How to Survive a Wrong Career Choice?

Are you currently sitting at your desk, with your head in your hands, unsure whether you’re in the right place?or “did you take a wrong turn in your career?” are the kinds of ideas most job search websites build their promotional strategy upon. Similarly, career blogs and HR journals are also brimming over with write-ups on the same theme.

This is actually a very effective tactic which appeals to hundreds of employees who think that they might have made a false move in picking out current career. Convinced by this idea, more and more professionals become restless in their respective jobs, leading to a counter-productive working condition which becomes harmful for them.

So for the people engrossed in a career dilemma, the following write-up will explore different aspects of a so-called ‘wrong career choice’ and if it is really that wrong for your overall professional life.

Did you really make a wrong turn?

Before getting into the debate about the said topic, you first need to be sure if you actually made a wrong turn in your career.

A professional career is a complex amalgamation of a number of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors, and there is a whole bunch of things to be considered before quitting your job, or getting uneasy in your career chair.

Sometimes, people are not properly guided as how to tap their full potential in their career, and so they end up thinking that they made the wrong choice. In other cases, people don’t try hard enough to fit in their job and in turn blame it on the career they chose.

I am not suggesting that there is no such a thing as a wrong career. People end up in wrong careers all the time, sometimes in even the worst.

  • Ellen Degeneres was a paralegal and “oyster shucker.” Before being named Showtime’s Funniest Person in America in 1982, comedian and TV host
  • Johnny Depp was a telemarketer. He used to sold pens 
  • Anil Kumble – mechanical engineer who went on to become a Legendary leg spinner

The point however, is to fully understand your potential in your field, and before deciding that your current job is not giving out the expected results, you should give a thorough look at what ‘you’ are putting in.

The experience counts

There is no substitute for experience. It doesn’t matter which kind of experience you are getting or in which field, the things you’ll learn will always pay off. If you think that your wrong career choice will not look good on your CV, especially when you plan to apply in a totally different field, then you should feel good about being wrong.

You can make your wrong career look good for you by building upon the diversity of your experience. A diverse experience improves your ability to deal with unknown challenges and helps you to come up with solutions which may be known in one industry but not the other.

Another way your experience will empower you, is through making you aware of your professional deal-breakers.

You will know exactly the kind of questions to ask from your potential employer in the next job interview, so you can avoid another wrong turn.

Lastly, no matter how ill-fitting your career is for you, you’ll be able to learn certain skills and abilities that are relevant and helpful across all walks of life. Such are called transferable skills and may include things like; time management, effective communication and the spirit of teamwork etc.

Take the best out of the worst

Think about the positives about your job, no matter how trivial they are, and try to enjoy them to the fullest.

For instance, maybe the job you opted for is not fit for you but you’ve made some good friends among the colleagues, or perhaps your organization covers your family’s medical expenses. I would say even a free lunch facility can give you some reason to feel good about your choice.

Remember that good things come in small packages and as soon as you’ll learn to see these small packets of happiness lying all around, you’ll start to feel more positive and content.

It’s just a job

If you are ever stuck in a wrong career, don’t take it as an end-of-the-days scenario. I fully understand that once you realize the faults in your career choice, getting uneasy about it and seeing it as a downward trend in your career graph becomes inevitable.

However, in almost every person’s average professional life, one hops a number of jobs to reach the best one.

This idea has been supported by the Career Chaos Theory which says that, due to the unpredictable circumstances, for many people the career path is not linear because it is often influenced by certain unforeseen external factors.

Take your wrong career choice as a source to learn about your right career, and know that one job will not define your entire career.

Meanwhile, find the right job

After floating all the aforementioned arguments, my last piece of advice will be to look for the right career.

Once you are completely sure that the work you are doing is not meant for you, use all the time you can manage to first decide which career you want to go for, and then start searching ways to get into it.

You can use the time in your wrong job to prepare yourself for the right one, especially if your desired career is totally different than the current one. You can take online tutorials or join an evening school to get yourself acquainted with the field.

Networking with people from your potential career can also help, both in knowing about the job openings and the field itself.

At the end, it is important to remind yourself that by saying yes to a career that is not suitable for you, you have not committed professional suicide. A wrong career is after all a choice, and with every choice comes an opportunity.

You can continue to create opportunities for yourself by capitalizing on your decisions and making the best out of them.

Want to make your career in technical field?


Invisible Flying Wizards

In one of my campaigns in one future session the group will come upon a castle. The gates are locked, there are guards on the battlements. Thus there is a challenge to the group to overcome: How do they get into the castle? Now this sounds like classic situation for Dungeons & Dragons. However through most of the history of D&D this was more of a headache for DMs if their group was at least level 5: Wizards had spells like Fly and Invisibility, and that made “sneaking into the castle to open the back door” boring instead of a challenge. So why would I put it in one of my adventures? Because 5th edition cleverly solved the invisible flying wizard problem!

