Jim’s WebLetter for 1/17/09

Hi-ya friends and neighbors!

This week in Web news, Steve Jobs is out, Jerry Yang is out and Circuit City is out. If you haven’t heard, the head of Apple is taking sick leave for 5 or 6 months. One source reports that Steve Jobs may have a kidney transplant. Meanwhile, Jerry Yang is now the former CEO of Yahoo, replaced by Carol Bartz formerly with Autodesk. And because no one wanted to buy Circuit City, they are forced to close their doors and send some 30,000 people to the unemployment line.

2009 is already showing signs of the times with massive layoffs and restructuring of corporations. One of our own employers here on the Island, Smurfit-Stone, may be going bankrupt. The Wall Street Journal reported they have hired bankruptcy counsel and financial advisers to line up about a $750 million in debtor-in-possession financing. Reports say a chapter 11 filing may be coming in the next few days.

With the economy continuing to spiral, the innovators are rising to the surface. I have always been a fan of “free” stuff (most of us are!) and this week, a tech group named Boxee has released a free software enabling you to connect your TV to the Web using a MAC or Linux based computer. A Windows version of the software is being tested. Some of Boxee’s fans think it is a way to get around paying that costly $100-a-month cable or satellite connection and more than 200,000 of them are using it already. The site has a forum and FAQ to get more information. http://www.boxee.tv/

I can’t tell you the number of times I find that the answer to questions that come up for me (“Jim!, just the guy I was looking for”) are found by accessing Google. I have been a fan of the search engine and many of it’s features (like Gmail) for some time now, but now it is so apparent that it has become THE source for any question you face in your work-social life. Chances are, I can answer those questions by simply responding, “have you tried Googling the answer?”. LetMeGoogleThatForYou.com allows you to enter any search query, then grab the resulting permalink to share it with someone else. Next time you are questioned, try it for yourself. http://www.LetMeGoogleThatForYou.com

Well it is about time … the Farmer’s Market has gone online. The website, Foodzie is a middleman for local growers and producers to bring their wares to market. Showcasing the farmer, it’s job is to take the purchase information from the buyer, processes the payment and e-mail the seller a prepaid shipping label. The site has just started up and there are a few products added, but it’s sure that this will catch on and grow like wheat in summer. I have a craving for some cheese that’s not like the process stuff you find at Publix, you know what I mean? http://foodzie.com/

Also this week, “The Best Job In The World” was released to attract applicants in 18 countries to a six-month employ on the beautiful Hamilton Island in Australia Queensland. Rich, my son-in-law sent me the link. What a deal … six months rent-free with all amenities on the secluded island and a salary that would attract anyone. But, as the BBC reports, it seems with this has come the failure of the website host to handle the volume of applicants. Check out the story in video … http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7830692.stm


Ten years on a deserted island
A man is stranded on a desert island, all alone for ten years. One day, he sees a speck in the horizon. He thinks to himself, “It’s not a ship.” The speck gets a little closer and he thinks, “It’s not a boat.” The speck gets even closer and he thinks, “It’s not a raft.” Then, out of the surf comes this gorgeous blonde woman, wearing a wet suit and scuba gear. She comes up to the guy and says, “How long has it been since you’ve had a cigarette?”
“Ten years!”, he says.
She reaches over and unzips a waterproof pocket on her left sleeve and pulls out a pack of fresh cigarettes.
He takes one, lights it, takes a long drag, and says, “Man, oh man! Is that good!”
Then she asked, “How long has it been since you’ve had a drink of whiskey?”
He replies, “Ten years!”
She reaches over, unzips her waterproof pocket on her right sleeve, pulls out a flask and gives it to him.
He takes a long swig and says, “Wow, that’s fantastic!”
Then she starts unzipping a longer zipper that runs down the front of her wet suit and she says to him, “And how long has it been since you’ve had some real fun?”
And the man replies, “Wow! Don’t tell me that you’ve got golf clubs in there!”
(thanks, John)
One day an out of work mime is visiting the zoo and attempts to earn some money as a street performer. As soon as he starts to draw a crowd, a zoo keeper grabs him and drags him into his office. The zoo keeper explains to the mime that the zoo’s most popular attraction, a gorilla, has died suddenly and the keeper fears that attendance at the zoo will fall off. He offers the mime a job to dress up as the gorilla until they can get another one. The mime accepts.

So the next morning the mime puts on the gorilla suit and enters the cage before the crowd comes. He discovers that it’s a great job. He can sleep all he wants, play and make fun of people and he draws bigger crowds than he ever did as a mime. However, eventually the crowds tire of him and he tires of just swinging on tires. He begins to notice that the people are paying more attention to the lion in the cage next to his. Not wanting to lose the attention of his audience, he climbs to the top of his cage, crawls across a partition, and dangles from the top to the lion’s cage. Of course, this makes the lion furious, but the crowd loves it.

At the end of the day the zoo keeper comes and gives the mime a raise for being such a good attraction. Well, this goes on for some time, the mime keeps taunting the lion, the crowds grow larger, and his salary keeps going up. Then one terrible day when he is dangling over the furious lion he slips and falls. The mime is terrified.

The lion gathers itself and prepares to pounce. The mime is so scared that he begins to run round and round the cage with the lion close behind. Finally, the mime starts screaming and yelling, “Help, Help me!”, but the lion is quick and pounces. The mime soon finds himself flat on his back looking up at the angry lion and the lion says, “Shut up you idiot! Do you want to get us both fired?”
(thanks, Scott)
My cell phone quit as I tried to let my wife know that I was caught in freeway gridlock and would be late for our anniversary dinner. I wrote a message on my laptop asking other motorists to call her, printed it on a portable inkjet and taped it to my rear windshield.
When I finally arrived home, my wife gave me the longest kiss ever. “I really think you love me,” she said. “At least 70 people called and told me so.”
(thanks, Jaron)
So, there ya go … have a great weekend, stay warm, and 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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