29 November 2015

Pay As You Earn: What if we took it literally?

I think the UK's method of paying employees and calculating tax (PAYE) is outdated, even though it's come a long way. I think employees should be paid literally as they work, once a day at the least. Like a continuous trickle of direct debit.

Apart from the logistical overhead, it would eradicate this concept of a 'pay day', and rather than everyone spend all their money when they receive it, people would actually learn to save up money themselves and be more savvy with money. People would be less dependent on loans and overdrafts to survive through the month.

Similarly, you could do the same with rent, mortgage payments, bills etc. You pay everyday rather than monthly or quarterly. You'd literally be able to see in real time your entire cash flow.

You could even go one step further, and send the money direct from your employer to your landlord or utility supplier, discounted because of locking in. A genuine B2B model. You could then just see the money you have left over, we'd have a true representation work input to pay ratio.

We could then implement a system to reward staff literally as they act as well. No more need for annual performance reviews: people would actively be encouraged to work hard and literally *earn*. It might get competitive, sure, but I'm sure there could be a sensible way of doing it, e.g. with set limits or cool down periods.

16 November 2015

iOS File Sizes

The total storage of advertised devices never take into account the OS. Additionally, they usually measure in gigabytes, not gibibytes. So a 16GB iPhone would actually be your traditional 15.6GB.

Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201402

15 November 2015

Recent attacks in Europe - response to blaming multiculturalism

My response:
  • Recent developments in allowing multiculturalism are not to blame:
    • Terrorism throughout Europe has actually gone down in the last 7 years and a lot more arrests have been made, and the attacks were far worse (more injuries or deaths) 
    • Also, specifically about the UK, The IRA between 1969-2001 made more attacks than anyone from any other country has ever made
  • I don't think that it is the UK's responsibility to lead any attacks in another country, the other countries in the EU should be leading on that. We can help sure, but we shouldn't be calling the shots (eyy) because it will encourage terrorists to target us instead
  • The attitude behind 'whatever means necessary' to eradicate them is the exact kind of mentality that causes extremism, and nothing is to say there aren't other factions or survivors elsewhere who are stronger and will fill the power vacuum
  • Innocent people have lost their lives and blaming ourselves, suggesting that we somehow invited this to happen, I feel is somewhat rude - those to blame are the attackers themselves first and foremost, and we should do what we can to prevent, manage and mitigate attacks in future
  • Creating a police state, locking down our borders etc. won't solve the issue of preventing attacks. There will always be attacks, war and rebellion, because we are human, and humans are corrupt and crave power. A la Equilibrium and Hunger Games. The heart of the issue is those in power, soldiers are the puppets ordered to do their bidding. Creating peace, acceptance and tolerance through negotiation should always be sought.

14 November 2015

Venting and dealing with reality

Everyone vents in different ways. Bad things happen to people, it's inevitable.  The behaviour that people take can end up defining them through their personality. Therefore it's important to know what to look out for and how to be a better person.

  • Drunk
  • Nihilism/Existentialism
  • Being critical, judgemental, confrontational, interrogative

  • Sublimation (use bad feelings to help be creative)
  • Humility (laugh at yourself)
  • More on defence mechanisms

How to rebuild a custom Windows To Go device with recovery environment (RE) partition

