Updates

It’s been a long time since I posted on here — my last post (before today’s posts) was July 17 when I had to self isolate. A lot has happened since then, so this post will be a bit of an update list


I had to take my dad into hospital for a prostrate operation (this was planned before I had to self-isolate) — he already had a PCR test and was cleared. My LFT was also clear, but I still had to self isolate. This was before the self-isolation changes happened. The operation was successful, but he needed to be held a few more days to see an ENT specialist due to them finding lumps in his throat. The concern was that they might be cancerous, but turns out it was just irritation so they gave him some Gaviscon to take after means and soothe the throat. Both my dad and I are prone to post-meal throat irritation so it might mean I might be subject to the same thing later in life.


I got a ticket after driving my dad to the hospital for taking a left turn when I was not supposed do, due to badly signposted roads. My appeal was rejected on the grounds I had paid the ticket. This is how the council screws you over — if you pay the fine to avoid the 100% charge, they will claim that admits guilt. If you don’t, they delay the response until after the 2-week window so you then have to pay the 100% charge.


I finally decided to upgrade my phone and went for a OnePlus 9 Pro. The phone is classed as a “Phablet” and much bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S5 I have been using for years:

The case on the left is for the OnePlus, the case on the right for my S5

I had problems activating the new SIM and eventually Three had to send me a new one, and soon after I got that new one, I got a message saying Three were going to be doing works on the mast in my area and ever since then I have had horrendously bad speeds at home. By bad, I mean speeds of < 1Mbps and even down to 0.2Mbps. Using 3G band sometimes helps, but only marginally.

I’ve taken my complaint up to the Ombudsman but Three are still refusing to do anything about it — even charging me to leave contract early.

I’ve been with Three many years but I will not be recommending them going forward. I will be checking other providers when my contract expires.


We’ve started to go back to the office. My team is doing three days a week in the office, and you pick which three days as long as there are a max of 8 people in the office (due to some office reorganisation, we only have 8 seats for the entire team).

Surprisingly many people have left jobs during and post lockdown (some might have been nudged due to the lockdown, and not just in my office, but generally.)


I won a Twitter completion by Curve for a swag bag. Just had to tweet them three images of their different adverts — all of which showed up on the same station, so that wasn’t too difficult.


Then we had the annoying as heck “Panic at the Pumps” causing shortages.

Driving past Alperton Sainsbury’s

This video from my dashcam shows the queue of traffic. This is the queue leading into the Alperton Sainsbury’s. I was there at around 5am and it took me 30 minutes to clear the queue even with less people in the queue. This queue will probably take 90 minutes to clear, assuming the fuel was not gone by the time they got to the front of the queue

Driving past Whetstone Esso

This video, also from my dashcam shows the queues that built up outside the petrol stations — this Esso I actually went into at 4:30am that morning and they were not open, even though there were staff in the shop (so maybe they were waiting for delivery?)

You’ll get people tooting impatiently and even people cutting the queue and then blocking the lane for the people behind (they must be luxury car drivers)


My house purchase has progressed and we have moved on and are now ready to exchange. However, one of the two sellers is unable to complete his purchase (he’s part of a chain and needs to complete his purchase before he can complete the sale on the current house).


Finally, I got a letter from Principia Law who are the ones trying to claim money back from the drunk driver who wrecked my previous car.

They want me to release my bank records for the period of time I had the hire car. But everyone I have discussed this with seems confused as to why this is required since the accident is a “no-fault” claim on my part, so they should not even need my bank details.

I asked them to call me today to discuss this. I may also speak to the office legal team for their thoughts.

Training in Quarantine – Day 328 & Football

Missed logging from yesterday. I did my walk later than normal, as I had to pick up my dad from hospital after an operation.

England were playing in Wembley against Germany last night, though I am not much of a football fan and don’t really follow matches.

I didn’t even think England would beat Germany, based on their history.

On my way back from my walk, I came across a group of teenagers with England shirts on. They saw me and started singing “It’s coming home” to me. I just looked blank and confused (being a chinese person, I guess they thought I couldn’t understand them). One of them put their fist out for a fist bump. Now *that* I knew and met the bump before heading off.

England won 2-0 against Germany but you never would have guessed. Normally, when England score a goal or win a match, you hear massive cheering from the neighbours and then celebrations in the streets — people driving their cars with the windows down screaming “En-ger-land!”

None of that this time.

The Rise of Open Source Software

There’s a nice CNBC documentary talking about OSS and how it’s pretty much taken over the world. Proof if it was needed that open source is better than closed source in pretty much every scenario.

I say “pretty much” since there are definitely certain scenarios where open source is not the best option, such as proprietary encryption algorithms or something that is company-confidential.

Google to buy FitBit

Well, this is a bit of a surprise, but not too much a surprise.

Regular readers will know I’m a FitBit user and have been for a few years.

You’ll also know that I’m an Android user, and Linux user.

So I just read this article, about Google acquiring FitBit. I’m curious to see how they incorporate FitBit and whether improve it or destroy it….

https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/01/google-buys-fitbit/

And a Press Release has just been found in my inbox:

https://investor.fitbit.com/press/press-releases/press-release-details/2019/Fitbit-to-Be-Acquired-by-Google/default.aspx

Google’s Catch-22

Not often I post on problems at Google, but this is actually an interesting situation.

https://arstechnica.com/?p=1518703

Google had an outage the other week, and it knocked out several websites GitLab, Shopify and impacted others. Gsuite, Gmail, YouTube were affected, but not down.

There are some interesting lines in this article:

for an entire afternoon and into the night, the Internet was stuck in a crippling ouroboros: Google couldn’t fix its cloud, because Google’s cloud was broken.

Google says its engineers were aware of the problem within two minutes. And yet! “Debugging the problem was significantly hampered by failure of tools competing over use of the now-congested network,”

In short, Google Cloud broke due to congestion, Google couldn’t fix the problem because their tools required using the network that was now congested

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