Weekly Digest for Sunday 24th May

I’ve now spent the last 10 weeks working from home. I’ve been really productive but do have to watch a couple of things. There are little breaks in my day at the moment. Back to back meetings/calls and no gaps. You miss the walking between meetings, talking to others. It’s full on, one topic to the next. The other thing to watch is tiredness. Feeling more and more tired as the week goes on and that’s despite a daily walk to try and recharge. Still, I’m one of the lucky ones so shouldn’t complain.

Glasgow city centre during lockdown

As the UK starts to unlock I can now see unfolding in front of me why Sturgeon said weeks ago that when to unlock and how will be really difficult. Scotland’s leaders have been far more clear and effective from what I can see. That doesn’t let them off the hook as care homes, testing, PPE and late lockdowns are all their responsibility too. However the mess unravelling in London and Johnsons defence of Dominic Cummings seem like idiocy after what the UK has been through, all summed up in this now deleted tweet.

Now deleted but sums up the views of many

How the world views Britain

While the politicians try to kid us that Britains Covid-19 response has been world beating it’s easy to find alternative views. The New Yorker calls it right – a disaster.

Patients Don’t Die Alone

This Buzzfeed article provides comfort to so many that their parents, family or friends are not dying on their own.

The Joy of Sets

Thanks BBC for another great set of video conferencing backdrops. Something for everyone here.

Scunthorpe Sans

Is this the best font ever? Scunthorpe Sans blocks any use of profanities…apart from Scunthorpe. Brilliant.

Mad Max:Fury Road

Fury Road is still an amazing watch. This article brings together many of the cast and crew who talk through just how difficult it was to make.

Tenet

Nolans new film gets another trailer that tries to explain what’s going on. More surprising…still aiming for cinema release later this year.

The Miracle Sudoku

Shared widely so you may have seen this but if not then settle down for an enthralling 25 minutes of Sudoku. Best watch this week.

Weekly Digest for Sunday 3rd May

Still here. Still working from home. Hope everyone is doing their best to get through the Covid-19 crisis as safely as possible. I’ve been keeping the daily walks going and last weekend popped into Glasgow city centre. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was. While my local area is busier as people do their exercise the city centre was deserted. Nothing opened, little use of public transport. No rough sleepers. There were more police visible than anything else. No cars and the few cyclists had the run of the streets – why worry about the one way system when there is no one around. Does make you wonder what our towns and cities could be in the future when you factor in the climate challenge we face.

St Vincent Street in Glasgow during lockdown. This was middle of the morning!

Working from home has become a bit relentless. Call after call with little to break the day. Taking a few days off soon and also counting my blessings as I’m lucky. Still in a job, still productive, still healthy. My fortress of solitude is quite nicely setup now although thinking about a new office chair to make the long days that little bit more comfortable.

Home office doubling as the only office – some smoothing applied to protect the innocent!

Comparing Stats

We are told by many many people (politicians mostly) that you shouldn’t compare stats across countries when it comes to Coronavirus. I even nodded my head in agreement reading this article from David Spiegelhalter in the Guardian that it will only be at the end of the crisis that we’ll see just how badly each country has done in dealing with the pandemic. But then there are some stats that you just can’t ignore:

China Coverup?

With much of the world hitting first wave peaks, attention is now turning to how Covid-19 originated and could China and WHO have done more in January? This Wired article focuses on the information disappearing before our eyes as China tries to re-write recent history.

Getting It Right

Many countries have worked hard to control coronavirus. One who locked down early was New Zealand. While many countries have lessons to learn, if we do hit second peaks later in the year I hope our politicians look at the actions taken by the likes of New Zealand and are quicker to act.

Lockdown Photography

I’ve done precious little photography over the last two months – loving the lockdown photo project by Christopher Swan. Great images and also many places I recognise around Glasgow and also where I work. The glamour of South Street.

Watch your back

With so many video calls and Zoom traffic booming, video backgrounds are now a thing. Couple of options if you want to jazz up that call. Studio Ghibli have released a set of great images from some of their best creations and Got Your Back have an ever growing set of suitable…and not so suitable backgrounds. Choose carefully!

