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Topics - ergophobe

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Web Development / Product catalog without e-commerce
« on: February 11, 2019, 09:13:26 PM »
I'm looking for a simple online catalog that doesn't need to have a shopping cart or sell things.

This is for a friend (who pays well when he needs work, so no issues with that - but a friend first) who is a collector. He wants to display his collection and he wants it searchable by various different characteristics.

He has no intention of selling these things. I've done three e-comm sites for him, so if he wanted to sell stuff, he would say so. E-comm just makes things complicated and he hates that.

So I'm looking for something that would replicate a gallery catalog, and archive listing, a product catalog with excellent faceted search.

Anyone have something like that they use and like? The simpler, lighter the better.

Traffic / Tools for localizing search
« on: February 11, 2019, 06:59:57 PM »
I used to have some browser extensions that worked and Google used to let you do it right from the standard default search. None of those seem to function.

I know about the Adwords Preview tool but a) that's not the real thing and b) the links aren't even clickable.

How do I pretend I'm in Australia? Do you need to connect through an Australian proxy?

Oh, in theory Chrome dev tools let me set my longitude and latt, but if I do a local search (plumber, cleaning services) it shows me results for the town I am currently physically in.

Marketing / Interesting pricing model
« on: February 04, 2019, 07:30:59 PM »
Interesting pricing model... I wonder how many people choose to pay more.

To make you sick so they can bilk you out of money with an elaborate helicopter rescue scheme.

It's also why your travel/rescue insurance might not work in Nepal anymore

Have investors started to sour on ETFs? According to TrimTabs Investment Research, more than $7.5 billion has plowed into US and global stock mutual funds this month, with US funds taking in $3.4 billion of that.

If American funds finish the month with inflows, it will be the first time that's happened since February 2015.

Water Cooler / Time management is ruining our lives
« on: January 13, 2019, 05:13:42 PM »
I was trying to explain to Theresa the other day everything I hate about the productivity cult. I was grasping at ideas, but not really making the case. She understood why I opted out, but not why it literally made me mad the cult existed. I just couldn't quite hit the target.

This article, hits the target

It's what I would have said if I were smarter and had thought about it a lot more.

Water Cooler / Confirmation bias
« on: January 10, 2019, 03:57:17 PM »
The president fired back, telling reporters: ďThe beautiful thing is, with social media, the world can write to you. You take a look at social media, so many of those people are saying, ĎItís very hard for me, itís very hard for my family, but, Mr. President, youíre doing the right thing.íĒ

Let's say that I know a number of federal law enforcement officers and they are not fans of the shutdown. But then, my sample is also small and biased... but at least I understand the concept of sampling

Water Cooler / Org Charts for major tech companies
« on: December 05, 2018, 04:07:06 AM »
I may have gotten this off The Core for all I remember, but I just found it again

I love the one for Oracle. Not the only company organized that way.

Economics & Investing / Recycling may become a thing of the past
« on: November 28, 2018, 07:35:32 PM »

ďAll of a sudden, material being collected on the street doesnít have a place to go,Ē Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services, one of the largest waste managers in the country, told the New York Times. Keller noted that Republic has diverted more than 2,000 tons of paper to landfills in the Pacific Northwest since the Chinese ban came into effect.

Hardware & Technology / Silent, tiny, solid state drones are coming
« on: November 27, 2018, 07:07:20 PM »
Researchers are saying they will be really useful for studying wildlife.

Thatís roughly a quote from the Nature podcast

Presumably this use case  is because wildlife biology drives such a large portion of research spending. Itís conceivable other uses will be discovered

Monetization / Does Gmail still show ads?
« on: November 19, 2018, 08:58:27 PM »
I ask because I saw a pitch for G Suite that said "Ad-free experience" and I thought "I don't remember seeing ads in Gmail in ages."

I opened up three plain old free Google email accounts (legacy Google Apps and regular GMail) and opened emails like Motorola trying to get me to buy a cell phone, Evergreen Lodge trying to get me to book lodging and so on. In other words, I opened emails that *should* have all the signals needed to match me with advertisers.

No ads.

UBlock Origin and Privacy Badger are off.

Has Google given up on Gmail ads? Are there just no buyers? Theresa was looking into it recently and I know the clicks were cheap. I don't know if she launched any. I'll have to ask her when she gets in.

Water Cooler / John Henry and Gary Kasparov
« on: October 28, 2018, 01:50:28 AM »
I suddenly realized today that Gary Kasparov is the John Henry of our times.

The date and authenticity of the John Henry story is debated, but his contest with the steam drill was probably in the 1870s or so and it was the stuff of legend and myth by the early 20th century. So roughly 30-40 years after the event (with lots of slack in there). In any case, in legend at least (and there's some evidence that it is a true story - at least one person claims to have been present), John Henry was the last man to beat a steam drill in a steel driving contest.

Kasparov will be remembered as the last human to beat the best computer in the world in chess, which happened in 1996, with Kasparov losing to Deep Blue in 1997.

So we should expect the songs about Kasparov to circulate starting in the late 2020s to late 2030s.

Web Development / redirects to
« on: October 23, 2018, 11:04:31 PM »
Seriously... if you go to the Apple help page on how to create links to Apple Maps

And take a sample link,4.341626&z=10&t=s

I was in Chrome when I first tried it and thought Google was hijacking that query, but no. Even in IE or Firefox that last URL redirects to,4.341626&z=10&q=Mexican+Restaurant

It seems that there is no way to actually access Apple maps via a website, but only via the app. Even the link that I send to myself over Slack from the iPhone app redirects to Google when I click it.

Google, on the other hand, makes it easy to find and share links to locations in Waze, even though I doubt many people use the Waze website.

Economics & Investing / Schwab starts talking about recession
« on: October 18, 2018, 05:36:19 PM »
I get the Schwab newsletter, which I almost always ignore for the simple reason that it seems like no matter how dire things, get, they always say "Despite the chatter, everything is rosy, stay the course, keep pouring money into your brokerage account, buy buy buy."

But something caught my eye in the current on and suddenly, there's a lot of talk of recession that isn't flat out dismissive. It's cautious.

It's not so much that their analysis is amazing. It's that there has been a sudden shift in tone in the newsletter, which is what I see as the real indicator that worry is growing.

The odd one is the idea that recessions are typically timed to when unemployment rate is equal to the inflation rate. I'd never heard that before. My first reaction was that there were so few data points, that could be a spurious correlation (and it might be), but it seems to hold pretty well since 1990 across a half-dozen countries.

I don't think my economics brain is sophisticated enough to see why that in particular would provoke/indicate recession

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