* Posts by JDC

93 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Sep 2010


Britain enters period of mourning as Greggs unable to process payments


Bland food?

Could we move on from the demonstrably false trope that "British food is bland"? It might have been true 50 years ago, but it certainly isn't now.

Voyager 1 starts making sense again after months of babble


Re: Real Time

Robledo de Chavela, not Madrid itself.

The FCC wants to criminalize AI robocall spam


Re: Glad this nonsense

I got robocalled yesterday, and I'm in Spain. They just call from outside the EU.

Another airline finds loose bolts in Boeing 737-9 during post-blowout fleet inspections


Re: A gross understatement?

I'd add that any major shareholders should also be responsible, as the owners of the company. The board of any fund holding, say, 5% or more of the shares.

Netherlands digital minister smacks down Big Tech over AI regs


According to the WHO 1.3 million people die per year in road deaths. So approximately 3500/day. (Granted, not all of those are car deaths, and that figure presumably includes lorries, motorcycles, and any other traffic type).

Romance scammers' favorite lies cost victims $1.3B last year


Re: Young 'uns ?

What makes you think this is limited to "Young 'uns"?

Wikimedia Foundation confirms, and bemoans, Pakistan ban


Strangely torn

While clearly "blasphemy" is a victimless crime, and I'm pretty sure this is more to do with Pakistan's leaders using censorship to hold on to power rather than any more noble aim, I am at the same time slightly sympathetic to their approach. If a website is showing illegal* information, trying to hide behind "we don't write it, it's our users" is not IME a valid position. I wouldn't have any sympathy for YouTube trying to use the same reasoning as an excuse not to remove, say, child porn - so why should anyone accept it from Wikipedia?

*for some value of "illegal"

Smart ovens do really dumb stuff to check for Wi-Fi


Mine does that, I might actually have to read the manual to see if I can get it to stop. And no, I don't think I should need to have to read a manual to operate a microwave.

Big Apple locals hire Russians to game New York's taxi system


Re: What is this shit?

They have a flat fee out of Madrid airport into the centre, too. Previously a lot of drivers would take a somewhat roundabout route into town when they had tourists in the back...

Study suggests AI cruise control could kill traffic jams by cutting out the 'intuition' factor


> saving you all of about just 6 minutes if you can sustain it

Assuming 48 weeks commuting twice a day during the year, that's 2 entire days you've saved.

Security needs to learn from the aviation biz to avoid crashing


Re: "The same needs to happen in security"

> In the world of computing, a company cannot lock down a server for a full forensic examination, it needs to continue making money and it didn't foresee the expenses for a second server with the same configuration to pick up where the hacked one fell off.

In the world of aviation when a plane crashes they can ground the entire fleet (basically worldwide) of that model, and tough luck for the airlines affected. Having to shut down a server and not being able to make money? Why not?

Arrogant, subtle, entitled: 'Toxic' open source GitHub discussions examined


Re: Eh?

If you read the linked thread you can see that the author ("spirulin") is definitely toxic: they're rude, demanding, and when their demand isn't immediately agreed to they resort to belittling the project's owner (Daniel).

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere


Re: .MRE Lifespan

The Spanish chocolate drink "Colacao" (readily available in all Spanish supermarkets to this day) doesn't dissolve completely in cold milk and forms lumps, perhaps this would be an acceptable substitute?

(Spanish childhood can be divided into two groups: those who drink Colacao with its "grumitos", and those who prefered the lumpless Nesquik).

If your apps or gadgets break down on Sunday, this may be why: Gpsd bug to roll back clocks to 2002


Re: My Windows gets the time wrong all the time....

Digital signatures, at least here in Spain, usually include a timestamp (generated using a GPS based time). This timestamp could be used in court to demonstrate that you signed X before time Y, which clearly opens up all sorts of legal problems if the timestamp is not correct.

Why did automakers stall while the PC supply chain coped with a surge? Because Big Tech got priority access


Re: "a lot of power merely amplifies mistakes"

My second car is a newish 80hp Fiesta, and it takes about 25s to get to motorway cruising speed. Not ideal, but it gets there, and it only ever gets taken on a motorway in an emergency. 80hp is more than enough for an 18yr old with a fresh licence.

Prime suspect: Amazon India apologises for offensive scenes in political thriller


Re: Awww...

Arguably they are smiting, just using their human agents to do it for them.

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat


Re: For any one in a sensitive job.

