I’m super bored reading these kind of stories. I’ve been free from such software and hardware for many years so at this point it’s just boring. However, I do have a solution instead of trying to sue them for monopolizing or overcharging: just force a really simple, plain language disclosure document before the sale of any Apple Inc device. Here is my proposed disclosure:
I understand that by purchasing this Apple Inc device I will be forced into a software environment called the “App Store” that is the equivalent of a rigid monopolist jail cell. I understand that the only apps I will be able to install must come from this Apple ‘App Store’. There is no other way to get an app without violating your warranties but through this monopolist app store .
Because Apple Inc will take from the software developers who develop for this device a mandatory 30% of the purchase price when you purchase an app through their system, I could either be spending money on an app that could be otherwise free, or spending 30% more than I could while software developers try to make up for their business losses from this significant commission that Apple unilaterally takes for itself.
Furthermore, I also understand that I will risk the chance of having my device’s performance remotely throttled by Apple Inc whenever they feel it is right to do so and without first consulting me about it. I also understand that even the hardware itself is made with proprietary connectors (i.e. chargers) that will not work with other standard industry connectors.
I also understand that there are other software systems such as Linux which has operating systems such as Ubuntu, that respect my freedom and choices, and provide free software and free delivery of software and that are capable of running on top of many different types of hardware, including mobile phones. I understand that many of the large corporations (such as Apple, Google) run these Linux systems for their own computers and servers.
I declare that no one is forcing me to enter into this relationship with Apple Inc, that I have do have choices, that I have been warned, and I now choose to move forward with this purchase and risk suffering all of the above pains.
Apple Inc Device Customer
Date of purchase
This is a useful tool and tutorial if you, for example, make a video on Youtube and then want to publish the audio quickly on Soundcloud (or somewhere else).
If you aren’t already running Ubuntu on your computer this will be a couple of steps more difficult for you but well worth the effort.
Step 1: Get Ubuntu on your computer
If you don’t know what this, look it up and get it done. Apple and Microsoft are so restrictive, un-secure, and 1990….
Step 2: Open a terminal
If you don’t know what this is, go look that up too.
Step 3: Install Youtube-dl tool with Terminal
Make sure the youtube-dl app thing is installed on your machine by pasting this into your terminal. Note, you cannot just ‘control c/control-v’ into a terminal but you need to hold down both control *and shift* before pressing V to paste… ready? Ok, control C this into your computers clipboard:
sudo apt install youtube-dl
Now press enter in Terminal.
This will complete the installation of the tool. Say ‘yes’ if it asks you to do anything since it’s just hard to argue these days…
Step 4: Copy the ‘magic line’ into your clipboard
We say ‘magic’ in technology when we’re doing something that is harder than sending an email.
Copy this ‘magic line’ of whatever to your computer with control C
youtube-dl –extract-audio –audio-format mp3
Step 5: Paste the ‘magic line’ into your Terminal
Paste the ‘magic line’ into your terminal taking note of my notes in Step 3… pay special attention that there is only one trailing space and no other stuff after the ‘3’ in mp3. You are going to paste a URL here from the video in the next step so extra garbage before or after the ‘magic line’ could mess it up.
Step 6: Copy Video URL from Youtube to clipboard
Using the ‘share’ link from the Youtube video (I find this works better than the main video URL…) copy the URL to the computer clipboard.
Step 7: Paste video URL to Terminal
Paste the video URL at the end of the magic line in your terminal using again my notes from Step 3.
Step 8: Press ‘enter’ in Terminal and get some popcorn
Press ‘enter’ on your keyboard. The thing should run and it will be dumping the mp3 audio into your ‘home’ folder on your computer. It takes a bit of time for this step so let it go and have a coffee
Boom. A nice MP3 of your video.
Thanks to all the folks who made the youtube-dl tool!
Thanks to all the efforts of the free software community who make all of this possible.
