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Facebook Rolls Out Redesigned Profile Pages

FornaxChemica Not bad, actually (211 comments)

They fixed some compatibility issues it seems. I still use Firefox 2 and Facebook looked so "broken" it was pathetic, now it's almost all correct. Funnily they dropped some web 2.0 features, the page reloads entirely when you check another in-page tab. The ads are invading but the design overall is better. First time they actually improve something, at least in my books. But of course, it still is just the same old useless Facebook we could all live without...

more than 3 years ago

Tofu Activists Spoof Meat-Based Indie Game

FornaxChemica Bollocks (420 comments)

Reading comments like these, generously dissing PETA, you'd think the organization was actually set up by people who hate animals and whose only aim is to get them tortured and killed. Seriously, you guys are way off.

Everytime there's a news item related in some way to PETA, anywhere on the web, you can be sure there's a delegation of haters who are going to make these preposterous posts that get more and more implausible as you read: first PETA is described as inefficient idiots, then as liars inclined to cruelty until they are no more than a bunch of sadists and extremists. You would have people believe they eat pups meat or whatnot.

I find this totally bewildering. It's misinformation at its best; they can't just be disliked or disregarded, lies have to be spread about them in a propaganda fashion. Clearly, none of you know what PETA does for animals. All you have is this deep-rooted prejudice made of hate and ignorance, fueled by things you've read here and there online from other people who knew no better and had a grudge against them. It's just a long chain of slanders without actual knowledge of the facts or the people involved. For starters, PETA is certainly NOT against adoptions. Straight from the mouth of their president, Ingrid Newkirk (source):

"If anyone has a good home, love, and respect to offer, we beg them: Go to a shelter and take one or two animals home. The problem is that few people do that, choosing instead to go to a breeder or a pet shop and not "fixing" their dogs and cats, which contributes to the high euthanasia rate that animal shelters face."

Yes, they have to make tough decisions like euthanizing animals, because there's overpopulation, they explain it. They also explain that no-kill shelters, that someone mentioned, simply don't work (in short, they reject animals they don't find suitable for adoption or store them in cage until further notice; the lucky ones are sent to normal shelters that do perform euthanasia).

Dogs, cats and others pets are sexually mature within a year, have short gestation periods and easily half a dozen babies in one litter. Do you realize how many animals can be born in a few months time? What do you do with them? Release them all in the wild? That's why PETA has many campaigns to raise awareness on the importance of neutering and spaying, among other things.

I know some people who work for PETA. They're brave and kind, have to deal with a lot of foul-mouthed idiots on a daily basis. The only thing you could blame PETA for is to like animals too much. But this is a hardly a fault in their line of work.

As for the way they spend their funds, think of it this way: they have enough money to do both all the stupid things you complained about (ads, parody games, etc) AND all the other important things, for the animals. How did they get so much money ? Through donations and endorsement. How did they get so much support? By being talked about and known by everyone. How did they achieve that? By doing all the stupid things you complained about. Circle closed.

more than 3 years ago

Facebook Usage Hits 16 Billion Minutes a Day

FornaxChemica 400 million users? (107 comments)

Isn't it 500 million, like the movie proclaims? Even for Facebook, an approximation of 100 million is quite significant.

more than 4 years ago

1938 Superman Comic Sells For $1M

FornaxChemica Re:Icarus flew before Superman (267 comments)

Maybe I've known, but I certainly didn't remember, at least I knew he didn't have wings of his own. Do you really think this is common knowledge? Frankly I don't think so.

more than 4 years ago

1938 Superman Comic Sells For $1M

FornaxChemica Re:Icarus flew before Superman (267 comments)

the first time a man flew without mechanical aid

Icarus had wings built for him (by his father Daedalus, says Wikipedia), he didn't fly on his own. But this line ticked me off too, there must be earlier examples of men flying without mechanical aid or even natural wings.

more than 4 years ago

Android Phone Turned Into Virtual Reality Goggles

FornaxChemica Re:Classic 90s movie (103 comments)

Haha, I thought the same. Since when The Lawnmower Man is a classic movie? It's been panned by the critics of the time and rates poorly at 5.0 with 11.000 votes on Imdb. Still, it made money back in 1992; I guess for some people that all it takes to make a classic!

