Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Vinyl records to outsell CDs in 2020

The resurgence of vinyl is interesting, but in reality listening to vinyl records is a niche hobby, just a more popular niche hobby than it was ten years ago. The bigger story is the total collapse of CD sales (which unlike vinyl has no romance associated with it). We are reaching the end of buying music to own it. Spotify has more revenue per year than CD, Vinyl and MP3 download purchases combined.

Now what do I do with all those useless CDs I have that I spent in total about two thousand dollars on? (I’ve thrown a lot in the garbage after “ripping” them to mp3 files, but that’s actually kind of time consuming. Probably, anything I haven’t listened to in more than 10 years is a CD I don’t really need to rip, I should just throw it out.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 27, 2019 at 10:57 AM

Posted in Technology

Chuck Peddle, unsung hero of the computer age, dies at 82

Intel shut his project down because they thought it would lower their profits, so he skipped town, taking seven engineers with him, and joined a small chip company in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where they completed the 6502 microprocessor, the chip that made computers like the Apple II and the Atari 800 possible, as well as the unfortunate Commodore PET. And the related, but lower-cost, less-featured 6507 microprocessor powered the Atari 2600 gaming console.

In those days, it only took 8 people to design a major computer chip, but today it surely takes hundreds, and maybe into the thousands. (For example, it is reported that Apple has 1000 to 1200 engineers working on a 5g modem chip. Also, I bet that all seven of the engineers that Chuck Peddle took with him were white men born in America.

The obit at the NY Times also contains the interesting tidbit that Jobs and the Woz wanted to sell Apple to Commodore, but Commodore wasn’t interested. How would technology have evolved differently if that sale happened? Would there be a Commodore smartphone? Or would we still be using Blackberries?

Note that the New York Times obituary is nine days late, Chuck died on December 15th.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 25, 2019 at 8:42 AM

Posted in Technology

Decluttr?

Based on this review, it sounds like I would make less money per hour scanning and packing my crap than I make per hour at my crappy job, so maybe it’s more efficient to just throw all of those old CDs into the garbage.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 3, 2019 at 9:59 AM

Posted in Technology

How to watch YouTube on iOS without ads

When I watch YouTube on my computer web browser, it’s a totally ad-free experience because I use uBlock Origin which blocks those annoying ads.

But then when I used the YouTube app on iOS, I was forced to waste mucho time watching ads before the actual content I wanted to watch would load.

The solution is to watch YouTube on the Safari mobile browser and NOT in the app. And then you have to install an effective adblocker. AdGuard is the best ad blocker on iOS, and it’s free. But it doesn’t work automatically like uBlock Origin. You have to enable AdGuard in your Safari settings, and then you have to open AdGuard as an app in order to enable additional ad blocking lists. EasyList and EasyPrivacy are the lists used by uBlock Origin, and you can enable them in AdGuard. I also enabled the AdGuard Mobile Ads Filter even though I don’t know exactly what that does, but it sounds good.

Now I can watch YouTube on my iPhone and iPad and not have my time wasted by ads!

* * *

You could also pay $11.99/month for YouTube premium, but Google already has enough money, in my opinion. Why should we give Google more money when they have been de-monetizing right-wing content creators?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 5, 2019 at 10:16 AM

Posted in Technology

Review of Amino app

You probably never heard of Amino. I didn’t until recently when I accidentally came across an article about it. In one sentence, Amino can best be described as Reddit for children.

Just like Reddit, people can create their own communities, which are then managed and censored (or not) by the person who created it and his or her delegates. Also, like Reddit, people post anonymously.

Unlike Reddit, the Amino website has limited functionality and you have to use the app to get the full experience. (Instagram is also like that.) Amino gives users more options for creating hideously ugly posts, but kids seem to like that, and indeed that’s what really defines it as a kid’s app and not something that would appeal to many adults.

The most popular two topics are anime and kpop (that is Korean pop music, mostly featuring effeminate-looking young men). The LGBT+ board is also very popular. Yeah, there’s a huge LGBTQ presence on Amino. What’s not popular on Amino are topics that cool popular kids would be into, like sports (for boys) or cheerleading (for girls). Even Fortnite (massively popular videogame among young people) isn’t especially popular on Amino. “College Advice,” which you think would be a valuable and popular topic for young people, has only a meager 12,196 members compared to 860,284 members for “LGBT+.”

So it’s obviously only being used by kids with certain overlapping geeky interests, with a very significant percentage of kids who are into those things not being heterosexual. Although the feeling I get is that girls in these interest groups feel pressured to call themselves “bisexual” or “pansexual” even if it’s not what they really are. And I have no idea what the boys are thinking, because I can’t imagine ever wanting to be thought of as being a homo.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 25, 2019 at 1:21 PM

Posted in Technology

Why is Zuck suddenly pro free-speech?

