Tim Cook wrote an opinion piece in Time (link) talking about the need for greater regulation as well as a data brokerage service where consumers have the ability to find out who is using and selling their personal information along – greater transparency across the board. I have to admit, I like the idea of greater transparency because although Steve Jobs did talk about ensuring that customers give permission when an application wishes to access personal data or use a piece of hardware that can capture information (GPS, camera, microphone etc) the problem is there is little in the way of answering the question of what happens to the information after one gives permission. It is one thing to give permission but without the context of what the vendor is actually going to do with the information not to mention having some sense of control after the organisation gets the information makes the dialogue a tick box rather than something that is actually empowering.
With all that being said, I wonder to what extent the publicly actually do have concern regarding privacy and the use of private information given the public’s willingness to keep using Facebook (along with WhatsApp and Instagram) even after the avalanche of revelations came out over the last few years. You’d think that after all the revelations and even more revelations which turned out to be in some cases worse than the prior ones that people would start closing their Facebook accounts but alas here we are almost 2-3 years later and nothing has happened – people still have their Facebook accounts and new accounts are being opened all the time which makes me wonder whether people are genuinely concerned about privacy or is it noise and protest all for show but behind closed doors people don’t actually care.
I think the larger question is whether certain services can and should be treated as natural monopolies due to the higher barriers entry such as high initial start up costs, the years of running at a loss before either breaking even or becoming part of a larger organisation not to mention trying to bring ‘stars’ over to said platform which make the platform useful to end users – in much the same way that a mobile platform is only useful based on the applications that are available to end users on said platform. This goes back to the question about de-platforming – if the number of platforms are limited and the possibility of setting up new platforms is next to impossible then do those entrenched natural monopolies have a responsibility in much the same way that within the European Union a monopoly has a greater responsibility to ensure that the the monopoly isn’t entrenched (see EU demanding that Microsoft open up various protocols and file formats for better interoperability) and free speech isn’t stifled due to the lack of available platforms now that the internet has become ‘speakers corner’/’the village square’.
That all being said, I think the inherent nature of capitalism with its capital accumulation (and concentration) which leads to political capture (the capturing of politics by those with money) will make any meaningful change impossible resulting in any legislation being passed being half assed and watered down to the point of being useless in much the same way the Dodd-Frank never addressed ‘too big to fail’ by not only breaking up the banks (investment separated from retail banking) but actually turning these banks into credit unions which would undermine the whole concentration of power (the reality is that there are a small number of people/organisations that own the majority of the shares). Who benefits after all this? Apple because they’re already ahead of the curve – “see, we can be trusted because we go beyond what the law requires”.
Well, it is pay day today so I’ve paid all my bills and bought my fortnightly groceries on the way home – generally I tried to avoid having ‘top ups’ because any visit to the supermarket always ends up resulting buying more things that I had planned. It is one of those things where you go into the store but you end up leaving with more than you wanted – the problem being made worse if you’re hungry at the time so you end up not only buying more you end up buying food that isn’t all that healthy to begin with.
All the bills are paid but I think what I’m going to do over the next few months is keep putting $50 per fortnight into my power account so that I can build up a good nest egg so when winter comes along I can keep paying the same amount in there without having to worry about topping it up more because I’m using more electricity than during summer.
Anyway, I better get going to sleep.
Work has been great but it has been crazy with recent changes which has impacted customers so I’ve opted in to doing some overtime for the last couple of days (2 hours on Friday and Saturday) and I was tempted to go an extra hours on Sunday but I was completed stuffed by the end of my Saturday shift that I really need a good night sleep. Although my job isn’t physically exhausting it is very mentally exhausting – although I can deal with interacting with people I find it mentally exhausting and thus I need at least 1-2 days off to recharge my batteries which is where I stay at home, chill out, go for quiet walks by myself etc.
After a few months of quietness it appears that the developers over at Ubiquiti has picked up steam with the recent updates to Unifi USG, Unifi Switch and Unifi AC AP HD – they’ve delivered 5GHz 160MHz channel support (I’ve stayed with 80MHz since none of my hardware supports 160MHz channels). It’ll be interesting to see what the next version of the Unifi Controller will be like – maybe ipv6 support will be ready or at least moved out of alpha stage at the moment but that being said, given that Spark is still on ipv4 with no disclosed time period for ipv6 I’m in no great hurry other than the geek cred of having the latest and greatest.
I’m still thinking about putting together a ‘once a week’ podcast – if I use a service then I’ll probably sign up for libsyn but I’ll see how it all turns out.
