* Posts by Vincent Ballard

283 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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ISIS and Jack Daniel's: One of these things is not like the other

Vincent Ballard

Re: As a resident of Switzerland myself...

I clicked through to the original article, and saw that he's flying the JD flag above the Italian one. I'm pretty sure that Italy will take that as an insult. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Italian law forbids flying any flag higher than the Italian one except possibly the EU one.

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Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid

Vincent Ballard
Headmaster

Re: Seeking independence

The unification under the Catholic Monarchs was a personal union. There's no reason for it to have been a trigger for the principality of Catalunya to demand independence from the Crown of Aragón. The trigger which at least some of the independence wings point to is the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), following which the Crown of Aragón was dissolved (its components largely supported the losing side) and a more centralised Spanish Kingdom replaced it. But to say that they've been seeking independence since then would be incorrect: what they sought at the time was the restoration of what nowadays we would call a federal model.

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Vincent Ballard
Headmaster

Re: Curious Spanish attitude

That one's easy. Articles 167 and 168 of the referendum. The official English translation is at http://www.congreso.es/constitucion/ficheros/c78/cons_ingl.pdf , but in short: a handful of articles get special protection by automatically requiring amendments to be approved by referendum. The majority can be amended by a supermajority in parliament, but must be referred to the people if 10% of either house of parliament votes to require that.

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Vincent Ballard
Headmaster

It's not that simple

"The region, in north east Spain, is fiercely autonomous with own language, customs and language"

Although having their "own language" may be important enough to mention it twice, it's (as usual) more complicated than that. That language is co-official with Castilian (Spanish) not just in Catalonia but also in the Valencian Community* and the Balearic Islands. Some Catalans want independence just for the autonomous region of Catalonia; others for the three Catalan-speaking autonomous regions of Spain, and others for an even larger area including parts of France ("from Alicante to Perpignan") and want to subsume Andorra into their nation too.

With respect to Andorra, by the way, I'm not sure why the article says "the government of Spain and the regional government of Andorra" rather than "the national governments of Spain and Andorra". Andorra is a member state of the UN, not a region.

* Even that's not simple. Politically, the Valencian language is distinct from the Catalan language. Linguistically, it's a dialect. The Valencian regional government said harsh things about the linguists it hired to write a Valencian dictionary after they defined the Valencian language as a dialect of Catalan. But to confuse things even more, the "official" form of Valencian which is taught in schools and required in the exams which gain you CV points when applying for jobs in the regional civil service is much closer to Catalan as spoken in Barcelona than it is to Valencian as spoken in the villages of Valencia.

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Vincent Ballard
WTF?

Re: Information is a dangerous good

The "gets on the blower to a judge" part of that is pretty much the essence of separation of powers, isn't it?

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Vincent Ballard

Re: Information is a dangerous good

That's essentially what the regional government has been doing for the past 30 years.

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Lawyer defending arson suspect flees court with pants on fire

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Limeys?

"Limeys" is American. "Pommies" is the equivalent Aussie slang term.

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Alert! The dastardly Dutch are sailing a 90-ship fleet at Blighty

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Re: Stern carving.

@nematoad, there's a one word answer to that:

Whoosh!

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The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Minor corrections

Where you have "it’s like his mother" I heard "Ya es uno más", which I'd translate in context as "He's one of us now". And I think that Tía María says that it's Los Narros (the town) which has always been renowned, not old people, and that the reason that there isn't anyone is that they've gone to Los Señoritos and something like Lestar (presumably larger towns - many villages in Spain are dying because the younger generations go to the cities - but I don't know the Ávila region at all apart from Ávila itself). The bit about taking the photo was "Do you remember when you took that photo of me there?"

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Vincent Ballard

Re: stormtroopers being fodder

The explanation is easy: mixing source books.

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No Soylent for Santa after key ingredient supply is choked off

Vincent Ballard
Pint

Re: Absolutely fabulous.... maybe?

