Which is the better gaming console between Xbox 360, Wii and PS3  for playing multiplayer games and why?

This depends on the type of multiplayer you are looking for.

The Wii is awesome for 4 player party style games with everyone in the same room.  Literally the only time I ever turn my Wii on is when there is several people around who want to play together.  Many of the games are great for this (Mario Kart, Mario Party, WarioWare, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Boom Blox, etc).  It is ideal to play with non-gamers (or kids) as well, because the experience is short and it is easy to pick up and play.

For online multiplayer I would have to go with the Xbox 360.  XboxLIVE is a service that you have to pay for, but it is well worth it.  The xbox also has many exclusives that are popular in online multiplayer (Halo, Gears of War).  Not to mention the games in the XboxLIVE arcade have multiplayer, and some are quite ubiquitous, like UNO.  Most sports/racing games come from the major publishers so they would be on both PS3 and Xbox360, so it is really more about the service.  The XboxLIVE service also does a great job with achievements, managing groups in the party system and handling game invited requests.

For just sports/racing games, it might be a toss up between the Xbox360 and PS3.  I just like the XboxLIVE service better than the Playstation service, but I do not play a lot of racing/sports games online.

What is the difference between vertical and horizontal sites?

In the context of content/Q&A, the difference between 'vertical' and 'horizontal' sites is the breadth of their desired subject matter. Horizontal sites want all (or at least 'many') topics under one brand/interface.  Vertical sites specialize.

Quora is horizontal: questions on all topics are welcome, and under the same brand/site. StackOverflow is vertical: Q&A on programming topics. Its sister  sites like ServerFault and SuperUser are verticals on other topics.

Wikipedia is horizontal in the reference info domain. MemoryAlpha is a vertical reference site about the Star Trek fictional  universe.

Google's main search is horizontal over all web content. Kayak is a vertical search engine over web-buyable travel services.

Horizontal is broad; vertical is focused.

Are there any comparative studies of the cloud services offered by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google?

It's hard to provide a generalized answer for the three services, but it should be something like this:

Most expensive: Azure
Least expensive: App Engine

If you already know SQL …
Easiest: EC2 (if you install a SQL database), Azure
Hardest: App Engine (non-relational datastore)

EC2 is a bit harder to compare since it's apples and oranges. With EC2, you get root access, but you also pay for idle time when you don't do any computation. With App Engine, you only pay for resources you use, so sometimes it's possible to believe you're paying more for a data migration when really it was only "free" on a VPS or EC2 because you already paid for the idle capacity. Azure's model is closer to App Engine's, though there is a baseline cost you must pay even if your application serves 0 requests per billing cycle.

This comparison of performance is interesting. Warning: I'm going to point out that I haven't yet read the 50-page report: http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/06…

What is the best radar detector for under $250?

I agree with both Ryan and Tim about the radar detectors.  However, depending on where you are, one should also consider a laser shifter such as the Escort ZR3 (or newer model ZR4) or Blinder Xtreme.

While the best consumer radar detectors can sniff out X and KA-band signals from a long way off before the signal can bounce back to the officer, rarely do they protect against LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) guns that are becoming more popular these days.  Normal radar guns send out a pretty wide beam of waves, and use the Doppler Effect to determine the fastest vehicle within that beam. LIDAR guns are far more accurate (at 1000 feet, the cone is estimated at around 3 feet).

Laser shifters actually actively jam by reacting to a police laser beam by sending out its own beam, shifting the spectrum of the returning light, rendering it unrecognizable to the laser gun’s optical sensors.

Note on legality: The Federal Communications Commission prohibits civilian use of police frequencies; thus active radar jammers that send signals are definitely not okay (however, they can't really restrict people from simply detecting light on a certain part of spectrum, so detectors are okay).  On the contrary, the Food and Drug Administration regulates laser devices, not the FCC, from a personal safety rather than a road safety perspective. Nebraska, Minnesota, Utah, California, Oklahoma, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois and Washington DC are the only states/district that bans the use of radar detectors AND laser jammers for “interfering with police business.”


How do the various major brands of jeans differ?

The simple difference is the quality across all aspects of the manufacturing process. The one-of-a-kind designs that some high-end jeans offer add an even higher premium to the prices. Think of rare paintings and how those sell on the market.

Exclusivity drives the value of brands and their products.

A great explanation that I came across one day:

If you weren’t a denim enthusiast before, you may be thinking about it now.

Source: Why your $200 jeans are worth the money

How does SquadEdit compare to EtherPad?

They are fairly similar.  Some differences:

  • In EtherPad, multiple people can be typing at the same time; in SquadEdit, only one person can be editing the text at once.
  • SquadEdit is more focused on code; EtherPad is a more general purpose text editor.
  • Probably because of this, SquadEdit only does plaintext; EtherPad allows bolding, italics, underline, and lists.
  • EtherPad uses colors to show which people have written which text; SquadEdit doesn't seem to have any concept of blame.
  • SquadEdit has syntax highlighting for a bunch of different programming languages; EtherPad doesn't appear to have any options for this (though I seem to remember them having JS highlighting at one point.)
  • SquadEdit just launched; EtherPad is shutting down now that the company has been acquired by Google.

Mobile Phones in 2011: What's better: an iPhone or a BlackBerry? Why?

The iPhone is no doubt extremely well-designed but there are a number of use-cases which cause many business people to stay with BlackBerry:

  • Tactile typing, specifically being able to respond to e-mails while walking down the street, and not having to keep your eyes on the screen
  • Instant messaging.  The iPhone still lags behind in being able to provide real-time IM services on the phone.   This is particularly due to the fact that only a single application may be run at once on the iPhone, while Blackberry allows true background processes
  • Encryption.  Blackberry data is communicated over the air using Triple DES encryption, and the device can maintain onboard data in a (fairly) secure manner.  Apple recently rolled out encryption to onboard data with the 3G S, but it is widely considered inferior to what Blackberry offers

What is healthier: Chipotle or Qdoba?

What are you ordering? Getting your calories from chips vs. a "bowl" will make a huge difference in the health benefits. What you get in this case matters more than which restaurant you get it in.

Both restaurants offer a line-by-line calorie counter, but Chipotle's site gives everything, (Chipotle) and Qdoba's site lists only calories and fat. (Qdoba)  Based only on the standard chicken burrito without sour cream, Qdoba's site tells me that I would be getting less calories and less fat, but I have no idea what gives me the extra fat on Chipotle's site. So it's difficult to make a one-to-one comparison.

Another comparison is chips and guacamole, which again has Chipotle coming in with 800 calories and 46 grams of fat, while Qdoba lists the same offering at 730 calories and 40 grams of fat. Based on these numbers, Qdoba is coming out on top. But they aren't listing their serving sizes, so perhaps Qdoba is simply giving you slightly less food than Chipotle.

I would recommend doing the estimate and going the extra mile to contact Qdoba and ask about serving sizes of your favorite foods to make an apples-to-apples comparison.

How is Quora different from O'Reilly Answers?

O'Reilly Answers is heavily tilted towards technology and computers in particular. There are non-technological threads, but the most popular topics are computer-related. Which is what you'd expect from a site run by a tech-book company.

Quora is a Q&A site that features a greater range of general-interest threads.