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Tim Sweeney (Epic Games) gave a great presentation about programming languages and game development, with examples from the Unreal Engine (e.g. "90% of integer variables in Unreal exist to index into arrays.").


no-flash is a Firefox extension (written by a Mozilla employee) to rewrite Flash-only object embeds to use YouTube's HTML5 player:


Mozilla may include this functionality in Firefox directly:


Mobile Safari did this from very early on! (iPhone OS 2 or earlier) Though they didn't use YouTube's official HTML5 player.

For Firefox users, YouTube is supposed to prefer HTML5 video if an H.264 platform decoder is available and then fall back to Flash. YouTube should be serving HTML5 video to OS X, Windows Vista+ (except for some variants without codecs like Windows Server 2008), and Linux (if ffmpeg is available).

I think when this came up a few months ago someone checked and found it was a bug -- it may have been fixed by now but I haven't checked recently since I don't have flash in ff anymore.

ZeroClipboard doesn't use the HTML5 clipboard APIs yet, but there is an open issue:


Flash provides much more identifiable fingerprinting information (e.g. detailed information about your system fonts) and looser "Flash cookie" (Local Shared Objects) restrictions than JavaScript.


Did you read their conclusions? Javascript is most certainly a method for fingerprinting, regardless of Flash presence.

"Browser developers should also consider what they can do to reduce fngerprintability, particularly at the JavaScript API level."

"We identified only three groups of browser with comparatively good resistance to fngerprinting: those that block JavaScript, those that use TorButton, and certain types of smartphone."

Not having Flash doesn't mean you're immune to fingerprinting. That said, it would be nice if Adobe prevented system font lists via Flash.

That is true. Not having Flash does not mean you're immune to fingerprinting, but having Flash does mean more (a lot more) unique fingerprinting data is available to trackers.

I wonder if browsers' plugin sandboxes could block Flash from calling the OS API to enumerate system fonts.

FreeBSD + Mach kernel, libdispatch, and launchd? How does this differ from Darwin?

I may be misunderstanding, but as far as I know it simply layers Mach kernel services onto the FreeBSD kernel rather than actually using Mach.

Correct. There's an OSF Mach shim running as a FreeBSD kernel module which is then used to drive XPC and everything above.

That said, I feel rather uneasy about the base FreeBSD going such a verbatim OS X route. I can understand doing it for FreeNAS, PC-BSD and derivatives, but it's quite invasive for upstream. Especially considering this requires running a parallel Mach kernel in the same address space.

Also, using Mach IPC deliberately in 2015 is like shooting yourself in the foot in my mind, but it's probably better than kdbus.

There's no parallel Mach kernel running. It's just Mach IPC shimmed as an FD type.

It's a kernel module implementation of much of OSF Mach verbatim copied and shimmed from MkLinux, not just IPC. See sys/compat/mach in the NextBSD source tree.

Yeah I looked; it's the IPC from Mach with some shimmed bits to do VM-y things for mapped message passing.

Mach was mostly VM and IPC - so of course it looks like it's a lot of Mach code. But there's no separate mach kernel running - it's just the IPC instances and they only exist as FD bits. It's not a complete kernel and FreeBSD isn't running "on" mach.

I never made such a claim that FreeBSD is running on Mach. I said it integrated a Mach kernel interface as a module running in kernel space.

They also ported tasks (as processes), threads (kthreads) and some clock/timer stuff, as well. No memory objects because there's no external pager they can be backed from.

The base FreeBSD isn't going this route, this is something that is being worked on at iXsystems that may or may not eventually find it's way to FreeBSD itself.

That's my understanding from the presentation!

It's just a FreeBSD kernel. Kip's implemented Mach facilities on FreeBSD, but it's not remotely like Darwin. Darwin is a Mach (micro-)kernel that implements BSD APIs on top of Mach.

If Darwin uses a Microkernel then so does Microsoft Windows. They are very similar designs.

In case you are wondering: I don't think that Microsoft Windows uses a microkernel.

Some versions of Mach are micro, other versions are not. OS X doesn't use a microkernel, neither does Darwin. They use XNU kernel. XNU has code from Mach and it also uses code from FreeBSD.

People call it a 'hybrid kernel', but I think that is a misnomer and only really exists through the effectiveness of Apple's marketing. XNU is a monolithic kernel with message passing capabilities inspired from microkernels. Makes it so they can isolate certain features and drivers better then, say, Linux can.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft actually did release a version of NT that was a true microkernel, but they quickly realized that it is not a practical approach to creating a OS that was competitive with Unix.


This seems pretty much Darwin grafted with FreeBSD.

For a commercial network appliance device it's probably a good approach. They get all the benefits from using source code from Apple, FreeBSD, and ZFS without having to actually provide much source code in the way of real improvements that could be used to enhance a competitor's product.

> Microsoft actually did release a version of NT that was a true microkernel,

You mean Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5, right? I used those intensively, and it worked really well.

> but they quickly realized that it is not a practical approach..

