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Microsoft Brands WebGL a 'Harmful' Technology

Snover Re:Microsoft should know... (503 comments)

One of the main differences in my experience between ActiveX and other plugin systems that made it so hazardous is that ActiveX’s system for plugin discovery actually worked. The plugin lookups for NPAPI-based browsers required asking a service run by the browser manufacturer what plugins could handle a certain mime-type (or, earlier, they just directed to a generic web page that listed some common plugins), whereas ActiveX allowed the <object> tag to explicitly declare a URL where a plugin could be found. Allowing the page itself to provide an arbitrary URL to a plugin package may have seemed like a great idea from an ease-of-use perspective, but it also meant that there was no gatekeeper to prevent unscrupulous authors from creating plugins and dumping them in the hands of unwitting users. It’s kind of like the Apple iOS model vs the Android model of software distribution. Even changing it to ask whether or not to run/install a control wasn’t a great change because it would still interrogate the package for the plugin name, which often ended up being something like “CLICK YES TO VIEW THIS PAGE”.

more than 3 years ago

Best Format For OS X and Linux HDD?

Snover Re:ext2 works. ntfs works. (253 comments)

But, HFS+ in Linux is read-only. Unless you force it, in which case journaling is disabled and Mac OS freaks out and does a full filesystem check the next time you connect it.

more than 4 years ago

Apple's HTML5 and Standards Gallery Not Standard

Snover Re:Chrome (527 comments)

This is a red herring.

Either the experimental features get to be used today and the code might need to be changed in several years to extend support to other browsers by adding non-prefixed properties, or they don’t get to be used at all and the code has to be changed later to add support anyway.

Nobody has been forced to recode anything in order to continue to receive support for -webkit-border-radius or -webkit-box-sizing, which have both been around for years (and in the intervening period have entered CR status), and I doubt you are going to see the WebKit guys suddenly break all the sites on the Internet that rely on them by removing their vendor-prefixed properties.

If you think you need to wait for a standard to become a final recommendation before you start using it, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up, since HTML5 (for example) isn’t going to become a final recommendation until 2022.

more than 4 years ago

Apple's HTML5 and Standards Gallery Not Standard

Snover Re:Chrome (527 comments)

css3-transform is not proprietary. Nor is css3-images, which describes gradient properties. The reason that these properties are implemented using the -webkit- prefix is because these standards have not reached candidate recommendation status and are still subject to change. A vendor prefix doesn’t mean “proprietary”—it means “experimental”. Once the standard reaches final recommendation status, which can only occur once two independent implementations have been created, then the vendor prefixes will be dropped.

For what it’s worth, there are a good number of people within the development community that are not happy with vendor prefixes, but it is the best option that currently exists to ensure that incompatible implementations do not use the same property name.

more than 4 years ago

Where to Go When Google Locks You Out?

Snover No surprise here (2 comments)

John Resig, the creator of jQuery, wrote last year about how Google Groups is dead. The software sucks, support doesn’t exist, and it seems like a project Google is keen to kill through slow suffocation.

more than 4 years ago

H.264 and VP8 Compared

Snover It’s worse than that (337 comments)

The H.264 video on this comparison site is encoded using Baseline Profile, which is really only for low-power mobile devices, and is not representative of what H.264 is actually capable of. Switching to Main or High Profile gives us CABAC coder (10-20% improvement), bi-directional frames (20-40% improvement), adaptive 8x8 DCT (3-5% improvement). A MP or HP H.264 will blow VP8 out of the water every time. The fact that H.264 manages to look better in most cases despite being encoded using Baseline Profile (and Sorenson Squeeze, which doesn’t seem to have ever been compared to other H.264 encoders and probably is not as good as x264) is a pretty damning assessment of how good VP8 actually is—that is to say, not very.

more than 4 years ago

First Look: H.264 and VP8 Compared - StreamingMedi

Snover It's worse than that (4 comments)

The H.264 video in this demonstration was encoded using Baseline Profile, which is designed for low-power mobile appliances, so this test is terrible at doing a proper comparison.

Using Main or High Profiles, they would be able to gain an average of 10-20% improvement using the CABAC coder, 20-30% improvement using B-frames, and 5-6% using adaptive 8x8 DCT. So, really, this is the worst case H.264 performance versus the best VP8 can provide—and H.264 still manages to look better most of the time.

more than 4 years ago

YouTube To Kill IE6 Support On March 13

Snover Re:One has to wonder (282 comments)

OWA Premium for Exchange 2010 only runs on IE7+, Fx3+, and Safari 3+. No IE6. [source]

more than 4 years ago

Chinese Man Gets 30 Months For Fake Cisco Sales

Snover Excuse me, editors? (161 comments)

2.5 years is not 30 years, it’s 30 months.

more than 4 years ago

Paypal Reverses Payments Made To Indians

Snover Re:Paypal is not a bank (509 comments)

Banks, in the US at least, haven’t created money since 1935. That job goes to the Federal Reserve. If you’re referring to creating money through investments, well, PayPal has a money market too.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook's HipHop Also a PHP Webserver

Snover Re:A stupid question... (304 comments)

Or you could simply attack it for being a lot slower than C and leading to design patterns that waste lots of memory. For example, associative arrays are simple and easy to use, but 90% of the time, there are much simpler data structures that can do just as well. If your data structures are small, no problem. If you deal with something big, the difference in memory pressure between a clean, lightweight binary tree (even without balancing) and an associative array can result in an order of magnitude impact in performance (or two or three).

