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Comment Re:The problem with traffic engineers... (Score 2) 579

There are several places like that which are just as (if not more) confusing. Though spaghetti junction is the most famous.

Swindons Magic Roundabout for example

Then near where I grew up there is the A19 meeting the A66

What you can see if you follow that:

At the bottom (South of the river): Similar but not as bad as spaghetti junction
At the top (North of the river): The roundabout below has up to 6 lanes in places with 2 mini roundabouts
On the right hand side (just south of the river): This one isn't as bad when you're actually drivintg it, as it's a standard roundabout with a few shortcuts if you happen to be taking the first exit for you).

Comment Re:Cookie requirement? C'mon guys. (Score 1) 138

Actually this is due to a UK/EU law/requirement that all sites which require users to explicitly be notified (and agree to) any cookies which are not explicitly required for usage of the site (sites which require logins, shopping carts etc are therefore exempt), the site will just work as normal if you don't click on the "I agree" button (which ironically will set another cookie saying you have agreed).

I guess some sites just enabled it for world users rather than dealing with different countries seperately.

ICO link below for those who want to read up on it.

Comment Something seems odd about this quote (Score 1) 484

Which is what makes me suspect it's a joke site, and that there's a heavy touch of sarcasm.

"...., the brave pilots and operators of the U.S. drone program...."

Damn brave, risking their lives shooting someone down from their heavily fortified bunker located a completely different country to the actual battle.

Comment Re:Good thing it's free... (Score 2, Insightful) 206

The problem about this is that many of those types of flaws have been well known about and well publicised for many years now (and many high profile sites have had widely publicised exploits ecause of them).

However, there are now many standard practices which seasoned/experienced programmers/developers/system designers use to mitigate most of those issues (Hell, whilst I may have some issues with Ruby on Rails, with the current release I believe you'd have to explicitly allow unescaped HTML into your pages).

Anyone who has been developing any web applications for any decent length of time should be treating security (XSS, SQL Injection, Request Forgery etc) as a matter of principle, because it's much harder to retrofit security once you're finished. So that their source has so many holes in it does not bode well for any underlying protocol, they are not approaching the project with security in mind at all (and it may seem that they are not experienced enough yet to approach it so). This would be fine if it was just your average open source project, however it's not. They have been donated some $200,000 with which to develop it, and the benefit that could be gained from it is immeasurable. If the code they write is full of flaws, you can probably expect the protocol to have issues as well.

As has been suggested, the very first thing they should have done is come up with the protocol/data schema/api with which the sites would communicate . This would include allowing extensions/non base data as if there isn't a standard way of doing this then many of the various companies who run the servers will attempt to extend them (ala Microsoft) to get their own kind of vendor lock in (The best way would probably be something similar to the RSS v2.0 modules via namespaces, though I haven't spent too much time thinking about it).

Comment Steisand Effect anyone? (Score 1) 317

I'll be counting the time until some other programmer in a country Facebook can't touch (or who does it anonymously), scrapes the exact same data and pushes it up on a torrent, purely because of this story.

Although I'm not sure why Facebook are so concerned, the friend data is relatively fluid, whilst there will be long term friendships, people add new friends all the time (and I'd guess, to a lesser extent, remove people who are no longer friends.

Plus the data isn't THAT reliable, I have several friends who, purely as a game have 1000+ friends and counting, purely to see how many they can get.

Comment Re:aalib (Score 1) 102

There's an even easier way of noticing it's an output filter.

The switch when clicking between your current stream and the text stream, is instant. If you switch from low to high def streams it actually reloads the stream. You can click the TEXTp to normal links as many times as you like and it's instant. They probably did effectively convert aalib to flash in some form (at the very least use the conversion tables).

Comment Re:Is this new? (Score 1) 136


Using Light's Handedness To Find Alien Life 210

Rational Egoist writes "Scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have come up with a novel, easy way to detect life on other planets. Rather than try to measure the composition of atmospheres, they want to look at the chirality of light coming from the planet. From the article: '"If the [planet's] surface had just a collection of random chiral molecules, half would go left, half right," Germer says. "But life's self-assembly means they all would go one way. It's hard to imagine a planet's surface exhibiting handedness without the presence of self assembly, which is an essential component of life."' And they have already built a working model: 'Because chiral molecules reflect light in a way that indicates their handedness, the research team built a device to shine light on plant leaves and bacteria, and then detect the polarized reflections from the organisms' chlorophyll from a short distance away. The device detected chirality from both sources.' The article abstract is available online."

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