With Windows NT 4.0 they left the original design and moved everything including the graphics into the kernel. But that was not because the original approach was not practical or did not work. It was because Windows 95. The wanted Win32 to be API compatible with that crap (desktop 'gadgets' and such) and that's why they did it. I remember hating NT 4.0 because it was so much less stable than the original versions.

At least for the graphics, performance was an important factor.

API compatibility can be reached through other means than moving stuff into the kernel.

> a piece that is essentially about a (painful and harsh) health insurance screw-up

Did you miss the second half of the article where her team taken from her and she was placed on a PIP when she returned from maternity leave?

Clearly I read the entire article. I don't consider that to be relevant to the quotes I pulled and I'll explain why. She had a team, she went away for several months, the team needed be reassigned and when she returned, she (rightfully) expected to be returned to that same leadership position. But, what had happened, was that the team was reassigned. That much makes sense. I'm sure she got screwed over in that situation but I still don't make the connection she's drawing.

You are treated like crap in multiple ways at Amazon is the connection.

Being treated like crap doesn't automatically mean you're being treated like crap because of your gender or race. Right? I can't be the only person who believes that.

Amazon apparently doesn't have proper maternity leave procedures in place: if you go on mat leave it treats it like you left the company and your team gets reassigned. That's crap treatment that will only happen to one gender.

They have paternity leave, too. You're making a claim that can actually be verified so if you have any information to put forward, please do.

There's a difference between allowing people to take parental leave (eg their legal requirement) and actually supporting it.

If they only pay lip service to the letter of the law and you return to find your job effectively gone, then that's still crap treatment that will disproportionately affect one gender, given the usual length of maternity leave compared to paternity

but she did return to her existing job, it's just that it was now working with another team. would it be fair for the people who had been working for the interim manager to now have to switch managers again? that is going to affect their annual review and possible promotions. on top of that all her directs except for one were already gone, so why would it make sense to put her back on that team? did she start working there specifically to run that team because thats not usually how these big companies work, people are expected to have to occassionally switch from one team or another.

That's zero-sum: the (minor) cost the team pays for supporting the leave is repaid by the support they get when they need to take leave themselves.

The other things could and should have been improved by Amazon. Their obligation is to get you back into a situation as close as practicable to the one you left.

what are you talking about? reporting to a new manager is far from a minor cost, especially when it's a manager you never reported to to begin with. since everyone else is making random unfounded statements, her going on maternity leave probably had a lot to do with why there was only one person left on the team when she came back.

what about the new manager? why should they have to change teams? basically what you're saying is that everyone on the team should suffer significantly so that one person can return to lead the same team with different members rather than just leading a new team that needs a manager?

If properly handled maternity cover is a pretty painless process. It's not like a boss quitting: there are handover periods and keep-in-touch mechanisms. The new manager should be explicitly hired for maternity cover, and have their expectations set. It happens in most of Europe, almost without comment it's so routine.

If it's a massive career-impacting hassle for employees of people on leave at Amazon, where they "suffer significantly" that's yet more evidence for Amazon being a terrible place to work.

If by 'they' you mean Amazon, unfortunately that is not the case. Amazon does not have paternity leave.

Despite 'clearly' reading the entire article and having it pointed out, you missed/ignored the second part.

"Her team was reassigned" (during her extended absence) - reasonable. Disappointing, for her, perhaps, but reasonable.

"and she was placed on a PIP" - she comes back from maternity and is told, formally, 'your performance is unacceptable and is going to have to improve to stay at the company'. This just screams vindictiveness. "Your pregnancy inconvenienced the company / team, so here's a formal black mark for you, often used as an excuse to be able to fire you at any time in the future".

I did mention that she was screwed over. I'd say the PIP was part of that. That doesn't automagically equate to discrimination and I've yet to see any of these snide rebuttals put anything forth to change my mind about that.

What is your bar for discrimination then? Person takes a leave that is only available to their gender. Is screwed over as a result. It's not a complicated case, and that's even before you add in the cancer.

Proof is my bar. An email from her male manager telling HR to put her on notice for going on maternity leave would be more than sufficient to justify the claims in the article.

You'd make a terrible judge. "The suspect was found with the murder weapon in his hand, next to the body? Insufficient. Circumstantial. I need a confession".

No manager with any sense at all is ever going to write an email like that, don't be ludicrous.

The PIP also encourages the employee to resign instead of waiting to be fired, minimizing employer risk of wrongful termination lawsuits or having to pay severance. In the author's case, she resigned; the PIP was a success for Amazon.

People are getting hung up on pedantic definitions of "hate speech". If we say "hostile work environment" instead, then the anonymous poster's behavior clearly crosses the line.

The response is not unique to Mozilla. Big companies like Google have probably encountered similar situations. Mozilla is just more open about it.

When should they have asked for community input? They have announced the project and are now responding to community input.

They can't really respond to community input because the key decisions have already been made. They can only respond to criticism, but the time for input is clearly before making key decisions.

As a proposal before they made the decision. Getting input on an already made decision isn't input on the decision.

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