Extra note: If, for some reason everything looks like it was running fine and you can’t find your new MP3 file in the Home directory, it’s possible the defaults were changed by you or something else and the Terminal downloaded the video somewhere else. Do a system wide search for your file and you’ll probably find it somewhere. This happened to me a few times 🙁
Ever seen this coffee grinder?
Hopefully you weren’t unfortunate to buy it, but if you were and dropped the lid JUST ONCE, you will know that Black and Decker designed this to break. They had to actually think long and hard in a design room to figure out a way to make sure this would break in the first few months. Anyway, they upset me so much with this one that I actually decided to fix it so that their evil design team wouldn’t have the joy of knowing I ‘might’ buy another one…
Now, to upset them more, I’m going to share this 10 minute fix with you.
It’s so easy, I’m not even going to give instructions. Just let the pictures do the teaching, and enjoy your totally perfectly coffee grinder.
STEP 5 – ENJOY!
As I started to investigate and question many things programmed into me in school, one of the items that really shook my world was the idea that the moonlight may actually possess cooling properties.
I watched a quick video like this:
At first, I absolutely couldn’t accept it, or believe it. I also did not have the financial ability to purchase an infrared thermometer (although I’ve since learned they come on sale regularly where I live for about $20.00 so I will be buying one), so after first viewing this video it has been bugging me. Why? There are many implications if this is proves true:
- The moon could not be reflecting sunlight (as I was programmed to believe) because if it was, the moonlight would possess the same qualities of sunlight: warm, radiant, glowing, heating, etc.
- If it’s not reflected sunlight, does it have its own light source?
- What in the world is the moon?
- No one taught me about this or discussed it – ever – which means that I must further question the system itself.
- If something as simple as this slipped through the cracks of education, I may be fully deceived about many other things.
But the reason this one bugged me and never left me is twofold. One, I always knew that when I was in the moonlight I was always cold (it does not take much education to confirm this) and two, this is a test that is super easy to do.
So, this morning when I woke up, I grabbed my coffee (I wake up before the sun if you were wondering) and walked out. Lo and behold there was a full moon and no clouds and the moonlight was illuminating my backyard. So, I walked into the moonlight, and pretended that I was on a sunny beach lying in the sunlight and shut my eyes (I’m weird like that…). But… something weird happened.
I got cold.
I had to start rubbing my hands together so my virtual pretend beach party ended as quickly as it started. I began walking back to the garage (less than 10 steps away) when I realized that I had warmed up.
So I walked back to the moonlight.
Son of so many guns… It’s true!
And I didn’t even need a thermometer to test it! The difference of 2 degrees (as per video above) is so great that you can literally *feel* it on your skin.
So I did a full test to prove it to myself – and this is the point of this post – you can do this to immediately and without spending any money.
Moon Chiller DIY Test Number 1: The Full Body Bask
What you will need:
- A pretty big tree (or something big that blocks the moon light)
- The moon and its light
Got it? Good.
What to do:
- Stand in the moon shade for 30 seconds with your hands exposed. Don’t hold a coffee like I did the first time or you’ll have to repeat this experiment. Count to 30 using the ‘one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two’ method.
- Quickly move into the full moonlight and repeat counting to 30 and note the temperature on your skin (perhaps wearing a bathing suit will be a more effective test – but don’t lead bystanders into temptation of course)
- Move back into the moon shade and count again to 30. I found this last step had the most impact because it was a full cycle and your senses are more in tune with the small changes.
Moon Chiller DIY Test Number 2: The Back Hand
This test is exactly the same as the test above but requires less energy. Just repeat the Full Body Bask but use the back of your hand facing the moonlight.
Keep your eyes closed for all these tests as much as possible and for the Back Hand test you might need a partner to confirm that your hand is in the moonlight.
I hope you found this as exciting and troubling as I did.
If you are like me, you bought your Brother scanner printer because you wanted a decent scanner and perhaps the odd black and white print. Nothing more. That’s why you didn’t pay a lot.
Well, built into the ‘cheap printer’ business model at Brother is a nasty little trick which says ‘When their colour cartridge runs out (which is really small) then stop printer from printing *everything* – including black and white – even though it’s full!”
