Here’s an opposite take on the excellent “11 ways to be unremarkably average” comic by Gavin Aung Than (aka ZenPencils), which was itself inspired by and borrows from a quote by Chris Guillebeau. The funny thing is, if you reverse these warnings and follow the opposite of the steps outlined in that Guillebeau quote, hidden within is perhaps the secret to true happiness or in the very least a guideline on how to live a unique and truly free lifestyle.
Without further adieu, we give you “11 Ways To Be Remarkably Exceptional”:
Like most Canadians, I have paid way more than I care to admit to the greedy Telcos over the past several years. My estimates put my average monthly bill for two smartphone plans and a home telephone line with an international long-distance plan at approximately $175/month (some months higher, some months lower, but that’s the average). Carry that cost over 12 months per year and about 5 years since I’ve been back in Canada and at the mercy of the Telcos, and you’ve got a scary picture. Add in Internet, TV and Movie services (i.e. Netflix) and what you’ve got is blatant wastage and inefficiency, something I intend to put an end to now that my major smartphone plan’s 3-year contract is coming to an end.
Feel free to jump straight to my problem and my proposed solution right now, but I’ll lay out some background on my particular situation, and what lead me to this current fleecing and desparation to find an alternative.
At first I ended up with three separate carriers, which is almost never the cheapest way of doing things, but almost always the way a typical household ends up. As families grow, couples may have had separate services, and its not always easy or even possible to package, bundle or combine services due to prior contracts. It’s easy to blame the greedy Telcos, but at least some of the responsibility for this situation rests on my shoulders as a result of laziness or simple lack of time and energy to do anything about it sooner and/or do more research into all the possible alternatives.
Being incredibly busy but needing to fill an immediate need for services to get my wife a phone since I had no home phone line, before I had much chance to figure out how badly I’d be getting screwed, I had myself signed on to two 3-year contracts with two separate carriers.
Later, I needed to add a second smartphone plan, mostly because I had to get a Mobile phone plan for my wife before she was actually a permanent resident, and at the time there was a “special offer” on at Rogers that would have made it cheaper than adding a second line to my existing Bell-Aliant account. What I didn’t know was that despite it being cheaper, Rogers tends to hike their rates more later on down the line. Live and learn I suppose.
I’ve considered something like a Mobile 4G hotspot, but the thought of carrying it with me everywhere and being dependent on a spotty service that’s still being rolled out does not really appeal to me very much. That said, here’s what I found were my options: Read the rest of this entry »
It is with great humility and gratitude that I announce that I have finished in the Top 10 of the Mintchip Challenge with my proposed application and idea that “A digital currency can be used for P2P barter and micropayments“.
You can see the full list of finalists in the Mintchip Challenge here:
There were really some phenomenal entries into the contest and this has to have been one of the most well-received and highly active (by sheer number of participants/voters) campaigns of all the ChallengePost software development-related contests so far. Congratulations to all the competitors, it was an honour to be amongst such talent. While I didn’t earn one of the big money prizes for my app (you can see the teams and applications who were winners of the demonstration side of the contest here) I do feel honoured and appreciative of the Top 10 finish for the idea itself. I would like to thoroughly thank everyone for their ongoing support, and let you know that this gives me the positive encouragement I needed not to give up on my idea of creating a fairer, more efficient and transparent money system, built on the idea that one deserves to enjoy the fruits of their labour however they wish and not have the income generated from their hard work just handed out to greedy corporations via questionable transaction fees, high interest payments or uncalled for service fees.
When I started this experiment called “BCmoney MobileTV”, I had the seed of an idea in my head, that today:
- we can do a better job at distributing the world’s essential resources (food, water, energy for heat/lights, etc)
- we can valuate people’s contributions to society a lot better than we currently are
- we (at least in North America, but really worldwide) spend alot of our time on activities that benefit other people or organizations (sometimes without even knowing it)
With this post, I am also taking the time to announce the development of a new Web Service, to be known only as “BC$”, and henceforth, the existing BCmoney MobileTV site will serve as the testbed for it. The Web Service will be a simple, lightweight tool to passively track creation and consumption habits online. This will be different from existing tracking tools in that it will absolutely respect “Do Not Track” requests and immediately stop tracking individuals on request (i.e. whether that is just temporarily or permanently). Read the rest of this entry »
The Java programming language is one of the most widely used and widely supported programming languages in the world (in terms of total number of devices and systems running it). Since its inception, it has also been the subject of several major lawsuits (i.e. Oracle .vs. Google, Google .vs. Oracle countersuit, US Gov .vs. Microsoft, Apple .vs. Android OEMs – Samsung, Motorola, HTC and Sun .vs. Microsoft) due in no small part thanks to its aforementioned widespread use in just about every major device from mobile phones to back-end server infrastructure and from individual desktops/laptops to large-scale distributed computing grids (like Amazon’s AWS & EC2).
Java didn’t set out to be a better C for every programmer, and in fact had an identity crisis early in its life. It started out in 1991 as a language called “Oak”, part of a small project called the “Green Team” initiated by Patrick Naughton, Mike Sheridan, and James Gosling, who is primarily credited with the design of the language that became Java. (Bryan Youmans has a page on the history of Java, with some interesting thoughts on the language design. There’s also an official version of the history from Sun/Oracle.)
Here’s an explanation of what we have today, followed by a Use-Case for my idea…
1. Person A is a farmer who has worked hard all season and is ready for harvest of their crops. For simplicity’s sake, let’s call him the “Seller“, since the next step will be to sell their produce. For that they may need any of the following:
a location (i.e. storefront or directly from their farm)
an advertising budget to attract patrons to their own farm directly (or to their storefront)
transportation or a carrier service to do deliveries, or,
distributor agreements which arrange to have the produce picked up exactly when it is ready and bring it to 3rd party wholesalers or retailers for stocking in their storefront
Read the rest of this entry »
BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money
The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:
1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.
2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.
3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.