Twitter RSS feeds are a free ad-free way to follow specific Twitter accounts - No wonder Twitter disabled them years ago

Date Published: Wed, 13 Mar 2019 20:41:20 +0200

I still find a free RSS reader a more efficient way to follow lots of news updates from various sources. It's cleaner than 50 e-mails per day or trying to visit separate sites etc. So although Twitter has discontinued their built-in RSS feed there are various services offering 3rd party RSS feeds for any Twitter account.

With social media sites like Friendica you can still directly subscribe to follow any Twitter account but they also allow you to add an RSS feed as a contact to follow - nice, the way social media sites should all be!


#RSS #twitter

Launch & Abandon Trap – Why Innovation Fails - “Leadership announced our new innovation initiatives at the company-wide meeting but then I didn’t hear another word about it”

Date Published: Wed, 13 Mar 2019 13:43:20 +0200

Over the years I've some very public announcements by CEOs (one even on a public platform from a major ISP) and yet when the waters were tested with innovation ideas.... zero. The ironic thing for me was that my suggestion to the ISP became a reality about two or three years later

Personally, I gauge such announcements by whether there is some institutional support mechanism put in place to measure and monitor such activities (and not just a count of what was submitted for KPI measures).

The linked article expands on four steps to avoid launch and abandon innovation: Unlock, Ignite, Access and Sustain.



YouTube Premium launched in South Africa includes Google Play Music but seems to exclude YouTube Original Movies

Date Published: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 23:17:05 +0200

YouTube Music has been integrated with Google Play Music, and if you are a Play Music subscriber, you will automatically receive a subscription to YouTube Music Premium. What is interesting about this is I recall paying a lot more for Google Music Premium a year back. YouTube Premium brings not only ad-free viewing but also the ability to download songs and videos for offline viewing.

YouTube Music Premium is available for R59.99 a month, or R89.99 per month for a Family Plan. A free trial of YouTube Music Premium is also available through the YouTube website.

YouTube Premium is available for R71.99, while the Family plan is R109.99 per month. A Family subscription allows up to six members to share a single subscription. All family members must be 13 or older, have a Google Account, and reside in the same household as the family manager.


#youtubepremium #southafrica

Forget Everything You Think (Thought, Will Think?) You Know About Time - Carlo Rovelli's Fascinating Hour-Long Lecture On The Nature Of Time

Date Published: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 23:06:49 +0200

Rovelli challenges our common-sense notion of time, starting with the idea that it ticks everywhere at a uniform rate. In fact, clocks tick slower when they are in a stronger gravitational field. When you move nearby clocks showing the same time into different fields—one in space, the other on Earth, say—and then bring them back together again, they will show different times. “It’s a fact,” Rovelli said, and it means “your head is older than your feet.” Also a non-starter is any shared sense of “now.” We don’t really share the present moment with anyone. “If I look at you, I see you now—well, but not really, because light takes time to come from you to me,” he said. “So I see you sort of a little bit in the past.” As a result, “now” means nothing beyond the temporal bubble “in which we can disregard the time it takes light to go back and forth.”

Rovelli turned next to the idea that time flows in only one direction, from past to future. Unlike general relativity, quantum mechanics, and particle physics, thermodynamics embeds a direction of time. Its second law states that the total entropy, or disorder, in an isolated system never decreases over time. Yet this doesn’t mean that our conventional notion of time is on any firmer grounding, Rovelli said. Entropy, or disorder, is subjective: “Order is in the eye of the person who looks.” In other words the distinction between past and future, the growth of entropy over time, depends on a macroscopic effect—“the way we have described the system, which in turn depends on how we interact with the system,” he said.

What a fascinating and thought-provoking talk. I really love these types of talks that shake up the way you look at the world.

See… where there is also an embedded copy of the video.


Share up to 2.5GB of Files at Once (for Free) with Firefox Send

Date Published: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 22:43:04 +0200

Yes, there are Dropbox and other file share services but this is pretty quick and simple, can work without registration (up to 1GB), will auto delete after a week, and is end-to-end encrypted. It works fine with other browsers too.

You'll probably want to bookmark the link to remember it.

See… and you'll find the file share at


10 Surprising Facts About Nancy Drew (and The Hardy Boys)

Date Published: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 22:18:27 +0200

Although I read many of The Hardy Boys books in my later youth (my school discouraged reading Enid Blyton and these books so I had to catch up on them a later) I just picked up one about two months ago to read. But I had never really scratched under the surface of the series' and this article sheds a bit of light on "who" Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon actually were.

