With two weeks in August I’ve learned some new things. The exchange rate will remain against us but it doesn’t change our resolve, we’ll jump on aeroplanes and go to Spain, we just don’t return home with the donkey and the sombrero now. And yes, Ryanair purposely do hard landings to save on tyre wear and shave turnaround times.

The UK could learn a thing or two on how to charge for public transport. Buses and trams are cheap and people use them. Alicante town and Altea are lovely.

Benidorm is what you make it, it’s not all the mad drinking that the UK media play out. During the high season mobility scooters are a lot less common, in October it’s mobility gridlock.

Finally Belfast International’s international arrivals could do with a lick of paint and keep immigration on the same level (ie, the ground floor). Just saying, it’s depressingly grey to come back to. Heck knows what out of country visitors make of it.

Aside from all that it’s a good time for me to catch up on reading as I don’t get a huge amount of time. So here’s what was in the bookshelf, in the carry on bag and in my shoulder bag. Never be without a book…..

The Evolution of Everything: How Small Changes Transform Our World (Matt Ridley)

A surprise find in a small newspaper/bookshop in Benidorm. The book is broken up in the different areas of science, philosophy, business, technology, economics and so on. And it’s a great read, plenty of new things to learn that I wasn’t aware of. It’s not a technology book but there are some very interesting points to learn from.

Around about 23 people came up with the idea of the lightbulb, during the same period of time as Eddison did. So how to does a company/person claim more patents on “inventing” something when the idea is usually shared?

Find it on Amazon UK

HBR 10 Must Reads 2017 (Various)

I only ever find HBR books in airports, I only bought it for one article in reality about the ownership and curation of Artificial Intelligence models. The other articles are great too.

Find it on Amazon UK

A Truck Full of Money (Tracy Kidder)

The story of Paul English who was one of the founders of Kayak. It’s a read about English, not about Kayak though that does feature in and out of the book. It’s a good grounding in his thought process, which can be all over the shop (so not just me then). Sometimes the writing tends to go on a bit, I think it could have been shorter.

Find it on Amazon UK

Women In Tech (Tarah Wheeler)

I bought this for my not-so-wee-one but it’s taken permanent residence in the living room table for everyone to read. While Tarah has written and curated a brilliant book on women in tech the information is really a must read for anyone wanting to be in tech. Like I said in a previous post, I wish I had this book thirty years ago.

Find it on Amazon UK

High Performance Spark (Holden Karau and Rachel Warren)

I’m blessed, I get to do some interesting Spark work at Mastodon C but finding good reading material on the subject can be hard. The general rule of thumb is if Holden has been involved then I read it.

The is about getting the most out of Spark from SparkQL, ML and how to get the best performance out of RDD’s. The code is in Scala as you’d expect but that shouldn’t be a worry if you use Python, Clojure or Java. You’ll figure it out, that’s what you’re paid to do.

Find it on Amazon UK