Review of the Dart by FINsix

finsix-dart

It’s super small, slightly larger than a standard pack of gum.  Ultra compact due to the new frequency switching technology.

It’s been a few weeks since I received my Dart after funding a kick starter about two years ago.  FINsix ran into some production and fabrication issues early on that affected their entire schedule, however now that I have it, things can’t be better.  I’ve managed to ditch all my power bricks for the laptops I have to carry except for one.  The one I still need to carry is a 90W supply that the Dart can’t charge as its only 65W.  In addition, there is a secondary USB port on the wire that can handle 1A (during laptop charging) and up to 2.2A (when not laptop charging).  This one device can charge your laptop and USB devices without the requirement for multiple bricks and charge plugs.

secondaryusbcharger

USB charger right on the wire!

The size of the Dart is quite impressive as it’s slightly larger than a standard pack of gum.  Build quality is fantastic!  Here’s what you get in the package for $99:

  • Dart charger
  • 9 tips (compatibility with hundreds of systems)
  • Carry sleeve
  • Instructions and Care

I must admit that having to wait two years had me slightly skeptical that I’d ever see the finished product or what I received would feel rushed.  Obviously I’m not disappointed at all with the purchase and early adopter funding through Kick Starter.

This small charger takes my 13.3″ HP Spectre x360 from 10% to 100% in about an hour.  The HP charger that came with my laptop would take twice that long and often get uncomfortably warm.  The Dart gets warm as well, but not nearly as warm as a standard brick charger.  Some of the reviews indicated that people could hear a high pitch hum from the charger, but I don’t have that issue (or I can’t hear it, which is possible).  My only complaint is the fact that they didn’t make the unit slightly larger to include 90W charge requirements for more powerful laptops, but in this case, it’s a work laptop and is due to be replaced next year.

Here’s the full package!

fullpackage

If you’re interested in purchasing one, they’re listed on FINsix’s website for $100.

I would highly recommend one of these to replace multiple charging systems that you probably carry around, misplace, and replace when you can’t find them.

#finsix, #technology-review, #the-dart

Three Things Thursday – 09/29/2016

three-things-thursday-badge

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

Bring the happy!

Vehicles in the garage!

The determination I had this past weekend to get both cars into our garage was immeasurable. Several hours on both days were required to get the clutter moved or thrown out to clear out enough space all around to get the cars inside. We were definitely spoiled from our old house as the garage was absolutely huge. The new house unfortunately doesn’t have that kind of space and we barely get them in with only a few inches to spare to close the doors each night. There is still some “vertical” hanging space to occupy for the bikes once we get the hangers that will make pulling in a lot easier.  I just need to let the cuts and blisters on my hands heal first 😦

Cooler weather

lake-naomi-poconos-fall

The weather here in the Northeast U.S. has finally broken from summer and has been in the 40’s overnight and the 70’s during the day. Humidity is gone, finally, making the days super awesome to be outside. My daughter has even chosen to play outside with her friends rather than stay inside playing Xbox or watching YouTube videos of MineCraft or Five Nights at Freddies. Burning off energy has been awesome as well as she goes to sleep without a fight each night.

Cello in the house again

cello

My daughter told us about 2 weeks ago that she wanted to continue playing the Cello. I was all too happy to go rent the Cello from the local music store and bring it home. She has started practicing again on a regular basis and I’m so glad to be hearing music again in the house. I grew up playing the Violin, Alto Saxophone, and Barritone Saxophone; playing well into my high school years. Was pretty good at it too. Her ability to pick up technique and just play the music is amazing and something I never had. I’m wishing really hard she keeps with it and turns it into a life long passion.

rockondaughter

Daughter Approved!

TTT Music Album Recommendation

Each week I’ll be adding a recommendation for some good rock or new metal that I discovered over the past week. I listen to music at least 3-4 hours every day and have been doing so for as long as I can remember. Spotify has become my absolute favorite music service and is the ONLY one I pay for. My taste has changed a few times, but I always come back to rock, metal, new metal, etc.

