Category: Computing (Page 1 of 5)

DuckDuckGo Privacy Policy

Now if only more Internet companies were like the search engine, “DuckDuckGo“:

Their Privacy Policy is simple:

We don’t collect or share personal information.
That’s our privacy policy in a nutshell.

Nice. Simple.

I do like the completeness of Google, however as the majority of Google’s revenue ( close to $16 Billion in Q2 2014!) is generated via ads, they collect and compile a TON of information on your search/browsing/email habits in order to sell very targeted adspace to their customers.

Maybe I don’t want to be a packaged product. Or maybe I don’t care. Or maybe I like the eerily spot-on ads that show up in my browser. In any case I like choice so there are times I will choose to DuckDuckGo. Plus, the name is cool.

Finally? DuckDuckGo likes me more than Google. A search for “Hooded Hawk” on DuckDuckGo results in my site being the first hit! On Google, is on the third page of results. With all that Google tracks from me, they should at least know my own website! Phhhhht.

Amazon, eBooks, DRM and Monopsony

Charlie Stross (author) has an excellent blog entry about Amazon’s ebook strategy. Great article: I love it when I read something interesting, and learn something – such as Amazon as a “monopsony“.

While I knew what a monopoly was (there is only one seller to many buyers), the term “monopsony” (where one buyer has many sellers) was new to me. It also appears to be new to my spellchecker, which keeps trying to change it to “monopoly”. Right. Amazon has made itself both a monopoly and monopsony. Go read Charlie’s blog.

And he’s with me regarding DRM (which must die if publishers are to live; again, read his blog):

I won’t actually advocate violating license terms and conditions, but I’ll cop to doing so myself (insofar as if I buy a DRM’d ebook, I think I’d be mad not to strip the DRM and make an archival copy strictly for my own future use).
-Charlie Stross, from What Amazon’s ebook strategy means

What he said!!

Apple is the world’s most valuable company


Apple, the world’s most valuable company, hit the $600 billion level for the first time Tuesday.

-Washington Post

*sigh*. I can remember when the stock price was ~$5.00 back around 1996 or so, and I’m fairly certain it hit a low around $2.00 prior to that. Now it’s over 100x higher (at $600/share)! Hindsight…

I Like Speed-Even if it’s from Verizon

Right. Last Wednesday some Verizon workers were installing/burying my neighbor’s fiber cable, and they (I assume inadvertently) damaged/cut/frayed ours. Ick. Call to Verizon Wednesday night basically resulted in a work order for MONDAY, 8a-12p. No way they would get here sooner. I called Friday to confirm. Yes, still on. Monday came around, 12:30 hit, and no Verizon. I called, and after 30 minutes on hold (I am patient :) ) I got a live person and they basically said, oops, looks like the dispatch was cancelled. Great. They set me up with one for today, between 8a-8p, but “no guarantee someone will come”. Again, great.

Anyway, a technician showed up this morning, and laid new fiber. He called me to let me know he was on his way around 9:15a, and then called once he was done. The new fiber line is laying on the ground, and it “may be some time before it can be buried”. That’s an understatement as the neighbor’s fiber has been exposed for months. Still is (I have no idea what the heck they buried last Wednesday).

Due to the strike, it appears Verizon is calling in techs from, er, far away. The tech who fixed our problem was “on loan” from Verizon California. His business card even has a CA phone number. It appears that he will be around awhile, as he said to call him if an issue arises and he’ll come back to fix it.

I have to say, that we have had no problems with Verizon FIOS in the several+ years we have had it (Internet/TV/Phone). I’ll forgive them the delay in fixing the issue as they have a strike on their hands, and all the actual people at Verizon I have spoken with have been courteous and professional. But if I have to wait months to have the cable buried and it gets damaged in the interim (or when they bury it!), I’m not gonna be happy. At all.

So how is the service now? Just great (back to normal): 30Mbit download and 18Mbit upload, to a server 3000 miles away, on the left coast!

Network download/upload speed - from server 3000 miles away

(speed test is via’s Speed Test)

Backing up a Million files. Really

Time Machine backup

Time Machine backup

Yep, that’s how many files a fresh backup of my main machine contains. And I’ve excluded a bunch that I don’t need to backup. Apple’s Time Machine does seem to work well for me so far, even allowing me to swap out backup disks so I can keep one offsite (just in case). Now to let ‘er rip overnight.

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