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Windows Browser Ballot: the Winners and the Losers

RAMMS+EIN Re:That agrees with my figures (134 comments)

It just goes to show that the reason that IE got to have so much dominance was not because it was bundled with the operating system, but that for far too long it had no real competition.

I rather think that it means you're looking at the data too late. Of course MSIE was the dominant browser when it didn't have any real competition, but that was after the competition had been killed off. Before that, there was healthy competition between Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

Although it is impossible to say for certain, many believe that MSIE came to have ~90% market share through a combination of being bundled with the operating system and having become good enough that it wasn't worth the trouble to get a different browser. Netscape went under and it would take years for Mozilla to produce something that people would actually prefer over MSIE, but all this time, there had been Opera, who have made a very impressive browser at least since their 3.x days. Why is it that they never managed to sway a large percentage of users? Could it be because Opera, other than Netscape and IE, was never included on ISPs installation disks, included with shareware magazine's distributions, or bundled with operating systems on large scale?

Recent history also tells some interesting stories. At some point, Microsoft apparently got worried enough about the competition on the browser front that they created an Internet Explorer team again. Yes, they had actually disbanded the IE team after the release of IE 6. So what did the competition have to do to get back in the game? Well, take a look at Firefox, Opera and Safari from around Firefox's 1.0 release, and you will find that they are light years ahead of MSIE 6 - which really isn't all that different from MSIE 5.5. Let's also not forget that Firefox had a stable base on *nix, and Safari on Mac OS X, so they would continue to be improved regardless of adoption by Windows users.

Does bundling a browser with the operating system (or ISP service) give that browser a huge advantage over the competition? I think it is clear that it does.

more than 3 years ago

NX Compression Technology To Go Closed Source

RAMMS+EIN Re:NX is a bandaid (286 comments)

``maybe this should be taken as a sign that the problem NX solves needs a different solution. Like, oh I don't know... maybe revising the X windows protocol so it doesn't suck so hard it has its own event horizon?''

Yeah, maybe. Of course, this has been tried many times before, and not with much success, I believe.

The truth to the matter is that the X protocol is actually pretty good. It's the software that implements it that could be better. That at least used to be true of both servers and Xlib (range checks, anyone?), as well as clients. If you think X is slow, it is almost certainly because you are using a client that causes a lot of network round trips and waits for them. There is absolutely nothing in the X protocol that forces you to do so. But if you do so, then, yes, your app will be very slow over a moderate-latency link.

more than 3 years ago

NX Compression Technology To Go Closed Source

RAMMS+EIN Re:violating software patents? (286 comments)

Indeed, usually, the slowness in X is caused by network latency (the exception being if you are rendering a lot of pixels, e.g. for movies). Moreover, the slowness is often not inherent in the X protocol, but rather caused by how an application uses it. Some X clients are amazingly fast, even over moderate latency links.

This is also why you often get a more responsive UI by using something that just pushes pixel data, like VNC, instead of X. They work faster, even though they are less efficient in terms of amount of network traffic. It's not the throughput, it's the latency.

You could actually do the same thing with X: just render your whole app to an XImage, then render that to the server. This will be faster than synchronously performing all your drawing operations over the network, if you do lots of drawing operations. On the other hand, if you have lots of images that you tend to reuse, store them on the server as XPixmaps, and then you can render them faster than you could by pushing the pixels each time. X offers you this choice, and when used well, can actually be _faster_ than other technologies over any kind of network. The only thing I haven't found is a way to compress pixel data, but perhaps that is just because I haven't looked hard enough.

more than 3 years ago

NX Compression Technology To Go Closed Source

RAMMS+EIN New? (286 comments)

Perhaps I don't remember it right, but in my recollection, NoMachine has always been a bit possessive with their (definitely impressive) technology. To the point that lesser alternatives have continued to be used and even developed.

more than 3 years ago

NX Compression Technology To Go Closed Source

RAMMS+EIN Sneakily revealed? (286 comments)

"NoMachine has sneakily revealed..."

That's quite remarkable.

more than 3 years ago

Military Pressuring Vendors On IPv6

RAMMS+EIN Re:How long will IPv6 last? (406 comments)

Using NAT as a security measure is like burning bridges.

Sure, it keeps the enemy from using the bridges to get into your city.

