Why Can't I Find Just ONE Browser That Works for Everything I Need?



I'm extremely frustrated with trying to find a browser that has everything I need. This is what I have found so far:

Firefox 
PROS:  Has the absolute best add-ons that you can't find the equivalent for on any other browser. Has the most toolbar capability; can have an add-on bar at the bottom of the page
CONS: Slow, jerky on sites with lots of flash or images. Frequent updates cause add-on developers to stop updating their apps. Help forum is useless because power users treat regular users like dirt. I imagine these abusive jerks as teenagers living in their mother's basement to deal with it. FF doesn't work with Facebook - period.

Waterfox - too buggy - period.

Cyberfox
PROS: Faster on my 64-bit machine. Uses all the same add-ons as FF
CONS: Freezes for no reason at all and can only be turned off with task manager, especially on Facebook. I read it's because of AdBlock Plus and just about any other adblocker you use. Can't live without those, so this browser is out until that problem is fixed.

Chrome/SRWare Iron
PROS: Speed - that's about it.
CONS: The extensions do not have the capabilities or features of the FF add-ons. There are no equivalent extensions for most of my favorites on FF, and the Chrome versions of extensions don't work the same or are missing features. Frequently have to use two or three extensions to replicate the functionality of one FF add-on. SRWare Iron is better on privacy - unless you want to use those annoying Chrome extensions that make you give them access to your Google account - unacceptable. Some of my add-ons from FF are actually apps on Chrome, and again, you have to give them all that information. In short, they both have major privacy concerns and lack of functionality for my purposes.

Opera
PROS: Works well with Facebook, which is the only thing I use it for right now. It's pretty fast, too.
CONS: Not enough functionality for me to use as my primary browser. 

Someone has suggested Pale Moon, so I'll try that and let you know how it goes. 

 
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From Peanuts to Dollars: My Writing Plan for 2015


Every year about this time, I make a writing plan for the next year. Every year, something happens that causes me to have to go back to the mills, cranking out low-paid hits because they are reliable and pay quickly.  Every year, this stresses me out and makes me angry at myself. This year, I'm not going to do that.  This year, I'm going to put up or shut up. 

Now I realize that a good many of you do this part time, so mills are great for the extra money you need. I have no problem with you.  That's what I've been doing,  but I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, so I personally need to make next year different.

I don't like online private clients, because I've been screwed over too many times. A contract means nothing when you are working with someone overseas (who many times you don't know is overseas until they steal your work and refuse to pay you).  I like for my income flow to be more reliable, at least for paying the bills, so a different way of working is in order.

Because I have SS payments, no car and no debt, I need only a minimal amount of extra dollars a day to pay the immediate bills, so I'll get that from the highest-paying and most reliable places, even if they are mills.  I figure it will take 2 hours a day to make that money.

  1. First, I will put up a writer's website with a few very carefully written samples of various lengths and on various topics. I will promote the he!! out of that website everywhere I can. I'll have business cards made up, and I'll put them on every single public bulletin board in the city. I'll make flyers and put those up. This all may seem excessive, but I live in a college town, and you have to be aggressive when you're competing with thousands of college students willing to work for pennies who are actually better educated than you are.
     
  2. Online, I am going to start submitting to Constant Content and other spec sites that pay decently. I know a few people who make really good money on these sites. I'm also going to start selling articles on marketing and webmaster forums again.  I used to do that, and I found that while some people wanted cheapo articles, a few were willing to pay decently for good writing. It's a great place to sell rewrites that take about 10 minutes to do and sell for $5 to $10 each.
     
  3. I'm also going to start working on my blogs more, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time, but was never in a financial position to commit to. I want to start using some marketing techniques to sell and promote products through them. I do a little now with Adsense and Amazon, but I'm on Blogger, so I'm very limited. I'm going to move them to Wordpress on a hosting site and do a lot more to monetize them.
     
  4. Finally, I'm going to write some ebooks and sell them through Clickbank.  These aren't going to be long novels, but instruction booklets on my first love -- gardening.  I know more about that than anything else, especially about how to grow food, so I figure I should cash in on it more.
Of course, none of this will happen overnight, but it will happen.  I want to double my income next year, and this is the only way I'm going to do it.  I'm tired of struggling financially and working myself sick, and working smarter, not harder is the only way to get there. I don't want to work 6 and 7 days a week anymore. I want to work 40 hours at the most, and set myself up to my residual income keeps growing so I can cut my hours down to 20 at the most in 5 years or less.

