Many EA Sports FC players have been outraged after ‘discovering’ that Ultimate Team matches are rigged, but it’s just a false theory that’s been circulating for years

There are many players in the EA Sports FC community who have accused the developers of match fixing. The story dates back practically to the launch of the Ultimate Team mode, when the term ‘Handicap’ began to become popular. According to some users, the game had a system that punished players with better cards by causing their defenses to fail more while they were controlled by the machine or their shots hitting the suit more frequently. Although it has remained in the past, it was a really popular thought and there were even players who filled their benches with bronze cards to reduce the impact of this supposed mechanic created by Electronic Arts and hidden in the game code. Now this theory is not taken into account, but the conspiracies have not disappeared.

A new year, a new conspiracy about EA Sports FC

Currently, complaints regarding this alleged match-fixing at EA Sports FC are related to the ‘Momentum‘. Supposedly, this is a mechanic that favors the losing player to lead to more closely contested matches and epic comebacks. It causes the CPU of the player ahead on the scoreboard to become stuck, resulting in different effects depending on who you ask. Defenses that do not steal the ball, failed passes, suspicious rebounds that always benefit the same player or long shots that sneak into the top corner. The idea is always the same: “In some way that I don’t describe, the game is being turned against me to give an advantage to my opponent, who he’s beating me unfairly and he actually plays worse than me.

The situation has become even more exaggerated over the last few days. It has started to go viral a YouTube video that supposedly confirms this theory. In it we see a user playing a FUT Champions match normally. However, everything changes when they score a goal. A temporary message appears at the top right of the screen informing you that the difficulty has been reduced. It would start in “Legend” when the result is a 0-0 draw and with each goal it would go down one step until reaching “Beginner” if we lose by five or more. This is where the problem arises. Although the video appears to be manipulated, many users who want to believe in the ‘Momentum’ theory have used it as proof that EA Sports is deceiving us.

This is the image that caused the controversy. Look at the upper right corner.

It is surprising, since even professional players have defended this video as proof of the existence of the ‘Momentum’. Corentin “RocKy” Chevrey, who has been competing for eight years and is still active in this EA Sports FC 24, wrote the following on social networks: “I don’t even understand why everyone has been surprised (…) We have known for years that the game is ‘scripted’ to favor one of the two players during matches and that this ‘advantage’ will even change from one side to the other during the same match. It remains quite blatant as always and there is no need for proof to know it. You just need play a lot,” said the Frenchman.

The reality is that, although for the last seven years players have tried to find evidence confirming the existence of ‘Momentum’, no one has made any progress. In fact, This is the strongest evidence in history. A YouTube video uploaded by an anonymous account showing a bug that, among the thousands of EA Sports FC matches played every weekend, only affected him. We are not going to make much more effort to deny the story because it does not seem necessary. However, there is a real reason why gamers might distrust Electronic Arts. This is a patent that the company carried out in 2016.

Players filled their bench with mediocre cards to lower the rating to four and a half stars.

Electronic Arts registered in 2016 a patent for dynamic difficulty adjustment in their video games. The title is quite self-descriptive, since it would be a system that would allow “the difficulty level of a video game to be automatically adjusted” so that it is “undetectable by a user” with the aim of “increasing player retention.” The company’s theory is that the games would be more equal so that they would be much more interesting, causing players to remain active in the video game for longer. Ultimately this could increase sales of future installments of said games, those of microtransactions or improve the general image of the company.

The reality is, however, that this patent is not applied to EA Sports FC. This has been confirmed, at least, the justice of the State of California. The company faced a lawsuit in the United States accusing it of using “dynamic difficulty adjustment” to manipulate players into buying more packs in different games that include Ultimate Team mode. The reality is that there was never a single solid piece of evidence on this matter and the lawsuit was dropped. “We have provided plaintiffs with detailed technical information and access to our engineers, confirming (once again) that we do not use scripting or dynamic difficulty adjustment in Ultimate Team modes,” the company’s final statement read. .

In this sense, it seems difficult to defend the perspective that a YouTube video is enough to refute an entire judicial process. Luck has a considerable influence on EA Sports FC matches and it is normal that sometimes we feel disadvantaged by the game. However, these are design elements that are in no way related to ‘Momentum’. The title has a lot of room for improvement in the CPU’s behavior when defending, offering clear passing lines when the opponent pressures the ball out. Fatigue also affects the performance of the players considerably, giving the impression that the opponent is not passing over them. There are many elements to criticize, but that does not mean that the game is actively fixing games.


After years of prosperity, the Spanish technology sector faces an unprecedented situation: the “hiring freeze”

In recent years, one of the economic sectors with the best job prospects and good salaries has been the technological. Companies have nudged each other and offered everything they could to bring in programmers, analysts or cybersecurity technicians. But both the available indicators and the experts consulted agree that the party is coming to an end. That there are clear symptoms of cooling in the technology labor market in Spain.

And some advance that in 2024 things could get even worse.

A survey in which 350 Spanish professionals participated carried out by Circular and Joppy, two IT recruitment firms, suggests that we are facing a turning point. Just over half of those consulted do not rule out a salary adjustment in 2024. This country’s IT professionals, who weathered the previous Covid-19 crisis so well, are today unclear about their future.

Today almost 50% of technology employees recognize that they have received fewer job offers That the last year. Recruitment specialists and recruitment firms also believe there is a slowdown in the market. And there are many who predict that this decline will continue next year. Although in the long term they are optimistic and believe that the situation will improve.

The experts consulted by SamaGame for this report make a disturbing assessment: computer scientists are still necessary, but the crazy offer of positions with always rising salaries is coming to an end, at least for the moment. Let’s see the causes.

A ghost called recession

Pedro Montarelo became more than a decade ago and in that time his company has been able to place more than a thousand technology professionals. Montarelo confirms that, although the year started with a lot of movement, a lot of demand for professionals and “skyrocketing salaries”, in spring a slowdown began to be noticed.

“The war (in Ukraine) affects less, but the fact that several European countries have entered into recession, especially Germany, has led many companies to the (English term for freezing hiring) and even layoffs. I confirm this with almost all the managers I speak with. It is only hired in the case of very urgent projects.” Montarelo has European clients and recognizes that its activity has been affected since the beginning of summer. “There are companies that have gone from hiring us for 20 or 30 positions to two or three,” he says.

(Emilio García/Unsplash)

Adecco’s numbers also refer to a cooling of the technological labor market in Spain. According to Óscar Rodríguez, ICT sector director of The Adecco Group, since the second quarter of the year there has been “a significant drop in the number of vacancies.”

In his opinion, it is not a very “worrying” fact because between 20% and 30% of vacancies They are still uncovered. But it does show a slowdown in a sector that continues to be “an inexhaustible source of employment” and that has experienced increases of 10% in the number of positions offered in recent years. “To the economic situation in Europe, we must also add the political situation in our country. This situation of uncertainty also greatly affects the decision-making of companies when making investments,” explains Rodríguez.

Layoffs reach programmers

Xavi Sala, head of SEO and content at Prosperity Digital, a placement firm specialized in technological profiles and based in Barcelona, ​​also speaks of “a certain slowdown.” He remembers that in April and May the bursting of the “bubble” in Silicon Valley was much talked about. The American impasse put a brake on financing plans for new projects in Spain, which spread fears and led to conservatism in the hiring of many non-technological companies.

“It was the first time, that I remember, that programmers were fired in unicorns like Glovo. This had never happened before,” he highlights. Although he assures that the profiles that have suffered the most have been above all the “non-technical” ones, such as those responsible for or in digital marketing, or UX designers. And, due to age, the break has hit the juniors more than the seniors. For Rodríguez, interest in profiles related to CRM (customer management tools), with languages ​​such as PHP or with computer support departments () has dropped a lot.

Montarelo also alludes to the effects of the second round of layoffs that, at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, were announced by large technology companies, such as Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Google or Salesforce, among many others, and which affected in total more than 100,000 professionals, in many cases with long careers and high salaries.

“In Spain, the subsidiaries of these companies have also made layoffs, and the staff has been and is nervous,” he explains. Furthermore, there is the case of Spanish companies that have invested heavily in digitalization processes for which they have needed technicians and programmers, but now They have frozen their plans. And that has also slowed down the IT job market. “There is a general stoppage in hiring, but in IT above all. The sector is also affecting all profiles. Perhaps cybersecurity is suffering a little less,” he emphasizes.

This expert believes that it is difficult to predict how long the hiring halt will last and assures that everything will depend on the evolution of the economy, especially the German economy. But he advances that there will be no good news until the end of the year or the beginning of next year.

(Raj Rana/Unsplash)

Montarelo also points out another trend that is putting pressure on the technology labor market in Spain: “As it is increasingly difficult to find talent in this country, companies are opening development projects in other Eastern European countries. Bulgaria is one that has a lot of buzz.” . In this way, multinationals distribute hiring between Spain and other countries, and avoid being at the expense of what happens in a single labor market.

The evolution of salaries

Regarding the impact of this on salaries, opinions are diverse. Montarelo says that he is not yet having an impact on remuneration. The logic is the following: in a more complicated environment like the current one, the professional who changes jobs “Ask for more money”or else it stays where it is.

At this point, remember that changing jobs in Spain is a risk because if an employee does not pass the trial period in his new company (six months, according to the law), he does not even have the right to collect unemployment: “Today change It represents more risk than before, and that is why those who assume the change ask for even more money.

However, Sala considers that in recent times payrolls have been growing “15% or 20% annually”, and that in some positions they have even increased by 25%. These are true salary bubble figures, according to him. In 2022, remuneration has already suffered a stoppage and the average salary in the sector rose by only 6%. And in 2023 the tone is similar.

In any case, Sala is optimistic and predicts that this turning point for employment in the technology sector it will be little noticeable if the viewing angle is opened and looks to the next ten years: “The growth of job offers in the ICT sector continues to be above that of other sectors because there is still a great need for digitalization, with many industries moving to the data economy.”

This optimism is shared by Rodriguez, from Adecco, who points out that the explosion of generative AI and its application to areas such as customer service, human resources or marketing will increase investments in technology and the demand for professionals.

Teleworking: source of tension

Teleworking was a constant during the pandemic and since then it has been slowly declining in Spain. However, today, and according to data from an InfoJobs macro survey, 22% of employed people still work from home, totally or partially. The computer sector is one of those that offers this possibility the most.

Job offers for an analyst, developer or engineer almost always involve the possibility of remote work. Recruitment companies are clear that teleworking is the benefit most valued by professionals. And they believe that in 2024 it will continue to be key to attracting talent.

(Andrew Neel/Unsplash)

For Pedro Torrecillas, CEO and co-founder of Circular, the perfect work model would be “one that offers a culture but that would give employees the option of going to the office if they wish (…) It is important that companies organize in-person sessions or social events that encourage them to attend in person, but the key is that they feel they can choose and are not forced to move if they do not want to.

However, the preference of workers has begun to clash with the wishes of employers in the last year, which in many cases are asking, more or less explicitly, and at the request of parent companies, such as Apple or Google. , a total or majority return to the offices.

“The companies I speak with want less teleworking, and that is a problem because candidates continue to cling to teleworking. Some processes that we have open are costing us because the company offers one or two days at most of remote work, and the candidates, especially developers, They ask for more, three or four days“says Montarelo.

“With the layoffs and the halt in hiring, companies have regained a bit of control. Before we were in a market where the candidates had all the negotiating power, and now the situation is back to balance,” says Sala. “You still see flexibility in the offers, but there are not so many with remote work all the time,” she adds.

Montarelo assures that the youngest professionals have become accustomed to teleworking and do not conceive of a scheme where there is no flexibility, much less a dynamic of five days in the office, and from 9 to 6. And he clarifies that it is the “more mature” profiles that are who, for fear of losing their jobs, are less demanding in this regard. In any case, the latest Infojobs macro-survey ensures that in Spain still today one in two companies gives their employees the option of teleworking: 38% of them with a hybrid formula, and 13% completely remotely.


We have been fantasizing about an alternative to “bell-shaped” space engines for 70 years. Now we are close to having a

Since the beginning of the space age, engineers have banged their heads over and over again against the same problem: the technical impossibility of building an engine that would be both efficient in the atmosphere and in a vacuum.

So much so, that we only managed to fix it by mounting two-stage rockets: one with nozzles for the atmospheric phase and another optimized for outer space. The “middle” thing is a matter of brute force.

Is it inefficient? Yes Do we have another option? Not at the beginning.

“In principle”? Well yes, because for more than 70 years there has been no shortage of experts who thought that the solution lay in something very simple: form. As Darren Orf pointed out a few months ago, “whether it’s the German V-2 rocket, NASA’s legendary Saturn V or SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, all rocket engines share a common attribute: their exhaust nozzles are bell-shaped. “. But what if they didn’t have it?

