Hi-ya friends and neighbors! It’s the weekend and time to discover the best of the Web with this installment of Jim’s WebLetter. And do I have some things for you to see and do!
First, until now, Hulu has held the top spot in my bookmarks for movies and shows to watch online, especially when there isn’t anything to watch on TV. It will certainly keep that spot for the time being, but Thursday, YouTube announced it’s deal with Hollywood studios to showcase literally thousands of TV episodes and hundreds of movies in it’s ever-growing list of videos being added by the second. With nearly two-thirds of all video views occurring on YouTube in the US, this agreement means the video leader will take a new step in providing content more people will come to watch. Of course Google, the parent company is looking at a revenue stream from this in the form of pay for premium content and you can bet that will be coming soon. But for now, I have two primary bookmarks for video viewing … Hulu at http://www.hulu.com and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/shows
Next, here’s a site that offers audio books for free. PodioBooks has an ever increasing library of books in audio form for those who don’t have time to read, but want to hear. I remember when I was driving from the island to work in Jacksonville, I would spend weekends in the public library checking out audio books to listen to while on the ride. Now, it’s as easy as an online search, subscribe and browse through a variety of totally free audio books. http://www.podiobooks.com
If you own a smart phone, you should know that there is a service that you can use with the video recorder in your phone that allows you to broadcast live on the Web what you shoot. Qik is a mobile utility that enables anyone to share live video from their mobile phones with their friends, family and the entire world. They have been expanding their application to other makes of cellphones that now include Blackberry, the make I own. I simply went to their website and signed up for an account, then downloaded and installed the application into my phone. Within a few seconds of starting it, I saw the images live on my website page. When I stopped shooting, it uploaded the file from my phone into the page and made it an on-demand video. It was simple, it was convenient, and works pretty well for a new application which is still in Alpha stage. I can also embed my video screen into another website, which means I can set up this feature on another website and use it during an event, teaching session, live interviews, concerts, and just about anything else. Best of all, this application is free. http://www.qik.com
This week, the news makers made more news with their leap into the latest technology. Oprah is now tweeting and will make her Friday shows all about the use of Twitter. Great, now I can just see that service’s servers grinding to a halt when she starts getting her millions of viewers to exchange tweets on how to feel good about yourself when you’re having a “blue” day. I believe Twitter is just what we need right now … the ability to share notices and brief conversations by text. But anytime a service isn’t ready for an onslaught, it tends to bring that part of the internet down because of over-extended use. Next week, hold your breath, tweeters … here comes Oprah. Here’s the piece of her show from YouTube … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPP-dlYQCMg
As a kid, I remember I used to get rewarded for bringing home a good report card. When I got an “A”, I got money. It was a good incentive. Now students, particularly college students, can set up a fund and get paid for good grades through a service called Gradefund. Just create an account, invite your friends and family to be sponsors, upload your academic transcript at the end of each semester and once Gradefund verifies it, you’ll get paid. Sponsors can donate to a student, a school or to an educational cause. If donating to a student, you can choose to have the money sent directly to the student, or to be subtracted from their tuition. You also get to choose the rate (as little as $5 per grade). http://www.gradefund.com/
And last but not least this week … writing emails may be an easy way to get information quickly to its destination, but the long lost art of actually writing a letter is virtually lost. That’s where there’s a site where you can create your own handwritten fonts within a couple of minutes. Simply print and fill out the template and submit it. Your Fonts then generates the font based on the letters and symbols you wrote. Now you can use your computer to write personalized letters without ever picking up a pen. And it’s free. http://www.yourfonts.com/
An excerpt from a real church bulletin.
To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday we are going to have a special “No Excuse Sunday”. Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say “Sunday is my only day to sleep in”. We will have steel helmets for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who say it is too hot. We will have hearing aids for those who say “The Preacher talks too softly”, and cotton for those who say he preaches too loudly. Score cards will be provided for those who wish to list hypocrites present. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sundays. There will be TV dinners for those who can’t go to Church and cook dinner also. One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to see God in Nature. Finally the Sancuary will be decorated with both Christmas pointsettias and Easter Lillies for those who have never seen the church without them.
A tough old countryman once counselled his young grandson that if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a little gunpowder on his breakfast cereal every morning.
The grandson did this religiously and lived to the ripe old age of 93.
When he died he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren…and a fifteen-foot hole in the ground where the crematorium used to be!
My wife had been teaching our three-year-old, Reese the Lord’s prayer. After much practice, he was asked to say it during our Sunday meal. He folded his hands, bowed his head and in a prayerful voice recited, “Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen.”
At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young players, “Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?”
The little boy nodded in the affirmative.
“Do you understand that what matters is that we play together as a team?”
The little boy nodded yes.
“So,” the coach continued, “when a strike is called, or you’re out at first, you don’t argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?”
Again the little boy nodded.
“Good,” said the coach. “Now go over there and explain it to your parents.”
Have a great weekend wherever you are … whether you’re freezing under snow in Denver, or enjoying the beach in sunny Florida. Just remember that it’s always fair and warm on the World Wide Web.
Til next weekend, may God continue to bless you and keep you safe.
Discover the best of the Web
C-my-site at http://www.jimonline.com