Monday, July 31, 2017

Beauty in Chaos

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Have you ever looked outside a window of a tall building and saw the chaos taking a familiar form? Like the guy looking at his watch knowing he has time to have a cup of coffee before work, the car next to him facing you, because the driver was too tired to park in reverse, the traffic lights flickering every so often on a buzzy road. 

Everything seemingly having its place, everything being there for a reason and the past unravelling the present. The beauty of life at your sight painted by and endless stream of brushes moving in perfect order. It's moments such as those in which I feel like the meaning of life is simply to go on, that the melody of life, is a song of history

Why would anyone then pick a moment and say "this is when it started"? If it truly did begin just like that I would be disappointed. I would rather it being an endless dusty trail waiting to be uncovered.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

We are Humans Beings

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Somewhere in the muck sprang life, and from that all we know. A simple yet mind-numbingly complex system of cells working in harmony to bring us life, consciousness and existence. We are born helpless into this world, blindly trusting in necessity. From the first babble to the first step, we absorb our environment for better and worse. We form language and our social constructs. We attend schools and learn about the past. We distance ourselves from those of history, pretending they were different.

Our bones get bigger and our minds larger. We begin to discover identity and define ourselves by experience. We get cut and fixed. We play games, we win and we lose. We love and hate, we cry and shout with joy; we experience emotion. From lone perspectives, we continue to build our realities. Through filters born of love, triumph and tragedy we see the world through our unique lens. We are all so different, yet the same.

We leave the nest, we leave comfort. We share brains, eyes and hearts. We learn of new cultures, languages and faith constructs. We judge. We see new lands, far and wide that change our lenses. Some lenses get fogged by money, power and greed; sometimes by love. We’ve spilled the blood of millions of our own kind, our people. We’ve moved mountains, broken atoms and built cities. We have waged wars and fed the starving. We create idols and destroy them. We grow old.

Our kids become adults. They marry and have children. They love, they cry. With our blueprints they build. First a home, then a family. We watch, we love and we support. We alienate and grow apart. We grow back together. As our lives grow futile, we accept. We accept the conditions of life. We look back. We remember our realities, our memories. We call it life. We smile and cry, and share our lenses with others. Our cells become tired and give way to new life, to change. We lose friends, family and lovers as the cycle rolls forward. We live. We die. We are human. - HomoSpaiens

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Facebook Profit Surges 71 Percent As Mobile Ad Sales Soar

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Facebook Inc reported a 71 percent jump in quarterly profit on Wednesday as the social media giant's push into video ads helped drive growth in its mobile ad business. 

Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders rose to $3.89 billion, or $1.32 per share, from $2.28 billion, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier. 

Total revenue rose 44.8 percent to $9.32 billion. In the first quarter, Facebook changed the method it reports earnings, focusing on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, earnings instead of non-GAAP.

Source: Reuters

Facebook Is Reportedly Working On An Echo Show Rival

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Reports are emerging that Facebook is working on a smart speaker to join the rapidly swelling ranks already filling our homes. 

Said to be designed by Facebook’s secretive Building 8, the smart speaker will feature a 15-inch touchscreen manufactured by LG. This means it will be in direct competition with Amazon’s Echo Show. If the reports are right and we aren’t seeing it until next year, it will be entering a market with the Amazon Echo, Dot, and Show, along with Google Home, Apple’s HomePod, and Harman Kardon’s Cortana-powered speaker Invoke.

Source: The Drum

Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest person, surpassing Bill Gates

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has now surpassed Bill Gates as the world’s richest person. Bloomberg reports that a surge in Amazon’s stock has helped propel Bezos to the top of rich list, ahead of the company’s earnings reports later today. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has held the top spot since 2013, and if Amazon’s stock price holds after the close of the bell then Bezos will remain top.

At the close of markets on Wednesday, Bill Gates held a fortune of $90 billion, and Bezos was a close second with $89 billion. The rise in Amazon stocks this morning has pushed Bezos above the $90 billion mark, thanks to an increase of around $15 per share and Microsoft’s stock slipping slightly. Bezos is now the sixth man to hold the richest person title over the past 30 years, after originally entering the billionaire list around 20 years ago.

Bezos’ rise demonstrates just how formidable Amazon has grown to become. Founded in 1994, Amazon has reshaped the world of retail in the US and in many other countries after originally launching as an internet book store. While retail stores are still struggling to respond, Amazon is also pushing ahead with its popular Amazon Web Services and its Alexa digital assistant. Investors are expecting revenue to jump by up to 22 percent year-over-year when the company reveals its earnings later today, showing there’s continued confidence in Amazon’s popular businesses.

