Friday, 28 June 2019

What's in a name?

If you've ever been a fan of the iDevice then you'll probably know of Jony Ive, whose departure from Apple has been announced today. He's setting up his own company: LoveFrom.

Or is that LoveForm?

Every article I've read thus far has been written as if the new biz is called LoveFrom, but someone speaking on the radio this morning called it love form, which makes far more sense for a design business.

I wonder if we've just seen a moderate failure of software design from an over-enthusiastic spill chucker?


Not that my own output here couldn't use a bit of decent proof-reading sometimes. :-(

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Friday, 21 June 2019

Just Libra me alone, OK?

It seems that  Facebook project (Libre) to manage finances internationally was announced this week as Calibra. While listening to the wireless during the drive to work I caught Mark Carney, (American) governor of the Bank Of England talking about it with an interviewer, though I'd managed to miss out on the strat of the interview, so only put the information together retrospectively.

Would you trust Facebook with your financial data?


But on the basis 50 billion flies can't be wrong, you KNOW this is going to take off, don't you? Trump is in the White House, Boris (how appropriate his initials are BJ) is likely to become PM here in Blighty. QED.

Y'know, it could be a genuinely useful service. As Mark Carney said in the interview, this is the financial sector, and there are rules that business follows - it's not the wild frontier of internetland. Paypal because a (mostly) reliable, useful entity, though it's conception and birth occurred in the financially oriented operation. Facebook's background is data mining and selling the user as the product, so how might that work out?

Some have suggested the service would be 'free' because your data would be used to pay for the cost.

The worst part about this is, like Western Union and all those other 'helpful' firms, you know some parts of the world will embrace it with open servers arms and not care, making it difficult for the rest of us to completely avoid.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Health has been an odd thing this last couple of weeks

I've not been overtly unwell, but looking at the longer post grumbling about facts and the bible, then considering the sensations of pressure and difficulty in thinking clearly that I've experienced on and off make me wonder what's going on inside. It's not just the head though - joints are also distinctly grumpy (waking me at night) and for some weeks now my chest has been making enough noise with internal gurgles when laying on my left that - once awake - I can't get back to sleep.

Quite a number here at work have been suffering hay fever recently, and I wonder if that's part of the trouble. Imunogenic insult of that type often stimulates all the wrong immune responses, and we get some of the flu-like symptoms without going anywhere near a virus. At the same time it's weird how it comes and goes, head feeling clear one minute, fuzzy the next. Seem to be sneezing and streaming from time to time too, though again it's unpredictable.

Yesterday was also a wipe-out. We had a babyshower for someone, and after eating a couple of smallish cakes at 9am I seemed to be in a daze - that was almost certainly glucose management, but it never settled down until after dinner in the evening. Looks like the days of munch & run have gone.

And I wonder what crazy things I've just written above? Thing is, I won't even be able to spot the non-sensical stuff for a day or 2.

Heads are odd things sometimes.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Keep taking the tablets.

Recently picked up a Linx 12.5" tablet running windows 10 cheaply to use as a sheet music presentation platform instead of the photocopies. It was a refurb, so I don't feel so bad - a new iPad uses resources and energy equivalent to >30,000 sheets of paper, so it's hard to justify such a purchase with the objective of reducing consumption (an argument I've seen used to 'encourage' purchase of such devices) when I'm otherwise computer-rich.

Trouble is, there's a whole tranche of associated paraphernalia: clamps, stands, foot pedals etc etc. This is going to be kept minimal, but will at least create the illusion that I'm following the music.

It's also been interesting setting up a W10 computer from scratch too, having to clean up the start menu, install all the usual apps (at least 1 non-microsoft non-google browser, plus libreoffice and VLC) and then try to remember/guess passwords.

I also installed PowerMusic Essentials (FOC) to organise the music when it finally gets here. Music applications seem to have generally polarised into either Apple-only or Android-only groups, neither of which seem to talk and both of which want to take your money while helping lock you into a system. At least PM works cross-platform, which is definitely a good reason to consider investing a little.

Next thing to try will be some form of photo-editing software. In terms of performance this is significantly less sluggish that my old unibody Macbook, but a long way from the (5 year old) Dell XPS with i7 quad and 16GB RAM + SSD. It does only weigh about half either of those 2, and it fits nicely on my lap at home with the kickstand out and detachable keyboard out in front without producing any significant heat at all. In fact I've been working for more than an hour and it's barely above ambient temperature

The screen is nice too - 1080P at 12.5" makes for crisp detail, and the IPS panel gives a pleasant viewing experience. A few years back I long-term loaned my little Philips 12" laptop running linux and missed it ever since. This may make a pleasing replacement, although having looked into the possibility of running linux on it, I think we'll be sticking with Windows for now.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Deepfakes and the bible.

