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Topics - Brad

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Hardware & Technology / Darling!
« on: May 03, 2019, 05:50:43 PM »
Darling lets you run macOS apps on a Linux computer.  Much like Wine lets you run Windows apps on a Linux machine.

Hardware & Technology / Microsoft Azure?
« on: April 30, 2019, 12:29:00 PM »
Does anyone here know what Microsoft Azure is?  If so, can you explain it to me as if you are talking to a 4 year old?  hhh.

Traffic / Is DDG's Search Quality Slipping?
« on: April 23, 2019, 01:55:14 PM »
I'm still pretty happy with DDG, but this came up on a social network and a few people chimed in to agree:

If this is true it means DDG's main feed from Bing is degrading because that is where most of DDG's results come from.  Hopefully, DDG has a Plan B, like running their own crawler more.

Also there might be an opportunity for Mojeek here as they increase their index.

Have any DDG users here noticed a slip in quality?

Hardware & Technology / Linux Based PinePhone Coming Soon $149
« on: April 19, 2019, 12:48:54 PM »
PinePhone, running KDE Plasma Mobile Linux UI, for $149, might be out by 4th Quarter 2019.

Traffic / Search Engine Map
« on: April 05, 2019, 10:33:37 AM »
I think cooked this up:

We all pretty much know this, but this is handy to explain things to civilians who are confused.

Water Cooler / Pile of Index Cards system
« on: March 03, 2019, 02:28:23 PM »
Some people keep offline notebooks, journals, commonplace books, to do lists etc.  I'm kinda taken with the Pile of Index Cards (PoIC) system:

How it works
Hawk describes four types of cards in his system:

The Record Card. He describes it as “a diary, note, account, health, weather, cook, any kind of records about us belongs to this class.” I’d say this is the incoming “stuff” of the day: appointments, notes to follow up on, etc.
The Discover Card. Hawk describes the Discover Card as “Things from my brain, mind, spirit, anything emerge from inside me, are classified into this class.” This is the result of a mind dump. Don’t worry about classifying when filling out a Discover Card. Just get whatever is on your mind out and onto paper.
The GTD Card. Here he combines the title of a project and several actions that pertain to it (here’s a look at the template in English). This reminds me of the “Hipstper PDA Template” I used religiously about 10 years ago.
The Cite Card captures other people’s ideas that warrant attention. He says, “Important here is distinguishing ‘your idea (Discovery Card)’ and ‘someone else’s idea (Cite Card).’ Source of the information must be included in the Cite Card. A book, for example, author, year, page(s) are recorded for later use.”

Of course you can add other types of cards but these 4 types seem to be a good place to start.  There is more information and good tips for setting up such a Personal Knowledge Base available online.  There is no one software for replicating PoIC that I can find.  There is something to be said for keeping paper records as well. 

In essence this is a commonplace book  broken up into card sized chunks, one thing per card.

Water Cooler / Walmart gets into the freight rail business
« on: March 03, 2019, 01:32:51 PM »

Traffic / Should Apple Have It's Own Search Engine? MacWorld
« on: January 28, 2019, 02:37:40 PM »
Should Apple have it's own search engine?

In a recent interview with Axios on HBO, Apple CEO Tim Cook was made to answer a very uncomfortable question. He was asked how he squares taking billions of dollars from Google to make it the default search engine for Safari (both on Mac and iOS) with his company’s stance on privacy. Google is certainly not the only company that trades in monetizing your online activity, but it’s one of the biggest. And Google’s search is far from achieving the level of data privacy that Apple demands of its products and services.

The author goes on to make the argument that Apple should buy Duckduckgo.

One flaw: it's not clear if the author is aware of how dependent DDG is on Bing.  He seems not to realize this.

I have a feeling this topic is not going to go away among Apple users.  It's going to become increasingly uncomfortable for Apple to use Google as a default.  But that is a long way from Apple buying a search engine.

Traffic / DuckDuckGo Switches to Apple Maps
« on: January 16, 2019, 01:59:33 PM »
DDG has switched to Apple Maps in their search results.

I assume they were using Bing maps before.

Long term this is a wise strategic move.

1. At some point Google's privacy issues are going to make it hard for Apple to use Google as a default search engine.  It's just a matter of time.

2. While Apple may not dump Google overnight, they can do things like offer choice of default search engine to users upon setup of new devices.

3. By using Apple maps, DDG makes itself an easier choice for Apple to include as a potential default.

4. By moving away from Bing maps it strengthens DDG's privacy chops.

5. With poor iPhone sales, Apple is going to be looking at strengthening marketing advantages over Android.  Increasing emphasis on privacy is a hook Apple can use.

6. Long Longshot: Apple may go shopping for a search engine of it's own.  They certainly have the cash to buy DDG.

Traffic / I Felt a Disturbance in the Google
« on: December 19, 2018, 12:46:42 AM »
The difference between Google and Bing in this case is consistent with something I’ve noticed lately, which is that Google seems to be forgetting a lot of old stuff.

Water Cooler / Package Thieves Get Surprised
« on: December 18, 2018, 01:48:22 PM »
Porch pirates sprayed with glitter and fart smell after opening fake package booby traps

Hardware & Technology / Yandex Launches Smartphone for Russia
« on: December 06, 2018, 10:14:13 AM »
Yandex is launching a smartphone fully integrated with the Yandex ecosystem for the Russian market.  It includes "Alice" their own Digital Assistant.

Water Cooler / Outdoor Christmas Decorating
« on: December 04, 2018, 08:56:18 PM »
For years I had a 20 minute rule for outdoor decorating: if it took longer than 20 minutes for get it.

And I had it down: 1. hang a small wreath on the two wall lights on either side of the garage door in back, 2. hang a large pre-wired wreath off the front of the porch in front, 3. wrestle an extension cord out to said wreath from inside the porch. Done.  About 20 minutes.

Life was good.

Then I started getting fancy. I started adding on a timer, lights in the bushes and other stuff.  Mission creep.

This year: 1. one red and one green light bulb in the wall lights on either side of the garage door. 2. fancy 16 color changing light bulb with it's own remote in the can light on the porch.  That's it, change 3 light bulbs. 5 minutes tops.  W00t!

Traffic / Privacy search engines are growing in Europe, UK
« on: November 26, 2018, 02:46:50 PM »
Here is a good rundown of some EU based privacy search engines with some numbers:

What is neat is a lot more of them are building their own indexes than I thought, they just are not in English.

Traffic / unbubble a "European Search Engine"
« on: November 25, 2018, 12:05:58 PM »
It's a meta search engine and I don't normally get very excited about them.  But  is just odd enough that it caught my eye.  Odd because of the sources at least for the US version.  I have not tested it in depth but my first quick test indicates that it returns decent results for mainstream queries.

1. The selling point is no filter bubble and no bias.  No bias because they use many sources.
2. Privacy is another point.
3. In the US, I see 3 search engines as the heavy lifters: Exactseek, Mojeek, Yandex.  These three combined produce pretty good mainstream results.
4. I also see some results from: qwant, faroo, and some lesser Jayde Online directories, but not as often as the heavy lifters.

And therein are the reasons I'm mentioning this meta search at all: using Mojeek is a plus, but the addition of any of the Jayde Online properties are not something I would associate with privacy. 

Can somebody from UK, Continental Europe or anywhere outside the US try this engine and post what engines you see feeding the search I would appreciate it, plus your impressions.  Thanks.

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