Cryptocurrency Isn't The Future But Whatever It Evolves Into Is - Now Is the Time To Learn What It Is

I recently bought into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies after participating in a chat with friends who were more knowledgeable than I ever will be with technology and where things are headed.  And the more I read and hear them talk about it, I realized a couple of things.  In terms where the future, it's moving fast.  I think some of our current geopolitical problems stem from just fast our society is evolving and some if not most of us not being able to adapt to changes.  Second, cryptocurrency is still in the early stages.  It feels like something that will never stop changing.  That is the nature of digital money and how it is use.  And there are more than one use for crypto than just paying for goods and services.

We don't need to know everything there is to know about everything.  This is true with crypto as with anything else.  We do need to know a little about it so we don't blindly walk into it without a clue at all.  It's like when you visit a new city. We know where the major tourist attractions are and perhaps a few hidden gems only the locals know about.  There is no need to know every back alleys.  You would not want to anyway.

Knowing what a blockchain is and how it fits in crypto is important. We just don't need to really know how it works.  Knowing a little about it comes with some peace of mind in knowing that all that zeros and ones do mean something and can have value.

Having listened to my friends, I decided I should spend a few hundreds dollars and get in on it.  And it's definitely not enough to get rich off of is but it does help me understand more about it. And it has lessen the anxiety I had in the beginning.  It was around that time when ethereum was hacked only once or twice but three times around the time I send Coinbase my couple of hundred of dollars (The Hacker News).

As I learn more and more about it, I'll share what I learn and hope that it helps you as well. And if you find what I learn is wrong or that my explanation is in error, I would greatly appreciate correction. After all, I feel my blog is about moving forward together with all the readers.

I do think that one thing is certain.  Bitcoin is what we have today but because of its changes, the crypto market will evolve further as more people begin to use it, sparking innovation in this market.  What innovation?  I have no idea but I can't wait to see.

So, I would relay what I do with my 0.1 bitcoin if anything at all.  Maybe I'll buy more.  Maybe I'll get into others as well.  Who knows.  What I would not do is make suggestions that anyone spend their hard earned money on crypto.  I want there to be some level of objectivity and trust between us. What you do with what you learn here is up to you.  Above all, staying informed is what I want for all of us.

Being Able To Retire Versus Deciding To Retire: Either Way, Bravo

Here is an interesting article from CNN about a woman who is married, having saved up $2.25 million while her husband still works, decided to retire. Raise an family and in her own words, just "live" life for the rest of her time here.  Some thinks that's cool. Other do not.  No matter how you look at it, it's about choices and priorities. 

I think I like to explore more about life choices from here on out - after all, many of us share our life choices in social media like Twitter and Facebook as well as chat apps like Snapchat.  So we are constantly bombarded with choices, ones we make as well as those of our "friends", folks we follow, and those who follow us. 

Regardless of her circumstance and how she was able to make such a butt-load of money and retire at such a young age (some have argued she's not really tired since she still has a husband who is making money and has his own savings), she made a choice to save - might even say she made sacrifices to get there.  One reader remarked that she was spending money and partying when she was this woman's age.  Since then, the reader has also made her own choices to saving up her own $2 million for her own retirement.

But these can hardly be called sacrifices since choices we made move us in one direction, away from lives that we could have lived, for better or worse, and down a path that we will have to live with. 

So, this woman decided saving her income was the best use of her resources, forging parties, perhaps eating out, etc., and how she has the ability to to make some choices perhaps many of us cannot because we don't have two million bucks sitting in our checking account. 

Question now is should be brand new young retiree be looked up to.  Sure, I think so - up to this point.  What happens tomorrow and the choices are an entirely different circumstance.  It's unlikely she could move to Colorado and smoke marijuana for the rest of her life but, hey, that's her choice too.  Not one I'd make.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that she'll find a way to make her life more interesting than that.

So, bravo. 

Security: Prankster Got Senior Gov Officials To Reveal Personal Emails and Punked CEOs

Source:  CNN.

If President Donald Trump were to tweet about this, it'll be one word:  bad!

Apparently, a prankster going by @SINON_REBORN got White House officials into think he was the president's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner.  And the person whom he got the personal e-mail from was none other than a Homeland Security advisor.  You can head to CNN to find out his name but, more importantly, these guys are clueless.

These guys are supposed to safeguard our homeland after all.  The thing is that this happens all the time to ordinary Americans.  Ordinary citizens of most countries I think.

But just to show how easily even educated men and women (in the CNN story, it's all men by the way) could be tricked into thinking they're talking to someone they know - keep reading the whole article.  It involves the chief of staff (fake one) and the communication director who got him fired and was later fired today and apparently, his e-mail exchange with the prankster had something to do with the level of tension in the White House staff.

Oh, and also involves a Trump getting pranked.

Here's the thing, be careful who you exchange messages and information with.  A lot of time, all it needs is a little common sense because this small amount of thinking could go far in safeguarding yourself against a phishing attempt or a benign prank like this one.

Here, I got the ball rolling and googled it for you.  It's worth it.  Today, cyber thieves are just a few clicks away from knowing a lot about you and with a little acting and experience, they can become you and do a lot far worse than this British prankster.

