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Comment Re:The catch (Score 1) 609

I doubt the idler shaft requires a lot of energy, and so it shouldn't hurt efficiency that much. The gains you get by using this transmission are probably greater than the losses, assuming you don't let your car idle a lot, which you shouldn't anyway.

Sucks to be in stop and go traffic which is where the highest idler speed is required as opposed to constant speed freeway driving at top gear - where the idler speed is zero.

Comment Re:The Steve Jobs douchebaggery is in full swing! (Score 1) 686

How does handing it off help? The problem with h.264 is that it's proprietary and patent encumbered; that's not fixed by handing it off to anything.

It helps because Firefox doesn't have to implement h264. It can simply ask a system service to play the video, something which the vast majority people are legally entitled since they have already paid for h264 as part of their OS licence or software patents don't apply where they live.

Secondly, if Firefox is so uptight about proprietary / patent encumbered things, I suggest it outlaw all plugins outright rather than play some silly double standards game. Ban any plugin that plays Flash, PDF, Java or anything else and see how far this gets them.

Thirdly, supporting Theora and only Theora is self defeating for Firefox. Sites and users will simply ignore the browser, or hack around the limitation by using Flash. Either way Firefox loses.

All of which can be avoided simply by opening up the APIs. If they don't, well... so long Firefox.

Comment Just to point out the obvious (Score 4, Insightful) 118

It's not that the king spammers are in the US, it's that the US has the most machines permanently connected to the internet and infected by spambots. The whole statistics is a bit skewed because spam is one of those crimes where the one executing it is not necessarily also the one wanting to do it.

Just because the machine sending the spam is in the US doesn't mean the one wanting to send the spam is.

Comment Re:Were it not for Apple, (Score 1) 277

One mans "lock you out" is another mans "push for open standards".

Apple isn't trying to lock anyone out of anything. They are trying to sell as many devices as they can before the competition catches up. In their mind that means they must block flash so people don't get the impression that the iPad is dog slow (which is what would happen if flash was enabled, most likely).

This plan will almost certainly work. Lesser companies will come out with tablets sporting fancy UIs, usb ports, video cameras and Flash support, and they will be slow, heavy, and with limited battery life. And once again the consumer will be slapped in the face with the reality that Apple really does know a thing or two about making consumer devices after all.

Comment Re:Be Careful What You Wish For (Score 0) 134

The FCC want's the new authority so they can manage it like the wonderful job they have done regulating power and frequency from a fascist standpoint instead of an engineering standpoint in the public interest.

The only thing this will do is cost more (Comcast will SHIFT the cost) while simultaneously eating away at public interest, by constantly tightening the regulation screws.

I'm not going to be crying about it; I am SCREAMING about it NOW.

DENY THE FCC any new authority, they can't even follow their own mission statement to this very day!!!

Comment Re:Smart people are repulsive (Score 1) 496

The average couple needs to have > 2 children (~2.1) in order to maintain the population. If only half your "geek" friends are having 2-3 children then they are a dying breed, just as the author explains.

You say this like geeks are a race unto themselves. Intelligence, probable introversion, and a fondness for non-mainstream pursuits isn't the sort of thing that can be blamed on a specific DNA sequence. Even if certain genetic factors encourage it, it's not like geekiness is hemophilia or something.

Comment Re:Microsoft has lost it (Score 1) 278

It's just over the top how they are trying to infuse "funky" into their products, like they are over-compensating for their historically straight-laced nerdy-businessman image.

A staple of sitcom humor is an adult trying to use the slang that his kids use in order to sound "cool". Never works, of course. This is pretty much the same thing.

Comment Re:Post-it Note passwords (Score 1) 497

There is one thing worse than a bad password, and that is one that needs to be written down on a post-it note.

Whether that's true depends, to a great degree, on the environment and the threats that you're defending against.

I work in a secure, guarded building and have to swipe a card just to get to my desk. The odds that anyone else will EVER see me type a password are small. If I write down all of my passwords on a piece of paper that's kept in a locked desk drawer, the risk to the organization is minimal. There's no harm in forcing me to have an absurdly long password that's changed often, as I don't NEED to remember it.

On the other hand, a front-desk secretary doesn't have a private space. We need to ensure that his/her password is easy to remember and rarely changed so that the secretary is NEVER tempted to write it down.

(Personally, I use Keyring for PalmOS. You need to have the device and you need to know my keyring password to get anything else.)

Comment This will fail (Score 3, Insightful) 276

Bing was created mainly as an attack on Google and an attempt to get into the search business, not because Microsoft had something new to offer in search. This is being done in the same spirit, and it will also turn out bad, with many users going to to search just because Google is that much better.

Comment Bleeding edge isn't usually worth it (Score 4, Interesting) 132

I mean look at it like this. You can probably get a card for $120-$150 now that will probably run every current game well right now. (Well except for Crisis) So there is no point in buying it for current games. You could get that $500 card hoping that it will run future games well but it never seems to happen that way.(They're slow no matter what old card you have.) Instead you can just buy another $120-$150 card in a few years and that one will run it well. (This way you end up spending less money and actually get better performance.) So my experience is just buy a decent card ($120-$150) and in a few years buy another one and do whatever with the old one. (Sell it, give it to a family member whatever.)

Comment In the wake of Toyota's trouble they pull this?? (Score 1) 238

Feature updates (or upgrades) aside, how can they produce a fix to a known problem and then demand that the customer pay to get the fix? In the midst of Toyota's recall PR disaster you would think that maybe somebody at Oracle would have a clue that maybe this is a bad idea. As for comparisons to Linux distro's those arguments don't apply because you're paying for the convienience of the distro in collecting all the updates and packaging them for their OS. In Linux, you can always go out and get the updates yourself directly from the package maintainers directly. --That's simply not possible with Solaris security patches. The only place to get them is from Sun. If they want to charge for "feature" upgrades, fine. But to deliberately withhold security patches is irresponsible and bad business.

Comment Re:"Term Workers", eh? (Score 2, Interesting) 178

Contractors have inflated pay to deal with the fact that they don't have steady employment (which in our fucked-up benefits system means you don't have reasonably priced healthcare, insurance, or retirement savings.)

So yeah, this is a win for IT workers. It's a loss for standard state employees, but these IT workers get a steady job with decent pay where they once had high-paying jobs, most of the money from went was thrown into basic necessities, not to mention looking for new jobs.

Comment Li is the instrument of a monstrous tyranny (Score 2, Insightful) 533

Well, God help us. Can't have any of that there "instability," eh? Gotta have it all nice and stable and nailed down. Yeah. That's what tyrannies thrive on.

Here's a clue, Li, baby. The people don't exist to serve the state in the manner which the state, in its infinite wisdom, decides. It's supposed to be the converse. A true, thriving society is not about "stability."

Could China's government be worse? Yes, it could be a lot worse, and it HAS BEEN a lot worse, in recent memory. But it's still an ugly denial of human dignity and liberty, and acceptance of that ugliness is a participation in an evil.

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