The Cowboys should just overpay Anthony Hitchens to keep him – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

The Cowboys should just overpay Anthony Hitchens to keep him
Blogging The Boys (blog)
This is part one of a three-part series about moves the Cowboys need to make this offseason that will spark some debate, and maybe some anger, within the fanbase. In part one we discuss the free agency prospects of Anthony Hitchens. It's likely that

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Full 2018 NFL Draft order including all compensatory draft picks – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

Full 2018 NFL Draft order including all compensatory draft picks
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The NFL handed out 32 compensatory draft picks on Friday, and we take a look at what that means for the full 2018 NFL draft order. By Dave Halprin Feb 24, 2018, 4:00pm CST. Share Tweet Share. Share. Full 2018 NFL Draft order including all compensatory

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7 Ways To Stop Doubting Your Career Path When No One Supports It

Last weekI took four flights for two days straight to get from the capital of Nepal to my hometown of Buffalo, New York. I packed up the backpack I’d been living out of for eight months, plopped back down into the middle of America and the middle of something that looks like most people’s day-to-day reality.

I’mwatching my dad go to work at 6 am like he’s done for the past 40-something years, while my mom wakes up at 5 am to make his coffee and pack his lunch, like she’s done for the past 30-something years. I’mtalking to friends who work in offices by day and come home to boyfriends, dogs and sometimes kids by night. I went to the funeral of a family friend.

I’m (temporarily) back in the land where everyone goes through various amounts of schooling, reproduces and then works until they die. That’s notnecessarily a bad thing. It’s pretty much the normal course of life. It’s comfortable for a reason, and most people are perfectly happy to live that way.

I just don’t happen to live like that, so back here, I have to answer everyone’s questions: What do you do? How do you make money? How are you always traveling? Why are you always traveling? Don’t you want to get married? Where are you going next?

There’s something about being away, whether I’m living abroad for work or traveling for pleasure, that helps mestop comparing. I just live my own life, in my own way and wroteabout it on my blog for the people who are curious. Out there I’m inspired, motivated and supported by people who have found similarly unconventional paths, so I’m happy to go about my business.

But then, I come home. Inevitably, I start to compare. I switch on social media more often than I usually do, I see people graduate with yet another degree or move up quickly in the same company. I have coffee with old friends, I go to family functions and see my absolutely wonderful, but very normal family. And through all of this, I’m pretty much the oddball out.

It’s not just me that has this comparison problem.Many people evenbig dreamers and those who live life dancing to a different tune face this problem. 90 percent of the time, we’re able to ignore what everyone else is doing and keep grooving, but 10 percent of the time, we notice that no one else is on the dance floor.

Naturally, it’s hard to keep going.This doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong or need to cut our dreams down to size, it just means, to anyextent humanly possible, we need to stop comparing ours lives to others’. Or rather, because comparison is a natural tendency, we need to be careful to select the right benchmarks for who we are.

We need to stop second-guessing ourselves and find the courage to keep being different, but that’s easier said than done. So, how do we stop doing something that’s so natural and normal? How do we stop sizing up where we are, in comparison to where everyone else is?

Here are seven thingsI’ve come up with to boost my courage and embrace my individual journey and career:

1. Monitor your consumption.

My rule: My phone is on airplane mode for the first and last two hours of everyday simply for my sanity. If the first thing you do in the morning is wake up and look at Facebook and Instagram, and ingest a steady diet of the polished, superficial social media relics of everyone else’s lives, it’s no wonderyou’reunhappy.

It also means watching how many articles (like this one) you read that are made upof someone else’s experiences and opinions. It means monitoring how much of the news you consume, how much TV you watch and even how many books you read.

Stay close to reality, my friends.If you’re constantly ingesting other people’s ideas or scrolling through fairytale lives on glowing screens, how can you ever come up withor trust in your own path?

2. Ensure adequate alone time.

Once you regulate your intake of information, you have to give yourself space to let all the things you do consume digest and take shape in the form of your own opinions, ideas, creativity, inspiration and self-understanding.At minimum, spend 15 minutes in silent meditation when you wake upin order tocalm your mind and set positive intentions for the day. Then spend 15 minutes before bed to prepare your mind for rest.

I also go for evening walks most nights, and have one hour of reading time before bed. No TV, no movies, no phone, just feeding myself whatI’m intellectuallycurious about.

3. Track your own goals and successes.

It can be overwhelming to log into Facebook or LinkedIn and see acquaintances getting promotions, graduating from medical school, marrying a long-term partner or traveling to an exotic locale. If you spend too much time focused on what everyone else is accomplishing, you’ll forget about your own “wins,” which are of a completely different variety than other people’s, since they’re solely your own.

