Internet Exclusivity

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Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans do not have proper access to the Internet? (Wait! That number seems small.) Let’s do the math: 20% of 325.7 million people = 65,140,000 Americans.

While it may seem unimportant to have good internet access everywhere (didn’t we all survive without it 25 years ago? Shouldn’t we be cherishing the moments without it?), it is hindering those who don’t have it, and hurting the American economy. Students’ grades are being affected, job opportunities (i.e. telecommuting, online interviews) are being taken away. Time is spent traveling to urban areas for access, being away from home, or waiting on slow Internet speeds. As society continues to grow alongside technological advancement, we are leaving rural and impoverished areas behind.

Will Goes Vegan

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So I’ve been concerned about the sustainability of meat as a food product for a while now. Mind you, not so concerned yet that I’m willing to give it up entirely (there will be a full day of mourning when I lay corned beef to rest), but enough to investigate what my un-meat options look like these days. Believe it or not, things aren’t looking half bad.

Laptops Overheating

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With summer starting I wanted to write about the effects overheating has on hardware, specifically laptops. As you may know, Birds on a Cable has moved offices, and I’ve experienced a spell of my laptop overheating at our new location. Yes, I know, I’m supposed to be an expert and not allow such things to happen, but even us gurus are fools at times. For that very reason, I thought this would be important subject for all of us. With laptops being so convenient and hassle-free, it’s easy to forget that they need regular maintenance. We take them into any (and every) environment without hesitation, and rarely think of the damage these elements might cause.

The Happening: Google Domination

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With all of my doomsday blabbering about the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the certain extinction it will (probably) bring, I thought it was time to focus on some good things about AI that are right around the corner. After all, the AI future will be good – up until it starts going bad, and one of the things I’m most excited about is Google Duplex.

How Do Hard Drives Store All Those Bits?

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I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but in the last 30 years, it’s gotten cheaper to store things. I can recall my first computer back in 1997 with its whopping 1.5 GB of space. Two years later, we bought a second hard drive with 10 GB. These days, you can buy 12 TB Hard Drives (and 100 TB Solid State drives if you feel like spending both arms, both legs, and maybe your first born; all for roughly the same price as a 1 GB hard drive around 1995. What changed? What allows manufacturers to cram more bits and bytes into those small boxes?

Your Next Side Gig

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Last Friday, I married my best friend! We decided long ago to keep it simple and get hitched at the courthouse here in Portland, OR. I googled “How to get married in Multnomah County” and was led to a list of judges. I emailed a judge in January, and she booked our wedding date, no problem! She gave us some easy instructions and sent us a few sample vows. On the day of, we arrived to the courthouse in a timely fashion, only to recognize a sign on her door that read:

Crafting an Infernal Contraption

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I’ve been telling myself for the last month and a half that I’m going to get into leatherworking. I bought all the tools, read through some beginner materials, and planned out my first project. But what was this? The man in this Youtube video is using some specialized vice to hold his leather in place while he stitches. I couldn’t possibly be considered a travelled Leathersmith without having one of those to work with! So, in lieu of actually working the leather, my first project became to forge a tool for it. This journey is chronicled below.

The Shoemaker’s Children

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My laptop has been bluescreening (BSOD-ing) for about 2-months, now. I have a hunch it’s related to sleep settings, or some aspect of a power shift that is broken: from power to sleep, battery to sleep, or falling asleep all by itself. Any change in the cached memory that isn’t finalized by a full shutdown is intensely discouraged by my machine. But who has time to fix it?

Working on the Wing

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Our clients are all over Chicago, and so we go all over Chicago. I’d say that our days are evenly split between a) a client’s office, working face-to-face on a project or problem of the day b) at the Nest, working screen-to-screen with our clients via PC/phone/email, c) bouncing from at least two to three locations, working catch as catch can from laptops, cell phones, on trains, buses, Divvys, foot or Uber. More and more, our clients have the same work-style challenges. Real estate agents are bouncing from office to showing to coffee shop to closing. Lawyers are at the airport, office, or at trial. Some work during their commute into the city via Metra (The Way to Really Fly!).  And any of us on “vacation.”

Why The Cloud is Good for Small Business

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Let’s talk about THE CLOUD. I won’t bore you with details about security risks or pros v. cons. Those types of details muddy the real value of The Cloud, which is keeping up with cutting-edge IT without a huge IT budget. This is especially significant for small businesses.

Maybe you’ve already been wondering, should we move our business to The Cloud? and what type of Cloud? Cloud data storage or Cloud computing? What’s the difference? Or, maybe you’re asking, What is The Cloud anyway? Isn’t it something for large companies?