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Comment Re:I'm sure the deficit hawks will be right on thi (Score 1) 134

And also discover a cure to cancer while they're on it. Because developing a rocket and building a telescope are so similar tasks after all, right? The fact that SpaceX has lots of talented propulsion engineers doesn't mean that these guys know the stuff that's required to construct something like JWST.

Comment Re:This site works best with... (Score 1) 171

1) There's more to Chrome than Webkit + V8 + rolling version numbers. There's WebGL, there's voice input, there's websockets, inline SVG, animated CSS3 and tons of other stuff. None of this is essential, I agree, but if an app uses one of these features, it automatically gets locked out of all the other browsers that do not support them. Check out http://caniuse.com/ - it has a pretty handy tool for browser feature comparison.
2) Despite supporting MP3/AAC, Google willfully dropped H.264 support. I think it's a matter of convenience as much as a matter of open standards: the lion's share of music today is stored in MP3, and I believe it would turn off potential users from HTML5 media capabilities if there were almost no media files on the Net you could use them with.
3) Flash: maybe on Windows it ships with Flash; the Linux version doesn't. Also, I'm inclined to believe that it's mostly for the sake of security: a huge share of people already has Flash installed (usually preinstalled on their computers) anyway, so it's not like Chrome is helping to spread Flash. Rather, its support of rich HTML5 capabilities slowly renders Flash irrelevant.

Comment Re:This site works best with... (Score 1) 171

The difference is that IE used proprietary components and deliberately borked standards in order to achieve monopoly, and Chrome really uses open standards and protocols. The problem is that Google is developing it at such an astonishing pace that competitors are literally left in the dust. Oh, and I could also bring in the fact that Chromium is open source, but integrating its components into a browser with a substantially different architecture must be no easy task, so I think that doesn't really help.

Comment Re:LEO isn't that hostile an environment (Score 1) 82

First, ISS regularly passes through the South Atlantic Anomaly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Atlantic_Anomaly), which can be described as the location when the van Allen belts are much closer to the Earth's surface due to the configuration of the geomagnetic field (the "shift" of the magnetic dipole). Second, whenever there is an solar extreme event like a powerful coronal mass ejection or a solar flare, it is usually accompanied by high-energy protons that are capable of penetrating most of the magnetosphere even at equatorial latitudes, and damage ISS and the astronauts. To the best of my knowledge, the station really goes on alert and the crew stays inside whenever there is a big bunch of high-speed solar radiation coming in. And now that we're finally out of the solar minimum, we'll be seeing more and more solar extreme events for the next few years.

Comment Re:GGT (Score 1) 69

I believe you are mostly correct, except that Google has not one, but two platforms - Android and Chrome/HTML5. Also, Buzz and Wave have gone the way of dodo, so whatever social product will be used (if any), it's likely something that isn't yet available.

Comment Re:Pics, or it didn't happen. (Score 1) 1855

Sometimes, a great empire has to show character in order to instill respect and fear (here's another example), and to do punish the enemy absolutely no matter the cost. If the last decade's situation was more or less corresponding to the official point of view (we're not discussing any alternatives or conspiracies), letting this man die his own death or being hit by a random truck would be unwise, just because it would mean that someone managed to inflict significant damage to one of America's most important cities and get away with it, and that would lead many people to believe that it would be possible to repeat this 'achievement'. Besides, it would be a political suicide for any acting president to pull out of Afghanistan with OBL alive.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 309

Google has reiterated that they do plan to publish Honeycomb source code. And when they say that it's not ready for the prime time, they actually mean that Honeycomb was rushed to please Motorola and was supposed only to be run on Xoom. That both Xoom and Honeycomb are beta-quality at best is another matter. I believe that it's quite smart of Google to keep Honeycomb source closed: this way, we only have one crappy device with an unfinished OS; if they published the source code right now, we would have hundreds of them.

Comment Re:"There is no right to play" (Score 1) 214

Actually, I do remember the controversy around Spore's launch quite well. Sure, they raised the limit from 3 PCs to 5. A great victory indeed - they just slightly changed the rules to make the most loud guys shut up in a "Do you really own so many computers?" way. The core principles remained unchanged. And yes, I also know about the Steam version, which is another type of DRM (although I admit it makes many people much less nervous than e.g. SecuROM). And it's the same EA that's involved in the controversy around Dragon Age, so it was a lesson wasted, not learned.

Comment Re:"There is no right to play" (Score 1) 214

They need to know about their customer dissatisfaction

An excellent point, although one could argue that the bosses of the entertainment industry must have somehow already figured it out that people don't like DRM, it's been shown over and over again for many years that not only DRM is ineffective against piracy, it can actually worsen the situation. Since nothing changes, I must conclude that either those guys aren't listening, or they know about the customer dissatisfaction, but want DRM in their products no matter what. In the former case, there is a faint hope that one day they will pay attention if we yell loud enough. In the latter one, complaining about the restrictions is pretty much useless.

P.S. Do everyone a favor and drop your aggressive tone, okay? No one is forcing you to have this conversation, feel free to leave any time.

Comment Re:"There is no right to play" (Score 1) 214

How often do you go to a game shop not knowing what exactly are you planning to buy? Besides, you do have a smartphone, don't you? But once again, the main problem here is not that you can't access the EULA text: the problem is that even if the staff in the shop could give you a printed copy in 5 seconds, the absolute majority of gamers would not request it, and out of those who did, most wouldn't be educated in the law enough to understand everything that's written there properly. And most of the tiny percentage of those who did understand the license and its implications would most certainly go into "crap, it's just a game, not a house. I'm buying it and will get my fun anyways" mode.

Comment Re:New form of extreme masochism? (Score 1) 214

good luck actually understanding what if any of it is actually enforceable in court.

That's a much stronger point than any other one made in this thread. Even an ordinary gamer can read a EULA in the most comfortable conditions, and even if he does read the license, it will do him no good because he is not a lawyer.

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