Jul 12th, 2021 · 1 post

Hello Obsidian

Today I installed Obsidian on my iPhone and MacBook.

For months I've struggled to get a hold on day to day stuff and things frequently fall by the wayside. I'm hoping that Obsidian can be a repository for many things but also a place where I can connect these things together.
Permalink / Tags: tools, Markdown

Jul 1st, 2021 · 1 post

Wealth is not money

Nicholas Bate reminds us that wealth is not money.
 7. But in the end realise much of what we want money for is available for free if we only slowed down: time, friendship, great health, watching a sunset. And that's soft wealth. Priceless, of course.

Thursday Wealth Accumulator, 7 
Permalink / Tags: Nicholas Bate

Jun 30th, 2021 · 2 posts

Permalink / Tags: Working Smarter

Amazed by GitHub Copilot

I must admit, I am blown away by GitHub's latest technical preview, Copilot, despite not having access to it yet. It's almost like having Stack Overflow, your favourite snippets collection, and a pair programming buddy rolled into one.

There are some concerns being voiced about how this will impact the value of a developer's role.

While GitHub's Copilot will in time automate a fair amount of time in a developer's typical day, it can't account for the complexity involved in solving real-world problems using code. While the snippets generated by Copilot look to solve simple tasks, it's piecing these tasks together by the developer that counts. A developer's role is not just to write code but to understand the code being written. GitHub's Copilot looks to do both by providing generic suggestions that the developer can change to solve the problem they face. 

Given that my brain is not quite as sharp as it once was, I welcome any tool or product that helps me write and understand better code. GitHub's Copilot will definitely help me do both. While it won't make me a 10x developer in the future, it will definitely make me understand and be more proficient with more programming languages. 
Permalink / Tags: tools, programming, GitHub

Jun 29th, 2021 · 1 post

When does it become too hot?

In the last couple of weeks I've read about the impact of rising sea levels in the Florida Keys and now this week, we have the highest recorded temperature on Earth.
Jacobabad crossed the 35C wet bulb threshold in July 1987, then again in June 2005, June 2010 and July 2012. Each time the boundary may have been breached for only a few hours, but a three-day average temperature has been recorded hovering around 34C in June 2010, June 2001 and July 2012. The dry bulb temperature is often over 50C in the summer.

Hotter than the human body can handle: Pakistan city broils in world’s highest temperature
I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to have to work in such heat. However, it's widely predicted that many more parts of the world will need to deal with such temperatures over the next few decades.  

At what point though does drastic action need to be taken instead of being acknowledged?

When does it simply become too hot for people to safely live their lives?

Clearly, we're already there. 
Permalink / Tags: Climate change

Jun 22nd, 2021 · 1 post

The slow heartbeat of Earth

Even Earth has its own heartbeat.
But through all of that, it seems Earth has been keeping time. A new study of ancient geological events suggests that our planet has a slow, steady 'heartbeat' of geological activity every 27 million years or so.

This pulse of clustered geological events - including volcanic activity, mass extinctions, plate reorganizations and sea level rises - is incredibly slow, a 27.5-million-year cycle of catastrophic ebbs and flows. But luckily for us, the research team notes we have another 20 million years before the next 'pulse'.

Earth Has a 27.5-Million-Year 'Heartbeat', But We Don't Know What Causes It 
Permalink / Tags: Earth, science

Jun 18th, 2021 · 1 post

First paragraph: The Midnight Library

Trying to reboot the reading habit again.
Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford. She stared at a chessboard on a low table.

—  The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Permalink / Tags: First paragraphs, books, Matt Haig

Jun 17th, 2021 · 1 post

Lunch date

I just had a wee lunch date with Jennifer at one of our favourite local restaurants.

Nice to get out of the house, have the cooking done for you and be in great company.  Shame I have to get back to work now. 

Jun 10th, 2021 · 1 post

Love writing

Julian Summerhayes reminds us about the joy of writing as he takes time off away from social media.
But there’s also the love of writing. The pure pleasure of seeing one word, then another and a whole sentence etc. develop. Of course my ego’s involved — and I’m not ashamed to admit that — but it’s also very cathartic.

The love of writing
I've forgotten what it was like to write daily. I used to carve out 30 minutes of writing every morning. Once the boys were dropped off at school, I would return to the house and write for 30 minutes. I can't remember the last time I did this, but it was well over two years ago.  Writing is habit I need to start up again.
Permalink / Tags: writing, habits

Jun 4th, 2021 · 1 post

Let me get this right. Twitter's Blue subscription costs $3 per month, and for that, I still have to see ads in my timeline? Undoing tweets and organising my Twitter bookmarks hardly seems worth it.

