Asides

Travel and horizons

I don’t know if this is a function of ubiquitous IP geolocation or some metaphysical reward for travel, but I’ve been discussing some unfamiliar music and artists in multiple ways during this trip.

I know some of you will be amused at me “discovering” these artists only now.

Moneybox, a Slate blog I still read from time to time, had an interesting off-the-wall story about Sweden’s new postage stamps. Apparently there is an artist called Robyn. Also, “brev” means letter in Swedish which sounds much like “brief” to me, so perhaps Afrikaans has some value outside South Africa after all.

i didn’t think any more until I found another “first play” album on iTunes Radio (this is not a paid ad for Apple, promise) by a band called “Royksopp”.  Enjoying the album, electronic music across a wide range of underlying genres. Turns out Royksopp and Robyn have performed together and produced music together.

Foo Fighters and Munich

Brief personal note. I’m off to the Milliman Life Consultants Forum in the US this week. Looks like an amazing programme covering ORSAs, Solvency II vs EV reporting and many of their software tools. Great to have such a relevant programme to me and for us in South Africa.

I’m writing a blog post on unemployment (up soon!) while listening to the brand new Foo Fighters album, Sonic Highways, courtesy of iTunes Radio. Looks to be a fantastic album – might just become the soundtrack of my trip.

 

Zim cash shortages

Zimbabwe seems to be experiencing some isolated (for now) cash shortages.

This was a concern around election time. There was a risk that citizens, fearing uncertainty around the reintroduction of the Zim Dollar might have withdrawn their deposits and borrowed as many dollars as they could. There has been limited talk of the reintroduction of the Zim Dollar, but I hadn’t expected these scenarios just yet.

Hopefully this is just a logistics issue ahead of Christmas shopping and year-end pay.

Link shortening madness

URL shorteners are handy when space is limited, but each one adds another fatal point of failure. To make the point, if I want you to read about New Business Margin on Revenue. And by the way you should because it’s an important newish concept, the link will work provided your internet connection is working, the relevant DNS is working and my server is running.

Let’s look at an extreme alternative:

  • First shorten link at http://goo.gl/ gets to http://goo.gl/TpJHG
  • Then take http://goo.gl/TpJHG and shorten at https://bitly.com to get http://bit.ly/17zpwir
  • Then http://tr.im/ gets http://tr.im/42hfd
  • Then TinyURL gets http://tinyurl.com/bnqfylu

Interestingly, is.gd didn’t want to shorten the link. TinyURL has a longish URK, but does have the awesome ability to provide your own shortened URL like http://tinyurl.com/NBMR-shorten

I’m not provide embedded links for all of those because it’s a bit silly. But you can see when you click on the last link as it backtracks through each of the shorteners before arriving at the destination. Each step is the chance for catastrophic failure.

So please don’t use link shorteners in ordinary web content. It’s not necessary and makes the internet increasingly fragile.