Many of the spells in 5th edition are now using concentration, a new concept. If you want to fly, you can cast the Fly spell, but you will need to concentrate on it. Not only does that mean that if you are hit by an arrow, you have to do a concentration check or fall to the ground; it also means that you can only concentrate on one spell at once. Flying, yes, invisibility, yes, but not both at the same time. Thus the Rogue, who *can* be simultaneously stealthy and climbing walls, isn’t put out of a job by the invisible flying Wizard any more.

Having said that, for some classes the concentration concept is overused and ends up making their spellcasting overly weak. A prime example is the paladin, who has very few non-concentration spells, at least at lower to mid-level. Spells like the level 1 smites really shouldn’t be concentration, as they are already not very powerful and concentration means they don’t work with more important spells like Bless or Compelled Duel. For the Warlock the fact that Hex is a concentration spell and the very staple of his existence, makes any other concentration spell nearly useless.

So, yes, concentration is a useful new concept. But I think it is currently applied to too many spells and could be better balanced.

Don’t Listen to the New York Times—Birth Control Isn’t Dangerous

Headlines and hype can leave women wondering what’s true and what’s not.

Last week, the New York Times ran an article about a Danish study examining birth control and breast cancer. The headlines were alarming, but the actual level of risk was less so: After examining millions of bits of data, the researchers found one extra case of cancer for every 7,690 women using the Pill for a year. Not terribly newsworthy. That represented an increase of 20 percent, but, as Mia Gaudet, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society, told NPR, “A 20 percent increase of a very small number is still a very small number.”

Is the link real? Probably. Doctors have long noted a detectable association between breast cancer and reproductive hormones including estrogen and progestins. Should you stop taking your pills or swap out your hormonal IUD for a hormone-free copper one? Probably not—not if you want to be as healthy as possible and save parenthood for when you feel ready.

According to Dr. Daniel Grossman at the University of California, “The breast cancer risk is only part of the story. We also know that hormonal contraception protects against several other cancers, while also sharply reducing the risk of dying during pregnancy. Studies that have looked at all causes of death find lower mortality among pill users compared to other women.”

Which birth control is best for you depends on a bunch of factors because each contraceptive has its own profile of pros and cons, likelihood of actually working as birth control, potential side effects, and for some methods, bonus health benefits.

Here are a few facts that might help you decide which birth control method is for you.

  • Contraceptives differ wildly in terms of how well they work for real-world couples. Unless you are a perfect person, forget what you’ve heard about the Pill being 98 percent effective or the rhythm method being just as good when either is used perfectly. In other words, skip the “perfect use” statistics and look instead at how well different methods work for normal people. In the real world, natural family planning methods based on episodic abstinence are at the bottom of the reliability pyramid; about a quarter of couples using these methods get pregnant each year. 
  • (Yes, that’s 1 in 4, and despite what they told you in middle school, pledging full-on abstinence works even less well.) At the top of the reliability pyramid are the “get it and forget it methods”—IUDs and implants that have an annual pregnancy rate of less than 1 in 500. In between abstinence and implants lie hormonal methods like the Pill, patch and ring; and below them on the reliability scale lie barriers like condoms and diaphragms. Most couples find it hard to use an everyday or every-time contraceptive method perfectly, so couples relying on the pill or barrier methods end up facing a surprise pregnancy with surprising frequency: 1 in 11 each year on the Pill; 1 in 6 with condoms. If you’d strongly prefer not having to choose between an unexpected abortion and an unexpected kid, which method you choose is a big deal.
  • Only condoms and female condoms protect against sexually transmitted infections. Because of how they work—by getting your body to seal off the opening to the uterus—hormonal IUDs may offer some protection against pelvic infections. Intermittent abstinence methods like the rhythm method reduce opportunities for transmitting infections. And a ring that protects against HIV and other viruses is in clinical trials. But condoms are the only thing that provides substantial protection against most STIs. So, even if you choose something that works, say, 100 times better for pregnancy prevention, it’s still smart to “double Dutch” with condoms whenever STIs might be a risk.
  • Net-net, hormonal birth control methods give some protection against cancers. The same methods that appear to slightly increase breast cancer risk also appear to slightly decrease the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers and possibly cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. In other words, if your method of choice is the Pill, patch, ring, or hormonal IUDs, your total cancer risk is likely lower than it would have been with a non-hormonal birth control method or none at all. A list of other bonus health benefits including cancer protection by method can be found here.
  • No one method is right for all women. Women with a history of breast cancer should actually not use hormonal birth control methods; in fact, post-chemo medications like Tamoxifen work by suppressing related hormones below their natural level. Other health conditions like diabetes or heart disease can also rule out some methods for some women. And lastly, no medication is 100 percent risk-free; there are people among us who have life-threatening reactions to milk or peanut butter or other substances that contribute to quality of life for most of us. The same is true for synthetic hormones. Even when that is not the case, nuisance side effects can be real and miserable, and it’s not possible to know who will get hit with what except by trial and error. Our differences also dictate which bonus health benefits a woman might select. My daughters love their hormonal IUDs because they like having lighter, less frequent periods, but because of migraines I use a copper IUD. A friend with severe monthly cramps and bleeding found that the implant worked best to reduce her symptoms even though hormonal IUDs are most often prescribed for this purpose. Women who want the bonus benefit of reducing acne often choose pills containing estrogen; women with endometriosis often choose a method that suppresses menstrual cycling. You don’t have to remember all of this. Good teamwork between your health care provider and you means that he or she brings to the table medical expertise, including expertise about how different birth control methods work. You bring expertise on your priorities and what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past. Never forget: It’s your body and your life, and your provider is your paid consultant.
  • Not using contraception or using less effective methods carries a different set of health and mental health risks. Having a baby-capable reproductive system is complicated, and it carries a package of inherent risks. In the United States, about 800 women each year die from complications of pregnancy and childbearing (that is one pregnant woman in 5780), and tens of thousands are left with short-term or permanent health impacts. Mental health can be affected by the pregnancy process itself or with the subsequent challenges of raising kids under adverse circumstances. For a woman who wants a child, these risks are well worth it; but about half of pregnancies, including those that created health problems, were unsought. Being able to delay or limit pregnancy and bring kids into the world with a parenthood partner you love when you feel ready has huge health benefits.

