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Comment And Now Firefox Has Fallen... (Score 1) 778

So people fiddle with the settings and the browser "breaks?" Is there some reason it wasn't possible to create a button reading, "Restore Factory Settings," in large, friendly letters? Or was that too hard?

The simple answer is that there is a growing movement to reduce user options that can break applications.

Please try to remember whose machine you're running on. You're a guest under my roof, and guests that behave badly do not get invited back. So no, you don't get to run code in my browser until you've earned a certain level of trust, and you certainly don't get to invite in your friends' code. (I mean, just who the fsck is rpxnow.com, anyway?)

For example, there are websites that not only don't work without JavaScript, but they fail in complex ways [ ... ]

The technical term for sites that behave this way is, "Broken."

Hence, once you remove the disable JavaScript option Firefox suddenly works on a lot of websites.

Firefox already works on a lot of Web sites. Is someone shipping FF with JavaScript turned off by default? What exactly is the alleged problem here?

Today there are a lot of programmers of the opinion that if the user has JavaScript off then its their own fault and consuming the page without JavaScript is as silly as trying to consume it without HTML."

These programmers are called, "Wrong."

Back in the 1990's -- in the days of sneaker-net, recall -- macros in Microsoft Word documents, originally thought to be oh so terribly clever, proved to be a monumental nightmare for their ability to spread viruses and generally wreak havoc. It was so bad that even Microsoft was forced to admit it fscked up, and no longer executed macros in a loaded document by default, but would ask first. So you'd think the lesson on embedding executable content in what was fundamentally a document would have been learned.

Then some allegedly clever person kluges together JavaScript in an afternoon, and suddenly executable content embedded in documents -- over a genuine network, mind -- becomes a fantabulous idea again.

Uh, no, it didn't. JavaScript was a stupid idea, and should never have been allowed to happen. Unless your site is trustworthy and useful, you DO NOT GET TO RUN JAVASCRIPT.

Comment I can't wait! (Score 0) 395

For a few months I am consulting in San Jose and driving from Berkeley. I can't wait for all of those folks to move to the cities and get off the roads! Typical commute is 1.5 hours to drive no more than 49 miles. Even getting on the road at 6 AM doesn't beat the traffic.

Comment Re:Phenotipyc variance (Score 1) 204

I am no authority on homosexuality. All I really know is that I meet a lot of gay folks here in Berkeley, and they are every bit as nice as anyone else.

Nor am I a genetics expert. But I know enough to hold a discussion.

You are right that there may be no genetic connection with homosexuality, because it doesn't seem to be inherited in general. But there are intriguing differences such as digit ratio, and we know that many developmental differences can have a genetic factor. Who knows what we will find?

I think the flaw with your argument is that you are assuming that homosexuals don't breed. Not true, and there may also be factors increasing the success of their offspring such as small, educated and relatively affluent families.

Next, do not assume that direct reproductive success is the only possible pro-survival factor. The contribution of homosexuals to the reproductive success of their close genetic relatives or even their community may be a pro-survival factor for genes like their own.

Comment Not necessarily the right place (Score 2, Insightful) 97

I have no objection to protocol experiments that are 100% Open Source implementations. I wouldn't trust one that was not, and an Open Standard is just instructions for people who make implementations.

But it seems that a lot of this might belong in a system facility rather than the browser and server. I don't know if it makes sense to put all of TLS in the kernel, but at least it could go in its own process. Using UDP is fine for an experiment, but having 200 different ad-hoc network stacks each tied into their own application and all of them using UDP is not.

Comment Re:It's dead either way, why not try this? (Score 1) 371

What you want exists under the Part 5 rules, which you can read here. That is a separate radio service that allows experimentation for commercial purposes and other things that would not fit in Amateur radio. You have to file notices, but you can do what you want, and on a lot of different frequencies.

The Part 97 rules for the Amateur Sevice create a pretty good balance between the needs of all of the various users of Amateur radio. It's not really designed for all sorts of experimentation without limit, it's more for experimentation by individuals with explicitly non-profit and personal motivation.

Comment Re: Because it's radio (Score 1) 371

Well, I really do appreciate that we keep folks who can't articulate themselves without resorting to swear words out of the ham community, and that they have to take a test as well. The people we talk with on ham radio meet a higher standard than you'd meet in the local bar, or come to think of it, on Slashdot. And I'm not the slightest bit interested in lowering that standard.

Comment Re:Origin (Score 2) 204

Let's look at another example. Suppose there were a billionaire who made his money making crappy products and pushing those products on people. Suppose that man decided to then dedicate his life to wiping out a series of specific species completely from their native environments. Sounds like a supervillain, right? Well, that man is Bill Gates, and the species in question are the four species of malaria.

This is a tautology; everyone already knows Bill Gates is a super-villain.

And like most power-mad super-villains, I'm quite certain Gates hasn't bothered to consider the possible long-term downsides to putting his fumbling thumb on the scale of evolution and genociding several species of pathogen.

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