It also keeps friendly and useful visitors from doing so.

And your enemy will just enter your city by boat.

more than 3 years ago

Apache Resigns From the JCP Executive Committee

RAMMS+EIN What's the issue? (136 comments)

I haven't been following the events here so far, and a little searching yielded a lot of words that I am not familiar with and not a lot of insight. Could someone explain what the issue is here?

As far as I have been able to tell, the focus is on the licensing terms for the TCK, and the TCK is a test suite for existing and proposed Java standards. Oracle owns the rights to TCK and will not license it to the Apache Software Foundation under terms that the ASF will agree to.

Assuming that I have that right, so what? It's Oracle's software; they can choose to license it as they see fit, right? I _thought_ that passing the TCK's tests was necessary for being allowed to call your stuff "Java", but searching the web, I didn't find anything that supported that. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can see, ASF is not being restricted in what they can and can't do.

What am I missing here?

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort

RAMMS+EIN Re:Make it static. (586 comments)

Another point of view is that WikiLeaks had best inspect what they release, and do their best to prevent putting lives at risk, especially those of innocent bystanders and those who are working for the greater good. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't: if they take their time to filter and redact, they are delaying and possibly twisting the truth, but if they don't do that, they are irresponsible.

more than 3 years ago

Compiling the WikiLeaks Fallout

RAMMS+EIN Re:Surprising in its unsurprisingness (833 comments)

``I'm certain more details will come out as people have more time to go through these documents. But so far what I've found most surprising is how unsurprising these documents are. So the US is spying. Big fucking deal, everybody spies. This isn't news.''

That's what I would think, too. So what _is_ the big deal here? Obviously, there is a big deal, otherwise governments wouldn't get so upset over it.

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack

RAMMS+EIN Re:These documents should not be released. (870 comments)

``Our governments need accurate information, not self-censored tripe.''

Yes, I very much agree. And so do our populations. And in neither case are insults and offensive wording very helpful.

So there are several things here. First of all, having a good view of the whole picture is crucial to making the right decisions. Secondly, rousing emotions and withholding part of the information impedes getting a good view of the whole picture.

What I have seen from the US government in the last, say, 10 years, has been quite a bit of playing on emotions, withholding information, and even outright lies.

Two wars were started. Osama Bin Laden has not been caught, and terrorists are still active. No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq that I am aware of. The USA declared victory in Iraq, and I think most of the bloodshed has actually come after that point.

The real number of casualties, the crimes against humanity, the existence of certain prisons and the interrogation methods being used there have all been swept under the rug by the USA and its allies.

WikiLeaks has been showing the world what has really been going on. The fact that they can _shock_ the world by releasing a video of military personnel shooting civilians is telling to me. It looked like a tragic accident to me. This is what war is really like. Such accidents happen.

Other releases by WikiLeaks have forced governments to admit that the real death toll of the wars was higher than had been suggested before, and that the wars weren't going as successfully as they had been portrayed. This information has sparked new discussions about the strategy to follow from that point onwards. Almost simultaneously, people have started calling WikiLeaks irresponsible, have started calling for them to be shut down. Julian Assange's reputation has been dealt a great blow - perhaps entirely through faults of his own, I don't know.

So yes. We need accurate information, not censored tripe, cooked-up propaganda, and inflammatory words. Yet, censorship, propaganda, and inflammatory words is what we have been getting from governments. Remember: the first casualty of war is truth.

Has WikiLeaks gone too far with their releases? Perhaps they have. But they have certainly shown us evidence that governments were trying to hide from us. Evidence that might well have led us to think differently about the wars we have entered into. I am glad someone is doing that job. And if our governments had been honest and truthful, whatever WikiLeaks could have been released would have been a boring rehash of what we would have known already. So perhaps WikiLeaks have gone too far, but, the way I see it, they have also done good and important work. Precisely _because_ we need accurate information.

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack

RAMMS+EIN Re:moron. (870 comments)

``these are not ordinary trolls talking and raving on the internet. these are actual countries, which have various departments, including intelligence agencies which may act in direction of the desire of their government.''

Oh, I am well aware of that. Obviously random trolls on the Internet aren't the same as official diplomats talking to government officials.

