Weeknote, Sunday 15th May 2022

Yesterday we went to London (a trip into the big city!) for the Art Car Boot Fair, held in Kings Cross. There was some decent work there, and it was nice afterwards to look around the various shops and food places around Coal Drop Yard. Unfortunately, it’s not that long since that part of Kings Cross was, to put it mildly, less than pleasant. I remember going to a warehouse event there and feeling pretty threatened when walking back late. And while “gentrification” gets a bad rep, this does feel like it’s made a shitty bit of London much better.

On Friday, we saw Everything Everywhere All At Once, an incredible movie. One of the few pleasures of lockdown was when cinemas were open, but no big blockbuster films were being released. Because of this, and because people were understandably reluctant to go and spend an evening locked in a small dark room with others, we sometimes had the whole cinema to ourselves, which was actually rather lovely.

Canterbury is getting another Curzon soon, a larger newly-built cinema, but the current one is staying open to focus on arthouse movies and more minor releases. It will be great to have more movies on. Even though I love a big dumb science fiction movie, I’ve rediscovered my love of smaller films in the last couple of years.

Reading

Context by Cory Doctorow. I haven’t read much of Cory’s fiction, but I’m a massive fan of his non-fiction work, and I’m also a sucker for collections of essays. So this is well worth a read.

Writing

I did a lot of writing last weekend…

Just why did a company owned by a former UKIP leader pay Andrew Bridgen £500?: There are quite a lot of connections between UKIP and Tory MPs. Almost as if UKIP became the Tory party.

The New Victoriana. This was a piece I originally wrote for Rewired back in 1997. Sadly Rewired went offline a while ago, but it’s in the Wayback machine, and I thought it would be good to bring it back to life. It’s one of the articles that I’m most happy with, although the writing is a bit juvenile in other ways.

Dipping my toes into Linux (again). When I bought my ThinkPad X1 Carbon last year, one of the thoughts behind it was to start using Linux again — and I finally got around to installing it a couple of weeks ago. I liked it so much that I nuked the Windows partition altogether, and since then, I’ve been using the ThinkPad much more. In fact, it’s probably become the device I use more than any other.

Watching

Everything Everywhere All At Once was our Friday night movie at the Curzon, and it was easily the best film that I’ve seen this year. It’s a fantastic movie: there’s so much to it that it’s tough to encapsulate. Just go see it.

Meanwhile, on the Internet…

Google I/O has been on. It’s a much less focused event these days, as Google has moved away from an approach of big fixed calendar announcements and releases towards drip-feeding more though the year. So instead, they talked about Android 13 and a new cheaper version of the Pixel 6 and teased the release of a Pixel Watch and a tablet next year.

Of course, Google’s focus on the tablet has been seen before. From the Nexus 7 to the Pixel C, the company has tried — and failed — to create hardware but has been unable to get traction for Android as an operating system for tablets.

I hope that this isn’t yet another false start because if it is, then I think it’s the end of the line. And this time, Google must get enough developer support to build apps optimised for larger screens.

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