Jim’s WebLetter for 3/27/10

Hi-ya friends and neighbors!

Friday had to be the nicest day we’ve had all year. With sunny skies we had a breeze and temperatures in the mid 70’s. My wife and I agreed it was a model of how every day could be like. But we wake up Saturday and it’s definitely taken a step back. We attended the garage sale at our storage place in hopes of selling off a lot of “stuff”. We were somewhat successful, so we called it a day. Now back home, it’s time to relay to you some of the things I came across this week while on the Web.

Remember when Microsoft’s search device Bing came out? All the hype Microsoft placed (and spent money promoting) on it. Sure, there were some things about Bing that set it apart from Google, but in the end, it just couldn’t break the Google search force that still prevails today. This, however doesn’t seem to be slowing Microsoft down. The spring Bing refresh on March 25 will include a number of user interface changes to the company’s search engine. Some of the additions include a “Bing Box” for more definitive searching, and “Quick Tabs” which provide more indepth searching on a particular topic. ZD Net’s Mary Foley has more details of what to expect in the revised Bing … http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=5681&tag=wrapper;col1

It may not be a surprise to anyone but China leads the world in malicious software, also known as malware. A few weeks ago, Google announced that it found China was cracking and breaking into servers here in America and obtaining secret information. Now it’s back in the news due to its ongoing battles with Google over search and censorship. But a word of warning to anyone who downloads software for their computer … make sure you download from a well known and reputable source, and allow your antivirus software to scan it before you open it and install it into your computer system.

One piece of software I recently downloaded and use for image and photo editing is Photoscape. This free photo editor does the typical sizing, cropping and naming features found in most all photo editors, but there is so much more in the package. It’s fast loading and possesses an interface completely different from those familiar with Adobe’s industry-leading tools. It might take you time to get used to the unusual layout, but it’s only unusual for an image editor; otherwise it’s intuitive, fast, and lacks only the most advanced of image editing features. Be sure to check out the huge number of frames available. http://download.cnet.com/PhotoScape/3000-2192_4-10703122.html

A college education is something many people take for granted, but only about 1% of the world actually gets one. A year ago today, YouTube EDU launched with a very simple mission: deliver some of the world’s greatest university courses to anyone with an Internet connection and a screen. YouTube EDU is now one of the largest online video repositories of higher education content in the world. Give it a look and see what you can learn … http://www.youtube.com/edu

My aunt’s neighbor in New York had a beautiful black cat, Felix, who spent his days outside and came indoors at night. One cool October evening, he disappeared. The neighbor searched for him in vain. The following spring, however, Felix reappeared, looking healthy and clean. She figured he’d been sowing his wild oats. Everything was back to normal until that autumn, when Felix disappeared again.
The next spring, he returned. Perplexed, my aunt’s friend began asking neighbors for clues. Finally, she rang the bell of an older couple. “A black cat?” the woman said. “Oh, yes. My husband and I hated to see him out in the cold, so we bought a cat carrier. We take him to Florida every winter.”
(thanks, Jake)
In the office where I work, there is a constant battle between our technical-support director and customer-service personnel over the room temperature, which is usually too low. The frustrated director, trying to get us to understand his position, announced one afternoon, “We need to keep the temperature below seventy-two degrees or the computers will overheat.” Thinking that this was just another excuse, one of my shivering colleagues retorted, “Yeah right. So how did they keep the computers from overheating before there was air conditioning?”
(thanks, Rob)
I was nervous the night my husband and I brought our three young sons to an upscale restaurant for the first time. My husband ordered a bottle Of wine with the meal. When the waitress brought it, our children became quiet as she began the ritual uncorking.
She poured a small amount for me to taste, and then our six-year-old piped up, “Mom usually drinks a lot more than that!”
(thanks, Virginia)
An avid duck hunter was in the market for a new bird dog. His search ended when he found a dog that could actually walk on water to retrieve a duck. Shocked by his find, he was sure none of his friends would ever believe him. He decided to try to break the news to a friend of his, the eternal pessimist who refused to be impressed with anything. This, surely, would impress him. He invited him to hunt with him and his new dog. As they waited by the shore, a flock of ducks flew by. they fired, and a duck fell. The dog responded and jumped into the water. The dog, however, did not sink but instead walked across the water to retrieve the bird, never getting more than his paws wet. This continued all day long; each time a duck fell, the dog walked across the surface of the water to retrieve it. The pessimist watched carefully, saw everything, but did not say a single word. On the drive home the hunter asked his friend, “Did you notice anything unusual about my new dog?” “I sure did,” responded the pessimist. “He can’t swim.”
(thanks, Gary)
So, have a great weekend wherever you are 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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