An Update On My Quest Not To Be Tracked

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I thought I’d publish an update on my quest to create a computer set-up that eliminates tracking companies from my world. Basically, this infographic explains why (it’s a large graphic  — you may have to zoom in). So far I’ve really only eliminated the following: Google, Facebook and various other data collection companies. I’ve made my web browsing relatively free …

How To Control Your Data Online

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We’ve become accustomed to online companies hosting our data, but this practice is actually highly inefficient. This page explains the situation pretty simply. My advice is to use “unhosted” online services that support personal data control, or “zero-knowledge” services that encrypt your data before it leaves your computer. I’ve created a list of suitable services at the end of this …

Efficient In 2012: Collaborative Consumption

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The rise of collaborative consumption is perhaps the most efficient movement arising in society today. Basically, collaborative consumption is based on an economic model where products are shared or rented instead of owned. This model may become pervasive enough to replace the ownership-based model we have today. For good introduction to this movement, see the video above. It’s by Rachel …

Efficient: Private, Decentralized Networks

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The Internet is a wonderful invention, and we are now entering a time where the Internet is becoming nearly ubiquitous in our lives and quickly supplanting traditional forms of media. However, today the Internet is often censored and tracked by Internet Services Providers (ISPs) and companies like Google and Facebook, as well as governments around the world. (I’ve outlined some …

Mint: A Free, Easy-To-Use Operating System

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I’ve converted my Apple computers to run Mint Linux in place of OS X. Mint Linux was built to be easy to install and a system that novice users could enjoy. Based on Ubuntu, Mint became the poplar desktop version of Linux this year. Linux is a free, open-source operating system that been around for 30 years. It’s not widely …

The Best External Hard Drives Of 2012

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External hard drives allow you to add terabytes of storage to your computer for a few hundred dollars. External drives connect to PCs and Macs via their external connectors. Almost every computer has a USB 2.0 port, so it’s the most common type of connection currently. Here’s the speed of other interfaces (from slowest to fastest): FireWire 400, USB 2.0, FireWire 800, eSATA (external …

The Best LED Reading Lamps

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The small size and directional light output of LEDs make them ideal for personal reading lights, and they are energy efficient too. Here are some of the best LED reading lamps:

The Best Stereo Amplifiers Of 2012

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This year, we found that Onkyo and Harmon Kardon are the brands that produced the best budget stereo amplifiers. Above the $500 level, your best bet is a amplifier like the Marantz PM6004 Integrated Amplifier. It received What Hi-Fi’s Product Of the Year in 2011. See also our master list of American-made amplifiers and audio products on Reactual. The Best Budget Amplifier: Onkyo …