Sometimes I come across simple things which just need someone to think about it from a user point of view.
One such example is adjusting the sensitivity on my XPS 13 trackpad. The XPS 13 has a widescreen trackpad which is good (although I do miss the Thinkpad pointer) but the right hand tends to hover around the edge, as there isn’t much room to rest my hand due to the keyboard and trackpad. The solution is to adjust the sensentivity of the trackpad, so I get less hover mistakes trigger from my thumb. Simple!
I personally didn’t really like Unity for desktops and never really got to play with Unity on a smartphone or tablet. I needed to make a lot of changes to make it more useable although I did find it slightly quicker than Gnome Shell under Ubuntu. But Gnome shell is just great to use for many reasons including its many extensions and lack of clutter is just right.
The bigger news is the concept of convergence seems to be under some doubt too, which I assume puts Ubuntu phone, tablet and tv at some risk? Weirdly enough just like the Boot2Geko/Firefox phone project?
In the meanwhile, for those thinking this is the end of Ubuntu… they are very wrong.
There has been some really bad news over the last 6 months, its easy to get sucked into reading everything trump tweets or reading and hoping the brexit madness will not happen (but now we’re on a road to the past). However, during the madness, there has been some great films you may have missed.
Not in order, just once looking back through my recently watched film and looking at the ones I rated highly, but hardly heard about anywhere.
This film is incredible and has to be my film of the year, here’s what Den of Geeks said (SPOILER alert if you click the link)…
Arrival is a challenging piece of science fiction, blessedly meant for adults, and about smart grown-ups at that. The kind that actually try to solve problems instead of punching or shooting them. In fact, it is in many ways a spiritual companion piece with Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar since it’s about intelligent people going through familiar sci-fi tropes before offering heady concepts about fifth dimensional space…
Like Chronic, it involves woman who is dying; but this one is about the relationship between her daughter and the carer (mr church). A while ago I slightly put a negative review on boyhood, it was good but it didn’t feel compeling to me. Mr Chruch, although not using the same actors as they grow up, time is driving factor through the film and you see the relationship mature and change over a long period of time.
I wont spoil a single part of it, as its the pasts which make up the whole. Its slow and each actor plays a fantastic role in the story. Its a great film and I understand the critism it got under race grounds but based on a true story, so theres little which can be done. Like loving its a sign of those times.
I have said plenty about trainsportting T2 but still many people are wondering if its worth watching. The answer is yes! Its not a remake, its the story 20 years later. Think of it as trainspotting crossed with trance.
The story and landmark courtcase of Richard and Mildred Loving, a mixed race couple who go back to a southern state where mixed race marriage was still illegal in the 1960s. I heard of the courtcase a few times but I am lucky enough to be born in a time and country where mixed race relationships are not just illegal but mainly part of the norm.
Seeing lovings struggle in film, really brings home everything. Great film, slow but so very moving. Well worth checking out, hard to have a dry eye after watching it.
If it wasn’t for Arrival, I would be putting Miss Solane in best film for 2017. Its supersmart and Jessica Chastain is simply incredible. Like Michelle Dockery in Good Behaviour (TV series I highly recommend) shes a complex character with many depths and dark corners. The film is crafted to cause you to think many different things and then it hits you like a ton of bricks. Once again, you can’t help but be blown away! Would watch twice if I could.
Really nice film, fitting around cable/TV money experts and the occupy type movement. Its not complex but like the shallows, its compelling and a well told story with good acting. End wasn’t quite as good as it could have been but worthy of your attention if you want a smarter popcorn mucher.
Based on another landmark court case, irving vs penguin books. The drama is once again crafted to pull out the core arguements and explain the complexity of a subject which seems so obvious. Although we know the final judgement, sometimes you are in dobht about the evidence shown through the film. Certainly compeling and worth of watching.
I removed Fences, Moonlight and few others because they have plenty of press and attention.
It started out as a weird idea I had while looking into bulletproof coffee. I wanted to give it a try but realized most of it including coconut milk and other things which would put me in hospital for a long time. This got me thinking, imagine if Dave Asprey suddenly discovered a coconut allergy and ended up in hospital, which lead me to think maybe as a April fools joke Herb Kim could be the subject of the near death as he is the person who came up with the name.
