(Now blogged at https://jimonline.wordpress.com)
Well it’s the weekend and time to write a little before beginning the yearly ritual of pulling the Christmas ornaments out of the attic. Now that we’ve been married 35 years, the things purchased over the years, from miniature towns and nativity scenes, to garland and wreaths, figurines and table cloths and even our tree (now three years old), have been stored in crates and boxes. Yes, we decided on a “fake” tree because it’s easier to clean up afterward, not to mention the cost of buying a perfectly good tree only to throw it to the curb in a month seemed like a waste. You have to make your own determination about a tree … it’s just for us, this is easier.
What’s even more striking about all this is, you look back and ask yourself, “what happened to the year?” … this one flew by so fast. Next thing you know it’s 2008. What dad told me years ago is true … the older you get, the faster times flies.
Well, speaking of flying … the news this week included the airlines:
Starting next week and over the next few months, several United States airlines will test Internet service on their planes.
Jet Blue leads the pack. Others will follow with a charge of $10 per flight. Great for business, but just for browsing and checking email? I’ll wait to get into a wi-fi free access airport. But this does provide an added revenue stream for the airline industry and is the start to what will eventually become common-place in flights. I see this as a good thing. http://tinyurl.com/yotru6
Also making the news, the Democrat led House rushed a bill through that would require anyone offering wi-fi access to monitor and report any illegal images that are downloaded into a patron’s computer. This bill, dubbed the SAFE Act, extends this requirement to other internet entities including email (Gmail and Hotmail), and all internet service providers requiring them to get the names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and any other information about the person or persons. Before you think, “that’s a good idea”, know that Internet providers already are required by another federal law to report child pornography sightings to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is in turn charged with forwarding that report to the appropriate police agency. So what were the Democrats thinking about when they decided to rush this bill through? And don’t they have other more important issues to decide on … like resending the vote to raise taxes on anyone making more than $100,000 a year? Oh, that’s right, that was shot down in the Republican led Senate. Politics.
This week I discovered Coca-Cola has set up shop in a virtual world called there.com, creating an island shaped like a Coke bottle where fans can hang out and soar around. At CC Metro, the name of the island, visitors can set up a virtual alter ego known as an avatar, which can then shop and dance at the Coca-Cola diner, visit a movie theater to watch short films and soar around on a hoverboard like the one in the 1989 movie, “Back to the Future Part II.” Sounds like Second Life, huh? One difference is the activities and voice text are monitored to keep things clean, unlike SL. The world, monitored by there.com, is set to filter out unsavory content, thereby creating a safer world to explore and enjoy. http://www.there.com
Meanwhile, YouTube has just added Holiday Video Cards. Typically when you see greeting card options online, it’s an animation you can choose from, or a really cute picture of a puppy wearing a Santa hat. At first glance of YouTube’s holiday video cards’ page, you’d think the same was true for the popular video-sharing network. But in fact, you can send any video as a holiday greeting. Click on a random video to watch, and you’ll see an option just below the embed code for sending the current video as a holiday greeting. Pick a theme (plaid, snowball, whatever), add a personal greeting, and enter the email addresses of those you’d like to send the clip to. When the recipient gets it, the video will be wrapped in a nice holiday skin. http://www.youtube.com
Many Gmail users (including me) have noticed two things this week. First, our capacity is now at 5.5 gigs of space and still growing, and AOL instant messanger is now a part of the features in Gmail. With a click of the link, you can add your Buddie List into the system and message from inside Gmail, including Gmail Mobile which allows the email on any smart phone or PDA. While not everyone with a Gmail account has access to the feature just yet, Google will be rolling out the service to everyone’s account. http://www.miamiherald.com/business/technology/story/333586.html
Anyone been to the Disney site lately? I can’t help but revisit from time to time because they are really rolling out the latest and best Web programming for all ages. Right now, on the front page you have access to extended trailers for upcoming movies include the new Narnia movie coming out in May of 2008, along with Character Worlds in which the scenes change and features are built for the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean, Tinker Bell, Winnie the Pooh, Cars, Hannah Montana, Mickey and a host of others. Disney For You is broken down into gender and age, and you can explore Movies, TV, Games, Music, Live Events, Travel and the experimental Disney XD. http://disney.go.com/index
Five year old Becky answered the door when the Census Taker came by. She told the Census Taker that her daddy was a doctor and wasn’t home, because he was performing an appendectomy.
“My,” said the census taker, “that sure is a big word for such a little girl. Do you know what it means?”
“Sure! Fifteen hundred bucks, and that doesn’t even include the anesthesiologist!”
Four students walked in halfway through the American history test my father was giving at the local community college. “Sorry,” they said, “we had a flat tire.”
An understanding man, Dad said that if they could all answer just one question correctly, he would give them each an A for the exam. The students agreed. So my father handed each one a piece of paper, placed them in four separate corners and said, “Write down which tire was flat.”
A turtle was walking down an alley in New York when he was mugged by a gang of snails. A police detective came to investigate and asked the turtle if he could explain what happened.
The turtle looked at the detective with a confused look on his face and replied “I don’t know, it all happened so fast.”
THE FUNNIEST JOKE BEING TOLD IN BELGIUM
Why do ducks have webbed feet?
To stamp out fires.
Why do elephants have flat feet?
To stamp out burning ducks.
GROANER AWARD WINNER
An American couple was fond of England and of all things richly historic and aged. They decided to retire to London, where they hoped to buy a castle. Though that proved out of their price range, they did find a wonderful house, quite ancient, with a long and noble history. They found this house during their July vacation. They sold their house in Chicago and in November they crossed ‘the pond’ to retire. To their horror, they found that their new home was abysmally cold. They immediately set about trying to get a central heating system installed. Sadly, they were told by contractor after contractor that, in a house that old, it simply wasn’t feasible.
“I was afraid it would come down to this,” the husband finally said.
“What, honey?” the wife asked. “We can’t have archaic and heat it, too.”
So that’s the week’s look at the Web. Thanks for your time. If you know someone who’d be interested in receiving this email each week, have them visit my site at JimOnline.com and sign up. All I need is a name and email address.
Until next week, and for the Season in which is stands, may God bless you and keep you safe.
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