27 July 2016

Ghostbusters 2016 Review


  • Feels like it was using the franchise far too much for its own benefit. 
  • There were 4 renditions of the main theme tune, which, sure, it is a catchy song, but it wasn't overkill in the original.
  • Why was the lead girl so "okay" with giving up her career on merging general relativity and quantum theory? That would be the biggest breakthrough in physics in ages.
  • Why did we not see the professor of the university again, like shocked or rejecting the evidence of ghosts and what the lead girl was up to? I feel that would have made it funny.
  • The lead girl said there was no science in her book at all, so how did Abby and Jillian create the technology? How did Jillian even develop the technology to be so portable so easily?
  • Bill Murray wasn't used well enough in the film at all, it felt more like he was poking fun at the film - more specifically the girls in it
  • Now that Rowan is dead and there aren't any more devices, why does the town even need the Ghostbusters anymore? Unless someone else starts making similar devices, but that would basically be a repeat of the same film. 
  • A lot of the jokes weren't funny, and the scenes were edited together so closely to make it really fast paced, but left no time for the jokes to sink in. It felt like they were cranking jokes in at every opportunity. A lot of the jokes were very childish as well, like the fart joke and Jillian's general responses. This isn't an Avengers movie, you can't do the Hulk/Groot thing with a human. 
  • The nuclear reactor on the top of the car was a major plot device that was not explained for being there, definitely deus ex machina
  • The CGI was very mixed - the proton packs and streams looked excellent, but the ghosts weren't all great
  • Sigourney Weaver could have been used better
  • Feels like the roles were better suited to men really, and Chris Hemsworth was the "dumb blonde receptionist", and his role change later in the film makes no reflection on him alone
  • Generally did not get what they were talking about sometimes (not the sci-fi technobabble) but even the jokes too
  • They could have expanded on the ghost that was at the end of the lead girl's bed for a year. Why did the ghost ignore her after a year? Why didn't they visit her house to see if the ghost was still there?
As there are so many questions I'm led to believe there will be a sequel.

16 July 2016

Afterlife

Evolution and nature

There is no afterlife, heaven or hell. There is no reincarnation. These are all things we have dreamt up to make us hopeful and protect us from the truth: that once we die, we are never conscious again. There is no such thing as a soul.

The reason behind this is obvious if you look at nature. What makes us so different from monkeys, from cats and dogs, and from the smallest little creatures? Why do humans get the privilege of an afterlife when other creatures do not? At what point did evolution give us this 'soul' and this ability to ascent to a different plane of existence?

From all this the truth is very clear: it is something we made up. We made up the idea of afterlife so that religion could be used as a way to control people, and cover up the fact that science is real. The argument between religion and science all started with religion wanting to cover up the facts that science brought with it, and throughout history has dismissed the ideas of many scientists and killed them.

This idea is instantly depressing. The thought that when we die we won't exist anymore. We won't be able to think, feel or do anything - we will cease to be. We shut our eyes and that is the end of our story. It's scary and deeply harrowing. But it doesn't mean that life is pointless.

Existentialism and influence

The resolution to this existentialism is to "do what we can". Your life is a gift - it is a chance to change something in this world. To make the world better. So that when you die, you can feel happy, knowing that you've left this world in an improved state than when you found it. Every single person that is born is another gift - another chance to change this world and make it better - to create your legacy. Whether that means to have children, to make someone else happy, to save the lives of others, to provide to others, and to push humanity in some direction that it will be better in the future.

Think about what you are passionate about, what makes you tick, and what you think needs to be fixed in the world - what is that thing that makes you think "Someone really needs to fix this". My lasting thought in life would to be in bed at the end of my life, surrounded by family, friends and loved ones, looking back at everything good I've done in this world and being happy that I made this world a better place. I have influenced the world and changed it to a different path than it previously would have been had I done nothing through my entire life and just "existed".

From this comes a philosophy of how to live your life as well - to never cause suffering. Try and make the lives of others better - don't hurt others, or anger them or upset them. Show them patience, care, kindness and tolerance and find how to move forward.

