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Comment Re:You, uh... Know... (Score 1) 115

They do actually have the cables and backbone. Despite the weird wording she doesn't seem to be talking about an actual European network, since that already exists: if you ping from Sweden to Italy it goes through Germany, Austria, etc., like you'd expect. The problem is that many of the successful hosted services are in the USA, so while the ping stays within Europe, when you email from Sweden to Italy, it probably hits up Gmail in the USA.

Comment Re:You, uh... Know... (Score 2) 115

Well yeah, Merkel isn't really worried about the German police reading email. If she were, she could do something about that problem more easily...

However I think in addition to being worried about US snooping, this is also a convenient opportunity for promoting local technology firms. If a bunch of people move from Gmail to European email providers, that's good for the European tech industry regardless of whether it actually hampers spying.

Comment Re:What's with the Mechanical Turk-based "research (Score 2, Insightful) 293

Pretty much all these quantitative sociology studies turn out to be questionable. Between populations of convenience and these hokey numerical personality tests, the results don't inspire that much confidence.

Even though in my day job I do statistics, when it comes to social science I often find qualitative anthropology/ethnography-style research, where researchers actually get out there in communities, try to understand them, and talk to people, quite a bit more informative. Especially for preliminary understanding where it's not often even clear what a phenomenon's broad characteristics are, and therefore difficult to design an intelligent quantitative study with useful metrics.

Alas, this kind of stuff gets more citations and press, because sampling 5000 people and rating them on a 0.0 to 10.0 personality scale using a questionnaire seems superficially more scientific... 'cause it's got numbers.

Comment Linux is dying (Score 2) 53

It is now official. The Università degli studi di Milano has confirmed: Linux is dying.

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Linux community when UNIMI confirmed that Linux's flagship domain,, fell to a shocking #1797 in the Common Crawl rankings. You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict Linux's future. Its domain now ranks just behind, the now-irrelevant search engine from the 1990s, which edges it out at #1796.

The glaring gap between Linux's ranking and the rankings of those in the vibrant, enterprise-ready world is in itself embarrassing enough: Apple #8, Microsoft #17, even Oracle #248. But what seals the coffin is that Linux has fallen behind even the notoriously moribund FreeBSD operating system in these industry-leading metrics, trailing it by nearly one thousand, five hundred positions.

Comment (Score 1) 53

There's an extension to the <link rel> tag that overloads it by, instead of linking to actual related data (as the tag was intended to do), treats the target of the link as defining a schema / data format, when rel="profile". The URL is then essentially a globally unique key for the data format; parsers that recognize the format will see the key and know how to parse some other information on the page. is the host of one of the early ones, XFN, which is linked in default Wordpress installs.

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