Your Data is Your Digital Currency

Online products you actually thought were free, actually come at a cost: your data

In today’s issue:

  • Personal data as a digital currency

  • We are getting really good a predicting the weather

  • A tool to help you stay private while surfing the web

First time reading? Subscribe here!

Personal data is the digital currency of an ad-driven internet.

What does this mean? It means the email you have for "free" or the video you watch for "free" actually comes at a cost.

That cost is your data. That's right, personal information you thought was private wasn't. Those ads you see (or hopefully don't see if you have been "enlightened" by an ad blocker) in your email, on social media, or before a video you watch, someone paid to put that there.

Google and other corporations collect all the information they can legally keep on you and sell it to the highest bidder. I'm not joking; that's actually how it works.

The highest bidder who wants your attention will pay Google to put their message in front of you. And it's not as expensive as you would think:

Depending on their interests, one person is usually only worth a few dollars a month to corps that offer a "free" product supported by ads.

I'm talking $2 or $3 a month.

That is nothing compared to the last coffee you bought, which was probably at LEAST $7.

Wouldn't you rather pay the $3 to a company building the product to support YOUR needs, not the highest bidder?

Or trust a corporation that will shut down a product when your attention is deemed not valuable enough?

Your data is your digital currency. You give this in exchange for a service that a corporation can shut down tomorrow. Take back ownership. Support a business that cares about your privacy and creates a good product—not one selling your attention to the highest bidder.

Interesting Reads

  • Weather forecasts have become much more accurate; we now need to make them available to everyone (Our World In Data)

  • 'Inception attacks' on Meta VR headsets can trap users in a fake VR environment, researchers found (Business Insider)

  • CEO of Data Privacy Company Founded Dozens of People-Search Firms (KrebsOnSecurity)

  • The Real Secret of Blue Zones [Blue Zones are zones where people live abnormally long] (MarginalRevolution)

  • Giant 'sand battery' holds a week's heat for a whole town [Dune anyone?] (NewAtlas)

Cool Finds


    • Wouldn’t it be nice to finally understand your taxes? Upload your U.S. tax return and we will analyze it for you and give you recommendations to lower your tax bill.

    • I submitted an old tax return to test it out, and while it was neat, it didn't really give any useful tax-saving tips. If you have a higher income with more tax-saving opportunities, it seems this would fit you better. It recommended the new clean vehicle credit and the used clean vehicle tax credit, which I can’t claim. It did give cool stats, like your effective tax rate, marginal tax rate and where you fall in the marginal brackets. Something else fun it showed is how your effective tax rate compares to Presidents. Fun Fact: My effective tax rate in 2022 was higher than Donald Trump’s in 2020 (his was 0%)

  • SondeHub Tracker

    • The SondeHub-Tracker is a platform for tracking radiosondes used in amateur high-altitude balloon launches.

    • It essentially allows you to track weather balloons throughout the world. It has a neat map that shows information about balloons and even shows chase cars and what balloons they are tracking. There are way more balloons than I would have thought, especially over Europe. It is worth checking out if you are curious.

  • cloaked

    • Cloaked is a better way to achieve privacy. Make your data invisible by generating unlimited identities. The next-level in privacy protection for online and travel.

    • This tool looks interesting and is right up my alley. It essentially gives you a way to generate “identities” for certain websites and apps, like email addresses, phone numbers, passwords, usernames, and soon credit cards. One thing that makes it stand out is how you can access everything via an interface that treats each identity like a separate profile, allowing you to view inboxes for emails and texts separately. However, the website is riddled with Google trackers, so it's not a good start. I will report back if I try it out.

Here is a question to think about:

What was the last goal achieved?

Looking back, what was more valuable, achieving the goal or the work that actually went into achieving it?

Have a good weekend!