Review: Karma Internet Service

Back in December 2015 I found this link to an internet service called Karma. They had just introduced a “Neverstop” plan where a user could pay $50 a month for unlimited internet usage. Being a broke college student, it seemed like an amazing deal and I signed up for three months. Before I signed up I did a search on the internet for negative reviews to see what I might end up dealing with and I found that most people were actually really happy with their service. So I signed up and paid for three months in advance and the little puck shaped thing totalling about $280 dollars.

In 2015, I rarely spent time at school or work, where the wifi was free. I had no access to internet in my house, I just used my iPhone as a hotspot (T-Mobile Service). So $50 a month for unlimited internet usage sounded fantastic. Realistically I probably use 100GB of data a month. Before you judge me, just know that most of this time is spent learning new things and communicating with family that lives far away. Also, I like to watch a little Netflix every once in a while but never a season a day/week.

So the first month that I had this device and service I used 170GB of data. I connected my Macbook, my cell phone, and my tablet so that I could work and keep up with my grades. I was taking a 10 week english class that heavily relied on research and paper writing, I was taking a psychology class that I had to do a semester project about a mental health disorder and then present that to the class, so there was a lot of research I was doing off campus. I was also trying to learn C++ but that’s a whole other headache/story.

Sometime in January Karma announced that it would be changing the Neverstop plan. I wasn’t shocked but I wasn’t ready for the change at all. I had already gone through about 10GB in data due to preparing for my next semester classes. The change was that Neverstop was more like “Here’s 15GB, after that we’re going to slow it down so much you won’t even be able to get email.” The email I received on January 18th, 2016, was basically a blog post where they basically said that they had made a mistake. Thinking that there may be a refund for the fact that now I don’t have what I paid for, I got a little excited. But no, there was no refund for just getting 15 GB and at the time I had reduced my phone plan so that I wouldn’t have to keep buying data to use for my cell phone hot spot. So I felt screwed. I used 17GB of data that month. In the blog post it also stated that some people were using over 1000GB a month. People will take advantage of what they can, I would think that people on the internet for a while would realize this.

Fast forward to Thursday February 18, 2016 and now I’m angry. According to their blog post, Neverstop is being killed off and replaced with “Pulse.” It feels like a cruel joke to me because of the pricing.


So now, for $10 less, I get a whole 10GB less than I got in January.

So now what? I can’t really afford to do anything. I just have to just deal with it and maybe sell my patience and soul to Comcast or Verizon, the two I was really trying to avoid at all costs. I can’t live at school or work so this is the best I’ll have to do and I feel so stupid for all of this. I’ve got about $5 in credits I won’t be using. Stay away from this service, you’ll only be disappointed.

Free Photo Editors

Adobe’s PhotoShop is wonderful and is nearly magic you can master, but not everyone can afford the monthly cost of the software through creative cloud, even with the student discount. There are many free options out there but a few of the best are listed down below. Check them out and if you like them, make sure you spread the word. These are listed in no particular order.

  • PIXLR Web, Mobile, and Desktop apps available
  • GIMP Probably the best photoshop alternative I’ve ever worked with.
  • RIOT “RIOT has an easy to use interface to compare the original with the optimized image in real time and instantly see the resulting file size. The image optimizer is lightweight, fast and simple to use, yet powerful for advanced users.”
  • Inkscape
  • Canva Just go to the site and move your cursor around, you’ll be entertained. Then sign up/in and see what you can do.
  • Paint.NET You can do so much with this.
  • Seashore

Have one not listed here? Leave a comment below!

A Resource

It seems like I have a hidden talent for finding websites for pretty much anything that can be needed. Pretty soon all that this site will be is a master list of other lists of links to places that you can find what you’re looking for.

This might also include updates on ipsy packages and things that places like influenster send me.

See you soon!

 

Happy New Year!

I really hope everyone has had a good holiday season and has been well. I know I seem like I’ve been absent but I have not. I’ve checked in almost daily and have a lot of projects going on. I’m also in school right now and I feel like it’s killing me.

Computer science is my major and I’m majorly stressed over it. For some reason my brain refuses to accept calculus as a real thing. I’m taking it again as a pass/fail to make sure I get it down. I just barely passed last semester.

This year I will be posting more of my projects and resources here. That’s my only real resolution.

Be safe!

Photo Storage

If you’re like me at all, you love taking pictures and when your phone or camera cards get full, you need to figure out where to store your images. You could always buy an external drive. Those can be expensive. There are sites out there where you can sign up or just upload and get what you need. Here’s a list of good ones I’ve found.

Free trials:

 

Suggested Links:

Adobe PhotoShop Tutorials

Most people have heard of Adobe PhotoShop, it’s a downloadable photo editor that you can create, manipulate, and edit photos in. There is so much you can do with Adobe’s PhotoShop editor but you have to download it first.

