a joke about a Soviet news report:
(copy&paste) "A friendly communist agricultural tractor was intercepted by enemy group of seven Chinese battle tanks, while performing its everyday works on wheat fields along Soviet-Chinese border. Tractor has returned fire and after destroying all tanks it flew back to its base."
Performance, portability, openness aside (there are many contenders here today), the main reason I use Firefox is because guys at Mozilla Foundation *seem* to care about my privacy *a bit* more than others. Or rather, they haven't designed Firefox from ground up to suck as much information about me as they can get away with.
Unfortunately, even though the potential is clearly here, Firefox does very little to actively protect my privacy. All the killer privacy features are pushed out to extensions. In 2015 there is no excuse for not shipping Adblock as a built-in component. I would really love to see filters being maintained and distributed within Mozilla - if nothing else, that would be a great way to engage the community.
Another extension which is "a must" for me, and badly suffers from integration issues, is Multifox. It lets me open several windows, each presenting a different identity to web servers. I believe it was designed to allow multiple simultaneous logins to services like Gmail but it has a nice side effect of being the most effective way of blocking trackers. They can get all the information about Youtube videos "I" watch, or what online banking "I" use, but they cannot easily connect these patches of information into a single consistent picture of "me". I bet such function will never make its way into Chrome or Safari, yet Mozilla chose to ignore the potential killer feature again.
So, why many of such essential privacy features are still not part of Firefox? I used to think it was because of Google founding but times have changed and Mozilla still does very little on that front (no, DNT really doesn't count).
It is a local news so the use of Fahrenheit scale is appropriate. It's not like people living outside of the US have to dress accordingly.
- higher temperature -> more energy in the system (higher pressure gradients, strong winds etc).
- changing temperature -> upsetting the steady state of the system (ditto).
The biggest problem at the moment is the price - ultimately it will have to go down because there is no reason why a mass produced EV has to be more expensive than an ICE. But for now, Tesla is doing it right, by targeting the premium market and selling a car that appeals to early adopters.
Does supply of precious metals vary? Sure. Can it be ramped up 1000x, 1000000x or 1000000000x as easily as typing this line? Hell no!
Guys, you are of course right that there is no black and white choice here. Gold is only an approximation of a commodity with a stable price and therefore it can be used as money. Binary formats can be specified as clearly as text ones. But then, the *scale* is what sometimes makes all the difference.
The first has to remain compatible with millions of LOCs like:
s.write('GET / HTTP/1.0\n\n')
which in practice prevents anyone (good willed or not) from extending the format in an incompatible way.
The other one can be arbitrarily extended by upgrading libhttp.2.so and a handful of other most commonly used implementations.
The second option is tempting if you want more control over the specification. Which raises the question: why would anyone need or want to change HTTP2 once it is deployed? Or, will IETF turn evil once they get power in their hands?
I agree with you that it is technically possible to define a text format that is more obfuscated than the binary one. Yet, it almost never happens.
Text formats are designed to be open and humanly readable (that's why they are *text* formats). This encourages writing multiple implementations of parsers and formatters, often partial or ad-hoc ones (perl one-liners etc). At some point the critical mass is reached and no one, not even the original author, can fiddle with the format, effectively preventing any embrace, extend, extinguish efforts.
Binary generally do not generally reach this level of standardization. On purpose - people want to control the format and the handful of its implementations. There are some exceptions, like TCP or IPv4, (which BTW proves your point that a binary format *can* be open) but they are considered a failure in terms of extensibility specifically because they escaped the control.
Finally, in case of HTTP there is exactly *zero* benefit from switching to binary representation. Bandwidth utilization is negligible and has never been smaller, parsing has to be robust to errors for security reasons so you cannot save much processing power either. These things were important in early 1990s (yet we chose to communicate in plain text anyway) but not now. The only place where HTTP could be improved is latency as it scales slower than network bandwidth but that has nothing to do with the format.
"Peg rates", "certificates"? Pegging fiat currencies to precious metals is just like assuring that binary protocols will always be 1:1 convertible into equivalent text representations. Over the time, the ratio becomes 1:2, 1:5,..., 1:1000. It will, because there are no technical obstacles preventing that, and organizational ones are never effective (drugs, child porn and terrorism will justify about anything).
And no, 1g of gold will always be worth 1g of gold. It my become diluted in new coins, or replaced with paper certificates. But your existing savings are as safe as you are.
COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray