Sybil_Fleming's recent activity

  1. Comment on Feeding an ebook addiction in ~books

    Sybil_Fleming
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    I'm always adding books to my Pocketbook Inkpad3. Standard Ebooks - This site was posted on Tildes before and it's a great project that takes public domain books and cleans them up. Archive.org -...

    I'm always adding books to my Pocketbook Inkpad3.

    1. Standard Ebooks - This site was posted on Tildes before and it's a great project that takes public domain books and cleans them up.
    2. Archive.org - Has literally millions of books scanned and OCR'ed, in addition to whatever the community uploads. They also have a library borrowing mechanism through the Open Library for copyrighted works. Additionally, they're one of the canonical mirrors for the public domain Librivox audiobooks.
    3. Ebooks Directory - This site has tons of entries to freely available textbooks and fiction.
    4. Libreture's DRM-free bookshop list - This was also shared on Tildes before. Who wouldn't love a huge list of digital bookstores that have no DRM.
    6 votes
  2. Comment on History is marching in ~humanities

    Sybil_Fleming
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    The documentary is composed of seven parts. The first introduces dialectic materialism and Marxist criticism of capitalism. The second part is a historical overview of post-WWII developments,...

    History is Marching is a feature length documentary analysing the rise in tensions between major powers across the globe over the course of 2018.

    The documentary is composed of seven parts. The first introduces dialectic materialism and Marxist criticism of capitalism. The second part is a historical overview of post-WWII developments, especially the rise of neoliberalism. The third, fourth, and fifth parts examine the geopolitics of American, European, and British imperialism in the face of crisis, especially the possibility of war. The sixth part highlights the connection between the current system and climate change. And finally, the seventh part states the case for socialism/communism.

    The full script for the documentary is available at https://medium.com/@jrbml.public/script-history-is-marching-3abe1a486f53

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Does anyone know of any good budgeting tools? in ~finance

    Sybil_Fleming
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    For strictly budgetting purposes the envelope method can be used in meatspace. Basically, you come up with a budget for your cash flow and set aside the physical monies in labelled envelopes (i.e....

    For strictly budgetting purposes the envelope method can be used in meatspace. Basically, you come up with a budget for your cash flow and set aside the physical monies in labelled envelopes (i.e. groceries, transportation, gifts, savings, etc), thereby gaining a mini-budget for each category. The physical aspect is pretty important since humans are better at conceptualizing with concrete objects and it acts as precommitment to the previously determined spending limits.


    Otherwise here are some thoughts on software that I've tried (all targeted at Americans). For more, check out this Wikipedia list of personal finance software.

    Ease of use, total privacy loss:

    • Mint - You register an account and then they ask for your bank/investment account credentials (banks really do not like this). Thereafter, Mint scrapes all the transaction data and categorizes it for you. You get nice charts and Intuit (the owner of Mint, and one of the biggest reasons why tax filing in the U.S. is horrific) gets your data to target credit offers!
    • Yodlee - It's like Mint, but has slightly less conflict of interest because its corporate parent is trying to sell subscriptions to financial advisers.
    • Personal Capital - It's like Mint, but focused on tracking net worth and they try to upsell you with their Robo-adviser wealth management service (which is really only useful if you have potential tax gain/loss harvesting).

    Manual data entry, slightly better privacy:

    • You Need a Budget (YNAB) - It used to be a standalone desktop app but now it's a subscription software service that requires your data to be stored encrypted on their servers. It has somewhat of a learning curve since it is based on the envelope method. Since it is designed to track cash flows I don't think it really tracks net worth (if you need/want that).
    • Google Spreadsheets (argument also applies to Excel) - Eventually you will see a nice spreadsheet being shared somewhere like /r/personalfinance or /r/financialindependence and you will get the idea to copy it. This could be a drain because of the amount of upkeep required to keep things sane/up-to-date. Also, using a spreadsheet as a database is probably a bad idea.

