I’m off the Brave Browser

I used the Brave Browser for about a year and I really wanted to keep using it because it was great at blocking ads, offered very secure browsing, and it was fast. But, there was one problem that kept creeping up that ultimately made me switch to Firefox.

The problem is sync. I use multiple devices and Brave just was not consistent at syncing bookmarks. There is no account to set up with Brave so there was no intermediary to help facilitate bookmark sync. There was a little rigamarole in setting up sync in Brave where you had to edit the shortcut link and add some instructions. Not the end of the world but still not elegant.

When syncing multiple devices you add each device to a sync chain. The chain is dependent on when you add a device. I had one case early on when I removed one device from the chain because I was reinstalling the Browser. Then after installation I added it back to the chain thinking it would just sync my bookmarks. What ended up happening is that all my bookmarks were removed from all my synced browsers because the one I just reinstalled was the newest. Each browser in the chain used the newest information and wiped it all out.

But, that wasn’t the final straw. I’m able to deal with the problem of prioritization sync. I can remember that I have to import bookmarks whenever I reinstall. The final straw was that when I made changes to one browser the changes didn’t consistently sync across all my devices. That I can’t deal with because then I don’t know which changes are sticky and which changes are not. I would shut down the browser on each device hoping that when relaunching it would check with the browser where I made the change and then sync but it just didn’t work. Some bookmarks would change and others would not. That kind of guesswork makes using the browser untenable.

So I switched to Firefox and made that my default. It is also based on Chromium, like Brave and now Microsoft’s new Edge Browser, so it works just like Chrome without feeding everything into the Google beast. They get enough of my information through the use of Gmail.

When Microsoft puts the finishing touches on the Edge Browser I may look into that because maybe it will work well with some of the Microsoft services I use. I think it’s good to spread your eggs around all the baskets.

Green Energy seems to be an “Exercise in magical thinking”

The entire thing is a long read but read it you must. Here’s some of what you’ll learn and this is just from the executive summary.

  • $1 million invested in green energy only produces 50 million kWh over 30 years while $1 million invested in fossil fuel produces 300 million kWh over 30 years.
  • Solar and wind are approaching their limits of efficiency and the gains made in the coming years won’t be enough to make a difference.
  • 1,000 years of production from Tesla’s Gigafactory (at its current capacity) could only make enough batteries for 2 days worth of U.S. electricity demand.

This is enlightening to know how efficient our current systems are as compared to “green” technologies. So-called “green” technologies are not really green to begin with. All the energy, chemicals, and heavy metals that are required for the technology are likely more harmful than the environment the technology is supposed to save.

This “new energy economy” rests on the belief—a centerpiece of the Green New Deal and other similar proposals both here and in Europe—that the technologies of wind and solar power and battery storage are undergoing the kind of disruption experienced in computing and communications, dramatically lowering costs and increasing efficiency. But this core analogy glosses over profound differences, grounded in physics, between systems that produce energy and those that produce information.
In the world of people, cars, planes, and factories, increases in consumption, speed, or carrying capacity cause hardware to expand, not shrink. The energy needed to move a ton of people, heat a ton of steel or silicon, or grow a ton of food is determined by properties of nature whose boundaries are set by laws of gravity, inertia, friction, mass, and thermodynamics—not clever software.

Manhattan Institute

Today you can call me Grampy!

Today you can call me Grampy! Happy birthday Lucille.

Switching to the Brave Browser

There’s a new web browser in town and it’s name is Brave. I discovered this relatively new web browser listening to some podcasts and decided to try it out. It’s fantastic. It’s light, it’s fast, and it blocks ads and tracking natively. The picture shows how many trackers and ads that were blocked just from the normal sites I visit.

Watch this video and give it a try.

It’s about time something provided some competition to Google’s Chrome.

Hyperloop technology should be for freight not people

By Camilo Sanchez – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43739482

Hyperloop technology should be for freight not people and the reason is that a hyperloop is really nothing more than an oversized enormous pneumatic tube kind of like the one you use at a bank to make your deposits at the drive through. It’s a point to point technology and once constructed not flexible. Think freight trains but underground and super super fast.

An article in the Wall Street Journal today talks about the increase in airfreight because of all the stuff that’s getting shipped world wide. The speed and flexibility of air cargo outweighs the added cost of the lack of capacity per shipment. Shipping things over the ocean is simply too slow and subject to many issues such as labor problems and weather. Shipping cargo by plane is also subject to the same issues that could slow shipments.

