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Comment Yeah, yeah, Wikipedians were deluded (Score 5, Informative) 441

Wikipedia admin here that was quite involved with the shutdown. RIAA guy thinks we were 'deluded'.

Here's what actually happened. We had a discussion on Wikipedia for a few weeks. We asked the Wikimedia Foundation to instruct their General Counsel to prepare us a detailed listing of exactly what the problems are for Wikipedia with the bill. He did so, and produced a document listing a variety of problems that SOPA might cause for Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects. We then had a vote as to whether or not to take action.

By 'deluded', he means we as a community decided to ask a lawyer to look at the bill and tell us what he thinks, and then decided to take action. If that's delusion, I'm not sure what counts as sanity any more.

Comment Re:When lossless isn't really lossless (Score 1) 312

I read that and before realising it was Poe's law, I grabbed an audio CD, popped it into iTunes, ripped it to WAV, turned the WAV into FLAC, then turned the FLAC back into WAV, and checked the SHA1 on the two WAV files. See

For the benefit of audiophiles everywhere, I can confirm that "lossless means that what you put in exactly matches what you put out". ;-)

Comment Re:How exactly do you measure this? (Score 2) 585

User Agent strings aren't the only way of identifying browsers. Generally these days, you do UA strings and object detection. Basically the latter is running JavaScript with a whole bunch of if statements to see if certain objects are defined. document.all is an IE only thing, and window.performance only exists in IE9 for instance. window.opera only exists in Opera (duh).

With WebKit browsers (Chrome, Safari), you can detect to see if they have Canvas and WebGL support. With IE, you can even use conditional comments.

If you have a UA string claiming to be Firefox 2 but it responds to document.getElementsByClassName, you know something is lying to you. ;-)

To see how this sort of thing works, take a peek at

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 585

One thing I like a lot: you are reading something on a page and you want to search for it in another tab. You pop open a new tab, start typing the search or URL and then need to go back to the first tab to check something. You come back to the new tab and the partially-entered URL or search remains. This is good!

Comment Re:Patents are unnecesary (Score 1) 50

They have one major advantage to tap water: they are often available in places where you can't get tap water. If I'm rushing for a train, I can hop into a shop, grab a bottle of water and get on the train. Sadly, my local friendly city authorities have decided that publicly usable taps == evil socialist communism.

Comment Re:Why is this a problem? (Score 3, Informative) 376

Gender IS in preferences. You can choose between male, female and unspecified. This is to customise UI on the site so it has the appropriate pronouns. You can do this all over the place, like this:

{{gender:Jimbo Wales|man|woman|person}}

(replacing Jimbo Wales with your WP username (or a template that substitutes the current user's name) and the words man, woman and person with wikitext that you want returned)

This is used quite a bit for Userboxes so that they can make it text in the userbox switch dynamically between "This user lives in London and [they like/he likes/she likes] travelling on the Underground" or whatever.

The problem with the preferences route is unspecified may be because you haven't set it or it may be because you don't want to set it (or you don't fall into male/female because you are transgendered or whatever).

There have been polls and studies done though. You can read about them on or

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