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My long history as a devout GameTrailers fan, and my opinions on the current state of Easy Allies
Before getting into this too much, I would like to note that these opinions are not factoring in the quarantine of the last couple months. Because that would be as dumb as I am. So I've been a LONG-time, daily (several times a day really), GameTrailers and EZA viewer. I discovered GT back in College in 2006. This was back when they had "GT Points", and you could earn points just by visiting the site, uploading and watching videos, posting on the forums, etc. It's actually what got me hooked initially. You could turn in those points and get stuff, up to and including a new PS3. It was like a mini-game just visiting a website that I was already enjoying anyway. No one else was doing this and it was just the bee's knees. Of course I only ever garnered enough points to get a mouse-pad before they dissolved the system unfortunately, and I didn't even bother to cash those points in which I still regret. But it didn't matter, I was already hooked and visiting the site at least a few times a day. It was first in my bookmarks list for years and years. That basically never changed throughout it's history. I loved listening to Jones' soothing baritone during their always amazing reviews, and watching my favorite, often weekly shows like Pach-Attack!, Invisible Walls, Level, Bonus Round, Mandatory Update (Elise!), Pop-Fiction, Annoyed Gamer, Trailer Score, GT TV, GT Countdown, First Fifteen, and of course (eventually), The Final Bosman. There was just an endless amount of great content to view on a daily basis. Then Viacom dropped them and they were picked up by Defy Media. The industry was changing rapidly thanks to Youtube's prominence and dominance, and with it the fate of many gaming related websites. At the time I didn't really notice that things were changing. I had other stuff going on in my life so I was just happy I could still go to this website and get my usual fix of shows and Jones' voice over. But things did start to change almost all at once as shows began to disappear. Pach-Attack was gone, Annoyed Gamer left, Bonus Round stopped, Retrospectives and Pop-Fictions became less and less frequent, etc. I didn't really know what was happening on the business side of things but this website I had visited, without fail, every single day for nearly 10 years, was starting to disappear. I didn't like it. To be fair, I understand (on a basic, uninformed outsider level) why these things happened. Budgets were cut, and staff along with that. Less staff and less money obviously equals less content. It is what it is. But it doesn't mean I couldn't yearn for the golden era of GameTrailers and the content they used to produce. And then the day came. A day that felt akin to being punched in the stomach whilst bees flew out of my mouth and stung my genitals. GameTrailers announced they were shutting down, at the end of the day no less. No warning for the staff and barely any warning for it's audience. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what I was going to do without the GameTrailers staff and it's remaining shows that I still loved and relied upon as mandatory viewing to keep my ever waning spirits up, as my personal life became more and more complicated and depressing. But not long after this dissolution, they came back with a vengeance and announced the creation of Easy Allies. It was like an extinguished light in my soul was reignited and I immediately felt the "Take my Money" meme overwhelm my very existence. I've been a Patreon supporter ever since... well that's not entirely true I had to stop for about a year due to financial issues, but felt guilty consuming their content for free so re-upped again eventually and am still supporting them with my measly $5 a month. I was just so happy that this group of people didn't disband entirely and go their separate ways. It felt like losing all of my friends after graduating college (which happened) but then they all decided to come back and live near me again to continue hanging out (which did not happen). At first, things were good. It was weird seeing everyone in the make-shift studio of Jones' garage. But it worked. I was bummed and confused why The Final Bosman didn't return in some form, but otherwise it was just great having everyone back together doing their thing. Though a part of me always felt bad for Jones when watching those videos because I would hate having to use a large chunk of my house nearly 7 days a week for people to use as a workspace for creating and broadcasting media. It always felt a little invasive to me, but I figured they were doing what they had to until they figured things out. I know the community generally regards this era as being more intimate and "cozy", which I understand, but I just felt guilty watching those videos of Jones' house being taken over and was waiting for the day they hit their studio goal on Patreon so they could focus more on what made GT great as well as getting out of Jones' personal space. So the new GameTrailers, now Easy Allies, was up and running in Jones' garage. This was an experimental time for EZA and they were able to produce some unique and quality content considering their circumstances. And yeah there wasn't as much content as there used to be, and I didn't have a dozen "professionally" produced shows to choose from anymore, but the essence of the group was intact and that was enough for me. They hadn't dissolved into the infinite ether of the gaming industry like I thought they would a couple of months prior. And eventually, the new studio! This was the most exciting thing to happen to EZA since its resurrection from GameTrailers. It felt like they were moving up in the world again, and just maybe we were going to start seeing some GameTrailers-esque productions again with a higher budget along with a higher frequency of original content like the old days. But that... didn't really happen. At first it was fine. They were basically doing what they were doing in Jones' garage, just with a more professional backdrop. I assumed it would take time for them to settle in and ramp up production on new shows and ideas they had. They just needed to figure out who to reach out to to produce more variety in their shows and discussions. But that just did not come to fruition. Maybe that was too much to expect. Just because you have a new studio doesn't mean you have the money to create a bunch of new shows. I understand that. But eventually, they basically just said they were going to focus more heavily on streaming than anything else. I get it. It's basically a zero or near-zero effort way to produce content. The same thing happened in television throughout the 2000s. Why spend money on creative when you can just hire some cameramen to follow around a bunch of nonsense that results in 3x the viewership numbers? The cost-benefit ratio makes sense from a business perspective. But. I just hate streams. I don't understand them. Why would I want to watch someone else play a video game for hours on end who isn't even in the same room as me? Maybe it's a generational thing. But as much as I love all of the Allies, I don't care about how they play games, I care about why they do. That's what makes them so fascinating and insightful. It's what makes them special and stand out from the rest of the generic gaming streamers out there. And to be fair, some streams are worth watching, particularly a good group stream if it's a favorite game of mine and I want to hear their reactions and opinions about it. I'm certainly not watching the entire thing, but I'll skip through it and watch bits here and there. I'd actually much prefer something like Never Too Late to Dreamcast which was fantastic. Just an edited down highlight real of a good stream. I'm really only interested in about 20-30 minutes of a 4+ hour stream to be honest. It sucks feeling like the only things I look forward to seeing anymore are the reviews (half of which I'm not interested in but I still watch them), and the monthly Mysterious Monsters. Plus the Hall of Greats but only getting four of those a year feels like it barely counts. I know there are other shows but they just don't excite me. I watch Huber Syndrome out of habit more than anything but they aren't as engaging as they used to be. I always appreciate Ian's offbeat humor and his wacky Easy Updates, though they aren't something I get excited about watching generally. And shows like Frame Trap and Friend Code are just too long for me to sit down and watch every week. Plus they seem like extensions of the Podcast, just covering different topics with different Allies, and quite frankly feels like an overlap in content-type. It's another round-table (well wedge-table) discussion about the gaming industry, and it's hard to get excited enough to watch those after already listening to 90 minutes a week of the podcast doing roughly the same thing. To be fair it's been a while since I've watched those shows though so maybe they're more different than I remember them. I really miss First 15 (my favorite of the GT era). This should be pretty easy to get two people together and buy random, old, five dollar games to try. I loved seeing games that I had never even heard of being picked out randomly and popped in an old console with no expectations other than from what was on the box art. I know they had a few episodes of this for Patreon supporters at one point but it wasn't quite the same. Where did the new Don's Design Lab go? Only two episodes? This was amazing and I was really expecting a new episode every month. The betting specials are nearly non-existent and this seems like such a good show to bring around every 3 months or so. It can't be that hard to put together betting on random gaming events (present quarantine excluded). Just keep the consequences of losing to a minimum. Don't Skip's feel too rare as well. What happened to Game-Sleuth? The retrospectives were nice but honestly I get why the don't do them anymore and am fine with it. They probably take the most work of any show and there are other channels I can watch that do comprehensive breakdowns on the production of classic games (I recommend GVMERS for this if anyone is interested). They do a random Trailer Jones with no set schedule, but it's not well put together anymore to be honest and way too focused on movie trailers anyway. I think I heard Achieve it Yourself is coming back at some point, but that should really be a weekly thing and a mainstay of the group that doesn't just disappear intermittently. And PLEASE bring back Top 10. I know everyone does them and it's a bit click-baity but they're just so fun and I love seeing the group's favorite things ranked 1 to 10 (Top 10 Top 10 Numbers was brilliant). I understand why some of these are just too time consuming to produce, but it's still disappointing. I would gladly trade 90% of their stream content for just two or three of these things to become "regular programming". But maybe that's just me. Now I don't want to sound completely callous. Again, I know why they're focusing on things that require less time and production effort. They aren't a huge company with tons of editors and producers to put creative things together for them. I guess I just miss the "old days" where I had at least a couple of new things to choose from every day from the GT crew, whereas now aside from the podcast and reviews, I'm interested in maybe one video per week. And honestly, I get why Kyle left. My guess is he felt like things there were moving laterally at best, and backwards at worst. I'm sure it was a good job to have and having steady work to play and talk about video games is nothing to scoff at. But if you're a creative mind wanting to experiment with new and creative ideas, it's become apparent that EZA isn't the best avenue for that anymore. Not to say that creativity doesn't exist there of course, it's just becoming less and less prevalent and the focus is in a direction Kyle wasn't feeling challenged enough with. I still love EZA and will continue to support them through Patreon for as long as I am able. They've given me way too much over the nearly 15 years of content I've enjoyed not to garner my support. I just wish they would re-evaluate what's important and what they need to focus on in the near future. I worry that viewers and supporters will start to fall off over the next few years and they will get to a point where they can't sustain themselves through their current business model. And I don't think I could handle seeing that happen again. Love and Respect, -KaladinThreepwood
I bought the Dell U4320Q last week and have been testing it to find out if I really like it. As this monitor is still very new, there are not enough reviews about it yet. Ask me anything you want to know, I will try to give infos or test things for you. I don't know how to structure this, but here we go :) There is a list with useful links at the end of the post. My setup: https://imgur.com/1CX4dDE
I don't have the space for a large TV plus a matching sitting opportunity like a couch at the moment. I decided to buy a large monitor instead so I can work better (web development/graphic design) and to use it as my TV instead of a real TV. I always preferred computer monitors as I don't have to deal with effects that annoy me in modern TVs like automatic sharpening, added motion blur for a nice soap opera effect, and so on. The monitor I had before was a 27" Dell UltraSharp. I wanted to upgrade the size but change nothing else if possible. I use my PC for coding, photo editing, video editing, watching videos and movies, browsing the web and the rare casual gaming session with friends. I had researched about the closest competitor, the LG 43UN700-B, for about two months. The LG has a questionable HDR mode and a remote control, both of which I don't need. The Dell is more expensive but has a better design in my opinion and I have always had good experiences with Dell monitors. The Dell has an adjustable stand, the LG does not.
The size is beautiful for watching movies. Every 43" monitor reviewer on YouTube will tell you "Guys, it's big, but as in ... REALLY BIG and you need a desk that it can comfortably sit on with enough distance". I sit more than an arm-length away from the screen. My desk is an IKEA Bekant sit-stand-desk that is 160cm wide and 80cm deep. It's absolutely enough for me and the monitor does not even sit on the very edge of the desk. If you like to tuck in under your desk with even your elbows on the table, your distance might not be enough, though, and you might have to think about a deeper desk. However, this is better than expected.
The image is bright and sharp, very nice. Everything in the center looks good to me. If I sit close I can see that at the edges of the screen, maybe 5cm left and right, the image is harder to see. Maybe because of reflecting light or the viewing angle. When I was using 100% scaling, it was hard to make out the Desktop icons on the left side and I had to move my head to view it from the front instead of from an angle, otherwise I had to really concentrate to read the text. The center is always bright and easy to see, the further away from the center, it gets harder as the brightness hits you best when looking at the screen from a 90 degree angle. I have really good eyes and don't have to wear glasses by the way. I have never tried a curved monitor but if they had this curved I would have taken a look at it, but probably that would be weird for watching movies again.
It's 8ms at Normal and 5ms at Fast. So why not switch to fast and enjoy the better response time? I tried it and instantly switched back. If you have it on Normal, everything looks okay to me. Not a big difference, standard 60Hz look. However if you switch to the Fast mode, it's very noticable that there are red and blue edges around everything that moves. If you move a window with black text on white background, it looks horrible and I would not be able to work like that. It was impossible to get that on camera but it's just colorful ghosting and is unacceptable. https://imgur.com/htJk71i
I just tried a first-person-shooter on this and it is too big. If you want to be a good at a game like that, it is too big and I would much prefer a smaller screen, maybe a 27" with 144Hz or similar. For local multiplayer gaming parties this is great. Casual games with friends where everybody sits further away from the monitor are fantastic. Maybe slower games work well. I guess you can figure out which ones might be good. The 8ms response time did not annoy me but then again, I am a casual gamer. I do not suggest that you get this for gaming.
This was maybe my biggest concern when buying this. The LG 43UN700-B has shadowy edges on all four sides of the screen as seen in lots of reviews. When you sit close to the monitor you kind of look through the pixels that are being displayed but you look beyond the edge of the backlight so the pixels look as if they are not lit. People said that it makes the outer pixels impossible to see, that would have infinitely annoyed me. I guess every monitor has that. I checked on my 27" and it has it, if you go very close to the screen with your face, you should be able to see it on your monitor as well I reckon. However, this is absolutely not a problem for me with the Dell. It becomes noticable when I put my face in the range of 35cm away from the screen. I don't think anybody would do that as the angle you see the edges of the screen from from that position is lower than 45 degrees and you have to move your head way too much to see anyting. I am sitting about an arm-length away from the monitor and I can see the mouse cursor on the left side of the screen to the last pixel, no problem. It's there but nowhere near as bad as I had expected. Phew.
