Jim’s WebLetter for 4/24/09

Hi-ya friends and neighbors of the Net! It’s an earlier than usual edition of Jim’s WebLetter as we’re out of town this weekend for a quick visit to see the kids. But I didn’t want to leave you hanging this week with everything that’s been going on, so … here goes!

We’re one week out from the 46th annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival here on the island, and we’re making last minute preparations with a larger-than-ever Pirate Parade, live entertainment on two stages, artisans and antiques and enough food to feed everyone. On the website you will find parking directions, listings of events and artists performing, and this year, you’re chance to win four tickets to anywhere Southwest Airlines flies. Sign up to receive tweet messages from Twitter and join our Facebook group, too. http://www.shrimpfestival.com

It seems pretty clear that eventually, newspapers and magazines are all going the way of the Web. Just look at the Seattle Times, for instance. But Hewlett-Packard has a concept that is very intriguing. MagCloud is a project that HP has had in the works for about a year now and they have simplified the way magazines are created. MagCloud enables anyone to start a magazine – a real printed magazine – with no giant pile because every magazine is printed to order. Of course, there are other print-on-demand companies out there, but MagCloud is the only one designed specifically for magazines. If you can make a PDF file, you can now publish a magazine. http://magcloud.com/

My wife and I like to watch ‘Antiques Road Show’ on PBS. I am also a fan of travel shows like the ones Rick Steves and Rudy Maxa have. So it was interesting to me that Public Broadcasting as created a site called PBS Video where you can find all your favorite public television shows like ‘Nova’ or ‘Antiques Roadshow.’ And PBS also plans to make PBS Video the clearinghouse for shows from local affiliates. It’s more television migrating to the Web and that’s good for folks who are tired of paying high cable bills. But that’s another paragraph for another time. http://pbs.org/video

Firefox has a new version out, 3.0.9., which fixes several stability and security issues. Given how fast security issues are exploited, if you don’t have automatic updates enabled in Firefox you should download and install the new version. These latest vulnerabilities, Mozilla says, are serious and could allow the attacker to run arbitrary code on your computer. The 3.0.9 version brings only security fixes. If you’re looking for new features, look towards 3.5 beta 4, which, according the the Mozilla folks, should arrive any day now and bring, among other things, private browsing, speedier work, and better JavaScript handling and CSS rendering. http://www.mozilla.com/firefox

Also this week, I read that Yahoo! is closing GeoCities, one of the original web-hosting services acquired by Yahoo! in 1999 for $2.87 billion. I remember using an account in GeoCities to learn how to build websites when I first began in 1997. It was unique because you put in what you wanted on a page template and it would create the coding for it. That’s how I learned HTML. In a message on Yahoo!’s help site, the company said that it would be shuttering Geocities, the free web-hosting service, later this year and will not be accepting any new customers. Existing customers will still be able to access use GeoCities but Yahoo! is encouraging these customers to upgrade to Yahoo!’s paid Web Hosting service. http://geocities.yahoo.com/

GameJump has plenty of great games for phones free for you to download. Just select the type of game you’d like to play or select your phone model from the list, then you get a list of games that you can download. Keep in mind that not all games will work on all phones, and your provider may charge you for the download. Now go and play! http://games.gamejump.com/WhiteLabelWeb/index.htm

Co-workers sympathized as my mother complained that her back was really sore from moving furniture. “Why don’t you wait till your husband gets home?” someone asked. “I could,” my mother told the group, “but the couch is easier to move if he’s not on it.”
(thanks, Tammy)
My wife and her friend Karen were talking about their labor-saving devices as they pulled into our driveway. Karen said, “I love my new garage-door opener.”
“I love mine too,” my wife replied, and honked the horn three times. That was the signal for me to come out and open the garage.
(thanks, Gene)
I recently returned to work after a year abroad with the Army Reserve. On my first day back, a visitor from headquarters took me aside. “How are you?” he asked, looking concerned. “Do you feel all right?”
“I’m fine,” I replied, nonplussed.
“Great!” he said. “I heard that you were away from work for a year because you were in a wreck.” It took a minute before it dawned on me what he meant.
“Iraq,” I said finally. “I’ve just come back from Iraq.”
(thanks, Derek)
My son, Barry, came home from a three-month deployment aboard his submarine, and told us that one of the ways the sailors kept up morale was to make wooden cars out of kits and run derby races. “What do you do for a ramp?'” my husband inquired.
“Don’t need one,” Barry said. “We just put the cars on the floor and then tilt the sub.”
(thanks, Mary)
And that’s what I ran into on the Web so far, JWL readers. Have a great weekend and I’ll write more next. Til then, 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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