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See everything that Facebook and Google know about you
Not very long ago, Facebook has, once again, ended up in the middle of controversy related to personal data of its users. Although many people were outraged, nobody was surprised. After all, it wasn't the first time a global tech giant compromised privacy of those who entrusted their data to it.
But if you do use Facebook, how would you know what the company knows about you? Quite conveniently, the company itself has provided its users with tools that will enable them to do exactly that. So did another tech giant, Google.
Want to know everything that Facebook and Google know about you? If you do, read on. Here is the set of links that will allow you to view or download all of your data. You will probably be surprised.
How society conditions you for mediocrity
Why, despite a strong economy and virtually unlimited opportunities, only a small number of people in developed countries live the life that they are fully satisfied with? There are many reasons for this and, sometimes, there are individual circumstances beyond people's control that get in people's way. However, there is one key reason why most of the people are not achieving what they personally would define as success: the society deliberately conditions people for mediocrity.
This is not just another conspiracy theory. As you will see, there are plenty of observable and demonstrable facts which suggest that the society indeed conditions people for mediocrity, or is at least trying to. There are many things going on in the society which are widespread and socially acceptable that either provide no benefit to people who do them or even make their lives worse. Likewise, there are things that, despite not causing any harm to anyone, aren't considered to be socially acceptable, despite the fact that practicing those can have a great positive effect on one's life.
Before I continue, I need to make an important statement: there is, actually, nothing wrong with being mediocre. If you are living an ordinary life and are fully satisfied with it, there is no need to change anything in your life. This article is not aimed at you, although you may still want to read it out of interest. However, if you, just like me, have a nagging feeling that you are not living up to your full potential, read on.
Why you shouldn't always trust scientists
Science is, without a doubt, the best methodology available to humankind to figure out how the world works. Every piece of research done within the framework of modern scientific method goes through several rounds of reviews by other specialists in a given field to ensure that all of the work has been done in objective manner and no bias has been introduced. Researchers who don't follow the rules dictated by the modern scientific method quickly lose their reputation and become unemployable within their fields.
This, however, doesn't mean that every scientific research is completely objective from everybody's perspective. And I am not even talking about outright scientific fraud, such as debunked research that concluded that vaccines cause Autism. There are instances where researchers follow all the prescribed rules, but what they present to the public is not how things are in reality. At best, such manipulations of scientific principles does not help anyone outside of the team that did the research and, at worst, it can actually reinforce unhelpful beliefs in the society and reduce quality of many people's lives.
Let's now go into the details to see how such misdeeds happen. I hope that, after reading this, you will know what to look out for and will not be easily manipulated into trusting somebody with perceived objectivity credentials when they are trying to impose some sort of hidden agenda.
Dark side of software development
I would say without a doubt that software developer is a great profession. As I wrote previously, it is a career that pays above average and has some other perks associated with it. I do enjoy it and can't imagine myself doing anything else as a vocation. However, there are certain negative aspects of the job that make it an unsuitable career choice for many people.
Just as there are many young guys out there who think it would be cool to join armed special forced, but only very few would be willing to go through a tough physical and mental training to achieve this goal, so there are many people who chose a career of a software developer, only to abandon it shortly afterwards and tell everyone how much it sucks. Because of this, I have outlined 10 of the most prominent negative aspects of a software development career that anyone who enters the profession is very likely to encounter. If you can cope with those, then a software development career is something you should probably consider.
Desktop apps are not dead. Here is why
Many people entering a software development career are often told to focus on web applications over desktop ones. Apparently, many believe that desktop apps are a dying technology. While it is true that certain business functionality that was, in the past, performed by desktop apps is now commonly performed by hosted browser-based web apps, there are still many use cases for desktop apps and none of them are going away any time soon.
It is extremely difficult to imagine your life without desktop apps. Anything that is actually installed on a full-sized computer is one of them. Yes, web apps can do many things, but the browser that is needed to access them is, itself, a desktop app. Any integrated development environment (IDE) that programmers use to build software is a desktop app, even when it's only ever used to write code for the web. There are countless of other examples that you can find if you'll think about it.
Of course, web apps do have distinct advantages over desktop apps in some areas. However, it is the other way round in some other areas. So, if you are undecided which way to take your programming career, let's have a look at the pros and cons of both technologies.
How to play sound on .NET Core
.NET Core certainly came a long way since Visual Studio 2017 was first release. It is now at the stage where the framework itself and the technologies that support it are mature enough to be used in production. However, although .NET Core can be deployed on any of the most widely-used operating systems and any CPU architecture that supports those, the framework is still pretty bare-bone compared to it's predecessor, .NET Framework.
Many things that .NET Framework can do are very Windows-specific with no platform-independent equivalent, therefore .NET Core does not natively support those. One of such functionalities is the ability to play sound from the code. With .NET Framework, you have native classes that support it, such as SoundPlayer from System.Media namespace and third-party NuGet packages, such as NAudio. Neither of these are available in .NET Core and, if you browse NuGet repository for sound libraries compatible with .NET Core, you'll soon realise that there is nothing that will enable you to play sound from the code in a straight-forward manner. At best, you can download some library that acts as a wrapper around some other assembly that needs to be compiled specifically for a particular operating system or a specific CPU architecture. As well as potentially not being available for a particular type of a machine, most of such libraries have a strictly enforced paid-for license.
So, how can .NET Core play sound then? The answer is that it can't. However, Node.js can! The good news is, however, that with NodeServices library officially provided for ASP.NET Core by Microsoft, you can launch Node.js apps from your .NET Core code and in a fully interactive manner.
Popular misconceptions about Node.js
As a server-side technology, Node.js has it's advantages and disadvantages. However, many developers who are accustomed to working with other server-side technologies will never even consider Node.js. Sometimes, there are objective reasons for that. Other server-side technologies can, sometimes, achieve what Node.js cannot. However, there are also some popular misconceptions about Node.js that stop people from taking full advantage of it.
To make it easier for you to decide whether Node.js is something that you would ever consider, I have listed some of the most popular misconceptions about the technology. Some of these believes have a grain of truth in them, so I have also specified what to watch out for.
Becoming a software developer is easier than you think
Everyone knows that software developers is one of the best paid professions. However, the most prevalent assumptions are that entering this career is a long and complicated process and that most people are just not cut out for this type of job. Many people believe that you will need to have a degree in computer science and be really good at maths just to get your foot through the door. But what if I told you that you don't necessarily need any of these to start your career in software?
I have been a software developer for a number of years and I neither have a degree in computer science nor I am particularly good with maths. I have learned how to code on a job and I still use calculator to solve relatively simple multiplication and division problems. Over the years, I have met enough software developers whose career progression was similar to mine, so my experience is certainly not unique.
While it is true that software development may not be for everyone (mainly for the reason of preference rather than the ability), it is one of the least bureaucratic career options out there. Therefore, if computational technology is something that excites you, read on. I will tell you how I entered the career and how you can do it too.
Pocket Spy Sound Recorder
Did you ever have to deal with a toxic boss or harassment at work? Are you tired of dealing with corrupt government officials? Do you need to collect evidence of a crime? Are you an investigative journalist? Do you simply want to be able to record sound at a high professional quality? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then this app is for you.
Pocket Spy Sound Recorder is a hidden sound recording app that allows you to turn your mobile phone or tablet into a powerful listening device, unnoticeable to the people in your surrounding. It is a perfect tool for collecting evidence or investigative journalism. The whole purpose of the app is to secretly record the sound while keeping your device fully usable in the process. The app does not show any annoying adverts and all features of the app are available instantly without any in-app purchases.
Mail My Pics
MailMyPics app can capture several pictures in a batch and send them to a specified email address, transfer them to cloud or share them on social media instantly. This app makes it convenient to share your photos straight after taking them.
Although there are many uses for this app, an important one is the ability to covertly collect evidence if you become a witness of crime or some other wrongdoing. The camera is silent, so you should not worry about being heard taking pictures if you are in a volatile situation. Likewise, the photos can instantly be sent to the specified email address (e.g. police or your close ones), so there is no way for anyone to destroy the evidence, even if they take possession of your device.
Pocket Interest Rate
Do you want a powerful tool to help you make important financial decisions quickly and save you valuable time? Do you get confused by financial jargon related to loans and savings? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then this app is for you!
This inexpensive app is a collection of 6 powerful tools which calculate everything involving interest rates, ranging from time it would take to fully repay a credit card debt to an amount accumulated in a savings account over time.
You can run .NET code directly in the browser
Facebook has been involved in some shady practices again
Microsoft will ban you for cussing in a Word document
Anonymous software developers can now be unmasked
A major Windows 10 update is about to be launched
Google recruiter was told to discriminate when hiring
Only use Node.js if you know what you are doing
Microsoft is killing off its mobile operating system
Widely ignored Facebook rule is officially illegal
The biggest danger coming from the internet
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