My parents are very generous people. Their successes in life are definitely due in part to their work ethic, but there is also an element of just being in the right place at the right time. For this they are very grateful and so they share their prosperity. Don’t get me wrong here. My parents are not sitting on piles of cash and diamonds, but the amount of money they put into charity would shame most of us. It’s probably more than a lot of us earn in a year.
I’d like to think they have rubbed off on me quite a bit in this area. Giving is in my nature. I don’t have a whole lot of money, but if I can give a couple hours of my time or the shirt off my back I would. Still, there are some places where a man must draw the line.
My parents watch a Korean television station for one particular drama, which I think takes place in feudal Korea. It’s funny because we’re not Korean and they rely solely on the English subtitles, about which my dad has said, ” I don’t really read those. I can get the gist of what’s going on with the tones.” At first it was all fine and dandy. I would give up the television as the hour approached. That’s what sharing is about, but now it’s been taken too far.
Both my parents have found the show streaming online. My Internet usage comes to a crawl when their marathon viewing sessions take place. They don’t even watch together on the same computer. They will sit in different rooms watching the show, using twice as much bandwidth. Do you know how hard it is to pirate new albums before they hit the shelves or full length feature films before their theater release when you have two computers streaming video on your network? Just kidding RIAA and MPAA.
Everyone has had a shower where there just isn’t enough water pressure. This is just like that, only slightly more serious. My files are stuck to me, not able to be rinsed away. It’s beginning to sting in my eyes. I’m not crying! I have soap in my eyes!
I could rewrite the firewall rules so they can’t connect to the site at the same time, or maybe this is my cue to check into Internet rehab.
You haven’t seen much online activity from me lately. For the past three days I have been training a new employee to fill my position in the office. Unfortunately, once I have him trained, I will be taking on more management affairs as well as moving into outside sales. My rule over the Internet may have finally come to an end. So this is the impending doom that is being grownup. It sucks. Maybe I should be training this new guy to handle my Internet duties. I could have a ghost blogger. He could also manage my instant messages and Twitter. It’s not like the writing quality would go down. How could it possibly get any worse?
There has been a lot of talk about GTD. It’s a thought process on how to manage tasks efficiently. There have been many different tweaks to this idea and lots of software written to put the practice on the computer. I’ve found yet another task management flowchart that might be useful to you guys.
Click for the full sized version.
As I type this from my work laptop, I realize that a lot of us would love to use our Macs 100% of the time, but unfortunately the sad truth is that Microsoft has a pretty good hold of the corporate market. So while you’re stuck on your Windows machines for work, you can make the best of it with a few applications I’ve come across.
Every time you take your hands off the keyboard to use your mouse or track pad, you are losing efficiency. Keeping your hands in one spot allows you to be more productive, whether it’s actual work you’re doing or chatting. I’ve talked about one keyboard launcher before, but here is another one. Qliner hotkeys is an application launcher, but it goes a step further than most other application launchers. Rather than being text-based, it has a very simple visual interface so you can keep track of your shortcut key binds.
If you are absolutely married to your mouse as an input device, there are some good mouse-based application launchers. We all know the Start Menu is absolutely worthless when you have a lot of applications installed. You have to look at a long list, which takes a long time, even when filed alphabetically. The Quick Launch toolbar built into Windows is also useless if you need to launch anything with a generic icon. Just try and figure out which document template you are trying to launch out of the half dozen you might use daily. You have to hover over the icon and wait for the name to appear. Stop wasting your time. Take a look at STabLauncher.
The last thing I want to share with you is not for work productivity. It’s for the productivity of your sanity. It’s an old game I used to play. Have yourself a break with Desktop Tower Defense.
Hundreds of thousands of people raced. I ended up in 25th place with my ranking going to 11th place at times. Still, I am a loser, not because I didn’t plast first. It was more the fact that I wasted a week of time playing this game that I knew I had no chance of winning. I even drafted my cousin, who is on summer break, to pick up on flying when I was at work and sleeping.
My ranking keeps dropping every minute. I have no idea how to fly my balloon. As long as I am not last, I am satisfied. Surely there is someone out there that isn’t even playing and is stuck at the finish line.
Get your copy now. Clickie Clickie
When surfing the Internet, I’ve always been free to use up as much bandwidth as I wish, because my parents just check email and browse text websites with a few images. Recently my parents have been discovering the awesomeness that is Internet. Now we fight over the bandwidth. My mom is constantly uploading her photos to her web album while watching violin concerts on YouTube. My dad has recently found out how to stream National Geographic documentaries. On top of having cell phones that use our Internet connection, things have slowed to a crawl. This is not good at all. How am I supposed to use the Internet as it was intended, to download porn? I think I’ll have to throttle my parents bandwidth at the router. Then they’ll be none the wiser.
Well, if you have been reading any news lately, you know that five undersea cables are out of commission in the world, all surrounding the Middle East. There are reports of limited to no connectivity in some areas. Fortunately it does not affect the United States. At first people thought that the cables were cut by boats dragging anchors, but there were no boats in the area, according to officials. Plus, you’d have to have some super boat to drag an anchor from the Mediterranean Sea, to the Persian Gulf, and finally to Malaysia. Something fishy is going on here. Some are speculating that someone is trying to isolate Iran from the world, but that’s all conspiracy theory at this time. Can you imagine how crippling this is to economies that rely on the Internet? No one would be getting technical support from India!
While this doesn’t affect us in the states, I began thinking what this would do to us if the United States had its cables cut. Most of the services we use are hosted in the states as well, but I’m sure some are outsourced to other countries. After I realized my web server is hosted in the United States, I stopped worrying. You would all still be able to get to my website. Plus we could finally say racist things about those people that live you know where.
When the Internet first came around it was designed for communication. Email was the first big innovation. With email you could send information to anywhere in the world instantly. After email came instant messaging, popular with the younger generation. New ways to communicate with people were faster and cheaper.
Half a decade later the big push was commerce. Online stores popped up everywhere, and deal and coupon sites followed. They were going to allow consumers to purchase from their chairs at home for no additional cost. Convenience of a department store from the comfort of your home was what was advertised. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work all the time and people overextended their businesses. Everyone was so caught up in the hype that they never stopped to figure out how to ship a single 50 lb. bag of dog food for free. In the end, only a few major players survived the crash.
We’re currently in an Internet phase, where the distribution of knowledge is a major push. Wikipedia sprung up to be a one stop website for all kinds of information. Countless other wiki websites have popped up for more specific topics. Content aggregation sites like Digg and Reddit jumped into the limelight to bring news stories, funny images, and videos from all over the web into a single spot, where they were easily accessible. Now, no matter where content is posted on the Internet, there is an easy way to get to it.
With this knowledge distribution, some new events have come to light. A group, calling itself Anonymous, has decided that knowledge that should be shared includes unearthing misleading practices. They have waged a public war against the Church of Scientology, which is quite secretive about its practices that have been the target of a lot of bad publicity. Feeling that the groups should be exposed, Anonymous has launched a distributed denial of service attack on the Church of Scientology and hacked to obtain internal documents and videos, which are now circulating on the web.
While I don’t agree with using illegal practices to achieve these goals, I do like the end result. Perfect information is an impossibility, but the more aware people are, the better decisions they are able to make. People will be able to make more informed decisions on voting, on purchasing products, and on just about anything they encounter in life.
You still can’t stop stupidity, but the Internet seems to be in a phase to stamp it out as best as possible.