more than 4 years ago

Save the Planet, Eat Your Dog

FornaxChemica another take (942 comments)

This is an oversimplification. When you say "people would rather use prisoners for medical research than animals", I know what you're referring to, I may even agree with the idea, but this is not about using ANY kind of prisoner, you're wording it so that it would sound inarguably wrong. The prisoners we're talking about would be the most deviant, vicious kinds: murderers of children, serial killers, those who enjoyed torturing, etc. The question is, in the balance of life, is an innocent sentient being (an animal) worth less than a wicked human being (a murderer)? I'm sorry, but siding automatically with the human being because you're of the same species doesn't seem like the best of arguments to me. For a misanthrope, you seem to hold your species in quite high esteem. ;)

Anyway, some people say this out of sheer anger when reading about animals being tortured, I don't think all of them mean it and would actually support the process throughout. Their ideal being that no living creature should have to suffer for the prosperity and comfort of humanity.

About the second case, you were probably right to criticize the family if it was indeed a "100lb carnivore that was bred for aggression", I've heard of that before, small children left almost on their own with rottweillers, this is pure madness. I'm not sure though why your co-worker was mad at you instead of the family, might have been something else, I'm kind of careful with stories like that told from a single perspective.

more than 4 years ago

History In Video Games — a Closer Look

FornaxChemica Kind of superficial (139 comments)

The content is rather shallow for an article entitled "History in Video Games", it's just a few recent cases. History plays an important part in several old video games: the majority of wargames (Civilization, Ages of Empire, Centurion Defender of Rome, Nobunaga Ambition, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, North and South, Napoleon), which he did not even mention once, semi-educative games like the Carmen Sandiego series and even your occasional action game !

I was reviewing SNK's Guerrilla War on NES last week on my website. The Japanese version, entitled Guevara, is clearly a depiction of the Cuban Revolution, all the key names and some locations have been retained; you play as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and the final boss is Batista.

And a better example than Final Fantasy, among old RPGs, would have been The Battle of Olympus on NES set in Ancient Greece. Not to forget all the games from Japan who have references to their own history and myths, like Samurai Shodown.

more than 4 years ago

Astro Boy Director Speaks

FornaxChemica Re:Do not touch Tezuka's work (82 comments)

I had heard of Pluto before but I've never read it. There's a difference though, Naoki Urasawa isn't appropriating Tezuka's universe, it's a reinterpretation, he expands on an existing story, the drawing has nothing in common and it's not even bearing the same title. The film claims to be the Astro Boy. I wasn't outraged when Disney did The Lion King, even though it's supposed to be a rip-off of Jungle Taitei.

more than 4 years ago

Astro Boy Director Speaks

FornaxChemica Re:Do not touch Tezuka's work (82 comments)

Everything you said is true or consistent and this is why I didn't want to write a message in the first place, because it's so easy to dismiss what I said, perhaps rightfully, as the overstated ranting of the inevitable narrow-minded fanboy. I haven't even seen the movie and just basing my argument on a trailer, for Pete's sake!

In some cases, trailers tell you all you need to know, but regardless of that, what I meant by Japanese identity is that Astro as it is could not have come from a different country. Or if it did, it would have been altogether different and surely not as peculiar and charismatic; its about cultural identity and how it imprints on the artist's work. You can't deny popular culture from Japan has its own, strong personality; whenever artists from a different country try to write a story in a manga form, it never feels quite right, the dynamics are wrong and it fails to engross the reader. The filmmakers of Astro Boy seem to have turned the original characters and narratives into stereotypes of American animated movies. Just have a look at the characters they added. Why didn't they keep Tamao and Shibugaki, the clumsy kid with big glasses and the stupid bully? Because they didn't fit in THEIR vision of Astro Boy. But every bit they remove from the original is not just a detail, it's a component part of Astro Boy and a reason why people loved it.

(sorry for the typo in the title)

more than 4 years ago

Astro Boy Director Speaks

FornaxChemica Do not touch at Tezuka's work (82 comments)

I don't want to write this message, but I have to, because I'm an avid reader of Osamu Tezuka, because I think he's one of the greatests authors among all creative arts and because this movie adaptation, judging from the trailer, is nothing short of a blasphemy.

