What if there was no internet during a lockdown

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For some parts of the world that were in a lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, the internet was used much more (but also the place for news). What would have happened if there was no internet during this lockdown and future ones?

People may try to see more people (but stay distanced) compared to with the internet we can chat with anyone (from around the world) without leaving our home.

The telephone (and by extension text messaging) would be used more if in-person couldn’t happen. AT&T alone has seen voice traffic go up anywhere from 20 to 40% (archive copy) during COVID-19.

If there was no internet it would have meant less people to talk to (unless you want to go out in in-person, or use the phone) which means you could enjoy not having to talk with anyone who isn’t at your home. Some have said that since there would be less people to talk to, an extrovert would have a worst time but it seemed like some are using it to their advantage during COVID-19.

During this lockdown many companies started doing virtual tours but without the internet there would be no tours, there would also be no way to donate to those places (without going in-person) so there would be some places that have to shut down or take huge losses.

If there are no internet there would be no social media (of which 72% of the public uses), while it does offer an easy way to be keep up with the latest news. It has also become a place for false information (or misinformation) which can easily spread.

I’m glad we have the internet to keep us company during any lockdowns, but we could live without it.

This post was inspired by Life Before the Internet on dorset.tech.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 43). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Maybe You Shouldn’t Self-Host

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Many people in the privacy community self-host because they don’t trust the big companies, and that is a valid reason but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t self-host.

Time to dedicate to it: When you self-host you have to spend time doing all the maintenance related to the server. From stopping DDoS attacks, to ensuring the software updating, and more. If you simply don’t have the time to dedicate to doing this then self-hosting isn’t for you.

Don’t have 24/7 power: There are very few places in the world that have power 100% of the time, so if your house loses power so does your server and everything you run on it. Some applications will keep trying to access the application you host, and after some time it may just give up.

Don’t have to pay for new hardware: If a piece of hardware on your self-hosted system dies then you are financially responsible for replacing it. If you rent from a company then they have to pay and replace that hardware.

Backup is still required: You could backup on your self-hosting but many in the backup community swear by 3-2-1 backup rule. You will still have to backup everything you self-host.

All in all, deciding to self-host depends on many factors and if you can afford (both time and financially) to self-host or not.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 42). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

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July 18th to 31st need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because I’m trying to present it in an unbiased way as possible. There are many websites doing something similar but they don’t tend to present unbiased news sites.

Apple vows to be carbon neutral by 2030, supply chain included

Google’s Project Zero team won’t be applying for Apple’s SRD program

Garmin outage caused by confirmed WastedLocker ransomware attack

The CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook face a hostile USA House antitrust subcommittee

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 41). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingJuly 18th to 31st need to know tech news

What is a journalist’s job?

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Note: I have centre-left bias, I’m trying to present this in an unbiased way. If I link to a website I will do my best to label each websites bias so you can have an informed decision. Some of the sites linked do have a paywall in which you can use a site like archive.org or archive.today to read the content if you don’t have any account on that site.

According to Merriam-Webster(unbiased) the definition of a journalist is “a person who is engaged in journalism (especially a writer or editor for a news medium), or a writer who aims at a mass audience.” A journalist doesn’t have to be someone who works at a news company, it could be someone who posts about news of any sort anywhere.

Now that we have the definition it’s time to ask what is a journalist’s job? A journalist mostly posts about the news, that could be in written, audio, or even video form. Some journalist’s find their own stories to publish which could mean spending a ton of time finding a good story(least bias), talking to insiders(unbiased), asking for comment from those involved in the story (left-centre bias) and writing a complete story (unbiased). Some journalists also get press releases(unbiased) and write about it. Journalist’s also talk what has already been posted by another journalist and rewrite it slightly.

As with everything in life, not everyone will be happy with what you do. When a journalist writes something positive about a company, then their competitor hates the journalist. If the journalist writes something negative about a company, then the company hates the journalist. If the journalist writes about a group of people negatively then that group of people hates the journalist. Sometimes when someone hates someone else like a journalist they go on and rant or harass that person, most likely through any method including social media(fact checking), email (right-centre bias), phone calls (unbiased), and by mail or in-person (unbiased). “and all reporters, should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment”, says Choire Sicha who is the editor of the New York Times Styles desk (left bias).

Being a journalist isn’t easy, but I encourage every journalist to continue to report the facts, dig deep and find stories that others aren’t reporting do a story on them, take all comments with a grain of salt (unbiased), and be bold.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 40). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Why I don’t self-host my email

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If you have a domain and you want to send emails from it there are many ways to do so, you could sign up for a provider like Google Suite, Microsoft 365 Business, and there are many others. You can also host the email yourself, you will need a server and you can use a software like Mail-in-a-box, Mailcow and many others.

People in my circles say you should self-host your email, and I have not done so at this point, and I will probably never do so. Here’s why:

Reliability: it is best if your email provider is up 24/7 so ensure you get all the emails that come into to you, and if you have to make sure it’s reliable then it won’t be as reliable.

Time to maintain / update it: if you have your own email then you need to maintain the server, do all the updates, but if you use another provider then all you have to do is make sure your payment details are accurate and change your password when you feel like it.

I’m not in control: if you are control of something then you spend more time checking it, but if you aren’t in control then you get no say when it is up or not.

I don’t host my own email because I don’t trust myself with doing that is required to have a good self-hosted email server. I will leave it up to those who know more than me and will happily pay them to keep up a good email provider.

Other related articles to read:
Jake Bauer’s month-and-a-half of self-hosted email
Dugite-Code on why they still host email themselves
Jan-Lukas Else on why he no longer host emails himself
Why Jeff Kee thinks self-hosting emails are dying out (and why they should)
Micah Lee writes about Helm, a home email server
Gilles Chehade on you should not run your mail server because mail is hard

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 39). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingWhy I don’t self-host my email

July 11th to 17th need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because I’m trying to present it in an unbiased way as possible. There are many websites doing something similar but they don’t tend to present unbiased news sites.

Linux team approves new terminology, bans terms like ‘blacklist’ and ‘slave’

Google to invest $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years

Apple wins big EU court case over $15 billion in taxes

Twitter lost control of its internal systems to Bitcoin-scamming hackers

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 38). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingJuly 11th to 17th need to know tech news

If I could redo my college experience

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There are many quotes on not looking back at the past, but sometimes it is good to look back at the past and think about what you would have done differently if you could. Of course we can’t go back and actually do that (unless you have a time machine) so we can only take what we have learned and apply it to the future.

If I could go back and redo or learn from my college experience here is what I would do.

Classes are required by college, and you have to pass in order to move on in your program. There tends to be many people in a class, the size depends on the college or the room size, and with tons of people comes distractions. Early on in my college years I should have figured out why I wasn’t focused 100% in a class, and do something about it. Because if you don’t learn then it is easier to fail.

I should have turned off all the notifications, or set them to do not disturb. If you have every notification go off for every email you get around 80 notifications per day and that doesn’t include notifications for anything else (communication program, social media, etc…). People in the US on average receive 46 push notifications per day. Every notification adds up and if I didn’t see the notification I could focus on more important (at that time) things.

434 words. That is how long the average email length is, which means each email takes about 3 minutes just to read. I should have learned earlier in my life to shorten my emails. Either by being disciplined by using a site like five.sentenc.es or learning how to properly email in the first place. This is something that I still struggle with, and I think everyone struggles with this, most of the time shorter is better.

Sometimes things during college are hard, and many students don’t ask for help. There are many resources that students have available but don’t use. Yes it will take time out of your day to get the help you need, but it will help you in the aspect of college that you need help with.

It’s so easy to spend money while at college, especially if you have a dining card / meal plans. I would have spend as little as possible while at college, I know it would have been hard but overall it would have been better in the long term.

One thing I wish I spent money on was a locker, it would have been great to put stuff in here and not have to carry everything around all day long. You may think that your bag won’t be heavy but in 2009 the New York Times had a post that basically said school backpacks get heaver as the person gets older and I believe that to be true even in college.

Colleges tends to have tons of things that the students don’t utilize that can improve grades and just be a better person, like the library or gym, going to a professor’s office hours, or health services. I wish I had taken more advantage of these services.

College is a great place to meet people and have friends all together in one place, but I wish I got away from my friends more often. You tend to gain friends who are in your program but they may not always be your friends so while you should have a group of friends (if you can) you should also do things away from them. This could mean volunteering, getting homework done away from them, or just spending time away from those friends.

There are advantages and disadvantages to going to a bigger college, one major thing I didn’t take advantage of in a bigger college was being able to explore the college. If you get to explore you can find your best place to work, best place to relax, and really what else your college has to offer.

Some people work better early in the morning, and some work better at night. While early in my life I figured out I was a night owl, I may want to have considered staying at the college after all my classes were done for the day in order to get work done at the time that works best for me. When I was in college I always wanted to leave more or less after my classes were done, but looking back at it I maybe should have stayed at the college later.

If you fail a class and you have the option to take it in night school, which there are positives and negatives to it especially if you are or aren’t a night owl. At night colleges are different, they are more relaxed, and have a different vibe compared to regular day classes. Taking night classes did allow me to see the college in a different light, and meet different people, but I should have done my best to pass all my regular day classes and take a night class on something not directly in my program (to learn more).

