Nest has issues

Nest owners have reported that their smart thermostats have stopped working and as a result many woke up to colder than normal temperature in their house and unresponsive completely dead Nests. The fault lies in a software update (version 5.1.3 or later) that was pushed out to devices in December that drains the battery and ultimately shuts down the device.

I don’t recall the last time my heating system developed a bug, never mind one that was introduced by the manufacturer after they sold it to me. If a remote software update can turn your appliances off, can they turn them on? And if your microwave or oven is net-connected, then can someone turn it on when you’re asleep?

Mobile more prevalent than Electricity, Sanitation, Education

According to the latest Ofcom Communications Market report, Northern Ireland has become a “smartphone society”.

In the last five years, smartphone ownership among adults has tripled (from 21% to 63%) and is now the preferred way to access the internet, having overtaken the laptop.

Additionally in the same time period, tablet ownership has gone from 2% to 54%.

Fixed line broadband take-up still remains well below than the UK average and we now lag behind England and Wales for coverage. But with the trends of 4G being available (considering all operators) to 91% of premises in Northern Ireland, it would seem that our internet usage is not only growing up, but growing even more mobile year on year.

Northern Ireland has always been a quick adopter of new technology – from having the most rapid growth in portable music players and also having the highest penetration of the iPod brand in Western Europe.

The full communications market report is available here.

The last thing to notice is that mobile is more prevalent than electricity, sanitation, clean water and education.

The Years Thunder By

From a man who pursued an acting career solely to finance his sailing addiction.

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I’ve always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can’t afford it." What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

  • Sterling Hayden (Wanderer, 1973)

Digital Circle 2016

Doing some work today to relaunch Digital Circle for 2016.

Things kinda fell by the wayside when we discovered that NI Screen was going to withhold half of the cash that Digital Circle applied for (and attempt to deliver that part of the project themselves – and then blame us when they didn’t manage it right). It made it very difficult (and very demotivating) for me as it cut off my main income in one fell swoop and I had to run out and get a job. But such is the danger of being involved in consultant and delivery-based projects that you have to bid for.

So, a calendar year later and it’s time for a relaunch. We have a new steering group and the majority of the stalwarts from the old group have retired so I’m excited about doing new things. I want to have an event every quarter so that I have something to build up to. Nope, I don’t have a budget for it but then half the time in DC I didn’t have budget and we muddled through anyway. I do, however, have a day job.

I need some help in updating the web site, fixing some issues and pulling together a business model. I was happier in my DC work than in any other job so I need, for my own sake, to get back to it. The last year has been challenging both personally and professionally so a clean slate is absolutely required.

I know I’m probably the only person who reads this now, especially as the domain changed. But it’s me. And it’s for me.


The Big Boat!

I’ve started saving for the big boat.


Depending on how I do over the next six months, it’ll see how big the boat gets. I’m aiming for a 40 ft sailboat because I need separate cabins for my daughter and son when I force them to come and live with me at the weekends.

So if anyone wants to donate a few grand to my boat fund so I have somewhere to live this year, it would be awesome. ???

My target is about £40,000. I have about £5,000 so far. I’ll need a bit extra if I’m going to hire a skipper to help me sail it back from wherever it’s moored plus fuel and supplies so my target is a bit higher than that.

And if you don’t want to donate, please think of any mostly legal services I can perform on evenings and weekends. I’m not entirely averse to the slightly immoral 😛 😛 😛 or even the plainly distasteful. I’ve worked in bars on the mornings after the Friday and Saturday nights (Thanks Dad!), I’ve scraped cow crap and tonnes of chicken litter and I’ve worked for a bank (lowest of the low).

Happy to bring anyone who’s willing on board to help me ship it back (think of it as a holiday) and make a real trip out of it.

All I can promise is that when we arrive in Belfast, we’ll have a party ??? and ideally we’ll take the bugger out sailing when the weather improves!

P.S. this entire post is actually about being happy that I’ve managed to get about £5K into the fund so be happy for me!

P.P.S. Also willing to ‘entertain’ rich widows. Seriously. 😛