Everything Needs a Dark Theme

Listen here. Dark mode isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s what stops you from burning your eyes out in the night at 2am.

All apps and websites need to have a dark theme that’s optional. Because not only does it make me appreciate and love you a little more, it means my eyelids don’t suddenly shut themselves closed in shock of all the white light that just violated my damn retina.

But more importantly, it means that you can design this dark theme however you want. People won’t attempt to fix and consequently violate the beautiful design you painstakingly slaved away on.

Example of people creating a fix that doesn’t work well for every site:

A Chrome extension called TLV Night Mode.

It usually holds up well on its basic task of making the background black and turning the text into fancy colours so they’re legible, but everything else like web animations and text boxes just turn into an eyesore.

Here’s some evidence of how some beautifully crafted websites are being destroyed because we want dark mode.

Exhibit A: Evernote

I can’t deny that Evernote slipping the dark mode function into their Premium plan was sneaky and does tick me off, and I’ve had to experiment with a couple of themes when it came to this website.

Normal Evernote, nothing strange here.

After:

Exhibit B: WordPress

I write quite late in the night, between 11pm – 2am. And in those times my eyes want to die and there’s only so much f.lux can do, so dark mode is my only solution.

…well, that or just write it at another time but there’s no fun in that.

Before:

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

After:

Text section is all white, which kinda defeats the purpose of why I need the dark mode here, and the darkness cuts off randomly in the middle. It’s a real pain, that’s for sure.

“Yeah but what does this prove?”

To the devs, I’m just trying to prove that adding your own dark theme option is way better as it doesn’t destroy your design and it’s easier on the eyes too.

I had no intentions towards dissing this extension, in fact it works really well if you get the colour theme right for you. The best one I’ve seen requires a “small donation” which gives me terrible flashbacks of seeing someone buy £1 worth of virtual diamonds for a horrible life-consuming mobile game that they’ll probably uninstall tomorrow.

(yeah that was aimed at you – you know who you are.)

This extension does work really well, and helps fill in the gaps that most websites don’t bother to do. There are some worse versions out there, believe me. It’s certainly not the greatest thing, but it’ll do.

Anything to stop my eyes from being stabbed by bright lights and blue wavelengths of light that apparently steal whatever sleep I had in the first place.

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LastPass – The Best Password Manager Ever

Specifically, LastPass is the best Password Manager ever, for everyone and everybody inhabiting this earth and have a password that needs to be remembered.

A year and a bit ago, I made a post on using 1Password and LastPass together for a better (and free) experience to having your precious deets on devices. I guess that post is now irrelevant considering that in November 2016, LastPass declared that you could access your passwords on all devices for free.

I’ve definitely joined late to this party, and realisation about this feature existing pretty much dazzled my mind yesterday whilst clearing things up. Upon realisation I also went nuts and deleted my 1Password account immediately.

I think it’s awesome. I’ve always had this thought that having such important details should be accessible to any device for free, it was only a logical albeit a risky financial move too. But they bit that damn bullet. Now I love LastPass even more, probably more than I should love a software. (it’s 2017 – I knew I’d succumb to this someday)

My main fear is that it’s too good to be true, you’re getting a whole lot more goodness that isn’t offered in most password managers and it makes me wonder what their main income is. What’s the catch?

LASTPASS PRICING: an absolute steal.

By the looks of their pricing scheme, it seems that what you get for Premium seems good for the digital frenzy worker so there’s a chance a lot of people choose that plan. There’s also a Team and Business plan which might be popular for companies, and this could explain why we’re getting free access on all devices. But it could be anything really.

Or that they’re just awesome. Probably this reason.

TL;DR

Here’s some things to keep in mind:

  • LastPass now enables access to your passwords on all devices for free
  • This as a result makes it awesome
  • This also makes my blog post irrelevant.
  • You’ll never see that blog again.
Mythbusters - Bullet Journaling Featured Image/Header

Mythbusters: The Art of Bullet Journaling

As nicely phrased by the creator of this system, Ryder Carroll:

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

It’s kind of like your second brain if you think about it. But there’s a lot of stigma around bullet journaling and I think it’s time to do some mythbusting.

1. it’s not a test of your artistic skills.

If you search up bullet journal on YouTube, all you’ll find are people doing monthly logs with the elegance and skill that I need but could never achieve because I am an impatient, uncreative and a rather lazy soul. I am in no way dissing these people, I just want it to be known that your BuJo doesn’t need to be like this.

Image result for bullet journal

How do they do that?

Back in the days, this was the primary thing that put me off of ever trying it. Watching videos of people drawing complicated  with stationery that probably costs more than me was quite intimidating, and slightly heartbreaking.