A college can only teach you so much, and it never seems to teach the latest and greatest as with every course update it has to be approved by many people. Colleges to tend to teach the basis which helps get you started, but I should have spent time outside of college learning more (and learning the latest and greatest).

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 37). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingIf I could redo my college experience

July 4th to 10th need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because I’m trying to present it in an unbiased way as possible. There are many websites doing something similar but they don’t tend to present unbiased news sites.

A Google security researcher withdrew from the Black Hat security conference and asked the community to stop using the ‘black hat’ term

Facebook, Twitter, Google pause review of Hong Kong requests for user data

Slack acquires enterprise directory startup Rimeto

Google shuts down cloud project, says no plan to offer cloud services in China

UK and Australia open joint data-privacy investigation into Clearview AI

Interesting tech-related story: The remote British village that built one of the UK’s fastest Internet networks (unbiased)

Interesting non-tech related story: You Can Get Kicked Out of a Jury Pool For Supporting Black Lives Matter (unbiased)

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 36). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingJuly 4th to 10th need to know tech news

June 27th to July 3rd need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because I’m trying to present it in an unbiased way as possible. There are many websites doing something similar but they don’t tend to present unbiased news sites.

iPhone 12 will likely come without earbuds and power adapter

Reddit bans controversial forum The_Donald as it revises hate speech policies

Google acquires smart glasses company North

Police infiltrate encrypted phones, arrest hundreds in organized crime bust (who used Encrochat)

Away co-CEO steps down as Silicon Valley elite conversation gets leaked

Interesting tech-related story: A group of young techies is behind ‘👁👄👁,’ a mysterious meme that succeeded in getting Tech Twitter to donate to Black Lives Matter charities and clamor for invites to an app that doesn’t exist

Interesting non-tech story: Artlist raises $48M for its royalty-free music, video and sound effect library

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 35). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingJune 27th to July 3rd need to know tech news

Postlab by Hedge is basically git but for Mac OS

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I first saw Postlab in a YouTube video by iJustine and while it is interesting, there is something similar that already exists which works on any computer, and can be used to save anything. It’s called git.

Postlab for those not in the know, is a Mac OS program that allows multiple people to collaborate on Final Cut Pro X and Premier Pro libraries. A library is basically the saved movie project file, which then will allow you to view and edit the project as long as everyone has the same movie files. It allows for different teams, documents, tasks, and more but it is a subscription cost (starting from $9 per month, to $25 per month, and more).

Git can do all of this and more, first you will need a server to hold everything, the most popular ones are Github, Gitlab, and Bitbucket and while they do have good free plans you can pay to upgrade for more. You can also run git on your server using something like Gitea or Gogs if you don’t want to rely on another company.

In the team plan (and above) of Postlab you can bring your own S3 or dedicated server but since in Git you are using a server of your own choose you can use your own server or copy everything from the server for a backup copy (there are many people who suggest the 3-2-1 backup strategy).

With Postlab you are limited to a number of people based on the plan you choose (they call them seats), but with Git you can have as many people as the server allows. In Postlab you also have to pay extra per month for extra (or temporary) people to add, but with git it depends on the server or company you are using. Some allow you to add extra people for no extra cost, and some you may have to pay. For temporary people you can add them to whatever they are working on then remove them when they are no longer needed. If you are looking for a way to have someone on your git for a certain period of time you will need to find a server that has that feature.

Postlab also somewhat limits the number of files it tracks (once you get to their pro plan and above they have a + beside the number of files), git allows unlimited files as long as the storage / server can handle it.

Postlab has a document share that is limited in size, in git you can just add those files and are only restricted based on the storage / server. If your server has something like Git LFS that a server like Github has then you can use it to store the big files and lock them if needed (so someone can’t edit them).

Postlab allows you to “organize with folders” and you can easily do that with git, just add a new folder that you would to any folder you are in.

Postlabs allows for comments, which you can easily do with git when you send what you have worked on to the server (it’s known as pushing).

For tasks, in Postlab you can do it within the program, and for git you most likely will do it on the server that you are using, like setting it as a issue for an example (Github has a help page on task lists).

Status tracking, in Postlab you can see who is working on something. In git you don’t get this in real-time, so it’s best to use something like a chat to be able to tell others you are working on something. Git is smart enough to know that if multiple people are working on the same project but on different files then it can put it all together. Git does have this thing called remote tracking, that are just like bookmarks, they just remind you where the different projects were the last time you connected to them, see the git-book for details.

Roles, Postlab has this, and certain git servers have something similar, but that isn’t generally how git works.

Postlab also has library locking, which by default git doesn’t have it and it depends on your server if they offer something similar.

In the team version (and above) of Postlab there is workflow architects which according to IBM tracks the tasks someone is currently doing (or things that need to be assigned). This is great so that everyone on a team (no matter the size) can see what task someone is doing (and where they currently are on that task) and if there are any tasks open for anyone to take, and managers can see an overview through performance dashboards and KPI’s. Git doesn’t directly have this, so it depends on what server you are using and the software they run, to know if they offer anything similar.

Volume discounts are what many companies offer in order for you to buy more and get a reduced price. Postlab does offer this, many git servers do as well in fact it’s common in software as a service.

Support is something that Postlab does offer, it even offers priority support if you have their team plan (or higher). If you use a git server like Github then you can get support from them, but if you are running your own git server then you will either need to talk to your IT team, or pay someone to get your issue solved.

Ultimately, Postlab is easier for people who don’t want to figure out the whole git thing. It is just another alternative with subscriptions to something that already exists.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 34). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingPostlab by Hedge is basically git but for Mac OS

June 20th to 26th need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because I’m trying to present it in an unbiased way as possible. There are many websites doing something similar but they don’t tend to present unbiased news sites.

Apple gives thumbs up to Hey email app after update rejection

Apple WWDC 2020 Recap (non-youtube link)

Microsoft is closing its physical retail stores

Interesting non-tech related story: TikTok users, K-Pop fans say they sabotaged Trump rally (left biased)

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 33). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingJune 20th to 26th need to know tech news

Why do we go on social media?

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Social media is a relative term, and it can describe many different websites. While they have different names, have different advertising models, and have been around for different lengths of time, they are a place where people go online to communicate. Social media sites can be seen as addicting, so why do we even on social media sites in the first place? These reasons are in not particular order.

Many people use social media to get their news, in 2014 Pew Research Center put out an article that said anywhere from 8% to 62% of a social media site users have gotten news from that site. It seems such a wide variety of people, that is because some sites like Twitter & Reddit are more geared towards getting news. If you are using social media to get news it’s better for the news company if you go directly to their site, and show ads so they get paid for their work. If you go directly to the news organizations site you also get all the news, not just the news that the algorithm thinks you should know about.

News sometimes also relates to what is going on in your industry, as it’s good to be able to communicate what is new and changing in your work and what adapting can be done. This usually means following some accounts who are considered leaders in the industry.

Social media is where our friends are, and where we can talk to our friends. Everyone communicates using their favourite social media site, and the one that their friends are on. In 2011 Pew Research Center said that about 67% of people who use social media say that staying in touch with friends and family is a major reason they use social media. Of course when have our friends on social media we like to see what they are up to, not everyone posts exactly what is going on in their lives but with social media we can get a small glimpse into a friend.

Friends can also be made on social media, some say these people are friends and some say they aren’t. How you make these friends and stay friends also depends on many different things.

On social media we tend to follow and read things we agree with, not just people we agree with, but that our bias agrees with. On social media it’s easy to find people we agree with, and to read their opinions and agree with them.

We can also read what we disagree with on social media, and yes it does mean we can have a nice conversation with those who we disagree with to find out why they believe a certain thing. This along with reading things we agree with meaning we can get a huge array of things that happen around the world.

Many people tend to go on social media when we are bored, or to get away from whatever we are suppose to do. Sometimes we also go on social media more often than we realize or you could say certain people are addicted to it.

On social media you can share almost anything you want, your thoughts, opinions and more. People like to share what is on their mind, and sometimes people like to respond. That is one of the major perks of social media, being able to quickly post what is on your mind, but that can lead to many bad things, and it can even lead to many bad things depending on how the social media is laid out.

There are many things which require research, and sometimes when you can’t find what you are looking for, you can turn on social media to try and get help. Or you can help people who are trying to research something.

You don’t just have to do research, you can ask any sort of question on social media, and you hope someone will answer it.

A big part of social media is used by businesses to advertise and grow their business, either organically or by paying.

There are so many reasons people go on social media. I encourage you to take time and think about why you are going on social media, and which social media profiles do you still need.

Further reading / watching:

The Psychology of Social Media: Why We Like, Comment, and Share Online
7 Ways That Social Media is Affecting Us Positively
How to Break Your Social Media Addiction | Thomas Frank
18 Reasons Why Your Business NEEDS Social Media Marketing
5 ways social media is changing your brain | ASAP Science
how social media drastically affects us | Freedom In Thought
Is social media bad for you? The evidence and the unknowns
Black Women Discuss Social Media | Black Women OWN the Conversation
I quit social media for 30 days | Matt D’Avella
Paid social media strategy guide: Ads, engagement, ROI
Understanding the role of organic vs paid social media
I deleted my social media apps because they were turning me into an idiot | Lydia Smears
Quit social media | Cal Newport
What I Learned From a 30-Day Social Media Detox | Wandering Aimfully
Why I don’t use social media anymore | Alexandra Franzen
Why I decided to leave social media | Mika Perry
Why ditching Instagram earned me the podium | Madison Fischer

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 32). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingWhy do we go on social media?

