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Thoughts on many things Posts

For everything, there is a season

This past week has been a very Jewish one for me, in so many senses. In Jewish tradition, there is no such thing as joy without the element of sorrow, nor sorrow without the element of joy. The most famous example of this is the breaking of a glass during a wedding, to remind us of the breaking of the temple – as well as to signify that this newly created house is another stone of the rebuilding.

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Review: Polar H10

I’ve written previously about my use of my Apple Watch to track fitness. This summer, I bought the Polar H10 chest strap wanting to add another, and more accurate, metric to the metrics already being recorded by my Apple Watch. The hope was that I could leave my phone at home altogether, and simply take my Apple Watch for a ride or run, preferably recording with Strava.

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Excel: Combine two columns

While analysing an Excel sheet the other day, I needed to combine two columns so that I could get names in the format firstname lastname (the list had been provided as lastname,firstname). As it happens, doing so is relatively easy. You do it on a cell by cell basis, by using basic excel commands.

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Ethics: Intention versus consequence

When getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar, public officials tend to offer their good intentions as a defense. I don’t understand why we keep accepting such defenses. Who cares that your intention was to ensure proper tax planning? You still lied about whether or not you were domiciled somewhere else. I don’t see a valid argument that your so-called “good intentions” – an appeal to the ethics of your intentions, rather than the ethics of your actions – is relevant at all. It is certainly not a mitigating circumstance.

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Ensure redundancy for critical systems

As I’m sure you noticed, Facebook suffered massive downtime to several services last week, including Messenger, Instagram and so on. Such events often serve to highlight what services we have rely on. While I’ve been (at least attempting to) phase out Facebook for some time, there are still some things that I actually need it for.

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Reviewed: SmartHalo 2

This is part one of a two-part series on my experiences with the SmartHalo 2 bike computer. It’s no secret that I’ve backed a few Kickstarter projects over the years. Some have entirely failed to deliver, some have delivered products so atrocious that it doesn’t bear thinking about, and some have delivered a product that delivers (and sometimes well and truly overdelivers) on the pitch.

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Start a new Google Doc/Sheet/Slide deck straight from the address bar

I recently learned of a nifty little trick for users of Google’s Workspace services (i,e. Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms etc.): You can start a new document, spreadsheet, slide deck and so on from the address bar of your web browser. Simply enter the appropriate command (below) into the address bar, hit return, and watch as it unfolds:

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