IHBT – Firefox vs. IE

So I was reading this article on Browser Speed Comparisons and I found out that apparently IE outperforms most other Windows browsers on just about everything except for scripts.

I responded, somewhat naively:

I suppose the fact that IE has all sorts of nice direct access to the Windows code with god-knows-what tricks embedded to speed it up helps. Firefox is bound by what any non-MS program can do with the API. That is not to say that I find Firefox slower – but thinking about it, I believe the Firefox interface (especially tabs and yes I know it was Opera first(?)) speeds _me_ up. So my perception is that using Firefox is generally faster than using Internet Explorer, even though it may be in actuality slower.

The great thing about Slashdot is that you won’t be allowed to stay ignorant for long, so I was quickly informed that*:

  • Nice try, but how does that explain IE being faster than FireFox under MacOS X as well in some areas?
  • The fact that IE leverages a lot of Windows services is a feature of IE that Firefox chose not to implement (for portability reasons). So Firefox takes longer to start up. This isn’t because Microsoft is cheating; its because it’s not a cross-platform browser
  • and

  • Nice try, but no. Mozilla/Firefox made the decsion to add a heap load of bloat as a portability/skins layer. So they run everywhere, slowly. It’s pretty funny that you accuse MS of using “tricks” when the GUI of your browser is written in frickin JavaScript. (Secret MS Speed Trick #1: Don’t use a scripting language). If they wanted to, they could have coded a native Windows app right to the documented Win32 API, and it’s very unlikely that you’d see any difference in startup speed. (See Opera)

Considering that the comments are spot on, I was probably half-asleep when I posted, ‘cuz I just didn’t think it through carefully. Either way, I still find it intriguing that despite technical superiority in speed, IE still feels significantly slower than Firefox for me. I haven’t voluntarily used IE for probably a couple of years now. Firefox’s interface is just that much better.

(* The people who wrote these comments own them, bla bla.)

Notes of the day…

Things that caught my attention today:

  • George W Bush and the 14 points of fascism – it’s a pretty interesting look at news, mostly old, but each article is linked to a point, and there are a lot of articles. Worth scanning, at least.
  • musicplasma.com – not something I was using today, perhaps, but I’ve been using it lately to locate things to listen to, such as the…
  • New additions to my playlist: Lamb – Between Darkness And Wonder, Juno Reactor – Labyrinth, ATB – No Silence
  • Scam of the day – Blockbuster is claiming that they don’t do late fees anymore. Instead, if you keep a game/DVD/whatever more than 7 days, they’ll just assume you wanted it and bill you full retail price. You have 30 days to cancel – but if you do, they will tack on a “small restocking fee.” This, to me, translates out to “delayed late fee”. You won’t get screwed quite as badly this way since your overall late charges will probably be lower, but it will be more of a headache if you happen to be late in the first place.

Tomorrow, I’ll be playing Mahjongg with Cass’s family for (slightly late) Chinese New Year fun. It’s a funky game, a bit like the card game “rummy” but with tiles that sorta remind me of oversized dominoes. Lotsa fun.:-)

My Earth:2025 remake is coming along nicely. Have to finish spy ops, add the public & private markets, and the game itself should be largely done. I’m hoping to be able to launch some sort of limited alpha game in a few weeks. We shall see.

Award for Worst Designed Awards Site?

This is a Firefox 1.0 screenshot of the 2005 Business Blogging Awards website. The site works fine in Internet Explorer. Note the wonderful misaligned background shifted too far right.

Nifty, eh?:-P I would’ve thought by 2005 people would be doublechecking this stuff. One of my pet peeves, I guess, given that when I design I’ve found that you don’t have to go to any very great lengths to be sure that it works fine in Mozilla variants as well as IE.

Fiorina Booted From HP

I’d posted something last year discussing Carly Fiorina and Craig Barret’s views that America needs more competition between workers in order to drive down wages, thereby increasing profits.

Funny enough, Fiorina got fired this week – something about “differences” with the HP board. To satisfy corporate tradition, she gets a $21 million severance package. I guess that means universities should produce a few more extra workers, just to drive down wages even more and pick up the paycheck on Carly’s windfall.

The joy. I could go on about how eliminating executive salaries that are tens or hundreds (dare I say thousands?) of times the salary of the average employee would increase overall profit even more – but then, everyone already knows that.:-P

The Good Keep Dying Young :-(

On January 30, 2005, Martyn Bennett passed away.

I realize that 99.9% of you will have never heard of him, but to me and many others he was a musical genius. He was among the first artists to successfully fuse traditional Celtic music with house and drum-n-bass, and both his self-titled album and the follow-up Bothy Culture were brilliant. The latter album in particular stayed in my CD player almost constantly from the time I was 16 until the CD was physically broken when I was around 21.

