What a week this has been punctuated by rioting in the streets in Iran and Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett passing away the same day and Ed McMahan at the beginning of the week.
Twitter received it’s “15 minutes of fame” when western reporters were forbidden in Iran and the people used the source, along with videos posted on YouTube, to describe what was going on following the elections in their country. Meanwhile, new agencies online broke the stories of first Fawcett, then Jackson before the TV industry could bat an eye. These incidents show how the Web has proven that it is a global message center and that no one government can truly prohibit it’s ebb and flow of information (even though China is still trying). It has created hundreds of millions of reporters through it’s easy access allowing anyone to become a news source.
Closer to home, water spouts were reported in Jacksonville on the St. Johns river yesterday and before the local news could report it, there were photos and videos posted on websites. The news organizations were able to take these images and relay them onto the screen and in effect, create a news story from them. It’s not hard to imagine that one day, television will become a more immediate medium showing uploads from viewers turned reporters moderated by someone at the station when those stories happen (more than the “we interrupt this program for a special news bulliten”). That the incoming texts, videos and photos ARE the stations’ programming.
So while I was working the Web this week, I discovered a few things you should take note. Following are a few of them.
Firefox 3.5 is due for release this Tuesday and will be available for PC, Linux and Mac computers. Among the new features provided, faster searches, more security and even more applications. The Mozilla family has created so many add-ons that it would take several WebLetters just to note the best of the best. The newest version of the browser is available now as a beta, so wait until they release the final to ensure the majority of the bugs have been worked out and you can experience what BetaNews.com reported … “Firefox 3.5 beats IE8 in Microsoft’s own load times test”. http://www.betanews.com/article/Firefox-35-Beta-4-beats-IE8-in-Microsofts-own-load-times-test/1241027112
Online photo manipulation and editing has been enhanced with a site called Be Funky. This free site lets you have fun with your photos by letting you cartoonize them and turn them into works of art. Upload your image and select from several possibilities, each coming with their own customization. Then save and download. They are also planning to release a “Video Cartoonizer” soon. http://www.befunky.com/
While checking out weather patterns online this week, I saw that Texas was experiencing 100+ degree temps. Man that’s hot in anyone’s language. I also came across another hot item … The Texas Comptroller has created a brand new site dedicated to helping teens and tweens discover their dream careers by exploring their hobbies. Called “Get a Life”, it’s geared toward middle school students and focuses on helping them answer the question: What do I want to be when I grow up? The Web site has tons of information on available jobs and current trends in the market and is loaded with good advice. Looks like other states’ Comptrollers need to pay attention to what Texas is doing. http://getalife.tx.gov/
As I reported some time back, Google is getting ready to do a public release of Google Voice. What amounts to one number, six phones. Now Google has started contacting those who expressed interest in getting early access to the company’s telephony service, starting to connect up the million numbers it reserved last week. I have placed my name on the list and am waiting for my notice to come. Voice does seem to be part of Google’s long-term idea of bringing everything under one umbrella and eventually rolling out Wave to control it all. Google Voice will remain a US-only service for the foreseeable future because here, we don’t charge for local calls. Here’s the place where you can leave your name and email on a list. https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/
After hearing a speech on how to motivate employees, the business owner posted signs that read “Do It Now” in every department. It was impossible for the employees not to see them all through the day.
A friend dropped by a week later. Seeing the signs, he asked if the scheme really worked.
“Well,” said the business owner, “not exactly the way I thought it would. My accountant ran off with $250,000, the office manager eloped with my secretary and the rest of the employees asked for raises.”
Now that I’m over 40, younger teammates have begun to tease me about my declining abilities as a softball player. During one game, I was playing third base when a batter ripped a shot over my head. I leapt as high as I could, but the ball tipped off the end of my glove and fell safely for a hit.
At the end of inning, I was heading for the dugout when our left fielder caught up with me. “That much!” he called, holding his thumb and forefinger a few inches apart.
“I know.” I replied. “I almost had it.”
“No,” he said. “I mean that’s how far you got off the ground.”
A man rushed to the jewelry counter in the store where I work soon after the doors opened one morning and said he needed a pair of diamond earrings. I showed him a wide selection, and quickly he picked out a pair.
When I asked him if he wanted the earrings gift-wrapped, he said, “That’d be great. But can you make it quick? I forgot today was my anniversary, and my wife thinks I’m taking out the trash.”
Finally, I saw a piece with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman on an old Carol Burnett program on YouTube and it made me realize that comedy shows like that will always be funny. Enjoy … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KVs7pYcQ9Y&feature=PlayList&p=193C251B6A736432&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=3
And that’s this week’s highlight reel of Web stuff, WebLetter readers. Thanks to those who contributed to the jokes. If you have one worth passing on, send it to me. If I use it, you get the credit. Til next weekend, may God continue to bless you and keep you safe.
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