Worth the Pain
by Letters from the Fire

great cover of Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

#cello, #cooler-weather, #fall, #letters-from-the-fire, #vehicles-in-garage

What #Introverts Want You to Know about the Typing Indicator

Yesterday I was trading tweets, DMs, and Facebook messages with my friend and fellow INFJ @TaraSkurtu. She had expressed that the Facebook typing indicator (not to be confused with the Myers-Briggs…

Source: What #Introverts Want You to Know about the Typing Indicator

I’ve been following @INFJoe for a while and have enjoyed seeing his cartoons that frame introverts perfectly in real life situations.  This one resonated with me in that I’ve kept my distance with some apps that show when the other person is typing a response.  There are times when I get a message, read it, start to respond then delete it without sending anything.  In a few cases, I’ve received a follow-up message asking why I didn’t respond when it showed I had indeed started to respond.  That indicator had forced me to reply when I hadn’t wanted to and put me on the spot.  It wasn’t comfortable, but my close acquaintances understand for the most part.

Living in an extroverted world is difficult sometimes.

#anxiety, #communication, #introversion

Continuity of Government

designatedsurvivorI’ve started watching Designated Survivor this year on Hulu. It’s been a long time since I started a new show let alone one that I have to watch on a weekly basis rather than binge a season on a random Saturday. The pilot looked really promising and I’m definitely interested in this weeks show. The premise of the show is that during events where the majority of the government is located in one building, such as the State of the Union, there is one person that is marked as a “designated survivor” that is not in attendance. The concept was new to me and I’ve never heard of it before, but here is the detailed information on how it sort of works.

In the show, the Capital building is blown up during the State of the Union address and they snap into action rushing to the White House so the designated survivor could be sworn in as acting President. Taking the show’s obvious flare and drama out of the storyline, it is clear to me the importance of such a program to even exist. I’ve known for years that while individuals are intelligent and for the most part moral, as soon as you have a mob mentality, the group of people are quite unintelligent and act on impulse. Not having a leader in place quickly would certainly throw the country into chaos and anarchy. Riots for various reasons are clear examples of how a mob mentality can take over a group of people. The pilot episode has the designated survivor, now President, addressing the nation within 1 hour of him being elevated to President.

The part of the show that I geeked out on was when they took him into the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) for a briefing after being made President. The PEOC they show is sophisticated and awesome with technology bursting at the seams. I know from pictures during 9/11 that the PEOC is actually underwhelming and consists of board room table and lots of chairs, hard-line phones, and old televisions, etc. It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to believe that what is on the show is closer to what the real PEOC actually looks like. Of course the 9/11 pictured versions is what has been deemed unclassified and safe to show the general public. That doesn’t matter though, because my imagination is telling me to believe the show rather than the pictures. My geek-nerd brain won’t let me believe anything else unless I peep the real thing, which I know is impossible.

thelastshipI’m acutely aware of why continuity of government is required, especially during a crisis. The Trump and Clinton rhetoric aside, government being good or bad, is what runs the country we’re living in. A lack of government would most definitely put us into a state of fight or flight of monumental proportions. Watching The Last Ship the past two years shows good examples of how a country can degrade to anarchy when there isn’t a clear government structure in place. The show’s premise is based on a pandemic virus that spreads around the world and affects the entire U.S. government. After several conflicts with different factions, including immune people who think they were divinely chosen, a government is established to spread the cure and re-establish order again. I’d recommend the show if that’s the sort of plot line that interests you. Although fictional, there are several points that are based on actual facts should a catastrophic collapse of government actually occur.

Due to our experience from the Cold War, our country is prepared with multiple plans to ensure our government continues to function. Generally, I’m not a pessimist, however in this case it is in our best interests to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I’m not naive enough to think that someone, somewhere, is planning some form of terrorism on our country. As is the case with cyber warfare, it isn’t a question of if, but when. I just hope that we have a plan to protect our continuity of government to defend against an attack we most likely won’t see coming.

