Personal · Technology

I’ve got a new scooter.

Writing this on Sunday 12 December I’m looking back at the week that was. I took my scooter in on Monday and have found that the cost of fixing the big moved from, “oh, maybe a couple of hundred dollars” to “you can pretty much buy a whole new bike for that amount” which I ended up deciding to do. I was annoyed at first but then I remember I have had the old bike for 7 years so I realised that it had a pretty good run. I decided to replace my Aprilia Motard SR 50 with a Lambretta V50 Special.

It is roughly the same size as my old bike but a better engine, a new stylish retro appearance etc. so I’m looking forward to picking it up on Monday or Tuesday next week. Although I do like taking the bus back and forths from work it does limit me in what I can do on my day off so the first thing I might do is go for a ride into Wellington on my scooter then cruise down Oriental Parade enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

On Saturday I was coughing up a lung at work so I decided to take Sunday off which required me to get a COVID check – swab up the nose is a little uncomfortable but it’s one of those things one has to play ones part in keeping the community safe. It’s probably just the run of the mill cough and sore throat but because people are on high alert for the new strain while trying to contain the existing outbreak everyone is on high alert.

I was reading through the AskReddit subreddit where someone posed the question about whether something that is ubiquitous today but will be looked back at with the same shock as one does today regarding how widespread smoking was in the past. My contribution was this: People who want something for free then act surprised when there is a tonne of data mining going on the background for ad targeting.

What I am hoping is eventually people will recognise that just because something is delivered via the internet doesn’t mean that it isn’t without cost – people are paying for Netflix, Spotify etc. what I also hope is that businesses move to a payment model because ad supported model is too politically risky given the sort of scrutiny many businesses are now under across the globe. The result: “Gee, it’s amazing how people thought that they could get something for free without there being a ‘cost’ being paid for in the form of data”.

The usual retort is ‘but what is to stop them violating privacy even if they do pay’ – my reply to that is this, the current system only works if you have economies of scale to generate the user data which in turn enables you platform to become a viable platform for businesses to advertise on which creates the revenue to pay for the services you’re providing. In other words, you need the capacity to run for years making a loss before (hopefully) you will eventually reach that critical mass and start making a profit. Compare that to a scenario where paying for a service is the norm – it would be possible to create a business model around paying customers where you would be a lot closer to making a profit and you can compete based on protecting your customers privacy as a point of differentiation.

This coming week the rumour has it that macOS 12.1, iOS 15.2 and tvOS 15.2 will be released to the public (at this moment it is currently at RC2 so it is close to release but they want to test to ensure that there are no nasty surprised for early adopters when it is released). Last week there was also the release of Safari Technology Preview 136 which has a lot of changes in it – it’ll be interesting to see whether there will be a change in pace in Safari releases once the transition for the Mac from x86-64 to Apple Silicon is completed so then they can focus 100% on Apple Silicon rather than having to check whether something that work well on Apple Silicon works well on x86-64.

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