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Category: Opinion

Favorite discoveries in 2017

Like last year, I am writing a favorite discoveries post. 2017 has been an exciting and interesting year in terms of discoveries, and I have found a number of new toys and tools that help me in my pursuits. This year they fall neatly into two categories; those related to my video and photo pursuits, and those that help me in my day to day activities.

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2017 roundup

As has become my tradition, I am rounding out the year with a retrospective article. The idea stems from many places, but in particular from Steve Jackson, of Steve Jackson Games, and his annual Report to the Stakeholders.

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Platform agnosticism and my preferred platform

The debate over ones preferred platform has for a very long time felt more like a religous discussion more than anything else. Whether it’s PC vs. Mac, iOS vs. Android, or Windows vs. Linux, proponents of the various platforms tend towards an almost religious level of zeal for their preferred platform, and against the other platform.

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Biting the hand that feeds you

Patreon has since reversed the decision, as reflected in the update at the bottom of this post. Back in October, I wrote about Patreon, and how I enjoy being able to support a few creators of my choosing. That may be about to change, because Patreon are making some pretty obnoxious changes to how they collect pledges. The way it used to be, was that I, as a patron, would be charged the amount of my pledge. Patreon would subtract a portion of the pledge before passing on the rest to the creator(s).

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Facebook – unable to close comments

Back in September of 2015, I commented that Facebook missed a feature to close comments. Then, in April, of 2016, I posted an article jubilating the fact that such a feature had been added. And so it had. For Pages. Not, however, for posts made to one’s personal timeline. Below, you can see how the menu looks on Pages (left) and in ones timeline (right):

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Redundancy: a challenge and an opportunity

Years ago, I faced one of the employed worker’s biggest fears; redundancy. The company I worked for needed to let a number of people go. Immediately after being informed of the state of affairs, I was further informed that my position was one of those evaluated for cut, and in the end, I was let go. I faced a few of my heaviest, gloomiest days that I can recall in my career thus far. However, I came out of it alive, well and employed, and I learned a number of lessons from this.

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On vaguebooking and slacktivism

Note: This is a translated and re-worked version of a response I made to someone who was annoyed that someone else criticized  the posting of a heart without anything in the way of context to one’s facebook page, supposedly to “raise awareness about breast cancer”. The person made the claim that it had been going on for years, and that anyone and everyone should know what it meant, and that there was no possible way to criticize it. As you are about to learn, I disagree.

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Patreon: Patronage for the internet age

The practice of patronage – bestowing financial support on e.g. artists – is a time-honored tradition. In times gone by, patronage was both highly personal, and something reserved for the rich and very rich. One of the many things the internet has done, is to make such pursuits available to the crowds. My favorite example is found at Patreon. As a Patreon member, I am able to directly support content creators whose work I enjoy. Here are a few examples:

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Something you might not know

In an old blog post, I wrote about podcasting and the podcasts I subscribed to. Since then, the list has changed a fair bit; some podcasts have ended, or my interest in them has waned, and others have been added to the list. One of those latter ones is “Tell me something I don’t know“, by Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner. Described as “live journalism wrapped in a game-show package”, I’ve found it highly enjoyable, and would’ve loved being on the show. As the show is taped in the US, the likelihood of that happening is very low indeed. Luckily for me, I’ve got my very own soapbox here, and can share my IDK with you all, and so I will.

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