What a year, although I’m a little less positive about 2023 in the UK.
- Combining a number of the previous digital nomad things
I really need to understand the tax side of a digital nomad from the business point of view as an employee of a large company not a freelancer. With this knowledge I can build the solid business case for being a digital nomad for a year.
The problem currently is most of the digital nomad community are freelancers, where everything is clearer. If anyone can help with this I need to find them and part of that is really getting deep into the nomad communities..
- Finish my dating book
The book is being worked on and some are suggest I’m a lot closer than I think . The book has structure, being edited, I have illustrations and even decided to use mid-journey for the cover. After reaching out to many agents and publishers with not much success I decided self-publishing is the way to go. I’m setting myself 2023 as the year to finally do this.
- Head even further a field with the scooter
2022 I didn’t go as far as 2021 but, I am up for driving on the scooter either up through Scotland or finally Netherlands and Belgium. 2023 has to be the year.
- Learn to drive a car
Its also time, I’m not ever going to buy a car but being able to rent one for trips to IKEA and for longer journeys when the weather isn’t great makes sense. Its super clear the weather is going to get more extreme and being able to rent a car is more sensible. The other side of this is I can actually drive a car and passed my theory test with flying colours a long time ago (of course I need to do it again)..
- Listen to a Audiobook at least once a month.
This worked out so well last year and to be fair I want to keep it going. Especially if I start using the gym too, although I’m thinking music is better for repetitive exercises. I also think I should write a some short reviews for them as some are excellent.
- Go to a new country
I missed this over the last few years and really like to get back into the flow of this. South Korea is certainly of interest along with a few of the European countries I have missed like Norway and the Czech republic.
- Go to a new Rollercoaster park
This is a repeat of last year but I really want to go to some of the European parks which I hear a lot about but never actually been. There are so many including Europapark in Germany, Efteling & Walibi in the Netherlands and Energylandia, Poland. Heck I have overlooked Flamingo Land in Yorkshire, forever!
- Take the Diabolo skills up another level
I started undoing the bad habits but its time for the endless suicide and some vertex genocides. Really need to find some groups again, as learn so much quicker when I can see it in front of me.
- Start a new type of meetup
Manchester Futurists stopped a while ago and of course London geekdinners ended for me since 2008. Recently I have been thinking about the public service internet a lot and how there is a real lack of support for public entities (dare I mention the strikes in the UK in the public services). So I’m thinking in typical form, find the others. Bring together people around different aspects of public service, looking towards the future.
On top of this, I realised there is so much scope here and theres some great public spaces which could host the meetups. I’d really like to do something which is easily hybrid too.
- Do more self-hosting
The selfhost train has really been moving over the last few years and I’m finding managing it a lot less stressful than it use to be. Yunohost has been a real joy and auto-update is great. Ideally a multiple domains would be really useful but cubicgarden.info is my playground.
- Be more selective about the subscriptions (podcasts, blogs, feeds, followers, etc).
I am pretty good about this but I noticed there is quite a lot of legacy stuff which I should have removed a while back.
- Even better wellbeing
I’m not doing too bad but there is room of improvement, for example my sleep has taken a drop and I’m less active when not playing volleyball or summer. I need remind myself my spa also includes a gym which I should take advantage of more. Wellbeing also includes my digital wellbeing with not enough blogging and my gratitude diary has gone to pot. Next year I got to do something about this too.
There is the 12 for 2023. Covid19 is still going to have a effect on most of them but who knows.
Have a good new year all!
I really like Google maps and used it since 2005. I means whats not to like from offline support to step by step directions.
However… driving directions which most people use a lot has bias.
I drive around on a maxi-scooter (600cc Silverwing) with a headset in my helmet. I can not see my phone while driving around and rely on google maps to tell me where to go (only if I don’t know where I am going).
There are some annoyances which I have mentioned elsewhere, but yesterday while trying to drive to a friends house via the Pennines it became super clear some of the bias of google maps. Bias towards car drivers who care about fuel and not the wellbeing of the driver.
- Google maps really needs the option to drive via A roads and B roads (only if essential). The fastest route always takes you technically faster route, down country lanes. The route gmaps took me on yesterday, was full of country lanes and one of them was water logged. Fine for a SUV or big car but not for a 2 wheel scooter.
- The above might seem quite scooter focused but as my partner pointed out on a journey to Bournemouth this year. She would rather had taken a A road most of the way instead of the headache of navigating country roads for over an hour. I had hoped eco drive would solve this but nope.
