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Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

Ark42 Re:You're really not missing much.... (201 comments)

I pay $45/month for Comcast's 25Mbps Internet (which may be called Performance Plus or Blast depending on the market I guess). I get 30/6 on speedtests. I also get free HBO Go because that $45/month includes a tv box for basic cable that is still shrink-wrapped sitting in the corner somewhere.

about two weeks ago
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Adobe Patches Nine Vulnerabilities In Flash

Ark42 HiDPI on Firefox (95 comments)

Flash is useless on my 192dpi laptop. Everything is so tiny or sometimes only fills up the top left 25% of the box. Adobe doesn't ever seem to care -- https://bugbase.adobe.com/inde...

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Ark42 Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

If you're self-employed, have investment income, or asset depreciation, you probably already do your taxes with a real CPA. If you aren't, you probably should.

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Ark42 Re:UTF-8 (165 comments)

UTF-16 is terrible, yes, but Windows does support it. I'm sure naive programmers create bad code by assuming UCS-2 and all characters being 2 bytes, but surrogate pairs like Emoticons U+1F600 - U+1F64F work just fine.

And by "out of luck" I was referring to possible future codepoints above U+10FFF. UTF-16 can only support up to that by using surrogate pairs. It does not have any way to represent higher codepoints, where as UTF-8 can easily be extended with 5 and 6 byte sequences.

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Ark42 Re:Fonts missing in action (165 comments)

I'm pretty sure most font systems already DO do this. In fact, this was the reason I rooted my Android phone - I wanted to change the font-fallback order so that certain Kanji would display with a Japanese font instead of Chinese one. An example is http://jisho.org/kanji/details... which is drawn completely different in Chinese fonts, to the point where Japanese readers would not know the symbol, yet both are supposed to be represented by the same codepoint, because they're the same character.
But anyway, fonts and display aren't a character set encoding issue. It doesn't matter how you represent the glyph on disk or in memory, if your fonts are all missing a rendering for the character, you're going to just see a placeholder box no matter what.

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Ark42 Re:UTF-8 (165 comments)

The official spec limits UTF-8 to 10FFFF to help it place nice with UTF-16, so no 5 or 6 byte sequence is valid anymore. There isn't any characters defined above 10FFFF yet anyway. But in the future, if those ranges are defined, it would be easy to have programs using UTF-8 utilize those characters. If you use UTF-16 like Windows, you'd be out of luck though.

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Ark42 Re:Fonts missing in action (165 comments)

The font issue is a silly thing to worry about. The same thing can be said of ASCII of and Windows-1252. I'm sure lots of early fonts, and probably even some you find today, that claim to support all glyphs in Windows-1252, are missing the Euro sign at codepoint 0x80, because they added it later on. Even for a small character set restricted to 256 max characters, as you can see, things change over time, and fonts don't always keep up.

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

Ark42 UTF-8 (165 comments)

The answer is UTF-8. It's pretty much going to be the de-facto character set now. It has backwards compatibility with ASCII, and can easily be extended in the future to support possible U+200000 - U+7FFFFFFF codepoints, as the original UTF-8 specification used to include that anyway.

Any important point is to not mess things up and end up with CESU-8 like MySQL did. There are completely valid 4-byte UTF-8 characters, so don't think of it as some special alternate UTF-8 by artificially capping UTF-8 at a max of 3 bytes per character.

about three weeks ago
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Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

Ark42 Re:Glad I Didn't Build an Application Around That (75 comments)

I've hiked in the backcountry for a week in Airplane mode with MyTracks recording just fine the whole way. MyTracks can also save your KML or other formats to your SD card for easy access last I checked.

about a month and a half ago
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Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

Ark42 Re:Alternative? (75 comments)

I blame Mozilla because they could at least offer subpar work-arounds (blurry 2x scaling, half-assed PPAPI implementation, etc) for the NPAPI flash, but they choose not to. As much as I would like Flash to go away and be replaced with HTML5 video and Javascript, the real world situation is that big sites like CNN and Google Finance use Flash for video and charts that I simply can't access on my laptop now, because everything is too tiny to use. This laptop is only 2880x1620 and set to 200% scaling, but imagine how much worse things will look once laptops start having 4K displays and beyond. Meanwhile, right now, Chrome and IE both display all Flash content the correct size, so what am I to do? Obviously, on this laptop, I have to just not use Firefox. This sucks, because I otherwise think Firefox is the by far the best browser choice out there for a large number of other reasons.

about a month and a half ago
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Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

Ark42 Re:Alternative? (75 comments)