I always knew death is a very touchy subject for many/most people. But I guess I became more comfortable with my own mortality since mybrushwithdeath. In retrospect I didn’t guess how bad things would get.
Me and Herb talked about it in detail a while ago over dinner and twitter. He agrees it would be slighly fun and frankly its April fools, so can easily be dismissed (so we thought). I honestly thought the fake photo which I put together in Gimp using one of my own from Thinking Digital Manchester last year and a picture of coffee cup from pixabay would be taken apart in seconds. Then created this blog post saying Herb had died rest in peace.
On top of all this, I did recruit some friend to also send/share/be in on the joke.
It was pretty early I got a reply from a few friends saying they won’t take part and this was unwise. But I thought, it will be fine most would realise what day it was and ignore it or even play along?
Here’s the original blog post…
Its so sad to hear Herb Kim died today, rest in peace Herb and hope you are forever bulletproof in the afterlife.
It was about 0900 when I got my first call, asking is this true… I pleded I didn’t know the details. Then a second one a hour later with text messages. Then some messages on facebook once this blog post had been posted. Then there was the direct messages and twitter questions… By 1000 I was ready to confess all!
Worst April Fool "joke" ever this morning about someone dying.
I sit having breakfast at 1136 worried I went too far and people will absolutely hate what I started. It was always meant as a april fools joke and maybe I went too far? Someone suggested I should have said Herb was kidnapped or something so out there you can’t help but laugh and realise its a joke. Death is too far and I had crossed that line.
So this is my massive sorry to everyone…
…who was worried and messaging Herb to ask. It started out as a joke between friends and quickly spun into something else. I never meant to worry people but its crazy how quick these things move. On the good side it shows how much people care for each other that they will get in touch and find out rather than just clicking.
Of course Herb was across everything and family memers knew in advance. This was not a publicity stunt to increase the profile of bulletproof coffee, I just thought it was a good catch; Herb ‘not bulletprood’ Kim.
Sorry everyone again… Won’t be doing anything like this again! Ever!
I loved ghost in the shell, its one of those films I just loved when I was young. Even watching it 20+ years later and seeing the little adjustments like ghost in the shell 2.0; I was still a massive fan. So when the film was announced, I was kinda of excited.
However I just got back from the Odeon IMAX in Manchester after watching it at 1min past midnight with about 20 other people. Obviously people were less keen to be first to watch it as someone like me (I just love watching films late at night to be fair)
I gave it 6/10 because it is a good movie but the legacy of ghost in the shell just drags on it, and I can’t help but look at certain scenes and just shake head slightly. For example the famous scene with the garbage collectors is shorten down to something different and it doesn’t have the uniqueness of the original. I also felt although longer, it brushed through key scenes which I assume wouldn’t have worked in hollywood.
@cubicgarden i think you were pretty brave. I'm really not tempted to have my past violated
I don’t feel like they did a bad job but I was surprised how different it was from the original.
Generally if you haven’t seen Ghost in the Shell, and an action/sci-fi fan you will like it. It won’t score highly but its robust enough. If you seen the original, you will feel slightly cheated and if you seen the whole lot including stand alone complex and innocence, you may be more upset.
It looks stunning and they did a good job to show a future Tokyo with crazy structures and advertising, but its not quite enough. All the actors are good in the film but the plot feels too simple and lacks the detail and significaions of the original.
I watched it in the IMAX although it’s not made for IMAX. If I was to watch it again, a regular large screen would be fine and watch it without 3D because it’s ignoying after a while. Once again good movie by its self but compared to the originals its poor.
I wonder whats install for the matrix series and I don’t think anyone would be daring enough to redo Akira, would they?
I have to say I’m pretty excited to see the Ghost in the Shell live action remake, that I bought a ticket for the 1 minute past midnight (0001) release on Thursday morning in the Odeon IMAX.
When I bought my ticket, the cinema seemed super quiet with only 12 people, which is suprising. So you have plenty of time to get you’re ticket and join me.
Maybe you don’t like the idea of going to the cinema late at night but I kind of love it. To be fair I watched Interstellar at 5am, Dark Knight rises at 8am, etc and I quite like it. Of course I would only do this for films which I felt was worth it, and I think Ghost in the Shell is certainly one of those.
Storj is an open-source, decentralized, cloud storage platform. It is based on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin’s (BTC) blockchain technology and peer-to-peer protocols. The Storj network uses its own cryptocurrency, Storjcoin X (SJCX), while its front-end software supports the use of other digital currencies such as Bitcoin and more traditional forms of payment like the dollar. Unlike traditional cloud storage providers, Storj keeps data spread across a decentralized network eliminating the problem of having a single point of failure. It also encrypts all data making it impossible for anyone, including Storj, to snoop on users’ files without having a user’s private encryption key. In return for offering storage space to the network, users are paid cryptocurrency.
Imagine storing all your private data across other peoples drives in encrypted form? Imagine getting paid to store this encrypted data?
Well this is Storj and its frankly quite an amazing concept whoses time as come.
This is a very attractve setup for someone like me with many terabytes of storage and hyperfast broadband. Unlike the risks of running an Tor exit node, everything is strongly encrypted and the host has zero knowledge of whats being stored or transfered.
While on the Golden circle tour, I spent a bit of time redoing the mix on the coach back from the Haukadalur valley, the home of the geyser (also known as hawkdale). Everything worked and although this mix is far shorter than my usual mix lengths, its a good energtic mix with a combination of Trance, Tech-Trance and Dubstep. I especially love the mix of DJ Culture into Amino Acids (they worked just too well)
We’ve been thinking about how to take each other out of our comfort zones for a while and Kate finally pulled the trigger first. So everything was set, Kate had sent her list of things I should bring without telling me where we were going or what we were doing. Some said it was exciting, some said I was crazy… What ever it was, I did so and without falling to the temptation to find out exactly where by peeking into my parents email (my parents insistented on knowing, just incase. I may have disappeared without telling them a few times in the past).
Anyway Friday with one last blog warning people that I’ll be offline and not to worry. Kate and myself drove off to Holyhead. She told me a few hours earlier that we were going to Dublin, Ireland on St Patricks day (perfect planning Kate). Once on the ferry and remembering how seasick I get, especially on such stormy waters (so stormy irish ferries cancelled the ferry we origianally were booked on due to the stormy waters), Kate outlined some of the things for the day. Mainly go to the hotel, drop our luggage, grab a nap, then head out and enjoy St Patricks day in Dublin.
That night was pretty hectic and although I remember most of the evening and night, it certainly included a 3am walk through temple bar, finding irish people and convincing strangers that the word estrogen was more sexy that pecs (long story, ask Kate).
The next morning after a lovely breakfast, we hit the road again. I had no idea where but we were going south. It wasn’t till Kate asked to use google maps on my phone to look up a place called Lazydays, google described it as a VW Camper hire site. It didn’t sink in till we got there and we were introduced to our own VW Camper called Daker.
I honestly thought we were just going to ride some horses and then head to a another hotel, b&b or guest house. But this blew my mind.
Daker had bedding, electricity, a fridge, gas hobs, 2 spaces for seperate beds, moveable seats, a cold water sink, etc etc. It was full of lots of mod cons. I worried it would get cold while sleeping, oh was I wrong!
We took to the open road and headed to south Ireland. We stopped a few places to eat, pick up some cheese, wine and supplies; then headed to Hook head lighthouse in Wexford. I learned from Sue (Lazydays) and Kate’s conversation, you can pretty much camp anywhere in Ireland aka we were wildcamping, a concept I certainly wasn’t aware, never would imagine of or ever tried.
I got the full effect of wildcamping when Kate parked up between the rough sea and the lighthouse which was already in full action. That night we had maybe too much wine and cheese from Vine restaurant in Wexford; but more importantly the howling wind shaking the van and there was this fear the top which pops up, would blow away in the middle of the night. On top of this, having no where to actually use the toilet in the middle of the night was just too weird! That night, I tracked a total of 4 hours sleep and only 2.5 hours of deep sleep! On top of that I woke up 9 times and my sleep cycle was a joke.
I certainly was out of my comfort zone….! I have no problem with admitting that!
Wildcamping certainly isn’t for me, I thought as I sat opposite Kate in the oldest lighthouse in the world and had breakfast. It was challenging waking up and doing the tour of the lighthouse, but I didn’t see the point of leaving before checking out the place we had camped under last night. Afterwards it was a long journey around the River Barrow to Waterford. Yes there is a little ferry but frankly me and Kate agreed it was best not to take the ferry with the rough waters and the journey around would be more fun.
