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Comments

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I'd rather pay for my space latte with ...

theweatherelectric Re:Should be "gold pressed latinum" (265 comments)

So money would be a bit pointless

Not everything is universally available in the Star Trek universe. For me, an unsolved problem with the Federation economy is real estate. Why does Picard's brother live in a manor house in a vineyard? Why not someone else? Why not me? I want to live in a vineyard.

It wouldn't matter how many planets there were in the Federation. There would always be more people than planets, there would always be planets which are more desirable than others and there would always be particular places on those planets more desirable than other places. Who gets to live where? Who gets to own land to run a vineyard, instead of there being apartment blocks or suburban housing in the same place? It's never addressed beyond a vague sense of it not being a problem.

I think the Ferengi economy is actually the curiosity in this setting ; it seems to depend on artificial scarcity (and repression of entire social groups, from the way they treat their women).

I don't think it's a curiosity, it's deliberate. Narratively, the Ferengi business and economy is a deeply engrained part of their culture. Metaphorically, the Ferengi are us in the present day. They don't do business because they have to, they do business because they want to. Money is how they keep score. It's how we keep score.

about 7 months ago
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Apple Denies Helping NSA Subvert iPhone

theweatherelectric Aha (284 comments)

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products

So Apple has worked for the NSA to create a backdoor in their products. I understand.

about 7 months ago
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PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES

theweatherelectric Re:What might scare MS (564 comments)

why? you want nvidia only piece of shit hardcoded by former nvidia employee?

SteamOS also works on AMD and Intel GPUs.

about 7 months ago
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Firefox 24 Arrives: WebRTC Support and NFC Sharing On Android

theweatherelectric Re:Memory Leaks Solved? (152 comments)

Yes, I have had a currently open bug with FF21.0--that got worse with 22.0.

Where's the bug? Link to it.

And I and the other watchers of the bug I opened at Mozilla will dispute your contention that Chrome uses more memory. Simply not true!

Did you not look at the memory usage charts from Tom's Hardware? Chrome uses more memory than other browsers. This has been my consistent experience as well as Tom's Hardware's as well as most everyone's. Look at another memory usage chart from Tom's. They use Chrome's memory usage tool to measure it. Even Google disagrees with you.

about 10 months ago
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Firefox 24 Arrives: WebRTC Support and NFC Sharing On Android

theweatherelectric Re:Memory Leaks Solved? (152 comments)

I won't be downloading any new versions of Firefox--nor will I enable automatic updates--until they fix the danged memory leaks that have been present since they began their whirlwind upgrade cycle with FF 4.0.

What memory leaks? If you've found new ones, have you reported them? Significant progress has been made in Firefox's memory usage in the last three years. Do you read the memshrink progress reports? If you don't, maybe you should.

Chrome is a handy replacement for what used to be a reliable friend--Firefox.

Surely you realise that Chrome uses more memory than Firefox. Look at a comparison of browser memory usage with a single tab open and multiple tabs open. If you're happy with Chrome's memory usage, you'll be happy with any browser's memory usage.

about 10 months ago
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Google's Encryption Plan To Stifle NSA's Dragnet Will Raise the Stakes

theweatherelectric That's a relief (216 comments)

Google's strategy for making surveillance of user Internet activity more difficult for U.S. and foreign governments

So.. the only organisation conducting invasive surveillance of my Internet activity will be Google? I'm most relieved.

about a year ago
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Next-Gen Video Encoding: x265 Tackles HEVC/H.265

theweatherelectric Advantage Over VP9? (104 comments)

VP9 produces video about the same size and quality as H.265 (Google I/O talk on VP9, though they of course weren't using x265 to compare), VP9 support is already in Chrome (with Firefox and Opera likely to follow soon) and the reference VP9 implementation is BSD-licensed. What's the advantage of H.265 over VP9 and what does x265 in particular offer over this new version of WebM (VP9+Opus)?

1 year,8 days
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Business Is Booming In the 'Zero-Day' Game

theweatherelectric New Programming Languages (97 comments)

All the more reason to consider using new programming languages like Rust which are built with memory safety in mind. Better programming languages are by no means a silver bullet for security problems, but they help.

1 year,17 days
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Ask Slashdot: Current State of Linux Email Clients?

theweatherelectric Re:Answered in reverse order (464 comments)

The "killer feature" for me on Gmail is conversation view, where it groups messages together in conversations, so instead of a ton of disparate emails, they're grouped together in a single line and can be seen in sequential order. Back when I switched over to Gmail, it was the only thing that had this feature, and now I find it indispensable, though it does sometimes screw up (since email was never designed to actually have this in the first place). Do other clients have this yet?