There is a small thing that somebody complained about in another thread: Around all edges of the screen there is a slight brightness boost. I only sometimes notice and it's not distracting for me. It looks as if somebody had put an Inner Glow effect on the whole screen, about 3mm wide I would say. Definitely not as noticable as the shadowy edges issues that some people described. Very slight, really. https://imgur.com/Fj1iM1n
BGR subpixel layout
I was looking for a monitor that has the RGB layout but it was impossible at this size. Dell and LG sporting the same LG panels and also lots of other 43" monitors it seems use the BGR subpixel layout. It screws up font display in Windows and apparently MacOS and Linux as well. I have a Windows PC. Luckily somebody released a program called Better ClearType Tuner that let's you switch between BGR and RGB, and lets you adjust some contrast settings, too. Find the link at the end in the useful links list. I set up the monitor, started using it and checked. The font of the Desktop icons was screwed up. It looks very colorful, the black and white fonts suddenly have blue and red edges. You can find out what that looks like: Use the Better ClearType Tuner and set the mode to the wrong one. Then refresh your Desktop or you won't see it. For most programs I guess you have to restart your PC to see the effect. If you don't know what pixel layout you have, find out at the Lagom website. So anyway, I switched to the BGR layout ClearType and that fixed all the fonts on the Desktop and other Windows programs. It's still possible that Chrome or other programs display their text in the wrong smoothing mode. The ClearType adjustment does not fix it for every case I think. However to me it has not been a problem anywhere else. And I think that you will only see this when on 100% scaling. I still wish an RGB layout monitor would be available. And there is no way I am mounting my screen upside down as some people suggested. https://imgur.com/WfJz68B
It's 4K. Finally I can use 4K without using scaling, right? I know many people that have issues with scaling of apps in Windows and I never wanted to bother with it. I have been using this one at 100% for three days. It was okay but actually it's too small, even for me. Today I set it to 150% and it actually feels a lot better, everything is sized more appropriately. You have to decide for yourself if you want to sit up really close: 100% scaling, a lot of screen real estate, head movement, viewing angles, tiny fonts. Or sit a bit further away: maybe scale up a bit like 150%, viewing angles mostly from the front, not a lot of head movement, less screen real estate, less brightness difference. I never wanted to scale up but this feels better to my eyes and head. But if I scale up, then why do I even get a 4K screen? The movies will still play in 4K but I don't have that much more space in Windows for using the workspace now, do I? I wonder about that, and I really wish that there were a size in between 27 and 43. Just give me a 38" 16:9 or something, that would be perfect, I think. I have not found a single monitor bigger than 27" and smaller than 43" that is 16:9. Just noticed what I really like here: Going from 27" 2560x1440 to 43" 3840x2160 feels just like a perfect screen-size extension. At 100% scaling everything looks to be the exact same size, nothing got smaller or bigger. That's really good.
I don't know the meanings of swivel, tilt, and so on so I will refer to adjustments as turning around the X, Y, and Z axes and I hope you will understand what I mean. My previous 27" Dell could be turned on all three axes. This one can only be turned around the Y axis meaning turn it left and right, and around the X axis, meaning you can change if it points lower or higher. You can not turn the screen around the Z axis, so you can of course not turn it into a portrait monitor and you cannot adjust if it it's higher one one side. That's exactly the problem I have: My table is level. The monitor foot is level. The screen is not level. At the left end of the screen it is about 1cm higher than on the right end. Dell support said they can send me refurbished replacements until I have one that works for me. The support of the shop that I bought it from won't pick up the phone and they have not answered yet. I will replace this as a friend of mine said "At this price level you can expect more". I actually tried carefully bending it down but the monitor arm has metal inside and just won't stay like that after bending. So this sucks. No Z axis turning: you have to make sure you check this the moment you get a monitor like this if you cannot change it. https://imgur.com/3smsE3v The other adjustments are really good in my opinion: You can turn the monitor left and right, 20 degrees I believe which is enough for me to turn it if I want to watch exercise videos while doing exercises. And as this monitor is so large you probably won't even have the space to turn it more. Turning it up and down (around the X axis) is fine, from -5 to 10 degrees. Great thing about the Dell is that you can height-adjust it as well and I really like that. The LG does not have that.
So far I have not noticed any flickering whatsoever and it's comfortable to look at the screen all day long. That's after a first phase in which I had to get used to the new screen. On the first evening after using it for a day (and playing a sidescrolling game for a few hours) I felt very dizzy and my eyes hurt for some time. My experience has been fine ever since day two, though.
The buttons are small but clicky and they work well. Much better than the touch-sensitive ones other Dell monitors have. Here you know that you clicked, good feedback. The Power button is bigger than the other buttons and quite nice to push. It has an LED inside it that can be seen from the front as well so you can see if your monitor is on or not. Not too bright, not distracting even when watching dark movies or anything like that.
On-screen-display is fine. I am used to Dell and it works well. I hardly ever use it because I only have one input source so I cannot say a lot about it. The software Dell Display Manager (DDM) can take care of chaning color temperature, brightness, and contrast. I have been using that instead of the buttons.
There is a feature called Underscan that you can find in the OSD. It reduces the used screen size a bit. Definitely gets rid of all brightness artifacts or shadowy edges in case you have a problem with that. The size is decreased by roughly 1cm around all edges. Instantly turned that off again because this is not why you buy a huge screen, to reduce the screen size again. And it's not native resolution anymore so everything is blurred. I don't have a use case for this function.
It has speakers. I have once checked them out but just for fun. I am not using them. If you have no speakers and you don't care too much about quality, you can use them I guess. But if you buy a monitor in this price range then I bet that you also paid something for good sound.
I like this monitor. Beautiful size for casual gaming where you can take a wireless controller and sit back. Beautiful for watching movies or even just YouTube videos. Again very nice design by Dell. Slim bezels for this size. Still not sure about keeping it. I want to at least replace it with one that is level and I will switch to my 27" once more to compare. On the 27" everything is in your field of view which is just comfortable. If you have a monitor this size you will quickly find out how lazy your eyes and head are. I notice I stopped sorting my Desktop because it takes more energy for me to do it on the very left side of a 1m wide screen. I am thinking that a 38" 16:9 might be perfect but there 100% native 4K would definitely be too small. Difficult decisions but I'll check it out more. Using this right now on 150% scaling feels as if it's healthier for my eyes. And if you are reading this you are probably also one of the people who spends countless hours in front of a monitor. Let me know if I can help you out with more information. Please also check out the linked threads if you want to do thorough research. Thank you and have a nice day! :)
The monitor is going back. A few things to note: I got the monitor partly for more screen real estate and partly because I have no space for a TV. Turns out, this monitor is not a good TV replacement. The black levels are not good. I think it's the same black levels as on my Dell 27" but the bigger the monitor the more you notice. Even friends of mine said "Wow, cannot really see anything there, huh?". As soon as any scene in a movie gets slightly darker, you won't be able to see anything. I played with brightness and contrast settings but that did not help. Blacks are not black enough, contrast is not there. Screen size: You can have four windows open next to each other or 2 stacked on one side and the browser on the other side. The vertical screen space is great for coding or browsing the web. For me this meant I had to start dividing the screen like that, otherwise I was wasting space. That means you will always have your eyes on the left or the right, upper or lower half. Almost never in the center. If you have one window in fullscreen, the elements of the browser or webpage will be in the corners so your eyes have to move a lot. Same with the HUD in many games. Subpixel layout was not really a problem. No flickering either. Good monitor if you really need lots of windows next to each other. I want something slightly bigger than 27" but I will never play with scaling in Windows again. Lots of apps don't work well, it's an inconsistent mess. So I would have loved a native 3200x1800 monitor but that size only exists for laptop monitors with scaling. I now ordered the Dell S3220DGF: Cuved 32" 1440p 165Hz VA panel. VA panel hopefully means better contrast and black levels. Slightly bigger, movies might be enjoyable enough. I will do fine with switching windows instead of having all next to each other. Monitor is going back. Not enough value for the current price of 830 EUR (around 900 USD).
Michael locks everyone in the office in order to protect them from the 'Rona. Plus a webcam workday.
Int. Office – Entrance – D1 ANGELA walks into the office wearing a hazmat suit. MICHAEL is waiting outside his office. He is fidgeting his hands. MICHAEL Good morning, Angela. Is that a new outfit? His voice trails off as she keeps her head down and hurries to her seat in accounting. INT. OFFICE – ACCOUNTING - D1 KEVIN (laughing) It’s a pandemic, not a raindemic, you can take off the coat. ANGELA It’s a hazmat suit, so I don’t get your germs. KEVIN Come on Angela, everyone knows you’ll be fine if you buy toilet paper. OSCAR You’re both wrong. Just wash your hands and don’t touch your face. INT. OFFICE – BULL PEN - D1 Andy enters the office wearing full scrubs-- over his feet, hair, torso, legs-- and a mask on his face. Only a small window for his eyes is visible. He’s still friendly. He waves to everyone as he goes to his seat. INT. OFFICE – PHYLLIS AND STANLEY’S DESKS – D1 Stanley rolls his eyes as Andy sits down and unpacks his items. ANDY Good morning. ANDY TALKING HEAD ANDY I find it’s always best to follow the lead of the professionals. What are the professionals doing? Wearing outfits a bit like these. Acknowledges/shows off his scrubs. Camera zooms out, to see better INT. OFFICE – BULLPEN – D1 Michael nervously turns toward the rest of the office as MEREDITH walks in. She wipes her nose with her arm as the camera turns with Michael. He prepares to make an announcement. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Listen up, I know things are a little tense, but this office is a Corona free zone. It is not allowed in, in fact, it is illegal! DWIGHT Actually, there’s no way to prevent the spread of the virus to this office. MICHAEL (More nervous) Well, then we’ll banish it to the annex. Problem solved. PHYLLIS Is there any new protocol for disinfecting our workspace? MICHAEL Yes, there is. I have plenty of Lysol wipes and toilet paper in my car. I bought everything they had at at the store yesterday. Disapproving noises. PAM (scolding) Michael… MICHAEL Shhh! I don’t wanna hear it. You should be thanking me; While crazy people are piling all the toilet paper in Scranton in their carts, I will be sharing with all of you. More disapproval. ANGELA But you’re one of the crazy people buying all the toilet paper! MICHAEL Out of love! Michael escapes into his office. Angela rolls her eyes and goes to sit back down. INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE – D1 Dwight enters the room carrying some type of poster, Michael is staring at his computer screen. He exhales air he had been holding in as he sees Dwight. MICHAEL Do I sound contagious? DWIGHT Hmm… You haven’t said enough to tell. MICHAEL (Stares at the screen) What about sneezing? I don’t think I’ve been sneezing. Can you hold back a sneeze without knowing? DWIGHT Of course I can. But Michael, I had an idea. Michael finally rips himself from the screen and looks at Dwight. MICHAEL (in a voice) About what? DWIGHT We need to use this toilet paper shortage to our advantage. MICHAEL (nodding along) Yes, very good idea. I had the same idea. Um, what were you thinking specifically? Dwight props up the poster and points a long extendable pointer at the curtain covering it. DWIGHT What does the world need right now? Michael takes a moment to think. MICHAEL A cure? A vaccine? DWIGHT False. We need toilet paper. Dwight uncovers the poster and reveals a bathroom with a stack of paper. DWIGHT (CONT’D) What do you call paper in a bathroom, perhaps on a toilet? MICHAEL (Without thinking too hard) Paper on a toilet? Toilet paper? Hey! Toilet paper! DWIGHT (Doing that Dwight happy smirk at the camera) Exactly. We can roll our paper into tight rolls, and probably get away with cutting it into thirds. Once that’s a success, we can move on to paper towels! Then with a little glue, paper cups… MICHAEL (offended) Are you insane? We cannot let people use our good paper on… on their anuses! DWIGHT That is a great point! Would you want to let the good people of Scranton wipe their anuses with crappy paper? MICHAEL Well, no. Especially not crappy crappy paper. DWIGHT And it’s only a matter of time before other paper companies start doing the exact same thing. Prince Family Paper! Staples! Office Depot! We need to be ahead of this. MICHAEL I could see Staples selling butt paper. Michael keeps pondering. MICHAEL (CONT’D) David Wallace always likes innovation. Why don’t you go around the office and ask everyone what they would do if they got desperate for toilet paper. DWIGHT I’m on it. INT. OFFICE - BREAK ROOM - D1 Several people are eating lunch. Dwight is leaning against one of the vending machines. Jim and Pam are at a table. Kelly is sitting with Meredith. Angela walks in only to retriever her lunch. It’s in an air tight, metal box. She is disgusted by their food being exposed to the air and to each other. ANGELA Does social distancing mean nothing to you? DWIGHT It means less than nothing to a Schrute. Superior genes. JIM That is going to get you killed. PAM Don’t you think you should be just a little careful in case your genes are less superior than you thought? DWIGHT Pfff. That’s like saying we should use pesticides to destroy insects. DWIGHT – TALKING HEAD DWIGHT At Schrute farms, we never use pesticides on our crops. Insects kill the weak and only the strong survive. Natural selection. We use the same method with children. I never went to the doctor as a child, and I survived because I am not weak. Meredith holds up her hand to high five Dwight. MEREDITH Yeah! I sold my insurance. What a waste of booze money. Dwight rejects the interaction. Meredith sneezes. The room vacates. INT. OFFICE – CREED’S DESK Kelly enters the office and hands Creed some money. KELLY TALKING HEAD KELLY Creed