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When you search on Google, watch YouTube videos, or use Maps to get directions, you leave footprints for Google to collect. Data is one of Google’s most prized assets, so it harvests as much information it can when you use its products and services.

In view of this, have you ever stopped to wonder what Google does with the data it collects from you? Or if there’s a way to access this information? Should you even care?

Table of Contents

Google records almost everything you do with apps, websites, and other services connected to your Google account. This information is compiled and saved in an online profile called “My Activity.”

In the next sections, we’ll explain what “Google My Activity” is and how you can use the tool to control Google’s data collection activity.

What Is Google My Activity?

Think of your hospital medical records for a second. It usually contains information about your hospital visits and admission; habits and allergies; medication history; test results; past and present diagnosis; etc. The more information a hospital has about your medical history and habits, the better and faster the doctor is able to diagnose and treat you.

This is akin to the purpose of Google My Activity. It’s a record of your online activities on Google and interactions with its services.

Google My Activity (or My Activity, for short) is the archive of your Google data. It’s also a tool that lets you view and manage data that Google collects when you use its products and services. As Google puts it, My Activity is designed to “put you in control of your data.”

With My Activity, you can scrutinize how much (or little?) of your information and online activities Google may access.

Before we show you how to access the My Activity utility, and how to use it to manage your data, let’s have a look at some of the information Google collects each time you use any of its products and services.

What Data Does Google Collect?

The information Google collects when you use its services include, but not limited to, the following:

These information are usually grouped into three categories. Understanding this data segmentation will help you understand how to navigate the Google My Activity page and manage your data.

1. Web and App Activity: Here, you’ll find your Google Search history, browsing history on Google Chrome, and websites you visit on other applications connected to your Google account. There’s more: audio recordings of your voice searches (on Google Maps and Google Search), map navigations, as well as your interactions with Google Assistant are also saved in this category.

2. YouTube History: This section houses your YouTube activities including the videos you search for on YouTube, videos that you watch, the date and time you watched these videos, as well as the devices used to watch them.

3. Location History: If you use an Android device with location services enabled, Google will save the places you visit, even when you aren’t using a Google service. For iOS devices, Google collects your location (in real-time) via the dedicated Google app.

What Happens When You Delete or Disable Data Collection?

For every Google account, Google automatically collects these information (and more) by default. However, you have the liberty to limit data collection or stop it entirely. So if you’d rather not have Google save your information in its database, you can delete your online activity history from the My Activity page. But what happens when you do so?

For example, disabling YouTube History means you’ll no longer get suggestions when you search for videos. Likewise, YouTube will stop recommending videos it thinks you might like.

Discover and Control Your Data

You can access the Google My Activity utility on your mobile devices and computer. Follow the steps listed below to learn how to view and manage your data via Google My Activity on Android, iOS, and PC.

Use Google My Activity on PC

1. Launch your preferred web browser and visit the Google My Activity page (or type chúng tôi into your browser’s URL).

You may be required to sign into your Google account if you haven’t done so already.

2. You’ll find the aforementioned categories (Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History) at the top of the My Activity dashboard.

Scroll to the bottom of the dashboard and you’ll find an overview of all recently-used Google apps and services—Maps, Google search history, and websites you visit.

On the Item details page, you’ll find precise information about the activity.

Say you searched for “Best Pet Stores in New York” on Google, the Item details page will reveal the exact date and time you performed the search, the device you used, and more.

Want to Stop Google from Collecting Your Data? Here’s What To Do

As mentioned earlier, you can also use the My Activity tool to limit Google’s data collection or put an end to it entirely. All you have to do is disable data collection for all three categories—Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History.

Go through the data options on the page and toggle each of them off.

To delete all previously-saved web activities, return to the My Activity homepage and tap the Delete drop-down button.

[10-delete-google-activity.png]

Select the All time option in the Delete Activity window.

Set An Automatic Data Deletion Schedule

Google provides an auto-delete option to erase your account data. Scroll to the data group and select Auto-delete.

Use Google My Activity on Android

If you use an Android-powered smartphone or table, here’s what you need to do.