Mozilla's refusal to implement PPAPI and Adobe's refusal to fix bugs in the NPAPI version of flash is going to cause a lot of problems in the future. For example, right now, the NPAPI version of Flash can't handle HiDPI properly (retina display and Windows at non-96dpi). Websites that use Flash for video or text display are unusable if you have a 192-dpi screen already, and it's only going to get worse as HiDPI both becomes more common and people start using even higher DPI devices.
Meanwhile, the same websites display just fine in both Chrome (PPAPI Flash) and IE (ActiveX Flash).

about a month and a half ago
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Chrome 39 Launches With 64-bit Version For Mac OS X and New Developer Features

Ark42 Another version, still can't do gradients... (67 comments)

Time and time again, they just refuse to properly implement CSS3 gradients.
Version after version, no progress on https://code.google.com/p/chro... at all
See http://slashdot.org/comments.p... from version 38.

It's pretty clear at this point, use Firefox or IE10+ if you want good HTML5/CSS3 support. Chrome only cares about what benefits Google and their ability to advertise to you.

about 2 months ago
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Chrome 38 Released: New APIs and 159 Security Fixes

Ark42 Re:And it still can't render CSS gradients properl (55 comments)

I think Firefox is the only good browser, and the only one people should be using. It renders the best, has the best adblock, and is secure and respects privacy as best as possible.
As a web developer, when all I care about is how the site renders, I want people to be using Firefox, or at least IE10+. Using Chrome or Safari is like using IE9. Is sort-of works with modern HTML5/CSS3 design, but with a graceful fallback to a crappier, sub-par look due to missing support for all the CSS3 features I want to use.
But I guess Chrome is a lot better than IE8 and below, but at that point we have to start comparing Netscape 4, so it's best to just forget about anything that old now.

about 4 months ago
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Chrome 38 Released: New APIs and 159 Security Fixes

Ark42 Re:And it still can't render CSS gradients properl (55 comments)

That's a great excuse. IE6 sucked so Chrome 38 might as well still suck. Yeah CSS3 support is split up all over the place, but there are a certain small set of really useful core features that just about every browser supports, and are particularly more useful for webpages than other features. Pretty much everything in that small list of features is supported by IE10+, Chrome 10+, and FF 4+. Sometimes support requires with vendor prefixes, but it still works. Except gradients on Chrome. Up to version 38 still and you can't make basic angled striped patterns for backgrounds, or smoothly blend two colors over a large distance.

And sorry, if you're talking about security, let's talk about privacy. Google is to the point where I'd rather trust Microsoft with my personal information over Google, so that's a huge sting against Chrome, and I'm not really trying to advocate IE here. Firefox is pretty much where people want to be, especially given how much better adblock support is there.

about 4 months ago
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Chromium 37 Launches With Major Security Fixes, 64-bit Windows Support

Ark42 Gradients (113 comments)

Can it render large CSS gradients without horrible banding yet?

about 5 months ago
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New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

Ark42 Why? (92 comments)

Why are people using public CAs and purchased certificates for private networks?

Wouldn't it make more sense to set up your own internal CA, or at least just force via policy certain certificates onto each computer's browser as trusted?

about 6 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Ark42 Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (550 comments)

The double images are faint, blurry, and off centered slightly. I'm guessing they are focus aberrations due to healing that will slowly fix themselves over time. I don't think its permanent by any means, but some aspects of Lasik heal very very fast, while others take months and months. For most daily activities, you will never notice the ghost images at all. They warn you about this only in saying that your nighttime driving vision may be bad because of "halos" but really what they mean is starbursts and ghost images around bright light sources with a dark contrast, and it manifest in anything such as small LEDs on computers/smoke alarms/etc or high-contrast white-on-black text.

about 6 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Ark42 Re:Uncertainty/fear? (550 comments)

Weird. I don't remember my eye being poked by anything during the pre-exam measuring. I just looked into various machines that took pictures, stared at a red dot or something. They did a LOT of measuring too. Took way longer than the actual surgery takes.

about 6 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Ark42 Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (550 comments)

I'm surprised they operated on you with -8. I looked into Lasik awhile back and all places refused to perform Lasik with that strong of a correction, for me they said it was PRK or nothing.

Some lasers are only approved to -5 or -6. Others are approved up to -15.0: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevi...
Although the doctor can always choose to do "off-label" corrections with any laser, the approved value is not a hard limit.

Chances are, if you can't get Lasik because of your prescription strength, then your cornea just isn't thick enough. It's a real concern once you get into the -8.00 and worse range, but some people have enough thickness, and others don't.

about 6 months ago

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