Happy Birthday to Diana!

If you’re self-employed (and American), how do you handle the sticky issue of health insurance? Do targeted ads creep you out? What myths of technology do you mistakenly believe? Besides the birth of Diana, what other holidays should we geeks start celebrating around the LockerGnome World Headquarters? Here’s what we were talking about on LockerGnome.com and in our live YouTube stream today.

Five Health Insurance Options if You Are Self-employed
Giving up a steady gig in the 9-to-5 working world can be terrifying for most Americans because of one thing: health insurance. It’s expensive in this country and it’s getting more expensive all the time. Without the safety net of regular doctor visits to make sure you’re staying healthy, being self-employed could mean you’re unintentionally neglectful for lack of health insurance that your employer once provided — but it doesn’t have to be this way! Here, we investigate some of the options the self-employed have when it comes to health insurance.

Targeted Ads and Polarization
Ever notice how the ads that show up in the margins of your browser when visiting websites (including this one and LockerGnome, to name a couple of examples) are sometimes eerily relevant to things you’ve searched for or read recently? This is no mistake; advertisers (especially Google) have long used search data to pinpoint appropriate audiences for greater effect in selling not only merchandise, but ideas. As an election year looms, you’ll probably be seeing even greater evidence of this based on your political biases. At the end of the day, though, do you see this targeting as an ethical use of your search data, or an unforgivable invasion of your privacy?

Seven Technology Myths Exposed
As the Internet has permeated almost every aspect of modern western civilization, it’s easy to call our current era the Age of Information. On the other side of the coin, it could also be called the Age of Misinformation. Just as it’s been said that you shouldn’t believe everything you read, it’s a good idea to cast a wary eye on every scrap of data that’s fed to you — no matter its origin. Even sources that mean well sometimes pass along what past presidential administrations have euphemistically called “bad intelligence.” (Think of how many emails you’ve been forwarded that perpetuate Internet hoaxes dispelled by Snopes years ago, yet they keep showing up again and again.) Here are seven myths of technology that have been exposed.

The Best Apps to Track Your Health
Whether new year’s resolutions are urging you to be kinder to your body or your powers of self-discipline have always kept a close eye on a positive health regimen, there are plenty of apps out there to help you stay true to your goals. Here are a few we’ve found that are either free or very inexpensive (much cheaper than a doctor’s visit, in any case, especially if you don’t have health insurance — see above).

Happy Birthday to Diana!Five Days in Geek History That Should Be Holidays
Sure, we’ve always paid tribute to great leaders and those who have given their lives during times of breached peace (as it should be). But shouldn’t we also honor some of the great thinkers and innovators who have enriched our world with discovery and technological advancement? Here are a few humble submissions for holidays that we think should be celebrated in the name of geekery… and science!

And here are a couple of things we talked about in yesterday’s TLDR in case you missed ’em:

Back Link of the Day
Thanks again to Brad Tomlinson of Blog from a Florida Gator in Virginia with Geek Tendencies, who is always linking back to our LockerGnome posts and providing his own take on what he finds in them! As he recently wrote to us, “I am enjoying the TLDR this week since I am off from work. You are forcing me to be a content provider as well, although not in your league. Keep up the good work.” That’s awesome feedback, Brad — exactly what I’d love to see more of from our community (and that’s why you get to be Back Link of the Day two days in a row). If you’d like to be mentioned as a Back Link of the Day, link to one of our posts on LockerGnome.com from your site and — this is the important part — tell us about it!

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