Oct 24, 2012

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Instapaper and some of my Likes

Instapaper is a website I regularly use to save web pages that I want to read when I have the time. I mostly use their app on my phone, which lets me read articles on the train.

There are plenty of other options out there, the main one I’ve heard about is Pocket. This isn’t a review of either, but if you find yourself half reading articles at work or keeping lots of browser tabs open that you don’t ever get to, you may want to consider one of these.

The purpose of using this app is so that I can read more articles, which I have. Here are a few of the ones I’ve read that I thought important enough to mark for easy reference:

I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave | Mother Jones

A reporter goes undercover and works in a warehouse for an online store in the USA. Her story has given me a better appreciation for the conditions people work in to provide me with gadgets that I order online. I can’t fix this issue by myself, even buying from a local supplier can involve this kind of distribution chain, but I have noticed that DX.com has opened in Australia and for a little more you can buy products from there. Minimum wage in Australia is AUD15.96/hour, (USD16.46), minimum wage in Hong Kong is HKD28 (USD3.61).

mnmlist: being OK with things as they are

We constantly strive for perfection, but what if we took a second look at all the things we want to change and see if we could accept them? Wouldn’t we be happier with what we have and have more time to change the important things?

This hasn’t been an instant thing, but a big part of it for me has been identifying and letting go of “First world problems” like my coffee not being warm enough, my phone not being fast enough or missing a TV show I wanted to see. Flip that around and I have a delicious coffee that I made for free on the work coffee machine, I have a phone that can surf the net, play games, music and videos as well as make calls, and I can watch TV from a comfy couch in a warm, water tight house. I have friends who don’t have clean running water or smartphones, but they still love life, why shouldn’t I?

Are you an asker or a guesser?

This one was a big one for me, I won’t even try to condense it down, have a read of this excerpt:

In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favour, a pay rise– fully realising the answer may be no. In Guess culture, by contrast, you avoid “putting a request into words unless you’re pretty sure the answer will be yes… A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won’t have to make the request directly; you’ll get an offer.

As a guesser, this article challenged me to say no when I need to and realise that Askers are genuinely (perhaps cheekily) enquiring, aware that the answer could be a no.

The Blind Shooting The Blind

This one genuinely caught me by surprise. I’ve seen blind people use computers, I know that apps with text can read to them but I would never have guessed that the iPhone Camera app could talk to a blind person and help them take a perfect photo. Apple have set the benchmark, is your app accessible?

What have you been reading recently?