Once we found the camper site, Dunmore East and I could finally have a hot shower, things got better again. There was even sunshine as we walked up and down the small waterfront.
That night I slept far better with 8hrs 20mins of total sleep and about 5.5hrours of deep sleep nicely split up into even sleep cycles. I appreciated being only 10 meters from the toilet block, no stormy winds and there being no chance of the roof blowing away.
Now this is a type of camping just outside my comfort zone but I could cope for a day or so.
Lots of things happened over those 3 nights/4 days including losing to Kate twice while playing pool, teaching kate how to play texas holdem no limit poker, talking frankly about dyslexia, writing postcards, ordering off the menu cocktails, etc, etc… We squeezed a lot into those days. But although I’m very very happy to be at home in the warm and with hot showers. It was certainly an adventure which I won’t forget.
I was honestly blown away by the camper van and thankful for the night in Dublin. I know Kate spent a lot of time driving and pretty much arranged everything way in advance. I also know she could have picked some really crazy stuff for me but decided not to. She was a great partner in crime to have on our shenanig-tour
Ireland also surprised me, I was expecting some weird looks but generally it was fine and I didn’t ever feel in-danger from people or the environment. Ok the ferries did make me feel sick and that first night of wildcamping was plenty but otherwise I was pretty cool with things.
Of course its now my time to take Kate our of her comfort zone on a holiday away. The concluding half may not happen till next year now, as I think a massive eastern metropolis is required. New York & Vegas was an option but it won’t have the same impact I don’t feel. Nope its got to be Tokyo. I mean I’ve always wanted to go back, so this might be the perfect excuse.
As Kates pillow says… Adventure awaits!
Massive thanks again to Kate and all the people I met along the way including Sue from Lazydays, the people in Hook Lighthouse, the people we messed with in Dublin, etc, etc… But biggest thanks goes to Kate for making the effort and planning everything out but giving enough slack to allow for flexibility around my own concerns. Thank you again Kate and look forward to raising the bar soon…
I recently went to Iceland for a holiday. It was quite an eye-opening experience. The landscape was very different to what I’ve ever experienced recently and the cost of food and drink was shocking. The people were mainly friendly and the Reykjavik although small was full of interesting corners and little boutique stores.
Rather than writing a bunch of stuff, I thought I’d pick out some interesting points in my many photos (over 800 believe it or not) I took.
The food in Reykjavik was bloody expensive only topped by the price of alcohol. I never quite got to the bottom of why everything consumed was so expensive but a normal meal which would cost you about 20 pounds here, would come to closer to 35 pounds there.
Theres some odd things I found too, including the pork scratching puffs on the meal above.
The Harpa is an amazing concert and conference centre and is stunning to look at and be inside of. I was there for a whole just snapping away and gained access to a private party, as I just wonder around. Decided not to take the free champagne as that would be too much I felt. Especially once the black tie party started coming in and someone took to the piano.
At Harpa I was able to soak up some jazz from a visiting group from America. They were good but felt slightly stiff in their white shirts and ties. Afterwards the local Reykjavik jazz band took to the stage in a much more colourful attire and to be fair they were a lot better.
Because of the barren landscape (learned all the things we think of as trees in Iceland are imported, as their trees are usually about waist high and more like bushes), the transport very different. They ranged from crazy moon buggy truck like things to Nissan leaf electric cars. I gather the price of electric is quite cheap due to lots hydro-electric and energy from the natural landscape.
Iceland is a beautiful country but so weirdly different. Everywhere you looked was mountain rages which were huge. Always covered in snow and surrounded by clouds. Unlike elsewhere I have been, there this black material which I think was like tar. It was amazing and very robust unlike soil/dirt I have seen elsewhere.
Snow was everywhere and there was lots of frozen water but interestingly it was easy to get around because the roads and pavements in Reykjavik were heated from the naturally hot water. Snorri was talking to me about how much closer to the environment you are growing up in Iceland, and it shows
Dawn in Reykjavik was also beautiful, and I was lucky enough to be in a Airbnb room with a skylight which opened wide enough to maybe even climb out of. So one morning, I woke up to use the toilet and snapped a few shots before going back to sleep.