1. Go to Settings and select Google.

2. Tap the Manage your Google Account button.

3. Go to the Data & personalization tab and select Manage your activity controls.

That will launch the Activity control page where you can access the data saved by Google across all services you’ve used

Use Google My Activity on iOS

You can also access the My Activity utility on your iPhone and iPad using the Google app.

1. Launch the Google app and tap the profile icon at the top-right corner.

2. Tap the Manage your Google Account button.

3. Select Personal info & privacy.

4. Scroll to the Manage your Google activity section and select Activity controls.

You’ll be able to manage data saved in your Google account on the resulting page.

Why Should You Care

You’ve probably had your Google account(s) for years. It only makes sense to know how much data you’re providing Google, what it knows about you, and how it’s handling your information. Right?

Interestingly, Google is transparent about its data collection process and practices. Even better, Google hands you (and a billion of other users) the meaningful choice around your data. You can opt in and out of all varieties of data collection at any time; you’re in the driver’s seat of your data.

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Why You Should Care About Lossless Bluetooth Audio (And Why You Shouldn’T)

Lily Katz / Android Authority

With the introduction of Qualcomm’s aptX Lossless technology, Bluetooth headphone customers will finally join their wired audiophile brethren with the option to listen to lossless quality audio. The promise, as always, is superior sound. But whether this is really a game-changer for your future listening habits depends on who you ask.

On the one hand, existing wireless products are some of the best-sounding headphones on the market, packing in powerful noise canceling, virtual assistants, and customization options you’ll seldom find in the wired space. Plus, there are solid-sounding Bluetooth codecs already on the market, including LDAC and aptX HD. However, audio purists will tell you there’s no substitute for the sound quality of lossless audio. It’s a debate that’s raged since the development of the MP3, but who should you believe, and is lossless Bluetooth audio really that important?

Bluetooth’s limitations regarding lossless audio

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Why does Bluetooth use lossy, rather than lossless, compression to begin with? The problem is that Bluetooth’s data rate is too low for lossless Bluetooth audio.

Even though Bluetooth’s Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) can hit above 2Mbps, sustaining that rate for real-time data transfer is not feasible. In reality, 1Mbps, or often well below, is a more realistic and sustainable maximum transfer rate. That’s not enough for 1.4Mbps CD, let alone 4.6Mbps Hi-Res audio. This limited speed is due to radio and object interference, packet overhead and loss, and oftentimes, less than optimal antenna placements.

As a result, Bluetooth audio codecs have historically targeted lower, more sustainable bit rates using lossy compression. Another way to think of this is prioritizing playback that’s free from skips and dropouts at the expense of some audio fidelity.

Bluetooth audio is historically a trade-off between sound and connection quality.

Compounding the problem is the fact that the original low-bit-rate SBC codec was designed for voice compression rather than high-fidelity music. Despite subsequent revisions, third parties have stepped in to fill the void with codecs specifically designed to transmit music over Bluetooth. But AAC, aptX, and the LC3 still target lower, sustainable bit rates around 300kbps and below. Qualcomm’s aptX HD pushes the envelope with high-end sound, but it’s still capped at 576kbps.

Sony’s LDAC was the first codec to attempt to tackle the quality and scalability problem head-on with its 330, 660, and 990kbps quality options. The codec also claims Hi-Res support and promises “same as CD quality” playback (note, not bit-perfect playback). After testing, we found the 990kbps mode is indeed virtually transparent for CD-quality audio. However, there are still some small elements of lossy encoding, and more importantly, some devices struggle to offer a glitch-free playback experience at this bit rate. LDAC can achieve near-lossless CD playback, but you’ll often find quality called back to 660kbps, although we’d argue that’s still good enough for all but the pickiest listeners.

LDAC can already achieve near-lossless CD playback, but sustained connectivity can be a problem.

aptX Adaptive is Qualcomm’s alternative approach to solving the connection dropout problem. This codec dynamically scales its bit rate based on the radio environment, reducing quality in congested areas to avoid glitches. Before aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive still targeted a more conservative 420kbps but will now scale up to greater than 1Mbps for lossless CD-quality audio. Qualcomm’s aptX Lossless is the first codec to claim fully lossless Bluetooth audio, bit-exact playback of CD-quality files, and it also appears to have the hardware setup to sustain this high data rate. For now, lossless Hi-Res (24-bit, 96kHz) tracks remain out of reach for all Bluetooth codecs currently on the market.

