How to optimize your phone, tablet, and PC in general
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Ever since Steve Jobs held his two revolutionary presentations: one on January 9, 2007 for his iPhone and the other for the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 the world has been looking for the next best thing.
Steve Jobs had this extraordinary synergy of thought and the fortuitousness of being in the right place at the right time. His rival and also competitor Bill Gates had amazing focus, attention and foresight into the world of technology at hand as well.
It is truly amazing what has been accomplished in the last 40 years of technology. Moore’s Law anticipated massive explosive changes that would completely revolutionize the world, but could it have predicted also the evolution of human thinking and knowledge that we humans would have now compared the 1950s and 1960s when humans were still at war for basic liberties? Time will surely tell whether we continue to evolve our minds and hearts or whether we will continue to pander to the lowest common denominator and basest desires.
We now have full computers in our pockets. Our millennials and Gen X,Y,Z have grown into this world knowing nothing but having technical marvels and miracles in our lives. But do we know how to truly optimize the technology so that we are only transmitting and receiving what is needed? Here are some of the things to know about your cellphone, tablet, laptop or computer.
First, as someone that has missed the boomer and Gen X era, the time has passed and the train has long ago left the station whereby I or most anyone could change the state of computing technology fundamentals or the infrastructure which most of society now uses. Had I or anyone else been born a few dozen years ago we might have been able to change protocols, GUI’s and design hardware and software differently. But now we are relegated to using big platforms. The Windows and Apples of the world, etc. That’s not terrible, but it’s still not great either We and the next generation can still decide who we patronize and who we decide to be customers to and what software we install and use.
Really quickly again, according to DifferenceBetween.com:
Gen X are people from 1961 to 1980.
Gen Y is roughly 1981 or 1982 to 2004. The Gen Y are also known as the millennials.
Gen Z are the people following millennials. According to BusinessInsider they are the centennials and also known as the iGen, having been brought up with the Internet and social media.
Why am we speaking to each generation? Quite frankly, this new generation has grown “soft” using technology without having the opportunity to debug and fix problematic hardware and software as much. They have not dealt with programs that repetitively have crashed and people haven’t had as many BSOD’s and hardware failures. The software and hardware has improved to such an excellent and efficiency of quality that a person can do daily work on the device without having to feel bottled in and throttled. Whereas the previous generation had bit rate and baud issues with modems, and OS instabilities and limited technology of having to use monochrome monitors and clunky hardware and somewhat unreliable software, our generation cannot stand waiting for more than about 30 seconds. It takes too d*** long. But that is not necessarily the primary issue.
Yes, a lot of businesses now use very reliable hardware and software. We no longer have to deal so much with tape back ups and Jazz and Zip tape backups if you remember those. Most of us are even using SSD’s and flash memory hardly even touch CD media these days. If you were born in the last decade you would see an audio cassette and even wonder what those are for. Many industrial grade production environments and servers will still rely on these antiquated technologies either because 1) it’s reliable 2) too costly to upgrade 3) hard to upgrade on the fly after all these years and dollars invested. In fact, I’ve even been in business environments where accuracy and high fidelity of data was needed, but many times when retrieving customer data or prints or accessing the large mainframe databases the system decided to go kaput! – especially at the most inopportune times. If using software was like driving a car, there would be a lot of people injured and maimed. One big former CEO may have been quoted referring to their operating system as luckily not crashing like cars, but it sure doesn’t seem like we invest enough in our technology the way we should when we base so much of our working environments on them.
As a point of contention, here are some poignant things that need the new generation should consider.
1) We need to continue to innovate our own technologies and not become lax and so complacent that we accept the products given us. This point is so important it is the primary basis for this whole article. As Steve Jobs once said: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. We need to take the needs and desires that we want to accomplish in our technologies and NOT SETTLE for the current technologies we’ve been given. Yes we have the big G company and the big blue social media friend sharing technology that we spend hours of our day on. And we sometimes think that this computer is good enough to get me by through this point in life or college etc. But we should always be helping our fellow computer programmers, next gen developers and security experts to continue to further our technology. It doesn’t matter if you’re a white hat or black hat computer user, we all should be disatisfied with our current state of computing and continue to push forward. Technology and computers should be an industry we continue to innovate, redo, recycle, and even sometimes reinvent the wheel because it needs to evolve and stay competitive.
