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Comment Re:Answered in reverse order (Score 1) 464

The "killer feature" for me on Gmail is conversation view, where it groups messages together in conversations, so instead of a ton of disparate emails, they're grouped together in a single line and can be seen in sequential order. Back when I switched over to Gmail, it was the only thing that had this feature, and now I find it indispensable, though it does sometimes screw up (since email was never designed to actually have this in the first place). Do other clients have this yet?

Yes: My experience has been that webmail is inferior to having a mail client. Even simple things like correctly displaying email which contains styled HTML content doesn't work in, for example, Gmail.


Submission + - WebRTC Makes Firefox's Social API Even More Social (

theweatherelectric writes: Mozilla has put together a demo which combines WebRTC with Firefox's Social API. Over on Mozilla's Future Releases blog, Maire Reavy writes, 'WebRTC is a powerful new tool that enables web app developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities in their products. While many of us are excited about WebRTC because it will enable several cool gaming applications and improve the performance and availability of video conferencing apps, WebRTC is proving to be a great tool for social apps. Sometimes when you’re chatting with a friend, you just want to click on their name and see and talk with them in real-time. Imagine being able to do that without any glitches or hassles, and then while talking with them, easily share almost anything on your computer or device: vacation photos, memorable videos – or even just a link to a news story you thought they might be interested in – simply by dragging the item into your video chat window.'

Submission + - The Shumway Open SWF Runtime Project (

theweatherelectric writes: Mozilla is looking for contributors interested in working on Shumway. Mozilla's Jet Villegas writes, 'Shumway is an experimental web-native runtime implementation of the SWF file format. It is developed as a free and open source project sponsored by Mozilla Research. The project has two main goals: 1. Advance the open web platform to securely process rich media formats that were previously only available in closed and proprietary implementations. 2. Offer a runtime processor for SWF and other rich media formats on platforms for which runtime implementations are not available.'

Comment Re:Not that Disruptive (Score 3, Informative) 286

To be disruptive, a device has to attract developers and users.

The developers and applications already exist. It's easy to make existing HTML5 applications installable to Firefox OS. Just add an app manifest and an application cache manifest. It would be easy for ZeptoLab, for example, to make Cut the Rope installable to Firefox OS.

This one hasn't even got a hardware vendor.

You should read one of Telefonica's press releases. Firefox OS has both operators and hardware manufacturers.


Submission + - Formula 1 ECU Adapted for Use in Hospitals (

theweatherelectric writes: The electronic control unit used in Formula 1 cars has been adapted for use in hospitals. James Allen writes, "As a result of a chance conversation between a McLaren engineer and a paediatrician, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has been trialling the ECU in a children’s intensive care ward; the idea is that the F1-derived unit can measure all the key signs from the child, sense trends and detect developing problems earlier than the electronics previously used by the NHS. The unit normally measures oil pressures, brake temperatures and the like. Here, a lightly adapted version of the F1 ECU is being used to measure things like heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure in an ill child. And, inevitably, it is far more capable than the units currently used in hospitals; it can take a heart cardiogram 125 times a minute, instead of once an hour, for example." Birmingham Children’s Hospital is seeking a further £2 million to continue the trial and extend it across the hospital.

Comment Re:Only thing missing... (Score 2) 880

How would they know?

Because they're professional game developers and they've worked with both closed and open drivers. The Intel Linux GPU driver team spent time working with Valve's Linux team in Bellvue. The Valve guys told the Intel guys that they like open source drivers better. You should read the blog post I linked to.

Comment Re:Only thing missing... (Score 3, Insightful) 880

Why would Valve care if the drivers are Open Source?

Because they find them easier to work with. To quote a recent blog post by one of Intel's open source GPU driver developers: "The funny thing is Valve guys say the same thing about drivers. There were a couple times where we felt like they were trying to convince us that open source drivers are a good idea. We had to remind them that they were preaching to the choir. :) Their problem with closed drivers (on all platforms) is that it's such a blackbox that they have to play guess-and-check games. There's no way for them to know how changing a particular setting will affect the performance. If performance gets worse, they have no way to know why. If they can see where time is going in the driver, they can make much more educated guesses."

Comment Re:Only thing missing... (Score 1) 880

Good luck getting real open source drivers out of Nvidia, ATI/AMD, and Intel for their graphics hardware.

Intel develops open source drivers for their graphics hardware. See for yourself on their Intel Linux Graphics website. Intel worked with Valve recently to improve their drivers for Valve's games. Phoronix has some statistics on the development history of Intel's open source drivers.