Origin of the universe

There is another concept that religion imposes - the idea of a god, or many gods. Knowing that each of us is made from stars, and that after all the stars have burned out in 100 trillion years, and the universe slowing cooling until the heat death of the universe, it does make you think, why does the universe exist? Is there a way to escape the universe? Can we live beyond it? Is there a way for humans to keep surviving, after the Earth is gone, and after the last of all the suns has gone out, to keep living for trillions and trillions years more, or is there even a way to escape the universe?

These are the thoughts that should drive us forward. If you strongly believe in god, then the pursuit of science and wanting to discover how the universe came about, kind of dissipates. To focus on something like a god is to distract yourself from trying to answer the real questions about the universe. To settle on a belief is giving up and avoiding answering the question. There shouldn't be a belief, instead, there should be a desire to want to know.

07 July 2016

WALL-E is about sacrifice

WALL-E isn't a movie just about robots or love or the environment. It isn't even about Disney or that little sweet butterfly that gets in you every time you watch a Pixar classic. It's about sacrificing our humanity.

Buy N Large (BnL) became a popular company at the expense of business competition. This allowed them to commercialize every facet of organisation. Media, transport, government, health, education, science, sport, technology: everything except environmental responsibility. We sacrificed economic and cultural freedom for the sake of convenience. We got rid of political and business borders and made a new frontier, but put up borders against nature and a wall of silence.against the depletion of resources, physical space and waste management.

The second sacrifice was nature. Pollution and lack of recycling or renewable energy usage ruined the climate. For the sake of excessive and immediate consumption: a mindset of only thinking what you need now, and not ever considering the future.

Then we sacrificed the Earth. Humanity literally packed up its bags and ran away from its home. We gave up the entire planet - its history, culture, races, resources, and nature itself - because it was easier to leave than to fix the problem.

Then, we sacrificed our intelligence: humanity ceased growing, inventing, or creating. It just existed.

Then we sacrificed our bodies, because of laziness, given floating chairs. We stopped working, given robots. We stopped exploring our surroundings and questioning anything of our existence because of the digital world on a screen in front of us. We even stopped meeting in person.

This resulted in the ultimate sacrifice: our humanity. This is why WALL-E is so powerful as a character, because, even though he's a robot who has developed artificial intelligence, sentience, and a conscience, he's the only character left who is still human. Not just in his personality but in all the things he does and collects too. He is the only character who really understands how important humanity is and why it's worth saving, via the plant and his love for EVE, before any other characters cared or bothered to fight for it.

WALL-E isn't just a family friendly digital romance action adventure science fiction space opera trying to warn us of environmental responsibility, it's a definition of humanity and its relationship with the whole universe. It's about using technology not for convenience, but to enrich us. It's about making our place on this little planet worthwhile and enjoyable to the maximum we can afford. Technology should be used to connect us as an entire species and give us the platform to pursue our humanity in ways never before possible. It's not meant to be used so that we can just live in a chair for our entire lives - there is a good Oatmeal (or similar) comic that depicts this.

Only by using technology sustainably, to manifest our dreams, can we retain our humanity, rather than sacrifice it.

03 July 2016

Response to 'The EU is undemocratic'

Being in the EU is fundamental. Leaving is like running away from your problems. If you don't like the way the EU is run, we have the power to change it if we get involved and vote for it. I trust the EU more than my own government.

23 June 2016

Father's Day Poem

Thanks for always being our dad.

Thanks for being a dad that cares; many dads just make themselves scarce.

Thanks for staying with us through every difficult time; many dads just run away and hide.

Thanks for being a dad who loves his family; many dads just keep behaving angrily.

Without you dad, our family ship would have surely sunk; many dads would rather always be drunk.

Dad, you're our inspiration and hope; without you we wouldn't have been able to cope.

We are so lucky to have you as our dad; you're something that makes us really glad.

If the love you have could be turned into shares, we're certain we would all be billionaires.

Thanks for always being our dad.

30 May 2016

Climate change is everyone's responsibility

Colleague at work recently said 'It's up to the government to combat global warming, not the businesses, it's not profitable'

I say - no. It is everyone's responsibility. We all live on this planet, we must all, collectively, look after it. Just like a mould growing in a petri dish, if we consume every mineral, there will be nothing left and we'll die out.

I say everyone can help.
Everyone can recycle.
Everyone can save power and fuel.
Everyone can write to their MP.
Everyone can sign a petition.