Essentially, the function of a nozzle is to direct the flow of gases in the direction that interests us. It seems obvious, but it’s key. Above all, because the mixture of propellants at very high temperatures generates a lot of force, but the movement of the gases is (to a large extent) random. The conventional nozzle has proven very effective in converting all that randomness into a “jet” efficient enough to put the rocket into the air. The question is, then, how do we do without it.

That’s where the ‘aerospike’ comes in: a type of engine that “would maintain its aerodynamic efficiency over a wide range of altitudes” by changing precisely the shape in question. That is, the gases are launched “along the outer face of a wedge-shaped solid volume” (the spike) and the result would also efficiently reduce this randomness.

It sounds good, very good. At the end of the day, all of this that we have explained would translate into being able to reduce the total weight of the ship and, in the process, increase the useful load. The problem? That doesn’t work.

The eternal promise of space exploration. It is true that NASA tested a prototype in the 1990s, but the result has always been the same: the different companies or agencies that have opted for the aerospike have ended up signing checks that they have not been able to pay.

And what has changed that we are talking about this? Germany has passed. In April, Berlin awarded a military contract to Polaris, a start-up dedicated to this type of technology, to investigate the possibilities of using such an engine in a space plane. The news now is that Polaris has just completed the first series of test flights of one of the key prototypes.

We are talking about 15 tests between the end of August and the beginning of September. And it is true that the MIRA-light (which is what the prototype is called) measures only two and a half meters long and is very far from what we are looking for; but the sensations are good and that has caught the attention of many people.

Does that mean we will (finally!) have an aerospike engine? At this point in the game, the most reasonable thing is to think that no, that there is a lot of work ahead and that, even in the best of all possible worlds, its effects are not going to be immediate. However, innovation in the world of engines is excellent news (and even more so if the tests go well)


Disappearance of Lina, 15 years old: new research carried out in Alsace – Éditions local Ouest-France

  1. Disappearance of Lina, 15 years old: a new search carried out in AlsaceLocal editions West-France
  2. Disappearance of Lina: “Checks are underway”, a new search carried out this Wednesday at a local residentFree lunch
  3. Disappearance of Lina, 15 years old: new searches underway at the home of a resident of
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I returned to OGame 12 years later … and after several weeks of playing, I was bored like an oyster

For science. I’m doing it for science, I tell myself over and over again as I’m bored like an oyster playing OGame. I reverted to the popular title of Resource Management 12 years after my last visit to see how it’s kept and I think after writing these lines I’ll get off the train.

It all started a few weeks ago, I was struck by the doubt. Will follow Ogame In progress? The mere memory gave me chills, but within minutes I had already created a new account to start from scratch. In search of traces of my previous passage Ogame In the email I could see that in 2008 I created an account. The second, because some four or five years before, he had already devoted many hours to the game.

As much as I try, I can’t remember how long I was hooked to this game the first time around, probably 2003 or 2004, but I put my stuffy cargo ships flying between my planets so that no other player cannot take me. my resources while sleeping. I guess it got almost obsessive, because what I also remember is doing a spreadsheet to see what time and how fast I had to send my ships from one planet to another so that I could be in front of the computer when I got to my destination. This will sound familiar to many of you.

Why should I get addicted to a game like this at the time? I guess it was another time and I didn’t know how many minutes I had to wait to build a metal mine or a robot factory. Or at least not like now. And I realize the contradiction: back then we weren’t used to games with typical wait times for current mobile titles like now, where if you want to speed up the actions you can scratch your pocket, but with Ogame tolerated them. Right now, they’re going uphill.

It’s curious because in principle the system, in a way, could not be more comfortable: you set to build any installation or study a technology and forget about it, it will end. You close the browser tab and continue with your things while the game does what you asked, you will come back later. But no, it doesn’t work for me. it doesn’t make me laugh. I just didn’t see the end goal. Or maybe that ultimate goal doesn’t interest me. It’s personal, of course, there are people who pass it on to her, but I can’t.

But what is OGame?

Excuse me i didn’t explain what it is Ogame, a title for which you only need a browser, and surely many of you have never heard of it before.

Basically it’s a resource management game where you can make your own intergalactic empire. You start with a random planet in a galaxy lost in the universe, and from there you can (rather should) colonize other planets to expand your domains.

The first steps are to create Metal, Glass, and Deuterium Mines to begin generating the materials that will allow you to craft other facilities, research technologies, craft all kinds of ships and more. And of course, mines consume the energy of your solar power plant, so you have to pay attention to these numbers so that everything works correctly. You can also adjust the production of each mine so that it uses less energy, if you feel it is necessary.

