Jim’s WebLetter for 3/18/17

Hi-ya smartphone, book reading, Google users!

This week’s JWL is packed with stories and good-to-know stuff from the World of the Web. Let’s get started …

 A story this week came out of a study showing the possible correlation between smartphone use and fewer cases of drug and alcohol abuse among teens. Now the National Institute on Drug Abuse is planning to start exploring the possibility that phone use reduces the desire for abuse.  

But there’s another addiction to be considered. Addiction to tech. Read this article from Fox 43 news … http://fox43.com/2017/03/17/how-smartphones-may-curb-teenage-drug-use-tmwsp/

Speaking about kids, there’s a story in this week’s Mashable about an 11 year old who loved to read and decided to put that love into building a club. Calling it “Books and Bros”, Sidney Keys III regularly has 8-10 other boys reading and discussing their books after finding he didn’t have time to read in school. They meet at a book store and sometimes at the local Microsoft store. Where there is a will, there is a way. http://mashable.com/2017/03/17/books-and-bros-book-club/?utm_cid=hp-n-1#XUaXZrIc2aqV

Then moving to the big boys and their big toys, there’s Elon Musk and his Space X rocket program. As I have reported in the past, Elon has been working to develop a space mini-satellite capable of transmitting internet connecting signals to earth. The idea is to create enough of these devices to form a grid of 4,425 satellites around the globe to connect everyone to the Web.  

This multi billion dollar project has a number of hurtles including approval of the Federal Communications Commission, who would have the final say in allowing transmission to take place here in America. But imagine the possibilities of having high speed internet service everywhere you are. And with the prospect of the new 5G cellular service on the immediate horizon, promising lightning fast speed compared to 4G, the project needs to move ahead at a quicker pace. http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/17/14952904/elon-musk-spacex-boeing-oneweb-satellite-constellation-network

Elon Musk spoke with Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Walt Mossberg at the 2016 Code Conference about his plans to send a one-way rocket to Mars in 2018. Here’s the full video of the interview … http://www.recode.net/2016/6/6/11840936/elon-musk-tesla-spacex-mars-full-video-code

Finally this week, Google has begun rolling out its Google Assistant app to all Android phones this week and I love it. Working in conjunction with Google Now, now just being called Google, the Assistant program starts up with “OK, Google” when you speak it or by touching and holding the start button at the bottom center of the phone. When it does, it is there to perform hundreds of tasks and answer millions of questions. Get more about Google Assistant and a live demonstration here … http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/google-assistant/

That’s it this week. Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.


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