The case for a QGIS ICO

The best time to launch a QGIS crypto coin was five years ago. The second best time is now.

The way to fund open projects like QGIS has changed. Soliciting corporate sponsorships and individual contributions is so 2010. In 2020 crypto is here to stay. QGIS should launch its own crypto token on the Ethereum blockchain or on the Binance Smart Chain (or on both) ASAP.

The QGIS.ORG Association is incorporated in Switzerland — the “Crypto Silicon Valley” — so they are already halfway there. The tools to create and launch a token make the process so easy that anyone can do it.

I have been a QGIS user since 2010, and I love the project. I have derived value from the QGIS project, and I want to support the team. I would gladly buy and hold QGIS coins, and I imagine I will not be alone.

Just do it already!

Why I use the Brave browser

Update 2020-11-12: The Brave referral program is winding down. If you downloaded Brave from my referral link, thank you!

***

Update 2020-08-23: The BAT payout has dropped significantly in the last two months, even though my usage/behavior has not changed. YMMV.

***

Update 2020-06-30: I am still very happy with Brave, which I use everywhere (including in lieu of apps like Twitter and Facebook). If you care about your online privacy, downloading and using the Brave browser is the least you should do.

***

First off, a disclosure: If you use my referral link to download the Brave browser, I will receive a small amount of BAT as a reward (until 2020-11-23, at which point the Brave referral program gets discontinued). But this is not why I write this. I write this because I got tired of giving the individual spiel to friends and family, the spiel being that there’s no reason to not use Brave, or at least to not give it a try.

My Brave home page

My Brave home page

I have been using Brave since its public beta in 2016 — long before the referral system was in place — although I didn’t make it my default browser until the 1.0 release in late 2019. Brave is now the default browser on all but one of my devices. Here’s why:

  1. Brave is like Chrome without the Google trackers. Brave blocks all third-party ads and trackers, which makes it faster and protects user privacy.
  2. Brave is based on the open-source Chromium — just like Chrome, Edge, Opera, Samsung browser.
  3. Brave comes with its own built-in cryptocurrency token — the Basic Attention Token (BAT).
  4. Brave gives users the option to view privacy-respecting ads, for which users receive BAT. 
  5. Web publishers can receive BAT tips from Brave users, which is an easy, seamless way to reward the websites you like. This blog and my Twitter are Brave-verified publishers.

Some Google services (like Google Translate) do not yet work with Brave. I still use Chrome for all Google services like Gmail and Drive and Docs — they require a Google account, so blocking trackers there is pointless. For everything else I use Brave.

Between ads and tips, last month I received 136.9 BAT (about $22.78). What is BAT good for? You can save it, or you can spend it. You can tip your favorite web publisher. You can convert it to other crypto denominations like Bitcoin, Ether, or XRP. You can convert it to US dollars and buy stuff with it (I tipped a web publisher and bought two ebooks from Amazon).

You are sitting at home, bored out of your mind, with time to burn. How about you try something different? Come on, jump in!

The way it is

A recent invite to participate in a geo-podcast caused me to go into a long-overdue soul search about my current stage in life, particularly as it relates to my online presence. This is what I “discovered” about myself:

My interests have changed, as have my priorities. While I still make a living in GIS, that’s all it is presently — a living, not a passion. Second to family, cycling and cryptocurrency are what interests me these days, not shapefiles or PostGIS. Cycling and crypto is what I blog about, not mapping. I read fiction, not FOSS documentation. I have scaled back my social media presence — reading little, posting even less. To the extent that I do post, Strava and Instagram have all but replaced Facebook and Twitter. I no longer keep a Twitter follower count. Private communication channels have mostly replaced my public social media exchanges.

With so many things around me having changed in the last few years, I have also changed. I see this as neither good nor bad (for only “thinking makes it so”). It’s just the way it is.

2020 for 2020

UPDATE 2020-11-14: Done.

2020 for 2020 2020-11-14

2020 for 2020 2020-11-14

2020 for 2020 Strava stats 2020-11-14

2020 for 2020 Strava stats 2020-11-14

***


UPDATE 2020-06-13: Yesterday I inched up ahead of the curve, meaning that I got 45.84% to my goal 44.81% into the year. NerdsЯUs, I know…

2020 for 2020 2020-06-12

2020 for 2020 2020-06-12

***


After having plateaued around 1,500 miles per year for each of the past five years, I aim to ride 2,020 miles in 2020. This is both a physical (I am not 17 anymore) and logistical (full-time job) challenge. A challenge I welcome and embrace, for it helps take my mind off all the craziness that surrounds us. Call it mental escapism.

