Bob Jensen's Bookmarks  Scroll
Technology and Information Systems Section
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Bob Jensen's Tidbits ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

For earlier editions of Fraud Updates go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Bookmarks for the World's Library --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm 

 

Bob Jensen's Search Helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm
 
Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers --- http://www.tollfree.att.net/tf.html
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to www.google.com and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens

You might want to check if your cell phone numbers can be easily obtained:

SUNY Albany Guide to Web Resources --- http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=130754&sid=1121460

Compare High Speed Internet Providers in Your Zip Code Area ---
http://www.broadbandexpert.com/

Index
(Scroll down to view categories and bookmarks)

| Starting Up Your Computer | Consumer Advice Videos |Gadgets | Audio, Video, Web Cameras, Speech Recognition, Telephony, and Multimedia | Streaming Media | Audio on the WWW (RealAudio) | Free YouTube to MP3 Converter   | Citation Guide | MP3 Encoding and DecodingDVD Technology and Burning (Older-Style versus HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray) | Audio Chat Lines  | Miscellaneous Audio on the WWW | Audio Examples | History of Multimedia | Speech Recognition, Speech to Text Translation | Speech Translation, Text to Speech audio | Video on the WWW ( Streaming Video) | Web and Video Cameras  | Video and Telephone Images | Miscellaneous Audio, Video, Web Cameras, etc. | Document Imaging | Web Data and Statistics | Wireless Technologies, PDAs, and Telephones | Ubiquitous Computing | Computing History | Hardware Alternatives --- http://www.pcworld.com/ / Firewalls and Routers / Technology Product Price Comparisons |

Tracking Your Kids, Students, and Employees on the Web

Video:  Learn the new (RSS) way to view the news you are most interested in from your favorite news sites ---  www.commoncraft.com  has a “RSS in Plain English” video
This great link was forwarded by Mary Jo Sanz [MSANZ@BENTLEY.EDU]

Digital File Cabinets and Searching Text Embedded in Picture Images

Convert Scanned Picture Files or PDF Files into MS Word or Other Text Files

Convert from One Text Format to Another Format 

Skype vs. Vonage --- http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/skype-vonage3.htm

Free Faxung Service

HDTV Buying Guides

Note Taking:  Zotero vs. EndNote  

Cloud Computing

Mac OS versus Windows OS

Transferring Data from a PC to a Mac

Turn PDFs Into Word Documents

Saving Websites as PDF Files

Reading Word 2007, Excel 2007, and PowerPoint 2007 files with older software using the
Microsoft Compatibility Pack

Saving a Video Clip as a Bitmap (VideoToBitmap) 

Sending Large/Huge Files (Free) |

Recovery of Files and Pictures

Archiving and Long-term storage (including Web servers |

Hard Drive Recovery and/or Clean Sweep | Remote Control Computing | Download PC Videos to Giant Screen TV Sets |

Synchronizing Your Files, Bookmarks, and Multiple PCs |

New Technology for WordPress sites

"How to Wipe Personal Info from Electronics," by Eric Escobar, Tech Talker, January 30, 2013 ---
http://techtalker.quickanddirtytips.com/how-to-wipe-personal-info-from-electronics.aspx

"Making Sense of All the New Laptop Flavors," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323713104578131092136289494.html

"Mossberg’s Annual Holiday Laptop Buyers’ Guide (Video)," The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/11/23/mossbergs-annual-holiday-laptop-buyers-guide/?mod=WSJBlog&mod=

Question
When might you want to run Linux on your Windows computer?
"E-Banking on a Locked Down (Non-Microsoft) PC," by Brian Krebs
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#IdentityTheft 

| Authoring for Courseware | Create Your Own Wiki | Computer Firms (Hardware and Software) | Computer Training (hardware and software) | Miscellaneous Technology Section | Simulation | Network Communications and Telephony | News and Commentaries on Computing Technologies | Security | Shareware | Visualization Centers |

| Electronic Literature |

Create Your Own Lookalike Office 2003 Toolbar and Add It to the Ribbon |

| Freeware and Shareware | Free Alternatives to/for MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) |

| History of the Personal Computer |

| Internet, Web, Browsers, Web Shockwave, Java, JavaScript, DHTML, XML, HTML, MUD, MOO, and VRML | Evaluation of Web Sites | Associations | Citations and Style Guides | Cookies | Creating Course Materials (Including HTML Tricks) | Getting Started in Web Publishing and HTML | Glossaries | Helpers (Counters, Free Server Space, Gifs, Animated Gifs, etc.) | Clip Art and Animated Gifs | History of the Internet | Intranets | JavaScript and Java | Registering a URL | Security | Training | VRML | Miscellaneous Web and Web 2 | WWW Publishing, XML,   DHTML,  HTML |

| Create Your Own Wiki |

| Searching the Web:  Search Engines | Searching/Indexing Email |

Some Things You Might Want to Know About the Wolfram Alpha (WA) Search Engine:  The Good and The Evil
as Applied to Learning Curves (Cumulative Average vs. Incremental Unit)
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theorylearningcurves.htm

| Top Technology in Education Research Centers |

| Photo Storage/Sharing on the Web |

| Keeping Kids Safe Online |

| Information Systems | Databases and Networking of Databases | XML and RDF |

| E-Commerce |

Bob Jensen's threads on e-Business and e-Commerce --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 

Taxonomy Warehouse website ---  www.taxonomywarehouse.com

Graveyard for Websites
Cyber Cemetery --- http://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/GDCC/

Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT --- http://www.rle.mit.edu/

Find Cell Phone Numbers
How to Protect Your Cell Phone Number

Cell Phone Search Engines

TiVo (pronounced TeeVo)= digital video recorder (DVR) mostly used to capture television shows for replay later on according to an annual fee that downloads television schedules making it easier to choose what and when to record. History of this device and its controversies are summarized at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiVo

SUNY Albany Guide to Web Resources --- http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=130754&sid=1121460

“Tapping Your TiVo's Hidden Talents,” by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2008, Page D8 --- Click Here

Media College (New Zealand: Tutorials on Production of Multi-media) --- http://www.mediacollege.com/

Internet Archive: Cornell University Libraries http://www.archive.org/details/cornell


From the Scout Report on February 14, 2011

Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project: Trend Data [pdf]
http://www.pewinternet.org/Home/Static%20Pages/Trend%20Data.aspx

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has created this terrific site
which brings together many of their data sets, charts, and graphs in one
convenient location. Here visitors can look over ten different data sets,
including "Who's Online", "Online Activities", and "Daily Internet
Activities". Some of these data sets are available as Excel files, and they
will be of tremendous benefit to journalists, educators, and public policy
scholars. Visitors are encouraged to use this data for a variety of
reporting purposes and other needs, and they may also wish to click on the
"Research Toolkit" as well. Here they will find experts, additional data
sets, and survey questions from previous surveys
.

 

Question
How can you best publish books, including multimedia and user interactive books, on the Web?
Note that interactive books may have quizzes and examinations where answers are sent back for grading.

My Answers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


Wow, Watch the Two Videos:  The Swype Virtual Keyboard is Really Helpful

Google's Android Operating System --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Android

Smart Phone --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone

Swype is a virtual keyboard for Android devices. In this post, the author discusses the use of this keyboard as a way to increased productivity with her super smartphone, and suggests alternatives for iPhone users.

"Using Swype (for Android) for Increased Smartphone Productivity," by Julie Meloni, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 28, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Using-Swype-for-Android-for/25127/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

I've written before about Using Super Smartphones for Productivity (and then an update on the same topic), but by far my smartphone productivity increased dramatically simply by using Swype, an input method for Android-based devices.

[The remainder of this post discusses an Android-only application, so you iPhone users are out of luck...except I do talk about Swype for the iPhone and an iPhone Swype alternative.]

My super smartphone of choice is the Motorola Droid; I've had one for almost eight months now. When I upgrade, I will upgrade to either the HTC Incredible or the Motorola Droid X—I haven't thought much about it, because my Droid is dandy. One of the selling points of the original Droid was the slide-out physical keyboard, but I rarely used it because I became quickly (and completely) enamored of a beta version of the Swype virtual keyboard.

I demoed Swype to everyone I met. "Hey, you have to see this!" I would say as I shoved my phone in their faces, opened up my mobile Evernote to a blank note, and quickly "swyped" my demo words: obnoxious, ridiculous, elephant. At that point I would be lucky if the phone was still in my hand, as the person usually grabbed it to try it on their own. That's how "sandwiches" became a demo word; a co-worker grabbed it, swyped quickly, and exclaimed "sandwiches!" in the time it would have taken to tap out half that word on a typical virtual keyboard. Swype learns words, too, which is handy for usernames and e-mail addresses like "nowviskie" and "kfitz"—not words you'd typically find in the dictionary.

What is Swype?

Swype is a virtual keyboard by which words are generated by tracing the path of the letters in the word in one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen. The company claims one can swype in over 40 words per minute; I haven't tested it, but I believe that number. That's the point of this post: Swype has enabled me to be incredibly productive on my phone by quickly writing e-mails, sending tweets, and even commenting on student work (in Word doc files).

The basic "How to Swype" video explains the fundamentals:

[Two videos in the article]

To learn more about Swype, take a gander at their page of links to videos of tips and tricks.

How to Get Swype

As I noted above, Swype is currently available for Android devices only. It is preinstalled on a few phones such as the Motorola i1, Motorola CliqXT, Samsung Omnia II, myTouch 3G, HTC HD2, and the Nexus One (and it will be preinstalled on the upcoming Droid X), but is available for download by becoming a beta tester. If you have an Android device that does not already have Swype installed, I urge you to become a beta tester and give this a whirl.

Alternatives

Swype wants to be on the iPhone and they are working on a version; it remains to be seen if Apple will pick up the licensing for it. I have shown numerous iPhone users my Droid running Swype, and every single person has been deeply impressed and wanted it on their phone. I don't blame them.

ShapeWriter is a similar application, available for Android as well as the iPhone. Additionally, some have suggested SlideIT, also available for Android, iPhone, and other devices. I have not used either application, because I am absolutely in love with Swype and tend to be very loyal to applications that fundamentally alter my relationship with my devices. However, if you try either alternative, do let us know about your experiences in the comments section below.

The Future

The folks behind Swype are no strangers to ground-breaking text entry methods; Cliff Kushler was part of the team that invented T9. T9 is the predictive text technology currently installed on billions of phones, smart or otherwise. Two years ago, Wired.com's Gadget Lab published "Future Phones to Read Your Voice, Gestures", in which the "speedier keypads" section featured Swype. In the post, Swype founder Cliff Kushler said "This is a game-changer"—which is exactly what I say in my demos...because it just is. However, Kushler has actual reasons while I just have enthusiasm and experience with the software: "You have a subconscious awareness of where things are on the keyboard." Focusing on that subconscious ability and swype methodology rather than the need to tap out words (and hit the keys precisely) has exponentially increased my productivity.

On a day-to-day basis, I'm not a user of Apple products. I've held an iPad and worked with it for a little bit, but I'm no Kathleen Fitzpatrick. But my dream device right now isn't necessarily an Android tablet (although that would be great). It's a Swype-enabled iPad (and actually, kfitz expresses a similar sentiment in her second iPad post.

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm


The Cius --- Click Here
Relative to iPad, I like the fact that Cisco's new tablet connects to a docking station.
The iPad has zero USB ports, whereas the Cius has three USB ports
Relative to iPad, I like the fact that Cisco's new tablet has a port for external display such as an LCD Projector
Unlike an iPad, the Cius will play Adobe's Flash Videos served up at millions of sites in the world
Why didn't Steve Jobs think of these for the iPad (I suspect he did but feared that an iPad with these would blast a hole in Mac laptop sales)

Expanded capabilities through:  Click Here

• 3 USB ports
• 3.5-mm headset jack
• 10/100/1000-Gbps switch ports for wired connections and Power over Ethernet (PoE)
• Additional speaker for wideband hands-free communications
• DisplayPort to connect to a larger display for an immersive video experience and for a virtualized desktop experience
• Two handset options: standard and slimline

 

The Cius is also much more friendly toward applications developers than the greedy iPad's Orwellian Big Brother
I’ve been an open-source advocate from get go!