Quick reference bit rates:

SBC — 200 to 328kbps

AAC — 128 to 256kbps

LC3 — 160 to 345kbps

LDAC — 300kbps, 660kbps, 990kbps

LHDC-V — 1.2Mbps

Samsung Seamless Codec — 88 to 512kbps

aptX — 352kbps

aptX HD — 576kbps

aptX Adaptive — 279 to 420kbps

aptX Lossless is a hardware and software solution to Bluetooth’s bit rate problem.

In addition, aptX Lossless falls under the aptX Adaptive tool suite, meaning devices will benefit from Qualcomm’s other codec features too. For example, audio bit rate scales from lossless right down to 140kbps without interruption if you wander into an area with high radio interference, so there are no glitches or dropouts. aptX Adaptive also supports 24-bit 96kHz playback, albeit with lossy compression, and a dynamic low latency mode for gamers and voice calls.

There are a few caveats, though. For starters, existing aptX Adaptive products won’t automatically receive Lossless support — at least not without a firmware update. You’ll also need Snapdragon Sound-certified devices on both the transceiver and receiver end to benefit from lossless audio. So it will take a while for devices to permeate the market with a sizable portfolio. Unfortunately, not all Snapdragon Sound devices will necessarily support aptX Lossless, so knowing exactly what you’re getting might not be as crystal clear as it should be.

Customers with a lossless music collection stand to benefit from CD-quality Bluetooth audio.

With lossless CD quality, radio-aware scaling, low latency gaming and voice, and Hi-Res support, aptX Lossless is the industry’s most robust Bluetooth audio option. However, there’s still likely to be some debate about whether Qualcomm’s standard offers a perceivable improvement to audio quality and which Bluetooth audio codec is the best pick for consumers with a Hi-Res library. Plus, whether the proprietary nature of Qualcomm’s technology will limit consumer adoption versus more universal support for SBC and the upcoming LC3 codec.

Ultimately, the best Bluetooth codec is the one supported by both your headphones and smartphone or music player. aptX Lossless has some rather steep requirements on the hardware side compared to existing standards. Some headphone companies are investing in this now, like Nura with the True Pro Wireless earbuds. What do you think?

FAQs

Yes, aptX Lossless can send lossless Bluetooth audio, but this requires a Snapdragon Sound device like the ASUS Zenfone 9 and compatible earbuds.

To receive lossless audio over Bluetooth, you’ll need a Bluetooth 5.3 device with a modern Snapdragon processor and earbuds with the Snapdragon S3 or S5 chips.

What Does End Of Life Mean For Software And Should You Care?

Before we begin, understand that this article also addresses operating systems (OS), specifically Windows, but the principles could apply to any software, app, or OS.

When you hear or get notification that your software is nearing End of Life  (EOL), it’s a bit disconcerting. It sounds so final, as though your software is just going to stop working on a certain date at a certain time. Rest easy, as this is not the case. The term is just very dramatic. We’ll go into what it really means later in the article.

Table of Contents

First, let’s look at something called a product life cycle.

What is The Product Life Cycle?

Any product that you can buy has a life cycle, and therefore a finite life. It consists of four stages: development, growth, maturity, and decline.

Development – This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the period in which the software is developed and initially marketed and adopted or sold. In this stage, the software might still have some small issues or be lacking in features.

Growth – As awareness of the software grows and the software becomes more stable, it enters a growth phase. Sales or distribution of the software begins to accelerate. Because software is something that can be changed while in use, there may be some more updates and a few features introduced.

Maturity – The software has reached its peak sales or distribution. There is ongoing support for the software, but generally speaking, there aren’t any major updates or feature enhancements.

Decline – For a number of possible reasons, the sales and distribution of the software begins to go down. It could be because it’s no longer really needed, a better competing product came along, it’s not keeping up with the needs of the user, or other reasons. The point is, it’s not selling that well.

