Jim’s WebLetter for 2/21/09

Hi-ya neighbors and friends!

As I reported last week, my wife and I are owners of the new Blackberry Storm and we’ve been getting used to the new phones. My son in law wrote me to mention the guy who sold him his (yea, looks like the whole family owns them now) said once a week he removes the battery, counts to 10 and puts it back in. This clears the cache and keeps it running at optimum speed. This was due to stuff on the cache, kind of like cookies, he said and now it’s as fast as ever. Thanks Rich, that’s one to remember.

This week, I was reading in Wired Magazine about Netbooks, the smaller version of the laptop, and how they have changed the way people look at purchasing computers. I own an ASUS eee PC with the Linux operating system. While the 8.9 inch screen has it’s shortcomings (no pun intended) the small machine is easy to use … and since I’ve gotten used to the smaller keys, is downright handy. Following the story in the magazine, the writer (Clive Thompson, “The Netbook Effect”) had a followup story that mentioned he used his netbook to write the stories in the publication. Because of the limited storage space, he relied on cloud computing for all his needs. Any video work was stored online in his YouTube account. His Gmail account kept all his email. The Documents in Gmail kept all his stories and documentation. The Google Calendar kept his apointments and sent him reminders each day, and he also used a site online for editing any photos or images he needed. The image editing site? FotoFlexer. Features here make using Photoshop a thing of the past. It’s easy to upload an image, crop it, color it, enhance it, and save it. Best of all, it’s free … http://fotoflexer.com/

This shows how computing is changing in the first decade of the 21st century. The netbook proved that the majority of people don’t need to buy into the idea that bigger and faster is better. It revolutionized the ideology that claimed you must have a larger harddrive, more RAM and bigger screen to compute. (Programmers and designers are the only possible exception to that new rule.) But what I’ve learned is a smaller screen requires redesigning Web sites to fit and become even easier to navigate. The Blackberry has a true Internet capable browser (mine is set to Firefox, of course) that allows me online access. One thing that the Blackberry can’t do … see flash programming. Every indication is that is going to change by next year. But the Google bundle that can be downloaded and installed comes with the YouTube feature that allows you to watch YT videos which are flash-based. The quality isn’t top notch yet, but it does show what will become better as the technology improves.

And speaking of those who use Firefox, an article in Mashable this week listed 8 things that would improve the browser’s productivity. I endorse 7 of them because I still believe FREE is better and there’s no need to purchase if it’s not necessary. See for yourself … http://mashable.com/2009/02/17/firefox-productivity/

Think that Internet Explorer is still the way to go? Consider an article from Mary Foley in ZDNET that included Web sites that the new beta released IE 8 won’t work with. One of them is Microsoft.com! http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=2067&tag=nl.e589

Finally, USA Today (whose Web site also doesn’t work with IE 8) reported this week that Facebook’s CEO and founder, Marc Zuckerberg changed his mind about the new security standard he posted on the site. In the “I don’t know what I was thinking” department, he came up with the idea that anything you post to Facebook becomes his sole property to use for whatever his company decided, including any links to other sites and that site’s property. Marc, what have you been smoking? Once he heard feedback from some of his 175 million members, he changed back to the old standard. I think it would be a good idea for Facebook to create a team that just receives ideas from the members and looks to work them into the frame work of what the online giant is becoming. Oh, that’s right, they have that already. Facebook has created a Bill of Rights and Responsibilties Group, where members can begin posting questions and comments. http://www.facebook.com

And before you write … yea, I have the Facebook feature on my Blackberry, too. Thanks.

Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil, plus the condition of the economy
The Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
(thanks, Juanita)
A new minister was talking to the oldest member of his congregation.
“I am 90 years old, sir, and I haven’t an enemy in the world,” said the aged one.
“That is a beautiful thought,” said the clergyman approvingly.
“Yes sir,” was the answer. “I’m thankful to say that I’ve outlived them all.”
(thanks, Chris)
The 8 Monkeys
(This is reportedly based on an actual experiment conducted in the U.K.)
Put eight monkeys in a room. In the middle of the room is a ladder, leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling.
Each time a monkey tries to climb the ladder, all the monkeys are sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable. Soon enough, whenever a monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up. Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder.
One of the original monkeys is then removed, and a new monkey is put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other monkeys are doing the obvious. But undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder.
All the other monkeys fall upon him and beat him silly. He has no idea why.
However, he no longer attempts to climb the ladder.
A second original monkey is removed and replaced. The newcomer again attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys hammer him.
This includes the previous new monkey, who, grateful that he’s not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other monkeys are doing it. However, he has no idea why he’s attacking the new monkey.
One by one, all the original monkeys are replaced. Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them have ever been sprayed by ice water. None of them attempt to climb the ladder. All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tries, without having any idea why.
And that is how most companies’ policies get established.
(thanks, Ben)
While shopping in a grocery store, two Baptist church ladies happened to pass by the beer, wine, and liquor section. One asked the other if she would like a beer. The second good Baptist sister answered that, indeed, it would be very nice to have one, But that she would feel uncomfortable about purchasing it. The first sister replied that she would handle that without a problem. She
picked up a six-pack and took it to the cashier. The cashier had a surprised look, so the good Baptist sister said, ‘This is for washing our hair.’ Without blinking an eye, the cashier reached under the counter and put a package of pretzel sticks in the bag with the beer. ‘The curlers are on me.’
(thanks, dad)
OK, that’s this week’s writings and rantings … now, go and compute. I have my Blackberry to work on. I need to figure out the code for a site to recognize that a mobile device is trying to gain access, and divert it to another mobile-only site. So have a great weekend 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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