June 13th to 19th need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because I’m trying to present it in an unbiased way as possible. There are many websites doing something similar but they don’t tend to present unbiased news sites.

GitHub to replace “master” with alternative term to avoid slavery references

Apps on Apple devices powered $519B in 2019 sales

Dropbox natively integrates HelloSign, adds more consumer, enterprise features

AWS said it mitigated a 2.3 Tbps DDoS attack, the largest ever

Russia unbans Telegram “Telegram has agreed to help Russian law enforcement fight against extremist and terrorist content shared on its platform”

Interesting tech story of the week: Basecamp’s Hey (It launched on the 15th and many people have loved using it, but Apple has not been so nice with their app on the Apple iOS store). Basecamp CEO wrote his take on it over on hey.com.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 31). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingJune 13th to 19th need to know tech news

How much does it cost to run this blog?

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This post does contain some affiliate links. If you use any of them I will receive a small extra as a thank you but it will not cost you anything.

Inspired by Kev’s Quirk’s post and many others are doing this so I thought I would do this to show my costs for this site / blog.

I don’t have as big of a blog as Kev’s and I share this server with my business so some costs are cheaper (or divided in costs) than it would be if you got these yourself. These costs are also approximate as very few of these costs are in my local currency, and since currency rates constantly change I can’t give you exact costs. Some of these costs are also per year, but to make it clear I divided those costs by 12.

Unlike many of the other blogs doing this I’m only going to list a few of the companies that I use, I’m doing for my own security but also to encourage you to find companies that work best for you.

ItemMonthly cost (CAD)
Domain name$1.01
Server backupsfree
Image hostingfree

Domain name:
I have a .ca which isn’t the most expensive domain, but not the cheapest either. The registrar I use says they are cheap but they aren’t the cheapest you can get. They do provide free whois and a bunch of other things which is nice.

The cost I put is about half the cost since I also use the server for running a bunch of business things. Yes it is more expensive than if I were to maintain the server myself, or use a cheaper server.

Server backups:
Backups are important, and in this case, the company managing the server does backups and of course it costs a bit extra, but I think it’s worth it for the peace of mind. Of course I also do my own backups to multiple places.

There are many companies that offer analytics, some of which are free (and you pay for it using that data), some are paid, and some are open-source which you can install on your own server. I currently use Matomo which works well for me and my needs.

I don’t use my registar’s dns, I use a 3rd party.

Many similar blog posts don’t include email but since I use a 3rd party for my email I’m going to include the cost here. I don’t use GSuite or any of the other big email providers. The cost laid out is also half of the cost since it’s the same email provider for my business

There are so many great WordPress plugins that are free that I don’t currently use any paid ones. If I did I would get more features or faster updates, but at this time I don’t need those.

Image hosting:
Sometimes I use images on this blog and since I have a limited amount of storage on the server, I use a separate company to host those images. I tend to use Cloudinary (affiliate link) which has a nice free tier. The classic free tier is much nicer than the free tier offered now, but what is really nice is that their affiliate program gives a bunch extra when someone uses the link. So if you feel inclined then go ahead and sign up using my Cloudinary affiliate link (affiliate link).

How much does it cost to run your blog or website? Blog about it and if you feel like it include a link to this post.

Further reading:
Roland Szabo | How Much Does It Cost To Run This Blog?
Kev Quirk | How Much Does It Cost To Run This Blog?
Horst Gutmann | How much does it cost to run this blog?
jlelse’s Blog | Costs to run this blog
hyde | How much it costs to run this blog
Guillermo Garron | How does running this blog cost?

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 30). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingHow much does it cost to run this blog?

June 6th to 12th need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because I’m trying to present it in an unbiased way as possible. There are many websites doing something similar but they don’t tend to present unbiased news sites.

Privacy browser Brave busted for autocompleting URLs to versions it profits from

IBM asks Congress for police reform, leaves facial recognition business

Apple’s virtual WWDC features keynote June 22, 1-on-1 labs and over 100 sessions

Interesting tech story: Meet the people keeping the cloud up and running in the middle of lockdown (unbiased)

Interesting non-tech story: Forrest Fenn’s treasure has been found (if don’t know about this treasure hunt it is worth the read on Wikipedia)

Found this interesting? Let me know via Webmention / Pingback, Mastodon, Twitter, or email.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 29). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingJune 6th to 12th need to know tech news

May 30th to June 5th need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because the other ones (like similar posts, or newsletters, or videos) sometimes either cover not enough, too much or not the right news that people need to know.

I will try to do this every week but there may be sometimes it doesn’t happen. I also try to link to as unbiased news sites as possible as to ensure you get unbiased information. I use https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ to check the bias.

Here is what happened for the week of May 30th to June 5h 2020:

Facebook, Snapchat join chorus of companies condemning George Floyd death, racism

#BlackOutTuesday sweeps social media as U.S. street protests escalate

Apple pushes fix across ALL devices for “unc0ver” jailbreak flaw

AT&T exempts HBO Max from data caps but still limits your Netflix use

Instagram just threw users of its embedding API under the bus

Interesting tech story of the week: After a breach, users rarely change their passwords, study finds (least biased)

Interesting non-tech story of the week: Please Pay for your News

Found this interesting? Let me know via Webmention / Pingback, Mastodon, Twitter, or email.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 28). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingMay 30th to June 5th need to know tech news

Why I’m posting like everything is normal (when it’s not normal)

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This post was inspired by George Floyd’s be killed by a white police officer and many people on social media saying that people should speak up and not post like everything is normal. This post may at points focus on that particular issue at hand, but it’s also meant to be an evergreen post for any issue around the world.

Some people are posting tons surrounding this, and some people like me are posting like everything is normal. Here’s why I’m doing so.

First, I’m privileged to be a white male, that privilege is still alive and well not just in the US but around the world.

Back to the reasons why I and many other people are continuing to post like everything is normal, this current issue (of George Floyd being killed) is just happening in the US and if you only pay attention to the US news then you will see constant updates related to it.

You should expand your news sources, consider a news source not located in the country you are in, or a news source that doesn’t have the same bias as you, or consider seeing what all sides of bias say on a story (using a site like AllSides).

While the bigger issue of racism exists around the world, the news only talks about it when they feel it would generate more money for them, or when it’s bad news.

The issue of police brutality of course exists, nobody can deny that.

Another major reason for me posting like normal is because I’m letting journalists and news crews do their job. They tend to be at what’s happening, and while they may not know 100% what’s happening it tends to be better than what the average person is putting out.

If you are an average person and you want to post about what’s going on please fact check, and I don’t mean just checking with what you agree with, but also with what you disagree with.

It’s not that I (or anyone else) don’t care about what’s going on in the world, it’s that we don’t want to keep repeating information that is out there, and I don’t want to spread misinformation.

If your bio online reads that you are a journalist, or you post about events live then continue to do so as your followers expect that of you, but if you bio doesn’t say anything about like that then your followers maybe expect a handful of posts that are current events then for others to continue doing what you do best.

To finish, please don’t tell someone they should be posting about the current event, or they should be posting something else. Everyone posts what they want to post, and how they want to post it.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 27). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingWhy I’m posting like everything is normal (when it’s not normal)

May 24 to 29th need to know tech news

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Why am I telling you about the technology news I think you need to know? Because the other ones (like similar posts, or newsletters, or videos) sometimes either cover not enough, too much or not the right news that people need to know.

I will try to do this every week but there may be sometimes it doesn’t happen. I also try to link to as unbiased news sites as possible as to ensure you get unbiased information. I use https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ to check the bias.

Here is what happened for the week of May 24th to 29th 2020:

There is a new jailbreak available for iPhone (iOS 11 or later) released by group Unc0ver.

UK draws up 3-year plan to remove Huawei from 5G networks (link to bypass paywall)

With GDPR’s two-year anniversary today, the Irish Data Protection Commission is under pressure to act, amid doubts about the agency’s enforcement ability

Twitter’s first fact-check on President Trump calls out “false claims”

Trump signs an executive order that targets social media sites and their protections

White House, Trump accounts both get Twitter rulebreaker warning

Writer’s note: I almost never want to put US politics into a post like this, but many of the most popular social networks are based in the US and the policies put on social networks they can affect many people around the world.

HBO Max is live: Here’s everything you need to know (currently only for those in the US (bypass paywall), and some people can get HBO Max for free)
If you are confused on all the different HBO streaming services then HBO has explained in all in a video for you, as well as Consumer Reports has a write-up.

OpenSSH to deprecate SHA-1 logins due to security risk

Interesting tech story of the week: Gatsby, Raises $28 Million (right-centre bias) “Kyle Mathews (CEO and co-founder) would not disclose Gatsby’s revenue figures, and says the firm is focused on growth and is not profitable.”

Interesting non-tech story of the week: How To Hide a COVID-19 Hotspot? Pretend Prisoners Don’t Exist (center bias)

Found this interesting? Let me know via Mastodon, Twitter, or email.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 26). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingMay 24 to 29th need to know tech news

“Many suggestions are unworkable or simply impossible” says Pastor Rick Warren

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Note: Any quote in this article are direct quotes from Rick Warren in the video that he released to the people that attend this church. I will include the video in this article so you can see for yourself. On a personal note, I was a Christain for many years, I almost did it all, from attending to volunteering, but a number of years ago I became an Atheist. This blog post isn’t an attack on Rick Warren, his church, his volunteers, or anyone else that attends the church where he is currently senior pastor. I’m just simply putting out what he talks about and showing how silly him and the people who attend his church are.