Love Bug

Anyone remember the I Love You virus that spread in the early 2000’s? The author has finally been found! I still remember someone at work clicking on the e-mail and spreading it even though we told him not to….but I got an e-mail from such and such that said I Love You. Doh. Social engineering is a powerful drug.

iPad Keyboards

Great article on the history of iPad keyboards. I’ve been using a Magic Keyboard for a couple of weeks and I’ll post my thoughts soon but as the article shows there’s been a lot of changes in the last decade.

Spaceship You

Important video for all of us during the lockdown. Spaceship You gives some great advice on how to get through the next weeks and months. Find 10 minutes to watch this.

1 Pixel Wealth

When you hear about millionaires and billionaires it can be hard to imagine just how much money that really means. 1 Pixel Wealth does a great job in highlighting the inequality in the world right now. Keep scrolling!

Jukebox

This is pretty amazing. OpenAI have released an AI Jukebox – give it an artist and genre and it will generate new music. Some of the results are spookily good.

The Best Sporting Video Games

The BBC have put together a top 50 sporting video games list with comments from loads of people about why a particular game is important and needs to be in the top 50. So many great memories in this list.

9 Eyes

What a time sink this is. 9 eyes is named after the Google Maps camera module that sits atop cars, bikes…even people to take new Google Maps imagery…and has 9 cameras. This site is full of the weird and wonderful images that Google has captured. Some are funny, some weird, some seedy and some a snapshot on everyday lives across the world. Addictive.

Weekly Digest for Monday 13th April

We’re now into week four of the UK lockdown, and week five of me working from home. This new normal will be with us for months. The daily death tolls are horrendous as is pretty much all news. But look on the bright side…even dogs are grassing people up to the police now.

We’ve turned into a nation of curtain twitchers happily passing judgement on others. Sad. However I’m more angry than anything else at the moment. Angry at our government who are happily spinning the lack of PPE while avoiding scrutiny as to why we are the worst performing country in Europe. Angry that daily stats are trotted out and we are almost numb to them now. Angry at years of underinvestment in the NHS. Angry that the Tories are riding this pandemic for all it’s worth.

But staying angry will get me nowhere. It’s not healthy and at the moment thats the only thing we can focus on. Staying healthy, following the rules and protecting the NHS so it’s there for our friends and family when we need it. Stay safe folks.

The Queens Speech

I’m no royalist but the Queens speech to the nation was damned impressive. Clear, honest and with a degree of hope. While she always speaks at Christmas this was only the fifth time in 68 years thats she’s addressed the nation on TV. Powerful.

Boris thanks the NHS

Another speech that was impressive was Boris Johnson on his release from hospital. It’s good to see he’s recovered from a nasty infection and I can only hope that his words, though well said, are followed by action. However he has form so time will tell if he really does value and protect the NHS.

So much living to do

Very few stories have been about the victims of Coronavirus. So much is made of stats, lockdown, Boris, that the huge number dying each day are often lost. So thank you to The Guardian who paid tribute to some of the people who have tragically lost their lives early.

Sick man of Europe

We are approaching (hopefully) peak infection in the UK but it’s disappointing that despite the warnings from Italy and Spain it looks like the UK will have some of the worst statistics at the end of this pandemic. Two views stand out. Germany and the UK started at around the same time and pace but the UK have came of far far worse – is this why? Also, this twitter thread from Elaine Doyle is really worth your attention. Why has Ireland been far less impacted than the UK? The UK were slow. I know also that there are big differences in population density but Ireland acted quickly and decisively like New Zealand. The UK took their time. The main question now – why aren’t the mainstream media questioning the government. There’s a fucking press conference EVERY DAY. Ask something other than PPE and what are the rules for ending the lockdown.

I’m Bored

If you are off work, missing going out at the weekends and can’t quite find something to do or watch then bored.solutions is for you. Basically it’s a site full of idea’s of what to do while self isolation with some handy filters to allow you to pick 1 day, weekly or 1 month challenges. Enjoy.

Here’s How Those Hot Jigsaw Puzzles Are Made

My mum loves jigsaws and thanks to the lockdown they are in hot demand and short supply. Loved this story from The New York Times that shows how modern jigsaws are made. I thought they would be far more automated by now.

