Opinion | Democrats, Avoid the Robot Rabbit Hole – By Paul Krugman – The New York Times

By 

Opinion Columnist

CreditHilary Swift for The New York Times

“One of the less discussed parts of Tuesday’s Democratic debate was the exchange that took place over automation and how to deal with it. But it’s worth focusing on that exchange, because it was interesting — by which I mean depressing. CNN’s Erin Burnett, one of the moderators, asked a bad question, and the debaters by and large — with the perhaps surprising exception of Bernie Sanders — gave pretty bad answers.

So let me make a plea to the Democrats: Please don’t go down the robot rabbit hole.

Burnett declared that a recent study shows that “about a quarter of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation in just the next 10 years.” What the study actually says is less alarming: It finds that a quarter of U.S. jobs will face “high exposure to automation over the next several decades.”

But if you think even that sounds bad, ask yourself the following question: When, in modern history, has something like that statement not been true?”

Opinion | We Talked to Andrew Yang. Here’s How He’d Fix the Internet. – By Charlie Warzel – The New York Times

By 

Mr. Warzel is an Opinion writer at large.

CreditCreditMark Makela/Reuters

“This week’s Privacy Project newsletter is a pre-debate conversation with the former entrepreneur and current presidential candidate Andrew Yang. I wanted to speak to Yang since he’s the only candidate to address data privacy as a campaign policy issue. He’s a proponent of an idea that’s somewhat controversial among privacy professionals, which is that we should own our own data.

Our short conversation turned out to be pretty sprawling, touching on subjects like data dignity, whether Facebook should be able to run political ads, whether any of us have free will and what his proposed Department of the Attention Economy might look like.

This is a condensed and edited version of our conversation:

You’re the only candidate who has decided to make privacy a campaign issue. How’d you get there?

I’m an avid user of the internet and I understand that users are completely at the mercy of tech companies in terms of what happens to our data. They pretend it’s our choice. In reality, 99.9 percent of people scroll down and hit “I agree.” The trade we’re making is for cost and convenience, but in return we’re forfeiting our data.

That data is packaged and sold and resold and we are none the wiser. We occasionally get notifications of a data breachClose X and think, “Oh, snap, should I change my password?” That’s an irritation but what’s going on with our data is much bigger than that.”

10 Tips to Avoid Leaving Tracks Around the Internet – By David Pogue – The New York Times

“Google and Facebook collect information about us and then sell that data to advertisers. Websites deposit invisible “cookies” onto our computers and then record where we go online. Even our own government has been known to track us.

When it comes to digital privacy, it’s easy to feel hopeless. We’re mere mortals! We’re minuscule molecules in their machines! What power do we possibly have to fight back?

That was the question I posed to you, dear readers, in the previous “Crowdwise.”

Many of you responded with valuable but frequently repeated suggestions: Use a program that memorizes your passwords, and make every password different. Install an ad blocker in your web browser, like uBlock Origin. Read up on the latest internet scams. If you must use Facebook, visit its Privacy Settings page and limit its freedom to target ads to you.

What I sought, though, was non-obvious ideas.

It turns out that “digital privacy” means different things to different people.”

 

David Lindsay:

Everyone should go to the dentist twice a year, and read an article like this one about how to protect your privacy on the internet.

How to Make Your Smartphone Last Longer – The New York Times

By 

“When you buy a new smartphone, how long do you expect it to last? Two years? Maybe three? Despite the sometimes sky-high sticker prices, we tend to replace our smartphones more frequently than any of our other expensive electronic devices. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Around the time early smartphones from Apple and Google started to hit shelves in the late 2000s, the traditional model for buying a phone from your carrier worked like this: You would sign up for a two-year contract and in exchange you’d get a free (or very cheap) phone whose cost was built into the price of your monthly payment. Once your two years were up, carriers would lure you back with an “upgrade” that renewed your contract, gave you a new phone and maybe even took the old phone off your hands.

This worked fine for old flip phones, and especially cheaper phones that might not last very long. However, this model came with an unintended side effect. It trained users to expect upgrades every two years.”