They're bureaucrats. They use the exact designation written in statute without regard for how it sounds to a layman. Other products with the same designation include tuna oil, carrot fibre, dried orange pulp, xanthan gum (which anyone who reads ingredients on shop-bought products will be familiar with), and even ethanol (hence the icon). And, bizarrely, carbon monoxide, several times. The mind boggles.

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Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

Vincent Ballard

Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

There's no need to fork it: Sun did that before they were sold to Oracle. OpenJDK is safe from Oracle shakedowns.

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England OUT (of Euro 2016, not the EU) tops Twitter year

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Not a football fan then Gavin

Nonsense. Iceland's win against England was also a shock to everyone who thought England would never get out of the group stage...

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Spain's Prime Minister wants to ban internet memes. No, really

Vincent Ballard

Correction

The website wasn't removed, simply renamed. It's still up: http://esawebdelaqueustedmehabla.com/

As a resident of Valencia I particularly like the policy on corruption. My translation:

What measures does the party you mention propose to end corruption?

A firm hand. Anyone who holds a position of responsibility and who carries out illegal practices will see their political life ended and will be sent to the Senate.

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Vincent Ballard
Alien

Vive en otro puto planeta

This one from a bit over a year ago sums it up well:

http://66.media.tumblr.com/5d79cf7b94bc3e452ae0e5ad14302a4b/tumblr_nwh4mpB0CJ1s9y3qio1_540.jpg

Mariano*: he lives on another ****ing planet.

* Rajoy's first name, and one letter away from Marciano, meaning Martian.

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What do you give a bear that wants to fork SSL? Whatever it wants!

Vincent Ballard

Re: Irony, false advertising, or backward name compatibility?

You have to support TLS 1.0 if you want to allow connections from IE10 or from Android <= 4.3.

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Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'

Vincent Ballard
Stop

Re: Comey was trapped either way.

On your point 4 you have the numbers the wrong way round. It's 5% of 650,000 which is the upper bound on how many e-mails could possibly be relevant.

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Queen Lizzie awarded good behaviour medal

Vincent Ballard

Not getting caught

Or if you get caught, knowing the regulations well. My grandad's war memoir includes an episode from 1946, in the British Army of Occupation on the Rhine, where as acting captain his duties included judging courts martial one week a month. I quote:

One of the few Army offences we heard concerned a Company Serjeant Major. He was charged with being improperly dressed.

The Prosecuting Officer outlining the case said - The CSM had been seen chasing an ATS Private across camp. The CSM and the ATS were both stark naked.

The CSM pleaded NOT GUILTY, - He agreed with the Prosecutor's statement of events, and submitted that "He had been dressed in accordance with KRR (King's Rules & Regulations) No 2352 of 1942 - Dress Sports for the Use Of - which says - "All ranks shall be appropriately dressed for the Sport in which they are engaged".

The case was dismissed.

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Boy, 12, gets €100k bill from Google after confusing Adwords with Adsense

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Re: Not terribly clear...

It's so unclear that I think the person who wrote this article ran the original El País article through Google Translate rather than ask someone who speaks Spanish to give him the gist. I saw the original article a couple of days ago and was wondering whether anyone outside Spain would pick it up; I can spot a few errors in this one.

(1) The band's name is just Los Salerosos, and it doesn't mean The Saltshakers. I would translate it something like The Fun Guys.

(2) It's not that they planned to get rich and buy a mansion: they planned to buy musical instruments, and if they got rich to buy a mansion.

(3) The bank account wasn't a family account. It was José Javier's own savings account, which was intended to pay for, among other things, driving lessons in the future.

(4) It's not that the account went 2000€ into debt, but that the account only had 2000€ in it to start with. The bank notified the parents after receiving (and this isn't entirely clear to me in the original Spanish) either bills totalling 19700€ or a bill for 19700€. (Fairly literal translation: "At the start of September the charges from Google began to arrive, and increased exponentially from some 15 euros, at the start, until reaching 19,700.")

(5) The boy's father isn't quoted at any point. It was his mother who is quoted as saying, among other things, that he didn't understand the consequences.

