Jul 6, 2018

EU-Japan Trade Deal negotiated! Finally!

A rare occurrence. The EU is doing something right.
I hope for custom free imports and less expensive trading with Japan. That would be great!

The EU has finalised negotiations for a trade agreement with Japan.
EU firms already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year.
But European firms face trade barriers when exporting to Japan which make it hard for them to compete.
The trade agreement with Japan will:

remove these barriers
help us shape global trade rules in line with our high standards and shared values
send a powerful signal that two of the world's biggest economies reject protectionism.
 source: European Commision

May 2, 2018

We have such a high standard of living. Why aren't we more positive?

Here I am standing looking out of the window, listening to electronic chillout music from Google Play Music, sipping a green tea from thousand miles away and getting ready to play on my PlayStation 4. All while I have time to think about life.
We have such a high standard of living. I'm really wondering why leaders of the countries that live a life in luxury still waging wars and people seem pretty unsatisfied. I could understand if this would only apply to regions where the people are living in bad conditions and having a very low standard. But it seems that this isn't even is a thing.
We should altering our focus and be grateful to having such a good life and stop spreading war all around the world. Instead we could part our overall wealth.

But I'll guess it's always the same. You have much, you want more. But in the 21st century we should quickly learn to be satisfied with what we have achieved in regards of life standards. At least as a basis to improve necessary progression for the future. Not more is the key, less with more efficiency is inevitable. Before it's too late.

Mar 24, 2018

A Life Without Twitter is Great!

So, after 1 week off Twitter, I won't come back so quickly. Automatic posts from my blogs will appear there, but I'm out participating.

On April 18th I followed the move from Ron Gilbert (yes, it's the Secret of Monkey Island programmer *sigh*). I didn't think that I would resist using Twitter so long. But after 3 Days it felt like a big relieve. And now I'm out. And not only that. All private social media activities will be shut down. There are still my blogs and websites (comments are mirrored to Google+, so it appears that I'm still commenting on Google+ via my blogs). I will also shut down reading comments on news sites. It doesn't make any sense or difference.
Reading comments about news is a guaranteed way for anger. Why should you do this? To proof the majority of society is a piece of crap? Don't need social media for that, just check real life.
Don't get me wrong. I was very early participating in social networks. But it all changed in the last 2-3 years dramatically from a role-model for the future to a total pile of garbage.

A real place on earth. Social networks have no meaning anymore.
And here we are at the reason why. It's not because of that "Facebook scandal". It's no scandal, it's common business. Everybody is doing that, every fricking political party, and it#s an essential business model for all social networks. So, I don't give a crap about that.
No, it's the waste of time. The meaningless bullcrap we put out everyday and read it. And how dare you not reading it?
And you have to have a common opinion on everything, or you're a troll. Eff this hypocrite pile of society crap. I once thought the Internet if a relieve for mankind, because they can speak their opinion freely. Social networks pretty much ruined it now. Twitter censors the crap out of people if you have a different approach to problems, and thinking they are the savior of the world by forcing silicon valley's will on people world wide. Eff them.
But no, that's not the only reason. It's because PEOPLE are actually fallen for their crap! Yes, instead of keeping values like freedom, free speech and neutrality, they actually are a horde of hatreds that would sacrifice everything for a few clicks. Or, even worse, they actually believe that bull they were taught by the networks.
In short: Participating is a complete waste of time. On social networks, real life is not mirroring, it is trying to influence, but miserably fails in real life society. That's why, if you read the tweets, you could think that is the world. It's not. Not even close. It's a sick, distorted picture of a few without merit. You'll see that easily if you shut down your computer & phone and visit the many places.
Social networks are also a complete time killer with endless and useless discussion about problems you probably wouldn't care about without it.

You see, I'm not willing to waste my time on complete senseless, and much worse, very angering crap that I read the whole day any longer. No. I don't care anymore for the social networks, because they don't care about the real life. The REAL life you know. Not what some super-hipsters with bags full of money from weak people are telling you it is.

That means I will tone down all social network activities to a bare minimum with a complete shutdown of Twitter & Co. I was not active on Facebook for years, so...
And now I'm my own social network. Love it, or leave it !

Mar 21, 2018

How to Still Make Money off YouTube

YouTube made a very bad decision and illogically ousted smaller channels and kicked creators butt. But that doesn't mean you have to give up hope.
Here is a workaround to still make money from your YouTube videos and probably get more benefits from doing so.

First, you'll have to set up a blog on blogger or use your existing one. Of course you can have wordpress or anything else, too. It's just very easy with blogger.
You easily can monetize your blog with adsense, as you should to have this working. After you did this, you can start posting your videos on YouTube like normal.
After you published a video, instead of promoting the YouTube-link, you share your video with blogger or your favorite platform ad shown in the video above.

Now if someone invokes the link, ads will be shown according to the settings in your blog. In the example is a non intrusive banner under the post. You can also use your sidebar or top to show ads.
So instead of showing ads on YouTube, they will be shown in your blog. This works better than expected if you keep linking your blog post on social media and anywhere else instead the video directly on YouTube. People can watch the video like normal without leaving your blog. Instead of using a complete description on YouTube, only post a short teaser and post a brief description in the blog alongside your video.

