* Posts by Miguel Farah

31 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Sep 2008

Vulcan? Not on our tiny balls. Pluto moons named Kerberos, Styx

Miguel Farah

So the "Vulcan" name was a bad candidate to begin with?

Why was it allowed on the vote, then? I don't understand.

Mozilla devs plotting to put a stake in <blink> tag – at last

Miguel Farah

Goodbye, <blink>! Hello {blink: on;}!

I'll bet money someone implements blinking in CSS3. And it will be back! Forever with us! I can already see the options the blink CSS will have:

blink-type: normal - fast - faster - slow - slower - erratic

blink-color: default - goodOldBlack - [color 1, color 2] - rainbow - neon - antiBackground

blink-stoppable: yes - no

Boffins baffled over pulsar with 'split personality'

Miguel Farah

What if there are TWO pulsars?

And these two are close together and transit over each other?

Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

Miguel Farah
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It's even worse when it's YOU OWN mistake that gets propagated.

I fully agree with Mr. Mandl. I'd like to add another example of this... one that actually happened to me.

I am the author of a rather detailed research of the history of Chilean holidays. There's a particular one, September 11, that used to commemorate the 1973 coup. When I was starting out this work, I didn't know when exactly it began being observed, so I wrote down "No earlier than 1974." as a placeholder. At some point, I mistakenly reduced that to "1974", so for a while my research listed that year as the holiday's beginning. A few months later I corrected this when I found the decree-law that established it (published in 1981, so that's the actual beginning year)... but by that time several other sites had copied the wrong data, and it propagated from there. Three years later, it's still easy to find sites that list the wrong year (1974) instead of the correct one (1981).

At least I have the source to back it up and I've managed to convince two different people about this, so they've corrected their sites as well.

Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Miguel Farah
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Stupid, stupid move.

Apple is complying with the letter of the order in the absolute minimum way it possibly can. Are they trying to provoke the judge, or are they just being so blindsided by their own side that they don't see the consequences for their actions?

This reminds me of my 9-year-old son. When I order him to do something he doesn't want to, he does it in the sloppiest way possible, earning two or more extra yellings from me and taking much more time complying with it than if he'd done properly whatever he's been commanded to. In the end, his TV privileges have been cut short (unnecessarily) several times, and it's his own damn fault. If he had an allowance, I'd fine him, as well, but it isn't the case (yet).

Apple, on the other hand, should (IMHO) get heavily fined for this.

And, perhaps, the judge should order to have their apology written in ugly 90s-style HTML. I bet THAT style dissonance would hurt them even more than being fined.

Microsoft's 'official' Windows 8 Survival Guide leaks

Miguel Farah

Windows 8 promises to be a disaster in offices.

Where I work, many people still use XP instead of W7 for "productivity" reasons; Windows 7 is neat-looking but gets in the way of things. Windows 8, on the other hand, actively inhibits productivity. Now wonder everyone around here doesn't want to switch to it (and that's not counting the "wait until the SP1 is out").

Metric versus imperial: Reg readers weigh in

Miguel Farah

Metric, yes! Imperial AND OTHERS, bye!

I'm a bit late to the debate, but I'd like to weigh in with something: maybe today it's "metric vs. imperial", but back in the day it was "metric vs. ALL OF THEM". There used to be a *lot* of distinct measuring systems, even within different regions of the same country (or even provinces, as in Spain). SI became the measuring system of choice because it's superior *and* it's unique: no more "french feet vs. english feet vs. Spanish feet (actually any of about 30 different "feet" in use there at the time) vs. Swedish feet".

Hell, SPAIN decided to use a measuring system invented by the *French*. It must be good, right?

America, get on with the 19th century and adopt SI once and for all, please.

US Geological Survey detects earthquake on Twitter

Miguel Farah

Oh, XKCD might have something to say...

Obligatory: xkcd.com/723/

HP ships hack-friendly all-in-one

Miguel Farah
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The monitor better be REAL good.

This is more of a "working monitor" than an actual PC.

Seems nice, until you see how little it's *really* got in the expansion department: "4 slots: 1 PCIe x16 full, 3 miniPCIe" (quoted from HP's website).

A computer that gets upgraded in a regular fashion will at some point be limited by this. When the supplied graphics won't cut it anymore, the one PCIe slot will be taken up, and the user will have to hope to be able to get miniPCIe cards for whatever he needs (firewire, SCSI, USB4, etc.).

That said, if the monitor is actually as good as I expect (it IS an IPS) , I want one of those machines. NOW. :-)

Vote now for the WORST movie EVER

Miguel Farah

That was difficult...