Scotland after the trial of Alex Salmond

While the pandemic unraveled much of UK life, the trial of Alex Salmond concluded and in his favour. There’s much to unpack and so much of this story still to be told. This article from Dani Garavelli covers the trial and what’s still to come. There’s some uncomfortable days ahead when some more of what happened is finally revealed.

Avengers Endgame

Let’s end on a high. Endgame came out a year ago and these clips from the film alongside the opening night audience in New York are just joyous. Movie watching in America is very different to the UK.

Weekly Digest for Sunday 29th March

Flooded boat at Loach Ard

What a month. The impact of Coronavirus has now hit home in the UK…scrap that…across the whole world. What was impacting China and other Far East regions earlier in the year has now totally changed life in the UK and Europe. I can’t think of anyone right now who won’t have been impacted.

The “new normal” is what many are calling it. For me that means working from home. Trying to keep a routine, trying to do some sort of daily exercise, getting used to constant video and phone conferences. I’m lucky in that I can remain productive and keep doing my role remotely but others aren’t so fortunate.

Job losses, money fears, mental wellbeing and all that on top of the impact of the Coronavirus itself. People warned what a global pandemic could do to the world and guess what – they were right. Social media has become even more noisy and sometimes for good as well. Local groups forming, how can we help each other as we will all be impacted at some point. The negative is the constant shouting by so many people that the government is wrong. The scientists are wrong. They are too slow, they aren’t reacting, country x did this by now, why haven’t we, masks are vital….or they aren’t as it’s not airborne. CONSTANT SHOUTING.

Twitter feels like an anxiety amplifier at the moment. For every positive post there’s another 50 that are predicting doom. I’ve a particular hatred for those on social media that have pivoted from Brexit and/or technology and become scientists in literally two weeks. Impressive. Makes you question what they actually know as much of what they spew or retweet isn’t really fact but merely information that supports their argument. Try TikTok instead. Almost calming. And those that are still claiming it’s like a mild flu. That the lockdown is an over reaction. Fuck you. It’s not. It will kill lots of people in the UK well before their time. Friends and family. Hopefully not yours. Just today the first NHS frontline worker has died due to Coronavirus. This isn’t flu!

The difference when outside is stark. Empty roads and pavements and for the most part people are respecting the social distancing rules. Some don’t. Some get too close. Some look like they don’t care. Shopping is now queue’s with 2 metre gaps and empty shelfs. On a walk this morning three different police vehicles passed by, all the more obvious thanks to the empty roads. Police state? But then I’m judging those that can’t keep their distance – ticking off a shopper on Friday cause they couldn’t wait to grab the same goods I was buying. And I’m saying pavements are quiet but late morning to early evening they are really busy as people get some of their daily exercise. If the rates don’t start to plateau in a couple of weeks I can see the exercise guidance changing.

The impact of the virus will be felt for years. Economies tanked. Pensions bust. Economy is a funny one. All of a sudden we can find money for everything. Broadband is now a utility. Key workers are some of the lowest paid in our economy. The NHS is now getting the investment it should have had for the last decade. And Jeremy Corbyn has been proven right. The only thing proven is that it has and always was…all about him. Thanks goodness his reign is almost over. Also a small plea to tech podcasters right now…there isn’t much tech news at the moment, stop spinning out your podcast for advertisers. Thanks.

Didn’t expect to write all that but needed to vent. Before I finish with a few links just want to say one thing….stay safe.

The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming

Coronavirus isn’t Smallpox but lessons from years of fighting it are worth understanding.

Coronavirus tracked

There are so many sites tracking the global spread of Coronavirus but I find the FT’s the clearest. No longer behind the paywall the datasets are fascinating. Great work from Steven BernardCale TilfordJohn Burn-Murdoch and Keith Fray.

As much as I like a graph this did make me chuckle

How the Pandemic Will End

Great long read on what’s happening now but more importantly what’s to come.

All The Streets

Davis Vilums cycled all the streets in London and also made a great site talking about it. Love this.

Google tracked his bike ride past a burglarized home. That made him a suspect.

This is scary. A man in America is accused of a crime as the tracking data from his app put him at the scene of a crime. With the increased powers at the UK governments disposal there needs to be checks and balances on the use of technology to fight the pandemic but also how it may impact on civil liberties.

Who Would Have Thought an iPad Cursor Could Be So Much Fun?