Source: Multiple Inputs from Bloomberg & The Verge

Artificial Intelligence poses serious threat to Mankind



Artificial Intelligence poses a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Those of you who don't believe this is a threat have no idea how fast machine learning innovates. Not if, but when it gets sophisticated enough, our human capability will not be able to get a lid over it. Did anyone see Google's walking simulation? They gave it the tools to walk and put it in an environment but didn't teach it how to walk, and it learned on it's own. That's wonderful, but scary. Technology is great and helps innovate, but it also created the atomic bomb.

Automation is a good thing. The purpose of innovation is so that people don't have to work. So job loss on its face looks bad, but that just means new jobs will be created because there are still jobs that we can't innovate yet, and might not ever be able to. We just have to be vigilant about the lifespan each job will have, and create a social system that works in a plug-and-play nature so we can recycle human capital into positions that we need.

It's the natural law of Red Queen theory. We don't progress to move forward, we progress to keep our place in life. And if we stop progressing, we die. That's how life works.

Congress is approaching slow death

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Congress has become completely a family owned and family run political party. Like most family businesses, it's showing the sign of slow death. Gandhi brand is not sold anymore, because people are slowly forgetting indian independence struggle.

Congress doesn't have many good politicians, Rahul Gandhi is clueless what he is doing, many politicians stole as much they can steal. At the wrong time, Modi came out of nowhere and making their life horrible. Their visibility in opposition is minimum. Other than a few media houses(Congress is needed in the panel), no one even needs them.

Congress still has unconditional support from prominent media houses, still has a legacy of good reform(but slow reform) and not being openly communal and a good PR about pro minority. I don't really think unless they do something radical(kick Gandhi family out of congress party), they won't be coming to power again.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nobody Speak: The trials of Free Speech

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Directed by Brian Knappenberger, the same person who did The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz in 2014, which also landed a spot in Adam's top ten list. It is a documentary about the Gawker vs Hulk Hogan case involving his sex tape.

I haven't let the movie settle in my mind completely after watching it a few hours ago, but I can describe my initial feeling on the film as flat, despicable, and disingenuous. My expectations after seeing the film's trailer did not betray my reactions to it.

I had biases against Gawker, not in the sense that they were conflicting against my own views, but because the practices and tendencies, and especially the attitude of Nick Denton, is simply disgusting and my impression with the corporation has been very low. As a result, every time Nick Denton had appeared in an interview, I had doubts of his words, and every word he spoke cemented my opinion of him further.

Obviously, it was not the film maker's intention to show any of the people he interviewed as bad or good, which I give the credit to the director to treat the case with minimal biases, but what ever you think about the people who appears in the film will not be reverted. If you think Nick is a negative ten million dollar net-worth piece of shit, it is likely this documentary will fail to persuade you to the other side. I suppose this is a failure on the film if it intended to convince its audience to see the case differently, however, I think its true failure is how it was presented, because the moral standing of the film is less of an issue than how jumbled up it was.

The one of the problems of the movie is this, the message on the tin is weak and flawed. The overall message of the film is that Freedom of press is under a threat by billionaires such as Peter Thiel, and this message is a starting point to present this issue. Unfortunately, the Gawker case is not an evidence for its premise but a mere tangent. The reason why I call the message weak is that its thesis is strung up and reaching, almost like a conspiracy theory. It opens up with the Gawkers case and catches up the audience out of the loop, revealing the details of the case and the events and players involved and what not; this subject covers about 60% of the movie and is like reading the sparknotes of a book without the analysis portion.

One of the largest criticism brought up about the premise of the movie is that it shows Gawker as a Martyr or a victim of the BIG AND EVIL ESTABLISHMENTS, but that claim is only true in thick lens and on the surface. The documentary presents Hulk Hogan case to be unfair and deceitful, with secret intentions behind it. On the other hand, Gawker is presented to be, by the words of the founder, a muck racking, fearless, and admittedly harsh, news outlet, often taking pride in getting celebrities upset and having a bad standing with the subjects of their articles. Peter Thiel gets the worst rap on the movie, which admittedly is founded in truth, citing his eccentric personality, radical ideology, and underlying political motivation. The filmmaker never interrupts to put his biases in the film, and only the subjects of the interview helps to mold the audience's view of them. Framing the subjects like so can be easily intemperate the court case as a dark dawning of the death of the 1st amendment. Unfortunately, the connection of this court case, billionaire killing off free speech, and President Trump is barely stemmed together.

The film never mentioned why Hulk Hogan won, how Gawker had broken laws previous to this, the hypocrisy of Gawker during the Fappening, why Peter Thiel didn't sue Gawker for past negative articles, how Gawker defines something as news worthy, what Trump has done so far to justify the fears of an authoritarian rule, the cause of distrust in media and the "Fake News" sentiment, the value of keeping Gawker, the opinion of the public during the court case, or Peter Thiel's thoughts on the matter. In fact Peter Thiel is strangely absent in the film, or anyone else who opposed Gawker. These questions and details can easily destroy the argument of the film, but it ignores it. 
The entire movie is a claim with no flavor or substance, giving the impression that this documentary had avoided objectivity. It sounds like my sophomore year rants on facebook except with a budget.
I also felt uncomfortable. I don't like to describe something as propaganda, especially since this film is independently made, but the way it is edited and produced feels manufactured and emotionally manipulative. In fact it is pretty generic how the film concludes; showing a montage of brave protesters, the violence from Trump supporters, some intimidating footage of Trump, and a child showing support for the cause.