So while the rest of the world worries about the coronavirus and politics and toilet paper shortage and Bitcoin crashing, I’ll be thinking about ride schedules and training schedules and bike tuning and nutrition and rest. I’ll be making charts and graphs. I’ll be listening to ABBA and Billie Eilish.

You should join me, even if only in spirit.

2020 for 2020 2020-03-14

2020 for 2020 2020-03-14

Keeping it interesting, two months later: My cryptocurrency adventures

A couple of months ago I started playing with cryptocurrency. Small amounts. Just for fun. I didn’t expect to get rich or anything. Two months later I report that yes, it is fun, and no, I didn’t get rich.

Details:

  • I now have cryptocurrency holdings in three denominations: XLM, BTC, and BAT. Today the combined nominal value of all my holdings is under $100.
  • Since my initial venture into crypto my holdings’ value has fluctuated up and down by about 10%. At the time of this writing I am down about 5%.
  • Moving crypto around is not free. Fees vary.
  • I still haven’t tried to cash out. I am in the process of obtaining a crypto debit card, which will allow me to spend my BTC online and offline.
  • The Brave browser (my default) lets users earn BAT by viewing ads. In just over a month, running Brave on all my devices, I have earned 22.35 BAT, valued at $4.30. In month #2 I am already up to 50 BAT, and the month is not over yet.
  • I tipped one web publisher 10 BAT.
  • Nobody has tipped me yet (other than myself, as a way of depositing BAT into my account).
  • It turns out Peter Thiel is a Brave investor. Make of this what you will.

SUMMARY: It is still interesting, like an online game — a great escape from the daily tedium. It is not a money maker (for me at least, yet). I am not planning to put fiat currency into crypto — not at this time, anyway.

Reading

[UPDATE 2020-11-02] Not updating this list anymore.

***

Books I have read (or listened to) since returning to book-reading in 2018, in (mostly) reverse chronological order. Date next to each entry denotes date finished (or abandoned).