Get even more people visiting your blog by adding valuable content, like real articles, photos and other multimedia content. You might up ending giving real value to your viewers and that is a great thing.

Dec 24, 2017

How to get Cool Retro Term running on KDE neon

I found the awesome looking cool-retro-term recently and installed it on my KDE Neon system via a repository. But of course, I had no luck.
The main text color was invisible. I searched the Internet up and down, and only find 1 person on Twitter with the same problem.
Text on the left column is missing. The main text!
So when you e.g. do a "less xyz.txt" nothing will be showed!
Strange. Must be KDE Neon. And what can you do when something goes wrong on GNU+Linux? Right, recompile it :).

Make sure you installed all dependencies. For Ubuntu 17.04 e.g. it's:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libqt5qml-graphicaleffects qml-module-qt-labs-folderlistmodel qml-module-qt-labs-settings qml-module-qtquick-controls qml-module-qtquick-dialogs qmlscene qt5-default qt5-qmake qtdeclarative5-dev qtdeclarative5-localstorage-plugin qtdeclarative5-qtquick2-plugin qtdeclarative5-window-plugin

Then it's pretty easy:

git clone --recursive https://github.com/Swordfish90/cool-retro-term.git
cd cool-retro-term/
qmake && make

Don't know if necessary, but as usual I did a

sudo make install

And boom, that's it. Working like a charm and I'm back in the 70s :)

Dec 9, 2017

Smart Home is finally real

I waited for decades for this to happen. The Sci-Fi movies all promised this for a long time. It finally came to a point where it gets serious. It's not perfect by now, but it's a good start.

There is nothing here that wasn't around for decades. Computer geeks used their computers via relais to turn thing on or off for fun. But the thing that really drove smart home forward was the appearance of the Assistants.
Alexa, Google Home and even the Google Assistant on your phone are the key to success.

That's because it's not pratical to go to your computer and give the command to turn on the lights. Why don't you walk to your wall switch in the first place?
But if you sit on your couch and it's getting dark and you can just say "Hey Google, turn on the lights", and the lights are shining in a second, that's where you never want to go back.

However it is not cheap to automate your home. A set of 3 light bulbs with bridge costs you about 200 Bucks. Sure you have a lot of extras like colors and dimming, but still. Not better with power switches. Adapters that sit between the device and your wall power outlet. But about 30 Bucks per device is some serious drawback.

Here is where the Sonoff switch comes into place. The basic model is around $5-8 Dollar. Now we're talking. With that money, everything can be switched with Alexa or Google Home, and your smartphone. Even from underway!
The processing is decent, and if you know what you're doing, it's a quite safe thing. New badges of these comes wit many standard certificates like ROHS and CE. The basic models can handle 10A (2200 Watt), which is good enough for most things. Check your device before using it with this switch. There is a PWR model that handels 16A which is for all common electric devices that plugs into your wall outlet.
You are one of those person that really fears to left the heater running or the oven on when you left? Just take a look. You not only you can see if the device is on, but you can switch it from anywhere.
I use a switch to turn on my sound receiver and the connected Chromecast Audio. I don't have to stand up to turn both things off, but save energy by not letting them run 24/7. I put this in a little certified box (very cheap at your local tool store) and attached a 3 plug outlet to it for switching more devices in the future. You need to keep in mind that the ground wire needs to be connected directly, since there is no ground through in the Sonoff switch.

There are more Sonoff models. Not only for 16A instead of 10A, but with a monitor to see how many energy you consume. Or with a thermostat or humidity control. So basically you can set a heater to only run when the temperate falls below a specific temperature. So you can safe money, but won't let the house go completely cold when underway.

But there is more, much more, to be solved.
Turning on and off is great, and many things can be done. But some devices need a deeper integration, and those often big companies are too slow. The washing machine is a bad example. Smart washing machines are way too expensive and have a bad integration. I want to control and get status via my Google Home or Alexa device. Basta. These things would cost approx. 50 bucks or less (basically they could do this with a small wifi module and a Raspberry Pi). But well-known companies charging hundreds and hundreds of dollar on top of the, already very expensive, prices.

Some other stuff needs better integration, too. Basically everything that needs an action after you turn it on needs more than a simple on/off switch. Sure, I can switch on my Nespresso machine. But I need to press a button after connecting the power and another to start dripping the coffee. Yes, Nespresso e.g. has a connected machine. But only via Bluetooth and only connected to the app. Bummer. No Google Home connection again. Maybe I'll switch to a good old coffee brewer because of that. Just power and the coffee starts to come out.
More examples: VCR/PVR devices to record stuff. Playback is great via Google Chromecast: "Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix" but no recording of a simple TV cast. Door locks also need better integration. Same with window shutters.

But the start is awesome since the voice controlled assistants are available. I'm looking forward to see more things to come, and more possibilities to make Eureka look like a nostalgic romance.