See… and some facts on The Hardy Boys at…

#nancydrew #thehardyboys

How badly are we being ripped off on eyewear? Former industry execs tell all - Some markups up to 1000% and no market competition

Date Published: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 22:34:10 +0200

Charles Dahan knows from firsthand experience how badly people get ripped off when buying eyeglasses. He was once one of the leading suppliers of frames to LensCrafters, before the company was purchased by optical behemoth Luxottica. He also built machines that improved the lens-manufacturing process.

“There is no competition in the industry, not anymore, Luxottica bought everyone. They set whatever prices they please.”

The company’s owned and licensed brands include Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace. Along with LensCrafters, Luxottica also runs Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical, as well as the insurer EyeMed Vision Care.

When he was in the business, in the 1980s and ’90s, Dahan said it cost him between $10 and $16 to manufacture a pair of quality plastic or metal frames. Lenses, he said, might cost about $5 a pair to produce. With fancy coatings, that could boost the price all the way to $15.

I was really shocked a few years back being lured into a prescription glasses company with a base price that was not too expensive, but once I had opted for the anti-reflective coating, the multi-focal lenses, the darkening lenses, etc the price had doubled. Years late now I've just not bothered to go back and get newer ones as I'm just not paying that price again.

It's probably why I also see more and more online prescription optometrists appearing where you can at least shop and compare from the comfort of your own home. If you have your eye test prescription results any qualified optometrist should be able to help you. The prices are much cheaper online and many sites even have a 3D video preview with your own face (they guide you on how to record a selfie-video - mine was done in 30 secs and then showing all glasses on my own face).


#LensCrafters #spectacles

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa offers online climate risk profiling tool

Date Published: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 22:04:31 +0200

Launched on Friday, the Green Book is an applied knowledge resource that forecasts to the year 2050, by providing quantitative scientific climate change projections to determine the impact it will have on towns and cities across SA.

The development of the Green Book is a three-year project commissioned by the Canadian International Development Research Centre. It combines the expertise of researchers in climatology, demography, disaster risk sciences, environmental sciences, geography, informatics and urban planning.

The open access, online tool helps municipalities identify and assess which existing adaptation strategies are most valuable for building resilient settlements.

"The Green Book aims to assist decision-makers in the local government sphere to better understand the consequences of climate change, and how to respond to it. It has various sections, such as a story map, risk profile tool, background information section, etc," says CSIR senior researcher and project lead, Willemien van Niekerk.


#CSIR #climate

Massive growth in open source adoption in 2018 according to Liran Tal, author of a report published last month by open source security company, Snyk: The State of Open Source Security 2019

Date Published: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 21:58:40 +0200

The report draws on information from several public and private data sources, including a survey of over 500 open source maintainers and users, published reports by a variety of vendors, and data gathered by scanning millions of GitHub repositories and packages on public registries; and internal data from the Snyk vulnerability database as well as hundreds of thousands of projects Snyk monitors and protects.

"We've seen big technology players doubling-down on open source in 2018. In every registry we reviewed, we saw an increasing rate of open source libraries being indexed in every language ecosystem," Tal said.

"Open source package growth translates directly into user adoption, as can be seen when looking at the download numbers for various packages in different ecosystems," Tal explained.

More interesting insights at… but don't miss the caveat at the end about mitigating the vulnerabilities.


New Firefox extension “fx_cast” in beta release lets you Chromecast videos from Netflix, YouTube, and more

Date Published: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 21:50:50 +0200

For all the functionality that Google Chromecast brings to the table, casting content from browsers other than Google Chrome isn’t one of them. Google officially supports streaming content from Chrome’s browser tabs to Chromecast, and even makes it dead simple to do so. All you have to do is click the 3-dot Chrome Menu icon and select “Cast..” However, if your browser of choice is not Google Chrome, you were out of luck.

A new, open source, experimental Firefox extension called fx_cast brings the ability to cast from Firefox to Chromecast. The extension implements the Chrome Sender API and exposes it to web apps to enable cast support. You do need a bridge application on the OS (Windows, Mac, or Linux) to handle communication with receiver devices. Once both are installed, all you have to do is click on the new cast button that has been added to the toolbar, and you should be able to start casting content from websites as well as videos from YouTube and Netflix right from Firefox itself.


#chromecast #firefox

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