    Manual data entry, private:

    • Gnucash - One of the more popular open source personal finance desktop apps. Features double entry accounting and custom reports.
    • skrooge - Another open source desktop app, slightly easier to use than Gnucash
    • Plain Text Accounting - Somebody shared this on Tildes but the majority of things seem to be CLI-based and require double-entry accounting. HLedger was way too complicated for me but I can see the advantages of having scriptable CLI tools and all the data in plain text.
    13 votes
  4. Comment on Good domain registrars? in ~comp

    Sybil_Fleming
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    I use Njalla to register and manage my personal domains. It was founded by one of The Pirate Bay founders, Peter Sunde, and here's what he had to say: Of course, since it promises anonymity there...

    I use Njalla to register and manage my personal domains. It was founded by one of The Pirate Bay founders, Peter Sunde, and here's what he had to say:

    “Njalla is needed because we’re going the wrong way in society regarding people’s right to be anonymous. With social media pressuring us to be less anonymous and services being centralized, we need alternatives,”
    ...
    “All key parts of the Internet need to have options for anonymity, and the domain name area is something which was never really protected. At best you can buy a domain name using ‘privacy by proxy’ services, which are aimed more at limiting spam than actually protecting your privacy.”

    Of course, since it promises anonymity there are some questionable users and the Njalla blog is full of the same childish humor that TPB used to have. Therefore, one may want to avoid Njalla for its profile-raising nature.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Which are your top five computer programs? in ~comp

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    I could never wrap my head around configuration for beets or the other command line stuff so I use Quod Libet and manage my collection manually (tagging with MusicBrainz Picard, flac compression...

    I could never wrap my head around configuration for beets or the other command line stuff so I use Quod Libet and manage my collection manually (tagging with MusicBrainz Picard, flac compression for archival, transcoding to opus for streaming, moving files to NAS, backups, etc).

    MusicBee was my music player and library management tool back when I still used Windows.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on What have you been watching / reading this week? (Anime/Manga) in ~anime

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    Katanagatari, like other NisioishiN adaptations, is very much a "talking heads" kind of show where it takes a while to build up. Don't skip the "next episode preview" at the end of episode 3 or...

    Katanagatari, like other NisioishiN adaptations, is very much a "talking heads" kind of show where it takes a while to build up. Don't skip the "next episode preview" at the end of episode 3 or you'll miss out on something a lot of other watchers miss.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on How tarot and astrology helped me cope with my depression in ~health

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    I believe the convention is to use trigger as the top level tag, per the wiki page.

    I believe the convention is to use trigger as the top level tag, per the wiki page.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on The hidden dangers of the great index fund takeover in ~finance

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    The WSJ article is talking about investors' choice in ETFs (securities, not brokers) being biased in favor of the biggest index fund managers because there are low fees, high liquidity, and little...

    The WSJ article is talking about investors' choice in ETFs (securities, not brokers) being biased in favor of the biggest index fund managers because there are low fees, high liquidity, and little risk of closure (ETF closures can incur unfavorable taxes). In essence it's creating a feedback loop where the big get bigger (bigger = lower fees due to economy of scale).

    Usually the brokers (aka account custodian) don't care which ETFs the investor chooses to buy so long as they're making money (from deposit interest, trading fees, upselling active funds or management services, administrative fees, etc).

    4 votes
  9. Comment on The hidden dangers of the great index fund takeover in ~finance

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    Broad market Index funds usually own shares in hundreds if not thousands of companies across many industries (and sometimes nations). There is no way for a retail investor to vote meaningfully at...

    Broad market Index funds usually own shares in hundreds if not thousands of companies across many industries (and sometimes nations). There is no way for a retail investor to vote meaningfully at that scale, so they often appoint the fund manager as their proxy voter to represent their interest.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on The hidden dangers of the great index fund takeover in ~finance

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    I must prefix my response with this: Despite the concerns raised in the article, broad market index funds are one of the greatest instruments for retail investors. I can think of two responses (I...

    I must prefix my response with this: Despite the concerns raised in the article, broad market index funds are one of the greatest instruments for retail investors.

