hjertnes.blog

Education

18.07.2014 02:00

Education is a subject I care a lot about. And I don’t think everyone understand why it is important.

Taking a degree in something, might be about being able to work as a engineer or doctor, but it’s also about learning how to learn, growing as a person and to show the world that you can complete something.

I would like to, but I can’t ignore the cost of going to college in the US. It’s ridiculous! And governments around the world need to fix the cost of higher education. Educated people are a good thing.

The difference between for example the US and my home country, Norway is huge. I pay under $200 a year to study at a state university. I get a student loan from the state, and parts of is converted to a stipend if I pass all my exams.

When I look at the different kinds of degrees at any given university or other higher education institution I see two things, the kind of degree you take to become something, like a law degree, medical degree or to a lesser extent an engineering degree. And then you have the more academic, but more flexible degrees. They aren’t about becoming something. But they are about studying something you care about, and then you can apply it in many different jobs for the rest of your life.

I have a trade school diploma in electronics and IT. But I’m taking a degree in philosophy, now. The great thing about studying something at the humanities department is that you will learn two things you can use anywhere in life. You learn critical thinking. And you will learn how to write, if you want to.

I have some strong opinions about computer science degrees. They are a waste of time for most people. You might need it if you are going to do something very complicated, like developing operating systems, googles back-end services or databases. And you need it, if you are doing academic research. I think most people could learn everything they need, online. And a lot of people have been doing just that, for as long as I can remember; that’s how I learned everything I know about computers. And almost everything I know about English.

Everyone should consider taking a degree, or at least a few courses at the humanities department. Especially if you don’t know what to do. Find something you are interested in, and learn what it’s really about. History, religion, culture, art, or my beloved ancient art and science of everything — philosophy.

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App

17.07.2014 02:00

Overcast is the new and anticipated app by Marco Arment. I have been looking forward to this release since I thought he was doing a podcast app. And then he announced it at XOXO last year.

This is a all around great podcast app. It doesn’t have everything, but it does have everything I need, and some features I didn’t know I wanted. The app have some cool tricks, like smart EQ’ing; great for listening to podcast while walking outside. And gap compressing; great for podcast with a lot of gaps.

Marco is a classy guy. He knew that this app wasn’t for everyone. So, he added a list of podcast apps that he things is great in the app. This is amazing, and I hope that a lot of developers start copying this.

It’s a free app, with a $4.99 iAP. Go and check it out.

I would have payed up to $20 for it!

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Podcast networks, from a podcast listener perspective

16.07.2014 02:00

I’m not sure, if I wrote about podcast networks during Marco’s big podcast network rant a while back. But I have been thinking about it for the last few hours.

I love podcast networks. I’m not a podcaster, but I listen to a lot of them. And they are a great a way to find stuff to listen to.

70Decibels was a great example, and 5by5 is a great example. I used to listen to almost every podcast on 70Decibels, except for that sci-fi thing.

5by5 is larger. But I think I have checked out almost every active podcast on the network since 2011. And 5by5 is still the largest source of podcasts in my podcast client.

Podcast Networks might not be the best thing in the world for podcasters, but I think they are great for discovering podcasts.

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Limited internet access.

09.07.2014 02:00

I join my parents at their vacation home once a year. And I enjoy it. The thing I like the most about it is how quiet everything is. It’s not just less noise than I’m used to, but it’s also less stuff going on. Everything from life itself, to the internet.

I’m not one of those people that go “off the grid”. I just enjoy being places not reading e-mail, twitter and rss for a few days. Three to four days, where I’m reading my e-mail once a day is brilliant.

I’m going tomorrow. And I look forward to it.

It’s a great opportunity to take some pictures, shrink my podcast queue, read a few books and read everything in Instapaper.

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A few words for Aron Swartz.

08.07.2014 02:00

I just watched “The Internet’s own boy”, and he truly was that. Aron created RSS. Aron created Reddit. And he was fighting for a lot of the stuff that I have been fighting for in my own country for a long time. Both in terms of internet and environment. And as a Greenpeace employee, civil disobedience is the thing I believe in.

There are a reason behind this. I didn’t write the day Steve died. And I didn’t write the day Aron died.

But I’m writing this today. I have cried three times since I was a teenager. It was the day Steve died, it was the day Aron died, and when my grandmother died last year.

Aron was fighting for the internet we all want. Watch the movie. Spread the word, and continue the fight.

Civil disobedience is important. It’s the key, and it’s the solution, in the end.

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The App Store and Netflix is great; but the search sucks.