80 percent of the time, measure yourself against yourself. Then 20 percent of the time, measure yourself against someone who’sreally over-the-top successful for inspiration. Not your neighbor or your friend, but someone 20 years ahead of you. That’swho you need to look at, and that’swho you need to bringinto your life.The rest of the time, keep track of what’s important to you, and remind yourself of all the things you’re doing well.

4. Do a reality check.

Since you can’t justbe your own cheerleader, you have to face the facts. Are you actually falling behind? Are you not living up to your own potential? When you feel jealous,ashamed or anxious, what arethe roots of those worries?

If there are valid concerns behind your comparisons, lay those out, too. Be brutally honest with yourself, identify your weaknesses and make a plan to overcome them. If you want a graduate degree, don’t drool over someone else’s grad pictures. Start studying for the GRE. If you want a promotion, don’t spend time being jealous over a colleague’s success. Start working harder.

5. Evaluate who you spend time with.

Have you ever heard the saying that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with? If some of those people are causing you to consistently second-guess who you are or bring too muchnegative energy into your life, trim the fat.

Surround yourself not only with like-minded people (crazy, outlandish ones are even better), but also individuals who are the kind of people you want to be like. Look at everyone you spend the most time with and ask yourself, “Do I want to be like them?”

If not, try to make some new friends. Or at the very least, read good books, follow inspiring blogs, connect with people online and craft a virtual or intellectual place for yourself where you feel supported.

6. Meet with your Board of Directors.

Your Board ofDirectorsshould consist ofpeople you’ve hand-selected and appointed (usually without their knowing) to have a position of influence in your life. Remember, members of the Board can retire or be asked to leave. They can be loved ones, mentors, colleagues, friends or spiritual “gurus.”

When you’re really in a crisis, open up to members of the Board, honestly share your feelings and ask for feedback. The people who truly love and support you can providesome perspective, and perhaps show you some things to consider to keep dreaming big while still staying on track. Or they can assure you with confidence that you’re doing just fine.

7.Ask your 85-year-old self.

One of your members of the Board should always be yourself, on her death bed.Whenever the doubt creeps in “Am I the crazy one?” “Am I out of touch with reality?” “Am I going to wake up one day and wonder what the heck I’m doing?” “Am I setting myself up for failure?” spend some time alone, do the reality check and then ask yourself: What would 85-year-old me, on her deathbed, tell me to do?

Usually, thatanswer is very honest and very accurate.And then, friends, the most important thing of all, is to understandthe underlying fear.

When you look at other people and think everyone’s doing “so much better” than you, dig down on that. What are you afraid of? Why are you reacting that way? Does it boil down to pride, money, reputation, love or losing love?

It’s like a child who’s afraid of the dark. You’d want to sit them down and ask, “Sweetie, what are you afraid willto happen to you inthe dark?” And you’d want to listen to and pacifythe child’s fears by breaking each one down and assuring them that A) that’snever going to happen, and B) how to deal with it step-by-step if itdoeshappen.

Do the same thing for yourself. Ask yourself where the fear is coming from, and objectively check to see if it’s based in reality. Most of the time, it’s an irrational emotional response, and by simply being aware of it, we soothe and alleviate thosefears.

Some of the time, there are some valid concerns that can be planned for on a very practical levelin order to make us feel better about taking risks, chasing dreams andliving unconventional lives.That kind of planning might sound something like this:

If becoming a radio hostdoesn’t work out, which I define as not earning more than $50,000 a year three years from now, a back-up plan I’m happy with is going back to school to study nursing. Worst case scenario, I’m going to be fulfilleddoing something else, and I’m blessed to be in the position to pursue further education and change courses if I need to.

However,I’m excited to givePlan A my all, and cope with a lower income and less recognition than my peers for the next three years while I test thewaters. I accept that I’m on a different path, and as long as I’m happy and not harming anyone else by chasing this dream, I will persevere.

That balance of being grounded and self-aware, while still daring to live at the far-end of yourpossibilities spectrum, is a life-long struggle.

But I’d rather worry about going too far off the deep endthan never really live at all.Who’s with me?

This article was originally published on the author’s personal blog.

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How hackers can hijack your computer to make free money

If you experienced a sudden drop of performance when visiting Politifact on Friday, it was most likely because the popular fact-checking website was fast busy taxing your computer’s resources to make money—and no, you’re not getting a cut.

Hackers allegedly compromised the website and inflicted it with a cryptocurrency-mining script, a program that uses visitors’ CPU power to generate Monero, a digital currency like Bitcoin that professes anonymity.