Video --- Click Here

"Cisco Debuts Android-Based Tablet," by Jeffrey Schwartz, T.H.E. Magazine, July 1, 2010 ---
http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/07/01/cisco-enters-tablet-market.aspx

Cisco Systems is the latest vendor to enter the tablet device market and, like other players, the company is looking at its entry as an alternative to traditional Windows-based PCs.

The Cius, announced this week, is a device that to some degree looks like Apple's iPad, though it is based on Google's Android platform. Cisco becomes the second major vendor to launch an Android-based tablet in as many months: Dell in late May launched the Streak. With its 5-inch display, it was described by Dell as a hybrid smartphone and tablet.

But that's where the similarities end. Cisco's Cuis is clearly targeted at professional, not consumer use. It will support an optional docking station, enabling individuals to mount it to the IP-based handset.

When undocked, the Cuis can connect to an enterprise network or the Internet via 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi or 3G cellular services. Ultimately it will support 4G services as they become more broadly available, Cisco said. Through Bluetooth and USB communications, the device will be able to share data with a PC, Cisco said.

The Cius is not slated to be available until the first quarter of next year, though Cisco said customer trials will begin in the third quarter of this year, which begins July 1. The company has not set pricing though a spokeswoman said it will carry a street price of less than $1,000.

Cisco is pitching the Cius as a virtual desktop that will allow for data collaboration and communication. It will support real-time HD video, messaging, and Web browsing, allowing users to share content in cloud-based services, Cisco said.

Weighing slightly more than 1 pound, it will have a front-mounted 720p camera and a 5 megapixel rear-mounted camera, dual noise-cancelling microphones, and a 7-inch Super VGA display.

The Cius will be designed to cork with Cisco's various lines of collaboration products and services, including WebEx Connect, Cisco Presence, and its high-end TelePresence videoconferencing systems.

Cisco said it will also reach out to developers with an SDK that includes its Collaboration APIs. The Cius will be made available through Cisco's network of Unified Communications and Collaboration partners, according to the spokeswoman.

With all these features, Cius owners may only have to carry the Cius tablet from conference-to-conference or class-to-class. The unfortunate iPad users will most likely have to lug their laptops along with their iPads.


"Introducing “Kno” — Unique approach to computer design," by Rick Lillie, Thinking Outside the Box Blog,  September 27, 2010 —
http://iaed.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/introducing-kno-unique-approach-to-computer-design/

Here’s a technology change that is worth looking into.  Late last week, I read a blog comment about Kno, a computer designed to be a digital textbook, with touch screen interaction in a single or dual screen format.  It’s a tablet computer that you can write on, highlight, watch video, and read.  It includes a pen stylus with inking technology like full-blown tablet computers.  Kno can include a student’s textbooks, course materials, notes, web links, and more.  It’s a complete tablet computer.  Click the picture below to view the Kno website.  View the video and listen to reactions from students who use Kno.

I have used an IBM (Lenovo) ThinkPad X61 for sometime now.  It’s an incredible machine that in my opinion goes way beyond the capabilities of Apple’s  iPad I can hardly wait to see the Kno tablet computer.  This is exciting technology.

Enjoy.

Rick Lillie

 


"Soluto: Anti-Frustration Software" by Rick Lillie, Thinking Outside the Box Blog, June 20, 2010 ---
http://iaed.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/soluto-anti-frustration-software/

Now, here’s software that solves a problem.  Soluto describes itself as anti-frustration software.  Soluto’s goal is to end frustrations PC users encounter by (1) helping users to determine which application is causing a problem on your computer, and (2) harnessing the power of the crowd (that’s all of us) to learn which actions really eliminate frustrations and improve user experience.  Did I mention that Soluto is free! Click the picture below to access the Soluto web page.  Play the embedded video to see how Soluto works.  Enjoy!

Rick Lillie (CalState, San Bernardino)

 

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm


Bob Jensen's Archives of New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookurl.htm

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Blog --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Bob Jensen's Updates on Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Links to Documents on Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm

Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature, including free online textbooks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Bob Jensen's links to free online video, music, and other audio --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Music.htm

Bob Jensen's documents on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm 

Bob Jensen's links to free course materials from major universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's links to online education and training alternatives around the world --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's links to electronic business, including computing and networking security, are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm

Bob Jensen's links to education technology and controversies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 

Links to Bob Jensen's Workshop Documents on Education and Learning
Bob Jensen's Education and Learning Bookmarks

Bookmarks

The Shocking Future of Education 

First File

Second File

E-Learning and Distance Education's Top 
(Award-Winning) Illustrations

Detail File

Bob Jensen's Threads on Cross-Border (Transnational) Training and Education
(Includes helpers for finding online training and education courses, certificate programs, and degree Programs)
Detail File

Alternatives and Tricks/Tools of the Trade
    
(Including Edutainment and Learning Games)
     (Includes aids for the handicapped, disabled, and learning challenged)

First File

Second File

The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education

 Detail File

Assessment Issues, Case Studies, and Research Detail File
History and Future of Course Authoring Technologies Detail File
Knowledge Portals and Vortals Detail File
Bob Jensen's Advice to New Faculty (and Resources) Detail File
Bob Jensen's Threads on Electronic Books Detail File
Threads of Online Program Costs and Faculty Compensation Detail File
Bob Jensen's Helper Videos and Tutorials Detail File
Jensen and Sandlin Book entitled Electronic Teaching and Learning: Trends in Adapting to Hypertext, Hypermedia, and Networks in Higher Education
(both the 1994 and 1997 Updated Versions)
Old Book

Some Earlier Papers

 

 
Additional Links and Threads Threads

Technology Glossaries --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm 
Internet FAQ Archives --- http://www.faqs.org/faqs/ 
Oxford Internet Institute --- http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/ 
Research materials and college degrees are available.
How Web Pages Work --- http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-page3.htm 
How Internet Infrastructure Works --- http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet-infrastructure.htm 
How Computer Things Work (including buying guides) --- http://computer.howstuffworks.com/
Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- http://ptech.wsj.com/
"Some Basic Features You Should Demand When Buying a PC," The Wall Street Journal,  
October 18, 2007; Page B1
Walt Mossberg's Wall Street Journal 2007 PC Buyer's Guide (includes video) ---
 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119266187772362614.html  
Rockefeller University: Information Technology (tutorials) --- 
http://it.rockefeller.edu/index.php?page=support.desktop 
Set up free conference calls at http://www.freeconference.com/
Also see http://www.yackpack.com/uc/   
Webmaster Resources (includes tutorials on making and maintaining a Web site) ---  http://www.boogiejack.com/index.html 

Web Data and Statistics

History of the Web --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web

Software Updates and Reviews --- http://www.versiontracker.com/windows/

Software Reviews --- http://www.gotoreviews.com/

Technology Product Price Comparisons

Retail Software Comparisons --- www.softwareadvice.com/retail
The new link should go to: http://www.softwareadvice.com/retail/

Search for Free Patents --- http://www.freepatentsonline.com/

Webmaster Resources (includes tutorials on making and maintaining a Web site) ---  http://www.boogiejack.com/index.html

Internet FAQ Archives --- http://www.faqs.org/faqs/

Oxford Internet Institute --- http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/
Research materials and college degrees are available.

"Amazing Stats: The State of the Internet [VIDEO]," by Rick Telberg, CPA Trendlines, March 3, 2010 ---
http://cpatrendlines.com/2010/03/03/amazing-stats-the-state-of-the-internet/

It’s the must-watch video for anyone trying to wrap their minds around just how immersed web technologies have become in our everyday lives, according to Mashable.com.

For example:

- There are 1.73 billion Internet users worldwide as of September 2009.

- There are 1.4 billion e-mail users worldwide, and on average we collectively send 247 billion e-mails per day. Unfortunately 200 billion of those are spam e-mails.

- As of December 2009, there are 234 million websites.

- Facebook gets 260 billion page views per month.

 


Amazing Facts About the Internet

I watched the history of computing in the 1990s on the History Channel on July 21, 2008 --- http://www.history.com/

Some facts mentioned concerning today in 2008 amazed me. I did not dig out independent verification of these facts.

  • The amount of "information" on Internet servers now doubles every 12 hours.
    Jensen Comment
    For example we might soon have more barrels of information about oil on the Internet than barrels of oil underground. With stored information doubling every 12 hours this makes Google's ranking of "hits" in information searches all-powerful in guiding us to what we learn. I sure hope Google lives up to its motto:   "Do no evil!" But even if it does no evil intentionally, any ranking of gazillions of documents provides different learning than other rankings of the same gazillions of documents. And the rankings of documents on a topic in English are bound to vary from rankings of documents on the same topics in Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, French, etc.
     
  • There are over one billion users of the Internet worldwide. Although 70% of the people in the United States now use the Internet, the U.S. usage only ranks third among nations of the world at the present time.
     
  • Google will not disclose the number of Internet servers currently in use for Google searches, but techies estimate that it's moving close to 500,000 high capacity servers. I don't know if this includes the amazing YouTube servers owned by Google, but I doubt it. I can't imagine the number of servers needed to serve up over a billion videos on YouTube. It takes about one gigabyte of storage just to store ten minutes of video compressed into a mpg format. The storage needed to serve up over a billion YouTube videos boggles my mind --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm
     
  • Japanese robotic toys became popular in the 1990s and often sold between $35 and $100 per toy. What amazed me is that they sold over 80 million of just one type of robot about the size of a teddy bear and just as fluffy. This particular toy had a built in dictionary of over 100 English words and gave the impression that it was learning English over time as a child spoke to the robotic toy. Our National Intelligence Agency, however, was so stupid that taking this toy into their DC building was banned for employees because the NIA thought the toy robot might overhear secrets. I suppose one could be customized to record conversations, so maybe the NIA was not so stupid, although as of late the Agency has not demonstrated that in knows enough to worry about.

Bob Jensen's threads on how to find Internet statistics are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm
(Just scroll down a short bit)

We hear a lot about carbon footprints polluting the earth. We also have Internet servers polluting the earth.
Egads! I'm a big time polluter at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

I take solace in the following quotation:

It is a salutary discipline to consider the vast number of books that are written, the fair hopes with which their authors see them published, and the fate which awaits them. What chance is there that any book will make its way among the multitude? And the successful books are but the successes of a season. Heaven knows what pains the author has been at, what bitter experiences he has endured and what heartache suffered, to give some chance reader a few hours' relaxation or to while away the tedium of a journey. And if I may judge from the reviews, many of these books are well and carefully written; much thought has gone to their composition; to some even has been given the anxious labor of a lifetime. The moral I draw is that the writer should seek his reward in the pleasure of his work and in release from the burden of his thought; and, indifferent to aught else, care nothing for praise or censure, failure or success.
W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919 --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moon_and_Sixpence

Skype vs. Vonage --- http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/skype-vonage3.htm

"Replay Telecorder for Skype: Unique way to bring guest speakers to class," by Rick Lillie, Thinking Outside of the Box Blog, May 21, 2010 ---
http://iaed.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/replay-telecorder-for-skype-unique-way-to-bring-guest-speakers-to-class/

Watch the Video showing how easy it works
I use Skype with all of my classes (i.e., face-2-face, blended, and online).  At the beginning of each term, I ask students to set up a Skype account and add me to their contacts list.   I then add them to my Skype contacts list.  Using Skype changes the nature of how I connect with students.  We audio and video conference.  Skype messaging archives all messages received and sent throughout a course.  I subscribe to Skype Voicemail which allows me to send voicemail message to students.  Likewise, students can send me a voicemail message.  Skype recently added a new screen sharing featuring, which works great for one-on-one tutoring sessions.  All of these Skype features (and more) changes the nature of instructor-student interaction.

Now, Applian Technologies has created a software tool that takes Skype to a whole new level.  Replay Telecorder for Skype makes it possible to record Skype audio and video calls.  This provides a unique way to bring “guest speakers” to the teaching-learning experience, especially to the blended and online learning environment.  Click the picture below to view a short You Tube recording that demonstrates how to record a Skype call that displays in a side-by-side format.  The presentation is a little silly, but illustrates what you can do with the program.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


"Taking Better Notes in Zotero," by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/taking-better-notes-in-zotero/36561?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

I’ve used Zotero for four years or so, and it’s extraordinarily useful software for research. I’m not the only one at ProfHacker who likes Zotero. Alex recently wrote about Scanner for Zotero, Mark wrote about Zotero and Android, and Brian wrote a comparison of Zotero and Endnote. There are a great many more posts about Zotero in our archives.

