Category off-topic

  • My latest news validation adventure started because my wife overheard a show on Russian TV explaining the “real” reasons behind the Syrian civil war. The argument appeared to be balanced by explaining how various foreign forces have a hidden agenda in the conflict — including Russia which needs to prevent the Quatar-Turkey pipeline from happening. And what’s in for US? According to that show, vast amounts of oil were discovered in Syria and the US were looking for ways to exploit those. Such an easy and simple explanation for a very complex conflict seemed suspicious and so I decided to look into it.

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  • This experiment reminded me of another hoax I became aware of a while ago. A family member told me how food preservatives would become an issue for cemeteries because bodies would no longer decompose, not even after decades. Supposedly, specialists all over the world are noticing that problem but cannot do anything about it as long as we are on such an unhealthy diet. Where they had this from? Well, they read it in a respectable Russian newspaper.

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  • A bunch of posts on Planet Mozilla reminded me that there is still one social network that I am a member of. So it was time to reconsider whether having a LinkedIn account was worth it.

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  • As some of you might know, Russia sort of elected a new old president a week ago. After taking a 4 years break as prime minister Putin now becomes Russian president for the third time. I’ve been following the Russian-language reactions to the election which I find quite interesting. While I like most readers of this blog have the luxury of living in a democracy, sometimes I need a reminder about what actually constitutes a democracy. Hint: elections in regular intervals are not sufficient.

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  • Being in charge of a popular project has its highs and lows. On the one hand, creating something that is used by many people can be highly rewarding. You have a large community that supports you, there are many people willing to do their part. But then there are times when an unpopular change needs to be done, and as your community grows almost any change will make you unpopular with somebody. All the sudden you get people yelling at you — lots of people suddenly need to tell you how stupid that change is and what you should have done instead. It’s highly demotivating and makes you want to avoid uncomfortable changes. But that’s a dead end leading to a dead project.

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  • This is once again an off-topic blog post about the information policy of the Ukrainian embassy in Germany. Main point is making this information easier to find for Ukrainian citizens who live in Germany which is why it is being published in German and Russian.


    Das ist jetzt mal ein Blog-Post, das rein gar nichts mit Adblock Plus zu tun hat. Sinn und Zweck ist lediglich, diese Informationen besser auffindbar zu machen.


    Эта статья, в виде исключения, абсолютно не связана с Adblock Plus. Основной смысл ее публикации в том, чтобы эту информацию было немного проще найти.

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  • Daniel Glazman is shocked to see how hard shipping binary XPCOM components with an extension became now. Fact is, we simply didn’t notice the hidden message of blog posts announcing dropping binary compatibility (meaning that your component needs to be recompiled for each new Firefox version, no matter how simple it is) and rapid releases — binary XPCOM components in extensions are deprecated. Theoretically, somebody could still continue using them but it requires so much effort that nobody can be expected to do that. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it said like that anywhere, hence this blog post. There is still tons of documentation on binary XPCOM components on MDN and no deprecation warnings. Even XPCOM changes in Gecko 2.0 page lists all the important changes without making any conclusions.

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  • I haven’t seen it mentioned on Planet yet, could it be that nobody heard? I’ve seen lots of cool browser demos lately but this one really blows me away: jslinux by Fabrice Bellard. This is a real x86 emulator written in JavaScript and running Linux, not a fake Linux terminal. The emulated hardware is somewhat limited (e.g. no FPU) but this doesn’t make packing an emulator into less than 20 kB of JavaScript code less impressive. The emulator loads a bunch of binary Linux images and — voilà, Linux boots up.

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  • This lengthy German-language blog post deals with the issues of the German naturalization process and should be irrelevant to most people not living in Germany.


    Diese Woche gab es hier ein wichtiges Ereignis: meine Frau hat endlich die deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft bekommen. Ich konnte den Prozess von Anfang an miterleben und sehen, wie das heutzutage abläuft. Da es aber kaum deutschsprachige Beschreibungen dazu gibt, denke ich nicht, dass sich allzu viele meiner deutschen Mitbürger damit auskennen. Ich schreibe es einfach hier auf, vielleicht gibt es dann bei der nächsten Debatte um die Einbürgerung weniger schlecht informierte Meinungen.

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  • I received a payment over $2,500 from Google today. Now the conspiracy theorists among you can go off and rant in all forums that Adblock Plus is sponsored by Google and can no longer be trusted. For those of you who are still with me: the money came though Google’s Vulnerability Reward Program. Recently Google extended the scope of the program to web applications. I took up the challenge and sure enough, in a few hours I found four vulnerabilities in various corners of google.com.

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