Getting a Windows computer off to a good start requires some time and effort:

How to Fix All of Windows 10’s Annoyances
Windows 10 starts as a very annoying operating system. The Start menu is full of games like Candy Crush, advertisements are all over the place, and useless icons like People litter the taskbar. Here’s how to eliminate all those annoyances.

Google LIFE Tags uses AI to organize a huge archive of photos:

LIFE Photo Collection — Google Arts & Culture
Founded by Time Inc in 1936, LIFE magazine is the visual chronicle of the “American century.” The magazine's ninety staff photographers—including Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and Gordon Parks—documented the events, stories, and people that shaped the modern era.

There's a version of Windows 10 that Microsoft doesn't want you to use:

Windows 10 Without the Cruft: Windows 10 LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch), Explained
Did you know there’s a version of Windows 10 that doesn’t get big feature updates, and doesn’t even have the Windows Store or Microsoft Edge browser? It’s called Windows 10 LTSB, short for Long Term Servicing Branch.

In the future, for animation, choosy browsers won't choose GIFs:

Performance Calendar » Evolution of <img>: Gif without the GIF
By enabling video content in <img> tags, Safari Technology Preview is paving the way for awesome Gif-like experiences, without the terrible performance and quality costs associated with GIF files

Devices with cameras can be abused:

iOS apps can secretly record and take pictures once you've given them camera permission: Digital Photography Review
If you want to be sure nobody is spying on you through your laptop's webcam, the best thing you can do is cover the lens—but the same might actually be true for the camera on your Apple smartphone.

Creators of psychologically manipulative technology use measures to avoid it:

'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia | The Guardian
“The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions,” Eyal writes. “It’s the impulse to check a message notification. It’s the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later.” None of this is an accident, he writes. It is all “just as their designers intended”.

Data brokers are selling "anonymous" browsing histories:

Your 'Anonymous' Browsing Data Isn't Actually Anonymous - Motherboard
Researchers said it was "trivial" to identify users and view their browsing habits in purchased 'anonymous' browsing data.

Your natural sleeping pattern can be disrupted by night-time screen viewing:

Artificial Light From Digital Devices Lessens Sleep Quality - University of Houston
A new study by researchers at the University of Houston College of Optometry, published in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics, found that blue light emitted from those devices could contribute to the high prevalence of reported sleep dysfunction.

Scientific journals aren't as "scientific" as you would expect them to be:

Predatory Journals Hit By 'Star Wars' Sting - Neuroskeptic
A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper. The manuscript is an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes.

Technologists play your psychological vulnerabilities against you:

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist – Tristan Harris
When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want you to show you where it might do the opposite.

There's technology to alert cities when and where gunshots occur:

How ShotSpotter gunshot-detecting technology works - Business Insider
In more than 90 cities across the US, including New York, microphones placed strategically around high-crime areas pick up the sounds of gunfire and alert police to the shooting's location via dots on a city map.

Even the best tech designs have flaws:

Critical Flaw In Intel Skylake And Kaby Lake HyperThreading Discovered Requiring BIOS Microcode Fix | HotHardware
A new flaw has been disclosed that impacts most Intel 6th and 7th Generation Skylake and Kaby Lake-based processors that support HyperThreading, and reportedly exists across all operating systems.

You can learn about music just using your browser:

Get started | Learning Music (Beta)
In these lessons, you'll learn the basics of music making. No prior experience or equipment is required; you'll do everything right here in your browser.

Chrome is the dominant browser:

Desktop browser market share Worldwide | StatCounter Global Stats
View desktop browser market share by platform

There's a lot of rent-seeking going on, and it's dragging down innovation and the economy:

Rent-seeking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The idea of rent-seeking was developed by Gordon Tullock in 1967.[2] The expression rent-seeking was coined in 1974 by Anne Krueger.[3] The word "rent" does not refer here to payment on a lease but stems instead from Adam Smith's division of incomes into profit, wage, and rent.[4] The origin of the term refers to gaining control of land or other natural resources.

Intellectual Property laws are stifling innovation rather than promoting it:

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) | Future Cities | WIRED - YouTube
We examine the unique manufacturing ecosystem that has emerged, gaining access to the world’s leading hardware-prototyping culture whilst challenging misconceptions from the west.