IIRC the bases themselves weren't secret, but Strava was showing the details inside them on its heat map - lots of runners uploading their runs was showing the location of base roads etc.

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing


Re: LA Science museum

Also the Enterprise on the Intrepid in New York - granted it never made it into space, but it's still an amazing piece of engineering, and of course the rest of the museum is well worth seeing too.

The IoT wars are over, maybe? Amazon, Apple, Google give up on smart-home domination dreams, agree to develop common standards


Re: I already have an IoT standard

I think my weather station cost 20€ from Lidl. Perhaps the outside temperature sensor is a degree off, who knows? But it's more than accurate enough to let me know if it's freezing out there...

Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home


Re: The Greats have gone

Much as I enjoy Peter Hamilton, I find it hard to think of him as a "Great" - they're huge space operas, but beach reading rather than classics. And they could mostly do with a more assertive editor.

Iain M. Banks is perhaps the only recent SF author that I know of who could be rightly considered Great. Be happy to hear more suggestions, though!

US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling


Re: Glad the translation will be supplied by me

Actually, you're not far off. In Egypt you could certainly use it to mean "nice one", as in: "Just got a new job!" "Nice one! Allahu Akbar!" Nothing particularly sinister about that.

Skin tattoo will tell your phone when you've had a skinful


Good for a lot of potential drunk drivers.

I bet a fair number of drunk drivers just have no idea they're over the limit - "I've only had a couple, officer" - for that kind of driver this kind of warning is ideal. Also for the morning-after drivers, unaware that they're still over.

FOUR Avatar sequels


Re: One word.(answer)


Would sir care to see the post-pub nosh menu?


Re: If...

Sabores del Mundo is your amigo for sourcing weird ingredients in sunny Spain, it has a real shop in Madrid but also delivers.

Australian cops rush to stop 2AM murder of … a spider


Re: Could someone explain the (multiple) phone calls ?

> But could someone please explain how a single guy calls (the Australian equivalent of) 911 multiple times ?

He didn't call them, the neighbours did. Reports are unclear whether it was the Ramsays or the Robinsons.

Samsung’s consumer IoT vision – stupid, desperate, creepy


> Turn the oven on? Great, so you've already taken the chicken out of the freezer last night, mixed a nice marinad, soaked it for a couple of hours, choped the veg, laid it on a tray and placed it in the oven?

And all the while avoided food poisoning by having that raw chicken sitting in the oven all day while you're at work...

Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months



That's the beach at Skegness!

Spaniards get that cinking feeling


Re: Pretty sure I've heard tuiting.

And of course the verb "Googlear"

Airbus warns of software bug in A400M transport planes


Re: Under "wraps"? Seems odd....

The fact that the judge is holding the investigation under "secreto de sumario" doesn't mean the flight safety investigation isn't going ahead. It just means the parties involved can't talk to the press about the interim results.

Spanish election site in security cert warning screwup snafu


Re: Must... not... get... angry...

On the other hand, I sorted out my "Borrador de la Renta" in about 10 minutes, which included having to update my daughter's DNI. So it's not all doom and gloom.

Out of time: Huawei, LG unveil watches nobody wants to buy


After a month with a Sony Smartwatch 3

... it came "free" with a phone upgrade, not something I bought separately. So after a month, my impressions.

First, the good bits: It's quite a nice watch, certainly more stylish than the 15€ Decathlon digital thingy I usually wear. It doesn't look too cheap, and it's comfortable. As an IT worker it's got a certain geeky charm. It needs charging every 3 days or so, which isn't too onerous. (It's also worth pointing out that discovering the charge is running low isn't anything like as irritating as discovering your phone is about to die). It's waterproof. The vibrate notifications are quite handy if, like me, you prefer not to irritate your coworkers with endless beeping whatsapp notifications - it's always 100% something's happened, which isn't always the case with a phone set to vibrate and sitting in a pocket or bag. It makes a reasonable remote for your (phone) music player.

The not-sure bits. It's got a GPS and you can use it for navigation. Obviously not much use when you're driving, but could be good when walking. I haven't tried it, though. Not sure about battery life with the GPS activated, either.

The bad bits. Except they aren't really bad, more just a reflection of the pointlessness and limitations of the watch. Reading messages is a trip down memory lane: it's just like trying to read stuff on a Nokia candybar phone. It has a certain nostalgic charm, but it's still crap. You can apparently talk to your watch and get it to do things, but you look like a twat. You can open apps on your phone from your watch - but why would you when you still have to use the phone to actually do anything with the app? 3 day battery life is OK for a smartwatch, pretty crap for any other of watch. The UI is confusing, sometimes you swipe down, sometimes you tap it, sometimes swipe to the side.

