For someone who sure enjoys dressing up, I really do not enjoy the experience of shopping for clothes. At all. I’d liken it to a dentist’s appointment, except I don’t hate going to the dentist.
How you dress does have a huge impact not only on how others see you, but how you yourself feel. The right outfit–and it sounds dumb but it’s true–can fill you with confidence. And it doesn’t just have to be an outfit that looks good on you; it’s also important to make sure that it’s an appropriate outfit for the situation.
Given that I have to suit up every day for work, and given that I like to dress well, you can easily see how my aversion to shopping for clothes can create some challenges.
My wife picked up on this as well and signed me up for a service called Bombfell. Bombfell is one of those “We pick a bunch of stuff and send it to you every month” deals that have been really popular with the urban millennial crowd for the past ten years or so, and as with anything trendy, I’m immediately skeptical. But seeing as how Bombfell is free to sign up for, is free to quit at any time, and places no obligations on the customer to purchase any of the clothes they send, I figured I’d give it a shot.
And you know what? Three months later, I’m still using it.
Is your Internet browsing experience slow, bogged down by unseen programs running behind the scenes, tracking your every move? Do you hate ads, pop-ups and the kind targeted based on what you’ve looked at in the past, cat-food ads creepily popping up everywhere because of that one time you bought some stuff for your four-legged friend on Pet Smart’s website? Do you always feel like somebody’s watching you?
That’s because they are. A lot of “free” services actually do extract a price from you in exchange for your use of them, and that price is information: Not just demographic information, but your browsing habits, preferences, and past browsing history. This is why the complex algorithms behind websites like Amazon can pop up eerily accurate “You Might Like . . .” suggestions based on what you’ve done and how it matches to what other, similar minded, customers have done. YouTube does this too, with it’s “Suggested” sidebar; you listen to one piece by Rachmaninoff, and you get a steady stream of Russian composers popping up on there. Not that this is a bad thing, really, but it has a tendency to ghettoize all of us into an echo chamber. But I digress.
This might make you want to boycott Brave. And that’s fine. But I’m less interested in the politics and more interested in what Brave has to offer.
Brave is premised on the idea that the user should not be tracked. By automatically blocking these trackers, Brave will allow for faster browsing, as all of these background programs will stop slowing down your experience.
Up to a whopping 60% of page load time is caused by the underlying ad technology that loads into various places each time you hit a page on your favorite news site. And 20% of this is time spent on loading things that are trying to learn more about you.
The second big selling point of Brave–and I use the term “selling” loosely, since Brave is free to download–is that it browsing will be safer:
At Brave, our goal is to block everything on the web that can cramp your style and compromise your privacy. Annoying ads are yesterday’s news, and cookies stay in your jar where they belong.
Brave blocks harmful advertising
There’s a new ad game in town. It’s called “Malvertising”. The latest display ad technology can install malware on your laptop without your knowledge. But not with Brave watching your back.
Brave redirects sites to HTTPS
We’ve integrated HTTPS Everywhere into every Brave browser to make sure you are always moving your bits across the safest possible pipe.
Brave blocks Tracking Pixels and Tracking Cookies
Do you ever get that feeling that someone is watching you when you see an ad for something you bought a few days ago? We make sure you aren’t being tracked while you shop online and browse your favorite sites.
Brave even has an ad-blocking and replacement approach that purports to fund Brave’s operations while using anonymous protocols, with other plans to allow users to funnel ad revenue back to companies that users want to support via Bitcoin. I haven’t delved into this feature, but it partially explains how Brave can be offered for free. You can read more about this on Brave’s website.
Maybe you’ve heard a thing or two about Twitter censoring people, often selectively based on political preferences or personal relationships. Or perhaps that the company manipulates it’s “Trending” feature to control what gets listed at the top, despite how many people are actually tweeting about it.
Twitter is well within its rights to do this. And maybe you’re okay with it! But Andrew Torba wasn’t.
Torba, a Bay Area tech entrepreneur recently launched Gab.ai, as a competing platform to Twitter. And unlike Twitter, Torba vows that he will let users dictate what they see or don’t. It is based on what Torba calls a #SpeakFreely mindset.
This is because Torba believes that the only valid form of censorship is self-censorship: Don’t like it? Don’t read it.
Called #SeeNoEvil, the feature lets users decide what they want to filter out of their Gab experience.