Oh god not again: The sky is falling!

Well…there has been another article written by another high profile Apple orientated journalist, Walt Mossberg, regarding the ‘declining quality of Apple’s software’ ( link ) which was then followed up by a podcast by Marco Arment, Casey Liss, and John Siracusa ( link ) where there was the issue of the iCloud synchronisation issue being touched on. It appears that every so many months there is another cycle of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the decline of Apple’s software quality then Apple in the next month or two release a slew of updates, feedback arrives from the trenches that things are going well, an uneasy quiet then followed by another cycle of Apple’s software is declining once more – anyone getting the feeling that it is almost like the Slashdot meme years ago of ‘BSD is dying’?

As I’ve said in a previous post, look at it within context to everything else that exists on the market – there is no use looking at something in isolation because it gives no point of reference other than the demand of perfection the complaining when that perfection isn’t reached. At least in the case of comparison you can have a point of reference and first of all see whether the problem is unique to OS X or iCloud or whether, due to the complex nature of what is trying to be achieved, that these sorts of problems are unavoidable but they will eventually get addressed. The biggest problem as far as I see is their iCloud service but the leaked information so far is that they’re looking at replacing the back end infrastructure of multiple services (iCloud, iTunes, Siri etc) with a new backend ( link ) however I am unsure whether iCloud is referring to everything, including the email, or whether it is only such things as Notes, iMessage and so on.

Currently today for their email, CalDAV and CardDAV server they use Oracle Communications Messaging Server so I can’t see them moving away from that because I’d be dumbfounded as to what they would replace it with. Assuming that they decided to go with a custom setup then it would require them to have its own in house programmers to take care and maintain which although gives Apple the benefit of having the source code to resolve problems in a timely manner it also means taking on a lot of work in house that would have otherwise been outsource to their software vendor who would have taken care of the details. When it comes to the backend technology mentioned in the aforementioned link (the one that goes to Mac Rumors) it appears that many of the components they’re going to rely on are very much in a state of flux particularly when it comes to API stability such as Mesos which has had already several API compatibility breakages with 0.27 being the latest which make some believe that if there is a long term plan I can’t see them doing anything until there is some stabilisation as to avoid them having to chase a moving target and continuously testing and debugging against that moving target (which would make the situation worse than it is today as customer issues would be difficult to track down and correct in a timely manner).

When it comes to software itself, there has always been a cycle of a new feature being added, then the next release it natures then finally it becomes read for prime time and this is no different with any vendor. How long was it before the Media Foundation became useful? I remember when Direct2D/DirectWrite that there was a mountain of patches that Microsoft put out via the work they did with Firefox on stabilising the new framework. In the case of OS X there has been issues but to be honest it pales in comparison to what OS X was like way back in the pre-64bit Cocoa re-write of Finder days where the whole UI would freeze up if the network connection dropped out or the updates that had come through such as the one where the network driver was killed or the the oxford chipset bug the resulted in file system corruption around the 10.3 release mark. I always find it funny when people whine about bugs you tend to nail it down to one of two things; in the case of Wifi they insist on using 2.4Ghz or they’re right on the edge of a coverage area then wonders why it drops out or they’re hacking around with the OS by using weird third party tweaks/boosters/extensions (see Little Snitch) then flat out refuse to remove the offending software as to restore stability. Btw, it is easily to come despondent with iOS devices getting most of the lime light but think of it this way – now that they no longer need to compromise to pander to the masses that is a chance that OS X can really be developed for power users and prosumers whilst pushing ordinary folk over to the iPad Pro and other iOS devices which avoids the question, “oh, if we add this feature to OS X it might be too complex for the average person” now that the average person is by and large using iOS devices.