- Another one from my partner but makes sense for motorbikes too. When Gmaps finds a quicker route, there should be an option to set the default to the original route unless you press the screen. Its really frustrating to have it change the route without being able to see what’s changed.
- Likewise this is useful for car drivers who don’t want to press the screen in the middle of driving.
- The stops option is useful for the route but when you reach the stop, it doesn’t continue on to the next stop automatically unless you press the screen. This means you can plot the perfect route but then need to press the screen each time. This should be a preference option again.
- I once drove down to Bristol and Gmaps just stopped talking to me. Usually if this happens, it means keep going. However when it goes quiet due to a bug/error theres no way to know, especially on a motorway. Maybe a small beep every set minutes would be most useful.
- It would be great if Gmaps on mobile used some of the contextual data. For example Gmaps could understand if I’m on a motorbike oppose to a car. The time of day to pick routes with street lights. Weather conditions could be useful to avoid flood risk roads. Of course these can adjusted in the preferences, otherwise they could be annoying for some drivers.
I’m sure there are many more but this are ones which come to mind since yesterday. Its clear google maps isn’t ideal for non screen viewing.
2022 has been another interesting year. The notion of a United Kingdom has become a total joke to me after the 3rd prime-minister in a year. UK Politics right now is on a knife edge with so many strikes due to the government and the cost of living crisis effecting too many people.
From a Quantified Self data point of view 2022 looked like this.
- My average sleep duration has dropped from 7hours 50mins to 7hours 30mins. Deep sleep dropped from 3.30hrs to 2.40hrs. Not great!
- Tasks wise I switched from todolist.txt to todolist and have 148 open tasks and completed 1,919 over the year
- Been to a few places in 2022 but no new countries. Manchester, Brussels, Lisbon, Cardiff, London, Bristol, Bath, Weston, Tetbury, Amsterdam, York, Ledbury, Birmingham, Lancaster, Durham, Bournemouth, and Paignton this year.
- According to Trakt (which had a database problem recently), my most played show is Last week tonight with Jon Oliver. Film wise it was Everything everywhere all at once, which is also my most highest rated with 9/10. Black Panther 2 and the woman king were both 8/10. For the first time the most watched actors and actresses are Viola David and Idris Eiba (both black). Likewise the most watched director was Erin Lee Carr. Most listened to podcast is podnews.
- I watched 151 movie and 288 hours of TV. I also read 647 articles via Wallabag.
And the thoughts a year later…
- Live in another country for a short while
This hasn’t happened and looks to be on this list for quite some time. The biggest blocker is understanding the cost (if any) for the company I work for. From my understanding and what I have read, there is no additional costs as taxes & insurance are paid as usual in the country (in this case the UK) with additional taxes paid on goods and services in the other country (Portugal).
If anyone has any experience of a digital nomad as a full time member of staff in another country? Do get in touch!
- Spend more time getting to know the tech community in Portugal
I did spend a week in Lisbon getting to know the city as a non-tourist, looking around coffee shops, co-working spaces, etc. I also gatecrashed a Web3/crypto party along side the block crypto house.
- Finish my dating book
I am some way off this but I have made some progress, hiring illustrators and possibility another editor. I also considered my paths and decided Amazon self publishing is the way. I really want to get this finished by next year.
- Head even further a field with the scooter
Not much happened this year but partly due to meeting wonderful woman who drives, meaning some of the journeys I had planned were done via car not scooter.
- Send a email out to friends and family once or twice a year
Another thing which didn’t happen, its still something I think about.
- Find an alternative to the pebble watch
This did happen, as blogged about here and here. Although I am managing with the Amazefit GTR4, I certainly would like to see something closer to the pebble’s interface.
- Listen to a Audiobook every month.
This is one I completely blew through the 12 books for the year, with 17 finished, a few started and potentially one more will be finished before the end of the year. The Bluetooth mp3 player with waterproof headphones was a great investment for the spa and gym.
- Host more film nights and dinner parties
From pretty much zero to 2 or 3 in a year isn’t bad but I can do much better.
- Go to a new Rollercoaster park
Never happened but thought about it a lot. Got a feeling next year Walibi, Efteling and Europa park are calling me.
- Take the Diabolo skills up a level
My diabolo skills has gotten really good, I undid some of the bad habits but the later part of the year not really had the chance to practice as much. This showed when I entered a contest at work and dropped the diabolo way too many times.
- Put some attention into dating and love
So while seeking more compatible women, I met Alison and we have been going out for 10 months now and is been a joy.