If you were to graph this process by number of sales or units distributed, it may look something like this:

You can see that the decline is not conducive to good business. At some point, the people publishing the software just don’t

A good publisher will make a very public EoL announcement detailing the End of Sale (EoS) date and the EoL date.

What is End of Sale Date?

The short answer is the date that the publisher stops selling or distributing the software. It’s often also the date that the last update of any kind would be pushed out. It will no longer be listed for sale or download on the official channels of sale. You’ll no longer be able to get quotes on the cost either.

This doesn’t always mean that the software gets pulled off the shelves of retailers carrying it though. Although, boxed software is almost not a thing anymore. Still, be aware that when you’re buying a version of software that’s been out for a few years, you might be getting something that is already EoS or nearly EoL.

What is End of Life?

When software or an app gets to the decline phase of the product life cycle, the end of life is near. It happens somewhere in that phase. Sometimes closer to the start of the decline and sometimes they hang on to the very end.

That’s a decision that is up to them based on their values. Usually it is preceded by an end of sale point, where you just can’t buy or get the software anymore.

EoL  means any, or even all, of the following for that app, OS, or software:

Major feature releases may be supported for a fixed period of time after the EoL date..

Technical support, workarounds, and bug fixes will stop.

Support during the period between EoS and EoL may only be available to those with a paid support contract.

Online support documentation, wikis, or forums may be archived or taken offline on the EoL date or another specified date.

Requests for features will not be accepted.

Validation of software installs may not work.

Official training for the software may no longer be available.

What Problems Could Software End of Life Cause Me?

You may look at the list above and think, “That’s not a big deal. The software still works and it’ll have all the updates it’ll ever need. Plus, I already know how to use it and there’s lots of other forums and blogs with information about it. Why would I bother getting the newest version?”

That’s a valid way to look at it. However, it’s an incomplete way to look at it.

Let’s take a look at some of the problems EoL software could give you.

Security Issues

This is likely the most important reason. Just because your software or OS has been out for 15 years doesn’t mean all the holes have been patched. Most likely, all the holes haven’t even been found.

A blunt explanation of this comes from Scott Kinka, chief technology officer at Evolve IP at the time that he was quoted on chúng tôi in the article, “Is It Still Safe for Businesses to Use Windows XP?”

Kinka said, because Microsoft would no longer be sending updates for the old Windows XP, “Just assume someone is on your PC while you’re working. Every password, trade secret and bit of personal information is at risk.”

Consider that Windows XP is now 18 years old and is still on about 4% of computers worldwide, according to chúng tôi That doesn’t sound like much, but let’s assume there’s a billion desktop computers worldwide. Four percent of a billion is 40 million computers. Some in people’s homes, and some in businesses. That’s a big problem.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the holes that go unnoticed in EoL software can also be in the newer version.

Roger A. Grimes’ article, “Zero-days aren’t the problem — patches are” talks about how hackers look at patches to find the vulnerability that it’s meant to patch. Why? Because a lot of these patches don’t get applied, and they definitely don’t get applied to EoL software because no patches are available. So the patch becomes like a flare in the sky showing where the problem is, and how to exploit it.

Sure, that’s horrible for an old operating system, but does software present as big a problem? Yes, if that software interacts with the Internet in any way, it’s as big a hole. Most office suite programs can connect to the Internet or receive files from the Internet that could open holes. Don’t forget web browsers are software too!

Regulatory or Legal Issues

Whether you’re running a business out of your home or just use software to do things like file taxes, you may run into regulatory or legal issues.

Let’s say that you’re using accounting software that has gone EoL. It’s no longer receiving the updates needed to stay current with tax and business laws. So the files and information it prepares may not meet current regulations. This could result in missed tax refund opportunities, rejected tax returns, or even audits and fines. You don’t need that.

Another example might be that you’re doing some medical transcription at home. If some piece of old software has left your computer open to hackers, you might be leaking very personal medical information and not know it. Yet, you’re still accountable for that.

