You can find more info on my userinfo page - but this is just here to say that I'm very happy to be friended by anyone that wants to read me. I rarely post friends-only, and that only tends to be about things that mention work, so if I don't friend you back you're not actually missing much...

If you do friend me, this would be a good place to leave a comment introducing yourself, and letting me know how you found me!

Additionally, I have lots of awesome friends - if you want to make a few more then take a look at here for Dreamwidth and here for Livejournal, add a few people, and leave comment so people can add you too.

The links posts come from my page at Delicious and are posted to DW and LJ via a web app which I wrote, and you can use yourself here.

A note to Facebook/Twitter users who are reading this journal:
You can easily leave comments/post in polls if you log in using your FB/Twitter account. Just go to the top of the main page and click on the FB/Twitter icon.

If you have your own blog then you can log in with it using OpenID and use that identity to leave comments.

A note on correcting people's grammar in the comments.

The Official Spoiler Policy.

Oh, and my wife, Julie, has cancer, which you can read about at the tag juliehascancer.
Back slowly away

Hopefully just a brief blip in Julie's recovery

About two years ago, Julie was diagnosed with cancer.

Her Bcr-Abl levels at the time were just over 100. At each three-monthly meeting with her consultant they've (approximately) halved, with the result that in February this year they hit 0.126, which is getting close to the level at which they're happy that you're clear.

Sadly, at today's meeting, we discovered that they haven't dropped any further in the three months to May. Which is a bit worrying - as when the drop plateaus it tends to mean that something somewhere has mutated or otherwise become resistant.

This isn't necessarily the case though, and the side-effects have actually been a bit worse in the last 8 weeks (since Julie stopped taking Omeprazole, which affects stomach acid, and can thus interact somewhat with the takeup of her current medication).

So the doctor had some more blood taken, and we should hear back in about three weeks how things are going now. Nobody is panicking about anything, and there are multiple different options available to her if it turns out that Nilotinib is no longer doing the job.

But if I seem even more stressed and off-hand than usual over the next while, it's because I'm distracted, Julie is distracted, and overall there's a chunk of distractedness going on.

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

Interesting Links for 02-07-2015


Interesting Links for 01-07-2015

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

Interesting Links for 30-06-2015


Interesting Links for 29-06-2015

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

What effects do taxes/spending have on the UK?

Here is the ONS report on taxes/benefits for 2014. Some interesting stuff - the top section is their highlights, and I've made it even simpler underneath.
  • Before taxes and benefits the richest fifth of households had an average income of £80,800 in 2013/14, 15 times greater than the poorest fifth who had an average income of £5,500.
  • Overall, taxes and benefits lead to income being shared more equally between households. After all taxes and benefits are taken into account the ratio between the average incomes of the top and the bottom fifth of households (£60,000 and £15,500 per year respectively) is reduced to four-to-one.
  • Cash benefits made up 57.2% of the gross income of the poorest fifth of households (£7,400), compared with 3.5% (£2,900) of the income of the richest fifth.
  • The richest fifth of households paid £29,200 in taxes (direct and indirect) compared with £4,900 for the poorest fifth, though both groups paid a broadly similar proportion of their gross income (34.8% and 37.8% respectively).
  • Overall, 51.5% of households received more in benefits (including in-kind benefits such as education) than they paid in taxes in 2013/14. This is equivalent to 13.7 million households. This continues the downward trend seen since 2010/11 (53.5%) but remains above the proportions seen before the economic downturn.
  • Overall levels of income inequality in 2013/14 were broadly unchanged on other recent years. However, inequality among retired households has increased, with the Gini coefficient for disposable income rising to 27.2%, up from 24.3% in 2009/10.
  • The median disposable income of retired households was 7.3% (£1,400) higher in 2013/14 than in 2007/08, after accounting for inflation and household composition, compared with 5.5% (£1,600) lower for non-retired households.
  • Overall median disposable income in 2013/14 was £24,500 – higher than in 2012/13, after accounting for inflation and household composition, but still below the level seen in 2007/08.

Interesting points to note:
  1. Redistribution lowers inequality from 15:1 to 4:1.
  2. Both the poorest and richest pay just over 1/3 of their income in taxes - and it's actually 3% higher for the poorest.
  3. Over 50% of households receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes - but this includes benefits like education.
  4. Retired households up by 7% since 2008, non-retired households down by 6%. That's one hell of a split.
  5. Disposable income down from 2008, but up on last year.

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

Interesting Links for 28-06-2015


Why movie executives do not lead happy lives

Movie executives do not lead happy lives. If you are an executive, this is your day: a scruffy man in a Hawaiian shirt walks into your office and says, "I need you to be personally responsible for giving me one hundred million dollars so I can go to Ireland and have people who pretend for a living act like they're fighting imaginary dragons."

"Will I get to see the dragons first?" you ask hopefully.

"Oh, no the dragons won't exist until after we're done shooting. The professional pretending people will be yelling at sticks. Occasionally, they will flee from a mop."

And your job, as the exec, is to write him the check. Any sane man would break.
- John Rogers - from this great piece on why adaptations and remakes are so popular.

(Many thanks to cairmen for posting the quote on FB.)

Edit: And a very appropriate image:

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
book power

Looking at my stats

Livejournal tells me that I get around 150 LJ users visiting per day, and daily 250-300 visitors on average.

Google Analytics concurs-ish:

Bitly tells me it's an unusual day that I don't get at least 100 clicks on my links over at [ profile] andrewducker:

And Facebook tells me that Andy Ducker's Links is suddenly doing a lot better, presumably because Facebook has tweaked their algorithm (again):

The last one of these is the one I have the least control over. Twitter links get shared because people deliberately retweet them. LJ (and DW) get views because people turn up. Facebook looks at the things I post that people read/like, and then show them to friends of friends:

And clearly the number of clicks/likes (the two numbers on the right) affects the number of people who see it (the column to the left of that), but I'd love to know more about how that works.

I don't have a conclusion here. Except that for something that requires almost no effort to keep going (I mostly save links when I'm waking up in bed, on the bus into work, or on the bus home from work), it seems to be ticking over nicely. If only there was some way for it to make me independently wealthy (but I think I'd need a couple of orders of magnitude more readers for that to happen...)

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.