The biggest sticking point lately is the obsessive over reliance on existing broken technologies. For example, in 2019 massive privacy violations and breaches were broadcast on the news and subject to inquiry in the States and also in many countries including the European Union. Yet we continue to do business and our daily apps are so thoroughly INTEGRATED with these technologies that we can’t think to break the chain. Why are we linking everything to a G+ or FB account? Why are we letting them have continue background ad traffic in our apps? Why are there several network pings and continue traffic to G-content and FB ad servers when all I want to do is connect and check stocks or use a dating app? Well it all comes down to money, monetisation… and control.
Well, Gen X,Y,Z and etc… You’re rolling over and letting THEM build a wall around you. There’s a saying that a frog will allow itself to be boiled if the pot heats up gradually enough and that’s what is happening with the tech we have. We need to keep making our own versions. Apple did a stupendous and commendable job with its integration of all existing technologies and big G did a good job of bringing similar competitive open devices to the market. But we cannot rest on our laurels and let any one company or country decide what technology the entire world uses. This is actually a problem that’s bigger than commerce and capitalism. It comes to choice and we should always have the freedom to choose the broadest options possible of what we want. If that means products that don’t contain ads or spyware or backdoors, then it should be available.
That’s fine, I will go to another site for other content… As Richard Stallman predicted, we’re trading privacy and our rights in technology and we’re not even aware of it. It may be temporarily convenient but it’s costly. Remember when it was revealed that everyone’s cellphones were being tapped a few years ago for “the greater good”? It created such a scandalization that social media was abuzz and everyone had an opinion about it. And last year the “Analytica” privacy event was also in the news for many months. Or do you remember the solicitation for a “weakened encryption” in a major cellphone carrier in order to help solve crimes. Many things like this will continue to be pushed temporarily to the forefront of news but unless we teach this stuff in history books or computer classes, our next generation will allow freedoms to be encroached upon. Remember when a whole group of people were “interned” due to being in the wrong place and wrong time in history such as in Hawaii? Remember when a precious metal was no longer allowed to be owned for a period of time and had to be turned over?
Recent events in the news like the Coronavirus pandemic have people wondering about freedoms again. Were we thinking of the protests in France or in the Middle East or on Wall Street or HK when they were happening? No most of us were probably sitting at home scrolling through their social media safely at home and eating burgers and drinking a soda away from everything. And it’s all about control and money is why the cycle exists. At the end of the day we go to work and depending on your job you continue to push and peddle bad policy because it gives you money with which to buy food and spend on family. But you won’t think of that when you’re in the moment caught up in world events. It gets caught on cam, there’s a short buzz for a few months and then people move on to the next cycle of news and other injustices.
This article is to let you know as a technology user you don’t have to settle or choose to patronize the services out there. Another case in point, most people now rely on major internet service providers or cable companies etc. They have gotten so big that you can’t really cut the cord and go anywhere else. And the little guys and small business owners have no way to compete. That’s why the antitrust and antimonopoly laws are also important to give smaller guys and businesses a fighting chance to be in the industry and pursue their dreams and visions and bring out competing products. If they are inferior, sure the market will decide, but competition and choice absolutely needs to be there.
