* Posts by JDC

80 posts • joined 2 Sep 2010


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.

Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting


Interesing the focus on bullfighting: there're a lot of other ways Spaniards are cruel to bulls. Catalonia, for example, only banned bullfighting - they've still got correbous and bou embolat for example.

I, for one, welcome our robotic communist jobless future

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Hardly new idea

Perhaps the author ought to read a bit more SF, this is hardly a new idea - Iain M Banks' Culture closely resembles this type of economy, for example.

Fried-egg sarnies kick off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge


Re: Not joining you. Sorry.

I'll be heading through Barco de Avila tomorrow, are you allowed red cross style food parcels?

Free online Uni courses pressure vendors to drop training costs


Re: With regard to the 20:1 ratio between entrance and success

My experience with Coursera:

Certainly I've signed up to courses, and then dropped out. Why shouldn't I? I take a look at the first week's lectures, see if it's what I'm expecting, and if not... I'm not paying anything, so no loss. I also had to drop out of another course halfway through - my entire family turned up to stay for a week, and there was no way I could both study and be with them. If I'd been paying I probably wouldn't have invited them, but...

Another point is that the course workload is often considerably higher than advertised, which is something that needs to be worked on. Too often the students that first take the course are guinea pigs, with new materials that require extensive study beyond the course, etc. Where possible, take the second course offering - a lot of bugs will have been ironed out.


Re: You can figure out if the person presenting the course isn't an expert pretty quickly

Whatever the cause, and I fully agree that it may not be justified or logical, the people running the course should be able to explain the reason for studying the subject - and I think it's reasonable for paying students (ie everybody these days!) to expect a decent answer.


Re: You can figure out if the person presenting the course isn't an expert pretty quickly

If one student out of a hundred is making the complaint you can probably ignore it. If a sizeable group are making it - even if they then recant in the future - that to me seems to imply poor teaching, or at the very least poor communication of the aims of the course.


Re: Content should be free

Two questions, slightly rhetorically:

1) The ease with which content can be copied (and the massive availability of instructional texts) means that it has started to lose value. As you point out, that content costs time and money to produce, how then can you recover those costs?

2) How do I, as an employer, know that you, the candidate, have actually studied this stuff?

One possible solution is charging for certification - make the content free, but as the article points out merely signing up for the course means nothing, and the ease with which you can cheat means finishing isn't much better. Charge, too, for face time with the teachers - I don't want to pay to listen to an expert lecture at me, I can get that from a video. But an hour of one-to-one (or small group) instruction? That has real value.

LibreOffice 4.0 ships with new features, better looks

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No, I like it too.

I run Ubuntu at home, and on the odd occasion I have to do some kind of editing... having to fire up LO fills me with dread - that clunky, fugly interface. Pasting an image into the document and that bloody ship anchor thing showing up - but no image! Poking around the menus trying to find the option...

Meet قلب, the programming language that uses Arabic script


Re: Not the revolution you were looking for

"At least 'for', 'loop', 'while', etc don't force most people to learn a new alphabet as well as remember the syntax..."

Except of course they do, if you're Russian, Egyptian, Chinese, ...

When your squash partner 'endorses' your coding skills on LinkedIn...

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Like +1

US Army demos first robot Black Hawk helicopter


rotors failing?

"The helicopter adds turbulence, height control, and if its rotors fail, who or what is piloting it would have to deal with the resulting downward acceleration of 9.8m/sec2."

If the rotors fail and you start heading downward at that speed there's F.A. a pilot could do about it, human or otherwise. Unless of course the author is thinking of engine failure and autorotation, which presumably should be relatively easy to include in the autopilot.

Google to devs: Fragmenting Android is AGAINST THE RULES


Re: This is all about Chinese OEMs cutting Google out of the revenue pie

It's not all crap - Maps, GMail and the like are excellent - but why can't I uninstall Goggles, Facebook, Books, etc. etc. without rooting my phone?

Sock-wielding movie pirates go to prison


Re: Couple of $$$?

Saw Skyfall the day before yesterday and it cost the wife and me 15€ in total, would have been 18€ if we'd gone to the town's other cinema and pre-booked online...

65$ ??? Or does that include the romantic meal after?



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