The new cursor support in iPadOS is great. And fun. Using it with the iMac’s trackpad and it works really well. The new Magic Keyboard, while expensive, is something I’m looking forward to trying later in the year. Really liked this series of tweets from Steven Sinofsky on the cursor update and the new iPad Pro’s.

30 years of hope: my life as an ardent Liverpool fan

This from March the 8th feels like a lifetime ago but it’s a great read and shows how important football is to so many people.

Deacon Blue’s City of Love

The new Deacon Blue album is one of their best. Great lyrics, strong melodies and a damn fine album up there with Raintown for me. This review is a love letter to Deacon Blue and like their new album I loved it. Give it a try – a bit of a tonic against the grimness of 2020.

Weekly Digest for Monday 2nd March

Looking over to Inveruglas from Inversnaid.

Feb was quite the stormy little month. Too much wind. Too much water. A whole lot of virus. For one reason or another I never got round to one of these posts until March. Oops.

How the BBC’s Netflix-killing plan was snuffed by myopic regulation

The BBC has been fighting Netflix, Sky, and now Apple and Disney with one of it’s hands tied behind it’s back. iPlayer was, and still is, an amazing resource but has often lagged Netflix and others. Now it’s probably too late to fight back, especially if the Tories (and crazy Corbynista’s) get their way.

The boss who put everyone on 70K

Dan Price shows there are other ways to run a company and make it a success. The unexpected side benefits are a real plus.

In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, With Red Flags

Only time will tell how successful each countries fight against the Corona virus is. China has used tech and it’s communist power in ways that very few others can emulate. It’s right that a government should use all power and tools at it’s disposal. Shame that China initially tried to hush it all up.

Google’s ambitious push into gaming is floundering, and it’s due largely to too few games on its Stadia platform — here’s why developers have held back

Few things unite gaming firms. However they are pretty united in condemning Stadia. The tech is great but the economics and the consumers sell just doesn’t make sense. This is dead.

Record breaking rainfall

No surprise that this last month has been the wettest February since records began in the UK. What really surprised me is the MET office graphic that had to go to 400% to cover off the rainfall totals. Wow. What you saying now climate deniers?

Tot

Mac text editors are ten a penny. Tot is a little different. It’s a small menubar based text scratchpad on the Mac that is free. It supports iCloud syncing and you can get it on iOS….where’s it’s £20. I’m loving it on the Mac but can’t quite bring myself to buy it on iOS yet. Well worth a download and try to see if it fits your workflow.

Behind the Scenes — Experiments IV: Fire & Ice

The Fire & Ice Apple add is lovely but far more interesting is the behind the scenes video on how it was shot. Clever.

PARASITE House Build

Parasite is a great film, and this video shows the Parasite house being built and walked through in The Sims. Watch the film, then watch this. Lovely.

The marketing genius of Lil Nas X

Wow – Things didn’t happen to Nas. Things happened because of Nas. Virality is not mystical. The story of Old Town Road is not magical. What a story!

Weekly Digest for Sunday 26th January

Dawn over a cold Loch Ard

Its a new year….a new decade…and somehow everything feels much the same. How does that work? It’s been a busy start to 2020. New bathroom has been fitted which was long overdue. It’s been 16 years since moving to Kelvindale and the home survey said we had a dilapidated bath. Well it did ok but it’s finally been replaced. Really pleased with the end result as it looks totally different to what we had before.

Also back in the swing of things at work. Three weeks off was lovely but bills need paying and as ever it only takes a couple of days before the break feels a long time ago. It also looks like being a big gadget year for me. New camera, consoles and phone. If the rumours are true the camera could be out in March rather than September. Need to get saving!

Does Microsoft Have a Boeing 737 Max Style Crash Every Week?

This really made me think. I’m increasingly more plugged in to the world of vulnerabilities, patches and enterprise security. This article posits that Microsoft and others are having huge Boeing type issues every week or two. Is that fair? When you see the speed that exploits are being taken advantage of it’s hard to disagree.

Blue Fucking Monday

Every January the news and hence Twitter, Facebook and advertisers tell us the third Monday in January is the most depressing. It’s bullshit but every year it’s dropped out like some wonder fact. Always remember…

Twitter for good

Twitter gets a pasting around negativity and being a cesspool and generally that is true. However there are gems on there. A bookshop was swamped with orders after they tweeted about a tumbleweed day at the store. Well done everyone!