  • “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World” by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott, et al.
    • Presently reading.
  • “Jack Reacher’s Rules” by Lee Child ★☆☆☆☆ 2020-10-12
    • I am embarrassed to have read this “book”, which is just a compilation of “guy stuff” clippings from other Reacher books. Stuff like “He was in no imminent danger of winning the Nobel Prize but definitely smarter than the average bear.” and “Female police officers carry handcuffs, which can be handy in bed.” How was Lee Child not embarrassed to publish this? Whose idea was it? I love the Reacher series — good writing, interesting plots. But this “selection” is the worst of the worst.
  • “The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, Book 10)” by Lee Child ★★★★☆ 2020-10-11
  • “The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking” by Saifedean Ammous
    • Presently reading.
  • “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System” by James Rickards
    • Presently reading.
  • “Thinking, Fast and Slow” 🕪 by Daniel Kahneman
    • Presently reading.
  • “The Litigators” by John Grisham ★★★★☆ 2020-09-02
    • Solid Grisham.
  • “Robicheaux” by James Lee Burke ★★☆☆☆ 2020-08-24
    • Abandoned.
  • “Bloody Genius” 🕪 by John Sandford ★★★☆☆ 2020-10-01
  • “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham ★★★★☆ 2020-08-17
    • A lawyer diploma mill scam. Quote: “It’s perfect! It’s beautiful! It’s one great big fat law school scam that’s risk-free. If we default the taxpayers pick up the tab. Rackley gets to privatize the profits and socialize the losses.”
  • “Masked Prey” 🕪 by John Sandford ★★★★☆ 2020-08-17
    • A Lucas Davenport case. Good to listen to during commute.
  • “Echo Burning” by Lee Child ★★★☆☆ 2020-09-11
    • Standard fare Reacher novel. Skimmed through the last 20%.
  • “Running Blind” by Lee Child ★★★★★ 2020-07-03
    • One of the better Reacher novels. Having read most of the Reacher novel series (in random order), and having been disappointed with Lee Child’s recent product, I was pleasantly surprised by this early (2000) work. Well thought-out, well researched, well written.
  • “Murder on the Orient Express” 🕪 by Agatha Christie ★★★★★ 2020-07-08
    • Back to this gem from the queen of mysteries, some 40 years later.
  • “Rogue Lawyer” by John Grisham ★★★★☆ 2020-07-30
    • First Grisham novel in a long time. Enjoyable.
  • “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” 🕪 by Agatha Christie ★★★★☆ 2020-07-09
    • Never read this one before.
  • “Persuader” by Lee Child ★★★☆☆ 2020-06-06
    • Too many words. 544 pages is unnecessarily long for this type of novel. I skimmed through the second half.
  • “The Never Game” 🕪 by Jeffery Deaver ★★☆☆☆ 2020-06-06
    • Abandoned at 25%.
  • “Without Fail” by Lee Child ★★★★☆ 2020-05-28
    • Good novel, overall, with a few oddities: Reacher explains himself too much, uncharacteristically. Reacher wears a watch, despite having an impeccable internal clock elsewhere in the series; phrases like “near as makes no difference”, “laughing up their sleeves”, and “time to time” (notfrom time to time”) appear several times throughout the novel and nowhere else in the Reacher series. Such oddities solidify my suspicions — first arisen by the very poor “Past Tense” — that not all novels in the Reacher series were written by Lee Child himself.
  • “Code of Conduct” 🕪 by Brad Thor ★★☆☆☆ 2020-05-27
    • Abandoned.
  • “Smiley’s People” by John le Carré ★★★☆☆ 2020-05-15
    • Surprisingly, this John le Carré novel did not draw me in as I expected. Too drawn out, too descriptive. Or maybe I have become less patient… Abandoned at 66%.
  • “The President Is Missing” by James Patterson and Bill Clinton ★★☆☆☆ 2020-04-19
    • Lightweight + didactic = annoying combination. Abandoned.
  • “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” by Horace McCoy ★★★★★ 2020-04-16
    • Reading this novel some 40+ years after I saw the film was simultaneously inspiring and depressing. I devoured it in two days. 1935 mood same as 2020 mood… “[…] the first existentialist novel to have appeared in America” –Simone de Beauvoir
  • “A Delicate Truth” by John le Carré ★★★★☆ 2020-04-14
    • Private-intelligence service. Military contractors. Politicians. Money. Cover-ups. “So it’s a good old British compromise: a deniable toe in the water but not the whole foot. And me and the boys, we’re the toe, like.” “It’s another merc job, Brigid. Makes you wonder sometimes who starts the wars these days.” A sheer delight, even if somewhat naïve, considering everything that has been happening in the world since the book was published in 2013.
  • “The Sicilian” by Mario Puzo ★★☆☆☆ 2020-04-11
    • A forced, weak attempt to replicate the success of The Godfather. Abandoned.
  • “The Last Don” by Mario Puzo ★★☆☆☆ 2020-04-10
    • A forced, weak attempt to replicate the success of The Godfather. Abandoned.
  • “The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds” 🕪 by Michael Lewis ★★★☆☆ 2020-05-13
    • Picked up on a friend’s recommendation. An interesting — if needlessly long — account of the collaboration between two brilliant scientists, their contributions to the field of mathematical psychology, and the dynamic of their symbiotic relationship.
