Control Your Content by having your own platform

Development, Tech, Thought Provoking, Web

Just saw this from twitter : Matthias Ott – Into The Personal Website-verse

Such a thought-provoking article that reminds me that I need to publish more of the work that I on here rather than on Instagram or Twitter or Flickr. I think of businesses that run their pages from Facebook or Instagram and wonder how they are giving control over their audience to another platform. Break their rules and years of content could disappear. Remember “musicblogocide 2010”?

One day, Twitter and other publishing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Medium will indeed die, like so many sites before them. And every time this happens, we lose most of the content we created and with it a fair amount of our collective cultural history.

Data loss isn’t our only problem, though. If you decide to publish your work on a platform like Medium, you’re giving away control over it. What if Medium suddenly decided to extend the already existing paywall to all articles? There’s not much you could do about it. Simply because you don’t own your content anymore.

Go there and read the whole article as he articulates it much better than I can.

If you’re a beginnner and prepared to rollup your sleeves a little, get a domain on NameCheap for less than €10 and hosting with WordPress on SiteGround for €4 per month. It’s not that hard to do and allows an easy way to get your content on your own platform.

Camera Memory Card Failure Lessons

Photography, Tech, Thought Provoking

Lessons From Losing a Week of Photos to Memory Card Failure

This was interesting to read about losing a week’s worth of photos from a memory card failure. I have had my own woes with memory cards and USB drives failing without backups being done. The costs are quite prohibitive for restoring hardware failures as indicated in the piece. The main lessons are getting many cards (reading negative reviews to judge failure rate), backup often and use a camera with dual card slots.

Some negative customer reviews are frivolous because they are rooted in user error, or because they concern themselves with delivery rather than the product’s quality or performance. However, negative reviews are generally more significant than positive reviews.

If you think that one shouldn’t focus on the negative while the vast majority of reviews are positive, consider that on Amazon, the average rating for a product is 4.4 (out of 5) as found here by analyzing 7 million reviews. Even a product with an average 4.0 rating (4-star) is below average. The large majority of products are rated above 4.0, so the difference between a great product and a subpar product is less than 1 (star) on average. On the other hand, we’ve just seen that the number of 1-star reviews for different cards varies by a factor of four.

Read the whole article.

Tech in a Madrid Café in 2003

2000s, Madrid, Mobile, Photography, Spain, Tech, Travel
Madrid Café 2003

Madrid Café 2003

This is what I used for on-the-go tech in 2003 sitting in a café in Madrid. A Psion 5mx and a brick Nokia mobile phone  The Psion had a great form factor that had a keyboard that was just big enough for touch-typing and small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. It also had the wonderful benefit of being distraction-free. 

Not forgetting the camera, a Canon Powershot S30. A remarkably pocketable device for the time. 

Follow the legend – Graphic ideals for displaying data

2010s, Development, Tech, Thought Provoking

I really enjoyed this post about how to convey information in graphs. Taking a simple Excel and changing it so that it conveys information more clearly. 

To accelerate that understanding, upgrade your line graphs to be efficient and truthful. Some broadly applicable principles should guide you to the right neighborhood.

http://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2017/11/13/remove-the-legend

Read the whole article for more. Perhaps Microsoft can upgrade this graphic capability for charts in the future in Excel.

Mongolia about to use the most advanced location system in the world for its postal system.

2010s, Mobile, Tech, Thought Provoking

Who knew that Mongolia would be the first country in the world to adopt the most accurate location system in the world for its postal service?

Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.

The new system is devised by a British startup called What3Words, which has assigned a three-word phrase to every point on the globe. The system is designed to solve the an often-ignored problem of 75% of the earth’s population, an estimated 4 billion people, who have no address for mailing purposes, making it difficult to open a bank account, get a delivery, or be reached in an emergency. In What3Words’ system, the idea is that a series of words is easier to remember than the strings of number that make up GPS coordinates. Each unique phrase corresponds to a specific 9-square-meter spot on the map.

The next hacks are coming from the browser

2010s, Security, Social Networking, Tech, Web

I was reading this article on Tom’s Guide about how some Twitter accounts were exposed.
What was startling to me was that Chrome and Firefox store passwords in plain text. Eye opening for me. I used them a lot until I got a Lastpass subscription.

The upshot is that you should never let your web browsers save login credentials for important accounts, such as social networking, bank or other online financial accounts, webmail or online retail accounts such as Amazon.

Chrome and Firefox store login credentials in plain text, making them ripe targets for hackers. Internet Explorer, to Microsoft’s credit, stores then in encrypted form in a separate application.

If remembering passwords is a pain, use a dedicated password manager, such as LastPass or Dashlane, that encrypts and protects your passwords much more securely than a web browser can. And don’t forget to enable two-factor authentication on every account that allows it.

Silicon Valley

2010s, Tech, Thought Provoking, TV

I love the TV show “Silicon Valley”, especially the way it takes the piss out of some of the most ridiculous practises it finds. This is a really enjoyable article in the New Yorker about the parallels between real-life Silicon Valley and the tv show.

“I’ve been told that, at some of the big companies, the P.R. departments have ordered their employees to stop saying ‘We’re making the world a better place,’ specifically because we have made fun of that phrase so mercilessly. So I guess, at the very least, we’re making the world a better place by making these people stop saying they’re making the world a better place.

Canon puts a tool online to help understand DSLR controls for beginners

Photography, Tech

Excellent tool to play around with settings and understand the results. After a photo is taken, the result is analysed and a summary analysis is presented. It suggests what could be done to improve or change the appearance of a photo.

Canon Play Explains Exposure