From there, being clear that your goal is to develop yourself and that there are other players both in your galaxy and others who might want to attack you to steal materials, hamper your progress and ultimately destroy yourself, it will be up to you to think about your next steps. I was surprised to see that there is some sort of tutorial or guide that gives you everything you need so that you don’t get lost during the first few bars because I think he wasn’t there when I played it over ten years ago. But the same is my memory, what do I know.

What was clear to me was that I had to fabricate a colonizer-type ship as soon as possible to have at least a second planet. First, because the one who touched me when creating the account is not too large and it turns out that each building, factory or mine, as well as its developments, take up space. How logical. And secondly, because having more than one planet allows you to generate a lot more materials and move them between them so that no one steals them from you.

Indeed, the game has a spy system by which you can send probes to other planets and see what resources these players have. If you are interested in what you see, you can attack. Although you can also play in a more peaceful and diplomatic way and send friend requests to your neighbors in the galaxy or even join an alliance to be part of a large group of players with a common goal.

At the moment I have two planetsside by side, called SamaGame and VX (I renamed them for the occasion. They had cooler names). In the first, I have missile launchers as a defense system, several light fighter-type ships in the hangar, spy probes, and a few freighters. The colonizer I had already used to get my hands on the second planet, where for now only the mines are working and I have no defenses or anything else.

And here we are. After several weeks of daily login, a point has come where I have no motivation to continue. I am very lazy to repeat the whole process from the first planet to the second, which is bigger and could become the main one, and think about when I start to have a lot of resources and I have to move them from planet to planet. the other so as not to steal them makes me lazy.

Greetings to all who can enjoy it Ogame. I go down and I stay with the experience she gave me 15 or 16 years ago. Due to my return in 2008, I don’t have any clear memories… I probably walked in, saw what was there, chills returned and I ran like crazy.

Source : Gadgetsnow


Barbarian murder of Lola, 12 years old: her father Johan Daviet is dead, he will be buried with his daughter

Johan Daviet confident a year after the murder of his daughter Lola, 12, that he will “survive” the disappearance of his child. This February, we learned of the death of this 49-year-old man, according to “La Voix du Nord” and “Le Figaro”.

Terrible news for the family and loved ones of Lola, a young girl found lifeless in a trunk in Paris in October 2022. Her father, Johan Daviet, died in Fouquereuil, in Pas-de-Calais, indicates the family’s lawyer At Figaroconfirming the information of The voice of the North. He was 49 years old and had separated from his daughter’s mother after the horrible act suffered by their child.

The mayor of the town was informed by the firefighters on Friday February 23, 2024. Le Figaro, who does not currently have the exact causes of death. However, those around the father believe that he was unable to cope with the brutal murder of his child. The daily announces that “lhe funeral of Johan Daviet will be celebrated Thursday February 29, at the Vendin-lès-Béthune crematorium. He will then be buried in the Lillers cemetery, alongside his daughter.“.

Johan Daviet, father of Lola, expressed his dismay a year after the terrible events

Johan Daviet was the subject of a portrait for Seven to Eight on TF1 in 2023, his intervention is even more painful today than it already was at the time. He explained that his daughter’s alleged murderer not only took away her but also “kidnapped an entire family.” The devastated father added: “My wife and I are in the process of divorcing today. I’m having a hard time with it because I adore my wife. (…) I started drinking again. Everything fell apart anyway, my work, our work. Imagine going to work again where our daughter was murdered! Our home, everything. We lost almost everything.” He admitted feeling angry but preferred to let “justice doing its job.”

On RTL at the same time, the forty-year-old also confided that he had fallen back into alcohol. “I fell back into my demons, even though I hadn’t been drinking for more than three years. But who wouldn’t fall back into their demons?”

Murder of Lola: suspect Dahbia Benkired is in a unit for difficult patients

The main suspect, Dahbia Benkired, was placed in pre-trial detention. Indicted for “murder and rape with acts of torture and barbarity on a minor under 15 years old”, she was transferred at the end of February from Fresnes prison to a unit for difficult patients (UMD) of a psychiatric hospital in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne).


Twenty years after the accident at Repsol that claimed nine lives: “It was a before and after in occupational risk prevention”

On August 14, 2003, an explosion at the Repsol Puertollano Industrial Complex shocked the mining population. At 8:15 a.m. that day, the 112 Emergency Service received the first call from a person warning of an explosion at the refinery.