But there is one thing about Zotero that has bothered me. The problem is that the most intuitive way to take notes on a source is to attach the note to the source. For example, see the screenshot below, where I have a summary and a few topical notes about one book.

This is all well and good for certain types of notes, such as summaries of books that I read for exams. It’s kind of like scribbling marginalia in a book. But this method is not so good for other types of notes, such as pieces of evidence or quotations. The problem is that attaching notes to the source forces you to think about the source first and then the idea encapsulated in the note, rather than the other way round.

I first learned how to take scholarly notes on index cards: one thought per card, with carefully marked keys to subjects and sources. I still think that index cards have some virtues that digital note-taking can’t beat. What I wanted from Zotero was a way to think about notes that was more like the model of index cards and less like the model of marginalia.

Lo and behold, Zotero had the necessary functionality for years. The problem was not the capabilities of the software, but the way I was thinking about taking notes.

What I do now is make a standalone note for each thought or piece of evidence. But I also make the note a related item of the source from which I got the idea. You can see in the screenshot below that this standalone note is related to a book.

Continued in article

"Zotero vs. EndNote," by Brian Croxall, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 3, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/zotero-vs-endnote/33157

We here at ProfHacker are big fans of Zotero. Some of our earliest posts covered teaching with Zotero groups and making your WordPress blog Zotero-able (although we can’t control whether it’s “zo terrible” <rimshot>). And of course, there’s Amy’s fantastic two-part series on getting started with Zotero (parts one and two). The folks at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (who make Zotero) are friends of ProfHacker, and we got one of our earliest boosts from their Digital Campus podcast. That’s why I feel a little sheepish about making the following confession: while I admire and proselytize for Zotero, I actually use EndNote for my own research.

A few weeks ago, ProfHacker got a request asking us if we could compare the two platforms, which gave me a great opportunity to try to figure out why I prefer EndNote. In many ways, it comes down to the fact that I’m very, very comfortable with EndNote. I started playing around with it in my last year of undergraduate work (as a way to procrastinate rather than actually writing papers), and I purchased a copy of the software before starting graduate school (only to find out that my school had a site license). I fastidiously created bibliographic entries for the reading I did in seminars. I wrote abstracts for the articles. I learned how to create my own styles. I took library workshops on the tool. So when it came time to write my dissertation, EndNote was already well integrated into my workflow. I began experimenting with Zotero in the fall of 2007 (a year after its first release) and while I very much appreciated what it did, it wasn’t enough to make me a convert.

Apart from my own level of comfort, however, I wanted to know what the differences were between the two tools. In my postdoc I regularly teach classes on both EndNote and Zotero, which means that I think I’ve got a pretty good perspective on both tools. It must of course be said that both tools work very well at their primary purposes: managing references and creating citations and bibliographies within documents. With that, then, I want to cover what I see to be the strengths and key features of each platform. A couple of caveats: First, I’m not going to cover everything that each tool does. My goal is to just touch on some key differences that I’ve found for preferring one program over another. Second, while I’m doing my best to represent the features of both EndNote and Zotero, if I’ve missed something or gotten something just plain wrong, please let me know in the comments!

  • Cost: Perhaps the strongest selling point for Zotero is that it’s free. EndNote costs more than $100 for an educational license, and while in the grand scheme of things that might not be too much, it’s certainly an impediment for grad students or schools with limited resources. Winner? Zotero.
  • Collecting sources online: For many academic databases, library catalogs, and even sites like Amazon or The New York Times, adding a resource to your Zotero library simply takes a single click. It feels like magic the first time you do it, and it never stops feeling like magic. In response, EndNote created EndNote Web, which allows you install a bookmarklet to capture sources. It works across all browsers, but it’s nowhere near as robust nor does it capture information as well. Many academic databases allow you to export search results directly into EndNote, however. While it’s not quite as easy and simple as Zotero’s implementation, it works just as well and takes only a few seconds more. Winner? Zotero, by a hair.
  • Syncing: With Zotero 2.0, it became possible to keep your entire library in sync across all the computers you use. For many people, this is the most important feature, since it means you can do your work wherever you are, as long as you can install the Zotero plugin. EndNote Web is Thomson Reuters’s response; along with the bookmarklet, there’s an entire website where your sources are stored and which you can access wherever you have an Internet connection. The problem is that EndNote Web does not sync easily or well with your desktop library. So while you can create citations from either EndNote Web or EndNote proper, you can accidentally create differences between the two libraries. What’s more, I find EndNote Web to be slow and to have an unintuitive user interface. Zotero is just plain simpler for keeping everything together—plus since the Zotero library is stored locally, it’s accessible even when you’re not online. EndNote Web doesn’t do this. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve created my own solution for syncing my EndNote library: ProfHacker fave Dropbox. By storing my EndNote library files in Dropbox, they are kept in sync on all my computers and are stored locally. I just have to make sure that I exit the program on one computer before starting on another. Still, I have to give the edge to Zotero since its syncing solution is native to the application. Winner? Zotero.
  • Speed, overall: When I’m writing, flow is really important. Getting the thoughts down as quickly as they come is important, otherwise they’ll be long gone. Of course, I also need to cite things as I go, since figuring out what needs citations after the fact would be impossible. So the speed of the application I’m using matters a lot to me. When it comes to simply interacting with EndNote and Zotero, EndNote is just plain faster. Being a stand-alone application rather than based in Firefox—even Firefox 4 (see Amy’s quick review)—means that EndNote doesn’t have to depend on other things. Zotero Standalone is a possible solution (and Mark’s review praises it), but for now…Winner? EndNote.
  • Speed, inserting citations: Getting citations added into your document is a big part of the speed of using a tool. Both EndNote and Zotero have shortcut keys for inserting citations. Zotero then opens a window which allows you to search for your source, control how it appears, and then inserts the citation. EndNote has a similar option to Find Citations, but it also has a shortcut key that inserts whatever reference you currently have selected in EndNote. By not having to go through a pop-up window, you can drop a citation into EndNote much faster than you can with Zotero. Winner? EndNote.
  • Speed, editing citations: Not all citation styles require the use of page numbers, but my primary one—MLA—does. When I choose to insert citations into a document with either Zotero or EndNote, then, I have to make sure that I add in page numbers. Zotero includes an option to add page numbers in its Find/Add Citation dialog. EndNote does not give you this option. It immediately inserts and formats the citation, and you have to right-click and choose to edit it to add a page number. When used conventionally, then, Zotero is faster for adding page numbers. However, I’ve already said that I hate the pop-up box. EndNote gives me the option of turning off instant formatting. The result is that it drops snippets of code into the document like this: {Breuer, 1955 #81}. It’s not as pretty, but it’s super easy to add page numbers to this code: adding an “@” symbol plus the page number(s) is all it takes, {Breuer, 1955 #81@27-31}. Upon finishing the document, EndNote will convert this code into citations. Admittedly, working with EndNote this way is a level of citation ninja-ery that you might avoid. But it allows me to add in citations and page numbers quickly while avoiding the pop-up box. Winner? Zotero, for standard users; EndNote for advanced users.
  • Sharing sources with others: It’s not uncommon for scholars to be protective of their sources while writing, but there comes a point at either pre- or post-publication where we want to share what we’ve discovered. Zotero makes it easy to share sources with its groups feature. Adding sources to the group library is as easy as dragging them from your library into the group folder. And since groups can be private or public, you can even make the sources visible online for people who don’t want to join a group. EndNote allows you to share sources with others through EndNote Web. You can organize your sources into groups and then share groups with different people. There is no option to share sources publicly, and you have to manually add users to share groups by email address. It’s not terribly difficult, but it’s not implemented as well as Zotero’s sharing options. Winner? Zotero.
  • Writing with others: While most of us most often do our writing by ourselves, there are projects that require you to collaborate with one or more coauthors. Managing bibliographies when working on the same document can be difficult. EndNote and Zotero have very different solutions. EndNote creates a traveling library” (scroll down after the link) embedded in each Word document that contains all of your collaborator’s bibliographic data and that can be imported into your own library. In other words, the bibliography and citations can be formatted correctly even if you don’t have access to the original records. Zotero’s groups, on the other hand, allows you to cite from your group libraries and it’s as easy as citing any other source with Zotero. Since I haven’t actually done a large project using either tool, I’m going to resist declaring a winner here.
  • Finding Full Text for Your Sources: EndNote and Zotero can both help you manage your PDFs as well as your citations. You can attach PDFs to source records, and the files then live in your library. However, when you create records, you often do not have the PDFs at hand. Zotero has a setting that directs it to “automatically attach associated PDFs and other files when saving items,” which always makes me think that it will download PDFs for me when saving sources from databases. Since it never does this, I’m quite sure that I misunderstand this setting; or perhaps it just doesn’t work with the databases I frequent. EndNote, on the other hand, has a built-in tool for finding full text versions of your sources. To have it work most effectively, you will need to configure it to go through your university’s database structure. But once you’ve done that and authenticated, it will scan your whole library to find either PDFs or URLs for your sources. In my highly non-scientific tests, EndNote finds full text for about 40% of the items I have in my library. It’s a whole lot better than downloading them yourself, although the process is pretty slow. Winner? EndNote.
  • Creating Sources from PDFs: On the other hand, sometimes you have a folder full of PDFs that you’ve collected and no metadata to go with them. Sure, you could enter that in by hand, but can Zotero or EndNote help you out here? Both applications have the ability to extract metadata from PDFs. For EndNote, you simply choose to Import, point it at a folder, and choose the “PDF File or Folder” import option. For Zotero, you can drag a PDF into your library, right-click, and choose “Retrieve metadata for PDF.” In my experience, EndNote has a hard time finding the metadata, but that very likely has to do with my field of study, since EndNote depends here on DOIs. Zotero, on the other hand, works with Google Scholar and gets better results for me. Aaron Tay, a librarian in Singapore, ran some tests onPDF metadata extraction for EndNote and Zotero (as well as two other reference managers)` and also found that Zotero came out on top. Winner? Zotero.
  • Customizability: Both Zotero and EndNote ship with most of what you need built-in, including the most-used styles and more fields for information than most people will ever need. If you find that you need to add a new type of source or some new fields for specific information that you need for your sources (unique identifiers for your project, etc.), EndNote is much better equipped to handle these needs: it has space for three new reference types and eight fields of custom information. Winner? EndNote.

To sum up, then, here are what I see as the different strengths of the two platforms:

Continued in article

 

 


Is Our IT Future in the Clouds?

April 15, 2010 message from John Anderson [jcanderson27@COMCAST.NET]

Francine and Scott,

I am not trying to cast either one of you as a straw man, but I have a very strong point-of-view about many CISA's immediately writing-off anything they can condemn as being Cloud-related.

Although I know today that 99.9% of all IT Auditors (CISA's) would say "Nothing in the Cloud is safe" ... and therefore this is the current conventional wisdom about Cloud Security, I feel potentially we have a flat earth society becoming all too comfortable with that pat answer these CISA's dispense all too readily.

However, with 75% of Microsoft's Engineers and Programmers currently working on Cloud-related Applications, this one-size-fits-all response you are receiving is going to have to change.  In my opinion many IT Auditors

(CISA's) are resisting the Cloud as it doesn't fit their existing Governance Models, but if we don't solve these problems, every IT auditor in the country will be steamrolled very soon!

Here is the best Cloud Security overview article I have found to date: --- Click Here
http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/management/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224202319

The term "balanced" isn't really appropriate, but I guess it is a pretty realistic assessment of where we are currently at in this area at this time.

The article is right on the money about the reticence of some Cloud Providers in sharing their SAS 70's as I have a company which will not send me their SAS 70, but they want me to get behind their product!