That might be the worst crime of the film, it is nothing too special. You can watch a google Gawker and get the information off easily there, or watch numerous videos on youtube on the subjects making the same claim about Donald Trump. There are no surprises in the documentary, again, your opinion of the subject is likely stay the same after watching it, not a lot of obscure info about the case unless you were not familiar with the Gawker situation, and the reflection about the state of free speech is shallow.

Adam has said that documentaries don't have to be true in order to be good, it just has to be a good film, regarding the film "CatFish". By that measure, this documentary is not worth watching. It crosses the same paths as anyone else, it leaves every stone unturned, it adds nothing to the table, and it subverts no expectations.

Source: multiple Inputs from Gawker & Variety.

'Thor: Ragnarok' May Be Marvel's Shortest Film

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"Thor: Ragnarok" may become Marvel's shortest installment yet. Director Taika Waititi said, “The cut right now, I reckon it’s about 100 minutes. 

It’s not gonna be a very, very long film." If Thor: Ragnarok stays near the 100-minute mark, it will be the shortest of Marvel's Cinematic Universe, since "The Incredible Hulk" holds the title right now at 112 minutes. 

Waititi said, “I think that stories are better when you leave them wanting more, and this film moves at a clip, it’s got stuff happening all the time. I think people are still gonna feel exhausted by the end, they’ve been on this big journey and stuff, so I don’t think we need the film to be three hours.”

'Wonder Woman' Sequel Set to Storm Theaters in 2019

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Fans of "Wonder Woman" rejoice - a sequel date has already been chosen. Gal Gadot will reprise her role which has already been a huge hit in the box office. 

The film recently surpassed "Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2" to become the top domestic earner of the summer movie season and the second-highest of the year, behind "Beauty and the Beast," according to Access Hollywood. "Wonder Woman 2" is set to storm theaters on December 13, 2019.

uBlock Origin for Edge - v1.13.8 released

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The most popular extension uBlock Origin adds its support for Edge browser which features anti-content blocking capabilities.

uBlock Origin is probably the best content blocker out there at this point in time.The extension is very powerful when it comes to content blocking thanks to options to add your own rules, and to download rules using various lists.

The rise of ad-blocking makes the advertisement driven business model less viable with every passing month. Companies began exploring options, from hiding content behind paywalls, asking for donations or subscriptions, to earning money through native advertisement.

Another option that more and more companies seem to consider is to implement anti-ad-blocking technologies. Designed to either block access if ad-blockers are detected, or to display ads to users even if ad-blockers are used.

You can download the current version of Ublock Origin from the following link:

Download UBlock-Edge

Sailfish OS is now available for Jolla devices across Regions

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Developed by a Finnish company Jolla, founded on 2011, the OS reached version 1.0 in 2013 and 2.0 in 2015. Latest release is Sailfish OS 2.1.1.23 which entered Early Access program (customer testing phase) on July 24, 2017. This version carries the 3rd party commercial parts as optional features, the pre-installed software being somewhat minimal. It's officially available for Jolla Phone, Jolla C and Jolla Tablet and upcoming for Xperia X. Recently, like any Linux distribution, this OS is getting some separate versions developed by licensees for separate markets, slightly differentiating in their features:

Russia

Sailfish OS RUS is one developed for Russian markets, audited by Russian officials and listed by the government (as the only mobile os, btw). The only model currently supporting this OS is Inoi R7, an overpriced middle-specked phone distributed by Inoi, a company somewhat heavily related to the earlier Nokia distributor in Russia. They seem to have a future, maybe not yet among the masses, but for example Russian Mail has announced to by 15000 Sailfish mobiles for their business use. This OS is developed and supported by OMP (Open Mobile Platform). Licensee has their own repositories, added by common repositories by Jolla for which they contribute as well. On the differences, this OS does not support running Android apps at all, and it has a separate boot screen. The latest release 2.1.1.12 was published June 20, 1017 among with the Inoi R7 phone.

India

Sailfish OS India was introduced by Intex (India). They only delivered one mobile device, Intex Aqua Fish. It's sold out, and there's no other device coming via them. For how long they will support the owners with providing updates is unsure, but the phone is similar to Jolla's community device "Jolla C" and it can be hacked to appear as one, then receiving updates directly via Jolla. On the differences, Sailfish OS India includes a commercial Android app screen next to the Sailfish home. Android support is on by default, a feature which is optional on the "original" of Sailfish OS. The latest release is 2.1.0.11 for Intex Aqua Fish, released on May 10, 2017.

