What a tragedy it is that a man who once seemed so uniquely placed to offer solace to people during their loneliest and most difficult moments has turned into this – a supporter of those who seek to crush the very weaknesses and sensitivities he once identified with. As Bragg tweeted last year, summing up the singer’s depressing descent: “There was a light, but it has now gone out.”The Guardian
Spanish exceptionalism – the country’s supposed immunity to the far-right parties that have seeped into mainstream European politics – has finally succumbed to the wounds it received last December.How the far right gained a foothold in Spain
I have always found interesting how that idea of a supposed immunity to the far right in Spain spread across Europe.
There are plenty of analysis today about how the far right irrupted into the Spanish politics and broken into the parliament, but the thing is, this is not new, this is not news.
The far right has always been there. Only, it was hiding in plain sight between the ranks of the Partido Popular, a political party that carried proudly the legacy of Franco’s years, that has always avoided saying or doing anything that could be interpreted as anything less than an endorsement of those years.
I am happy that in the eternal fight between The Two Spains, the Spain that wants a modern and open country that looks to the future won, today, over the Spain that wants to keep the country rooted in its obscure past. As usual, I am afraid this little victory won’t last long.
From time to time, you still find some delightful details in Apple’s software and hardware. Today I noticed that, when trying to activate Do Not Disturb on my Apple Watch, there are options from “activate until I leave this location” and for “activate until I finish this activity”
One of those times where it just works.
As part of the expansion of the MTR network, there are some retrofitting works going on at Admiralty Station.
Months ago, when the South Island Line started service, I noticed the decor of this flight of stairs.
Yes, that’s a QR code. That is a not attached to the wall, it is a mosaic wall.
I can’t help but wonder if that QR code will age as well as this, in another corridor, a few metres away
I am still on the long bus ride home from the airport, after an exhausting weekend in Taipei.
Earlier today I spoke at WordCamp Taipei. The experience has been draining, and at the same time extremely rewarding. So rewarding that I might actually consider doing it again 😊
Anyway, I would like to thank the organisers of the first ever WordCamp Taipei for the amazing work they have done. The event run smoothly, so smoothly that you can’t help but thinking “wow, these people have put lots of work and care into this”.
I love music, I have always spent insane amounts of time hoarding and listening to music, and I the only thing I dearly miss from having a “regular” home, friends and family aside 😛, is having a good sound system (and the accompanying collection of vinyl records).
So I have been interested in getting a HomePod since it was announced, but I have not been able to actually get one until last week, while on a trip to the US.
Here are some random thoughts, after a few days at home:
- The quality of the sound is very good. Maybe it’s just because it’s not that hard to fill a small Hong Kong apartment with sound, but music sounds great. It is not as good as my recollection of my old sound system, but I have to admit that my recollection is probably a bit off, due to a combination of time and the emotional connection to it.
- Siri in Spanish seems to fail consistently in some queries and commands that Siri in English can manage perfectly, even with my accent. It might be because I have not found the keywords in Spanish yet, but I think there is something more to it.
- Entering the apartment and whispering “Hey Siri, play some indie music”, and get some actual music to play, makes me feel like we are truly living in the future.
- I have a couple of Hue lightbulbs, and setting automations (i.e. switching on the living room’s lights when anyone enters the apartment at night) also makes me feel like we are living in the future.
- Getting the HomePod through airport security was interesting. I had to go through two security checks, and while in the first one they didn’t bat an eyelid, on the second one the HomePod had to go through the X-ray machine three times.
- Did I mention it sounds great?
In a nutshell, being, as I am, fully invested in the ecosystem (Apple Music, HomeKit, iOS & macOS) it’s great to have a source of quality sound again, particularly now that I am working fully remote.