Reykjavik and most of most of the icelandics seemed to have quite an interesting sense of humour. Its kind of deadpan funny and refreshing
I also find the icelandic humour playful too, as seen in the single gloves dating site and coloured houses.
The street art of Reykjavik was great to see and plentiful. Brian said a lot of the bigger stuff comes from the Iceland Airwaves festival, which is a big thing every year. I imagine in a small city like Reykjavik it really would take over.
I still find the new Icelandic traditional of Hotdogs after a night out, very weird. I guess others would find the same of the british idea of kebab’s strange. Heck I find the idea of gravy and chips weird enough myself.
Of course things like the Swimming in the outdoor pool while it was 3-c, the Golden Circle was great and generally I was lucky not to be caught in a snow storm or even much rain. It was cold yes but not as bad as I thought it would be. I took too much winter clothes but really enjoyed myself, even with the weirdness of my airbnb experience once again.
Hope to go back, maybe with some food and drink of my own…
This sums up so much of the problems with the so called sharing economy. Normalising what is simply not right, even if you are a super millennial and survive on red bull, soylent and bullet proof coffee (heck we all been there, some of even lived to tell the tale).
Normalising this lifestyle is frankly crap and will end up killing more people (especially men who are too proud, stuben, old fashioned, alpha or just stupid to admit there is a problem). I’m see it too much and ultimately the only people who gain are the short sighted, hyper capitalistic services which want you to consume more, act like a there algorithms suggests and live a meanless life of little reward and social capital. Yes and then you die!
Choose life Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently And choose watching history repeat itself Choose your future Choose reality TV, slut shaming, revenge porn Choose a zero hour contract, a two hour journey to work And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s kitchen And then… take a deep breath You’re an addict, so be addicted Just be addicted to something else Choose the ones you love Choose your future Choose life
Although not a zero hour contract, its something to keep in tabs on. I would almost go as far as to say this idea they sell is the middle class zero hour nivania.
At some point Snorri, looked at the cloud cover for the area. He suggested chasing/hunting the Aurora and asked if I wanted to come? I hadn’t really thought about hunting for them in the way storm chasers do, but I jumped at the chance. So it was set, 9:30pm pick up and we drive out of the city to chase down the northern lights in between the clouds.
I got quickly cooked, eat and put on 5 layers on my top half and 4 below. Wore two thick socks and my gore-tex adidas trainers. I was ready for the elements at -1. Snorri took me to some great spots tourists miss out on, while keeping an eye on the skies.
It was the 3rd place (Elliðavatn) when we started to see the green rays in the sky, so awestruck I fumbled with my Nikon D3200 manual settings while kneeling into some thick snow. Snorri snapped a great photo of me trying to get things ready (its a fantastic picture, and shows how much experience he has to grab such a photo with my own gorilla pod). Snorri then helped me setup my camera just in case of a second showing. We didn’t have to wait long as they danced around the sky again 5mins later. Shame I didn’t level the camera correctly, but it’s easily fixed when shooting in 24 megapixel raws.
The Northern lights was stunning and with the city in the distance, it was quite an amazing experience. I was surprised that although it was cold, lying in the snow wasn’t as bad as I’d first imagined it would be (those waterproof clothes had done their job well).
As I drove back with Snorri along some frankly amazingly snowy roads which only a 4×4 should take. We talked about what had led me here, my brush with death, life and my next Holiday with Kate, it was a wonderful experience and I can’t praise the man highly enough for his knowledge, experience, friendly conversation and patience. It’s a true geek who always wants to better themselves but also wants to share the knowledge along the way; as he has in icelandaurorafilms. Of course Snorri’s not stopped there, his latest project is FlowVR – meditation technology.
I feel extremely excited (so much that I can’t sleep at 2am), lucky and amazed by last night. Something I will never forget!
Its partly might own fault, I knew I was going to Iceland at some point but never really looked into where to go? I mainly think about finally seeing the northern lights but what else should I be doing? I’ve been looking into a bit on and off but not really spent the time working out what I should be doing when not looking into the night sky.
I’m staying in Reykjavik in a lovely Airbnb loft and I’ll be seeing Brian Suda a for a few days at least. But which other places should I be seeing?