Opinion | Google and Facebook Are Quietly Tracking You on Sex Websites – The New York Times

“Dr. Maris argues that this lack of disclosure is similar to the issue of sexual consent. “As in any sexual interaction, silence must not be mistaken for consent,” she said. “Individuals should have a clear understanding of the power dynamics of the sexual exchange they are entering when visiting porn sites.” Those power dynamics, according to Dr. Maris, are deeply unbalanced. “You have some of the world’s most powerful companies here,” she said, noting that there’s very little redress for the consumer should the data end up in the wrong hands.

Affirmative consent is at the heart of digital privacy. Nearly all tracking is by default and governed by impossible-to-read privacy policies. And in an era that privileges and prioritizes mass collection of personal information, that means gathering information that is not only invasive but also superfluous. The leaky user data of pornographic websites is merely an extreme example of what has become standard practice online.”

A2 Hosting Review: Pros & Cons of Using A2 Hosting – By Nate Shivar

A2 Hosting Review: Pros & Cons of Using A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting Review_ Pros & Cons of Using A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting is an independent web hosting company founded in 2003. They are based in Ann Arbor Michigan but serve hosting markets globally. A2 Hosting positions themselves as a high performance, speed-focused hosting company with excellent support.

See A2 Hosting’s Current Plans & Pricing.

A2 Hosting offers a full spectrum of hosting solutions ranging from shared Linux hosting (what most businesses need) all the way to cloud, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated server solutions for large, growing websites.

Like InMotion Hosting and SiteGround Hosting, A2 Hosting is one of the faster growing independent hosting companies (i.e., not owned by a larger corporate holding company like Endurance or GoDaddy). They have a large dedicated fanbase in addition to some high-profile bloggers as customers.

Source: A2 Hosting Review: Pros & Cons of Using A2 Hosting

WordPress Hosting Plans vs. Web Hosting Plans Explained – By Nate Shivar

WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting Explained“Choosing the best web hosting plan for your specific project has always been a bit confusing. Plan features never line up. Terminology never matches. And pricing varies according to current discounts and plan length.

But that was before the latest trend – WordPress-specific hosting plans.

Nearly every hosting company offers a “WordPress Hosting Plan” in some form.

View my guide to WordPress Hosting companies here.

Sometimes those plans are nothing more than a headline change. Sometimes they are very well-priced for the extra services. And sometimes they are plainly upsells with dressed up “features.”

It’s maddening – because here’s the thing. WordPress software runs fine on typical web hosting.

You do not need “WordPress Hosting” to run WordPress software. All you need is a Linux-based hosting account that supports PHP and mySQL.

Both are run of the mill features since the early 2000s. So what’s with all the WordPress Hosting plans vs. Web Hosting plans?

Well – sometimes a WordPress-specific plan is absolutely worth paying for. WordPress does have some needs & requirements that are not “generic” so some companies can offer seriously better service, support & performance for WordPress installs.

Here’s how they differ along with features worth paying for, and what to look for when shopping for the right host for your specific project and next steps.

Disclosure – I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this site. All data & opinions are based on my experience as a paying customer or as a consultant to a paying customer.”

Source: WordPress Hosting Plans vs. Web Hosting Plans Explained

GoDaddy vs. iPage Web Hosting Comparison- By Nate Shivar

GoDaddy vs. iPage Web Hosting Comparison“GoDaddy vs. iPage” is a pretty common question for anyone researching their options for web hosting.

GoDaddy and iPage are two of the best known budget hosts in the world. And they are owned respectively by the two of largest web services companies in the world (GoDaddy Group and Endurance International).

View GoDaddy’s Current Plans & Pricing

View iPage’s Current Plans & Pricing

They are both “go-to” brands for business owners looking for simple, affordable hosting. And yet – they are different companies with different brands. When you are choosing a website host – you still have to end up choosing which company to go with.

I have current clients who use (and like) GoDaddy hosting. Although this site runs on InMotion Hosting (which I’ll mention later) – I have also used iPage for a couple small projects. I wrote a full iPage review here.

In this comparison between GoDaddy and iPage, I’ll try to break down the differences that I’ve found in seven different areas ranging from pricing structure to customer service and market focus so that you can decide which is the best fit for your project.