Incompatibility

Although usually a minor issue, it is highly frustrating when someone sends you a file that isn’t compatible with your software.

done in Excel 365 but all you’ve got is Excel 2010. The functions in the 365 version might not work on 2010 so you wouldn’t know what your bonus was going to be.

Worse yet would be sending your resume done in an old version of Word and having all the formatting fall apart because the employer is using Office 365. How horrible would that be?

Decreased Reliability

All things degrade over time. Software is no exception. How it happens is a topic that would fill another article, but nonetheless it happens. Over time, you find that the application crashes more often and you lose your work.

Weird bugs creep up making it harder to do what you’re trying to do. Do you really need the frustration and time lost? Of course not.

Outdated Skills

Using Microsoft Office as an example again, how are you going to keep your skills relevant if you’re still working on Office 2003 and most of the world has moved on to Office 365. Office 365 is about 16 years newer and has features and integration that you couldn’t have dreamt of back in 2003.

The more competent you are with the newest versions of software and operating systems, no matter what your line of work, the more competitive you’ll be in the job market. That means better jobs and better pay. If your line of work is technical, even more so.

Cost

How will staying with EoL software cost you money? We’ve already seen that it could cost you job opportunities, waste your time, and even put you in legal hot water.

All of those things come back to money out of your pocket either literally or in opportunity cost. But there can be other costs associated with maintenance of your computer.

If you’re using EoL software, it could cause your newer operating system issues. Figuring out that it is the old software is beyond the skill set of the average person, so you might end up taking it to the nearest computer shop.

If you’re lucky, that shop will have experienced technicians who will know how to diagnose the problem quickly and recommend you upgrade the software.

Plus, they’re still going to recommend you upgrade the software. Save yourself some time and money and just update it as soon as you know about the EoL date.

How Do I Know if My Software is Reaching End of Life?

If you’ve registered your software or signed up for updates, you may receive a few emails leading up to the EoL date.

If you know your software is older and start hearing about a new version coming out, you’ll want to go to the developer’s website and search out the EoL date for your version. Or you can get on a search engine and find it that way.

For your convenience, here are some of the EoL pages for a few major software producers:

Microsoft – Search Product Life Cycle Adobe End of Life Matrix Google Apps End of Life Announcements Google Chrome OS Devices Google Pixel and Nexus Devices Apple Vintage and Obsolete Products

(Apple isn’t very forthcoming on EoL dates like other companies.)

Yes, You Should Care About Software End of Life

To conclude, yes, you should care. You should care because you care about your time, money, privacy, peace of mind, and yourself in general.

Here’s Why Sushi’s Discount Offering Should Concern You

SushiSwap has been in the news lately owing to a proposal submitted by developer OxMaki. The SushiSwap decentralized exchange intends to raise $60 million by selling discounted tokens to venture capitalists. In no time, the same translated itself into a controversial debate and people from the community started expressing their disapproval of the same. 

According to OxMaki’s submission, a 20%-30% discount would be offered upon the tokens that are set to be locked up in an 18-month vesting period. Notably, the “confirmed strategic investor list” includes the likes of Pantera Capital, DeFiance, Blockchain Capital, Coinfund, Spartan and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The proposal noted, 

“SushiSwap has been  a DeFi Community darling since inception and at this juncture we feel that it’s ready to welcome established crypto funds and cement SushiSwap as a household DeFi blue chip.”

The aforementioned submission is yet to be put forward for a governance vote. However, according to the developer’s 15 July poll, the reaction of 62% of the voters was negative while 38% were positive about the same.  

Isn’t SUSHI already undervalued? 

At press time, the 74th largest crypto in the market was trading at $6.69 after witnessing a 2% drop in its price over the past week. At this stage, it would be not be unfair to claim that SUSHI is already undervalued. The MVRV (market-value-to-realized-value) ratio lingering below 0, at the time of writing, further supported the aforementioned claim.

Whenever this metric registers a negative value, it implies that investors are losing more value than usual in the market. A figure of -21.90% asserted that the fair value of SUSHI was way higher than its press time price level. As can be seen from the chart attached, the MVRV, in fact, was at its lowest level since December last year.

