Jim’s WebLetter for 11/14/15

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Hi-ya!

By now you have heard the story and seen the pictures of the horrific attack and bombings that took place in Paris yesterday. Facebook almost immediately set up a tool called Safety Check for those in Paris to let friends and family know they were safe. The social network automatically sent users in the affected area a note asking if they’re safe. When a user clicks “Yes, let my friends know,” the tool then notified their Facebook friends. http://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-activates-safety-status-tool-after-deadly-paris-attacks/

A week after my story on VR (virtual reality), Tech Crunch reports that Facebook has taken a bite of the apple and is using it in the News Feed for advertising and is making money from it. Now with more than a billion people using Facebook every day, and News Feed being the main platform for the service, it just makes sense to use something everyone is waking up to. The thing is, as I mentioned last week, shooting video in VR 360 is expensive. The use of multiple cameras arranged in a 360 degree “holder” with microphone is cost prohibitive for most Startups and camera crews alike. http://flip.it/PaveP

You know, a lot has been written about security on the Internet. Primarily about the theft of personal information. And it’s true that thousands of people have had a credit card or bank account hacked. Major corporations, who spend millions of dollars have had their accounts invaded and information stolen. But you don’t hear a lot about cyber security being thwarted and a website is hacked to plant false reports and misinformation. Jeff Kosseff of Tech Crunch posted an article about how such an event could lead up to a chain of serious events simply because of a criminal defacing a website. http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/13/the-biggest-cybersecurity-risk-is-not-identity-theft/

Learn To Code With The Women Of Star Wars The Force Awakens is a new addition to code.org which provides easy to learn programs online. This newest edition relies on the characters of the soon to be released movie by the same name. Learn to write code by creating fun challenges and games with Rey. Help the soccer ball droid BB-8 through a space mission, and build your own game with Princess Leia featuring R2-D2 or C-3PO. http://code.org/starwars

With the holiday season here, one thing family cooks are doing is finding and saving recipes in order to prepare the meal that makes this year’s cooking memorable. I remember my mom buying cookbooks and writing recipes on 3×5 cards, but it’s the 21st century and recipes are now stored and available through websites from places like recipes.com. But what if your favorite site doesn’t offer an easy capture and save feature, turn to this article from MakeUseOf which provides three options for keeping those recipes at the ready. Get ready, get saving … http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-simple-ways-save-online-recipes-holiday-season/

Finally, PowerPoint is getting a facelift. Microsoft is using the power of the cloud to enhance and beautify what typically is a basic and somewhat boring PowerPoint presentation. Designer and Morph are two programs rolling out this month for Office 365 subscribers. They’ll only be accessible on Windows desktop and mobile to start, but Microsoft says they’ll come to other platforms soon. http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2015/11/13/microsoft-is-using-the-cloud-to-help-you-make-beautiful-powerpoint-slides/
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That’s it this week. Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.
c-ya!
Jim

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