Alternative news websites I like to visit

The following are alternative news websites that I like to visit on a regular basis. I like them because they are NOT among the ones owned by the six major corporations. Therefore, the viewpoints expressed in these websites are more reflective of the freedom of press.

By the way, when I say "alternative", I do not mean that they are like the extreme right-wing or extreme left-wing news channels which focus their news reporting heavily on conspiracy theories and other nutty news. Instead, I focus on those that publish smart and engaging articles on topics that are timely even if they don’t make it to the top of the news cycle.

The alternative news websites I listed above are those that report on real news (and stories of human interest) without having to keep you awake at night with news circulated by nutjobs out there.


List of websites for my daily French language digest

As I have vowed earlier this year that I want to minimize reading English online as much as possible, I limit myself to reading news articles in French, Japanese, or Malay only.

The links will be divided into two sections: those that have English language versions, and those that do not.

The ones that have English language versions are as follows:
The ones without English version:
For grammar help, I use these:
These are the links I have for now. I will update as soon as I find more to post.


List of websites to help with learning Japanese

Here are several websites I am now using to help me learn Japanese.

The grammar & kanji materials are as follows:

Reading materials using Furigana/Ruby are as follows:
Other materials:


Life hack: How to own an "iPhone 5" for under $250 without contract

Wanna own an iPhone but can't afford the steep price?

Yea, yea, I know the ads say that iPhones are sold for "free", but let's not kid ourselves: by the time your 24-month contract expires, you would have shelled out more than $1600 already.

So follow my trick.

Step one: when my old contract with a Samsung smartphone expired in January 2014, I bought myself $15 basic Alcatel cellphone. It truly is basic: it can only call, text, and set alarm/reminders.

Step two: I bought myself a $230 iPod Touch 5th generation. It is basically iPhone 5 without the phonecall or text capabilities. But WAIT. Guess what? If you install any of the numerous apps out there such as Google Hangout, Facebook Messenger, or BBM, you will find out that you actually CAN use your iPod for texting and making phone calls!

Step three: that's it. There is no step three.

- there is no way of getting a "data plan" for your iPod Touch,  therefore you need to be in a first-world country (or at least in a country with a lot of free wifi) in order to enjoy the internet-connected capabilities offered by an iPod Touch.
- you need to carry two phones at a time: one is that basic cheap cellphone to make phone calls to real numbers, while the other is your "iPhone"-esque iPod.


Q: But what if I want to make phone call to an actual number, such as office or emergency services? iPod Touch can't do those things, not even with those apps!

A: Please reread Step One above.

Q: I live in a region where wifi is freely available everywhere. But when I'm driving, I can't get my iPod to work other than playing songs. This method of "owning two phones" doesn't work with me.

A: Seriously, why the heck would you need to use your iPod Touch (or any smartphones, for that matter) when you are driving? Unless you want to play songs only, where's your damn logic? You know it is against the law to stare at smartphones while driving, right?


P.S.: when iPod Touch 6th gen comes out, I will buy it immediately. It will mirror nearly all the capabilities of an iPhone, but with a longer battery life (due to its lack of need to search for tower signals), has no contract, and costs at least one-third of the actual iPhone 6.


Websites to learn almost anything for free

Here is a list of websites where you can learn almost anything for free.

In some of the websites, you don't even have to register at all, just link your Facebook or Twitter account in order to get started.

All of the subjects taught in these websites are provided free of charge and free of ads.

Subjects taught: almost everything
Pros: The format is flashcards that contain mnemonic devices.
Cons: It does not help when it comes to learning grammar or formulae.

Subjects taught: college-level courses
Pros: A user can get "statement of accomplishment" provided by the university at the end of each course.
Cons: The serious format could turn off some leisure-learners.

Subjects taught: six European languages (as of 2014).
Pros: can skip classes based on the level a person has previously attained.
Cons: as of 2014, there are only six languages.

Subjects taught: programming languages
Pros: One of the best programming language-learning websites for novice programmers.
Cons: It only teaches some basic programming languages such as Python, Ruby, Javascript, et al.

Subjects taught: almost everything
Pros: The lectures are given in mostly didactical basis.
Cons: Too lecture-oriented

*I will add more websites to this list as soon as I find them. If you have any suggestions on free websites for learning, feel free to drop a comment!


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