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Arnout Kazemier
JavaScript, Motherfucker, Do you speak it!
JavaScript, Motherfucker, Do you speak it!


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I was pleased to see the measured tone of the White House response to the citizen petition about #SOPA and #PIPA!/response/combating-online-piracy-while-protecting-open-and-innovative-internet

and yet I found myself profoundly disturbed by something that seems to me to go to the root of the problem in Washington: the failure to correctly diagnose the problem we are trying to solve, but instead to accept, seemingly uncritically, the claims of various interest groups. The offending paragraph is as follows:

"Let us be clear—online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, and threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation's most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs. It harms everyone from struggling artists to production crews, and from startup social media companies to large movie studios. While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders."

In the entire discussion, I've seen no discussion of credible evidence of this economic harm. There's no question in my mind that piracy exists, that people around the world are enjoying creative content without paying for it, and even that some criminals are profiting by redistributing it. But is there actual economic harm?

In my experience at O'Reilly, the losses due to piracy are far outweighed by the benefits of the free flow of information, which makes the world richer, and develops new markets for legitimate content. Most of the people who are downloading unauthorized copies of O'Reilly books would never have paid us for them anyway; meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of others are buying content from us, many of them in countries that we were never able to do business with when our products were not available in digital form.

History shows us, again and again, that frontiers are lawless places, but that as they get richer and more settled, they join in the rule of law. American publishing, now the largest publishing industry in the world, began with piracy. (I have a post coming on that subject on Monday.)

Congress (and the White House) need to spend time thinking hard about how best to grow our economy - and that means being careful not to close off the frontier, or to harm those trying to settle it, in order to protect those who want to remain safe at home. British publishers could have come to America in the 19th century; they chose not to, and as a result, we grew our own indigenous publishing industry, which relied at first, in no small part, on pirating British and European works.

If the goal is really to support jobs and the American economy, internet "protectionism" is not the way to do it.

It is said (though I've not found the source) that Einstein once remarked that if given 60 minutes to save the world, he would spend 55 of them defining the problem. And defining the problem means collecting and studying real evidence, not the overblown claims of an industry that has fought the introduction of every new technology that has turned out, in the end, to grow their business rather than threaten it.

P.S. If Congress and the White House really want to fight pirates who are hurting the economy, they should be working to rein in patent trolls. There, the evidence of economic harm is clear, in multi-billion dollar transfers of wealth from companies building real products to those who have learned how to work the patent system while producing no value for consumers.

P. P.S. See also my previous piece on the subject of doing an independent investigation of the facts rather than just listening to the appeals of lobbyists,
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Today marks the day i spend more than 8 hours debugging #facebook's connect-js library. I discovered a fundamental flaw in the code that will "white screen of death" your site in IE 6/7/8 by default if a required flash version is not installed. But it can also be introduced with one single addition to the href of your site and this works in every single browser.

When facebook detects the word "fb_xd_fragment" in the url, it will set the document element (HTML tag) to display: none; hiding your complete site. I think this pretty much shows how evil third party code can be. The best thing about this is that it's a know issue, it's been reported to Facebook many times and they even marked the bug reports as `Closed, by design` WTF?

Let's see the effect on some popular websites:

+Dion Almaer 's Function Source

+Danny Sullivan 's search engine land

But also CNN

And Facebook's own developer channel:

So I made a simple pull request for the code but I highly doubt that there will be a response on it.

So have fun, with your invisible websites.
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Today marks the day where we have lost, one more thing.  Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011. A true inspiration to us all.
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Released a major update to my `useragent` library for Node.js, improved performance and accuracy <3
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Chromium just pushed the new garbage collection branch to bleeding edge, which mean no more fixed 1 gb memory level in Node.js!

F*cking. Awesome <3
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Flawless victory! \o/!

A I received a more pleasant e-mail in my inbox this morning:

Node Knockout winners: "Overall / Solo: Observer by Speedo" \o/
My application managed to become first in 3 (overall, solo and utility) out of the 7 available categories.

So thanks a lot for voting, I couldn't have done it with out it <3!
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I briefly touched first place in the Node Knock Out competition, it's a neck to neck race and this is the last day to vote. So if you haven't done so already, please do so at: and help me stay at the top!
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My Node.js Knock Out 2011 entry just got hit with the HackNews front-page effect

The service is currently running a bit slow but it's not down yet! But this makes me wonder, what generates more traffic.. A mention on hacker news or a mention by +Robert Scoble

But it's great to see that there is so much interest in this project / service <3!
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I'm finally recovered from last weekends Node Knockout contest (a 48h hacking contest) where I created a service that allows you to follow your website users in real time, see their clicks, mouse movements and key presses emulated on your screen. This allows you to fully understand how your users are navigating on your site.

But I need your help, I'm in desperate need of public votes, so if you guys could spare a minute of your time and go to and cast a public vote on my entry it would be really grateful. (it does not spam stuff on your wall)

I'm so close to becoming first in the solo category on but do to the lack of public votes that my entry received i'm still second.

If you want know more about my entry feel free to browse around, watch a recorded session or follow my users in real time.
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