China

Sailfish OS China is upcoming, expected to be finalized on September 2017. Licensees, features and supported devices are yet to be announced. This is Jolla's next big step, and a big one indeed if pushed through.

Platform support and the latest devices

Sailfish OS has been seen running on 32bit ARM (Qualcomm), x486 (Intel) and is about to be supported on 64bit ARM since version 2.1.2. Ports are using AOSP libraries via libhybris, having vanilla Android kernels patched for the required hardware support. The next device to be officially supported is Sony's Xperia X, running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 650. Another interesting project is an Intel tablet, similar to discontinued Jolla Tablet, soon put into production as a community effort as Youyota tablet.

Sailfish OS - Another Modern Mobile OS based on Linux

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Introduction


In the beginning of this story there was MeeGo, developed by Nokia and Intel, great software contributed to open source community. When Intel switched their focus on Tizen (Samsung) and Nokia's mobile department was acquired by Microsoft, MeeGo was no longer in their interest. MeeGo developers (working at Nokia) were put out of business, but they didn't give up on it. Another company Jolla, boosted into start via Nokia's bridge program and the government of Finland, was founded and strongly supported by Nokia's N900/N9 customer/developer community.

Jolla picked Linux kernel, Mer core ("MeeGo Reconstructed"), rpm-package management, systemd, libhybris, Linux root access, terminal in the phone etc. and developed their proprietary UI and apps on top, additionally adding 3rd party services like Aliendalvik (Myriad) to support Android apps, MS Exchange Active Sync (Microsoft) for business email, and HERE Maps (Nokia) w/o navigation features. Two of Jolla's essential apps, browser and office have later been switched to OSS license, even more is promised but seems to be taking time. Some community members blame the investors willing to hold "owning" of the software, some blame Jolla themself, but the promises are still alive.

Jolla had what I'd like to call a "close to death" experience in the end of 2015, when their Tablet campaign failed and financing round was also delayed. In the rumors I've heard they couldn't even pay to their employees for a while. The company's loans and activities were rearranged via the court in Finland, resulting Jolla to drop from the hardware business, reducing their size dramatically and focusing on software development especially for BRICS countries. They survived. Currently, they've been financed by 70M USD and they are looking forward for 250M USD financing (in my understanding maybe secured) for Sailfish China development. They are also hiring again.

While having closed sourced components (about 20%) included in their software, Jolla never reached a large interest among the Linux community by date. The OS does not provide a functional system as OSS, but projects like Nemomobile are using the core to reach that, replacing Sailfish UI for example with Glacier UI.


Adobe to Ditch One of Its Features by 2020

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In an announcement on its website Tuesday, Adobe said that it will stop updating and distributing its Flash Player plugin by 2020, a feature that has been around 1996. 

In its statement, Adobe said that Flash has become redundant due to open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly bringing in similar features without the need to be installed as plugins. Even though some websites still rely on Flash to display animations and games, a growing number have recently switched to using other options that won’t slow down visitor’s devices, or bug them to install additional software.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Apple may give new laptop to some MacBook Pro owners

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Do you own a 2012 or 2013 MacBook Pro with a run-down battery? You might be eligible for an upgrade! 

According to Tech Radar and Mac Rumors, Apple is offering replacements to owners of 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display notebooks, that need a battery replacement. 

They say that Apple is short on the part needed to fix them. To inquire about a replacement, Tech Radar says that the battery "must hold less than 80% capacity on maximum charge" and have been "fully charged less than 1,000 times.

Customers can opt for a replacement model or strike a trade-in deal on a new laptop. Tech Radar adds that the shortage may run until September, when Apple would then cover the cost of a new battery.

Asus Announces Google Wifi Rival


On Monday, Asus has launched a new Google WiFi rival in the US priced at $400. Asus Lyra is a Wi-Fi mesh network system joining other offerings such as as the Google Wifi and Netgear’s Orbi. 

The idea of these products is to use several devices throughout the home to extend Wi-Fi coverage as opposed to an area nearest to the router location. As with Google’s product, Lyra utilizes a tri-band Wi-Fi mesh network to ensure fast connections for all your devices. The product uses AiProtection to help to defend your smart home gadgets.

Best Graphics Cards of 2017

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There are a lot of options when shopping around for GPUs. The best high-end GPU is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Thanks to its 11GB of GDDR5X VRAM, the 1080 Ti is wildly capable without costing an arm and a leg. 

Aside from the mysterious absence of a DVI port, the GTX 1080 Ti has a sophisticated cooling system needed to keep all of your games running smoothly in resolutions up to 4K. 

The best entry-level GPU is the AMD Radeon RX 460. The RX 460 runs cheap. It is capable and energy efficient, drawing all of its power straight from the motherboard without any 6- or 8-pin connectors required. The RX 460 is worth the money if you plan on spending a lot of time playing MOBA and RTS games, otherwise spring for a higher end model.