knows someone who has early access to the vaccine and because he’s so cool, he let me buy one half off. It still wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. CREED TALKING HEAD CREED That wasn’t a vaccine. KELLY Do you have another one for Ryan? He doesn’t wash his hands. Not even after he goes to the bathroom, even though I keep telling him “Ryan! Wash your hands, silly!” That’s super gross. But he’s all, oh, whatever, like I mean, I have a super hot girlfriend…” RYAN Kelly, what are you doing? You said you would sign up for my new social media platform. Ryan looks at the camera. RYAN (CONT’D) Facebook.net. Keep up with friends and family on a convenient digital platform. PAM Hasn’t the real Facebook been proven to make people feel more depressed? RYAN Facebook.net can assure you will feel empowered by comparing yourself to rich vacationing relatives. Use at your own risk. KELLY No one is going to want to use your stupid Facebook rip off especially not right now! Creed’s going to give you the vaccine and we will be the only ones left standing! RYAN I am not taking any vaccines without an actual doctor or nurse. Everyone is paying attention to them now and Jim looks at the camera with concern. KELLY Why not!? RYAN What about the tapeworm, Kelly? Dwight appears, standing over them with a clipboard. DWIGHT What would you do if you ran out of toilet paper? KELLY What? I don’t know. We’re in the middle of-- RYAN That’s a great question. I did the responsible thing and bought as much as I could find. I’m selling it on Ebay for only forty bucks a roll. Dwight has a creepy grin on his face. Walking in between Ryan and Kelly, he approaches Creed. DWIGHT And if you had the misfortune of running out of toilet paper? CREED I already have run out. Now I only use Dunder Mifflin paper for my bathroom needs. Dwight’s grin increases in severity. He walks away. CREED TALKING HEAD CREED That’s a lie. These are dark times. If they find out you have toilet paper, you’re dead. The truth is, I don’t use toilet paper. Trees in the park make new leaves every year, so I haven’t had a need for it in over thirty years. But that’s something that a person with toilet paper says. INT. OFFICE – JIM AND DWIGHT’S OFFICE – D1 Jim is rubbing yellow flowers around Dwight’s desk. On his phone, computer, chair, and then puts the flowers into the bottom of his pencil cup. JIM TALKING HEAD JIM A few years ago, we went on a nature retreat with a few other people from sales. To annoy Dwight, I gathered some of these yellow flowers and gave them to him. Instantly, he started to sneeze. Turns out, he’s got an allergy. This is information I’ve waited long enough to use. INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE – D1 We are behind the desk looking at Michael’s computer. It is the news. MICHAEL (nervous) It’s not looking good. It is not looking good. Michael points to the screen. MICHAEL (CONT’D) There are five confirmed cases here in Scranton. Five! Camera follows him into the bull pen MICHAEL (CONT’D) Everyone, conference room in one minute! This is urgent! Let’s go, people! The crowd shuffles in and takes their seats. There is an easel with paper on it. Angela raises her hand. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Yes, tiny? ANGELA This is not the recommended six feet distance, and it’s a gathering of over ten people. MICHAEL Okay, no problem. Toby get out. Toby leaves, but the rest try to explain that there are still too many people. PHYLLIS There’s still over ten people. MICHAEL (eager to get the meeting started) I don’t count because I’m running the meeting, Dwight has supper genes, you can’t have Jim without Pam, Angela is so short a leaf could tip her over, and I don’t see color, so Oscar, Stanley, and Kelly aren’t here either. That’s under ten, right? They protest, and explain his incompetence. Dwight is sneezing. DWIGHT (Voice is hoarse) Listen to Michael and we get out of here sooner. They quiet down, and lean away from Dwight. MICHAEL Thank you. Now. My announcement is that we need to think about how we’re going to beat this. What are we going to do to not die. PHYLLIS I’m not too worried. I’ve been washing my hands and disinfecting the things I touch. MICHAEL No, that’s not good enough. I have a better idea. Michael steps to the easel and flips a page up and over the back. It reveals a written word: AGORAPHOBIA. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Agoraphobia is the fear of going outside. We have made fun of these people for centuries, but now the agoraphobics will be the only people who survive this apocalypse. We all need to become agoraphobic. How to we do this? DWIGHT Trauma in most cases. MICHAEL Good idea, we need to traumatize you people. Any ideas? Camera cuts to the audience Kelly is talking to Ryan; she’s not listening to Michael. KELLY I’m going to go to the beach, and see a movie… I bet I’ll be the only person there. Well, aside from you. That’ll be so cool. (whistful) We’ll roam the empty streets together like a fairytale! RYAN Which fairytale would that be? Dwight and Michael are bouncing ideas off each other. MICHAEL No, Dwight, that’s just going to make them afraid of shovels, not nature. Dwight is coughing, but tries to play it off. DWIGHT I could hit them with the shovel outside. MICHAEL (Not convinced, but considering) Well, hmm. No, I have an easier way to keep everyone safe. We will be hunkering down here at the office until this pandemic passes. Outrage. JIM You cannot be serious. ANGELA What about my cats? PHYLLIS And Bob? MEREDITH Eh, I’m on board. My kids in juvie, so I got nothing better to do. MICHAEL See, Meredith thinks it’s a good idea. STANLEY I am not spending my next few weeks here with you in this office. ANGELA Look at Dwight, he’s sick. How do we know he’s not spreading the virus to us? DWIGHT (sneezing) I cannot get your little pandemic. MICHAEL As your boss I am commanding you all to stay. I am making an executive order. PAM You can’t do that. MICHAEL David Wallace told me that I need to do whatever I need to do to make sure you stay safe. JIM He means send us home! MICHAEL That’s a terrible idea. First of all, none of our clients will get paper, second, how will I make sure you all stay safe? We are a family and families need to be together during times of need. So bring your kids and your cats and your refrigerator husbands and we’ll set up living space for all of you. OSCAR This sounds like a breeding ground for Covid-19. MICHAEL Oscar, you know nothing of breeding. Now, I need people to go to the store and get the essentials. We need dinners for two… three months. Food, more refrigerators, cabinets, dishware…” Michael knocks on the window of the conference room. MICHAEL (CONT’D) TOBY! TOBY GO TO THE STORE! INT. ANNEX – D1 - CONTINUOUS Michael has crime scene tape and is taping off sections of the office with it. Everyone is following him around trying to get him to reconsider. PAM What are you doing with that tape? That’s for crimescenes. MICHAEL TALKING HEAD MICHAEL I bought this tape at my favorite prankstore in downtown Scranton. I usually use it for Toby’s desk. Or sometimes Toby himself. INT. ANNEX – D1 – CONTINUOUS MICHAEL Everyone is going to work from home! Everyone is delighted. PAM Really? Michael tapes off a generous area that also contained Kelly and Ryan’s desk. MICHAEL This is the new home of Kelly and Ryan! Everyone groans and realizes what he meant. RYAN Wait, why do we have to share a house? KELLY Oh! It’s a dream come true! Come on Ryan, let’s settle into our new home. MICHAEL Let’s see, okay, Michael enters the break room. MICHAEL (CONT’D) This will be Phyllis and Bob Vance’s house. KEVIN Heeey, why do they get the house with the snacks? MICHAEL Well, because they just adopted someone with a love of terrible junk food! Kevin’s face lights up KEVIN Me? MICHAEL Yes! Get on in there! Kevin runs in. PHYLLIS This is crazy, Michael! MICHAEL They called Einstein crazy too. Michael looks around the room full of unoccupied desks. MICHAEL (CONT’D) We need to clear out this area, because I want to put the conference room table in here. It will be our new place to eat. DWIGHT I’ll do it, Michael. They follow Michael into the kitchen. He opens the closet. MICHAEL When Toby comes back, he will live here. Creed has the women’s bathroom. Meredith has the men’s. Creed is delighted, Meredith shrugs, but is okay with the arrangement. Camera cuts out INT. OFFICE – BULLPEN - D1 Tape ropes off the different areas. In each section, some space is left untaped to be a doorway. People are moving furniture, Michael is observing. Dwight is making a fort at reception, Stanley is at quality assurance, Andy is in the sales area. Angela is in accounting. Jim and Pam are in the conference room. Michael walks into the conference room. INT. OFFICE – CONFERENCE ROOM - D1 MICHAEL (happy) How are you settling in? JIM No one is going to sleep here tonight. Dwight appears in the doorway, he is holding a handkerchief and wiping his nose. DWIGHT False. I handle the front line, thus controlling who goes in and out. I broke all doors leading outside. PAM What do you mean “broke?” DWIGHT I stuck tiny pieces of wood underneath, superglued the door to the frame and knocked off the handles with a fire extinguisher. JIM (worried, beginning to panic) So we’re actually stuck in here? Jim and Pam rush out to check the doors. Jim goes to the back stairwell. Pam goes to the main entrance. Dwight stops her at the makeshift tape doorway to reception. DWIGHT You can’t trespass in my house. PAM It’s still work hours, so I am allowed in. Dwight grumbles but let’s her pass. The door handle is broken. It won’t budge. Jim comes back holding a broken door handle. INT. OFFICE – BULLPEN - D1 JIM Dwight and Michael have locked us in here! The doors are broken. He holds up the handle. The employees become upset. STANLEY Like I said before, I am not staying in this building all night with you. ANGELA How are my cats going to eat? MICHAEL (annoyed, commanding) It isn’t ideal. I know that. Do you think I want Toby to be here? Of course not, but I am dealing with it. Now everyone, it is almost five o’clock so settle into your houses! INT. OFFICE – BULLPEN – D1 Tension is high. We see Michael enter the bathroom. The office gathers in the Bullpen. PHYLLIS What are we going to do? RYAN There has to be a way to get out of here. Any way. It doesn’t even have to be legal. JIM I’m going to call David Wallace. Dwight polishes a sword at reception. DWIGHT You wouldn’t dare. Michael yells from the bathroom. He was spooked. MEREDITH You’re the one who put me in there. MICHAEL Well I forgot! (regret) God! Why would I put you in the bathroom? Michael enters the bullpen with everyone. JIM Michael, you can’t keep us here. The group agrees. Michael shushes them. MICHAEL I am keeping you safe! ANGELA You’re going to get us all sick! The group again agrees and voices their concern. Meredith enters the bullpen. MEREDITH I don’t know what you’re all freaked out about. I’ve got the virus and I ain’t worried. Panic grows in the crowd, they rush to disband Angela screams and runs, Dwight shoos her away and puts on an alarm, Andy and Michael take off. Kelly runs to the annex, pulling Ryan with her. DWIGHT Remain calm. ANDY (failing to open a window) We’re all gonna die! MICHAEL OH MY GOD! EVERYONE GET TO YOUR HOUSES! MEREDITH, YOU ARE BANISHED TO THE ANNEX! JIM Why did you come to work?! Meredith gets a cup of water from the water cooler, touching the spout. MEREDITH ‘Cause I ain’t worried. It’s the flu. Angela covers her hazmat suit in hand sanitizer as she runs to the annex with most of the others. Michael escapes into his office, and shuts the blinds. Dwight tries to regain order. The alarm is still going off. DWIGHT Wash your hands, stay away from infected parasite, and you probably won’t die. The clock strikes 5:00 INT. MICHAEL’S OFFICE - D1 We spy through the blinds outside of his office. Michael is on the phone with David Wallace. DAVID WALLACE Why did I get a call from Jim saying that you’ve locked them in the office? MICHAEL What? Did he say that? DAVID WALLACE Why are you still in the office, Michael? Did you let everyone go home? Michael holds his hand over his face. He’s full of regret. MICHAEL Okay, okay, you were right. This was a horrible idea. I have allowed Meredith to expose herself to everyone in the office… and I mean that in more ways than one. DAVID WALLACE What do you mean by that Michael? MICHAEL I don’t want to talk about it. DAVID WALLACE It doesn’t matter. Michael, we’ve made the decision to ask everyone to not come in tomorrow. MICHAEL You’re shutting us down? DAVID WALLACE Yes. They can work from home. But for that they need to get home. INT. OFFICE – BULLPEN – D1 Michael emerges from his office. MICHAEL Dwight, fix the doors. DWIGHT But then they’ll escape. MICHAEL Good. Let them escape. I have failed. Because of Meredith and Toby, it is not safe here. The general mood of the office changes. They’re happy they can go home. Everyone moves the furniture back and removes the tape. They get ready to leave for the day. INT. OFFICE – DWIGHT AND JIM’S DESKS – D1 Dwight is still sick. While Jim is getting his things together, Dwight remains at his desk. JIM Are you staying late? DWIGHT (sneezing) I don’t need to stay late. JIM That wasn’t the question. Dwight doesn’t respond. We see his computer screen. He’s researching coronavirus symptoms. INT. MICHAEL’S HOUSE – OFFICE - D2 Michael is scrambling around his home office area (one of the upstairs bedrooms). He’s rerouting wires and adjusting his webcam. He’s very excited. MICHAEL TALKING HEAD MICHAEL Today we are going to be doing our work virtually. As the manager, my job is to make sure everyone is being managed, so we are going to be on an all-day conference call. INT. MICHAEL’S HOUSE – OFFICE - D2 Michael finally sits down. He looks back at the non webcam camera with excitement. Then he looks back to the screen and waits. Toby is the first to join. Michael’s enthusiasm is gone. He’s disgusted. MICHAEL Out of all the people who could have joined first. TOBY I’m just coming to work. MICHAEL This is great, now I’m alone in the room with Toby. How do I know you didn’t kill everyone else? TOBY Michael, I already told you I’m not the Scranton Strangler. MICHAEL I doubt that very much considering-- Jim and Pam’s shared webcam joins onto the screen. PAM Morning, Michael, can you hear me? Michael is delighted to see them and forgets about Toby. MICHAEL Loud and clear, good morning to you too! I think today is going to be great! Oscar pops up. He has a bland background. Before Michael can greet him, Andy joins. He is somewhere not gaudy but definitely wealthy. There is also Cornell memorabilia. ANDY Greetings coworkers! Kevin joins just after, his background is messy and he has toilet paper rolls off to the side. Then Phyllis who joins with the help of Bob Vance PHYLLIS Thanks, Bob. Good morning everyone. Next is the office webcam with Dwight and Ryan. A webcam was placed on Pam’s monitor and it has been turned to face Dwight’s desk. Ryan is sitting at Jim’s desk. DWIGHT I am here. JIM Hey, Dwight. Still sneezing? DWIGHT You will never get my medical records. I don’t have any. (laughs triumphantly) Jim makes a face at his webcam. Kelly joins the call and sees Ryan. She gasps. Creed and Meredith silently join during the exchange. KELLY Ryan! Are you at the office? RYAN Why would you think that Kelly? DWIGHT I came to the office because I have superior genes. The temp is here because he’s an idiot. RYAN TALKING HEAD RYAN Am I worried about the virus? Isn’t everyone? (A moment) I’m kind of hoping I get it. Maybe Kelly will stay away from me. INT. MICHAEL’S HOUSE – OFFICE – D2 Angela joins. Her background has a lot of cats. Both real and statues, along with cat pictures on the walls. It is very neat, proper, and practical. ANGELA Sorry I’m late. Bandit was chewing on the wires. MICHAEL (shocked) Oh my God! Don’t worry about it! Michael turns to the camera. MICHAEL (CONT’D) (still shocked but lessening) I thought bandits were only in westerns. Everyone settles in their workspaces. DWIGHT TALKING HEAD DWIGHT This morning when I woke up I felt fine. Yes, I had symptoms yesterday, and yes, I may have caught the Coronavirus from Meredith. However, my superior genes have obliterated it in record speed. INT. MICHAEL’S HOUSE – OFFICE – D2 MICHAEL That seems to be everyone. PHYLLIS (squinting at the screen) No, I don’t see Stanley. MICHAEL Stanley doesn’t have a computer so he unfortunately can’t be here with us. STANLEY TALKING HEAD STANLEY I do have a computer. And since Michael doesn’t know that, I can do my work alone with no interruptions. Which is something I’ve wanted for a very long time. INT. MICHAEL’S HOUSE – OFFICE – D2 Everyone is working on their work. We see everyone at once on the screen, some are taking calls, some are looking intently at their own screens. An empty corner remains. Suddenly, another webcam pops up. It’s Toby. TOBY Michael, you can’t keep removing me from the call. Michael is working. He doesn’t look up from his papers. MICHAEL You probably removed yourself subconsciously. TOBY I didn’t. In the office webcam, Ryan is at a trash can away from his desk. Dwight is working uninterrupted. RYAN Hey, Michael, the garbage can is full. MICHAEL Just use a different one, the night cleaners were told not to come in. DWIGHT TALKING HEAD DWIGHT I’m not surprised the night cleaners didn’t come in. Poor work ethic. When I came in early this morning, I had to clean my desk once I realized they hadn’t eradicated the stickiness and the rather pleasant odor from yesterday. INT. MICHAEL’S HOUSE – OFFICE - D2 Creed has disappeared from his webcam. RYAN Oh, who’s making fun of me now? I just sold another four rolls of tp. The office groans. Meredith starts coughing. Angela is the webcam next to her. Despite being in different houses, Angela jumps from her seat and yelps. ANGELA Michael! Please move me away from Meredith and her germs! Meredith exaggerates her coughing. Angela cowers away further, almost off the webcam. Michael moves Angela’s webcam and replaces it with Andy. Everyone interacts with the moving webcams. (They look up if someone is traveling around them). MICHAEL Okay… ANDY Hey! I don’t want to be next to her! She’s got (more hushed) the ‘Rona! MEREDITH Yeah, bring ‘em all over here. I’ll cough on everyone! DWIGHT You will stop spewing germs right now. Meredith coughs in the directions of various people. Kelly drops to the ground. Dwight gets a weapon and looks at the screen to try and align an attack on Meredith. Michael tries to arrange the webcams in an agreeable way. Everyone is moved to the right side of the screen, they begin to overlap. Everyone starts protesting. They don’t like how they’re being moved and overlapped. Meredith is then moved to the bottom left corner. MEREDITH HEY! PUT ME DOWN! PAM But I can’t see everyone now. OSCAR I think not being able to see each other will make us more productive. MICHAEL No, it's important. I’m on it. Michael starts resizing the webcams. He shrinks Angela’s webcam the most. ANGELA Why do I have to be the smallest? MICHAEL That should be obvious. JIM Then why is Kevin the second smallest? Michael enters deep thought. MICHAEL You’re right. Kevin should be twice the size of Angela. Michael resizes Kevin to be bigger than when he started. Due to his resizing there is even less space than when he began. TOBY Michael, you can just reset everyone by clicking the icon on the toolbar. We should really get back to work. This is highly distracting. MICHAEL No, Toby! This is not social distancing. Hear that? Toby wants you all to get sick! The group begins arguing. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Everyone! I’ve got the solution. My task for today will be rearranging the webcams. I don’t care if it takes me the whole day, or the whole week, or even until the Coronavirus is completely and utterly destroyed! They quiet down. Creed comes back and sits down. He pulls over a giant container of money and puts some cash inside. Then he gets to work along with everyone else. THE END Thanks to folks on dundermifflin for giving me ideas of alternate terms for Coronavirus. They're spot on.
[Real DD] I read analysed all ~180 pages of the WeWork SEC filing (S-1 and Balance Sheet): It’s even worse than you think. [Long][Serious][Wow][Good]
Read with photos here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nzWLB-mxQ1lqzaNBWUYdPxe7dMNHZEZEkzB6Fw1T-IE/edit?usp=sharing tl;dr: IN MY OPINION WeWork is at best an incredibly tenuous business idea that operates on the idea that their growth, building construction, and the economy as a whole won’t slow down in the next 2 years and at worst is structured like a Ponzi scheme that only works if it is able to infinitely increase the number of tenants and buildings if it can’t break even. Their financials look worse and worse and are predicated on multiple bad ideas, mainly how they account for deferred rent as subletters and their “growth model”. Please don’t sue me. This all comes from their SEC S-1 filing: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgadata/1533523/000119312519220499/d781982ds1.htm#fin781982_2 HELLO to all the autists, trolls, suckers, Young Billionaires, bagholders… and yes, even the hater’s. I’m Tales of Stock’s, your new god and the man who will singlehandedly bring down Citron Research as the #2-ranked Lemon Party on the internet. Let me break it down right quick why WeWork is a complete shitshow. You ready? I’m ready like Tevin Campbell. Okay let’s get serious, the joke’s stop here |. What is WeWork: WeWork rents buildings from landlords and designs trendy, rentable small workspaces for gig workers and small business. WeWork promises landlords it will fill their building consistently in exchange for a lower overall rent in total. It attracts customers through lower rents in shared spaces compared to finding their own offices, and the trendy idea that it’s fun to work in a glass room with 500 people eating instant udon outside your office, and, if you’re a woman, occasionally looking at your body for a few milliseconds and wondering if you’ve watched Stranger Things season 3 too, nah you probably haven't I should just get back to my work. Alright, this is the cruncher: WeWork charges too low of rent, and so it loses money, but if it charges higher rent it will lose occupancy and will, again, lose money. This is a no-win company and the growth it would need to prevent several more years of increasing losses is unrealistic. This follows the same “subsidize to grow” growth model that Uber also takes. They are betting they can pay their deferred rents by forcibly growing out of their existing, ever-increasing debt. However, WeWork’s situation is far more precarious - Uber drivers wouldn’t be able to taxi fares around if Uber were to go bankrupt, and largely don’t need Uber to survive. However, landlords that own their buildings can still rent their buildings to businesses with or without WeWork, albeit possibly not as easily or stylishly (depending on your opinion of darkly dyed woodgrain benches and white sofas). WeWork’s current business model involves them successfully finding, signing and building 1,250,000 more workspaces in the next 18 months. To put that into perspective, at an extremely generous 1000 spaces per building, that’s over 1200 new buildings found, signed, designed, leased and filled in 2 fuckin' years, that's 2 damn buildings a damn day. Check this: A massive portion of WeWork’s financials counts the design and interiors of the spaces they lease as assets in their valuation, which is incredibly hard to valuate and shaky accounting at best and possibly fraud at worst (again please no libel suit, thanks Neumann). We should note that even with all 1.9 million workspaces active, they won’t be profitable. Their business plan can be simply shown in the following laughable infographic of a child’s see-saw: https://i.imgur.com/UMXCH9J.png edit: LOL I JUST REALIZED OVER HALF OF THEIR OFFICES MIGHT NOT EVEN EVER EXIST, SERIOUSLY LOOK AT THIS <----- They acknowledge the economics of their situation are precarious themselves in their risks and challenges sections: https://i.imgur.com/YMfcXII.png https://i.imgur.com/joZNbuz.png https://i.imgur.com/if0miur.png Also funny: All of its JV and VIE are losing money in China, Japan and India and are much more likely to withdraw than US-owned landlords, because we all know how fickle Asians are. WeWork believes that it can have its leased offices profitable in 6 months but there’s no evidence that any of their leased spaces have ever actually turned any profit (Key point: notice how much it looks like an erect dong and balls). (5): https://i.imgur.com/rmGgJIj.png What now follows is an examination of their financials in the S-1, feel free to let your eyes glaze over and the photons hit your retinas as you pretend to understand what you’re seeing. Deferred rent is possibly the most massive problem that will come to fruition for this company. WeWork had almost $3 billion in unpaid deferred rent to its landlords that at some point will have to be paid. (F-35): https://i.imgur.com/aLp2af1.png https://i.imgur.com/40HELIO.png Unclear repayment: WeWork’s senior notes repayment of its loans looks a wee tiny bit sketchy after 2024. (F-36): https://i.imgur.com/Hh2u3m5.png In 2020 alone they will have a nearly 50% jump in their future rental minimum payments and for some reason expect a plateau followed by a massive jump after 2024 which isn’t properly explained other than "The future, lol!!!!", that's a big yikers. (F-59): https://i.imgur.com/ucO2OaB.png WeWork is not paying off debt despite cash injections from investors like SoftBank. You'd probably do well to just do the opposite of whatever they invest in because SoftBank Group's execs are completely clueless when it comes to foreign investment. (F84): https://i.imgur.com/KLsmVsw.png Shareholders are currently bagholding $2.3 billion, lol. (F-70): https://i.imgur.com/5pA2Uha.png Absolutely disgusting net losses per share. And this is BEFORE the IPO. (F-126): https://i.imgur.com/5sz7hI6.png Neumann’s compensation itself is a complete mess. (Please don’t sue me) (186): https://i.imgur.com/hxcMfCZ.png Nuclear-Hot Takeaways From Quizno's:
WeWork has never made any money and already owes an insane amount of money and will likely only owe even more money in the future relative to their size.
A piping-hot economy is boosting gig work and increasing the pool of gig workers as viable tenants, however (see next point!!!)
Gig work and small gig work companies is the main business funding shared space and is extremely susceptible to economic downswings.
Shared space is likely a trend, not a new norm, once people get sick of pretending to be Japanese or the economy drops and people realize you don't need an $800 a month office for your DeviantArt page.
Even if WeWork had 100% capacity filled it still wouldn’t be profitable with how they structure their business.
If at any time they lowered rents on their tenants, it would bankrupt them. Raising rents to pay their currently deferred rent would lower occupancy and would bankrupt them.
In the next 18 months expect an insane amount of landlord litigation for unpaid rent.
(Extremely Borat voice): WeWork, wah wah wee wah!
-Prediction Dereliciton Zone-: This company’s stock will be worth $3.50 by this time 2024 (if it ever actually IPOs). Everything I have typed here in my opinion and don’t trade based on people’s opinions and I take no responsibility for anything, I mean in general in my life like my nonexistent kids or my job, but especially with regards to your trading, so don’t do anything I say you should do (but you know you will, you complete monkey). Thank you for attending my full-front nudity TED talk and may G*d Bless Your Mess. RemindMe! 5 years. edit: Thank for reddit gold, whoever you are. I have no idea what it does, but I'll be sure to cherish this for the rest of my life and talk about it at length in my suicide note. edit 2: stop edit 3: someone gave me 6 reddit platinums, what the fuck is that even. next DD: Is reddit fraudulent, or a ponzi scheme?
The work (online) from home trend is here to stay. The coronavirus outbreak has rapidly changed all our lives, and the new normal for many of us might be to work online. Even after this catastrophe ends, working from home will be the new trend for many companies. It saves the cost of rent, infrastructure and also saves time and money for the employees who don’t have to travel to work.
So if you’re looking to work from home, keep reading.
Working from home isn’t easy. It takes a lot of discipline and self-motivation, but if you’re up for the challenge, it is very rewarding!
You can set your hours.
There’s more flexibility.
No office politics.
There is more earning potential.
Do you want to start working from home but have no idea how? Then this section is for you.
First, you need to decide if you want to start your own online business or help other companies by offering freelance services online. You can even apply for a remote job. After you make your decision focus on acquiring the skills required to build that business or get that job.
– You need a solid goal and a timeline in mind to work from home.
If you are serious about working from home or anywhere, you need a plan that includes a set of solid goals that you know are achievable within a fixed timeline. Consider how long it will take.
– What will be your focus? What are you going to sell?
You need to have a product or service ready that can make you money.
– Evaluate the latest tech and tools people are using to work from home.
Will you start a blog and use that to promote or sell your service or product? Will this be on WordPress or Wix? Consider the tech. Do your research on the different tools available online. There are free ones as well as paid ones.
– What resources will it require to work online?
How much time and money are you willing to put into starting an online business or learning online skills to get a remote job. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money. But you will need to spend time learning and levelling up your skills.
– Focus on getting quality email subscribers.
Every business is focusing on email subscribers. Having an engaged list of subscribers is one of the best things you can do to ensure long term success. You need to have a blog or website with your domain name and host set up. All businesses need a website, and almost every business should be active with content creation, social media and advertising.
– Offer services as a freelancer
As mentioned earlier, one of the many ways to work online is by offering services as a freelancer. You can provide social media management, content writing, audio or video editing, graphic design, admin services and lots more. Depending on your skill, you can offer one or multiple services. To look for clients, you can join various entrepreneur Facebook groups. Introduce yourself, add value in the comments, and build relationships.
– Learn from your failures
It is crucial to understand this point. Failing may be a part of your journey, but I can assure you that if you learn to use it as a stepping stone, there’s no stopping you. You need a plan; it won’t be easy, you have to do your research, there are plenty of scams out there, look for the red flags. And most importantly, believe in yourself. 🙂
If you’re already working online for a remote company, then below are a few tips and best practices to help you stay productive and on track.
– Set up a functional and dedicated workspace
Not everyone can set up a designated home office, but it’s critical to have a private, quiet space for your work. If you can, separate your work area from your personal space for optimum productivity.
