This Is Why You Should Install Mozilla Firefox and Ditch Chrome

HEATED conversations on the web regarding  online privacy post Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal months ago keeps gaining momentum. Though most people find it boring, the issue is in fact crucial so as to prevent such unhealthy domination.

One of the best ways to avoid abuse of data by large internet corporations is by using by needs and avoiding use of all products in a centralized manner. In other words, if you have an Android gadget, the risks are getting higher if you are on Chrome, using Google Docs and Google Maps. That translates to living in a closed ecosystem, as if you have no alternatives. That way, all your data is held by a single company, i.e. Google. It will be better to use several services by different companies according to your needs.

One real step to take in order to restrict data abuse on the web is by using Firefox of Mozilla and abandoning other web browsers which do not show more concern about their user privacy.

Why Firefox?

These days according to Statcounter, Chrome browser dominates browser market share worldwide, partly thanks to the Android invasion. In the meantime, Firefox only ranks the fourth after Safari and UC Browser.

In Indonesia, Chrome still champions and Firefox is at the fourth rank after UC Browser and Opera, competing against Safari and other browsers.

Firefox was first introduced in 2004 so it is no longer new actually. To general audience, it looks just the same with Internet Explorer, Chrome and Opera. However, what is important to know is that other than Chrome, Firefox was made by Mozilla which is a non-profit organization with a mission to realize an open and healthy internet. Privacy and security are two main concerns of Mozilla.

Chrome does NOT prioritize your privacy as users. This is clear when you take time to sit down and peruse its policy that Chrome actually saves your internet exploration data locally unless you sign out of your Google account. In addition, Chrome also allows third party websites to access your IP address and other information which is traceable by cookies. If you are very concerned about privacy, this is something not to be taken lightly as your data can be sold to advertisers and third party companies that are able to trace your behaviors on the web.

Freedom

At Firefox, Mozilla offers a number of options of search engines. This freedom is not found in other browsers. Or if you may find it, it is not regarded as the strong unique selling point. Users can opt for Google as their search engine but here the difference is that anyone can choose deliberately. And if they are not willing, users are possible to choose another search engine. This is what we mean by “freedom”.

Protection

You can take control of data with comfort and protected from unwanted tracking  by using Firefox browser. It’s a well-known browser that can also prevent advertisers from tracking you down. Have you ever accessed an ecommerce website, haven’t checked out and completed the payment and at the samee time you’re visiting another site that shows you an advertisement of the previously product you are just about to purchase? That’s what I mean by “tracking”.

Privacy for All

Not everyone on the web is a geek or an internet savvy user. There are more lay people out there who don’t even know the urgency of internet privacy but they do have and use smartphones on daily basis. These people are in fact a group of internet users who enjoy most benefots from using Firefox because they find it hassle-free to turn on the “Do Not Track” feature. On Firefox, such a feature is on by deafult. However, on Chrome such a feature is not turned on by default so non-geek users would find it more challenging to turn the feature on.

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Even if you think Mozilla Firefox is not giving enough privacy protection, you are encouraged to download Firefox Focus, the latest browser from Mozilla. It focuses primarily on protecting your online privacy. This abrowser is available for both Android and iOS handhelds.

And good news for Android users, Mozilla plans to launch this year a new browser called “Firefox Preview” that focuses more on privacy than any other browsers existing in the market.  And Firefox Preview will be better than Firefox Focus in terms of privacy and online security in the near future. (*/)

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On Experiencing Ageism in This Real Life

I can relate to what James Hamblin of The Atlantic is experiencing.

He is a year older than I am but he looks like in this video a twelve year old boy.  He is Caucasian, which I can make sure he is way taller than I am.

It’s not because he makes conscious efforts to look like one but it’s more because of his natural tendency.

Some people just find it hard to ‘man up’, to be mature, to grow masculine, stable and OLD.

Being brutally honest, ageism can hit you at any age.

If you are seen too young, you can experience humiliation and get disrespectful attitudes or behaviors from people under your own age.

I have my own fair share of being in this complicated situation.

Not only once.

But many times.

But here I’ll be only take two incidents as an example.

So I was once working as a part-time lecturer and what was required for me as a lecturer is to show at the office first and then come in my classes.

What struck me most is when I came in, a senior lecturer approached me only to ask,” Are you going to meet a lecturer here? What student are you? Freshman? Because I’ve never seen you before on campus…”

That was in the office.

When I came in classrooms, the problem was different.

“Hi class. Welcome to our Grammar Class this semester. I’ll be teaching you for the whole semester,” I told them all.

