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Comment Re:For their next performance (Score 1) 219

As unbelievable as it may seem, it didn't slip my attention that this particular exercise was about hazmat disaster management. I don't even deny that it might be a clever way to attract and educate the general populace. My comment is solely about the fact that the same terminology could be used as a cover for crowd management exercises, and since those "dozens of other agencies" remain unnamed, I suggested that some of those are actually law enforcement agencies and have possibly already gone zombie-style as well. To clarify further: it is just my personal unsubstantiated speculation; it could well be that adopting zombie terminology for law enforcement is obviously a pretty dumb idea for anyone with a basic training in that area of expertise.

Comment Re:I'm sure the deficit hawks will be right on thi (Score 1) 134

And also discover a cure to cancer while they're on it. Because developing a rocket and building a telescope are so similar tasks after all, right? The fact that SpaceX has lots of talented propulsion engineers doesn't mean that these guys know the stuff that's required to construct something like JWST.

Comment Re:This site works best with... (Score 1) 171

1) There's more to Chrome than Webkit + V8 + rolling version numbers. There's WebGL, there's voice input, there's websockets, inline SVG, animated CSS3 and tons of other stuff. None of this is essential, I agree, but if an app uses one of these features, it automatically gets locked out of all the other browsers that do not support them. Check out http://caniuse.com/ - it has a pretty handy tool for browser feature comparison.
2) Despite supporting MP3/AAC, Google willfully dropped H.264 support. I think it's a matter of convenience as much as a matter of open standards: the lion's share of music today is stored in MP3, and I believe it would turn off potential users from HTML5 media capabilities if there were almost no media files on the Net you could use them with.
3) Flash: maybe on Windows it ships with Flash; the Linux version doesn't. Also, I'm inclined to believe that it's mostly for the sake of security: a huge share of people already has Flash installed (usually preinstalled on their computers) anyway, so it's not like Chrome is helping to spread Flash. Rather, its support of rich HTML5 capabilities slowly renders Flash irrelevant.

Comment Re:This site works best with... (Score 1) 171

The difference is that IE used proprietary components and deliberately borked standards in order to achieve monopoly, and Chrome really uses open standards and protocols. The problem is that Google is developing it at such an astonishing pace that competitors are literally left in the dust. Oh, and I could also bring in the fact that Chromium is open source, but integrating its components into a browser with a substantially different architecture must be no easy task, so I think that doesn't really help.

Comment Re:LEO isn't that hostile an environment (Score 1) 82

First, ISS regularly passes through the South Atlantic Anomaly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Atlantic_Anomaly), which can be described as the location when the van Allen belts are much closer to the Earth's surface due to the configuration of the geomagnetic field (the "shift" of the magnetic dipole). Second, whenever there is an solar extreme event like a powerful coronal mass ejection or a solar flare, it is usually accompanied by high-energy protons that are capable of penetrating most of the magnetosphere even at equatorial latitudes, and damage ISS and the astronauts. To the best of my knowledge, the station really goes on alert and the crew stays inside whenever there is a big bunch of high-speed solar radiation coming in. And now that we're finally out of the solar minimum, we'll be seeing more and more solar extreme events for the next few years.

Comment Re:GGT (Score 1) 69

I believe you are mostly correct, except that Google has not one, but two platforms - Android and Chrome/HTML5. Also, Buzz and Wave have gone the way of dodo, so whatever social product will be used (if any), it's likely something that isn't yet available.

Comment Re:Pics, or it didn't happen. (Score 1) 1855

Sometimes, a great empire has to show character in order to instill respect and fear (here's another example), and to do punish the enemy absolutely no matter the cost. If the last decade's situation was more or less corresponding to the official point of view (we're not discussing any alternatives or conspiracies), letting this man die his own death or being hit by a random truck would be unwise, just because it would mean that someone managed to inflict significant damage to one of America's most important cities and get away with it, and that would lead many people to believe that it would be possible to repeat this 'achievement'. Besides, it would be a political suicide for any acting president to pull out of Afghanistan with OBL alive.

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