* Posts by Vincent Ballard

306 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

Vincent Ballard

ISO9000

Surely you're fine with ISO9000 as long as you sneak a line about "Consulting outside expertise" into the process document.

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Assange catgate hearing halted as Ecuador hunts around for someone who speaks Australian

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

What's he doing with his time?

He's been in the embassy long enough to be completely fluent in Spanish if he made half an effort. Why does he need an interpreter?

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Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: “were quoted a ridiculous price and told it would take four months”.

Adolfo Bioy Casares, surely.

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OMG! Battle looms over WTF! trademarks

Vincent Ballard

Ok, I give up: who has a trademark on "invigilator"?

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

Vincent Ballard

Re: get out quick

An organisation I volunteer for moved into a building which I suspect (from labels found) was previously a print shop or something similar. The power sockets in the main room were in little clusters sticking up from the floor, with cables running through ducts along the floor, up the walls, and into the ceiling space. I was asked to remove these obstructions and put sockets on the walls instead.

Before starting work I checked that the mains breaker was off, then used a multimeter on one of the sockets to be sure. Disassembled that socket, and moved onto the next one, which gave me a nice 230V electric shock. It turns out that the building had two rings, and the sockets alternated between them.

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Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Makes no sense

It would be an insult to Sweden to ask it for such assurances, because if Assange is extradited under a European Arrest Warrant then the receiving country cannot extradite him without approval by the sending country. Or if you prefer a different perspective, Sweden already gave such assurances way back in 2004 when it implemented the framework directive which established the EAW. See http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2002F0584:20090328:EN:PDF Article 28, paragraph 4.

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Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

Vincent Ballard

Re: Futuristic progression of Programming Languages?

90%+ of software is pedestrian.

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UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Many things but not a traitor to the US

Assange may be many things, and I can think of a few pejorative terms I would apply to him, but any Americans who think that he is a traitor to the US are objectively morons. You can't commit treason against a country of which you have never been a citizen.

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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Retasking aircraft for a combat role

Retasking aircraft for a combat rôle goes back at least as far as 1911, when Italian recon pilots started manually lobbing bombs at Libya.

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US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: And who made copyright possible?

@Old Used Programmer, your chronology is somewhat unconventional. The phonograph was from the second half of the 19th century: the printing press is from the 15th century.

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Flamin' Nora! Brit firefighters tackle blazing fly-tipped boat

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Re: Sir Nelson??

@Dr Syntax, Spain still has an Armada. The word just means Navy.

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Supreme Court to dig into Google's very cosy $8.5m deal with lawyers over web search leak

Vincent Ballard

Re: Classic that they missed the most honest solution..

I quite agree, but I would add that if the lawyers think that the settlement they negotiated doesn't adequately compensate the victims, maybe they should reduce their fees and thus increase the amount going to the victims.

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Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

Vincent Ballard

Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

My inside information from a former colleague is that Sabadell tried to port their existing code for their Spanish bank, which was cowboy quality. Hard-coded values including IP addresses for servers and telephone area code prefixes. Copyright-violating ripoff of a Netflix library from GitHub where the copyright header was changed but not the references to Netflix in error messages. Compounded by the insistence of the suits that 500 simultaneous users was a sufficient load test.

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Vincent Ballard

Re: I pity the poor schmoes working on this.

Anonymous Coward is spot on. A former colleague of mine is caught up in the middle of this, having joined Sabadell recently in a QA role, and reports that people are pulling seriously illegal amounts of overtime and staying awake with the aid of pills and Bolivian marching powder.

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UK Court of Appeal settles reseller's question: Is software a good?

Vincent Ballard
Coat

@Doctor Syntax, actually that's not true. Where there is a reasonable ambiguity over the interpretation of the letter of the law, judges can look at the debate surrounding its passage through Parliament to work out what the intended spirit was.

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US govt's final bid to extradite Lauri Love kicked into touch

Vincent Ballard

That seems to be how it works in general. In another recent high-profile extradition case, the Belgian prosecutors were acting for the Spanish state against Puigdemont.

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Google to 'forget me' man: Have you forgotten what you said earlier?

Vincent Ballard
Coat

Expunction

@BlockChainToo, actually some states have a concept similar to spent convictions called expunction. Under certain conditions (which, of course, vary from state to state) you can apply to a judge to have your conviction removed from the public record.

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Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

Vincent Ballard

Re: To be served with chips & curry sauce obv.

Talking of a limited number of trips up north... In honour of Peter Mandelson's infamous visit to a Hartlepool chippy, serve with guacamole and tell anyone who asks that it's the done thing up north.

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Are you taking the peacock? United Airlines deny flight to 'emotional support' bird

Vincent Ballard

Re: What about my emotional support chainsaw?

Back in 2005 I spent a few months in South America, and after thinking hard about gifts to take back for my brothers I opted for a machete each. I got back to Blighty on the day of the Tube bombing. A couple of weeks later, while the country was still on high alert, we had a family gathering, and I arranged to meet one of my brothers on an afternoon train from Victoria and travel down together. We were chatting on the train, and he told me that that very morning he had been randomly searched by the police while going into a Tube station, and had received a telling off for carrying a small penknife. But apparently they only operated searches until midday, so I had carried two 18-inch machetes in my rucksack across London without passing through any (visible) checkpoint.

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Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf

Vincent Ballard

AIUI the charges haven't been withdrawn. Rather the investigation has been put on ice, but can be reactivated at any point until the statute of limitations expires in 4 or 5 years' time.

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Vincent Ballard

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2002F0584:20090328:EN:PDF

Article 28, paragraph 4: Notwithstanding paragraph 1, a person who has been surrendered pursuant to a European arrest warrant shall not be extradited to a third State without the consent of the competent authority of the Member State which surrendered the person. Such consent shall be given in accordance with the Conventions by which that Member State is bound, as well as with its domestic law.

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WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

Vincent Ballard
FAIL

Re: "a very respectful way"

@AC, no-one stopped diplomatic planes to try to catch Assange. You're confusing him with Snowden.

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Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Vincent Ballard
Meh

Screen grab

Nowadays I mainly get photos taken with a phone and sent over WhatsApp.

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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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