More site Maintenance.

In the latest round of website maintenance issues… In the latest version of Chrome, v79 for Android, it was found the Tiled Galleries weren’t displaying / resizing properly anymore and were ending up being cut off on the right hand side. The funny thing was that the Desktop and iOS variants of Chrome (v79) were unaffected. Similarly, all the other browsers (Such as Brave and Firefox) on Android would display the same galleries fine.

Decided to try and debug it. After much blooming mucking around trying to get Chrome PC DevTools to recognize my phone. Managed to start walking through the code and identify where it was flipping out… but not necessarily understanding why.

PC Desktop Chrome v79 Devtools Debug freaking out and closing the USB Debugging connection

All I know was at the highlighted line, it would skip right out without error. Often at the same time it would cause my USB Debugging / ADB connection to the phone to die, requiring me to revoke all Debugging access permissions on my phone and then trying to re-authorize the connection to get it going again.

The section of code checks if all the images have been loaded up prior to executing the actual resizing / re-scaling of the Tiled Gallery images.

Anyway, have since identified and implemented a workaround in code and I am now testing it out on all the browsers I have access to. I am thinking however that this isn’t anywhere near the last of the challenges I will be facing while maintaining my own web presence and services going forward (as opposed to relying on Facebook / Instagram for that). Facebook have whole dedicated teams to troubleshoot shit like this.

More site Maintenance.

Site Move + State of the web.

Moved NUI.NZ again. This time to cheaper self managed hosting at Digital Ocean. Was on Cloudways who turned out to be excellent, though couldn’t justify spending almost 40 NZD a month on what essentially was a personal homepage hosting a bunch of personal photos. New arrangement will probably save me around 300 NZD per year.

I’m probably increasingly one of the last few netizens in New Zealand who still bothers to maintain a fully fledged personal website as the primary means of staying in contact with Friends and Family, particularly where I host my own photos (and video clips) on my own domain rather than putting it on one of the many proprietary services.

I have trouble with supporting the like’s of Facebook given their track record behaviour. After all they are a business whose first and foremost aim is to maximise profits and believe that it is not a good idea for us collectively allowing them to so much power over our communication lines between friends and family and subsequently our lives in general. They aren’t some benevolent organisation, being a for-profit entity, they are ultimately answerable only to their shareholders

Giving the increasing complexity of maintaining a website along with Web development becoming an increasingly specialized field… we are seeing more and more personal websites simply become single page landing sites which contain little more than a series of links to one’s social media accounts on the proprietary platforms owned essentially by Advertising companies.

Site Move + State of the web.

But what will be the “Trigger”?

The theme has been the same for years. If the legion of economists and financial experts are to believed, the markets are over valued, the world is awash with money. We are totally hooked on cheap credit and a crash is imminent, but this ‘crash’ never ever seems to come. Indeed, even with me, my feeling is that a sizeable financial correction is extraordinarily well past overdue. The thing I feel hasn’t be covered in great deal is how might such a financial crisis end up being triggered? Hardly anyone I feel has actually really covered this in a great deal of depth.

It appears that as long as central banks keep “printing” Money (from thin air), this action appears to be very supportive of equities and the property market and is insulative of any world Crises that may ordinarily spoke the market. Unless anything untoward happens, Asset prices such as equities and property prices I feel will continue to escalate and may even accelerate in the short to medium term from here on in. There seems to be NOTHING that will cause a crash as long as central banks and commercial banks keep creating money and pumping it into the system by way of Fractional Reserve Banking.

Something I penned on a scrap piece of paper. This scenario is probably unlikely to eventuate, but at the same time, wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

There are however underlying risks at any time that can seemingly jump out of the blue and come bite everyone in the arse. When such an event will happen I believe it’s anyone’s guess as to when such a catastrophic event will happen and ultimately such an event is outside our ability to predict with any sort of usable accuracy. A correct prediction by anyone would basically be down to pure chance / luck. Statistically, someone will undoubtedly guess correctly and may get fawned over by the masses looking for any sort of answers as being some guru who had some insight.

The way the system is currently structured, if and when something does occur to be sufficient to get the boulder moving. The subsequent chain of events is going to be absolutely devastating. Once say a bank fails, there is a tendency for others to collapse along with it. Loans may be recalled, Entities stop investing, money stops flowing, More loans are recalled, People get laid off, Home owners may be forced to sell into a sliding market, trigger more loan recalls, panic selling ensues, Sell stops are triggered on stocks dumping more equities into the market, ultimately an unstoppable panic driven chain of events will be happening feeding upon itself in a frenzy and will undoubtedly drive asset prices to absurdly low levels.

