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CalendarMarch 18, 2017

The 5 Best and Worst Things about the Apple Watch

The 5 Best and Worst Things about the Apple WatchI've had the Apple Watch Nike+ for over two months now and have worn it every day. Over time, I've grown to like some things about the watch more than than I thought I would. Other aspects, well, not so much.

I've listed the top five best and worst things of the Apple Watch below. I'll start with the worst and save the best for last.

The 5 Worst Things

1. The charger

The Apple Watch charger is circular contraption the connects magnetically to the back of the watch. I like the magnetic part, but I have no idea why they decided to put in on the back of the watch. It would be so much easier if the charger connected to the side. Instead of simply placing the watch on the charger, I have to pull both sides of the wristbands taught and meticulously place it on the white circle. I do this every night in my dark bedroom and it's annoying.

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CalendarMarch 11, 2017

Apple Watch Nike+ Review

Apple Watch Nike+ ReviewI never wanted an Apple Watch. I made that pretty clear back in 2014. But my Garmin Forerunner 405CX running watch recently died and I needed a replacement. So I decided to try the Apple Watch. I bought the Nike version, a.k.a. the "Apple Watch Nike+" model, just after the beginning of the year and I've been using it for about two months.

It's a good thing I waited to review the watch until after two months of owning it. My view of the watch has changed a lot since the first week or so. Let me explain.

I bought the Apple Watch to replace my Garmin Forerunner, not to use as a daily watch. The Apple Watch Series 2 (which the Nike+ version is based on) is the first model to include GPS, so this was the first time I even considered an Apple Watch. Since I'm already so deep into the Apple ecosystem, the way the Apple Watch synced with my iPhone made it worth the premium compared to running watches, even if I just used it for running. The $400 price for the 42mm model wasn't much different than the $330 Garmin Forerunner 235. Apple haters and trolls, your comments are welcome below.

When I got the watch, I decided to wear it for a week to test out all the non-running features. After all, I am still kind of a geek and I wanted to see what the thing could do. My plan was to put it back on the shelf after a week and then just use it for running. Two months later, I'm still wearing the watch. It's become a daily accessory. But that didn't happen without a few notable frustrations.

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CalendarJanuary 20, 2017

Goodbye HTTP, Hello HTTPS

Goodbye HTTP, Hello HTTPSOn Wednesday, January 18th, PC.net underwent the biggest change since I renamed the site from Sharpened.net to PC.net on May 1, 2012. Once again the website has a new URL. Instead of http://pc.net, the new URL is https://pc.net. Pretty dramatic, huh?

While it is a small change, this means all traffic to PC.net will be handled through the HTTPS protocol instead of boring old HTTP. So what exactly is HTTPS? It is a secure version of HTTP, the standard protocol used for accessing webpages. It runs connections through SSL, which encrypts the communication. Therefore, your connection to PC.net will now be encrypted, meaning no one can eavesdrop on your browsing or see what you submit via the contact form, for instance. Otherwise, it should have no noticeable effect on your PC.net experience.

HTTPS is super important for e-commerce sites and websites where you can log in with a username and password. It protects your personal information from being intercepted by someone on your network running a packet sniffing program or other malicious software. For PC.net, this isn't really a concern.

So why the switch? Well Google, the self-proclaimed authority of webmaster guidelines for websites around the world, has encouraged websites to use HTTPS since August 6, 2014. The goal, I suppose, is to make the web more secure, preventing data theft and the alteration of webpage content between the server and end user. A noble goal, but also a pretty big hassle for the average webmaster. Historically, moving to HTTPS has involved buying a secure certificate, authenticating your identity as an individual or organization, and installing the certificate for your domain on the server. Not an easy task for the everyday webmaster.

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CalendarNovember 23, 2016

Why my Health Insurance Premiums are Increasing 56% Next Year

My health insurance premiums are going up over 56% next year. It is the biggest annual increase in monthly premiums I have ever had – by far.

A few weeks ago, I surmised how Obamacare may have been a pivotal factor in the U.S. election. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has driven up health care costs and has actually made health care much less affordable for most US citizens. It certainly has not benefitted me the past few years. See the chart of my 2005 to 2017 insurance premiums below.

Medica Health Insurance Premiums Chart 2005 - 2017

The chart above speaks for itself. As the details of the Affordable Care Act have been implemented over past few years, I have watched my health insurance premiums skyrocket. On top of that, my insurance company – Medica – has reduced my coverage, lowered the amount they will pay for prescription drugs, and increased my deductible.

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CalendarNovember 9, 2016

Obamacare: The Untold Story of the 2016 Election

Obamacare: The Untold Story of the 2016 ElectionIt actually happened. Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States.

Not too many saw this coming, including myself. Millions of people in America and around the world were glued to their TVs, computers, and smartphones wondering, Is this actually happening?

Nearly every political analyst predicted a Hillary Clinton victory. Many of them were confident the election wouldn't even be close. But it was close. And Trump won. The smartest people in news got it wrong.

So why did Donald Trump win? Was it because Americans are frustrated with the establishment (the current government)? Do they not trust Hillary? Or do US citizens simply want a leader who is not politically correct? These are all reasons people voted for Trump, but they had already been factored into the polls. So what made the difference? I have a theory — and it revolves around one word: Obamacare.

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- PC (Per Christensson)

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