Dunkirk Movie Review


I think this is gonna go down as one of Nolan's most mature movies. There's no bullshit, just tense action and beautiful visuals. It's not a quiet movie by any means but there's also very little dialogue.

I was intrigued by the structure of it. It basically follows three stories, one of soldiers on the beach trying to get off, one of air Force pilots keeping the skies clear, and the civilian ship coming to save as many as they can. Each story has its own arc and characters and struggles but all that takes background to the overall disaster that is the death. So whole there are stories and characters it does a great job of depicting just how miniscule they are to the big picture. I also loved the way time is handled. The ticking clock is ever present in the score but each story starts at a different point. The beach story is a week before the climax, civilian ship is a day before, and the pilot story is an hour before. So it's really well done how it skips between stories constantly but their times sync up for the ending.

I think the most powerful moments were seeing Cillian in the lifeboat giving orders before the war broke him, Tom Hardy saving the beach and giving himself up to the Germans at the end, and the kid on the civilian ship making the paper. I also loved how they had the kid read the Churchill speech at the end. While I didn't connect with the movie as emotionally as, say, Interstellar, I did end up loving it way more than Interstellar by the end. Although they are obviously different movies.

I'm interested to see how this does with general audiences and at the box office. Part of me says it's a little intense for the summer crowd. It's all last half of Titanic with the impressive disaster filmmaking and none of the cliche characters or romance. 

I'd give this movie an 8/10.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

CEO of Niantic booed at Pokemon Go Fest



Things haven’t gone so well at the Pokémon GO fest as users have had problems connecting to the Pokémon GO servers which has naturally dispirited many. John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, went on stage to address some of these concerns and was actually booed by the crowd who had spent time and money trying to get there, in the hope they would catch some lucrative Pokémon.

They had such an amazing opportunity with this game. Why they decided to make it one of the most boring games in history is beyond me.

New Age is Irrational


Whenever I hear someone tell me they believe in something New Age I cringe. Let me explain. What I hate about it is when someone tries to peddle something as beneficial when in fact it's not.

There is no evidence that humans even have souls. Unless evidence comes up that shows otherwise there is no reason to believe in New Age.

Con men also often use our hopes and fears to give us things that don't work.. Although this is common in many religions. At least most religions don't demand you pay for their services and tell you that you're cancer will probably go away (which is why I am also against faith healing). . New Age doesn't even need to be disproven IMO, it just doesn't make sense logically.

Much of New Age is based in confirmation bias and emotional fluff. I as a rational minded individual find many of its core beliefs ending up simply saying, "I dunno, do what you like man".

Many of its core beliefs such as vitalism, astrology , have been debunked by modern science.

I am writing this because my friend is going through this phase right now, and it's getting kind of annoying seeking him make a fool of himself. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Eternal Entertainment

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Through how popular media itself has become a commodity of consumption, using measures to maximise our intake. Not only have we become accustomed to a rhythm so swift that content only just have time to manifest itself before it dissolves, in order to make room for the next piece of information to fill our attention span. We have become increasingly dependent on it, stirring away from every piece of information that spans over X amount of minutes. These longer pieces of information come off as almost threatening, as we cannot, predict the commitment they demand from us, and what dodgy alleyways they might drag us down.

I have heard that the key satisfaction that comes from consuming new media is that each piece of information is delivered so instantly that it exactly opens up to array of future options, before it naturally closes itself down again. In this way you do not have to feel any disappointment when some of the options were to fail, as they would if they existed in time continuously. 

For Instance, most articles on buzzfeed are incredibly entertaining, but if the article were to be longer and more continuous, they would have to shed light on the topic from many different angles, which would prove the topic a lot less entertaining. As such the consumer never reaches a place where loss of interest can unfold. With each small piece of information, we are indirectly asked to enter the Eden of eternal entertainment.

Say we once again were to re-install continuity on the same subjects and content, that popular media outlet delivers. How would that change your experience? Would it maybe even have a change on you?

Fakes & Follows - Appearances on Social Media


Through maintaining an online identity on social media for years, we get accustomed to living our life observable from every angle. The fact that all we do is being judged through a multifaceted tribune of our acquaintances, is not really a thing. We have accepted it and adopted this meta-awareness as integral to our everyday lives. But this “so-what”-factor, does not mean that the maintenance work becomes any less demanding. Surely, long before social media, we have done our uttermost to appear our best, for our own gain. But our profiles are more like the ultimate culmination, the lovechild, of our most wishful inner-projections and who we in fact are. It’s a long-standing project. All that we have not been able to fulfil about ourselves in reality, is given a place to play out in on social media.

But it’s not only how we would like to see ourselves, it is fundamentally how we would like to been seen through the eyes of others. In this way our everyday out-and-about on these platforms adopts a hyper-calculated character. Our actions, our likes, our postings and comments are ultimately always serving the goal of broadcasting our uniqueness. And… we filter! Oh how we filter! The instant something inconvenient and less-than-flattering pops up that is linked to our profiles, we instantly disconnect: untag, unlike, report! Much like maintaining a neat garden, we are constantly cutting things off. Through social media we end up leading an enterprise much more than we are living a life. 

