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* Posts by Vincent Ballard

170 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER

Vincent Ballard

Re: how long...

I suspect it was a reference to a certain Terry Gilliam film.

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Boiling point: Tech and the perfect cuppa

Vincent Ballard

Re: accidents waiting to happen

Or you use the boiling tap knowing that it's the boiling tap, turn your back, and someone else burns their hand on the hot metal.

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GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

Vincent Ballard

I think the language question seems far more likely to be relevant than the source repository. When software was on Sourceforge, we could download it and attempt to compile it. Now that software is on Github we can download it and attempt to compile it. What's the difference?

But when most open source software was in C, figuring out the dependencies and getting it to actually compile was hard work and it was nice to delegate it to the distro. Now that so much open source software is in other languages which have their own package mechanisms to manage dependencies and don't require you to work out the best compiler flags, there's less reason to involve a third party.

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Network hijacker steals $83,000 in Bitcoin ... and enough Dogecoin for a cup of coffee

Vincent Ballard

Miners still out of luck?

I don't understand the comment in the final paragraph that miners just need to enable TLS. Surely that doesn't guarantee that their packets get to the right place: merely that they drop the connection to the hijackers? So once the "tick" ends, their proof of work is still unsubmitted, and the result is that the Bitcoin remains unmined? Or have I misunderstood how mining works?

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Vincent Ballard

Re: When did Britain lose its way?

Some people who survived the Blitz are still a bit too alive to be in graves. And they're pretty much core Daily Mail demographic.

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That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

Vincent Ballard

Re: the ablative of WD-40

Thanks for the link.

Apparently "Da da per forcipem" was meant to say "Give me the pliers", which is nice and simple: "Forcipem mihi da".

Your guess about "pilae" turns out to be correct.

If we go far enough back, Latin was quite flexible about its numerals. It occurs to me that XXXX might be a more gypaetine way of writing 40 than XL.

"pro stilo" was apparently supposed to mean "in style", but although there's an etymological link it's quite a stretched one. I think that the intended meaning of "Reaching for the heavens in style" would be better achieved as "Eleganter ad cælis perveniens".

And the puzzling sentence ending "datae nobis sunt", which did hint at an "All your base" reference, was indeed so intended. "All your space are belong to us". Here I favour "spatia" as more punny: "Omnis spatia tuae pertinere nobis sunt" (deliberately ungrammatical).

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Vincent Ballard
Boffin

It's a few years since I did GCSE Latin, but with the help of Wiktionary to double-check the declensions I've struggled through all of the listed phrases.

"Colei canis in vacuo": grammatically correct, translates as "The dog's balls in (a) vacuum". If the intention was "The dog's balls in space" then it should probably be "in caelis" (in the heavens) instead of "in vacuo".

"Da da per forcipem": grammatically correct, but somewhat nonsensical. "Give give through forceps"?!

"Ad astra et ad taverna": as commented above, it should be "tabernam" (b, not v; and in the accusative"; and it would be more idiomatic to use -que rather than et. "Ad astra tabernamque": to the stars and the pub.

"In vacuo nemo clamorem audit": grammatically correct; translates as "In a vacuum no-one hears shouting". I'm not sure whether this was intentionally phrased to avoid calls from Ridley Scott's lawyers, or whether the submitter was avoiding the complication of which verb form to use for the object of auditere.

"Pilas ad parietem": I'm not sure what this is trying to say. I has no verb and no subject, just two nouns in the accusative case. If the intended translation was "Mortar to the wall", it might be correct as "Pila ad parietem", but I'm not sure what that has to do with LOHAN.

"Veni vici ballocketi" would be grammatical if there were an irregular second declension noun ballockere. I think I may be missing a cultural reference here.

"Et anatis cum tape XL WD" is nonsense. "And of the duck with" followed by three non-Latin words. I hazard a guess that the intended meaning is "With duck tape and WD-40", which might be translated as "Cum cincta anatis et WD-XL", but the use of "cincta" for "tape" is by working backwards from modern Romance languages. And who knows what the ablative of WD-40 is?

"Pervenientes usque pro stilo cælos in": almost grammatically correct. It's necessary to correct "caelos" (non-existent declension) to "caelis" to get "Those who are arriving all the way in front of a stake to the heavens". I am puzzled by the use of the plural "pervenientes", but I haven't paid enough attention to the LOHAN project to know how many passengers it's carrying.

"Omnes vacuums hereditatem datæ sunt nobis": not grammatical, and it's not obvious how to fix it. "datae sunt nobis" gives a passive verb with actor "us", so it needs a nominative plural: if we correct vacuums (which isn't any of the declined forms of vacuus) to vacui then we can translate as "All voids are given an inheritance by us", but that's not very sensical. The other option for the subject is an implicit "they", but then we need one of the two objects to be a dative, and since "omnes" is plural nominative or accusative and "hereditatem" is singular accusative that's not possible.

"De ebrietate, ingenium" is grammatical: "From drunkenness, intelligence".

"Navis volitans mea plena anguillarum est" is grammatical: "My hovering ship is full of eels".

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Vincent Ballard

And it would be more idiomatic to use -que than et: ad astra tabernamque.

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Dead letter office: ancient smallpox sample turns up in old US lab

Vincent Ballard

Re: Is it just me.....

It's a useful data point.

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Hackers reverse-engineer NSA spy kit using off-the-shelf parts

Vincent Ballard

Re: Secret Tech

And given that one of the pros listed for a number of the items in the catalog was that they were built with COTS hardware (from a few years ago) and thus plausibly deniable, the most surprising thing is that these commercial copies aren't as small as the NSA equivalents.

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Urinating teen polluted 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools - cops

Vincent Ballard

Re: only poor people drink tap water

I've stayed in parts of France where the tap water was polluted by fertiliser runoff from a couple of decades before. It wasn't recommended to use it even for cleaning your teeth.

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Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise

Vincent Ballard

Re: anti semitism question

@BlueGreen, it's a difficult question to answer definitively. What follows is quoted from "Rome and Jerusalem", by Martin Goodman, ISBN 978-0-1402-9127-8, and serves at least to indicate that there are several factors which could be at play.

"Much has been written on the origins of antisemitism in classical antiquity. Hatred of the Jews has been traced by some to Egypt in the third century BCE, by others to the propaganda against the Jews produced by Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century BCE. Some have emphasized the resentment aroused in neighbouring Greek cities by the expansionist policies of the Hasmonaeans in Judaea, others the separateness of Jewish communities in the diaspora which made Jews distinctive and therefore vulnerable as scapegoats. There has been much discussion of the differences between theological roots of Christian anti-Judaism, based on the assertion that the Jewish covenant with God is rendered obsolete by the new covenant of Christ, and the less focused anti-Jewish comments to be found in pagan Greek and Latin authors. It is not my purpose to dispute the value of any of these discussions, which all have their merits, but to emphasize something which has not received the attention it deserves.

...

"Revolt broke out in Jerusalem in 66 CE, sparked not by Jewish revulsion against Roman imperialism as a whole but in reaction to maladministration by an individual low-grade governor. The initial Roman response was little more than a police action, a show of force, but it escalated in response to the disaster suffered by Cestius Gallus in his incompetent withdrawal after he had almost conquered the city. His loss of the equivalent of a complete legion at the hands of the inhabitants of an established province of the empire was without precedent and could not be kept quiet. Punitive action was required before other subjects of Rome tried to follow suit.

"But the punitive action planned in 66 CE escalated much further in 70, into an intensive siege of Jerusalem and the eventual destruction of the city. ... The total defeat of the Jews was needed to provide [Vespasian] with the aura of a victorious general which might justify his rise to power. ... Once [Vespasian and his son Titus] had established their power on the back of the defeat of the Jews, it was not in the interest of most subsequent emperors to tamper with the image so carefully constructed."

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FTC: Do SSL properly or we'll shove a microscope up you for decades

Vincent Ballard

Re: Many iOS devices only have wi-fi.

The fact that it's possible to skip it, let alone to skip it by being careless rather than malicious, doesn't say much for the platform's standard libraries.

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Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

Vincent Ballard

Re: "National champion" thinking also gave us BAe

Your comment about being the only PPE graduate worth a damn made me curious. Wikipedia, of course, has a list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Oxford_people_with_PPE_degrees

If I counted correctly, there are 41 current MPs on that list. It's quite an eye-opener.

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Vincent Ballard

> It is not snobbish to say that computer programming is a University level subject.

You could say the same about maths.

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You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464

Vincent Ballard

Re: History often comes with rose-tinted specs

My Grandad gave my family a CPC6128. The manual was amazing. A big chapter on BASIC, which is what I used to teach myself to program. A big chapter on Logo, although aged 7 I didn't appreciate the purpose of all the functions for operating on lists, and only used it for the turtle graphics. Appendices with programs which you could type in (and then debug your copying errors!)