Now that is just dirty.
I turned off colour printing on computer and it still refused to print with some bogus message like ‘cannot maintain print quality’. Really? I have a fully black and white cartridge and I’m not printing colour and it cannot maintain print quality? I call BS, Brother.
Thankfully, the solution was super, duper crazy easy. Thanks very much to these guys here
Just take some electricians tape (don’t bother with sharpie markers or other ideas as I tried other stuff on my desk) and get some small scissors (or exacto knife probably easier and more accurate) and cut some black electricians tape so that the tape *perfectly* covers the plastic clear window.
Note: you can see a small gap in this photo example which you should avoid. Aim for 100% coverage of the window or it may not work. I tried one with a slightly larger gap and it failed (their lasers are very accurate!)
Once the lasers kick in and hit the tap your screen will show a nice full cartridge and printing in Black and white (or whatever colour you have left) should work.
So you have an ink cartridge and Brother decided that it was empty and you disagree and want to milk it further? One thing that might work for you is to reset the internal page counter.
It’s fairly public understanding that printer companies have tech inside the machines that essentially tell it when it has printed enough and to print no more (so you have to run out and buy another cartridge). The screen will tell you ‘can’t maintain print quality’ or ‘cannot print’ or some message that you might not care about.
This post is specifically how to do it on the following models but I will have links to websites that will probably be able to solve your other models too:
The answer to my question was found tucked away in one reply somewhere on this page and on THIS WEBSITE
Here is the quote:
To enter maintenance mode on the MFC-J480DW, with the printer powered on, press the Settings button followed by *2864
The Settings button will have different names according to where you purchased your printer. To help identify the button: It depicts a wrench and a screw driver.
However! One tiny little detail cost me many hours. It’s important that before you do the above make sure you hit the ‘stop’ button which will clear the ‘ink levels low’ message from the LCD. You can’t do the above steps until the LCD is clear of the warning.
So, here is a more clear list:
- clear the screen with the stop/exit button
- hit the settings button (wrench)
- enter the following 5 keys * 2 8 6 4
- use the down arrow until you come to the purge followed by some numbers (the numbers, btw, are your page count -wasted time trying to figure out why mine was different from websites out there, ha)
- press 2 7 8 3
- I got a ‘cannot detect’ message, and the stop/exit button didn’t work so then I did step 7 and got out
- press 9 and then 9 again
- machine reboots and page count is clear /purged
You may also get a message that says your colour cartridges are low and your printer stops you printing, even black and white! Don’t worry, I overcame this trick too in THIS POST if you’d like to have a black and white only brother printer (works for me!)
Luke 17: 11-19
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up [their] voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw [them], he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on [his] face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where [are] the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
I was reading this scripture to day and much jumped out. Allow me first to paint the picture that appeared in front of me as I read it a bit like a play-by-play:
- There were 10 lepers who were isolated, hurting, sick, down, suffering
- 9 out of 10 (presumably) were Jews whilst 1 out of 10 (presumably but not written) was a Samaritan – a heathen if you will
- Famous Healer Jesus comes nearby and the group of lepers cry out for the benefit of healing
- Faith Healer Jesus does not do a show, neither does he lay hands on them, neither does he even say ‘you’re healed’ but simply instructs them to show themselves to the priest to be healed [side point: At this point would a Samaritan have been allowed into the congregation of the Jews to even show himself to the priest? I’d like to know the answer to this question for full revelation on this scene.]
- En route to the priest, with the Samaritan with them, they are all physically healed from the horrible sickness of leprosy
- *Only* the Samaritan at this point:
1. Turned back towards Jesus
2. Loudly glorified God with no shame
3. Fell down on his face at the feet of Jesus (humility)
4. Gave thanks
- The others did… what? Kept walking to the priest? Did they even go to the priest? Did they get what they needed for life on earth and were now happy because they could fit in with the congregation again? How in the world could these 9 keep walking? How could they not run with the Samaritan back in joy and humility and fall on their faces?