I found out about a year ago that he’d been diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkins Lymphoma, according to the BBC tribute), but like many of his fans I’m sure we all hoped that he’d beat the odds. Unfortunately, fate dictated otherwise.

I still remember one interview I heard when I was 14 or so, on the NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock, where Martyn was discussing his inspirations and his background. One random sentence sticks clearly in my head: “Jazz…Jazz is very much a player’s thing…” Martyn went well beyond playing for players and made music that belonged to the people, without sinking to the commercialism that pervades most modern ‘popular’ music.

Well, Martyn, here’s to you. You will be missed.

Rest in peace.

Bill Gates and China’s “New Capitalism”

There’s an interview floating around on Yahoo! News where Bill Gates is raving about China’s “new capitalism” and how great it is. According to Gates, the best part is:

It is a brand-new form of capitalism, and as a consumer its the best thing that ever happened…[the Chinese model is characterized by a] willingness to work hard and not having quite the same medical overhead or legal overhead”.

The translation, of course, is that Chinese workers are willing to work hard because they have no alternative and would otherwise starve. They have no medical benefits, work long hours, and have no freedom to engage in strikes if they don’t like their working conditions. And China-based corporations have less of a burden or incentive under Chinese law to make sure that their products are safe.

I’m quite sure that Bill Gates would love to have such working conditions imposed upon every employee of his. This is the man, after all, who equates free software with communism and seems to believe that corporate intellectual property rights should be unlimited – notwithstanding the fact that “rights” ultimately derive from the people. I guess it doesn’t matter because corporations are people too and obviously they’re much bigger and richer people than the rest of us.

I wonder how he sleeps at night? I guess it’s the giant band-aid on his conscience. Of course, the cynic might suggest that he just wants to make sure he has healthy slave…er…workers for his future corporate-totalitarian society…but I’m not a cynic, of course. Nope, not lil’ ol’ me.

If you like Earth:2025

If you’re an Earth: 2025 player, you might be interested to know that I’m remaking the game. There have been a number of problems with it that have gone unrepaired despite player complaints, so I’ve always wanted to address them. The idea has been on the back burner for a few years, and I’m finally getting around to doing it.

While I’m starting out with a straight clone, a few potential changes – some with code in place – are:

  • No more “magic” land; the game will be map-based
  • No more private market; there will be a realtime (no 6-8 hour delay) public market instead
  • Alliances will be directly supported in-game, complete with GT-style utilities

Other things are in the works, but always first things first, right? I’ll post updates as I go, so feel free to check in here!

New year, new aspirations..

Happy new year to everyone reading this! A few minor updates to chew on while I wait for my next flash of brilliance to entertain you. 🙂

I have made a poem and a nonfiction piece availabe on my writing page, and I intend to make one or two more available each week until I have the bulk of my collection available.

I’m in the process of writing my second novel now. The response to the first one has been encouraging – at least sixty downloads, of which I can hope at least five were genuine reads. Considering my tiny readership, this is very acceptable. The feedback I’ve gotten so far has been generally positive. I’m always willing to take more feedback though!

Since I don’t believe in New Years’ resolutions, my only resolution is that I will laugh at everyone who has made one. Seriously, if you made the resolution it’s probably because you’re being too wussy to do something that you know you have to do anyway. Suck in your gut, stand up straight, and stop being a lazy bitch.

There, a dose of new year motivation – it was my pleasure!

Requerimiento and Spanish Imperialism

I was listening to some music to wind my day down and I heard something in the song “Evil and Harm” by Younger Brother (Simon Posford) which attracted my interest; there was a sound clip which sounded sorta like this, spoken in a voice reminiscent of James Earl Jones:

“I assure you, that with the help of God, I will make war on you in every place, and in every way that I can. And I will subject you to the yoke and obedience of the church. And I will take your peasants and your women and your children and I will make them slaves. And I will do you all the evils and harms which I can.”

It frankly sounds super-cool, spoken out in the ambience of that song, so I did some research. Turns out that it’s from an interesting little document written in 1510 by one Palacios Rubios, a jurist of the Council of Castille. It was apparently to be read upon encountering native populations, to tell them that any bad things happening to them were their own fault for not acknowledging the Pope and the Spanish rulers as their rightful lords. There doesn’t seem to be any concern for whether or not the native population was capable of understanding the document or the Spanish language.

A couple of versions of the Requerimiento can be found on the net here and here.

Now, I think I’m off to draft my own document which I shall present to passers-by on the street, informing them that the Great Invisible Unicorn, ruler of the dominion of Luna, hath granted me lordship over their lives. They are henceforth required to yield tribute of food, money, and nubile females at my demand, otherwise any negative things which befall them at my hands thereafter result from their failure to understand this document and their association with the anti-Christ. Time to get writing…