Encryption

There’s been a lot of discussion lately (again) on the need for encrypted Email or Messaging, and the pros and cons of various services, from WhatsApp to Telegram, from RCS to SMS.

I am not fully on the post-privacy bandwagon, but for sure people are aware that by using a third party service for Email or Messaging their messages can be read, aren’t they? We don’t call root super-user for no reason.

In the last century the Network Working Group wrote in RFC 1855 “Netiquette Guidelines”

2.1.1 For mail:

Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that mail on the Internet is not secure.  Never put in a mail message anything you would not put on a postcard.

That’s today as true as it was then – unless you own both sides of the encryption, don’t send anything through the Aether that you don’t want other people to see!

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13th_Annual_Wichita_Postcard_Club_Show,_Wichita_Postcard_Club_(NBY_17466).jpg)

Android Pie Backup Now grayed out

This week I migrated my phone from a Nokia 8 to a Nokia 9 PureView, for the impressive built-in camera.

After completing the migration I found that I was unable to perform a backup – the Backup Now button was grayed out and all items were in “Waiting to backup” (except for Contacts and Photos, which operate independently).  Google to the rescue!

I found many good posts, some recommending to temporarily disable Screen Lock. That worked – I then had a valid backup in Google Drive.

After I re-enabled the screen lock, though, the button became grayed out again – back to Google.

Several people recommended setting up Smart Lock, so that the phone unlocks itself, for example when you’re at home.

Enabled Smart Lock, no change, button still grayed out. Bummer.

This time though I decided to give it a couple of days – a good idea, since there seems to be a timer involved, too.

Issue is now solved, the phone performs automatic backups, if

  • it’s at home and automatically unlocked, and
  • the last backup is more than a day old

Good enough for me. But I will regularly check in Drive from now on …

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Spiderman: Far From Home

What a ride – first, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, probably the best animated movie this year with a lot of fresh ideas, then, Avengers: Endgame where Peter took the mantle from Tony Stark. And now, Spiderman: Far from Home

Far from Home is a great reboot of the Spiderman universe, portraying a cool super hero fit for the 21st century; at the same time it also showed a lot of continuity and references to past Marvel movies for fans, old and new alike

Highly recommended – go watch it, but stay until after the credits!

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(Movie poster outside of Metropolis)

Paintball

There’s always a first time for things – for us it was the first time for playing paintball this Friday.

We went to Paintball Revolution in Ennepetal, as they offer markers for 14- to 18-year-olds.

The staff on site was great, plenty of playing fields and game ideas, we played for hours – highly recommended!

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(Paintball Revolution)

Sherwood

Through the original family option of Google Play Music All Access we were migrated to YouTube Premium (YouTube Red in some geographies), and with this we also got access to YouTube Originals, which includes a variety of high-quality mini series.

One of these is Sherwood – loosely based on the legend of Robin Hood, the series is set in a world where the climate catastrophe has already happened and most of the world is flooded, it chronicles the adventure of Robin and her friends in their fight for justice and equality against the Sheriff of the upper city.

Very relatable characters, good storytelling and great animation make this a fun series to watch – highly recommended!

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(YouTube – Screenshot from Sherwood S1E7)

Red Hood Fan Series

Until recently I did not know that there were such things as fan series – boy, did I miss out!

I would like to highlight one in particular, the Red Hood Fan Series which is set in DC’s Batman Universe, following the adventures of the three Robins – Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne – in their quest to take back Gotham from the Court of Owls

With professional camera, high quality editing and great actors such as Cameron Judd (as Damian Wayne), Ian Lang (as Jason Todd),  Nadav Jackson (as Colin Todd), and Madden Zook (as 7B05), the series is a must to watch

Season 2 was financed by a Kickstarter, which I missed, but I’ll definitely be in for season 3!

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(Instagram @redhoodfanseries)

Low carb, high fat

If you’re trying to loose weight, like I am, there’s one hard truth: You’ll only loose weight if your daily calorie intake is less than your calorie expenditure.

There are no miracle hormones, or fat burning exercises, it all comes down to calorie intake.

To reduce your calorie intake, there are basically three types of diet:

  • Overall reduction
  • Low fat
  • Low carb (high fat)

If you’re going for an overall reduction, the danger is that you trigger a survival mechanism – your body will believe that you’re going through bad times and reduce its overall consumption, to make its own stores last as long as possible. While this might definitely lead to short-term weight loss, chances are that as soon as you’re off the diet, your body will start to replenish and prepare for the next period of hunger. Bummer.

A low fat diet might certainly be sustainable, I just don’t like the bland taste of low-fat food.

That leaves a low carb / high fat diet – together with my GP and a dietician I settled on a diet somewhere between Atkins and Keto, with good, steady results so far. The definite benefit of a LCHF diet is that the food tastes really good and you’re almost never hungry (you stay sated for longer) – I went down to two meals per day, sometimes one, without any cravings.

From personal experience, if you need / want to loose weight, I’d highly recommend trying a LHCF diet, but: Never without ongoing medical supervision!

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Last Day Worked (LDW +1)

A year ago today was my last day at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As part of the many reorganizations, HPE were offering very generous redundancy packages at that time and I decided to take them up on their offer and go back to University (FOM), to study Computer Science in Cologne.

I’m now at the end of the first year, and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s such an enormous privilege to be able to concentrate just on learning, given my age and the fact that I have two (almost grown-up) kids.

To stay on top of all the developments around cloud computing I also work part-time at a small Cloud Consultancy, supporting customers on their journey to cloud; by now I’ve become pretty experienced on all things related to Containers and Security too. Serverless will be next!

In the process I’ve also lost over 40lbs – can’t complain! There’re still a couple of pounds to go, though …

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(At FOM, looking out from our lecture hall)

Endgame (No spoilers)

Last night we went to the Avengers – Endgame opening night (actually an Infinity War / Endgame double feature).

Three hours of good fun, solid action and no boring parts!

This movie is indeed the grand conclusion of the Avengers saga, very much befitting its epic, world- and time-spanning scope, and opens a lot of roads ahead for Marvel to build on that foundation, and develop the surviving protagonists, old and new.

Highly recommended!

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(Poster on display at Metropolis, Cologne)

Max and Harvey

A week after Bars and Melody, Max and Harvey came for their first ever concert to Cologne, as part of the Coming Soon tour; support was Jenna Raine and I believe it was her first time in Cologne as well. I’m so glad to see so many talented artists coming to my home town!

The venue, Luxor, wasn’t as packed as it was the week before, but the concert was really enjoyable and I hope they’ll return soon

It’s the second video I created with Adobe Premiere – I might have a closer look at Adobe’s Creative Cloud. And a music subscription.

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(Max and Harvey stage, Luxor)