Michelin Star winning Street Food in Hong Kong

Chan Hon Meng Michelin Star Winner

Chan Hon Meng

This is an interesting story, Michelin who give awards to the best of the BEST in the food world have awarded a street food vendor or “hawker” a Michelin Star. To give you an idea of how much of a big deal this is, in the whole of the United Kingdom there are only 4 such places, in the whole of the United States of America there are 14 of them. This is the first time a street vendor has been honoured in such a way with a star.

Chan Hon Meng who is 51 and born in Malaysia, is the chef at Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken, Rice and Noodle Stall in Singapore initially thought it were a joke when the world class restaurant reviewers invited him to attend the awards ceremony.

Are You Joking

He went on to asked “Are you joking?, Why would Michelin come to my stall.” he continued “I’ve never heard of Michelin visiting a street stall, can a hawker even be nominated?”. Michelin told him “We only judge based on the food, not on the venue.”.

Interesting that Michelin are leaving the comfort of crazy expensive venues and actually looking high and low for the best food in the world.

I think its brilliant that a street vendor can be elevated to a global level, especially one who works a 17 hour day, selling over 180 chickens worth a day and charges around £1 per tray to huge queues of people. 35 yrs he’s been working and perfecting his art, its even more special because he says 30 yrs ago when he first qualified as chef, his peers told him the highest honour for a chef to attain is to be in the Michelin Guide, and none of them believed Michelin would come to their neck of the woods.

£1 for a tray of Michelin star rated food, that maybe worth travelling to Singapore for it.

Image Courtesy of Michelin Group.

25 Years of Websites and Interesting Facts

The first website ever were launched by Tim Berners-Lee exactly 9,125 days ago, or 25 years to the day. 6th August 1991 were the day he announced it on a usenet group. Technically the first day it got new visitors were the 23rd August 1991, but the official launch were the 6th August.

It were a few years later that NCSA actually launched the first popular website browser (Mosaic) and CERN helped by making the software both free and open source.

It seems bizarre to me that Tim Berners-Lee intended it to be a platform to share academic and research papers. The father of the internet or World Wide Web has he named it,

Interesting Internet Related Facts

1, Currently we have Mozilla Project, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome and the various variations under those banners. Originally it were just Mosiac which came in 1993 and were discontinued in 1997.

2, China has treatment camps for those who are addicted to the internet.

3, Internet Addition is officially recognised as a mental disorder in many countries.

4, Mount Everest has it own High Speed Internet station.

5, When Montenegro became independent from Yugoslavia its internet domain extension went from .YU to .ME.

6, The man (Patrick Rock) in the UK who were behind the countries porn filters were arrested for child porn offenses.

7, WiFi doesn’t really have any meaning, beyond Wi for Wireless, the rest were made up because it rhymed with HiFi. Originally it were called Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, so should really be WECA.

8, On the 31st December 1993 there were only 623 Websites on the then named World Wide Web, up from 1 in 1991. By the end of 1995 there were 100,000.

9, In 2010, Finland became the first country in the world to make internet access a legal right.

10, Forcibly disconnecting people from the internet is a Human Rights violation according to the United Nations.

11, The very first thing ever sold on the internet were a bag of Marijuana. Which were bought by Standford Students buying from MIT Students.

12, The technology behind the internet began back in the 1960s at MIT. The first message ever transmitted were LOG. The user attempted to type LOGIN but the netowrk couldn’t handle the enormous load of the data caused by the 3 letters sent thus far.

13, Mark Zuckerberg is actually the 4th original member of Facebook, his ID number is 4.

14, Tila Tequila had the most friends on MySpace at 1.5 million.

15, Carrier Pigeons were officially still faster than average broadband speeds until as late as 2010. They gave the birds a USB Drive with a video file, and started the upload at the same time. The pigeons won.

10 Interesting Images from Internet History

1, In 1991 the first webcam were invented to monitor a coffee pot so the workers at University of Cambridge didnt’ waste a journey to the coffee maker to find it empty.

First Ever Webcam in Trojan Room

First Ever Webcam

2, The first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006 at 3:50pm by Jack Dorsey and said “just setting up my twttr”.

Jack Dorsey First Ever Tweet

Jack Dorsey First Ever Tweet

3, The first ever picture uploaded to the internet were by Tim Berners-Lee and it were the women from the Nuclear Research Lab at CERN.