Do you have a writing plan or an income plan for next year?
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Why I Now Spend More Time on Facebook than Google+



I left Facebook a few years ago and settled nicely into Google+. I opened a few communities and a lot of people have chosen to put me in their circles for one reason or another. But honestly, I was bored there. When I moved to Gainesville, I needed to be in touch with like-minded people here, such as the Occupy group and the gardening groups, which were all on FB. My son wanted me to be back there too, so we could chat and hang out. He doesn't like G+, and doesn't have time for any more social media sites, being a full-time college student.

I grudgingly went back, intending to only be in groups and on pages. I only have a few friends there; family and close friends. Yet, I found myself spending more and more time there, and you know why?

Participation and conversation. I don't know what it is about G+, but people don't talk there. They +1 your posts, but very few comment. My communities are largely dead. I tried to start a Florida Gardening community, but I was the only one posting there more than a year, so I closed it down and went back to the original FB Florida gardening community I started 5 years or so ago. People actually post there, and talk and trade plants and seeds and generally COMMUNICATE.

I closed down a few of my G+ communities, and right now, all I have up is the writing communities and my Simply Deb community, which is on hiatus. Two of the writing communities are largely dead too, and I find myself not even wanting to try to get them going.

Yes, I am just plain bored with G+.  I have joined the ranks of those who think G+ is just dull and non-participative and snooze-worthy. I won't abandon my writing communities, but I spend less and less time on G+ now, and more time on FB. I know that Plussers think they are superior, and in intellect, you probably are, but in plain old social abillities -- you suck. It's a geek thing, I guess. Geeks were always better at the doing than the discussing and socializing.

I never thought I'd be writing this post. It makes me very sad.
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Want to Go to a Prestigious University for Free? Try Coursera!

"Dsg UF Reitz Union 20050507". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
According to the Coursera website, their mission statement is:
Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.
We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.
I found Coursera about a year ago, while researching an article I was writing. I signed up for a couple of classes, but never completed them due to my life situation. I just didn't have time. Now that I'm more settled, I have signed up for another course, and plan to utilize the site as much as possible. I will never have time to take more than one course at a time, but these courses aren't just offered once, many are offered several times. If you can't take it when it is first offered, you can sign up for notification of when it will be offered again. For all you techies, Coursera is available on both Android and iOs.

What Institutions are Partnered with Coursera?
 
I like the idea of free university education. Not everyone can afford to go to top universities, and even if they can, these universities only accept so many people a year, so the chances of getting in without some pretty good connections, such as alumni in the family and perfect SAT scores, are slim to none. The free courses from prestigious institutions all over the world allow everyone a chance at a top-rate education on topics they may find of interest.

Check Out The Coursera Partnering Educational Institutions

Our very own University of Florida right here in Gainesville offers quite a few courses at the site. Since it is primarily an agricultural university, you expect it to have courses on food and agriculture, but there are also courses such as "Music's Big Bang -- The Genesis of Rock and Roll," which is one I might want to take.

Signature Track Certification Program

Many of the courses offer a Verified Certificate for a very small fee (which varies with each course), and financial aid is available. I'm not sure what type of aid that is, whether it's grants or loans.  It's a little strange, though, because some courses only offer a limited number of certificates, so you need to sign up for the certificate program by a deadline. If you miss the deadline, you can audit the course and retake it for the certificate if it is offered again These certificates look good on resumes, so they are well worth the cost. However, if like me, you aren't looking for a corporate job and don't need certification, the courses are still free and you do receive a Statement of Accomplishment from Coursera, it just doesn't have the institution's name on it.

Try Coursera and see what you think. If you've been looking for something to jazz up your resume, the courses here may be just what you are looking for.
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Marissa Mayer's Scheme to Keep YCN Writers from Republishing Their Material



It's bad enough that the unscrupulous and dastardly Mrs. Mayer decided to close down Yahoo Contributor Network, but this latest twist is just unconscionable. Instead of a 404 when you click a link to former Voices or Shine content, you now get redirected back to Yahoo; no doubt a plan to get people to get more traffic to the Yahoo main site.

We cannot republish our material, because the links are still up on search engines. We can't force Yahoo to take them down, but we can do these things:

1. Search for site:voices.yahoo.com or site:shine.yahoo.com your name, scroll to the bottom and click on "Send Feedback." In the box, copy and paste this (You can leave out the last part if you want.)

Yahoo has closed Yahoo Voices and given us back the rights to our material, however, they are redirecting those links to their front page,  which keeps us from republishing our work elsewhere because it will be seen as duplicate content. Please remove all links to voices.yahoo.com and shine.yahoo.com from your search results. Oh, and thanks for nothing for sending us that bitch to ruin Yahoo, although I can see why you wanted to get rid of her.

2. Go to The Yahoo Help Page and call or write a snail mail letter to the company, asking them to remove the redirects from all former Yahoo Contributor Network material and replace them with 404s, plus remove all YCN links from the Yahoo search engine, so that our material can be republished elsewhere. Call them every day. Flood them with requests. Never let up until they take the redirects down. Get all your friends to call them too.