– Get good internet speed
Having a good internet connection is one of the crucial aspects of working from home. With insufficient or slow internet, your work will be hampered, take too long or just won’t be done.
– Use communication apps
If your job involves making international calls, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Skype, etc. let you call over the internet across the globe for free.
– Commit to your new lifestyle
Set up a plan. The most crucial issue to working online is setting up a plan and clinging on to it.
– Set and prioritize goals (daily, weekly, and monthly)
Set realistic goals for yourself. Every day should be a milestone. Planning your days well in advance will benefit you thoroughly and make you better at your job.
– Eliminate distractions.
Eliminate all distractions: no social media, or tv. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you don’t require set hours. Let your family members know when you’re working and not to disturb you. Learn your natural rhythms and optimize around them.
– Set clear boundaries for work and personal life.
Create an agreement about the time you’ll be available to communicate with coworkers. It’s essential that you physically turn off and exit your workspace. Work-life balance is important, even if your office is inside your house. Remember to move around and take breaks, at least 5 minutes, for each working hour.
– Log your working time.
There are many tools to help you log your work time. Try Clockify or Toggl. This way, you avoid mistakes and confusion, trying to recall what took your hours a few days ago.
Work From Home Companies
Several legit companies offer a wide array of work online from home jobs. All kinds of jobs are available out there. From entry-level to super experienced.
– Amazon.com Inc.
Job openings at Amazon.com vary from customer service positions to global account manager jobs.
– Dell Inc.
Dell has work from home job openings in many fields. Sales, tech support and marketing management are a few examples.
– American Express Co.
American Express offers full-time, part-time, temporary, and contract work. The positions cover a broad spectrum of opportunities. They include business development management, as well as part-time virtual customer care representative jobs.
Kaplan specializes in online higher education, professional training, and test preparation. Its most popular telecommuting position is a tutor. To get hired as a Kaplan tutor, a candidate must demonstrate strong performance on one or more standardized tests, such as the SAT or GRE.
– Salesforce.com Inc.
The company’s telecommuting job openings usually require years of prior experience. An entry-level candidate’s best bet to work from home for Salesforce is to pursue a sales job.
– Automatic Data Processing
Automatic Data Processing (ADP) provides outsourcing and payroll solutions to businesses around the world. Most of its work from home job openings are in sales and customer service, which means entry-level candidates, have a chance at being hired. Others are in software and application development, which pay more but require specialized technology skills.
– Xerox Corp
Xerox offers flexible scheduling for many of its on-site employees. Available telecommuting jobs include executive recruiting, part-time call centre positions, and project management.
The Top Types of Work From Home Jobs
Here are some of the most common work-from-home options. Some are more on the unskilled/entry-level side, while others require specialised training and expertise.
– Virtual assistants
Think of a virtual assistant (V.A.) as a remote secretary. A traditional secretary who requires office space and employee benefits is often more expensive to a company. If the company is small, it may be more beneficial to work with a V.A… Virtual assistants work from home, often communicating with the boss via chat, Facetime, Zoom, etc. Responding to emails, creating business documents, calling clients, scheduling appointments, handling social media, bookkeeping and data entry are a few examples of what a V.A. does. Key talents for this sort of job include excellent communication skills and some office experience. Many virtual assistants also niche down and specialize in one particular service, which enables them to charge a higher hourly rate.
International companies need translators all the time. They translate files and documents or transcribe and translate conversations and conference calls. People who speak uncommon languages are even more in demand, and these home-based jobs are plentiful.
– Call centre/customer service representatives
Many companies outsource their customer service work to home-based agents. This saves the companies the additional cost it requires to manage a physical office for customer service agents. The typical qualifications needed for this type of job are excellent communication and people skills. An extension of the traditional customer service job is a chat agent, who responds to customer questions live via the company’s website or social media.
– Data entry and transcription
Although these are two very different types of jobs, data entry and transcription jobs usually require the same skills and qualifications. Data entry involves entering facts and figures into a software program or spreadsheet. It could include entering payroll data, catalogue or inventory items, or working with a customer relationship management system. Transcription work involves creating written documents from audio files. This is usually done for businesses that need meetings, workshops, conference calls, or podcasts documented. Typically, the employer provides the software and content management system required for the work. For both kinds of jobs, employers generally look for people that are detail-oriented and have excellent typing skills.
The online education industry is growing, and so is the need for tutors who are able to teach online. Jobs for online tutors do not require teaching credentials (although an educational background is often desired). Tutors for advanced subjects, such as math, chemistry and physics, can earn a higher hourly rate.
Watch out for the Scams
Work-at-home jobs have come a long way. Always do your homework on a potential employer. Make sure that the company is established. If you can’t find evidence that it has a physical address and sells a product or service, it’s best to avoid it. Be sure to track down contact information, and test it out. As with any job, there should be an application process and an interview. Anybody who is legitimately looking to hire someone will want to interview the applicants via Zoom or Skype. Also, you shouldn’t incur any expenses yourself to be hired. If a work-from-home opportunity requires you to pay a fee up-front or buy a “start-up kit”, then it’s probably a scam. You will, however, need to invest in a fast, reliable internet connection, if you don’t already have one, a high-quality audio headset and of course a good laptop.
Working online from home can be exciting, empowering and even profitable, provided you are realistic and disciplined. Whether you are a freelancer, a company part-timer, or a full-time remote employee, it’s a way to escape the 9-5 monotonous routine. But there are added responsibilities that come with freedom, not to mention planning, foresight, self-discipline, and focus. As many home-based freelancers will tell you, it’s not easier to work from home, it’s just a different location.
Face to Face: 2nd generation Industrialist in Pharma Equipment Manufacturing
https://preview.redd.it/x7r5g308bku41.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=93daf9eac2069e37403d44b3740fda8c9393b1ee With popular demand, I continue this series of interviews with leading enterprise owners. Of course, it is more demanding than just writing at leisure on Sundays. Traveling and meeting busy entrepreneurs without any distraction is surely what I enjoy. Documenting that candid interaction is even more satisfying. This time, I met a young 2nd generation Pharma Equipment Manufacturing Industrialist from Bengaluru. They compete at global standards, supply to Fortune 500 companies, own IPR and patents and are known for their contribution to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry by their innovative designs and compliance to strictest know Pharma Industry manufacturing standards. This gentleman in his late 30s understands the technology and agreed to reflect with me. I was hosted at an amazing place overlooking the famous race course in Bangalore at 4:00 pm on Sunday. It was my first time watching the race and betting. And I had a memorable 45 minutes reflection on why his enterprise depends on BLACKbox as a mission critical device and what value it has contributed to his enterprise. I thank him for allowing me to share this conversation without disclosing his family name, which is a brand in Pharma Equipment Industry. In the interest of time, I am summarizing the conversation. Question: What has triggered adoption of BLACKbox in your company? You have access to world class talent and can afford any level of investment? Answer: I employ world class talent which comes at an extraordinary cost. They create intellectual assets like original designs, drawings, concepts, and research reports. When I joined my family business, we were transforming from old times when these intellectual assets were in physical form and we used to preserve ammonia prints, hand sketches, and paper notes. With my involvement in operations, I had tough time convincing my Board to go digital. As I was advocating to transform our intellectual assets from tangible to intangible, my board always advised me to go digital only after providing for all safeguards of digital assets against loss and theft. With time, we procured state of the art engineering design software licenses, SAP and implemented DMS to go paperless. I was always asked this question in every board meeting, which made me feel nervous. It was about, what if this data is lost or stolen? I worried what if my digital assets are deleted or are left unusable by ransom-ware or are destroyed due to loss of hardware to a disaster. Not only that but also, I started realizing that it is far easier to leak or steal data in its digital form than in its physical form through USB, Email Attachment, BCC and Internet Uploads. Until I came across BLACKbox, I was always advised to procure certain IT components which can store my digital assets. I invested in File Server of very high quality and spent huge money on Microsoft Licensing. One fine day, we lost very critical drawings which could never be recovered. We defaulted on deadline and rework cost was significant. I almost lost face before my Board of Directors. I was given the reason that though I purchased a file server, user saved data on his desktop only. That desktop crashed and we lost data despite investment in file server which was never used by the user. I was so baffled at the user and called him to give explanation on such negligence. I was stunned and speechless when I heard the explanation. User explained that our files are very large and our file server was not good enough to facilitate data storage on network in real-time manner. He could not concentrate on his work as every time he hit save, he had to wait and many a times his files got corrupt while being saved on network. He had a point. I was so disappointed with fact that after spending a lot of money, I was still dependent on user’s discretion to use the device and due to certain genuine limitations, users were not using the hardware. During those days of agony and sense of insecurity about loosing data again, I read your LinkedIn article and checked your website. It almost answered all my concerns. I spent good time on Synersoft’s YouTube channel and came across many other possibilities which I never imagined and it could impact my business continuity and competitiveness. That’s how I explored BLACKbox. Question: I know I met you and explained BLACKbox for the first time. Please help me understand your first impression. When you met me, I was impressed with your explanations and logic of irrelevance of traditional solutions in times of modern challenge. Your assurance about forced centralization of large files over network through BLACKbox’s SSD caching and link aggregation. I was waiting for this question. To give you a feedback on my first impression, let me tell you honestly, you scared me a lot. Every slide you showed me conveyed scary possibilities. You scared me about device failure and sold your Breathe on Breathe Twin Device technology. You scared me of ransomware and sold me your idea of Vault and Workspace. You scared me of design theft from laptops over internet and sold me your BLACKbox duo for laptop security. I could never scare you in return. Question: Oh, you got the secret of my sales formula, haha, how was the implementation? I hope it was no more scary… Answer: It was scary, not for me, but surely for your team, Winking, It gave me sense of retaliation when I put your team to explain the product and implementation plan to my father and uncle. It was surely scary for your team. They asked all laymen questions your team could never expect. Let me tell you, your team was good enough to face that. They patiently explained every concept, showed all the videos and explained implementation plan. Honestly, they found your method of User Profiling very useful. Before implementation started, every user’s profile was prepared with clear mention on which folder they will access, their entitlement on USB drive, email policies, internet policies, BCC. Frankly speaking, it helped us being more organized. Training was done well, but you know, we just connect your support call center whenever we want anything to be done or shoot the trouble. We are reasonably happy and able to focus on our own business. Question: That’s interesting. How confident are you now largely about your digital assets with a view to possibility of leakage or theft? Answer: Honestly, I did not tell you. In last 2 years since BLACKbox is implemented, we have caught at least 7 people in attempt to leak or steal our intellectual property. They have failed, and we have prosecuted them. It has set an example to all our 250 computer users. It feels very confident. Question: That’s so encouraging to learn. Thank you for this amazing ambiance and exotic green tea. I am going to share this with my readers. What message would you like to give to them? Answer: For all entrepreneurs who are categorized as an SME, I have a loud and clear message to convey. We have to understand our compulsions and limitations. Compulsion of adopting IT, go digital and depend on data. Limitation of our inability to recruit and retain IT talent, because IT talent does not aspire to work with us. We have to settle down to under-qualified talent or a small time vendor to preserve our data from loss and protect our data from leakage and theft. Traditional solutions are too complex and expensive for us and our IT resources. Even if we spend on them, we might not get them fully implemented. BLACKbox is a real innovation which solved our problem. It is single, integrated and fit to purpose system which comes at one third of the cost and it fully serves the purpose of prevention of data loss, leakage and theft, with our without a dedicated IT resource. Signing off now, next time, I am meeting a management consulting firm and will have such interesting interaction. Best Regards, Vishal Shah Founder and CEO, Synersoft Technologies Pvt Ltd The author Vishal Prakash Shah has 25 plus years of experience in Technology Commercialization in the field of Cyber Security, Data Loss / Leakage / Theft Prevention and IT standardization. Over the 25 years, he has worked from Management Trainee to senior positions to entrepreneurship, through various opportunities in IT. Currently, he is leading Synersoft Technologies Private Limited maker of path-breaking technology BLACKbox. His blogs can be found on here.
