Jim’s WebLetter for 5/17/08

Hi-ya Webfriends!

We just flew back in late last night from our trip to Ireland and now comes the adjustment to East coast time. But we had a wonderful and interesting time. The days were cool but mostly sunny (we were told by everyone that we were lucky), the people were all friendly and courteous, and after driving more than 1600 Kilometers (just under a thousand miles), I finally got used to driving on the left side of the road.

While there, I discovered that many small towns were devoid of internet or only had dial up connection. But they still had web addresses for many of the shops and tourist areas. We also were able to take advantage of internet cafes in most places we visited. So, after being able to keep up with the news and seeing some things that the Irish find interesting, here’s this week’s JWL …

Did you hear that CBS is buying CNET and all its properties? I have been reading news and blogs and watching CNET-TV for quite a long time now and know that, financially, they have been struggling. It seems that everyone is happy about the merger. CBS has been snapping up small Web sites in the last year or so, including Last.fm, Wallstrip, which makes irreverent financial-themed Web videos, and DotSpotter, a celebrity gossip site. This acquisition is the biggest and, as far as I’m concerned, the best. A win-win for everyone. http://tinyurl.com/5zjggu

Something else in the international tech news this week is the indictment of Lori Drew, the woman who created a cyber-bully site on MySpace that drove a 13 year old to commit suicide. I believe this is significant because it sends a warning to people who think they can threaten and harass online and get away with it. This woman, if convicted of all the charges, could get 20 years. This story bears following … http://tinyurl.com/6r9bro

While on our trip, we had the good fortune and good weather to take a boat tour of the Cliffs of Moher outside the town of Doolin. There’s a lovely B&B there called the Churchfield run by Maeve Fitzgerald, a delightful woman who showed us what Irish people are really about. As this was our first day in “Eir”, she was a big help in preparing us for life in her country. We received tips on places to go, things to do, and most of all, driving. (I had quickly determined that Irish roads were, for the most part, one lane roads with a stripe down the middle. Certainly not all the roads, just the vast majority.) She told me that most people will make room. That was particularly helpful when we visited the southernmost point, Mizen Head. Maeve’s place is online at http://homepage.eircom.net/~churchfield/ and the Cliffs of Moher site is http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/

The news this week also showed how many gaming consoles are becoming the conduit for TV from the web. Nintendo’s WII just added internet accessibility. Now, if you own a WII, you can upload programs from the Web into your TV. Sony Playstation and the ever popular XBox also include that feature … now we know how to get the Web onto TV, there’s Joost offering a huge selection of the newer programs to watch. You’ll find over 400 channels and 20,000 free online television programs. Everything from MacGyver to National Geographic to Transformers is available to watch anytime. Video quality is also extremely high, usually retaining the look of when the show first aired. To get access you’ll need to do a quick and free registration process and download the site’s special player.

As we spent nearly 10 days in country, we discovered a number of wonderful places, too numerous to mention in this edition. The towns of Kinsale and Crookhaven stand out. But for us, the beauty and charm of Ireland is steeped in it’s history (ruins everywhere, each with their own story) and in its people who would do anything for you just because they can. I walked into a small store the other day and purchased a magazine. The lady behind the counter didn’t have the exact change, so she began borrowing from two men who were standing beside. It was a bit humorous to watch three people collecting and trading euro coins in order to give me change. When one man unloaded his pocket full, I reacted with “holy cow, you must be rich”. They all laughed and he winked. When I thanked them, they all smiled and told me to have a good day. It’s moments like that I will never forget.


Upon entering the little country store, the stranger noticed a sign saying DANGER! BEWARE OF DOG! posted on the glass door. Inside he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor beside the cash register.
He asked the store manager, “Is THAT the dog folks are supposed to beware of?”
“Yep, that’s him,” he replied.
The stranger couldn’t help but be amused. “That certainly doesn’t look like a dangerous dog to me. Why in the world would you post that sign?”
“Because”, the owner replied, “before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him.”
(thanks, Eric)
Unfortunately, getting a new passport required a new photo. As I handed my ten-year-old passport and the new picture to the clerk, I sighed. “I like the original better,” I told her.
“Trust me,” she said. “Ten years from now, you’ll like this one.”
(thanks, Betty)
During a recent vacation in Atlantic City, a couple went to see a popular magic show. After one especially amazing feat, a woman from the back of the theater yelled out:
“Hey, how’d you do that?”
“I could tell you, madam”, the magician answered, “But then I’d have to kill you.”
After a short pause, she yelled back, “OK, then … Just tell my husband.”
(thanks, Arnie)
Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, “Do you want to go to heaven?”
The man said, “I do, Father.”
The priest said, “Then stand over there against the wall.”
Then the priest asked the second man, “Do you want to go to heaven?”
“Certainly, Father,” was the man’s reply.
“Then stand over there against the wall,” said the priest.
Then Father Murphy walked up to O’Toole and said, “Do you want to go to heaven?”
O’Toole said, “No, I don’t Father.”
The priest said, “I don’t believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don’t want to go to heaven?”
O’Toole said, “Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.”
(thanks, Mick)
And that’s this week’s look at the Web through bloodshot eyes. Time to get this off and go back to bed. Have a great weekend and, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
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