Zuck now says he supports free speech.

Where does that come from? Obviously he realizes how impossible it is to censor speech in a way that makes everyone happy and doesn’t create the risk of even more liability for censoring the wrong way. Plus how hugely expensive it is to censor speech, given the massive amount of content posted on Facebook every day, and the current lack of AI technology that’s up to the task.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 18, 2019 at 11:55 AM

Posted in Technology

Major differences between the 1970s and 2019

1. In the 1970s, you’d watch whatever was on TV. And it was crappy and low res, often had bad reception. But you watched anyway. At least it was in color. Today, you can watch exactly what you want, in high resolution.

2. In the 1970s, if someone wasn’t home to pick up the phone, you couldn’t reach them. There weren’t even answering machines. And forget about text messages or email. Today, everyone is reachable all the time.

3. In the 1970s, writing meant using a pen and paper. Today, writing means using a computer.

4. In the 1970s, buying something meant you had to find a store and then drive there. Today, you can buy whatever you want online.

Minor differences

1. In the 1970s, you read the news from a daily paper, and you didn’t spend much time worrying that it was 24 hours out of date. Or you watched the early-evening network news broadcast. (Although, of course, I personally did neither of those things in the 1970s because kids don’t consume news.) This is minor because the freshness of news actually has no impact on your daily life.

2. In the 1970s, you could read periodicals you subscribed to, or books you bought or borrowed from a library. Today, you can read anything you want (including this blog) whenever you want to. This is minor because there’s only so much you can read, and books were just as good back then if not better.

3. In the 1970s, people were unaware that there were homosexuals and other sexually strange people all over the place. Today, you can’t turn on a screen without seeing all manner of sexually weird.

4. In the 1970s, men traveled to the moon. Today, the farthest people can travel to is low orbit.

No differences

We had cars. Air travel. Air conditioning. Washers and dryers. Electricity. Drinkable running water. Flush toilets.

* * *

Major difference: In the 1970s, porn was totally unavailable to children. Today, all kids have seen porn. Serious hardcore porn.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 17, 2019 at 2:09 PM

Posted in Technology

Blizzard bans player for being pro Hong Kong

https://kotaku.com/blizzard-suspends-hearthstone-player-for-hong-kong-supp-1838864961

Blizzard banned a pro Hearthstone player for expressing his solidarity of Hong Kong protestors.

Big corporations, first the NBA and now Blizzard, shamelessly act as censors for China.

When are we going to get laws that protect free speech from corporate monopolies?

Is censorship the reason why China has been buying interests in ALL of the major videogaming companies?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 8, 2019 at 11:20 AM

Posted in Technology

iPhone 11 review

This thing is yuuuge.

The screen has that wonderful new-iPhone feel, before the nice coating wears off after just a few months.

I miss the home button. Swiping up is a pain in the ass and sometimes it doesn’t work. What was Apple thinking? (OK, they were thinking more screen and less wasted non-screen space.)

Apps that were slow as molasses on the iPhone 6, like the NY Times app and my employer’s crappy app, are way faster on the iPhone 11.

Transferring settings from the old iPhone to the new iPhone happened automatically by just leaving the two device next to each other. Easiest setup ever for a new device.

There’s a very useful feature that let’s you silence any phone calls that aren’t on your contacts list. Bye-bye robocallers! This is really a feature of iOS 13 rather than the iPhone 11. There was a workaround on previous iOS versions, but with the new feature you can still get alerts for other notifications like text messages and emails.

That’s it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 26, 2019 at 7:36 PM

Posted in Technology

Goodbye Microsoft Home Use Program

I just got an email that presents, what’s basically the end of the program, as an “exciting change.” Previously, with the Home Use Program (HUP), you could buy a complete copy of Office for a low price of like $10 (or maybe they raised it to $20). Whatever the exact price, it was a real bargain. Even though they claimed it was only for one computer and you were supposed to stop using it after you left your job, the reality on the ground was that you could install it on multiple computers and keep using it after you left your job, and Microsoft really didn’t seem to care.

But now, they replaced that with a discounted subscription to Office 365. Which means you have to keep paying year after year for the same program which hardly ever changes (I don’t see how Office 2016 is any better than the Office I was using in 2006), and after you leave your job, you stop getting access to the lower subscription price and your Office stops working unless you pay the jacked-up prices.

A big thumbs down to corporate greed.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 19, 2019 at 11:56 AM

Posted in Technology

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