Jim’s WebLetter for 12/5/09

Hi-ya webfriends!

Christmas gift shopping? CNET recently listed the Top 5 most purchased tech gifts going this year. These are the gifts being reported by people who are CNET.com viewers and who took the survey. Counting down from #5 … the HTC Droid Eris for Verizon. It’s the light weight version of the Droid cellphone that runs about $99 with a contract. It’s the one running on the Google Android system. At #4 … The Blackberry Storm 2 (also from Verizon). This one comes with wi-fi and according to sources, a better operation then the first Storm. At #3, the HTC Hero for Sprint (notice that the majority of gifts are cellphones?). #2 is Windows 7 the new operating system I have installed on my new laptop and am loving (more on that later), and the #1 gift on the CNET list … Motorola Droid for Verizon. I remember being the in Verizon store recently and the folks there were talking about how the new cellphone was practically flying off the shelves. They couldn’t keep it in stock. It comes with the Android 2.0 operating system and is an “all-in-one” package. A true rival to the iPhone which, as you noticed, wasn’t on the Top 5 list. http://cnettv.cnet.com/8301-13415_53-10406263-11.html?tag=mncol

The BBC reported this week findings that show kids who text and blog are more likely to be better writers then those who don’t. According to research as a result of a survey of 3,001 children aged nine to 16, the more forms of communication children use the stronger their core literary skills. That’s like saying the more you flex your muscles, the better they work. Hmmm, and they needed a study to prove that? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8392653.stm

In what could possibly be another nail in the coffin for Internet Explorer, the Avast Anti-virus software now comes with the recommendation and a direct link for you download and use the internet browser Google Chrome. Personally, I like to use Chrome when watching videos because it seems to be more solid and bug-free while loading and playing videos online. Read more about it in the Download Blog … http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10409905-12.html

As I mentioned in the top gifts piece earlier, I have installed Windows 7 in my new laptop and love how it handles. There are SO MANY new features that it will take weeks to tell you about the best of them. And that’s what I will be doing over the next few weeks … telling you about them. This new system fixes a number of problems that Vista had, and carries a few tricks and shortcuts to operating the computer, including better Speech Recognition. That’s what I’m learning to use more and more. With S-R you are free from typing and mouse clicking. The system will literally do all your clicking, mouse moving and dictating commands for you. The feature comes with a set up and tutorial and how to train the system to understand your voice. Windows 7 users will find it by going to Start and Control Panel under “Ease of Access”, or in the little box at the bottom of Start, type in “speech”. Here’s a “how-to” video in YouTube which explains how to use the feature once you have set it up … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFKHAjHrc5A

Finally, and even though Vista and Windows 7 have a Text-to-Speech reader installed, it has it’s limitations. One is the voice just isn’t real natural sounding. But a program called Natural Reader does (well, it’s better anyway). The software can read, check what you’ve written and convert to MP3 what you highlight. Download the free version and see what you think … http://www.naturalreaders.com/

At the supermarket, I overheard two women talking in the next aisle. “Horace and I have been together ten years now and he makes me very happy,” one said. “So I don’t mind buying him what he likes even if it is more expensive.”
“Well, with my Benny I have no choice. He’s just plain fussy,” her friend replied.
I turned into their aisle. Both women were loading their shopping carts with high-quality cat food.
(thanks, Kathy)
The highlight of our zoo trip was a peacock showing off its plumage. My four-year-old son was particularly taken with it. That evening, he couldn’t wait to tell his father: “Dad, guess what! I saw a Christmas tree come out of a chicken!”
(thanks, Carol)
Carol was pregnant with her first child, and her husband was about to leave on a two-week business trip. When Carol went to her doctor appointment, she had some questions.
“My husband wants me to ask you something—” Carol began.
The doctor interrupted her. “I get asked that question all the time,” he said in a reassuring tone. “Sex is fine until late in the pregnancy.”
“No, that’s not it!” an embarrassed Carol confessed. “My husband wants to know if I can still mow the lawn.”
(thanks, Ann)
The trials and tribulations of our sons, daughters, parents, and friends in the military.
In a lecture to a group of Korean officers, Lieut. Gen. Bruce C. Clarke, at that time deputy commander of the Eighth Army in Korea, took two or three minutes to tell his favorite joke. His interpreter then quickly translated the joke, using only seven or eight words. Everyone immediately burst into hearty laughter. After the lecture General Clarke asked the interpreter how he had been able to retell such a relatively long joke so quickly.
“Well, sir,” the Korean interpreter replied, “I didn’t think everyone would get the point, so I said, ‘The general has just told a joke. Everyone will please laugh.'”
(thanks, Robert)
And that’s this week’s JWL for the first weekend in December, 2009 (I somehow feel like the late great Walter Cronkite when I say it that way). Thanks for your time and attention, and thanks to Kathy, Carol, Ann and Robert for forwarding the jokes. If you have one you’d like to pass along, just email me.

Until next weekend, 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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