Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hadrian's WiFi

WiFi is slow up here by Hadrian's Wall. So much for Roman technical abilities. We'll take a look at their wall tomorrow.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Maybach 6 Concept Car

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a 2+2 coupe, and the concept’s most defining feature is probably its enormous size. The concept measures 18.5 feet long (a bit short of the 20 feet that was promised earlier), nearly 7 feet wide, and is designed as an electric car.

Maybe I'm not in tune with these things, but to my way of thinking this car is silly, even as a concept. Perhaps in our technical age it is no surprise if luxury car makers lose the battle to keep mystique on the road. 

The jabbering female doesn't help.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Inside Outside

While lazing on the beach with the grandkids, we were mildly surprised when a couple parked themselves nearby and turned on a transistor radio. Do people still do that? Although fairly loud, their music did not create much of a disturbance. From where we were it was barely audible over the roar of the surf.

To me it was an oddity in this digital age, but some people seem to be uncomfortable if they venture outside without indoor props. I was reminded of a comment made by my late aunt about fifty years ago. We were using a projector to show some slides of our family holiday in Ardnamurchan. The remote beauty of it came out well on the screen, but my aunt remarked that she found it scary. All that empty landscape with not a person in sight. I’ve never forgotten how spooked she was by our photos of all that lovely emptiness. 

Sunday, 14 August 2016


We're on holiday yet again so blogging may be light for a while.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Internet ads


An attempt by Facebook to defeat ad-blocking software has been in the news recently. So far it is not going too well. I use uBlock Origin as an extension for Chrome. Works well. I don't use Facebook and that seems satisfactory too.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

To make nothing


All the catering to vice and waste was on an utterly childish scale, and he suddenly realized the meaning of the word “dissipate” — to dissipate into thin air; to make nothing out of something.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Babylon Revisited (1931)

Yet dissipation is what we do, what we must do to live in the modern world. We must make nothing out of something because that something has to be supplied again if money is to circulate. In this important sense our whole lives; our entire world is one of dissipation.

In spite the sleazy aura of drugs and corruption the Olympics circus must go on, dissipating human excellence, enthusiasm and patriotism into the pockets of those who pull the strings. Rio 2016 will be followed by Tokyo 2020 because money must flow and the dissipation must continue.

Even mundane activities such as recycling are often forms of dissipation. A waste of time achieving almost nothing beyond middle class virtue-signalling. Perhaps that is an important point, because in its wider sense, modern dissipation is essentially the dissipation of time. Money too, but money also dissipates time in an endless cycle of waste - or an endless cycle of living - or an endless cycle of lifestyles. It's a matter of perspective.

It seems that if we are to live modern lives then we must at the same time dissipate our lives in order to carry the torch of modernity, in order to make nothing out of something.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Some time ago, along with millions of others I upgraded both laptops from Windows 7 to Windows 10. It all went well and Windows 10 seems okay. Nothing special, but okay.

We only use the laptops for web browsing, storing photos, composing blog posts, fiddling with a few spreadsheets, family history and so on. As far as all that goes Win10 is no improvement on Win7. It isn't much of an improvement on Windows XP, at least for this rather average user.

In which case, where else can Microsoft take Windows and how many people want to go there? I’ve read the stories about Win10 sending reams of behavioural information back to those keen folk in Redmond but I don’t care much about that. We are spied on continuously, always will be and may as well get used to it.

The problem is more to do with mature products because it isn’t easy to see where else Microsoft can go with Windows. It’s over six years since I paid them for my Win7 licence and a copy of Office but now we have two reasonably up to date systems and no motive to upgrade them further. Office is old but does what we want.

For a mature product, value for money and reliability come to the fore. We aren’t there yet, but for home computing there doesn’t seem much further to go. Somehow Win10 seems to bring that home.