Birth control isn’t perfect, and hopefully the options available to our daughters (and sons!) will be better than those available today. But we have options that our mothers and grandmothers could only have dreamed of. An array of reliable methods means that there’s at least one excellent choice for most women.

So why must we deal with repeated cycles of media-driven panic that leave us doubting ourselves and our birth control choices, or worse—anxiously avoiding the topic until we face a pregnancy scare? Unfortunately, drug companies have burned trust by trivializing or denying medication problems when they do occur. That can leave us all feeling vigilant and primed to suspect greed-driven cover-ups. In the case of contraception, they also burned trust by testing early, high-dose contraceptives on poor women, many of them black, which created a deep wariness that persists to this day. But even when pharma and regulatory agencies are doing their jobs well and serving the public interest, several other groups have reason to exploit that mistrust—and in particular to hype any side effect or risk that might be associated with birth control.

Topping the list are anti-contraception bishops and cultural conservatives who would rather see women in more traditional roles with less sexual autonomy. These folks have now rolled out a massive anti-family-planning campaign in Africa to scare women away from birth control, a campaign framed around anti-colonialism and purported health risks. (The very worst are priests who have told African parishioners that condoms cause HIV.) This campaign spills over in the U.S. because it was founded, honed and funded here.

Then there is a whole legal sector whose revenues depend on “bad birth control” class action suits. This sector, which came into being in the 1970s, has more advertising options and dollars than do public health advocates who are trying to get out solid, unbiased information about family planning options. Their scary ads dominate the airwaves in some areas of the country and for some women are the primary source of information about birth control.

Alternative medicine advocates go out of their way to tout the upsides of natural products and the downsides of mainstream evidence-based medicine, including contraceptives. Most of the time this advocacy is benign, even if the alternative approach doesn’t rely on controlled research. But when it comes to sexual health that isn’t necessarily the case. Our bodies are optimized to produce the maximum number of surviving offspring who live to reproduce, not to maximize our own health and longevity—or even theirs. Nature’s way, as celebrity cases like the Duggars remind us, means lots of babies—with women’s lives structured around them.

But what about the New York Times? Because of how media traffic works, opinion writers and even trained journalists are under constant pressure to find the most provocative angles on any given topic. With competition for ad revenues driving competition for click count, that pressure is only growing. Social media increasingly operate as “outrage generators,” and traditional news outlets often compete by printing what’s most alarming rather than stories that land in the solid center of what’s real. The New York Times has experienced a surge in paid subscriptions from people who would prefer a different set of journalistic priorities, but that doesn’t make them immune from these pressures. Until the consuming public at large wearies of hype, we all need to be mindful of the ways these dynamics are pulling us off balance.

The centering point of reproductive health is this: Women, children, and even men do best when people are able to decide whether, when, and with whom to bring a child into the world—when parents are able to build resources like education and financial stability and then form families with co-parents of their choosing when the time feels right. Modern contraceptives can help them do this, and when freely chosen by each person according to their needs and goals, can pay dividends in health and well-being. That is awe inspiring if you think about it; and someday, when we all regain our equilibrium, it may again be newsworthy.

 

Related Stories

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  • Surviving Holiday Heart Attack Season: A Cardiologist’s Advice

Where to buy the best phones of 2017

We’ve now crowned the winner of our best Android phone of 2017 award, and you can view all the results at the previous link. After testing the handsets in various categories, the best phone honor went to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, while you guys voted for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 as your favorite of the past 12 months. 