Right now, the token’s price is already ‘discounted’ and offering an additional 30% discount would hardly do any good for SUSHI. 

At this stage, it should be noted that crypto-asset management firm Arca holds 7.51% of the xSUSHI circulating supply. Acknowledging the undervalued state of SUSHI, the firm’s CIO Jeff Dorman opined,

“Since we strongly believe that Sushi is already trading at a significant discount to fair value, we also won’t require further discounts. In fact, we will pay above current trading levels.”

Additionally, Lightening Investments’ Amy Wu also went on to claim,

“We took in the feedback from the community already and removing the discount. On top of that we’re also extending the lockup/vesting period.”

Well, looking at the non-covetous interest of these VCs, it can be deduced that their funds do have the potential to provide value to SUSHI’s ecosystem.

Whales MIA? 

But, given the crypto’s undervalued state, there is no guarantee that this move would impact the token’s price positively.Source: Santiment

Pump on the cards? 

Interestingly, the token’s Stock to Flow ratio was at its all-time high, at the time of writing. This essentially is a sign that the new supply entering the market is fairly low when compared to the total supply. The high ratio is also a sign that SUSHI is capable of retaining its value well over time and the artificial scarcity created when VCs buy additional tokens might end up pumping the price.

If the aforementioned scenario unfolds itself, SUSHI’s undervalued state might end up negating itself.

Institutional investors, most of the time, tend to book their profits and exit the market whenever their targets are met. Hence, the actual repercussions of the discount offer would be prominently visible only after the lock-up period ends and when the so-called “strong hands” dispose of their holdings. 

Unsurprisingly, VCs like DeFiance have already started selling their holdings to buy back SUSHI at cheaper levels. However, SUSHI’s price has managed to shield itself from such recent dumps. This ultimately indicated that SUSHI is a long-term vibrant project and is here to stay.

Should Nft Geeks Care About Bored Ape’s Ethereum

Since the beginning of the year, NFTs have been soaring in terms of both price and popularity. People from the space have been diverting a significant amount of capital into quirky digital images that encapsulate punks, apes, rocks, and even plain text.

Looking at how things have panned out, it doesn’t seem like the mania is going to fade anytime soon either.

Bored Ape Yacht Club [BAYC] is one such project that has taken the industry to new heights with its consistently high trading volumes. Ranked 5th based on the same parameter on OpenSea, the floor price of this collection had a value of 38 ETH, at press time.

Notably, the project has recorded figures of over $542 million in lifetime sales. What’s more, as per Dune Analytics’ data, over 12,121 unique wallets have held an ape at least once.

Capitalizing on enthusiastic participation, the project recently announced that it intends to launch its own token by the first quarter of next year.

Their official announcement thread on Twitter noted,

“It’s stupid easy to launch an ERC-20 token; it takes minutes. It’s much more complicated to construct a legally compliant token and set it up in a responsible, sustainable way.”

They are, however, also working with a tech-focused legal team called Fenwick West and blockchain-based tech firm Horizen Labs to cater to the complexities in a swift way.

With the token launch, BAYC would become one of the first large-scale NFT projects to airdrop tokens to HODLers.

NFTs and native ERC-20 tokens – What’s the deal exactly?

Simply put, ERC-20 is a standard that’s used to create and issue smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. This standard has gradually become a go-to path for projects to create new tokens. Thousands of distinct tokens have already been issued this way and are operating in accordance with the standard.

To break things further down, ERC-20 smart contracts are primarily used to execute various routines and functions in the digital space. They are increasingly being used by platforms from the NFT space of late. Even though it isn’t a must for projects to have their own tokens, they’re usually opted for because of the governance and utility benefits they bring.

In effect, these tokens usually tend to tread their own paths, instead of following Ethereum or the broader market. In fact, the 2023 ICO-fueled bull market was single-handedly dominated by these tokens.

AGLD’s recent price performance has additionally highlighted the not-very-high correlation shared by such tokens with large-cap altcoins.

Worth the hype?

