Scattered collections of personal thoughts, photos, and opinions since late 2017.

Wellington Round the Bays 10k: 2018

Relive ‘Wellington - Kilbirnie’

Walking to work a number of weeks ago; I happened to pass volunteers handing out pamphlets to commuters streaming out of Wellington Station. Normally, I’d avoid this like the plague — my headphones acting as an aural barrier so I can slide on by without interaction. However, noticing these people were giving out discount entries into one of Wellington’s annual running events, and being on a fitness binge at the time, I decided to grab one and sign up. This was the Wellington Round The Bays 10km.

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In search of the perfect milkshake

In recent weeks—spurred on by New Zealand’s summer—I have become enamored with good, high quality milkshakes. Up until recently, I had yet to make one myself that seemed to reach the quality of Wellington’s best; the quality of my own was always subpar: never creamy enough, & always had an unpleasant grittiness from the ice crystals that had accumulated in the creation process.

I’ve spent some time to familiarise myself with good components of a milkshake, and believe I’ve arrived at a recipe which rivals an upper-end, store-purchased product. Perfectly creamy, thick enough it has significant weight behind its consumption, yet not thick enough that it blocks the straw, and consistently smooth with no sugar or ice grit.

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Apathy vs. Empathy

Intel needs to learn a thing or three from Apple in the world of public responses to drama, it seems. A kernel memory access bug that could date back a decade or more, first reported on by The Register, has prompted concerns and criticism from security researchers and developers worldwide. As it should, too, considering there is talk of up to 30% performance losses in some cases involving virtualization.

Intel’s reply to what could be a fairly serious issue can be characterized by two terms: apathy and defensiveness. Press release courtesy Intel:

Intel Responds to Security Research Findings

Intel and other technology companies have been made aware of new security research describing software analysis methods that, when used for malicious purposes, have the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed. Intel believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.

Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a “bug” or a “flaw” and are unique to Intel products are incorrect. Based on the analysis to date, many types of computing devices — with many different vendors’ processors and operating systems — are susceptible to these exploits.

Apple recently faced a similar blowback when it was discovered iPhone 6 and newer models may have their CPU throttled when the iPhone battery has a low state of charge, or has degraded significantly. However, despite the severity of the news, their response was well written, alleviated concerns, and illuminated a path forward. More concisely, it could be characterized by empathy and admission. Press release courtesy Apple:

A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance

We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.

Note the night and day difference between the two responses here. There isn’t a need to even post both in full. The agency of the tone has been conveyed immediately in both letters. Apple’s briefing is customer focused, Intel’s is more focused on themselves. You can do better than that, Intel.

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Hiking the Tararua Southern Crossing in 10 hours

Relive ‘Tararua Southern Crossing’

In my continuous attempts at self-oneupsmanship, I formulated a plan in the past month to take advantage of the abnormally dry & stable November & December weather Wellington has been experiencing to hike the Tararua Southern Crossing, a nominal 32km walk stretching from Kaitoke to Otaki Forks on the western side of the range, heading in a northwest direction. Normally this is completed in 2-3 days as a multi-day hike, but it can be turned into a single knee-pain-inducing endeavour with some planning and an early start.

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Hello World

This is where it begins, I guess. I’ll have more content up in the coming weeks. This site is built on Hexo, a neat little JavaScript-based static site generator that enables a quick time-to-live. I encourage anyone reading to check it out.

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