Jag Diary 3: What We Know · Between June 4th, when the first wave of reviews of the New Jag hit (offically the I-PACE, what a dumb name) and the time the salesman called me saying “Time to sign the order if you want to be in the first wave”, I had to decide whether to spend a lot of money on a car I’d never seen or touched. So I paid damn close attention to those reviews. I’m a critical reader, and suspicious about the motives of product reviewers, and I think the picture that emerges is pretty clear. This post is to enumerate what I think it’s possible to know for sure about the car without having owned or even driven one. [Updated based on hands-on experience.] ... [4 comments]
Jag Diary 6: I-Pace Day Two · No highways were harmed in the preparing of this blog fragment; our new I-Pace is for the moment an urban runabout. In town, it doesn’t get you anywhere faster than a Honda Fit or 20-year old Ford Focus would. But those burn fossil fuels and we should all try to stop doing that ... [3 comments]
Jag Diary 5: The Green Light · I picked up the new family wheels, a 2019 Jaguar I-Pace, on January 12th. Current plans are for this blog fragment to get updates for the next couple of weeks, through a planned road trip, per the “diary” part of the series title ... [2 comments]
Oil Fail · Today I learned things that I think every environmentalist and investment manager should know: A coherent argument that we are more or less at Peak Oil. Not the Nineties version, which worried that we might be running out of fossil fuels, but rather that global human petroleum demand is about at its all-time peak and about to start drifting down. Some of the key data points involve electric cars, which I care a lot about, and China, which is always interesting ... [4 comments]
Serverlessness · I work in AWS’s Serverless group, and in the process of pulling together my presentation at re:Invent, discovered that I have a lot of opinions on the subject and, while they may well be wrong, are at least well-informed. You can watch that YouTube, but who’s got an hour to spare? And anyhow, blogging’s really my favorite medium, so here we go. If I tried to glom them all together into one mega-essay it’d be brutally long, so let’s go short-form ... [3 comments]
SF-5: Serverless Bills? · One of the best reasons to go serverless is that you might save a lot of money. This is especially true when your load is peaky and has quiet times; because when your infrastructure isn’t working, you’re not paying. But, not all loads are peaky. And here’s a quote from an AWS internal mailing list: “For every compute load, there’s some level of TPS where Lambda is going to be more expensive than servers.” So, when is that? And how much should you care? ...
Christian Practice · I’m in Regina, Saskatchewan with family for the holidays. Someone said “Let’s go to a Christmas Eve carol service” and five of us did that. We went to Lakeview United, where “United” signifies the United Church of Canada, the biggest Protestant denomination up here. It was uplifting and pleasant and sort of sad. Disclosure: I’m not Christian at all; but still ... [2 comments]
SF-4: Serverless Latency? · Suppose we like the idea of going serverless (we do). What should we worry about when we make that bet? What I hear when I talk to people thinking about it, mostly, is latency. Can a run-on-demand function respond as quickly as a warmed-up Web server sitting there in memory waiting for incoming work? The answer, unsurprisingly, is “it depends” ... [5 comments]
SF-3: Serverless Everything? · Sometimes we fans get a little over-excited and declaim that everything should be serverless. After all, we’re pretty convinced that owning data centers and computers is becoming a thing of the past. Well then, how could configuring your own hosts and paying for them even when they’re not working ever be a good idea? Let’s try to be moderate and pragmatic: Serverless, where possible ... [1 comment]
SF-2: Why Serverless? · Well obviously: Frugality, security, and elasticity. But I want more, I want better software ... [1 comment]
SF-1: What Is Serverless? · I don’t think it’s that complicated: If you can’t see the servers in the service, then it’s serverless. Yeah, they’re still there, but the whole point is that you can mostly not worry about them ...
Post-REST · More or less all the big APIs are RESTful these days. Yeah, you can quibble about what “REST” means (and I will, a bit) but the assertion is broadly true. Is it going to stay that way forever? Seems unlikely. So, what’s next? ... [7 comments]
Car-Charge Economics · The Wikipedia article on Electric Car Use by Country is interesting. Below I excerpt a graph (misspellings: theirs) of the leading electric-car jurisdictions: As I write, Norway leads, at over 20%, while the US average is 1.5%. (Visit the Wikipedia link for the latest whenever you read this.) How are all these cars going to be fed? Let’s consider the future business of car-charging ... [14 comments]
Retiring? · I’m not young and I can afford to stop working. I’m wondering if I should ... [24 comments]
On Weed · Last Thursday, cannabis became legal in Canada. For example, here’s my local provincial government’s online cannabis store (screenshot below). There are going to be physical storefronts too, some private-sector, but the licensing process is slow so there aren’t any in Vancouver yet, except of course for the dozens of “dispensaries” that have been up and running for years; I suppose some of them will become legal. Which is to say, it hasn’t been very dramatic. But I think it is sort of a big deal ... [4 comments]
On Cash · What happened was, I was walking through a train station on the way to work with the buds playing randomly on shuffle and a knifeblade of Real Music came in from outside so I had to pull them out of my ears, there was this young dude getting great electric sound out of a teeny amp doing a slow take on Little Wing with a really good voice: When I’m sad, she comes to me… plenty room between the notes and lots of soul in them. He looked a little hard-pressed; I put my hand in my pocket for some coin but there was no coin there because I live on plastic these days and that busker went unpaid that morning. Another reason for a thing I’m thinking of: Going back to cash ... [14 comments]