top With XP's End of Life, Munich Will Distribute Ubuntu CDs
Who wants a fish?
top W3C Declares DRM In-Scope For HTML
That's pretty much all.
The best that this idiocy can possibly produce is further fragmentation of "The Web": right now, we have "kinda sane" standards in HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1, as well as CSS 2.1; everything beyond that are half-baked hacks in the form of several implementations of HTML 5, CSS 3 modules, their DOM APIs, and whatever browser vendors decided to implement. Adding DRM to the fray will not help things, since no matter how you look at it, you will end up with content only available on specialty browsers like Chrome, IE, or fringe mobile platforms, all the while still blissfully carrying the "HTML" tag.
At the end of the day, it will be cheaper for content peddlers to just cut out the bullshit and keep doing things in Flash, and I can't even say that I'm sad about it anymore.
Oh, and the W3C? They can go die in a car crash FWIW, it wouldn't be a huge loss beyond the humanitarian impact. Not like they did anything useful in the past 10 years.
about a year and a half ago
top BioWare Launches "Gay Planet" For the Old Republic
That whole homo-semi-erotic topic in SWOR is blown out of proportion by a small bunch of loud idiots.
What really happens is that (1) those idiots have been crying about Bioware not providing homo romances with companions since the day the beta started. Then, (2) Bioware is so kind as to look into it, and puts it on their todo list. Later, (3) the whole game has its business model revamped, which makes for a huge reprioritisation of future plans; this means that low-priority add-ons like 8 all-new written, voiced, posed companion stories go to the backburner.
Now, they are finally going to release a new planet and offer a few [flirt] options in the conversations. The original minority of smacktards feels emo and nobody listens to them and waaaaaah!, and the anti-gay idiots crawl out of their holes and make it out to be the new holocaust or something.
Some people need to be kicked off the internet. Seriously.
about a year and a half ago
top Germany Exports More Electricity Than Ever Despite Phasing Out Nuclear Energy
The current mess this country is in is pretty much the result of an incompetent back-and-forth between elected governments that always try to push through some bullshit to get re-elected. Several years back, a "left"/green coalition (the chancellor from back then coincidentally got into a leading position at Russias gas racket Gazprom when he was done with that) actually decided to phase out nuclear power with a set timeframe. Nobody in the industry gave a shit by then, because everyone banked on the next government reverting the whole thing. There were also enough loopholes in there to drive the entire US nuclear arsenal through without anyone bothering: stuff like transferring lifetime from new, safer reactors to old crappy ones that were already beyond their planned lifetime. Why? Simple: the old ones were fully written off, and everything they produced was pure profit.
Some years later, enter right-conservative/capitalist government (the one we have now), the whole thing was actually scrapped for good! The industry rejoiced, but of course they continued generating income through the financing plan for renewables. Politics didn't care: they actually tax the tax, so more taxes
on top of higher fees!
Some years later, enter the tsunami and upcoming elections, it was, of course top priority for our current ruling fascists (actually those are the ones at least partly responsible for some Greek islands having no water sometimes, austerity measures can be fun) to make it their idea to phase out nuclear power. Now. No thought, no brains, just now. Of course, in the past years, nobody bothered to invest in the infrastructure because the whole thing was canned earlier in the legislative period.
Oh, of course we also stopped paying for ITER, so we will always need to import some fossil fuel, preferably through the new pipeline from Russia, to meet base demand, so that was a smart move.
That "plan" deserves shooting of everyone involved, not recommendation.
about a year and a half ago
top Does Coding Style Matter?
Code editors (at least most of them) are still stuck in a dark age where everything comes down to hand-crafted ASCII-art, which is complete and utter bullshit. Editors could and should work much closer, if not directly on, the AST of the language in question, and completely abstract away all those pesky details like indenting scopes or formatting comment blocks "properly". That stuff should be left to user preference and style sheets.
But I guess that would put an immediate end to the religious zeal displayed in tabs-vs-spaces (it's of course ts=8 sw=4 noexpandtab, noobs!), would not mask syntax errors in gobs of meticulously crafted gunk, and take all the "fun" out of programming.
top Alan Cox to NVIDIA: You Can't Use DMA-BUF
It's bullshit like that which makes the Linux biotope unsuitable for the desktop and other fields, and shows why the GPL is destructive, not useful for anything interesting, and generally not a well thought-of concept.
It shows why extremism is destructive in any field.
You may all bitch and moan about "proprietary closed shit", but at the end of the day, that very shit provides viable and accessible interfaces for people to do interesting stuff with.
top Hubble To Use the Moon To View Transit of Venus
"We will just use the moon as a projection surface to gather spectroscopic data from a tiny speck moving across the sun. Because we can. We're
Men and their toys
top The Ugly Underbelly of Coder Culture
(doesn't Google have an overt quota?)