I had a great weekend with the finale being today where I bought some Silver Fern Farms lamb and it is so perfect with mint sauce – nothing special in terms of proportion other than taking the meat out of the packaging, Himalayan rock salt and cracked better on both sides then left there to rest before putting it into the oven for around 25 minutes – came out wonderfully medium rare resulting in the full flavour of the meat shining through. I ended up finishing off the night with a G & T – something refreshing with the door to the back porch open to allow the fresh air to come through. With that all being said, I am tempted to finally make some investment into outdoor furniture out the back along with some giant pot plants – maybe a lemon and a lime tree? A few planter boxes with flowers etc? Right now it is just concrete and it really lacks the homely feel that I would like to give it although I really want to do something about the fence along the back because it is slowly falling to pieces – I think a colour steel with a good rails mounted on some concrete posts not to mention that I also want to sort out the door on the shed as well.
I finally got my act together to give the place a top to bottom clean and with that also meant fresh sheets on on the bed and airing the duvet on the line. Always good, when there is fine weather, to give the house a good airing along with hoovering and washing everything that can be washed.
So…since I made that original post on 1 January 2019 things have been going well – I’ve been having a walk each night which has helped me get over the cold that I’ve had; fresh air and exercise helping to get the body moving and stop the build up of phlegm in the lungs which can occur with a sedentary lifestyle.
Today I went shopping today to buy everything I needed so I’m all ready for the next couple of weeks. I’ll write a longer post tomorrow but I thought I might as well do a brief update.
A new day for a new year and with that new year comes a new resolution – that involves making some big changes in my life; financially as well as health wise. I got through the first year at my job which was a big focus but this year I want to build a strong foundation going forward which includes getting my financial house in order by getting 75-100% my debt cleared by the end of the year. In terms of my heath the big focus is on moving to healthier eating and living in general which means moving away from fast foods, moving to a more vegan/vegetarian diet with a focus on high fibre nutrient rich food. This week’s pay will be the first shop for the first week of my new regime for the year so I’m going to make sure that I create a list with a budget to ensure that I stick with a plan – which goes into another focus which is having a good routine.
With that all being said, I an still nursing myself after getting knocked for six over Christmas – a combination of no sleep on the day I took the train up to Auckland then combine that with the lack of quality sleep over the next few days resulted in my immune system falling through the floor. Over the last few days I’ve been getting myself back on track but I think that I might need some time off from work because I don’t want to force myself back into a stressful work environment where I am not fully healed resulting in not only spreading it to my work colleagues but also getting sick again because of the stress put on the body which isn’t in a fully strong state.
On a good side I’m tinkering around with iMovie so I’m going to give that a go because I’m tempted to make some videos about Windows 10 and technology not to mention philosophy and politics so we’ll see how that goes. I won’t be showing my face on the video because it would be kind of pointless given that unless I’m going to offer visual aids or something that justifies having a visual presence then not showing my face is good enough. In the future? Sure, at a later date as my iMovie skills improve I might start start showing my face but other than that I’ll just stick to the plan – hopefully the use of YouTube will expand my online presences and gradually build up an audience so that my posts move beyond just yelling into the emptiness of space.
Well, I’m up and out of bed, getting ready for Christmas lunch but ensuring that all the presents etc. are all presented nicely. I gave my niece her present since she is spending Christmas with her fathers family this Christmas. When ever I buy presents for kids my nieces age I’m always worried that I’ll be ‘one of those uncles’ that go out to buy something no on wanted and thus leaving them disappointed hence I’ve decided to go with a voucher – $30 Farmers voucher, a box of Pringles and some Christmas cookies although I have to admit that next year I’ll probably just give cash lol save a whole lot of drama.
It has been raining like crazy up here in Auckland with last night just being the heaviest rain I’ve experienced in a long time but we soldiered on by having a BBQ in the carport – venison sausages, potato bake and a salad. Having a low key Christmas this year – nothing too dramatic although I regret not buying that Denheath desert sampler box which would have been great but of course mum insisted that it was all taken care of. Sigh. Next time I should remember to go with my gut instinct.
On the matter of information technology, AnandTech has got a great deep dive article regarding the Intel press conference where there was the Sunny Cove architecture announcement along with its GPU roadmap (link). The GPU roadmap is particularly interesting given that they’re not only doing an architecture revamp, they’re also incorporating techniques that the likes of ARM and PowerVR have been using for years to reduce bandwidth requirements such as tile based rendering. There is also a focus on delivering this GPU as dedicated graphics cards so it’ll be interesting to watch to see what happens – I’d say that it won’t happen until the end of next year with products emerging the beginning of the following year. Then there is also the rumour of ‘Windows Lite’ (a Windows stripped of legacy) and Apple moving to its own ARM CPUs which will make for an interesting next 5 years.