Twitter Might Not Be Growing In User Base But It's Importance Is Undeniable

In the latest financial quarter, Twitter reported earnings that most of us would think is pretty good.  Twitter made money (non-GAAP).  Yeah!  Right?  Well, apparently, in the financial world where metrics are created that most of us won't use or care about, it is not enough.  Sure, I would live to see Twitter at 1 billion users to rival Facebook but at least with its present business model, it's not to be the case.

Still, it's impact has not diminish or stagnanted since the 2016 US election.  If anything, it's impact on American politics continues to impressively be disproportionate to its size.  And it continues to grow with President Donald Trump in the White House.  Why just last week, Trump announced what sounded like policy when he "decreed" a ban on transgender military service.  Of course, while he tweeted it, it was not policy directed at the Pentagon.  Trump has yet to direct the Secretary of Defense to issue the order to the military.

Nevertheless, to millions and the media, it sounded liked official policy.

Of course, you still have celebrities, pundits, and still more politicians take to Twitter to let their thoughts and feelings be known.  The media is not reporting what is unveiled on Facebook, Goole+, or press releases.

And it's on Twitter where discussions from users are being tweeted and retweeted by its more than three hundred and twenty-five million users.  Eventually, it'll get to half a billion and on to a billion.

Once Twitter acknowledges that it should stop worrying about what Wall Street thinks and focus on its users, new users will come.

iPhone Plus Versus the iPad Mini - The iPhone Plus Ain't the Same As A Small iPad

Most who follow Apple closely will agree with me that it was disappointing Apple did not upgrade the iPad mini along with the rest of the iPad line.  Most predict that Apple will eventually let it go the way of the iPod now that the iPhone Plus screen is big enough that it may represent a good alternative for folks who want a bigger screen mobile device but doesn't want to go as big as the 9.7" iPad. 

Frankly, I think that's a pretty lame comparision and excuse.  First of all, the iPhone Plus is not a tablet.  I have the iPhone 7 Plus and I love it.  It's powerful, gets me through the day with no issue, and has the best camera as far as I can of any that I have ever owned.  But here is why I don't think it's a good replacement for the iPad mini.

The mini can do many things that the iPhone cannot do.  Split screen.  A little cramp but works well.  The iPhone doesn't do split screen.  Picture-in-picture is a feature that the iPad owns the iPhone.  The mini does that too but the iPhone doesn't.  I think it should and allow can easily allow it to do that but it doesn't.  It's obvious that Apple does want to keep some features that as exlcusive to the iPad. Which kinda says a lot about how Apple does not think the iPhone 7 Plus is a viable replacement for the mini.

Furthermore, the mini is more a productive device than the iPhone.  I've done my share of work on the iPhone but if you put the iPhone Plus and the iPad mini on a table and ask me to crank out a spreadsheet, drawing, or just about anything else, I'll reached for the mini every time.

So, it is perplexing that Apple decided to forgo upgrading the mini in 2017.  Perhaps, we might see an upgrade down the line, perhaps in time for the Holiday Seasons in 2017 or next spring when Apple may decide to use that time show off new iPads. 

The mini serves a need that the iPhone Plus can be a viable substitute for.  Reading, watching videos, or play games.  For other things that can offer greater productivity, the mini has the iPhone beat.  And let's face it, the iPhone Plus costs way more than the mini.  Some might say that's the reason Apple decided not to upgrade the mini and will eventually kill it off.  If so, it should have done that earlier this year.

My guess is that Apple does have plans for the iPad mini.  Maybe it'll get an biannual upgrade like the iPhone SE.  If it does, it makes sense.  The iPhone SE did not get an upgrade this year and if Apple does want to keep the mini in the lineup, upgrading the SE and the iPad mini at the same time next year would make a lot of sense.  That means I'l be more than willing to retire my current iPad mini and opt for the iPad mini 5.

iOS 11: Let Me Set Permanent Low Power Mode

Power.  Power. Power.  That is a mobile issue that has yet to be resolved since the beginning of time.  Well, sure, right?  And it is the most important issue that mobile warriors are plagued with. At times, we ration our power uses or, at worst, we end up with a device that we cannot use.  With iOS 10, Apple introduced the Low Power Mode that gives users the ability to toggle between regular power use by the iPhone and a lower power setting that temporarily turn some features.

Well, I'm an user of the Low Power Mode - and I toggle it on whenever I can.  But it's a daily exercise.  Sometimes, I go into the app to do it. Sometimes, I ask Siri to do it for me.  Instead of having to do it on such a regular basis, why don't Apple give us the option to keep it at the low power mode longer.

Of course, one work around is to go through settings and turn off these features that are turned off when you're in the low power mode. 

  • Background app refresh
  • Fetching mail
  • Hey, Siri
  • Automatic downloads
  • Visual effects
I've gone ahead and done most of that already.  I do have Hey, Siri on but I almost never use it unless my hands are tied and I needed Siri to do or look up something for me. 

So, in addition to be able to turn on low power mode on a more permanent basis, I would like to see further battery saving options in iOS 11.  I'm able to live with the battery life my iPhone provides but I still find myself compromising my experiences.  I'm still waiting for the day when power issue is no longer a concern but until that day comes, I like to save every last  ounce of power to make my iPhone last longer.