Personal · Technology

Deleted all my tweets, I’m all in on Mastodon.

Well, I’ve finally did it – I deleted all my tweets, retweets, likes etc. from my Twitter account and now it is completely empty – nothing there. I deleted it all using TweetDelete (link) – it does have a limit of only being able to 3200 tweets, retweets, likes etc at a time so depending on how long you have used Twitter for you may need to several ‘sweeps’ to get all the tweets, retweets, likes etc. on the account.

For those thinking of moving to Mastodon here is a great article that gives a top level overview for new comers to the platform (link). One may find that at first the experience is a big overwhelming particularly the idea of having a federated network of instances that synchronise all with each other – I’m on which is one of the the latest instance (803K users) and hopefully soon I’ll start making donations each month – I would sooner my money fund a non-profit that my data being hoovered up so a billionaire can go on an ego trip.

Regarding why I moved, as I noted on my recent toot:

With all the #twitter migration taking place I want to put this out there: I’m all for robust discussions but those discussions must be not only grounded in respect but also grounded in reality, grounded in facts. For example, climate change is real, it’s a fact, what is up for debate is how best to solve the problem – carbon tax? ETS? direct intervention? carbon tariffs to stop leakage (off shoring of production)? that is where the discussion needs to be, not undermining facts and reality.

Long story short Twitter has become more and more toxic because ‘getting’ someone is more important than sticking to the facts and discussing how best to solve a problem. A discussion is pointless when the other side substitutes reality with their own custom reality that they would sooner live in as it allows them not to deal with the harsh reality that actually exists.

Personal · Politics

Going cold turkey, I can’t take it any more.

I’m going cold turkey when it comes to Twitter – I like to ‘stop in’ occasionally to see what is happening in the world of Twitter but it appears that as the US draws closer to mid terms (there is early voting in many states) the avalanche of crap that’ll appear on Twitter will keep getting worse and worse until it reaches a fever pitch then it’ll be months of relitigation as supporters of the two major parties accuse each other of everything ranging from steqaling the vote all the way through to some absurd insane conspiracy theory involving Antifa, space aliens and whatever else happens to be the du jour flavour of the month when it comes to conspiracy theories.

It has just been signalled that the Twitter purchase by Elon Musk is on track to close this week (link) so expect more of the same as many of the banned users or users who left because they didn’t like the rules come back to the platform in the belief that Elon Musk will give them free rein to do what they want all in the name of ‘freedom of speech’. I think young Elon Musk is going to find out the hard way when Twitter turns into a bigger toxic cesspit than it is today, when advertisers start pulling their advertisements from his platform because they no longer want to be associated with such a platform,  

Twitter is putting up the ‘Twitter Blue’ cost up to US$4.99 per month but it’ll be interesting to see whether there is a sizeable number of subscribers willing to pay for it. That is one of the things talked about, that the goal is to make Twitter less dependent on ad revenue but something tells me that the very sort of people who refuse to pay for YouTube Premium and instead use an ad blocker aren’t going to suddenly start paying for a subscription for ‘Twitter Blue’ even if they are ae giant simp for Elon Musk.

Personally, I would sooner make a donation to the Mastodon project than giving it to a billionaire so they can fund their vanity project. Once I get some stuff cleared out of the way in terms of debt I’m going to given then $20 per month – it may not make a huge difference but every bit of money counts and with the European Union also backing the project I am hoping that with a bit of momentum with help from Elon Musk sabotaging himself that the end result will be a robust alternative for those who don’t want to deal with the less than salubrious characters that Twitter will eventually attract.

The swathe of first updates are being pushed out by Apple for beta testing and if the rumour is true then I’d say that their goal is to get it ready for the rumoured refresh of the Mac range although rumour has it that Mac Pro refresh won’t be coming until next year some time.

Side note: If a person is pointlessly replying to you and it is clear that they have no interest in listening to what you have to say then just block them – nothing of value will be lost.

Personal · Technology

End of another week, getting closer to macOS Ventura release.

Well, the end of another week and sure enough we’re closing in on the end of this year so quickly that by the time February rolls around next year it will mark me working for the company I am at for five years. It is interesting how as you get older it feels as though time is speeding up but I guess it just comes with age. I’ve got work tomorrow but I’ll be working from home again – my cough hasn’t cleared up but I spent all of today cleaning the place, hoovering all the carpets, dusting etc. hoping that maybe that’ll help in terms of clearing up my cough my I doubt it’ll make an improvement other than making my place a lot nicer.

YouTube and Safari appear to be an on going issue – I’ve decided to accept it for what it is given that every other website doesn’t exhibit such behaviour it would be foolhardy to move to a difference browser simply on the basis that one website doesn’t work properly. That being said, there is still a lot of work going on over at the Webkit project with the latest Technology Preview (link) so hopefully we’ll see those improvements make their way into the stable version of Safari that comes bundled with macOS. Webkit is making great progress but the problem is the slow integration of those enhancements into the mainstream Safari build that comes bundled with macOS.

Having a look at the Unifi AP U6-PRO and it appears that they no longer include the PoE injector but on the good side I can reuse the PoE injector that came with the Unifi AP AC HD. When I eventually upgrade I’ll still stick to using 5GHz given that there are 15 2.4GHz networks all broadcasting so any attempt to setup a 2.4GHz would be an exercise in futility if there ever was one. That being said, when it comes to the big uploads I always prefer to have a networking cable that runs from my desktop to the router so that there are no transmission issues which can occur when uploading large files that measure in the gigabyte size.

As we draw closer to the mid terms in the United States and the New Zealand election next year with so many voters failing to grapple with the basic idea that we live in an environment where every economy is linked with everyone else’s economy – the idea that inflation can be magically addressed through policy is ridiculous. The information that we’re experiencing today is the result of 40 years of using China as the workhouse of the world which has acted as an inflationary sponge aka having a deflationary effect but now it has come back to bite the developed world in their backside. There isn;’t some magic switch that by voting for the Republicans that the moment they take over they press it then suddenly inflation disappears or if National/ACT form government in New Zealand that Luxon will trip over a magical button that will make inflation disappear and for houses to decrease in price for those wanting to buy while those who own houses their asset goes up in value some how.

Now the newly far right Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni has come out with the usual drivel about ‘the speculators’ as if capitalism has nobility at its heart but it is undermined by ‘speculators’ and ‘crony capitalism’ etc. etc. Why do people get suckered into this obvious nonsense? because firstly most people have no idea what capitalism actually is – firstly they conflate the market with capitalism, secondly they either are benefiting from the status quo but believe it could be better if there was ‘real capitalism’ (this is where the whole spiel about crony capitalism and speculators come out) or people who convince themselves that one day their boat will come in but what is stopping them from getting that is…once again…back to the idea that capitalism isn’t the problem but the ‘polluted capitalism’ that exists today is. Why does that happen? because it is easier to convince people that the status quo is ok but simply needs a few tweaks that admitting that the very things they complain about are core features to capitalism – that capitalism itself is the problem and that a superior system needs to replace it or otherwise things won’t get better.

To quote a phrase commonly attributed to Lenin: “fascism is capitalism in decay”. When capitalism falls into crisis it transforms into fascism as a defence mechanism and wheat do I mean by fascism? fascism is when the capitalist class seize the state and use the state’s monopoly on violence to protect their class interests by suppressing communist and socialists movements that offer an alternative to capitalism. This is why history is important – to avoid another generation making the same mistake as that a previous generation made. If we don’t learn from history then we’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past and thus the cycle of progress and then regression will continue indefinitely.

Personal · Politics

Back to work again.

I’ve been sick for the last four days – coughing up phlegm and blowing my nose. I went to visit my doctor and I was advised that the best he can suggest is so get some rest, drink lots of water, get fresh air and make sure that I eat some good helpings of vegetables. I’ve been taking it easy which include working from home – avoid the cold air in the evening given that even in September the night temperature is getting below 5°C. There appears to be four viruses doing the rounds out there so it is probably best to avoid exposure by working from home where possible particularly when one considers that the shifts being done are at night where the cold air can aggravate the lungs.

I’ve finally got my act together and voted this year in the local government elections – I had until the beginning of October to send it away (it is done via postal voting) but I thought it would be best to get it done now before I end up losing track of my voting papers. I did some Googling to find out who each of the candidates were and what their positions are. Personally I think that the established parties should play a larger role in local government to avoid the sorts of ‘independents’ who have been hiding their crankery but thank goodness Stuff, Newsroom, The Spin Off and others have been exposing candidates hiding their links to those behind the occupation of the parliament grounds. The benefit of having the established parties involved at the local government level will provide the venting process and endorsement which will encourage more people to vote in local elections – if voters don’t necessarily 100% know the candidate they can feel rest assured that the party that they support at the central government give them enough confidence to vote for said candidate at the local level.