Think of the Microsofts and Apples etc. We adore these companies and have admiration for what they have done and also given rise to other industries and jobs. Yet, on the other hand you could reasonably argue that to try to make another Microsoft or Apple now would be next to impossible unless you were well connected, had a lot of cash and virtually unlimited resources. This might entail a state-sponsored backed company, which by virtue brings other issues. But we’ll talk about that shortly. The other way to compete with these companies would be to harness the power of the world and all its population and intelligence. This came about with projects like open source and free libre projects and Linux / BSD origins. The only way to compete with these monolithic giants including the big G is to have everyone improving and developing and contributing to code and hardware, 3D printer projects, getting into the entrepreneur development process and cranking out projects to improve what’s out there. So basically it’s a company with many hundreds of thousands of people competing again thousands of people from around the world as well as hobbyists within and without the very same companies. The products do show many fine developments that are not entirely refined, but highly competitive and comparable. And many if not for patents and copyrights or closed proprietary license might be able to match completely the commercial equivalent products or outperform.
The other thing to know is that state sponsored backed projects can kickstart a lot of major revolutions. For example Darpa and many military grade projects helped improve space technologies, developed the early infrastructure for the internet, and piloted AI projects. They are essential for the development of humanity. They after all have way more monetary resources than a typical entrepreneur or small business could afford. Space and flight technologies are good examples. This is the positive side. But we must keep a vigilant eye to not let any single entity become too powerful or too singular in thinking. That’s why multi-national competition and rivalry is important. Countries competing tit for tat in a non-physical manner actually helps product creation and improvement as goods and services are fought over for the best kind and as they say, “may the best man win”. We want stellar excellent products and don’t settle for mediocre.
Even as the pandemic is raging still on the news, people are competing for the best products, the best toilet paper and best products to stay alive and support their family and survive the next guy.
So what again, does this have to do with technologies? Well: WE CAN DO BETTER. And they say don’t reinvent the wheel may contradict this but it also depends on the circumstances and you have to think and use your mind to find the right time to do it.
What does this generation need to work on?
1) Battery life – We should consider going back to offering expandable removable batteries. Yes you can get waterproof phones, but a good case can solve this. Do we really need thinner smaller phones? Time has shown that we actually want bigger phones. The Note 3 was a great phone and also had a built in stylus. I miss that phone.
2) Encrypted messaging – We need to have the ability to send messages securely. You should have a couple of these on your phone. Heard of OMEMO and XMPP? Also make sure it’s E2E and try to not have phone # attached. Consider P2P and distributed technologies. We don’t spell everything out every detail here cause you’re smart enough to look it up.
3) Firewalls to limit network traffic. Copious use of this great technology to monitor ad traffic and limit connections to your device are encouraged. Did you know FB, Goo… and many other companies are pinging your account continuously? Have you ever used privacy managers and apps to find “trackers” and monitor wireless signals and packets and traffic coming and going from your device. You should and you would be amazed at how many connection requests are coming and going from your device. For example, a commercial SMS/texting app we tested let you accumulate daily points and click on ads for free minutes and watch videos, but at the cost of a lot of privacy invasions. We monitored it for a few hours and whereas most apps only had one or two continuous connections, this app had over 200 separate connection requests including to ad servers and cloudfront and other AWS servers etc. If you realized how much stuff is spying on you, you would be less likely possibly to use these programs and review app permissions and ask for data policies to review. Oh right, most people don’t review permissions much less read terms and conditions….
4) Encrypted traffic, proxies and VPN’s.
Make sure that your traffic can’t be read by anyone… Encrypted tunnel and encrypted messages. It isn’t that you have anything to hide. It’s that you don’t want data to leak. We can’t stress this enough. Lot of people wait till they are hacked, data compromised, and have breaches to wait to protect their data. And what does the industry do? All they can do is retroactively monitor their accounts and hope and pray that their data isn’t used maliciously but by then your data is sold and across the globe. You can do everything in your power to safeguard information and security correctly but still be at the mercy of a company that doesn’t safeguard or encrypt your data correctly or protect your information. I’ve worked at a company before and seen people through lists with people’s names into the trash can instead of shredding them and heard of people mixing personal data (coincidentally of an adult nature in this case) with business. And this business was responsible to maintain HIPAA compliance but if they were this lax in mixing data, think about what could happen if a human is transferring your data at some remote server. Don’t give the opportunity for a breach to happen. Encrypt it and use some barrier. You wouldn’t have one night stand without some sort of birth control protection, am I right?!
