Jim’s WebLetter for 3/16/13

Hi-ya Webfolks!

As I sit writing this WebLetter, I am reminded that as Bob Dylan once wrote in a song, “the times they are a changin'”. Just since I began writing this Letter some 16 years ago we have seen the rise and fall of the desktop computer, the rise and rise of the smartphone (does anyone still use a pager?), and tablet computers now occupy more time on the Internet than laptop computers. The Internet has grown from the early days of simplified websites into a push and pull collective of millions of sites able to do everything from showing you where you are at any given moment to providing education to the masses. Businesses have discovered that owning a website is beneficial to their bottom line. Search engines answer your query in a split second. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter keep you up to date with what is new and happening with friends and family. Yes, as I have said on many occasion, it is a good time to be alive … to see all that is taking place in technology. So, what’s new today? Here are a few things I discovered …

When we were preparing for our trip to Italy last year, I spent time learning some of the key phrases to use in case we needed them in out of the way places where English wasn’t necessarily the second language. Using Google Translate and some study videos in YouTube, I spent time each day drilling myself in the language to become relatively proficient in italian. Now Google has added a feature called Phrasebook for Google Translate. Phrasebook aids the learning process by allowing you to save the most useful phrases for easy reference later on, exactly when you need them. Grazie, magnifico.

RSS (Rich Site Summary aka Real Simple Syndication) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. It has become the norm for inquiring minds who want to get the latest news as it happens, all in one place. Now, imagine the largest search organization deciding to end it’s RSS feed. That’s what Google announced this week. It’s pulling the plug in the next few days leaving millions of users without an aggregate. Fortunately, there are several feed collectors remaining and one in particular being built by Digg. The company says it wants to take the best of Google Reader’s features and simply replicate them, while also modernizing the feature for those looking to make the jump to another service. http://blog.digg.com/post/45355701332/were-building-a-reader

Of course, my favorite Reader has become Zite, as it pulls together tech stories, interesting subjects and news events into an easy-to-use format and has an App for both my Android Galaxy phone and my iPad. http://www.zite.com/

As I have reported in the past, the old way of watching TV is changing. The Nielsen rating service announced this week that 5 million viewers no longer watch their sets through the typical means. Many have cut the cord and use the Internet for all their viewing. All I know is, if there isn’t something I want to watch on Directv, there is ALWAYS the web, or mobile Apps that have programming to watch.

Something else was released this week … the new Galaxy S IV phone from Samsung. Without going into all the details (read the review from the CNET article attached) this phone signals a new leap forward in technology, now surpassing the iPhone 5 with specs that make any smartphone user take a second look at what they’re using. I mean, with a 13 megapixel camera on the back, who wouldn’t want to take pictures with this handy little device? That’s the way it is with technology … it moves forward. http://reviews.cnet.com/samsung-galaxy-s4/

=== HuMoR ===
What do you call a Frenchman wearing sandals?
Philippe Philoppe.
(thanks, Daryn)
Due to his hectic schedule, I had seen little of the medical student who had moved next door to me two years earlier.
I learned that he had graduated, and one day when I spotted him in his driveway, I went over and congratulated him.
“Well,” I said, “Now if I break my arm, you’ll be able to fix it.”
He replied, “I’ve been able to fix your arm for some time. The important thing is that now I can bill for it.”
(thanks, Johnny)
That’s what I have for you this week, friends … until next … may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
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