  1. Getting the Windows 10 DVD
    1. Acquire latest ISO image from Microsoft for Windows 10. This can be done with the Media Creator Tool (Microsoft did temporarily revert this tool back to the July RTM version, but it's now back to the latest November one) or from MSDN
    2. Run the Media Creation Tool. Preferably download Windows 10 Pro, x64, English United Kingdom
    3. Choose ISO file
    4. Let it download and save the ISO with a useful name e.g. 'Windows_10_Pro_x64_en-gb_November2015_10586.iso'
  2. Format SSD with 3 partitions using Disk Management
    1. First partition: 500MB FAT32 "System"
    2. Second partition: remaining space minus 500MB NTFS "Windows 10"
    3. Third partition: 500MB NTFS "Recovery"
  3. Get and run EasyUEFI WinToUSB (need licence for Pro version of Windows)
    1. System partition: First 500MB one
    2. Boot partition: Second partition (where Windows will be booted from)
    3. Wait for completion until 100% (will take about 45 minutes for 256GB)
  4. Reboot and boot into SSD
    1. Complete all setup steps - use custom settings
    2. Do not enter serial key if you already have a computer associated with your Microsoft account
  5. Configure for SSD
    1. Install drivers
    2. Run "winsat formal" to identify disks as Solid state drives
      1. Run Defrag and Optimise drives to trim space and verify correct identification
    3. Disable write caching on the disk using Device Manager
    4. Disable Windows Search using Indexing Options in Control Panel. Windows Search can also be disabled from services.msc
    5. See more recommendations here
  6. Setup apps
    1. Install Classic Shell
    2. Compare with previous installation using Beyond Compare
    3. Change Power Options in Control Panel
      1. Maximum performance for Graphics and Link State Power Management
      2. Do not let hard drive go to sleep
      3. Do not let computer sleep after 10/20 minutes
      4. Critical battery action should be Shutdown
    4. Change System Restore settings to use 25% of the disk size. Delete all existing points and create a new one.
  7. Setup recovery environment
    1. Create the "winre.wim" and related files by using the ISO image (does not provide all the files you need) by creating a VM in Oracle VirtualBox (install the addons too)
      1. Create a new Windows 10 VM with at least 15GB space recommended 30GB dynamically expanding, and use VHD as the disk format
      2. Change Input device from USB Tablet to PS/2 Mouse
      3. Set Network to Bridged Adapter
      4. Mount ISO image and proceed with fresh install of Windows inside the VM
      5. Shutdown VM after install complete
      6. Close VirtualBox
      7. Use Disk Management to Attach VHD of the VM
      8. Use AOMEI Backupper to backup mounted 'System Reserved' Partition
      9. Detach VHD
      10. Use AOMEI Backupper to 'Restore' the System Reserved Partition to Partition 3 on the SSD, choose to Align for SSD
    2. Follow instructions to deploy WinRE - just step 2 as we have just done step 1
      1. 'Reagentc /setreimage /path R:\Recovery\WindowsRE' (where R is the third partition on the SSD)
      2. 'Reagentc /enable' and then 'Reagentc /info' to check it is enabled
      3. Update settings in This PC > Properties > Advanced > Startup and recovery > Settings > Tick both boxes at top
      4. Use EasyBCD (free version) to Edit Boot Menu
        1. Untick Use Metro Bootloader
        2. Choose Countdown from 30 seconds
        3. Save Settings
  8. Verify recovery environment is setup correctly
    1. When OS boots you will get Windows 10 option. The 'Windows' option at the bottom is just the memory test. To get to the recovery environment, press F8, then when you get to the menu, press F10 to get other options, then press 1 to Launch recovery environment
    2. Go to Troubleshoot, then System Restore, and login as your username. Confirm you can see the System Restore point you made earlier.
  9. Get on with the rest
    1. Backup Disk with AOMEI Backupper
    2. Install drivers
    3. Use Ninite or FileHippo as a reminder to install apps
    4. Use CCleaner or Task Manager to clean up startup apps

3 November 2015

Terrorism in the UK

I don't think terrorism is as severe a problem in the UK than it is other countries. For the majority of recent global terrorism, I don't think the cause of terrorism originated in the UK.

I think encouraging diversity is important, and people should be protected too. Obviously there is a limit, that should be reasonable. I think that protection should be denied when it endangers the protection of others.

So handling terrorism needs stronger mitigation than prevention. Prevention creates unease and conflict as people are no longer entitled in the views of a single entity, unless you have a military force strong enough to suppress dissent, which could ultimately create the thing, totalitarianism, that you were trying to prevent in the first place.