Living and Breathing in the modern world

Using USA regular phone numbers while traveling abroad

(Mon Jul 08 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) A key to successful travel abroad is maintaining phone numbers in your home country. While many cell phone providers offer roaming services, this can be very expensive. WiFi Calling is the way to go.

How to prevent smartphone apps from accessing the Contacts list

(Thu Jun 06 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) The contacts list on your smartphone is routinely accessed by many applications. Here are some simple steps to limit such access.

How to import or export contacts data on Android and iPhone (iOS) devices

(Fri May 24 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) While we can synchronize contacts data through a cloud service, we have more control over our data by learning how to import and export the contacts data.

How an American can prepare for life as a full-time traveler, inside or outside the USA

(Mon Mar 25 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Many Americans love to travel, and some hope to live full time traveling outside the USA. I wanted to try living outside the USA, and after several long-term trips abroad I'm on a super-long trip abroad. Each trip taught me a lot, from which I have some recommendations.

Why avoid sharing smart phone Contacts using iCloud/Google/etc

(Sun Mar 24 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Smart phones conveniently hold, in the Contacts app, the personal information that used to be a paper phone and address book. The names, addresses, and phone numbers of your friends and associates is important private data that should not be shared freely. Why should services like iCloud or Google get ahold of that data?

Maintaining accounts with USA banks etc, while traveling abroad, using virtual mailboxes and virtual phones

(Tue Mar 05 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Everyone needs a bank account and phone number for modern life. Anyone who doesn't have a physical address, whether forced by poverty or by lifestyle choice, faces the challenge of maintaining a bank account in the face of banking regulations which require a physical address. Three USA states offer a solution giving full time travelers residency without requiring a normal physical address.

How to self-host our Contacts list on NextCloud

(Sat Feb 24 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Smart phones conveniently hold what used to be a paper phone and address book. The Contacts app stores names, addresses, phone numbers, and other data about our people or business contacts. NextCloud is a comprehensive open-source solution for sharing our data, including our contacts list, between multiple devices.

Getting a South Dakota full time traveler ID using Traveling Mailbox

(Sat Oct 14 2023 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) South Dakota offers folks who are full time travelers and do not have a fixed residence, to get a drivers license or ID card. One option is using a Traveling Mailbox mail forwarding account as a residence address. While a prominent YouTube channel ran into trouble with using Traveling Mailbox for this purpose, I had success.

Google demonetizing YouTubers reporting on Russia's war on Ukraine

(Sat Oct 08 2022 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) While YouTube is fighting a real problem of misinformation regarding Russia's war on Ukraine, some YouTubers who report on the war have been demonetized.

Details about USPS form 1583 the CMRA's don't tell you about

(Tue Sep 06 2022 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) Signing up with a mail forwarding or virtual mailbox service requires filling out USPS form 1583. While the form looks to be simple, there are many details that can trip you up.

Tips for reading international news & social media to be informed about the world

(Tue May 03 2022 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) We are firmly in the future, and can read news or social media posts from anywhere. Automatic language translation means language differences are no longer a barrier. With a few searches we can read any news, or interact with people, from around the world. We do not have to trust our local news media is presenting the news correctly. With a few simple techniques we can quickly learn opinions of people in other countries, in their own language.

SerpClix is a great side hustle and you'll enjoy it, they said (REVIEW)

(Mon Oct 04 2021 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) On a list of great side hustles I found SerpClix one of the intriguing choices. It sounded easy, you'll be given search phrases to plug into Google, which links to click on, and you'll earn a few cents per click. But....

I want Facebook to keep its nose out of my voter registration status

(Tue Sep 28 2021 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) It's important that a large percentage of citizens vote in elections. It's important that we are registered to vote, that we vote in every election, and that our votes are counted correctly. But that does not give Facebook the right to collect demographics data about our voting registration status.

Securely voting by mail with paper ballots containing QR Codes

(Mon Aug 16 2021 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) The covfefe of the last few months has been supposed election fraud due to mail-in voting. While Pres. Trump and his acolytes have spread huge lies about the 2020 election, time moves on and and there are other elections coming up. On August 6, 2021, a tweet by @ElectionWiz breathlessly warned us about California's "home ballot system" that lets folks print their own ballots, and obviously "what could go wrong" with the upcoming recall election? That warning, however, was probably 1000% bogus. If nothing else, RAVBM has been in use for several years, and they're only now raising an alarm? But, there's a bigger issue with ensuring the election system is so completely secure that naysayers have no room to cast doubts. A fairly simple technology is available, the QR Code and other forms of Matrix Barcodes, which could be embedded in ballots, and which would all but eliminate uncertainty about the validity of mailed in ballots, even ones printed at home.

Medium giving writers more direct access to their audience

(Wed Aug 11 2021 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) Most content creator platforms have maintained control over the subscribers to each Creator. Any notifications are sent by the the content platform, are completely branded by the platform, and serve the platforms purpose. The content creator hasn't been in control over when notifications are sent, what are in the notifications, nor can the content creator export the list of subscribers to use on another platform. Today, Medium.COM changed that arrangement, by allowing readers to subscribe to e-mail notifications from specific writers, and by giving writers in the Medium Partner Program more tools for directly contacting those who subscribe to content.

Scam proposal to misuse my Upwork account

(Wed Jul 21 2021 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) On the freelance jobs website Upwork, some jobs are open only to US Residents. These "US Only Jobs" apparently go for higher fee's than the non-US-only jobs. This morning I received an offer from a guy seemingly in China who wanted to use my Upwork account to apply for US-only jobs. As a scam this seemed ingenuous, but since it was a pure unadulterated scam, and because it would be a complete violation of Upwork's terms of service, I've reported the scam to Upwork (and Guru.COM) who is taking action.

Content platforms (Medium, YouTube, etc) are rigged against individual creators

(Tue Jul 20 2021 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) Many recommend making money working online by creating "content" for platforms like YouTube, Medium, or many other user-generated-content platforms. You create and upload content, to earn income from visitors to the website, who are viewing videos, reading articles, or ordering t-shirts. However enticing it is to find an audience on a content platform, the platform owners are in the drivers seat, and the terms of the deal can change at any time.

Learn how to make money by selling print-on-demand products like custom t-shirts, mouse pads, and more

(Thu Apr 04 2019 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) For years companies like Zazzle or Cafe Press have offered us the enticing idea of creating t-shirt designs, uploading the designs to their service, then making a zillion bucks as folks buy our designs. It's not quite that simple, but that's the model, and there are people making a lot of money by selling custom products through print-on-demand services. There are print on demand marketplaces like Zazzle or Cafe Press, and there are print on demand providers who offer the service in a drop shipping model.

Make money uploading images for T-shirt designs to Teespring, Zazzle, etc

(Thu Feb 07 2019 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

Just by uploading images to certain websites, it's possible to make a fair amount of money. But it's not to any old website, the images must be uploaded to specific sites. Some websites offer the opportunity to design products, T-shirts, coffee mugs, and the like. Your role is uploading a picture to put on the product, and then promoting the resulting product. Their role is to manufacture and ship the product.

Make money buying, selling, and flipping domain names

(Wed Jan 30 2019 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

Buy low, sell high, that's the key to successful business. In that light, many folks are buying and selling domain names in a money-making quest. Over the millennia many have gotten rich through knowing when to buy and then when to sell things. It's called investing in many circles, and domain names are just the latest in a long list of items folks have invested in. Let's take a look at some strategies for domain name investing, or domain flipping as others call it, as well as several domain name marketplaces.

Make money reviewing applications for iOS, Android or Mac

(Tue Nov 27 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

Application authors need reviews in the app marketplaces to goose their sales. Would you buy the application with no reviews, or the one with 20 reviews? Several services exist where one can "buy" reviews, meaning to pay someone to write a review, which means these services need to hire reviewers.

Make money recharging electric scooters for Lime Scooters

(Sat Nov 24 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

Yesterday I wrote about making money by charging Bird scooters, but Bird is not the only scooter sharing game in town. Lime Scooters also offers a similar gig arrangement, so let's take a look at Lime. The basic customer pitch of both Bird and Lime is covering short range "last mile" travel, and the basic pitch to workers is to earn a significant amount of money by picking up, charging, and dropping off electric scooters.

Make money doing transcriptions, video captioning, and translations - review

(Sat Nov 24 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

All kinds of businesses, youtubers, podcasters, and more require fast accurate transcriptions from audio or video. It may be corporate training, shownotes for a podcast or youtube video, etc, the common requirement is text corresponding to the video or audio. Among the make-money-online services, allows you to work in the transcription/captioning industry and make some money. They pay out rapidly through PayPal, and handle booking clients for you.

Make money recharging electric scooters for Bird Scooters

(Fri Nov 23 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

Browsing Craigslist an ad caught my eye: "Earn $100+/night - Pick up and charge scooters on your way home." That sure caught my eye, unfortunately the reality of freelancing with Bird Scooters to recharge their scooters does not quite match up with the promise. It seems possible to earn that much a day, but you'd be scrambling to do so. Bird Scooters offers ad-hoc electric scooter rental in several cities around the USA, and is rapidly growing. It is one of several such companies, where the idea is to serve "last mile" transportation for folks who take a bus or train and need to get from the station to their office or whatever.

Make money evaluating/testing commercial websites - UserTesting review

(Wed Nov 14 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

UserTesting is a leading service for companies hoping to evaluate their website user experience. User experience testing is about validating -- as the phrase suggests -- the user of a product or service has a good experience, or not. What UserTesting does is to match up potential testers with requests from paying customers. It is easy to sign up, and the teaser is UserTesting pays $10 for 15-20 minutes of your time, and therefore a tester will earn a solid $30/hour. But, it's not quite that simple.

Handling 2nd factor PayPal authentication while traveling abroad

(Sat Nov 03 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

Using 2nd factor authentication with online accounts, like PayPal, can keep you and your money safe. A criminal might crack your PayPal password, but logging in requires a second thing like your cell phone, the criminal is stopped cold. "Second Factor Authentication" simply means requiring a second query, like sending a text message to your cell phone, to verify the person logging in is actually you. But what if you cannot receive a text message? Reading text messages while traveling in another country is tricky. What if you need to access an online account, like PayPal, but are locked out by being unable to answer the 2nd factor authorization step?

What are Micro Apartments? Ultra-small living spaces for a crowded world

(Wed Oct 11 2017 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time))

Thanks to growing population (we're over 7 billion people and growing fast), living spaces are at a premium. With mega-cities, the question is where will we put all the people who want to live in each city? Micro-Apartments are one answer. Sized at 200-400 square feet per apartment, they're smaller than typical building codes, while allowing more people per building. Designing a livable micro-apartment is an architectural challenge, and draws on the design for living spaces on boats. A well designed micro-apartment has furniture (like beds) that can fold away, and spaces that can serve multiple purposes. High ceilings can give a feeling of more space, and ingenious use of vertical space can implement storage space even in a small apartment.