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* Posts by Vincent Ballard

158 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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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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Guardian pratfall swaps homepage for US insurance firm

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

BA doesn't necessarily mean what you think

There are a substantial number of highly intelligent people with BAs in science subjects. Many of them also have MAs. Oxbridge isn't rushing to rename its degrees in line with those other upstarts.

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Pre-paid Chinese users still anonymous despite new law

Vincent Ballard
Mushroom

Re: title schmitle

There is actually a case where identifying the purchaser of a phone helped to solve a crime: the Madrid 11-M bombings. That was what motivated the Spanish government to require registration of all prepaid phones.

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Spanish police cuff three Anonymous hack suspects

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Motive

"The logs don't say but we guess the attacks are a response to proposed legislation to make filesharing illegal in Spain."

If you asked your Iberian branch then you might get a better guess. Alternatively you could look at that screenshot you linked to. The first massive red arrow points to the text "TARGET www.juntaelectoralcentral.es || WHY http://goo.gl/f8XGp", and that goo.gl address redirects to an article about the Junta Electoral banning the M-15 camp in the Puerta del Sol.

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Journos 'risk charges' for covering Parliamentary debates

Vincent Ballard

Bill of Rights

@Colin Millar, the Bill of Rights 1689 is the basis for the privilege discussed in the article, as well as the basis from which the US Bill of Rights was derived.

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Scrabble friends Facebook, innit

Vincent Ballard

Elsewhere

Elsewhere includes international competitions, so if you're really good then you'd better pay attention to changes to SOWPODS.

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Watchdog backs Top Gear in war with Mexico

Vincent Ballard
WTF?

What are they eating?

I just didn't get it at all. Do motorheads typically vomit solid, crunchy, triangles?

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Spanish cops rush to cuff 'webcam killer'

Vincent Ballard

Linguistic considerations

Romanian and Spanish are more closely related than you might suspect. And there are quite a few Romanians living in Spain, so if they couldn't communicate clearly the Spanish police may well have been able to get a translator in sharpish.

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Dentist cuffed for using lost credit card to pay for pizza

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Lemming

Surely the BDA does some regulation? Otherwise how do you explain Lemming of the BDA?

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Microsoft to Apple: 'Oh, yeah? Well, your font is too small'

Vincent Ballard

COCA

I just had a look through COCA, and most of the references specifically say "Apple's app store" or "the iTunes app store" - which seems to me to imply that it's sufficiently generic to need qualification. Possible own goal there.

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How languages can live together without killing each other

Vincent Ballard
Flame

Languages of Spain

@Gall, I suspect there's an implicit "official". (And please don't start an argument about whether valencià is a different language to català).

@Jose Bernardo, I think Gall is using "of" in the sense of "spoken in" rather than "belonging to". And I wouldn't be surprised if there are villages in Extremadura with lots of Portuguese-speakers.

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John le Carré archives to rest at Bodleian Library

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Oxford Ring

There was a ring of moles recruited from Oxford too. It's just that they didn't have as much impact as the Cambridge one.

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Who needs 600 friends when you're a bride of Christ?

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

You got one of the gender mistakes

In addition to this gender reassignment, the saint after whom the convent is named has been feminised. He should be Santo Domingo el Real.

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