Also – you can skip to the short version in the conclusion here (or take my Buzzfeed-style hosting on a budget quiz here).

Let’s dive into GoDaddy vs. iPage…

Disclosure – I receive customer referral fees from companies mentioned. All opinion and data are based on my experiences as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Source: GoDaddy vs. iPage Web Hosting Comparison

Opinion | The Roots of Big Tech Run Disturbingly Deep – The New York Times

” “Big tech” companies like Google and Facebook are, in reality, the products of hundreds of mergers. Each root below represents a company acquired by a tech giant at a particular moment in its history. A vast majority of these acquisitions, funded by public markets, have received minimal media coverage and limited regulatory scrutiny. But that is changing, given new concerns about consolidation in the tech industries.

Google
(Alphabet)270 Total Acquisitions171 Competitive 55 Conglomerate 44 Others

David Lindsay:  Yes, yes, yes. We should break up Amazon, Facebook, Google, and California.

Seriously, Amazon should be forced to sell every company it forced to sell to itself, like Diapers.com, as reported in Bloomberg Businessweek.

It appears that the other two giants are also guilty of throwing their weight around.

BUARLH!   Break Up And Regulate Like Hell!

10 Best Web Hosting Services (30+ Hosts Speed & Uptime Reviewed)

10 Best Website Hosting Providers

Here is a list of 10 best website hosting providers that have performed well in 2017-2019:

1. Bluehost – Best Uptime Hosting ($2.75/mo)

Bluehost's homepage
Visit Bluehost.com

Bluehost Pros:
+ Best Uptime (99.99%)
+ Fast Load Time (0.41ms)
+ Cheap “Intro” Cost ($2.75/mo)
+ Easy to Use and Signup
+ Fast Support (Live Chat and Phone)
+ 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Bluehost Cons:
– No Free Site Migrations


Bluehost is our top-rated web hosting company because their last 16-month uptime and speed is very strong – 99.99% and 0.41ms respectively.

Their 3-year introductory price is $2.75/mo and that comes with features like free domain name, website builder and one-click install for WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. So for starters (someone without a website), this is probably the best option. They also have a 30-day money back guarantee.

They use their built-in admin panel (along with cPanel) that makes setting up and managing websites very simple and straightforward.

While their bandwidth is unmetered, the maximum storage varies from 50GB to unlimited – depending on which plan you choose. We recommend getting the prime plan for the most value.

SSL certificate (HTTPS://) is included for free on all plans as well as email accounts. You can let Bluehost transfer your existing website to their hosting environment, but this will cost $149 per website.

Bluehost last 16-month statistics
Bluehost’s test site speed from December 2017 to March 2019 | See stats

Visit Bluehost.com
or read why we rated Bluehost #1 in our reviews

2. HostGator Cloud – Most Unlimited Hosting ($2.99/mo)

HostGator cloud review
Visit HostGator.com

HostGator Cloud Pros:
+ Good Uptime (99.98%)
+ Fast Load Time (0.43ms)
+ FREE Site Migration (1)
+ No Bandwidth/Storage Limit
Unlimited Email Accounts
+ Free SSL Included

HostGator Cloud Cons:
– Higher Renewal Cost


HostGator cloud hosting offers their users unlimited bandwidth, storage space, and email accounts.

On top of that, they have free site migration if you decide to transfer your website from another host without the hassle. Their last 16-month performance stats aren’t bad either, 432ms load time and 99.98% uptime.

They’re one of the fastest hosts we’ve reviewed, their servers are perfect for WordPress websites. Most of their data centers are based in the US, but the host does well to serve European clients too.

Before you sign up, be sure with the higher renewal prices that start right after your billing period ends. For example, the $2.99 is for the first 1-6 months, then the price jumps to $9.95 – $14.95/mo.

They do have fast and efficient live chat, SSL certificate is included as well as daily backups.

If you need a scalable hosting, HostGator Cloud is probably your best option.

HostGator Cloud last 16-month statistics
HostGator Cloud’s test site speed from December 2017 to March 2019 | See stats

Visit HostGator.com
or read why we rated HostGator Cloud #2 in our reviews

Source: 10 Best Web Hosting Services (30+ Hosts Speed & Uptime Reviewed)