The effect of the explosion of a tank spread to other nearby ones causing a large fire. It cost the lives of nine workers and another 17 people were injured of varying degrees.

The toxic cloud worried for days. Above all, after the collapse of the last fuel tanks and the great ball of fire over the Complex, according to the chronicles of the time. The alarms activated within the Internal Emergency Plan of the complex – first the general and then the partial – would last until August 22.

Jesús Camacho was at home that day. “I heard the noise, received a call from a colleague and we ran to the company.” He was a Repsol worker and provincial secretary of the CCOO in Ciudad Real.

The workers from the maintenance and masonry contracts were starting their jobs at that time. At that time, Repsol was carrying out works to expand the facilities. “The explosion caught them in the vans,” says Camacho, who is now retired and recounts how there was a real “stampede” of employees at the petrochemical complex.

It was, he says, a “logical” reaction because those who worked at the plant “knew that everything could go to hell. They wanted to be safe because there was a whole park of tanks and next to them spheres with butane and propane that could cause a shock wave. Fortunately they had a fire system.”

The fire lasted four days. More than 800 people worked on tasks to control and put out the fire. “The firefighters from the Madrid airport even came.” The Puertollano City Council decreed six days of mourning. Today the public television of Castilla-La Mancha, CMMedia, I remembered those days and the images of the terrible fire.

An internal and an external investigation were launched after the accident. In the conclusions of the internal investigation, the company attributed the accident to “human error”. The document said that it was produced by “undue accumulation” of gases in previous days, which ended up causing the explosion. It was pointed out that the “warnings and alarms” were ignored and that “the operational decisions to correct the accumulation of gases were not attended to or adopted, although the systems to detect the problem worked correctly”.

The unions rejected this version and did not get to sign the minutes of the internal investigation. “There was a lot of tension because there were divergent issues in the final conclusions,” explains Jesús Camacho.

The workers’ representatives had an impact on “technical aspects” such as the design of this complex, “identical” to those of A Coruña or Tarragona. “The liquefaction of gases could have been avoided in a first-rate facility that is so computerized”, he assures.

“Something abnormal that should not have happened”

In October 2003, Jesús Camacho would influence the causes of the accident in an article published in the ISTAS-CCOO Occupational Health magazine. In his opinion, the release of gases from a floating roof tank, designed and prepared to contain fuel, was “something abnormal that should not have happened” and he added that “the production unit at the head of the in a destabilized way without any head of the Production department or the center’s Management ordering the immediate stoppage”, assured this trade unionist and worker at the plant throughout his working life, recalling that weeks before the incident, failures had been detected in the productive chain.

He says it was “surprising that decisions had not been made to adequately separate light hydrocarbons from gasoline, thus avoiding their arrival in an atmospheric tank.” And it is that a container of these characteristics cannot accumulate a mass of pressurized gas “that raises its roof, tilts it and releases butane and other explosive gases that, when they find a hot spot, cause a deflagration.”

This is exactly what happened and two decades later he remembers how “at that time, large companies began to replace a large part of the workforce with external contractors.” He regrets that the union proposals for introducing “modern” occupational risk prevention regulations that also reached the workers subcontracted by Repsol-YPF were not heard because “the responsibilities and obligations of the companies were dispersed.”

The case was judicially archived in criminal proceedings in April 2005. Despite the fact that the family of one of the deceased, Juan de Dios García Piña, managed to reopen the case before the Provincial Court of Ciudad Real in October of that same year, it ended dissolving in the courts, beyond the compensation to the victims for a value of about 2.6 million euros.

It probably gave rise to one of the biggest conflicts that took place at the Puertollano plant. We had been trying to carry out a negotiation on subcontractors for some time and the accident accelerated it

Juan Antonio Mata
General Secretary of CCOO Castilla-La Mancha in 2003

Juan Antonio Mata was CCOO regional secretary in 2003. “I found out about the accident from an RNE journalist who called me when I was in the car with my wife and daughters, going on vacation to her native Malaga.

He was in Puertollano for more than three days. “It was terrible, the atmosphere was bleak. I arrived at half past five in the afternoon on the 14th. We were all scared by the risk to the population”.

Later, the concern was not only to investigate the causes or clarify responsibilities, but also to “establish agreed security measures for the future.” That autumn it was time to negotiate the working conditions of the workers of the fifty Repsol YPF contracts in Puertollano. The atmosphere was very tense after what happened in August.