The dirty little secret is that unless you are looking at a Trophy Target like a Fidelity Investments or an Intelligence Organization, a lot of Commercial IT Security has chinks in its armor.  Therefore, taking an entity's data from the converted closet/Server Room and transferring it to a

24/7 monitored and hardened Cloud Computer Center with redundancy and a stand-by hot Recovery Site with continuous and accessible offsite encrypted backup is often a major step forward!  After having attended many meetings with CISA's who are vehemently opposed to the Cloud, at least part of this opposition is due to the fear that this major step will leave them behind!

Naturally if the Data Center site is off-shore and you are not certain of the validity of the SAS 70 or other appraisal, these are additional concerns.

The irony is that higher we set the bar for IT Security the easier it will be to justify outsourcing this security for most small installations currently supporting some small IT Support Teams.  Naturally to make this new world possible, the people holding the SAS 70's will have to have the gumption to send them out to clients.

Finally, the client will have to have the SAS 70 (or its evolving replacement document) competently reviewed in order to see that the Controls discussed are adequate to cover the risks present.

Whenever I receive this response from one of my fellow CISA's I always do them the favor of asking them what area concerns them most in their specific Risk Assessment.  If they then persist in using the term "the Cloud" ... smile and slowly sidle away!

Best Regards!

John

 John Anderson, CPA, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CITP Financial & IT Business Consultant
14 Tanglewood Road
Boxford, MA 0192
1

jcanderson27@comcast.net

978-887-0623   Office
978-837-0092   Cell
978-887-3679   Fax

 

 
Jensen Comment
Cloud Computing --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Computing

The cloud is already here for some CPA firms.
 "Mike Braun Takes Paperless Accounting into the Cloud:  Intacct CEO reports performance gains of 50% at CPA firms," Journal of Accountancy, July 2009 ---
 http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/MikeBraun

Microsoft Cloud Services --- Click Here
http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/businessproductivity/products/pages/cloud-services.aspx?CR_CC=100193171&WT.srch=1&WT.mc_id=Search&CR_SCC=100193171&mtag=SearBing#fbid=wl3Qhjt1FVT

 

 


In April the blog search engine Technorati reported that it was tracking 70 million blogs, with 120,000 new ones arriving every day --- http://technorati.com/weblog/2007/04/328.html
Technorati --- http://technorati.com/

Search for Blogs (Weblogs) ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Blogs

In July 2006, the YouTube revealed that more than 100 million videos were being watched every day on YouTube, and 2.5 billion videos were watched in June 2006. 50,000 videos were being added per day in May 2006, and this increased to 65,000 by July --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube

Search for Blogs (Weblogs) ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm 

TechNewsWorld --- http://www.technewsworld.com/

Potential Roles of ListServs and Blogs
Getting More Than We Give --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm


Questions
How can you search for text embedded in stored images, especially books and articles downloaded as images rather than text?

What if you could collect, in one well-organized, searchable, private digital repository, all the notes you create, clips from Web pages and emails you want to recall, dictated audio memos, photos, key documents, and more?

Evernote ---  http://www.evernote.com/
Perhaps the real "killer" feature of the program is that it has optical character recognition (OCR), which allows users to search for text within stored images.
(there are free and fee options)

Features for Windows

  • Create notes containing text, webclips, snapshots, to-dos, PDFs, and more
  • Take photos of everything from whiteboards to wine labels and Evernote will make them searchable
  • Premium users can attach any type of file to their notes
  • Windows User Guide | PDF

 

From the Scout Report on February 12, 2010

Evernote 3.5.1.1410 --- http://www.evernote.com/ 

Looking to remember an image you found? Or perhaps a helpful email link? Evernote makes this all possible, and it can be used with a range of mobile devices as well. The program works as a note-taking application as well, and everything a user does with the program is automatically synchronized to their Evernote account. Perhaps the real "killer" feature of the program is that it has optical character recognition (OCR), which allows users to search for text within stored images. This version of Evernote is compatible with computers running Windows XP and Vista or Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6.


"Google's New Photo Editor Web app Picnik may be integrated with Picasa," by Erica Naone, MIT's Technology Review, March 1, 2010 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/24875/?nlid=2784&a=f

Google announced today that it has acquired Picnik, a company that provides a fully-featured Web-based photo editing application. This is the latest in a recent string of acquisitions that has also seen Google snap up the social search site Aardvark.

Picnik is a flash-based photo editor capable of real-time cropping, resizing, rotating, special effects, and other manipulations. It can pull photos from websites including Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, and MySpace, or from a user's computer. The basic service is free, but the site offers a more sophisticated service for about $25 a year.

Google most likely wants to beef up its online photo-sharing service, Picasa, which currently has fairly minimal photo editing capabilities. It says it's not changing Picnik yet, but will be working on "integration and new features."

Other online photo editors include Photoshop.com, Aviary, and FotoFlexer.


"Digital File Cabinet You Can Bring With You Anywhere," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2010 ---
http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100120/evernote-review/

What if you could collect, in one well-organized, searchable, private digital repository, all the notes you create, clips from Web pages and emails you want to recall, dictated audio memos, photos, key documents, and more? And what if that repository was constantly synchronized, so it was accessible through a Web browser and through apps on your various computers and smart phones?

Well, such a service exists. And it’s free. It’s called Evernote. I’ve been testing it for about a week on a multiplicity of computers and phones, and found that it works very well. Evernote is an excellent example of hybrid computing—using the “cloud” online to store data and perform tasks, while still taking advantage of the power and offline ability of local devices.

The idea behind Evernote is to be a sort of digital file cabinet. It allows you to create “notebooks” containing items called notes. These notes can range from text to photos to many kinds of attached files. You can locate, group and peruse them quickly, without having to dig through a computer’s file system. When I first reviewed the product, back in 2005, Evernote was a Windows-only, purely local information organizer. Now it’s a multi-platform, Internet-savvy, synchronized place for your ideas.

You can sign up for Evernote free at evernote.com, and use it entirely as a Web-based application, through any of the major Web browsers. But Evernote also comes in customized versions for a staggering array of devices: Windows and Macintosh computers, and for all the major smart phones, including the iPhone; the BlackBerry; phones running Google’s Android operating system; the latest Palm (PALM) phones; and Windows Mobile phones.

This week, Evernote, which is made by a small Silicon Valley company of the same name, is introducing a totally revamped Windows version that brings the platform into parity with the company’s previously more advanced Macintosh version.

I tested Evernote on two Macs and two Windows PCs, as well as an iPhone, a Palm Pre phone and the new Nexus One phone from Google (GOOG). I also tried free plug-ins the company offers that make it easy to insert all or part of a Web page or email into an Evernote note. These are available for the Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome Web browsers, and for the Outlook email program. There are also system-wide Evernote buttons, which make capturing notes quicker, for Windows and the Mac.

I found Evernote works well for gathering ideas for business or personal projects, hobbies, or events you’re planning. When you see something or think of something you want to add, you can do it from whatever computer or phone is handy, and it will shortly appear on all of them.

Here are a few examples of how I used Evernote. I typed notes to myself on my desktops and laptops. I dictated a reminder to myself using the Evernote app on my iPhone. I used the Nexus One’s camera to take a picture of a person’s business card. I also copied text from Web pages, emails, and Word documents, and pasted them as notes. I even attached whole files to notes.

Within a few minutes, all of these notes were available on my personal Evernote Web site and from within all the Evernote apps on my computers and phones. I could search through them, email them, print them, group them with related items, or edit and annotate them.

Every Evernote user also gets a unique Evernote email address, and anything you email to that address goes into your repository as a new note. You also can use Twitter to get a note into Evernote.

The program has a few extra-cool features. If you create a note from a photo that includes printing, Evernote’s servers will try to figure out the words and make them searchable. This worked well in my tests with photos of business cards. And some smart-phone apps can save items directly into Evernote notes. One example I tested successfully was the Associated Press news app on the iPhone.

There are a few minor downsides to Evernote. While there’s no overall limit to the amount of data you can store, you can only upload 40 megabytes a month with the free version, attach certain types of files to notes, and you are forced to view ads. A premium version, which costs $5 a month, or $45 a year, increases the quota to 500 megabytes monthly, removes the ads, allows attaching any file type, and adds more features.

Also, I found the Evernote programs and apps, while similar, differ slightly depending on the capabilities of the platform they run on. Among the phone versions, for instance, the iPhone app is by far the most full-featured, and is currently the only one that can store whole notebooks offline, though the Android version is due to get that feature soon. Finally, the Evernote plug-in crashed Outlook on one of my Windows computers.

But, all in all, I found Evernote to be a valuable, easy-to-use tool that simplified my work and made good use of both the Internet and all my devices.

Jensen Comment
The video video introduction and links to a video library are at http://www.evernote.com/about/video/
This is a product that I am probably going to install.

Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature (some of which download as images rather than text) are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/electronicliterature.htm


Free Faxing Service
"HelloFax Makes Faxing Painless (Even without a Fax machine)," by Ryan Cordell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/hellofax-makes-faxing-painless-even-for-profs-hacker/32518?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The very idea of faxing a document seems outdated to me. I suspect that many ProfHacker readers wouldn’t willingly fax something were there any option to submit it electronically. Nevertheless, I find myself needing a fax machine several times a year. What’s more, the things that must be faxed are, inevitably, essential documents: often tied to my finances or academic records.

So I was thrilled when Lifehacker recently posted (yes, Lifehacker again!) about HelloFax, a service that allows you to fax documents straight from your computer. Once you register for an account with HelloFax, you simply type in the destination fax number, upload your document, sign it electronically (if you want to), and send it. HelloFax sends you an email when the fax is delivered (or if the delivery fails). When you log into HelloFax, you can see the status of all of your faxes, and resend faxes that failed.

Since I read Lifehacker’s post, I’ve scanned and then “faxed” three separate documents using HelloFax. Each time the service was easy to use and my documents were delivered safely. With a free account you can send up to 5 pages per month (about all I ever need). HelloFax also offers paid accounts for more frequent faxers.

Continued in article


HDTV Buying Guides

"HDTV Buying Guide: Select the Right Flat-Panel Technology Before you drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on the wrong flat-panel HDTV, read our comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to know. Our HDTV buying guide might just help you save some money," by Andy Poor, PC World via The Washington Post, November 25, 2009 ---
Click Here

http://snipurl.com/hdtvwp112509   [www_washingtonpost_com]

How Stuff Works HDTV Buying Guide --- http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hdtv3.htm
How Stuff Works has more pages on techie explanations of HDTV
Eventually 3-D HDTV will create another buying wave, but don't hold your breath.

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

3-D Printer Video--- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZboxMsSz5Aw

Rockefeller University: Information Technology (tutorials) ---
http://it.rockefeller.edu/index.php?page=support.desktop


"For CES and Beyond, a Glossary on Geek-Speak Finding Your Way Around Tech Talk When Browsing," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal,  January 9, 2008; Page D4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119984258431276605.html

This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the majority of attendees are doing their darndest to speak the geek language. "Geek," though just a letter away from "Greek," can be just as confusing to those who aren't fluent speakers. Below, find a guide to terms and definitions used in some key technology categories. It will help you speak geek with the best of them, whether at CES or browsing products in your neighborhood electronics store.

Digital Cameras

Megapixels: This term describes the highest resolution photo a camera can take. Often mistaken as the most important factor in a digital camera, a high megapixel count -- such as 10MP or more -- isn't necessary for the average user unless he or she plans on heavily editing or enlarging photos. Most new digicams offer between five and eight megapixels, which is usually more than enough.

Optical or Digital Zoom: Optical zoom, determined by the physical movement of a lens, matters much more than digital zoom, which digitally alters an image using the camera's internal computer. Camera companies still try to confuse potential buyers by listing a camera's total zoom, or the optical and digital zooms multiplied together. Ignore total zoom numbers and instead focus on optical, which now averages around 5x for many new cameras.

Image Stabilization: When generously sized LCD viewing screens started replacing optical viewfinders, they also forced users to hold their cameras at arm's length, making for plenty of blurry photographs. To remedy this, camera manufacturers have added image stabilization, tools once found only in high-end SLR models. Optical (also called "mechanical") and digital image stabilization correct for unsteady hands and moving subjects, respectively. Cameras with both types advertise dual image stabilization, which corrects for both situations and costs more.

