Category: opinion

The death of Microsoft’s Silverlight and the Spanish SIGPAC.

Posted by – Friday 2012-12-07

Mary Jo Foley, a journalist who regularly publishes its articles at ZDNet.com and focuses on Microsoft, reports that ‘Microsoft pulls the plug on its Silverlight.Net site‘. It seems that Silverlight, whose first release dates from year 2007, will be dead by the end of 2012:

Microsoft has closed its primary Web resource for its Silverlight browser plug-in and development framework – the Silverlight.Net site – breaking loads of links out there to resources and discussions on Silverlight, as noted by blogger Tim Anderson on ITWriting.com. Clicking on those links dumps users into a bare-bones Silverlight informational page on Microsoft’s MSDN site.

The move added insult to injury for those developers who are feeling increasingly disenfranchised by Microsoft’s decision to back away from Silverlight.

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A quiz about Apple, the shameless company.

Posted by – Saturday 2012-08-25

I have a question, for you, smart readers of this humble blog. Maybe one of you can help me.

On August 24th, 2012 a jury in a federal court in California, United States of America, ruled that the South Korean company Samsung violated some of Apple Inc’s patents. Among the violated patents, some of them are as absurd like a rectangle with round corners.

However, in 1994 Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, claimed that «… we have been always shameless about stealing great ideas.»

So the question is: how can you claim that stealing is great and years later sue a competitor for doing the same you «shameless» did some years ago?

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Anonymous, you are very wrong.

Posted by – Sunday 2012-01-22

After Megaupload.com shutdown, Anonymous countered with DDoS attacks against websites such the USA’s Department of Justice or the MPAA.

Anonymous, you are very wrong. Do you who really know is Megaupload’s founder, Kim Schmitz (alias Kim ‘Dotcom’)?

Kim Schmitz, Megaupload's CEO

Kim Schmitz
picture taken from elmundo.es

According to the Wikipedia:

In 1998, Schmitz was sentenced to a probationary sentence of two years for computer fraud and handling stolen goods. According to a report by News & Record, he had traded stolen calling card numbers he bought from hackers in the United States.

[…]

In 2001, Schmitz purchased $375,000 worth of shares of the nearly bankrupt company LetsBuyIt.com and subsequently announced his intention to invest EUR 50 million in the company. Unknown to others, Schmitz did not have the funds available to invest, although the announcement caused the share value of LetsBuyIt.com to jump by nearly 300%. Schmitz quickly sold the shares and profited $1.5 million as a result.

Schmitz had also arranged and obtained an unsecured loan of EUR 280,000 from Monkey AG, a company for which Schmitz had served as Chairman of the Board. The funds were to be paid to Kimvestor AG. As a result, both Monkey and Kimvestor went bankrupt. Schmitz expressed remorse, stating that he had been “dazzled” and had not recognized that he would be unable to repay the loans.

In January 2002, Schmitz was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, deported to Germany, and sentenced to a probationary sentence of one year and eight months, and a EUR 100,000 fine, the largest insider-trading case in Germany at the time. Schmitz also pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November 2003 and received a two-year probation sentence.

Wikipedia: Kim Dotcom

The (now) defunct Megaupload.com has nothing to see with the Wikipedia or freedom speech in general. By supporting Megaupload.com you are actually disservicing the cause. I did not join last Wednesday blackout to support Kim Schmitz or other crooks who make tons of money by using other’s work.

I do hate the MPAA, the Spanish Sociedad General de Autores y Editores and the like. But what Kim Schmitz does is not the way to follow.

Die, IE6, die: the IE6 countdown.

Posted by – Monday 2011-03-07

Once upon a time, after the first web browsers war, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) was the king of the web browsers. IE6 was the most used one, given not only its technical merits but also the dominance of Microsoft on the desktop operating system arena and its anticompetitive practices.

Bill Gates, the United States v. Microsoft trial

Bill Gates, USA v. Microsoft Trial (picture taken from Wikipedia.org)

IE6, as well as IE5, was a pain for web developers – like me – because of its many and intentional incompatibilities. The additional work needed to make a website viewable with IE6 was error prone, frustrating and time consuming.

The first IE6 beta version was realeased in March 2001. About 51 months later, the first beta of the next major version was released. Meanwhile, IE6 also became obsolete: for instance, other web browsers like Firefox, Opera or Safari featured tabbed browsing or full support for PNG format images, while IE6 didn’t.

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Some TileCache deficiencies (and workarounds).

Posted by – Sunday 2010-11-14

TileCache, as every piece of software complex enough, is not free of deficiencies. In this post I write about some TileCache features (or lack of) which, in my opinion, are deficiencies. These are: (a) a TileCache layer will only work with one set of map resolutions, (b) poor logging, (c) the TileCache seeder always stops on error, (d) the TileCache seeder cannot be restarted from a given point and (e) the lack of support for distributed computing. In some cases a workaround to partially overcome limitations is given.

TileCache version 2.11 is covered in this post.

1. Only one set of map resolutions per TileCache layer.

By nature WMS caches work with finite sets of map resolutions. In my opinion, one deficiency of TileCache is that a layer will only work with one set of map resolutions. For each layer the set of map resolutions is set in the configuration file by using the parameter ‘resolutions’ or by giving both ‘maxResolution’ and ‘zoomLevels’ parameters.

The problem comes when you have to work with more than one set of map resolutions. Say you have a WMS layer named ‘municipalities-boundaries’ that it is cached and must be shown at two different sets of map resolutions, say one with maximum map resolution 100 and the another one with map maximum resolution 200. In this case there would be two possible workarounds. One of them is creating two TileCache layers, say ‘municipalities-boundaries-200’ and ‘municipalities-boundaries-100’, as show in the following TileCache configuration file snippet:

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