How is yours going? Let me know in the comments...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Everyone is Beautiful

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There's no human in this world that isn't beautiful. And I mean their faces and their bodies!! Of course some show off their beautiful personality through their appearance, but that's just a plus, they're shining. Everyone is so beautiful. Everyone has beautiful eyes and beautiful hands and beautiful gestures and everyone has a beautiful smile and beautiful teeth and a beautiful voice and everyone is perfect when they're happy and I have yet to see ugliness in anybody in this world except for myself. 

I love everyone!!! 

There's so many types of beauty out there. So many ways someone can stand out. So many people standing out. Even if they don't know or notice or care or even if they do!! Every feature that there is beautiful, even if it's said to be too big or too tiny or too crooked or asymmetrical, it's beautiful!!! Everyone is so beautiful. I'm in love with everyone's appearance. Sorry for this though!!!!!! I need to let it out somehow, I don't talk about it much, but it's c o n s t a n t l y on my mind


Contemporary Philosophy

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As time passes, so does ideology. Nothing exists once and for always and the general beliefs shared by a community – be it on a local, regional or global range – shapeshift all the time without demanding the community’s awareness. 

However, we look at philosophy in a timeless way, without realizing that framing the world and ideas about it cannot be done without any relation to the contemporary events forming the world as it is at that point in time. Because framework is inevitably influenced by the circumstances and vice versa, we cannot claim ideas to be truly timeless. (Although time is just a construct of convention, what is meant by time in this context does not include the idea of dividing the movement of all events into units of time, such as hours, days or years. Here time only signifies a correlation between several happenstances going along with, and implying each other.) 

The circumstances of the world as it is change, thus the (ideally objective) views on it have to change accordingly. This indicates that philosophy as well is not timeless. Now, this does by no means suggest that all philosophical work must be banished and burned, so we can contemplate the world in an unbiased manner, it simply attempts to make us aware that philosophical work must be viewed with caution, for it may be inaccurate when applied to the present. Furthermore, this may lead us to the conclusion that philosophers have to include contemporary philosophy into their field of research.

AAPL again declared the most profitable company in the world

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Fortune has for the second consecutive year declared Apple the most profitable company in the world, despite coming in 9th overall in the Fortune Global 500. Apple retained its position despite its profits falling 14.4% year-on-year. It also topped Fortune’s list of the world’s most admired companies. - 9to5mac
Whenever I think that Apple is the most successful company in the world, I smile a bit. It's proof that at the end of the day, quality is always the most important thing. Apple's goal is to make the best products in the world, and their attention to detail while still focusing on the future of computing is what makes them the most profitable company in the world.

Apple sees computers as art, and because of that, they succeed.

Apple's New Clips App Makes Videos Social Media

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Apple has updated its Clips app, bringing along a suite of new digital assets from the company itself, as well as entertainment giant Disney to broaden the tool set for all of you burgeoning creative types. 

Your favorite Disney characters can now dance along with you in your videos. If that's not your thing, you might enjoy the added visual effects, such as overlays, rendered background and animated text that can add some flavor to the videos in your Camera Roll. The app allows users to edit photos and videos on the fly so that they can be shared straight to your social network of choice. 

Clips is designed to share your video and shots to other social networks, rather than Apple having to launch its own version of Google+ or Facebook. Clips will share files directly to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and more. It will allow you to edit your photos and videos with filters and captions that look similar to other photo editing apps.

Amazon Is Slipping Alexa Into Its Android Shopping App

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Alexa is headed to Amazon's Android shopping app beginning this week, joining Amazon Echo speakers and iPhones as yet one more place where the digital assistant can try to make its mark. 

Alexa's Android arrival comes via the dedicated Amazon Shopping app. The app's Google Play Store listing indicates it was updated on July 19. Although there's no official mention of Alexa integration in the description, so it could be updated again when Alexa officially arrives. 

Amazon told when Alexa launched on iOS in March that an Android version was in the works, and today Amazon confirmed Alexa's arrival on the Google operating system to TechCrunch. While there is a dedicated Alexa app, it has between 5 thousand to 10 thousand installs on Android, compared to the Amazon Shopping app's 100 thousand to 500 thousand installs.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How US studies India and Itself

Image result for how us views india

The US/West has a fundamentally different approach towards viewing itself and India.

It views itself from a top down approach - Starting from a study of the American state (constitution, government, etc), moving on to a study of American nationalism (revolution, civil war, world wars), moving on to a study of American cultural theology (white man's burden, manifest destiny, Christian theology), and finally onto problems in American society (racism, sexism, immigration, treatment of religious minorities).