  • “The Honourable Schoolboy” by John le Carré ★★★☆☆ 2020-04-14
    • Surprisingly, this John le Carré novel did not draw me in as I expected. Too drawn out, too wordy. Or maybe I have become less patient… Abandoned.
  • “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu ★★★★★ 2020-05-20
    • Delightful. You don’t have to be a Chinese immigrant in America to understand, appreciate, enjoy, love this warm, thoughtful, witty, beautifully written narrative.
  • “Annihilation” 🕪 by Jeff VanderMeer ★★★☆☆ 2020-03-06
    • Clever sci-fi novel, whose elaborate descriptions of EVERYTHING — though masterful — felt a bit too elaborate for me. The whole thing could have been a novella, a short story even. It could also be that I am not all that much into sci-fi in general.
  • “Blue Moon” by Lee Child ★★★★☆ 2020-03-01
    • Back to Lee Child and Jack Reacher, after getting over my serious disappointment with one of Child’s recent Reacher novels. This one is so far so good. It appears that Child has bounced back from his recent slump (or whatever else caused him to put out sub-par work). // This is good writing. It is amazing, almost inexplicable, how Child’s writing quality can vary so greatly from Reacher novel to Reacher novel. // Hmmm… Albanian gangster using phrases like “opportunistically and treacherously”? I will withhold further judgement until I finish the book. // A good Reacher novel. Interesting plot twists — some predictable, some not. Above all, it’s good to have back the Child I knew (who seemed to have gone missing in some of his recent works, most notably “Past Tense”).
  • “Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances” by Neil Gaiman ★★★★☆ 2020-03-14
    • Came for the short fiction, found disturbances. Abandoning for a lighter fare, for I have enough disturbances in my life as it is.
  • “Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody” by Joe Canzano ★★☆☆☆ 2020-02-21
    • I bought this book because I wanted to support the author — a friend whom I know as a musician. I didn’t know what to expect from his writing. Fifteen pages into the novel I am hooked. Fast-paced sci-fi action amid witty dialog, taking place in the (not-so-distant?) future when the United Mexican Union is one of the nine nations on Earth. Quote from page 16: “He obviously wasn’t expecting anyone hostile, like a dentist.” // 90 pages into the 295-page novel the wisecracks and the one-liners begin to wear thin. I put the book down. Maybe I’ll get back to it and finish it at another time.
  • “Charting and Technical Analysis” by Fred McAllen ★★★★☆ 2020-02-16
    • First book bought with Bitcoin. Actually, first-ever Bitcoin purchase. // Learning about stock trading and charts and trend lines and patterns and TA (technical analysis), and forecasting, and lemme tell ya: Voodoo is much more scientific than any of that. But I will finish the book, and I will use my new-found knowledge in my cryptocurrency adventures. // I abandoned the book on page 114, at 43%. The book is written at a 9th grade level, which is probably what its target demo is. I bought this book because I wanted to make sense of the mumbo-jumbo on crypto Twitter, in which I became suddenly, (and briefly, as it were) interested. I also wanted to buy something with Bitcoin, and this book was a perfect candidate. It did its job for me, and gave me what I was looking for. I may return to it if and when I decide to become a day trader or swing trader. For now, I am just a HODLer.
  • “Finders Keepers” 🕪 by Stephen King ★★★★★ 2020-02-22
    • First King book in a very long time. // A well-woven story about an obsessive literary fan, with all the crime and drama and suspense and characters King is known for. It kept me looking forward to my commutes.
  • “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams ★★★★★ 2020-02-12
    • What took me so long to get to this book??? Quote (this is science fiction written in 1978, mind you): “Only six people in the Galaxy knew that the job of the Galactic President was not to wield power but to attract attention away from it.” Also: “There are of course many problems connected with life, of which some of the most popular are Why are people born? Why do they die? Why do they want to spend so much of the intervening time wearing digital watches?” Also: “It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
  • “Stealth” by Stuart Woods ★☆☆☆☆ 2020-01-21
    • A new low on my list. A wealthy NYPD detective owns an estate in the UK across the river from the estate of the female director of MI-6, with whom he has sex. He next has sex with an attractive female doctor, who is also an MI-6 agent. Russian paratroopers arrive during the night on black parachutes. Abandoned the book on page 56. Should have abandoned it sooner.
  • “Camino Island” by John Grisham ★★★☆☆ 2020-01-20
    • Rather bland story set in the world of books, writers, booksellers, and stolen F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts. Main takeaway for me: the advice of a seasoned bookseller to a young novelist about what not to do in her novels. Not Polonius-level stuff, but interesting and potentially useful nonetheless.