First Ever Photo of Cernettes

First Ever Photo of Cernettes

4, This is the NeXT computer that Tim Berners-Lee used to create the World Wide Web.

NeXT Computer

NeXT Computer

5, This is how Facebook looked in 2004.

Facebook in 2004

Facebook in 2004

6, Mark Zuckerberg had an AngelFire website.

Zuckerbergs Angelfire Site

Zuckerbergs Angelfire Site

7, This is how Google looked in 2004.

Google in 2004

Google in 2004

8, Jean Armour Polly a librarian from upstate New York first coined the term “Surfing the web”. She went on to become Net Mom,

Jean Armour Polly

Jean Armour Polly

9, This is Tim Berners-Lee the father of the World Wide Web and modern Internet in 1991 with the NeXT Computer.

Tim Berners-Lee 1991 NeXT Computer

Tim Berners-Lee 1991 NeXT Computer

10, Finally Alan Mathison Turing, the father of Modern Computing.

Alan Mathison Turing

Alan Mathison Turing

Bonus, The Manchester Mark 1, the first ever computer made by Turin.

Manchester Mark 1

Manchester Mark 1

Anywhere Sim on ALL 3 networks at once inc. o2, Vodafone and EE

Anywhere Sim Logo

Anywhere Sim Logo

Some years ago when  virtual networks appeared they piggy backed on the more established networks. The original I believe were Virgin Mobile which operated on One2One (None2One, the odds of getting a signal :P) then T-Mobile now part of EE, and Genie operated on BT Cellnet (now O2).

Anywhere Sim (Available from Argos) is a new kid in town who wants to end poor signal issues in the UK. The SIM Cards break new ground because they automatically check all 3 UK Networks (O2, Vodafone and EE) to see which has the strongest signal, then it will route your calls, text and data via that network. There currently isn’t support for 4g but 3g is available, they do claim LTE/4g is coming in the future.

Support for the Three Network is due on the 10th August 2016, and monthly plans soon after. I suspect with Three on-board that the high speed data will come soon after.

Its interesting that this appears to be possible due to EU Roaming agreements. Basically behind this is Manx Telecom who are based on the Isle of Man, but it has a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with o2 which is a UK operator. This means they give you an o2 phone number, but you are a Manx TC customer. As a MT customer you are effectively “roaming” in the UK, so much like roaming in Europe you can move from network to network.

Anywhere Telecom is strictly pay-as-you-go for now, but much like other networks it has various plans, well 3 plans at least. These are Home, UK and EU, each has slightly different prices, surprisingly these prices aren’t too different.

Price Plans

Home Plan – You are essentially and o2 customer, which is the “home network”, the twist is, you can still receive calls and texts through the other 2 networks but not make calls. Calls are 5p per minute, Texts are 5p per text, and data is 5p per megabyte.

UK Plan – You get to use all 3 networks to make and receive calls, text and use data across them anywhere in the UK. Calls are charged at 10p, texts at 5p and data at 10p per megabyte.

EU Plan – You get to roam all over Europe, connect to any network with a roaming agreement with o2 or Manx Telecom. The price of this, is calls in the EU are charged at 12p per minute.

It looks like this could be a killer deal if you live in a bad coverage area, and I can see this becoming all dominating network since coverage will be astounding. It just needs to get the monthly deals, cheap mobile phones, and the high speed data sorted.

It were the EU “interfering” with mobile roaming charges, which has made this possible, its an exciting time to be a mobile phone user.

Virtual Operators in the UK

On a side note, some other Mobile Virtual Network Operators are…

Asda Mobile uses EE
BT Mobile uses EE
Freedom Pop uses Three Mobile
iD Mobile uses Three Mobile
Giff Gaff uses o2 Telecom
Lebara uses Vodafone
LycaMobike uses o2 Telecom
TalkTalk uses Vodafone
Tesco uses o2 Telecom
Virgin uses EE

There are about 60+ such MVNO’s in the UK alone.

Extracting a Zip file with PHP

I recently had to make a quick script to extract the contents of a zip file, this zip file is copied via ftp from a remote server and stored locally. The file name to request and transfer is set via URL Encoding. This were originally a function, which I converted into a class and now devolved totally for this small script.

Sometimes quick and dirty tasks, require quick and dirty code, using the class would have been overkill. As usual there are a dozen ways to do this, and you could remove the error checks and echo’s to make the code even more compact.

Its a little messy, but were procedural code, converted into a function, then part of a class and back to a procedural layout.