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Survey: Just 1 in 3 Euro biz slackers meets card security standards

Vincent Ballard

Huh?

I'm struggling to reconcile two of the paragraphs in this article.

"Just under one-third (31 per cent) of surveyed European businesses met 80 per cent or more of the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements, compared with 75 per cent of those in the Asia-Pacific region and 56 per cent in the United States."

vs

"Overall, global compliance with the PCI standard has improved over the past 12 months. More than 82 per cent of organisations were compliant with at least 80 per cent of the PCI standard at the time of their annual baseline assessment in 2013, compared to just 32 per cent in 2012 – a major improvement."

Is the second paragraph talking about all submissions to the PCI registry, vs the first paragraph talking solely about a small sample of them? If so, why is the sample so unrepresentative?

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Mexican drink-driver shopped to cops - by his own gobby parakeet

Vincent Ballard

Re: Bluebottle?

In the Southern Cone, torito appears to mean a rhinoceros beetle, but apart from the geographical separation it's not clear how that could be confused with a fly. In Mexico, according to both the DRAE and the Diccionario breve de mexicanismos, it means both a question which is hard to answer without appearing to be in favour of whatever the person asking it wants you to appear to be in favour of, or a certain alcoholic drink. The latter seems quite plausible as the name for a drunk tank.

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Vincent Ballard

Re: One Parakeet Fajita coming up

Curiously, neither the DRAE nor the Diccionario breve de mexicanismos has a definition of fajita.

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Vincent Ballard

Re: ryanair

Ryanair have been sued in Spain more than once in the past couple of years for refusing to allow people on internal flights with just their national ID card. Spanish law says that for internal flights, airlines must accept ID cards. Not sure about international ones.

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Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting

Vincent Ballard

Re: "Only" 8.5% attended a bullfight....

The level of support is higher: about 20% of Spaniards are in favour of bullfighting, 20% against, and the rest indifferent.

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The life of Pi: Intel to give away Arduino-friendly 'Galileo' tiny-puter

Vincent Ballard

Re: Two stools

256MB of RAM seems to be wishful misreading. It seems to actually give you less than 9MB.

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Mother/daughter team jailed for million-dollar internet dating scam

Vincent Ballard
Joke

Re: 10%

More to the point: someone actually got a 10% cut for helping a friendly Nigerian move some money around without attracting attention. I should revisit my spam box...

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Graphical front ends for PowerShell? Here's a couple for you

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Geh

A decent command line? Where? IMAO PowerShell makes it across the threshold for half-decent, but no further. The object piping is interesting, but it falls down on basics like sane escaping and it doesn't even seem to have an equivalent of echo -n.

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Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

Vincent Ballard
Coat

"today a few hours of web-searching could probably produce a collection twice its size"

To save anyone who's curious the few hours of web searching, just go straight to kissthisguy.com (on the front page of Google results for «mondegreen database»).

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Debenhams cafes ban outré terms like 'espresso' and 'cappuccino'

Vincent Ballard
IT Angle

House coffee

If my memory serves me correctly, the last time I was in a Starbucks (several years ago) it was possible to ask for a "house coffee". It wasn't on the big board, but they did have English-style coffee at something like 75p.

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Vote now for the ULTIMATE BACON SARNIE

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

If you can't taste the bacon as well as the HP then you haven't got the Maillard reaction going properly.

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Reg readers serve up bacon sarnie amuse-bouche

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Is there any other kind

I've heard of mushroom ketchup. As I'm not a fan of mushrooms, I've never tried it.

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Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Bauernfrühstück v bacon sarnie

Vincent Ballard
Unhappy

Re: That isn't proper bacon

No, that's not jamón ibérico. It's what they sell as "beicon" in Spain, and the closest available equivalent to real bacon.

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Oracle scales back plans for Java 8

Vincent Ballard

They used to...

Back in the day, Swing's JEditorPane's HTML support was about on a par with the browsers. The problem is that it hasn't been updated. But I'm not sure how sensible it is to compare Java with Android or iOS in this regard, since its cross-platform nature means that it can't rely on external components and would have to bundle the entire browser. (Also note that .Net doesn't have a very good equivalent either - the best it has is a slightly flaky COM wrapper around IE).