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary *Shakes Head*

Just watching this video from ‘The Big Picture’ talking about the latest debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders:

And oh lord her (Hillary Clinton’s) claims simply don’t hold water:

1) She makes the claim that because she is a woman running to be the first woman president therefore it doesn’t make her part of the ‘establishment’ – really? the ‘establishment’ is defined not by who you are as a candidate but by what your policies are. Obama was not an establishment candidate not because he is black but because his policies, when he was running against you, were to the left of where the centre is within the Democratic Party. The policies of Obama when he ran during the primaries put himself outside of the ‘establishment’ where as you were advocating the same sorts of policies that your husband advocated when he was president – you were part of the DLC/DNC establishment aka ‘third way’ Democratic. Fast forward to today and you’re advocating exactly what the mainstream DNC hierarchy wants from a candidate – it puts you squarely in the realm of being an establishment candidate.

2) People donate to you not because you’ve got a sparkling personality or you’re some sort of young go-getter but because your policies line up with their own vested interests. Now, the question as to whether money changes policies or candidates make policies to attract money is an open debate but assuming that it is policies first money comes second then the big concern should be why the big financial firms are so willing to give to Hillary unless there is something that they will gain from her winning the nomination and then ultimately the presidency.

3) Your track record when it comes to decisions matters a whole lot more than experience given that you’re never going to be making decisions in a vacuum so the question that’ll come up is how you digest the information given to you by your advisors and the decisions you’ll make based on that advice. In the case of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton – both looked at the same evidence that George W Bush used to justify the war in Iraq and both came to different conclusions. We have a real world scenario where Bernie Sanders has proven to be a better judge of the evidence and have made decisions that have been correct. That doesn’t even touch on the revelation by Elizabeth Warren regarding the bankruptcy reforms under George W Bush which, among other things, meant that you couldn’t have your student loan dismissed. Take a quick guess who voted for the law change. Now here the country is years later with students up to their eye balls in debt with a large section of the millennials who have defaulted on their loan which is why Bernie has 84% support by those under 30 and Hillary only has 16% of support so assuming she wins the nomination she is going to have to do a hell of a lot to convince the millennials that it is worth getting out of bed to vote for Hillary given that it was Hillary who set the wheels in motion for the financial clusterfuck that exists.

4) You cannot be an ‘outsider’ and ‘not an establishment candidate’ whilst at the same time playing the other card which is the claim that Hillary makes of being ‘pragmatic’ and ‘seen how the sausage is made’. She uses this as the basis that the problem with Bernie is that his ideas are too ‘pie in the sky’ and thus will never get done but apparently she has the Midas touch when it comes to getting legislation through the congress and senate. If you claim that Bernie is over promising with his vision then I could equally make the same claim about what Hillary promises given that the Republicans, as soon as they won the majority in the congress, made it abundantly clear in a secret meeting between big wigs, that the goal was to ensure that nothing would be achieved as so long as there was a Democratic president in charge.

So whether Hillary wins or Bernie wins both will face the same obstacles – what is Hillary’s game plan to win congress and increase the majority in the senate? at least in the case of Bernie he can propose an alternative vision and realises that you cannot just disband the organisational structure once you’re president – you need to keep the ‘bern’ alive by getting voters out to the polls, winning a strong majority in the lower and upper house so then at least the worst case scenario if there are any compromises they’ll be minimal rather than what happened with ObamaCare which was butchered to high heaven to get ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats (aka DINO’s) to vote for the bill which stripped out the public option, price negotiation power for the government to drive down prescription drug prices which would save the government, in turn the tax payers, a substantial amount of money resulting in cost curve taking a turn downwards vs. the unsustainable growth upwards.

Some interesting improvement and changes

I did a quick clean up of the settings on my router and access point then I re-entered the settings by setting up the UniFi controller on my iMac but this time I only enabled the mDNS service since I require it but I didn’t enable the uPNP service because I’m no longer using torrents plus Transmission seems a bit iffy in that it doesn’t detect a port being open even though I had those services running – I’ll put that on my todo list if I get bored one day. I also noticed that Ubiquiti has finally added the ability to setup vlan tagging when you setup a PPPoE connection from the GUI based interfaces rather than the elaborate set of instructions one has to go through using ssh which should mean that life is made a whole lot easier. It always dumb founded me as to why they left out such an obvious setting given that almost every country in the world, especially in many European countries, use vlan tagging with their PPPoE connection but alas they’ve only just started including it.