  • “The New Girl” 🕪 by Daniel Silva ★★★★☆ 2020-01-24
    • The obligatory filler notwithstanding, this is one of the better and more interesting Silva books in the Gabriel Allon series. Loosely based on the killing and dismemberment of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the author fictionalizes the events leading to and following the murder, with an interesting twist of events.
  • “Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread” by Chuck Palahniuk ★★★★☆ 2020-01-10
    • Having belatedly discovered transgressive literature, I was both fascinated and disturbed by this collection of short stories. I didn’t finish it. Definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. ‘Zombies’ is a gem.
  • “The English Spy” by Daniel Silva ★★☆☆☆ 2020-01-12 // 🕪 
    • Presently reading. I am having trouble finishing this one, either because I have little interest in the Northern Ireland / UK / IRA conflict, or because there’s just too much filler. // Picked up this novel again as an audio book, to listen to during my commutes. // Paused.
  • “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan ★★★★★ 2019-12-24
  • “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” by Hank Green ★★★★★ 2019-12-10
    • Futuristic sci-fi with present-day characters. Sheer delight.
  • “The Heist” 🕪 by Daniel Silva ★★★☆☆ 2020-01-04
    • Like most Daniel Silva novels, this feels unnecessarily long.
  • “Permanent Record” by Edward Snowden ★★★★☆ 2019-10-31
    • This book did not tell me anything I didn’t already know or suspect, yet it caused me to reassess and alter my online behavior. The first ⅔ of this book is brilliant and dense, then things trail off in the last ⅓. Everyone should read this book, regardless of their personal opinion of the author.
  • “Die Trying” by Lee Child ★★★☆☆
    • I am having trouble finishing this one. Unnecessarily wordy, it feels as if the author is getting paid by the page. Maybe I’m just getting tired of Jack Reacher.
  • “The Black Widow” 🕪 by Daniel Silva ★★★★☆ 2019-12-10
    • Israeli uber-operative Gabriel Allon discovers, follows, and neutralizes an Islamic terrorist cell. Good for four weeks of commuting.
  • “Agent Running in the Field” by John le Carré ★★★★★ 2019-11-25
    • John le Carré’s latest novel, masterful as always. However, as someone who has read most (all?) his work, I can’t help but feel that he is running out of material.
  • “The 14th Colony” 🕪 by Steve Berry ★★☆☆☆ 2019-11-08
    • Bloated. Why is every recently-written fiction / adventure book over 400 pages? Do authors really get paid by the page? So much filler…
  • Gathering Prey
  • Neon Prey
  • Golden Prey
  • False Friend
  • False Witness
  • “The Mission Song” 🕪 by John le Carré ★★★★★ 2019-09-26
  • “Our Kind of Traitor” 🕪 by John le Carré ★★★★★ 2019-09-03
  • “A Legacy of Spies” by John le Carré ★★★★★ 2019-08-15
  • “The Pigeon Tunnel” by John le Carré ★★★★★ 2019-08-04
    • A beautiful collection of true stories as experienced and told by a field operative thinker
  • Death of an Honest Man
  • Death of a Kingfisher
  • Death of a Liar
  • Death of a Ghost
  • 61 Hours
  • Personal
  • Not a Drill
  • The Christmas Scorpion
  • Death of a Maid
  • No Middle Name
  • Never Go Back
  • High Heat
  • “The Fourth K” by Mario Puzo ★★★☆☆ 2019-05-18
    • Mario Puzo does a political thriller. It’s OK, but I keep waiting for the mafia to show up and it doesn’t.
  • Enlightenment Now
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
  • Nothing to Lose
  • The Affair
  • The Murderer’s Daughter
  • Motive
  • Killer
  • Guilt
  • Victims
  • Deception
  • A Wanted Man
  • “Past Tense” by Lee Child ★★☆☆☆
    • The poorest of all Reacher novels. I strongly suspect it was not written by Lee Child himself but by a novice ghostwriter. Many similar sentiments appear in Amazon reviews.
  • Bad Luck and Trouble
  • Jack Reacher: One Shot
  • Worth Dying For
  • Make Me
  • Small Wars
  • The Enemy
  • Night School
  • Deep Down: A Jack Reacher Story
  • The Midnight Line
  • Gone Tomorrow
  • Killing Floor
  • “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie ★★★★★ 2018-12-16
    • I first read this half a century ago in Bulgarian. It was called “Десет малки негърчета” — “Ten little negroes”. I have since read it many times in English as “Ten little Indian boys”, “Ten little sailors”, and now as “And Then There Were None” — the publishers progressively yielding to the PC demands of the day. Regardless, this is a superb mystery, and I will probably read it again in the future.
  • “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie ★★★★★ 2018-12-09
    • I first read this half a century ago in Bulgarian. It was called “Алиби” — “Alibi”. I have since read it many times in English. A superb mystery from the queen of mysteries. Allegedly Christie wrote this novel as a response to a friend’s claim that murder mysteries are transparent and it is always apparent who the murderer is.
  • Judgment Cometh
  • A Crime of Passion
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Blood Money
  • Reasonable Fear
  • Injustice for All