So many choices, all of them just as bad. In the end, I chose one, but I must say this poll wasn't easy to decide for one.

What actually should worry me most is that I haven't seen only three of those. :-/

El Reg user forum opens to public, HTML for all (mostly)

Miguel Farah

Re: So... may those HTML tags have attributes?

I did. What I want is an explicit definition of it in the rulebook.

Miguel Farah
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So... may those HTML tags have attributes?

I'm guessing the answer will be no (and I'm fine with that), but it'd be better to make this explicit:

Can the allowed &lt;b&gt;, &lt;i&gt;, &lt;em&gt;, &lt;strong&gt; and &lt;strike&gt; include common attributes? For example:

&lt;b style="color: blue;"&gt;Blue bold text&lt;/b&gt;

&lt;b id="myComment&gt;link this later with #myComment&lt;/b&gt;

Also: will the syntax be strict, accepting only "&lt;b&gt;" instead of "&lt;b &gt;"?

For the record, I *do* like the idea.

American pies are cooling on the windowsill ahead of Pi Day

Miguel Farah
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Re: Can I just say that Pi day is..

"355/113 is better yet, and manageable with 16bit integer arithmetic."

I have no doubt it is, but our year isn't that long. Neptune's year, on the other hand, can handle it: since it it lasts for 164.8 Earth years, it contains 75583.66 Neptunian days, which can fit 120 months of 360 days each with a lot of room to spare.

Uranus does nicely, too. Its year lasts for 84.07 Earth years, with a 17.9-hour day, giving 41142.64 Uranian days - 115 months of 360 days each with *some* room to spare.

Unsurprisingly, Pluto won't cooperate: its year lasts for 247.7 earth-years, with a day that's 6.39 Earth-days long, so its calendar only has 14148.75 Plutonian days.

So, we should be celebrating Pi Day on 22/7 on Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and 355/113 on Uranus and Neptune. Pluto, since it won't cooperate, can go frack itself. I wonder if Sedna will be better?

Chinese fossil analysis suggests new hominid species

Miguel Farah

So, just how many more "Homo Sapiens *" have there been?

Besides us, we have Neanderthals, Floresiensis, Denisovans and now these guys. How many more "failed competitors" were there up until recent times? How many more are waiting to be found? And how much interbreeding was there (we already know about HSS interbreeding with Neanderthals and Denisovans)?

Could the Americas have been populated *initially* by some other species, only to be displaced by a later wave of Homo Sapiens?

Lithuania rules beer brewing 'vitally essential' to life

Miguel Farah

Hey, this is NOT unprecedented!

In the last few years, I've been researching Chile's old laws and decrees. I've bumped into several quirky regulations, one of which is related to the business at hand.

There is a government decree from the '30s, during a time where alcohol sale *and consumption* was highly regulated, that declared beer to be "analcoholic and medicinal", freeing it up from several restrictions.

So, Lithuania might just be following in Chile's footsteps. :-P

Pentax Q compact system camera

Miguel Farah

Looks fine for my kid.

I would probably have trouble using this camera (large guy, big hands), but sounds like a nice "toy" system for my kids to learn the concepts of interchangeable lenses, after "graduating" from the P&S cameras they use now, before introducing them to a *real* SLR (whether it's digital or film).

Of course, this isn't toy-priced. :-(

P.S.: I should try to have a Pentax 67 as well. Just imagine my next vacation: my five-year old with a P&S, my 10-year old with this Pentax Q, my wife with a Nikon D3100 and me with a Pentax 67.

Russians drill into buried 20 million-year-old Antarctic lake

Miguel Farah

You're missing the spider that bit Peter Parker.

Miguel Farah

Never mind the lake, what about the terrain it's on top of?

If I understand correctly, beneath the ice and beneath the lake itself, there's a (frozen) soil layer. It'll probably take several centuries to develop the technology to do this, but what about looking for fossils in there, from before the time Antarctica froze up?

Miguel Farah

Beneath all the ice lies...

... not The Thing, not aliens, not Hitler's hideout, not Hitler's corpse, not deadly microbes, not C'thulhu. Beneath all the ice lies... my wife's sex drive.


UN, IMF join opposition to ICANN top-level domain plans

Miguel Farah
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How many more TLDs is ICANN going to create?

After large brand names are exhausted, what shall follow? IT-related TLAs? (.www, .ftp, .vga, et cetera) Family names? (not that I wouldn't mind owning the .farah TLD, but still...)