The same script appeared on Showtime’s website late last month, though it was quickly removed after news broke on Twitter and several tech publications. Showtime never made it clear whether the script was added intentionally or was the result of their website being compromised. Pirate Bay intentionally experimented with the script but later removed it due to negative visitor feedback.

These are just a few of the increasing number of cases where the resources of computers like yours or mine have been hijacked to generate digital money without their owners’ consent. With the prices of cryptocurrencies steadily rising, plenty of people—including malicious hackers—are on the lookout to pad their wallets.

What is cryptocurrency mining?

While you can always buy cryptocurrencies on online exchanges, an alternative way to obtain them is to “mine” them, which will cost nothing if others are doing it for you.

Cryptocurrencies run on blockchain technology, a distributed ledger that exists on thousands of computers at the same time and obviates the need for middlemen and brokers such as banks and financial institutions. Records are stored on the ledger in blocks and are linked together through cryptographic equations, hence the name.

Before a new block is added to the blockchain, it has to be validated and verified through solving complicated mathematical problems. The process, called mining, requires a lot of computing power and ensures that no one can compromise the integrity of the system.

Anyone can become a miner by installing mining software and joining the network. The first miner to solve the equation gets to append the new block to the blockchain and be rewarded in cryptocurrencies and transaction fees.

Mining bitcoins requires huge amounts of computing power and requires specialized hardware available in large data centers. On the other hand, Monero, which was launched in 2014, can be mined with ordinary CPUs. Hackers can easily get involved by assembling a mining botnet, a network of computers infected with malware that enables cybercriminals to control them from afar.

How hackers are mining cryptocurrencies

Coinhive, the script used on the Showtime and Pirate Bay sites, was developed by a namesake company earlier this year and was introduced as “a viable alternative to intrusive and annoying ads that litter so many websites today.” It was also meant to address the rise of ad-blockers, which are hurting the bottom line of websites that rely on ads. The hosting website takes 70 percent of the proceeds and the rest goes to Coinhive. (The user naturally gets nothing.)

Given the inconspicuous way the script works, it has become a favorite money-making tool for hackers. In the past weeks, the script has popped up in numerous Google Chrome extensions and hacked WordPress and Magento websites.

Coinhive has expressed disappointment in the shady use of its tools and has promised to alter the script to obtain visitors’ consent before using their CPU for mining in the future. Meanwhile, several ad-blockers have added support to block Coinhive’s script.

However, Coinhive is not the only tool hackers are using to mine cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency mining malware and schemes have been around for several years. But the past months have seen a spike in mining activity, largely due to the rising price of cryptocurrencies.

Slovakian cybersecurity vendor ESET recently discovered a malware that exploits unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows Server 2003 machines to mine tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Monero every month.

Kaspersky Labs reported that cryptocurrency-mining malware has targeted more than 1.65 million computers in the first eight months of 2017, an uptick compared to previous years. IBM’s X-Force security team has found a sixfold increase in cryptocurrency-mining attacks aimed at enterprise networks.

How to protect yourself against cryptocurrency miners

While cryptocurrency miners won’t steal your data or encrypt your files like other malware, they are annoying nonetheless and can negatively impact the performance of your computer. Here are several ways you can prevent hackers from lining their pockets with your CPU:

  • Install an antivirus and keep it up to date: Most antivirus solutions detect and removing cryptocurrency mining tools as harmful software.
  • Install an ad-blocker: If you’re using AdBlock Plus or AdGuard, both block Coinhive’s JS library.
  • Install a cryptomining blocker extension on your browser: Developers have created Chrome extensions that scan your browser and terminate scripts that “look” like Coinhive. AntiMiner, No Coin, and minerBlock are three plugins that will help protect you against cryptocurrency miner scripts.

Ben Dickson is a software engineer and the founder of TechTalks. Follow his tweets at @bendee983 and his updates on Facebook.

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Does it pay to work with a travel planner? – Kansas City Star

Kansas City Star

Does it pay to work with a travel planner?
Kansas City Star
Sites like Expedia, Travelocity or Kayak that bundle your travel plans can be very helpful and save you money, but the main difference between them is a human being. Many agents price-match those site offers, but you also have the benefit of a direct

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Three Keys to Blogging Success – Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Three Keys to Blogging Success
Publishers Weekly
It's important for bloggers to build communities of readers that can serve as a platform for launching books and other initiatives such as workshops, speaking engagements, and related products and services. But is an email list or a bunch of followers

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Why I Hate the Internet found so many readers

Jarett Kobeks self-published diatribe against San Francisco startup culture has become a sensation, winning plaudits from the New York Times and Bret Easton Ellis

Among the poetry racks on the second floor of San Franciscos legendary City Lights bookstore, an audience member is confronting the author Jarett Kobek with a spirited defense of the revolutionary power of Twitter and Bernie Sanders. His harangue, delivered during a book reading in February, was in atavistic beatnik dialect. I do Tweet about it, Jack! he shouted, stirring an erstwhile polite audience to shout things like Sit the fuck down! and Let him talk!