Though they didn’t show disbelief, somehow I could sense that expression of ridicule.

“This can’t be happening. We can’t be taught by someone only a year older than ourselves. We want some considerably older lecturers with more convincing looks to learn from. He is way too unexperienced.” That’s the conclusion after I observed the way they reacted to my being a lecturer for them.

Even worse is that there were few students who were older than I was, making all the situation was becoming a little bit more awkward.

And still, I did look like a high school graduate.

I felt pathetic, at first.

But then things improved as time went by.

I accepted it as is.

No resistance.

No remorse.

I just turned my own attitude towards this situation of being seen too young to do something worthwhile into an attitude of total acceptance.

And when I changed my career (because I am not quite an extroverted teaching type of person) to become a professional writer in the corporate setting, I was also once again experiencing this ageism-related discriminative treatment.

Being quite senior in my job as a copywriter, I once called “too childlike” by a recruiter.

“It’ll be more convincing for you to meet clients without this shirt,” he pointed at my rather slim-and-fit batik shirt.

I did — and still do — look childlike with or without my tight shirt so his advice was actually useless. As far as I’m concerned, clothes won’t help me much to look mature and authoritative.

He went on: “Try to wear a suit. A formal one. You’ll look way better than this. It helps with your boyish looks that won’t help .”

Still I got hired and then I wore no suit, walking down the hall at my clients’ offices with my unicolor t-shirt. (*/)

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Garmin Vivosmart HR+: Best Buy Activity Tracker cum Smartwatch

So here’s a brief background of my purchase of this Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus. First, it is blue. I previously wanted a Samsung smartwatch but I got disappointed to discover the fact that the brand does not offer a blue color variant. Yes, because blue is always my favorite color.

And this Garmin gadget has what Samsung offers at a lower price. I am a customer that is easy to please actually. I just want the basic features of an activity tracker these days. It must be able to count heart beats, steps, etc. And of course it shows time because I need something more than a wristwatch. I demand more functions especially ones related to fitness and sports considering my interest in well being, gymnastics and yoga.

By purchasing this gadget, I can save IDR 1 million. While Samsung cheaper smartwatch costs more than IDR 3 million, the Garmin Vivosmart HR Plus just costs me around IDR 2.3 million. It is a best buy for a strong strong reason.

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Welcome Storyliving, Goodbye Storytelling!

photo of a boy reading book

We don’t need you to tell stories. We want to experience the stories! (Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com)

As a copywriter myself, I’ve heard so much in the marketing industry that storytelling is the big thing. You have to produce engaging content that people would love to consume and then share. And from there, it’ll go viral, which is quite a key parameter of a successful marketing campaign.

It seems now readers of the 21st century has shifted to the next trend, or simply a fad? I have no idea. We’ll decide as only time can tell.

As cited from Sprinklr’s blog, the latest marketing trend is now STORYLIVING.

Found in exchanges during Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this very year, the portmanteau word is used to replace the obsolete “storytelling” concept we have so long used and applied in engaging consumers/ audiences.

So what makes STORYLIVING different and unique from STORYTELLING?

While storytelling only explains us a proposition or idea, storyliving goes beyond that.

Storyliving encourages us (read: brands) to “get active and create more experiences”, reported Sprinklr.

Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung’s Global Lee Young-Hee proposed this novel approach at the event, stating:”Gen Z is not interested in storytelling, they want storyliving.”

Who belong to Generation Z, you may ask?

It’s hard to define clearly. But if you turn to Wikipedia, you’ll see the definition of

As a consequence, brands must stop telling stories and start allowing their successes speak for themselves. And stories are what customers experience. So customers do own brands, not the other way around.

This customer-experience-centric standpoint has been made possible also by the current technology. It allows us to track in real-time all changes occuring in markets.

It’s also interesting to see that brands are advised to see their consumers as more than just a group of faceless human beings consuming their products and services. Consumers are real humans with many facets, intricacies, and complexities.

How can storyliving be implemented?

With all the tech development such as Augmented and Virtual Reality,  this future trend is just around the corner. (*/)

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Learning the Meaning of Father’s Day from the Prousts

There is no man of literature that can describe the most humbling father-son relationship than French great novelist Marcel Proust and his father, Adrien Proust.

Two days before 26 November 1903, Adrien experienced a massive stroke attack while teaching in the medical school and eventually passed away, leaving his son so devastated. Of his father’s passing, Marcel wrote in a letter with a heightened feeling of being a failing son:

“Papa was a very sweet and simple man. I tried not to live up to his expectations for I am aware that I am always the dark spot in his life. To show him my affection, […] Other people have some sort of ambition to console them. I have none.”