Yes: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/gmail-conversation-view/. My experience has been that webmail is inferior to having a mail client. Even simple things like correctly displaying email which contains styled HTML content doesn't work in, for example, Gmail.

about a year and a half ago
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Firefox OS: Disruptive By Aiming Low

theweatherelectric Re:Not that Disruptive (286 comments)

To be disruptive, a device has to attract developers and users.

The developers and applications already exist. It's easy to make existing HTML5 applications installable to Firefox OS. Just add an app manifest and an application cache manifest. It would be easy for ZeptoLab, for example, to make Cut the Rope installable to Firefox OS.

This one hasn't even got a hardware vendor.

You should read one of Telefonica's press releases. Firefox OS has both operators and hardware manufacturers.

about 2 years ago
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Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

theweatherelectric Re:Only thing missing... (880 comments)

How would they know?

Because they're professional game developers and they've worked with both closed and open drivers. The Intel Linux GPU driver team spent time working with Valve's Linux team in Bellvue. The Valve guys told the Intel guys that they like open source drivers better. You should read the blog post I linked to.

about 2 years ago
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Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

theweatherelectric Re:Only thing missing... (880 comments)

Why would Valve care if the drivers are Open Source?

Because they find them easier to work with. To quote a recent blog post by one of Intel's open source GPU driver developers: "The funny thing is Valve guys say the same thing about drivers. There were a couple times where we felt like they were trying to convince us that open source drivers are a good idea. We had to remind them that they were preaching to the choir. :) Their problem with closed drivers (on all platforms) is that it's such a blackbox that they have to play guess-and-check games. There's no way for them to know how changing a particular setting will affect the performance. If performance gets worse, they have no way to know why. If they can see where time is going in the driver, they can make much more educated guesses."

about 2 years ago
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Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

theweatherelectric Re:Only thing missing... (880 comments)

Good luck getting real open source drivers out of Nvidia, ATI/AMD, and Intel for their graphics hardware.

Intel develops open source drivers for their graphics hardware. See for yourself on their Intel Linux Graphics website. Intel worked with Valve recently to improve their drivers for Valve's games. Phoronix has some statistics on the development history of Intel's open source drivers.

about 2 years ago
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HTML5 Splits Into Two Standards

theweatherelectric Re:No shit (395 comments)

My favourite example is the HTML 5 Angry Birds game.

Angry Birds Chrome is a poor example of an HTML5 game as it relies on Flash for audio. If I try it with Firefox 14.0.1, for example, without Flash installed I get a message which tells me that I either need to install Flash or use Chrome as it has Flash built-in. Better examples of HTML5 games which work without Flash are Cut the Rope, Pirates Love Daisies, World's Biggest Pac-Man, and Word Squared.

The development of the first three games was funded by Microsoft to demonstrate that credible applications can in fact be built against an HTML5 runtime. They also demonstrate that there are already high quality applications available for Firefox OS. It's pretty trivial to make them installable on Firefox OS.

about 2 years ago
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Telefonica Shows Prototype Firefox OS Phone

theweatherelectric Re:Battery life and Peformance (91 comments)

From what I understand they're banking on the fact that writing an app for Firefox OS will use the same technologies as making a webpage, which should make it viable for a huge developer community.

Yes, especially because that developer community already exists. Even Microsoft has already inadvertently funded the development of a few Firefox OS applications. The HTML5 version of Cut the Rope, for example, already runs on Firefox OS. To make it an installable Firefox OS application all that would need to be added is a manifest file and an install page. And similarly for other Microsoft funded HTML5 games like Pirates Love Daisies and World's Biggest Pacman.

about 2 years ago
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Mozilla Downshifting Development of Thunderbird E-Mail Client

theweatherelectric Re:Tunderbirds are NO! (378 comments)

What more is there for email?

Something more for Thunderbird is integrated instant messaging. I want unified email and instant messaging in one application so I'll have unified contacts and search. The number of instant messaging services supported by Thunderbird seems like it will be limited at first but that will improve with time and perhaps there will be add-ons available to support more services.

about 2 years ago
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Mozilla Shows Off Junior, a Simple Browser Built for iPad

theweatherelectric Re:Good, but a little pointless. (137 comments)

I see no evidence that that is true.

I see no evidence that it isn't true. Browsers are more capable and faster today than they were even two years. Every browser maker wants their browser to be the fastest and the benchmark is the speed of other browsers. Competition breeds improvement.

And indeed there are plenty of other browsers on the platform.

There are no other browsers on iOS. There are only shadows of other browsers. If you can't have your full browser stack on iOS, there are no competiting browsers.

