Technology

Start Investing Young

Melissa Yeong wrote a really in-depth piece in the Financial Post

“I am investing to build a sustainable and growing stream of passive income with the goal of it covering our household expenses by the time I am 45 years old.  We won’t necessarily quit working at that point; it’s just for the goal of being financially independent of others and being free to pursue our passions.”

With the recession going on, students are in debt from the lack of jobs and high student tuition.

While I won’t go into what I invest in. I do invest. I want to make my money work for me. Yeong interviews a handful of young Canadians about their various strategies. You will see the wide-range of different possibilities these clever folks are active in. These include stocks, mutual funds, GICs, bonds and real estate.

A lot of the time, children are heavily influenced by their parents. Especially for financial matters. It is so very important for parents to teach their kids about this because schools just don’t do a good job at it. This is where we will begin to see the gap in wealth start to open up. Obviously, children whose parents have experience with investing will teach their offspring more than those who don’t.

Basically, just start young. Even, if it’s just a little. Invest in things that you are comfortable with. For example, if you are a tech-savvy nerd like me, do some research in the companies you know about.

Technology

Speech Recognition

David Pogue on Siri and Android.

Unfortunately, Android has an Achilles’ heel — actually, more like Achilles’ entire leg. To issue spoken commands, you have to tap the microphone icon on the Google search bar. And it’s only on the home screen or the Google Now screen (swipe up from the bottom). So you can’t speak commands when your phone is locked, or when you’re in another app.

On the iPhone, you hold down the Home button or the clicker on your earbuds cord, so the voice command feature works when the phone is asleep or in any app.

In other words, to use an Android phone’s speech features, you frequently have to pick it up, and you always have to look at it, which defeats much of the purpose. The exception: Motorola’s new phones, like the Moto X, can be set to listen all the time.

I think Mr. Pogue wrote a thorough and well represented comparison between Apple’s Siri and Google’s Android speech recognition functionality. This is a very important feature for any “smart” devices right now and going forward. Both are relatively new and I am sure we all see vast and exponential improvements around the corner.

A very important key point is human-computer interaction. And right now I think Apple is doing it right.

UPDATE: Pogue has just released a 90-second video clip with the comparisons. Very informative.

Technology

Dropbox For Photo Management

Adam Dachis from Lifehacker has a fantastic article on using Dropbox for photos.

I  love snapping photos but I hate dealing with them after they come out of the camera. Edits take a really long time and almost nobody enjoys organizing a bunch of files. My method works great for me because I don’t like a complicated setup.

Personally, I really dislike using services such as Smugmug, Flickr and Zenfolio to store my photographs. Even though they now look great, I don’t like how anyone of them could change their privacy rules on the fly. This is why I am currently using Piwigo. I can install the software directly to my server and have full control.

This guide for using Dropbox looks like a very promising and is something that I will try out.

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