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Comment Even more IE plugins from Google? (Score 5, Interesting) 413

So.. I guess Chrome Frame was a success then? Strangely how the stats don't reflect that at all.

so let's see how the future will play out then...

On one side of the ring: H.264

* Solid native support on the default browser of Windows - IE9.
* Solid native support on the default browser of OSX - Safari.
* Solid support on the rest of the browsers via the ubiquitous (95%+) and well known by the public Flash player.
* Native support on mobiles.
* Formally approved standard by ISO and IEC
* Guaranteed free distribution on the web for free content, minor free for paid content.
* Vast amounts of existing H.264 content, widely used in video editing apps, broadcasting, recording motion cameras and so on.

On the other side of the ring: WebM

* No native support on the default browser of Windows - IE9.
* No native support on the default browser of OSX - Safari.
* Solid native support on the rest of the browsers.
* Spotty support on only some mobiles (don't expect it on Apple devices, Microsoft is on the fence).
* Not formally approved standard by anybody, just an open code dump at this point.
* Free to use, but questionable future if challenged by MPEG LA and others.
* Almost no existing WebM content, spotty or missing support in video editing apps, not used in broadcasting, not used in motion cameras and so on.

So uhmm, yeah, Google. I wish you guys good luck.

Comment Re:Tin foil hats (Score 1) 160

If being funny were meant to affect karma, it would.

And in fact, it used to. That it no longer does is another one of /.'s unfortunate regressions.

The regression is that he told everyone it doesn't affect the karma. The vast, VAST majority of circumstancial indicators we use to measure measurable things in our life work only if no one knows what they are. The moment you tell somebody what they are, everyone stops doing "the right thing" and targets the indicators directly for more effective results.

If Slashdot stops outlining their algorithms to everyone, people wouldn't on *purpose* mark incorrectly funny posts as informative, as their target would be marking posts appropriately, as they don't know about the indicators.

This is why every time someone says "Google doesn't open their search algos, therefore they suck" - I laugh. If they DID open the search algos, Google would go bankrupt within months due to overwhelming amounts of spam and abuse. Spammers already abuse everything they know about Google's algorithms: link farms, keyword density and so on.

Comment Re:The more it copies Chrome, the less reason to u (Score 3, Informative) 537

As long as Chrome lacks NoScript, there will continue to be a reason for Firefox. Fix that dealbreaker, and all of the rest is negotiable.

It does have a functionality that works EXACTLY like NoScript. Are you guys even trying?

Menu > Options > Under the Hood > Content Settings > JavaScript > Do not allow any site to run JavaScript

Now when you visit a site that needs JS, you have a "JS is needed" little icon right on the address bar. Click it, and you can whitelist that site for now, or for the future as well.

Under the same options dialog above you can do the same for plugins as well, like Flash.

Comment Re:The more it copies Chrome, the less reason to u (Score 1) 537

In other news, I do like the status bar being visible. The primary reasons I don't use Chrome are the missing menu and status bars.

But... Chrome does have a status bar. When it's empty it doesn't render. When you hover a link or have other status information to display (i.e. during page loading for ex.), it renders on bottom left. The menu bar is easily accessible via Alt, then Space or Alt, then Enter, or Alt, then Down Arrow...

I understand when people say removing functionality they use is bad, but when they just react like you, calling a less obtrusive status bar a "missing status bar", I realize they just miss the empty rectangle down there, and want their empty damn rectangle and that's it.

Comment Re:Missed the Issue (Score 1) 672

The Earth gets hotter, the Earth gets cooler.
But do WE have an impact on this variation. That is the question.

Even before we ask that question: if the earth gets both hotter and cooler, does it matter?
Who cares if we have an impact if it doesn't matter?

And even before we ask those two questions. If the Earth gets cooler or hotter, and it's us, and it matters, do we give a damn?

And even before we ask that one. If it's hotter/cooler, it's us, it matters, we give a damn, are we going to do something?

