Apple Mac versus Windows 10 – the verdict

Last year I mentioned that I was going to buy a refurbished Apple Mac Mini (the 2014 model) to run Vellum (publishing software that would help me produce cleaner, better-formatted manuscripts).  In that article, I concluded: It’s too early to say yet, but I might be tempted in due course to transition entirely to Apple hardware and software, and move away from the PC altogether.  Being my own boss as a writer and not having to run an employer’s PC-specific software, I have that flexibility.  I never thought I’d say that (yes, I’ve joked about Apples and their fanbois for many years, along with the rest of the computer world), but

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Analysis of helicopter crash blames “software glitch”

With Boeing’s 737 Max variant in the news due to potential software issues that may have caused two fatal crashes, I was interested to read that software issues also caused the crash of the first Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky S-97 Raider prototype in 2017.   Nearly all helicopters have one main set of rotors. The S-97 has two sets of rotors, plus a propeller in the back intended to give it about twice the speed of traditional helicopters. In the 2017 crash, every rotor blade and every propeller blade either was bent or broken after the helicopter rolled more than 60 degrees to one side from

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Google Mail and Blogger problems

Just a quick heads-up:  Gmail and Blogger have been logging me out for the past hour.  I can’t check e-mail at all, and this is the first time I’ve been able to reach Blogger. If you don’t see any blog posts tomorrow morning, it’ll be because of these problems.  I hope they’ll be resolved soon. Peter

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Your job – and what will replace you

It won’t necessarily be a “machine” as such – it may be a computer program instead.  Nevertheless, a very large proportion of traditional blue-collar and white-collar jobs are, right now, being replaced by automation;  or, at the very least, their replacement is already being planned.  The threat is real, and it’s immediate, not sometime in the future. A couple of days ago, I mentioned, in passing, a New York Times article titled “The Hidden Automation Agenda of the Davos Elite“.  Here’s an excerpt. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis. All over the world, executives are spending billions of dollars to transform their businesses into

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Improving your online privacy

I’ve written several times in the past about the threat to privacy and private information posed by the Internet and social media companies who see us as the product they sell to others, to be exploited for their greatest advantage.  That’s why I’m still not active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any of the other big names in social media.  The only one I use is Gab, and they guarantee the privacy of their members, making it a much safer environment. If you’ve wondered how to improve or safeguard your online privacy, there are ways.  Many of them have been

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A novel hi-tech “display” that’s almost a new art form

I don’t have a very visual imagination.  I’m good with words, but I can’t paint or draw to save my life, and while I enjoy and appreciate some painting styles and schools (landscapes, some portraits, etc.), I don’t like most modern alleged “art” at all.  However, some modern forms of visual expression are so novel that they catch my eye, and my imagination – including this one. When art and function meet technology, you can bank on the product looking something a little like magic. After years of dodging reinvention, the humble clay brick has met its 2018 match, with New

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“Smart” gadgets versus your privacy and security

I’ve had a few things to say about the so-called “Internet of Things“, and how it threatens our personal privacy and security.  Any moderately competent hacker can use such devices as a way to spy on us.  However, it now appears that the authorities are doing the same thing, by forcing the providers of such devices to hand over what they record.  Worse still, the companies in the field are not very helpful in letting their customers know about such issues. A decade ago, it was almost inconceivable that nearly every household item could be hooked up to the internet. These

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How NOT to win friends and influence customers

What’s the old saying?  “Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear.”  A British banker should have borne that in mind. Banks are facing a furious reaction from customers after saying they should foot the compensation bill for fraud by paying a tax on every transaction made. UK Finance chief Stephen Jones told MPs on the Treasury committee today that banks shouldn’t always have to cover the costs when criminals con people into transferring money out of their accounts. A tiny levy on each payment made in the UK could be a solution to covering the rising cost of

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Some exciting blog and Web site news

For the past few weeks, I’ve had a consultant and his team working on setting up a dedicated Web site for me, and for the publishing company I set up earlier this year.  We hope to go live by the end of this month, although it may happen a little sooner than that, if all goes well. The new Web site will incorporate this blog, plus more detailed pages for my books, by genre, by series, and by individual title.  I won’t do direct sales from it, due to all the complications of sales taxes and other regulations for fifty

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