2015 — 23 March: Monday

Overnight email1 confirms Big Bro will "reserve" his "power", thus enabling me to account for "all executors" on my Probate Application Form. I have combed through what little business correspondence there's been during the last four and a half years of mother's life2 in the care-home and, having fired up my trusty Casio FX-602P, I'm now ready for "Step #1."

Well, almost ready...

"What do you mean by 'almost', David?" I mean there's a discrepancy between the way JavaScript on my Firefox web browser on this Linux Mint system prints the PA1 form... and the way the downloaded PDF file of the same form prints. Could it be possible that the guvmint's IT folk only use Microsoft software? <Sigh>

Despite the morning's ration of Bach, I already need more tea. It's only 07:43. I'm currently three months ahead of the point the Bank's solicitors handling Christa's Probate got to, and I'd listed her "affairs" for them on half a page of A4. Why do our highly-paid friends in the legal / finance "business" make things so complex that only "professionals" can cope?

Oh, wait, "highly-paid". Now I understand :-)

Where's my cheque3 book? Have I got £220 or so? And an envelope large enough? And a stamp or two? This is tedious.

TED 2015

Somewhat more interesting.

It's also a chance, to paraphrase Pride and Prejudice, for not-so-rich men to throw themselves into the paths of other, richer men. Though it's never openly articulated this way, much of the conference feels like an enormous pitch meeting: scientists and tech up-and-comers parading their gadgetry in front of a truly staggering pantheon of millionaires and billionaires (I'm not allowed to tell you who, per TED's house rules, but whichever ones you're picturing, you are correct).

Lindy West in Grauniad

Speaking of "TED" my Blu-ray of "Paddington Bear" is now on its way :-)

This abstract...

... from an abstract strikes me as being about as abstract as abstracts get:

Our experiment uses a digital micro-mirror device for the rapid generation of OAM and ANG modes at 4 kHz, and a mode sorter capable of sorting single photons based on their OAM and ANG content with a separation efficiency of 93%. Through the use of a seven-dimensional alphabet encoded in the OAM and ANG bases, we achieve a channel capacity of 2.05 bits per sifted photon.

Mirhosseini et al in New Journal of Physics

Sifted photons? Whatever next? I hardly dare ask.

That well-loved...

... small-scale global collection of accountants PwC sees (on page 4 of its glossy report) some resurgent threats and opportunities in the UK's domestic credit card market:

Credit cards

Step #1...

... has been consigned to the tender mercies of a special tracked overnight delivery service costing an outrageous £20 (that's the will, three A4-size copies of it, 12 pages of filled-in forms, a certified copy of the death certificate and the all-important "little checky" for another £218). It occurs to me that only a truly civilised modern Western democracy sets up quite so many hoops for its subjects to jump through.

On the basis...

... of the fonts I have installed, an EFF project has decided...

Browser info leakage

Should I worry?

The bare necessities...

... for my evening's entertainment?

Paddington Bear

Mercy me!

In readiness for tomorrow's scheduled bit of Linux fiddling I just replaced my Asus 27" monitor by the 40" Philips that had been exiled to the naughty step in the dining room. Plumbed it in via HDMI, switched BlackBeast back on and... the thing booted straight into a 4K desktop. Granted it's only refreshed at 30Hz but, all the same, this is most heartening. This is off the Xeon integrated graphics card on the motherboard, of course.



1  Rather like one of Jane Austen's "express" carriers, riding through the night. Though not on horseback.
2  "Life?" Cue hollow laughter.
3  Can I use one of mother's?
"Just kidding!" he yelled, before they locked him up. And threw away the key.