If you aren’t the proud owner of one of these handsets yet, there’s just enough time to pick one up before the end of the holiday season. We’ve rounded up the best deals we can currently find on the phones from our list and laid it all out for you below. Devices are listed in alphabetical order based on manufacturer, with links to where you can each handset underneath. Enjoy. 

BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition

Given that it’s a limited edition device, that isn’t officially sold in the US, the BlackBerry KEYone isn’t easy to get hold of at a low-cost price. It did get a reduction in Canada when it was first released, a 24-hour flash sale offering $100 CAD savings, but you’ll be lucky to find it for much less than $700 now. That’s the current asking price on Amazon, though top-rated eBay seller never-msrp has it at even cheaper. 

never-msrp is usually an eBayer to be cautious of because it sells many international unlocked models that come without a US warranty. As that’s the same circumstances as on Amazon, though — just at a much better price — it’s worth taking a look at. 

Buy Now: Blackberry Keyone 64 GB – $545.99
Buy Now: BlackBerry Keyone black edition 64 GB – $699

Google Pixel 2 XL

The Google Pixel 2 XL arrived with its fair share of problems, but a few OTAs later and it’s back in action as one of the finest phones available right now. Currently, it’s on sale at the official Google Store with savings of around $75 until December 31 — and it looks like that is the only place you’ll get such a price.

What’s more, you can make use of Google’s trade-in program to give up your current device for an even better deal; check out the two storage variants at the Google Store via the buttons below. 

Buy now: Google Pixel 2 XL 64 GB – $774
Buy Now: Google Pixel 2 XL 128 GB – $874

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is our phone of the year, but it’s another handset that you can’t officially get in the US. That’s set to change early next year, with more information to be unveiled at CES 2018, but in the meantime, your best bet will be to get it through Amazon. You’d be taking your chances with third-party sellers on international devices without warranty, but if you’re okay with that, the Mocha Brown variant at $844.99 is the best deal you’re likely to get right now.

Buy Now: Huawei Mate 10 Pro 128 GB – $844.99

LG V30

The LG V20 saw plenty of deals in its time, so you’d expect the same to happen in time with the latest LG flagship, the V30. Though it was the subject of a flash sale but a week ago, it’s back at $799 or more at most retailers now or more, and with most of the major carriers. We’ll keep our eyes peeled on this one, but until another deal pops up you can check out the cloud silver variant on AT&T at the button below.

Buy Now: LG V30 64 GB – $799

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force

No other Moto Z2 Force deal comes close to what T-Mobile is offering, serving up the recent Lenovo flagship for $435 (the handset is still upwards of $600 in many corners of the internet). If that doesn’t float your boat. you can get it for $11.00 per month on a Sprint Flex 18-month contract, down from $33 per month, which ain’t bad savings either. 

Buy Now: Moto Z2 Force 64 GB – $435
Buy Now: Lenovo Moto Z2 Force 64 GB – $11 per month

Nokia 8

The Nokia 8 is another smartphone which isn’t officially supported in the US, but you can pick it up warranty-less and for GSM networks (like AT&T and T-Mobile) at Amazon for $480. It’s available in all four color variants at, though Tempered Blue is the least expensive, and Amazon undercuts the prices of a number of other resellers who are charging a bomb for it.

Buy Now: Nokia 8 64 GB – $479.43

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus tends to discount its accessories rather than its hardware, which is why it avoided the Black Friday shenanigans last month. Thus, the best offer for the OnePlus 5T is still directly from OnePlus — coming in at $499 and $559 for the 64 GB and 128 GB models respectively.

That being said, if you’re a student, OnePlus does provide 10% discount on any order, including those on the OnePlus 5T: full details here.

Buy Now: OnePlus 5T 64 GB – $499
Buy Now: OnePlus 5T 128 GB – $559

Razer Phone

The Razer Phone landed this year and the company hit the ground running. While its camera is substandard, its display, audio and performance capabilities are well above average, and it doesn’t look half bad, either. 

It’s a brand new phone and will cost you $699 from the official Razer store, however, as we noted yesterday, you can get it with a Leviathan Mini Bluetooth speaker worth $180 if you order by the end of today (December 19): just use the promo code PHLVLUP at the checkout when you’re ordering the phone.

Buy Now: Razer Phone 64 GB – $699

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was the fan favorite handset of 2017, and it was a runner-up in our own tests. It’s been seen for around $949 since launch and still costs that in most places. You can pick it for a fair discount eBay right now without warranty, but considering the last Note’s troubles, I’d hesitate to recommend it without some kind of protection.

You can get the Note 8 for up to $400 off with Samsung’s official trade-in offer (which you can find via Samsung.com at the first link below) while Amazon has it available for a slightly lower price at $919 (Midnight Black color only).

Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 64 GB – $950
Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 64 GB – $919.42

Sony Xperia XZ1

There were probably fewer words written about the Xperia XZ1 online than there should have been. It might not have had the trendy bezel-less design of other flagships, but it’s still an excellent phone. Most places are holding firm with a $599 price tag at the moment, but this is already $100 less than what the XZ1 was introduced for; check it out on Amazon underneath.