Radiohead Public Library

Radiohead updated their site and turned it into a library. So much to see and hear – there’s a huge amount of material. Love it!

Game Stamps

I used to love collecting stamps when I was a kid. The Royal Mail has released a new set of stamps with screenshots from classic games. They look great and the screens were compiled with help from Bitmap Books, purveyor of amazingly good gaming books.

Instagram for Windows 95

Love the detail in this mockup for Instagram for Windows 95. Even the filters look spot on.

Viral Bowls

Bowls is a pretty traditional sport. They are getting players to wear shorts to jazz it up! However a shot from this weeks World Indoor Championships went viral due to the skill on display. My mum loves watching the bowls but I was so surprised to see the shot appear on Reddit with many people lost as to what the sport was. Who knew bowls could go viral.

Danny MacAskills Gymnasium

Love this guy. Another great video showing off some ridiculous skill and stunts.

Weekly Digest for Tuesday 31st December

It’s the last one of these for 2019 and the last of the decade. Woo. All the best for 2020 and the new decade ahead.

Media 2019

I’ve watched a lot of TV this year – the quality and quantity of TV thanks to the many streaming services that have launched is in some ways overwhelming. Highlights in no particular order: Line of Duty, Chernobyl, Watchmen, Fleabag, The virtues, The Mandalorian, Euphoria, The Expanse (binged seasons 1-3 in prep for seasons 4 – all good), Giri/Haji, Succession Derry Girls, Game of Thrones, This Way Up, The Boys.

As for films – Avengers:Endgame, Apollo 11, Booksmart, Fast Color, The Irishman, Marriage Story, Ad Astra. Gaming was strange this year – not much out as next year is new console time for both Sony and Microsoft so little to recommend apart from Apple Arcade.

Best Posters 2019

A good movie poster doesn’t always mean a good film. Here’s some of the best from 2019.

Recycling Sonos

This is bizarre. Sonos offer a 1/3 discount on your old product if you turn on “Recycle Mode”. But this bricks the device and makes it unusable. WTF!?! I’ve got a few Sonos devices but this will make me think twice about investing any more in their system.

Whats Next

Great article on the love for The West Wing right now. It’s one of my favourite TV shows ever and thanks to The West Wing Weekly podcast I’ve been rewatching all 7 series. There’s only 4 more episodes to go so it really will be a case of what’s next after January? If you’ve never watched The West Wing give it a try alongside the podcast…and if you’ve not watched it since it originally aired there’s no better time.

A Decade in Memes

Here’s a great list of memes that described the decade. Some classics in there.

Best of 2010s

I’ve linked to this a few weeks ago but if you are in need of more best of lists, Rex Sorgatz has pulled together an amazing index of best of decade lists.

Weekly Digest for Monday 23rd December

Presents bought and wrapped ☑️

Christmas Dinner bought ☑️

Advent calendar finished – 92%

Not long until the big day and prep work is done. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing I hope you have a good Christmas.

Gallery of Modern art in Glasgow with the Duke and his cone.

100 per cent

Two big stories from the weekend all around racism in the UK. First up – Stormzy. He’s got a new album out so has being doing a lot of press. In one interview he said that the UK is racist and it’s worse under Boris Johnson. I don’t know anyone that would say the UK doesn’t have a racism problem. If they do then they are part of the problem. As for Johnson, he’s got form and has normalised everyday racism in my opinion so Stormzy is spot on. However that didn’t stop the media spinning the story.

ITV spinning the story

One of the worst was ITV who claimed that Stormzy had said the UK is 100% racist. A very different meaning to what was said. A few hours later they backtracked, deleted the tweet and changed their story, but the damage was done and the story spread over social media. To see why it was such a bad article, read the original interview in the tweet below – he did not say the UK is 100 per cent racist.

The media spin has now become a bigger story a bit like how the election issues were spun into something else to avoid tackling the original issue. Let’s get back to the real issue – racism is on the rise in the UK. What’s to be done?

