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Ask Slashdot: What Should Every Programmer Read?

mfarah True Names... and Other Dangers. (352 comments)

No list is complete without Vernor Vinge's _True Names... and Other Dangers_. I don't care if it's a book, instead of an article, but still, it's required reading.

about 6 months ago
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Gravity: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?

mfarah It CAN be done (but not always is a good idea). (438 comments)

Shows like B5 got physics quite right when it came to Starfuries, but were purposefully ambiguous in other respects.

Sometimes "rule of drama" wins out, and it's understandable. There's no excuse, however, to bad physics becoming a pivotal plot point (I don't think I need to list any examples here).

about a year ago
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How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day?

mfarah In my country... (200 comments)

This day is known only by the sysadmin themselves (and former sysadmins, as well), so we pat each other on the back, post a message on twitter and/or facebook and that's it.

about a year ago
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The Balkanization of Chatting

mfarah Re:Usenet's death report has been greatly exaggera (242 comments)

I know well enough what Usenet is. Hell, I AM the moderator in chile.grupos.anuncios (a local equivalent to news.announce.newgroups).

But to say Usenet is *far* from its glory days is a terrible understatement. Usenet is, for its glory days purposes, pretty much dead. Not many servers remain, not many users remain, entire hierarchies are dead. BESIDES some specific still-running newsgroups, not much activity remains.

Those isolated pockets of still healthy Usenet traffic are now no different than just any other web forum.

Usenet WAS the go-to place for online discussion. As much as it pains me, that ceased to be the case.

about a year and a half ago
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The Balkanization of Chatting

mfarah Not just chatting. Forum discussions suffer, too. (242 comments)

Back in the day, there was *one* discussion forum: Usenet. It was everywhere, and all servers connected to it. Now, there are *thousands* of disconnected forums, dozens of "forum software packages", etcetera. Even systems that try to connect distinct forums (Disqus) aren't necessarily the most popular option.

about a year and a half ago
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Google Chrome Getting Audio Indicators To Show You Noisy Tabs

mfarah Re:This has been on the wish list for a loooooong (155 comments)

the one is actually easy to implement

For HTML5 audio/video, yes. For Flash/Silverlight, not necessarily.

Considering most of the others are DWIM in nature, or at least require almost an AI working inside the browser, I'd say they're easy. :-D

about a year and a half ago
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Google Chrome Getting Audio Indicators To Show You Noisy Tabs

mfarah This has been on the wish list for a loooooong tim (155 comments)

This feature was listed as #21 in http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_529_21-web-browser-features-we-desperately-need_p21/#21 - and, from all of them, the one is actually easy to implement. Hell, users have been wishing this kind of feature since before tabs even existed! I can only wonder what took so long for any dev team.

I hope Chrome gets this on the stable release ASAP, and Firefox and Opera follow suit, Explorer can go frack itself for all I care.

about a year and a half ago
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Pepsi To Release New Breakfast Mountain Dew

mfarah Slashdot? Not The Onion? (362 comments)

When I saw this headline coming up in my feed, I thought it was from The Onion. THEN I saw the familiar /. logo...

about 2 years ago
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Canadian Island's Historic Hot Springs Dry Up After Earthquake

mfarah Not the first time this happens... (97 comments)

I live in Chile, one of the most earthquake-prone countries. Near my city there used to be a rather popular hot spring pools place *in the Andes Mountains* (not in a close-by valley), called "Baños Morales" ("Morales' [Thermal] Baths"). An earthquake in the '50s shifted plates and the hot springs completely dried up. The place still exists, but it's been abandoned.

about 2 years ago
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The Sci-fi Films To Look Forward To In 2013

mfarah Re:"After Earth"? As in Dougal Dixon's book? (277 comments)

I concur, except for Mel Gibson's acting. I don't think there's any director capable of slapping MG back into proper acting, at all.

more than 2 years ago
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The Sci-fi Films To Look Forward To In 2013

mfarah "After Earth"? As in Dougal Dixon's book? (277 comments)

The description of said movie makes me think it's directly inspired by Dougal Dixon's After Earth book (available at http://www.amazon.com/After-Man-A-Zoology-Future/dp/0312194331 and other stores). A *great* read, I must say.

Now, that movie shows promise... or it would, if Mr. ObTwist weren't involved. Still, getting to see a the heroes mounting a rabbuck might be worthwhile.

more than 2 years ago
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UCLA Scientist Discovers Plate Tectonics On Mars

mfarah Wow. Is the southern hemisphere a supercontinent? (87 comments)

I always found it odd that Mars' southern hemisphere would be so much higher than the northern one. This discovery means it might be simply a supercontinent that will be, in spite of its size, a transient[*] feature.

I'd like to hop on a time machine, go forward 200 years and read up a book on the geology of Mars. I wonder if they'll name previous continents (assuming they can be determined) by a system that uses names from famous Mars-related stories. The first bunch of continents named after features in the John Carter of Mars stories, another bunch taken straight from Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, et cetera.

[*] In a geological time scale, of course.

more than 2 years ago
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The PHP Singularity

mfarah Re:Really? (622 comments)

What kind of bullshit logic is that? Something is broken, everyone hates it, so let's put all our efforts in making the alternatives better? How about contributing to PHP and fixing what you're bitching about instead of, well, bitching about it? You know, it's open-source and all.

An important part of fixing something is being able to recognize when it's better to throw it away and build it again. PHP has so many problems, in each layer down to the bottom, it's way past the "We can fix it if we apply ourselves": it's better to throw it away and build it again. Something like a new scripting language called PDR ("PHP Done Right").

more than 2 years ago
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GMU Prof Teaches How To Falsify Wikipedia — and Get Caught

mfarah Re:the real difference between wikipedia and reddi (183 comments)

I don't believe anything I read on reddit or slashdot. Does that mean I'm suck in an infinite loop? Does that mean I'm suck in an infinite loop? Does that mean I'm suck in an infinite loop? Does that mean I'm suck in an infinite loop? Does that mean I'm suck in an infinit
stack overflow

Boy, have you got a short stack...

more than 2 years ago
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Kazakh Gold Medalist Is Played Borat Anthem

mfarah Re:Double irony award? (155 comments)

In any case surely there are official channels to request flags and anthems and other national symbols from...

YEARS ago, Chile hosted the World Chess Championship. Players from Romania were *very* upset because the flag representing them still had the socialist coat of arms on it (the 1989 revolution had happened less than a year before). They threatened to leave unless steps were taken immediately to correct this... I guess it was solved to their satisfaction, because they didn't leave, though.

more than 2 years ago
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Possible New Human Species Discovered In China

mfarah Re:End of ice age (234 comments)

Perhaps they were Yetis?

more than 2 years ago
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Possible New Human Species Discovered In China

mfarah Ok, how many more are there? (234 comments)

Besides Homo Sapiens, there are Neanderthals, Floresians (I ain't calling them "hobbits"), Denisovans and now these?

Pre-history is getting crowded with failed competitors. Yay us?

more than 2 years ago

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