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Conviction by computer: Ministry of Justice wants defendants to plead guilty online

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Not having a television is no longer sufficient reason to not have a TV licence. You have to also not watch live streams over the Internet.

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Swedish appeals court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

Vincent Ballard

Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

@Aitor1, inspecting planes? Are you sure you're not confusing Assange with Snowden?

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BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

Vincent Ballard
Mushroom

The worst 2B I've dealt with insisted that the software my company makes was making his tablet crash. We suggested it might turning itself off because the battery was low. He insisted that the battery was fine. After wasting half an hour talking on the phone, I told him bluntly that he should contact tech support from the company that makes his tablet. The next day my boss got an e-mail saying that it was due to a low battery.

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More gums than Jaws: Greenland super-sharks live past 400 years old

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Typical specimen is older than America

Actually Tony Blair was elected three times. 1997, 2001, and 2005.

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You think Donald Trump is insecure? Check out his online store

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Re: Not entirely true

If you mean to use SSL, you should use HSTS.

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Hardball hacker thrown in the cooler for 46 months for guessing rival team's password

Vincent Ballard

It's not only password reuse that he did wrong: he also let someone else know it in the first place!

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I want to learn about gamification but all I see is same-ification

Vincent Ballard
Joke

CDs? The rest of us were talking about the good old days.

(On a side-note, we need a "Get off my lawn!" icon).

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Germany: If Brits vote to Remain, we'll admit Hurst's 1966 goal was a goal

Vincent Ballard

Re: exporting bloody awful sausages

@Charlie Clark, I wouldn't have thought cranberries and paprika would go well together. Interesting. Was it the dried chorizo for eating raw or the undried chorizo for cooking?

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Should we teach our kids how to program humanity out of existence?

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Um

Ozymandias was an Egyptian pharoah. Ramses II, to be precise.

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Latin-quoting Linus Torvalds plays God by not abusing mortals

Vincent Ballard

Re: Veni, vidi, ...

sarsi.

From sarcio (sarcire, sarsi, sartum): to patch, botch, mend, repair, restore. (So wiktionary).

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Compatibility before purity: Microsoft tweaks .NET Core again

Vincent Ballard

Re: The strategy is coming clear...

A lot of the .Net libraries are thin wrappers over Win32. That's probably why they talk about "not tied to a particular operating system implementation". E.g. half or more of System.Security.Cryptography will have to be removed, leaving only the XYZManaged implementations.

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

Vincent Ballard
IT Angle

Re: January 1st?

The real question is: when has anyone in HR ever worked on New Year's Day?

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Raspberry Pi Zero gains a camera connector

Vincent Ballard

Or with the C.H.I.P. One USB port (not including power in) and wifi would be sufficient for my DLSR-controller project. I'm going to do it with a Pi3, but a Zero+Wifi would be perfect if it existed.

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

Vincent Ballard
Flame

Re: TiVo FTW

On Spanish TV they regularly make the last ad break in a feature film last 20 minutes, and come just 10 minutes before the credits.

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Brits who live in 'smart cities' don't really know or care

Vincent Ballard

Re: Soooooo.......

If they'd asked me for a definition, I'd have replied "An IoT buzzword".

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ICANN in a strop that Intel, Netflix, Lego, Nike and others aren't using their dot-brand domains

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Re: Proof that it was a shakedown all along

More-or-less equivalently, how do we know they're not already using them? Ok, we can't see public DNS entries under those TLDs, but they could be using them privately for naming in their internal networks. I can certainly see an argument for using a private but officially registered TLD over .local.

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At last: Ordnance Survey's map wizardry goes live

Vincent Ballard
Thumb Up

Re: I'm happy...

I can see the point where I had lunch last Sunday.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Excellent

I think most mainstream Christian theologians would say that the biggest difference between the Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs and mainstream Christianity is that JWs don't believe in the Trinity.

