1 is really what Win8 should have been in the first place.

Win8 has had its share of criticism, and yes a lot of it has been deserved. 8.1 is a good effort to resolve some of that criticism. They haven't sorted everything, and if Win7 users still want to stick with Win7, I can well understand it. But Win8 users really should move to 8.1; It's a free upgrade from Win8, so there's really no reason not to upgrade.

Comment This is the future. (and already in use in France) (Score 2) 216

This is a very clever idea.

To those making fun of it, it is *not* a railroad/railway, nor is it slot cars. The vehicle is not on a fixed track.

Railways have had "third rail" power supply systems for a very long time. The biggest issue with them is safety; miles and miles of exposed high voltage terminal that will fry you if you touch them. Ouch. The mitigating factor that makes them a sensible option for a railway is that the railway is dangerous enough even without them that it needs to be fenced off.

This invention is basically giving this system to the roads.

The important point here is that the power is only activated for very short stretches of track at once, when that stretch is directly underneath the vehicle. This makes it safe enough to put it onto the public roads where you can't fence it off.

What it *won't* do is give us battery-less cars any time soon. We might be able to get away with smaller batteries, but we will still need them. The summary states that it won't provide power if you're going at low speed. That means city drivers could go an entire journey without being able to use the system, and even for journeys where you can use it, you'll still have low-speed parts of your journey. Even if we decided to start building it now, it will be many decades before it has widescale coverage; there will be plenty of minor roads that are likely never to be upgraded (there are plenty today that are still dirt-roads). And of course, your own driveway probably won't be connected to the grid either.

The beauty of this is that it is entirely compatible with the existing road network and could be implemented piecemeal. Roads could be upgraded with the system. Cars that can use it would benefit, but older cars could carry on using the same roads just the same as they always have. Likewise, if the electric cars also have a battery, they would be free to continue using roads that didn't have the electric rail as well as those that do.

My prediction is that it will be used initially for bus routes. If all the bus routes in a city like London were converted, it would amount to a significant amount of track. The fuel savings to the bus operator would make it very easy to pitch to the city. Existing electric and hybrid cars owned by the public could then be retro-fitted with power pickups for the system, and where the bus routes are public roads, people could benefit from the same fuel savings. If this was subsidised on the grounds of reducing pollution in the city, then the public take-up for the project would likely be quite big.

As the number of vehicles capable of using the system increases, the road network could be further upgraded beyond just the bus routes.

So yes, it is a clever system. However, don't be fooled into thinking it's a new idea. This system was first used a decade ago for a tram line in France. It was the first electric tram line in the world not to need overhead power cables. Ground-based power lines had never previously safe enough for a tram line that needed to run through city streets. This system has been in use for a decade now and has proved itself well. Building it into the regular road network seems to be the next sensible step.

Here's the wikipedia page about the existing tram system:

Comment Re:But, But... (Score 1) 282

If you had insurance on your phone, the carrier would replace it for you for free.

Well yes, but as far as the manufacturer is concerned that's still another sale.

And the carrier doesn't take a direct hit either. Indirect maybe, because their premiums will go up over time if they have to replace a lot of stolen phones, but on a case-by-case basis it wouldn't be enough to move the needle.

Comment Re:LMGTFY (Score 3, Insightful) 487

Wow what a nothing issue. It's not accurate because it's tied to the machine I view it from??? Then it's the fault of the end user. The BBC have taken the correct approach to this issue they've decided we're too stupid to have a clock!! The scary thing is I suspect that in general they are correct.

The point is that they've done this in response to formal complaints... which means that yes, in some cases the users *are* too stupid to have a clock, and not only that, those same stupid people are willing to kick up a fuss about it and raise complaints.

Comment Re:Background explanations for Europeans & oth (Score 1) 276

The fact that Broshuis (his name is misspelled on the original post) was asked to cheat is a good indicator that on talent alone he wasn't good enough for MLB.

Hmmm, well that assumes that everyone else is playing honestly.

If his assertion of rampant cheating is accurate then no, it doesn't indicate anything.

Comment Re:Walk Away (Score 1) 276

There's only one solution to a completely corrupt system. Walk away from it. Broshius made the correct decision by leaving the game behind him.