It's only the rendering engine that's mandated to be one defacto-standard. And that's for user experience reasons.

*Only* the rendering engine? You mean the most fundamental part of any browser? In any case, it's both the JavaScript engine and the rendering engine that are banned. My user experience would be improved by being able to run full Firefox on iOS. I like Firefox. I can run Firefox on Windows. I can run Firefox on OS X. I can run Firefox on Linux. I can run Firefox on Android. There is no justification for not being able to run Firefox on iOS. The quality of the user's experience is for the user to decide, not Apple.

People are not all the same. Neither are corporations.

If you want to draw an analogy between people and corporations, corporations are psychopaths. This may help you: http://www.economist.com/node/2647328

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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ORBX.js: JavaScript-Based, Low Latency HD Video Codec

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  about a year ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Mozilla and OTOY have announced a new video codec with a JavaScript-based decoder capable of delivering 1080p60 video with 25% better compression than H.264. Amanda Alvarez from Gigaom writes, 'Mozilla has teamed up with Hollywood rendering company OTOY to create a new codec to stream video and apps from the cloud directly to the browser. The JavaScript library ORBX can render apps, gaming platforms or an entire operating system in any HTML5-capable browser, including Chrome, Safari or Firefox, even on a mobile device. The announcement is another attempt at destabilizing the hegemony of the H.264 video-compression standard, famously advanced by Apple over Flash and present in all iOS devices, after the promotion of WebM by Matroska and Google. The impacts of the purely JavaScript-based system are multiple: for end users, the ability to run native PC apps on any device with an internet connection and to purchase and protect content without digital-rights management (DRM); for content creators, cheaper, faster rendering and the ability to distribute anywhere viewers can type in a URL; and for open web or cloud-computing advocates, a push away from proprietary or legacy plug-ins and an embrace of HTML5.' Mozilla's CTO Brendon Eich has some further discussion of ORBX.js on his blog."
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Epic Games Releases HTML5 Epic Citadel Demo

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  about a year ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Epic Games has made the HTML5 Epic Citadel demo available for testing with Firefox 23 Nightly. Epic Games writes in their press release, 'Epic Games and Mozilla have continued a close collaboration first revealed during last month’s Game Developers Conference to release “Epic Citadel” on the Web running in HTML5. No plug-ins or added components are needed to experience the free app. “Epic Citadel” is built using standards-based technologies like HTML5, WebGL and JavaScript, and should work in any standards-based browser implementing those features. For optimal performance, Epic recommends loading “Epic Citadel” at http://www.unrealengine.com/html5 using Firefox Nightly version 23 or above, which includes optimizations for asm.js, a highly-optimizable subset of JavaScript pioneered by Mozilla, whose performance can rival native code.' Mozilla's Vladimir Vukicevic has posted some further details and presentation slides about the HTML5 port of Unreal Engine 3 on his blog and Epic Games has published an Epic Citadel HTML5 FAQ."
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WebRTC Makes Firefox's Social API Even More Social

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  about a year and a half ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Mozilla has put together a demo which combines WebRTC with Firefox's Social API. Over on Mozilla's Future Releases blog, Maire Reavy writes, 'WebRTC is a powerful new tool that enables web app developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities in their products. While many of us are excited about WebRTC because it will enable several cool gaming applications and improve the performance and availability of video conferencing apps, WebRTC is proving to be a great tool for social apps. Sometimes when you’re chatting with a friend, you just want to click on their name and see and talk with them in real-time. Imagine being able to do that without any glitches or hassles, and then while talking with them, easily share almost anything on your computer or device: vacation photos, memorable videos – or even just a link to a news story you thought they might be interested in – simply by dragging the item into your video chat window.'"
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The Shumway Open SWF Runtime Project

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  about a year and a half ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Mozilla is looking for contributors interested in working on Shumway. Mozilla's Jet Villegas writes, 'Shumway is an experimental web-native runtime implementation of the SWF file format. It is developed as a free and open source project sponsored by Mozilla Research. The project has two main goals: 1. Advance the open web platform to securely process rich media formats that were previously only available in closed and proprietary implementations. 2. Offer a runtime processor for SWF and other rich media formats on platforms for which runtime implementations are not available.'"
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Formula 1 ECU Adapted for Use in Hospitals

