Thursday, February 15, 2018

Another One Bites The Dust

Just a reminder: It's okay to leave comments!

I don't often visit the site for Salon magazine as they seldom post anything of interest (to me), but the other day I clicked on a link that took me to their page. That's when I got this pop-up:

I get these sort of warnings a lot. This one was slightly different, though. They gave me an option. I could allow them to use my "spare" computing power to mine for cryptocurrency. Apparently they don't make enough money with ads or subscriptions, so they want me to allow them to use my computer and electricity so they can grab some digital currency to help keep them going. They talk about how the money could be used for what they consider valid social causes. Yes, I suppose it could, but I really think it's to help their bottom line.

While I give them kudos for being upfront about it, they didn't say anything about sharing.

If Salon wants to mine cryptocurrency, that's fine by me. But don't ask to use my resources and slow down / overheat my PC to do it.

What's also interesting is that back in December 2017 Salon posted an article saying this sort of thing was bad as it would require more value in energy than it would get in currency. This extra load would slow the acceptance of "green" energy sources. So it's bad if you do this but good if they do it. Got it.

You may ask why I use an ad blocker when so many sites rely on ads for revenue. I don't block all ads. I don't even mind having a few ads on the screen since I don't click on them. But things have gotten to the point where many web sites are so full of ads and pop-ups as to become unusable. Or they are painful to use. In addition, you never know where the ads originate. More and more have embedded malware or render poorly.

So, in an effort to keep my sanity, I use AdBlocker to block many of them. And since Salon seldom has anything truly unique I can't live without, I just have to say good-bye. I know Salon will disagree, but most of what they have (that I would consider reading) is 10% news and 90% opinion. That's not worth a subscription or having them use my PC to make them richer.

I've also stopped going to Business Insider as they insist I get rid of my ad blocker. Again, there is nothing on that site that isn't on a bunch of other sites.

I do pay for some content on the Internet, and have a few subscriptions that are free. But I get to chose which ones.

So, so long, Salon (and Business Insider).

Note: AdBlocker now has an option to filter out at least some of the sites using your PC to mine for money. And, yes, I have turned that filter on.

P.S. It would be great if you could check out Terri Deno's Patreon site and consider supporting her writing efforts! Struggling authors need all the help they can get!

© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 41

Just a reminder: It's okay to leave comments!

Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a prompt from Miranda Kate's 41st Mid-Week Flash challengeyou're going to get some! This is from Miranda's post:
This picture was created by Ana Prazeres or Aegils, a Portugese artist. You can find her work on Deviant Art and also on 500px. She has some incredible creations. She calls this one 'The Craft' - which offers a story in itself.
If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.

I've written short horror piece this time. It's called Chain of Dreams. The story is posted on my Patreon site (free access). I wanted to put a mention here for anyone following my blog especially since so few know about my Patreon site. You can access my story by clicking the title below (and I've put a little preview below).

Of course it was a dream. It had to have been. The ocean was hundreds of miles away. The house didn't even look like hers.
Miriam sat up in bed. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and waited for her heart to slow. She was certainly awake now—might as well get up and get ready for her appointment.

It's only 312 words long, so I can't give to much of a sample! To continue reading, go to my Patreon site (free access for all on this story).

© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved