Don’t crash

I’m hoping to get some flight time in today. The weather forecast is looking good (I’m writing this ahead of time so that I have time to get some flight time in today) and I’m hoping to have much of the local coastline to myself in the traditional pre-December tourism lull in Cape Agulhas.

I got an email from DJI today (this today, not that today, as mentioned above). DJI is the company that made Florence the Mavic, so they know what they’re talking about when it comes to drones.

The email was divided up into four different sections: each with a link to a relevant webpage on their site:

DJI Go 4 Manual: The Pilot’s Handbook
Not sure what all those buttons do in DJI Go 4? Dive into our DJI 4 manual to learn ins and outs of DJI’s powerful, multi-purpose companion app.

Helpful advice for what is (necessarily) a rather complicated app.

5 Great Third-Party Mavic Pro Accessories
Looking for new add-ons to make your Mavic even more powerful? Read this article to discover five great Mavic accessories. 

An attempt to sell you more very cool, but very expensive, toys.

How to Make the Best of Your Drone Photo
Struggling to take good-looking drone photos? Check out this article and get one step closer to becoming a master of aerial photography.

You know from reading this blog that this is a never-ending learning experience and any help is good.

And then… this:

How to NOT Crash Your Drone in 15 Easy Steps
Even the bravest drone users worry about crashing. Here’s an article that can help you prevent accidents.

I like the emphasis on the NOT, as if you were considering any other options. And look, it’s a good idea for an article (albeit that it is written about the Phantom Pro, rather than the Mavic), but are there really fifteen separate steps you need to take to avoid the fiery demise of your drone?

Of course, it turns out that many of them refer simply to following the rules and using common sense (which you were doing anyway, right?).

Presumably, this means that if you follow the rules and use common sense, you’ll be fine. So that’s what I’ll do today.

Faster wifi on planes

The future is now.

To be honest, the future was actually already then, when I was on a flight over Turkey, tracking my flight over Turkey en route to nearly kill my Mum by walking into her kitchen while she thought I was 6000 miles… away.

Wi-fi on planes is incredible. Not just because it’s useful as a communication, productivity and time-passing tool, but also because of the way it works. From your device to the on-board router, then pinged from the top of the plane moving at close on 1,000kph to a satellite about 35,786km up (which itself is moving at 18,000kph) and then down to earth and then – obviously – back again.

Like, I said: Incredible.

In fact, the only issue with the wi-fi on planes is that it’s not very fast. So sending photos or anything larger than a Whatsapp message takes ages or doesn’t really work at all. Especially just after dinner.

But now it’s about to get better:

Emirates has partnered with Thales to bring 50Mbps connectivity to its Boeing 777X fleet in 2020.

That’s five times faster than I get at home. Five.

And look, I know I’m very lucky to have a generally stable internet connection at home. But my house stays where it is and is attached by a long cable to the place where the internet comes from (which also stays where it is). It’s relatively simple to get internet to go back and forth along that cable. But they still can’t do it at more than 10Mbps.

I think the potential solutions here are fairly obvious: move my house to an Emirates 777 (clearly not an option), or park an Emirates 777 in my back garden (it could be a contemporary sculpture).

The neighbours might not be happy, but at least they’d have really speedy internet.

Pub quiz redux

Ridiculously busy day ahead, so just a few bits and pieces about last night’s pub quiz, penned as I enjoy my thirteenth coffee of the day.

BUZZIN’, MAN!!!!

First off, let me tell you that last night’s pub quiz was a lot of fun. Good beer, good pizza, good company, great service at Fireman’s. Our awesome threesome did really well, finishing in (a mildly disputed) second place (out of 25 teams) after a bit of chaos involving a couple of vague questions in the final round. In a quiz with just fifty questions spread over 10 subjects and 2½ hours, you might argue that there’s no excuse for vague questions, and I would agree.

What is the plural of Opus?

Turns out that there’s more than one correct answer. Never a good idea for a last round question.
(Opuses/Opera, by the way.)

And did Quentin Tarantino really direct Natural Born Killers? No. He didn’t. So if you’re going to ask a question about that film, don’t state in the question that he did. People will get confused. There will be disputes. However, that was nothing compared to the outrage earlier in the evening when the answer to one of the Sports Round questions:

What is the national sport of Bulgaria?

turned out to be:

It’s a trick question. They have no national sport.

Did you get it? No. Neither did anyone else. But really, with just five sports questions to write and a near unlimited supply of options available to you, how utterly lazy is that?

Do. Better.

But I’m making it sound like a disaster. It wasn’t. It was fun. In my defence, I did say that above.

Crossword Man was there. Inspired by 6000 miles… (!), he wants to start his own blog. I know, right? He was asking a lot of questions about blogging, most all of which made more sense than the Bulgarian one above, and one of which was “can you post a blank post?”. I didn’t know that answer, so I tried it. The rest is history. Quite why you would want to post a blank post is a little beyond me, but each to their own. Perhaps he was giving me a hint?

It was our first pub quiz in several months. I knew that something had been missing from my life; I just didn’t know what.

We won’t leave it so long next time.

Deadly Valentine

This is a tune. And along with it, an endearing video which gives us no particular message except that love can be enduring…

Charlotte Gainsbourg – Deadly Valentine – nouvel extrait de l’album REST produit par SebastiAn.

Sounds promising, when’s it out?

Sortie le 17 Novembre.

So now we know. Pré-commande it here.