✨ serial questioner • technical writer/devops • editor of Diary of an SRE • thank you for connecting 👩🏻‍💻 kerisavoca.com

The News Break Creator Program is new. Get in early.

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Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

I’ve been writing on Medium for 2 years. I’ve enjoyed it. Some months, I’ve paid my NYC rent with my earnings. Other months, not even close. I’ve been searching for another platform to supplement my earnings, and I’m happy to report that I’ve found one.

The News Break Creator Program is new, but News Break itself is not. With over 20 million active users, News Break has become one of the most popular news aggregators in the United States. Now, they’re investing quite a bit of money in building their creator program. …


No matter what the lender’s website says, these loans are consumer loans — NOT private student loans — and there are serious implications to be aware of before accepting the terms

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Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

TL;DR: Do not take out a coding bootcamp loan with Skills Fund (aka Skills.Fund). It is not a private student loan. It is a private consumer loan. There is a big difference between private student loans and consumer loans.

It doesn’t matter what your credit report says. It doesn’t matter that Skills Fund’s own website calls it a “tuition” loan, nor that they market themselves as “a provider of student loans” [1]. It doesn’t matter that it’s serviced by a student loan servicer. It is not a student loan. It is a private consumer loan — the same type of loan you’d take out from a regular bank. You can’t refinance it. You can’t write off the interest on your taxes. It doesn’t matter that it’s used for school, nor that Skills Fund pays your school directly. It doesn’t matter that Skills Fund only works with accredited educational institutions. Skills Fund loans are NOT private student loans, and there are serious considerations that must be taken into account before agreeing to the terms of this loan.


You don’t know what “the algorithm” actually does, so stop telling people how to beat it

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Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne on Unsplash

Many people seem to believe that social media websites are powered by a magical, super-special file called The Algorithm™, as if only a single, complicated equation in a heavily-guarded, secret document determines whether your posts get the organic reach you desire.

  • Your latest post didn’t reach enough people? It must be The Algorithm.
  • Your YouTube video didn’t go viral this time? Must be The Algorithm again.
  • “Comment on this post so the Facebook algorithm knows to show my posts in your feed!”
  • You notice some changes to a social media website’s user interface, so they must have also changed The Algorithm. …


Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, even at private residences

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Image credit: Unsplash

According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the amount of people at indoor gatherings should be scaled down to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Translation: if you’re planning to have a massive gathering of family and friends for Thanksgiving, think again.

Effective Friday at 10:00 PM Eastern time, bars, gyms, and any establishment that has a liquor license will be required to close between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM. Restaurants will also be required to close during these hours, but they will be permitted to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages to-go.

The Governor also announced a restriction on the number of people allowed to attend indoor or outdoor gatherings at private residences, similar to the restrictions imposed by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These restrictions are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, and they also go into effect at 10:00 PM on Friday. …


Here’s what we know so far.

The News Break Creator Program is a relatively new program for writers who publish regularly. It promises to pay creators a guaranteed monthly minimum if they reach certain achievable benchmarks. It also promises to pay an additional fee for each article read. I introduced the News Break platform here:

Is this legit?

Short answer: yes.

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Screenshot by the author.

Long answer: yes, but it’s still in its infancy, and there are a few bugs to work out. For one, the analytics are extensive, but I don’t see a payment tracker yet. Also, the editor sometimes glitches when trying to move a picture. Finally, it seems that the reader login page is different from the creator login portal — which might mean that you would need a reader account if you plan to browse around or follow other users. …


Statistically, you’re probably one of them. Here’s how to find the correct size — and where to find affordable replacements for the old ones.

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Photo by Danijela Prijovic on Unsplash

If your last bra fitting was years ago and if you’ve grown to hate wearing bras because of how uncomfortable they are, you may be in for a surprise — studies show that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. Statistically speaking, this means that you’re likely one of them.

If your bra straps dig into your shoulder, if your breasts spill out from the top or the side of your bra, if you have a gap between your breasts and your bra, if you need to use an extender to make your bra wider, if you need to inhale deeply to get your bra straps secured, or if you’re experiencing back pain or changes in posture because of how uncomfortable your breasts are… the culprit could be poorly-fitting bras. …


If your colleagues want to be all “modern”, they can upload your Word document to their Google thingy on their own

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Photo by Pedro Santos on Unsplash

In case you missed it, technology is “in” and Google Drive is all the rage lately. Gone are the days of using Microsoft Word; your company uses Google Drive now. Say goodbye to email; you can Slack your colleagues instead. Skype? What’s that? You’ll be using Google Meets and Zoom going forward. (Now is probably a good time to stop typing with only your pointer fingers, but I digress.)

Although we’re changing the way we work, we’re not changing the amount of pointless documents we produce. Although nobody will ever read them again, we’ll spend weeks making them, and dozens of people will collaborate on them. …


Modeling perseverance, flexibility, and humility when your child is watching

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Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels

As a single parent, it took me years — almost six, to be precise — to figure out how to balance being a good parent and being a fully-functioning adult. Of course, the hardest parts of parenting are made much easier by the fact that my daughter goes to school during the day. Or, she used to.

Distance learning is difficult for kids, teachers, and parents alike. Being a single parent while managing and supervising distance learning is extra difficult, but doable. …


Here’s what you should ask before enrolling

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Image by the author

There are a few different ways to get into software engineering. According to Hired’s 2020 State of Software Engineers, people typically choose one of four learning paths:

  • get a degree in computer science (50% of respondents)
  • get a degree in something related (19% of respondents)
  • learn independently (22% of respondents)
  • go to a coding bootcamp (10% of respondents)

These bootcamps, which typically charge between $10,000 and $15,000, produced around 34,000 graduates in 2019, representing a growth of 4.38% from the previous year.

Coding bootcamps make some big promises.

  • You’ll become a full-stack developer.
  • You won’t pay tuition until you get a job making at least $50,000.
  • You’ll get a job within 6 months of graduating, or your tuition will be free. …


How to find out if it has been happening to you — and what to do next

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you have ever written about technology, programming, data science, machine learning, or a related topic — content scrapers have been stealing your articles. I promise you.

This is a quick, no-nonsense guide for how to find out and what to do about it.

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Screenshot by the author. Here is an example of an article I wrote that Google took down upon my request.

What to know

If you wrote something, you own the copyright to it. If someone else publishes your work without your permission, they have violated this copyright. If content scrapers have scraped your work, they are earning ad revenue on it.

How to find out if this is happening to you

  • Google your name, or Google “your name” + “author”. Scroll. Scroll. Keep going. Go a few pages deep.
  • Set up a Google alert with your name. If your name is common, set up a Google alert with the names of your most popular articles. …

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