For those not in the know, Rick Warren (no I’m not going to call him Pastor Rick Warren, Rick Warren will also will also be known as “he” from now on in this post unless other noted) is currently the senior pastor at Saddleback Church which has several churches across California, US and the world.

On May 27th 2020 he released an unlisted Youtube video that I assume went out to those who attend Saddleback [Church] where he talked about numerous things, including California Department of Public Health‘s new phases and guidelines for churches.

He mentioned that there is 4 phases and that churches are in phase 2. He then went on to mention that in order for churches to reopen they have to follow “12 pages of restrictions“. He says “there are too many restrictions to list” and “many of their suggestions or restrictions are unworkable for all churches, and there are a few that are just impossible for large churches like Saddleback”.

Now he does have a point, Saddleback is a large church (22,000 people on average attended that church in 2017). But that doesn’t mean that the church can’t adapt to “the new normal” and they so far have by livestreaming services, and doing many other things to keep people connected during this unusual time.

The California Department of Public Health has those restrictions in place for everyone’s safe and care, and while some people don’t agree with the restrictions that they [the California Department of Public Health] are putting on churches (just see the comments sections of the video) there is nothing anyone can (or should do) except continue to do what your local officials tell you to do.

Together we can all get those this, if we continue to social distance, listen to public officials (and not what a church pastor says), and stay calm.

Thanks to Relevant Magazine for the initial story and link to the video.

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 25). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue Reading“Many suggestions are unworkable or simply impossible” says Pastor Rick Warren

Why people don’t respond when you ask for a backlink (or a link to your site)

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For some people weekly, and for some people daily, get emails from other people asking for them to link to their website, by either replacing a link, or just putting in a link with certain words. Some people may see this as no big deal, it’s just a link, but it’s bigger than that.

First, let’s talk about why people ask for links on your site, people want their website to rank higher on search engines and most search engines see more links to a page as it being more popular so it ranks slightly higher (google calls it pagerank). Some may say they see the link as a good fit, in reality that’s a copy and paste script, and the only person who knows if a link is a good fit is the writer (or the owner of the site). Some people who send those emails are also paid by a company and most times a link gets listed the more people they get.

Why doesn’t the person I send (or who receives) the email respond? The most likely reason is because they already get so many emails and can’t respond to every email they get. Another reason may be because they don’t want to respond, I personally get emails all the time from people asking a backlink, and they just go straight into the trash. Another reason could be because the writer has chosen all the links on that page for a reason and doesn’t want to change them out. If a website (or writer) does get paid to put a link and doesn’t qualify it then google will lower that page in their search engine and it will affect your SEO. Most of the links asked to be put up also don’t look natural, which means less people will click the link and it kind of defeats the purpose. After a while there are times when that link you got asked to put it has changed to be something completely different and it doesn’t resemble anything originally on there, that means when the website visitor goes to visit that they have lost a bit of your trust.

Now, how do you actually get backlinks. None of these ways will be easy but these may result in being linked on popular websites. One reliable method is using HARO (help a reporter out) which when you sign up will send out 3 emails each day with things that reporters need a comment on. They do ask you only answer the query if you can answer it yourself, there are also query which say anonymous which some reporters select to ensure other publications don’t publish the story before them. You just simply email them using the email address in the query and provide what they require, and some ask for your website or social media links. If a reporter does use you as a quote expect a link to at least your website. The other alternative I know of is guest posting, there are many sites that accept guest posting but with this the writing has to fit the topic of the site. That doesn’t mean you have to do the writing yourself, you could hire someone through a site like Reddit or Upwork. This will require more time and money (depending on if you pay someone else to write the post) but it most likely will result in an entire post with a link to your website.

If you try any way to get backlinks you can’t get 100% reply, so instead of trying to get a backlink why not write quality content and wait for the backlinks to come.

To close, people don’t respond to your request for a backlink because they didn’t ask for it and they get so many requests, so instead spend the time finding people who actually want a quote from you, or write quality content. None of it will be easy, and you may have to try many times to find what works, but it’s better than doing black hat backlinks and having google delist your website.

Further reading:
How Backlinks Affect Your Website’s SEO
31.82% of All Paid Links Dropped Off After 12 Months (Don’t Pay for Links)
How Small Businesses Can Build Quality Backlinks in 2019 and Beyond
Moz’s The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
How to use Google Search Console: a beginner’s guide
Learn the Basics of Quality Link Building for SEO
How to Write Content That Actually Deserves to Get Links
What’s the Cost of Buying Links? I Reached Out to 630 Blogs to Find Out
Do not contact me for links! | Horst Gutmann

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 24). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingWhy people don’t respond when you ask for a backlink (or a link to your site)

Subscription Surplus.

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Many things now seem to be a SaSS (software-as-a-service) and since I talked about why it raises so much money on my business blog I want to talk here about the surplus of subscriptions many people have, and why they have so many.

It’s so easy to sign up for a service, and either forget to cancel, or not realize it’s a subscription service. Or you sign up and think you will use it someday but never do.

There are some subscriptions to keep up, like if you are supporting your favourite content creator (like CGP Grey or Bright Sun Flims or LEMMiNO or Yesterworld Entertainment) or if there is a website you support and receive perks (like Ars Technica) then it’s worth it to keep supporting them.

Subscriptions are also great if you are doing donations to charity, as a recurring donation can help keep those charities running. There is also something to be say about doing a subscription to free software (as written about by Jake Bauer).

Many subscriptions we keep paying for but never end up using, or use only a couple of times, or over-paying for the subscription. If you want to exercise then you could go outside (which is free, I know it’s not 100% free but it’s not an extra cost), or what many people do is get a gym membership (as of the time of writing gyms are still closed due to COVID-19).

Peloton is very popular for at-home workouts, but it’s expensive (like $3,159 CAD for the bike and shoes, plus you need to pay $49 CAD per month for a membership), and those who had it before the lockdown didn’t use it very often but at the time of writing it’s reported usage has jumped 94%. This could be over-paying for some people, and for some they never use it, or only use it a couple of times.

Another popular subscription is meal delivery (like Hello Fresh, or Blue Apron) which delivers recipes and the things needed to make that recipes. It looks affordable and cheaper than making meals yourself but in the end it will be cheaper to make your own meals, you can make leftovers for another meals, and there isn’t as much waste as the meal delivery services.

If you have at least one subscription service that you actively use then I encourage you to check the price to see if you can find something that is better worth your money, and to go through your credit card statement from the last 30 days to see what other subscription services are getting your hard earned money.

Further reading:

Our Habits Have Changed. These Gadgets Are Proof.
Subscription hell
Tired of too many subscriptions? Apple TV+, Disney+ streaming launches add to overload
Subscription Businesses Are Exploding With Growth
So some people will pay for a subscription to a news site. How about two? Three?
Paying for software

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 23). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingSubscription Surplus.

Is having a smartwatch worth the annoyances? Sometimes it is.

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If you don’t know what a smartwatch is, it’s basically a small computer that is in the form of a wristwatch. Smartwatches can do so much and there are many companies creating smartwatches at many different prices. Some say that smartwatches are cool and some say it’s not worth the annoyances. So which is it? You can decide.

Smartwatches vary in price, and some may say the more expensive smartwatches are not worth it, but that is subjective. Sometimes the higher price comes with more features, or it may last longer, and sometimes the higher price may just be because that company can charge that much. Smartwatches are a luxury item so not everyone needs to have one.

One major annoyance could be how much it vibrates, distracting you from your work. I have found the key is to turn off most of the notifications that go to the smartwatch. You can do this in the smartwatch app settings. How exactly you do this depends on many factors (what phone you have, what smartwatch you have, what app you use to control the smartwatch) so I will refer to your smartwatch app, it’s settings, and the user manual.

Battery life is also something that many people find annoying, they have to charge it unlike a regular watch. How often you charge it depends on a number of factors, how often the smartwatch is actively used, the battery life on the smartwatch, and how long the smartwatch has been used for (as batteries tend of have less capacity as time goes on). Some smartwatches require being charged everyday (like the Apple Watch and some can go up to 30 days or more before having to be charged (like the Amazfit Bip claims).

A smartwatch has to be connected to a phone to ultimately be useful, yes it can do some things while not connected but there are fewer features if you can’t be connected to a phone that has the smartwatch’s app.

Smartwatches also don’t replaces a phone, it is an addition to a phone. It is too hard to try and put everything a phone does into the small form-factor that a smartwatch has. You can read ResellerNews for more details on why the smartwatch can’t afford to be another smartphone.

Privacy is something that some people may care about (just take a look at the search results and a great TED talk on why privacy matters) and some don’t care about. Some smartwatch manufacturers care about privacy, and some not so much. By default the smartwatch app on your phone transmits data to the watch manufacturer, there are ways around this (by turning off some settings, using a third-party app). If your smartwatch has an internet connection (like Wifi or 3G) it may send the data on it’s own. Make sure to take a look at who created your smartwatch and what their privacy policy is to understand what they do with your data.