At the time, Marcel was still in deep disappointment with himself because the novel he was working on, “Jean Santeuil” (an unfinished novel divided in three volumes which was never published during his lifetime).

With his father so hardworking and celebrated as an epidemiologist succeeding to combat cholera plague in Paris, Marcel saw himself as a shadow that never ever surpassed his father’s achievement and strong personality. He had developed a type of Inferiority Complex.

And the disappointment of Adrien was magnified when he learned Marcel failed to have a certain career.  Marcel was ‘only’ able to take up pens and write every night, living like  bat. Marcel’s younger brother, Robert, luckily (or sadly?) went on to study medicine, just like their father, which was quite a source of frustration to Marcel.

Adrien saw Robert’s academic and career attainment soared at medical school. Though he knew Marcel was not interested in attending medical school, as a father he suggested him to join a law firm.

But Marcel knew what he wanted. He write in one of his letters to his father:

“My dearest Papa,

I have kept hoping that I would be finally able to go on with the literary and philosophical studies for which I believe myself fit. As for a law office, I assure you I wouldn’t stick it out for three days.

I still believe that anything I do outside philosophy and literature would be just so much lost time…”

Despite the sibling rivalry, Robert showed full support of Marcel’s literary pursuit and even helped edit the elder brother’s manuscripts after Marcel’s untimely death.

Aren’t we all familiar with this situation as children?

We at times are in the unfortunate position of a child who still wants to devote him/herself to their father. Yet, s/he also has his/ her own stance in life, defending what s/he is,  what s/he wants to pursue in life, whom to marry, etc.

Seeing Marcel defend bravely his literary pursuit, I know that every child, including me, must never be afraid of expressing their minds or opinions even though often children are overshadowed by fathers.

So if you think you cannot make your father proud in HIS own perspective/ stand point, why not trying to make him proud in YOUR own way?

Marcel might be just a sickly, fragile son with little or no aptitude or knack for medicine or laws but I bet, should Adrien know how much Marcel his son is now admired for his literary achievement and how human race still celebrates his works and brilliance even after his death, the disappointed father might turn proud and accept Marcel as a whole human being. (*/)

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If Jakarta Sinks…

Asian Boss has asked several young Jakartans what they think of the recent discourse of moving the capital to a new city outside Java Island.

If I were one of them, I’d say:

“It should’ve done long time ago. It has always been a debate since the last administration but nothing occcured.

Moving the center of economic and administrative affairs from Jakarta (formerly called Batavia) to a new city in Borneo Island.actually not only involves shifts of physical positions but also shifts of paradigm in the mind of our policy makers.

For more than 70 years, Indonesia has been too Javacentric. Seriously. We have had almost all of our presidents from Javanese families. The first president is Soekarno or Kusno Sosordihardjo, which is a very Javanese name. Suharto is also a Javanese-born man. Our third is not a pure Javanese man but B. J. Habibie has a mother of Javanese nobility. Abdurrahman Wahid is totally from East Java. Megawati is Soekarno’s daughter, so she is Javanese to her core. And Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) is from Pacitan, East Java. Even the current president Jokowi was born in Surakarta, Java. So we can tell how much the Javacentricism is in the core of our country. All is about Java.

Though I am a Javanese and muslim man myself (just like being a Christian, white male in the States), I in fact look forward to something bigger than this restricting and suffocating Javacentricism as I believe in the notion that openness to reform is the key to unlocking the nation’s biggest potential.

Jakarta and Javacentricism are getting less and less relevant as Indonesia is becoming a more developed country. And Jakarta is way too old and fragile to support a disgustingly rapid economic boom in the country. The impact of this slow response to the Jakarta’s incapability of becoming a representative capital is too bitter for us. We have been so tired and drained by the traffic jams, floodings, environmental issues, etc.

And no one seems inside a happy bubble, not wanting to acknowledge the fact that Jakarta is doomed once the nation gained its independence. I am not saying our independence is the culprit of the huge mess in Jakarta but Jakarta/ Batavia was clearly built by the Dutch. And our ‘organic’ way of city plan growth and changes is very wild, dissimilar in many ways possibly found from the Dutch’s ways of thinking and city planning, design and so on.

Not to mention the urbanization rate which has been soaring and the ill-planned urban landscape, Jakarta looks like an old lady getting raped by super selfish men.

But the current regime should learn from the past mistakes so they won’t create another Jakarta in Borneo.

