tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:07pm on 06/04/2017
Back in June 2003, I created a LiveJournal account. Since then, after peaks and long, low, troughs, I feel that I want to fight against the pervasive feeling of disappointment, and I want LiveJournal to be the special thing that it used to be. Though I blog infrequently, it still feels like it should be home.

In June 2005 I paid $300 for two permanent accounts, one for me and one for [personal profile] kateaw, and I have no regrets. I was happy to support LJ, and over the past twelve years, I’m sure we have received good value from that purchase.

A combination of the long, slow decline in LJ, together with event calamities like we’re seeing this week, will serve to drive more and more people from LJ, and perhaps into using their Dreamwidth accounts, but I fear that we won’t see much more evidence of an active online community.

But let’s be hopeful. Maybe something good will come from this.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:14am on 03/04/2017
“Your email address has been marked as unvalidated because we have been receiving errors messages from your mail server for at least one week. This indicates the address may no longer be functional. You can re-validate this email address or switch to a new email address to begin receiving notifications again.”

For the past week or so, I haven't been getting emails from LJ on my regular email address (an @me.com address). My email is otherwise working fine, so I assume that iCloud is currently allergic to LJ email. Is anyone else having a problem?
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 09:03am on 30/03/2017
I’d like to see an independent Scotland. I was happy to vote for independence from the UK in 2014, and for independence from the EU in 2016. My decision in 2014 was made easier by it seeming clear that Scotland leaving the UK would also mean it leaving the EU. Genuine independence.

Now we are faced with the prospect of another Scottish independence referendum, and I am finding it hard to contain my fury at the SNP conflating Scottish independence with, in some manner, remaining in the EU. It is clear that they see political expediency in focusing on a half-hearted pro-European independence for Scotland. Perhaps we should call it “soft” independence.

It may leave us with a choice between independence from the UK, and indepence from the EU. Which is a choice I don’t want this country to have to make. If I have to vote to stay in the UK in order to keep us out of the EU, I will blame the SNP.
tobyaw: (Balgove)

BCS

posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:51am on 03/02/2017
Is there any point to BCS (British Computer Society) membership?

I’ve been a member since forever (MBCS CITP), but the fees are high and have been increasing at a rate far ahead of inflation and wages. I’m finding it hard to see any professional or personal benefit from membership.
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:37pm on 11/01/2017
Delighted to have tickets to see Anthrax in concert in February.

I noticed they were touring this year when Beth’s latest issue of Metal Hammer fell open at an advert for the tour. I thought about the Barrowlands date, but that is in the middle of Beth’s half-term when we are due to be down in Nottingham. It turns out they are playing Rock City in Nott’m that same week. Perfect.

When I was at school, I had classmates who regularly went to Rock City. Never been myself (most of my school-era concerts were at the Nott’m Royal Concert Hall, or at the Birmingham NEC once I was driving) — so quite amused that I’ll be matching that teenage experience at the age of forty-four.

This will be the first time I’ll be seeing Anthrax live, despite having loved their music since the 1980s. Pretty sure the first Anthrax album I heard was 1988’s State of Euphoria, although I’ve probably listened to Among the Living more than any other.

Sadly the concert is 14+, so we can’t take Beth to this one, but [livejournal.com profile] kateaw should enjoy it.
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 01:18pm on 01/11/2016 under , , ,
I read almost all web pages using the “reader” mode in Safari. It would be great if pages could open automatically in reader mode if they have suitable content; it looks like Twitter are testing defaulting to reader mode in their iOS app, so perhaps we are seeing movement in that direction.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/31/twitter-tests-ad-blocking-reader-mobile

It is refreshing to read content from news sites without seeing menus, logos, adverts, sidebars, downloadable fonts, popups, comments, or, for that matter, any aspect of page design.
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 05:10pm on 18/06/2016 under , , ,
Before the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, I spent a lot of time thinking about the kind of country I wanted to live in, and how it should relate to the wider world. I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t possible to make a decision based on facts, well-argued analysis, and expert predictions. Rather, I identified the issues that were most relevant to the way I thought about our governance, and made my decision based on how I felt about those issues. And I was happy to vote for independence.

Looking at the key issues that drove my decision:

  • I believe in localism (in a positive way). We ought to have smaller political units that are more closely connected to the people who live in them. A smaller country is a better country. And that power should be devolved down to the smallest practical political unit.

  • The Westminster government is distant from Scotland, and from Scottish priorities. (This is not to say that it is undemocratic, but rather that Scottish priorities are not well represented).

  • National institutions inevitably have an English focus, and Scotland is often regarded as “them” rather than “us”.

  • Immigration is seen as a major problem in much of England. It isn’t regarded in the same way in Scotland, and as a nation we would welcome more immigrants.

  • The emphasis of our tax system needs to be different. Scotland has a much smaller percentage of top-rate tax payers, and needs to be more active in adapting our tax system to encourage inward investment (perhaps by offering a different model of corporation tax).

  • Scottish industries — oil, whisky, ship building, fishing, finance, technology — need specific and active support from the government.

Thinking about those, and similar, issues in relation to Britain in Europe, I’m convinced that voting to leave Europe is the right decision on Thursday. This is not an anti-European or anti-foreigner stance, but a genuine belief that we are not served well by further European integration. A belief that Britain can prosper, and indeed push ahead of Europe with economic performance and with social issues. An escape from the pervasive belief that a larger institution always knows best. And an escape from the bureacracy, cronyism, corruption, and lack of democracy in many of the European institutions.

I can understand arguments from both sides of the referendum, and can see many different points of view on each side (and many distinct reasons why people would vote to leave or vote to remain). But I hope that everyone votes for a positive reason — because they believe in the direction they are voting for, rather than because they are afraid of the alternative.
tobyaw: (Balgove)
There are 120 points to collect on a weekly basis. From observation, the week starts on a Monday.

PointsActivityInstructions
30Visit the official Nintendo website while signed in to your Nintendo AccountVisit http://www.nintendo.co.uk
30Collect the My Nintendo sign-in bonusVisit https://my.nintendo.com then click on the coin that appears next to your Mii
30Sign in to MiiverseVisit https://miiverse.nintendo.net then collect the points at https://my.nintendo.com/missions
30Sign in to Nintendo eShopVisit the eShop on Wii U or 3DS then collect the points at https://my.nintendo.com/missions


There are 35 points to collect on a daily basis, from playing Miitomo. Once each of these has been achieved you’ll usually get a notification in Miitomo, which collects the points, but if you don’t, then the points can be collected on the Missions page.

PointsActivity
10Get 5 comments on your answers in one day
10Get 5 hearts on your answers in one day
5Give 3 answers in one day
5Listen to your friends' answers 10 times in one day
5Change your outfit once in a day


There is another (possibly weekly) activity, “Answer the featured question”, which nets 25 points. I’m not yet sure when that changes.

Check your point earning at https://my.nintendo.com/point/history
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:04pm on 01/03/2016
Away from home for a few days, and my entertainment of choice is catching up with some Big Finish audio plays. I only buy them when they’re on offer, but I’ve amassed quite a collection over the years, and there is satisfaction in knowing that they keep producing drama to such a consistently high standard.

And it is a pleasant escape from the mass of miserable-looking people, to be able to wander around Shoreditch of an evening, headphones on and a smile on my face.
location: Shoreditch, London
tobyaw: (Balgove)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 08:11pm on 29/02/2016
On the train to London at the moment, for a few days of work. Does anybody fancy meeting for dinner in or near Shoreditch this week? I’m around until Friday.

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