Overall smartwatches are interesting and they require some research on your own before choosing the one that best fits you. For some people smartwatches just aren’t needed and that is perfectly ok.

Further reading:
Despite the smartwatch, the clock hasn’t stopped for mechanical watches
Why would I want a smart watch?
10 Amazing Benefits of Having A Smartwatch in 2020
Smartwatch article on Wikipedia
9 Huge Advantages of Having a SmartWatch
Should I Get a Smartwatch? The Pros and Cons to Decide
The Best Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers, and Running Watches as reviewed by Wirecutter

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 22). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingIs having a smartwatch worth the annoyances? Sometimes it is.

When is music good enough quality?

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Music quality makes a difference, but sometimes you have to make due with what quality you have. When is that quality just good enough to listen to?

The quality is good enough when you can hear the words, appreciate the instruments, and be the right file size for you.

You don’t need to worry about file size if you are a streaming music service (and some people use both a streaming service and local music files). If you do have music local to your computer and you don’t have money to be able to get new hard drives (prices on hard drives continue to drop) then consider what music you actually want to have locally and consider how much space you can put towards the music.

The instruments are what can get drowned down when listening to lower quality, sometimes one instrument may sound like a different instrument, sometimes in lower quality the instruments overpower the lyrics, and if higher quality you tend to be able to hear the right balance of instruments and lyrics.

Usually you can hear the lyrics on the lowest quality of music since that is part of what listeners what to hear. Usually when you go to higher quality the lyrics sound crisper, easier to hear (you don’t have to fight to try and hear the lyrics) and you can sometimes hear the emotion in the singers voice.

Some may say that you need better equipment to hear the difference on higher quality music (like better / more expensive headphones, or better speakers), it does help you get the most out of those high quality songs. Even with the cheapest equipment (like the headphones that your phone came with) you can hear the difference between the lowest music quality, and the highest.

If you want higher quality music streaming, Tidal is one of the more popular ones (it does have a 30-day free trial) but you have to pay more if you want their “HiFi” quality. Amazon music HD also has high quality streaming which is similar in price to Tidal.

Higher quality music downloads do exist, some of site that offer them include HDTracks, 7digital, Bandcamp, and some record labels have their own online store to buy the higher quality. The prices on these vary, they can start anywhere from $2 per track to $30 per album or more. The reasons behind the price increase compared to not getting high quality is believed to be since it is a niche market the companies can charge more, and it could also be because it costs more for the company to store the music.

Ultimately, the music quality is good enough when you can balance between the music being good enough to hear, and the price (whatever you use music streaming, or downloads).

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 21). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingWhen is music good enough quality?

What Has It Been Like Being Locked Down For 67 Days (Due To COVID-19) in Ontario, Canada

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Almost every link on this post will be an archived link, this is to ensure that if the original website is changed then the original copy will still be readable. If you can’t read some of the links then you should change your dns to one that isn’t Cloudflare since it does some shady things (see this for an easy explanation and this for a technical explanation), like OpenNIC). Everything written here is correct as of the time of writing.

In the province of Ontario (in Canada) the government on the late afternoon of March 13th 2020 officially suspended all events over 250 people, along with closing all schools for 2 weeks which for most people “officially announced the start of the COVID-19 lockdown”. Here what it’s been like here and somewhat across Canada, I encourage you to write your own blog post about what this lockdown has been like in your area of the world.

At the beginning it was a shock to most people, but people seemed to quickly adapted to it. A lot of workplaces moved to work-from-home (either just temporarily or permanently) or just completely closed for a variety of reasons. Social distancing became the norm, people started to pay more attention to the news, time just went on, and people only went out for food or exercise (there was never any restrictions on how far you could go, it was just please stay in your neighbourhood).

Very early on grocery stores ran out of toilet paper and other essentials. Every time the store refilled on those items they emptied out pretty quickly, but once we were about a month in you could go to grocery stores and see those items on the shelves.

Schools were initially shut down for 3 weeks (from March 14th to April 5th). April 6th was the day that Ontario started doing online learning and while it seems like many have adapted well to this “remote learning” the problem is those who don’t have access to any devices to be able to do that work. In April the school boards worked to get devices to those who don’t have any (and provide some sort of wireless so they can get the work done). On May 19th it was announced that there will be no physical school until September.

About 3 weeks in the major internet providers announced no bandwidth caps and other announcements to help those who use their services (Rogers, Bell). And long with those announcements, everyday there were always new announcements from all levels of governments (from the town / city, to province, to federal). While it is good to keep the general public informed sometimes these announcements sometimes placed new restrictions (like no gatherings over 5 people) which confused people if they weren’t constantly paying attention. I feel like each level of government should put out a daily summary of the announcements (they would have to decide a cut-off time) so people could still know what has changed but not have to constantly pay attention.

Of course there was the end lockdown protests (not just in Toronto, but across Canada. These weren’t as big as the protests in the US), but it did get the mayor of Toronto to say the protesters in Toronto are “a bunch of yahoos“.

With every lockdown there has to be a time when some restrictions can be eased. But restrictions can’t be too eased otherwise there could be a second wave of people being sick. On May 19th 2020 at 12:01am, Ontario eased some of the restrictions but some restrictions are still in place (like no gatherings of more than 5 people).

It looks like it will be a while before all restrictions are eased, or a vaccine is available for everyone. I will try and do a follow-up at some point when most public attractions (like the CN Tower) are open (along with fewer restrictions).

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 20). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingWhat Has It Been Like Being Locked Down For 67 Days (Due To COVID-19) in Ontario, Canada

Why I stopped paying attention to Gary Vaynerchuk

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Please note that everything said here is my own opinion and sites that I link to reinforce the point that I’m trying to get across. I encourage you to do your own thinking. I don’t hate Gary or anyone who works for him, I just have stopped paying attention to what he does.

Years ago I was subscribed to Gary on YouTube, followed his Twitter and Instagram, then one day I decided to stop paying attention to what he is doing. Here is why.

Gary’s videos while edited and shot well were getting longer and longer and providing less content in each video, for example a 40 minute video with one or two points that anyone can take away, and no timestamps so you have to spend the entire 40 minutes watching. And in some videos the content he provides is said in old videos, which is annoying to be repeated the same information and having spent all that time (the length of the video) just to get something that the viewer has already heard. I understand points need to be repeated every once in a while since there are always new viewers and sometimes people need to be told the same thing multiple times, but after watching for a while it gets repetitive.

Gary also tells everyone to hustle short-term but think long-term. Basically he is telling everyone to work 18 hour days (or more), but many others know that this doesn’t work. You can just spend your entire life working hard and hoping it will work, sometimes it just doesn’t and by hustling the person is more likely to burnout. The think long-term is good advice but what he is saying for people to do day-to-day is simply going to cause more people to quit what they are doing.

Gary ultimately wants people to stop paying attention to him, so they can work on whatever they are working on. So stop watching him.

Tweet that says @garyvee had to turn off my notifications because you're interrupting my HUSTLE! That is what you are saying! Stop watching, DO!!
Tweet from https://twitter.com/pgabilly/status/829378245732683777
Tweets that says Sorry @garyvee I may have to turn off notifications. All those tweets are really getting in the way of my work day...

Gary replies with the words respect.
Tweet from https://twitter.com/rmiskiman/status/844014921767575552

He also encourages everyone to post multiple times a day on social media (there are many studies which each have a different number of social posts per day) and he is encouraging people to post the same content on multiple social media which many disagree with. Gary also came up with his “$1.80 Instagram strategy” which at the surface looks good, but if you follow that strategy all you are doing is boosting those who post that content and encouraging people to post any kind of content.

In one of Gary’s video he says “I don’t think I’m worth paying attention to because I have funny / inspiriting quotes. It’s not what I’m saying, it’s what I’m doing” and many of his viewers aren’t doing that. Look at what he is doing, creating a text platform to bypass the social media algorithm with some say around 90% engagement rate, email newsletter, podcast and while some people are just paying attention to what he is doing on YouTube or social media. There are always comments on Gary’s videos saying they are going to put what Gary said to work, then you see them comment on every video Gary puts out next. That’s not putting his words to action.

To close, Gary has done a ton to get where he is now, but I don’t think he is worth paying attention to because you should use your time and attention to work on whatever you want to do without having to try and work 18 hour days.

Further reading / watching:
Fuck You Gary Vaynerchuk
Why Casey Zander hate’s Gary Vee
The Most Successful People Are The Ones You’ve Never Heard Of (And Why They Want It That Way)
Why Gary Vaynerchuk Is Flat Out Wrong
Why Tobe Brockner stopped listening to Gary Vaynerchuk
14 Life Lessons Learned Shadowing Gary Vaynerchuk For Two Years
Stop Doing Busywork. Do More High-Value Work
Ted Fraser spent a week living like Gary Vaynerchuk
How James Wallace almost died building a tech company
Don’t Say You Are An Entrepreneur
Post YC Depression

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingWhy I stopped paying attention to Gary Vaynerchuk

Why online courses work for some people

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This is inspired by Nathan Degrunchy’s post on how online coursework sucks. Everything said in this post is my own opinion and what works for some people may not work for you.

