F1 – 4 races down, 15 to go

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John Oliver talks about Government Surveillance

JohnOliver_LWT_KeyArt_FinalSome time ago, I had a post that showed a Youtube video from Last Week Tonight, in which John Oliver explained Net Neutrality in the best way possible.

This time, I would like to share a video about Government Surveillance. In the video, apart from the expected joking about, John Oliver tells us that the Patriot Act will be due for reauthorization on June 1st of this year. In the Patriot Act, there is a section, 215, also called the library records section, that grants the U.S. government the power to ask for tangible things in its fight against terrorism. It has been set up in such a broad way, that it is basically a blank check. Now, I will not go further into explaining this, as the video does a much better job at this.

There are two lessons to be learned from the video. One is that a lot of people have “forgotten” about who Edward Snowden is, and the things he brought to light. Some people even thought he was Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, which is not a good thing.

However, the most important lesson to be learned from this, and one that is put forward in the video as well, is that most people cannot actually grasp the concept of how far-reaching the NSA programs were. This is especially if you try to explain it to them in the “techy” language that is inherent to the discussion. However, once you simplify the discussion, and put it into a context people can relate to, they are a lot more susceptible to the problem at hand.

Have a look at the video after the break and see for yourself.


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The Big Migration – Consolidating my accounts – Execution

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As described in The Big Migration – Consolidating my accounts – Preparation, I am moving my @gmail account to my @gapps account. The main reason is to provide me with only one account to sign in to.

Just to refresh everyone’s memory, here is the list of stuff that I want to transfer:

Google Tools:

  • AdSense
  • Analytics
  • Android (i.e.: Play Store)
  • Calendar
  • Chrome
  • Contacts
  • Drive
  • Gmail (naturally)
  • Finance
  • Google+
  • Google Now
  • Hangouts
  • Maps
  • Picasa
  • Web history
  • Webmaster Tools

Connected Tools:

  • Chrome Remote Desktop
  • Feedly
  • WordPress (to be able to get my posts to Google+)
  • WordPress – Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (to get my Analytics data to the dashboard on my site)


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The Big Migration – Consolidating my accounts – Preparation 1

migrate-to-cloudAs described in“The ancient way” – or why I am still using Thunderbird for mail, I am still using a client, Thunderbird, to access my Gmail accounts. This has both its advantages and disadvantages, an example of the latter being that I am always dependent on a connection to my server (in the setup that I am running, which is not optimal, to say the least).

One of the reasons why I have not yet moved to the online model, is that I like having an overview of everything in one view, something that Thunderbird provides me with. However, this is also possible in Gmail, if you set up some forwarding and import rules, so basically, consolidating everything into one account.

This has the added advantage that Google Now (which I use a lot) will be able to also show me information on orders that I placed at stores, travel details, and so on.

Unfortunately, there is no button to press to get everything done magically, so I will have to manually move everything from my Gmail account (@gmail) to my Google Apps account (@gapps). Then again: maybe there are tools that I can use. Let us dive a bit deeper.


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“The ancient way” – or why I am still using Thunderbird for mail 1

thunderbird_gmailIn  the olden days, when one was looking for an email client, you either ended up with Outlook Express (as it was included with Windows) or Outlook, as it was included in pretty much all Office versions.

Back in those days, pretty much all email you received in your client would be transferred via POP, or the Post Office Protocol. As user mailboxes were not that big at the time, I believe it was 20MB at most ISPs in the Netherlands, POP would download your mail into your client and then delete it from the server.

When the first free email providers started, Hotmail (which apparently started with only 2MB) and Yahoo! Mail, you started to get the ability to save more and more mails in your mailbox, but occasionally, you would still have to delete items to free up space. It must be mentioned, that emails back then were also a lot smaller than the ones we have now.

When Gmail was first launched, in 2004, it provided users with a whopping 1GB of mail. Hotmail and Yahoo followed suit and also started offering more storage space.


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Tools, tools, tools

There are many online tools these days, which you can use for just about anything. Apart from the usual suspects, like Facebook, Twitter and Google (of which the first two are not necessarily tools), there are a number of other tools, which aim to increase your productivity. I have mentioned a number of these in another post, To cloud or not to cloud. Of course, not all tools mentioned there are ones that I use.

As you start looking around to improve your own productivity, you start to try tools, and stick with them, or not. At the moment, the tools I use most extensively are Evernote, Wunderlist, TrelloGoogle Calendar, and Dropbox.

I think that I have written enough about Evernote, but for this article, let’s just keep it at that I use it as my digital filing cabinet. Wunderlist is a to-do-list app, which you can use to keep track of your to-do’s and share them with others as well. Trello is more of a project management application, based on a Kanban Board, I am using it to see if it useful for planning projects. Google Calendar, well, that is basically what the name says: a calendar. It has my appointments in it, and such, which is what it is made for. Dropbox is well-known, I would assume, but just in case someone does not know it yet, it is a file-syncing service, which puts your files in the cloud and makes them (readily) available on every device you have installed Dropbox on. (more…)

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F1 – Predictions for 2015

Formula One Grand Prix of AustraliaThe pre-season tests have concluded, and the first practice is upon us, less than 24 hours away at the time of writing. This post will be my predictions of the 2015 F1 season, based on testing times, stuff I have read, and gut feeling. Also, at the end of the article, I give my championship predictions.

I think that this season will prove to be more exciting than last year’s, in the sense that I believe there will be more teams fighting for victories than last year. There were only two teams last season that won races, being Mercedes and Red Bull. However, based on testing times (which of course do not say a lot), I think that Williams, Red Bull and Ferrari have managed to make the gap to Mercedes smaller, which should provide for some exciting races.


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F1 – Pre-season Test 3 1

Formula One Grand Prix of AustraliaThe third test has concluded, so now the time has come to do some more speculation on what we might expect the coming season. I am expecting a very exciting season and am very much looking forward to it.

This is just a small post with some team information and statistics. I am going to try to put in a post with my predictions for the season, before the first race.



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F1 – Pre-Season Test 2

Formula One Grand Prix of AustraliaThe second test has concluded, so now the time has come again to speculate, and speculate some more 🙂

By merely looking at the time sheets, it seems that this season will be a much closer battle between the teams than last year. Especially Ferrari seem very fast, and appear to have made a good step forward.

The biggest shock of testing was the crash of Fernando Alonso, of which we do not know what caused it. All reports say it was a strange crash, but it seems that Alonso “only” suffered a concussion.

Max Verstappen did a really good job, and I think that he is showing the potential to really impress this year.


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