* it seems I'm going slightly mad, or at least can't write every sentence in decent, clear English.*

Surely there's no connection, is there, other than let your yes be yes and no, no?

Our ability to make people say things they never really said for our own pleasure or benefit is not new, and has probably been around for as long as human communication itself, and knowing where a line may be drawn has always been difficult. The church has had to deal with this pretty much continuously through its history, deciding what was 'true' in terms of historical writings in the 4th century by creating the bible (later revised again when the evangelicals rejected the tales of the arabian nights the apocrypha and various other bits). Stories about the derring do of various 'saints' have peppered church history too (and remember, the winner is usually the one who gets to write history).

There seems to be something in the human character that must make stuff up, sometimes for the 'best' of reasons, like wanting their God/god to appear bigger and better, sometimes for personal satisfaction or gain.

And the ignorant masses apparently lap it all up, and worse, act on it.

I guess we tend naturally to believe the stories that confirm our personal biases or preferences, reject those that do not. Donald Trump romping with porn stars in the oval room of the White House? Sure he did. Key figures in the prosperity gospel movement taking vows of poverty and humility? You must be joking??!

So I go back to look at my bible and read Genesis and Exodus, start asking questions. Well, that was a long time ago, oral tradition and all that. Then I compare Kings and Chronicles, which are both much more 'historical' though created for different reasons. Then I read the gospel of John, and start wondering about the way conversations are portrayed and how the chronology is re-woven to create a theology instead of providing a history. And I consider James (St. James to you) brother of Jesus who ends up running the church in Jerusalem instead of Peter, setting Paul up for the mob (I really do wonder if he actually saw Paul as an enemy to be removed, for uncovering James and Peters' hypocrisy over judaism and the law).

I think I may have commented a few years back about Herodotus blantantly making stuff  up in his writings, and there have been times I wondered if the first century was like the 21st century.

Someone wanted recently to 'discuss' my 'not entirely orthodox' view of the bible with me. The problem is that I'm still trying to understand what's real, what's wishful thinking, what - if anything - is blatantly faked. 'Faith' overcomes a lot of this stuff, because it simply says that the bible is the word of God and I'll believe it whatever. It's a position I once subscribed to, but cannot, in good conscience, any longer.

What stiluated this?
And the legislative 'solution':

Plus the failure of a recent attempt to prosecute a British politician for barefaced lying in a way that would influence the gullible while holding a senior post in government. We are now, apparently, OK for our politicians to lie to us about stuff that brings them personal gain.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

If you have been trying to comment here

and it hasn't worked (thinking of you especially, Marc) then I'm sorry. No idea why comments are broken - nothing has been changed, and I have even removed the requirement for moderation before they appear in the hope that would make it possible.

Blogger seems decreasingly functional, no longer working properly on Android and being temperamental through a browser. Maybe blogging will die out further, not just because people stop wanting to blog, but because this platform is being wound up (lack of profitability?) by google.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

I just lied.

Walking out of the Cotswold Store (outdoor equipment shop) I was accosted by someone on a stand soliciting donations and asked if I were interested in wildlife. My reply "no, but thanks anyway" wasn't true, but I didn't want to get involved or donate.


Friday, 7 June 2019

Is it cheating?

To try, make mistakes, then go back again with new knowledge?

How well do we know someone?

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Iffy hearing can at least be amusing sometimes.

I've worked in the past with Swedish speakers, one of whom would often end a conversation (in Swedish) with what sounded like 'milky bra'.

I can see Leonard Nimmoy raising one eyebrow and intoning a gravelly "curious".

The phrase is actually mycke bra, 'micky' becoming 'milky' through rhythm and lilt.

Very good.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Every so often I get emails from the Oxford University dept of continuing education.

Seeing the range of courses available makes me realise how one could simply sit in further education ones entire life, absorbing more and more information and learning. It also makes me wonder whether I should do one or two coursse a year, just to keep the brain alive and interested in things other than science and photography (and maybe theology).

The difficulty with these things is developing the will to keep going: when a course like this is for pleasure and not necessity there is less drive to push through the dull/difficult/confusing/apparently stupid parts.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

You know you have succumbed to marketing

When you have so much booze in the cupboard at home that you KNOW you don't need any more.

*edited. I need to stop posting from the phone, because a quick visual scan of the text is not enough to find my own mistakes and those of the spill chucker.