Navigating the Challenges of Mobile Payments: A Lesson from GCash Spam SMS

Paying bills has never been easier, thanks to the advent of mobile payment solutions like GCash and Maya. However, my recent experience with GCash highlighted a significant issue that needs addressing.

The Issue with Spam SMS

Recently, I was paying for my Globe Postpaid plan and decided to use GCash for the transaction. However, in the past few days, I’ve been inundated with spam marketing SMS from GCash. The frequency and irrelevance of these messages were frustrating, so I decided to block GCash in my Google Messages app.

The Unintended Consequence

When I attempted to pay my bill via GCash, I didn’t receive the OTP (One-Time Password) required to complete the transaction. It quickly dawned on me that GCash was blocked, preventing the OTP from coming through. I unblocked GCash temporarily, but the OTP still took too long to arrive. This delay was unacceptable, especially when trying to complete a time-sensitive transaction.

Why You Should Avoid Installing Obsidian via Snap on Ubuntu

If you’re an Ubuntu user and have installed Obsidian, the popular note-taking app, using the Snap package, you might have encountered an unexpected inconvenience: when opening links from your notes, they launch in a separate browser profile labeled as ‘Profile 1’. This profile is distinct from your default browser profile, complete with its own set of cookies, bookmarks, and extensions.

This behavior can be frustrating, especially if you’re used to seamlessly integrating your browsing experience with your notes. Here’s why this happens and what you can do about it:

Understanding the Issue: Snap Package Peculiarities

Snap packages are known for their sandboxing approach, which aims to enhance security by isolating applications and their dependencies from the rest of the system. While this isolation can be beneficial for security reasons, it also means that applications installed via Snap may behave differently compared to their counterparts installed via other methods like Flatpak or .deb packages.

One notable difference is how Snap handles application interactions with the system, such as opening external links. In the case of Obsidian installed via Snap, opening links from within your notes triggers the opening of your default browser in a separate profile. This ‘Profile 1’ is independent of the profile you typically use for your browsing activities, resulting in a disjointed user experience. …

Understanding SharePoint Indexing: When Does SharePoint Automatically Index Columns?

SharePoint automatically indexes columns in several instances:

  1. Primary Key Columns: When you create a list, SharePoint automatically indexes the primary key column (ID field) for faster retrieval.

  2. Unique Columns: Columns marked as unique are automatically indexed to enforce uniqueness.

  3. Lookup Columns: Columns used as lookup columns in other lists are automatically indexed to optimize lookup queries.

  4. Managed Metadata Columns: SharePoint automatically indexes managed metadata columns to enhance performance when filtering or sorting by these columns.

  5. Indexed Columns in Views: Columns included in indexed views are automatically indexed to improve view performance.

  6. Indexed Columns in Large Lists: In large lists, SharePoint automatically indexes frequently used columns to improve performance.

  7. Date and Time Columns: Columns with date and time data types are automatically indexed to optimize date-based queries.

These automatic indexing features help improve performance and efficiency in SharePoint lists and libraries.

Encoding and Decoding Data: CSV vs. JSON

In general, CSV (Comma-Separated Values) is more efficient in encoding a table compared to JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). This is because CSV is a simpler and more lightweight format designed specifically for tabular data.

CSV files are easy to read and write, and they typically consume less storage space compared to JSON due to their minimalistic structure. On the other hand, JSON is designed to store and exchange structured data in a more verbose and human-readable format, which includes key-value pairs and nested structures.

If the primary goal is to store tabular data or exchange data in a format optimized for tables, CSV is usually the more efficient choice. However, JSON provides more flexibility and features for handling complex data structures beyond simple tables. …

Why Dokuwiki is Still Better Than Bookstack in 2024

When it comes to choosing a documentation platform, two popular options often come to mind: Dokuwiki and Bookstack. Both have their strengths and unique features, but for many users, Dokuwiki still holds a superior edge. Here’s a detailed comparison of the two, highlighting why Dokuwiki remains a better choice for many.

