After taking a week off from writing about the World Wide Web, I am back on the keyboard to give you some heads-up Websites worth your time.
WikiLeaks made news again this week with the latest round of private papers made available for everyone to download and read. Well, cyber attacks forced the website to find another host. Now they’ve resurfaced on a Swiss site. I just have to wonder out loud … if the release of those documents could cause undue harm to our troops, to our economy, then why were they published and stored in the first place? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11907641
We’ve all heard of “Do Not Call”, the program that you can have your phone number excluded from being called by advertisers. Now the Federal Trade Commission want to offer to consumers “Do Not Track” … a way to be protected from advertisers tracking where you go online. Of course, if you use Firefox browser, you have that capability already. Just go to Tools and click “Start Private Browsing” or use the shortcut Control-Shift-P. Maybe the FTC should just recommend Firefox. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2010-12-03-donottrack03_ST_N.htm
Google’s pockets seem to be ever deeper as the company reaches out to buy everything in sight. This week, Groupon, a deal-of-the-day website that is localized to major geographic markets in the United States and Canada, was the target with Google willing to part with $6 billion dollars for it. They turned down the offer. So, Google turned around and purchased Widevine, an on-demand video service. As the major TV companies turned down Google TV, Widevine helps independents go video with superior optimization and platforms for desktop and mobile devices. Since we’ve already discovered that people like watching videos online, this should be a real shot in the arm for Google TV. http://www.widevine.com/
Lastly, and one could say, “finally”, Verizon is releasing it’s 4G network on Sunday. Although the initial release is only in 38 cities, it marks a new set of improvements for the communications company. It also marks a new need in data plans. You see, with faster speed comes more bandwidth being burned at a faster rate. Verizon allows 5GB of bandwidth a month. With 4G, one can burn through that in less than an hour. So, clearly something needs to happen. Either provide more bandwidth or unlimited bandwidth plans for 4G users. By the way, you can count the number of 4G phones being sold by Verizon on one hand, so at this point the 4G speeds which have been tested as faster than AT&T and Sprint’s 4G is basically for laptop users with Verizon accounts. It remains to be seen what will roll out in 2011 as the faster speed becomes available throughout the US. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/technology/02verizon.html?_r=1&ref=technology
My older son loves school, but his younger brother absolutely hates it. One weekend he cried and fretted and tried every excuse not to go back on Monday. Sunday morning on the way home from church, the crying and whining built to a crescendo. At the end of my rope, I finally stopped the car and explained, “Honey, it’s a law. If you don’t go to school, they’ll put Mommy in jail.”
He looked at me, thought a moment, then asked, “How long would you have to stay?”
A midwest farmer was describing his lifestyle to a touring group of city folks. “One of the benefits of this profession,” he explained, “is that we have built-in weather predictions.”
“What do you mean by that?” asked one inquisitive visitor.
“When the cows are standing,” the farmer explained, “it means no rain is likely for the next twenty-four hours. When they’re lying down, it means it’s going to rain.”
“On our bus trip,” another visitor piped in, “I saw half the herd standing and the other half lying down. What does this mean?”
The farmer flashed a smile and answered, “That means half of them are wrong.”
A German, looking for directions in Paris, pulls up to a bus stop where two Americans are waiting.
“Entschuldigung, sprechen Sie Deutsch?” he asks. The two Americans just stare at him.
“Parlez-vous français?” he says.
The two continue to stare, so the German tries again “Parlate italiano?”
No response. “¿Hablan ustedes español?” Still nothing. Frustrated, the German guy drives off.
The first American says, “You know, we should learn a foreign language.”
“Why?” asks the other. “He knew four languages, and it didn’t do him any good.”
I was in the express lane at the store quietly fuming. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the checkout line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward, looked into the cart and asked sweetly, “So which six items would you like to buy?”
And that’s this week’s collection of what’s happening on the Web, friends. I hope you enjoy your weekend. Til then, may God bless you and keep you safe.
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