Erik I


Filed under #observation, #lifeInNorway and #lifeOnTheInternet

Today the orange forum is discussing “matpakke” (link to vox article about matpakke.

As usual it seems other peoples boring routines are more interesting than ones own boring routines. Which is kind of understandable since it is less boring the first time.

And to be clear: matpakke is probably a good – but boring – idea.

Filed under #observations, #lifeInNorway and #lifeOnTheInternet

Haven't written for a few days, so let me just write some observations from Norway.

1: man in suit with consumer laptop

The man on the same train as me. He is probably 10 years or so older than me. He is probably traveling. He is writing on what seems to be a consumer laptop from HP. OS seems to be Vista, based on Window decorations but I really don't want to look at other people's screens so I'm not sure. I notice there's no privacy filter though and I feel thankful that I have one on my laptop.

Thoughts: I wonder what I do that make me look unprofessional (except this blog, that is.)

2: young man smoking

The man is probably in his early 20ies. Red hoodie under a dark coat. Lights a cigarette before he's even out of the train station it seems.

Thoughts: Wow, that was unusual. And wow, the tireless campaigns against smoking has worked. When I was a teenager in the 90ies smoking was usual, you could buy cigarettes from age 16 and I have a memory of one of my childhood friends openly taking his parents tobacco from age 13, rolling a cigarette without them raising an eyebrow.

3: The National Budget for Norway was launched yesterday

According to experts it is good. According to opposition it is a disaster.

Thoughts: As expected. And I think see signs of them expecting to lose the election in a 2021. Which I kind of expect too.

4: The hunt for Stallman continues

Yesterday a number of GNU maintainers signed a petition it seems.

Thoughts: I'm happy I won't have to defend everything he has said or done and I'm also happy I'll not be the judge for this one. However I have some thoughts about the meta discussions:

Some people say that “innocent until proven guilty” should only be used in courts.

Whatever the result of this particular case, we have already been at a point where media and the Internet can sometimes dish out way harsher sentence than the courts for a long time already.

I'm wondering if this should have some consequences for how media report on rumours.

Filed under #safety, #commute, #publicTransport and #lifeInNorway

I pointed out to the conductor who checked my ticket the other day that in the carriage I was sitting in the announcements was impossible the hear, even for a young healthy adult.

Considering that they – like flight attendants – primarily are there for safety reasons, this made sense to me.

She wasn't very interested and more or less asked me to report it on my own. I'll try to get around to that but based on previous experience I don't have high hopes.

At this point the person sitting next to me, someone working in a major railroad infrastructure company (judging by their ticket and their id card) turns to me to ask if there was anything important in the announcement.

There was no way I could know but this time it probably wasn't as the train continued according to schedule. But that is kind of missing the point: if the speaker is broken now it will also be broken if the train is stuck in a tunnel and a fire has started in one end and you need everyone to evacuate the other way.

In a time where conductors fight against privatization and (correctly) try to brand themselves as safety personell I think it might make sense to fight tooth and nail for the safety of their passengers.

Filed under #lifeInNorway and #politics

So we just had local, i.e. county level and municipality level elections a week ago or so.

The funny part? Every major news outlet seems to have gotten it wrong and wrote about national politics, interviewing the same top politicians again and again on topics related to national elections.

It might actually be worse, depending on how you look at it: I guess they knew very well, and just decided to make entertainment out of it instead of being journalists.

I see myself as someone who roots for journalists, I buy more newspapers that I read and I generally defend them, but sometimes the criticism of mainstream news outlets is really fair IMO.

Filed under #observations and #lifeInNorway

My watch says it is almost eight in the evening. I'm on my way home from work.

Another fighter is in the air. I like the sound of them. Hope we never have to use them for real.

And, kind-of-ironically-but-not-really, keeping a strong defense seems to be one of the best ways to avoid having to use it. (Norway tried pacifism in the 30ies. The experiment ended somewhat abruptly when Hitler invaded 9th of April 1940.)

Filed under #observations and #lifeInNorway

The army is training this week. I think it is the “Oslofjord” exercise. On the radio the other day they said there were going to be 3000 troops, F16s and F35s.

Almost everytime I hear fighter jets or see army helicopters I'm reminded about how lucky I am to live in Norway.

Filed under #tech, #iot and #learning Edit: also #lifeInNorway and #Drammen

Just visited a meetup about IOT Edge devices where Rustam Mehmandarov and Tannaz N. Roshandel showed a reasonable new IOT device, the Google Edge TPU that is capable of doing object recognition at >100 fps while still being small enough to easily fit in my palm even when mounted on an easy-to-integrate PCB and with the optional camera attached.

In addition to showing a live demo and discussing development techniques they also discussed how this can improve on todays situation by allowing us for example to do recognition locally without having to upload pictures of everyone to Googles cloud wait for answers to come back (and hope they don't abuse it).

Part of me really liked these devices and part of me is scared: while Rustams first thought is reducing the amount of sensitive data that get shipped around all kinds of other ideas where thrown around as well in the discussions: how to work around Norwegian privacy laws and the GDPR etc.

Bad analogy time: I've been saying for a couple of years or so that data is a bit like diluted nuclear materials: mostly harmless in small amounts and properly contained, powerful and dangerous when concentrated and capable of creating massive destruction once it reaches critical mass or if used in a dirty bomb :–/

Anyways, this technology will be interesting to follow whatever people choose to use it for.

Side note: I'm on a train on my way home. We just got 5 minutes delayed in Drammen after a bloke with blood all over him refused to leave the train, swearing at the ambulance team who was there to help him.

He had an e-scooter with him and a long cut in his forehead so my guess is the poor bloke had crashed and got himself a real concussion.