You can get a free trial of it right from Adobe. After the trial ends you can sign up for their Creative Cloud service and I believe plans that include the latest version of PhotoShop start at about $10 (USD) a month.

Once you’ve downloaded it, you will want to learn how to use it.

Beginners

Now make some stuff…

Learning to code

Coding or programming rather, is an important skill to learn. According to Steve Jobs, it teaches you how to think. It’s a skill that can be learned and even the very basics can be learned easily. There’s a few places around the internet where you can learn for free and at your own pace.

Code Academy is probably one of the most popular. Signing up is really quick and easy. You can choose your own pace and there are even forums for help if you get stuck. It’s completely free to join and use and as far as I know there is no “premium” or paid plan so you never have to worry about money.

W3Schools – They are not affiliated with W3C but they have tutorials for nearly everything. From basic HTML to CSS, MySQL, JQuery, bootstrap and more! You can learn it all for free.

Code.org is another one that is completely free and aims to educate as many people as it can. Although you can go at your own pace and time, it’s strongly recommended you try coding for an hour straight to see how you’ve progressed. It’s worth trying out.

Learn Java from edX – This course is free, and brought to you by University of Carlos III of Madrid and is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It is recommended that you do this 5-7 hours a week for about 9 weeks to get the full experience.

Programming for Everybody (Michigan) –  This program will introduce you to Python over a 10 week course.

Computer Science

If you want to delve into computer science then you can try these courses, also for free.

Have anything else to add to this list? Leave a comment below!

51 FFCU Image Sites

You are not allowed to Google a picture and manipulate it then make money off of it. You can read up on Copyright laws here, here, and here.

FFCU = Free for commercial use.

So what do you do when you want to be able to use a picture and do what you want with it? Try one of these sites:

Have more to add to this list? Leave a comment below!

Hosting

If you’ve been wanting to create a site you’ll need to think about a few things. One thing would be domains and the second is where you’ll host your site. You can read my post here about domains and which ones might actually be worth your money.

So what is hosting all about? Think of it like this: You have a building. You can make that building into anything really. It could be a home, a workshop, a school, a museum, anything. You need to find the building that is best suited to your specific needs. You figure that you’ll so much space, enough space for everyone who wants to come in and walk through and everything.

When you’re trying to find a place to host your site you will need to think about how much space you’ll need to host all of your files, how much bandwidth you’ll need, and so on. Before you start thinking that you need unlimited everything, consider your phone bill (assuming you have one). If you only call two people and talk to them for about ten minutes per call and text them maybe once a week, do you really need an unlimited phone plan? You could save yourself some money by simply estimating how much of everything you may need.

So which ones do I recommend?

Three-Words – Misaki is a wonderful host and gives excellent support in a timely manner. I hosted this site with TW for a long time. Prices start at just $4 a month for shared hosting and $8 a month for reseller accounts.

HostGator – Everyone keeps spamming me about this site, but I also know people hosted here. The prices don’t seem too bad, according to a couple of friends their support is really good also.

NameCheap – Currently NameCheap has shared hosting starting at about $10 for the first year and then a renewal price of about $40 for the next year.
Namecheap.com

 

More hosts: 

I’ve found a few more sites worth noting listed below.

* = may offer free hosting

Have anymore to add to this? Leave a comment below!

Domain Registrars

When you want to start a website you usually think of buying a domain name. You can get a dot.tk for free, but it’s not that good and looks a bit sketchy. I’ve used a few domain registrars over the past few years and I can tell you which ones worked best for me.

NameCheap – Their customer service is excellent. Their site is easy to navigate and easy to look at. Currently if you’re a student with a student email address you can get a free domain name, free premium about.me plan or GitHub pages. It’s part of NameCheap’s education initiative. You can read more about it here.

Namecheap

1&1 – I would avoid this place. I bought this domain for $1 from there and that was the only good thing I have to say about it. You can get a .com and/or .net from $0.99 for the first year and I think it’s only for first time customers. Their user interface is really annoying and difficult to navigate. They will call you and try to sell you on their 1&1 Website Builder that is basically what wix, webs.com, and weebly offer only more complicated and irritating. If you can figure it out without ripping your hair out, good luck. I think it’s funny how I told them that I was a web developer (at the time) and they still said that this would be easier. Don’t kill the web developer!

GoDaddy – Well if you want you can use this. I haven’t used GoDaddy since 2012 and they’ve changed the site’s design since then so I can’t comment on how the dashboard to manage your domains is, but at the time when I used it, I didn’t like it. I remember their support wasn’t great, it was like pulling teeth and nails trying to get a decent response that made sense in a timely manner. If you really want a detailed list of reasons to avoid this one, check out this post by Author Media.

Google – Google recently joined the game, and I’ve heard some pretty good things about them so far. They’re prices start at $12 for the first year. It could be useful if you plan on using Google’s Webmaster tools, analytics, fonts, and adsense.

Do you have any registrars that you’ve worked with that you loved or hated?