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Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Haggis pakora v huevos rancheros

Vincent Ballard

Re: Yum Yum

I saw you list fresh coriander and I wondered where in Spain you found it. I live in a major city and I can't recall the last time I saw it for sale, either in a supermarket or in a greengrocer's. I suppose following the comment about its use in Mexican food I could try the Mexican stall in the central market.

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UK High Court split over Twitter airport bomb joke

Vincent Ballard
Flame

Re: Seriously

In support of your point, I've been in Gatwick airport when a fire alarm went off accompanied by a recorded voice instructing people to follow the fire exit signs. I was in a bit of a quandary because I've been trained never to gather your possessions together in a fire evacuation and never to abandon anything in an airport; but after thinking about it briefly I picked up my bag and jacket and headed for a fire exit. None of the couple of hundred other people I could see did anything other than stand still and look at each other blankly.

Of course, when I followed the fire exit sign down to a gate, the person on the gate didn't know anything about a fire alarm going off. It was probably just a system malfunction, although I never found out for sure.

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Review: Raspberry Pi

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Re: too much of a salesman

Who buys a netbook to run 1080p video?

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Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Mealy pudding v migas

Vincent Ballard
Unhappy

Re: Mexican deathmatch

Unfortunately, if the guinea pigs are Spanish, you'll have to leave out most of the chilli.

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Roman roads get the web maps treatment

Vincent Ballard

Re: Interesting...

They did say that the shipping was based on routes favoured by the Romans. Maybe the database doesn't have a sea link from Colchester?

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Battlefield Earth ruled worst film EVER

Vincent Ballard

Re: A lot of people have short memories

I think it's quite clear that most of the people who voted aren't familiar with MST3k.

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So, what IS the worst film ever made?

Vincent Ballard
WTF?

Future War

Tyrannosaurs with self-destruct devices. And they make more sense than most of the rest of the film.

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BBC labels child 'recovering alcoholic' in tech slip-up

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Where's London

There was a pretty good one only this month: ask CNN where London is.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9058348/CNN-sorry-over-graphic-blunder-that-uprooted-London-to-Norfolk.html

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iPads seized from shelves by Chinese officials

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Except...

With the exception of all the countries that were in the UN before 1971. Oh, wait, that does include the US after all...

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Ancient cave girl genome could crack Man's genetic puzzle

Vincent Ballard

Are you sure you aren't mixing up Jesus and Voltaire?

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Stephen Hawking seeks geek to maintain his unique wheelchair

Vincent Ballard
Stop

He does have a reputation for running over people's toes with his wheelchair when he's annoyed with them.

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IKEA cuts ribbon on 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

Vincent Ballard
Headmaster

No

My translation from the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española:

tornillo. Masculine noun. 1. Cylindrical or conical item, generally of metal, with a helical extrusion and a head suitable for screwing it in*. || 2. (Central America) A bush of the Sterculia family, which has red flowers and a capsule fruit which is twisted in the form of a helix, and is used in medicine.

Then follow a few compound phrases, none of which are sexual.

* This isn't circular, because the verb is enroscar, which certainly doesn't seem to be a cognate.

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Cuba accuses US of sneaky Wi-Fi imperialism

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Granma* ?

Why the asterisk after the first mention of Granma? Is there supposed to be a footnote explaining that it's named after the boat Fidel used to invade in '59 rather than someone's female ancestor?

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Pass the wine, dear. Yes, that papier-mache thing

Vincent Ballard

You can already buy cheap wine in 1-litre Tetrapak containers where I live. This "new" technology seems like a step backwards.

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Eleven - if you will - rocktastic music movies

Vincent Ballard
Thumb Up

Anything is better than Tenacious D, and Wayne's World is actually good so it's far better than Tenacious D.

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Why your tech CV sucks

Vincent Ballard
Coat

It's called Muphry's Law.

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Lemmings

Vincent Ballard
Thumb Up

I still can't hear Scotland the Brave or the can-can without imagining little falsetto voices saying "Oh no!" and "Yippee!"

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BOFH: Where's my free fondleslab?

Vincent Ballard

I think it was done better in Wayne's World.

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BOFH: No, the Fabinocci sequence

Vincent Ballard
Flame

Isn't the point that the halon floods out the oxygen in the room? You don't need to poison someone if you stop them respiring.

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Blighty's Android fans get British English voice control

Vincent Ballard

Eleven!

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