The Consultant's Handbook for Success - Updated for 2019
Hi there Folks, It's me again! Here to bring you a wonderful post about the exciting world of Consulting. Here i will list out tips and tricks in the industry that have made me on average more successful than most and how you too can make the most of your career! This will be long so those who don't want to stick around please click the back button now! The first thing everyone asks me in this job is how do i support myself because contract consulting is "so unstable".... They always have a story and usually it goes like this... "I was working for Robert Half and took a job at $50 an hour" The simple truth of IT is that there is zero loyalty in it. If an employer thinks that they can save ANYTHING by eliminating your position (Whether it be bringing on a contractor or getting rid of your role all together) they will do just that and you will find yourself on the job market. You have to understand the very nature of the beast. C-Levels live and die on their bonus. If they save the company X, they get Y, and you get Z. So why not operate on your own terms? Being a contractor frees you from many of the simple burdens in IT. You generally don't have to worry about getting fired and almost always you are being brought on to fix a particular process so there is no Magic red pill to take to get what you want. You don't have to be part of some silly performance plans where they dangle the carrot in order to get you to perform better. Your reward is based on how hard you work to accomplish the project at hand. So then how am I so successful at consulting if its so unstable? The simple truth is you get what you put into it and you are only as successful as how ruthless you are willing to be. First and foremost if you are going to be in the consultant realm this is what you have to do. Step 1.) Form a Limited Liability Corporation - There are many ways to do it, however the quickest and easiest way is to go to the following url: https://llc.legalzoom.com/ Forming an LLC is an essential step in the process when doing consultation. It limits your liability to the business and provides you an avenue to increase your amount of take home pay. You can consult as either a 1099 or w2 but the real money is in Corp2Corp consultations. The pay is significantly higher because you take on all the risk. Alot of Firms do not want to do 1099 due to ever increasing regulations and w2 is just something they do to take more profit for themselves. W2, you pay personal income tax and they provide you inadequate health insurance which is almost always a garbage plan at a garbage rate, with kickbacks to the staffing agency for signing you up from the health provider. Insist on Corp2Corp and nothing Else! If they don't do Corp2Corp then they are not the agency you want to work with plain and simple. Step 2.) Hire a CPA. Part of being a consultant is having to be disciplined about your pay. It can be incredibly tempting to not take out your taxes and you can run into trouble with the IRS quickly if you do not pay the dragon his toll. The way i have my business setup, i invoice my clients, they pay me into a joint business account that my CPA has access to, and he transfers my net pay to my account. Every Quarter he then files and pays my estimated business taxes. At the end of the year, he does my personal taxes. This service costs me a little over $150 per quarter, and $200 at the end of the year for my personal taxes. Doing it this way ensures compliance and keeps you on the right side of the law. Hire a reputable CPA and not a family friend. If you cannot find a CPA local to you, use Quicken Payroll. They are more expensive but they can offer you the same services. Step 3.) Expense Reporting - I use Harvest both on my Laptop and my Mobile Devices. Everytime i purchase fuel, eat out, pay a toll, have a business related purchase or expense Those receipts go into Harvest. When it comes to doing your taxes and listing your expenses, at least with the IRS you need to be prepared to back up your expense reports. You cannot be lazy here and half ass them. It takes work but if done well, will benefit your growth. You can get your free trial of Harvest at http://try.hrv.st/2-975450 Step 4.) Having Adequate Indemnity/General Liability Insurance - You need to have insurance coverage to cover your ass in the event someone sues you for negligence. I personally have a policy through HisCox. https://www.hiscox.com/small-business-insurance?medium=tsa&_vsrefdom=p.3.c.19941&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI98Sa1Oyt2gIVFlmGCh0_JwwMEAAYASAAEgIS3PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds This company will literally save your ass. Most companies want not only a General Liability Policy but also adequate Indemnity coverage. Most, if not all shops will not work with you Corp2Corp unless you have at least 2 million in coverage. Your best bet is to work with a local insurance agent to find the best policy for you, but this coverage for me runs about $95 a month for $4 million in coverage. Remember you can write this cost off at the end of the year anyways so its virtually a wash to have it protecting you. You don't want to end up sued civilly and have your house taken from you if a client decides you wronged them. Step 5.) Probably the most important step is selecting the firm, or firms you want to represent you. If you want to work for Robert Half, then expect a bad experience when it comes to consulting. Robert Half will never have your back when it comes to keeping you working. They are a headshop akin to working at McDonalds. Their recruiters are shady, slimy, shifty lying thieves who are only in it to maximize their profits and keep you in that seat as long as they can. They will not care about your skills and they will pressure you into taking roles that are not the right fit. I operate on 4 simple rules when working with an agency. They have to have a local presence. I prefer to be able to meet my recruiter in person. They must accept Corp2Corp Billing (To Get Corp2Corp, you must have an established LLC, Insurance, and a Federal Tax ID) They have to have met with the hiring manager and be a preferred vendor - Nothing worse than a recruiter who's never talked to or placed anyone with the manager of the place hiring the consultant. They are literally wasting your time. Must have a developed interest in continuing to find you work - The best recruiters will be following up with you, following up with their client, and with all things be on the negotiating side with you, not the client when it comes to contract conversions and/or extensions. Step 6.) Speaking of Recruiters, that is only half the battle. You have to market yourself to make yourself attractive as a candidate over other consultants. I am sorry to say that the majority of the consultants i meet have no idea how to present themselves properly! It is astounding the amount of neckbeards i meet that have no clue over their personal hygiene or online presence. You have to dress for success in this industry. Therefore how you present yourself really does matter. Avoid Blue Collar Clothing, except where necessary - You are a consultant. If you come into a client environment wearing wrinkled shirts, and pants and tennis shoes, Their impression of you will reflect that. I hate to say it but take pride in your appearance always. I may be a fat guy but I am always dressed nicely, shaved, smell good, etc. I never want the client thinking they deserve anything less. Step 7.) Your Resume Matters - Use a professional resume service to hand tailor your resume to the market you want to reach. If your resume is all over the place, its going to be reflected as such when its presented to the client. You may have noticed that staffing firms almost always strip down your resume and present their own. This is because they know that its a keyword game. You match the keywords you are more likely to get in the door. Having your resume look fantastic, and being up to date is the best way for you to make a positive impression in this industry. You only get 1 chance to present yourself right. Why screw that up before you even meet them? Check out Power Writers USA at https://powerwritersusa.com/ . Let them know i sent you and you will get 10% off your order. Lastly when sharing your resume always share it in PDF form. This prevents most firms from altering your resume without your consent. If they ask for it in docx form refuse unless absolutely necessary. This is the first step in misrepresenting you to clients and i always encourage good recruiters to present what i provide, and not what they think you should provide. Step 8.) Develop an Online Presence - The most successful consultants know how to develop their brand and get it to the masses. It's OK if you don't know now, in time you will. As part of my online presence i have an established LinkedIn Account - Some of you may disagree that this is necessary but hear me out. For me, my LinkedIn is a way for me to list in bulk, what skills i have, where i went to school, what industry players i have worked with, and recommendations from those former clients. This is the butter to my bread. If a client asks me what i did for XYZ Corp, i have a readily available list of accomplishments sorted by priority and recommendations from the people i worked with that i can use as references without the need to bother them further. Most of this industry is proving what you know, so having a good reputation is key. I find that most markets are very small and that who you know often can mean the difference between a good interview and a great one. My last client presentation, the hiring manager i spoke with knew all the key players at my last placement. So instead of being grilled for an hour on my skillsets we chatted about how it was like to work for Bob at Intel. Step 9.) Advance your Skillset - The top mistake i encounter in this industry when working with people is the engineers that become complacent and never see the need to keep current on technology. I have a Double Masters from Devry University and i have finished my Third. I also have certifications from the following vendors. Microsoft - I have my MCSE in Server 2016, 2012, 2008, 2003, 2000. I have several additional certifications with - Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Skype for Business Linux - I have my Linux+ as well as my RHCA Certification with RedHat. I have also taken several Linux - Scripting and Python Classes to learn Programming. Citrix - I have several certifications from Citrix up to Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer with Xenapp 6, 6.5, and 7.6 Amazon AWS - I have my Professional Architect and BigData and DataCenter Microsoft Azure - I am an Azure Solutions Architect. VMware - Currently have my VCP in 6.7 as well as several other VMware certifications relevant to my industry Coursera - I have completed several certifications with Google under their Coursera Course offerings https://www.coursera.org/ Pluralsight - I have a subscription to help me out with my AWS and Azure Offerings, and am currently going through 2 course fast tracks http://www.pluralsight.com In this industry, you have to be technically diverse. No one is going to expect you to be an expert in everything but they will expect you to backup the skillsets you put on your resume. There is NOTHING worse in this industry than a liar or a fake. Never overstate your skillset, and never take on projects you cant fullfill. The only thing you are going to accomplish there is earn yourself a reputation that is less than desirable. Step 10.) OK. So you've made it this far and are hopefully still with me. This step is reserved for pay negotiations. Let me let you in on a little industry secret. The only consultants that make real money in this industry are the ones who aren't afraid to ask. When negotiating a pay amount, don't be afraid to ask the recruiter what his payscale is for the role. Example: A recruiter contacts you about a role as a Virtualization Engineer and states that the pay is $50 an hour. Most likely that $50 an hour is baked in on W2, so they are expecting to pay taxes on you and they also have to provide you shit benefits so keep that in mind. It is also ALWAYS going to be their lowest offer based around maximizing their profit. On 1099, that price would be $65 an hour because you have to cover your own taxes and insurance, but you also pay a higher tax rate for 1099 work, usually up to 21% or more depending on dependents claimed and what tax bracket you fall under On Corp2Corp, that rate could be as high as $80. Mostly because all of the risk and liability is on you, which is what makes having indemnity insurance mandatory. Keep in mind, if your recruiter is good and is a preferred vendor their rates are already established. The industry standard falls anywhere in the 25%-35% markup range when it comes to marketing you for the position. If they pay you $50, they are most likely billing their client $65-70. The recruiters commission is somewhere around 3-7% of the length of the contract and they get paid based on how long they put you in that seat. Remember though that they work for you. Only you can know how much you are worth, and what your going rate dictates. I started out consulting at the $35 an hour range, and as i developed myself, and became more attractive to potential clients, i have increased that rate almost 5 times from that amount. In the world of consulting, no one knows what you made at XYZ corp. With a traditional employer, a background check reveals some if not all financial date about what you made while working for an employer. In the contract world, only your recruiter does. Primarily i work with 2 major firms. Entelligence http://www.entelligence.com Vmware Corporate - https://www.vmware.com Don't be afraid to bump your pay from one contract to the next. When i negotiate my contract with my Boutique Recruiters i ask AND receive a pay increase based on the number of contracts i have completed for them and the ask of the next assignment. You have to have a set of testicles and a spine in this industry (even as a lady) to get ahead. Its cut throat and you will never make a decent hourly rate if you don't ask for it. Don't be afraid to ask for $20-30 more an hour, if it helps you pay for things like your medical benefits. If they say its a pre-negotiated rate with the client ask them to take it from their cut. A good recruiter won't hesitate to take a small cut if it means a larger payout for them in the end. Step 11.) Build in for downtime. - I'll be honest with you guys, in that i am a workaholic. This industry is entirely what you make of it but i did want to talk about the downtimes which is what everyone dreads. Generally, contractors know (if you have been in the industry awhile) that there are lulls or downtime periods that you must plan for. 1.) You will never be paid for a holiday, so take advantage of this. Some of my favorite contracts are those that have government ties to them. They take every single federal holiday so you get more days off than most, the only draw back is you don't get paid because you cant bill. Pre-Negotiate to work around this. On all my contracts, i negotiate up front that a client is paying me for a base of 40 hours per week, regardless of whether or not there is a holiday that falls within that period. That is step 1 2.) Most Contracts Peak around January and Fall Dead around July-September. This is because most Corporations do their budgets come July for renewal in the following January. You will find it far easier if you plan around this. Around the end of the year My inbox and cell phone is getting literally blown up with calls from all over the country with prospective clients looking to place me. This literally gives me a pick of who i want to work for. Around July, most companies are doing their budget for the next year, and during this 2 to 3 month period contracts are very slim to find. So you need to be able to plan for that. Nothing worse than being out of work during this period as you literally have to wait the clients out. Either you need to be in a contract that is longer in term to get you through Quarter 3, or you need to be making enough money to cover those 3 months where you might be out of work. Either way, alot of consultants fail to account for this and find it hard to get by. If you plan for this and are strict on your budget this will never effect you. If you blow all your money though like in all things it will catch up to you. If you are wondering where i am at currently, I am currently working with a large virtualization partner, and my rate is north of $150 an hour. I operate off a retainership (Standard 40 hour work-week, 160 in a month) and i work in an advisory capacity for this client supporting mostly clients in the Federal Workspace both on the Classified and Unclassified side. I travel alot (by choice) so i get to see a fair part of the globe and i really enjoy what i do. Any questions just feel free to PM me and ill do my best to answer them for you.
