Seen in Stockholm

Happy Halloween and Get Ready for Christmas!

This picture says it all, as seen in my local Hemköp.

Halloween and Christmas

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Seen in Stockholm

Seen in Stockholm

I love seeing this beautiful woman on the cover of a magazine in a waiting room in Stockholm. Diversity 😉
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Sweden

The Latest Good, Bad and Ugly News from Sweden

The Good

Sweden

Now There Are Plans for ‘e-Krona’ in Cash-Shy Sweden

Sweden is becoming increasingly cashless. Credit and debit cards are now by far the most common mode of payment while mobile payments have become as common as cash. A parliament committee has proposed that the largest banks should be forced to handle cash in an effort to halt the development. This year, only 13 percent of Swedes paid for their most recent purchase in cash, down from 39 percent in 2010. Read the full story.

The Bad

Europe

Sweden predicted to face downturn after economic boom.

According to the National Institute on Economic Research, Sweden’s growth rate will peak at 2.4 percent this year and then come to a halt in 2019. Moreover, while the unemployment rate is expected to continue to sink in the coming year and dip to 6.2 percent, it will then start to rise, the Institute’s latest prognosis states. Read the full story.

The Ugly

Sweden
After the failure of centre-right Ulf Kristersson (left) to form a government, the Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven (right) is currently leading the Swedish government coalition negotiations. © News Øresund – Johan Wessman (CC BY 3.0)

The battle for which party will lead the next Swedish government drags on. Support for the far-right Sweden Democrats rose significantly in the election on 9 September (it is now the third-biggest party with 17.5% of votes and 62 parliamentary seats), while mainstream parties both on the left and the right declined. Read the full story.

 

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VPN

Thanks to GDPR you may need a VPN


VPN

If you’re like me you’re used to reading your favorite websites in the US without blinking. Then last May, GDPR happened and all of a sudden certain websites didn’t want me any more. Their teams hadn’t gotten their GDPR acts together. So I was locked out. There are also privacy issues to consider. Then I remembered something about VPN. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Privacy is all the rage in 2018.

Source: mozilla.org

In 2017, the U.S. Congress rolled back Internet privacy rules, giving service providers free reign to track, store and sell browsing data. In July, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a warrant to DreamHost, asking for a list of everyone who visited DisruptJ20.org — a site used to plan protests at President Trump’s inauguration. Both events raise important questions about online privacy, and many consumers are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

Yikes, right? Right!

2. Hello GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) padlock on European union flag

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

What? Read more here.

3. Definition of VPN

Source: dictionary.com

Virtual private network: a system or technology that uses a public network, usually the Internet, to transmit encrypted data between a private network and a remote authorized user. When you connect to a VPN, you create a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN remote server. The data is essentially gibberish to anyone who intercepts it. Your ISP, government or hackers won’t know which websites you visit. And conversely, the websites you visit won’t know where you are.

I repeat:  the websites you visit won’t know where you are.

4. How do you pick a VPN provider?

Source: mozilla.org

It may be tempting to turn to a free VPN provider, but many simply don’t deliver a great experience. Some sell your data (anonymized) to advertisers in order to survive. Other VPN services run ads. Some may be free and secure but are painfully slow.

It can also be tricky to pick a good paid VPN service. For example, a provider may offer secure connections and ultimate privacy, but a limited number of server locations. Your browsing data may not be as anonymized as you’d like.

Here are some questions you should ask when considering a VPN provider:

VPN

  1. What kind of data, if any, does the VPN provider collect about your browsing?
  2. How long does it keep this data?
  3. Are there any restrictions?
  4. Where are the VPN servers?
  5. How do you pay for the VPN service?

That last question can be really tricky. If you pay for the VPN service with a credit card or PayPal, how private will it be? If you’re after ultimate privacy and security, look for a service that accepts payment from anonymous services like Bitcoin.

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Sweden

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Sweden this week.

The Good

The Number of Female Executives in Sweden Is Rising

Sweden

The Bad

Sweden’s Opposition Leader’s Plan Rejected by Coalition Partners

Sweden

The Ugly

This new food museum expects to upset your stomach — and then make you think about why.

Sweden

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