On August 19, 2003, during a demonstration called by the UGT and CCOO, the then general secretaries of both unions, Cándido Méndez and José María Fidalgo, respectively, were booed in the mining city. In September the workers of more than fifty companies subcontracted by Repsol-YPF joined a strike called by both unions. In October, the company had to stop the plant that Alfonso Cortina presided over at the time.

Even the PSOE announced that it would promote a bill in the Congress of Deputies to regulate subcontracting, limit temporary employment and avoid workplace accidents.

“There was a lot of pressure from CEOE because what this negotiation was going to mean was a higher cost for the main company, in terms of the work bonuses that the metal companies or other auxiliary activities in the petrochemical complexes were going to have. The fact that tasks were being outsourced to reduce costs was going to be highlighted”, recalls Jesús Camacho.

“All of this probably gave rise to one of the biggest conflicts that took place at the Puertollano plant in the month of October. We had been trying to move forward with that negotiation for some time. In the region, steps are being taken to advance in occupational prevention, especially in areas with more risks such as industrial ones, and the accident not only accelerated it but also reinforced it”, adds Juan Antonio Mata.

Both trade unionists agree in defining the moment as “extremely hard”, although the agreement was reached in mid-November. “Today any worker who enters the complex has to go through mandatory security courses to sign a contract.” Jesús Camacho also points out that that accident “forced” to change the Foreign Emergency Plan of the petrochemical complex, which depended on public administrations, because it became clear that “it was in its infancy.”

A symbolic tribute sustained in the last two decades

In 2004, the Puertollano City Council discovered a commemorative plaque on Paseo de San Gregorio, in front of the emblematic Casa de Baños, with the motto ‘The citizens of Puertollano in memory of those who have given their lives working’.

Every August 14, nine roses are deposited in the place. One for each victim of that tragedy.

José Manuel is the current provincial secretary of CCOO Ciudad Real and explains that the objective of the symbolic gesture is that this is not forgotten. The accident caught him at his home in Almodóvar del Campo, just eight kilometers from the hydrocarbon plant. “I remember very well. I was expecting my first child. You could see the column of smoke and I experienced it like the rest of the population of Puertollano and its surroundings. Panic was widespread due to the dimensions of the fire.

Today he recalled in an act that he has always wanted to be “simple and intimate” that “the families of the deceased continue to suffer their absence. We send you our encouragement.”

He was blunt when recalling that this misfortune served to “raise awareness among managers of the importance of health for workers and that it is above any productive and economic result. That was progress.”

In his opinion, it was “a before and after in the prevention of accidents at work for contractors and subcontractors who enter the complex.” In fact, he believes that the advances in coordination for occupational health and safety issues have ended up being transferred to other companies.


Mercadona raises the price of home delivery after 20 years. It’s to “cover costs”

You go to the supermarket, fill the shopping cart and tell them to send it home. Mercadona’s home delivery service is a great option for those who don’t want to be burdened, but now the chain has decided to apply changes.

Following the widespread price escalation, Mercadona has raised the price of its home delivery service. As the company explains, the price of this service had not changed in the last 20 years but now they have had to raise it to “cover the costs of the service.” An increase in the cost foreseeably derived from the price of energy, transport and personnel.

Suddenly, some users have seen how the price they traditionally paid to take their purchase home has risen.

A user from the Basque Country has pointed out that the cost of the home service will rise from 3 August from 4.21 euros to 6.50 euros, regardless of the purchase price. The user complains that other supermarkets such as Carrefour or El Corte Inglés have this free service for purchases over 100 euros.

Mercadona has a home delivery service from the store itself at a price that starts at 4.21 euros, but from the company’s website they explain that the final cost depends on each geographical area. The service is not present in all stores and they usually apply a maximum of 10 kilometers from the store to the customer’s home.

It should be noted that the price of home delivery from the store is lower than from the online page. Directly from the Mercadona website it has a price of 7.21 euros and a minimum order of 50 euros.

Deliveries of the home service from the store are usually delivered the day after the purchase. The rise in prices of this service has started to be applied since the end of Julybeing its progressive implementation depending on each area.

Mercadona is in the midst of applying strategy changes, such as its rental of premises. After two decades where home delivery was a constant, now customers have seen a price increase.