- Seek out a better regular spa
I looked and looked but decided having a pretty good spa within a short walk was big advantage compared to getting public transport or scooting to the spa each time. Plus now I’m mainly listening to audiobooks, I’m not listening to some of the awful conversations which happen around the spa.
In my latest mix the interdimensional transmission mix, I went to mixcloud to find, I’ve reached my limit for published shows. So been thinking about what mixcloud does do for me. Mainly distribution and a bit of charting.
On the distribution side, it seems like the fediverse could easily do a better job. Originally I would love to use funkwhale but from previous experience it doesn’t really support mixes well compared to single tunes. Which is why I setup my own webmixgarden.
Currently I’m using a static site generator (pubili) which is great because I could add webmonitisation. Although I’m wondering if I should switch to one which supports activitypub? However I feel there is a way which combines both and its likely another platform on the fediverse? I can’t be the only one who is putting out mixes right?
I tooted and had some suggestions. But decided to look at peertube to see if that could work. After finding a instance, which had rules which worked for what I was doing. I starter experimenting here but i’m waiting for my mix to be moderated (its a one man instance, so expect it might take some time). If things work out I might just install peertube on my server.
My mix is now up on peertube via rankett.net, thats the big news.
However I wanted to talk through what happened.
William who runs the rankett instance of peertube messaged me via email asking about copyright details of the mix. This was a surprise because we are all use to faceless entities moderating via machine learning. We had a little chat over email and I explained what I was doing and shared this blog post. Happy with the explanation, my mix was unblacklisted and its now available for all to play.
I’m currently looking at ways to add chapters markers to the mix, by slightly abusing the captions feature. I can’t really see another way to do it.
LPS messaged me on mastodon and pointing out a undocumented feature of peertube.
I can easily add time points in the description and with the correct formatting will automatically turn into jump points into the mix.
We also talked about setting up peertube using yunohost, which I’m already using. So theres little excuse now for me to just set it up one day soon.
Following the previous Pacemaker mix, I decided during a very long train journey to get the pacemaker out for some more trance. Using parts of the last few mixes, I decided to give the new mix some new direction.
The mix shifts along at a nice 136 bpm, complete with hands in the air moments and who couldn’t enjoy some stress test (hidden gem).
- Escape – Markus Schulz
- Catch (Martin Roth remix) – Blank & Jones
- Stresstest (John Askew remix) – John O’Callaghan
- Tears (Protoculture remix) – Dakota
- Arjan – Angelica S
- Follow me (Jerome Isma-Ae Extended remix) – Jam & Spoon
- Talk to me (Orjan Nilsen trance mix) – John O’Callaghan and Timmy & Tommy
- Higher state – Kevin Crowley
- Shnorkel (Thankyou city remix) – Ido Ophir & Miki Litvak
- Running up the hill (Jerome Isma-ae bootleg mix) – Placebo
- Eternal Horizon – Alex M.O.R.P.H
- The Descent – Protoculture
- Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing the UK government setup a discord server, A podcasting app sharing user location to podcast creators and whats its like to work in India as a woman in tech.
To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Ian thinks: I actually chuckle at the #askfirefox videos but this video makes good points about buying a surveillance device for friends and family this festive holiday. Shop smart with Mozilla’s privacy not included.
Ian thinks: Solid the personal data store has found its place in the W3C groups, Tim Berners-Lee’s welcoming email is beautifully written, starting a genuine new phase of the internet.
Ian thinks: Its good to see this discussion at this level but am concerned there isn’t more focus beyond broadcasting. Public service is much bigger and its time to bring what makes public service unique to this space.
Ian thinks: Mozilla although well know in certain circles, has been losing a lot of market share. However has good plans to build on its community roots for a bright and sustainable future. Don’t forget the Mozilla festival’s call for proposals ends Dec 16th
Ian thinks: Tim Bray’s measured thoughts on blockchain technology is a good read. Its easy to say blockchains were not mature back when AWS started but Tim thoughts today haven’t changed much.
Ian thinks: There is so much to say about this take over of Twitter but I didn’t want to spend the whole newsletter talking about it. However I’m sadden by the lack of understanding from Elon and the way employees have been treated.. No way was Twitter the public square.
Ian thinks: Interesting points made and worthy of listening to in full. Likewise this small panel with the folks from Bluesky, Manyverse and others exploring the possibilities way beyond what’s currently available.
Ian thinks: This is great news Automattic (WordPress) are once again supporting the standard ActivityPub and joining the large open network of the fediverse. How Tumblr will work on the Fediverse is another question.
Find the archive here