Buy Now: Sony Xperia XZ1 64 GB – $597.90

Have you seen any better deals than what’s on our list? Let us know what they are in the comments.

7th Continent – Upping my pledge

I am not a millionaire. However I am not poor or “just about managing” either. If I had to classify my financial situation I’d call it “comfortably well off”. Now if you look at my hobby, games in general, the cost of games is usually in the tens or hundreds of dollars/euros. Which means that the purchase of even an expensive game or a somewhat exaggerated, unnecessary game purchase isn’t going to cause me any financial hardship. There are occasions where spending more is a reasonable option for me, even if I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody. All this to say that I just upped my pledge for the 7th Continent second Kickstarter project from $49 to $200. Why?

Well, it started with me packing a suitcase for a week of holidays with my wife. We like our holidays to be a mix of visiting things and relaxing, so we always take some entertainment with us. And I was hesitating to take the box of the 7th Continent game I got from the previous Kickstarter. I really want to play this, but what if it gets damaged or the airline loses my baggage and the game is gone? You can’t buy the 7th Continent anywhere, it is only available during Kickstarter projects, and they don’t happen all that often (about every 2 years).

And then I realized that because there is currently the second Kickstarter project ongoing (I had already pledged to get the next expansion), I could up my pledge and get a second base game too for $129. Throw in a bit more money for optional purchases like expansions (which also aren’t available anywhere else) and I upped my pledge to $200. Worst case scenario is that I end up with one extra box I’ll never open. Best case scenario is that I’ll have a shiny second edition box with lots of expansions at home, and the peace of mind that allows me to take the original box with me on holidays without being stressed about damaging or losing it. Not something I would do for a game that can easily be replaced, but for the 7th Continent I considered it worth the money.

The current Kickstarter project ends in 5 days, so if you still want to join you need to hurry. The projects already has over 33,000 backers and is over 10,000% funded. That is not a typo, they asked for $40,000 and got $4.5 million. As a “second edition” the risk of not getting the product you paid for is much reduced, although it probably will be late again. Great success of a Kickstarter project brings its own logistics problems, and this second run got 3 times the backers and 4 times the money of the first run. The game has raving reviews on BoardGameGeek (Rank #56 out of 96,000 games) and elsewhere. And unlike Gloomhaven you can’t just buy the 7th Continent on Amazon. You can get just the base game, in English or French, for $80, but another $49 also gets you the big expansion “What Goes Up, Must Come Down” and the many stretch goals. Or if you are like me you can go all out and get pretty much everything for $200.

FCC officially repeals net neutrality rules: what now?

Huffington Post

Net neutrality is officially dead, but what does that mean for Internet users in the US and beyond? Will it ever come back? Read on to find out.

Editor’s Pick

Brief background

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about net neutrality, an ongoing debate in the US. Net neutrality required service providers to treat every content equally: no throttling, blocking, or providing preferential treatment for additional fee. These rules were one of the Obama-era FCC’s signature achievements, but with Ajit Pai in charge, a former Verizon employee, and two other Republicans, the organization’s stance on net neutrality has changed drastically. The FCC wanted to get rid of net neutrality altogether and undo the classification of ISPs as Title II common carriers, and that’s precisely what they voted to do on December 14.

December 14 vote

As expected, the FCC voted 3-2 to repeal these landmark regulations just few days ago, the organization claiming that “the Internet wasn’t broken in 2015.” Pai commented, “We were not living in some digital dystopia. The main problem consumers have with the Internet is not and has never been that their Internet provider is blocking content. It’s been that they don’t have access at all.”

The two Democrat commissioners who dissented echoed the sentiments of net neutrality advocates: Jessica Rosenworcel says that the FCC’s “rash decision” gives Internet providers permission to “discriminate and manipulate your internet traffic.” Mignon Clyburn delivered a powerful and impassioned defense, claiming that the FCC’s vote was “particularly damning… for marginalized groups, like communities of color, that rely on platforms like the internet to communicate.”

Legal challenges?

Let’s first examine the legal implications, and the bottom line is that there will be lawsuits with a lot of interveners, challenging the FCC’s vote. Public interest groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge have already declared that they will challenge the repeal in court; the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he and other attorneys general from more than 15 states will file a legal challenge in the coming days.

These legal claims are likely to rely on the Administrative Procedures Act, which prohibits federal agencies from acting in a “capricious” manner, going back and forth on decisions with changes in political administration. However, as Wired points out, “As capricious as the current FCC’s about-face may seem, legal experts say the challenges won’t be a slam-dunk case. Federal agencies are allowed to change their minds about previous regulations, so long as they adequately explain their reasoning.” The onus is on the claimants to show that the FCC’s decision is a capricious one, which is going to be difficult to prove.

It’s going to be difficult to prove that the repeal was a capricious decision.

Net neutrality advocates may also point out that while the FCC claims that 7.5 million comments it received during the public review period were spam, created by bots, it is refusing to help investigations into what happened. It’s unlikely to have much weight, unfortunately.

Will average users feel the change?

Yes and no. It’s unlikely that Internet users in the US will be impacted – either positively or negatively ­– by the repeal overnight. As AT&T’s senior executive VP Bob Quinn points out, the Internet will “continue to work tomorrow just as it always has.” In fact, many service providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon have promised not to block or throttle content. For now. The catch here is that their stance may change in the future, and even if it doesn’t and they continue to stay away from blocking or throttling content, they may still create fast lanes for their own services or for those who pay a premium.

Indeed, what we are likely to see in the future is an expanded form of zero-rating where service providers exempt certain streaming services from data counts. Carriers have been doing this even under net neutrality rules were (though the legal validity of this practice was called into question multiple times); without net neutrality rules, there is nothing even remotely getting in the way of these carriers from providing preferential treatment to its own streaming services.

Further, contrary to Pai’s statement that the Internet wasn’t broken even before 2015, and contrary to his supporters who claim that carriers won’t dare throttle or block content in fear of public backlash, the long-term effects of the FCC’s vote could be devastating. Comcast throttling BitTorrent connections, AT&T blocking voice-call services like Skype and FaceTime, or Netflix paying additional fees to Verizon are the sorts of behavior that we saw prior to net neutrality rules and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t return now that net neutrality rules have been repealed.

Comcast throttling BitTorrent or AT&T blocking FaceTime are the sorts of behavior that we saw prior to net neutrality rules.

Ultimately, the FCC’s decision gives significant leeway to ISPs: they may one day decide to block certain apps and websites, slow down content provided by competitors, bury relevant but unpaid search results, etc. Consumers in the US may end up having to choose Internet packages like TV channels, similar to what we see in some European countries. The most popular websites like Google, Amazon, and Netflix may one day be dispersed and inconveniently grouped into separate, overpriced packages. Want Google as well as Netflix? Pay up!

What about those outside the US?

Of course, given that the FCC is a US organization, its decision to repeal net neutrality rules won’t have a direct impact on other countries and users in other countries. However, if your country does have legislation similar to net neutrality rules, you might want to keep an eye on the political side of things. Policy decisions made in the US usually have a far-reaching indirect effect on neighboring countries, Anglophone countries, and countries that have special ties with the US.

Even if your country has made it clear that it wants to uphold net neutrality rules or the equivalent legislation, there may be financial factors to consider. If companies like Netflix or Spotify are adversely affected by the FCC’s decision in the US and are forced to pay more by ISPs, they will most likely increase monthly subscription fees for users in the US as well as for users outside the US.

What can you do?

Unfortunately, for those of you who are in support of net neutrality rules, there isn’t much to be done right now. Over the next few months, we will see legal battles between public interest groups and attorneys general and the FCC; we will see heated political debates; we will see predictions from both sides – those who are in favor and those who are not. Only time will tell if net neutrality rules were indeed preventing the arrival of cyber-dystopia or if they were simply an obstacle to corporate profit and further investment.

Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms

The last time I wrote about idle games was nearly 2 years ago. In that time the games have evolved further. And if you look at my Steam account, Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms is a game I have played for over 300 hours. Or rather, not played. Or to be even more precise, played for a few hours, but have left running on my computer for over 300 hours. It’s complicated!

Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms combines the idle game genre with the RPG genre, and sprinkles a bit of an endless runner into the mix. You start out with one dwarven warrior, Bruenor (who is “famous” in the lore of D&D) on a side-scrolling screen encountering endless hordes of monsters on his way. The dwarf kills monsters, and you can help by dealing damage through clicking on monsters. Every monster drops gold. And that gold can be used to increase your click damage, or to increase the level of Bruenor, or unlock additional heroes and level those up. Once you have fulfilled certain requirements, e.g. kill 25 monsters, you can advance to the next level, where there is the next endless stream of monsters.

Because that is the point of an idle game, there isn’t a whole lot to do. However the game has more strategic depth than one would think, because you need to arrange your heroes in a formation. And with levels each hero acquires special abilities which influence his neighbors in the formation. At one point you will have more heroes available than there are slots in the formation. And selecting the best heroes in the best formation is far from a trivial task. In addition there are some story elements, mostly in the form of friendly banter between the heroes. So for an idle game it is the most interesting and strategic game I know. Yeah, I know, that isn’t saying much. But, anyway, I keep “playing” this.