Facebook’s Chief Scientist (Michael Abrash): Mass Adoption of AR Is Years Away (Talks about VR too)
Here's the part about VR: "How unique is what you’re doing versus the competition? On the VR side, I think it is very unique. No company has invested at anywhere near the level we have. When the next generation of VR shows up, it will be because we did it. I see no other way it’ll happen. I actually am remarkably impressed with [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] and Facebook’s strong commitment to and belief in VR. Everybody sees that AR will replace the phone someday. That seems like a given. But I think that VR will be as important as AR. AR can replace the phone, but VR can replace the personal computer. When you put on a VR headset, all of a sudden you have completely configurable environments that you can swap or anybody can pop in, pop out. I very much believe in VR as a collaborative workspace. I actually think it will be a better workspace than reality, ultimately." Here's the whole article: Five to 10 years. That’s how long Michael Abrash, chief scientist at Facebook, predicts it will take before augmented reality glasses—which will display digital images and data on wearable devices that people view through—is ready for the masses. Abrash leads Facebook Reality Labs, a Redmond, Washington–based research group that includes teams of academics and engineers working on new generations of consumer hardware devices, including virtual reality and AR products. His cautious timeline for AR eyewear reflects a series of technical breakthroughs in everything from batteries to user interfaces that will need to happen before large numbers of people are willing to wear computers on their faces. THE TAKEAWAY• Facebook’s Abrash says displays, other factors pose hurdles to AR• Mass market AR glasses are 5 to 10 years away• AR audio will help hearing in noisy settings Abrash has a lot of credibility in programming circles. He worked on early versions of the Windows operating system and Xbox game console at Microsoft, and he helped create the seminal video game Quake at id Software in the 1990s. He came to Facebook after it paid about $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR, the VR startup he joined less than a week before the 2014 deal. Abrash spoke to The Information in early December; a small portion of the interview appeared in a broader story about Facebook’s hardware efforts. The following has been edited for length and clarity. The Information: For AR glasses, there are some key technical hurdles that everyone is waiting to overcome. What needs to happen before this technology can be wearable? Michael Abrash: For AR, you really do need to have all the core pieces or else what you have isn’t what I would call AR. What caused mobile to really start that ramp to the point where it’s dominant? You had PDAs, you had BlackBerries, but those weren’t that thing. Unless you can have a display that meets the weight limits for something you can wear all day, meets the form factor requirements, most importantly meets the thermals, because you can only dissipate so much heat out of a glasses-like structure on your head, and gives you see-through quality that is comparable to normal glasses...because even when AR is something that everybody uses, 99% of the photons that hit your eyes or your retinas are actually still going to come from the real world. Then you need to be able to have truly world-blocked images [digital objects that appear to interact with the real world], which means your tracking has to be very good under all circumstances—which means you’re out in a parking lot [and] it still has to work. That’s quite a challenge. Rather than just being a tracking system, it can start to become a system that understands your context. It can...help you be aware of things. When you want to ask a question—“What is that thing?”—you have to be able to identify what that thing is to the machine learning to be able to answer the question. For the first time there will be this device that can have an egocentric view, meaning it sees what you see. I’ll throw in audio, which also has to happen the same way video [does]. People tend to kind of dismiss it, but interestingly, one of the things audio can do is use microphone arrays to do beamforming to preferentially give you signal from certain areas. Unlike hearing aids, which just amplify things, [AR audio] can actually pick out the meaningful signal for you. That by itself would be hugely beneficial to 30% of everybody who is hearing impaired. But even for people who aren’t hearing impaired, if you’re in a bar or a restaurant, all of a sudden you can just hear better. Now we come to what I consider to be actually the hardest part. Let’s say we just made these magnificent glasses. How do you control them in a way that works with everything you do in your life? There is no way that the way we’re going to interact with AR is going to be the way that we interact with our devices today. You’re not going to take out your phone every time you want to do something. You’re not going to use a keyboard and mouse. You’re not going to just use your hands. What that interface is going to be, is multimodal. It will involve hands. I’ve talked about how we’re also working on haptic gloves. In the long run, what you really want is your interface to work the way that your brain works with your perceptions now. Rather than you having to say, “OK, I want to hear this person,” imagine that when you’re in a noisy environment, your glasses detect that it’s noisy, they infer who are the people you’re talking to, and they pick that signal out. You don’t even know that it’s happened any more than I think about the fact that my glasses gather light rays in a way that lets me see better. You just listed a ton of different, major technical challenges. Can Facebook solve all of that by itself? No. This [technology] is the wave of the future. It’s going to really take a whole community, a whole society to solve all these [issues]. We are doing a bunch of academic collaborations. We’re working with a ton of partners. What I fully expect is that this will be just like personal computers where there’s no one company that does everything and keeps it to themselves, because that won’t be powerful enough. My goal in research is very specifically to build that substrate, that technology that enables the creativity of a million people to then jump in. I do not think about, ultimately, what this product is going to be and how it will target specific people or anything like that. Is your AR glasses research moving into the product development phase? A lot of it’s in research. A lot of it is in product. It’s hard to draw the line because so much of it is incubation at this point. All these things are coming together into what is really one of the most remarkably challenging and complex projects I have ever seen. It touches so many different areas. How unique is what you’re doing versus the competition? On the VR side, I think it is very unique. No company has invested at anywhere near the level we have. When the next generation of VR shows up, it will be because we did it. I see no other way it’ll happen. I actually am remarkably impressed with [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] and Facebook’s strong commitment to and belief in VR. Everybody sees that AR will replace the phone someday. That seems like a given. But I think that VR will be as important as AR. AR can replace the phone, but VR can replace the personal computer. When you put on a VR headset, all of a sudden you have completely configurable environments that you can swap or anybody can pop in, pop out. I very much believe in VR as a collaborative workspace. I actually think it will be a better workspace than reality, ultimately. What’s your timeline for AR glasses being consumer ready? The question is, what’s the definition of AR glasses? You could look at Focals by North. If you thought those were AR glasses, you can say, “Well, we have them.” Something that doesn’t just appeal to the very early adopter, developer-enthusiast crowd. A way you might frame it is to say, “When do we get to iPhone 1 of AR?” Or the BlackBerry. Those are interesting distinctions because BlackBerry had so much more limited of an audience. I think within 10 years we will be at that point. I would be very surprised if we were at that point in five years. Really? Apple’s glasses are maybethree-ish years away. They might delay it, but that’s their current timeline. The question is, what glasses will be out there? My point is not that nothing will get out there. It’s really what gets us to the BlackBerry point where you would have your glasses with you right now. Not a billion people, but you would because you’re an information professional. That is a high bar. You can talk about metrics like resolution and weight and all that. The only metric that matters is—are people using it by choice? The day that we’re sitting here and we have this conversation and you’re wearing AR glasses, then I will say that the answer is, “Yes, we are there.” So at least five years? My personal opinion is five years. I could be wrong, because I also have a very high bar for what functionality is necessary to get to that point. I’m informed regularly that I set the bar very high. I actually think that’s great. I should be the person out on the end pulling in that direction. I don’t think that there are problems here that are not solvable within ten years. I’m not talking about Facebook. I’m just talking about the industry as a whole. This is my interpretation of the trends. You feel it’s inevitable that we get to a point where AR glasses at least augment phones greatly and then potentially one day replace them? Remember how Microsoft invested $150 million in Apple preferred stock 22 years ago to keep Apple from going bankrupt? Seems a little amusing now that Apple is the most valuable company in the world. And there’s only one thing that changed. It’s that Apple nailed that platform shift. So clearly that platform shift would—if we could build the glasses that I’ve talked about—displace the phone. It just would. Under those circumstances, it’s hard to see how that doesn’t happen. It’s really the future. It’s how we interact with technology. https://www.theinformation.com/articles/facebooks-chief-scientist-mass-adoption-of-ar-is-years-away
Hi, Since I returned to Linux this year, I've been distro-hopping and laboring a lot to find the desktop best fitting my needs. And eventually I've found it: Ubuntu MATE is incredibly flexible, and combined with Gala - Pantheon's window manager - it gets modern workspace and window management. Plus, some very elegant themes themes are readily available online, such as this one. So I thought I'd share my findings with the community, and write an easy set-up tutorial. Some teasing screenshots... I started with MATE's Mutiny layout to maximize the amount of "useful" pixels on screen (global menu+no title bar for maximized windows), replaced MATE Dock with Plank, and installed Gala for its powerful window and workspace management abilities.
The Multitasking View / Workspace Overview: here and there.
A comparison of my layout vs default Ubuntu with maximized RStudio on a 13' laptop. The powerful MATE panel is set on auto-hide. Look how Gnome's clutter devours about 11% of my how-so-precious screen real estate on that small screen.
First, let me expose my criteria, as well as how successful different desktop environments have been at fulfilling them... If you're only interested in my Gala-on-MATE tutorial, skip to part C).
A) Desired outcomes 1) Global menu Ever since I've worked on a Mac, I've come to appreciate the pixel-saving power of global menus. Really, you never need a full line to show all menu options, so why wasting one? Why not putting that menu where there's room for it? Namely, in the top panel, which is largely empty if there's no taskbar in it? Some claim that menu bars are obsolete and global menus as well, consequently; hence the move toward header bars in the Gnome world. This might be the case for "home" applications such as web browsers, media players, file managers... However, all complex, powerful applications that are designed for actual work, or serious matter at the very least, have a menu bar: IDE's and scientific software (such as Octave, TexStudio, RStudio), the Gimp, LibreOffice... they have a traditional menu bar because the amount of options is just too large to fit on a header bar. And, since those applications typically require a lot of screen real estate, what with all their sub-windows (source, terminal, environment, plots...), you really want to save as much room as possible for all the stuff you constantly need to look at and interact with. So, I need a global menu. How do various DE's deliver in that regard?
Gnome 3 / Pantheon: there used to be a global menu extension but it's no longer supported. With the move toward header bars, Gnome devs are very unlikely to ever implement a global menu, and from what I've read they aren't interested in them. Same for Pantheon. This means the clock will keep on gobbling up nearly a whole bar.
KDE: a global menu widget has been implemented some versions ago. It works decently, with one caveat: some applications (among others, the productivity ones listed above) misbehave. For some reason, their menu entries aren't clickable before some time has passed, or you have switched out and back in the application. I've had this bug under Neon which normally has all the latest KDE technologies.
MATE and Xfce: there's an expansion called Vala Panel Appmenu. Ubuntu MATE supports it natively as part of the Mutiny and Cupertino layouts, and it works nicely under 19.10 (under 18.04, there was an issue causing the global menu to stop working with Firefox after some time). On Xubuntu and other Xfce or MATE distros, setting it up requires a little bit of technical work.
As far as I know, less popular DE's don't support global menus. Vala Panel Appmenu may work for Budgie though, and there could be some OS X clones out there doing a nice job, but then we'd be forced into the realm of small distros... 2) No title bar for maximized windows, window control buttons in panel Again, I consider the title bar to be a waste of screen real estate for maximized windows. Window control buttons (close, minimize, maximize) may as well be shoved to the panel, Unity-style. After all, if you're looking at a maximized window, there is usually no ambiguity as to the active window's title, right? So why not save some more space ? Here also, powerful applications that require a lot of room are typically always maximized. There's no ambiguity either as to what window is controlled by panel buttons if non-maximized windows retain their title bar.
Gnome 3: there are some extensions to achieve the desired outcome. This one works just fine. This is fortunate, for Gnome 3's default title bars are ridiculously fat.
Pantheon: no luck here. But of course, Pantheon is designed to be as little customizable - and breakable - as possible, even more so than Gnome 3.xfce windoc
KDE: there are two extensions, Active Window Control and Window Buttons Applet. Unless I'm mistaken they both work. One is easier to install (requires no compilation), but both require a couple of dependencies - read the description before installing.
MATE: there's an applet (Mate Window Applets - Window Buttons) included by default in Ubuntu MATE as part of Mutiny. It works, period. I suppose it can also be installed on other MATE distros.
Xfce: there's the Windowck applet that shows control buttons in the title bar. It works, but the maintainer has recently dropped it. Plus, it apparently relies on GTK2 technologies, considering how ugly it looks on some themes that weren't supported in 18.04 (before the migration to GTK3 was completed) but are in 19.10 (with the GTK3 migration being over). Windowck does not remove title bars, but Xfce has a setting for that.
3) Workspace management and windows overview If there has been one major progress in modern desktops, it has to do with windows and workspace overviews. Back in the days, OS X had the Expose+Space combo. Compiz offered similar features to the Linux world. Then, Gnome 3 innovated with the Activities overview, OS X fused expose and space into Mission Control, and even Windows 10 came up with a Task view. So, what do we have now?
Gnome 3: obviously, the Activities overview is the killer feature of Gnome 3. An all-in-one-place overview to access thumbnails of open windows and workspaces, reallocate windows across workspaces, launch applications, search files...
Pantheon: the desktop of elementary OS, powered by Gala, has the Multitasking View, which is kind of a Mission Control clone. Unlike Gnome 3's activities overview, it doesn't allow to search files or launch applications, but it does show nice thumbnails and efficient workspace management. There is also a separate "show all windows from all workspaces" action.
KDE: here, we have three overviews: workspaces, windows from current workspace, all windows. This is a little bit less efficient than the above, in my view: I like to have it all in one place, one shortcut, one hot corner, to browse windows and workspaces. Also, I don't think you have the option to use dynamic workspaces. That said, KWin's workspace overview offers good quality thumbnails of windows within workspaces though, and does allow windows reallocation. So there's that. Plus, unlike the above, it lets the user organize workspaces on a grid, as opposed to just a line.
MATE / Xfce: natively, Marco and Xfwm4 only support old-fashioned workspace management, through a panel applet. You get to see very small thumbnails (basically just frames with the application icon) but this is far less convenient than modern alternatives. There are some projects such as xfdashboard or skippy-xd, but they don't seem under active development. Then, your best bet is to use Compiz as window manager. Compiz' features are similar to KWin's: you can get a grid, but workspace ("desktop wall") and window management ("expose") are separate things, and dynamic workspaces are unsupported. Plus, Compiz is no longer actively maintained if I'm not mistaken, is being gradually abandoned (for example, Ubuntu MATE 19.10 removed Compiz from the default install), and has some stability issues.
So, where does that take us? In my case, I was considering KDE Neon but eventually found Ubuntu MATE 19.10 very, very clean and pleasing. Everything works as it's supposed to in my custom Mutiny/Cupertino (Plank instead of MATE dock) hybrid layout. However, I quickly missed the overview features Marco lacked, so I tinkered with Compiz. Then, I heard about the Xfce + Gala combo.
B) Xfce + Gala There's a distro named Enso OS which is based on Ubuntu 16.04 (so old software, unfortunately) and combines Xfce with Gala, the window manager from elementary OS. The selling point is to achieve modern features and compositing all the while retaining Xfce's nimbleness. Rather than moving to a small distro with outdated software, I tried to tinker under more recent Xubuntu releases. There are actually a number of guides to install Gala under Xubuntu, such as this one or this thread. These guides mostly still work, and to a large extent, what I detail below regarding MATE works too. A couple remarks:
Under Xubuntu 18.04, you need to use elementary's daily ppa, not the stable one. Stable Gala packages somehow result in a black desktop and no window decorations. They may work under 19.10 though (they work on Ubuntu MATE 19.10).
You also want to add the elementary-os/os-patches ppa, otherwise some packages will be missing.
Once you install Gala, Plank will share a dependency from elementary OS. So you will need those ppa's to install/update Plank, and Plank will in particular lose the icon zoom effect (elementary, being a commercial project, removes into to avoid violating some Apple patent). To recover it, head there.
Replacing Xfwm4 with Gala removes the option to disable title bars on maximized windows, as it's handled by Xfwm4. As a workaround, you can install the maximus package. Normally, it's automatically added at startup; if not, just add the maximus command to startup. It's a simple daemon that can do two things: disabling title bars, and having new windows always open maximized. To enable/disable either of these features, you need to use gconf (not dconf), so install gconf-editor. Always starting windows maximized can be annoying.
Now, maximus is apparently an old thing dedicated to netbooks (hence the pixel-saving). It's a wonder that it still works on Gala, and I don't know long this is going to last... There is, however, a MATE version that's natively included in Ubuntu MATE (so, its future looks brighter). All in all, I don't think Xfce is a long-term viable choice for what I'm trying to achieve. You need to rely on Windowck to put window controls in title bars (and Windowck is discontinued and very veru ugly on GTK3 themes) and on maximus... This is why I tried doing the same with MATE. Let's proceed.