IMHO, this has gone way beyond the acceptable.

Eclipse Xtends Java

Miguel Farah

Can we have "Xtend lite" with only SOME of the features?

Some of the features look nice in principle, but some others are, in my opinion, unnecessary and prone to obscure bugs due to the generated Java code being subtly different from what was expected.

In particular, I *hate* the "new" switch - it looks like a shorthand for consecutive if sentences (and that's probably what it will compile to, anyway), {liberating us from | missing the point of} the fact that a switch statement is supposed to be a shorthand for evaluating a single expression.

And while we're at it, Xtend could add a REPEAT/UNTIL sentence (to {be synonymous with | replace} the do-while one).

And something that would be actually VERY nice would be to add the capability of returning two/three/N objects from a method in a single declaration, instead of having to create a TO for that purpose (or an Object array). Something like this:

public String,boolean,int whatDayIsIt(Date d) {


return dayName(d.get(Calendar.DAY_OF_WEEK)), isItHoliday(d), daysUntilChristmas(d);


to be used like this:

myDay, holiday, days = whatDayIsIt( new Date());

In the end, what really matters is oldtaku's opinion ("The main point of Java (outside of Android) is that you have a very picky, explicit, and yes, redundant language where everything is fully spelled out so you can let hordes of incompetent corporate coders work on a project without stepping on each others' toes too much."). "Free form" Java wouldn't be good news, I think.

Dirty, dirty PCs: The X-rated picture guide

Miguel Farah
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Model M keyboards RULE!

@Colin: "Anyone else got 20 year old computer hardware that's genuinely still in daily use ?"

Yes, indeed. I have several Model M keyboards - one on my home PC, another one in my work PC, and five more stored away in case either ever fails or doesn't outlast me (ha ha ha).

I've been asked to give away a couple of those, but I've refused.

Miguel Farah

Hmmm... that's brownish dirt. I'm used to dark grey.

Most of the dust in the pictures are brownish in color. Where I live (Santiago, Chile), the dust is grey (much like the one in the first picture in page 4, altough a bit darker).

I once had to service an OLD 286 server that had been left running for at least 6 years undisturbed. That little computer proved its incredible toughness when I cleaned it: the main vent had ben clogged by what could be only described as a "dust curtain", 2mm thick. I actually took it off by the tips and moved it *in one piece* without it breaking.

Neanderthal woman could whup Schwarzenegger

Miguel Farah
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Tough men weren't that far behind in our past.

Read about the Spaniard explorers in America, then go visit (in car) some of the places they travelled, without the benefit of even a gravel road or, for that matter, unending supplies of fresh water. The badlands ("El Malpaís") in New Mexico is a fine eye-opening example.

People used to be tougher.

Vulture Central unleashes RegPad™

Miguel Farah
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"Boss key" on the right-hand side? FAIL!!!

The "Abort porn website surfing and return to SFW mode" should be on the lefthand side, not where it's currently located. Need I spell out the reasons for this?

Or is the leftie minority trying to discriminate against us, the righthanded majority?

Dell accidentally sells 140,000 monitors for $15 a pop

Miguel Farah

It doesn't happen only in Chile...

Dell has made similar mistakes in my country three times in the last five years. Altough the law sides with the buyer in a case like this, Dell flat out stated they wouldn't honor their responsibility (a sort-of-class action lawsuit for the second case is still undecided).

Kodak retiring iconic Kodachrome film

Miguel Farah
IT Angle

Digital didn't kill Kodachrome... Fujichrome VELVIA did!

I've heard a lot of people stating thet Kodachrome is dead due to digital switchover... this is simply not true. The fact is that Kodachrome lost a lot of market share to Velvia and other modern E6 films (hell, the update to "afghan girl" picture was E6 as well).

Yeah, Kodak gave up on it... but a lot of time before digital came knocking.

Anyway, Fuji has behaved much better than Kodak WRT to film.

Trademark owner loses domain name claim against unauthorised reseller

Miguel Farah
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Wow, seems to be a fair veredict.

I expected this to be another "big company screws little guy" veredict, like the ones WIPO has pulled in the past, but seems to be fair.

Google's Austro-Hungarian ambitions laid bare

Miguel Farah

Hey! Russia is invading Finland!

¿Why else would their borderline be broken?

So, how much until Denmark and Russia partition Poland?

Google cedes Belgium to Germany

Miguel Farah
Dead Vulture

What happened to Cyprus?

It would seem the cypriots opposed Greater Denmark and was destroyed in retaliation... only a fragment of the island survives.