Its hard to imagine a more appropriate reception for Kobeks second novel, I Hate the Internet, a savage satire of internet culture set in 2013 San Francisco.. It centers on the fallout from a surreptitious recording posted to Youtube, its narrator describing real-world events of the city rendered in the hyperbolic language that has come to represent online interactions, and diverging into off-topic invective to expose its intolerable bullshit.

More funny than obnoxious, the novel has become a sleeper sensation a more or less self-published book that landed a favorable review above the fold on the front page of the New York Times arts section (something Kobek believes is a first for a self-published book). It has dipped into the Amazon top 500, and appears set for a wider international release in six languages.

The City Lights Bookstore in North Beach, San Francisco. Photograph: Alamy

San Franciscos independent bookstores, pinched for years by online competition and soaring commercial rents pushed up by the citys tech boom, have pushed the book hard. With this cover, I think the book would have sold OK even if the pages were blank, says Kobek. Its easily spotted on the citys buses and in its parks, wielded as a talisman against the epidemic of smartphones. But the reception has exceeded his rosiest expectations.

The ironic thing, of course, is that this has all mostly happened on the internet, said Kobek, 38, of his books unlikely success. His shaved head is glinting in the afternoon light of a dingy cafe in San Franciscos North Beach. He points to a photograph of American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis reading his book in bed, and a mention on music site Pitchfork as catalysts for the books surge in sales.

Sales on Amazon, both digital and paperback, and attention from the New York Times are laden with irony. The novel describes them respectively as an unprofitable website dedicated to the destruction of the publishing industry, and transitioning from Americas paper of record into a website that catered to the perceived whims of affluent, youthful demographics.

Over the course of the novel, its author gradually reveals an ambivalence towards the internet belied by its stark title. Early on Kobek writes: This bad novel, which is a morality tale about the internet, was written on a computer. You are suffering the moral outrage of a hypocritical writer who has profited from the spoils of slavery.

Later, during a long mountain-top soliloquy by a semi-autobiographical character, a scene which openly parodies the climax of Ayn Rands libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged, the reader learns: I know what the internet was like before people used it to make money. I am the only literary writer in America with a serious tech background! I am the only literary writer in America who ran Slackware 1.0 on his 386x!

Kobek admits that his experiences both using technology and working for tech firms have been formative . The internet is as much a part of me as anything, he says. Ive done just about every low-level, high-paying job the internet has to offer, from web design to systems admin. I was a big Unix guy at one point, in my late teens.

But my relationship with it started divorcing around the time social media started. Really the book could be called I hate four companies and social media but that is a bad title.

A street car moves past Twitter Inc headquarters in San Francisco, California. Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

What the book taps, says Kobek, is a visceral emotional impulse he encountered frequently on his just-concluded national book tour, its ranting tone and merciless humor attempting to offset a feeling of powerlessness commonly felt by internet users The book defines this as intellectual feudalism produced by technological innovation arriving in the disguise of culture. Kobek blazes with brutal rhetoric, but described the narrators desperate attempt to understand an impossibly complex and fluid situation.

I knew people hated the internet, he said, but I didnt realize how deeply wounded people are by it. Everyone knows someone whos had just horrible experiences. Its been exhausting, at times it has felt like group therapy, he said of his recent book tour .

Kobek lived in San Francisco from 2009 through 2014 before decamping to Los Angeles. The preparation was, unfortunately, being tortured by San Francisco for four years, says Kobek . When I come back now, I just feel overwhelmingly sad. As much as I shit on it, San Francisco has enormous charm. But its like a city with Alzheimers, it still looks the same but there is something missing.

The merit of any moment in San Francisco could be measured by a simple question: was the beauty of the city outweighing its annoying citizens? Photograph: Alamy

He writes of the city with wrath. San Francisco had two distinctions: One, it was the most beautiful city in America. Two, it was filled with the most annoying people in America. It had always been like this, from the beginning. The merit of any moment in San Francisco could be measured by a simple question: was the beauty of the city outweighing its annoying citizens?