However, it views India (go to any India-studies class in the US) from a bottom-up approach - Starting from problems in Indian society (treatment of women, Dalits, religious minorities), ascribes these problems to Hinduism and Hindu theology (caste system, Hindu patriarchy, upper caste "chauvinism"), which is considered the fundamental block of Indian nationalism (Hindutva, wars against Pakistan) and the Indian state (constitution, government, etc).

The top-down approach gives Americans a holistic picture of their own society. Whereas the bottom-up approach gives Americans a completely distorted picture of Indian society. The problems in American society are considered flaws whereas the problems in Indian society are considered features.

And America uses this worldview to embarrass India on global forum, proposing that India needs the West to "save Indians from India". What this does is it makes Indians (especially Indian-origin Americans or "Westernized" Indians) ashamed of being Indians/Hindus. Plenty of them not only reject Hinduism and Indian-ness but they also end up spewing hatred towards themselves in order to appear "modern", "civilized", and "acceptable" to their American brethren.

This obviously creates friction and resentment among Indians towards the West in general and the US in particular.

How to Embrace Linux


I kinda enjoy the concept of free software, community involvement. Each one of the following leads to better understanding. Each one of these things is googlable as well.

Do these:

  • Learn about the difference between Linux Distributions, such as Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat, Fedora, and Arch Linuxes
  • Read the GNU Preamble at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
  • Install Virtualbox
  • Download and Install Ubuntu in Virtualbox
  • Figure out what Gnome is, apt-get is, ssh is, and bash is
  • Install SSH server on Ubuntu
  • Connect to SSH by using putty on your pc
  • Learn about bash and how to get around from the terminal
  • Use ssh to install the apache2 web server
  • Serve up some kind of html page you made on apache accessed from your desktop (I suggest using nano as a text editor)
Next is, what direction do you want to go with it? Hacking skills, Setting up a server, doing some computer programming, getting windows apps to work in it, normal day to day desktop use, setting up automated tasks, or whatnot? The more you learn the more possibilities get opened up to you. Knowing it well will even get you a sweet job.

We need to plant more trees, why 100% renewables isn't enough !


Google used to have a team called RE< C focused on investing tens of millions of dollars in to breakthrough clean power technologies (on top of the over $1 billion they'd spent directly on wind and solar). They gave that up over 5 years ago, not because they didn't think it would work, but because they figured out that even if they hit their ambitious goals it wouldn't be enough.

The thing with greenhouse gasses is that they don't make the planet warmer when they get in the atmosphere, they change the atmosphere so that the planet will get warmer and warmer until it hits a new equilibrium. We're over 400ppm CO2 in the atmosphere and we're nowhere near equilibrium. We could switch 100% to renewables today and the planet would still see significant warming for the rest of our lives. Even if we halted every single source of manmade emissions not only would the planet still warm significantly, but more carbon would end up in the atmosphere as things like permafrost melting and releasing methane or warming soils release carbon.

The simple fact is that nothing we do to reduce emissions now, no matter how fast or drastic is a solution. It'll make the eventually problem less bad, but if all we do is transition to renewables we're going to face catastrophic climate change. There's only two things that count as an actual solution, as something we need to do to avoid significant warming:
  • Geoengineering - spraying stuff in the air or making the ocean more reflective or something. This stuff is very much a last ditch emergency option. Since we have zero experience doing it, and it would need to be done on a huge scale with unknown side effects.
  • Carbon sequestration. We need to take the carbon we've put in the atmosphere and get it back in the ground. People have been talking about this somewhat seriously for 30-40 years, and we're really not any closer to a breakthrough now than we were then. We could hope that in the next 30-40 years we might make a breakthrough, but if we don't it could be too late.
Right now there's really only one solution that's a real option, fortunately it's a "technology" we have a lot of experience with, and if we get started soon it's well within a realistic possibility. We should be reforesting huge amounts of the land that we've cleared over the last 200 years.

Unfortunately there's a few downsides to this:

  • It would require people to actually change their life style a little bit. Not a lot, but a little each year to make room for the new forests. Right now it seems like the most people are willing to buy some LED lights and maybe a Prius.
  • We're actively doing the opposite. We're cutting down significant tracts of forest every years, and then we're doing things like raising cattle on that land, who will belch out methane for their entire lives.
  • From 2000 to 2013 we cut down 7% of the world's forests Mostly to make room for more livestock.
  • Carbon in all the world's forests is about 638 GtC
  • All manmade carbon emissions add up to about 10 GtC per year
  • If instead of spending time and energy to cut down forests, we'd been re-planting forests and had added 7% more over the last 13 years we would've eventually sequestered the equivalent of 50% of human GHG emissions from that period.
If everyone on earth suddenly decided that climate change was important and we started large scale reforestation tomorrow, it's possible that by 2100 we could be back down below current carbon levels in the atmosphere. Essentially, at the extreme end we'd be able to sequester 100% of man made emissions. Here's the possible range of climate change scenarios we're looking at

None of those include any significant carbon sequestration projects. Even if we didn't hit that goal of sequestering 100% of emissions, any significant amount would put us towards the bottom, or even below those predictions. Sequestering 50% of emissions is a totally reasonable and possible goal and it would put us in a much better place than even the most optimistic model. 

