Social Technologist. Cyborg. Digital Research. Cyber-Urbanism, Social Analytics. Data Science. Web Technologies. Atheist. Geek. Football. SFC.
8655 words
https://transcendingdigital.space@borganstein

#11 Musings

I consider myself to be very technologically minded. I have conducted academic research into the social impacts of technology use specifically in the smart tech space, I have run a computer repair business, sold technology in a large format retail store. I also consider myself a programmer as I am proficient in R as well as currently upskilling in web development (HTML + CSS + Javescript). I just create this Star Wars Planet Generator from scratch (Link).

I pride myself on being able to learn new software very quickly, which is a major bonus when it comes to actually learning on the job.

To that effect I run my own email that is to say, I run both a personal and professional domain through ProtonMail. I used to use Google's own paid offering but due to concerns around privacy I made the move. Protonmail is an excellent product, that you can use for free with their domain but their pricing is very reasonable.

While I have moved all of my email needs, both personal and professional, over to ProtonMail. Unfortunately, the calendar is missing some key features that I require (your mileage may vary). I share my calender with my partner so that she can at a glance know if I am busy on any giving day for anything. ProtonCalender is missing either a sharing functionality, so inviting another person to be able to view your calendar. This would be preferable but even if that wasn't possible due to privacy first architecture involved, I would need to be able to send an invite to another person so that they can add it to their calender. Their Twitter account is saying that a calender mobile app and invites are going to be broadly towards the end of 2020, and fingers crossed that is the case.

Those missing requirements do not detract from the quality of their product and I would still highly recommend giving it a go. Certainly, the piece of mind that zero-access encryption brings makes up for any percIeved shortfalls.

Catch you in the next one,

B

#10 Musings

I suffer from Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome/Disorder (DSPS/D). Syndrome is the more common but a handful of places still call it disorder. A handy pdf is available from the Sleep Health Foundation.

Essentially what that means is that I sleep normal hours so over a standard year my average sleep length is about 7.5 hours. The only difference is that I have a tendency to be sleepy between 3 or 4am and 12pm. So my sleep pattern is shifted later as compared with the traditional sleeping pattern. I have been like this for essentially my entire life with traditional activity start times whether that be work or school were very hard. I resorted to naps in the afternoon to help sustain my sanity. If I needed to force my body into a "normal" sleeping pattern I wouldv'e gone crazy long before (some say I reached that point years ago :-)

I am in the fortunate position that my work life is extremely flexible (notwithstanding impacts of COVID-19 on work availability). That is primarily due to my partner being very supporting and doing the lion's share of lifting when it comes to the financial side of things. I try and schedule any important meetings in the afternoon if at all possible but if not, I deal with the consequences of little sleep. The only thing I can relate it to is that me getting up at 8 or 9am is like you getting up at 3 or 4am. You can do it but you certainly won't be at your best and long term you'll start to have other issues.

Catch you in the next one,

B

#9 Musings

I run an Unraid server for file storage and media streaming. I made the move from Windows server to Unraid a few years ago and since have been blown away by the sheer stability.

As you can see I am currently sitting at over 94 days uptime. The major reason is because it has integrated Docker and VM capabilities. That means that each individual program or app is can be independently powered on, rebooted and of course installed. This means that the overall OS can continue to run smoothly even if individual dockers or VMs are having issues. I very rarely have to reboot the server and really only in the event of a power failure, me having to move the server physically or an update does it get rebooted.

I run about 20 dockers concurrently and a few vms when required. Namely testing out new Linux OSs.

I also use Unraid to store all of my data and so currently have 26TBs worth of storage space in my array, with about 10TBs used. The data is not backed up but Unraid does have features that help withstand data loss due to HDD failure.

If you are looking for a low overhead bare metal OS then Unraid is a very good option. It supports VMs, dockers and extensions to suit any home server set up. It does have a cost attached with a licence requiring a one-time payment depending on how many HDDs you are going to have attached. See this link for details. There is a free 30 day trial where you can test out whether you hardware can support it.

If you have any questions on Unraid or home server setups please don't hesitate to hit me up. Email or Twitter.

Catch you in the next one,

B

#8 Musings

I promised myself that I would try and disengage from US politics during during the day to try and avoid any feelings of negativity. Alas even through I turned off socials for the day I was still bombarded with news from heaps of different angles. I feel exactly the same way as I did in 2016, just a malaise. A creeping sense of foreboding, like I am seeing a train wreck unfolding in slow motion. There really needed to be a major win for either side to avoid the inevitable clashes, and I can't imagine if the Supreme court actually needs to decide on a winner, what that would mean for the democratic process in the US. United states no more. I think a name change is in order. The Divided States of America. DSA.

See, I really tried to not be sucked in but no can do. There is almost a sense that it's a black hole.