They (the 9) were only healed on the outside, not the inside. And, note what Jesus then said to the Samaritan:
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luk 17:19)
He didn’t say “go, catch up to the other 9 who are probably still on their way to the priests and show yourself to the priests’.
No, the Samaritan was complete. Jesus saw that this man, only, was truly healed both inside and outside. He was made *whole* – and it was his faith that made him whole, not his membership in or association with a religious organization.
This also shows you that even through sickness and suffering it is possible that you may not be healed *completely* by God or be made *whole*.
My presumption about the 9 is that they may have gone on to possibly lose their healing, or, face other tribulations by the grace of God that would finally bring them to the place where the Samaritan was: a place of humility and thanksgiving.
The Samaritan (the 1) passed the test.
The 9 failed.
The 1 was made whole.
The 9 were not.
“Arise, go your way [not the way the other 9 are going] as you are healed, my friend.” is my translation of verse 19.
For what good is the healing, really, if the person doesn’t come to a vibrant knowledge of Jesus Himself? As painful as this is to even write, it would be better to continue to suffer in leprosy until death and walk into the throne room of God knowing the true Jesus, than die without Jesus in perfect health.
I know that our loving God does not sit there and enjoy watching us suffer, but I also know that He did not enjoy sitting there watch His only begotten Son suffer on the cross for our sins either.
It may be torment for the parent of a drug addict to stop helping their child financially and watch them suffer so, but for the greater good of their child there is no other way.
The pit of suffering and torment – no matter what kind – seems to be where the human cries out to heaven.
I am torn because I know that God heals and He heals today.
But what good is a physical healing if the person doesn’t change once and for all and believe and be baptized and born again into the new and amazing life in Christ?
I repeat that I am torn because I know that God heals and He heals today.
But I also know that He does *not* heal 100% every time.
There are two camps that most people reside in:
Camp 1: God doesn’t heal today – that was for some other time.
Camp 2: God heals 100% of everyone, every time because it’s God’s will to heal – and if you don’t get healed it’s your faith’s fault.
In Camp 1, you can simply not worry about it and say ‘It’s God’s will’ when someone isn’t healed (and kind of bench the book of Acts) and in Camp 2 you can blame the humans’ lack of faith for the lack of God’s movement in your life.
Both camps are unappealing to me and very unbalanced and I don’t want to be in either of them.
I want to know God, hear his voice and live the exciting life in Christ – whatever that is for me.
I can’t believe I didn’t blog this before but let’s put my regrets aside.
So, you have come to realize that everyone who knows how technology works was right – it’s all spying on you. And, well, you don’t like it but – you don’t know where to start. You feel overwhelmed. Many people have these kind of feelings
- I’m too busy to figure this out
- I’m afraid to try something new in case something breaks
- I’m used to letting ‘geniuses’ fix my tech
- I’m too old
- Everything is changing to fast
- I just want it to work
Ok, these are all normal feelings but let me be crystal clear that none of them are an excuse for letting a creep spy on you. Imagine if a peeping tom had binoculars fixed on your bedroom window. It’s as bad as that or worse so do something today, ok?
Great. Let’s get started.
THE SOCIAL STUFF
This is the most scary stuff. I watch my foolish friends and family amass the precious photos and history of their children (who had no choice in the matter) onto the servers of some very uncool people. What’s most frightening is that 9 out of 10 of these people don’t even know exactly how the technology works. If you are one of those 9, just trust me and start making the better choice for your family with the following alteratives – and bring your friends and family so that you aren’t alone.
|Unsafe||Safer Alternative||Where to get it||Quick Notes|
|*Diaspora||https://diasporafoundation.org/||Choose a pod. Sign up. Bring your friends and family. Never go back to facebook. Totally decentralized. Totally your data. You can even import and export all your data!|
|Mastodon||https://mastodon.social||Fun and extremely awesome and powerful. Totally decentralized. Totally your data.|
|TBA||let me know!|
THE PERIPHERAL STUFF
The first step is to start switching from unsafe ‘peripherals’ to safer ones. These will immediately start helping you relax about change because your operating system will be familiar. It’s kind of like renovating an ensuite washroom before tackling the kitchen. It kind of eases you into this new and safer life. But before we move on to this easy and simple step, please keep in mind that your ultimate goal *must* be to remove all unsafe operating systems from your life. This includes Apple, Microsoft and Android.