Mobile Devices

HSDPA and EVDO: HSDPA, or High Speed Downlink Packet Access, is the name for AT&T's 3G, or third generation, mobile network that operates at roughly the speed of a slower DSL in a home. HSDPA is available in most major metropolitan areas and is seen as the competitor to Verizon and Sprint's EVDO (Evolution Data Only) networks, though the popular iPhone runs on AT&T's network using Wi-Fi and EDGE technology rather than HSDPA.

Multi-Touch Technology: Most popularly found on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, multi-touch is starting to show up in other products, such as in Microsoft's Surface, a coffee-table-like computer. Rather than just responding to on-screen touches, this technology enables moving, resizing and zooming pictures and Web pages using one or more fingers simultaneously. Look for many more devices -- mobile and otherwise -- to incorporate multi-touch in the future.

GPS: Global Positioning Systems are most often found in cars -- either built-in or on portable devices from companies like Garmin and TomTom. These gadgets use satellite technology to determine geographic location, and high-end models even display Web content like news and weather along with directions. GPS integration in mobile devices can be used to plot routes in cars, can help users find nearby businesses while on the go and can link friends by showing one where the other is located and what they're doing.

Digital Music

DRM: Digital rights management is a set of standards that protect the intellectual property rights of online content like music and videos, preventing it from being illegally distributed across the Web. In the past year, Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Apple and (most recently) Sony BMG said they will start selling DRM-free versions of songs, often for a higher price. In Apple's iTunes store, these files are called "iTunes Plus" and aren't restricted like other iTunes content.

MP3: MP3 files are open, without any DRM restrictions. Files that you rip (copy) from your own CDs are usually converted into MP3s, though iTunes users can automatically rip tracks into that program's special format, called AAC. MP3 files can be uploaded to social-networking sites for sharing with friends and online communities.

AAC and WMA: These file types are protected by rights that tie them to specific players. Generally, AAC files make up the majority of tracks sold on Apple's iTunes store and play only on Apple's iPods; WMA files are Microsoft's version of proprietary files.

Wi-Fi

The popularity of Wireless Fidelity, or Wi-Fi, brings this technology to more and more portable devices like the iPod Touch and Microsoft Zune and gives companies good reason to incorporate Wi-Fi receivers in new computers -- laptops and desktops alike. While available in many flavors, different letters like b, g, a and n stand behind Wi-Fi's more technical name, 802.11, to help discern one version from another according to characteristics like speed and compatibility. The latest version, "n," offers the greatest range and speed, and "n" devices are usually compatible with earlier versions.

Televisions

HDTV: High-definition television has now become the standard, capable of displaying vastly better pictures, provided the source is also HD. Today's more popular flat panel HD televisions are LCDs, or liquid crystal displays, though plasmas still hold their own. Recording HD content can't be done with a regular digital video recorder; instead, a special HD recorder is required to capture this higher quality content.

480p vs. 1080i vs. 720p vs. 1080p: These numbers refer to the resolution, or sharpness, of a digital display, while "p" stands for progressive and "i" stands for interlaced. A resolution of 480p, known as EDTV or Enhanced Definition TV, is found most often in low-end plasmas or LCD screens. A TV with a resolution of 1080p is currently considered the Holy Grail, and costs the most. But 1080p pictures usually can't be distinguished from less expensive 1080i or 720p pictures by average viewers at the typical distances from which most folks watch TV.

Blu-ray vs. HD DVD: Blu-ray and HD DVD are incompatible high-definition disc formats that continue to fight a seemingly endless battle to replace the DVD. The Blu-ray camp is led by Sony and the HD DVD camp is led by Toshiba. The two formats aren't so different, technically speaking, but their very existence is confusing to consumers. The recent decision made by Time Warner's Warner Bros. to use Blu-ray gives Sony's side a boost, and now Viacom's Paramount is rumored to be switching to Blu-ray from HD DVD. Dual-format players from Samsung and LG offer some solace.

YouTubeMP3
From the Scout Report on August 14, 2009

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter 3.2.1.58 ---  
http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/free-dvd-video-software-download.htm

If you've ever wanted to just listen to a particular YouTube video at your leisure as a mp3 file, this application may be just the thing. Visitors simply need to install the program and drop the YouTube URLs in question into a box. The application will convert the files into the mp3 format. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP or Vista.

Jensen Comment
I tried this and my first saved file was a  MP3 file of Les Paul and Mary Ford
The full video file on YouTube is at
World is Waiting for the Sunrise --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iGXP_UBog4 

I pasted the above URL into the converter program and saved it to my hard drive as a MP3 file.
It saved as a 3,132 Kb compressed audio file that you can listen to at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/LesPaulWaitingForSunrise.mp3

It's neat the way the program can download in background from YouTube. This way you can start a download and then go about your business in other software. Your computer will give a tiny bleep when the download is finished. If you then download another file, be sure to first change the "Output" file name so as to not write over the previous download file.

A clear advantage to saving YouTube audio or video is that these links come and go on YouTube all the time. The above link to the Les Paul and Mary Ford video might even have been removed between now and when I pasted the above link into this document. But my MP3 recording is now subject to my control, although care must be taken with respect to copyrights. I assumed that this demo will not upset anybody. U.C. Berkeley and other universities who put full length lectures and courses on YouTube encourage users to download the audio or video files (the video takes up an enormous amount of file space).

Another advantage is that you easily edit the MP3 file and/or make clipped portions to be saved as other audio files. For example, a six-minute clip might be saved from a 75-minute YouTube lecture from MIT.

I was amazed at the ease with which YouTube audio can be captured and saved as a file on my hard drive. When it’s audio that’s more important than video of a talking head or unneeded viewing of music performers, there is a great savings in storage requirements for audio files versus video files. This includes the wasted space of talking heads in videos and the desire to hear music without necessarily always having to watch it performed while you are playing it in background.

The latest version of Real Player will download YouTube videos if you have disk space for full videos --- Click Here


Librarian Pro 1.4.4 --- http://www.koingosw.com/products/librarianpro.php 

This application is a nice way to create an organized and cross-referenced catalog for books, movies, and music. Visitors can keep track of loaned material, and they can easily import detailed cataloging information from popular sites like Amazon. Also, the application allows users to export these lists onto iPod and other such devices. This version can be used for fifteen days at no cost, and it is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer and those running Max OS X 10.4 and newer.

 

Bob Jensen's Technology Glossary is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm


Leading Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, and Anti-Spam Alternatives
I trust Consumer Reports rankings more than virtually all other ranking sources mainly because Consumer Reports accepts no advertising or has other links to the vendors of products rated in Consumer Reports' labs

The Consumer Reports home page is at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm  

 

Consumer Reports Rankings of AntiSpam Software
September 2006, Page 29
E-MAIL ANTISPAM SOFTWARE (used in conjunction with e-mail programs)

Rank 1 Microsoft Outlook http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/email/fightspam.mspx

Rank 2 Apple Mac X Mail http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/mail/ 

 

ADD-ONS TO E-MAIL PROGRAMS (can filter spam without additional software)

Rank 3 Trend Micro Anti-Spam Pilot Click Here

Rank 4 Allume Systems Click Here

Rank 5 Cloudmark Desktop http://www.cloudmark.com/desktop/

Rank 6 Trend Micro Anti-Spam Pilot Click Here   

Rank 7 PC Tools Spam Monitor http://www.pctools.com/

Rank 8-13 given on Page 29

 

Consumer Reports Rankings of Antivirus Software
September 2006, Page 27

Rank 1 BitDefender http://www.bitdefender.com/index.php 

Rank 2 Zone Labs Zone Alarm Anti-Virus http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp  

Rank 3 Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal --- http://www.kaspersky.com/ 

Rank 4 Norton AntiVirus http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/ 

Rank 5 Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/ 

Rank 6 McAfee ViruScan http://www.mcafee.com/us/

Rank 7 Trend Micro PC-cillin http://www.trendmicro.com/en/home/us/enterprise.htm 

Ranks 8-12 given on Page 27
 

 

Consumer Reports Rankings of AntiSpyware Software
September 2006, Page 28
Rank 1 F-Secure Anti-Spyware http://www.f-secure.com/

Rank 2 Webroot Spy Sweeper http://www.webroot.com/wb/products/spysweeper/index.php?rc=266&ac=417 

Rank 3 PC Tools Spyware http://www.pctools.com/

Rank 4 Trend Micro Anti-Spyware Click Here

Rank 5 Lavasoft Ad-aware http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

Rank 6 Spybot-Search & Destroy http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html 

Rank 7 Zone Labs Zone Alarm Anti-Spyware http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp  

Ranks 8-12 Given on Page 28

Webmaster Resources (includes tutorials on making and maintaining a Web site) ---  http://www.boogiejack.com/index.html


How to remove unwanted startup programs (video) --- http://www.screencast.com/t/PmdPXgTKSn


"7 Steps to Get Your New Computer Running Right," by Rob Pegoraro, The Washington Post, December 20, 2007 --- Click Here

Step 1
Your first order of business has to be securing the machine from online attack. The Internet abounds with crooks looking to hijack your computer with some virus, worm or Trojan horse program.

Protecting a Windows machine involves activating any security software bundled with the PC so it can download updates to spot new viruses. You may need to register an e-mail address with the security vendor. No matter how annoying this is, get it done first.

You can always switch to a better security program after the first month or two at no cost because most new PCs come with three months of free security updates.

Apple's Mac OS X has seen only a handful of malware attacks, none successful, so you don't need to buy a security-software suite. (Really. Download the free ClamXav program -- http://clamxav.com-- if you want, but so far it has only helped stop Mac users from forwarding Windows viruses by mistake.)

But Macs do arrive with an important line of defense left open: firewall software to block online worms. To activate it, click the "System Preferences" icon in the dock at the bottom of the screen, click its "Security" icon, click the "Firewall" heading and then click the button next to "Set access for specific services and applications."

Step 2
The next step is to download any available security updates. In Windows Vista, click on the "Start" menu, click "Control Panel" and then click the "Check for updates" link. On a Mac, go to the Apple-icon menu in the top left corner and select "Software Update." Leave the computer alone until it installs these patches.

Step 3
But wait, there's more! On a Mac or a PC, the Adobe Flash software that displays those nifty animated elements on many Web sites most likely needs updates. Go to Adobe's site for the latest version: http://adobe.com/flashplayer. Windows users will also need to hit http://java.com and http://apple.com/quicktime for updates to the Java and QuickTime software many Web sites employ.

Step 4
After you've added all these updates, you can get rid of some unnecessary programs. Most Windows machines arrive loaded with junk programs that mostly waste space.

Open "Control Panel" again, then click the "Uninstall a program" link to boot these unwanted items. The 60-day trial copy of Microsoft Office on most new PCs should be among them -- it's cheaper to add Office by buying the "Home and Student Edition." Also consider evicting copies of AOL and, if you're a Dell or Toshiba user, the third-rate Yahoo Music Jukebox.

Macs ship with far less junk, but their trial copies of Microsoft Office and Apple's iWork '08 can also be tossed once they expire or you've bought one or the other. To dump Office, open the Office 2004 folder inside the Applications folder and double-click "Remove Office." To do the same with iWork, drag its folder from the Applications folder to the Trash.

Step 5
You can then make some selective upgrades. The free Mozilla Firefox browser
( http://mozilla.com) works better than Internet Explorer in Windows; on a Mac, it's a useful backup to Apple's Safari. Apple's iTunes ( http://apple.com/itunes), in turn, beats Microsoft's Windows Media Player. And either Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft's Windows Live Mail ( http://live.com/wlmail/overview) provides better e-mail tools than Vista's Windows Mail.

Step 6
As you're moving over your old files and settings with Vista's Windows Easy Transfer or a Mac's Migration Assistant, you shouldn't rush to reinstall old programs. Some may not work with the new machine's operating system; others may seem redundant next to software already on the machine. But first, see if you actually miss these applications.

Never reinstall one type of software from the original CDs -- the "drivers" that let the computer talk to add-ons like printers. Download the latest versions from the vendor's Web site instead.

Step 7
If you're not sick of computer setup, picking up some inexpensive hardware can spare you vast amounts of trouble down the road. For a laptop or a desktop, a hard drive or flash drive that plugs into the computer will greatly ease backing up your files. And if you own a desktop machine, plugging into an uninterruptible power supply will stop you from losing work whenever the lights flicker.