UniFi v4.8.12 Controller Update

Just checking the websites for software updates as I usually do and it appears that Ubiquiti Networks has pushed out an update for their UniFi controller, UniFi v4.8.12 Controller, which also includes bundled as part of the download firmware updates for both the UniFi Security Gateway (USG) and UniFi AP AC with everything turning out great although some of the settings were lost during the firmware upgrade such as the mDNS settings which allow for auto discovery along side uPnP which is used for applications that require an open port and the router automatically deals with the details – Transmission, Skype etc. take advantage of it. Everything so far is going well – no instability, the Ubuntu Linux distribution that the USG uses is Debian which has been updated to ‘Wheezy’ which is Debian 7.9 along with some custom patches they add to their firmware update. 

On a good side, every since moving to BigPipe the need to have vlan tagging has gone since all you need to do is setup a PPPoE connection with BigPipe for the username and password then everything works rather than precarious dance which requires me logging into the router via an SSH session to manually setup the connection. The connection so far has been pretty stable and the firewall used has done a good job so far when it comes to protecting me from the nasties out on the internet – hackers, crackers and other annoying folks.

Edit (6/2/2016) – Here is a screenshot of the WAN configuration:

Screen Shot 2016 02 06 at 3 23 07 PM

Ouch ouch ouch my neck, should have kept with the computer tan

In between looking for employment I helped mum out cleaning down the flats and silly me I didn’t put some sun screen on believing that, “oh, it’ll be a 5 minute job, no need to get all stressed out about that” but oh god did I feel it the next day. The first time was hot and uncomfortable around my neck and then it follows with a massive amount of blisters forming all over my shoulder and neck which ended up popping – oh god does it hurt so now tonight I’m having to come up with some sort o strategy where I can go to sleep with only one saving grace being that I sleep on my side.

Tuesday I have two interviews with one at 10:00am then another at 3:00pm on Skype so I’ll need to make sure the background when I record is all nice and clean – which if course always the case. Hopefully I’ll get some replies back from jobs I’ve applied for over the week end and on Monday along with the cleaning job coming through so then at least the worse case scenario I have two part time jobs until something better comes along. Oh well, off to bed I go.

This is amazing: Radio with pictures aka Radio NZ on YouTube

Can’t believe I haven’t heard of this yet but there is a Radio NZ YouTube Channel ( link ) and it makes me wish that rather than trying to reform TVNZ into a real public broadcaster given how beyond redemption they are that the move is to sell it off and regroup public television around RNZ along side Maori TV and Parliament TV so that it is fully government funded and commercial free. Quality television and radio without catering to the lowest common denominator – factual interviews with none of the unnecessary drama and hysteria that the commercial media love fermenting for the sake of ratings. Oh god, if there was one thing I’d get strong push it would be that because god knows we can’t have a functioning democracy when a significant chunk of the population are being led around by the nose with a commercial media hell bent on controlling the narrative rather than reporting the facts.

Another day another….well…..

Went for a walk around the block to get some fresh air then came back to fire off a whole heap of applications for jobs but unfortunately there seems to be a habit these days where employers will talk about how they need someone urgently and then you find that there is a month lead time between the interview and when they want one to start. Do employers in New Zealand actually understand what the word urgent means or have they defined urgent being some what different to what the average person would consider as urgent? oh well, I pushed through some job applications and I’ll head along to see what my case worker thinks I should do based on the jobs that are available and what my experience is given that the jobs listed on the WINZ website don’t list who the employer is and my case worker might end up suggesting it given that some jobs will give on the job training as part of being employed.

Things are sorted out with the bank and I’ll get that moving forward as well – hopefully if worse comes to worse if I need to dip into my Kiwisaver my case worker said she can give me a supporting letter to help the situation out. It isn’t ideal but what it would mean is settling any outstanding debt I have which would give me a shit-tone of breathing room going forward. Oh well – I’ll see if we can get the wheels moving on that when I go in tomorrow. Hopefully if it is a nice day I’ll walk over since it is only 5-10 minutes from my home.