So far the ‘Risks’ factors that I can see that may sufficiently trigger a crisis at some point.

  • Some sort of Pandemic, similar to SARS or another airborne virulent infectious agent.
  • Supply side shock of an essential resource, such as Food Shortages / Famine. An event such as plague, disease or disaster that ends up reducing the food supply. Food price going out of control, eventually leading to panic buying feeding (pun not intended!) on itself.
  • Spreading Civil Global Unrest. In the case of Hong Kong and Chile, there were an underlying sense of discomfort. Civil unrest was often ignited by a single policy in the style of a feather breaking the camel’s back.

The reality is, I feel we haven’t learned very much if at all from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The credit and liquidity bubble I feel is a lot more lofty today than it was back in 2008 before the shit hit the fan. The last run up of asset prices have almost, I feel, has been entirely credit driven and along with artificially low interest rates.

Indeed, with no end insight to current trajectory of asset price inflation from ever loosening monetary policy.  Have been cautiously investing back into the equity market for the last 3 years.

Have up until recently been focusing my investments primarily towards REITs and Property Stocks, however, it would appear that ship suddenly sailed away from the start of this year catapulting the unit prices across the New Zealand REIT basket from below Net Tangible Asset Ratio to well above it. Additionally, prior was getting yield of 7% pre-tax on that sector, however, this has completely sunk down to a mere 3% dividend yield. Will cease adding any more to that sector and will be cancelling all Dividend Reinvestment plans, I feel this sector is now largely over valued.

The only other near term opportunity I can identify is possibly in some stable higher yielding companies, both here and abroad for which there are still plenty.

That said, am keeping a close eye on the pulse of the global economy. I think regardless though. If and when the next crisis comes and in spite of any safe guards taken, I’m still going to be reamed in some way whether I like it or not.

TL;DR – Financial System no longer obeying usual economic fundamentals. Unprecedented Flood of liquidity sees us potentially on the cusp of a relentless rampant run up in Asset and equity prices. The bubble may be about to inflate even more and faster than it has in the recent past. If something of sufficient severity does managed to spook the market and snow ball, then expect blood on the streets.

But what will be the “Trigger”?

New Zealand Rooms of Matrix/Element.io Chat

Update: 23 July 2020 – Riot.IM is now Element.io

So far the known New Zealand specific chat groups (chat rooms) that exist within the Matrix chat federation include…

If there are others that you know of, feel free to advise me or post in the comments below.

If people are looking for a viable alternative for staying in contact with friends and family at home and abroad as opposed to using the common proprietary messaging systems (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc) operated by sole corporations. Then I implore people to start looking at the federation of matrix.org chat servers.

If you want to start chatting. Go to Element.io, sign up for a Matrix.org account and start joining rooms such as :matrix.org

Similar to how Email is structured, where Joe Bloggs at Hotmail can seamlessly Email his friend, Max Mustermann at Yahoo without needing to be with the same provider. The Matrix protocol is structured the same way for instant messaging and group chat. No one single company / provider has total control of the protocol.

If Joe Bloggs for example, doesn’t like Hotmail for what ever reason, he is able to choose to sign up to Gmail. Matrix.org is the same way, you have a choice of providers. You can even host your own node (like I do).

Like any project the onset, Matrix was pretty rough around the edges, but I feel the development of the system (being the Matrix Protocol together with the available client software) has now matured to a point where I feel Matrix/Element.io is now certainly very usable.

The reason why I favour Matrix over say Telegram, Signal, Slack, Zulip, Mattermost, Rocket Chat, is that Matrix is the only system where you can…

  • Self host a node of your own AND
  • Send messages to users on other servers (Federation) AND
  • Has a usable front end client (Being Element.io available for Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and others)

 

New Zealand Rooms of Matrix/Element.io Chat

Swazi Apparel to move part of their manufacturing to Thailand

Swazi NZ, Davey Hughes in a YouTube clip has announce they are moving production of their Fleece and Base layer clothing lines from their Levin Factory (here in New Zealand) to Thailand. The technical garments such as raincoats and jackets will still be made in New Zealand.

This in my view represents a not so insignificant change of direction from their original brand values and which they built the brand on.

Swazi Apparel to move part of their manufacturing to Thailand

Carefully packaged and shipped – License code for Office 365 Online

Well packaged for Delivery. Box containing a Microsoft Office 365 box wrapped in Air Pillows. The only important bit was a line of code to activate your Office 365 subscription online.