I really think Jakarta’s role as an administrative center can be gradually removed; while its role as an economic center can be transferred to other big cities throughout Indonesia, such as Medan, Makassar, Jayapura, and other port cities. (*/)

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Foreign Language (Mis)Used as the Most Efficient Politeness Maker

My hometown is one of the least towns on earth you are likely to find scantily clad women on ads. We observe the Islamic laws and morals and ethics. Veiled women are everywhere to see.

The atmosphere of conservatism and orthodoxy is too prevalent to deny.

So of course it makes sense that I was horribly shocked to spot that disturbing sticker that says “FATHER FUCKER” (typed as is) on my way home.

Since when this kind of double profanity is allowed and considered legal in this ultra religious town in the time of Islamic lifestyle awakening?

I assume this is because hardly anyone understands well what this sticker really means.

When “MOTHER FUCKER” is already a horrendous sin because that means someone is a son who has sex with his own biological mother, then “FATHER FUCKER” refers to a son who has sex with his own biological father by becoming a powerful and authoritative top. While the first case would evidently of incest and adultery, the second is even way more complex. There is a nuance of incest, adultery, and same-sex intercourse.

Has the sticker shown us some emerging LBTQ campaign around the town? I jokingly think so.

But I seriously have given this a thought: these people in my pious hometown do assume that everything is good and permitted and thus polite and ethical as long as it is stated in other languages they do not speak and write. And since they can only speak Javanese and Indonesian, they then won’t mind and care if you screamed “FUCK YOU” in the middle of the crowd in the townsquare.

I have noticed this phenomenon since quite a long time. This is partly because they think foreign languages are cooler. So what is the problem of saying profanity when people around you have no idea what it is all about?

That might be the case. No worries because no one will really get the meaning.

But as shocking as I may feel the first time, I eventually come to terms with this ignorance.

Though people in this town may learn English in schools, but in reality only very very few of them really understand the meaning behind all wordings on ads they see every time.

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Jakarta as a Tranquil Ghost City Is Right around the Corner

Three more days to go to Eid here in Jakarta. And the holiday vibe is in the air for not only a week but five weeks!!!

How come?

So the countdown has started since the beginning of Ramadan. Everyone is looking forward to the big festivity which is a blend of secular celebration, consumerism at its most disgusting, and of course ceremonial religious observance here and there. That is four weeks.

And the other one week is the w-week. I have heard Eid el fitr has never gotten any bigger attention than in South East Asian countries. In Arabic countries, Eid el Fitr is way less popular than Eid el Adha, the day when muslims commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim and his dear son.

This w-week is just the ideal time when you tourists can roam Jakarta with much ease and less pollution to rip your lungs. This is the perfect week to explore any places in the capital after a riotous presidential election that has actually dampened because those politicians need to act as if they forgave each other. Which we will never find out the truth.

You may go climb the national monument in the nucleus of Jakarta if you wish to. Even if you will get caught in the act, I swear the response will not as swift as when you do it the other 51 week in a year.

But alas, you also have to deal with less convenience to find foods and drinks. Many establishments are going to be closed and stop operating for days.

And even if they are no muslims, still the distribution chains and most employees they hire are muslims. So chances are you have to be patiently awaiting until another week so the economy runs normally again. That means one week or two weeks after the Eid day.

For most of non muslims and muslims still staying and living in Jakarta during the massive temporary diaspora, it is quite a pain in the ass.

Life seems to be put in hold and concentrated mainly in public places such as airports and stations. Malls and restaurants are mostly closed and even if they open, they can only serve with limitations. You order foods you like but it turns out your favorite is not available just because the food distributor, the cook has not come to work just yet or some issues occur. All is caused by Eid holiday.

If you do not know what to do during the colossal recess, try taking photos of you lying down under the sun in the middle of Jakarta main roads which are nearly completely empty, free of maddening traffic we are always complaining about. That legendary, notorious traffic!!!

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My Life Purpose Is…

Many.

Am I too greedy?

But really, I want to achieve many things in life.

Researchers as quoted by NPR.org stated that living with a clear sense of purpose may help us live longer.

Living long is just a life full of cyclical events without having an ultimate goal. It can be larger than you or even as simple as your own welfare and well being.

Humans just have to live with an evident goal to arrive (or rather, they wish to arrive). Or else, they wander aimlessly on earth and live recklessly.