Racism in Football

This year especially has seen an increase in racism at football matches in Europe especially but also the UK. This weekends Spurs v Chelsea game saw a player targeted again. Step forward Gary Neville who, on a live show, articulated what many were feeling. Something needs to happen. Authorities need to do more. The main political parties have to clean up their act.

Sky Sports host David Jones though didn’t agree. “I am compelled to say, they are the views of you, Gary Neville, and not those of Sky Sports, that is my duty.” “I’m here to try and hold a balanced debate” he later said. What the fuck? How can you have a balanced debate about racism unless you bring on Tommy Robinson, Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson? It’s bad enough people at football matches feel it’s OK to do this….but there must be hundreds of others standing around hearing this and doing nothing. People need to step up.

The rise in nationalism across the UK is partly to blame. The ability of social media to amplify the minority and give voice to right wing extremists is another. Racist views that had long been stamped out and at best kept behind closed doors are now more prevalent as people have become emboldened. Johnson and other right wing media establishments have profited from being openly racist. Johnson even has the cheek to threaten the footballing authorities with action unless they clean up their act. He really has no shame. However I do hope the football powers that be do take more meaningful steps. Small fines at club and international level aren’t enough. And it’s not just an English or European issue. It’s the Old Firm match this weekend which see’s many racial taunts from both sides. This is Glasgow today.

The Wrong Fight

Labour is going through an awful lot of infighting after one its worst performances in decades. It will take more time and analysis to truly understand what went wrong but it’s clear that it and its union friends are picking the wrong battles. An ex Labour MP, Anna Turley, took Skwawkbox to court after being slandered in an article in 2017. She won her case but Unite spent over £1M defending the story on Skwawkbox. If you are a Unite member paying your fee’s, are you really comfortable that so much money has been spent in this way? Why not on the election campaign?

Collision Course

ProPublica has published an article on what went wrong with the USS John S. McCain. A long read but really worth the effort. Flawed tech was at the heart of the problem.

A Decade of Tech

More tech retrospectives but this time looking at the negatives of the last 10 years. The New York Times talks about tech losing its way over the last decade. I like the interactive nature of the article but don’t fully agree that all tech has lost its way….just needs a course correction. Meanwhile The Verge looks at the 84 biggest flops. So many failed products…Google Glass, 3DTV’s…Apple Keyboards!

The work of Neil Slorance

Political Cartoons

Neil Slorance is a local cartoonist and the BBC have done a lovely little feature on him. If you like his work then stop by his Etsy store.

Radiohead…on YouTube

Radiohead have always done things a little differently. This week they’ve put all their albums on YouTube making them free to stream. Merry Christmas!

Weekly Digest for Monday 16th December

On holiday now until next year. Needing the break as tiredness and health haven’t been great the last few weeks. Looking forward to a lazy recharge over the next couple of weeks.

General Election 2019

So clearly many people spent last Thursday kicking children and pensioners into traffic as well as voting Tory. Since then the Labour Party have imploded, the LibDems have disappeared and lost their leader while the SNP are pushing Scotland to independence much like Wales and Ireland. Hard to see there being a United Kingdom by 2025.

Moment of the night was Swinson losing her seat and Sturgeon celebrating. Some will say its unbecoming of the FM. Bullshit. Show’s the cut throat business of politics.

Clearly Brexit was the issue. Some of the other reasons and demographic breakdowns behind the vote are interesting. The split between old and young in this election is telling. No wonder the Tory’s don’t want 16-18 to vote. The Tory’s have been voted in on half a manifesto but were the only (serious) ones to say they will deliver Brexit. As ever, Marina Hyde sums up how many are feeling.

So we end this year/decade on a downer in my opinion. The worse off in our society will be further penalised while the have’s feel less of the impact of Brexit. What a mess.

Greta Thunberg – Time Person of the Year

Time’s person of the year is often controversial but hard to argue with this years choice – Greta Thunberg. Her story is remarkable and she’s had a massive impact on the conversation around climate change even if it’s not delivered a material difference yet. The difference in a year is striking.

From September 2018 to September 2019

Simone Giertz

Loved this profile of Simone Giertz in Wired. She’s went through a lot of health issues and I’ve loved her videos on YouTube for years – nice to read she’s moving on to more ambitious builds and goals. If you’ve not seen anything from Simone before start with her Truckla Tesla mod.

