* Posts by Vincent Ballard

199 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bog-standard boxty

Vincent Ballard

You used to get feedback on each dish from the regulars at your local. What happened?

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Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Closed lists

Being able to vote against a particular candidate may be nice, but the real downside of closed party lists is that it makes the candidates much more worried about pleasing the party hierarchy than the electorate. If each of the main parties can pretty much guarantee 3 seats out of the 10 going in a region, you want to suck up to the person who decides which names go in the first 3 slots. Open lists all the way.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

Vincent Ballard

The point about tattoos serving to identify burned corpses is an interesting one, but I must confess to surprise that dogtags don't make it a very niche case. Isn't that the whole point of them?

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Sweden releases human genome under Creative Commons licence

Vincent Ballard
Alert

403

I'm not sure whether they had too many requests and took it down, but first linked page (the download one, I presume) is now returning 403.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Tortilla de patatas

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Yum!

Just to be clear, it was an F. As in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spanish_sausage-Fuet-01.jpg

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Vincent Ballard

Re: Yum!

Tortilla is a classic tapa, so if you want to add pork products then the culturally appropriate way to do it would be with a pork-based tapa, perhaps some slices of fuet on the side.

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Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid

Vincent Ballard

Functional languages

I'm not sure that xkcd 1312 actually contradicts the statement that Haskell is "one of the most popular functional languages". In fact, there's a good case to be made that it picks on Haskell because more readers will at least have heard of it than Ocaml, and more will have tried it out than F#.

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Why Feed.Me.Pizza will never exist: Inside the world of government vetoes and the internet

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Architect

Actually, abogado.es just redirects to abogacia.es, the site of the Consejo General de la Abogacía Española, which is a body established by statute to represent and coordinate the various regional lawyers' guilds.

There is a sense in which the case for protecting es.abogado is stronger than for protecting abogado.es, although it's not a valid concern in the current context of protecting national brands. "Es abogado" means "Is a lawyer", so the use of fulano.es.abogado if Fulano is not a lawyer would be rather dodgy.

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Vincent Ballard

corru.pt is currently available...

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Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

Vincent Ballard

Re: NI numbers?

The bit about overseas voters needing passport numbers was odd. I successfully renewed my overseas vote with just my NI number. (And yes, I know I was successful because I got a confirmation e-mail from the relevant ERO).

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chana masala

Vincent Ballard

Re: asafoetida

I've seen a few references to its use in placebos because the recipient was invariably convinced that anything that foul must be powerful medicine.

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Fatally flawed RC4 should just die, shout angry securobods

Vincent Ballard

Re: Other reasons it has not been dropped

It's not quite true that all block cipher methods were vulnerable to BEAST. All block ciphers in CBC mode were, but people who were relatively up to date and had GCM available (and preferred in the negotiation) were ok. The problem there is that both the client and the server have to be up to date.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Smažený sýr

Vincent Ballard

I've had both fried mozzarella and fried camembert as tapas. I'm not a fan of camembert in general, and frying didn't improve it, but people who like it raw will probably like it fried. Mozzarella works well, although provolone is almost certainly better. It's my favourite cheese for general cooking purposes.

One note of caution: hot cheese can stick to your tongue and burn it. Have cold liquid to hand.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: El Reg eggs Benedict

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Muffins

That's assuming you live somewhere which sells them. Don't forget that Lester is based in rural Spain.

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UN negotiations menaced by THOUSANDS of TOPLESS LADIES with MAYONNAISE

Vincent Ballard

Or maybe the local branch of Femen have been trolling his spies.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Sizzling sag aloo

Vincent Ballard

Re: Aloo is "classic" Indian food? Really?

In my local kebab shop I once witnessed an Italian customer arguing with the Turkish owner over which of their two countries chillis are originally from. I considered it politic to refrain from pointing out that they're from the New World.

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Linux chaps want to recycle your mobe as a supercomputer

Vincent Ballard

I am puzzled by the reference to batteries, because I was under the impression that they were the piece of hardware with the shortest useful lifespan. Am I out of date?

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux

Vincent Ballard

Re: @Chris W (was: Boil pancetta (note splelling)?)

panceta is the most authoritative reference for the Spanish spelling.

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Vincent Ballard

Re: Fusion Cooking?

You used to be able to get kebab pizza in Consum, but they've stopped doing it. Obviously didn't sell well in Spain.

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Amazon's tax deal in Luxembourg BROKE the LAW, says EU

Vincent Ballard

Re: PR is the special olympics of electoral systems - you get elected just for turning up.

When you say "almost 50%": the last U.K. general election in which a party won more than 50% of the votes was in 1931. The second most recent was in 1900. So the current system almost always ensures that at any given time fewer than 50% of the population want the current lot in power, and a system which forces coalitions would be a lot more honest.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Hot Spanish tongue action

Vincent Ballard

I don't think I've seen tongue on any menus over here in Valencia. Maybe it's just a Castilian thing?

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No Santa, no Irish boozers and no regrets: life in Qatar

Vincent Ballard

Re: Irish Bars

You don't have to be out of the UK for the entire year, just for 75% and a few days. (I can't remember offhand whether the maximum number of days you can spend in the UK in the fiscal year is 90, 92, or 93. And I think they've changed the way they count them since it mattered to me, so I don't know whether it's stroke-of-midnight or any part of the day).

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NASA asks world+dog to name Mercury's craters (back off, 4chan)

Vincent Ballard

Planetary nomenclature is themed. Scientists get craters on the Moon.

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Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

Vincent Ballard

Re: Not mentioned: Moto G v2 also has Dual SIM

Apparently the Xperia M2 is also dual-SIM.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

Vincent Ballard

Re: What do they call them in Scotland?

You could try innocently asking said prescriptivists what their take is on applying the adjective "Scotch" to the noun "bard", and see how many recognise the title of the Burns poem "On a Scotch Bard, gone to the West Indies".

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Annus HORRIBILIS for TLS! ALL the bigguns now officially pwned in 2014

Vincent Ballard

Re: Remote execution? huh?

You're thinking about the client being vulnerable. The article is talking about servers being vulnerable.

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EU Ryanair 'screen-scraping' case could affect biz models

Vincent Ballard

I'm more worried about "To gain access to the flight information, PR Aviation had to agree to Ryanair's terms and conditions". How many of the dodgy practices around website "T&Cs" is the CJEU going to (possibly inadvertently) set a precedent for?

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Mystery Google barges TORPEDOED by US govt: Showrooms declared death traps

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: The REAL problem was building it in San Francisco, California

Or (and while I don't endorse it, it's certainly an intriguing theory) as an attack on practitioners of non-Euclidean geometry.

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Pitchforks at dawn! UK gov's Verify ID service FAILS to verify ID

Vincent Ballard

Re: Jupiter (and Mother)

The traditional answer is that your first surname is your father's first surname, and your second surname is your mother's first surname, so it's not entirely symmetric with respect to the genders. Very recently the law was changed so that now when the parents register a birth they can switch the order.

There are additional complications, but if you want the full details you can read about them on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_naming_customs

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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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