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Paul Offline

DO you ever imagine what it would be like to not use the Internet for a year? Paul Miller, a technology reporter for The Verge - one of the world's largest tech news websites -- did just that.

On May 1, 2012, Miller decided that he was going to go cold turkey -- no Twitter, news websites, email, nothing. He was giving it all up for a year.

Why did he do it? Because he felt that the Internet was taking over his life and he felt incredibly overwhelmed.

"I use the Internet all day and all night. I couldn't imagine not using it for one hour, never mind 365 days," he says in The Verge.

Paul said that the Internet to him wasn't a tool -- it was becoming a major distraction. That is why he needed to leave. He left his major reporting duties at The Verge on May 1, 2012, as his job would require him to use the World Wide Web. The only thing he wrote were journal entries that described his unplugged day-to-day life.

One of the first things he found was that his writing productivity increased quite a bit because he was not jumping in and out of the Internet while trying to get his work done. He also learned the Internet was not the main cause of his problems in life. When he was Internet-free, his problems manifested themselves in other ways.

The Verge had a camera crew follow Paul around for the year and they put together an awesome 15-minute documentary. Paul Offline was an incredibly cool project run by the folks over at The Verge and if you are interested head over to their website to find out all of articles, interviews and video.


iPhone 5S/6


AS June approaches, Apple's World Wide Developers Conference is just right around the corner.

It's the time of year when all of the iOS developers, tech reporters, and important people in the world migrate to San Francisco to watch Apple CEO Tim Cook take the stage to announce new software and hardware.

Every year, it is expected Apple will announce its new iPhone. What will it be called? What will it look like? What will be new? Rumour mills are spinning faster than ever right now trying to compete for the top headline. With Samsung releasing its really big phones, it seems Apple is following suit by incrementally increasing the size of the iPhone year in year out (see accompanying chart). It's rumored that Apple has found a way to make the next iPhone larger without making any trade-offs with other parts of the device. I do not think Apple is going to change the design at all. My opinion is that it is going to call it the iPhone 5S, make it faster, give it better battery life and have a larger screen -- that's it.

I think Apple is really just focusing on improving iOS. It's rumoured Apple is making the next version of iOS incredibly "flat" and non-flashy. Apple is trying to de-glitz the software. I look forward to what Apple will present at WWDC this year and I will be sure to keep you updated.


Social blogging


WHEN it comes to blogging platforms, I have extreme ADD. I started my blog, on WordPress. I then jumped to Blogger, then Tumblr, and now back to WordPress. I am one of those guys who is never happy with the way something looks. I'm always looking to improve on design and content layout. The biggest pratfall a blogger can make is to not post content. Since we live in an incredibly social age, we are always tweeting, making a Facebook status, or Instagramming a photo. Taking all of this content and re-posting it to your blog is quite the hassle.

In the past, I would take Instagram pictures, then sent them to my email, then post them to my blog. It was annoying, which led to my lazy self not posting to my blog anymore. I then stumbled across a service called Rebel Mouse. Rebel Mouse is a social-blogging service that asks for you to input all of your social media profiles (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine etc.) and then it amalgamates the content from each network and organizes it in a beautiful way, which is then displayed on your blog. So when you tweet an article, or take an Instagram photo, it automatically refreshes your blog and loads the new content. It's awesome. The service is free if you simply want a URL and it costs $10 per month if you want to setup domain forwarding. Check out my blog and see if Rebel Mouse is right for you!

David Bell (@thedavidbell) is a young entrepreneur in Winnipeg. He specializes in emerging technology and online aspects of business, including web and social media consulting. Access his company online at He is an active member of the YouTube community (, with more than two million views and 5,000 subscribers. He was also a Dragons' Den contestant. Email:

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 5, 2013 ??65521

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