give back to your favorite free apps / Charitable programs / websites

For many organizations, and especially charitable non-profits, today is the last day of the year to give a gift that counts towards this year.

Think of the free apps/programs you use for free. A lot of work went into and still goes into maintaining it. They would definitely free gratitude if you took the time to throw even $1. For real, some of these software developers and volunteers receive no pay except for periodically a donation or they freel relief when they don’t have to worry about paying for the server(s) that the app/program is hosted on.

Some of the ones I would like to give to are:

  • Audacity music/audio player and editor; desktop app
  • Firefox browser people / volunteers (Mozilla organization)
  • Heavens-Above.com website / app
  • OneTab desktop browser extension; faster browsing and more self-focus while using any of the popular browsers
  • probably a few others that i love

On the charitable side i think it would be cool give through these org’s:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Philanthropies programs like clean water, wheelchairs, et cetera for sure.
  • Kiva who does micro-loans to those currently with smaller economic opportunities to start their own business. One of my bros has helped out a few people through them.
  • I’m sure i could find others. Take a moment to think about what software helps you for free OR which organizations inspire you / make you feel good.

P.S. On the officially charitable side please do use CharityNavigator to find ratings. NOTE: not all organizations can afford to be audited by them but those that do have really good info there on the % of money donated that goes to the actual program(s) vs administrative costs, etc.

That’s it. Good wishes for the last day of the year and the new year starting tomorrow. I want to have a moment of quiet and hope. The light is shining I believe.
Sincerely,
Roger

service: How to filter content @ home?

1st off, the best filter? The gift of some sort of fire/love inside your heart and mind that keeps you headed where you want to be going. Yes, a higher power or at least a belief in something good if not someone. See 2014-04-05 for one example, i #believe it. But I do not judge atheists. We’re all in this together, our shared humanity.

2nd, as a “fire line” so to speak, set up a filter on your home router! Why? No matter whether someone connects on your Wifi or if they plug a cable in at home, they will be protected/filtered.

How?
Get either A.) an expensive pro-consumer or business style router where it gives you such fine-tuned Admin controls, or
B.) get a decent home router where you can add in software that does such excellent filtering.

I recommend choice B.

Really? Yes, and on choice B.) you can even go super easy with OpenDNS, they have a free service plan, where you can create custom blacklists or whitelists. Side-tangent fun thought? Imagine if you had a cool whitelist at your home for your family. You could make a game for the children to see if they can discover the sites on your whitelist. Like maybe a top 5 sites-of-the-day whitelist for when you at least temporarily need to be really focused and not surfing just for fun. πŸ™‚ But I digress.

AND for the filtering that I am even more excited about — you just install something like OpenWRT or Tomato on your router and then you get very cool administrator(think “parental”) controls.

Would love to either set it up for you at your home OR walk you through remotely via Zoom or any other videoconf app like Meet or Teams or Facetime. Let me know, please. Would love to develop this as a skill while serving whatever you need. I already have been using OpenDNS for years, and I also have played around with OpenWRT on my home router a little.

P.S. Will give you a great discount here with the holi-days like Christmas/Hannukah/New Years 2021. Starting @ $15/hr.

Let me know, gracias,

Roger Brown @ 801-356-1032 or [email protected]

P.P.S. you can also set controls on a per-device basis. So for example Johanna’s filters are different than Rubio’s based on maturity, etc.. Time limits/controls too. Very cool stuff. Hit me up!

diversity of heart or thoughts?

Outward diversity vs. inward diversity? Can we be different on our outsides yet unified on our insides? Is diversity good when there are at least 5 different ways to add up two of the numbers from 1 to 9 in order to get 10 total? Is diversity of thought bad when we’re pulling in different directions?

Just some quick thoughts. I think I like the feeling of outward vs. inward. “The Lord looketh on the heart”. Somewhere in the historical record of the Old Testament. It really is true. Thank you ^^^

Conflict IS …

Conflict? Disagreement. Contention? Love?

Conflict: Can it be ok if hearts are right/honest? If you see something or need something can one say something, but not with overbearance, right? With patience in the heart not just in the mind. But it’s ok to try with the mind until your heart catches up, right?