We are not alone and there are many celebrities also trying to help - Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Mark Ruffalo are just a few names of people that have put their reputations on the line to say what really matters.

There isn't ever a future where we have to stop worrying about our environment and can do as we please. We will always need to recycle and always need to use renewable energy. Fossil fuels will become our past, and we will become something of the past if we do nothing. Resources will become scarce and prices will continue to rise - this isn't scaremongering, this is our fate, unless we prevent it.

This planet is worth saving. Save it.

06 May 2016

Fixing IT issues: "Chrome just keeps saying Connecting and is unresponsive"


'Connecting' means it's an internet issue, nothing to do with Chrome specifically.
  1. Browser: Try downloading Vivaldi or Firefox and you should see the same thing.
  2. ISP Existing Issue: Check there isn't a service announcement in your area from your ISP.
  3. Proxy: Go into Chrome's settings, Advanced, and look at the proxy settings. They should only ever be on 'Automatically detect' or 'No proxy' - if it's on something else, then you had some adware on there at some point. Try changing it from Automatic to No proxy.
  4. Architecture: Using the 64-bit version of Chrome will always be better if your system supports it (which it should).
  5. Extensions: If the issue was Chrome, then it would start lagging or not be as fast when you try doing anything, which would be extensions/plugins or something else on the computer - it's got its own task manager so you can see what's using up resources - if nothing looks odd then that's fine. So it may be worth trying Incognito mode as that will not load extensions.
  6. Cache: The cache only needs to be cleared when you need the space, or websites appear broken (like Facebook can sometimes), which is because the website has updated but not give new dates to its resources so Chrome is left with old files; or the cache becomes corrupted.
  7. Router: If it is your internet, then try restarting your router as it may have overheated, crashed or lost an upstream channel. It might be worth doing a reset on it, just save your settings first if you've changed them. Some router updates before have triggered issues in my router.
  8. Uplink or Wireless: If you still have a issue then try a speed test with your computer directly connected to the router with an Ethernet cable. Your ping should always be less than 50ms and you should get at least 50% of your advertised throughput in MB/s.
  9. DNS: You can also try changing your DNS settings to use Google Public DNS - go into Network Connections, configure adapters, edit your wireless and then Ethernet, and change the properties of the IPv4 stack. Manually enter the addresses: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. Your router will give you your ISP's ones automatically, so perhaps their DNSes are risky. If concerned about security, then use DNScrypt.
  10. Firewall: Try temporarily disabling your firewall or antivirus so see if it is interfering with your network.
  11. ISP New Issue: If you still have issues then I'd speak to your ISP and report an issue.

04 May 2016

Some of my favourite quotes

This list only really takes me up until 2013 - my YouTube favourites and memes kind of cover beyond this, but still, this is where it started.

"Cake or death?!" - Eddie Izzard

"Garlic bread?" - Peter Kay

"That's NumberWang!" - Robert Webb

"Maggie, please! I’ve just had the carpet shampooed!" - Matt Lucas, Little Britain

"I am Bender. Please insert girder." - Bender, Futurama

"Woop-woop-woop-woop-woop-woop." - Dr Zoidberg

"I love my brick!" - Father Hackett

"Yatta!" - Hiro Nakamura, Heroes

"I hate junk mail. Like you know when you open your front door and all that junk mail is all over your mat... and they've got those pre-paid envelopes, do you know what I do? I shit in it and send it back... I put a little note in there - you send me your shit, I'll send you some of fucking mine!" - Lee Evans

"A wella bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word, a wella bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word..." - Peter Griffin

"Bonbonbonbons" - Brian Butterfield

"Purple is a fruit." - Homer Simpson

"Has it occurred to anyone that all we are now is ROBOTS?!" - Jack, SG-1

"Oh yes... Mmmmmerlin!" - Jack, SG-1

"Indeed" - Teal'c, SG-1

"I would prefer not to consume bovine lactose at *any* temperature" - Teal'c

"I'm on a boat... Everybody look at me 'cause I'm sailing on a boat..." - The Lonely Island

"Roses are red, Violets are blue, Fuck you whore." - 500 Days of Summer

"This singer, Jim James, he has the most angelic voice - he makes Enya sound like a Russian couple arguing at the bowling alley" - Stan Smith, American Dad