The math behind the game is interesting in as far as it is exponential, and human brains have problems with exponential. Your stats and gold found quickly go up into million, billions, trillions, quadrillions, etc., until you switch to scientific notation in the settings because you don’t even know the units any more. The one thing that remains linear is gems, with just a handful of them dropping every 5 levels at each boss. With gems you can buy chests, which contain things like helpful potions or gear for your heroes. And, because this is a free-to-play game, of course you can also buy those chests for real money. I probably spent more than I should have, but sometimes when I feel down I use buying special offers in free-to-play games as a sort of retail therapy, and this is my current game of choice for this. I don’t claim that this is rational behavior. 🙂

One of the more interesting choices to do in this game is choosing when to stop a run and to start over. At the end of a run you get divine favor in function of the amount of gold you gathered. And that divine favor increases the amount of gold you will find on the next run. The exponential math is tuned in a way that your divine favor basically determines how far you get in a run, because at some point gold gathering and level gaining becomes very slow, while the monsters keep getting harder and harder, until you can’t beat them any more. So the ideal strategy is doing a run until you hit a progress wall, and then reset to collect divine favor and start the next run. The game is organized in a way that this also over time gives you access to different stories and locations. To make this trickier you can also spend your divine favor for bonuses, but of course if you spend too much the lack of divine favor hurts you more than the bonuses help.

The reason for my 300+ hours is something that I am not really happy about: Idle offline gives far less rewards than idle online. For example while the game is running online, you can set the levels to auto-advance. The latest patch even added “familiars”, which are legal click-bots, but also only work when the game is running. Thus one is pushed towards leaving the computer on for example at night. The whole thing smacks a bit of mining bitcoins, only that the rewards of the game are less valuable than bitcoins. Offline you still gather gold and divine favor at the level you currently are, but with diminishing returns. If you are on holiday and offline for a week you don’t come back with a huge amount of divine favor collected, you’d have gathered more online in a day or two. Still it is nice to get at least some rewards while offline.

Overall I like the game for the D&D Forgotten Realms theme, and the relatively large number of non-trivial decisions you need to make to advance. But it remains an idle game, and I am well aware that this won’t be everybody’s cup of tea.

How abundance makes us poorer

Maybe it was to be expected with an offer that involves charity, but it turns out that for me the Humble Bundle Monthly is mostly an investment in a source for philosophical thoughts. When I initially bought the bundle in order to get Civ VI for cheap, I went for the three-month plan. So even if I since unsubscribed I just got my second months worth of games. And compared to the first month, there are even less games in there which I can see me playing. That is not to say that the offer is a bad one, or the games on offer are bad. Rather it reflects upon how my interests got narrower over time.

I am old enough to remember a time before video games. The first video game I played was Pong on a console that couldn’t play anything else, in black and white on a TV screen. When people got the first consoles with cartridges and computers, kids typically had just a handful of games, not necessarily chosen by themselves. If you only have 3 game cartridges, you will play the hell out of each of those games, whether those are your favorite games or not. Fast forward to 2017, where 7,672 games were released on Steam alone, again nearly doubling the number of Steam games available for a fourth year in a row.

Everybody has favorite games and favorite genres. If you are limited by the number of games available to you, you play what you got regardless of genre. If you have an abundance of choice, you get more and more picky and only play your favorite genres. The bottleneck becomes the amount of time available to play, so why should you play let’s say a platformer if you prefer role-playing games? Of course the consequence of that is that you end up with a much narrower experience. You only play a handful of favorite genres and don’t have the time for a bunch of other genres, which might offer a very different experience of gaming.

I see a parallel to the world of news and politics. Back in the day where your only source of news was one paper you and everybody in your street was subscribed to, you all got the same variety of news and opinions. Today there are so many sources of news and opinions that you can choose one which aligns well with your own opinions. If you are a fan of Trump, you watch Fox News and read Breitbart, if you are on the other side you watch CNN and read Huffington Post. But the result is that you end up in an echo chamber which doesn’t allow for a variety of opinions. This has gone so far that the echo chambers of today don’t even agree on the same set of facts. A news source that reports something uncomfortable to you is “fake news”, truth has become subservient to opinion.

The future is one in which we lead comfortable lives in which we play only our favorite games, see only our favorite genre of movies and TV shows, hear only news that please us. Until we have become so isolated from another group of people (which might well be our neighbors) that the two groups don’t consider each other of being of the same kind any more, and start killing each other off. The internet, which had a promise of offering us a much wider offer of everything from information to entertainment, ends up making us all poorer and more narrow-minded.

AniMate bY Javascript : JavaScript

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To make the webpage dynamic we use animation. This animation can be implemented using both CSS and JavaScript. Here’s how to use JavaScript animation in webpage.

How does it work?

The idea behind the JavaScript-based animation is fairly simple, a number of DOM elements (< /img>, < /div > or otherwise) are moved around the page according to some sort of pattern determined by a logical equation or function.
You can use JavaScript to create a complex animation having following elements,
  • Fireworks
  • Fade effect
  • Roll-in or Roll-out
  • Page-in or Page-out
  • Object movement
An existing JavaScript animation library

JavaScript provides the following two functions to be frequently used in animation programs.
  • setTimeout( function, duration) − This function calls function after duration milliseconds from now.
  • setInterval(function, duration) − This function calls function after every durationmilliseconds.
  • clearTimeout(setTimeout_variable) − This function calls clears any timer set by the setTimeout() functions.
JavaScript can also set a number of attributes of a DOM object including its position on the screen. You can set top and left attribute of an object to position it anywhere on the screen. 
 Here is its syntax.

