Monday

Really Small Package, Slightly Bigger Problems

I have been trying out a new compact "selfie" drone, one I mentioned a little while ago. The C-Me is actually quite impressive in some regards (it folds for carrying, it has GPS!), although it would have been so much better with a couple more additions; namely Electronic Image Stabilization, and some kind of flow sensor (to improve indoor flight control).

Since I purchased it for less than $50, I'm not complaining, just indulging in some wishful thinking.

Size comparison - yeah, it's small

Tuesday

Thanks, Mozilla! Firefox Dumps Live Bookmarks

Ach, bugger it! Mozilla just went and removed the single feature that kept me using Firefox over Chrome - live bookmarks. In Firefox 64, my bookmarks are all now just regular "favorites", nothing "live" about them. And no, I don't want to resort to some third-party kludge either.

I'm sure there is some hot-sh*t technical reason for this - which I can't be bothered investigating. Since Microsoft also recently announced that the Windows 10 Edge browser is to be replaced by a Chromium-powered browser, I guess it's all Chrome all the time from now on. 

I suppose there's always Opera and Safari (if Opera is even still around these days), but I really liked those live bookmarks, dammit...


Monday

WinMiner Throws In The Towel

WinMiner is a popular "one click" miner - a simple-to-use software platform that allows Windows PC users to use the power of their video card(s) to mine for crypto currency. Now that the profit margin is too slim for many (most) of us to actually pay for the electricity used to mine in the first place, WinMiner has announced they will go into "hibernation" on December 11, until further notice.

If anyone needed any proof of the recent misfortunes of the crypto mining hobby/business, this is a good example. We are also seeing individual miners shutting down their mining setups, and some even selling off equipment. 


From making dollars a day to a few pennies a day (and many times actually running at a net loss), the crypto rollercoaster is now hurtling down that long plunge after the lofty peak of last Winter.

There are also some layoffs and other troubles being reported among coin development teams, and employees of other blockchain-related concerns.

The crypto networks themselves are still okay, even with miners leaving in droves (the mining process itself helps keep the blockchains viable) since the mining "difficulty" self-adjusts to some degree. 

Even so, one suspects that the lower participation and lower profits will continue to shake out the more speculative coins, and that things will consolidate around a smaller core of "proven" (relatively speaking) coins.

Tuesday

A Sixty-Dollar Sixty-Foot Selfie Stick

A sixty-dollar selfie stick? That is effectively what the C-Me CMe "Flying Camera" is; a pocketable, foldable "selfie" drone with a 20m range and a 1080p camera for video or still photography.

This model was introduced in 2017 at around $200, and is now available at Amazon and other retailers for around $60 - which makes it a decent buy. The video quality I have seen from different reviews is actually quite good for a small, (now) inexpensive drone platform.

With arms unfolded

Monday

Cloudflare DNS App For Android and iOS

If you are already using a VPN on your mobile device to enhance your privacy, good for you, you can move along - nothing to see here. If not, a stupid-simple app from Cloudflare called "14" allows to you install and use their 1.1.1.1 DNS service.


What does that give you? Well, possibly faster DNS lookups (so your browsing is a little slicker) and some protection from your ISP logging every single flippin' thing that you do on the Internet. 

That is accomplished by the fact that the Cloudflare DNS supports encryption, so that the requests your device makes for DNS lookups are not readily available for others to view.

Every little bit helps, right?

Saturday

CCleaner Alternative

CCleaner has long been a popular file cleanup utility for personal computers. However, following a couple of security-related incidents since CCleaner maker Piriform was sold to antivirus company Avast, some users have wandered away.

While it's true that Windows itself can perform a hard drive cleanup of temporary files, it does so almost painfully slowly, particularly if you require it to cleanup old system files too. 

So are there alternative products to CCleaner that can clean up old, stale files on your Windows computer? Yes, of course - there are quite a few product out there for Windows and Mac, including BleachBit (remember Hillary's server?), Glary Utilties and others.

To keep it simple, I can recommend Wise Disk Cleaner (Windows only). It's free, and is straightforward and fast to use. 

These sort of products are not something you really need to use all the time, maybe once a month for a file cleaner like this (if that much). These can be used with traditional or SSD drives.


Friday

Musical Interlude!

I don't know what it is, but I get a kick out of discovering cover bands on YouTube; there's something that just tickles me about the ability of a random group of folks to interpret or even emulate the sounds of an established musical group.

The latest one I came across is a bunch of Russians (I am assuming they are ethnic Russians, just bear with me) who have several really impressive covers of Chicago songs.  Yes, the horn section and everything! They apparently don't stop there - they also do a cover of "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire.

So take a look below at some impressive work from Leonid and Company: