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Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 2) 206

...Simple solution: anyone who pays more in taxes than they receive in direct benefits is allowed to vote.

Sounds to me like just another wealth / power concentration mechanism. Corporations axe employees; those employees lose income, so their taxes go down while the likelihood of them receiving assistance goes up. Some of them won't meet your 'eligible voter' criteria; as a result, the voter base is reduced selectively in a manner that favours those who support / benefit from corporate cost-cutting agendas. Consequently, government policies become still more favourable to corporations, even as there are fewer voters to oppose those policies. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Also, note that in some ways the system has already devolved into something similar to what you've proposed. Lobbying + political donations form a far more powerful legislator-selecting and policy-shaping force than mere votes. That has positioned the dividing line between the 'super-enfranchised' and the merely enfranchised, rather than between the enfranchised and the disenfranchised - but other than that distinction, I think the current state of affairs is pretty similar to what you're advocating.

Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 5, Insightful) 206

...What clusterfuck corrosion of the rule of law have the patent lawyers hoisted on the body politic this time?

"Rule of law"? Have you been living in a cave? Rule of law has been on the endangered species list for quite some time, and its prospects of survival are becoming more dire by the second. Corporations have been quite successful in their overt efforts make the rule of law follow the dodo into extinction.

Nobody should be surprised by this kind of shit any more; the only surprise is that there seems to be no sign of the bloody revolution that usually follows such ongoing abuse by the rich and powerful. I guess they've perfected bread and circuses, (and public education), to the point where average people no longer care, or even realize, that they've been sold down the river into slavery.

Comment We don't know what we don't know (Score 3, Insightful) 53

The proposed scheme reduces Earth's infrared energy surplus by reducing the amount of visible light reaching us from the sun. Photosynthesis requires certain wavelengths of visible light; so reducing the amount of sunlight reaching plants will reduce photosynthesis, which will in turn reduce the conversion rate of CO2 to O2. So while less energy comes into the system, more CO2 remains in the system, and the latter will tend to offset the former. The net effect on warming might be zero. Worse, we could be upside-down on the transaction, with the net effect actually worsening global warming in the long term. Yes, volcanic eruptions reduce average temperatures; but their effects are fairly short-lived, and don't give us much of a clue about the consequences of reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface over a span of decades or centuries. Also, it strikes me that we might experience significantly-reduced crop yields as an additional result of the reduced photosynthesis - not a good thing when we may also be losing arable land as a result of rising sea levels.

I really hope the folks tinkering with our biosphere are asking the same questions, (and more), and coming up with credible answers. I know they're generally a smart lot of people; but their track record so far WRT climate change models and predictions isn't nearly good enough to justify their apparent excess of hubris. Their attitude of 'yeah, if a few minuscule tests look good, we should roll out a full-scale implementation on the whole planet', is downright fucking scary.

Comment Why web apps tend to suck in general (Score 1) 221

When there are so many layers between you and "the metal", it's just a matter of time before one of those layers creates a road block. You can get around these road blocks in at least two ways: 1. install native code and get to the metal, or 2. use less efficient techniques to get around the block.

Taking route 1 means you can't claim "cross platform browser app" any more. Taking route 2 leads to slow code. It looks like MS chose route 2 and decided to use a frame-by-frame animation instead of using the obvious "timer and XOR" that's been used since the dark ages. I'm guessing that timers and/or XOR aren't available in whatever API was exposed by the browser environment.

After that, it becomes less clear why it's so slow. Even though rendering a cursor frame-by-frame is still less efficient, it shouldn't be *that* inefficient. As others have pointed out, you have a dirty rectangle and an update 60 times per second. Maybe the underlying API is re-rendering the entire screen.

And that's how you get to 13% CPU to blink a cursor, and a lot of other things. That's why web apps keep sucking. It's a problem that can, in theory, be solved; but it won't be solved because it's a lot of work across many different organizations, each with different objectives all trying to hit a moving target of changing architectures and standards.