Disagreement? Likewise.

Therefore, a honest difference of opinion does not have to equal contention.

Can equal understanding better.
Can equal finding common ground.
Can equal an unintentional building on shared beliefs. (everybody has beliefs no mater what your faith is in, whether a higher power / person(s) or things or ideas)

Love.

Pray for it. I must. May we all.

graphic by Tim Houlihan via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Watch out for vehicle history report scams :(

So I’m selling my car, and have it listed on a local classifieds website that is really popular in my state.
I have gotten so many scammers contacting me about it using different methods to trick me like doing a password reset which sends a PIN to my phone and them trying to get me to send the temporary PIN back to them! I don’t think so!

The latest is that they ask me to do a vehicle history report (or RV report or VIN check) at a link that they send me.

Beware, it’s either a scam or a ruse to get your personal information and then sell it. The most recent scammer this evening gave me historycheckreports.com but if you check the registration on that domain it did not even exist until 2 months ago.

So maybe they’re new in business? But wait! Take 1 minute to read this: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/10/steering-clear-vehicle-history-report-scams

And then notice that historycheckreports.com is NOT on the list of 8 approved providers:
https://vehiclehistory.bja.ojp.gov/nmvtis_vehiclehistory

Busted!

Choose something like a star

I like this poem by Robert Frost:

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloudβ€”
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.

Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, β€˜I burn.’
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.

And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,

So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

source: https://www.writersalmanac.org/index.html%3Fp=10541.html

And listen to this beautiful version put to music by Randall Thompson as sung by the Tabernacle Choir: https://youtu.be/Ylt7R6gfuoU

P.S. was introduced to this poem for the first time early this year by Sister Hall, yes the famous former conductor of an excellent Men’s Chorus that you might have heard of. πŸ™‚

Upright Bikes for Ergonomics

Due to RSI i have to care about leaning over when riding a bike. Started shopping today by hitting up the local bike collective. They didn’t have any good upright bikes except for a one-speed cruiser that was a little small for me. I bet they’ll have a good one later. Am going to check back. They cycle through a lot of bikes.

Wanted to share that I found this cool article espousing the benefits of upright bikes vs. leaning over: https://momentummag.com/upright-bikes-sit-up-and-enjoy-the-ride/

P.S. While i was test riding the cruiser, a guy with an awesome upright commuter bike rode by. I u-turned and asked him what type it was. He said it was an “Amsterdam” bike but in searching i found that was too generic. Maybe more on that later.

Think of the people in China and Hong Kong, and …

If you haven’t heard of the Great Firewall of China then this is the latest news story on it.
Non-technical translation?!
It is now even crazy harder to look at sites outside of China. πŸ™

So please send good thoughts the way of people in China. Citizens there suffer a lot. AND when they are here in the US you can tell them about the Tuidang movement where over 350 million former Chinese have made official declarations to quit the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Check it out @ tuidang.org

P.S. You can also tell them about technology to bypass the Great Firewall of China if they can safely let others know about it — see en.greatfire.org

P.P.S. NOT a Chinese citizen but want to do something about the CCP? Sign the petition to reject the Chinese Communist Party @ https://rejectccp.com/ !!!

Apple makes me sad, again…

The maker of Macs and iPhones — Apple — is suing the little guy, a small company because their logo is a pear looking like it’s hanging or been picked off a tree. Really Apple? This is not the first time, is it?! See this news story about it.

Additionally, Apple has sold a piece of their soul and probably will continue to do so to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) when they ask them to control what apps are in the app store like for Hong Kong residents. ‘Tis very sad.

I love their hardware and products but they are overpriced. I used to own a few Macs but ended up selling both of them. Will never buy one new again.

Lastly, it takes more mousing movement and keyboard strokes to get things done on macOS. Avoid Mac’s if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or another RSI(repetitive stress injury) in your wrists, hands, or arms. Will blog about it later showing a side by side table comparison of macOS vs Windows 10 vs XFCE or a similar Linux environment.

Tis a shame. Apple used to rock. Please stop it. Don’t sell your soul for a buck.