The only point I tried to make is that I can still see why such talks could be less harmful when kept secret than if they became public. Of course, if the result is actual war, then it doesn't matter a lot if it was the result of secret or public talks. But war is not a certain outcome in either case. Just because country A asks country B to go to war with country C doesn't mean country B will do so.

If country B decides not to go to war with country C, that could well be the end of the story. If the talks are secret, we can all go to sleep quietly. But if the talks are published, then there may be violent reactions, even if country B had decided not to go to war. I feel this risk is greatly amplified if the talks are published.

I hope that makes my message clear. :-)

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack

RAMMS+EIN Re:moron. (870 comments)

Well, to be fair, just because someone advocates starting a war does not mean that war will actually be started. I am not at all in favor of war, but I can see how calling for a war _in secret_ is less destabilizing than calling for that same war in public. So the position that "war is more destabilizing than calling for a war" and the position that "publishing a call for war is destabilizing" are not mutually exclusive.

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack

RAMMS+EIN Right Response? (870 comments)

``US ambassadors in other capitals were instructed to brief their hosts in advance of the release of unflattering pen-portraits or nakedly frank accounts of transactions with the US which they had thought would be kept quiet. Washington now faces a difficult task in convincing contacts around the world that any future conversations will remain confidential.''

And here I thought that last sentence would end "that any future conversations will be more civil". At least, I have always thought that saying "unflattering" things behind people's backs isn't the way to behave. If the conversations between the US and its contacts are of such "unflattering" nature that they give rise to diplomatic crises when uncovered, then perhaps the US should have trained their employees and contact to not behave that way.

I understand the anger at WikiLeaks, and I understand that it is not just about the unflattering communications. But still, on this one point, I think that if you don't want to take the heat for your missteps, the best way would be not to make them. So, rather than assuring contacts that, in future, this stuff will stay confidential, I would think that the right response would be to convince your contacts that, in future, you will work to keep things civil and decent.

more than 3 years ago

Who Will Win Control of the Web?

RAMMS+EIN Me (206 comments)

Who will win control of the Web? I will. In fact, I already have it, and have had it since some time in the 1990s. And if some entity somehow takes that control away from me, I or one of my many fellow producers of web content will create a new Web, and we will use that.

more than 3 years ago

Sony Adopts Objective-C and GNUstep Frameworks

RAMMS+EIN Re:Consider the IDE too, C# Silverlight is better (345 comments)

``The Visual Studio IDE is great''

I hear people praise Visual Studio a lot, but, having used it on a few projects myself, I am not impressed by it. Granted, if you are coding for Microsoft platforms like .NET, it may be your best choice since there isn't a whole lot of competition there. But as development environments go, I wouldn't call it great. It's not horrible, either, but it does have enough bloat, bugs, and missing features to make me rather not work with it.

Add to that that, to use VS professionally, you actually need to pay - for VS and for Windows, and the combination of some things that work in newer versions not working in older versions, and vice versa, and my conclusion is that Visual Studio is a waste of money. You pay, but what you get is not better than what you could have gotten for free - unless you're locked into some Microsoft technology that isn't supported anywhere else.

All this in my opinion, of course, just like what you said is your opinion. If you continue to enjoy VS, that's great! I just wanted to throw this out there to point out that not everybody things Visual Studio is great.

more than 3 years ago

Intel Talks 1000-Core Processors

RAMMS+EIN Re:does it run Linux - yea but it is "boring" (326 comments)

``As Seymour Cray said: fast CPUs are easy, it's making fast /systems/ that's hard. You need good I/O to keep the CPUs fed.''

Absolutely. In almost everything I do that is slow, either I/O is the bottleneck, or the software is inefficient (i.e. the same operations could be implemented with much faster algorithms). This is why I rarely buy the fastest CPU I can get: the CPU isn't the bottleneck, so it's better to save there and spend where it's needed.

more than 3 years ago

Intel Talks 1000-Core Processors

RAMMS+EIN Re:does it run Linux - yea but it is "boring" (326 comments)

Running Linux on a 48-core system is boring, because it has already been run on a 64-core system in 2007 (at the time, Tilera said they would be up to 1000 cores in 2014; they're up to 100 cores per CPU now).

As far as I know, Linux currently supports up to 256 CPUs. I assume that means logical CPUs, so that, for example, this would support one CPU with 256 cores, or one CPU with 128 cores with two CPU threads per core, etc.

more than 3 years ago

British Gov't Releases Spending Data

RAMMS+EIN Where is the data now? (89 comments)

"In a move sure to have transparency activists salivating, the UK government has some 195,000 lines of data detailing its financial outgoings."

Has what? I hope they didn't accidentally it!

more than 3 years ago

80% of Daily YouTube Videos Now In WebM

RAMMS+EIN Quality (163 comments)

How does the sound and image quality of the WebM videos compare to the versions in other formats?

more than 3 years ago

Firefox 4 Regains Speed Mojo With No. 2 Placing

RAMMS+EIN Evolution of JavaScript Implementation Speed (98 comments)

This story makes me curious: how has JavaScript implementation speed improved over time? I see a lot of benchmarks comparing recent versions of browsers, but does anyone have a comparison against, say, Firefox 1.0? Also, how do current JavaScript implementations stack up against current implementations of other languages, such as C, Lua, or Python?

more than 3 years ago



RAMMS+EIN RAMMS+EIN writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RAMMS+EIN writes "Dutch video rental shops Videoland and Movie Max will start offering movies for download in December, according to an article in the Dutch newspaper Trouw (automagic translation to English). Movies will be made available in DVD quality and/or HDTV quality. Three different options for downloading will be available: streaming, ahead-of-time with a 2-day limit for watching, and download with the ability to burn a copy to DVD. The last option, equivalent to buying the movie, will be offered at a rate 20% below current rates for buying the movie at the store, whereas the other options will be at the same price as current rentals. This move is expected to make physical video stores obsolete, and the chains have arranged to pay compensation to current franchisees."

RAMMS+EIN RAMMS+EIN writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RAMMS+EIN writes "There's an article over at Salon
called Why
Johnny can't code. The intro sums it up best:

BASIC used to be on every computer a child touched — but today there's
no easy way for kids to get hooked on programming. Quietly and without
fanfare, or even any comment or notice by software pundits, we have
drifted into a situation where almost none of the millions of personal
computers in America offers a line-programming language simple enough
for kids to pick up fast.

I think it is very right in asserting that it's harder to get started in
programming these days: we've come to expect fancy GUI widgets from our
programs, and if all our program does is write to and read from the
terminal, it doesn't feel like a Real program. While modern programming
languages certainly do make GUI programming possible, they don't usually
make it easy. Thus, either the rewards are less (CLI programs) or the
barrier to entry is higher (GUI programs).

On the other hand, HTML has a low barrier to entry while still offering
the rewards of GUIs, and things like Apple Dashboard, gDesklets and
Mozilla's XUL make it easy to quickly whip up GUIs in XML and then add
functionality to them in some scripting language. I think this will be
the new way for people to get started with programming."



RAMMS+EIN RAMMS+EIN writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Have a look at my essays. Many of them are about recurrent Slashdot topics, so chances are you'll find them interesting. Both positive and negative feedback are appreciated (you can post comments below the essays if you register to the forum, or use the contact form to send me email.


Independent Music Recommendation Sites?

RAMMS+EIN RAMMS+EIN writes  |  about 9 years ago

Today I decided I wanted to listen to some hard rock music that also had some nice melodic/classical parts in it; the type that Cradle of Filth makes. I would like to support independent artists (now that we have the Internet, it's perfectly possible to get your music distributed without the help of the traditional distributors). However, I don't know which artists make the songs that I like, and I don't want to spend all day trying songs from different bands more or less randomly until I find what I like.

Years ago, one of the large online music sites (I forget which one) had a service where they would recommend bands based on which ones you liked. I also vaguely recall a site recommending independent artists, based on a list of mainstream artists that you selected. I am looking for such a site.

Can any of you recommend a site where I can enter or select some mainstream band and/or song names, and then get recommendations for songs to try? Preferably, the songs should be available in Ogg Vorbis format, but any format that XMMS can play is fine, really. I don't mind paying (a little) for songs, but I must be able to listen to the full song first, and I refuse to pay any subscription fee.

If a site that does this doesn't exist yet, or there aren't any good sites that provide these services, would any of you be willing to help me set up one? I have the skills to build such a site, but I lack time and the money to pay for bandwidth.

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