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Firefox, Opera Allow Phishing By Data URI Claims New Paper

courtarro Re:Chrome and IE (151 comments)

To solve this latency problem, most well-designed websites use a single large GIF or PNG for all their tiny CSS images, then slice the image to indicate each independent icon, border, etc. This not only reduces the total image overhead but also greatly reduces the total number of 304s to receive.

Example: one of Facebook's icon resource files

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon, Not Developers, Will Set New App Store's Prices

courtarro Re:Didn't do the math (294 comments)

A similar rule applies to amateur rally races in Finland, covered on the BBC show Top Gear. In folk racing, every car is given a nominal and equal value, such as €1000. At the end of a race, if anyone asks to buy your car then you have you sell it to them, which keeps anyone from putting too much into a car.

more than 3 years ago
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Android Software Piracy Rampant

courtarro Kids these days? (510 comments)

Android Market apps are mostly super cheap. Who can't afford $1 on a game they'll play for a few days non-stop? Or a few bucks on a ROM management app? Prices for most paid apps are so low that I imagine that the largest barrier to entry is not price, but the effort required to set up one or more credit cards. My hypothesis, for that reason, is that a large portion of the piracy comes from the age 15-20 crowd who have fancy phones and lots of free time to figure out piracy options, but no credit card(s).

Google can greatly reduce this kind of piracy by working out pricing deals with the carriers to allow charges to appear on phone bills. How else would the ringtone industry thrive as it has? Verizon certainly doesn't offer a direct-bill Android Market option. Maybe this is already the case on other carriers? How does piracy compare in those cases?

Another annoyance of the Market is currency conversion. I've bought apps for sale in both Yen and Euros, and for those purchases I had to set up a Visa card since my AMEX didn't support foreign purchases (on the Market, at least). Most users don't want to deal with that kind of crap ... again, piracy is easier. Can't Google Checkout handle currency conversion on the developer's end without hassling end-users?

about 4 years ago
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New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again

courtarro Re:For those complaining (258 comments)

This is true until they release a first-party game with the update included as a requirement. For example, Super Mario Galaxy 2 includes the 4.2 system update and requires you to update your system before you can play the game ... unless you start the game with a homebrew tool that blocks the update. Funny how the very feature they're trying to remove is capable of blocking the removal.

Homebrew users know to avoid system updates at all costs, so the only people affected by them are people who have not yet hacked their Wii. Once updated, though, those people will have a harder time installing homebrew should they choose to try it.

more than 3 years ago
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MySpace Buys and Then Takes Down Imeem

courtarro Re:Sweet (165 comments)

I'll keep the suggestions flowing: I love last.fm for its ability to help me find (and listen to) new music. It even offers a dedicated client that doesn't require an open browser window all day.

more than 4 years ago
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MIT and the DARPA Network Challenge

courtarro MIT versus the world (68 comments)

MIT's strategy is very interesting. Several groups (like our team) have been forming their teams for weeks, but MIT appeared on the scene just today, and it's fascinating that they got a front-page Slashdot plug. I give them lots of credit for flooding the scene with mentions in such a short time. Whereas some teams give their winnings to charity (like ours), others entice balloon spotters with cash portions of the earnings, and MIT has decided to do a little of both.

DARPA is the sole decider of how difficult this competition will be. Will they place the balloons in dense urban areas, or will the launch them in small rural communities?

Best of luck to all the teams tomorrow, MIT included. I hope that the contest winner will write a paper describing their strategy, both in network-building and in launch-day data collection.

more than 4 years ago
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20th Anniversary of the Dawn of Dot-Com

courtarro Tooting One's Own Horn (94 comments)

This story is all well and interesting, but I imagine it's impossible to prove that you're the first business to make money exclusively over the internet. You might be "one of the first", but to go all the way to the birth of my business represents the birth of dot-com is a bit vain, no?

more than 5 years ago
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Obama Sides With Bush In Spy Case

courtarro Re:So? (906 comments)

These are the same people that probably sugar coat the truth and then eat it.

Just make sure it's not that peppermint-flavored dog poop.

more than 4 years ago
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Seagate Firmware Update Bricks 500GB Barracudas

courtarro Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (559 comments)

This comment appears regularly on /. articles that use the term "brick." May I suggest that the term "brick" is slang and has no official definition? If I plug a [poorly patched] HD into a computer and get no sign of life, I'd consider that a "brick" until it's been flashed back into proper function.

"If you can reflash it" is also subjective: does that mean via a normal IDE/SATA interface, or does it extend to a direct JTAG connection, or do you have to desolder the ROM to flash it? There's a broad spectrum of functionality, but it seems most useful to use the term "brick" to refer to any device that seems to have no useful function under normal circumstances. My point is that it's open to interpretation, so don't be so picky.

more than 5 years ago
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Sony Teases 3D Playstation 3

courtarro Re:Hopeful (171 comments)

For LCD HDTVs, most of the input lag comes from all the processing hardware, not the LCD panel itself. Many TVs now come with a "game mode" that disables certain processing features to decrease lag time at the expense of noise reduction, or upscaling quality, or whatever.

When I play Guitar Hero on my Sony LCD TV, I get about 60ms lag with the TV in its normal operating mode (as measured by GH's lag compensation feature). When I enable game mode on my TV, the lag effectively drops to zero. With game mode enable, many of the picture optimization features are not available, but that doesn't generally bother me since I usually disable them anyway.

more than 5 years ago
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Why the Widening Gender Gap In Computer Science?

courtarro Re:Women don't want to do CS? (1563 comments)

So that's obviously the case, but the point of studying the topic is: "why?". It's also important to determine if this is by their own choice or if women are subtly coerced into their disinterest.

I helped out with FIRST LEGO League at Georgia Tech a few years back. FIRST LEGO is a robotics competition for middle-school students using LEGO automation parts to perform various tasks. There were tons of girls participating at all levels, and it was pretty noticeable how different the demographics were between the middle school competitors and the typical college-age engineering students at Gatech. Thus, it's worth asking whether girls seem to lose interest in engineering as they get older, and if so, why?

If it's purely biological (the parts of the brain that determine interests are gender-specific), then so be it. If, however, it's due to upbringing and society's pressures, then it's a topic worth discussing. Indeed, it is probably desirable to change it. Why limit the pool of intellect in a field to men? You're potentially losing 50% of the problem solving skills, assuming men and women are equally capable.

more than 5 years ago
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In the U.S. election just ended, I voted ...

courtarro Re:fr1ST (709 comments)

I voted FRIST

So I guess you weren't aware he retired?

more than 5 years ago

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