Anyone out there know Hugo?

I want to do some experimentation in building a site using static, not dynamic, pages. Yes, I’ve got programmers here but this is number 17 on the list and has been for months. So, is there anyone out there who already knows this language/system?

Essentially, I want to use it like WordPress. There are already designs for the site out there which can be downloaded, just as with WordPress. But of course with my technical skills–lack of them–I’m never going to be able to get a site up and running.

So, the question is, anyone already got those skills? Set me up with a Hugo site with a design to be nominated, an editor that I’m actually able to use etc? Got my URL already…..

I’ve got a little business based upon this

Talent shortage is acute in the IT and data science ecosystem in India with a survey claiming that 95% of engineers in the country are not fit to take up software development jobs.

According to a study by employability assessment company Aspiring Minds, only 4.77% candidates can write the correct logic for a programme — a minimum requirement for any programming job. Over 36,000 engineering students form IT related branches of over 500 colleges took Automata — a machine learning-based assessment of software development skills — and over two-thirds could not even write code that compiles.

The study further noted that while more than 60% candidates cannot even write code that compiles, only 1.4% can write functionally correct and efficient code.

We’ve been wading through piles of India written code and sorting it out into something efficient and functional.

One little story. One program brings up images of events onto the screen. Perhaps 50 images might come up on one screen. The original code brought all images up in full size and people then wondered about system performance. While we were doing something else we just added a bit here. Full sized image goes into storage, a medium sized copy too, main screen just brings up thumbnails. Click on one to get to medium, again to full.

Just an obvious thing to do.

Get call from client. Umm, why is this running really fast now? Have you finished all your work?

Nope, but while we were doing other problems we did the above.

Wait, what? You mean you are actually thinking about how this should work and making it so?

Err, yes….

We didn’t know that it was possible to find a contractor who does that…..

How long I wonder, how long?

In The Guardian:

Economics blogger Tim Worstall has a good take on the German factory orders decline, on Forbes.

Yes, OK, but I started blogging about economics 13 years ago. Am I still a “blogger” after near a decade of making my living writing about economics all around the place, including The Guardian? Do I ever get upgraded to “freelance” or “journalist”?

Or is it like the courtesan who marries well, since she started out doing the knee tremblers behind the bike shed she is forever known as the knee trembler?

Complaint from a reader

Here is your message from anonymous:

Maybe you don’t care, but you use a lot of comma splices in your articles. I even saw one in a title (“It’s Not Greece The Eurozone Needs To Worry About, It’s Italy Defaulting That Would Be a Problem”). I enjoy reading your work, but this bugs the hell out of me. Please think before you comma.

You can respond the reader directly using the email address below (if available).

Name (optional): anonymous

Email (optional): fake@fake.notreal

Err, what in buggery is a comma splice?

Update, thanks to those who pointed to Wikipedia. So, it violates White and Strunk does it? Good, must do it some more. If I understood what it was of course. My command of grammar isa too slight to understand the explanation.

Today’s offer that can be refused

Asked to go off to deepest Asia to give a rousing speech on the value of sweatshops in economic development. Crib some from Krugman, bit more from Hans Roslin and Max Roser, add some Timmy-type rhetoric and we’re done.

So, why not?

Ah, yes, 35 hours odd flying time and to be done on my own dime. Ah…..

Update—-so, we’re up to economy class ticket plus hotel room now.

Still no.


A long-quiet yet huge supervolcano that lies under 500,000 people in Italy may be waking up and approaching a “critical state,” scientists report this week in the journal Nature Communications.

Based on physical measurements and computer modeling, “we propose that magma could be approaching the CDP [critical degassing pressure] at Campi Flegrei, a volcano in the metropolitan area of Naples, one of the most densely inhabited areas in the world, and where accelerating deformation and heating are currently being observed,” wrote the scientists—who are led by Giovanni Chiodini of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics in Rome.

All long known about of course. Just one thing:

A smaller but still sizable eruption was observed at the supervolcano in 1538. That event lasted eight days and created the mountain Monte Nuovo. But since then, the volcano has been quiet, slumbering for more than 500 years.

I spent a couple of years of my childhood living on Monte Nuovo.

This is amusing

It might be one of Germany’s biggest businesses – but Volkswagen clearly believes British is best.
The car giant, which includes Audi, has announced it is switching its official language to English in a bid to be more welcoming.
Bosses say the move is designed to improve recruitment as some prospective employees are put off by the need to understand their home nation’s language.

Mate of mine here does management training for Skoda, owned of course by VW. And he’s been pitching the idea of me doing a few day’s training, obviously in English, not Czech. We actually did a day for a supplier a few months back and they really liked it (my idea was stolen from Corrigan – WWI military, Germans had trained troops, complex tactics, lots of delegation, Russians idiot conscripts and no delegation at all, entirely centralised orders. British in 1916 simple troops, simple tactics, by 1918, trained troops, complex tactics – how you manage your workforce, what you delegate or don’t, is going to depend on how well they’re trained. Plus mixing in Coase on the Theory of the Firm to talk about interfaces, when to delegate, when not to etc.).

So, if VW goes entirely English, will Skoda follow and will we then get the work?

Travelling Timmy

That I’ve not shot my mouth about some idiocy so far today worries some. This post being brought to you by the hotspot at Munich airport.

About which. There used to be free coffee machines courtesy of Lufthansa in this terminal. They’ve been replaced by paying ones. Fair enough, all airlines have it tough these days.

They put in the same number of paid machines as there used to be free…..not quite as economic as one might think.

And what worries me is my reaction. Not, bugger, no free hot chocolate. But, bugger, didn’t they think of that?

Is it possible that I am becoming (or have become) a monomaniac?

The life of a freelance

A small insight into how this works. So, read the papers, see if there’s anything being talked about over which one can be a contrarian and thus offer a piece to this or that publisher. Something that, given that it’s me we’re talking about, can be turned into a few hundred words of sneer and bile that someone will pay me for.

Excellent, it’s 08.30 am, three ideas fired off to a publisher. Who says, well, like that idea, yes, that one, but can we confirm at 10.00 am?

Publishers, you see, having been to many a drinks party. You do not pursue, exclusively, the first fit looking bod you see and chat to. Try to place a marker upon, sure, maintain in a holding pattern, but always keeping an eye open for whatever better might turn up. So it is with freelance pieces – who knows who might offer something gorgeous in the next 90 minutes?

This is the way the newspapers work generally on their comment pages. Pitch by 10.30, they have their editorial meeting, come back by 12 or so (before that long lunch with booze that doesn’t really happen any more) to say yes (if it’s no you never hear back) and then please file by 3 or 4.

Which is why I do so little newspaper work. There’s a vast effort that goes into trying to make that pitch with a low expectation of being accepted. The actual return, if published, is good, several hundred quid, but the expected return is very much lower. Because the writing part, to be honest, is easy, it’s getting accepted that’s the tough part.

Yes, I knew you’d be fascinated. And it’s also why I display such bile to those who complain about the gig economy. Or that bint who works freelance and keeps moaning about zero hours contracts. What the fuck it it you’re working to as a contract, honey?