Sunday 21 February 2016

The In / Out Vote (Brexit) for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

This is my opinion and views on it. My view is the UK is better of in EU but the people will have to decide.
I will say this: Goodluck to the people who have a passport of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. You will have a referendum coming up, 23 June as it is set now, to vote to leave or stay in the EU. In the mid-70's there was a vote. The people who voted then have now created a large group of people who didn't get what they asked or wished for and are dissatisfied. I don't know if everything was known when these people voted, but what I do know is, that it is about 40 years ago and things have changed. The current age you can vote for this referendum is 18, so it will be the same 40 years from now. If you are younger than 58 now or in 40 years younger than 58 you had no say.

So whatever you vote, please ensure that you know what you wish for, know what you are going to get and if the vote you do is in the best interest of your children and grand-children.

I will not tell you how to vote. I will respect your vote, but I will put thoughts in your mind that may change your vote or at least make you go out and do your research. You will have to do your research, I can't do that for you and you shouldn't want anybody to do that for you. This is an important decision, don't waste it.

Well Mr. Cameron has finished his negotiations. Of course the in camp will say Well Done fantastic result and the out camp will say What a load of nonsense.

  • Ask yourself or your MP the following type of questions and then try to educate yourself on the answers. Look at the in and out answers but also go to the  UK Government or  European Union website. Do not just read news paper headlines.
  • When will the UK be out of the EU? The referendum is 23 June I believe, so is the UK independent on the 24th of June and what will change?
  • What will this mean for my travel to the European Union countries? What I mean is: currently there is a passport queue for EEA/EU/UK when you arrive in any EU country, if you are out and no proper agreements in place you will be in a visa or visa waiver line. To set this up and agree takes time. Personally I do not know who is currently, actively working on this
  • No company will leave the UK or stop trading with the UK, but what trade agreements exist between the UK and EU countries or what is the status of creating those.
  • What will this mean for my second house in a European Union country?
  • What will this mean for the pension I still have in a European Union country?
  • Will things become cheaper or more expensive?
  • The illustrious £55m per day, how much is it net and what else do we get for this?
  • If EU doesn't do the paperwork for the UK any more, will we need to hire more civil servants?
  • What will happen to my friends, wife, girl-friend, brother-in-law who live in the UK but have no British passports?
  • How will I feel about my friends or family who didn't vote the way I voted?
  • What will it mean for friends/family living in the EU?
  • What will it mean for educational exchange?
  • What will be the impact to immigration?
  • How will it change my life?
  • Have you spoken to people younger than 18, whose main future it is you vote for. It may sound harsh but if you are over 50 right now, you are not voting the most of your future.
There are many more questions, but look around and ask your self what will change for the better and what will change for the worse or what will not change at all?

Blog 2 about fitness trackers and equivalent

As per the first one. This blog is based on how I see them, not scientific. If you want scientific there is nothing better than dcrainmaker.

There are two main sources: retailers (online/highstreet/manufacturer) or crowdsourcing (IndieGoGo/Kickstarter).
If you want it now or this week, retailers are the place to go. Also they are released products and supported. This doesn't mean they are perfect or flawless or do not require regular updates, but they have gone through a version of product testing.

If you are happy to wait, have some surplus cash and are interested supporting new products and can stand delays and more wait, crowdfunding may by the place to go. However you need to have patience as you will get in effect a beta (if not an alpha) version and you are part of the test group. Therefore written down specifications and features may be what it may, will or can do but not always what it already will do or at this moment will do well.

By the way, a number of the devices actually be replaced by your android, Apple or Windows phone with the right app. 

For all the devices that can link with your phone to tell you you missed a call, as message a FB entry or Kim K tweeting, that can become irritating. However in a lot of cases I only actually notice my phone is ringing because the band vibrates. So the incoming call feature is actually quite good.