Comment Re:No shit (Score 1) 395

My favourite example is the HTML 5 Angry Birds game.

Angry Birds Chrome is a poor example of an HTML5 game as it relies on Flash for audio. If I try it with Firefox 14.0.1, for example, without Flash installed I get a message which tells me that I either need to install Flash or use Chrome as it has Flash built-in. Better examples of HTML5 games which work without Flash are Cut the Rope, Pirates Love Daisies, World's Biggest Pac-Man, and Word Squared.

The development of the first three games was funded by Microsoft to demonstrate that credible applications can in fact be built against an HTML5 runtime. They also demonstrate that there are already high quality applications available for Firefox OS. It's pretty trivial to make them installable on Firefox OS.

Comment Re:Battery life and Peformance (Score 1) 91

From what I understand they're banking on the fact that writing an app for Firefox OS will use the same technologies as making a webpage, which should make it viable for a huge developer community.

Yes, especially because that developer community already exists. Even Microsoft has already inadvertently funded the development of a few Firefox OS applications. The HTML5 version of Cut the Rope, for example, already runs on Firefox OS. To make it an installable Firefox OS application all that would need to be added is a manifest file and an install page. And similarly for other Microsoft funded HTML5 games like Pirates Love Daisies and World's Biggest Pacman.

Comment Re:Tunderbirds are NO! (Score 5, Interesting) 378

What more is there for email?

Something more for Thunderbird is integrated instant messaging. I want unified email and instant messaging in one application so I'll have unified contacts and search. The number of instant messaging services supported by Thunderbird seems like it will be limited at first but that will improve with time and perhaps there will be add-ons available to support more services.

Comment Re:Good, but a little pointless. (Score 1) 137

I see no evidence that that is true.

I see no evidence that it isn't true. Browsers are more capable and faster today than they were even two years. Every browser maker wants their browser to be the fastest and the benchmark is the speed of other browsers. Competition breeds improvement.

And indeed there are plenty of other browsers on the platform.

There are no other browsers on iOS. There are only shadows of other browsers. If you can't have your full browser stack on iOS, there are no competiting browsers.

It's only the rendering engine that's mandated to be one defacto-standard. And that's for user experience reasons.

*Only* the rendering engine? You mean the most fundamental part of any browser? In any case, it's both the JavaScript engine and the rendering engine that are banned. My user experience would be improved by being able to run full Firefox on iOS. I like Firefox. I can run Firefox on Windows. I can run Firefox on OS X. I can run Firefox on Linux. I can run Firefox on Android. There is no justification for not being able to run Firefox on iOS. The quality of the user's experience is for the user to decide, not Apple.

People are not all the same. Neither are corporations.

If you want to draw an analogy between people and corporations, corporations are psychopaths. This may help you:

Comment Re:Good, but a little pointless. (Score 1) 137

For sure Apple won't be allowing any other browser engine on iOS. Because there is no benefit to the consumer in doing so.

There are clear benefits for the end user that are derived from browser competition. You need only look at the improvement in browsers on the desktop to see that.

Apple won't allow other browser engines on iOS because it introduces competition on the platform and has the potential to diminish Apple's opportunity for profit. The capability to run web-based applications on iOS in a full version of Firefox or Opera or Chrome horrifies Apple because it would mean iOS users could install applications through distribution channels other than the one Apple controls and profits from. It also means that a user of Firefox or Opera or Chrome can more easily move to another platform because they can just go ahead and keep using Firefox or Opera or Chrome on the new platform with a minimum of fuss.

Remember: corporations hate competition. They will always do everything they can to avoid it.

Comment Re:Good, but a little pointless. (Score 1) 137

The fact that doing so allows them to make dump trucks full of money out of the defacto walled garden is incidental.

This is naive. Generating profit and increasing shareholder value are Apple's primary concerns, as they are with any large corporation. It is not incidental. It is an explicit goal and everything Apple does is designed to achieve that goal.

Comment No (Score 4, Insightful) 175

If CSIRO is a patent troll then so is every major university. Stanford University's Office of Technology Licensing, for example, exists to generate income through the licencing of Stanford developed technologies which they then invest back into research and education. CSIRO similarly invests its income back into research and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund. The idea that research organisations are patent trolls and shouldn't be allowed to licence their inventions to others in order to maintain their focus on research is both farcical and intellectually bankrupt. Joe Mullin's jingoistic and, frankly, pathetically insular article isn't worth a second reading.

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