#continuity-of-government, #designated-survivor, #peoc, #presidential-emergency-operations-center, #the-last-ship

50 minutes I won’t get back

stupiddebate

Two people NOT right for this country!

So, I watched 50 minutes of the Trump vs. Clinton debate last night, streamed it through Twitter. It’s 50 minutes that I won’t get back again. I should be angry. I should be frustrated with the choices we’ve been provided. I’m actually disappointed for the whole damn system. My blame stares aren’t directed at anyone in particular, all the parts of the machine are to blame, though some more than others. We have Trump because voters in this country are angry with corporate America, of which, Trump is a member. We have Clinton because the DNC was caught manipulating the primary process in favor of Clinton. We have a corrupt government that is no longer, by any stretch, interested in the common American. We have a financial system configured in such a way where only a select few of the population control a ridiculous percentage of the country’s total wealth. We have media that is filtered, censored, manipulated, and controlled by a handful of companies with ties back to the corrupt government. We have a population that has been duped into believing that the “news” they watch (as their parents did, and there parents’ parents, etc.) is truthful and based on fact.

The only hope I see are the nearly 10% of the country (if you can believe the accuracy of the 5 CPD polls) has seen through this facade and is supporting a third-party. I no longer care which third party is represented at this point so long as any third party can break the two-party dinosaur that has existed for over 200 years. The names have changed, ideals and issues have changed, but the fundamental choice of only two people is obsolete. Several foreign countries have multiple party systems and are functioning in a greater capacity than the U.S. has been functioning over the last 2 decades. We need to adopt a multiple party system. While I have opinions about the Electoral College (EC), I do understand the function it provides and believe that changes are required to bring it into the modern century. The EC was created for two reasons; provide a buffer between general population and the selection of the President and provide extra power to smaller populous states. Hamilton and the founding fathers didn’t trust the population to make the right choice (tyrants had potential to manipulate if EC didn’t exist) and the EC only met once per election cycle removing the manipulation over time by foreign governments.

My main problem with the EC is the concept of “winner takes all” in all but 2 states. A candidate can win a state with 50.1% of the vote of 90%. There were several states in the past elections where the winning candidate received only 55% of that states votes but was awarded the entire EC count for that state. In this manner, 45% of the voters in that state did not choose the new President. State votes for the EC is not mandated by the constitution making it up to the state how the EC votes are distributed. Using Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, a candidate receiving 60% popular vote would get 12 EC votes and the other receiving 40% of the vote would get 8 EC votes. Changing the EC in this way would not necessarily make the Presidential Election based on popular vote, but would put it as close to possible based on popular vote while maintaining the integrity and purpose of the EC. This change would also allow for third parties to have as fair a chance as Democrats and Republicans.

Returning to my original thought though, the debate last night has provided me the justification that I’m making the right choice to support a third-party. Neither candidate, Trump or Clinton, I believe is right for the next four years or this country as a whole. The fragile nature of the world economy, propped up on debt, will collapse equally regardless of whether Trump or Clinton wins as the country is polarized in a near 50/50 split. My support of a third party is based on research and knowledge that is not provided by mainstream media outlets. A third party candidate winning the Presidency has the potential to make everyone stop and think, breathe a sigh of relief, and start to shed the “sheep” mentality that’s been forced on us for 40 years.

#clinton, #electoral-college, #johnson, #stein, #third-party-candidate, #trump

Debating on watching the debates tonight

The first Presidential debate is tonight squaring Trump and Clinton on the “major issues” (selected by the moderator) of America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. I actually stared at the topics for a long time thinking of how ridiculous they actually are when measured against the growing personal knowledge that we’re in a socialist elite (1%) and capitalist non-elite (99%) system. How can any Presidential debate actually discuss anything of importance when the socialist elite are essentially immune to the countries laws when the two people on stage are well within that 1% group. When you consider that 97% of the country makes less than $250k/year, showing support for either of them is basically endorsing the status quo.