May be a just a little bit excessive in the packaging…

Of course an argument could most certainly be made that it would have been cheaper and easier to simply E-mail me the code… though obviously packaged like this as a “matter of process” / “Matter of course” and to their credit, it did showed that Noel Leeming takes the effort to ensure goods are packed in a way to minimize the chance of damage during transit.

Carefully packaged and shipped – License code for Office 365 Online

So much Facebook hating but no one wants to do anything tangible about it

I noticed an inundation of Facebook hate articles, posts and general commentary across the wider general internet again. It seems to come in cycles. The most infuriating thing about this, is that few people seem to want to do anything about the state of affairs despite expressing their own disdain for Facebook. Almost everyone is waiting for their friends to move off before they do… this situation presents a sure fire way for Facebook keeping it’s dominance and dare I say, for us to encourage Facebook’s ongoing track record of behaviour.

All I can say is, at least I’ve tried… One sets up alternative services for people to elevate at their request, after setting it up, people find excuses (Some Valid, some perhaps less valid) to not even look at it. As each service fell into disuse, I ended up eventually re-purposing these sites along with the domains they were on for personal use… Continue reading “So much Facebook hating but no one wants to do anything tangible about it”

So much Facebook hating but no one wants to do anything tangible about it

Air Vanuatu Domestic Twin Otter Flights Cancellations

It seems for (at least) Friday 8th December 2018 and Today, Saturday 9th December 2018, Air Vanuatu (NF) Flights that use the De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft have allegedly all been cancelled. Who the flip knows when they will be back in Action. Known locations affected include (but NOT limited to)…

  • Craig Cove, Ulei (Ambrym)
  • Paama
  • Tongoa
  • Norsup (Malekula)
  • Lamen Bay (Epi)
  • Dillion’s Bay (Erromango)

Upon arrival to Craig Cove Airport on Friday (Yesterday) Morning, The agents in contact with Air Vanuatu head office keep announcing ever later estimated arrival times and relayed excuses from Head office from Mechanical Failure to the weather as reasons for the delay. After 2 hours of delay, ended up ringing Air Vanuatu Head Office myself, but they kept referring me back to the agents on the ground who in turn were similarly frantically via phone trying to get a grasp of the situation from Air Vanuatu Head office.

At about 4 hours after the flight was supposed to arrive, the agents announced that the flight had been cancelled and suggested that the next flight out of Craig Cove would be on Tuesday 11th December 2018 (Too late for me). Ended up calling a private charter flight to get us off of Ambrym allowing us to return back home to New Zealand as scheduled on the next morning.

Reviewing the flightradar24 upon finally returning home this Afternoon (As scheduled), it was revealed that all flights using De Havilland Twin Otter had been cancelled… Continue reading “Air Vanuatu Domestic Twin Otter Flights Cancellations”

Air Vanuatu Domestic Twin Otter Flights Cancellations

Connected to Fibre (Properly)

Finally was coaxed by my current ISP, Spark, to move from ADSL1 to Fibre (100Mbit), when they sent a letter threa… er… advising that they will add $5 to my bill for staying with the old copper ADSL1 connection.

Fibre is considerably Faster I guess. Everything is more snappy, Graphics intensive NUI.NZ loads in a blink of an eye along with all the other sites. But is this more of sign of how websites in general have become so incredibly bloated.

There is only a $10.00 monthly price difference between the smallest plan and the unlimited plan. I’m aware they have in the past throttled and traffic shaped unlimited plans, but it looks like this may have been relaxed.

BTW, Pictures from an NZSA Auckland branch visit to Chorus Auckland Offices… Continue reading “Connected to Fibre (Properly)”

Connected to Fibre (Properly)

If you want to buy a home to live in, then buy one

My Feeling is the same as it was in 2012, If one needs a house to live in and it looks like one is in a position to finance it (with a buffer one would deem comfortable) then by all means, I would look to buy a home.

Attempting to “time the market” is at best difficult if not impossible. I can’t say what would happen in the next few years. For all I know, we could have a volcano blow up under Auckland or another equally unforeseen disruptive event and houses prices could then crash through the floor. At the moment, all the information I’ve seen around the place suggests that house prices are on track for single digit percentage gains across the board in New Zealand for the next year or two, but I reiterate, who the freak knows in this bizarre market, particularly given the distortive effects of a decade of seemingly endless and inefficiency encouraging “stimulus” Continue reading “If you want to buy a home to live in, then buy one”

If you want to buy a home to live in, then buy one