And even before we ask that one as well. It's hotter/cooler, it's us, it matter, we give a damn, we're doing something, but is it going to help us?

I think it's of utmost importance to just do absolutely nothing at all until we clear all of the above beyond any shadow of doubt. I'm sure Earth will wait :)

Comment Right about details, wrong about concepts (Score 1) 185

When text is harder to read, this forces our cognitive resources on the shape of the letters and how letters form words. We try to find familiar words in the confusing medium, and therefore as a side effect focus on unknown words, such as the name of those "fictional alien species" which the readers were tested against.

So they're right in that when we read harder, we're better at noticing the particular spelling of unknown words. But what do we sacrifice in the process? Our focus shifts to merely trying to interpret the protocol (the printed/displayed text) and thus away from trying to grasp the actual meaning of the text, and the higher concepts/story that are described in it.

Try it: it's very hard to both focus on analyzing the accent, phrasing and voice tember of somebody who talks to you, and at the same time listen to the story he's telling.

And the story and concepts are the most useful part of speech and text, and not learning random sequences of letter by heart, and reproducing them verbatim later on. The scientists in this study are right in that they succeeded to bias their readers to the medium, but failed to properly define what's the essense of reading: describing ideas, concepts, stories. Letters and words are just the means, not the goal. ...So I believe I'll be keep using my readers on "easy" in the future as well.

Comment Re:More work deserves more compensation (Score 1) 997

Give him three options:

More pay
Ownership stake
Look for your replacement

That's the boring answer. "You want more ok gimme more". The real question is, do more hours result in more work done. From personal experience, no.

If your boss is making you work 11 hours a day, it may be a symptom of some other problem the product/approach in the company has. Look for it and find it.

Comment The trap of a simple world view (Score 4, Interesting) 541

I like the media. Everything is simple in the media. They can side with a certain viewpoint for a few years, implicitly calling everyone who doesn't agree, an idiot, selecting their guests and questions to only maintain the illusion of being neutral, while having a clear bias.

Then suddenly, something happens, new information becomes apparent and an endless stream of "it turns out that..." articles flood the public. Everything we proclaimed bad is now good, everything good, is now bad. Panic, people, for you were caught off guard again. The savior was the devil himself.

Media can repeatedly turn 180 on themselves and sell panic non-stop. They can even fabricate an issue where none exists, then as we recover, claim the opposite so we panic again. Really nice for ratings, and really suitable for pushing hidden agendas. Here's my world view: People's motives are complex. People's moral compass has more than two poles. Sometimes, good people becomes self deluded. Sometimes, bad people get things right. Sometimes, good studies fudge data, and sometimes, there is commercial interests behind a genuinely good cause.

Am I saying Andrew Wakefield was "right" and vaccines are "bad"? No. Am I saying get yourself all the vaccine shots, and all the seasonal flu ones, always because they are "good"? No. Because the world is just more complex than that. Some vaccines have helped us rid of serious conditions, and ultimately made and keep making the world a better place, while other are just peddled for profit with little or no scientific support behind them. I'm not going into details, because I'm not trying to sell you a certain viewpoint on this "scandal" as correct.

I'm only trying to bring recognition that in the media cycle we're in now, Wakefield is an evil incarnate who never even believed his own studies, who never ever had a honest thought in his life, and vaccines are as harmless as drinking purified water. You'll see one-sided "fact checks". You'll see journalist display clear dislike of Wakefield while pretending to interview him. You'll see them reiterate how wrong everyone always was.

Until the next cycle.

Comment Re: Hardware is a key factor (Score 1) 765

The question you need to ask yourself, other than a widely read analysis made by a h.264 encoder developer and the MPEG-LA vaguely announcing they were compiling a patent pool for VP8. Is there any convincing review or proof that WebM is infringing existing patents?

Let's think like MPEG LA does.