C) MATE + Gala 1) Installation The setup is very similar to Xfce's. First, make sure dconf is installed: sudo apt install dconf-editor . You're going to need it a lot. Under 19.10, as elementary offers no stable ppa to non-LTS Ubuntu releases, we need to resort to a little trick (for 18.04, see below at the end of the section). Quoting the relevant part:
First, add these two ppas ppa:elementary-os/stable and ppa:elementary-os/os-patches . When you install the first ppa with this command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/stable, it will create the repository source file in etc/apt/sources.list.d. Edit that file to change the distro name from disco (19.04) to bionic. Then re-run sudo apt update After installing both ppas, add Ubuntu 18.04's main repository source line. You can edit /etc/apt/sources.list file or edit one of the elementary's source file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory. Add this line (or any other bionic mirror of your choice) # ubuntu bionic repo for some packages deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic main Then run these: sudo apt update
Mind you, we don't to want to install the entirety of Pantheon! So the quote stops there. Obviously, if you're under 19.10, you're looking to replace eoan (not disco) with bionic. Now, we simply install Gala: sudo apt install gala Make it the window manager: gsettings set org.mate.session.required-components windowmanager gala Remove elementary ppa's: sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:elementary-os/stable sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:elementary-os/os-patches Refresh apt's database: sudo apt update You can also use 'Software and Updates' to graphically disable or remove the ppa's. You should also remove the Bionic repos, we aren't going to need them any more. Do not forget to remove elementary's PPA! The elementary team modifies an enormous amount of packages from Ubuntu. If you leave the ppa, you'd pull in tons of elementary-specific updates and likely break your system. Likewise, do not run 'sudo apt upgrade' while elementary's ppa's are active! All you need is Gala. Once it's installed, sever all connections to elementary packages. Now, reboot your system; simply logging off and back on may not work. Tadaaam! You should now be running Gala and things should look somewhat different. If you're under 18.04, you can just add the ppa, no need to edit your repositories' text configuration files... If Gala breaks to a black screen and no window decorations at startup (as it does under Xubuntu 18.04), switch back to marco (gsettings set org.mate.session.required-components windowmanager marco), reboot, remove Gala and all associated dependencies (sudo apt remove gala && sudo apt autoremove), remove the stable ppa (sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:elementary-os/stable) and add the daily ppa instead: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily && sudo apt update. Then reinstall Gala following the guide. 2) Fixing the keyboard layout If you aren't using a standard US keyboard, you'll notice that your keyboard layout has been overruled by the US layout. To fix this, run dconf-editor and head to /org/gnome/desktop/input-sources/. Then, in sources, you'll see a blank key . This causes the layout to default to US. The sources entry shows information on how to specify your layout. For example, to get a standard French keyboard, I replace the default value with [('xkb', 'fr')]. Were I using a Swiss keyboard with the French variant, I'd input [('xkb', 'ch+fr')]. Just research your layout's code and fill that key. Then, log off and back on. Your keyboard layout should be fixed. 3) Fixing conflicting features between Pantheon and Gnome Although we didn't install Gnome, dconf comes with both Pantheon and Gnome settings, both being turned on when Gala is the window manager. This results in settings conflicts. In particular:
Dynamic workspaces: in dconf, researching dynamic shows entries for dynamic workspaces under both Pantheon and Gnome paths, and these entries disagree with each other. For the feature to work properly (or be properly disabled), you need both keys to be toggled to the same value.
Window tiling: likewise, researching tiling shows conflicting results for whether window tiling should be turned on or off.
And I may be forgetting some minor conflict. But, proceeding the same way with dconf, the fix is easy to implement. 4) Window control buttons layout Head to /org/gnome/desktop/wm/preferences/button-layout and /org/pantheon/desktop/gala/appearance/button-layout to set the layout of window control buttons. Use the same layout in both keys to avoid a conflict. For example, you can enter :minimize,maximize,close for a Windows-like layout with buttons on the right. 5) Fixing conflicting keyboard shortcuts Here again, some keyboard shortcuts (such as switching workspaces or windows) may not work properly because of conflicting settings. Using dconf, you need to make sure that they're set to the same value of your liking. Gnome keyboard shortcuts are set under /org/gnome/desktop/wm/keybindings/ and the path to Pantheon shortcuts is /org/pantheon/desktop/gala/keybindings/. For instance, I set the same two shortcuts: ['Tab', 'Right'] to the action controlled by /org/gnome/desktop/wm/keybindings/switch-to-workspace-right and /org/pantheon/desktop/gala/keybindings/cycle-workspaces-next. I'd like to mention the case of MATE's Brisk menu. By default, Brisk shortcut is the Super key. However, the Super is used pretty much everywhere by Gnome. This causes Brisk not to open on first key push, or conversely, your window-tiling, window-switching or workspace-switching to trigger properly. Rather than hunting down all mentions of the Super key in Gnome keys, I found it easier to edit Brisk's shortcut to Alt+F1: in /com/solus-project/brisk-menu/hot-key enter F1. Note that MATE entries follow a slighly different syntax than Gnome entries: the MATE ones have no  brackets, and you don't need to put quotation marks in the key (they'll be automatically added). Log off/on for the change to take effect. By the way, Comfortable Swipe is fully compatible with workspace-switching shortcuts, should you want to emulate a Mac-style three-finger-swipe. 6) Setting up hot corners Hot corners can be set up under /org/pantheon/desktop/gala/behavio along other Gala effects. Replacing the default empty key with a custom value lets you choose between various actions. Personally, I set a hot corner in the top-right corner of my screen to open the workspace overview. Since my menu entries, window controls and pinned Firefox tabs are on the left, there's no risk of mistakenly triggering this hot corner. I find it an extremely efficient setup. Just shove your mouse to the top-right and scroll to the desired workspace, or just switch to another active window. So natural, so efficient. 7) Animation duration Go to /org/pantheon/desktop/gala/animations/ and set it however you like. I decreased workspace-switch-duration to 150 as I found it too slow. 8) Harmonizing theme elements At times, you may notice somewhat out-of-place graphical elements or fonts. Make sure key entries in /org/gnome/desktop/interface/ agree with your MATE settings. For example, the mouse cursor you chose in MATE's control center may be overruled with Adwaita by default. Search for cursor in dconf to find the name of your MATE cursor, and adjust the corresponding Gnome key. 9) Creating a shortcut for the workspace overview By default, /org/pantheon/desktop/gala/keybindings/ lets you set a shortcut to the "all windows" overview, but not to the "multitasking view", aka workspace overview. You can create one manually using MATE's control center. Add a keyboard shortcut to the following command: dbus-send --session --dest=org.pantheon.gala --print-reply /org/pantheon/gala org.pantheon.gala.PerformAction int32:1. The whole list of Gala commands is here.
And... thats' it! You now combine MATE's nimbleness and flexibility with Gala's modern, sleek window management and compositing. I hope some find this tutorial useful. I needed to write down a guide for my own future use anyway, just in case. I almost forgot the most important question: is Gala stable under MATE? To tell you the truth, I've only used this setup for about a week (of intensive use, that said). However, I haven't encountered any bug, glitch or crash in the many yours I've been running Gala. In fact, it seems more stable than Compiz. There are however a couple minor issues. Minor issues
On my laptop, the workspace overview shows a blue screen instead of my wallpaper. I have absolutely no idea why this is so, considering that the feature works perfectly on my desktop. I can only suspect an adaptation to low-end, aging Intel integrated graphics.
Triggering the workspace overview with the command described above does not let me switch workspace properly using a keyboard shortcut. I can however use my mouse to click on the workspace thumbnail, or scroll, or two-finger-swipe on a touchpad (since it corresponds to scrolling). However, when the workspace overview is triggered by a hot corner, I can switch workspace normally using keyboard shortcuts.
[Prompt Response] After accepting a steaming cup of coffee from their large green skinned co-worker and dodging past two dwarves discussing last night's game, they sat at their station right when the crystal lit up. "Magical Dispatch, what is your emergency?"
Prompt Link “Hey Gnash,” I said as I passed my supervisor. “How’s shift?” He harumphed a giant sized harumph my direction. I might have felt the whole of the comm center building tremble a little. “That bad, huh?” “It’s a full moon. What more is there to say?” The center trembled a little more from his grousing as he keyed up his crystal. “Units 956 and 947, copy a transfiguration with injuries.” That was my cue to sashay with a bit more haste to my console. A long shift could make Gnash an ogre in any situation. I mean. He is one. But full moons are a whole other stalk of beans. Sinking into my chair at my favorite console, I took a long sip of my coffee for a fleeting moment of zen. It passed all too quickly. Every other report crystal was lit up at the consoles around me, and the faint chime sound meant there were more calls holding, too. Time to plug in. I set my mug on the warming stone and swiped my spell chip over the headset dongle. As if calls waiting weren’t enough to ruin my moment of zen, my partner Luna was bound to. The tip of her conical hat waggled behind her scroll screens, clearly frustrated. Her quill scratched out a transcription that was surely of a caller who hadn’t taken a breath since the fall of Rome. “Ma’am! Ma’am! MAAA’AM!” Luna practically shouted into her mic. A couple heavy thumps meant she was banging on her desk in exasperation at her caller. “Ma’am, I need you to listen to me. Is the effigy changing color? Ma’am?” She huffed and the thumping sound came again. “Hung up on you?” I asked. “Of course. Nothing like calling Tilde-Star-Star and then hanging up on the crone trying to help you.” “Another goblin screaming ‘just get them here’?” “Mmmmmhm.” Her annoyance could have curdled butterbeer. The sparkling gem twirling above her scroll twirled faster as she hit voicemail on redial. “Well of course.” The gem suspended above her workspace winked out as she flicked the scroll over to Gnash. “You’re killing me!” The room rumbled with the boss’s displeasure as he stared at the new scroll. “Nope. That’s why they pay you the big ingots!” Luna shot back his direction, winking at me. I hid my chuckle behind another sip of coffee. Luna’s wide-brimmed headwear popped up over her scroll as she bounced forward to squint at me. “Hey, aren’t you off tonight?” “I was.” I sighed heavily. “But Jakub called out at dusk. Full moon.” “Ohhhh, bummer.” She didn’t sound disappointed for me, though. In fact I would stake my first wand on the bet that she was glad she wouldn’t be the only one on calltaking tonight. I didn’t mind. I’d prefer to work with Luna than some of the night walkers I could have been stuck with. “Yep.” She wrinkled her nose thoughtfully. “You’d think he’d take the potion for–” “Iiiii know. But you know how New Age werebeasts are. Anyway, I don’t mind padding my coin purse and it’s supposed to be mostly cloudy tonight.” “Mmmmmmhm”. Her response brimmed with skepticism. My crystal shot out a beam of scarlet light accompanied by soft chimes. “So it begins.” I groaned and tapped the crystal, now blinking furiously. “Tilde-Star-Star, where is your emergency?” My quill floated up, scratching out the start of a new call for service. A distinctly thick accent sputtered in my ear. “Forbidden Forest, Grove Seventy Seven.” “Okay, and what’s going on there?” Nothing good, I would bet. The Forbidden Forest is dicey to visit at the middle of the month, let alone the end. The translator critter on it’s pedestal protested as I gave it a little nudge and raised my eyebrow. It’s feathered antennae twitched some wordless backtalk at me. Translating critters were notoriously dodgy in the twilight hours. Who could blame them though, really? The voice coming through my headset coughed nervously, but was clearer this time. “So, uh… my friend and I were totally not doing anything illegal but my friend has Witches Cough and I’ve been feeling pretty ill myself.” I sat up a little straighter. “How long has your friend been sick?” “I dunno, maybe… a couple hours?” Gnomes. Always can trust them to wait until it’s too late to call. “Not to worry, we’ll get some healers headed your way,” I reassured the voice. “Are there any spells or hazards we need to know about?” The answer tumbled out in a barely intelligible rush, despite my critter’s efforts. “Well I think we might have set off some tricky charms here, because one of my other friends here is running from a really, really mad pixie right now, and I think she’s summoning her family.” GAH! GNOMES! I wanted to punt the crystal. My fingers itched to pound my desk like Luna had only moments before, but I managed to remain still. Why does no one lead with the most important details?! Barely containing my irritation at the caller, I flicked the scroll flying away to Gnash with more force than strictly necessary. He rumbled again. “It’s gonna be one of the nights, Gnash!” I called as he started to key up his crystal. “What did I tell ya!” The floor shook a little harder. That’s when I really started to regret coming in. All the console gems started to spin and pulse colors at once. “Looks like the clouds cleared up,” Luna cackled. I swore a half-uttered curse under my breath. “Just my luck!” Reluctantly I tapped my crystal and recoiled as screams of a banshee hit my ear. “Ma’am!” I started, biting back another curse. As the wailing continued I made a mental note to come down with potion poisoning on the next full moon. A little case of Mutation Sickness could be easily faked. More crystals chiming interrupted the thought. Banshee or no, I was sure of one thing. It was the last time I’d pick up a werewolf’s shift during their time of the month.
The first online gambling Web site opened 10 years ago, paving the way for the hundreds that exist now on the Internet. A review by the Australian government in 2001 estimated the number of online gamblers worldwide at just fewer than five million, with more than $11 billion spent in online casinos.But does online gambling differ from casino gambling, and what's the appeal of playing at home It does not harm anyone, and participation is totally voluntary. Is it permissible? Answer: While betting a few dollars on sports is often viewed as a harmless social pastime, if done at work it violates the Federal regulations that prohibit gambling for money or property in the Federal workplace. Predicting teams that will advance in a college If you place $10 on the Redskins and they go on to win the Super Bowl, you collect $120 plus your $10 back for a total payoff of $130. It does not matter whether your team covers the point spread in the Super Bowl. For the purposes of future book betting, the team has to win only the Super Bowl. When you make a futures bet, your odds are A betting exchange is extremely similar to bookmakers, with one exception. Instead of betting against the bookmaker, with a betting exchange we bet against each other. By this we mean if someone, for example, places a bet for Manchester United to win, we can match it by betting that Manchester United will not win. Sports betting has always been the go-to of many if they want their favorite sports events to be more thrilling and exciting. Surely, watching your favorite teams with the possibility of winning a few extra bucks from the match you’re watching will get you energized throughout the game. The truth is that betting on sports […]
Racing Unleashed Betting Review - Does It Really Work?
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