Being something of a pop culture geek and avid media consumer (seriously, I spend waaay too much time on my couch *g*), I read and watch in a wide variety of genres. I love fantasy, cosy mysteries, science fiction, romance (straight as well as gay) and crime procedurals as well as non-fiction about history, science & culture. I have recently started to use this blog to post reviews for these things and try to keep to an (at least) one-post-per-week schedule.

You can find additional information as well as links to the places where I keep track of the things I read and watch on my About page.

New year, more privacy

Over the course of the past couple of months I’ve become more aware of the privacy issues of the modern internet. I’m not paranoid, but I’m also not a fan of big corporations tracking me and trying to sell me stuff.

Back in the day, I left Hotmail and signed up for Gmail, when it had a 1 GB storage limit that far exceeded most other services as well as probably the best spam filter around. I liked the company with its “Don’t be evil” motto – and somehow, over the years, I came to rely on it for a big part of my online life, especially after switching from the original iPhone to Android (because I’d gotten tired of having to jailbreak after every update just to get functioning video recording and of having only 4GB of storage).

However, recently I started to feel that it was more than a little creepy, how much Google knew about me – plus I got sick and tired of having ads in my email. So I made some changes, and now I can say that the only Google service I still use regularly is Youtube (mostly because that’s where the ASMR videos live *g*) and the Android app store on my phone.

This might not interest anyone, but here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • switched from Chrome to Firefox, which seems to best option if one doesn’t want to go full on Tor… I’d also considered Opera, but there seem to be privacy concerns as well.
  • signed up with Protonmail, a Swiss-based encrypted mail service – they do have a free option, but I chose to pay, because I wanted several email addresses.
  • signed up with a Nextcloud provider for calendars/contacts (easily set up to sync with my phone) and the Collab online office suite. Nextcloud can also be self-hosted (for full privacy and control), but that doesn’t work on my shared hosting (plus I’m not sure my tech skills are up to scratch), and I don’t need a lot of space, so the free options suffice for now. I figured it can’t be worse (and is probably better) than saving files in Dropbox, for example.
  • installed F-Droid on my phone, an open-source app store alternative,

Additionally I’m checking out Mastodon, a federated Twitter alternative. You can find me on the instance.

Happy New Year!

Another year, another mix… just to prove that I’m not dead. 🙂

2017 cover - a mix for fun and feels
Listen: Download .zip (184mb, mp3 + cover art) or Spotify playlist

01. Celia Pavey – Feel Good Inc.
02. The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home
03. Big Rude Jake – Queer for Cat
04. Ed Sheeran – Shape of You
05. Milky Chance – Peripeteia
06. Phildel – Storm Song
07. Tamer – Beautiful Crime
08. Regina Spektor – Small Bill$
09. Just A Band – Huff + Puff
10. Imagine Dragons – Believer
11. Kongos – Come With Me Now
12. Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (feat. MØ)
13. Max Raabe & Palast Orchester – We Will Rock You
14. Rag’n’Bone Man – Human
15. Pieces of Juno – Siver & Gold
16. Jordan Fisher – You’re Welcome (feat. Lin-Manuel Miranda)
17. Milck – Devil Devil
18. Rousseau – Sugar Plum
19. Rundfunk-Tanzorchester Ehrenfeld – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
20. Ruelle – The Other Side
21. Vance Joy – Like Gold
22. Shannon Saunders – Atlas
23. Woodkid – Run Boy Run
24. Sufjan Stevens – Visions of Gideon
25. Fall Out Boy – Hold Me Tight Or Don’t

It’s time for music!

Wow, another year past… and it was a pretty good one (on a personal, definitely not a political level – and I’m still so sad about Carrie Fisher and the other great people we lost this year), ending with the absolute highlight of 4 weeks in New Zealand. So here’s my annual mix, following the same rules as always:

1. Only songs I added to iTunes in 2016 (i.e. new to me, not new per se)
2. Only 1 song per artist
3. Not more than 25 songs

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