08.07.2014 02:00

My mother have never owned any computer except for her iPad and iPhone. And she never downloads anything, except for the apps that I have installed on them.

She got a new TV last year. And my step father was browsing netflix on it, during christmas, looking for something all of us could watch. And I realised the major problem with Netflix for my parents generation; in particular the part of them that aren’t computer savvy.

We couldn’t find anything. All of us wanted to watch. I would just pick some random movie, and watch ten minutes, to figure out if I wanted to watch more of it, and do that until I found something interesting.

What I wish Netflix had is some IMDB integration, combined with some Pandora like features.

Here is what I want. Let’s say my mother likes Titanic. You search or pick that movie in Netflix, they look at meta-data about that movie, and you get a list of similar movies in the netflix catalogue, sorted by rating.

The problem with both the app store and netflix for non-geeks or non-computer savvy people is that there are no good way to find what you want.

On the app store side, I want some way for developers to check off some standard features that the app has. Like for example: I want a markdown editor, with built-in browser that syncs with Dropbox.

It would be really hard for me to find that with a search in the app store.

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Rate your podcasts.

05.07.2014 02:00

This shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone that know me: I’m a huge fan of podcasts. And there are a few ways you can help podcasters out. You can write about them on your blog, or tweet about them; something I do often when I discover something new. The obvious one is to visit their sponsor, and buy the thing they are selling.

But, one of the most important things you can do is to review them on iTunes. I haven’t reviewed many of the podcasts I have listened to over the years. It’s a hassle. I don’t use iTunes to sync or listen to podcasts.

So, I had this idea last night. While listening to Ben Brooks new podcast. I’m going to review every single podcast I’m listening to.

The reasons for writing a review, or rate a podcast in iTunes is very simple. Most people subscribe to podcasts with iTunes. Rating and reviews are the thing you can do to make sure more people see the shows you love.

Podcasts need bigger audiences to attract new sponsors to make the whole business viable. They can’t rely on Squarespace forever.

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Be the best you can.

03.07.2014 02:00

I have been reading Randy Murray’s blog for a long time now. And I love it.

Check out the link, it’s about sucking.

I started out being a terrible writer. I never cared about writing. And then I started a blog. I have written many hundred thousands of words, if not millions. And I still think I suck. But I show up almost every single day. And I do the best I can.

My goal is always be as good as I can be.

I don’t think you can ever reach the level of your heroes.

There was this interview with BB King that I saw on YouTube a few years ago. I can’t find it right now. But it was great. He talked about how he thinks that he wasn’t as great as the people that was his heroes growing up. And BB is the fucking kind of the blues.

Keep writing or whatever you are doing. That’s the only way to get better at it.

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RIP Aperture

30.06.2014 02:00

The Loop reported that Apple won’t do any more development on Aperture. I don’t think this is a big surprise for anyone. But I think it’s sad. I used to use the app for a long time; before I switched to Lightroom.

Here is the basic story. I got Aperture when the App Store launched. And then, as time went I got more and more annoyed by the fact that Apple hadn’t released a major update. So, I bought Lightroom the day they had released two major updates, since the last major Aperture update.

Lightroom is a great app, if you are looking for a Aperture replacement. And you can get a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription with Lightroom and Photoshop for $9 a month.

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Advertisements.

28.06.2014 02:00

This is a collection of my thoughts about ads, and especially ads on the web. I don’t think they are nearly as offensive as billboards and ad’s in the real world.

Here is the thing, a huge amount of the people that create stuff on the internet rely on ads as their income. Some make videos on YouTube, other people have blogs or podcasts – most of them have ads.

I don’t skip ads on podcasts, and I don’t use ad blockers.

I get something for free – or I’m not paying for something. And therefore I’m the product they use for getting paid for their work. That’s a fair deal.

There is however one important detail.

Some people use Ad Networks like Google to provide ads, and just show anything or anyone that are willing to pay for it. While others seek to have something tailored for their audience.

I never click on any generic Google or Facebook ad. I have never done it. And I seriously doubt I will ever do it. Ever.

But I do often click on ads on blogs, or go to the sponsors of podcasts, because they are of interest for me. Blogs and podcasts are much better at finding and showing good ads, from interesting products.

Squarespace, Audible, Lynda, MailChimp, JetPens or Smile Software are just a few of the companies that I discovered on podcasts and blogs. And there are probably hundreds of others.

Good ads are great. Terrible ads is the problem. Irrelevant ads are the problem. Know your audience, and find companies that have relevant products for them.

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