They didn't need to make that film, they could have come up with their own robot teen hero instead of pillaging Tezuka's ideas and sculpting them into a run-of-the-mill cartoon comedy with cool kids. This is exactly what it's going to be, you just have to hear some of the lines, the delivery or see a few of the situations to know what you're getting into. This is the killing of a Japanese icon on the altar of aseptic filmmaking and inept storytelling with all the odious cliches we've been enduring film after film in American cinema for the past 10 years or more.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's bad because it's a production from the US; I love American films, I love good American films. It's bad because Astro Boy, like any other Tezuka work, has so much personality and such a unique Japanese identity that if you stray from it, you're not only losing what makes it so special but you're trashing it. Tezuka could be grandiose and grotesque, humane and merciless, profound and foolish, all this in the few pages of a single story. This is precious, rare, a delight to read. Even if Astro Boy is the lighter side of his vast work, it still should be handled with great care and pertinence, which was obviously not the intention of the filmmakers: their goal was just to make it cool and trendy for modern audiences as to rake money, not critical praise from his fans and admirers.

Even though the story is completely different from the original manga, Metropolis (2001), a Japanese animation film, is certainly more faithful to Tezuka's style and spirit. Rin Taro and Katsuhiro Otomo (author of Akira, who wrote the script) perfectly grasped what made Tezuka's stories so inspiring and beautiful, the vulnerability and complexity of his characters behind the apparent simplicity. And they preserved the original drawing style! Yes, it was daring, but it was right. This is Tezuka, this is how his stories look and read, like it or not, but if you don't, leave them alone instead of trying to mend what you don't comprehend.

more than 3 years ago

Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech?

FornaxChemica verbal meme? (250 comments)

Funny, I saw this same Hotel California analogy a few days ago in a tweet. Where did it all start? These people must have seen it somewhere else, this is some kind of verbal meme. It often happens I noticed, a word or a comparison you wouldn't normally use that suddenly spread all around the Net.

Anyway, I thought this one was referring to the lyrics of Hotel California and specifically to this line: "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave".

Applied to cloud computing, I also like that one: "This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"

more than 4 years ago

Google SideWiki Brings Comments To Everyone

FornaxChemica SearchWiki (221 comments)

Google Search already has the SearchWiki that doesn't seem overly popular because no one remembers it exists when writing about the "new" feature. Wasn't it already supposed to "bring comments to everyone"? I think people are just not interested in commenting websites, or rather, the ones posting comments won't be doctors and academics as shown in their example. Google lives in an ideal world where comments are relevant.

more than 4 years ago

Developer Exposes Copyright Infringers On Twitter

FornaxChemica The Image (164 comments)

The copyrighted image is actually the "woodgrain background", quoting Technically Legal. Is this a joke? The whole story is about a background texture being stolen? Some actual artists out there who've been ripped off must be feel pretty distressed right now.

about 5 years ago

Helsinki named Klingon capital of the world

FornaxChemica Star Trek or Eurovision? (2 comments)

This is because they mistake Lordi for some kind of Klingon emperor (yes, I know he doesn't live in Hki).

more than 5 years ago

Google Mows With Goats

FornaxChemica Re:Excuse Me But... (466 comments)

The guy who pushes the lawn mower farts too. I'm not sure what kind of gas comes out -- and I don't want to know -- but it sure is bad for my personal atmosphere.

more than 5 years ago

Shadow of the Colossus To Become a Movie

FornaxChemica Lord of the nothing (72 comments)

the studio hopes to turn it into an LotR-style fantasy blockbuster

As if! At best it will look like Eragon or Dungeons & Dragons, they just need to be sure to hire poor Jeremy Irons to play one of the characters.

more than 5 years ago

CBS Hosts Ad-Funded TV Series, Incl. Original Star Trek

FornaxChemica Doesn't work (276 comments)

I was only interested in the Twilight Zone episodes personally but it's not working. I'm pretty sure they forbid access if you don't live in the US, it must be that IP detection they use on the South Park site and with some YouTube videos also. That's really a dumb thing to do but was expected.

more than 5 years ago

Guitar Hero III the First Game to $1 Billion In Sales

FornaxChemica Dubious landmark (106 comments)

This record is hard to believe. They give the monetary value of the sales like in the film industry whereas in the game industry companies are more inclined to provide the number of units sold, making it difficult to figure their actual revenue per title. Oblivious of the exact numbers of the competition, it's easy then to claim they broke a record.

According to Wikipedia, which links to a Reuters article, the worldwide number of sales would be of above 8 million. Some games have sold much more than this (Pokemon Red/Blue, Super Mario Bros, The Sims...). Even if Guitar Hero III is more expensive, it is highly unlikely to be the first video game to pass the billion mark.

GH3 has also the advantage of being a multi-platform game.

more than 5 years ago

New Google Favicon Deja Vu All Over Again?

FornaxChemica Mirà (227 comments)

The new favicon looks like some painting by Miro, except better. He should have made all of his awful art on a 16 px-wide square instead of canvas, it's less hideous to the eye.

more than 5 years ago



Google Terminates Lively

FornaxChemica FornaxChemica writes  |  more than 5 years ago

FornaxChemica writes "In a surprise move, Google announced today, both on-site and in its blog, that it will shut down permanently its 3D virtual world Lively by the end of the year, becoming one of Google's few scrapped products and one of the most short-lived too, barely lasting 6 months. No official reason was given, only that Google wants to 'prioritize his resources and focus more on his core search, ads and apps business.' Lively might have taken too much and given back too little, even by Google's standards."



Bush hid the facts... AGAIN!

FornaxChemica FornaxChemica writes  |  more than 3 years ago

First, let's remember â" I know I didn't: Bush hid the facts

Today, I spent most of the day doing some tests with PHP, writing binary and text strings to files. Later in the day, when I was about to stop, I opened one of the files I had written to that was supposed to contain 10000 numeric characters. But to my utmost incomprehension it was filled with a garble of Chinese characters!

I had been playing around with binary strings so I thought I must have messed up somewhere in my code. I check everything, remove lines until nothing else but the string generation and writing sequence remain, but the file still comes up in Chinese characters! It's an encoding problem clearly, and I get confirmation of this when reading the file from PHP, the content is intact. When reading the output text file from a remote server, it opens normally. My PHP code looks like this by then:

$t=""; $v=0; for($i=1; $i code won't display here *sigh*

If I change $v==100 for 99 or 101, then the file content appears normal. On the other hand, if I replace the 10000 with 1000, I still get the Chinese characters. After more testing, I come to realize that it has nothing to do with PHP. It's just the character sequence in the file. Somehow I'm too confident (and stupid) and don't come to think the issue might be with Notepad.

What seem to me the most logical explanations at this point are: 1/ it's a bug in Vista (I've seen many as I've never upgraded from the original; usually they don't disturb me much) 2/ it's a fault in the RAM that produces a corrupted byte or something (I guess it doesn't make any sense, but I had so many hardware problems in the past I'm just waiting for more) 3/ CHINESE HACKERS GOT ME! (or the yellow peril over Internet)

Somehow I'm too confident (and stupid) and don't come to think the issue might be with Notepad. I desperately try to look for someone on Twitter or Facebook who could help me test and replicate the bug. If the same happens to another Windows user, then I'm safe. But in all likelihood I will need to find another Vista user and possibly one with the same old version as mine, which will prove difficult. For starters, I don't know many people.

Finally, I find someone (thank you Narayan!) who helps me test and, to my surprise, replicate the bug in Windows 7, no less. She's smart enough to also try open the file in other text editor. I use Notepad for everything so doing this didn't come to me naturally, I don't even have another text editor (or just Worpad, somewhere deep down in my hard drive).

And here you have it, Notepad is even more buggy than thought. Contrary to what Wikipedia states:

This bug does not occur in Windows Vista and Windows 7 because their version of IsTextUnicode has been altered to make it much more likely to guess a byte-based encoding rather than UTF-16LE.

It does still occur. Looks like Microsoft will need to make further alterations to get their simplest text editor work as well as the competition. Sad but true.

And for those who'd like to test, here's the line:


You must copy it as such, in one line without carriage return, in a .txt file. It's 1900 bytes long. Then open it with Notepad. There's surely a way to reduce it, if someone wants to try...

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