Weeknote 2024/08: re-organisation and recovery

Last week’s weeknote was huge.

This week’s weeknote is more… focused.

(I may finally be finding the right balance…)

At work

  • There have been some changes. A minor re-organisation that brings the Office of the CTO closer to the delivery end of the business – with a renewed focus on innovation and technology leadership. This makes me much happier.
  • I brokered a successful introduction between a data science contact I made at the recent AWS event and my OCTO colleague who looks after data and analytics.
  • I did some script-writing as preparation for some podcasts we’re recording next week.
  • And I published a blog post about the supposed demise of cloud, where apparently lots of people are moving back on-premises because it’s “too expensive”. Hmmm:
  • Also, because nobody engages with AI blog posts, I made a little observation on LinkedIn:
  • I spent quite a bit of time working on the ransomware offering that I’ve mentioned a few times now. Once we finalise the cost model I’ll start to shout some more.
  • And someone actually booked some time with me using my Microsoft Bookings page!

At home

  • Mrs W did, as predicted, read last week’s weeknote :-)
    • I’m pleased to report that she had an enjoyable birthday and my cake baking was successful.
  • Matt is happy in Spain (for a few weeks), riding his bike in the sunshine and mixing with professionals and amateurs alike.
    • Two new cyclocross frames arrived last week too, so his bedroom back home looks like a workshop as he prepares for gravel/cyclocross later in the year.
    • Unfortunately, his groupset is wearing out (the interior components on Shimano 105-spec shifters are fine for leisure riders like me, but not for people who ride more miles on their bike than many people drive). Alpkit were selling off some surplus 105 Di2 groupsets and one is now in our house. The theory being that there’s less to wear out with an electronic groupset. I’m not convinced!
  • Ben had a great half term holiday with friends in Devon. He’s back home safely now. The Young Person’s Railcard is a wonderful scheme.
  • And I’m bouncing from day to day, ticking things off lists and generally trying to balance being a good Dad, a good husband, and to get myself back in shape, mentally and physically. Once I’d finished work for the week:
    • I took myself along to a talk about using multimeters, at one of the local clubs and societies in Olney, which filled a few gaps in my geek knowledge before I caught up with my friend James for a couple of pints.
    • And I took a ride on a local railway line that’s recently reopened after a year or so with no service. For a few weeks it’s £1 each way between Bedford and Bletchley so I decided to get a different view of the various developments along the Marston Vale. Old brickworks are now energy recovery facilities and country parks, but there’s lots more to see too.

In tech

  • OpenAI launched a text-to-video model called Sora:
  • The BBC looked back on child futurologists from 50 years ago:
  • I found Timo Elliott’s cartoons – including this one on AI:
  • And BT sold its London tower, which has long since lost its use for radio communications:
  • Whilst I feel for Kate (@katebevan), I’m pleased to see someone else finds these UI features as frustrating as me. See also country dropdowns where I scroll and scroll to get to United Kingdom but someone thought the USA was important enough to put at the top of the list:

Next week

Don’t be surprised if I skip a week on the weeknotes… I’m going to be very busy at the end of next week… but I’ll be back soon.

Featured image: author’s own

Weeknote 17/2021: Not yet digitally transformed

This content is 3 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

This week I’ve been struggling to focus but still moved a few things forwards. I also kept bumping up against some bizarre (non) efforts at “digital transformation”, courtesy of Standard Life (abrdn), Costco and the UK Government.

This week’s highlights included:

  • Realising that digital transformation hasn’t reached Costco UK yet – and no membership card means no entry and no shopping:

Looking ahead to the (long) weekend, I have no races to take the eldest teenager to and the weather ins’t looking wonderful. So, just the usual Youth Cycle Coaching on Saturday and, hopefully, some relaxing and pottering at “geek stuff” in the Man Cave…

This week in photos

No Insta’ from me yet this week (maybe there will be over the long weekend) so here’s a Line of Duty meme instead:

The importance of good communications for project success

This content is 10 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Once or twice a month, I travel to Manchester for work.  I usually get around by tram (Metrolink) when I’m there – there’s a stop close to our office and its convenient for travel to/from my hotel and the railway station.

Manchester’s tram system is being upgraded at the moment and, last week, I was amused by posters asking passengers to “bear with us whilst we make Victoria posh”:

As much as my southern sensibilities (actually, I’m from the East Midlands) cringe at the idea of “making something posh”, in fairness to Metrolink, they do have a great series of communications around their project (and whoever is responsible clearly has a sense of humour). One of my favourites is reproduced below:

“Dear [customers]
It can be fast.
It can be slow.
You can measure it in feet, inches, weeks, months and years.
And, occasionally, in leaps and bounds.
It’s going to take a little time.
And a lot of hard work.
But, rest assured, it is moving forwards.
Creating something better for us all.
So thank you for your patience.
And while our network is undergoing this transformation, we’ll keep you up-to-date with information.”

I like that poem, and I started to think about other applications for its use… something to consider for my next IT transformation project, perhaps – because good communications are vital to project success (and so many updates that I see are just dull walls of words).

Fixing the Apple iOS SSL bug on a jailbroken iPhone, without upgrading

This content is 10 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

My iPhone (4S) is jailbroken.  I won’t go into the details of how I did it as it changes with every release but I currently run iOS 7.0.4 and I used the Evasi0n method. Unfortunately, Apple has a pretty shocking bug in that version of iOS which means SSL transactions are not secure.

I didn’t want to go to the hassle of upgrading the OS, then jailbreaking again and, luckily, there is a workaround for fixing the iOS SSL issue on jailbroken iPhones without updating to iOS 7.0.6 (or 6.1.6) – although by the time I get this post written, 7.1 may well have hit the streets…

  1. Launch Cydia
  2. Switch to the Manage page, then select Sources
  3. Add Ryan Petrich’s repo (URL is http://rpetri.ch/repo)
  4. Go back to Manage and select Sources
  5. Search for SSLPatch and install as usual
  6. Restart SpringBoard when prompted

To test the patch (before and after), use the Goto Fail Apple SSL bug test site.