Think back to the last time you were physically in a classroom with other people, for some people that may be a long time ago, and for some that may only be a few days ago. Think about all those other people around you, think about the person at the front of the room (some may call them a teacher, and some may call them a professor) talking about something. This is the experience you get while you get taught in-person, but in-person is not the only way to learn. You can do it online, while it is different and some people may not like it, there are people (like myself) who do find online courses work for them.

Online courses allow you to get the work done at anytime during a set period of time, this time period is usually a week but you can get the work done at 6am or at midnight or another time, all you have to do is get the work done. This does allow you to work when you work best, but it does require discipline as you know you have work to get done, you have so much time to get it done in that some may not get it done until the last minute or may simply forget to check that work is due.

Online courses also allow you to do it anywhere you want, as long as you have a good internet connection which there isn’t everywhere in the world. This way you can work where you work best, if you work best at your home in your pajamas or in an office in formal wear then you get to choose. It does take some time to find out what works best for you, and sometimes you may not have that time if you suddenly have to do online courses.

When you do online courses you don’t get distracted by what others in your class are doing, but when you do online classes you can easily get distracted by the rest of the internet and what it has to offer. This also requires discipline, and you have to allow yourself to take breaks every once in a while.

What happens when you don’t understand something, in-person you will most likely ask those around you at the risk of sounding stupid, ask the teacher outside of class, or just pretend you understand it. When you do an online class (that isn’t live) you can pause the lesson to figure out what the lesson is talking about. Then go back and continue the lesson from where you paused it. While this may take you longer to complete the lesson it does allow you to fully understand the lesson.

There are times in-person where you have to quickly answer something, then after you said it you realize what you said didn’t come out the way you wanted it to. For any online classes that aren’t live you have time to craft your response. Some of you reading this may not think you want this, but in fact we all should have time to think.

When you don’t have scheduled classes you decide the pace in which you complete the work, as long as it’s done before the due date. This means everyone can learn at their own pace. This also means that the system used for these courses should be easy to use that allows the student to see when things are due.

Many classes in-person tend to give out physical paper, which some may find helpful, but some may find just take up more room. With online classes everything is online and if you feel the need to have a physical copy then there is the ability to. This does mean the computer in which you do your online class on will have to be organized so you can easily find the digital item that you need.

Sometimes when in-person you may be forced to use certain software, or you may get weird looks from others in the class if you use some software that the rest of the class isn’t using. There may be various reasons for this, you can’t afford the expensive software everyone is using (there are reasons why certain software is so expensive), or you just want to try out another similar software, and there are many other reasons why. However when you do online classes you can use any software that fits your needs as long as you submit the work in a way that can be properly graded.

When you go to in-person classes it will take you time and money to get there, there are many ways to get to places, but none of them are free (some have thought about public transit being free). If you do online classes you do have to pay for your internet which can be expensive and that may be one thing that holds a number of people back from being able to take online classes.

Some of the disadvantages to having online classes include, some say it’s harder to make friends (or colleagues) since you can’t really just say hi and see someone’s body language, after a while you miss the in-person aspect, having a good to-do list is required to know when things are due, drop-out rates can be pretty high.

There are many advantages and disadvantages to doing online courses and I overall think we need a bit of both in-person and online courses.

More / further reading:

Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes: Pros and Cons – My College Guide
Nathan Degrunchy’s post on how online coursework sucks
Online vs. in-person courses. Which ones are better? – Mapping Ignorance
Online-only college classes pose some distinct challenges for instructors – WHYY

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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We do we post on social media?

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Everyone has a complicated relationship with social media, unless you don’t have any social media account in which this post doesn’t apply to you. We all want to be on social media to see what others are doing, keep on top of the news, and just be a normal person. But why is posting on social media considered normal and should we go against the status quo?

Having an account on social media before social media existed was not normal, since social media wasn’t invented. When social media started to exist not everyone had an account, but then as being on social media grew more and more popular people just got on it because everyone is on it. And ever since social media sites figured out how to get it’s users to spend more and more time on their platform it has become the norm to be looking at social media.

So, why do we post on social media, do we want to post about ourselves, or do we base our self-worth on others’ opinions, or do we want to have more relationships, or do we want to live another life? It’s all of these things and more. It’s also that we post because we can. If none of the social media platforms existed nobody would have the craving to post on social media, because we won’t know what that social media thing is.

The main social media companies have gotten us addicted to their platforms, so want do we do to ensure we don’t continue to spend all our time on social media?

First, stop posting on social media. Or do one last post and tell your “friends” that you are going to stop posting on social media, if they want to continue to know what’s going on in your life (they don’t care) then they should get a hold of you by some other method, and ask them that if they see any new posts for you to call you out on them.

Second, turn off all notifications because we are addicted to them. Not just email notifications but all notifications, on your computer, phone, or anywhere else you can access that social media platform. How you do this depends on what social media sites you are on, and what you use to access them.

Third, get a hobby. We all tend to spend time on social media when we are bored, not every moment has to be spent doing something but it’s good to find something new (or different) to do. Bustle has an article on how to find new hobby’s as an adult if you are trying to find a new hobby.

The main reason we are on social media is addiction, it’s time to challenge ourselves to be different.

More reading / watching:

Pushier notifications: how social media is getting more invasive

Matt D’Avella quit social media for 30 days

5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now

Freedom in thought quit social media for one year

The social network movie

I used to be a human being

Cal Newport on why you should quit social media

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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What have live concerts come to?

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This was inspired by a YouTube video that I watched recently where Billie Ellish preformed one of her songs lovely live in 2018.

If you go to concerts you can expect a number of things, the artist performing a number of songs, maybe bring a couple of special guests, many people in the audience (depending on the venue, the number of tickets sold and many other factors) and many other things depending on the venue, artist, and the artists management.

One thing you can’t expect is how the audience is going to react, this usually depends on the age group of the audience and the genre of the artist. Audiences can do anything from being silent, to holding a light up, to singing alone and more.

Singing alone is one of the points I want to touch on, sometimes it’s to engage the audience, sometimes it’s considered etiquette, it may also be to bond us all together. There are also times you could consider it rude.

For example, in this video you can hear the audience more than you can the artist, if you do that it’s like what’s the point in coming to the concert. You want to hear the artist not the audience. There are also so many cell phones up in the air that artists have started to ban cameras at their concerts (some have just stopped those in the audience, but some have even stopped all professional photographers, and sometimes it could be considered illegal. What the rules are regarding cell phones at a concert are up to the venue, the artist and their management. But I think everyone should be allowed to take a couple of pictures then put their phones away for the rest of the concert (except professional photographers who are getting paid based on the photos they take).

Concerts have changed a ton through the years, and they continue to change, and the rules around cell phones are always changing. The next time you go to a concert please be respectful of everyone around you and the artist, only take a couple of pictures then put your phone away.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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The best WordPress caching plugin is the one that works for you

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No WordPress caching plugins are named here in order to remain unbiased. If I happen to link to any sites that do have a caching plugin that they have created it doesn’t mean I use that plugin it just means I find that page had the best information.

If you have a WordPress website you know there is sometimes a struggle to get your website to load quickly without having tons of money. (I know people have said you need to spend money to make money but there are times you want to see what you can do for free) One thing many WordPress sites tend to have is a cache, as without a cache the website visitor will go straight to your server and your server will generate a new copy of the page for each visitor (this is the easy to explain version, for a more detailed version see WPMUDEV. There are so many WordPress caching plugins to choose from, so which one do you choose?

Choose the one that works best for you and your needs. There are so many caching plugins to choose from, that it may take a while to find the best one for your needs. There are free, freemium, and even paid plugins. If you are going to venture into the paid plugins make sure there is a version you can test before paying the full amount, as if you have to pay for each paid plugin you test, then get a refund, could put you into debt.

One of the best ways I have found to test these caching plugins is to clone the current site then use the cloned site to test all the caching plugins. This way the site your visitors go to won’t be affected by the changes and you can play around with the test as you please. Some say to do the cloned site on a separate server or on your own computer but I find if you want it to be very similar to what your visitors will visit then you can do it on the same server.

While testing you may have to delete go into your cloned site FTP to remove the old cache, or do other similar things in order to remove the unused plugins.

It will take you time to find the right plugin, it may be frustrating, and you may get tired, but once you find the right plugin you most likely will continue to use it for a long period of time.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Decentralization – why it’s more important than ever before

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In this case I’m referring to decentralization as not relying on one company for many different things, as many things could happen to that company, and that way the one company doesn’t get all your data.

With all these big companies gathering more and more information about us (from sources like data brokers, to Google, to mobile apps, to Facebook even if you don’t have a profile) and much much more.

With all the data that Google has collected on us, and not to mention all the things Facebook has collected it may freak you out and want to go in and completely delete your profiles. While that is a good reaction, there is a better reaction you can take and you can also replace almost all those services you use from there (and more).

While you can delete almost everything Google has on you, and Facebook has ways to delete all your posts and the data. What about using other services so those companies don’t have the data to begin with?

By decentralizing a ton of the services you use, each company will have less data on you, which means it’s worth less if they went to sell it. You could say that by doing this you are giving more companies your data (thus making it easier for someone to get your information).

Which other companies services are there to use? There are more than just other companies, there are other people running similar services, most of those people care about others privacy so they won’t sell or giveaway your data. I’m not going to tell you exactly which other sites to use, as that would defeat the point of decentralization. Instead I will point you to sites like switching.software, privacytools.io, the federation, and libreho.st to find sites that fits your needs and have open signup. These sites tend to highlight the most well-known and popular alternatives, so once you have understood about these alternatives go out and find one that has open signup and not very many users (the more users on one server may tend to make it more centralized rather than decentralization, which is the point).

When you decentralize as much as possible it will mean you will have more logins (don’t remember them, use software like Bitwarden, 1Password as two examples), and you may think that you will more data of yours out there since now it’s out with multiple companies / people. Many of the alternatives don’t require you to use your own information, you could give them totally fake information and they wouldn’t know. You can use sites like fakenamegenerator.com so you don’t have to think about what name to use then store that information in your password manager (many of them offer a notes section so you can include details like the name you sued in there).

When you decentralize you have to worry less when one of the services you uses goes out (or out of business) as you won’t have everything with them then you can switch to another site / company. You won’t have to be one of the many people who freak out when something like google goes down because they depend on it for so many different things.

All these other services do cost money (as the ones that aren’t for-profit still have to pay for the servers and everything else related to keeping the service up) so they may ask for donations to keep the service up, and if you can afford to please throw a couple of dollars their way.

I hope more people start and continue to decentralize, and yet can still be connected.

This post was inspired by Aaron Ogle’s post on De-googling.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Why Zoom buying Keybase is both a good and bad thing

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If you don’t know, Zoom acquired Keybase and it says it plans to do many things with Zoom (not much is discussed right now with Keybase). I’ll let you read the CNBC, Zoom blog, and Keybase blog if you want exact details, but I’m going to try and summarize what may be happening and what my thoughts (both good and bad) are on this.

“We are excited to integrate Keybase’s team into the Zoom family to help us build end-to-end encryption that can reach current Zoom scalability.” Basically we are glad to finally be able to do some encryption by using a small company (according to LinkedIn about 16 people work for Keybase) that most privacy enthusiasts know and use, and we hope to work them to the bone to get this done at some point. Most regular users don’t care about this and for some it won’t be easy and some will still have concerns about Zoom. Of course you can say this will happen but until it is actually done nobody can be sure.

“When Keybase is implemented, the Zoom user who schedules a meeting will be able to choose end-to-end encryption. That setting will prevent anyone from calling in by phone, which is one way people can access meetings, and will disable cloud-based recording of the chat.” Again this is great for anyone who is privacy conscious and wants to be sure nobody else can know about their calls, but then again this isn’t 100% bullet proof and may in fact hinder some users because some host will turn on encryption and then someone who calls in by phone won’t be able to join.

“Zoom will offer an end-to-end encrypted meeting mode to all paid accounts”. Knew there would be a catch, basically if you’re on a free account we don’t care about you or your privacy. They don’t say at this time if free users will get end-to-end encrypted meeting mode but it is unlikely.

“As we do this work to further protect our users’ privacy, we are also cognizant of our desire to prevent the use of Zoom’s products to cause harm. To that end, we will be taking the following steps:
Zoom does not and will not proactively monitor meeting contents, but our trust and safety team will continue to use automated tools to look for evidence of abusive users based upon other available data.
Zoom has not and will not build a mechanism to decrypt live meetings for lawful intercept purposes.
We also do not have a means to insert our employees or others into meetings without being reflected in the participant list. We will not build any cryptographic backdoors to allow for the secret monitoring of meetings.”

This is interesting to read, because you can say this all you want but if the NSA or another American government entity comes to Zoom’s front door and want to do any of those things they have to comply (since Zoom is an American company) but some companies like Apple have said the government can’t force them to. If they don’t comply then they could be forced to or they could shut down (either the US government could force them down, or they could voluntarily shut down like Lavabit did).

In doing the researching for this post I also found out that Keybase never had a plan to make money (according to an interview the CEO gave in October 2019) so getting acquired was the only way to actually make money. Keybase also raised around $10.8 million (according to Crunchbase) so it had to make money in someway and getting acquired is the easiest way for them. They could have also been basically forced by their investors to get acquired so the investors make their money back.

I do hope Zoom is getting better security in the long-term, but I hope it doesn’t stop developing Keybase and I hope it cares about those users who call-in or use other features that may make it less secure.

Further reading:
Horst Gutmann’s thoughts on this topic

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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It costs money to run a business (even if it doesn’t make any money)

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Disclosure: I’m not an accountant or attorney. All this is from my own experience and my own research. There are a couple of affiliate links in this post but you aren’t required to go through those links if you don’t want to. What is posted here is valid as of the time of writing and could change at anytime in the future. If you are going to run a business I encourage you to talk to an accountant to make sure you do things right.

There are people want to run a business and they think it’s easy, and it won’t cost them anything. Well both of those thinking are wrong. Running a business isn’t easy and it does cost money. I’m going to run through approximately how much money it will cost to run your business, I’m going to also pretend you are based in Ontario, Canada (so please do your own research if you are based somewhere else in the world).

Businesses need a name, if you want to use your own name you don’t need to register for a business license, but if you want to use another name you need to register for a business license. If you do this on your own it can cost anywhere from $8 to $26 for each search that you do (to see if any other companies have a similar business name), and $60 to register the business (which is valid for 5 years). Then after 5 years if you want to keep having a business name you need to renew, which is another $60.

The business may also need permits or licenses depending on the business, the fees for this aren’t publicly post but I encourage you to go to BizPaL to see what permits or licenses your business needs.

Bank account. You can’t use your personal account as the same account for your business, there are many ways and reasons why you need a business bank account and it’s better in the long-term to save yourself the trouble and just get a business bank account from the start. Those bank accounts aren’t free (some of them may be free but the bank can start to charge money at anytime) so do your own research.

The business also needs a website, you can’t rely on social media sites to promote your business so you need to pay for a website. A .ca domain is about $13 per year (affiliate link) and good website hosting is about $180 per year (affiliate link).

Every year you will need to do send in your business income and HST from the previous year, now you can use a site like SimpleTax where you can do that for free but if you don’t want to spend the time doing it then you will have to pay an accountant (fees vary based on the company you use and your situation).

Your business may also need some sort of accounting software to ensure you can easily send in your previous years business income (and HST). There are so many different companies doing this type of software (like Quickbooks (affiliate link)) that you should use what works for you (if you are unsure you can use a site like alternativeto to see what is out there.

To total this all up, if you do one business name search (let’s say $26), then register that business name ($60), then the fees for a bank accounts (let’s say $5 per month, so $60 for a year), then you need a website (so about $193 for a year), then an accountant (let’s say $450 for just doing your taxes and submitting them at the end of the year), then the accounting software fees (let’s say you chose Quickbooks which for the smallest plan is $20 per month, so $240 for a year). All together that’s $1,029 just for one year.

Now you don’t need to do a business name search or register after that first year, and you don’t need a monthly fee for a bank account (which do exist, based on my research you will need to go to a credit union to get this). Which takes some money off but it still isn’t cheap to run a business, sure you could go cheaper but then you sacrifice your business (with a cheaper website it may go down more often, and if you get a cheaper accountant or cheaper accounting software it may not be worth the head-ache) and it could end up costing more in the long-term.

All this is just for a business that doesn’t need to go anywhere, I didn’t include the cost of driving (or public transit), or the cost of advertising, or the cost of equipment, or the cost of going to events, or really anything else related to your specific business. It’s not easy or cheap to run a business, but does give you a good experience on what it’s really like to run a business.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

Continue ReadingIt costs money to run a business (even if it doesn’t make any money)

Why Cloudflare’s dashboard numbers don’t match those from Matomo dashboard

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If you have recently taken a look at your Matomo dashboard, then taken a look at your Cloudflare dashboard you may have noticed a difference in numbers. There are a number of reasons why there is a difference between those two dashboards.

Firstly, Cloudflare counts everyone and everything that comes onto your site. This includes bots, threats, search engine crawlers, referrer spam, or really anything else that visits your website. Matomo only counts those who it considers actual website visitors.

Secondly, check to see if your tracking code is setup properly. If you have Matomo setup but haven’t setup the tracking properly then there will be a difference in the number. Check out the official Matomo site for a guide on how to properly setup a tracking code.

Thirdly, if a majority of your website visitors have third-party browser plugins that might not properly count the visitor. Cloudflare will track them because the website victor needs to go through Cloudflare to access your website, but the website visitor doesn’t need to go through Matomo to access your site. There are various browser plugins that block any sort of analytics, most people enable this because they want more privacy (which may not always be the case).

Forth, Matomo respects DoNotTrack unlike Cloudflare. Meaning that if a website visitor has DoNotTrack enabled then Cloudflare will still track them, but Matomo will not as Matomo by default doesn’t track those who have DoNotTrack enabled. You can turn this off (by changing the setting to false) in your Matomo tracking code if you wish to track everyone (no matter their DoNotTrack preference).

Fifth, by default Matomo only tracks someone who has Javascript turned on. This is because Matomo’s tracking code is Javascript. However you can add Matomo’s image tracker to your tracking code which will track everyone unless they have images off.

These are just some reasons why your Matomo dashboard numbers may not look exactly like Cloudflare’s numbers, and include someways to get the numbers to more closely match. It will never be 100%, but this will get you a more accurate numbers.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Finding time to read books

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We all spend time doing what we want, but there are things we want to do but just don’t do for a variety of reasons.

We all read, heck you are reading right now. However, there are less people reading books then before, according to New Yorker, Washington Post, Psychology Today, and Statista.