Work was ok – not too busy but new changes are being introduced in the next couple of weeks. It is amazing how getting a new CEO results in the company getting its ‘a into g’ results in improvements coming out in a mater of months if not weeks rather than the many, many, many years of procrastination. I’ve been employed with the organisation for almost 5 years and in the last year and a half there have been more things done to improve the customer experience than the previous years. There is a lot of great talent where I work – lets hope that the talent is given free rein.

Looking forward to seeing what happens in the next few months regarding inflation but I think it is foolish to believe that our inflation woes can be fixed by increasing interest rates given that it is a supply issue not a demand – the capacity is under-utilised rather than it being a situation of demand being too high and the economy is operating at peak utilisation. I think the bigger question that needs to be asked is what the long term plan will be to avoid this sort of issue in future – to avoid a situation where we have turned China into the workhouse of the world which has simultaneously created a single point of failure for the world. There are also environmental reasons – is it really the smart to take fish caught in New Zealand, export that fish to China and hen reimport the processed product back to New Zealand? thousands of carbon miles – yay the efficiency of the capitalist system.

Personal · Technology

tvOS 16, iOS 16, Safari 16 and macOS 12.6 released.

At 5:10 this morning Apple released tvOS 16, iOS 16, Safari 16 and macOS 12.6 released – they were decent size downloads and it took a while to install. So far everything has been very reliable particularly with Safari 16 which has been rock solid and no problems with AdGuard, the issue with Google Chat appears to have been fixed, YouTube bug of going back/forwards hasn’t cropped up either but with all that being said not everything that is present in Safari 16 on macOS Ventura isn’t available on Safari 16 on macOS Monterey. Having had a look at the System Monitor it appears that a side effect of fixing security related memory issues is a reduction in the memory foot print aka fixing memory leaks. No complaints from me – I’m always happy when a software company pushes out an update and a few other problems are fixed up along the way.

There is a new feature called ‘Security Responses and System Files’ with iOS 16 which will hopefully mean that when there is a security vulnerability that they’re able to push out a security fix a lot quicker than having to bundle the fix with the next update cycle that they have planned. Hopefully this is a sign that Apple has a plan to make iOS more modular so that updates can be made available in a piecemeal fashion which will make addressing security issues and bug fixes in a timely manner.

Ubiquiti has released UniFi Network Application 7.2.94 which updated itself relatively quickly while 1.12.30 is in development to tidy up loose ends with the main focus being on bringing UnifiOS 2.x to the UDM and UDM Pro. I’m tempted to get a WiFi 6 access point but so far they’ve been out of stock and I’d prefer waiting until the firmware and hardware is more mature – hopefully Ubiquiti will release an AP HD model for WiFI 6 which will have the benefits of the current AP AC HD which I’m currently using at the moment.

Personal · Technology

End of a week, beginning of a new.

Well, that was the first week of my new work schedule and so far I absolutely love it. The days I start at 11:30 I can do half at work and half at home then on the days I start at 13:30 I can work from home the whole day. One of the benefits of working from home means I have a much better work environment along with a great internet connection – relaxing, quiet and none of the chaos in the background makes for a much better working experience. The other great benefit is the fact that is this, if I feel under the weather but good enough to work I can do so from home. This also helps coworkers as well – when people have the sniffles but still good enough to work, they can work from home which keeps the beginning of being sick away from the office while not having to worry about using up ones sick days (obviously if you’re absolutely sick then you need to rest).

Another cool thing I found is a website that sells cases of BOSS iced coffee directly to the public (link). Next pay I’m going to order 4 cases over all – something that’ll be a nice refreshing ‘pick me up’ before work that I’ll have with my daily iron supplement. I wish I could get the old Moccona iced coffee but unfortunately they stopped selling that and I can’t get the Nescafe ones that used to be sold on 1 Day Sale many years ago (if I remember correctly it was parallel imported from Malaysia). Oh well, looking forward to that eventually delivered.

Last week was the big announcement by Apple of the iPhone refresh along with refreshing the Apple Watch line up and Airpods Pro. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much given that we’ve now reached a point that these products are very much mature so one shouldn’t expect radical changes in the design. As much as the ‘tech dude bro’ on YouTube like to consider themselves as the centre of the known universe, the reality is that for the vast majority of people the iPhone, for example, is something that they’ll upgrade every three years which is why the comparison in the performance graph was for a phone shipping in 2019 rather than last years of the previous years. Apple has all the data at their disposal and they can see the upgrade cycle is has pushed out from an average of every 2 years to now an average of 3 years hence the comparison.