Hardware advances are boosting Machine Learning / Deep Learning capabilities by orders of magnitude:

The Difference Between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning? | NVIDIA Blog
Over the past few years AI has exploded, and especially since 2015. Much of that has to do with the wide availability of GPUs that make parallel processing ever faster, cheaper, and more powerful. It also has to do with the simultaneous one-two punch of practically infinite storage and a flood of data of every stripe (that whole Big Data movement) – images, text, transactions, mapping data, you name it.

Malvertising is a serious concern:

Hackers Use Google's Ad Network To Spread "Fake Login" Malware | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Researchers from Kaspersky have reported a 15.6% increase in the number of financial malware in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the previous quarter, as well as a continuing .

Rooting a device doesn't void the warranty:

Companies Can’t Legally Void the Warranty for Jailbreaking or Rooting Your Phone | Motherboard
Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, manufacturers cannot legally void your hardware warranty simply because you altered the software of an electronic device. In order to void the warranty without violating federal law, the manufacturer must prove that the modifications you made directly led to a hardware malfunction.

Bad design can result in more than mere inconvenience:

Looks Can Kill: The Deadly Results of Flawed Design - ProPublica
Design has the power to make our lives better, and in the overwhelming majority of cases, it does. But when it’s done badly, it can put our lives in jeopardy.

The Internet of Things will be (/ is already) a privacy & security nightmare. In other words, smart people don't buy Smart Locks:

‘Smart’ locks yield to simple hacker tricks | TechCrunch
It’s an open secret that the Internet of Things (if we must call it so) is pretty terrible, whether in standards, interoperability or security. You don’t really expect good security in a smart light bulb or coffee maker, though. A smart front door lock, however, really shouldn’t be quite this easy to hack.

Anti-virus software has been counter-effective for a while, and it's getting worse:

Antivirus software is 'increasingly useless' and may make your computer less safe - Technology & Science - CBC News
Internet security experts are warning that anti-malware technology is becoming less and less effective at protecting your data and devices, and there's evidence that security software can sometimes even make your computer more vulnerable to security breaches.

Use a separate router, set up with care, to protect your home network:

How to secure your router and home network | CSO Online
Not all router security issues can be fixed by users, but there are many actions that can be taken to protect them from attacks

First your web browser, now your camera:

Camera 'Fingerprint' Database Could Help Crack Down on Photo Theft
Just as how no two fingerprints are ever exactly the same, the sensors inside two digital cameras contain extremely small differences as well, known as sensor pattern noise. These subtle pixel-level imperfections cause each camera to leave a unique fingerprint on every photo made with it.

Malvertising is serious business:

Big-name sites hit by rash of malicious ads spreading crypto ransomware
Mainstream websites, including those published by The New York Times, the BBC, MSN, and AOL, are falling victim to a new rash of malicious ads that attempt to surreptitiously install crypto ransomware and other malware on the computers of unsuspecting visitors, security firms warned.

Drinking normal amounts of coffee and tea won't dehydrate you:

Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review. - PubMed - NCBI
Doses of caffeine equivalent to the amount normally found in standard servings of tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks appear to have no diuretic action.

Microsoft Windows phones home, and there's not much you can do about it:

Windows 10 Still Phones Home With Data In Spite of Privacy Settings - Slashdot
Windows 10 will still send telemetry and other data to Microsoft-owned domains — no matter how tightly you crank down the privacy settings. Even with everything buttoned down, Cortana, OneDrive, and Web Search from the Start Menu disabled, the OS still phones home, using a random system ID that persists across reboots.

Someone created an interesting ranking system base on Wikipedia:

Wikipedia Rankings
Here you can browse Wikipedia pages by importance. Choose a category or write a complex query, watch the result and share your findings!

Move your body or lose it:

Treadmill performance predicts risk of death, researchers say | Fox News
Cardiologists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have devised a formula that estimates an individual’s risk of dying based on their ability to exercise on a treadmill.

Camara geeks tend to bicker over photo-product minutia:

If Carpenters Talked Like Camera Geeks
I’ve had it 3 days now and it’s just wonderful. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good framing nail to use with this hammer?

