James's Weblog

Bye Vodafone, Hello Lebara - time to switch from the Big 4

Tue, 02/05/2023 - 16:08 -- James Oakley

A Bit of History

Back in the day, there was a very small number of mobile phone providers you could use. Orange merged with T-Mobile to become EE. Vodafone has been around for a while. BT Cellnet demerged out of BT to become O2. Three was the newest addition, radically not offering the older 2G connections. (How quaint: 3G is about to be turned off.) So you had 4 choices.

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Concern for exhausted brothers and sisters

Mon, 06/02/2023 - 17:05 -- James Oakley
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

This is a hard post to write, but I feel compelled to put pen to paper (as it were), out of a deep concern for a significant number of my Christian brothers and sisters who minister within the Church of England.

Potential Misunderstandings

Before I get to what I want to say, let me try to articulate why this is hard to write. There are 3 ways this could be misunderstood, and I do not intend any of them.

MySQL Permissions Required to Export Procedures

Sat, 28/01/2023 - 16:42 -- James Oakley
MySQL Logo

If you run an application that includes a database, you want to be taking backups regularly. Your backup needs to include tables, views and triggers. It must also include any stored procedures / routines you are using. Otherwise, when you restore from backup, your procedures will be missing.

This article is not about Microsoft SQL Server. This concerns MySQL and its forks MariaDB and Percona.

I've found lots of people asking this question on the web, but not many of the posts I've found have a working answer.

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Cats and Anti-Freeze: A Parable

Thu, 26/01/2023 - 10:49 -- James Oakley

Where the North Sea meets the Atlantic lies a small country, the United Isles of Great Britannia (GB for short)

It is often reported that New Zealand has more sheep than people. GB has more cats than people – they are a nation of cat-lovers. As a result, a thriving industry in veterinary medicine has developed.

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Mind your Language: Church of England Sexuality Debates

Thu, 19/01/2023 - 09:28 -- James Oakley

Yesterday, the Church of England published a press release summarising the proposals being brought by the college of Bishops at the end of the 6-year consultation process on same-sex marriage. This included a series of national conversations (tautologically, "shared conversations"), which took place at the General Synod and locally, and a course and set of resources branded "Living in Love and Faith".

S&P500 Part 2: Does last year's performance tell you anything about next year

Mon, 02/01/2023 - 17:14 -- James Oakley

The second of two blog posts looking at how the S&P 500 performance one year impacts what happens in the following year. The first post just looked at how many years saw the index decline or increase. In this follow-up post, I look at the actual figures: By how much did it go up or down? Does this more detailed analysis show any patterns that we previously dismissed?

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Fact checking Bloomberg: Does an SP500 loss make another next year less likely

Mon, 26/12/2022 - 17:47 -- James Oakley
Stock chart showing successive down candles

A Bloomberg article at the end of 2022 made the claim that after a negative year for the S&P 500, the following year is relatively unlikely to follow suit. This post looks at the statistics to see whether such a claim holds true. We also look at other claims they made about what happens when you do get two bad years in a row: is the second year worse than the first, and will a third bad one follow?

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Questions from Christian Youth

Wed, 16/11/2022 - 09:43 -- James Oakley

Yesterday evening, I had the joy of being invited to our church midweek youth ministry. The teenagers had been given the chance to write down questions they'd like to ask one of their pastors, and I was invited along to tackle those questions and any others that came up during the course of the evening.

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