DONE


Moving on to happier pastures, my partner and I inspected a place today and it's really nice. A bit more than we were hoping for but we put in an application and fingers crossed. It's only 5 minutes away from our current place so a relatively easy move. Still have a few inspections to go but I think we will find something that fits us quite well.

Then it's only the actual moving that we have to do, always a joy.

Till the next one!!

B

#7 Musings

Hi Everyone,

Obviously using this platform Standard Notes to publish to the Listed site means that you are problem familiar with markdown. Markdown is such a powerful way of writing, that I really need to use more efficiently. I am still coming to terms with exactly how you can do everything.

The ethos behind Standard Notes is a lofty one, and one of the reasons why I am long term paid supporter. It is such a well designed product and one that is a rarity in the modern digital world. A slightly different take on the note taking genre is Obsidian. It works with a local folder of Markdown files (or a synced folder to online storage), the main pitch is connectivity between notes. That is how your notes and therefore ideas are interlinked and morph into new areas. Free with paid features, I have to say that the experience is quite nice. Their graph view is a fantastic way of showing how your thoughts, ideas and writings link together.


See the below image


As far as I am aware, that just isnt possible within Standard Notes nor do I think it's the market they are going for. I am continually jumping from platform to platform and I have figured out that really I need multiple different niche products rather than a singular encompassing one that does everything. I currently use Todoist for my todo list, Notion for life/financial/food tracking with my partner, Standard Notes for personal writing, Onenote and Evernote for website clipping.

I have always been interested in fiction writing and certainly in my academic career Obsidian would be really useful at creating a distinct connectivity graph of ideas.

I shall explore it and see how and if it fits into my workflow. Hit me up if you have any questions.

Thanks for reading and till the next one,

B

#6 Musings

Hi Everyone,

As I've said in a previous Musings post (located here -> #1 Musings), I recently subscribed to Shudder a horror dedicated streaming service and I came across a series of horror films based on a variation of the "found footage" genre, the movie trilogy Hell House LLC. Now the first film in the series was quite tight in terms of storytelling and visuals but the subsequent films got a bit messy as sequels have a tendency to become. I enjoyed them as some filler movies, with really only the second movie actually getting me with the traditional jump scare. Everything else goes exactly how you would imagine with the scares telelgraphed quite obviously. If you are a "found footage" horror film I think you'd enjoy them though I certainly wouldn't count them as cult classics. That is to say that these films to do not to anything new with the genre but nonetheless do a serviceable job of drawing within the lines.

I love my phone, it is an extension of me and my connection to the internet. I consume lots of media, have both positive and negative interactions online. I ran into a problem with my Pixel 4XL where the glass back plate started to become unglued. Just starting coming off the frame. Now this obviously poses a problem with by NFC payments as well as water resistance. I jumped straight onto Google Pixel support and started a ticket. After the usual questions and sending of photos to prove that the phone wasn't dropped they authorised an exchange. Fantastic. They send me a new refurbished phone and then I send back my broken one. Finished.

I get the refurbished phone within two days and I'm thinking that this is fantastic service. Unfortunately, I day after I got it, I figure out that the phone they have sent me has a faulty rear camera system. Usually, I use my cameras very infrequently. Unluckily, due to the pandemic here in Sydney restaurants and cafes are required to collect personal details for contact tracing. This is most easily done by having a QR code that you scan with your phone. This makes it really annoying to have a phone with a broken camera. Anyway, considering I got this phone within a couple of days I figure that we can just do the same thing. Get onto Google support and start a new ticket. Unfortunately, It turns out that due to my outstanding RMA I cannot start another until the last one is complete. Double annoying considering I need to send the old phone back to Hong Kong to be inspected. Anyway, first world problems and all that but still highly frustrating. I would take a bet that my refurbished phone was returned due to an intermittent fault within the rear camera unit and Google's quality control missed it.

As I said before, first world problems and if that's the worst thing that happens I'll consider myself lucky.

Anyway, thanks for reading my rant and I'll see you in the next one,

B

#5 Musings

Hi Everyone,

If you know me, you'd definitely say I am a bit of a horror buff. Not necessarily any particular type of horror but horror in general. Some of my favourites lean towards the comedy side and others to the grisly. I generally just take a movie at face value and really sometimes it's those indie small budget ones that hit home the most. They need to come up with creative ways to solve effects issues be that with CGI or practical effects. Take The Thing (1982) obviously made at a time when CGI was in its infancy and couldn't be relied upon. The majority, if not all, of the effects were practical. You can tell, those effects are grounded in reality and made to look real by decisions made by the various teams involved. Now by no means was it an indie film with a reported budget of US$15 million in 1982 (around US$42 million in 2020 dollars). If you have it or can stream it please do it holds up surprisingly well. I use the Just Watch site to easily see if I am currently subscribed to a service that has a show or movie I want to watch. In Australia this is where The Thing (1982) is available to purchase or stream.