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Comms 'redlining' in Brussels as explosions kill up to 30 people

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: getting close to home

Someone did just break the Spanish national record for the fastest speed recorded by a police radar trap, at 297km/h, test-driving a Porsche. But even at that speed it would take four hours to get from Girona to Brussels.

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El avión de papel del proyecto PARIS aterriza en un libro de texto

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: The PARIS joke is, perhaps fortunately, lost in translation

Lo curioso es que el libro de texto arregla el error del artículo original, que pone que la foto de Paris Hilton es porque «allá arriba hace mucho frío» (y no dice nada de la bufanda). Impresionante.

(For the benefit of the monolingual majority, the curious thing is that the textbook corrects an error in the article it's based on, which says that the photo of Paris Hilton is because "it's very cold up there", and doesn't say anything about the scarf. Impressive).

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Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

Vincent Ballard
Flame

Re: So why ...

Armed police have too much variability for the comparison to work. Enough firepower to equip 200 British firearms officers is one APC short of being enough to equip 5 coppers in certain parts of the US.

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Eurovision Song Contest uncorks 1975 vote shocker: No 'Nul point'!

Vincent Ballard

Re: Somehow

Not true. It's worth watching to take the mick out of it. Just don't take it seriously.

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Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

Vincent Ballard

Re: Let me guess, that last one was an academic?

Some computer science academics have experience in the real world and know how to write good software. Others are complete disasters. They know how to write for the common case, which is all they need to get the results they want for their papers, but don't know anything about writing software which handles corner cases and is robust enough for the real world.

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

Vincent Ballard

Re: Thanks to the UN tribunal

She didn't vote because Assange is also Australian. Presumably she wanted to avoid any impression of bias.

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Facebook tells Belgian government its use of English invalidates privacy case

Vincent Ballard

Re: Lingua Franca?

It's not that difficult to have multiple Academies in a multilingual country. Spain has several: at least one for each of the official languages, plus a couple for regional languages which aren't official languages even in their regions. See e.g. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor%C3%ADa:Academias_de_la_Lengua_en_Espa%C3%B1a

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Whisper this, but Java deserialisation vulnerability affects more libraries

Vincent Ballard

Re: Misses the point of serialisation...

Specifically, it's about deserialising classes from org.apache which use a deserialisation hook to parse their embedded data and execute a process defined by such data. This exploit would not be possible if attackers could only craft packets containing classes which I've written and which don't do such crazy things. (Of course, that doesn't mean that there couldn't be any vulnerabilities, but they would be more specific).

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Vincent Ballard

Re: Misses the point of serialisation...

The other problem is that the support for validating your data stream before deserialising is negligible to non-existent. A nice compromise between writing a custom file format and using insecure serialisation would be to allow deserialisation with a custom "context" object which allows you to filter the classes which may be deserialised. If I can permit deserialising anything whose package begins com.mycompany. and reject anything else then I'm safe from whatever weirdness org.apache might have in its many libraries.

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Assange inquisition closer after Sweden, Ecuador sign pact

Vincent Ballard
Headmaster

Non-automated translation

The agreement in question is undoubtedly an instrument which strengthens bilateral relations and which will facilitate, for example, the carrying out of judicial procedures, such as the interrogation of Mr Assange, [who is] enjoying asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

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NZ unfurls proposed new flag

Vincent Ballard
Joke

Easy

The Home Nations flags are easy: you just have to think of the Union Flag. The red axis-aligned cross and its white border is from England; the blue background and diagonal white cross is from Scotland; the diagonal red cross is from Ireland; and the pole is from Wales.

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BOFH: Taking a spin in a decommissioned racer? On your own grill cam be it

Vincent Ballard

Re: there is this to look forward to

In Cambridge they already have one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridgeshire_Guided_Busway

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Manchester 'wins' £10m to test talking bus stops

Vincent Ballard

Re: Shouting into the void

It does seem to be quite difficult, yes. Where I live the stops have displays to tell you how long until the next one, and they fairly frequently tell me that the next bus is 10 minutes away when I can see it at the end of the road, or that it's at the end of the road and then I have to wait 10 minutes.

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