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  about 2 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "The electronic control unit used in Formula 1 cars has been adapted for use in hospitals. James Allen writes, "As a result of a chance conversation between a McLaren engineer and a paediatrician, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has been trialling the ECU in a children’s intensive care ward; the idea is that the F1-derived unit can measure all the key signs from the child, sense trends and detect developing problems earlier than the electronics previously used by the NHS. The unit normally measures oil pressures, brake temperatures and the like. Here, a lightly adapted version of the F1 ECU is being used to measure things like heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure in an ill child. And, inevitably, it is far more capable than the units currently used in hospitals; it can take a heart cardiogram 125 times a minute, instead of once an hour, for example." Birmingham Children’s Hospital is seeking a further £2 million to continue the trial and extend it across the hospital."
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CSIRO Develops 10 Gbps Microwave Backhaul

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 2 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "James Hutchinson of iTnews writes, 'CSIRO has begun talks with global manufacturers to commercialise microwave technology it says can provide at least 10 Gbps symmetric backhaul services to mobile towers. The project, funded out of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund and a year in planning, could provide a ten-fold increase in the speed of point-to-point microwave transmission systems within two years, according to project manager, Dr Jay Guo. Microwave transmission is used to link mobile towers back to a carrier’s network where it is physically difficult or economically unviable to run fibre to the tower. Where current technology has an upper limit of a gigabit per second to multiple towers over backhaul, the government organisation said it could provide the 10 Gbps symmetric speeds over ranges of up to 50 kilometres.'"
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Misleading Ads: ACCC Wins Appeal Against Google

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 2 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "As previously noted on Slashdot, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been involved in a long-running legal battle with Google. Vijith Vazhayil of Delimiter writes, 'The Full Federal Court of Australia has ruled that Google breached the law by displaying misleading or deceptive advertisements on its search results pages. The decision follows an appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), following an earlier decision in favour of Google. The ACCC had first filed the case in July 2007 in the Federal Court alleging that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing eleven advertisements on Google’s search results page. The headline of each of the advertisements in question comprised a business name, product name or web address of a competitor’s business not sponsored, affiliated or associated with the particular advertiser.'"
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Royalty-Free MPEG Video Proposals Announced

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 2 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Rob Glidden notes on his blog that MPEG has recently 'announced it has received proposals for a royalty-free MPEG standard and has settled on a deliberation process to consider them.' There two tracks towards royalty-free video currently under consideration by MPEG. The first track is IVC, a new 'standard based on MPEG-1 technology which is believed a safe royalty-free baseline that can be enhanced by additional unencumbered technology described in MPEG-2, JPEG, research publications and innovative technologies which are promised to be subject to royalty-free licenses.' The second proposed track is WebVC, an attempt to get the constrained baseline profile of H.264 licensed under royalty-free terms. Rob Glidden offers an analysis of both proposals. Also of interest is Rob's short history of why royalty-free H.264 failed last time."
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One Millionth Tower High-Rise Documentary Takes Fo

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 2 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes " One Millionth Tower is a documentary about the high-rise apartment residential areas of Toronto. The documentary is presented using an interesting combination of HTML5, WebGL, Popcorn.js, and three.js. From the article: 'The movie, which makes its online premiere above, was carefully crafted to be watched on the internet. It uses interactive tools to illustrate the Toronto residents’ ideas about how to improve the decaying high-rise in which they live. Powered entirely by HTML5 and open source JavaScript libraries, One Millionth Tower is loaded with photos and information from all over the web, and exists in an online environment that is about as close to three-dimensional as something on a flat screen can get.'"
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Tilt: Visualise Your Web Page in 3D

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  about 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Mozilla Hacks has an article on Tilt, a Firefox extension which visualises the DOM tree of a Web page in 3D. They write, 'Tilt is a Firefox extension that lets you visualize any web page DOM tree in 3D. It is being developed by Victor Porof (3D developer responsible with the Firefox extension itself), along with Cedric Vivier (creating a WebGL optimized equivalent to the privileged canvas.drawWindow, see #653656) and Rob Campbell (who first thought about creating a 3D visualization of a webpage). Everything started initially as a Google Summer of Code project, but now, with an enthusiastic team behind it and so many new features and ideas, it has become an active Developer Tools project.' There's also a Tilt blog for development updates."
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pdf.js Reaches First Milestone

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  about 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "The pdf.js project aims to implement a PDF viewer using standards-compliant Web technologies. The project has reached its first milestone: it renders the sample PDF (a paper on Mozilla's Tracemonkey JavaScript engine) perfectly. However, that perfection currently comes with some caveats: 'pdf.js produces different results on pretty much every element in the browser×OS matrix. We said above that pdf.js renders the Tracemonkey paper “perfectly” if you’re running a Firefox nightly. On a Windows 7 machine where Firefox can use Direct2D and DirectWrite. If you ignore what appears to be a bug in DirectWrite’s font hinting. The paper is rendered less well on other platforms and in older Firefoxen, and even worse in other browsers. But such is life on the bleeding edge of the web platform.' Still, the progress so far has been impressive and pdf.js will no doubt get better with time."
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Google Announces WebM Community Cross Licensing