An alternative to Safari Web browsing for Mac Users (Camino is better in some ways)

"Mac Browser Camino 2 Gets A Release Candidate," MJ Siegler, Tech Crunch via The Washington Post, October 27, 2009 --- Click Here

When it was revealed that  Mike Pinkerton, the lead developer for the Mozilla's Mac-based Camino web browser was moving over to Google to take charge of building Chrome for Mac, there was some concern that Camino would be neglected. Pinkerton assured development on Camino would continue, and sure enough it has. Today brings the first release candidate for Camino 2, the new version of the browser.

Camino, though much less prevalent than its Mozilla sibling, Firefox, has a solid following among Mac users who appreciate its speed. It has long been my browser of choice as it's relatively lightweight and very fast compared to Firefox. And compatibility with various sites seems better than Apple's own Safari.

We've been beta testing Camino 2 for several months now, and it's solid. It offers several improvements over the first iterations of Camino, notably in speed and the way it looks. Mozilla notes that this Release Candidate 1 could become the final, first official build of Camino 2 if there are no critical issue found.

So it looks like despite Pinkerton's Chrome time commitments, Camino 2 will beat Chrome for Mac even reaching beta status.

The anticipation for Chrome for Mac continues to build. Even Google co-founder Sergey Brin admits that he's disappointed with how long it has taken to develop. But, as we noted the other day, Chrome for Mac ? not Chromium, the open source browser on which Chrome is based ? looks like it's getting closer to a beta release.

From the Scout Report on November 24, 2009

Apple Safari 4.0.4 --- http://www.apple.com/safari/ 

Not all web browsers are made equal, and this latest iteration of Safari makes that quite clear. This version includes the cover flow feature, which allows users to flip through their site history much like a photo album. Also, the top sites feature creates a preview of favorite websites that?s viewable as a grid. PC users will appreciate the fact that there's a native look and feel when using Safari. This version is compatible with computers running Windows Vista and XP or Mac OS X 10.5 and newer.  

 


Question for Walt Mossberg
Q: I want to switch to a Mac, but my life is on Microsoft Outlook, which is only available on Windows. Is there a simple way to convert all of this data to programs on the Mac?

From The Wall Street Journal, January t0, 2008, Page B2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119992737740579599.html


A: There is a $10 program that performs this task. It's called O2M (Outlook to Mac) and is from a company called Little Machines. It can be downloaded at littlemachines.com, where you also will find details about the Mac programs with which it works. This is a Windows program, which transfers your Outlook data into files you copy to your Mac. You then manually import these files into your Mac programs.

According to the company, the program exports Outlook email, email attachments, contacts and calendar appointments and allows you to import this data into Apple's built-in email, address book and calendar programs, as well as into Microsoft Entourage, and other third-party programs.

See http://www.littlemachines.com/


MacWorld: Tricks and Tips --- http://www.macworld.com/howto.html


"Finding Free Antivirus Software, Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2006; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/mossberg_mailbox.html

Q: My computer is a virus-infected mess. I sometimes have to close over 20 pop-ups just to access the PC. Taking your advice, I tried to download the "free" AVG Anti-Virus, but there is nothing free about it. They ask for your credit-card info. What am I missing?

A: The company that makes AVG, Grisoft, offers both paid and free versions of the product. The free version must be downloaded from a separate Web site, free.grisoft.com. Most of the first few results in a Google search for "AVG" or "AVG anti-virus" point to this free version. Also, the free version is prominently featured at Download.com, the big site for downloading software that is owned by CNET.

Q: Is there a significant difference between the Palm Treo 700p and the 700w phones -- or is it just preference of software? Do they have the same ease of use?

A. The 700p uses the Palm operating system and the 700w uses the Windows Mobile operating system. The hardware is essentially the same, except for one big difference -- the 700p's screen has a significantly higher resolution than the 700w's. There are also some different buttons on the keyboard.

But asking if two devices differ in "just preference of software" is like asking if living in a similar home in North Dakota or Florida differs "just" in terms of your preference in weather. The software is every bit as important as the hardware, and makes a huge difference in how the two Treos work.

I have reviewed both devices, and I find that the Windows Mobile software on the 700w is considerably inferior to the Palm operating system software on the 700p. Too many common actions in the Windows version take more steps than the same actions on the Palm OS version, and often require navigating menus. You are likely to use the stylus more often in the Windows version as well.

And, even though the software on the Windows version was made by Microsoft, it is actually worse at handling Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF email attachments than the built-in software for that purpose on the Palm OS version.

For my review of the 700p, see: ptech.wsj.com/archive/solution-20060607.html. For my review of the 700w, see: ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20060105.html.

Q: Last week, you advised readers never to trust any email from a financial institution because online criminals have gotten so good at faking such emails. Does that include emails from institutions where you have accounts, such as receipts for transactions at brokerages?

A: Yes and no. If you get an unexpected email from a bank, or brokerage, or payment service like PayPal, where you do have an account, I'd still advise ignoring it and never clicking on any link it contains. This is even true if the email suggests some problem with your account or advises that you need to log onto a web site to "verify" your account information. Such emails are very often just attempts to steal your passwords and account numbers. To double-check on such an email, phone the bank or brokerage, or manually call up its Web site.

However, if you have just bought or sold a stock, or performed an online banking action, and you get an email confirming the transaction, it could well be legitimate -- provided it contains enough detail of a type criminals might find hard to replicate, and it arrives very quickly after the transaction was completed. I still wouldn't click on any links in such an email, however. Remember, most financial institutions don't have to ask you to supply account information they already have.

It's really too bad that people have to look on such emails with such suspicion. Email could be a great tool for communications between banks and their customers. But, despite some strides, the technology and financial industries have so far failed to find a way to make email truly trustworthy and secure. And law-enforcement agencies have failed to stop the thefts of money and identities. So far, the crooks are winning in this arena. So you have to be extra careful.

Also check on SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition 3.2.1028 --- http://www.superantispyware.com/

Is a visited Web site authentic and safe?
CallingID 1.5.0.70 http://www.callingid.com/Default.aspx

August 7, 2006 reply from Edward Gardner [gardner@CASESABATINI.COM]

I want to add nod32, which is a low-overhead antivirus product which has won numerous awards for detecting 100% of viruses thrown at it. I have it at home and I'm real impressed. www.nod32.com

Ed Gardner, CPA

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and networking security are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm


Question
If your hard drive fails for whatever reason and your tech helpers throw up their hands, where is the business firm of last resort for recovering hard drives?

Answer
On January 26, 2005 ABC News ran a neat feature on DataSavers
At DriveSavers Data Recovery, loss is only temporary - and we prove that again and again to business, government, academic and individual customers all over the world. With the highest success rate in the industry, for 20 years we've made possible what other companies say is impossible.We rescue lost data from hard drives and other media that have experienced everything from common drive failure, corruption, viruses, or accidental deletion, to damage from power surges, flood, smoke or fire.
DataSavers --- http://www.drivesavers.com/


20 Things They Don't Want You to Know
We reveal some of what vendors are keeping mum, such as: You never have to pay full price, extended warranties rarely pay for themselves, and the big sites do have customer service numbers.
Eric Dahl, "20 Things They Don't Want You to Know," PC World, August 25, 2005 --- http://pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,122094,00.asp

 

 


Webmaster Resources (includes tutorials on making and maintaining a Web site) ---  http://www.boogiejack.com/index.html

Technology Helpers from Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, June 2006 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/jun2006/news_web.htm

TECHNOLOGY SITES
Open a New Window
www.annoyances.org

CPAs looking for Microsoft Windows troubleshooting advice can get articles, discussion forums and links to detailed guidance here. Users can find out the difference between various Windows versions, see a road map of their operating systems, learn how to customize their PCs and improve their performance and reduce e-clutter. Take a break from the high-tech talk with the Humor section to read “The Night Before Startup.”

Get a Checkup
www.pcpitstop.com

If your computer acts like it has gremlins in it, sign up for a free account at this Web site and get to the heart of the matter. Run privacy and virus scans and download software to optimize your PC’s performance. Visitors can find out the five user behaviors on which spyware companies prey and get a monthly newsletter with PC performance tips.

IT FYI
www.techletters.com

CPAs looking to maximize their computer’s performance can subscribe to one of four free e-newsletters at this home page.

www.officeletter.com: The Office Letter is devoted to the Microsoft Office suite. It offers tricks, tools and techniques for Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word.

www.boyce.us/newsletter: Jim Boyce Software Tips and Tricks concentrates on Windows and Office applications with helpful hints on such subjects as how to back up or move Outlook Express from one computer to another.

www.karenware.com: Karen’s Power Tools newsletter offers plain-language explanations for technical questions, such as what to do when backup-disk data go bad and a discussion on error-detection strategies.

www.mikeslist.com/current.htm: Mike’s List, subtitled “The Silly Con Valley Report,” takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to technology with news on Apple and iPods and the “Lists o’ the Week,” which include Mike’s picks for gadgets to get, including a combination computer mouse and phone, or “gotta forget” ones, such as a laptop bag made of simulated human skin.

One Step Beyond
http://malektips.com

Find free help, hints and tips here on digital cameras and photo processing, audio players, printers and scanners. Learn how to remove adware and spyware from your computer, sign your e-mails and recover deleted messages. Go to the index of links for start-up business resources, such as how to accept credit card payments online, and get graphics to spice up your desktop publishing. Sign up for free e-mail notices for the latest PC tips on applications from Adobe Reader to WinZip.


Some updates from Mossberg's Mailbox, The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2008 Page B2---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119992737740579599.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Monitoring Kids' Web Access
There's no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I've received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability.

Q: I couldn't find any columns on products you recommend for monitoring kids' Web access and installing parental controls. I recently purchased a new computer for my 9-year-old daughter. I want to make sure she can only access specific Web sites and I want to protect her from inappropriate spam and chatting.

A: If you have a computer running one of the newer versions of Windows or the Macintosh operating system, I recommend using the extensive parental controls that are now built right into those operating systems. While you can never underestimate the ingenuity of computer-savvy kids, these built-in controls, if properly used, are generally harder to evade than the ones provided by third-party software.

I did recently review these built-in parental controls, which appear in Windows Vista, and in the Tiger and Leopard editions of the Mac's OS X operating system. You can find that column at: ptech.allthingsd.com/20070614.


I really like the Digital Duo that appeared weekly once again on PBS some years back.  I found that you can bring up prior shows on your computer by going to http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/index/0,00.asp
Digital Duo Video
The Differences Between DVRs DVR, TiVo, huh?
The Duo clear up the recorder confusion with a history lesson.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,124109/article.html

Dan Tynan
Finding Online Video Search tools are just catching up
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,122859/article.html

PC World Consumer Advice Videos --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html

Internet Superstars:  Where are they now? (video) --- http://www.pcworld.com/video/id,930-page,1-bid,0/video.html

 

Free Video, Movie and Music Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

You may find, as I did, the current show you are watching on your local PBS station, may actually be one of the older shows.  On October 17, 2005 the following links appeared at the above site (note the link to "All Episodes):

recent episodes

The Duo introduce that wonderful time-shifting gadget, the digital video recorder --- http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,200,00.asp
Also see "Meet the DVR," The Washington Post, December 31, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/DuoDVR

The Duo dole out search secrets and other helpful hints for battling information overload.
In Search of Desktop Data (3:46 min) video | summary
The Duo's Picks for Desktop Search (3:40 min) video | summary
Some Phones Prove Data-Friendly (5:09 min) video | summary
Oodles of Google Tips (4:11 min) video | summary
Google, Going Forward (3:32 min) video | summary
Tip Jar: More Search Secrets (3:05 min) video | summary
PR Piñata: A 411 911 (2:01 min) video | summary
 
 
 

For example, the AECM listserv recently had a thread on HDTV.  The Digital Duo provides some great advice at http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,48,00.asp

 


From the Scout Report on April 28, 2006

Free Download Manager (Entire Websites) --- http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/ 

While there may in fact be no such thing as a free lunch, a certain well- known economist (and regular readers of the Scout Report) might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is such a thing as a quality free download manager available for their consideration. This application allows users to retrieve files and entire websites up to 600 percent faster, and can be integrated seamless with Opera, Mozilla, and other popular web browsers. The application also includes a feature that allows users to view the progress of their downloads and also determine the total traffic usage. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 95 and newer.