Stunning areal photography:

I've spent the past two years shooting drone aerials around the world. Here are 38 images which would be totally illegal today. - Album on Imgur
Here are 38 images which would be totally illegal today.

Start a new PC or Laptop with plain-vanilla Windows 8.1:

Save yourself from your OEM’s bad decisions with a clean install of Windows 8.1 | Ars Technica
If you want to be sure that everything is completely removed (and if you're willing to do the work), the more comprehensive solution is to completely reinstall Windows yourself. It's not for everyone, but there are benefits to doing it this way—you get a totally clean PC that you're in full control over.
Infinality Freetype Patches.
Index | Surveillance Self-Defense
A Project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Adobe Color CC
color wheel web application

Free vector icon repository:

Free vector icons - SVG, PSD, PNG, EPS & Icon Font - Thousands of Free Icons
flaticon is a free project, created for and by designers and developers.

A different -- and brilliant -- way to look at Netflix's avialable content:

A Better Queue
Filter and browse Netflix instant movies with Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer.

"Internet freedom" is not necessarily the default, depending on where you are:

Internet Censorship Around The World | IVPN
Since its conception, the internet has revolutionised communication, and promoted free speech across the globe. However, some governments see the internet as dangerous and inflammatory. They seek to regulate the net, preventing citizens from communicating and collaborating.

Unraveling the mysteries of pan-searing steaks through science:

The Food Lab's Complete Guide To Pan-Seared Steaks | Serious Eats
start with a good, thick, well-marbled steak. Season it well. Sear it in hot oil in cast iron, flipping as often as you'd like. Add butter and aromatics. Keep flipping and basting. Rest. Carve. DIG IN.
Letters From The Earth
by Mark Twain (1909)

Kickstart some simple grub. So obvious... should have thought of that.

Potato Salad by Zack Danger Brown — Kickstarter
5,772 Backers $46,885 pledged of $10 goal and plenty of time left.

Varible-speed playback for videos:

Swift Player & Downloader
You can understand speech at a much faster pace than it is spoken, so take advantage, speed up playback, and optimize your time.

How to sneak a free (non-purchased) ringtone into your iOS "walled garden":

How to set any song as a ringtone on your iPhone. Plus: how to get a custom text tone - PC Advisor
How to set any song as a ringtone on your iPhone. Plus: how to get a custom text tone
Buildroot: making embedded Linux easy
Buildroot is a simple, efficient and easy-to-use tool to generate embedded Linux systems through cross-compilation.

Microsoft gives away phone development toos and has videos to teach how to use them.

Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 - Jump Start Channel 9
This course is tailored for developers looking to leverage C#/XAML to build cool apps and games for Windows Phone 8. This fast-paced, demo-rich online course features two mobile development thought leaders as presenters: Andy Wigley, a sought-after mobile app developer and co-author of three best-selling books on mobile application development and Rob Tiffany, mobile strategist, author, and speaker for Microsoft.
WSUS Offline Update
Update Microsoft Windows and Office without an Internet connection

Minimalist news-viewing site:

usatoday.html|My Way - News - Top News
top news

Another genius infographic of sorts:

Google Trends - Hot Searches
Visualize hot searches in full screen.

This infographic is a good one:

Turning A Profit | See How Quickly Tech Giants Build Wealth |
How Quickly Tech Companies Build Wealth

Setting up a Raspberry Pi takes much less technical skill these days:

Introducing the New Out Of Box Software (NOOBS) | Raspberry Pi
NOOBS is a way to make setting up a Raspberry Pi for the first time much, much easier. You won’t need network access, and you won’t need to download any special imaging software. Just head to the downloads page, grab a copy of the NOOBS zip file, and unpack it onto a freshly formatted 4GB (or larger) SD card.
Opus Codec
Opus is a totally open, royalty-free, highly versatile audio codec. Opus is unmatched for interactive speech and music transmission over the Internet, but also intended for storage and streaming applications. It is standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as RFC 6716 which incorporated technology from Skype's SILK codec and Xiph.Org's CELT codec.

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Page last modified on July 14, 2018
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