TL;DR: it's quite nice, but ultimately pointless. It was free, so I use it. I wouldn't spend 200€ on one, though.

Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database


Re: False positives?

Only if face recognition is the only lead they have - in most cases they'll also have an address, a reason the person's in the database (even if innocent, said person was presumably arrested on suspicion of a particular crime), etc. Even if 100 false positives turn up the police should be able to narrow that down considerably.

Still not a justification for holding innocent people's data, but it does show that it's not such a problem.

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


Re: Based on a traditional Spanish concoction

Not to mention cocido requiring "mollycoddling"... Eh? It's a piece of piss to cook, even if you do decide to start skimming off the scum - it's something you do every half hour or so, hardly an effort.

And I always add salt to the water used to soak the chickpeas, and they turn out fine.


Re: WTF ???

Not in a Spanish chickpea stew you don't.

$500 TEDDY BEAR teaches tots to spit up personal data


Re: What odds will the bookies give on

6. Just ignores it.

Babies in my experience don't really play with bears or dolls.

Holy sentient blender, Batman: Telefónica to trial AT&T's Internet of Home Stuff in Europe


Re: Who can afford it?

Presumably the 75% of the population that does have a job. Still a reasonable number of clients...

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS


Re: Arapaho used Left-hand Screws?

Not to mention the left side pedal on a bike.

Remember when Google+ outed everyone by their real names? Now Google's sorry


Re: What's so bad in G+?

That's about the same as my experience of it - it's not that bad. The communities bit is quite handy too if you want to set up a discussion group about something.

Podule-lodged Brit nears two weeks atop ocean peak Rockall


Re: CyL flag?

You're as bad as Jesús Calleja.

'Inaccurate' media misleads public on European Court's Google ruling


Re: Not buying this "often-cited"

Except it's not banks that are the problem, it's clients. The Spanish guy in question offers financial services, and when clients search for information about him they're being shown outdated information.

Baidu poaches Google Brain inventor for Silicon Valley AI project


Coursera founder, too

I think you should also have mentioned he's one of the founders of Coursera.

So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?



I've never heard the Spanish use "nueces" as a euphemism for "cojones", just checked with the Spaniard sitting next to me and he hasn't either... Huevos (eggs) would be the usual one.

Research bods told: Try to ID anonymised data subjects? No more CASH for you


Re: La La La La

Not really: this possible sanction is to cover people maliciously setting out to recover identities from supposedly anonymous data: I imagine that as long as you publicly state the intent is test the anonymisation process you could be granted an exception. An ethical researcher would also inform the data owner if they discover flaws.

Dark matter killed the dinosaurs, boffins suggest


Try telling that to the dinosaurs.

Tweet it, then?

Europe: Apple. Google. Yes, you. Get in here. It's about these in-app bills


Except it's not always immediately evident that your kid has the ability to pay.

I had to renew my daughter's Whatsapp account (all 0.89€ of it), which of course meant entering my credit card details. There was no message telling me that my credit card was registered for reuse, and could be used by my kid to buy whatever she fancied, including of course in-app payments. Worse: to deregister it I had to login to Google Wallet (using her password), find the credit card, and eliminate it. There was no option on the phone (that I could see) to achieve this.

I did consider leaving the credit card on the phone, and setting up a PIN - but Orange Spain in its infinite wisdom seems to have removed this option.

Two guilty over 'menacing' tweets to feminist campaigner


Re: Some aspects of the case are all too familiar...

The BBC also reports that Nimmo has "some level of learning difficulties", which I imagine would have some bearing on his sentencing.

Thought the toilet camera was weird? Try actual thumb flash drives from tech's supershow


Re: It's a weebil

Weeble, surely?

How the UK's national memory lives in a ROBOT in Kew


Another pub

The Coach and Horses on the Green, nice in winter with its open fire.

UK defamation law reforms take effect from start of 2014


Re: Doesn't seem to be much different

"seems like a reasonable balance for a civilised (sic) society to pursue."

Why the "(sic)"? Both "civilised" and "civilized" are correct English...

El avión Buitre 2 rinde homenaje a nuestros amigos españoles


Enhorabuena al equipo español, pero un consejo: Yo no mandaría mi avión desde Barco a luchar contra los elementos.