In short, Function > Form

 

2. you’re not being asked to paint the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling

Essentially, the system of bullet journaling is only a very small base for what you can truly create out of this. Use it wisely, and it becomes a staple in your daily routine where you can carpe the hell out of your diem.

People get scared of all the symbols and these “logs” but it’s pretty simple. Here’s a basic run through:

I recommend checking out the official website of Bullet Journal where they teach you the basics of starting your own Bullet Journal system and provide inspiration on making it work for you, the site was made by Carroll himself. But you don’t have to do it the way this guy does, he’s only setting the foundation for you.

Now that we’re done mythbusting, let me tell you my experiences on using my own Bullet Journal.

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The Stupid Reality of Terrorism - Header

The stupid reality of terrorism.

Hearing the recent news on terrorism has really been a shock to everyone, and I think I’ve rejected this whole concept because it’s genuinely just atrocious but this is all nothing more than culling. This is the brief.

  1. Terrorism is stupid
  2. Being “tougher” on terrorism is practically impossible
  3. Terrorism won’t stop.

I’ll go through these points clearly with structured paragraphs that will definitely not turn into a rant.

1. Terrorism is stupid

Indeed it is. Think about it, you’re slaughtering innocent lives of people you never knew, people who had families, lifelong plans and the same raw human emotions you once felt and experienced for yourself, and you destroyed that for what?

To push forward your stupidly misguided political agendas? Religion takes no part in slaughter, your mentality does. It’s worth nothing.

Islam has nothing to do with this either, as it doesn’t promote this. Islam doesn’t permit the butchering of unarmed harmless people. You’re just being a self-righteous monster killing people who did nothing to you. Thinking your life is superior or worth more than someone else’s is disgusting, no human should ever determine another’s death.

2. Being “tougher” on terrorism is practically impossible

Look Theresa, ISIS is causing quite the havoc. Cracking down on immigration and making international contact difficult is not gonna cut it. The only physical form of ISIS are in Syria right now, but in the Western world? It’s a movement.

Anyone can really “join” as there isn’t any formal structure behind it. Not that we know of. Literally anybody can run into the streets and preach whatever misguided ideologies you want, as long as they attract attention through means of violence. There can be groups of people either connected by family, work, friends, a community or just one rogue person.

Anyone can do it, and I believe the people who recruit are found worldwide but that too has no formal structure. It’s led to a stage where one single person could wreak havoc and if the act is not explained, we’ll just assume ISIS did it.

(Please do tell me if I’m wrong, I’ve just personally seen nothing that proves otherwise.)

So whilst people from abroad may be an issue, I believe we are slightly prejudiced here. There are internal issues within the country with those who suddenly change their ways, and we must prioritise looking more into that. And if you think about it, it’s stupid because they believe they have a message for “the greater good”, but they’re not really reminding us of that are they?

ISIS definitely exists. It’s just impossible to tackle because it’s not just a bunch of idiots in Syria, there are people everywhere being brainwashed.

3. Terrorism won’t stop.

It really won’t. Anyone can do it, they might do it because they think they’ll die a martyr and do it for “the greater good”.

Some may do it because they think it’s the right thing.
Some just want to conquer the world with their opinion.
Some think they are the right ones and others who don’t agree must die.
Some just think that scaring the authorities must mean that it is for good reason.

Some are just gullible enough to fall into that trap because they want a calling in life.
A meaning in life.
Something they can say that matters to them and is worth dying for.
They want to grasp their destiny and feel worth,
and that’s when the lives of others become expendable.

It’s a tragic and upsetting mentality. And it’s become so normalised that anyone can feel this way and it would never be noticed.

What do we do now?

The underlying issue is that this idea is hardwired into people’s brains. We need more than political figures making empty promises to end terrorism. We need more than just thoughts and prayers to those who are affected. Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to save another person’s life.

A good start for America is to have some control of the 2nd Amendment they proudly love to be reckless about, and we need to be more accepting of diversity in general.

Fear never works, it fires up Trump and only wards people away. So trying to get your dream to come true is rather impossible.

(apologies for any atrocious grammar or repetitive of the word stupid, it’s late at night and I like not having any structure in what I write.— Nishat)

Dear Pocket.

Dear Pocket,
I absolutely love your website/app/God-sent-article-saving miracle, and I appreciate that you have a really minimal design to accent the wonderful dark theme that I can enable. I can neatly organise the things I either want to read for later or the things I wish to preserve for later reference, like an article on photography or further understandings on how the brain functions, and it’s amazing.

FACT: This blog’s permanent dark theme was inspired by Pocket’s version (please don’t sue me).

There’s a reason Pocket is widely used, and it’s due to its versatility when it comes to syncing to other platforms, reading offline or simply the ease it has on our eyes. If there’s anything you could change to enhance the experience of reading, it’s this:

1. Highlight quotes for future reference

I love that you can share a selected excerpt from what you read, but if you went one step further and allowed us to highlight the part to save (copying to clipboard would also be nice), that would be a huge gamechanger.

