January 2, 2022
It's the beginning of 2022 and time for the annual PC.net stock pick. OK, almost annual... I skipped last year since no companies seemed like an obvious value at the end of 2020. But this year, one company stands out: Nextdoor Holdings, Inc.
Nextdoor (ticker symbol: KIND) is the social networking platform for neighbors. Unlike other social media sites, Nextdoor aggregates content by location rather than friends or followers. It provides a way for neighbors to communicate online — even if they've never met in person.
While Nextdoor is an online platform (accessible through the website and app), it has a significant offline impact. By allowing users to share updates and concerns related to their local neighborhoods, people can interact with their neighbors in a way that wasn't possible before. Nextdoor is the counterplay to the metaverse, bringing people together in the real world.
January 1, 2022
Disclaimer: I've never been a big fan of new year's resolutions. After all, if you need to change something, why wait until January 1st to change it? But since new year's resolutions are so popular, I have a suggestion for 2022:
Exercise more — at work.
Those of us who spend several hours a day working on a computer are familiar with neck and back pain. Our stiff, aching muscles remind us that our bodies are not meant to be stationary for long periods. But we remain at our desks, staring at our computers, day after day.
December 1, 2021
Privacy is important. Most of us use several online services that gather and store personal information. It's wise to read their privacy policies and learn how each company uses your data.
That being said, I think the "Do Not Track" setting instituted by Apple in iOS 14.5 is overused. When turned off, an app can track activity across other companies' apps and websites. When "Do Not Track" is turned on, the corresponding app cannot track activity from other apps.
While enabling "Do Not Track" sounds like a smart privacy move, it limits the ability of apps to provide targeted ads. Personally, I prefer targeted ads over generic ones. If apps like Facebook and Instagram are going to show me ads, I'd rather see relevant ones that are relevant.
November 25, 2021
I've never liked big phones. Ever since my first cell phone, the Samsung SGH-R225, I've preferred to have the smallest phone possible. If someone could make a phone the size of a credit card, that would be perfect. I could just slide it in my wallet and be on my way.
Needless to say, I'm not a fan of Apple's "bigger is better" iPhone trend. At the same time, I've been using an iPhone since the day Apple released the original model on June 29, 2007, so switching to a non-Apple model is a huge barrier. I tried both the iPhone X and the iPhone 11 Pro and returned them both because they were too clunky. To this day, I don't understand how people walk around with those electronic bricks in their pockets.
For several years, I used the iPhone 7, which IMO had the best iPhone form factor of any iPhone. Instead of replacing the aging battery a second time, I moved to the iPhone SE 2020 edition, which has roughly the same shape and size as the iPhone 7. It was OK, but it became increasingly clear the performance was not the same as the higher-end iPhone models many of my friends have. Last month, I decided to upgrade, and there was only one choice: the iPhone 13 mini.
November 1, 2021
Most modern televisions, computer monitors, and laptop displays have glossy screens. These clear display panels provide the sharpest possible image with the deepest black levels, but they also produce glare.
A subtle glare can be mildly annoying, while a strong glare can make a display nearly unusable. So it's important to be proactive in preventing glare. To reduce those shiny reflections, follow these tips:
- Avoid placing your television or computer in a brightly-lit room.
- If the room has windows, make sure the screen does not face the window.
- Place lights behind or to the sides of the screen, rather than in front of it.
- Use dark wall colors if possible, since brighter colors — especially white — reflect more light.
- When using a laptop, angle the screen at 90° or even less to remove reflections on the screen.
Glare is not just annoying — it can cause undue strain on your eyes, causing headaches and other problems. If you're not able to move your workstation to a glare-free space, an antireflective screen cover might be your best option. It will reduce the clarity and contrast of the display, but your eyes will thank you.
October 1, 2021
If you spend several hours a day typing on a keyboard, you're probably familiar with the tight forearms and wrist pain that go along with it. Pressing thousands — or tens of thousands — of keys per day can take a toll. That's why it's essential to have the correct hand position when you type.
Fun fact — nearly all desks are too high for correct typing posture. They force you to raise your hands above your elbows, reducing blood flow and increasing strain on your wrists. The result is faster fatigue in your forearms, wrists, and fingers.
If most desks are too tall, how do you lower your hands below your wrists? The easy solution is to raise your seat. If you have an adjustable chair, raise the seat so that your forearms are at least parallel with the ground. Your keyboard should be just below your elbows. If this height causes your feet to dangle, you'll need a lower desk to complete the correct ergonomic setup. Many desks are 30" tall, so an ideal solution is an adjustable desk that can be lowered to 28" or lower.
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- PC (Per Christensson)