Jim’s WebLetter for 9/4/09

Hi-ya WebLetter readers!

Happy birthday to the internet, this week it turned 40 years old. Of course, the Web portion of the internet didn’t begin then, but the backbone that all this rests on, did. You know, 1969 was an interesting year. Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin stepped out of a spaceship and walked on the moon, the Woodstock concert became a cultural moment for the baby-boomer generation, Walmart began, the first automatic teller machine (ATM) was installed, and handful of engineers at UCLA send some data from one computer to another. And that doesn’t include the last Beatles concert, Vietnam, the Middle East and border clashes between Russia and China. All in all, it’s a wonder things happened when they did for the internet. But it’s here and today we can show you what’s new and very cool in this week’s edition of JWL.

If you own a Facebook account, just today they have officially released their new Widgets Center to the masses. It features a number of widgets that Facebook has already made available, and will likely feature new widgets as the company rolls them out. The appeal of widgets for users is that they allow easy and quick integration with existing websites whose administrators might not have the technical know-how to implement a full Facebook Connect application (that would be most all of us). Now that Facebook has dedicated a page specifically for widgets, it’s likely we’ll see more crop up over the next few months. http://www.facebook.com

Also this week, Skype was sold. Ebay has divested itself of the phone service which is probably the best thing it could have done since it hasn’t done anything to improve it. The new firm is said to be looking at going public with it as an IPO in the first half of next year. Skype’s worth is an estimated $2.75 billion. That’s with a “B”. Frankly, Google Voice users could care less. We’re making free calls. That’s with an “NC” for no cost. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10322833-94.html?tag=mncol;mlt_related

For Twitter users, or if you know anything about the social broadcaster, there’s a spinoff site called Freezly that puts together giveaways found on Twitter so that you, the Internet user, can simply pick and try to win whatever giveaways interest you. Just on the front page today, I discovered someone giving away golf clubs, a full size mattress, soft laptop bag and the fact that M&M Mars gives away free chocolate bars on Friday. Who says you can’t find free things on the Web? http://freezly.com/

Did you know that some scientists actually have secret lives? (Inquiring minds want to know!) The NOVA online series gives you a chance to meet a scientist or engineer every week or two. Secret Life of Scientists offers videos about their work and allows you to ask them questions. Kid Rated, very cool. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/secretlife/

Finally this week, the Discovery Channel has been working on providing quality education to the classroom with the installment of Discovery Education. Today nearly half of all classrooms in America receive the broadcast which, according to Discovery combines, “scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement”. What is even nicer is they have a website as an extension of what kids see in class which offers a full array of studies and teacher based ideas for classroom education. While on the site, be sure to check out Contests & Grants. http://school.discoveryeducation.com/

At a recent Sacramento PC User’s Group meeting, a company was demonstrating its latest speech-recognition software. A representative from the company was just about ready to start the demonstration and asked everyone in the room to quiet down.
Just then someone in the back of the room yelled,
“Format C: Return.”
Someone else chimed in:
“Yes, Return”
Unfortunately, the software worked.
(thanks, Reggie … for the untechie, that means the hard drive was cleaned off … no software, no computer workie)
The couple had an outstandingly happy and successful marriage.
The husband was once asked to what he attributed this remarkable situation.
“It’s simple,” he said. “Division of labor. My wife makes all the small, routine decisions. She decides what house we buy, where we go on vacation, whether the kids go to private schools, if I should change my job, and so on.”
“And you?”
“I make the big, fundamental decisions. I decide if the United States should declare war on Iran, if Congress should appropriate money for a manned expedition to Jupiter, and so on.”
(thanks, Robert)
Heard on TV …
– “Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two Wrights made an airplane.”
– During a revival meeting, an evangelist asked the people in line what they needed. One man’s request was for his hearing. The evangelist spit on his finger, put it in the man’s ear, prayed for him and then asked him, “How’s your hearing now?” He said, “I don’t know – it’s next Tuesday.”
Billy Graham goes to heaven and is approached by St. Peter. They greet each other. Billy recognizes a man with 2 somewhat … er … unattractive lizards on his neck.
He asks “Why does the Pope have 2 lizards around his neck?”
To which St. Peter replies “Well, the Pope had some unresolved sins, and he must wear the lizards until he gives up them up.
He nods, and then notices Howard Stern with 10 lizards around his neck and states “Ah, I get it. He had even more unresolved sins, and he must wear them for longer.”
“Correct,” replies St. Peter.
Finally he sees Barack Obama, with only one lizard on his neck. Surprised to see the low number of lizards on Obama’s neck he asks St. Peter about this.
St. Peter replies,”Well, we needed to punish this particular lizard.”
(thanks, Becky)
Thanks for the jokes … hey, I don’t write ’em, I just repeat ’em. Have a great weekend and may God 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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