// Set distance from left edge of the screen.
object.style.left = distance in pixels or points;

or

// Set distance from top edge of the screen.
object.style.top = distance in pixels or points;

Manual Animation

We are using the JavaScript function getElementById() to get a DOM object and then assigning it to a global variable imgObj.
We have defined an initialization function init() to initialize imgObj where we have set its position and left attributes.
We are calling initialization function at the time of window load.
Finally, we are calling moveRight() function to increase the left distance by 10 pixels. You could also set it to a negative value to move it to the left side.
Click here to get the code!

function moveRight1(){ var imgObj1 = null; imgObj1 = document.getElementById(‘myImage’); imgObj1.style.position= ‘relative’; imgObj1.style.left = ‘0px’; imgObj1.style.left = parseInt(imgObj1.style.left) + 250 + ‘px’; }


Click button below to move the image to right

Automated Animation

In the above example, we saw how an image moves to right with every click. We can automate this process by using the JavaScript function setTimeout() as follows −
Here we have added more methods. So let’s see what is new here −
  • The moveRight() function is calling setTimeout() function to set the position of imgObj.
  • We have added a new function stop() to clear the timer set by setTimeout() function and to set the object at its initial position.
Click here to get the code!

var imgObj = null; var animate ; function init(){ imgObj = document.getElementById(‘myImage1’); imgObj.style.position= ‘relative’; imgObj.style.left = ‘0px’; } function moveRight(){ imgObj.style.left = parseInt(imgObj.style.left) + 10 + ‘px’; animate = setTimeout(moveRight,20); // call moveRight in 20msec } function stop(){ clearTimeout(animate); imgObj.style.left = ‘0px’; } window.onload =init;


Click the buttons below to handle animation

Rollover with a Mouse Event

Here is a simple example showing image rollover with a mouse event.
Let’s see what we are using in the following example −
  • At the time of loading this page, the ‘if’ statement checks for the existence of the image object. If the image object is unavailable, this block will not be executed.
  • The Image() constructor creates and preloads a new image object called image1.
  • The src property is assigned the name of the external image file called /images/html.gif.
  • Similarly, we have created image2 object and assigned /images/http.gif in this object.
  • The # (hash mark) disables the link so that the browser does not try to go to a URL when clicked. This link is an image.
  • The onMouseOver event handler is triggered when the user’s mouse moves onto the link, and the onMouseOut event handler is triggered when the user’s mouse moves away from the link (image).
  • When the mouse moves over the image, the HTTP image changes from the first image to the second one. When the mouse is moved away from the image, the original image is displayed.
  • When the mouse is moved away from the link, the initial image html.gif will reappear on the screen.

if(document.images){ var image1 = new Image(); // Preload an image image1.src = “https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/741523114278916096/7bL6w5dy.jpg”; var image2 = new Image(); // Preload second image image2.src = “http://suvenconsultants.com/mainpagefiles/images/training.jpg”; }

Move your mouse over the image to see the result:

Click here to get the code!




Learn Web Technologies!


Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo all slash smartphone orders by over 10%

  • Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo are all cutting smartphone orders by over 10% in Q4 2017.
  • The companies are sitting on more and more inventory as worldwide smartphone demand has dropped.
  • Xiaomi is still performing well despite the struggle of fellow Chinese device manufacturers.

One of the smartphone trends that might have flown under the radar in 2017 is the explosion of Chinese cell phone manufactures. While they have been steadily growing for years, this was the year that companies like Xiaomi were able to top Samsung in the important market of India. Huawei is the world’s third largest device manufacturer and occasionally tops Apple for second and OPPO and Vivo (both owned by BBK) are both in the top three in China.

Editor’s Pick

To say it has been a good year for these companies would be an understatement. But, it looks like Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo are preparing for a slower start to 2018. According to a report from DigiTimes, the three companies are cutting smartphone orders by over 10%. The information comes from sources at suppliers for the trio of companies.

As demand for new smartphones falls, the companies are now sitting on more and more inventory.

The one company that seems to be immune from the slowdown is Xiaomi. The company continues to be bullish in both online and retail environments. Xiaomi is continuing its surge in India, which saw it overtake Samsung in the country. India looks to be an interesting battleground for 2018 as Samsung and Xiaomi battle it out at the top and Huawei looks to increase its presence.

See also: Report: Samsung’s global market share will fall in 2018

Xiaomi and Huawei are also both expected to increase their presence in the United States next year. Rumors of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s release on Verizon and AT&T have heated up recently and Xiaomi is reportedly in talks with US carriers to carry its phones as well, according to Bloomberg.

Despite cutting orders, it looks like 2018 is shaping up to be a good year for Chinese smartphone manufacturers.