  • Fitbit Charge HR, Surge and One - fitbit
In general if you are a bit competitive and you like to compete with friends on who can do most steps (and who doesn't want that) Fitbit seems to have most people on it. 
The One - is the smallest, cheapest and simplest. It counts steps. It has a clip so you can clip it to prevent losing it I guess. It's been my favorite for a long time. Just not been able to find a good place to clip it. Trousers probably not best place as sitting down and standing up will make it move and potentially you will lose it. So I kept it in my pocket without clip. Also not a good idea as I lost at least 2. My favorite way of looking for it was walking around with my phone to see if it would sync. If it did it at least would still be there. It's probably my all time favorite if you really only want steps and an un-intrusive device. No longer have mine. 
The Surge  - Is a full blown sports watch including GPS and you can select all sorts of activities. If you want to wear a normal watch as well, wearing both will make you look like Diego Maradona who used to wear a watch on each arm. It's a good device, the HR is typical Fitbit. God knows if it's correct, but I doubt it. It's a good piece of kit, and can serve as a weekend casual watch. It is expensive if you only use it as a stepcounter, but it can replace GPS, HRM and stepcounter device so maybe based on that it's relatively cheap. If you want to trace a number of different sports easily this may be a watch for you. It also tracks your sleep, if that is your thing. 
The Charge HR - my daily wristband. It has a clock but doesn't look like a watch. Therefore you can easily wear it on the other arm. It is basically the same as The Charge but with HR tracking. If you can't be bothered about your HR don't bother getting this one as it's about £30 more expensive.
  • Moov - multi-sport wearable Moov
New kid on the block. The aim is that you wear one on a leg and one on an arm so you can do your triathlon training. Don't like I have to press it to sync. Also, the little device sits in a rubber band but not very secure as I've lost mine on more than one occasion during the night. So if you wear it going for a run, ensure it's below a sock. It does the job, not very intrusive but not sure it's for me. 
  • Garmin Vivosmart - fitness / step counter - Garmin
Direct competitor to basically the Fitbit Charge/Charge HR but to HR only via chest strap. Good device, if you like Garmin this is the one for you. It fits well in the Garmin eco system, not intrusive band so you can wear it at any occasion. Not much to say, if I wasn't a Fitbit aficionado I would wear this one.
  • Google Glass - V1 no longer in production. V2 corporate only
By no stretch of the imagination the most expensive. £1000 when they were for sale. However I really like the concept and I believe the world isn't ready for it as a consumer wearable. It's used by certain companies, specially in Field Service and Remote / Over the Shoulder coaching. It integrates seamlessly with android but works well with Apple as well. The main feature I like is the integration with Google Maps while cycling. It's very cleverly done and a lot safer than trying to look at your phone. It has it's own social media called Glossaic where you can store the video and/or pictures you take riding or walking around like an alien. The main downfall is the battery life. About 3 - 4 hours. It does have a headset function so you can use it to listen to your music. If you do this and have the GPS on, you better bring a charger. It's a consumer gimmick but will have some real corporate / technology benefits in the near future.
  • Blog 1 HealBe GoBe - HealBe - GoBe
  • Blog 1 Antelope - Antelope
  • Blog 1 Beddit - Beddit
  • Blog 1 Kreyos - no website but a link to a write up Gizmodo on Kreyos
  • Blog 1 Amiigo - Amiigo
  • Blog 2 Garmin Vivosmart - fitness / step counter - Garmin
  • Blog 2 Fitbit Charge HR, Surge and One - fitbit
  • Blog 2 Moov - multi-sport wearable Moov
  • Blog 2 Google Glass - V1 no longer in production. V2 corporate only
  • Flyfit - smart ankle tracker for swimming, cycling and running. Flyfit
  • Runscribe - data collection while training runscribe
  • Stryd - power meter for running stryd
  • 3ax - clipless pedals - 3Ax - still on kickstarter
  • Garmin Vivosmart - fitness / step counter - Garmin
  • Smart Halo - turn your bike into a smart bike - smart halo - still on kickstarter
  • Recon HUD - The Jet HUD
  • SeeSense Icon - the intelligent and connected light. - I've got it, seems cool. Not sure how the theft function works tho. SeeSense
  • Gymwatch
  • Jabra Sport Pulse - Jabra
  • Whitings Pulse and Pulse O2 - withings

Thursday 18 February 2016

Fitness tracker or related technology non-scientific write-up - part 1

This is aimed at showing what is out there for you to investigate.

HealBe GoBe - HealBe - was on IndieGoGo. An automatic calorie consumed tracker. Well to strictly automated, you have to do something. Took so long to arrive I cancelled it. A lot of people now have one. Lot's of early complaints but it seems to have improved a lot. Have look, decide for yourself.

Kreyos - was on IndieGoGo. I got one, which sort of worked. The story of Kreyos, I suggest you read this. There maybe some on eBay. I send mine to a guy in the USA who paid postage. I didn't want more for it. Hope he is happy having a few.

Amiigo - was on IndieGoGo Amiigo. Have a look on their website. They are sold out. I probably have one that you can have for postage. I ditched it as not many people had one and I actually never really used it.

