More English, Less Pulpo

I just spent the weekend in Spain. An ex-colleague got married, and I'd never been to a Spanish wedding before. In fact, I'd only spent a few days in Spain, despite living on this side of the Atlantic for about 15 years now. The last time I was there was back in 2003, when I visited Barcelona and Montserrat, two beautiful and very different areas.

This time around I was in Santiago de Compostela. This is in the northwestern area of Spain, Galicia. They don't speak Spanish by default in Galicia, they speak Galician. It doesn't seem that anybody speaks Spanish in Spain. In Barcelona they speak Catalan, in the middle they speak Castellano, and who knows what the Basques speak. It's sort of like China, where you've got Mandarin, Cantonese, and who knows what else. Going to different countries requires a week of studying their Wikipedia pages just to know what to call their savage tongues.

Spain is a beautiful country. As different to the United Kingdom as two neighboring countries could be. Hardly anyone speaks English, for example. They also have a fascination with eating octopuses. In the UK, you'll need to go to secret, back-alley sources for your octopus. In Galicia, every bar and sidewalk food stall seems to offer pulpo at rock-bottom prices. I'm surprised that there are that many pulpo to eat, to be honest. I've always thought that the octopus was at least a little bit exotic; judging by the vast quantities of dead ones that I saw for sale in Spain, I can only assume their shorelines are positively writhing with them. Or maybe there are vast farms of these Cthulhoids, feeding the hunger. Both of these possibilities fill me with loathing, and I don't think I could go swimming in Spain without getting a serious case of the heebie jeebies.

 

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Syria about to get Yellow-caked

I was wondering when the US and the UK were going to get around to instigating military action in the Middle East again.  It’s been 10 years since we really pulled any serious shit; overtly, I mean.  I imagine the Military-Industrial Club House is starting to get awkwardly silent.

William Hague warned on Monday that force may be the only viable option in response to what the Government believes was a chemical attack by the Syrian regime which killed hundreds of people in Damascus last week.

In other news, Halliburton stock = BUY. That shit will be over $150 in three months.

Bitmessage

I may have to try this out:

Bitmessage is a P2P communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to another person or to many subscribers. It is decentralized and trustless, meaning that you need-not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities. It uses strong authentication which means that the sender of a message cannot be spoofed, and it aims to hide “non-content” data, like the sender and receiver of messages, from passive eavesdroppers like those running warrantless wiretapping programs. If Bitmessage is completely new to you, you may wish to start by reading the whitepaper.

via Bitmessage Wiki.

Facebook And 6 Phone Companies Launch Internet.org To Bring Affordable Access To Everyone

As with all such initiatives, this should be written as: “… Affordable Access to Everyone but *you*”.

TechCrunch

Facebook has just announced a partnership with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera and Qualcomm to launch Internet.org, a project aimed at bringing affordable Internet access to the 5 billion people without it. The companies will work together on data-compression technologies and cheap, high-quality smartphones to make the web cheaper.

While it might seem like the whole world is connected, just one-third of the globe’s population has Internet access, and adoption is only growing at 9 percent. Internet.org aims to speed up that rate.

Zuckerberg writes “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.” Zuckerberg has laid out his thoughts on accessibility in a paper called “Is Connectivity A Human Right?

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The three major initiatives of the partnership…

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Aside

Getting the Calendar Week in Google Spreadsheet

I hate Google Docs’s spreadsheet app, ‘Sheets’. It’s a lackluster application compared to anything even remotely recent. Its only selling point is the current IT industry’s addiction to simultaneous editing.

I work more with Sales and Finance than I used to, and I find myself referring to things like Fiscal Calendars, which have some relation to Gregorian calendars apparently, and Calendar Weeks, which do not.

In the fine open source program LibreOffice Calc (and presumably Microsoft Excel) there’s a handy function for this, called WEEKNUM. In Google’s spreadsheet, you need to first parse a date, and then slice it.

I googled this from somewhere, and wound up with the following:

= MID(TEXT(A3,"yyww"), 3, 2)

Where A3 is a date.

Seriously, it sucks.