You cannot change a corrupted institution from within. I'll repeat that. You cannot change a corrupted institution from within. There are too many people inside who have spent their lives justifying and profiting from their misdeeds, who are not about to turn over a new leaf or air their dirty laundry because you've made an appeal to their conscience. They killed theirs long ago.

The best thing to do is leave the rotten ship to sink all by itself. Every honest person who stands by a rotten game, or bankrupted bank, or broken political party is just propping up an at best amoral system, and usually an immoral and even illegal one. There is no obligation to stay loyal or remain in solidarity with a disloyal and dishonest organisation.

Broshius has done more for baseball as a law student that he ever could have as a player or a fan.

I've quoted the above comment in full because it deserves repeating.

Well said. I came here to post pretty much the same thing, but I won't bother, since you said it so well.

Comment Re:What is "Opera Next?" (Score 1) 191

Is this a different product than the mainline Opera browser, or are they going to be basing future versions on Chromium, and just decided to stop using the clear and understandable "beta?" It's not all that clear to me, but if the latter, at least it's one fewer browser I have to keep installed for testing.

Basically what happened is that everyone else decided that "Next" was a cool new way of saying "the version that's currently in development". So we have and so on.

Opera decided that the only way forward was to copy everyone else and do the same thing.

Kinda like this whole "webkit, uh, blink" thing.

Comment Re:rather have money (Score 5, Informative) 524

Just wait until you actually get sick. Then it will seem far less of a great deal.

These plans are a scam, they are attempting to move the cost of healthcare onto the worker while still claiming to provide coverage. I would rather get no coverage and a raise so I can buy my own. Mind you that raise would need to be $1000+/month.

Reading the above, I am *so* glad I live in a country with free healthcare for all.

Sure, it's paid for by my taxes, and sure maybe that means my taxes are a bit higher than yours, but:

1. If I lose my job and have no income, I'll still be covered.
2. If I get sick and need expensive medical assistance, I won't be hit with higher premiums or be uninsurable for any conditions.
3. If I'm in an accident and can't help myself my family won't need to dig through my files to find my insurance papers or pay up-front for anything.
4. If I feel unwell, I can make a judgement about seeing a doctor based on how I feel, not on whether I can afford it.

I honestly can't see how anyone who can make a sane argument against that.

Yep, there are issues -- some people do abuse the system -- but I'd rather have that than the alternatives any day of the week.

Comment Re:TFA sounds like part of a shareholder presentat (Score 1) 173

Nobody walks onto the sales floor at verizon and asks for a blackberry. BB is the phone you are issued at work.

That was always the case with blackberry. Their core market always was business users, and they did pretty well out of it.

I'm sure they're very keen to eat some of Apple's consumer market share too, but don't confuse a lack of consumer sales with a lack of sales in general. In fact, when it comes to making a profit out of users, business users are a much better prospect than consumers, so if blackberries are still the phone you get issued at work, as you suggest, then BB should be laughing.

Comment While on holiday (Score 2) 363

While on holiday recently (translation: that's "vacation" for all you Americans), my brother-in-law lent me his copy of T3 magazine.

T3 is a consumer-level technology magazine. A gadget mag for people who think they're a bit techie but are really just tech consumers.

I've not read T3 in years, and I wouldn't have actually bought a copy even then. But I actually found myself reading a lot of it. Not because it was talking about anything I didn't know about, but because it was presenting a significantly different perspective on things to the kind of web sites I normally visit. I was quite interesting to get a different perspective and see how the consumer market thinks about some of the devices on offer at the moment.

The reasons all this is relevant to this discussion are:

1. Asking about paper magazines to the Slashdot crowd is going to get a predictable response. But you'd be a fool if you think for a second that the Slashdot crowd is in any way representative of the wider public. Slashdot users do not read magazines any more, but other people do.

2. If my brother-in-law had been reading a T3 website instead of the magazine, it's virtually certain that I wouldn't have borrowed his copy; I'd have stuck with my own preferred sites. The internet is great at making all things available to all men... but most of us cocoon ourselves in our own little parts of the internet and very rarely venture out. We don't get that alternative perspective, and it leads to narrow mindedness and blinkered thinking.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 3, Informative) 254

Why is the computer industry hell bent on constantly reinventing the wheel?

Because the computer industry (and certainly the louder and more vocal parts of it) has a heavy bias of young excitable developers who are talented enough to create these things from scratch, and not experienced enough to think that others might have done similar things in the past.

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