Jim’s WebLetter for 11/3/12

Hi-ya friends!

It’s time again for a few highlights that have gained attention on the Web this week. See what you think …

This week Google released Voice Search For iOS. The service has been working on Android devices for some time now, but with the new release for Apple products, it provides a choice for those who have been less than satisfied with Siri, the Apple answer to Search. I added it to my iPad and found it to be very effective. Perfect? No. But the more I use it, the better it understands me and finds what I’m looking for. Ask it a question and it finds the answer and tells you. Although I have it on my Droid phone, now to have it on the iPad, too means I can search with whatever I’m using. The difference between Siri and Google Search is that Siri integrates with all the other applications on your iPhone and iPad, while Search is just search. But for speed and search abilities, Google wins. It’s a free download. Try it … Google Voice Search.

Speaking of the world’s giant search device, Google Flu Trends uses search queries to estimate flu outbreaks by region. Kim Komando reports that a map of the United States gives you an overview of flu activity. Click on a state, and you’ll see if the flu is rising.
Now, Google’s system hasn’t been scientifically reviewed, so it may not be entirely accurate. However, its results appear to be in line with previous years. A quick check shows Florida in the Moderate range while our neighbor to the north, Georgia has a higher level of reported cases. http://www.google.org/flutrends/

RouteXL is a Google Maps mashup that provides the optimum route for you along multiple destinations. It can do this by calculating each waypoint and sort them to give you the fastest route. To make use of Route XL, all you need to do is enter each address, then click to find the best route. You can also import up to 20 addresses to maximize the app. Designate one of the points as either your start point, end point, or both. Once the route is calculated, you can share a direct link to your friends, or print it to bring it with you. It’s useful when you need to go to different points during your trip. This could be as simple as deciding whether to pass by the grocery before going to the office, or setting up multiple meetings along your walk trail. http://www.routexl.com/

Facebook is testing a new service that allows local businesses to offer customers free Wi-Fi after checking in on the social network. For this small test, Facebook is supplying the router but businesses are providing the Internet access. When visitors check into a location on Facebook, they are redirected to the business’ Facebook page and can continue to browse the web for free. Page owners will be able to track how many new Likes they received from people who took advantage of this service. Visitors who don’t wish to check in can request a passcode from the local business to connect to the network anyway. http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112724813/free-wifi-facebook-businesses-110212/

I was a new Army basic trainee at Fort McClellan, and one requirement was a demanding 12-mile march.
We got started at 6 a.m. and were pumped up for the trek.
An hour later, feeling the heavy load of our packs, we wondered if the end would ever come. “Men,” our sergeant yelled, “you’re doing a fine job. We’ve already covered four miles!”
Revitalized, we picked up the pace. “And,” he continued, “we should reach the starting point any minute now.”
(Thanks, Max – a number of us can relate)
I failed a Health and Safety course at the Senior Center today.
One of the questions was: “In the event of a fire, what steps would you take?”
Apparently, “Great Big Ones” was the wrong answer.
(Thanks, Linda)
Finally, while many have decided to vote early in the general election, I will wait and “pull the lever” on Tuesday. The point is to vote. A lot of people paid the ultimate price so we can retain the right to determine who will represent us in government. The least we can do is be informed and fulfill our obligation, our right. If you are undecided in whom you will vote, let me assure you that each candidate has his good and bad points. Frankly for me, I’ve seen what the incumbent has done, I’m ready for someone else.

Have a great weekend friends, and until next weekend, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
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