3. Share this information on all social media, so that everyone who is a victim of this, plus friends of victims, can help us get this dastardly deed undone. Write about it on your blogs. Talk about it online. Let EVERYONE know what this bitch has done to us. First, took away part of our livelihoods, then made it so we cannot republish our work elsewhere.


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Mark My Words -- Answers and Groups Are Next on Herr Mayer's Hitlist


I got notice that Morning Coffee newsletter has moved from Yahoo Groups to Feedburner, jumping ship from Yahoo to Google. Can't really blame it, as Groups and Answers are surely next on Marissa Mayer's list of sites that don't fit into her new vision for Yahoo.

Do you think she has any clue who Yahoo's user base is? I don't. She has already run off most of the Yahoo Mail users and hundreds of thousands of Yahoo Contributor Network and Voices users will be dumping Yahoo mail as soon as those sites close, because they only needed it for that one thing. I certainly will be. I have two Yahoo mails. One I use for junk, subscriptions and Craigslist ads which I will probably keep, because honestly, since she ruined mail, that's all it's good for

Herr Mayer seems to want to turn Yahoo into some upscale destination for upwardly mobile yuppie puppies such as herself. The problem with that view is that she is too late. Those people are already invested in other sites that took advantage of that trend years ago. She doesn't have a chance of winning them, or of winning the younger Gen Xers or Gen Y, who don't even know what Yahoo is, and don't care.

She will ultimately fail. Just like she failed at Google and was demoted. I hear they threw a party when she left. They surely did not try to stop her from going. What she thinks of as her revenge on Google will end up being her Waterloo, and after she destroys Yahoo, she will HOPEFULLY not be hired by any other major player.

But of course, she doesn't care. She has all that AliBaba stock to see her through until her dying day. All I can say is she can't leave too soon for me and millions of other Yahoo users.
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Revenue Sharing Sites That Still Pay



Revenue sharing sites have been hit hard by the Google algorithms, and honestly, I think you can make more money with your own adsense blog just by adding a few affiliate ads, but if you need someplace to write just for revshare, these are the ones I know of.

The Major Players

I would put my better content on these sites, as they are more reliable and have survived everything Google has thrown at them.
  1. Hubpages - I wrote there long ago and there have been a ton of huge changes since then. They have their own ad program, and they have been hit hard by all the Google algorithms, but they survive. The best way to make money there is to blog on a microniche, or so I hear. You can put Amazon or eBay ads in your hubs, but you have to be an affiliate there. Amazon isn't so hard to get an affiliate account with, but eBay is. Check out their guidelines carefully, as they seem to be changing weekly.
  2. Squidoo - This site is still up and running, and again, I haven't used it for years, so I don't know what the scoop is now. It got slammed by the Penguin algorithm, after surviving all the rest relatively unscathed, so not sure what the income making potential is. Do your homework.
  3. Bubblews - This is the new kid on the block, and while it has its problems, it does pay if you write good, useful material. It has a social element that is sometimes a PITA, but if you get hooked in with a good network, you can do well, so I'm told. It does take a lot of time, though, so not for those who need a full-time income.
  4. Examiner - You hear good and bad about Examiner, and what you earn there has always depended on your topic and how often you post. It's been through a lot of changes, and lost a lot of writers by dropping the earnings amounts time after time, but some people swear by it.
The Minor Players

Back in the heydey of revshare, these sites sprung up and some are still around. There isn't a lot of money to be made there right now, but who knows what will happen with an influx of content from ex-YCN writers?

  1. Firehow - This sprung up after eHow stopped accepting unsolicited articles. It is how-to articles only, and I'm not sure how or how much it pays.
  2. InfoBarrel - This has been around awhile, and pays less than it used to, but still pays.
  3. Xomba - All I know about this is that it pays revshare. It's been around awhile.
  4. Gather - I did a little there once, but at the time, they were only paying in gift cards. Now you can get cash once you earn a certain amount. It's really a community thing, because it doesn't have any Google juice. If you join the communities and participate, they will read your articles. The site is very slow-loading, which is why I quit.
  5. ListMy5 - This is a fun site for lists. Not a serious writing site, but it's easy to knock out a couple of lists a day and eventually get some money. I put some up years ago, and suddenly got paid $10. 
New Sites

These are new to me. I don't know anything about them, so do your homework.
  1. SheToldMe.com
  2. YouSayToo.com
  3. TopicSpotter.com
  4. SeekyT.com
 Do Not Recommend
  1. Wikinut - This site is owned by an Indian company that lets anyone post there. There is no editorial and the site is plagued by poor quality ESL content. If you do post there, use a pen name. Not a site for serious writers, IMHO
  2. Bukisa and Triond - These sites sprung up during the heydey of rev share and are still around, but not viable sites. Bukisa lost its Adsense account at one time for having so much plagiarized material. I don't know its status now, but I don't recommend these sites. 
Like I said, do your homework and check out these sites well before you put your content there. Join, get on the forums, talk to the writers. Find out what the real skinny is. 
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    Paranoia and Social Networking


     I've always been sort of a radical leftist type of person, really adamant about protecting people's rights. The internet is becoming increasingly scary, and the government here in the U.S. is putting people on watch lists simply for subscribing to the posts of Occupy or Anonymous.