Beddit automatic sleep tracker - Beddit - was on IndieGoGo. I have it and use it every day as it's in my bed. It works well, no issues linking with the app. It gives a lot of information on your sleep pattern. Unfortunately I have no real other tracker except my Fitbit Surge so can't say if it tracks it well. However it seems to coincide that if I wake up not so refreshed it shows that I didn't have a good number of hours sleep. It's well worth a look at.

Antelope  - smart suit. It has shirts, shorts, shoulder Antelope - It is a muscle contraction piece of textile. This seems to gain traction and is already big in Switzerland and Germany where Bionic training (remember Major Steve Austin - we have the technology, we can fix him, 6 million dollar man) is big. I have not received this yet, so cannot speak about it.

Next time about, but if you impatient there are some websites

  • Fitbit Charge HR, Surge and One - fitbit
  • Moov - multi-sport wearable Moov
  • Flyfit - smart ankle tracker for swimming, cycling and running. Flyfit
  • Runscribe - data collection while training runscribe
  • Stryd - power meter for running stryd
  • 3ax - clipless pedals - 3Ax - still on kickstarter
  • Garmin Vivosmart - fitness / step counter - Garmin
  • Smart Halo - turn your bike into a smart bike - smart halo - still on kickstarter
  • Google Glass - V1 no longer in production. V2 corporate only
  • Recon HUD - The Jet HUD
  • SeeSense Icon - the intelligent and connected light. - I've got it, seems cool. Not sure how the theft function works tho. SeeSense
  • Gymwatch
  • Sabra Sport Pulse - Jabra
  • Whitings Pulse and Pulse O2 - withings

2016 First Blog

I just realised my last blog was in October about the Mourne Sky Race. Actually I didn't realise it, I saw it when I logged into my blog account. I clearly should be better at this. An hour a week shouldn't be too much to write something.

So what has been new since The Mourne Sky Race:
Well I pulled out of the Transpyrenea as my foot tho lots better will not sustain +50k per day for 17 days. I feel I am letting my friend Zoe down who is still doing it and I encouraged her to do it.

I did the Run Until You Drop February event organised by Paul Ali (and maybe others that I am not aware of). What is this: Every day in February you run as many miles or km (your choice at the beginning but you can change from miles to km) equal the date. So 01 Feb 1  km or mile, 02 Feb 2 km or miles and so on. I managed till 15 February in km. Basically travel got in the way. To be honest I could of course have done 16 km on the travel day, but couldn't be asked. It is a good motivator tho. A number of people will do the whole month.

After deciding to pull out of Transpyrenea I am now eye-balling Oman Marathon. 6 days, 165km in Oman. Followed by a 6 day vacation in the Shangri-la in Muscat. Not signed up yet.

Recently a friend asked me to join the Chamonix Triathlon in September. That is a Olympic, Half Ironman or Ironman distance. I am tempted, but it seems tough.

In April the Dusseldorf Marathon is coming up that I am doing sort of with 2 friends, Leigh Michelmore and John Carter. Going to be fun, I guess. Aiming for a 3:45 time. Hey, reach for the stars to get to the moon.

In June I will be doing Dusseldorf Olympic Triathlon. Skipped a year, not intentionally of Triathlons, so want at least one this year. I have a sub-3 hour (2:59 and a bit) to beat, which should be do-able if I don't get a flat tyre this year.

In March, at Easter weekend I will be supporting the Jan Knippenberg Memorial in the Netherlands on the beach from Hoek van Holland to Den Helder. I have been here before supporting it and it's a good event. I am trying to get 2 friends, Zoe Salt and Marissa Harris to join, but they will have to run, while I will be in a car.

It seems I have ended up with a high number of fitness trackers. My girlfriend said you should write about them how they compare. Well I will never be able to beat dcrainmaker when it comes to deep detailed, scientific compares. So I will do it on feeling, of why I like something. This doesn't mean you may like it, it means what it is that attracts me in the product.

Notable people/activities
Susie Chan - 12 hour treadmill record 68.5 miles - the girl is mental - Kingston Uni - place of record
Roddy Riddle - Diabetes 1 diagnosed - did MdS, now doing some run in the cold. 6633 ultra
Mandy Turka Bansal - 2016 MdS hopeful and ended up on ITV - sorry no link

I will create a separate page for this.

So that's it for now. I'll promise I will be back faster next time. Yep I said this before.