Jim’s WebLetter for 7/13/13

Hi-ya WebFolks!

Among the many revelations that came out this week, it seems that Microsoft gave the National Security Agency full access to all of their media used by us.   That’s Outlook email, texts, chat and Skydrive cloud storage.  That also includes Skype calls.  So the government didn’t have to request files or calls, they could just gain access.   The Guardian reported this story based on documents released by former IT administrator, Edward Snowden.  It gives real pause to Microsoft’s slogan … “your privacy is our priority”, doesn’t it?  http://gizmodo.com/report-microsoft-gave-nsa-access-to-emails-video-call-746166545

But, hold on … CNET released a story just today detailing how the government has been able to strong arm companies like Microsoft into allowing them access.  Dating back to the Clinton presidency, laws have been in place that force these companies to comply under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act which was enacted in 1984.  So they had little choice.   So has our government gone too far in it’s effort to keep us safe?   Where does our right to privacy end?  http://goo.gl/ma0Pn

Changing subjects … I have found an online program called DouLingo which teaches languages.  It’s free, it’s in a game form which encourages learning, and it’s also motivational.  DuoLingo gives you points for completing lessons, charts your daily progress and will even send you daily reminder emails to keep working.  You begin with basic words like man and woman, then proceed to basic phrases like excuse me, thank you and good evening.  You can work on a computer or download the app for iPad or Android devices.  Right now they offer about 7 languages but are preparing more languages for their program.  http://www.duolingo.com/

In an article printed this week in USA Today, Kim Komando gave good advice in “5 tricks every computer user needs to know”.  These are practical how-to instructions that you will find helpful when you have those moments of needing help or fixing a problem. http://usat.ly/12pIW8W

Its hard to believe but sending documents by fax is still being done in the 21st century. This is an online service to send a fax without a fax machine. You just need to know the fax id to whom the fax is to send.  Faxzero had already sent more than 7500000 free faxes. There is an option to attach .DOC, .DOCX, or .PDF file along with the text.  http://faxzero.com/

=== HuMoR ===
A motorist, after being bogged down in a muddy road, paid a passing farmer five dollars to pull the car out with his tractor. After he was back on dry ground, he said to the farmer, “At those prices, I should think you would be pulling people out of the mud day and night.”
“Can’t,” replied the farmer. “At night I haul water for the hole.”
(thanks, Charles)
Groaner Alert:
A monastery is in financial trouble, so it goes into the fish-and-chips business to raise money. One night a customer knocks on its door. A monk answers. The customer asks, “Are you the fish friar?”
“No,” he replies. “I’m the chip monk.”
(thanks, dad)
And that’s what I have for you this week.   As always, my friends, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter
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