Recapping a Year...

This year begun, as most years do, as an extension over the days and projects over the previous one. At least, that’s what it was for me. But it amplified the previous one in so many ways. Personal projects have become more amplified, and I hope 2019 to be the natural consequence of publishing some results soon.

There are so many things that deserve a post here that don’t still have got one that I’m a bit ashamed of the poor care that I’ve taken on my blogsite.

I have never been a great carer for a blog, and this is actually my fourth attempt, but it’s always been due to different reasons, so I hope I can finally begin to adapt now.

But let’s first recap the year (and eventually bring full posts for the relevant issues, but at least let’s get the summaries!):


There are so many things this year related to Trackula that I must present something from 2017 that I haven’t yet posted about in this blog.

But I have recently set up its own blog so that its roadmap can be seen there (soon). You can visit and the staging site is at while we migrate.


As most years, I attended FOSDEM last year. Curiously enough, being based in Madrid, that I had to travel circa 4000km to meet some other madrileños that were also attending. And this was the first time that I was together with people from GPUL and OpenShine both since GUADEC 2012. Vegan food as delicious as always, and the FOSDEM team still making one of the best FOSS-related events that I’ve assisted to, this was just another memorable FOSDEM edition.

Spanish Data Protection Agency awards Trackula

We received a research award from the Spanish Data Protection Agency for our work on Trackula and a memoir we wrote stating the state of the art in technology and its relationship with Law in the months prior to the GDPR coming to full effect. A corrected copy of this report will also be soon released.

Hirikilabs: Privacy, the GDPR, mass surveillance…

From our work on Trackula (which I still owe at least a full post about the process at Medialab Prado and another one about our work for the Spanish Control Authority), we came to meet some great guys from Donostia that run a citizen’s laboratory (that’s what Hirikilabs is in Euskera) in a great space for creativity. They hosted a series of talks about privacy, and Sofia and I came to talk about the GDPR and advocate for regulating privacy and raising awareness over the state of the issue. A much interesting story that ended up with an invitation for…

Summerlab 2018 at Hirikilabs

We were invited to participate in the Summerlab with other groups. Our workshop was titled “Cookifying the Real World”, and we created some real-world tracking devices from ESP8266 hardware and LiPo cells, which we used to track the assistants through the building and present them the results at the end of the workshop, in order to experiment with the feeling of being watched. It was a complete success for what was expected, and our experiment generated great engagement from the audience. We will soon publish a series of posts in the trackula blog over how everything came to place, the code, the STL files, the email templates we used, and everything in general needed to replicate the experience. Thanks to everyone that made this possible!

PyConES2018 - Málaga

OpenShine is a long time sponsor of PyConES, and this year we went to Malaga to the event. This was my worst FOSS event experience so far, and by far. The organization has no fucking idea and won’t listen to feedback from last years. This is inadmissible when you see it’s the same people running it this year and making even worse mistakes. But I won’t rant in this short space, I’ll hope to have a post eventually on that.

Open source contributions

Last year I managed to fix streaming on Spark-on-k8s internally for a project I was leading at OpenShine, but since the rebases on top of Apache Spark were already in progress, I was asked by the spark-on-k8s community to put the fix to the community on hold until this was already sorted out. So I finally made the contribution this year after sitting on it for over ~400 days (unfortunate timing, I guess, but I had streaming before you did).

We also open-sourced some work I led on Kafka Streams for Scala (which I would love to turn into a KIP) and on Elasticsearch query cost measurements (we needed to symbolically estimate the cost of queries before running them, because the product needed to expose parts of the query interface to an “untrusted user”).

I will entertain a talk on this cost analyzer, dubbed escova at FOSDEM 2019 in the Search devroom.

New Year’s wishes

This year I’ll be attending FOSDEM as a speaker for the first time, so first of all, I hope everything goes alright!

Given the state of things with Facebook last year I sincerely hope this year is a bit better for privacy and regulation on that. I hope Trackula can help with all of that, and we have incorporated an Association with that purpose.

I hope to have more time to write on the awesome things that happen near me, and to give time and value to those issues that really matter.

Have a great one,


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