Shrook 2.5 --- http://www.utsire.com/shrook/ 

If you are looking for a handy way to keep on top of the news and other such timely events, Shrook 2.5 will be a most welcome find. With Shrook, visitors can download any number of podcasts, and also receive instant notifications about new RSS items. Other features include the ability to “scrapbook” items for later and the ability to also use an integrated channel guide. This version is compatible with all computers running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or 10.4.


Technology sites from Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, June 2005 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/jun2005/news_web.htm

 
TECHNOLOGY SITES

Check Out Check 21
www.aicpa.org/financialliteracy
The AICPA Financial Literacy Resource Center has added a section to its Web site about the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21). The Web site discusses the act’s implications for auditors and businesses, and provides links to the Federal Reserve Board’s “Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act” Web page and implementation information, two frequently-asked-questions sections and a consumer guide.

A Site With Byte
www.freebyte.com
CPAs and IT managers will want to bookmark this Smart Stop loaded with links to free accounting, antispam and backup software, currency and document converters, mortgage calculators, computing and financial glossaries and Web browsers. There are online dictionaries in English as well as French, German, Italian and Spanish. There’s also free clipart, fonts and photos that CPAs can use for marketing brochures, and everyone can take a break in the Jokes and Humor and Free Games sections.

Figure for Free
www.calculator.com
Sure, you already have mortgage, percentage, scientific and standard e-calculators. This site offers calculators for car leases, fractions, graphing, and home equity and general loans, plus converters for currency, international time, temperature and units of measure. There’s also a link to the tax-preparation-service calculator site www.internet-taxprep.com with tools CPAs can use to calculate investments, mortgage refinancing and Roth IRA returns for clients. Other resources include current and archived tax news, a 2005 tax guide and information about a free online tax-filing program.

Tech Talk
www.itmweb.com
CITPs and other information technology professionals can find resources here on IT capital spending, department budgets and salary ranges. Download the demo software, read book reviews or subscribe to the free monthly IT e-zine and newsletter. Technology Articles has tips on making your e-mails sound more professional and improving your project team management skills, while the Job Listing Centers invite employers to post open positions. IT White Paper Spotlight offers documents on subjects from artificial intelligence to knowledge management.

Painless Projects
www.ittoolkit.com
Looking for more efficient ways to manage IT procedures and roll out new technology? Then register for a free membership at this e-stop to access information on managing IT operations and receive a monthly e-mail reporting on the latest task management resources. Members can download planning checklists, mission and scope statement templates and white papers on IT process improvements.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#AccountingSoftware

After I retire I intend to shift to a Mac largely because of the enormous protections it has against viruses, spyware, etc. relative to infection-prone Windows operating systems.  However, in recommending this for everybody, there are some special considerations.

Walt Mossberg provides some help in this regard.  Especially note his last paragraph!!!
From The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2005; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112795300004055314,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Q:
I am considering switching to a Mac. However, I have hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of software for my PC. Are the new G5 Macs capable of running PC software?

A:
When you contemplate a switch to the Mac, you have to separate the concept of your data, or files, from the concept of the programs, or software, you currently use to display, edit or play that data on your Windows PC. The Macintosh, out of the box and unmodified, won't run your current Windows programs. But it will almost certainly handle all of your data using different software or programs designed for the Macintosh. And most of that Macintosh software is free.

For instance, if you have photos on your Windows PC in the common "JPG" format, which almost all digital cameras produce, you may be viewing them in the "My Pictures" folder in Windows, or by using a program like Adobe Photoshop Album. This folder and this program don't work on the Mac. But, if you copy those pictures to a new Mac, you can view and edit them in iPhoto, an excellent -- and free -- photo program that comes on every Mac, and which I regard as better than the Windows photo programs in its category.

The Mac doesn't run the Windows version of Microsoft Office. But all of your Office documents can be viewed and edited, and new ones created, if you buy the Mac version of Microsoft Office. Even if you don't, the Mac can read and edit Microsoft Word files out of the box. It can also open and create PDF files without downloading or purchasing any software from Adobe.

In fact, for all of the types of files commonly used by mainstream Windows users, the Mac is able to handle them through its own programs that are generally better than their Windows counterparts. And most of these programs, except for Microsoft Office for the Mac, are free on every new Mac.

Still, if you insist on running Windows programs on a Mac, because you strongly prefer them, or there isn't a Mac equivalent, you can modify a Mac to do so. You do this by buying and installing a $250 program made by Microsoft called Virtual PC for the Mac. It creates a virtual Windows PC inside your Mac that runs alongside the Mac operating system.

However, I don't recommend relying heavily on Virtual PC for daily use, because it is slower than a regular Windows PC, even on a very fast Mac; and it can also open you up to Windows viruses and spyware that normally have no effect on a Mac.

Walt Mossberg's answer to transferring PC files to a Mac computer, The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2005; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/mossberg_mailbox.html

Q: I know the Macintosh can handle most common types of files used on Windows computers. But my question is more basic: if I switch to a Mac from Windows, how do I physically transfer my files?

A: If you buy your new Mac at an Apple store, Apple will do this job, or part of it, free. According to the Apple Web site, you can just bring the two computers to the store, and a "Genius" -- Apple's name for a tech support person in its stores -- will move all the files in any folder you choose on your Windows machine onto your new Mac. Presumably, this would include the My Documents folder, which contains most of the data files on most Windows PCs. The "Genius" will also do this for $50 for people who bought their Macs elsewhere. There is some fine print to this deal. For details, see: www.apple.com/switch/howto/genius.html.

Jensen Comment
Maybe you should just keep your old PC computers for your PC files.  Mac is a a safer computer for Web surfing since it is highly spyware and virus resistant, but when you want to work in Excel or some other MS Office product, turn to your old PC.

If you switch to a Mac, a must book is Mac OS X: The Missing Manual by David Pogue http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0596000820/002-3743809-1628824?v=glance 

This book explains how to translate what you liked to do in Windows into how to do the same things on a Mac. Watch for any updated versions by David Pogue.  He's a great tech analyst.


From the Scout Report on October 31, 2008

Path Finder 5.0 --- http://www.cocoatech.com/ 

Finding certain files on a computer can be an onerous chore from time to time, and Path Finder 5.0 is a good solution for anyone who's been bedeviled by such a task. The application includes a dual pane browser, cut and paste support, and a website that includes an interactive tour through its other features. This version of Path Finder is compatible with systems running Mac OS X 10.5 and newer. Also, this is a 30-day free trial version, and a full paid license is required after that point.


VideoInspector 2.0.1.114 --- http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?vtb 

Have you ever had a video file that just wouldn't play? VideoInspector 2.0.1.114 may be just the thing for such a situation. VideoInspector helps identify the coder-decoder required to play a specific file and it is available in over 12 languages. There's also online support for this application, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

 


Question
Can you really run Windows XP on a Mac that runs on an Intel processor?

"Apparent Proof of XP on Intel Mac," Wired News, March 15, 2006 --- http://blog.wired.com/cultofmac/


Apparent Proof of XP on Intel Mac Mac on Intel has provided a link to a video that appears to show the full procedure for installing, booting and using Windows XP on an Intel Mac by narf2006. The contest sponsors are still testing the procedure now.

You can see the video here or here. It's fairly convincing stuff. The only possible way I can think to fake this would be if they got into the iMac's internals and connected its screen to an outside computer. I haven't messed with a current-generation iMac, but it was certainly possible back when it came in colors. If real, this is a pretty astounding accomplishment, given that Microsoft won't be supporting EFI for years.

This comes on the same day that two readers of MacWindows reported about their experiences with Q, the cocoa-based port of QEMU, on their Intel Macs. Apparently, Win XP SP1 and 98 run pretty darn well. Yes, you read that right.

 

Bringing Data Back From the Dead
But there are less-expensive alternatives, including some of the consumer software and services we tested. In some cases, the results surprised us. Norton SystemWorks ( http://www.symantec.com ),  for example, attempts to repair hard drives while they are failing. But Norton writes to the damaged drive, which can actually worsen the problem and can make future data recovery efforts more time consuming and costly. Disk Doctor, an application built into SystemWorks, reported that it had repaired many clusters on one of our test drives, but when it was done the drive would no longer boot.
David Greenberg, "Bringing Data Back From the Dead," The Washington Post, June 4, 2006 --- Click Here
 

Clean Sweep of Your Hard Drive
How do I delete my deleted files on a computer so that they can't be recovered by anyone else?


Recovering Hard Drive Data
Replace a Laptop's Crashed Hard Drive Don Homan's hard drive crashed. What should he do?

If you don't have an up-to-date backup, your first priority will be getting your data back. Depending on how you use your PC, that could include business documents, photos, music, email, and so on. Several companies specialize in recovering data from broken drives. I hesitate to recommend one because I've never needed one myself and there's no practical way to test them. But I can say that Ontrack and DriveSavers have long and mostly positive reputations. Recovery could cost you thousands of dollars, but that's the price of not backing up. If you decide to get into the backup habit, see What's the Best Way to Backup What I Need to Backup?
Lincoln Spector,  PC World via The Washington Post, August 21, 2009 ---  Click Here
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/17/AR2009081701632.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter

Some total backup solutions --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#TotalBackup


"How to Wipe a Hard Drive Clean ," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2006; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/mossberg_mailbox.html

Q: The community where I live has a one-month period (April this year) where you can dispose of your old computers. I have several old PCs around the house, but want to clean out the hard drives. Can you recommend a good program that can clean sensitive data off a hard drive?

A: There are a number of such "file wiper" programs, which permanently delete files so that they can't be recovered. Some are free, but the one I recommend is called Window Washer and costs $30 from Webroot Software Inc. It can be purchased at Webroot.com and elsewhere. The program, which also performs other tasks, has a file-wiping function called "bleaching." It can be used multiple times.


What email system is best for you?

"Searching for the Best Web Mail," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2005; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112795300004055314,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Q:
In comparing Google's Gmail with Yahoo's new Web mail, you failed to mention one of Gmail's best features -- fast, accurate searching of even very large numbers of messages. Can Yahoo match that? And doesn't this search capability make email folders unnecessary? You have written that built-in desktop search systems in the Windows and Mac operating systems will make folders obsolete.

A:
For space reasons, I didn't get into the search features of either Gmail or the beta version of the new Yahoo Mail, which I was reviewing. Since both companies are strong in search, it's no surprise that both have good email search features. You are correct that the search in Gmail is quite good.

However, just as it does in other areas, I believe Yahoo's latest email search system beats Google's. A new Yahoo Mail search feature, now gradually rolling out to users of the current Yahoo Mail service, not only searches the text of emails, but also searches within email attachments. In addition, this new search system, which will eventually make it into the test version of Yahoo's new mail service, can pluck out just the photos from your email, or just the attachments, and display them in search results -- something Gmail's search system can't do.

As for the folder issue, I am all for the idea that better search will eventually obviate the need for people to laboriously create folders and perfect file names in the computer's operating system, a task that is a challenge for many mainstream, nontechnical users.

But folders in email programs are different, in my mind. They are easy to create, without any knowledge of the file system, and provide a useful visual metaphor for organizing lots of email. I prefer folders in email programs to Google's alternative, which isn't search, but instead a system of labels. This was one of several reasons I cited for why I prefer Yahoo's new version of its mail service to Gmail.

Continued in article

 



 

A Few Questions and Answers from Walt Mossberg

 

"Spreadsheets and Firefox; Managing Network Contacts, by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal,  September 30, 2004; Page B5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109649487646631729,00.html?mod=technology%5Ffeatured%5Fstories%5Fhs 

Q: If I switch from Windows to the Macintosh, will all my Windows programs still run on the Mac? Can I use all my files, like Excel spreadsheets and photos and music?

A: Apple's Macintosh computers use their own operating system, not Microsoft's Windows, and therefore they aren't designed to run Windows programs. So, if you switch to a Mac, you shouldn't count on using your current Windows programs, such as Outlook, or Windows Media Player. There are Mac versions of some popular Windows programs, like Microsoft Office, and equivalents for other programs. You shouldn't buy a Mac unless you are prepared to leave your Windows software behind and use new Mac software.

