Welcome to the super-long edition of my final newsletter for this year.
I will be taking a break for Xmas and New Year holidays and will return with the next edition of my newsletter in Jan-2023.
So, it finally snowed in the UK and there had been constant <0ºC temperatures every night for almost a week. There was snow everywhere and it finally melted with the rain. It was a good sight to see but of course dangerous to drive. When the snow is there for a long time it can get icy and makes the vehicle slippery.
I also had a really bad back ache and it turned out to be a slipped disc. I arranged an osteopath from the Urban app and the osteopath came to our home to fix me essentially. The osteopath has recommended some exercises and told me that my back ache should get better as the weeks progress and the disc should normally go back where it was initially. The pain has reduced a lot now.
Also, the rumours have been true and the newsletter platform I have been using now for these last 26 issues is now shutting down for good. I will be shifting to a new newsletter platform called beehiiv in the new year. The experience you all have will be the same though.
And finally, Argentina won the FIFA World Cup 2022. What a fantastic game with 3 goals scored by each side. For a final match, that is unbelievable.
☀️ Solar Panels
Recently I got a free Home Energy Assessment done for my house by REST UK to get solar panels installed. Basically, my current fixed rate tariff expires next year and I wanted to check all the available options that I have to save my energy bills. And solar energy is a very exciting technology that a lot of people, I know of, are adopting. Using solar energy would also make me partially grid-independent. I would still need gas from my energy supplier.
Source - Energy Saving Trust
So with the basics out of the way. I wanted to understand how it will help me.
My main worries are as follows
What happens when it snows? Do they self-clean?
Does it perform well during extremely hot days? When temperatures are >40ºC.
What happens when it's very windy? Do the solar panels get ripped off from the roof?
What about dust getting settled on the panels? Do they self-clean?
What about birds and insects damaging the panels? How do we protect the panels? Are there any deterrent systems?
What is the efficiency of a regular solar panel?
Will the solar panels meet all my energy needs? I work from home mostly and need constant electricity.
What about the gas that I use for heating the house? How can I save energy on that?
I got a quote of £15K for a 12-panel system (440W/panel) with a 6.5 kW battery, an inverter and all the additional fittings and installation. The solar panels are split across the East and West sides of the roof.
The crazy thing is I never got a breakdown of the total figure. Even after asking for it multiple times, I was simply told this is the figure. Which put me off a bit.
I am still thinking about whether to get it or not. And even if I get it, the tariff from the UK government to supply electricity back to the grid is not that great. So I need to do a calculation to see if it will suit my needs or not.
Time to get more quotes.
A while back I created a video to help people download videos from the major platforms. When I first uploaded it on YouTube it was taken down for some reason even though there are a lot of other videos helping you do the same. I recently tweeted about it as well with the exact same response.
- Why was my video revoked while others are still on the platform?
Reference - youtube.com/results?search…
— Amit Sarkar (@amit_sarkar007)
Dec 15, 2022
Anyways, the idea was to teach people how to use an open-source tool.
This tool is useful when you want to download audio/video from YouTube and then transcribe that using Microsoft 365. I have used it to quote good stuff from various podcasts. I have used it for this week's newsletter as well.
I ended up posting the video on Vimeo and it's now live there. Feel free to use it and if you have any questions, then please let me know.
🌐 Digital Divide
Source - ChatGPT
What exactly is the digital divide, and how is it discussed and calculated? We look at this, and why community networks play an essential role in bridging the gap.
Following factors that affect the digital divide
Following are the ways to reduce the digital divide -
Source - ChatGPT
Last week I heard an episode from The a16z Podcast by Andreessen Horowitz. Steph Smith interviewed Marc Andreessen in this episode. Marc was part of the project that gave the world its first proper internet web browser called NCSA Mosaic.
Why there is a technology and not nothing? What was life before technology? Say life before steam engines, tractors, telephones, etc.
Well before these technologies existed life was pretty hard, people died young or sick.
So technology does help improve people's lives. Technology is a tool and tools give leverage on the world.
Any technology, when introduced, is always unacceptable in the beginning. People actually have a very hard time anticipating the upside of new technologies. Even something as simple as a bicycle was not accepted initially.
Correction: people freaked out over the bicycle
— Pessimists Archive (@PessimistsArc)
Sep 15, 2020
Why is there a fear of adopting new technologies?
Source - Farnam Street
Basically, there are 3 eras in human existence.
There are many things Marc talks about. Like, Segway, cars, guns on ships, web3, cities, remote working, the internet, managerial capitalism, middle-income trap, progress, etc.
It's definitely worth a listen.
I want to end this newsletter with some amazing videos I have seen recently that really knocked up the adrenaline.
The first video features Travis Pastrana going berserk.
The second video is Tom Cruise jumping out of a helicopter so casually that it feels insane.
The third video is Tom Cruise jumping off a cliff 6 times, without any wires, to get a shot right for his new Mission Impossible film.
Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.
Until we meet again next year, wishing you all a very Happy New Year 2023 and happy holidays.
Leaving you all with something to think about.