Presidential debates are rigged from the beginning to support a two-party system. My belief is that we need to remove the obstacles of the two-party system to allow all party candidates so that the American people can actually find out who all the players are, not just the ones spending millions. Simply put, if a candidate regardless of party is on the ballot in all 50 states, they should be default be allowed to debate. Ross Perot was allowed in the debates, but the rule of 15% didn’t apply to him as it was put in place for the 2000 election cycle.

Reviewing the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) criteria for allowing a candidate to appear on the stage, which states:

… in addition to being constitutionally eligible(1), candidates must:

Appear on a sufficient number of state ballots(2) to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College.
Have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate (3) as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.

I’m going to break this apart into several pieces as I don’t think that most people know that these rules even exist.

1 – Requirements to be President

As directed by the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. These requirements do not prohibit a woman from being president, yet this has yet to occur.

2 – State Ballots

I’m actually a bit peeved at the fact that this one requirement doesn’t permit a candidate to be on the debate stage. The monumental feat of getting through all the red tape and hurdles for EVERY state is an accomplishment in of itself. Gary Johnson has managed to get on the ballot for all 50 states. Jill Stein is on the ballot in 45 states, 3 states write-in, and 3 states not on the ballot. What actually qualifies as a “sufficient number” of state ballots? I would venture to guess that if you hit 75% of the states, or 38 states, that would indicate a sufficient number. Oh, but there’s that “mathematical chance of winning” portion that, if argued properly, is never going to be achievable in regards to the Electoral College (EC). No lie, I could write an entire post about the EC and how it is horribly dated and no longer appropriate for a system where 1 person = 1 vote.

3 – 15% Support in National Electorate

This is rub on this short list of requirements. First, who decides the five selected national public opinion polling organizations? My spidey sense is telling me that the selection is rigged and the public opinion polling organizations chosen are in fact not truly public opinion. I still don’t quite understand how 600-1500 people are a large enough segment of the population to have a “public” poll. As it stands right now, based on RealClearPolitics, Clinton 42.6, Trump 41.1, Johnson 7.2, Stein 2.3.

genelecpolls

The 5 polls selected by the CPD are as follows:

  • ABC-Washington Post (Nash Holdings, LLC, controlled by Jeff Bezos)
  • CBS-New York Times (The New York Times Company)
  • CNN-Opinion Research Corporation (InfoUSA, partnership and majority investment by Lake Capital, private equity)
  • Fox News (Fox Networks Group, 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch)
  • NBC-Wall Street Journal (News Corp, Rupert Murdoch)

I’m not surprised that most of these polls track back to just a handful of companies and people. It’s no wonder that a third-party candidate can’t get any ground to be included with the debates when the polls playing a part of the decision are stacked against them. The poll threshold should be lowered to 10-12% to give the American people more of an informed choice. Johnson and Stein have garnered support from 9.5% of voters on average in all the polls pictured above. In a country with 250 million or so potential voters, that translates into approximately 23 million people. How can 23 million people be denied in supporting a third party candidate?

What’s the harm?

Seriously, what’s the harm in allowing a third-party candidate on the debate stage? The format can be altered to allow 3 or even 4 people address questions from the moderator and still easily fit into a 90 minute program. Are the Republicans and Democrats THAT afraid? The massive hurdles and effort required to get on the debate stage is proof enough for me that they are in fact afraid to have any real competition. It’s a sad time for America when the people no longer are represented by the elected officials put into office. Our first issue is actually taking the time to vote for those officials. Things right now would be a lot different if more than half the voting age adults actually, well, voted.

#1, #99, #clinton, #cpd, #debates, #elite, #johnson, #non-elite, #presidential-debates, #stein, #trump

Genetic modification, no sir, I don’t like it

This week, a name came across my email that invoked a rather strong feeling of wanting to empty my stomach contents on my keyboard. The company, who shall remain nameless, is one of the largest agrichemical companies in the U.S. that generates genetically modified corn and soy. Corn and soy seeds that grow plants that manufacture their own pesticide and resist the spraying of herbicides, also sold by the same company. They’ve also been the focus of a lot of negative press and are currently in the process of being purchased by a larger company. If you don’t know who they are by that description, you need to stop watching the 90% of news outlets owned by just 6 companies. I won’t hold it against you personally for having done so, as I was there for the first 38 years of my life. Anyway, my opinion of this company immediately caused me to react negatively and I had hoped it would just go away if I ignored it, after all, I was just cc’d on the email request. Two days of ignoring the email didn’t help, and I was pulled into the conversation, now as a To: participant. Crap.

