gilch's Comments

What are the best online tools for meetups and meetings?

I learned that RingCentral is a kind of rebranding of Zoom. Having not tried Zoom, I'm not exactly sure how similar the clients are, but some of my review of RingCentral may apply to Zoom as well.

romeostevensit's Shortform

remember that stocks are priced in NOMINAL dollars, not inflation-adjusted. It's quite believable that everything can slow down WHILE prices and stock values rise.

In that case, TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) or precious metals like gold might be good investments. Unless the market has already priced it in, of course.

What are the best online tools for meetups and meetings?

My employer has tried Slack and RingCentral for remote development work. We use Slack chat all the time, but RingCentral seems a bit better for screen sharing.

Whatever compression algorithm Slack is using is probably fine for a webcam, but when screen sharing, compression artifacts make the text completely illegible for seconds at a time after scrolling, and even after it has caught up, it's not as clear as RingCentral. We end up using Slack calls a lot because it's well integrated into the chat features, but the compression is a major pain.

On the other hand, I find RingCentral's screen annotation tools kind of awkward to use. They have a variety of options, but you can't select them quickly enough, and opening the palette hides the mute button! And you have to click another button to clear it. Slack only lets you draw on the screen, but you don't have to select a tool and it fades away on its own, which I found a lot easier to use.

I can't really recommend either one, but RingCentral is less bad for screen sharing.

Update (April 2):

Slack video calls seem to have a limit of 15 people. RingCentral can do a lot more.

My employer is becoming concerned about potential security issues in RingCentral and Slack and is looking for alternatives. Candidates include Amazon Chime, Jami, Jitsi, Mattermost,, Tox, and Zulip (with Jitsi), but we haven't tried them yet.

Open & Welcome Thread - March 2020

Do you have a good sense of which ones? Is there something we can do about it? Perhaps a particularly impactful charity identified by the EA people?

Can we profit from this knowledge? Wei_Dai bought an index put at the right moment. Perhaps shorting foreign stocks or currency? Maybe we could make back what we donate.

Coronavirus Justified Practical Advice Summary

You can get vitamin D from sunlight. You can't overdose this way, but you could get a sunburn, which has its own problems. An app like dminder can help you time your sun exposure.

Should we heat our houses to ~78F to reduce coronavirus risk?

I'm also wondering about the optimal humidity level. Too much would encourage the growth of bacteria and mold, but if it's too dry it might put a strain on your respiratory system and make you more vulnerable.

When are the most important times to wash your hands?

I also mentally categorize objects as clean or unclean.

It would be nice to have two phones, where you could use one to remotely activate or deactivate the other.

I think there are ways to approximate this with what's already available. I.e. use a Bluetooth headset to take calls when at home. Use a home-only tablet for the apps instead of the phone when at home. A lot of them can sync via the cloud these days. If there are notifications or alarms you need to dismiss, you could use a smart watch. You can also use the smartwatch for text messages. There are also ways to text from the tablet or a computer.

You might also consider apps that mirror your phone on your computer over WiFi, like ApowerMirror. Then you can access your phone from inside your pocket when at home.

When are the most important times to wash your hands?

Washing your hands requires soap and water, but you can carry hand sanitizer and use that when you can't get to a sink. Any surface an infected person might have touched or sneezed on is dangerous. Besides what you've already mentioned, wash or sanitize

  • When you come home after being in any public place or shared space.
  • After you touch any shared handle. Doors, drawers, cases, faucets, etc.
  • After you touch a keyboard, mouse, gamepad, or touchscreen anyone else uses, or you used when your hands weren't clean.
  • After you touch a shared control. Light switches, elevator buttons, etc.
  • After touching any personal article you touched when your hands weren't clean. Belt, zipper, shoelaces, phone, wallet, glasses etc.
  • After touching money. Coins might be safer than bills, because germs can't live on metal for long.
  • After you touch any garbage that might have bodily fluid in it. Food wrappers, tissues, etc.

You can often sanitize the surface itself with wipes, or reduce the length of time it can harbor germs by coating it with copper foil tape.

Meetups in the era of COVID-19

I thought Jitsi could do video conference calls in-browser, no client download required.

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