Link Dumps 2021-05-16

Is it the third Sunday already? Seems early this month, possibly because there are five Sundays in this May.

Not as many links this month because of that.

Marine Eequipment Adapts for HS2 Project; transport, logistics; It seems that there are points in HS2's route where water access is easier than road access, so they're using barges to help with the transport and construction. It's great to see an existing resource being used, and to see a little innovation for our waterways.

Nestlé threatened with cease-and-desist over alleged illegal water use; politics, capitalism; A company gaming the system so that it can exploit natural resources for its own profits? I'm shocked! Shocked! Well, OK not that shocked. But what I find interesting here is that the measurement was an imprecise one - a number of train cars. Over a century later after the agreement was signed, our train cars have improved and carry over twice the amount that they did in 1909. Calfironia is currently in a long drought, but this doesn't just affect the provision of water to people. Tapping too much from the water table lowers it, making trees and vegetation drier as they have to work harder to get water. Drier trees are more flammable. Basically, the more I look at this the more villanous Nestlé look. Maybe it's just time to cut their losses on this brand?

Beyond Calibri: Finding Microsoft’s next default font; technology, typography; Microsoft are looking at changing the default font used in Microsoft Office. They did this in 2007 to introduce us to Calibri. There have been a lot of words written about this on technology and typography websites, mostly about the fonts in the selection. Their merits and people's opinions have been solidly explored. What I find odd is that nobody is questioning the fundemental issue - should there really be just one typeface for the whole of Office? Surely whilst Word needs a good Serif for lon text, PowerPoint would benefit from a Sans Serif for impact? Whilst experimenting on this I noticed that some spreadsheets that are filled with numbers benefit from switching to a monospaced font like Consolas. I think that Microsoft should consider a familt of fonts and use the right one for the right product. But I doubt that this will happen.

'Biggest data grab' in NHS history stuffs GP records in a central store for 'research' – and the time to opt out is now; politics, healthcare, privacy; I haven't actually opted out, and I may not do so. But this is a big change, and at a time when we have a government determined to privatise the NHS by stealth. How much of our health data might go to private companies, and from there to who knows where? And health data can be very identifiable. This worries me. At the moment I'm taking an attitude of "opt in and help the NHS", but I will be watching for any signs that I should opt out.

The Brexit roots of the scandals; politics, brexit, ethics; There is a strong strain of "the rules don't apply to us" in the current British Government, and it will likely not end well. Rules are often there for a reason, even if nobody can remember that reason anymore...

The realities of sovereignty; politics, brexit; We were always Sovereign whilst we were in the EU. That is a fact. The idea that we were not is something that should have been directly called out as a lie, and those politicians that repeated this lie should have suffered consequences. That having ben said, many of the issues that make Brexit a failure are based on this misunderstanding of what Sovereignty is, coupled with the inability to understand that other countries are also Sovereign.

That's it for May, see you in June!