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Comment Re:All animals understand cause/effect (Score 1) 171

I disagree. Merino sheep, for instance, do not understand much at all, relying instead on (1) random variations in behaviour of individuals combined with (2) following those individuals who seem prosperous. But cows are different. Cattle herds are run by the boss cow(s), and cows compete for senior positions using intelligence and/or determination and/or physical intimidation. Some cows are quite smart; most are not that clever. (I understand that elephants can be even smarter.)

Comment Can still delete cookies individually (Score 2) 471

This report is about removing optional user control over which cookies get created. Firefox 44 still allows users to delete individual cookies. Open up Preferences, go to the Privacy tab, click on "remove individual cookies" (a hyperlink) and you will see a list of all your cookies, grouped by domain name. Click on the ">" before a domain name to see the cookies for that domain. Select and delete as desired.

Personally, I prefer to use NoScript but allow websites to create cookies. That way I can whitelist domains in NoScript until a website works, without having to worry about which cookies to allow. Once I've finished with a website, I can always delete all the relevant cookies until next visit. This works well for me; YMMV.

Comment (Score 1) 418

FastMail have a very good webmail service. I haven't tried the first or third of your bullet points, but it supports Sieve rules (RFC 5228). (See here.) FastMail's web client has a nice UI for writing Sieve rules, plus you can enter Sieve code directly.

Disclaimer: I use and highly recommend FastMail, but have no other connection to the company.

Comment This is part of going multi-process (Score 3, Interesting) 192

The Gecko engine's current extension mechanism is not really compatible with the forthcoming change to multiple processes. (BTW: Multiple processes, not multiple threads, for proper isolation.) This move is in fact _necessary_ for what you want them to do.

Another problem with the current extension mechanism is that any extension can do basically anything to the browser, or any component of it. (Hence the need to deprecate unsigned extensions.) The permission system is a single bit: XUL/XBL chrome (including extensions) can do anything, non-chrome is restricted per HTML5. The new WebExtensions API has fine-grained permissions, among many other good things. See for details.

Comment Fix for Firefox users (Score 1) 116

Find your profile directory. It should contain a subdirectory named chrome. Edit or create a text file there named userContent.css (ie., chrome/userContent.css relative to the profile directory). Insert the following:

@-moz-document domain( {
.comment-bubble { opacity: 0.3 !important; }

changing the opacity value as required. Restart Firefox.

(This would be more useful as a Greasemonkey script, but I don't know how to write one of them. Volunteers?)

Comment Not bytecodes (Score 1) 126

If by bytecode you mean 8-bit instructions for a stack machine, such as Python and the JVM use, then WebAssembly is NOT NOT NOT a bytecode. In fact, it is a concise binary encoding of a program in AST form. The team are working on a polyfill for existing browsers which will translate the AST into Javascript for execution. Future browsers will be able to JIT-compile the WebAssembly in much the same way as they JIT-compile asm.js or its equivalent.

Basically, WebAssembly is a distributed compiler infrastructure for the web, where browsers get to see a pre-parsed top-down view of a program instead of the bottom-up view that the JVM gives. Low-end devices will be able to quickly translate the AST into something that runs relatively slowly; browsers etc on high-end devices will be able to do lots of optimization.

Further reading:

BTW, the really scarey thing to be learned here is near the top of that FAQ: "pthreads ... are coming to asm.js". Yep. Asm.js will support pthreads. And people will write code that uses pthreads. In your browser.

Comment WazHack (Score 1) 669

I really like WazHack, a roguelike from a one-man operation. (How indie can you get?) It's Nethack redone as a side-scroller, with animated 3D characters and monsters. Better yet, it was released on Steam earlier this week (, is still 15% off and now runs on Linux.

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