As online shoppers come to expect faster home delivery, passenger jets and dedicated cargo planes are picking up more kinds of cargo traditionally carried by container ships, trains and trucks. Global airfreight traffic climbed almost 9% year-over-year in November as a jump in e-commerce orders supercharged the holiday rush, according to cargo data provider WorldACD. Rates for airfreight were up 17% annually that month.

Strong global economic growth also is spurring demand for goods long ferried by air, such as automotive and manufacturing parts. The dual surge is creating some of the stiffest competition for air-cargo space in years, and prompting companies to search for older, idle jets to convert into freighters.

“You’re literally begging and pleading to get on airplanes, leveraging any contact you can,” said Neel Jones Shah, global head of airfreight for Flexport Inc., a San Francisco-based firm that helps customers arrange freight shipments online.

Just think if a hyperloop was constructed between major shipping ports. The cargo containers would be loaded on one end and at extremely high speeds get shot underground to their arrival point. No people even need to be inside the cargo vehicle underground. It wouldn’t take weeks or months as it does now to ship something overseas in fact it would be as quick or quicker as a cargo plane with the capacity of a freight train or several cargo ocean ships. There are no weather issues under ground and there are fewer labor issues as long as you can load and unload containers from either side.

This could also be installed between major cities in every country. This would remove trains and trucks from the nation’s highways and rails. This would serve to reduce traffic both on the ground and in the sky making life a little better for leisure travel.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal

Hyperloop technology on Wikipedia

A regular person’s Pixel 2 Review

I purchased a Pixel 2 and not the Pixel 2 XL because the Pixel 2 is cheaper and has the same internals, with the exception of the screen. Same power and capabilities for less money. Win win. Note: all the pictures of the Pixel 2 were shot using my original Pixel.

I’ve been using the Pixel 2 every day since October 20 and I’m extremely happy with the phone. The two things that stand out to me most are the battery life and the camera. These also happen to be the two most important things to me in a smartphone and why I chose to upgrade from the Pixel.

The battery life, in my opinion, is phenomenal. I charge it at night and the phone lasts me all day. Even on my heaviest usage days I still have at least 30% remaining by 10 pm. I’ve never had a phone that lasted me all day like this. The original Pixel had to be charged multiple times per day and I always worried that if I didn’t pay close attention that my phone would be dead when I need it. This is not the case with the Pixel 2 so far. Huge thumbs up.

The camera is also fantastic and I believe I will now stop carrying a DSLR on vacations or trips. The camera is fast and mostly accurate and I find myself not having to think too much before taking a picture. In addition, the portrait mode is a nice little touch and I really have no complaints about it. I won’t be nit picky either about some of the things that get smudged around the edges of a subject because it’s not really noticeable unless you zoom in really close and the Pixel 2 is doing it all in software, unlike the iPhone which doesn’t do as good a job and is doing it with hardware and software for a much higher price.

Continuing on with the camera, I found out about these add-on lenses called Moment Lenses. It requires the phone being in a case (which I don’t like but I’m doing it for the superior pictures) and you simply twist a lens over the camera lens and instantly you have a wide-angle, telephoto, or macro lens that enhances the quality of your pictures. Forgive my crappy photo gallery below but it shows the Moment case and the two lenses I purchased.

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To give you an example of the pictures the phone takes here is another gallery of photos I took with the Pixel 2 of my dogs. Some of the pictures are with good lighting some not but all of them are as taken straight from the phone and, as the kids say these days, no filter.

If you want to see some of these pics or others from this phone go look at my dog Godfrey’s Instagram account or at my Instagram account. On Instagram I do try to spruce them up a bit by enhancing the color, contrast, and brightness.

The rest of the phone is not all that important to me. The screen is fine and the Google Pixel skin of Android is fine. The phone seems fast and smooth. Apps and such mostly work exactly the same as in my previous Pixel and Nexus 5X. I’m hoping that Android has improved enough with these current versions that the phone won’t suffer the Android lag and bloat over time that I’ve experienced with every Android phone I’ve ever used.

My bottom line is that if you want great battery life and the camera is important to you then the Pixel 2 is a good purchase.

Remembering this guy for some reason. 

Remembering this guy for some reason. Nico circa 2010.

Amazon may have the world’s biggest backup hard drive.

Amazon may have the world’s biggest backup hard drive and they’ll drive it to your front door for all your backup needs.

Amazon announced the new service, confusingly named Snowmobile, at its Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week. It’s designed to shuttle as many as 100 petabytes–around 100,000 terabytes–per truck. That’s enough storage to hold five copies of the Internet Archive (a comprehensive backup of the web both present and past), which contains “only” about 18.5 petabytes of unique data.

From Wired

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