As pointed out by a previous article, the AGLD token was recently airdropped to Loot Project NFT HODLers. Notably, a Loot member from the community built the token and other members had to figure out its actual use cases after the launch.

Now, even though the idea of developing a BAYC token is in its infant stage, it should be noted that the team has already started building the ecosystem before the launch, unlike Loot. In effect, the whole process seems to be even more streamlined for now.

Given the popularity of BAYC and what it has offered, NFT geeks now need to keep an eye out for the latest developments with respect to the launch.

5 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Mechanical Keyboard

There you are, sitting on your office chair. Feeling comfortable and good about yourself. Let me tell you something. You are lost. You are a nobody. Why? Because you don’t have a mechanical keyboard in your life! Like some evangelical preacher, I have an idea I need to sell you. That is the glory of the mechanical keyboard. If you accept the mechanical keyboard into your life, you could be experiencing increased comfort, improved productivity, and glory! It will change the way you type forever! Don’t just ask me, there are plenty of fanatics that have forever converted from using cheap, rubber-dome keyboards to high-quality mechanicals. I have made a short list of five reasons why you should switch to a mechanical keyboard. I have faith that you will see the light.

The second reason why you need to switch to a mechanical keyboard is ergonomics. Mechanical keyboards generally have higher quality keycaps which are rounded to let your fingers rest on them more comfortably. Traditional laptop keys, with the exception of Lenovo’s, are flat. Flat keys are good for space-saving designs but you not only lose precision, but also comfort. I find flat keys uncomfortable to type on for long periods because I have to hit them “head on” in order not to make an error. Also, it is very easy to hit these keycaps on the corners which will cause your fingers to slip and mis-type. If you hit the corner of a keycap on a mechanical keyboard, you still have a good chance of registering the input. The longer “throw” of mechanical keyboards are also more comfortable for long typing sessions compared to the short engagement point of chicklet-style keyboards. For a long time, I thought the main attribute of an ergonomic keyboard is shape. After using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard for 2-3 years and using my Leopold Tenkeyless for about 5 months, I realize that it’s not about the shape. The main reason mechanical keyboards are better is the key switches.

The third benefit is reduced strain. I realize this is closely related to comfort but I felt that this deserved its own section simply because of RSI(Repetitive Strain Injury). We use our computers for hours and some of us do not take RSI seriously. I take good care of my hands. And so should you. For most people, their hands are their livelihood. Hand health is very important if you are a musician, laborer, or athlete. One thing I’ve notice after spending a few months with my mechanical keyboard compared to keyboards of my past is finger pain. I use to get finger pain after prolonged typing on the rubber dome keys. They were all I knew so I didn’t question. It wasn’t until I was in the market for a better keyboard where I found out about mechanical key switches. Subsequently, it wasn’t until I was typing on them for hours until I realized my finger pain was mainly caused by the cheap rubber-dome keyboards. If you are on the computer for hours, or if your profession involves extensive amounts of typing, consider investing on a mechanical keyboard for this very reason. These key switches will reduce finger strain. Your hands will thank you.

The fourth benefit of using a mechanical keyboard is improved speed. A more precise, comfortable keyboard means improved typing speed. I was never a speed typist. Barely being able to type 25 WPM, after a few months of serious training, I can now type 60-70 WPM. Your mileage may vary but you will improve your speed. If not in burst typing, definitely in endurance typing. That’s typing long essays or reports. Wiki has the average typing speed rated at 33 WPM. If you are over this, you are doing very well.

The last and most important reason why you need a mechanical keyboard? They’re fun! That may sound silly to say but after getting one, I now enjoy typing. I like the sound of these Cherry MX browns. Some people like the blues. You can’t go wrong either way. They’re great to type on. Mechanical keyboards have their own unique personalities. From the simple Leopold Tenkeyless to the highly sought after HHKB Pro 2. Typing shouldn’t be a chore. Most people probably won’t be competing on typeracer for leisure, but mechanical keyboards will make you smile. It’s like buying a luxury car. Sure, you don’t NEED leather heated seat with power everything but if you can afford it, why not treat yourself? Especially a tool that you will spend years using. Once you punch the keys, you will see the light

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