But for now, let’s start with taking one bite of the elephant.
|Unsafe||Safer Alternative||Where to get it||Quick Notes|
|Microsoft Office Suite||Libre Office||http://www.libreoffice.org/||Wipes out Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and more while leaving you with *more* power and features and a great experience.|
|Telegram Messenger||https://telegram.org/||Not only open source but feature loaded and works on literally any device as well as even on a web browser.|
|Kakao Talk||Telegram Messenger||https://telegram.org/||See notes above|
|Skype||hubl||https://hubl.in/||Browser based. Just allow it to use your mic/camera. Use it on almost any device. Once finished with link, never use it again, or link stays active and you can use it again and again. Multiple people at the same time is also awesome. No file sharing yet but Telegram can do this while on a chat.|
|Skype||jitsi||https://meet.jit.si/||Have heard good reports that jitsi works well on self-hosting (even safer)|
|Internet Explorer (or whatever dumb new name they give to the same garbage)||Firefox||https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/||Most people use this anyways, but just in case you are really lost... Also, the plugins you can add to this make browsing so much more awesome.|
|Outlook Express||Thunderbird||https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/||Just awesome and then you just plug in Enigmail plugin for total email encryption.|
|icloud||Nextcloud||https://nextcloud.com/||You can either buy their box or install it on an old computer as a server... or put it on shared hosting. Pure sweetness in cloud file stuff.|
|Adobe Photoshop||GIMP||https://www.gimp.org/||Unbelievably robust and easy to use. Edit photos like a pro or as a pro and never turn back.|
|Missed any??||Let me know!|
So now we have the stuff out of the way, we need to deal with email by itself.
Most people, sadly, use some of the most compromising and horrific spying machines around. Some of these might look familiar:
First of all, putting technology aside, your email address actually speaks volumes about who you are as a person. For more on this, read my post here about that. But, on top of that, it’s not secure having your email on someone’s computer. For just a second ask yourself this concerning question: Why would a company pay to give you free email? Answer: to market to you or worse. So in order to market to you they must have all your data. Haven’t you ever wondered why advertisements start to look very, very similar to what you are doing in your life? Yeah. That’s because of that (and other things)
For email, if you are technologically savvy enough you ‘could’ run your own email server which would be the safest possible solution. However, it’s not that easy. Maybe your friend could set it up, but if you don’t have such a friend, what is best is to stop supporting these companies who prey on people like this and move to something cooler. It’s really *not* that expensive to pay for email. Here is what you do:
- buy a domain like ‘your name’
- choose something cool that goes before it like ‘me’ or ‘name’
- call a company that sells domains and email (preferably in a country like Canada) and force their tech support to set it up.
Then you would have an email like this:
If it’s not available there are countless Top Level Domains (TLDs) that you can choose from and certainly one of these will be waiting for you. And it’s fun!
Just make sure that when you buy your domain and email that you have enough memory. Most of them have some kind of unlimited plan for memory so go with that. Also, make sure that it has IMAP support – I would be shocked if they didn’t but this is the email service you want. You should budget about $15/year for the domain and another $?? for email and storage. I have been really happy with Canadian Web Hosting for service and pricing if I can make a quick plug. For about $5.00/month to have safe email per person is pretty reasonable. If you have another reason to have a website, you could simply get unlimited email through your website hosting plan as well. This requires a little more skill but it’s not that hard. A friend who runs their own website should be happy to set it up for you once you purchase. I would do this for my friends…
Now you’ve got your email and your other ‘stuff’ more secure, the last discussion is the big one.