The 2011 film The Thing (2011) is a direct prequel the events in the 1982 version. Again a fun watch but the extensive use of CGI means that ages way quicker than pure physical. Having said that the effects are quite good and the visual teams should be commended.

Till the next one,

B

#4 Musings

Hi everyone,

While inspecting multiple open homes today, I was thinking about technology and the existential threat it faces humanity as a whole. Now, I am not suggesting that technology is inherently negative but the fact that life changing tech is moving so quickly can mean society as a whole can't keep up to steer the ship, so to speak.

The world is such a different even just a decade ago. The advent and proliferation of mobile and the connective technologies has meant fundamental changes to how we interact with others and consume content. The concentration of power in a relatively small amount of (primarily) us based tech companies means that quite a small proportion of western people control speech, moderation and censorship. Control maybe too strong a word but certainly a strong influence.

I think we need to be more careful about those powerful relationships and critically deconstruct some of those motives. These discussions currently happening in the US around section 230 and moderation on platforms needs to be closely followed because it could ultimately decide how big (and even more powerful) these giant global spanning corporations could get.

I don't necessarily agree with the direction Australia is taking in specific response to Google and Facebook and news corporations, but having more regulation to ensure that the best interests of Australians are kept at the forefront is essential.

Till the next one,

B

#3 Musings

Hi everyone!!

It's funny but even though I live in Australia my social media is squarely out of the US. I follow, consume and just experience so much US-centric stuff that I found myself being affected quite strongly with what is happening over there.

I am definitely squarely in the liberal camp but I found those political spectrums too constricting. I much prefer evidence-based decision-making unencumbered by ideological blindness. I feel that at times both sides (to varying degrees; the right on average leans more) of the political tend to the extreme and leads to decision-making based off of your own individual ideology.

The world would be a much better place if we based our policy off of what would help the most people as opposed to special interest groups.

The fate of US elections will, of course, impact everyone especially close partners like Australia but I definitely needed to disengage with American politics and the major issues sitting at the root of their democratic systems.

While the big social tech companies need to take responsibility for a lot of negative outcomes, at least they gave us the mute button.

Thanks for reading, and catch you on the next one.

B

#2 Musings

Hi Everyone!!

I have always written with an endpoint in mind. That might be a university report, research report, some sort of professional blog style piece of writing. The twin blades of having complete freedom with what to write can bring its own pressures.

Currently looking at new places to rent (in Sydney) and I am very lucky with the internet speeds that are available to me in the place I am living. Having high-speed internet (Fttp) as a priority for the new place is making it hard as the state of our internet infrastructure in Australia is quite atrocius. Certainly a first world problem but having the luxury of being able upload/download at blistering fast speeds is a massive bonus when building websites and backing up. Notwithstanding the excellent entertainment options that those fast speeds get me. In this day and age where we are working from home, having those fast speeds (as well as rock solid connections) available is definitely a priority. Fingers crossed I can find a place with similar internet speeds.

My entertainment for today was on my new favourite streaming service Shudder, it was the aptly named Castle Freak. It is a 1995 direct-to-video horror film and it certainly fits into the B-Grade horror aesthetic. Low budget and with some extremely campy acting. Enjoyable if you go into with the right expectations. Some excellent gore and special effects though definitely showing its age nearly 25 years later.

Unlike yesterdays Scare Me and The Mortuary Collection which are much modern in every sense of the word, this definitely fits into what those 90s horror films were like.

That's my 200 for today, catch you on the next one.

B

First Listed Musings

Hi Everyone!!

2020 has been a hell of a year and I just wanted to find a place that I could just write. Not necessarily anywhere near my professional spaces but just somewhere I could regurgitate what was floating around in my head.

So since I have already invested into Standard Notes and have to say it is such a slick product that I continue to try and find ways to shoehorn into my workflow. I figured that starting a Listed journal would be a freeing experience in terms of getting me writing.

What do I want to get out of this experience? Well, I actually enjoy writing but find that both in my professional and personal spheres there is quite a lot of pressure to have a purpose, a direction. I feel like the Listed space is more about meandering musings rather than having a specific direction.

Anyway, onto today's thoughts.

So, anyone who knows me, knows I like horror. So I finally pulled the pin on Shudder and subscribed. Have to say I have quite enjoyed the content I have managed to watch. Primarily two small-ish horror films: Scare Me with the excellent Aya Cash. Scare me is quite a simple set up but it both Aya Cash and Josh Ruben bring some excellent acting. Its the chemistry and gusto with which those two retell (or tell?) those stories trying to scare the other. The other movie was The Morturary Collection. I quite like the aesthetic of this movie, so hats off to the visual design team(s). The twist if you can call it that is quite subtle and sneaks up on you.

Both are thoroughly enjoyable and recommended to any horror fans out there.

That's my 200 words for today. I'll catch you on the next one.

B