Jim’s WebLetter for 10/31/15


YouTube has been collecting and classifying videos for 10 years. A decade of discovery on an ever-growing site that now features everything from how-to videos to talking dogs. Thousands of hours of recorded music can be heard, thousands more hours of movie trailers can be watched. There are hours and hours of old movies you can see. In short, you could spend the majority of your life just searching and watching. The one thing that has become annoying, though, are the ads. YouTube has mixes of music you can start, and it automatically cues up and plays another, but not before you get to hear about enrolling in a college or treating your arthritis. And if you don’t get a commercial, you have a large banner ad stuck across the bottom half of the video. It’s like watching commercial TV, the one thing you hope to get away from when you’re surfing the Web. Now, YouTube is offering an ad-free service called “Red”. For $10 a month you can watch videos and listen to music without all the ads for bunion cream and, well you get it. Additional features include offline viewing and free downloads. And YouTube is offering a free trial period. To be fair, their pricing is in line with all the other premium services offered by other video/entertainment outlets like Hulu Plus, Netflix and Showtime. But, unless you spend an inordinate period of time on YouTube, you might as well save your money. Time Magazine has an article you should read to help you decide … http://time.com/4087307/youtube-red/

Two stories I read this week brought me to the conclusion that our nation’s education system is in need of fixing. Right now, our attention is turned to the economy, healthcare and immigration (despite what the Obama Administration would have you think). But the future of our country shouldn’t be pushed to the back burner. Education provides jobs. The leading tech companies have been pushing for higher immigration of qualified, better educated people to help advance the technology in America. That’s only because we are not educating our young people with the skills they need to handle those jobs. In The Florida Times Union, there was a story about schools facing an issue with no increase in revenue despite the fact there are more kids enrolled. Putnam county, one of the poorest in the state is faced with trying to push a half-cent tax increase to pay for their school system needs. 

So, what is the answer for our education issue? Salmon Khan may have it. He’s the guy who started Khan Academy, the online source for learning that has become probably the single biggest educational tool of the 21st century. He says that videos aren’t enough, though. He believes a system he has formulated will help to train our children and grandchildren for the jobs they can master and move us forward, technologically. In the story in Wired Magazine, he explains the new school that has started in Silicon Valley where students receive the kind of education for which they are best suited to learn. You see, Khan believes that not all education is for everyone. In other words, those who catch on quickly in a subject in a classroom shouldn’t be held back by those who are slower to learn, and those who have difficulty learning one subject, could be much more advanced in another. The end goal is every student advances in subjects they are better at learning. While this isn’t an original idea, he has taken it and added another level. This is fascinating reading … http://www.wired.com/2015/10/salman-khan-academy-lab-school-reinventing-classrooms/

I came across an article about Dropbox this week. To define for those who don’t understand the use of Clouds, from Wikipedia: “Dropbox founder Houston developed the Dropbox concept after repeatedly forgetting his USB flash drive while he was a student at MIT. He says that existing services at the time “suffered problems with Internet latency, large files, bugs, or just made me think too much.” He began making something for his personal use, but then realized that it could benefit others with the same problems. Houston founded Dropbox, Inc. in June 2007″. But has it improved over the years? Owen Williams of TNW News says, no. In his article he mentions how he used Dropbox for years, but other clouds have additional features not provided by Dropbox. In today’s Tech world, it’s crucial to keep up if not pass the competition to continue to grow. That’s why clouds like Google Drive have additional features like text and photo editing and Google Photos allows you to store unlimited photos and video for free. That’s not to say Dropbox doesn’t have features, but other clouds have lots of free space, certainly more than the 2 gigs offered by Dropbox. If they want to catch up, they need to increase free space 5 times over. I saw the writer’s point. Maybe you do too?http://thenextweb.com/opinion/2015/10/29/i-dropped-dropbox-and-you-should-too


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



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