An infographic on the costs of the "war on drugs".

Created by Online Paralegal Programs. Click to zoom.


This week I am starting a new adventure in Doha, Qatar :-) I feel very sad about leaving Barcelona, so I started remembering some random things that happened to me during this time:

  • I used an entire box of 500 staples.
  • I was expelled from Spain with 15 days to leave the country ... thanks to a good lawyer and efforts by other people I was able to solve this.
  • While naked I met some people I knew at the beach ... fortunately, in the water.
  • I worked in a beautiful train station, in the best job I've had so far.
  • I made many friends, and I had time to loose a few ones.
  • I went to China, India, Germany, Poland, France, etc.
  • I often went to work on a longboard.
  • I was able to publish a lot and be very productive.
  • I walked four hours a trail of one hour (lost).
  • I went to the gym for the first time in my life, and I am still going.
  • We went every year at least once to the Netherlands and once to Rome.
  • I saw Italy loose some of its brightest people.
  • I went from suffering by paper rejections to feel almost indifferent.
  • I burned a mother board and I learned that yes, you can plug the power source the wrong way.
  • I dropped a speaker on top of my corporate laptop after less than one month of having it, and I payed the mistake.
  • I discovered an rsa token can not stand a 5-stories fall.
  • I understood sangria is the way Spain punishes turists.
  • I drank at least half a cubic meter of beer.
  • I had liters of vermouth poured by Robert de Niro.
  • I spent great afternoons in Part de la Ciutadella and found out the sun is a luxury.
  • I arrived with 29 years and now I am 35.
  • I bought for the first time lotion to avoid hair loss and found out how useless it is.
  • We adopted three cats and saw one of them die.
  • My grandfather died. My grandmother died. My brother in law died.
  • I enjoyed having the baker, the guy at the minimarket and at the bar greet me.
  • I was surprised when it started to happen at my branch in the bank.
  • Colleagues proved me wrong often, but always respectfully.
  • I did body pump and aerobics ... in the middle of the Rambla.
  • I had dinner at Palau de la Musica.
  • I had delicious calcots and artichokes.
  • I got addicted to Pimientos del Padrón and Patatas Bravas.
  • I removed kilos of tuna fish from green salads.
  • I met tons of crazy cat ladies and found out it is marvelous to be married to one.
  • I learned to speak much louder than what is comfortable for a Chilean.
  • I felt very ashamed about how some Chileans treat Peruvians when I was treated as some Europeans treat Chileans.
  • I went to Suede, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Groove Armada, Viva la Fete and Arctic Monkeys.
  • I was addressed often in Arabic and people won't believe I was Chilean.
  • I learnt Catalan watching Doraemon.

Of course there is lots, lots more than this. Paraphrasing Douglas Adams: "So Long Barcelona, and Thanks for All the Fish!" See you soon, friends! I hope to come back to enjoy this beautiful city and the wonderful people it attracts.

Absolutely based on my personal experience ;-)

This is your chance to get an inside look at the big challenges Yahoo! research scientists are working on while driving your research forward. Learn more about the real-world problems facing our industry, then focus on and solve these fundamental challenges alongside the top minds in the field.

Yahoo! Labs is inviting PhD students working in each of their core research areas to review these challenges and submit an application between January 20th - March 9th, 2012 to be considered for the Key Scientific Challenges Program.

Description and how to apply:

(I am currently affiliated to Yahoo! Labs)

The Anti-Social Web: Credibility and Quality Issues on the Web and Social Media (WebQuality 2012) is a workshop to be held at the 21st International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2012) in Lyon, France.

The workshop will provide the research communities working on web quality, web spam, abuse, credibility, and reputation topics with a survey of current
problems and potential solutions:

Assessing the credibility of content and people on the web and social media

  • Measuring quality of web content
  • Uncovering distorted and biased content
  • Modeling author identity, trust, and reputation
  • Role of groups and communities
  • Multimedia content credibility

Fighting spam, abuse, and plagiarism on the Web and social media

  • Reducing web spam
  • Reducing abuses of electronic messaging systems
  • Detecting abuses in internet advertising
  • Uncovering plagiarism and multiple-identity issues
  • Promoting cooperative behavior in social networks
  • Security issues with online communication

Other topics are listed on the workshop website:

Full papers are limited to 8 pages, while short papers to 4 pages. Papers should be formatted according to the ACM style guide and submitted via As in previous years, we are making arrangements to include the accepted papers in the ACM Digital Library.

Important dates

  • Feb 14, 2012: Paper submission deadline
  • Mar 4, 2012: Notification of acceptance
  • Mar 20, 2012: Camera ready copy deadline
  • Apr 16, 2012: Workshop date


  • Adam Jatowt (Kyoto University)
  • Carlos Castillo (Yahoo! Research)
  • Zoltan Gyongyi (Google Research)
  • Katsumi Tanaka (Kyoto University)

Program committee

  • Ching-man Au Yeung (Astri)
  • James Caverlee (Texas A&M University)
  • Matt Cutts (Google)
  • Brian Davison (Lehigh University)
  • Dennis Fetterly (Microsoft)
  • Andrew Flanagin (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Panagiotis Metaxas (Wellesley College)
  • Miriam Metzger (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Masashi Toyoda (University of Tokyo)
  • Steve Webb (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Xiaofang Zhou (University of Queensland)


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