    I can think of two responses (I don't work in finance and I do the boglehead strategy of buy-and-hold indexes):

    1. Purchase funds from another, smaller .financial institution. (e.g. Charles Schwab offers its own low-fee index ETFs.) This comes with the same risk of "not enough oversight" and additional illiquidity (thus higher spreads when buying/selling).
    2. Funds that use different strategies (e.g. Active funds, "ESG" funds, etc). These come with a significant risk of under-performance and closure if they don't have enough assets to become/remain profitable.
    5 votes
  11. Comment on The hidden dangers of the great index fund takeover in ~finance

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link
    On a somewhat related note, the Wall Street Journal took a look at how smaller ETFs are struggling to gain inflows as more and more investors flock to big ETF players like Black Rock and Vanguard...

    On a somewhat related note, the Wall Street Journal took a look at how smaller ETFs are struggling to gain inflows as more and more investors flock to big ETF players like Black Rock and Vanguard for the perceived quality of their securities.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on What have you been watching / reading this week? (Anime/Manga) in ~anime

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link
    I'm rewatching Concrete Revolutio ~A Superhuman Fantasy~. It's a story about superhumans, monsters, and aliens set in alternative post-WW2 Japan and told non-linearly. Common themes include war,...

    I'm rewatching Concrete Revolutio ~A Superhuman Fantasy~.

    It's a story about superhumans, monsters, and aliens set in alternative post-WW2 Japan and told non-linearly. Common themes include war, justice, equality, prejudice (against non-humans), ethics, and unintended consequences. And it has some nice fights occasionally.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tech

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    Do you need to root your phone? IIRC the wireguard app still needs root permissions to utilize the kernel module.

    Do you need to root your phone? IIRC the wireguard app still needs root permissions to utilize the kernel module.

  14. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tech

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link
    Might want to add a disclosure that you are advertising your own VPN service. On a related note: What happened to Android 9 and 10? It seems unfair to compare iOS 13.3 to Android 6, 7, and 8......

    Might want to add a disclosure that you are advertising your own VPN service.

    On a related note: What happened to Android 9 and 10? It seems unfair to compare iOS 13.3 to Android 6, 7, and 8...

    I'm looking forward to the improvements that will be made when Android adopts a Linux kernel that has Wireguard integrated.

    15 votes
  15. Comment on How to best utilise 5k GBP in ~finance

    Sybil_Fleming
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    I don't live in the UK so take this advice with some salt: The usual recommendation is to keep 1-3 month's worth of living expenses as an emergency fund, so 3k may or may not be enough to keep...

    I don't live in the UK so take this advice with some salt:

    The usual recommendation is to keep 1-3 month's worth of living expenses as an emergency fund, so 3k may or may not be enough to keep depending on your expenses. I generally direct newbies to the Bogleheads wiki but there may be better resources for the U.K.

    1. The only one who can decide the best use of your money is... you. Think on your present and future needs and hold the money accordingly. The time horizon of your plans (emergency fund, saving for a new gadget/house/etc, retirement bucket...) should determine what sort of gains/risk to take.
    2. Nobody knows exactly what Brexit will bring, but converting currencies can be expensive and trying to set up bank accounts outside your country of residence can be difficult.
    3. An index fund tracking whole markets is a very simple instrument. You don't need to do anything besides purchasing shares (and re-investing the dividends if that's necessary). Some time ago I heard that the U.K. was in a particularly bad place as far as fees went, but if Vanguard is there then their fees should be pretty low.
    4. Again, I have no idea what the fee situation in the U.K. is but keeping costs low and being aware of the tax implications of your investments is a necessity.
    5. Ethical funds by definition will reduce the diversity of your investments and possibly introduce higher fees (therefore likely to drive down your returns). It is up to you to decide if that's worth it.
    4 votes
  16. Comment on What do you want for Christmas? in ~talk

    Sybil_Fleming
    Link Parent
    The Culture Series, a sci-fi series by Scottish author Iain M. Banks.

    The Culture Series, a sci-fi series by Scottish author Iain M. Banks.

    The stories centre on the Culture, a utopian, post-scarcity space society of humanoids, aliens, and very advanced artificial intelligences living in socialist habitats spread across the Milky Way galaxy. The main theme of the novels is the dilemmas that an idealistic hyperpower faces in dealing with civilizations that do not share its ideals, and whose behaviour it sometimes finds repulsive.

    4 votes