I'm not impressed.
Permalink / Tags: Twitter, subscriptions, social media

Jun 1st, 2021 · 1 post

Loving the new Firefox release

I'm loving the new Firefox release. Sure, it's largely a number of cosmetic changes to the Firefox interface. But the fresh new look makes surfing the web a better experience.
Permalink / Tags: browsers, Mozilla

May 26th, 2021 · 1 post

Boris fit and proper?

Cumming's testimony today has been interesting. Cumming's admission that the government failed to live up to what the UK public expect of them, is what we've all been thinking.
Asked whether the prime minister was a fit and proper person to lead the country through the pandemic, Cummings replied simply: “No.” Apologising for what he said were his own failings, he added: “The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its government in a crisis like this.”

Cummings lambasts Johnson in damning account of Covid crisis
Of course Boris isn't fit and proper to lead the country. And yet, he will probably still be in power after all of this is done.
Permalink / Tags: UK, Politics, Boris Johnson

May 25th, 2021 · 1 post

The best medicine in life needs no prescription. 
I love this. Just posted by Patrick Rhone about a post by Kurt Harden.

May 21st, 2021 · 1 post

Status: available to be interrupted

Jason Fried highlights the importance of the status indicator to many companies.
Presence is a feature of many modern communication work tools. It’s generally represented by a green, red, or yellow dot. If there’s a green dot next to someone’s name it means they’re available. Yellow or red means they’re away. This is how many companies get a read on who’s working when.

—  Active? Away? How about neither.
It's something I've noticed recently about the status indicator in Microsoft Teams. Where I work, everyone is either in a meeting or available (to be in a meeting) during the day. Over the last few months, I've noticed that almost no one uses the 'Do not disturb' option from the people I frequently chat with.

I personally wouldn't mind blocking out a few parts of the week so that I can get my head down and get on with some programming tasks. However,  perhaps that indicating to people that I shouldn't be disturbed isn't the right thing to do and that I should always be available. I don't know. I might try it out a few times and see if anyone notices.

For the moment, I'll continue to be available (for interruption).
Permalink / Tags: Microsoft Teams, work, focus

May 20th, 2021 · 1 post

Google re-discoveres its roots

It seems that Google has re-discovered part of what made it great. RSS.
The test is small-scale: following sites will only be an option for some US users of Chrome Canary (the bleeding-edge version of Chrome that lets enthusiasts access beta features). Users will be able to follow sites from the browser menu, and updates will be aggregated in a card-based feed that’s shown when users open a new tab. It’s not clear whether this feed is wholly dependent on sites providing RSS support, or if Google will fill in the gaps itself.

Google rediscovers RSS: tests new feature to ‘follow’ sites in Chrome on Android
I suspect that Google has filled in the gaps for sites that don't have RSS.

Permalink / Tags: Google, RSS

May 18th, 2021 · 2 posts

Permalink / Tags: communication, Michael Wade

Glasgow bigotry, enough is enough

Growing up in the west of Glasgow for a few years, I witnessed plenty of actions of hatred and violence just because you had a particular colour of football jersey on. It was a mentality that I thought the city had outgrown until this year. Not once, but twice now, the centre of Glasgow has been the scene of violence and vandalism by those that call this same city their home.
The desperate, misplaced, desire to equivocate and suggest the wrongs in the conduct of a section of the Rangers support are shared city wide, hasn’t helped. The Ibrox club are on their own in this city and any other across the global game when it comes to the expression of anti-Catholic sentiment, and that should have been long since acknowledged. It was in an interview run by this newspaper group, conducted by Graham Spiers for the Scotland On Sunday in 1995 with Walter Smith, that the then Rangers manager struck to the heart of what continues to be at play. “There is a Protestant superiority syndrome around here, you can feel it sometimes…”

Rangers, the 'superiority syndrome' and anti-Catholic bigotry: Why it cannot go unchallenged any more
 Last weekend's scenes in the centre of Glasgow are just the tip of the iceberg of a culture of "fans" who hide behind their football club to justify their actions.

There is a clear consensus from people across Glasgow that enough is enough. Action must be taken.  

Permalink / Tags: Football, Religion, Glasgow

May 15th, 2021 · 2 posts

A good day

It was nice to get back to church and celebrate Drew’s first Holy Communion today.
Even nicer that he was able to do it with some of his classmates and friends. 

We’re back home now and firing up the BBQ for a feast with a few drinks.

All in all, it’s been a good day.
Permalink / Tags: Drew, family

Breaking out the good shoes today.

May 14th, 2021 · 1 post

It's all about self-care

Julian Summerhayes reminds us to look after ourselves.
 I realise that none of what I’m saying is revelatory but perhaps we need a formal practice or at least a regular check-in to invite a question into the very depths of our soul that allows a space for us to be honest, transparent and to cut ourselves some slack from the vicissitudes of life.

Permalink / Tags: health

Matthew Lang

Freelance web developer specialising in Ruby on Rails