THE OPERATING SYSTEM
You need to start planning to get rid of your current operating system which is probably either Apple/mac or Microsoft Windows. These companies have compromised many things at your expense of both dollars and privacy. They do not deserve your business nor are there endless reasons to stay with them. For 99% of people they could switch 100% to a safer option and be completely happy. There are a very small number of people in niche markets like print and design and perhaps medicine where the entire industry has forced everyone to communicate with these corrupted systems. In these cases you may need to keep one computer for ‘work only’ and your ‘personal life’ should be immediately moved to a safer option.
I recommend that everyone immediately switch their desktop and laptops to Ubuntu
Ubuntu is the safest, fastest, most supported and most loved free and open source operating system in the world. Switching to Ubuntu operating system is not that difficult but it does require enough comfort and skill. It’s easy enough to learn, but if you do have access to an ubuntu community near you, you should join that community or start one yourself.
Soon Ubuntu will be ready to go for mobile devices too. This is another reason why it would be wise to consider Ubuntu.
A NEW AND SAFER INTERNET
Another important thing that we will all need to work on quickly is to create a new and community-owned internet. This is a bigger picture discussion but please also start preparing your mind for ‘mesh networks‘. I will post more here as I learn and this will be my new focus for 2017 and 2018 because what good is all this safe stuff if we are using them on unsafe platforms owned by people who have agendas that we cannot control?
I hope this has helped someone break the chains.
There is a Macro Plan and a Micro Plan and both work together as one:
- The Macro Plan is the overarching world-wide plan of God which includes things like nations fighting nations, kingdoms, spiritual warfare, weather disasters, armies, domination of one religion over the other, etc. Events of the Macro Plan not only have been prophesied in the Bible but every single one has come to pass and there is not one thing that a man can do in his power to stop the Macro Plan from completing
- The Micro Plan is the intricate meandering journey of our life which starts with birth and ends in death. We make small decisions which affect the course of our life. For example we choose to buy a business and the plan fails – even though it seems like it shouldn’t have – which leads to brokenness and depression. Yet because of the brokenness and depression we call out to God for help and our lives start going yet a different direction. We are sure that failure was designed to crush us yet we discover, in hindsight the result of the horrible event was something beautiful. The heat from the fire produced pure gold. The pressure from the weight of the burden created valuable diamonds. Although it would appear outwardly that free will has been removed, it is not so. It is in fact free will which brings both the Macro and the Micro Plans to their ultimate fulfillment.
Imagine for a moment observing an ant hill from above. You are planning to stick a shovel under that hill and relocate it (or worse), but watching the ants for a minute shows that they remain quite focused on their work and their lives. Yet, standing above that ant hill is someone who knows more accurately how their future is going to unfold. But they still choose to carry that heavy load up the hill and down again in utter futility.
Imagine again that you walk over a few steps and notice that a few ants have begun to build their home and foundation – a brand new ant hill – in the middle of the gravel road, in a tire track in the road just an arms length in front of the truck that made it. The truck is facing forward and it is impossible for that truck to miss the ant hill when it starts moving. Because you love ants, you grab a big stick and every so gently scrape the ant hill out of the way of the tire. From the ants perspective, God has crushed them and ruined their lives. But we know the truth because we see more than their Micro Plan and have a much better understanding than those little ants. We see the Macro Plan and understand it. We made this Macro Plan.
Also, it is impossible to deny that the Micro Plan of our individual lives intertwine intimately with the Micro Plans of others. How else can we explain these people who pop in and out of our lives? It is undeniable that some seem to be there just to ruin our lives while others are like a life line of encouragement of hope. It is much like how two ants might meet on the way back to their ant hills one day. They were busy doing their busy work but then this random ant from another place and colony pops into their life; sometimes to attack and bite, other times to help carry the load.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. (Romans 8:28)
It does not say ‘all good things’, but it says ‘all things’ which means both bad things and good things (and neutral things).
A wise man once said that predestination and free will is like this analogy:
A man walks towards the gates of heaven and written on the gate says “Knock and it shall be opened” and then after walking in and looking back at the gate it said on the other side “Predestined before the foundation of the world”