Jim’s WebLetter for 8/2/14

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Hi-ya friends and WebLetter readers!

This week Facebook announced it’s initiative to put the internet into the hands of billions of people through internet.org has moved forward one step by supplying the vast majority of Zambians, who can’t afford data plans, with connections. As I reported some time ago, it is Mark Zuckerburg’s plan to expand Facebook into all parts of the world giving everyone the opportunity to be in touch with everyone else. internet.org, which includes Google, Wikipedia and local info, is a golden opportunity for everyone connected to reach large numbers of the population with educational, medical and a host of other advances which is beneficial to all. http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/31/internet-org-app/

Malware, the term used for software with malicious intent, is popping up in computers and smart devices alike. Lifehacker’s Patrick Allan wrote a piece about a survey that was taken to find the 10 best malware fighters on the market. Wouldn’t you know that Malwarebytes was listed as the best. Their free version got the job done better than the rest, even those you pay for. I also know that for those using Windows XP that Microsoft discontinued serving, using Malwarebytes Pro ensures protection for $24.95 a year for up to 3 machines. Couple that with the free version of Avast! Antivirus(also rated #1 in a related story) and your machine is as secure as it can be. http://lifehacker.com/10-malware-removal-apps-tested-malwarebytes-comes-out-1614046598

Wired Magazine’s Marcus Wohlson talks about a program called ScratchJR which teaches the ‘touchscreen generation’ how to create code using the iPad app. While the app itself is not nearly as sophisticated as Scratch, the coding program for tablets and computers, it does offer a means for early learners to get their feet wet, or in this case, to get their fingers involved in something that will benefit them in the future. http://www.wired.com/2014/07/finally-a-way-to-teach-coding-to-the-touchscreen-generation/

If you have a child who qualifies as part of the Touchscreen generation, you may be interested in this next story. Parents are becoming concerned with all the time their kids spend using the tablet or computer and want to ensure that it’s not all just wasted time. How about finding constructive things that are fun to do? Fast Company’s John Ness put things to the test and figured out something for his 6 year old to do that is really meaningful. The little girl uses it as a research tool while daddy is on the phone or computer. She also uses the search capability of Google (which she thinks is a stupid name) on the laptop to find things she likes around the neighborhood. Parents will want to take notes. http://www.fastcompany.com/3033754/second-shift/how-i-taught-my-kindergartner-to-use-her-screen-time-for-good

Finally this week, I am always interested in reading stories about people who switched to another product or service from what they were using. David Gewirtz, who is on staff at ZDNet was an Outlook email user for years, but recently made the switch to Gmail. As a fan of the email provider and many of Google’s products, I wanted to get his side of Gmail including the pros and cons. I also have an Outlook account but not for the email. It’s because you need one, just like Google, to have access to the cloud service that comes with it. Of course almost everyone uses Google calendar anymore simply because it integrates into Gmail and businesses find it easy to share with employees. So, what does David think about the switch? In his words, “if it doesn’t work out, it’s just a week of annoyance to move back”. http://www.zdnet.com/why-i-bit-the-bullet-and-finally-switched-from-outlook-to-gmail-7000032179/

One of the burdens of office of the small town mayor was his brother-in-law, a fellow who liked to throw his or, rather, his in-law’s political weight around.
The mayor had instructed his policemen and other city officials to treat him just like they would any other taxpayer.
The brother-in-law got a ticket for overtime parking. He immediately descended in a fury on police headquarters, waving the ticket and sputtering, “Hey, do you know who I am?”
The desk sergeant surveyed him calmly, picked up his telephone and dialed the mayor’s office. “Tell the mayor,” he said to the secretary, “that his brother-in-law is down here and can’t remember his name.”
(Thanks, Buddy)
The teacher was giving a lesson on verb tenses to her second-grade class, explaining the past, present, and future tenses.
“The past is what has already happened, such as eating your breakfast and morning recess,” she explained.
“The present is right now; what’s happening at this moment. The next tense is about what’s going to happen. Does anyone know what we call what’s going to happen next?”
“I know” said one boy. “Lunch!”
(Thanks, Jack)
That’s some of the things I came across this week while on the Web. Read additional things of interest in WebLetter, the online magazine of this blog at http://web.jimonline.com

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

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