Why I changed from Evernote

•April 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

So I just converted over from evernote to Onenote. Blasphemy you say! Evernote has been the standard in noting in the cloud for a while now.  They certainly where one of the first to have a really serious, cross platform facility with good features. However things change.  Competitors have sprung up.  Some note providers who were once abysmal and restricted to certain platforms, are now actively competing with Evernote.  But that in itself is not a reason to change.  So the question is, are these competitors offering anything new or better than Evernote?

What first started me thinking about changing to another note provider was the severe data limit on Evernote free accounts, 60MB, when I have several cloud providers who offer storage measured in gigabytes, not megabytes.  I’ve been wanting to extend my note taking to webpages and images for a while now, but the 60MB limit in Evernote quite simply puts a stop to that.  It’s a dream I have had to leave un-realised.

So the first alternative cloud provider I looked at was Dropbox.  I have a 9GB dropbox, courtesy of free space through inviting other people to dropbox (my friends and family were accosted, but they also got free extra space by virtue of accepting my invitation), so it makes sense to get more use out of it, since my main use of dropbox means I have about 4GB spare. I use Dropbox as my primary cloud provider for keeping my documents accessible where ever I am, and it has LAN sync option which cuts down on internet data use.    But unfortunately Dropbox don’t have a noting option ie you can’t sync notes to dropbox (though you could use a word doc or text files – but it is clumsy and doesn’t meet the purpose of noting software). Interestingly, though I didn’t know it until after I switched from Evernote, Dropbox will be bringing out something called ‘Dropbox Paper’ which looks like a noting solution with built in team sharing and other features.  I’ve signed up for the service once it becomes available so that I can check it out.  But for now, Dropbox is out as a note provider.

The next cloud provider I looked at was Google. I have a 95GB google drive (15GB free plus 80GB paid),  which I use for photo backup and the other things such as email, calendar and contacts syncing.  Google have a note option called ‘keep’ which is similar to Evernote, and would allow me to utilise my pool of Google data. However two drawbacks (both more or less deal killers); 1. There is no migration path from Evernote to Keep.  All Evernote notes would need to be manually cut and paste into new notes on Keep.  Also all the date, location and sequence information would be lost. And 2. there is no Windows Phone app for Keep.  Not that I use Windows Phone a lot, but when I do, I need it to have access to my current notes. Any note provider I go with was going to have to have cross platform accessibility.

So that lead me towards considering Onenote.  I was resistant to this at first.  I would much rather have gone with Keep. Also for a long time Microsoft have been pushing Onenote, making sure it gets installed at the drop of a hat (install any sort of MS product and you invariably get Onenote).  My attitude to companies trying to put crap on my devices that I didn’t specifically ask for is not particularly welcoming.  But a few things made me sit up and take notice.  Primarily, it has an Evernote importer!  So those migrating from Evernote to Onenote can automatically pull across all their Evernote notes.  On top of that, I have a 25GB Onedrive (Courtesy of a free loyalty upgrade when they changed from Skydrive to Onedrive) , and Onenote uses Onedrive data.

Onenote is cross platform, more or less – Microsoft have made sure apps are available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.  There are desktop clients for MAC and Windows.  Linux and ChromeOS miss out on desktop clients, but you can still use the web based version of Onenote via the Firefox or Chrome browsers.

Finally, Onenote has all the features of Evernote, (some available via free add-ins), close integration with Windows and Office, and includes a Onenote printer – you can send any webpage or document to Onenote simply by “printing” it to Onenote. Onenote also supports collaboration, shared whiteboard, live update and many other cool tricks.

So I went with Onenote!

Before making your own decision, it’s worth noting that overall Evernote has more mature features, especially for enterprise use.  However for personal use, Onenote is more than sufficient, easier to use, and has reasonable data.

Free Storage Sharing Migration tag notes Platforms Digital whiteboard (live collaboration)
Evernote 60MB Yes Import and Export as ENEX or HTML, Import direct from Onenote Yes Good cross platform support No, though available through paid add-ins
Dropbox  Paper (not yet available) 2GB Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown Yes
Google Keep 15GB (includes email if you have gmail account Yes Export to html, no import No No desktop app, but has Chrome App Launcher.  No Windows Phone app. Yes
MS Onenote 5GB (includes email if you have an MS email address) Yes Export to various (pdf, word etc), but not ENEX or HTML. Import from Evernote via add-in Yes Good cross platform support, no ChromeOS or Linux desktop app

Yes

 

Spiritual Atheism

•October 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m an agnostic in terms of belief – ie: I’m open minded about the possibility of a spiritual realm that manifests the world of form that we call reality. However I often identify strongly with Atheism. I am certain that not a single one of the world’s religions is any closer to ‘The Truth’ than any other. This is something I am not agnostic about. If there is a creator being, It doesn’t require us to correctly select from thousands of possible human visions of God exactly It’s form or It’s laws. A loving God wouldn’t ask or need this, and a mechanistic universe would simply do it’s thing regardless. My intuition tells me that regardless of whether the spiritual realm exists or not, we don’t need to acknowledge it in order to live loving and fullfilling lives here on earth. Sometimes I think we are better off just focussing on living our lives true to ourselves with a loving heart, than trying to make sense of what or who “God” is.

In that context, I consider myself an Atheist.  I accept the possiblility that other realms exist, but don’t believe knowledge of them is relavent to how people should live their lives in order to be happy.  To me contemplation of the spiritual world is simply an intellectual exercise akin to studying the cosmos or researching the origin or life (except that the two latter are science based. I mean it’s similar in the sense that it’s speculative, not intuitive).  It is interesting, but utlimately unimportant to the process of personal development.

When the words “God” or “Spiritual” are mentioned it pulls our sense of self off-centre.  All the conotations of language instantly pollute our thinking with tainted meanings.  We descend into an unresolvable quagmire of “shoulds” and “oughts”.

If we love ourselves first, and from there love outwards, we can find true happiness.

Split Personality

The Hypocrisy of Animal Rights Based Vegeterianism

•August 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

We are not obliged to treat animals with the same level of rights with which we treat other humans. Should animals be allowed to vote perhaps? Do they have the right to marry? Do they have the right to literacy?

Animals feel pain and can become emotionally distraught, but their needs are simpler than ours and with the right attitude to keeping animals their existence can be if not free, at least not involve suffering. That is what we owe animals; that if we are going to use them for our own survival needs then we should treat them as well as we can short of not killing them (and in some cases taking their young away).

I am not happy with the way animals are currently treated. I think a lot needs to change. We can keep animals and not force feed them, we can allow them free range, we can give them quality feed (and pasture), we can not live export them, we can wait a bit longer before taking the young, we can euthanise painlessly and so on.

Animals do not have the same value as humans, if that was the case you would never kill a mosquito.  You would not live in a house.  Human habitation is one of the biggest killers of wildlife. Think of all the life that is destroyed or displaced, food sources removed, when a house is built. Do animal rights based vegetarians live under a tree without any trappings of modern life? Would they move in on a family of humans, bulldoze their house to build their own, accidently kill some of the displaced family members in the process, and then let the remaining ones starve because their food source has been compromised? No I expect at least MOST of them wouldn’t. Ergo, they value human life above animal life.

I therefore maintain that animal rights based vegetarians are hypocritical in their objection to the choices of meat eaters.

Youtube Clones Facebook For New Layout

•July 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I logged in to Youtube just now and noticed straight away the new layout.  This is a significant change, bringing a facebook look to Youtube.  There’s good and bad in that.

First, the change immediately excited me since the social media feed is a great way to present news media content as it is breaking.  It is also a great way to share media.  The other thing that excited me was this is also a good way to share videos amongst friends, something I don’t tend to bother with on facebook, partly because the media management features of facebook are sub-par.  Neither the Video nor Photo management on facebook is anything to write home about.  Flickr and Youtube are far better tools for those jobs.  The changes invigorate the interface, the new layout entices me to upload.  The old layout was staid and de-energising in contrast.

On the negative side, the new layout no longer defaults to a grid of your videos, instead it displays the ‘Activities’ tab by default (Activities, Video and Discussion tabs) – the ‘Video’ being the one that shows the traditional grid of uploaded videos – which is a feed of all your youtube uploads.  This is a minor negative though: it is one click to switch to the video tab, and if you want to share your youtube url you can add ‘/video’ to direct visitors directly to the video tab.

It will be interesting if the Activities tab comes to encapsulate all comments (both your own and those on your videos), likes and so on as facebook does.  It looks like this may be the way they are going, as there is a drop down selector on the Activities tab with only one option: uploads.  Seems pointless to have a drop down with one option unless more are intended to be introduced later.  My hope is they will add more, such as comments, subscribed etc.

So check it out, let me know what you think of the layout.

 

A Summary of My Thoughts about the Main conspiracy Theories

•July 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I don’t believe things just because the Government or mainstream news tells me. I question everything, INCLUDING conspiracy theories, INCLUDING mainstream news. I’ve looked thoroughly into the Conspiracy theories on chemtrails, 911, fluoride and vaccines (and others).  Here is a summary of my thoughts on each.

Chemtrails

There is absolutely no evidence of Chemtrails, all the so called evidence is merely assumptions that haven’t been tested properly. When you test those assumptions, you find that chemtrails are just contrails, and that the so called emissions of contrails (aluminium and Barium and others) are actually naturally occurring in the environment or a result of industrial activity.

911

911 is a big one and I’m not going into it in great depth here, but most of the claims are the same as chemtrails – untested assumptions. For example the assumption that the buildings fell at the rate of free fall. They didn’t, this is easily testable. The assumption that WTC7 had no structural damage, an assumption that proves to be false. There are only a couple of photos that show it because it was covered in fire and smoke, but WTC7 had a massive hole in it’s side, twenty stories high, proving that significant debris landed on WTC7 to cause structural integrity issues.

Those are not the only rebuttals – I have looked at every single 911 conspiracy claim and found it to be wanting ie: an assumption was drawn, and then not adequately researched. As soon as the “evidence” points to a conspiracy, the conspiracist has stopped searching, therefore missing the opportunity to truly get to the bottom of their assumption. They have looked only at the evidence until they had enough to prove their point, not enough to ensure that their hypothesis is truly the correct hypothesis. In other words their desire to believe it was a conspiracy has left them to be sloppy in researching all the facts.

The only really unexplained factor of 911 is why in the months prior to 911, Bush and his crew failed to act on evidence provided by the CIA about an upcoming terrorist attack. If the facts don’t support a controlled demolition (they don’t) then the most likely answer, and this is believable but still not provable, is that Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney etc hoped that terrorists would conduct an attack, which would give them an excuse to manufacture an opportunity to go back to Iraq. There is heaps of incontrovertible evidence that Bush and his crew wanted to go back to Iraq. This is the most likely explanation when looking at the evidence; that 911 was a real terrorist attack but that Bush’s government had an opportunity to stop it (due to knowledge provided by the security services) but chose not to act in the hope that a “false flag” would be arranged for them. It’s also possible, though no evidence has been revealed as yet, that they may have actually funded or assisted the terror cell in some way. In my view they would not believed that the terrorists would have been so successful, and the eventual destruction of the twin towers probably elicited an “Oh Fuck” from Bush, thinking it was going to be maybe a hundred or two dead if that.

Fluoride

Fluoride causes fluorosis this has been known for many years. Fluorosis causes discolouration but does not affect tooth health otherwise. Also, the CDC recommend that infants not be fed formula made from tap water in areas that are fluoridated. Fluoridation is poisonous for infants. There about even numbers of studies that show that fluoride prevents caries (holes in teeth) versus studies that show it has no effect.

Europe generally do not fluoridate their water, the US generally does. Fluoride is an industrial waste and is added untreated into water supplies.

Reports of the Nazis using fluoride to control inmates is completely unsubstantiated. Does one believe a rumour that has no evidence just because of general distrust of authorities? I don’t trust authorities, I am staunchly anti-monsanto and distrust the FDA on the issue of GMO’s for example, so I’m no apologist for the government.

So my take on fluoride is that it probably doesn’t make a lot of difference to dental caries, causes fluorosis in children and teenagers, possibly has mild neurological effects in adults (but no evidence of this – just that if it has that effect on infants, then I don’t think it’s a good idea to give it adults either), and since it’s effectiveness is topical (by application), fluoridation should be discontinued and anyone who wants to apply fluoride to their teeth does so using toothpaste. There is ZERO evidence that the government is trying to depopulate by adding fluoride to the water. There is ZERO evidence that fluoridation has had any effect on the fertility of fluoridated populations.

Vaccines

Vaccines work and are an important strategy in managing world health. There is no question about that. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or is deluded by anti-vaccine or anti-government paranoia. The science is sound. That doesn’t mean problems don’t occur, but over all the problems are outweighed by the benefits.

The autism scare is a furphy. There have been hundreds of studies that can find no correlation between autism and vaccines, and only a few that show correlations, and these studies have either been discredited or the study samples have shown to be inadequate. Autism has continued to rise even since Mercury was removed from childhood vaccines nearly ten years ago.

The amount of formaldehyde in vaccines is eclipsed by the naturally occurring formaldehyde that already exists in the blood of the vaccine recipient.

I may at some point cover each of these conspiracies in detail, with references to justify my findings.  But any person with a dedication to look at all the available facts should be able to arrive at the same conclusions.

What Really Happened in the Movie Suckerpunch?

•July 16, 2013 • Leave a Comment

This is my take on it.

Sweat Pea is the narrator from the start, and narrating in the past tense ie: she is narrating the events that happened up to her catching the bus after escaping. So she will narrate the events as her imagination remembers them. All the fantasy scenes are Sweet Pea’s exaggerated story telling (purposeful metaphor or due to madness I’m not sure, I prefer to think the former). Hence the boy is the same boy from the trenches, the bus driver is the Wise Man. Her memory of the events is a jumble of the real and imagined events and characters she has encountered.

Baby Doll is a real person who came to the asylum with the intent to escape. Prior to Baby Doll arriving Sweet Pea’s sister Rocket had attempted to escape with two other girls (Amber and Blondie) who all died in the escape. Hence Sweet Pea was at first resistant to Baby Dolls plan, but Baby Doll eventually encouraged her to ‘fight’ (which as narrator she mentions twice, in the first scene and in the last word of the movie). Baby doll was determined and resourceful, just as she had been to escape her room at the beginning and confront her step-father.

As Baby Doll and Sweat Pea’s friendship develops (remember, the other girls are already dead, and not a part of Baby Doll’s story), Baby Doll shares her fantastical perception of the mental institution as a brothel, including her first fantasy scene where she gets the items from the Wise Man, and they both get carried away with the fantasy as a way to carry out the steps needed to escape. The fantasy gives them courage, self-belief and hope. All this goes into Sweat Pea’s mind and contributes to her later narration. As I said above, I feel her narration may be purposely metaphorical, as if to say when you face problems in life, use your imagination to put things in terms you can deal with. A hint here, where Gorski says: ” I am going to start your music, you are safe, its all safe. Now relax, and just let go.. It’s like we talk about, you control this world.. Let the pain go… let the hurt go… let the guilt go.. what you are imagining right now, that world you control? That place can be as real as any pain”

Once they were outside and Baby Doll realised only one of them can escape it all comes clear to her. She cannot bear the reality any longer. If she escapes she will have no where to go and will have to come to terms with having killed her own sister. So she covers for Sweat Pea. This is the 5th item she imagined at the start but hadn’t grasped yet. By setting Sweat Pea free, she freed herself.  This is the suckerpunch of the movie.

Right at the start Sweet Pea says “Everyone has an angel, a guardian who watches over us. We can’t know what form they’ll take: One day old man. Next day, little girl.”. The old man is the bus driver, the little girl is Baby Doll.

And finally in the last scene, Sweet Pea remembers how Baby Doll’s own story taught her to believe in herself:

“Who honors those we love for the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us, and at the same time sings that we will never die? Who teaches us what’s real and how to laugh at lies? Who decides why we live and what we’ll die to defend? Who chains us? And Who holds the key that can set us free… It’s You. You have all the weapons you need. Now Fight!”
Suckerpunch Wallpaper

Yield and GM Crops

•June 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Bt Cotton

Crops that are modified to be more resistant to bugs can do better for third world farmers who can’t afford pesticides. One example is Bt cotton.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3364-gm-crops-boost-yields-more-in-poor-countries.html

But when it comes to food crops, there have been studies that I would like to see investigated further before adopting Bt for food crops – namely studies that indicate that the stomachs of people who include Bt modified food in their diet have much reduced healthy stomach flora than control groups, as well as signs of Bt pesticide within their blood.

Bt is a bacterial pesticide.  There are no studies that prove the safety of Bt in the blood or stomach.

Bt Toxin kills kidney cells:
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Bt_Toxin_Kills_Human_Kidney_Cells.php

Potential of Bt to pass the blood barrier of pregnant women and expose the fetus to Bt
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/toxin-from-gm-crops-found-in-human-blood/1/137728.html

RoundUp Ready

Crops designed to increase yield through being roundup ready are contributing to superweeds, which has led Monsanto to look at increasing the strength of the pesticide used on the crops by turning to Dioxin based pesticides such as 24D. This means farmers, at Monsanto’s recommendation, will be buying not only round up, but also 24D to kill the super weeds. (glyphosate has a very small amount of dioxin in it, but 24D has a much stronger concentration of dioxin. Dioxin is the chemical that makes Agent Orange and 245T so deadly). Meanwhile our food is being saturated in glyphosate and dioxins. Great.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/6838:dow-and-monsanto-join-forces-to-poison-americas-heartland

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/us-agriculture-weeds-idUSBRE8491JZ20120510

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-hard-look-at-3-myths-about-genetically-modified-crops

Also, there is rising doubt that crop yields for First World farmers, who can afford bulk pesticides, are actually any better than traditional methods.
http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/genetic-engineering/failure-to-yield.html

Caution is needed, not the profit driven, manic drive to introduce GMO at all costs.

 
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