    I have a little bit of a paranoid personality, but I'm usually right about what I see as a threat. I have been thinking lately that maybe I need to just use the internet to work, shop and find information and leave social networking alone. I don't want the government watching every post I make because of the causes I support.

    It's really crazy how invasive the government has gotten into our personal lives. Sometimes I think that's why they let the internet go public, because they saw it as a way they could spy on us without our even knowing. Call me crazy, but I sometimes feel like we're going to all end up in concentration type camps simply for defending our rights.

    The Radical Right is getting more insane every day. The saddest part of all of their craziness is that, like all insane people, they can't see that they are insane.  It is true that insanity is the sanity of the insane. Think about that for a minute.

    I don't know what to do at this point. My life is messed up enough without having the government watching me online. If they are going to watch me, maybe all they should see if someone who is hard working, grows plants and is struggling to survive. Maybe I should go into "cyber exile" and not post anything under my own name.

    One thing that is making me paranoid is the fact that my passwords are getting compromised very often, but no havoc is really done on the accounts. I'm constantly going to sign in to site or email and finding that I have to reset my password. I run virus and malware scans continuously, but they find nothing. I've written and asked these sites WHY my password never lasts very long, and they don't have answers. I've literally left sites where my password has had to be reset more than once for no apparent reason. You hear all the time now about people being spied on through their webcams. I turned mine off, but just to be on the safe side, I put something over it. I never use it anyway. Insanity, or reality gone insane?

    Is this really all that crazy? I'm not talking about retreating to the Dark Web (I've visited there, and that place is seriously scary), just retreating into the background of the real web, staying in places where the government has not reason to look.

    Or is there such a place anymore?
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    If LinkedIn Is So Popular, Why Is It Spamming Me?


    I don't understand. LinkedIn is supposed to be one of the most popular social networks around, growing by leaps and bounds, heading for superstardom. Well, it didn't work for me, just like Facebook didn't work for me, and Twitter only works marginally for me. I quit LinkedIn over a year ago, so why are they spamming me?

    They aren't even spamming me on the account I used there. They are spamming me on every single account they can get their grubby little hands on. They send you these "So-and-so Wants To Connect With You," and today it's "So-and-so Is Waiting for Your Answer."

    Why they want me back is beyond me. I wasn't a very good Linky. I tried at first, even opened and joined groups, posted links and tried to be sociable, but I did not succeed in over four years in doing anything but "being" there. No traffic to my blogs, all the groups were spamfests, and there is NO socialization on the timeline like FB or G+ have.

    In short, unless you work in the corporate world or are looking to work in the corporate world, LinkedIn is useless. LinkedIn is the Facebook for corporate executives and their minions, of which I am not one.

    And now they are spamming me, just like everyone spams them. Well, I have to go block them now. I'm done with writing nice letters asking them to take me off their mailing lists. They will soon be summarily BANNED from my mailboxes -- all of them! LINK THAT!
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    Can a Blogger Give Up Social Media and Survive?


    Is great content without promotion enough to keep a blog going? I may find out, because I'm just about done with social media. I spend so much time on social media, that I don't blog as much as I should. I don't even WORK as much as I should. I have no life outside this house. My online friends are becoming my ONLY friends, and that is just sad.

    I'm starting a social media vacation tomorrow, Feb. 26, 2014. I'm moving May 3, so I won't be posting until after that.

    I did this before for 30 days and failed miserably, but this time it's different. This time I have tons of other stuff that needs to be done -- like writing and packing and such. I just don't have time to socialize. Once I get there, I will be involved in the community gardening and sustainability communities, and maybe Occupy. I think my socializing IRL will trump my socializing online.

    Of course, I won't forget my online friends entirely. The important ones have my email address, and can stay in touch that way. The most important ones have my phone number.

    I don't worry about losing blog readers. I'll just start writing more frequent and more searchable posts. From what I have seen of my stats, most of my traffic comes from Google anyway, so I won't be losing much. If I get to write more often, I'll get more traffic by default, right?

    So if you like the blogs, but only read when I post on Twitter or G+, this would be the time to subscribe through RSS or email.
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