The SPL in PHP 5.2 and 5.3 adds a few new datastructures to help improve that (benchmark).

more than 4 years ago

Are You Using SPF Records?

Snover Re:yes (263 comments)

Read again.

Spammers can’t use his domain to forge spam, because SPF-aware mail servers reject it. Hence, he doesn’t have to deal with tons of bounces, spam warnings, virus warnings, etc..

more than 4 years ago

Firefox Passes IE6 In Browser Share

Snover Re:Hoping for Windows 7's success... (350 comments)

For what it's worth, the situation may not be quite as grim as it seems.

If you go to StatCounter Global Stats and look at the breakdown by region, the areas where IE6 usage are still very high are Africa, Asia, and (to a lesser extent) South America. Within North America, Europe, and Oceania, IE6 usage is about 8.5% on weekdays and 5.5% on weekends. Whether this is because evangelism efforts in those regions are failing, or because piracy levels are high and WGA prevents users from updating through the normal OS update mechanism, or because (until Firefox 3.5.4) IE is required for government-mandated encryption to function, I don't know.

There is also an issue that there are a large number of robots, spiders, viruses, and virus scanners that masquerade as IE6; I wouldn’t be surprised if these non-IE6 IE6 visits account for 0.5-1% of the remaining IE6 numbers. Which is frustrating, because getting an accurate count is more important than anything in deciding when to not bother with support.

more than 4 years ago

Reports of IE Hijacking NXDOMAINs, Routing To Bing

Snover Re:Who cares!?! (230 comments)

Actually, youâ(TM)d want to use example.invalid, since is a valid domain. :)

more than 5 years ago

Microsoft Finally Joins HTML 5 Standard Efforts

Snover Re:Haven't tracked HTML5... but... (280 comments)

The philosophy widely espoused with regard to modern web development is to separate content from presentation (much like much GUI application design philosophies). Many of the tags MS mentions seem to go against that design philosophy.

Huh? None of the proposed tags are stylistic. A style tag would be <b>, <i>, <font>, <center>, <shadow>, <blink>, etc.. <header>, <footer>, <aside>, <dialog> are all structural tags that provide better semantic information about the content.


Just as an example, a Slashdot article page that was actually fully semantic would look closer to this:


    <account-settings />
    <search />
    <nav />
    <sections />
    <comment-nav />
    <interviews />
    <title />
    <body />
    <related />
    <tags />
        <author />
        <title />
        <body />
        <replies />
    <search />
    <copyright />
    <nav />


Unfortunately, because HTML is a document markup language and not a Web site language, we end up using a bunch of non-semantic <div> tags with classes attached, which works but really isn't very logical when you think about it.

Technically, you'd be able to build a page that had a structure like the above in any modern browser using XML with a CSS xml-stylesheet. Unfortunately, CSS really isn't quite there in terms of being able to fully control the presentation such a page yet (but there are some proposals in CSS3 like css3-layout that look very hopeful in this regard). I have never actually tried anything this ambitious so I have no idea how well it would work with screen reading software, or if you would be able to hook up and use HTML forms successfully. Still, if we are arguing for absolute semantics and structure, this would be the way to go.

more than 5 years ago

Comcast the Latest ISP To Try DNS Hijacking

Snover Re:Treewalk or OpenDNS (352 comments)

Then you must be blind. Go to Advanced Settings and turn off "Enable typo correction" and "Enable OpenDNS proxy".

more than 5 years ago

US Couple Gets Prison Time For Internet Obscenity

Snover Re:Privacy? Huh? (574 comments)

And for most of those years, it was believed that masturbation was sinful and lead to disease, and that sodomy was something so immoral that it needed to be criminalised. (The arguments against sodomy were basically identical to the arguments against obscenity, and were once upheld in 1986 (Bowers v. Hardwick) only to be reversed in 2003.) We know better now, about all of these things, including the effects of "obscene" material -- and the Supreme Court ought to, too, if it ever finally gets back to them.

more than 5 years ago

BD+ Resealed Once Again

Snover Re:The summary is missing something... (460 comments)

DVRs that record high definition content copy the bitstream directly. There is no loss of quality. The only time client-side encoding comes into play is when you are recording from an analogue signal.

more than 5 years ago



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