The big question is whether I am convinced that I should upgrade – at this moment I’m waiting for the iOS 16 to be released tomorrow, see whether Google realise there are more than 14 countries in the world and how the Samsung Galaxy S23 which is rumoured to have the Snapdragon 8 Generation 2, stacks up against my iPhone 12 Pro Max. The benefit with waiting for the S23 is because it’ll come with Android 13 which will include the compulsory modules that can be upgraded by Google (since new phones running Android have to fall in line with the requirements of Android 13 but upgrades from older versions the phone OEM isn’t required to implement it on their older phones). I personally would prefer to get a Pixel phone if it were available and supported in NZ but given how Samsung has really lifted their game in the last few years, they’ve really become a contender when it comes to choosing a phone. That being said though, the iPhone 14 is very tempting at the moment given how heavily invested into the Apple ecosystem – oh, and I’m looking at getting the purple one.

Personal · Technology

New shifts, new schedule – a fresh start.

This week is the start of a new shift schedule, three days a week I start at 11:30 (finishing at 20:00) and two days a week I start at 13:30 (finishing at 22:00) – I’m able to go home at 16:30 on my ‘lunch’ so then I can finish my shift off at home, something I’ll do regularly in future which will avoid crazies on the road and avoid the cold at night. I’m a night owl and enjoy working the late hours so this is a perfect fit for me and unlike in my past life of working in hospitality I’m not dealing with customers who leave a trail of rubbish from one end of the eating area to the other.

Ubiquiti is looking into moving the UDM and UDM Pro over to the UniFiOS 2.x platform: “An upcoming version of UDM/UDM-Pro will migrate to UniFi OS 2.x. The process is currently being well-tested internally and will be released shortly, with no specific ETA.” (link) So at the moment they’re focusing on bug fixing and maintaining 1.12.x branch until UniFiOS 2.x platform matures which will then bring it inline with UDM SE and other products that utilise the UniFiOS 2.x platform. Hopefully the move to UniFiOS 2.x will result in regular updates which will include enhancements as well as bug fixes.

On Thursday NZ time (Wednesday US time) will be the day Apple gives their big iPhone announcement, when iOS, macOS and other platforms will be released to the public along with refreshes to other product lines. It’ll be interesting to see what is announced but something tells me that it won’t be the bowel shaking earth shattering ‘next big thing’ that’ll be announced. Expect to see a natural evolution of what exists with maybe some interesting additions but don’t expect anything huge. I’m looking forward to hearing the release date of macOS – maybe I’ll see. if I can get some time off when it is released so I can have some fun trying it – see whether some big steps have been made when it comes to Safari.

Personal · Politics · Technology

Welp, never going to do that again.

Well, after working all day I thought “I’ll treat myself to some KFC delivered” so it I ordered it online, it arrived 20 minutes late and half of the order was missing and was cold, I sent it back with the driver and the replacement arrived with it missing the coleslaw and drinks. During the time I rang the store six times – no answer. I rang the 0800 KFC KFC but because it was after 10pm it had closed – the last order was at 10pm, wouldn’t it make sense to be open past 10pm to address scenarios such as what I experienced? Well, I sent through a complaint – I want my money back. To wait 1 1/2 hours for a meal that was completely incorrect I think that is the least that they should do. Yeah, it sounds kind of Karenish but it really was beyond a joke particularly when you consider the driver was also stuffed around because the expectation is that when he picks up delivery everything should be in the bag ready for the driver to drop off.

My iPhone is acting pretty buggy at this stage – random applications freezing such as Reddit app suddenly failing to load a subreddit then I force quit it then launch it again with it suddenly working. The other issue with the screen waking up but I’m unable to press any of the buttons on the scree – when the alarm goes off in the morning I press the ‘stop’ button and it doesn’t register my touching of the ‘stop’ butt with my finger. I thought it may have been the software but this issue never happened until recently so I thought I might as well give DFU reset a try to see whether a clean install will fix it. Then I thought maybe it is the software with that brand if iPhone but nope, the problems were unique to my phone. I’m going to hold onto the phone until it I’ve got the money saved but so far there is will be announcement at the 7 September Apple has planned where they’ll announce their new iPhone. Then there is the Pixel 7 and hopefully that’ll mean more markets that Google is selling into but not optimistic then there is the presentation early next year when Samsung announces the refresh for the Galaxy S range of phones which will have Android 13 preinstalled along with probably OneUI 5.1. I guess it’ll be a situation of “wait and see” because it is the sort of investment you only make every 3-5 years so you want to make sure you make the right decision.

