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AUTHOR: Kevin Costain

My Book Recommendations To End 2017

Books to read 2017

This year has been a great year to read books. Whether is was picking up Sapiens in Ireland this summer, or relaxing on a beach in Portugal reading another, I was not without a book in hand for many days this year. I thought I’d share the books I’ve read and feel are worth your time. These aren’t ranked in any particular order, as think they’re all worthy of your attention.

Car Renters Be Wary – Budget / Avis May Steal Your Money

Budget Logo Per Wikimedia Commons

Incredible, I’m still fuming over this, but it’s just as well, we should all be more wary of rental car companies. Now, more than ever, you have to be diligent when looking over rental polices because it’s clear these companies are at war with the consumer. Almost every time, a simple car rental turns into a costly lesson. Let me tell you a story where Budget / Avis stole more money from me than the actual rental. And, I did nothing wrong.

Apple’s September 2017 Event

Apple Event Invite 2017

Today, Apple’s event heralded a number of firsts. The first to happen that the Steve Jobs Theatre. The first to be almost completely spoiled by leaks, and the first to introduce a phone starting at $999US. Apple was also expected to do but things in augmented reality and include wireless charging. I watched the event and here are my thoughts on what’s coming with Apple. 

Tourist Travel can be More Than Romantic Consumerism

I’ve been on Yuval Noah Harari overload lately. A month long read of Homo Deus brought me some insight into the future of mankind, or perhaps the evolution of said “kind”. Harari’s books have left me we with a bunch of thoughts about his ideas, but often I haven’t written them down; so I’m left to circle back on them another time. That’s ok, because sometimes this stuff really needs to be pondered. Today, I returned to an idea in Harari’s first book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind about travel (and thanks to Reddit), it had me thinking about how this relates to my own view of the pursuit.

It’s Always Been About the Chargers

EV Car Charging
 
How tough is it today to be an Electric Vehicle (EV) driver? Really tough it turns out. As we sit on the precipice of mass-market adoption, more cars are on the road, and the charging infrastructure is not growing nearly as fast as it should. A fact making things worse is all the lip service governments seem to give EV promotion and charger installation, but the results are not there. In all of this is the promise of greater Electric sales and adoption, cleaner energy sources, and price pressures on gas pushing more towards the EV market. But, in my two years of driving an EV, there is a clear dark cloud over charging infrastructure. There aren’t many “Good” chargers out there.

7 Bridges in Amsterdam

7 Bridges in Amsterdam Thumbnail

There is one fleeting spot along the canals where passing at just the right spot exposes you to 7 different bridges. Catching this perfectly is especially difficult if you aren’t expecting it (on the tour). I could have done better to pull up the sharpness on the faraway bridges, though the positioning is slightly unsymmetrical. The canals are gloriously rich space for photography. Given a drone, this shot might be all the more spectacular, even though this is view is still wonderful.

Skógafoss Up Close

Skogafoss Up Close Thumbnail

This waterfall has to be the most photographed location on all of the island. People (and birds) flock to this location to get views from every single possible angle. For me, it was a chance to practice some non-tripod work with my camera while trying to get the right kind of angle.

Your Guide to the Confusing Microsoft Office 2016 ‘My Account’ Service and How to Take Control

Office 2016 Logo

You might have wondered why licensing Retail versions of Microsoft Office 2016 on Windows has become so cumbersome and clunky and confusing? Why does Microsoft force a login to install and activate Office?  Why is this service so bad at showing information and handling more than one installation? If fact, if you have more than one retail copy of Office to install and activate on the same account, you’re in for serious confusion. I can’t answer all these questions, but I’ll show you how to fix this mess so you can install Office and move on.