While in a meeting reviewing the security questionnaires I had received, I hesitated on the one from the aforementioned nameless company. My manager picked up on this immediately and asked what the deal was with this one. I chose not to get into it as there were multiple people in the room that didn’t need to hear my negative and personal emotions about this one company, so I waited until after the meeting and it was just the two of us. I unloaded, with a courteous warning in advance, about how this one company had created an agrichemical monopoly that was using human beings as experimental test subjects. How can plants designed to produce their own pesticide produce corn that isn’t harmful when eaten? How can plants that continue to produce pesticide even after they are harvested and tilled under not be harming the soil for future generations? For all it’s worth, he just listened to my words knowing that I needed to get it out.

I’m thankful for a manager that is easy-going enough to know when to just listen. He didn’t take any of it personally and has had similar feelings with other customers our company has done business with and in some cases, still does business with. The application we had questions to answer for was covered by an ISO certification, so his recommendation was to send the Statement of Applicability and just move on. He agreed with all of my points and admitted that he didn’t have answers to some of my questions. He even told me he was shocked about the pesticide fact and asked me to send him some links that explains how that worked. To the best of my recollection, I’ve not had such a strong response to a customer company in my career. This is one of two jobs in my career that I’ve worked closely with customers though, so its plausible that I’ll run into others. The nature of our products focuses on infrastructure, agrichemical, petrochemical, and other non-savory industries in the world today.

I work as an IT Controller, which essentially means that I am the person that ensures compliance with a host of certifications and standards my company has obtained for the applications and systems we develop and sell. Some of those certifications include SOC2 Type II, ISO 27001, FedRAMP, NIAP. There are literally hundreds of certifications a company can obtain depending on their business. ISO and FedRAMP are the two that have the most impact. FedRAMP allows you to do business with U.S. based governments and takes 2 years to obtain in most cases. ISO is what we tend to focus on mostly as it involves just an expansion of the scope. There are two selling points for ISO that make it worth obtaining: it’s non-prescriptive, meaning you can’t exclude or change any of the control language, and it’s on a 3-year certification cycle that is based on improvement year over year. The controls are strict and the Information Security Management System (ISMS) is the mechanism that ISO puts in place to make sure everything is working as it’s documented. I’ve generalized and over-simplified the process, it truly is a full-time job keeping up with it.

OK, now that the background is out-of-the-way, the main part of my daily work involves the completion of security questionnaires from our current and potential customers. These vary in length, detail, complexity, etc. from one company to another. I don’t usually complete them, but perform a first pass prior to sending them off to co-workers that are much more familiar with our applications. As I’ve never been in the industry my company serves, a lot of the customer names I see are unknown to me. That fact makes it easy to answer questions without bias or preconceptions and just provide the best and most truthful answers possible. If it’s changed after I provide an answer, that decision was above my pay grade and I’m no longer accountable for that answer. Yes, I’ve used this defense multiple times in the past year to my benefit when brown stuff flew into some fan blades.

In theory, the fact that I know the customers is irrelevant, as my job is to get the security questions answered and returned back to the account manager. They’re the ones dealing with the customers. There are just some companies that, due to their reputation and what they’ve done and are doing, are hard to do work for. I’m still apprehensive about the idea that software my company makes is allowing this customer to get their work done. Work that ultimately affects me in a negative way by putting genetically modified food on my table. In 2015, 89% of corn, 94% of soybeans, and 89% of cotton produced in the US were genetically modified to be herbicide-tolerant, making it impossible to get away from. Other countries have banned GMO foods until further research can be done to determine if they’re safe or not. A fact I found disturbing, Heinz ketchup has a GMO variety (sold in the U.S.) and a non-GMO certified variety (sold outside the U.S.). This is not the only company that does this by the way. Why haven’t Americans woken up to this threat yet? If you don’t think its a problem, watch the movie Consumed.  Then read this blog post that is critically reviewing the movie, the comments tell the story. The point I get stuck on is how a 90-day trial is even marginally sufficient. As an example, lead takes significantly longer to build up in the human body before the symptoms start showing, a 90-day trial would not yield the results needed to determine lead is harmful.

There is a lot of talk about banning Glyphosate, which is a main component of the herbicide that is sprayed with while crops are growing to keep weeds controlled. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces a toxin that is toxic to certain insects and is what is used in GMO crop seeds to allow the plant to produce Bt while growing to reduce the use to pesticide spraying. The research has shown that Bt is eliminated during digestion due to the acid present in our digestive systems. Despite the research saying otherwise, I’m skeptical that our experiment in genetic modification isn’t going to have adverse affects sometime in the near future. The truth is that we just don’t know the long-term effects of using GMO seeds in the environment and we are forcing plants to do things they normally would have never done if we didn’t modify their genes. We’re living in a petrochemical and agrichemical world. The warning signs are all around us that we’re causing damage to ourselves and the environment. When is that going to change?

#agrichemical, #genetic-modification, #gmo, #non-gmo, #organic

Gratitude to an e-friend

This is going to be an interesting post for me and a deviation from my standard. I was peroozing my followers and after seeing one particular person had been following since the beginning, it struck me that everyone from the “early” years of my blog (2011), she was the only one that stuck with me and didn’t un-follow. I’m not sure if it was related to an “out of sight out of mind” or a failure to adequately prune the listings, but I’m going with the thought that it was on purpose; something positive. Getting to know her as well as you can through electronic means, I’m leaning towards it being a positive thing.

At the time I started my blog, I was in an odd mental place and re-reading some of those early posts, I’m surprised that I had any followers at all. The share setting was private as well, so no one could find me without me finding them first. I’m fairly certain that she was the first person I followed, and in reciprocal fashion, she was the first person to follow me. I really didn’t start actively posting almost daily until about 2 months ago. Prior to that it was one post here, one post there, and even a full year gap between a few of them. We even exchanged some emails with each other directly, so this is literally the only person following me that knows my actual name. No one from my family knows I have this blog and most of them are only aware that I write for myself. They’re not aware of where I do that writing.

Since returning to regular posting, as its been extremely helpful for me, we have continued to post comments on each others blog posts and have continued exchanging emails. This post is a way for me to say that I appreciate the fact that she has stuck with me for 5 years, regardless of the reasons. The support, even though I was unaware, was always there and even though I wasn’t posting, I was still reading and commenting on her blog occasionally.

To you, Deb @ The Monster in Your Closet, I’m sure that even though it doesn’t seem like you’ve been integral in helping me, I can honestly say that your steadfastness has indeed helped me in ways words don’t quite seem to capture. Our newly discovered knowledge of the true political climate in the country has provided yet another avenue of discussion we can both engage in. So, with all this said, I thank you for the support you’ve indirectly given me, the enlightenment that you’ve shared to open my eyes, and I truly and honestly look forward to our continued conversations on our blogs and in email.

tmiyc

Doesn’t feel like it, but it has in fact been 5 years since you followed my blog.

#friendship, #gratitude, #the-monster-in-your-closet

Three Things Thursday – 09/22/2016

three-things-thursday-badge

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

Bring the happy!

Splatter Painting

splatterpainting

I recently found a box of stuff that I had hand packed from my old house specifically for my office in the new house.  This is one of the items that I had fought to get, hang up, and of course keep.  My wife never really liked this painting, but it’s not the painting exactly that I identify with.  It’s that a 4th grade class created this painting with the intention of auctioning it off at a Spring event so they could donate to the local fire house.  I’ve been a fan of Jackson Pollock my entire life.  I also identified with the colors; red, white, and blue for this one.  It looks like black, but I can attest that it is actually blue.  Now that this painting, directly in front of my desk so I can appreciate it, is out of my wife’s sight and therefore, safe from the trash bin.