The official Google party line is "we want the best of the best (of the best, SIR!)". As such, having a quota would be complete and utter
bullshit for them, since it'd artificially bias their hiring process.
top GPL, Copyleft Use Declining Fast
The GPL traditionally can't deal with any language "above" assembly and maybe C. As soon as a language allows "modern" features like generics or even crazy stuff like open classes, it becomes impossible to draw a clear line between projects. This effectively means that GPLed code really becomes a fast-spreading plague.
Stuff like the Asshole GPL don't really help acceptance, creating infection vectors across service boundaries.
All in all, it was fun while it lasted. Some highly encapsulated projects like the Linux kernel may stick with an old, benign version of the license, but it doesn't have a future in today's environment.
top The Real Job Threat
Ever-increasing productivity could be something people looked forward to, instead of being something that was a real threat to putting food on their table, as the Luddites who smashed mechanized looms realized. That better productivity winds up harming the majority of people is a contradiction within the current system of production we live under. At some point, these contradictions become too great and the system breaks down, then it needs some major reconfiguring.
TL;DR: Never before in history could we have slacked off in hedonism as much as we could now, and
here we are whining that we aren't able to work our asses off!
top Can the Hottest Peppers In the World Kill You?
That burning feeling? That's your body telling you not to eat that.
You eating that anyway? Bannable offence.
top Heise's 'Two Clicks For More Privacy' vs. Facebook
I'm blacklisting *.facebook.com, their CDN (fbcdn.net), and connect.facebook.net in ABP (the connect rule is older since it used to break a bunch of sites when the service started and was even more unreliable than it is today). The other solution would be to just make my home DNS auth for those zones, which I've done for a bunch of other crap like doubleclick, making that stuff NXDOMAIN.
top I am preparing for Hurricane Irene ...
BEFORE YOU EVACUATE, CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR.
Additionally, unplug it and make
make sure to stick the doors open!
That way you'll have a nice, defrosted, functional fridge and freezer when you come back, and not a furry mold incubator that was taken out by a surge then the mains came back on at 40V over specs. Take the chance to rub it out with some good household cleaner, and refill.
Also holds for student apartment fridges over longer breaks. Been there.
top What's the Carbon Footprint of Bicycling?
Ride the wave, get some public exposure, but in the end they just spouted some rubbish.
I wonder what the carbon footprint of all that fake research is.
top Old Arguments May Cost Linux the Desktop
Right now, the whole "Linux on the desktop" brouhaha is failing at the point where I have the choice of either
using a pre-3.0 kernel and having my desktop "experience" freeze for up to 30 seconds every time an application does something graphically challenging like, say, drawing a 32x32 icon, or using a current kernel and at some point have X corrupt random drawing surfaces until the whole thing is entirely unusable.
And that's not even starting with the overly half-assed state most "desktop" applications are in. Most of KDE is a pile of ugly hacks that manages to get worse with each iteration, only to be beaten by whatever cruft Mozilla is shoving out the door, actually
losing features with every "release". Gnome is quickly going towards a point where they will be a sad imitation of an Apple UI without any usability or skillful design. The office suites are trying to rip off their commercial counterparts, but mostly fail because they suffer from an extreme amount of legacy ballast.
This is not about "arguments", this is about failing to get the basics right. Linux doesn't belong on a productive desktop by a long shot, unless your idea of a desktop still is a bunch of terminal windows running vim/emacs/ed (or if that meets your requirements).
top New Technique To Help Develop MMORPG Content?
Really, the most annoying part of a mumorpuger is the "community" that forms like an accretion disk around the game itself, usually a bunch of pushy whining kids who won't ever be satisfied, will always feel underpowered with their favourite in-game character, and threaten to leave to other games for
years instead of packing up and leaving.
If there was a technology to eliminate actual players from those games, it would improve the communities a lot. We are finally getting closer to a point where it becomes possible. Exciting times.
top With regard to software licensing ...
Do you think for example that any car maker (to keep up the analogy cliches) should be able to slap a Ford badge onto what they build?
I fully endorse obvious warning badges like that.
top Thousands of SSL Certs Issued To Unqualified Names
It would be immediately obvious when someone performed a MitM attack using a valid certificate for "webmail". Why? Because the real certificate is signed by a ghetto CA that isn't trusted by any of the "major" vendors, and both the certificate and some of the intermediates have long since expired.
I'll be worried if I can access that site without a bunch of ugly warnings popping up.
top Is Attending a CS Conference Worth the Time?
On CompSci conferences, you're easily overdressed, even for the evening events. IME, "business casual" is all you really need.
And if you meant "networking *winkwink*", forget it
top Is Attending a CS Conference Worth the Time?
The most important part of a conference is the social event. You get to know interesting people who potentially work for interesting companies (although I'm not quite sure about the event you're supposed to go to). You also get to learn that other people "in the field" are really as smart or stupid as you are, which will make you more comfortable with the environment, or it will drive you away from it. Either way, you get to know if you would like to stay in academia.
We routinely try to make our students' theses into publications at decent venues, and then send them there. We usually pay for the trip and the conference fee too. If that's not possible at your group, check if there's some kind of travel grant for the conference where you can apply.
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