Jim’s WebLetter for 12/6/08

Hi-ya Webfriends!

It’s the weekend and time again to show you what I’ve found while working on the Web this week.

There’s a revolution of sorts brewing on the Web. While most people are watching TV the old traditional way … sitting in front of a tube or flat screen with a remote, and paying ever higher fees for the privilege of watching endless commercials bombarding them with “buy this and sell that”, there is a growing number of people who are cutting it off and turning on their computers. The latest records are showing that fewer TV’s are being sold, and fewer accounts are being set up for TV at home. The younger generation would rather play video games, chat, text and surf online. Many of the older demographics are finding that websites like the networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS), Hulu, Veoh, and YouTube are providing the programming they would rather watch … when they want to watch it. What’s really interesting is, the big three networks know this and are beginning to accommodate by placing their biggest watched programs online. Does this signal the end of TV? I don’t think so. But one thing’s certain, TV will have to change. And those morning shows (Today, The Morning Show, etc) will find their way online, because the vast majority of viewers will want to watch on their mobile, portable computer screens than be tied to a TV with programming that is time-set. Case in point, Lauren Holson of the NY Times … http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/technology/personaltech/04basics.html?_r=1

Something else this week, I have noticed a growing number of wireless units being placed in homes and stores that are not security “closed”. In other words, many are being installed “open” for anyone to use and log on to the Web. As an example, I opened up my new ASUS eee while I was driving up 8th street and down Centre Street in Fernandina Beach and found no fewer than 10 such open wireless options to log in and get online. Ten. I could just pull over, log on, and check my email, surf the web, update my Facebook account, and otherwise spend time on the internet (I love the portability of that little machine). If you really want to take advantage of free access, drop by Taco Bell and park in either their parking or across the way at Staples. Both their wirelesses are working just great. Makes me ask myself, “why should I purchase access from AT&T, when I can get it for free?”. Hmmm.

If you want to know the future of technology in America, look to what they’re doing in Europe. That happened to me years ago when we were in London and I saw someone talking to a friend and he used his cellphone to take a picture and send it to the caller, and continue the conversation. The next year, cellphones with built-in cameras were all the rage here in the States. So, what is happening in Europe now? The BBC reported today (quoting) “Truphone uses wi-fi technology in an iPod Touch to allow users to make calls to other iPod Touch owners and Google Talk’s messaging service users. The software is a spin-off from technology Truphone developed for smartphones and iPhones. The developers plan to have the ability to make calls to and from landlines in place very soon.” In short, this software converts an MP3/Video player into a cellphone. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7767055.stm

Folks with Facebook accounts should notice a number of changes and improvements … most notibly, high resolution video which goes along with higher quality audio. YouTube is doing it, and Facebook is following. Mashable’s Mark Hopkins offers more information and a personal video that’s worth the watch … http://mashable.com/2008/12/05/facebook-video-just-got-usable/

Keep in mind that there is a virus running around in Facebook called the Koobface Virus. It can be in a video that you are encouraged to download into your computer to watch. The subject line on the message will include, “You look so funny on our new video” or something similar. As always, it’s best to check with your Facebook friend before downloading anything. But the best advice remains never to open unexpected e-mail attachments to reduce the risk of infection, even if they come from people you trust. http://www.avertlabs.com/research/blog/index.php/2008/12/03/koobface-remains-active-on-facebook/

Finally, when my daughter’s family visited us a few weeks back, my 6 year old grandson wanted to learn to play chess after seeing my set. From that time, I have taken up the little time I have to pull up a game online and play against the computer. One of the best sites is easy to remember … chess.com. Click on the link that allows you to play against the computer. You can set the level of difficulty and whether you want to be white or black (white goes first, of course). It works with drag and drop, so just use the computer mouse and enjoy. By the way, Silas … you better be learning all you can, because the next time we get together, I just might win! http://www.chess.com


There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, ‘Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does
he intended to do, bomb them?’

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: ‘Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.

We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?’

You could have heard a pin drop.
(thanks, dad)
I was at a baseball game in Yankee Stadium, when I decided to get myself a hot dog. As I stood up, my husband asked me to buy him a beer. The young clerk at the concession stand asked to see verification of age.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” I said. “I’m almost 40 years old.”
He apologized, but he said he had to see some ID, it was policy.
When I showed him my driver’s license, the clerk served me the beer. “That will be $6.25, please.” he said.
I gave him $7.00 and told him to keep the change. “The tip’s for carding me,” I said.
He put the change into his tip cup and replied, “Thanks.”
And as I walked away, I heard him add, “Works every time.”
(thanks, Toni)
Our young daughter had adopted a stray cat. To my distress, he began to use the back of our new sofa as a scratching post.
“Don’t worry,” my husband reassured me. “I’ll have him trained in no time.”
For several days, my husband patiently “trained” our new pet. Whenever the cat scratched, my husband deposited him outdoors to teach him a lesson.
The cat learned quickly. For the next 16 years, whenever he wanted to go outside, he scratched the back of the sofa.
(thanks, Kathy)
Trying to control my dry hair, I treated my scalp with olive oil before washing it. Worried that the oil might leave an odor, I washed my hair several times.
That night when I went to bed, I leaned over to my husband and asked, “Do I smell like olive oil?”
“No,” he said, sniffing me. “Do I smell like Popeye?”
(thanks, Fran)
A priest was walking along the corridor of the parochial school near the pre-school wing when a group of little ones were trotting by on the way to the cafeteria.
One little lad of about three or four stopped and looked at him in his clerical clothes and asked, “Why do you dress funny?”
He told him he was a priest and this is the uniform priests wear.
Then the boy pointed to the priest’s plastic collar tab and asked, “Do you have an owie?”
The priest was perplexed till he realized that to him the collar tab looked like a Band Aid. So the priest took it out and handed it to the boy to show him. On the back of the tab are raised letters giving the name of the manufacturer.
The little guy felt the letters, and the priest asked, “Do you know what those words say?”
“Yes I do,” said the lad who was not old enough to read. Peering intently at the letters he said, “Kills ticks and fleas up to six months!”
(thanks, Henry)
And that’s the week’s glimpse into the computer screen, Webfriends. Thank you for your time. Until next weekend, may God continue to bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
Discover the best of the Web
C-my-site at http://www.jimonline.com


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