I know a lot of people on Hacker News and just in general like to claim that they function optimally with 5 hours sleep or whatever. Last night I hit a new low with only four hours (not for lack of trying), and I feel physically OK. Not great, but not terrible.

The main noticeable difference is in mental abilities. I spent most of this morning staring at a terminal window telling me repeatedly that my code was crashing on execution for completely trivial reasons while I wondered vaguely where my IQ points went.

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There are a few ways to wield a smartphone.

1. The teenager holds it in two hands while stabbing rapidly at the screen with both thumbs.

2. The suave 20 something year old bends the laws of physics to balance it in their hand while using the same hand to interact with it.

3. The confused old lady holds it up to her face with one hand, angles her head back so she can look down her nose at it while narrowing her eyes in concentration, then jabs at it suspiciously with her other.

It turns out I am a confused old lady.

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Today I finally had my podiatrist visit.

The result is not very illuminating. I originally got the referral mainly for the dull metatarsalgia, but in the time it took to get to the appointment, that has resolved itself on its own. I still get the sharp pain which I thought might be a neuroma so he looked at that…

…and he diagnosed Morton’s Neuroma, said that treatment would consist of injections and surgery, and said it’s best to avoid that unless the pain is actively disrupting my life. From what I’ve read, I agree with that statement, but I’m not entirely convinced by the diagnosis. He tried to narrow it down to a neuroma by asking me a bunch of questions which I said ‘no’ to, then squeezed and prodded my foot and failed to elicit any pain, then diagnosed a neuroma anyway, which hardly seems sound (but isn’t necessarily incorrect). So maybe it is a neuroma, maybe it isn’t, who knows.

At the moment I am running twice a week, and while it does hurt if I step on it awkwardly it’s not causing me any real practical problems right now, so ‘do nothing’ is probably the right strategy. Or another way to look at it is: the irony of the podiatrist is that it’s two miles away, so I walked 7 miles today to get there and back and then to work and back, and if I can walk 7 miles in a day then it’s not so bad.

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Budgets and whatnot

The budget is a bit confusing. Hiking minimum wage is definitely a wonderful thing and my minimum wage earning sister is certainly long overdue a substantial pay rise, but it’s hard to accept that the budget is good for low earners when I’ve been given a tax break which is funded by removing benefits from lower earners. I have more money and they have less. I don’t see how this makes much sense.

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Ellen Pao needs to go


I don’t know if anyone has been following the Reddit thing, but the tl;dr is that in late 2014 Reddit appointed Ellen Pao as CEO, a woman with a very dubious past, who was clearly antithetical to Reddit. Reddit until that point had been hanging on to the image of being a cool hipster startup that promoted a general hands off, free speech approach to the internet.

Since Chairman Pao came to power we’ve had a long period of disgruntlement over petty and not so petty censorship and yesterday it all boiled over when a Reddit employee, Victoria Taylor, was fired at zero notice for reasons nobody’s been able to ascertain. Reddit admins (not employees) were annoyed by this because she used to help them out a lot and there was no explanation or help offered to them.

Victoria used to help a lot with AMAs (ask me anything – celebrities field questions from users) and this all kicked off after some racist celebrity idiot did an AMA which went disastrously because all the questions come from random internet users who aren’t afraid to be confrontational. Some speculation is that Reddit wants to monetise AMAs by having them more focused on marketing, and Victoria was dead against that idea. Woody Harrelson famously was lambasted by the internet when he got upset during an AMA that nobody was asking him about his new film, because he thought it was a marketing exercise and nobody else did.

People generally suspect Empress Paopatine has no idea either about the technology of Reddit nor the culture of Reddit and she is running it into the ground.

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32 degrees C

My main complaint with hot weather is my main complaint with almost anything that involves them: trains.

My train adventure this evening went like this:

1. Leave work expecting to catch one of the two late running trains scheduled to arrive in the next 15 minutes
2. First late running train is cancelled. It still goes through the station in the right direction, but nobody’s allowed on it. I don’t get it either.
3. Second late running train disappears. I don’t understand how you can lose a train.
4. Ok, I’ll get my regular train which comes in from the opposite direction and turns around here so it shouldn’t be affected.
5. My regular train has disappeared. I still don’t understand how you can lose a train.
6. Regular train turns up 10 minutes late, I get on
7. Regular train sits in the station for a few minutes
8. Platform announcements state that regular train is not actually going to my destination anymore, it’s going to skip it (thanks). Nothing has been said ON the train, so it’s only because the doors are still open that I heard
9. Get off train.
10. Platform announcements state there will be an unscheduled train to my destination on adjacent platform
11. Get on unscheduled train
12. Regular train leaves
13. …
14. drip drip drip. My face is dripping. Apparently these trains do not have air conditioning.
15. Unscheduled train starts moving
16. Check the National Rail app – apparently my regular train is calling at my stop after all.
17. Arrive in to my destination only 40 minutes late

Apparently this was due to a broken down train at the next station, but that doesn’t really explain why it was a problem in both directions and for routes that don’t even reach the affected station. More likely, British rail infrastructure can’t a few extra degrees of heat.

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Tales from the office

Project Manager: The customer is using a £500 Windows tablet. We have no idea how our software will run on it. Can we get one in to test on it?
Boss: No, that’s too expensive

Later that afternoon…

Boss: Ooh, look at this smartwatch for £150. They look fun. Let’s order one in.

our reaction when:

Customer’s reaction when they realise we haven’t tested it:

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