Google, which is using H.264 on YouTube and has included support for H.264 in their browser, suddenly buys On2, a company with a souped up codec that has many similarities to MPEG4. You shrug it off, H.264 has the quality, the hardware support on a ton of devices and it's the broadcasting standard. Next, Google starts pushing this WebM initiative to "replace H.264", then starts compiling VP8 videos for YouTube, then pushes for hardware support in devices, and as the last drop it REMOVES loudly H.264 support from their Chrome browser.

Now, if I was MPEG LA, I wouldn't sue or reveal my cards now. I'd wait. I'd wait for the hardware spec to be in stone and hardware supporting WebM to be produced, and used for phones. I'd wait YouTube to start using WebM for more than a little experiment. I'd wait web site owners to start publishing WebM videos.

And THEN I'd hit them with a lawsuit. If they called out the patents early, Google would try to change the codec to avoid infringing. Later on however VP8 is in stone, it's in hardware, it's in browsers, it's on sites. It can't be changed to work around any patents. And MPEG LA wins.

Comment Re: Hardware is a key factor (Score 1) 765

What everyone is really waiting for are the major online video content providers to flip to WebM when it is supported by enough devices. With youtube being the biggest of them all making loud steps in that direction, it seems only a matter of time before they aim the guns at the main sail. Then we get fireworks :)

Is the fireworks when MPEG LA starts suing Google for WebM infringing on their patents?

There is absolutely zero convincing review or proof that WebM isn't infringing on existing MPEG LA patents, and in fact if I remember they have hinted at the opposite few months ago.

Comment Re:Market Share? (Score 5, Insightful) 765

Does Chrome really have the market share required for this move to have any effect on the decisions of web designers?

Yes. Chrome is rapidly eating market share: in just about 2 years since launch, it's at 13.5%. This is twice the share of Opera and Safari combined. But the decision to drop H.264 doesn't put Chrome "versus the world", as they already had Firefox and Opera in their camp (which also lack H.264). Opera + Safari + Chrome make over 50% of the browsers used today, in market share.

This is substantially different than the previous situation, where Google, Microsoft and Apple all had a H.264 browser, and Firefox looked like the odd one out, while Opera was quietly awaiting the market to decide (they'd have no choice but support H.264, if Firefox did it).

However, the battle is still not over for H.264. The common wisdom is that Google is pushing their WebM standard and that's why they drop H.264. If they really think it's that simple, they have not done their math right.

The growth is with mobile devices. The leaders among them is Apple with iOS, and Google with Android, both of which come with hardware support for H.264, and no WebM hardware support (future support in... theory, but I can say, count Apple out). So what are web content owners left to do? Maybe encode all content twice: WebM and then H.264. Imagine the hassle of, ironically Google's very own, YouTube, having YET another version of every single video they have in their library: FLV, H.264 and now WebM.

No, actually web authors will opt for the simplest choice, that's least amount of work: the same H.264 video everywhere, making use of hardware support for H.264 in mobiles, exposed via HTML5, and ... Flash on the desktop, which also support exactly the same H.264 videos.

So, in attempt to push WebM, Google may end up accidentally (or not..?) cementing Flash's position on the desktop as the video player for the foreseeable future.

I used to think Flash will considerably fade away once IE9 becomes mainstream (which comes with GPU accelerated renderer and H264 support), but now things are suddenly interesting again for Adobe.

Comment Re:Ok (Score 1) 480

So how is Verizon going to spin this to backpeddle against their previous bashings of the iPhone? Weren't they just a year or so ago telling how puny and weak the iPhone was in comparison to their Droid?

They don't have to backpeddle. Verizon isn't interested in providing a consistent narrative, but as any company, their goal is to say whatever maximizes this quarter's profit.

They also knew of these contradictions as they were working on the Verizon iPhone with Apple since early 2008.

Just like Steve Jobs himself laughing off video iPods, while working on a video iPod, laughing off iPhone while working on iPhone, and same for iPad, the reality is that honest opinions and linear truths are simply not the optimal strategy.

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