First State Quarters of the United States Collector’s Map (1999-2008)

quartersmap

This was a gift from my crazy Grandmother for Christmas in 1998.  She had some of the most, well, interesting gifts to give us as she was slowly declining into dementia.  I believe this was accompanied by a 2-year-old Claxton fruit cake and a set of mismatched dish towels.  Over the coming 9 years though, I managed to procure a quality quarter from each state and get it pushed into the map.  The last quarter prompted me to take it to a local art store and get it custom framed.  As with the splatter painting, my wife never wanted it to be hung up, so it stayed in its paper wrapper until recently, when I hung this in my office as well.  This is one of the handful of items that make me remember my Grandmother from a time when she could function normally.  Although it was difficult to see her slow decline to finally passing two years ago, this is still a happy thing for me as it makes me think of her when it was enjoyable to visit with her.

Office 2016 Black Theme

office2016blacktheme

Now, for a tech geek theme happy thing, I’m in love with the Office 2016 black theme.  I’ve always, always, always loved dark themes.  I’ve had a dark theme of some sort since the days of Windows XP and now, I can make some of my applications dark as well.  The grey theme was adequate, but the White and Colorful themes for Office made my peepers hurt if I looked at it for more than a few minutes.  So, here’s to the “makes me happy” dark theme for Office, it’s not for everyone.  It is a lot easier to look at when its dark or dimly lit though.

Adding something new to each TTT post, I’m adding a weekly music recommendation that I discovered through Spotify at the bottom of my post.  We all love music even if we don’t always like to admit it.  Here is this weeks recommendation.

TTT Spotify Music Album Recommendation:  Divided We Fall by Flaw

#office-2016-black-theme, #splatter-painting, #us-quarters-map

Facebook, no more, finally gone

Ever since I deleted my Facebook account, I’ve found that I look at my phone so much less than I used to.  I was never really into Facebook or social media that much, but I did find that I became a lurker.  Someone who read everyone else’s posts but rarely commented or posted anything on my own.  Deleting my account was a multi-step process that shouldn’t have been necessary, that’s a post in of itself.

The time I spent on Facebook, Twitter, etc. was an unknown to me until I finally got rid of them.  It would be the first thing I checked in the morning, thumbed through at random times through the day, spend at least a half hour at bedtime. It’s all time I won’t ever get back and it was time I could have been talking to my wife (but she’s on her phone too).  I’m hoping that not having my nose to the screen will prompt her to not do as much of that when I’m around and willing to talk, with my voice, in real life, no virtual keyboard required.

There are other benefits as well, such as my mobile phone.  I started this morning with 100% as is typical with a nightly charge, but at the end of the day, I still have 72% with moderate to heavy use.  I’ve deleted Facebook, Twitter, and Messenger from my phone.  Seeing the amount of data that Facebook alone used, it was #2 in my most used data list behind the Google store.  I listen to streaming music almost 6-8 hours a day and the data usage for those apps didn’t even break the top 5.  Social media and its “always on” applications are a battery vampire apparently.

I’m still using Twitter, but only for political posts and to follow my third party candiates.  I’d share my handle, but that would remove the anonomity I enjoy on this blog.  As I don’t have the app installed on my mobile, I am forced to read updates only when at a real computer, mostly at lunch or during boring bits in meetings when I’m not sharing my screen.  Social media is a drain on time, productivity, and mobile batteries.  If you’ve been playing with the idea of taking a break or deleting your account, I’d take the jump.  Facebook has a “deactivate” feature where you’re account is put into hibernation but not deleted.  It will give you a trial run to see if deleting is the right thing for you.  Stay tuned for my experience in deleting my Facebook account.

#cut-the-social-media-cord, #deleted-facebook, #facebook, #social-media