5) Storage and data back up — encrypted drive… and extra copies. The biggest breaches happen because people just don’t back stuff up. You can never have enough extra copies in safe places, plain and simple. Redundancy and safety is the key. I’ve heard people able to bypass airgapped electronics using power supply frequencies according to some tech site (maybe Slashdot) to theoretically access data but the best practice currently is to keep separate backups. Perhaps two onsite and one offsite or even an old fashioned paper copy. It all depends on your needs and don’t use this formula I wrote here in case someone else figures out your own personal security measures. If you don’t mention it, it’s not there. Mums the word. And make sure to detach storage when not in use to keep from accidentally overwriting or corrupting them.
6) Alternate accounts – Make sure to isolate and not cross contaminate accounts… use VMware. Also don’t cross contaminate interests and accounts and dont reuse accounts. For example burner accounts are good practices.
7) Beware of backdoors. A few years ago it was speculated that a big entity offered to pressure certain software to allow access into its development. This allowed certain authorities to get access under the reason of preventing or stopping maliciousness. Many years have gone by and many big companies have had to work with the state etc. It’s not entirely far fetched that a state actor could engage in cyberwarfare for one – Stux… And at the other end there have been recorded instances of states hoarding and collecting zero-days for backdoor and cyber warfare. At this point in time, there are so many complexities in software and hardware as well as flaws in certain architectures such as the MeltDown / Spectre vulnerabilities that most likely if you’re a high profile candidate someone can get in your computer or device if they want to. But you don’t want to just leave the door wide open though.
Be careful that some software will install trojans basically. I’ve seen many apps on App Stores turn out to bundle other packages that gradually allowed more and more permission access and then end up causing vulnerabilities to worms and malware. For example Android had one time a discovery that some original provided software on some systems came already with vulnerabilites. But this is the same with any system… you will need to periodically patch and update. You could look for old hardware or new hardware but there are always pros and cons. And so if you’re in a different part of the world what I’m saying is don’t automatically choose one country’s software or hardware architecture just because they are a big brand name or from one of the biggest or wealthiest countries. Perhaps it’s time to develop your own.
8) Rooting your device… This is a great too. I means being able to see everything and gaining access to everything which can be good especially if you know what you’re doing or trying to do but also bad if you’re a newbie. My recommendation is when you are first starting out to learn the basic default settings and then as you get more comfortable you will want to tweak and customize and adjust settings. Many a computer guru just took things apart and tinkered until thinks broke, bricked, or busted. If you own the device and it’s been exhausted and you have saved your data and want to “trick out your ride” then go ahead and void that warranty and tweak to your heart’s content. Don’t be afraid to learn the innerworkings of anything.
9) Alternate Internet – There is an amazing hidden world out there. (i2p, weblob, npm, pip, yarn, irc, gopher, deep web, etc). Go explore. Don’t be afraid of becoming a content creator. Many moons ago we OG’s started out with green screen terminals and harken back to DOS and reading textfiles and playing with Yahelite and AOL and DOS and other goodies. Many forget BBS and telnet and all the ways to communicate. While I appreciate the Instagrams and Snapchats, Bitchutes, LBRY and Youtubes and other content, I’ve also seen blockchain based content that hopes to be an internet 3. I can only dream how much rich content will be out there if we don’t shut it all down. RIP Yahoo Messenger, AOL chat, Beanz and ad bars and early free internet Net Zero. There will surely be more new better services out there. Keep creating and I’ll keep spending hours browsing and couch potatoing it looking at a bright screen.