Advantages of Dokuwiki

1. Extensive Plugin and Template Support

  • Extensions via Plugins: Dokuwiki boasts a vast array of plugins that extend its functionality, making it highly customizable.
  • Themes and Templates: Users can easily change the look and feel of their wiki with numerous themes and templates available.

2. User-Friendly Editing

I’m looking for a Syncthing alternative

I liked Syncthing because it is capable of storing encrypted files at rest while running an instance in a VPS. However, my recent experience with it has been less than optimal.

For example, in my VPS I’m always stuck at the login screen while trying to access the GUI to manage my synced folders:

Syncthing stuck in login screen

Meanwhile, in local server, it says the folder is out of sync:

Folder indicates it is Out of Sync

Although if you examine closely the files, they are indeed synced. Clicking on the Out of Sync Items further are 366 pages of nothing!

Out of Sync 366 pages of nothing

If you know of an alternative that’s more reliable than Syncthing, please do let me know in the comments below.

The Perfect YouTube Video Length: 10 Minutes

In the vast landscape of online content, YouTube stands as an undeniable giant. With over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, the platform offers an extensive array of videos covering everything from educational content to entertainment, vlogs to music. As creators strive to capture their audience’s attention and maximize watch time, the question of video length becomes pivotal. Is there an ideal duration that strikes the balance between engagement and viewer retention?

I would argue that Youtube videos should only be 8 to 12 minutes long,  and that the 10-minute mark might just be the sweet spot. Beyond that, I’d rather just click Next.

OneDrive is an intrusive piece of app

Leo Notemboom explains how the OneDrive can be so invasive on your computer’s document files if you’re not too careful.

I might have enabled OneDrive backup by accident in the past. I just hope I didn’t lose files by accident as well because of Microsoft’s and OneDrive’s stupidity ineptitude.

Airtable Script to Convert Numbers into Words (Automation)

When you’re filling out bank forms, the bank documents usually require their customers spell out the amount they put in into words. This is one way for banks to make sure customers really meant the number they put in their forms, and not made a typo. This poses a problem when you’re using Airtable’s Page Designer to auto-populate the bank forms from your Airtable records. Yes, you can type it out in a separate text field, but there must be a way to automate this, right?

Let’s say, you have a field called “Amount Sold” in your base. Go to Automations, and in one of your actions, select Run Script. Add an Input Variable and name it amount_sold , then for the Value select the “Amount Sold” field from your base.

Input Variable in Airtable
Input Variable in Airtable

Now paste the following in the Code area: …

Docker app for generating PDF from Airtable Records

There are several ways to generate a PDF from Airtable records using Docker. One approach is to use a library or framework that can generate PDFs, such as wkhtmltopdf or PrinceXML, and run it within a Docker container.

Here is an example of how you might use wkhtmltopdf to generate a PDF from Airtable records:

  1. Create a new Docker image based on the official wkhtmltopdf image.
  2. In your Dockerfile, install any additional dependencies you need to access the Airtable API and retrieve records.
  3. Write a script that retrieves the records you want to include in the PDF from Airtable, and converts them to an HTML template.
  4. Use wkhtmltopdf to convert the HTML template to a PDF.
  5. Start the Docker container and run the script to generate the PDF.

You can store the pdf in the container and store it or a way to extract it outside of it, with the help of some specific command.

Another approach is to use a pre-built service such as Airtable2pdf that can be integrated with your Airtable bases and generate pdf’s of it.

Note that the above is a basic example and the actual implementation would depend on your specific requirements and use-case.

The above quote was taken directly from the answer of ChatGPT about my query which is the title of this article. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to build a docker image from source, so I didn’t really get the help I needed. Good luck to me and you who are looking for solutions like this.

Laptop trends as per CES 2023

From CNET on Youtube:

From a giant two-in-one tablet to a pen-enabled e-reader to two dual-screen laptops, Lenovo brought its innovative A game to the giant tech show in Las Vegas.

Do consumers really need dual-screen laptops like this? Is this really where the trend is moving towards for laptops?

For me, just give me a laptop with upgradable RAM and expandable storage, that’s all I need. Unfortonately those are rare features, and if ever, are only available for ultra high end, expensive devices.

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