That said, I can hereby define my life goals as follows:

  • Helping others with yoga and healthy lifestyle: When the world population is aging faster than ever, I see some opportunities. Teaching yoga would benefit others a lot. And I believe so much in the benefits of yoga for well being and overall health because I have proven that myself.
  • Writing great, timeless stuff: All my childhood, teenagehood, and early adulthood were filled with literary fascination. Though no one in my nuclear and extended family had produced a literary work that sells out there, I want to write one. Sure I have been very much involved in some book projects before but none is sold under my own name. So I am looking forward to publishing one. Or more. Isn’t it great to spend the rest of my life writing not only books but also many other for posterity, that can give them a glimpse of the era when I am living on earth?

How about you? What is your life purpose?

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Funding Globetrotting Lifestyle for Non-Bourgeoisie Members of Society

woman raising her hands facing cityscape near body of water

Is globetrotting possible if you’re less priviliged? (Photo by Pexels.com)

Let’s be transparent. Do you think globetrotting is possible for everyone on earth regardless of their economic status?

No.

It is very sad to see that some people are still disillusioned by this misleading campaign from European backpackers and digital nomads.

Each of us has no equal access to globetrotting lifestyle. What I mean by this lifestyle is someone who leads a life and constantly travels around the world and – what irks most – still makes money. A lot of money even!

And the example is just before my eyes.

There sat a Caucasian guy, with a towering and slender figure. His iPhone is not new but still it’s an iPhone. It’s not an Android phone with some Chinese, less known brand.

And a girl with hijab sitting wistfully opposite him, waiting for a chance to ask a question in her mind.

She ‘interrogated’ him mercilessly,”Okay, so I want to live a life like you, too. I want to travel around the world. How can you do that? Tell me.”

She is in her early twenties and I couldn’t blame her for her naiveness.

The white guy in his Western coast accent paused a while.

He weighed and selected his words really carefully, as if he had been dealing with a hopeful, gleeful children inside a dream bubble. He didn’t want to prick that bubble and destroy her wishful thinking in a second.

But he really had to get the bitter truth across.

“Hmmm, actually that’s not an easy question. True that I have privilege to be thankful for: I was born and grew up in the United States; my family is quite well-off; I have a proper education. I feel so lucky for all of this….”

He was lost. But he didn’t give up easily. He continued consoling her.

“But having that said, I also made efforts to deserve this.” The guy still tried to convince her that this lifestyle is possible but there are caveats she ought to not ignore.

The guy took advantage of his being a native English speaker by taking an English teaching gig at a developing country. Though he seemed a bit hesitant about whether being a white person automatically justifies his or her validity to teach English (he is very critical about this superficial standard).

Living as an English teacher won’t make him rich. But in a developing country, liviing on a wage of an expatriate English teacher is still doable and noble even. One is well-fed and not looked down by the society. It’s totally a secure job if one is fond of teaching and language and has nothing else to be passionate about in life.

What is often forgotten, he said, about this lifestyle is that someone is prone to financial instability. As he put it, “You’ll also have to live in a modest manner, though you’re not downright poor either. And at times you’ll realize that in such lifestyle, life can be so ‘dynamic’, everchanging and flimsy.”

That did break her heart and hope. I took pity on the fervent girl.

So when I was reading some travel blog where I stumbled upon an article that boasts numerous ways to make money as a globe trotter, I was far from being impressed. It was written by an illustrious travel blogger I have never heard of before. Despite that, she seemed to be enjoying quite a success back in her homeland. On her private travel blog, she claimed her blog is one of the best travel blogs there are. The design looks professional; the wording is awesomely enchanting and clean and efficient; the quality of images is above average; accessibility is well thought. Every single detail is talentedly crafted, I observe. I appreciate her hard work.

Yet, her advice in the listicle offers an oversimplistic approach that may be misleading to most less critical young readers and hopefuls.

Not all of the advice is doable, such as teaching English as a second language (TESOL). First thing first, you cannot teach just because you speak English as a mother tongue. Teaching is not something everyone can do without proper training, certification, and other professional preparation. Being able to speak like a native even is not enough to pove that one is capable of teaching a class of foreign students.

Web designing, writing a travel blog, photography may be some other popular options to survive during the globe trotting journey. But sometimes you have to know the limit is.

But it’s worth trying still even if you think this lifestyle is not for you.

I have tried once and failed. Pretty much because I’m not a carefree person with less regular schedules and routines. I want some consistency in life and regularity helps me focus better with anything I do. I couldn’t focus on my art when I am still worrying about how I can survive the next month or the other month. This anxiety may emerge without apparent symptoms but I felt so haunted by it. And in the uncertain economy, stability of economy seems to be everyone is after. One way to get that stability back is by trading some of your freedom. (*/)

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