Jim’s WebLetter for 4/12/08

Hi-ya Webfriends!

Want to gaze into the future and see what’s on the horizon for the Web? If you’ve been reading my posts and emails for any length of time, you probably will draw a conclusion of your own. But based on events of the past coupled with current events and throw in a few predictions from the analysts, you can get a pretty good picture.

Take for instance, TV. The date for going “digital” here in the States is the first quarter of 2009. Digital TV means the old analog sets won’t work without some help and the newer sets hooked up to satellite or cable will be fine. That also means that whatever is connected on the other end of that transmission will be available on your television. Not only will the signal be clearer, sharper … it will include other options.

Now MySpace just signed a significant contract this week. In a story in the NY Times, Brian Stelter wrote of the deal that aims MySpace content to “overseas” TV. MySpace has signed a deal with a British-based production firm, ShineReveille International. The significance? Ruport Murdoch’s blog content will be shown by his daughter, Elizabeth’s production/distribution company which has already obtained the rights to hit shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”, to all of Great Britain. It’s no secret that the Brits are a year ahead of us in most internet technology, therefore, what will come back in a year to the States? Yep … I predict MySpace on our digital TV. Read the story … http://tinyurl.com/5kubq4

Incidently, if you want to see what the Brits are doing with TV programming for gaming systems, check out the story “BBC announces Nintendo Wii deal” that tells of BBC TV on the Wii, which also talks about their I-Player added soon to TV. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7338344.stm

What else is in the future for the Web? Smaller devices that are wireless, blu-toothed and even smarter. Asus EEE minicomputer is lightweight, light on the pocketbook, and can connect anywhere there is a wireless signal present. But it just set the standard or maybe was just the first out of the box. Now, the other device creators are bringing out their versions … this past week, HP released a Mini-Note PC that is smaller than a text book and capable of handling all sorts of jobs. http://tinyurl.com/4wjzvo

What else is going on the Web? In a time of sound bites and viral video clips it seems the art of the long form interview has all but disappeared … but there are exceptions. Check out the University of Texas’ own Harry Ransom Center Web site. Click on the Mike Wallace interview link and explore the fascinating interviews done with prominent figures during the 1950s. It’s amazing to watch television in which the host asks real questions and the guests answer in full sentences unlike the current style of cutting off the guest before he can complete his first sentence. My favorite? Salvadore Dali. First, Mike does a commercial for the cigarette company that sponsored the show, then he begins his interview with Dali … watch the body language of the artist. http://hrc.utexas.edu/

By the way, business people, coming in May you can get a better deal with the postal service using their Online Shipping Discounts plan. Save 10% when you book your deliveries using the website. Here’s the story from Internet.com … http://www.ecommerce-guide.com/article.php/3739066

K2XL is a game website done in Flash format. But what’s interesting, is the games seem deceptively simple at first glance. For example, one requires that you press the spacebar when told. But you’ll soon discover that the games are challenging. I really like Boomshine. http://www.k2xl.com

When our second child was on the way, my wife and I attended a pre-birth class aimed at couples who had already had at least one child. The instructor raised the issue of breaking the news to the older child. It went like this:
“Some parents,” she said, “tell the older child, ‘We love you so much we decided to bring another child into this family.’ But think about that. Ladies, what if your husband came home one day and said, ‘Honey, I love you so much I decided to bring home another wife.'”
One of the women spoke up immediately. “Does she cook???”
(thanks, Debbie)
I met a man who had been married for 66 years.
“Amazing. 66 years!” I said. “What’s the secret to such a long, happy marriage?”
“Well,” he replied, “It’s like this. The man makes all the big decisions and the woman just makes the little decisions.”
“Really?” I responded. “Does that really work?”
“Oh, yes,” he said proudly. “66 years, and so far, not one big decision!”
(thanks, Henry)
Charley, a new retiree greeter at Walmart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, sometimes 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean shaven, sharp minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their “Older Person Friendly” policies.
One day the boss was in a real quandary about how to deal with it. Finally, he called him into the office for a talk. “Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang on job, but your being late so often is quite bothersome.”
“Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it.”
“Well good, you are a team player. That’s what I like to hear. It’s odd though, your coming in late. I know you’re retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say if you came in late there?”
“They said, ‘Good morning, General. Tea or coffee this morning, sir?'”
(thanks, George)
When I was a 20-something college student, I became quite friendly with my study partner, a 64-year-old man, who had returned to school to finish his degree. He confessed he had once thought more than friendship might be a possibility. “So what changed your mind?” I asked him.
“I went to my doctor and asked if he thought a 40-year age difference between a man and woman was insurmountable. He looked at my chart and said, ‘You’re interested in someone who’s 104?’ ”
(thanks, Kelly)
So there you have it … another week with the Web and the things I’ve seen and stuff people have sent. It’s growing close to Shrimp Festival time here on the Island and the weather looks like it’s going to cooperate. As a member of the Committee, I can say we have some pretty great things shaping up for this year’s Festival. Hope you can make it. If not, the Web site will be live with the events for you to see online (www.ShrimpFestival.com).

Until next week, keep smilin’ and may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
Discover the Best of the Web


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