The dizzying evolution of the iPhone CPU and GPU over the years on the doorstep of the iPhone 12

The processor designed by Apple for each generation of Apple has been a symbol of its power for a decade. Just weeks after the launch of the iPhone 12, which presumably will bring under its hood the A14 processor, we examined the dizzying evolution of these chips. An improvement that has multiplied by more than 160 times the power of its CPU and by nearly 2000 times that of its GPU.

All iPhone chips and their technical evolution

Processor IPhone model An CPU increase Boost GPU Frequency RAM Nanometers
Samsung APL0098 iPhone Edge 2007 412 MHz 128 Mo 90 nm
Samsung APL0098 iPhone 3G 2008 0% 0% 412 MHz 128 Mo 90 nm
Samsung APL0298 iPhone 3GS 2009 100% 100% 600 MHz 256 Mo 65 nm
A4 iphone 4 2010 100% 100% 800 MHz 512 Mo 45 nm
TO 5 iphone 4s 2011 100% 800% 800 MHz 512 Mo 45 nm
A6 iphone 5 2012 100% 100% 1,3 GHz 512 Mo 32 nm
A7 iphone 5s 2013 100% 100% 1,4 GHz 1 Go 28 nm
A8 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus 2014 25% fifty% 1,5 GHz 1 Go 20 nm
A9 iPhone 6s and 6s Plus 2015 70% 90% 1,85 GHz 2 Go 14 to 16 nm
Fusion A10 iPhone 7 and 7 Plus 2016 40% fifty% 2,34 GHz 2 à 3 Go 16 nm
A11 Bionics iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X 2017 25% 70% 2,39 GHz 2 à 3 Go 10 nm
A12 Bionics iPhone XR, Xs et Xs Plus 2018 fifteen% fifty% 2,49 GHz 3 à 4 Go 7 nm
A13 Bionics iPhone 11, 11 Pro et 11 Pro Max 2019 twenty% twenty% 2,66 GHz 4 Go 7 nm

A power multiplied by 160 in its CPU and by 1900 times its GPU

Early iPhone models had a processor designed and manufactured by Samsung. IPhone Edge and iPhone 3G they used the same processor, called Samsung APL 0098, with a frequency of 412 MHz, 128MB of RAM and manufactured in a 90nm process. Fast forward to 2019, when Apple introduced the iPhone 11 family and its designed A13 Bionic at home, with dizzying characteristics: 2.66 GHz, 4 GB of RAM and 7 nm.

Between the two, a path has been traveled with several unique milestones in the industry. The first was undoubtedly the A4 launched in 2010, since it involved the first design developed by the Apple company and not by a third party. It debuted on the original iPad and, months later, on the iPhone 4 (although under-clocked). Three years later, the A7 arrived in the iPhone 5s, the first 64-bit mobile chip that caused panic in the industry.

Apple processors consistently rank among mobile chips for their performance

Later, the A10 Fusion, which launched cores of different sizes for different tasks (efficiency and power) on the platform. And the Bionic generations brought the neural engine to perform machine learning tasks. Until we get to the A13 Bionic from last year.

If we compare the evolution and increases in power, both CPU and GPU, we get charts like the ones accompanying this section. The CPU has multiplied its power by 164.2, while the GPU did it 1883.7 times (The A5 was an improvement of the 9x GPU over the previous version). Apple tends to accompany its presentations with new iPhones or iPads with similar graphics, especially when the jump is considerable.

An A14 processor for 2020 iPhones: 40% more CPU and 50% more GPU

The logical evolution leads to more powerful chips every year. Of course, not every year there is great progress. According to some leaks, the A14 chip that we will see this year will count with an increase compared to the A13 Bionic which would be as follows:

  • CPU: 40% more, up to 230 times on the iPhone Edge.
  • GPU: 50% more, up to 2,825 times on the iPhone Edge.

If this forecast comes true, we would be facing a very significant rise on both fronts. The one that, on the processor side, had not been produced since the A10 Fusion 2016. In recent years, Apple’s “A” processors rivaled those of Intel in terms of performanceSo it’s no wonder we’ve seen the company use the A14 in their early Macs with Apple Silicon.

Intel’s straightjacket and the journey to Apple Silicon

A most interesting fall is to come on the Apple front. When the iPhone 12 launches, we are waiting the first Mac model with Apple Silicon, with which the company will test the waters of the first transformer at home for your conventional computers. In a few weeks, we will get rid of the doubts.