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Comment: It CAN be done (but not always is a good idea). (Score 2) 438

by mfarah (#45124927) Attached to: <em>Gravity</em>: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?

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).

Comment: Re:Usenet's death report has been greatly exaggera (Score 1) 242

by mfarah (#43601461) Attached to: The Balkanization of Chatting

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.

Comment: Not just chatting. Forum discussions suffer, too. (Score 4, Informative) 242

by mfarah (#43601189) Attached to: The Balkanization of Chatting

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.

Comment: This has been on the wish list for a loooooong tim (Score 2) 155

by mfarah (#43012719) Attached to: Google Chrome Getting Audio Indicators To Show You Noisy Tabs

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.

Comment: Not the first time this happens... (Score 4, Informative) 97

by mfarah (#41864137) Attached to: Canadian Island's Historic Hot Springs Dry Up After Earthquake

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.

Comment: "After Earth"? As in Dougal Dixon's book? (Score 2) 277

by mfarah (#41543235) Attached to: The Sci-fi Films To Look Forward To In 2013

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.

Comment: Wow. Is the southern hemisphere a supercontinent? (Score 5, Interesting) 87

by mfarah (#40959937) Attached to: UCLA Scientist Discovers Plate Tectonics On Mars

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.

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