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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Movie Review: 45 Years

45 Years ☀️☀️☀️☀️⛅️

This almost ticked all of the boxes! An interesting story, beautifully told, with superb acting by both of the lead actors but an especially superb performance from Charlotte Rampling. I would have given it the full five suns, but I really didn’t like the ending – there was too much unspoken – I would have liked a little more closure. But it’s overall a great, grown-up movie night-time plane ride. Highly recommended.

Rating System

In case you’d forgotten, I use a five sun rating system. It works like this:

  1. Movie gets one sun for interesting story with good acting

  2. Movie gets one sun for not having an English villain

  3. Movie gets one sun for not being too dark or having lots of special effects, so you can enjoy it properly on an airplane screen

  4. Movie gets one sun if I watched all the way to the end without falling asleep or turning over because I was bored

  5. Movie gets one sun if it doesn’t have Kate Winslet in it

So any movie I watch on a place gets at least one sun, and if they pull out all the stops they can get five.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Bandung Europa

In the early 1980s, while living in Bandung in Indonesia, I played for the Bandung Europa soccer team. The picture below was taken early in 1983, when the team were played 17,won 14, drawn 1 and lost 2. I made a note of the team names on the back of the photo and noted that we were getting an average attendance of 2,000 people at our games in what was I suppose the equivalent of the Conference South!

Europa

Yan - Jacques - Simon - Brian - Frank - Tom - Yours Truly - Freddie - Baban - Juan
Alberto - Dave - Momo - Ray (capt.) - Martin - Hans - Gustaman

I played on the left side of midfield in a 4-4-2 or, more usually, on the left wing in a 4-3-3. My main talent, given that I had no pace, was that I could cross quite accurately (generally in the direction of our centre forward, Frank the Tank). I did score occasionally, and one of my most treasured possessions is the only existing photograph (as far as I know) of me scoring a goal...

Gola!

As this was in the days long before Facebook, I don’t have many photographs or memorabilia. If by any miracle of Google, any of the people shown in the picture above ever stumble across this picture, I’d be delighted to add your reminiscences to this page!

I’ll add a couple of my favourite memories over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Movie Review: Equity

I’ve almost perfected my new rating system for movies on planes. It’s a five point scheme, and it works like this:

  1. Movie gets one sun for interesting story with good acting

  2. Movie gets one sun for not having an English villain

  3. Movie gets one sun for not being too dark or have lots of special effects, so you can enjoy it properly on an airplane screen

  4. Movie gets one sun if I watched all the way to the end without falling asleep or turning over because I was bored

  5. Movie gets one sun if it doesn’t have Kate Winslet in it

What do you think? I think this could make me bigger than Barry Norman, or whoever it is that does film reviews on the BBC nowadays.

So here we go with the first review under the new system.

Equity ☀️☀️☀️☀️

On my last flight I watched the rest of season two of Gomorrah, the Italian mafia drama series that I love. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it, except to say that it is a Shakespearian effort. The characters are wonderfully drawn and rounded, the acting is excellent and everyone is much better dressed than they are in English crime dramas. I never got into the Sopranos, so this was the first organised crime series that I’d seen for while.

Then I watched Equity, which was about disorganised crime (i.e., investment banking). In Dungeons & Dragons terminology, the mafia are lawful evil whereas investment bankers are chaotic evil. The mafia, like the Assassin’s Guild, have a code. Investment bankers don’t: they will stab anyone in the back for a couple of points. No-one trusts anyone, there is no loyalty up or down and anyone could betray anyone else as the drop of hat.

This made it a good movie, although it probably should have been called “Equity by Bloomberg” since they feature prominently through the film. It was different, because it was largely from a female perspective, which meant that it had a couple of subplots that I found more interesting than I might have otherwise. It had a nice dramatic arc of tragedy through betrayal. I thought that one of the lead characters was a little unreal and I found that slightly distracting, and I don’t see why two of the mean characters had to be English, but I watched all the way to end without nodding off even once. It’s about investment banking, by the way, and one of the companies that is a focus of the bankers’ efforts is privacy-enhancing social network (this doesn’t give anything away).

Summary: wouldn’t bother going to the cinema to see it and will almost certainly never watch it again on cable or computer, but it’ a good movie to watch while having your dinner on a plane.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Banking biometrics: hacking into your account is easier than you think

xxx

Matt Lewis, NCC research director, showed how to make a copy of his own fingerprint using wood glue, candle wax and a printed circuit board that allowed your correspondent to hack into his smartphone.

From Banking biometrics: hacking into your account is easier than you think

Indeed. But in order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker needs your phone. When you look at the overall risk model, provided you’re not using you iPhone to launch nuclear missile or control a dam or something, then the mobile phone and biometric authenication combo looks far more secure than any alternative.

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