We all think we don’t have enough time to read books anymore, we have the same time as anyone else. But there are many more distractions, from phones as The Conversation talks about, to hoping a movie version will come out so we can watch it instead, to just simply not caring enough to read.

So, how we make more time to read books? First, stop having the book on your computer or phone, a e-reader is fine as long as you can’t be distracted by things like the internet. This way it is a dedicated thing to read, some people say they need a physical book to do this and there are many bookstores to shop at (I would prefer if you shop at a independent bookstore, if you are unsure where one is near you then use a site like indiebound.org).

Second, find a book you will enjoy. There are so many books out in the world, and not every book you will like. If after a little bit of reading you don’t enjoy the book then find a different one. There are many reasons why you may actually want to read more than one book at a time.

Third, take 1 minute out of your day to read. Yes 1 minute. We can all spare 1 minute. Over the course of 1 year, reading for 1 minute each day can mean reading around 1 book a year. Which is probably 1 more book a year than you are currently reading.

Forth, find your best spot to read, preferably somewhere you won’t be distracted. It could be a coffee shop out of town (by using a site like Find Me Coffee), or a local library, or just a spot in your home with peace and quiet.

Fifth, set a goal for yourself. Don’t make it a huge goal, make it one you can actually do.

Sixth, try and enjoy the time spent reading. It won’t be a life-changing experience.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Do you really need to track your employees time?

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There are constantly more ads going around (and I’m not going to link to any) where they say to track your employees time, for a variety of reasons, from being sure that they are actually doing work, to being able to keep tabs on them, to many more reasons. There are a variety of debates on why you may or may not want to track your employees time.

There are many things that aren’t done on a computer (most of the time tracking software is installed on a computer), from having an in-person meeting, to talk with coworkers about a project, to just simply having water-cooler chat. So when a software sees a space of time where the computer is done nothing, it could report it as “unproductive” but in fact it would be the exact opposite just without being front of and using a computer.

If someone knows they are being tracked by using software like this then could show the company don’t trust the employee, and the employee most likely will start to slowly not trust the company. If an company can’t trust an employee, why should the employee trust the company? A range of employees have said once they know they are being tracked will do whatever they can to stop the tracking, and in fact numerous employees have said that they work less because they know they are being tracked.

A range of software and / or companies also requires the webcam and microphone to be on all the time while working so that the software can track them more, or so the boss can quickly chat with them through video conference. Some have asked if it is legal for the employee to be doing this tracking, and there are numerous posts along with a good discussion about it on Reddit. This isn’t how it is done in an office (you can’t just go up to somewhere in the middle of their work and ask for a chat) so why is it being done now?

Some may say that a company isn’t entitled to know exactly what an employee does during the workday, however if you are working on a company computer, using the computer internet, and accessing company resources then the company already knows. And some say there are many other ways employees are been tracked while at work. Certainly there is an argument about as long as the work gets done why should the company care how I spend my workday. A minority of companies need to know exactly how long you spend on a project so they can bill that to another company or there are various other reasons why.

A number of employees may say if we are being time tracked, why not everyone in the company, including the CEO. Numerous people may think this is ridiculous, but many CEO’s can actually benefit from knowing where their time goes.

Of course there are many other agreements or disagreements talking about time tracking employees, so I would advise you to read timecamp, beebole and David Heinemeier Hansson’s point of view to start.

This was inspired by a post on the Washington Post and David Heinemeier Hansson’s twitter thread.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Why I have both Spotify and local music files

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Updated: May 1st 2020 3:50pm: After some research (prompted by Ariana Giroux on Fosstodon who commented to say that Spotify pays artists royalites) it has been corrected that Spotify doesn’t actually pay per-play (or per-stream) and that they pay recording and publishing royalties based on a number of factors.

Spotify is convenient as you can easily open it up and play whatever music they have available (there are certain artists you can’t play as Digital Trends and Billboard have reported) and not have to worry about paying for each song that you play. Spotify has published said they pay recording and publishing royalties, and the exact amount is based on a number of factors, and they don’t in fact pay per-play or per-stream. This is posted on their Spotify for artists site. Once you stop paying for a certain music streaming service you tend to lose access to everything, but some music streaming services like Spotify have a free version (both How-To Geek and MoneySavingExpert) list a number of free music streaming sites). A number of the streaming services have automated playlists which is a great positive as you may listen to artists you haven’t listened to before. So the positive is that it’s one price and you can get access to so much music with automated playlists, but the negative is that the artists don’t get paid well, and once you stop paying you lose access.

Local music files are also nice to have, they can have much higher quality which really allows you to hear more in the song (see Wikipedia for a comparison between other music formats), and you only have to pay once then you get to keep it (you can store the files anywhere, unlike music streaming services where you have to keep paying to access the music). Artists do get a bit more when you do this, around 6% of the sales according to bandzoogle, and BBC says 13% which isn’t much but it’s more than a stream from a music streaming service. Yes that music does take up space on your hard drive but the prices of hard drives have gone down over the years (as Backblaze, notebooks.com, and Matt Komorowski have all noted. The big positive of local music is what happens if your internet stops working, and you don’t have a data plan that allows you to stream all the music you want, you may laugh at this but the internet does go down and there are many places in the world where unlimited data simply won’t happen. The positive is that it can be higher quality music and that you can keep the music and put it anywhere you want (as long as it doesn’t violate any laws) and artists get paid more, but the negative is that you have to pay for each and every song you want to hear, and you have to pay twice (once for the songs and again for more hard drives).

I have both Spotify and local music files for reasons described in here, I like the convenient and being able to listen to almost any song I want but when my internet goes down or I go somewhere where there isn’t wifi I can still use my local music files. Huge thanks to Jan-Lukas Else and Kev Quirk for their blog posts which inspired this post.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Why some sites don’t link to sources or other sites

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When you are on another site you may notice that there are very few if any links in the post, some sites do that on purpose and some sites just forget to.

If a site doesn’t have any links then they may consider themselves an authority on the subject, or they have an exclusive story (meaning they are the only site to have that story) like the one Gizmodo put out about how the monster headphones lost the world. This could be considered a good thing as it shows they know what they are talking about, but it doesn’t provide any proof that what they are writing about is actually happening or true.

There are also many sites that just “forget” to include links on their site, sometimes sites do truly forget as they quickly want to get the post out there. And sometimes sites just don’t include links because they feel they don’t need to, and if someone wants to find more information they should do the searching themselves. This shouldn’t happen. When something is done quickly it can look sloppy and if you forget to include a link there you are forgetting to credit who you happen to get story from. If you feel you don’t need to include links then you should re-think that. By including links you are telling your website visitors where you found the information you posted about, you can get better SEO, and you may even be able to get your website visitor to spend more time on your website by using internal linking which Moz, Yoast, and Backlinko all have written about.

All sites should have at least a couple of links to other sites within their posts and there are many reasons why.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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An Email Can Change A Day

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Sometimes plans are formed, then get changed. That is what happened today. I was planning to work on an privacy-friendly website that I’m open-sourcing, but when I checked my email I got an email mentioning I could get a bonus for writing an blog post about a certain feature. The blog post will come out on my company blog soon so I won’t spoil what feature that company has here on this blog, but I have spent most of my day working on it.

I know there are many people that say you shouldn’t check email first thing in the morning, and I may have to start doing that. But sometimes if you do check your email you can have an opportunity and sometimes you have to take an opportunity when it is presented to you.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Everyone has a bias

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This post is meant to be information and cannot 100% confirm if everyone does has a bias or not. The author of this post does have a centre-left bias but is trying to write this post in a non-bias way.

We all want to talk about what’s going on in the world with others, but we all consume slightly different information and it’s different how we process that information then talk about it.

If you want to see how bias affects news take a look at a site like AllSides and take the time to read the headlines of the different sides. You may even realize that you align well with one side or the other (or maybe in the middle).

Sometimes the writers, or editors use a headline that has a bias and they don’t realize they did so (which is also known as implicit bias). The majority of the time there is bias somewhere and that it has to be applied to the headline to attract their target audience (some say journalists are mostly left leaning).

You can find more details about the bias we all have at Carnegie Mellon University, New York Times, American Press Institute, Forbes, The Telegraph, and Marketwatch to just name a few.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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Why do we get distracted?

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There is always a new distraction, even this post is a distraction from what you were originally planning to do. So we do we get distracted?

It can be due to a number of factors, from being bored of what you are currently working on (our brains can only focus for so long), to seeing something and that taking our attention away from what we were working on. Every ad is a distraction, the ad wants us to pay attention to it and not the contents of the site that we are on. But without ads many sites cannot be keep being online. Even music we are listening to could be a distraction, I know I stopped focusing on writing this post multiple times while listening to music. Even the latest movies could be considered a distraction. Every person (and company) wants to be just enough of a distraction that you stop doing what you are doing and focus on them.

So what are we going to do about it? Do our best to focus on one task at a time, and if we find ourselves getting distracted then we have to ask ourselves why we are getting distracted and do something about it. It could mean blocking ads while on certain websites, or it could mean blocking entire websites (like Twitter or Facebook). You may even want to consider getting into digital minimalism, there are books, articles, and videos to help guide you.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. I won’t be posting everyday but you can join in yourself by learning more and visiting https://100daystooffload.com/.

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