So whenever you return to said article, you can focus on what you previously highlighted. You could also have a board which has all of your saved quotes, like the clippings feature in a Kindle. It’s just a convenience thing and honestly, I’d love it.

2. Redirect tab links to Pocket instead of the original page

Bear with me here, you know how there’s a Pocket’s trending stories on the new tab page on Chrome?

I realised there’s always one Trump-related article in this section. That says a lot about his presidency.

There’s some really good damn articles that I want to read straightaway so I click the title instead of the ‘Save’ button. It redirects me to the original article, where I get bombarded by newsletter and “WHITELIST US ON ADBLOCK OR PAY £1.99” popups left, right and centre.

It’s a pain, especially in the night when I’m accustomed to reading with the dark theme on but instead I get blasted with blue wavelengths that chip away on whatever sleep I had in the first place. This is once again a convenience thing on redirecting articles straight to Pocket over saving it, entering the Pocket website and reading that way.

It would be great to have that in the options page.

That’s it.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. No. 1 is something I think is a personal necessity, No. 2 is just a pet peeve really. Other than those little things, you guys are doing a great job. People are seriously missing out if they don’t use it.

If these changes do happen, I’m going to make a freak out blog, and that is a promise.

 

Best Regards,
Nishat

Photography = Time + Money

Photography is a really expensive hobby that you have to invest tons of hours into. I feel that people underestimate that, and aren’t prepared to go through those hardships. But then again, I don’t blame them. There is work, school, family basically life smacking you in the face. It sucks, and I don’t think you could ever claim yourself to be a true photographer because there are no standards like that (in my opinion).

Even the simplest of things can spiral out of control, like getting a good camera bag.

sees a really nice bag, finds out it’s £140. oh well. nevermind.

Nintendo is our saviour.

So, Britain left the EU. The media is brainwashing everyone, as you do, and the world has gone mental. But far away, there’s a beacon of hope shining from Nintendo HQ. A ray of light and future utopia. They did it. The power of Pokémon prevailed.

I’m sure that you know of Pokémon GO as it’s now a universal meme that’s circling worldwide. It’s taken the world by storm, especially when budding trainers find dead bodies when looking for a Squirtle. In short, it’s a free-to-play augmented reality game where you go around and look for Pokémons. You can find them based on their element, so water Pokémons would be in water and grass ones in the grass. I’m just worried about where you find ghost Pokémons.

But aside from the injuries sustained from playing the game, it’s really smart. I can even make a bullet point list on it.

  • encourages travelling and exercise
  • makes people reminisce about their childhood
  • makes people feel old straight after
  • shows the world the right way to socialise
  • plus, business is booming because there’s a Blastoise in the warehouse

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I’m glad I existed the same time Pokemon GO did because now the world is a bit more better. Nintendo made people socialise without their phones being the middle man (or woman) but being a guide to a more friendly America, and hopefully a more friendly world.

LastPass and 1Password: why using both is way better

(this is outdated and there’s a better post on this, but if you’re here for nostalgia reasons then knock yourself out – Nishat)

Do you know that feeling of excitement when you realise no one can find your bank details because your password manager is encrypted? Me neither. But I do know the feeling of being robbed from your rights when it requires you to pay up when you want to access your password from different platforms.

It’s outright unfair. 1Password allows you to insert a maximum of 20 passwords on a PC as a trial. But LastPass is “infinite”, you just need to pay for using it on another device. There’s a way to bypass these two, but it does require some sacrifices.

If LastPass is best on computer and 1Password is best on iPad, let’s use both of them! Download the software for both devices and benefit from the perks of having 2 encrypted password manager for extra security.

1Password has a simple, clean interface on iOS which is easy to navigate. When signing in on Safari or associated apps, you can quickly access your details directly from the manager and you’re in. Unfortunately, it’s a different story on the PC. I downloaded the software and extension for Chrome but I could only input 20 passwords at the most. That’s peanuts in this day and age. So for this trick, stick with iOS.

LastPass is also a great password manager. It enables more options for free compared to the other one and can automatically change weak or similar passwords for you. It keeps track of your logins and how you can protect yourself to the ultimate level. But this awesomeness is short-lived when you want to use your account on another platform and it completely. Shuts. You. Down. Just use the Chrome extension for the best outcome.

Sure, syncing them is going to be an absolute pain, but at least you can enter them easily. Plus, syncing them manually allows you to implement a routine where you regularly check if your password is safe and sometimes, you’ll even learn them by heart. You can use the features of LastPass’ Vault Challenge to ensure the safety of all of your login details and 1Password’s password generator to the mightiest.