Passwords

Everyone hates passwords. This article proves that almost half of users iterate their passwords. No surprise in this day and age of complex passwords, three out of four characters, number, symbol types etc. We need to do away with forcing users to change passwords every x days and help and support with alternative methods or allow them to set a complex password but not enforce the frequent change – we’d be far more secure.

Doddie Weir

Watched Sports Personality in tears last night seeing Doddie Weir receive the Helen Rollason award. He’s been fighting MND for a couple of years now and raised awareness and money to find a cure. The BBC have more on Doddie here and a great documentary now on iPlayer. To donate visit the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation website.

LEGO cartography

So geeky but so good – a Lego map of Scotland. It’s expensive at £1500 but I want one.

The Decades best Gadgets

The 2010’s have seen some great gadgets and The Verge has a nice top 100 round up. Stand outs for me from the list – iPhone 4, DJI Phantom and the iPad. That iPhone 4 design is such a classic.

The Deep Sea

Almost my new favourite thing, The Deep Sea is a great website that you must visit. Just keep scrolling….it goes on for a long time.

AI Dungeon

This is amazing. AI Dungeon popped out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago. Years and years ago text adventures were all the rage. However they were limited by the path the developer wanted you to take – think Bandersnatch. Not so with AI Dungeon. You can ask it to do anything you can in written language and it has scope and scale to grow according to your commands. Give it a go while you still can – it’s costing the dev’s $65k a month to host.

Weekly Digest for Sunday 1st December

Hard to believe it’s not just the last month of the year, but the last of this decade. Winter has set in Glasgow and the last couple of days have been really cold. If we do have a cold spell it will really impact the election which is now next week. One of our most important votes could be greatly influenced by the weather. Sigh.

Fact checkers

This election more than ever depends on fact checking services. Every party says they are right, the others are wrong and there facts and figures are correct. The tories rebranding their own twitter account during a leaders head to head was a new low. Quite rightly there was outrage and Twitter themselves gave them a yellow card. I was amazed at first but then they got away with it, talked themselves out of it and people generally shrugged their shoulders. Wow. Now Google have banned 8 conservative adverts. Our campaigning is getting dirtier.

Hate Speech and Fakes

One of the biggest distributors of “fake news” is Facebook. Unlike others they are refusing to police political adverts. Step forward Sacha Baron Cohen who delivered a withering speech this week on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s “bullshit” arguments against regulating his platform. It’s a half hour watch but its really worth your time. There’s something about comedians in the way they can deliver a message…no bullshit, no reason to not offend. Brilliant.

Annoying Noise

I find background noise at work so fecking annoying. Other’s, not so much. So I found this BBC article on background noise really interesting. I work in an open plan office and find some noises drive me up the wall. Thank goodness for AirPods. However the article breaks down the reasons why certain noises affect some more than others. I blame my introverted tendencies.

Getting Old

When do you become old? As I’m no closer to 50 than 40 (shudder) then this research says that old is over 70 and I’m in a limbo group…neither young nor middle aged. All I do know is that I’m feeling older and my pension seems a long way a way.

Streaming Wars

Not video streaming…games. Google launched Stadia 2 weeks ago and Digital Foundry have a good summary of what works and doesn’t. I tried it over the last few days via a buddy code so it wasn’t in 4K and not via a controller but I was pleasantly surprised. I played Destiny 2 in 1080p in a browser on the Mac. It was quick to launch and also didn’t need any installs. The graphics felt soft compared to Xbox One X but I was playing a full screen 1080p feed on a 5k screen so of course it wouldn’t look as sharp. The big test was control lag….and it was hard to spot any even during a multiplayer game. Not perfect but I was impressed. Not enough for me to sign up and ditch the console but a good start from Google.

Giri/Haji

Not seen this talked about much but I’ve loved Giri/Haji on BBC 2. Great cast, inventive story and even some Manga on the BBC. All episodes on iPlayer and the last episode is broadcast next week. Well worth catching if you’ve missed it so far.

Lists

It’s the end of the decade so there are many best of lists doing the rounds. This post does a great job of pulling together all the best off’s as they are published although any best of movie list that doesn’t have Mad Max:Fury Road can be ignored 😉