Comment Re:Two glasses of wine per day would wreck me (Score 1) 121

This is why most of these studies say it's OK to have the two drinks; but they also say you shouldn't start drinking if you aren't already.

I think we are just at the brink of finally getting past statistical medicine and in to something much better. Statistical medicine is like Newtonian physics. It serves you well up to a point. To really do advanced things, we need to get beyond it and get to an understanding based on each individual's genetic makeup and environment.

It's only recently that they acknowledged the basics, such as Ambien effecting women differently than men!

Anyway, the mechanisms going on in your body might be such that you can't drink. You might be part of a large, but distinct minority. In a world that's moved beyond statistical medicine, the studies will say things like "Men over 40 with Gen profile signatures X2, N353, and G872 should not drink. Women over 50 with the same signatures should have one per day".

Comment Re:Now "fixed" (Score 1) 114

Hey just to rub it in here is the official Microsoft statement on the bug.

Edgar explains that it needed to detect the browser being used because not every browser supports prefetching. While a technique it used worked with Safari on Mac, it hung for Chrome on Linux.

"The second technique does not hang on Safari on Mac, but it does on Chrome on Linux. We will definitely ensure that more Linux testing is done."

What do you know, it was a compatibility issue where different solutions were used on different browsers and changing your User String would result in a different code path working better.

Comment Just a bit of nostalgia (Score 2) 52

Fond memories of using something like this, if not SixXS itself over 10 years ago. Our ISP didn't do v6, and we needed to test with it. Tunnel providers to the rescue! Now even my local ISP that everybody complains about provides v4 and v6. It's been in Windows for... how many versions now?

I'd forgotten all about these tunnel providers. News of one shutting down and a trip down nostalgia lane seems appropriate. So long, and thank-you for providing something that we needed at the time.

Comment Re:Now "fixed" (Score 2) 114

Go back to your job at Radio Shack.

Speaking of potential Radio Shack employees... changing the user string is a perfectly plausible fix.

Let's say you have a bug that creates an expensive UI watch thread. When you change your user agent the UI library will deliver the wrong version of the javascript that either is in a different commit that doesn't have the bug or the script fails to execute on the 'wrong' platform, raises an error to the console and dies (and no longer wasting resources). Sometimes a javascript thread crashing and being killed speeds up a website. You lose some piece of functionality you didn't realize the website was trying to provide and your experience greatly improves. That's the entire concept behind adblockers: trim superfluous javascripts to improve privacy and performance.

Comment Re:The American obsession with self-reliance (Score 4, Insightful) 469

You seem to be arguing that willful ignorance and intentional incompetence should be celebrated even more so than they currently are in Hollywood and politics.

Did you read the same comment I did? Please specify which sentence(s) in GP's post led you to that conclusion.

If the modern poor live more comfortably than the kings of old, is that not a reason to celebrate?

You have a pretty shallow notion of comfort. The 'kings of old' enjoyed far more autonomy and freedom than 'the modern poor'; especially the working poor, who may work three jobs to just barely make ends meet, while the largest part of the fruits of their labour is concentrated in the hands of a few people far above them on the socio-economic ladder. A slave is still a slave; it's an existentially uncomfortable position to say the least, even if the slave lives in a palace; and the living conditions of today's slaves are far from palatial.

Comment Why? (Score 1) 126

Why would anyone with even pretensions of being a geek link their password manager to a browser, beyond the two applications sharing the same OS install? I've been using a password manager for years, and it would NEVER have occurred to me to make it easy for my browser to access it directly. I don't consider myself terribly security conscious; but dangling a LOT of low-hanging fruit in front of would-be attackers was just never even on my radar. Goes without saying that the first thing I did when browsers introduced 'remember passwords' was to turn the damned thing off.

Security and convenience will always be at odds. But most people who don't have alarm systems will at least lock up their houses and cars. When it comes to The Interwebs, they should also go at least that far.

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