The force quit Fallacy


This thing about force quitting apps in the background is such a pernicious myth that I’ve heard numerous stories on Internet about Apple Store Genius Bar staff recommending it to customers. Those “geniuses” are anything but geniuses.

The idea is that apps in the background are locking up unnecessary RAM and consuming unnecessary CPU cycles, thus hurting performance and wasting battery life.

That’s not how iOS works. The iOS system is designed so that none of the above justifications for force quitting are true. Apps in the background are effectively “frozen”, severely limiting what they can do in the background and freeing up the RAM they were using. iOS is really, really good at this. It is so good at this that unfreezing a frozen app takes up way less CPU (and energy) than relaunching an app that had been force quit. Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts. Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background.

Here’s a short and sweet answer from Craig Federighi, in response to an email from a customer asking if he force quits apps and whether doing so preserves battery life: “No and no.”

In fact, apps frozen in the background on iOS unfreeze so quickly that I think it actually helps perpetuate the myth that you should force quit them: if you’re worried that background apps are draining your battery and you see how quickly they load from the background, it’s a reasonable assumption to believe that they never stopped running. But they do. They really do get frozen, the RAM they were using really does get reclaimed by the system, and they really do unfreeze and come back to life that quickly.

An awful lot of very hard work went into making iOS work like this. It’s a huge technical advantage that iOS holds over Android. And every iPhone user in the world who habitually force quits background apps manually is wasting all of the effort that went into this while simultaneously wasting their own device’s battery life and making everything slower for themselves.

Antivirus Software is Pretty much Useless these days


I come from a technical background and have significant experience with multiple operating systems, as well as direct technical support in both retail and business contexts. I feel it's important to state that I am also a (relatively) long term GNU/Linux user and a proponent of software freedom as described by the Free Software Foundation.

I believe that antivirus software, as massive of a market as it is, exists purely because of major, long-running design and philosophy flaw in Windows.

Software Distribution

The approach to software distribution is to force the user to put trust in self-extracting binary packages, many of which are only available from a single source and never audited by a trusted party. This trust requirement, be it implicit or explicit, makes no discrimination; UAC will provide the same warning and require the same escalation of permissions regardless of what is installed. Occasionally, UAC will display information about the software publisher if the installer is signed, but most often this warning is ignored. This kind of process if only useful to the informed user. The average user has no mean with which to differentiate trustworthy sources from the nefarious kind.

On other platforms, most notable Android and iOS, software is distributed via app stores, which are not only gated by an approval process but also audited and kept sanitary by paid employees (at least ideally). On OS X and Linux, many software repositories are kept sanitary not only by dedicated volunteers but also by the community as a whole. This is an approach centered around prevention and mitigation. 

By contrast, antivirus software only attempts to fix problems as they arise, with large and impractical vulnerability and offending software lists to work with. This not only involves a manual process more demanding and complex than the aforementioned repositories, it also requires those lists to be kept constantly up to date across millions of machines, on a urgent basis rather than on demand. Most of you Windows 10 users know that if an update process is disruptive, it becomes magnitudes more aggravating once forced upon the end user.

In conclusion, I believe antivirus software is a terrible band aid solution to a terrible design issue, and that they do next to nothing to protect end users compared to a policy of whitelisting and plain old education. I would recommend users instead to learn a bit more about their machines and favor platforms that are sound for any of their sensitive work.

Your iPhone Fingerprint Sensor Could Save Your Life In The Future


Apple may be working on a new way to use its Touch ID technology to make contacting emergency services faster and easier. A newly published patent file under Apple shows a method for using a biometric sensor similar to the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 6 and up's home button to discreetly trigger an emergency call. 

Originally filed in March 2013, the patent describes using a system that can recognize the frequency, force, and even specific fingerprint used on the sensor to execute particular commands. The patent's summary also describes how this system could be used to quickly activate a 'panic alarm,' which could send a GPS signal to local emergency responders, wipe local data during a theft, or even activate a live video/audio stream to record an incident.

Microsoft Unveils New 'Fluent' Office User Interface


Users of Microsoft can expect some big changes coming to their devices, as the company has unveiled a new set of preview apps for Office mobile. 

The new versions come with one significant alteration above all – the integration of Microsoft’s new Fluent Design System - which is expected to also be arriving with Windows 10 this Fall. The Fluent Design - which was previously known as Project Neon - aims to provide a more ‘modern’ look across Windows and Office platforms, incorporating design elements such as transparency and blur effects. 

And users should anticipate even more features rolling out in the near future, as Windows prepares for its big Fall Creators Update.