I had the unfortunate experience of coming across yet another individual who embraces the aesthetics of the left but in process push reactionary politics under the guise of being ‘anti-revisionist’ (link). Left wing politics isn’t in conflict with liberalism, it is the natural evolution that builds upon liberalism, a realisation that the phrase ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ rings rather hollow when you’re struggling to survive – how are you going to enjoy your freedom when you’re not free (due most of one’s time spent merely surviving) to being develop yourself and be more than just a interchangeable cog in the capitalist machine that is hell bent on ‘make line go up’ at all costs? As Noam Chomsky pointed out (outlined in many videos on YouTube where he is giving answers to questions put to him by students), such an individual (the writer of the linked essay) see themselves as the van guard who will whip the population into shape or by hell or high water send the ‘misbehaving types’ who display ‘bourgeois immorality that is incompatible with socialism’ (aka members of the ‘alphabet mafia’ such as myself) to gulags to ‘straighten up and fly right’. When your understanding of the proletariat is a characterture that you’ve conjured up in your mind based on stereotypes and second hand information then don’t be surprised that very few people are interested in following the particular ideology that you’re pushing.

Personal · Technology

Back to working from home.

The weather has been atrocious so I told my boss that it would best to work from home to avoid the cold weather. I’d prefer to going into work since it provides a ‘wall of separation between work and home life’ which avoids the two from intermingling resulting in personal time being overtaken by work. It is good that my boss is flexible – I work just as productively at home as I do at work.

I’ve installed Chrome on my MacBook and reading some of the changes that will be made with Chrome in the upcoming releases (link) with the interesting change which stood out being ‘Align Timers (including DOM timers) at 125 Hz’. In the explanation notes it appears to benefit Mac users by reducing Chrome’s energy Impact by 10% on macOS. I’m sure further reading will uncover more features but appears that Google is doubling down on improving Chrome on macOS.

There is also the ongoing saga regarding Manifest v3, webRequest and its successor declarativeNetRequest (link) with the continuing discussion between third party extension developers having to deal with the real world while the programmers at Apple, Microsoft and Google can’t seem to accept that their replacement API severely hampers the ability for third party developers to create sophisticated content blocking extensions. Hopefully we’ll see cooler heads prevail and there will be a satisfactory resolution which will avoid a bad experience for all concerned.


Another week working from home.

Still got a nasty cough so I’ve decided to work from home but so far it isn’t too bad. The weather is still pretty bad and it’ll put back my recovery being out in the cold. There is also a lot of rain that is occurring at the top of the South Island so it’ll be interesting to see whether that ends up coming further north – another thing I would like to avoid if possible. At the moment it is raining outside so it could be the start of that rain making its way up to Wellington. Long story short, although the initial infection of COVID19 mostly cleared up in two weeks there are still lingering effects that may take longer – I checked out a few government websites regarding how long symptoms eventually disappear and what many of them note is that it can be anywhere from a week all the way to a month.

I had a brief encounter with Twitter today so I can see what is happening on the platform I left behind and after a few hours using it I realise why I left the platform. I guess it’s like the old Bill Hicks routine about the ‘hate camel’ – maybe I need to pop my head into Twitter for a nosy around as a reminder why I no longer use it. Mastodon has a much more chill atmosphere and devoid of wall to wall politics. I’m not about denying what is happening out in the real world but the constant stream of depressing news, fighting and arguing, misrepresentation of the facts etc. basically everything that frustrates me. For me social networks should be about sharing funny memes, photos of food etc. maybe the odd post about politics underlying all that is a understanding that the conversation takes place in good faith. Far too much of social networking has turned into a battle ground between ‘political tribes’ whose concern isn’t about getting to the truth but instead ‘winning’ at all costs even if it means misrepresentation and lying.

It has been around two weeks since my Apple Silicon Macs arrived and even after two weeks I’m still astonished at the huge leap of performance Apple has made over Intel while being incredibly efficient in terms of power usage. What I have found funny is how macOS on Apple Silicon feels a whole lot less buggy than the Intel version, that quirks and strange behaviour don’t appear, Safari behaves a lot more reliably along with AdGuard Safari Extension. I can’t make heads or tails given that in theory they share the same code base but that being said, given that iOS has a larger installation base I wonder whether the crash logs, telemetry data etc. enabled them to fix many of the issues that pertain to the ARM branch (large projects will have code that is shared and architecture specific components) of the various OS components resulting in a well optimised version of macOS when they made their transition. It’ll be interesting to see what the upcoming operating systems will be like when Apple will release in the next couple of months.