"Do you ever wake up before the alarm goes off? You kinda look at the clock and go... 'Noooooooo, I'm not moving, until youuu go off.' *hits pillow*" - Lee Evans

"With the new eyePhone, you can watch, listen, ignore your friends, stalk your ex, download porno on a crowded bus, even check your email while getting hit by a train. All with the new eyePhone." - Futurama

[opens fridge casually, staring inside]
"What am I doing... she's not in the refrigerator." - Mel Gibson, What Women Want

"What are you doing?"
"Spinning counterclockwise... Each turn robs the planet of angular momentum. Slowing it's spin the tiniest bit... lengthening the night, pushing back the dawn... Giving me a little more time here... with you." - XKCD

"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?"
"I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective." - Monty Python and The Holy Grail

"You see, before, when I was gay, that high-five might have sent a tingle straight up my thigh to my Home Entertainment Centre." - Jack, Will & Grace

Francine: Hey killer, how was the kill?
Stan: Well... I didn't actually kill anyone. I tri-
Francine: [wraps up in bed] Ya know I'm tired, I have a headache, I've got a lot of work to do, my back hurts, it's that time of the month, I have an early meeting.

"I know it's not your problem. If you burden your friends, you won't have any." - Robots

[Goes dark]
Stan: What happened??
God: You er... unplugged the sun.

"Look, you've just knocked one out, right? You're lying there, you're feeling cheap and deflated..." - Nathan, Misfits

"‎Can we PLEASE stop killing our probation workers?!?!" - Nathan, Misfits

"Oh my god. Oh my god. These chocodiles, these chocodiles, oh my god, these chocodiles, oh my god." - Roger, American Dad

"I was just doing it you stupid woman, I just put it down to come here, to be reminded by you, to do what I'm already doing, I mean what is the bloody point in reminding me to do what I'm already doing, I mean WHAT IS THE BLOODY POINT, I'M DOING IT!" - Fawlty Towers

"How far did you get? Hand job?"
"Man, no. No jobs. I'm still unemployed." - 500 Days of Summer

Peter Griffin: "I need money for Bourbon and anime". [cut to drunk and watching anime] "I just can't understand this... everybody in Japan is either a 10 year old girl or a monster."

"TETSUO!" "KANEDA!" - Akira

"Love transcends all differences"

"Regret not what you have done, but what you haven't."

"Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us, how dear." - Invasion of the Body Snatchers

"You say we're on the brink of destruction and you're right. But it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve." - Day The Earth Stood Still

"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live." - Norman Cousins

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Churchill

"Perhaps because we are using an imperfect tool - the human mind itself - to understand the mind, there will always be unresolved questions" - Robert Winston

"Hate is the essence of weakness in the human mind" - Unknown - Does this also mean that Love is the essence of strength in the human mind?

"They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself" - Andy Warhol

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

"Your mind is a palace. Use it wisely." - Angela's Ashes

"Time's against us all. We have to go where we most need to be, to follow our hearts to where they take us." - The Speed of the Dark

"Kingdom Hearts... is LIGHT!" - Sora

"Things are never easy, else life would have no challenges"

"Don't focus too much on the pleasures which fade quickly, focus on the pleasures which last a life time." - Walmsley

26 April 2016

Mobile Phone Coverage Charts

Ofcom have some very good and accurate charts for mobile phone coverage.

Data: http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/check-coverage

This set for example just shows 4G data and indoor, as that would indicate the best signal in terms of penetration and speed.


The data seems to line up fairly well with a study I did 3 years ago:

Vodafone - 80%
O2 - 77%
EE - 68%
3 - 51%

17 April 2016

Desktop Operating System Market Share and Fragmentation

Here's a nice chart I made to show the fragmentation of desktop operating systems - so I'm combining what the current market share is for each O.S, against when it was released. Basically what we are seeing here is Windows users are running some of the oldest operating systems available, whereas the Mac creates a trendline.

Information for Linux isn't available, but generally they are patched very fast, and account for a very small amount of desktop computers on the internet. I've explicitly not included other operating systems older than 2000 because they are less than 0.01% usage share.

Raw data source: Net Market Share