MyFitnessPal Maybe Listens

A while ago I posted a few shortfalls of myfitnesspal, and I also wrote to MyFitnessPal with the issues. The main issues were, the way it tracked water. Where you had to physically go to the drop down menu every day and choose “add water” then scroll down to actually add water.

MyFitnessPal Water

MyFitnessPal Water

To make the water show you had to bring up the menu to the right with “Add Water”, “Add Note” etc, which would make the water counter and the “+ Add Water” appear.

The other issue I pointed out were the tracking of Sodium and Salt. The app fails to differentiate between Sodium and Salt. It may also be that the people entering the data didn’t calculate the difference. This means a packet of Biltong which has 2g of Salt is assumed to be 2,000mg of Sodium, where it is actually 800mg Sodium. This means you are always going over your suggested Sodium limit, when in reality you simply aren’t.

You can mitigate this by altering your goal to a maximum 5,500mg, on assumption its ALL salt, which is about 2,300mg sodium. I have set mine to 4,000mg which allows most of the sodium to be incorrectly assumed as salt and some to the correctly identified as sodium. If you are aiming for low sodium, I would probably leave it at the default 2,300mg and accept it as being sodium.

I however noticed about a week to 10 days ago, the “+ Add Water” and Tracker has been permanently enabled making it easier to add and track water… sadly the salt/sodium issue still exists.

There is however some hope, and I’ll message them again in a month or so.

As a side note, if you want to convert Salt -> Sodium or Sodium -> Salt, an easy method is Sodium -> Salt just Divide by 2.5 or Salt -> Sodium multiply by 2.5.

Here is a quick chart with some useful conversions and information on it.

Salt Sodium Equivelent Advice
1g 400mg A pinch of salt.
1.25g 500mg Quarter of a Teaspoon. Heart, Lung & Blood Ass. Min. Amount.
1.5g 600mg A big pinch of salt.
2g 800mg Low Sodium Diet Suggestion.
3g 1,200mg Half Teaspoon.. Diabetic Max. Suggestion.
4.25g 1,800mg 1/4 Tablespoon.
5g 2,000mg Recommended Target Zone.
6g 2,400mg 1 Teaspoon. Max Recommended Amount.
8.5g 3,600mg 1/2 Tablespoon. UK Average Comsumption.
9g 3,800mg US Average Comsumption
12g 4,800mg 2 Teaspoons.
17g 6,800mg 1 Tablespoon.

Its common sense but still worth mentioning, when a recipe calls for a “Teaspoon” of salt, if it makes 6 portions, you need to think each one will contain only 1g salt / 400mg sodium not 6g.

Its also worth mentioning when you have sweated a lot, like after a good hours work out, you may need a little sodium on those days, but you should research the appropriate amounts yourself.

I’m going to message MFP again and push the Sodium issue. I suspect its going to be a huge task, since their whole database will need differentiating. I have been there before, the longer you leave it, the bigger and the harder the task becomes.

** 3,200 kcal is an increase for heavy training days not my general count.

.UK Family Whois Splitter

I were looking for a snippet of code for someone when I came across an old tool. This isn’t a parser or a tool like phois or similar, its just a usable snippet of code to do a job. Really I should update it, and maybe use a function to handle the job, but it works just fine for its use.

The job in this instance were to monitor my domains for changes in status, in a few situations.

1, When a domain were sold, I monitored the tag and registrant name (now I’m using the DAC I only monitor the tag for .uk).
2, When using another registrar/registry I monitored expiry to avoid losing domains due to non-renewal or errors.

In order to do this, I needed code to (1), connect to a whois server (this is easy),  (2), split the required bits of info from the result (not so easy) and (3), place it in a database (easy). Then work on the data from there, (4), load the “watched”, “sold” or “close to expiry” domains, (5), scan the whois and compare, then (6), act on the result.

90% of the various registries whois outputs, out there are fairly uniform, but much like Nominets EPP, their whois is non-standard, so I needed a custom splitter. I’m not sure I would do it the same if I wrote the code now… some years later.

I have updated the code a little to include a ROFR (Right of First Refusal) detection, this won’t be needed come june (2019) when the period expires.

This will produce an array called $def, which when calling a valid name would look like…

or if the the .UK has right of first registration intact…

Working from this array, you can you can put these into a database, compare them to the database return and act on it from there. I suggest sending yourself an email or text message (api’s are easy to follow).

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