But the success of Kobeks bleak book is a story of hope and entrepreneurial pluck. Stymied in his early attempts to get it published, he co-founded a small press in Los Angeles called We Heard You Like Books, designing the cover and writing the Kindle and Nook files himself. He even created a prequel in the form of an agitprop video game cassette for beloved British microcomputer the ZX Spectrum. The book will be released in the UK this fall by Serpents Tail, and in Germany by Fischer Verlag. His next book, which takes up with the same characters during in an earlier era in New York City, has been sold to Viking.

In I Hate the Internet, Kobek identifies with the tragic experience of comic book artist Jack Kirby, who created Captain America and many other superheroes but never financially benefitted from the business that he helped build. The internet, and the multinational conglomerates which rule it, have reduced everyone to the worst possible fate. We have become nothing more than comic book artists, churning out content for enormous monoliths that refuse to pay us the value of our work.

With this novel, Kobek seems to have found a way to make sure that doesnt happen to him As long as you have something to sell, he says, they cant really hurt you.

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Canada closes tax loophole to cool down overheated housing markets

Finance minister outlines measures to rein in foreign speculators after house prices in Vancouver and Toronto have doubled in last decade

The Canadian government has announced a handful of measures aimed at dampening demand in its red-hot housing markets, including closing a tax loophole used by some foreign speculators.

Canadian authorities are facing growing pressure to address frothy housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto, where home prices have more than doubled in the past decade. Earlier this year, Justin Trudeau, Canadas prime minister, pointed to an influx of capital from Asia as partly responsible for the soaring prices.

Overall, I believe the housing market is sound, Bill Morneau, the countrys finance minister, said in Toronto on Monday. I want to make sure that were proactive in assessing and addressing the factors that could lead to excess risk.

Currently, Canadian homeowners who sell their principal residences do not have to report the sale or pay taxes on any profit earned. Amid reports suggesting that some non-residents have been taking advantage of the same exemption, the government will now step up scrutiny of principal residences, said Morneau.

We know that there is a principal residence tax exemption and that should only be applicable to people who own their home in Canada and live in that home in Canada.

In Vancouver, where housing prices have risen 249% since 2005, a 15% tax was introduced in August on all home buyers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Its introduction saw home sales in the Vancouver region drop 26% in August while the average price of detached properties fell to C$1.47m ($1.1m), a decrease of 17% from one month earlier.

With an eye on increasing housing affordability, the city of Vancouver has also vowed to launch a tax on empty homes by 2017 and is currently exploring measures to curb short-term rentals through sites such as Airbnb.

On Monday, the Canadian government said it would also introduce a stress test for insured borrowers in hopes of injecting greater stability into the countrys housing market. Starting in mid-October, the test will ensure would-be homebuyers some of whom are rushing to gain a foothold in the market amid fears of being priced out down the road would be able to afford their mortgage if interest rates were to rise, said Morneau.

Low interest rates have gradually changed the way both borrowers and lenders view debt and indebtedness in this country, said the finance minister. As these attitudes and behaviours have changed, some households began carrying high debt loads and pockets of risk have begun to emerge.

A recent report by the Swiss bank UBS looked at 18 financial centres around the world and singled out Vancouver as most at risk of a housing bubble.

Mondays announcement received a mixed reaction. Josh Gordon, a professor at Vancouvers Simon Fraser University, described the government measures as prudent.

The tax change, he said, sent a clear signal to foreign investors and others looking to speculate on real estate. I do think it will have an impact on its own, but I think the bigger point is the message, he said. Because it suggests that the federal government does believe that foreign demand is an issue and its willing to tackle that.

Others argued that the shored-up tax requirement would do little to dissuade investors, whether it was foreigners or local people who have been using the exemption to avoid payments on profits earned from selling secondary residences. Its not going to dampen the market, said Bob Aaron, a Toronto real estate lawyer. If people think they can make money on flipping real estate, they will.

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Can Your Blog Make Money? Here's How to Predict Your Chances for Income. – Entrepreneur


Can Your Blog Make Money? Here's How to Predict Your Chances for Income.
What's your plan to make money from the blog? You have many options, depending on your audience, intent and other ventures. 2. Traffic. No matter what monetization angle you choose, you'll need ample traffic to support it. Your blog's ability to

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Report: DeMarcus Lawrence wants average of $17 million a year for long-term contract – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

Report: DeMarcus Lawrence wants average of $17 million a year for long-term contract
Blogging The Boys (blog)
You might be hearing the name Olivier Vernon a lot this offseason when the subject comes up of a long-term contract for DeMarcus Lawrence. Tom Pelissero notes that Lawrence's agent is the same as Vernon's, and they're going to be asking for roughly the

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