Future reading:

  • “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr
  • “Indistractable” by Nir Eyal
  • “The Looking Glass War” by John le Carré
  • “The Ministry of Fear” by Graham Greene
  • “String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis” by David Foster Wallace
  • “Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture” by Johan Huizinga
  • “Bitcoin Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich
  • “Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain” by David Gerard
  • “Tao Te Ching”

Confronting my technological prejudices

I have always been superficially prejudiced against all things Apple. When a seasoned technologist friend announced switching from Android to iPhone, I was curious. I asked him why. It was illuminating for me to hear his reasoning, which I present to you below.

***

When I saw that my friend Bill Dollins — a long-time Android and Linux guy — is now an iPhone user, I was somewhat surprised. I wondered why he switched. I swiftly jumped to my own conclusions about his reasoning. Then, realizing that my conclusions were probably colored by my own biases (they were), I decided to just ask him. Bill agreed to entertain a few questions.

AT: Bill, why did you switch from Android to iPhone? I thought tech people use Android as a badge of honor. I thought Apple products were for artists, celebrities, and the VP of Marketing.

Bill: Working in an Apple shop allowed me to learn more about their products than I would have on my own. My primary reason has become privacy and security. The contrast on these issues between Google and Apple is stark. Apple takes these issues much more seriously for individuals than does Google and it is evident in technical and business choices they have made. 

For example, Apple’s smart home technology, HomeKit, doesn’t specifically require internet access, though some individual devices may. They do things like video processing via a HomePod, which can be disconnected from the internet. These are functions that Google or Amazon offload to the cloud, so connectivity is required. This design choice means that HomeKit doesn’t yet have a video doorbell option, so it can “slow down” feature development when compared to Google or Amazon. I’m okay with that.

The iPhone takes a similar approach. Like Android, it has a location history feature. Unlike Android, the history and all related processing remains on the device. There’s no centralized Apple cloud where it’s being stored along with everyone else’s to train some machine-learning algorithm.

I should note that I haven’t done anything yet with HomeKit myself, but I am considering it. My information comes from my Apple consultant, James Fee.

Having said all of this, I know that no technology is perfect. Zealots of Googlism or Amazonism will certainly nitpick anything that I have said here. That’s what block buttons are for.

AT: Where do you stand on the Windows / Linux / Mac divide for desktops and laptops?

Bill: My primary desktop machine, which I use daily, is still a System76 Ubuntu machine. My MacBook is company-issued and mainly used for specific work tasks and for when I travel. Windows has been the big loser for me.

AT: I used a MacBook once, years ago. I remember apps performing an elaborate dance on open and close. It made me dizzy, and I thought it was childish. I haven’t touched one since. Do Macs still do that?

Bill: I haven’t noticed that since I have been using a Mac. One thing I did notice is that some Mac idioms, such as two-fingered touchpad scroll, exist on more modern Windows machines alongside the older Windows idioms. I have an older Windows laptop that doesn’t support it, but I haven’t looked closely to see if that’s because of the generation of the hardware or of Windows. I’m not really concerned about it enough to investigate.

AT: Don’t tell anyone, but I have been thinking about an iPhone for a while, mainly as a means to distance myself from Google. I haven’t done it yet because I am concerned that my reputation will take a hit. What say you to that?

Bill: I will defer to the expert on this topic: Joan Jett. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO6YL09T8Fw

Keeping it interesting

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I started playing with cryptocurrency. Not to Get Rich Quick™, or to hide assets, or to do something illegal. Just to Keep It Interesting, to avoid stagnation and complacency.

A confluence of circumstances made this possible. One, a small amount of “crypto” fell in my lap. Two, the Brave browser (which just came out of beta) comes with its own crypto wallet, and allows users to “tip” verified content creators directly from within the browser. I decided to use my XLM to tip a content creator, and participate in this New New Economy.

I got my free crypto in Stellar Lumens (XLM) via a Keybase Spacedrop. Since Brave’s native token is BAT, I needed to move some XLM to BAT. The process I found wasn’t very straightforward, but totally fit the bill for “Keeping it interesting”. With no direct conversion (that I could find), I moved some XLM to BTC, then the BTC to BAT. With the BAT in my Brave Wallet (powered by Uphold), I could (and did) tip content creators. Bingo!

Further — in the name of Keeping It Interesting — I set this blog (and my Twitter) as a Brave Verified content creator, so Brave users can tip me. Just for fun.

What’s the point of this exercise? For me — just a fun alternative to sitting in front of the TV. What’s the point of this post? To encourage my readers to give this crypto thing a whirl. It’s fun, it’s not that complicated, and it keeps it interesting.

***

[UPDATE 2019-12-10] If you download the Brave browser from this link I will receive some free BAT from Brave (until 2020-11-23, at which point the Brave referral program gets discontinued).

Let’s all go back to blogging

I’ll go first.

I went for a bike ride yesterday. Nothing new, except this time I allowed myself to break away from the pursuit of performance metrics (speed, distance, etc.), and focused instead on the journey (autumn, sun, cool air, trees). What a difference! I still hit some decent numbers, but that was secondary.

Here’s a pic from a break I took along Canal Road and the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Franklin Township, New Jersey:

Autumn_biking_on Canal_Road