A little over two years ago I posted something about Online Petitions. At the time I stated my intention to take a break and not sign any online petitions for at least a week. In fact I managed a four week hiatus before signing a SumOfUs petition asking PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians. One of the reasons I keep a record of signed petitions is so that when I am asked to sign one I can do a quick search to check whether I have already signed it. For this reason I also record surveys that I have taken part in but there are far fewer of those.
I just watched a YouTube video on P vs. NP and the computational complexity zoo inspired by the Complexity Zoo Wiki. Despite the title, the video ended with a couple of quotes about simplicity. The first was Attributed to Frederic Chopin:
Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.
I have my own channel on YouTube where I have uploaded a dozen videos (all taken by me). Over the years I have also subscribed to a lot of other channels so that as of today I have 86 subscriptions. Each day when I go online, as well as checking my email and Facebook feed, I go to YouTube and look at the list of new videos on my subscribed channels. There is some really excellent content out there.
About a week ago I realised that an email I had sent to a Gmail address had not reached the recipient, who later found it in her spam folder. I had known about an issue with my mail setup for a long time but now was the time to finally do something about it.
I was hoping to have passed on the position to someone else by now but for yesterday’s General Election I was still the Welwyn Hatfield Green Party Election Agent. After casting my own vote just before 10pm I cycled over to Welwyn Garden City for the count at Campus West. This was the first election for our candidate Christianne Sayers and the whole process was quite new to her. In May 2015 our candidate was Marc Scheimann, but this year he stood in Luton where he lives and Christianne, a Hatfield Resident, stepped up to the plate.
In August last year this article appeared in the Herts Advertiser. A concerned resident had criticised the county council for not maintaining a rundown path alongside a busy road. The path is on the north side of Hatfield Road, about 100m east of the junction with Lyon Way. Apparently the HCC contractor, Ringway, inspected the footway and found no defects requiring immediate attention. Although it is only a footpath the issue came up for discussion at a CycleHerts meeting where we decided to follow it up. I don’t have the details to hand but it seems that someone from HCC then claimed that they had no duty to maintain the path because it is not tarmacked. In fact it is tarmacked but the section in question was completely covered in mud so you wouldn’t know it (though you could make a pretty good guess based on the fact that the tarmac is visible along much of the rest of the path).
On October 4th a Reuters report by Joseph Menn revealed that last year Yahoo! secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials. As a result, Fight for the Future created a website urging people to Dump Yahoo. I might not have followed the advice but for the fact that Yahoo! has been regularly annoying me since I first created my account back in 2001.
When there were no new iMacs announced at Apple’s “Hello Again” event in October I decided to stop waiting and replace my ageing late 2009 model with an Apple refurbished late 2013 one (I had a friend who was eager to buy my old one). I had also held off installing Sierra so my old machine was running El Capitan.
Over the years I have kept a pretty comprehensive record of all the online petitions I have signed, amounting to over 500. Of those signatures, 320 of them were on just 6 different petition sites:
- UK Government and Parliament(77)
- Care2 petitions(57)
- 38 Degrees(53)
Last year I was a Green Party candidate for my ward in the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council election. I am still a member of Welwyn Hatfield Green Party and in September I reluctantly (nobody else was putting their hand up) agreed to take over from Ian Nendick when he stood down as their election agent. So this year I had a bit more work to do.