The final part of this article will aim to try to globalize some of our site’s themes. This site is developed out of the desire to create smarter, wiser, globally conscientious individuals that can live a good healthy life and be financially well off. When I was younger I wasted much time pouring over eye candy and video games and graphics and watching videos and stuff that didn’t contribute to my development for business entrepreneurship. Although as Steve Jobs stated, looking back and connecting the dots the things I learned helped me formulate the thought patterns and curiosity and openness today. So if I had a chance to create content for a younger self it would be: to open awareness, consider less self-imposed rituals and limiting beliefs, and spend more time learning and engaging in self improvement and content development.
We aim to create translations for our site visitors to allow engagement because being savvy is not limited to any country or boundary. And in the end it’s a change that affects not just ones self but must affect and be sent out to others as well. Overall it raises global consciousness and the world around us. Thus we will attempt to feature alternate and global technologies and translations whenever possible. (Of course I will botch some of the language myself, my apologies in advance).
Pour mes amis Français:
1) Il faut utiliser les autre technologie pour rester compétitif.
Par example, utilise moteurs de recherche alternatifs. N’utilise pas les grands. Si possible, n’utilise pas encore le grande “G”. Ne supporte pas le bleu F.
2) Décentralisation: c’est important!
3) Virtualization. You don’t have unlimited computers so try to use virtualization and emulators.
(Fr: La virtualisation. Vous n’avez pas un nombre illimité d’ordinateurs, alors essayez d’utiliser la virtualisation et les émulateurs.)
Für meine deutschen Freunde:
4) Use translators to help you find stuff.
(Ger: Setzen Sie Übersetzer ein, die Ihnen bei der Suche helfen.)
Suchmaschine / Search Engine
There is no reason to just base your searches on your local language. You can expand your searches so you can 1) study what’s actually going on in a different part of the world including local stories and news. 2) see what the literal words written from people there rather than filtered through someone else’s pen.
For example, let’s take metaGer for instance just at random. It’s a German search engine that has mainly German results also known as “Deutsche”.
Using a reverse translate one can find “Suche” as the equivalent as “Search” so Websuche and Suchmaschine turned up as possible equivalents to look things up.
Alternate translation services to the big G:
Are there more, if so… Let me know and comment below.
Additional helpful online translation words:
télécharger = download
chercher = to search
ordinateur = computer
ouvrir = to open
Übersetzer = translate
Speichern = save
herunterladen = download
anzeigen = show
kopieren = copy
Hintergrundbild einrichten – set as background
Due to this pandemic and closure more people will be poor as of result of this mass illness. Currently in the U.S. 36 million are unemployed. If you were already struggling then you’ll be poorer. If you were barely making it a $1200 check isn’t going to help forever and I’m surprised how many people are going to food lines. We can only keep advancing our minds and help improve our health if we are financially stable and have basic necessities.
The next generation of development of digital media and digital currency, AI, space travel can only happen if everyone is already having their basic necessities met and not struggling to make ends meet and pursue the daily rat race.
Society is about control. The more entrenched we are to any particular system the harder the addiction to its “services” is and the more reinforcement we have to perpetuate the cycle. When we try to escape the route and ingrained infrastructure there is often punitive feedback just like when we were younger: If you don’t do this you don’t get this, you don’t get an allowance or you don’t get to have your reward. There are consequences. Many capitalistic and socialist forces are at play.
Digital money is occasionally viewed as odds with the ability to keep the power centralized and seizable. As with this or any other existing medium or infrastructure there will be advocates and crititics. But the power to have choice will allow no single dominion to control everything. And the point of decentralization and choices also allows for no single point of failure.
The future is malleable and changeable. We don’t have a train course headed to an invitable Skynet that’s undefeatable, rebootable and self-resurrecting. We don’t have a One-Infinity-Loop / artificial intelligence & secret gov contract scenario. But we do have our human creativity and vast amounts of mental productivity. If we can evolve from single celled organisms and adapt over millions of years, our society can survive a pandemic and also our errors in technology involving limitations of freedoms, censorship, and reverse tech development. We just need to have the choices, options, and education in order to see the path so we can choose that next best thing.
ELI5 but ELI millennial (Gen Y)