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Google's WebM project has announced the formation of the WebM Community Cross-License Initiative. Members of the WebM-CCL agree to license patents they may hold that are essential to WebM technologies to other members under royalty-free terms. This initiative would seem to address some of Microsoft's concerns about WebM. Meanwhile, the MPEG LA appears to have remained silent after the submission period of its call for patents essential to WebM ended over a month ago."
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YouTube Now Transcoding All New Uploads to WebM

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "According to the YouTube blog, YouTube is now transcoding all new uploads to WebM, whereas previously the focus was on 720p and 1080p video. Google's James Zern writes, 'Transcoding all new video uploads into WebM is an important first step, and we’re also working to transcode our entire video catalog to WebM. Given the massive size of our catalog — nearly 6 years of video is uploaded to YouTube every day — this is quite the undertaking. So far we’ve already transcoded videos that make up 99% of views on the site or nearly 30% of all videos into WebM. We’re focusing first on the most viewed videos on the site, and we’ve made great progress here through our cloud-based video processing infrastructure that maximizes the efficiency of processing and transcoding without stopping. It works like this: at busy upload times, our processing power is dedicated to new uploads, and at less busy times, our cloud will automatically switch some of our processing to encode older videos into WebM. As we continue to transcode the remaining inventory, we’ll keep you posted on our progress.'"
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Rendering PDFs in JavaScript

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "With the release of Emscripten 1.0, Mozilla's Alon Zakai has put together a demo which renders PDF documents in JavaScript. He writes, 'I released Emscripten 1.0 over the weekend, which came with a demo of rendering PDFs entirely in JavaScript (warning: >12MB will be downloaded for that page). Emscripten is an LLVM-to-JavaScript compiler which allows running code written in C or C++ on the web. In the linked demo, Poppler and FreeType were compiled to JavaScript from C++.'"
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Nokia Confirms Symbian is No Longer Open Source

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "The H reports that Nokia has confirmed that Symbian will no longer be open source. They write, 'Nokia has confirmed that it has closed the source code for the Symbian smartphone operating system. It says that despite it describing its new model for Symbian smartphone operating system development as "open and direct" the "open" part did not refer to "open source" but to being "open for business". The "open and direct" model is designed, according to Nokia, to "enable us to continue working with the remaining Japanese OEMs and the relatively small community of platform development collaborators we are already working with".'"
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Advertisers and Publishers Adopt Do Not Track

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "As noted by the Mozilla Blog, the AP News Registry is the first large scale service to support the Do Not Track (DNT) feature of Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9. They write, 'The Associated Press (AP) is the first company to deploy DNT on a large scale, and it only took a few hours for one engineer to implement. The AP News Registry tracks 1 billion impressions of news content, with 175 million unique visitors per month, and has membership with more than 800 sites. When consumers send a DNT preference via the browser while viewing a story at one of its publisher’s sites, the AP News Registry no longer sets any cookies. The previous solution was for users to opt-out via a link to a central opt-out page referenced in each participating news site’s privacy policy. They still count the total number of impressions for each news story, but aggregate consumer data for those with DNT in a non-identifiable way.'"
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Web Video Text Tracks Explained

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Dr. Silvia Pfeiffer recently gave a Google Tech talk explaining the Web Video Text Track file format. She writes, 'On Wednesday, I gave a talk at Google about WebVTT, the Web Video Text Track file format that is under development at the WHATWG for solving time-aligned text challenges for video. I started by explaining all the features that WebVTT supports for captions and subtitles, mentioned how WebVTT would be used for text audio descriptions and navigation/chapters, and explained how it is included into HTML5 markup, such that the browser provides some default rendering for these purposes. I also mentioned the metadata approach that allows any timed content to be included into cues.' Slides of her talk are also available."
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Browser Power Consumption Compared

theweatherelectric theweatherelectric writes  |  more than 3 years ago

theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "Over on the IE Blog they've posted a power consumption comparison of the five major browsers. They write, 'Power consumption is an important consideration in building a modern browser and one objective of Internet Explorer 9 is to responsibly lead the industry in power requirements. The more efficiently a browser uses power the longer the battery will last in a mobile device, the lower the electricity costs, and the smaller the environment impact. While power might seem like a minor concern, with nearly two billion people now using the Internet the worldwide implications of browser power consumption are significant.'"
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