Why I’m For Twitter’s 280 Character increase

On November 7th, 2017 Twitter announced they were increasing the character limit on tweets from 140 to 280 characters. The internet tends to be resistant to any kind of big changes so not surprisingly a lot of people complained. Personally,  I say that it is about time!

Twitter has never been the best place in sharing certain views, especially complex geopolitical situations and that 140 character limit can be extremely frustrating. There have been plenty of times where if that limit were increased just a tad bit it would’ve made my tweeting immensely easier.

So you might be asking yourself, if you want to elaborate on something further than just setup a blog and write about it there. That’s definitely a good alternative but unfortunately writing blogs can take awhile and sometimes you just don’t have the time to do that. For example, if you’re on-the-go then it’d be a lot easier to quickly express things in 1-2 tweets.

The old limit of 140 characters was roughly about 1.5 sentences and doubling to 280 now makes it up to 3. Really… you can’t be bothered to read up to 3 sentences? In my opinion if your attention span is that short, then perhaps the issue is less with Twitter and more with you? Just something to seriously think about it…..

Site Owners – Support Net Neutrality (here’s how)

On July 12th, 2017 there will be a massive show of support for Net Neutrality.

 

Sites from across the web will display a prominent alert on their homepage that shows the world what the web will look like without net neutrality. There are “spinning wheel of death”, “blocked”, and “upgrade” alert modals; plan to use the one that best fits your site to encourage users to send a letter to the FCC and Congress in support of net neutrality.

To use these, you need to embed a bit of javascript in the header of your site. Click here to try them out, and then be sure to grab the code on GitHub.

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Upgrading RAM and Hard Drive for Toshiba L455D

I am working on computers again and wanted to share the fixing and upgrading of this Toshiba Satellite L455D. It came with Windows 7 (32-bit) and part of the upgrade involved removing viruses, fixing the registry, defragging the drive, BIOS update and removing lots of bloatware. Last but certainly not least the RAM was doubled from 2GB to 4GB and replaced an ancient hard drive (5400rpm) with a solid state drive. 🙂

It was so bad it took around 5 minutes to simply boot up into the desktop. Plus, when I tried doing a re-assessment of the Windows Experience Index score it failed to complete! Afterwards, as you can see in the video it boots up a lot faster!

 

Percy Pilcher – 19th Century Aircraft

I was watching a very interesting documentary a few days ago. Most of us probably don’t have a clue as to who Percy Pilcher is but he was an aviation pioneer during the late 19th century. He built some of the world’s first hang gliders and made a bit of a name for himself at the time. His biggest creation was he was in the process of building the world’s powered aircraft. Unfortunately he died in a crash when demonstrating one of his earlier gliders and never managed to finish the project.

A century later some aviation experts obtained his blue prints and thought the craft had a lot of potential. So they set out to finish his project to see if it would work. If Pilcher had not died in that hang glider accident he could’ve very likely built the world’s first workable aircraft before the Wright Brothers by about several years.

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One of the coolest vending machines I’ve seen

Something I saw a while going about my normal day and couldn’t resist recording a video. I’ve never seen a vending machine so large and with so many different items for sale. Besides having candy and soda it also carries everyday grocery items as well. I’d go so far to say it’s an automated convenience store. Advanced drones and robotics is the path western society is steadily going towards. It started of with those unmanned Predator drones, now Amazon will be delivering packages via drones and soon there will be unmanned taxis via Uber and Lyft.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojw6ndyjknw&w=560&h=315]

 

Update: Yep I was right on it being more of an automated store and some are bigger than the embed from above. They’re made by a company called Shop24 and after a quick image search a few have been branded under major retail chains.

Supermoon – Space Probe Style!

Many people myself included went out to watch the supermoon. It’s dubbed this because not only of its larger size on the far horizon, but the moon is closer than it’s been since January 26th, 1948. Unfortunately I went outside a little too late, also I didn’t have the proper camera lens to get a good shot of it anyway.

 

After heading back home I went on youtube and found an old video stream of the Japanese Selene probe orbiting the moon. At first I thought it was a 3D animation because the stream quality was so vibrant and rich looking. It is in fact real probe footage though its been edited and looped. I found watching this to be far more satisfying and the background music really added a dreamy vibe to it. Enjoy!

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9P-n-yvJy4&w=560&h=315]

The Rise of OuterNet

We’ve all of course know about the Internet but recently there has been the development of Outernet. It’s been dubbed as the ‘library in the sky’ as it is meant to freely provide vital information in areas of the world where internet is scarce or non-existent. This will benefit people living in an areas hit by a major natural disaster, war-torn countries or trying circumvent censorship.

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Differences between VPS servers and Docker containers

For years VPS has been a great middle-of-the-road server option and will continue to have a place for years to come. You get the best of both worlds as far as performance and price is concerned.

The picture below is an excellent visual showing the differences between Type 1 & 2 hypervisors (VPS) and the newer Docker containers people are steadily going for. If you’re a newb then basically the fewer layers on the stack is better when it comes to using less resources. So the Docker container on the right is clearly the direction to go.

However, that does not necessarily mean a docker will be the best choice for you. Both VMs/VPS and Dockers have their trade-offs. Whatever you’ll be using it for, then learning all the pros and cons will help you determine which works best for you.

 

crash-course-in-cloud-computing-10-638

Accessing The Outernet (Tutorial)

This is an excellent guide from rtl-sdr.com on all the hardware and software needed in gaining access to the Outernet. The cost is relatively inexpensive for about less than $100 and there are also guides on how to build your own patch antenna if you chose not to buy one. You also don’t necessarily have to use a Raspberry Pi3, you can run it on a Windows/Linux system though support is limited (at the time of this writing).

I shall put a link to the original article at the bottom and the tutorial begins immediately down below.

 

RTL-SDR TUTORIAL: RECEIVING AND DECODING DATA FROM THE OUTERNET

Outernet is a relatively new satellite service which aims to be a “library in the sky”. Essentially their service is going to be constantly transmitting files and data like news and weather updates from geostationary satellites that cover almost the entire world. Geostationary means that the satellites are in a fixed position in the sky, and do not move over time. By simply pointing a small patch antenna at the sky (with LNA and RTL-SDR receiver), it is possible to download and decode this data from almost anywhere in the world. Their aim is to provide up to date information to users in locations with little to no internet (rural, third world and sea), or in countries with censored internet. It may also be of interest to disaster preppers who want an “off-grid” source of news and weather updates. It can kind of be thought as a kind of one-way download-only internet service.

 

Continue reading Accessing The Outernet (Tutorial)