However, there is an exception. If you must use an irreplaceable Windows program or two occasionally, you can run them on the Mac, provided you buy special software from Microsoft called Virtual PC, which emulates a Windows computer on a Mac. Essentially, it fools Windows programs into believing a Mac is a Windows PC. But Virtual PC is slow, and is vulnerable to Windows viruses and spyware, so I don't recommend it for heavy use.

Files are a different story. All your Windows MP3 music files, JPG picture files, text files, Adobe PDF files, and other common file types can be used right out the box on a Mac. And, if you buy Microsoft Office for the Mac, all of your Excel, Word and PowerPoint files can be instantly opened and edited on the Mac.

Q: I've switched to the Firefox Web browser, but have found that some Web pages that formerly opened fine in Internet Explorer, especially financial pages, don't work right in Firefox. What can I do?

A: Firefox is a better, more secure browser, and it supports all major Web-site design standards. But, unfortunately, some Web sites, particularly financial Web sites, have been designed to use nonstandard features of Internet Explorer. For these sites, I suggest you revert temporarily to IE, even if you use Firefox for everything else.

Q: I am faced with the daunting task of building and utilizing my personal network of contacts, which means calling leads and maintaining an extensive to-do list, reminders and notes. Do you know of an application that would manage this process?

A: You want a contact manager, rather than a simpler address book and calendar program like Outlook or Lotus Organizer. The difference is that contact managers are designed to let you manage and record all your interactions with each person, or group of people -- including notes, e-mails, appointments and more. These programs are popular among salespeople and others.

The best-known personal contact manager is ACT, by Best Software, at www.act.com  Another prominent contact manager is GoldMine, by FrontRange Solutions, at www.goldmine.com.


Question
How can hidden data be removed from WORD doc files?

Answer from Richard Campbell

Here is the link to a free Microsoft utility:

http://tinyurl.com/2qaax 

Richard J. Campbell 
mailto:campbell@rio.edu
 

Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- http://ptech.wsj.com/ 
How Computer Things Work (including buying guides) --- http://computer.howstuffworks.com/ 

Question
How can I clean up my hard drives and/or defragment those drives in Windows XP?
Answer
Go to [Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools] and then choose the file you want to execute?

Windows Defraggled
Disk Fragmentation More Dangerous Than You Might Think ---
http://storage.ziffdavis.com/article2/0,3973,1108850,00.asp 
 I used to think that disk fragmentation problems were like smallpox—wiped off the face of the earth by newer and more intelligent operating systems. But it turns out that with Windows XP, your problems multiply even faster than with 98 or 2000. If you're wondering why boot times are so slow or files take so long to load, a fragmented disk might be the problem. Find out whether you're suffering from fragmentation woes and what to do about it!

 

Manage Downloads (including a utility for pausing and resuming downloads).
Fresh Download 5.3 http://www.freshdevices.com/freshdown.html 

 

The annual Codie Awards are announced in December of each year --- http://www.siia.net/ 
These are coveted awards for new hardware and software development.  Like the Academy Awards, there are many categories and nominees.  The Codies are awarded in a ceremony much like the Academy Award ceremony.  The Codie Award Ceremony is generally replayed on PBS television on the Computer Chronicles show --- http://www.computerchronicles.org/index.asp 

 

Software at huge educator discounts www.edu-software.com  or call us 800-679-7007

Center for Women and Information Technology http://www.umbc.edu/cwit/ 

Each of My Desktop Computers Was a Mess Until I Tracked Into Disk Clean Up and Defrag!
Thank you "Technology Q&A" in the Journal of Accountancy, January 2003, Page 97 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/jan2003/tech_qa.htm 
I have two computers on my desk at Trinity University.  Neither the old computer using Windows NT nor the new computer using Windows XP has the same obvious reminders to run Disk Clean Up and Defrag like I used to get using Windows 95/98 machines.  Thanks to the Technology Q&A in the Journal of Accountancy, I will now run these again and again.

September 4, 2002 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU
Richard has remained a ToolBook loyalist while many of us former ToolBook enthusiasts gave up on Assymetrix/Click2Learn

This site may be bigger than Bob Jensen's. Has all sorts of links on multimedia.

http://www.inet.com.br/~mhavila/link/ 

Richard Campbell

Internet Archive: Moving Images Archive (Multimedia) ---  http://www.archive.org/movies/movies.php 
Many great video downloads.

Note that you can locate and download 427 Computer Chronicles (my favorite) television shows classified by topic --- http://www.archive.org/movies/movieslisting-browse.php?collection=computerchronicles 

A citation guide for Internet sources --- http://www.h-net.org/about/citation/  
Note the links under the words “ East Tennessee State University .”

 

Image Collections
Prelinger Archives
1,914 movie files
Over 1,200 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films made from 1927 through the present
  Computer Chronicles
427 episodes
The complete archive of this PBS award-winning series about technology.
SIGGRAPH Electronic Theatre
119 anims
The best of computer animation from Siggraph 2001.
Net Café
118 episodes
This TV program features interviews with the Internet's most influential players and covers the growing Web culture and lifestyle!
World at War
10 movies
Created by members of the Internet Archive community, these short films have been archived for posterity in the moving image archives.

Download.com is a great helper site (especially for MP3 audio conversions) --- http://download.com.com/2001-20-0.html?legacy=cnet 

MP3 & Audio
MP3 Search, CD Burners, Players, New releases...

Internet
Tools, WebFerret, Chat, Browsers, New releases...

Games
Action, Strategy, Casino, Arcade, New releases...

Business
E-mail, Taxes, Finance, New releases...

Mobile
Palm OS, Pocket PC, Cell phone, New releases...
Multimedia & Design
Video, Image Editing, Animation, New releases...

Web Developer
HTML Editors, Site Management, New releases...

Software Developer
Tools & Editors, Java, ActiveX, New releases...

Utilities & Drivers
Drivers, Antivirus, File Compression, New releases...

Home & Desktop
Screensavers, Wallpaper, Themes, New releases...

Downloads for  Windows  |  Mac  |  Linux  |  Palm  &  Handhelds

 


Walt Mossberg answers questions about permanently erasing files, cats and computers, and backing up large folders.
The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2003 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045092536162720823,00.html?mod=technology%5Ffeatured%5Fstories%5Fhs 

Walt Mossberg's many answers to questions in technology --- http://ptech.wsj.com/ 

Márcio's Hyperlink - Welcome!

This site is a resource reference on authoring and development technology for Internet and Multimedia. There are over 2600 links with descriptions, organized into dozens of categories and frequently updated. The primary sections are summarized in the Index below.

The information here is devoted to professionals in development and infra-structure activities on Internet and Multimedia: developers, authors, programmers, designers and administrators of information systems and IT, as well as graphic artists, content producers, electronic media professionals, technicians and other people involved with or interested in these technologies.

Index

Click2learn ToolBook
Primary Help Sources, References covering Deployment and Runtime, ToolBook Sites, Utilities and Samples. ToolBook Information: Tutorials, Courses, Articles, Books, Discussion Groups.

Multimedia
General, Authoring, Hardware, CD, Media, Text, Images, Video, Audio, ActiveX, Education, Interactivity.

Internet
Web Authoring, HTML, Web Design, Images, Multimtedia, Tools, Programming, Server-Side, Security, XML, Entities, Protocols, Topics.

Programming
Java, Perl, Delphi, Python, Tcl / Tk, Tools, Software Engineering.

Database
SQL, Informação sobre banco de dados, Oracle, Outros SGBDs comerciais, SGBDs open source e freeware.

Unix & Linux
Unix, Linux, Variantes Unix, X Window System, Software.

TenLinks.com: Ultimate Directories for Technology Professionals http://www.tenlinks.com/ 


communities, events, jobs, products and companies, reference, reviews, services and consultants, translation


FEA, CFD, products and companies, resources, reviews, services and consultants


TopTen Civil Engineering Sites, bridges, codes, dams, environment, geotechnical, hydrology, indoor/outdoor, IT in constructionorganizations, portals, reference, services, software, tall buildings, transportation


communities
, consultants, data, education, eventsjobs, products & companies, reference

communities, products and companies, reference, services and consultants, CAM, rapid prototyping, quality

Architecture
TopTen sites, builders' sitesbuilt environment, home improvement, magazines, portals, sustainable architecture

Computers
computing for the disabled, hardware, hardware reviews, magazines, software 

Electronic Design (EDA)
TopTen EDA, products and companies

Engineering
civil, design, chemical, electrical, mechanical, collaboration, humor, jobs, magazines, references

Free Stuff
CAD, GIS, FEA, Internet access, general stuff

Mathematics
online solvers, math software, units

Tech Jobs
CAD, engineering, general, GIS/Mapping, quality

Technology
computers, free tech stuff, Internet, newsletters and digests

General Interest and Diversions
cycling, employment, folk medicinereference, salary calculators, satellite images, science, software, webcams


internet.com's network of more than 160 Web sites is organized into 16 channels:

Internet Technology http://internet.com/it 

E-Commerce/Marketing http://internet.com/marketing 

Web Developer http://internet.com/webdev 

Windows Internet Technology http://internet.com/win 

Linux/Open Source http://internet.com/linux 

Internet Resources http://internet.com/resources 

ISP Resources http://internet.com/isp

Internet Lists http://internet.com/lists 

Download http://internet.com/downloads 

International http://internet.com/international 

Internet News http://internet.com/news 

Internet Investing http://internet.com/stocks 

ASP Resources http://internet.com/asp 

Wireless Internet http://internet.com/wireless 

Career Resources http://internet.com/careers 

EarthWeb http://www.earthweb.com 


e-Business and e-Commerce Data
Internet.com --- http://www.internet.com/sections/marketing.html 

How to Report Crime and Fraud

Accounting Fraud (including the Enron scandal on creative accounting) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

When you get a new suspect that sounds like consumer fraud, you probably should investigate it and/or report it to http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/ 

The FBI's Internet Fraud and Complaint Center (IFCC FBI)
To thwart fraud on the Internet and terror in general, check in and/or report to http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp

National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) --- Report security incidents here.
Located in the FBI's headquarters building in Washington, D.C., the NIPC brings together representatives from U.S. government agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector in a partnership to protect our nation's critical infrastructures. 
http://www.nipc.gov/
  

When you are sent some rather surprising "facts" or find some rather surprising "facts," please investigate them before forwarding information that may be false and misleading.  At the purportal.com site,  users can search five of the most well-known sites dedicated to setting the record straight: Snopes Urban Legends Archive, About.com Urban Legends search, CIAC Hoax Database, CERT Computer Security Database, and Symantec (Real) Virus Encyclopedia. http://www.purportal.com/ 

One of our local television stations in San Antonio recommended the Private Citizen web site for reducing the amount of junk phone calls and junk mail that you would like to halt.  The Wall Street Journal has also recommended this web site. http://www.privatecitizen.com/

For stopping incoming telemarketing calls, I have had great results using my Telezapper that I purchased from Radio Shack for about $50 --- http://www.telezapper.com/default.asp
The Telezapper is a one-time purchase and very easy to install.

Searcher Beware
From eNews and Views on July 25, 2001
"Watchdog Group Awaits FTC Action on Search Engines" by Dennis Callaghan

Gary Ruskin can accept, grudgingly, search engines' increasing use of advertising-driven search results. He just wants the search engines to come clean.

That's why Ruskin, executive director of consumer advocacy group Commercial Alert, in Sacramento, Calif., filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission last week, alleging that seven search engine companies are engaging in deceptive advertising practices by not properly describing search results that are given higher relevance on a search results page because advertisers paid for the placement.

"We hope the FTC will require the search engines to tell us when an advertisement is an advertisement," said Ruskin. "And we hope that people will stop using search engines that have no editorial integrity."

Bob Jensen's Threads on Accounting Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PURSE OR WALLET IS MISSING
Hi Bob,

We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us by people who use your name, address, SS#, credit, etc. Unfortunately I (the author of this piece who happens to be an attorney) have firsthand knowledge, because my wallet was stolen last month and within a week the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.

Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.

Here's some added critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know. As everyone always advises, cancel your credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important: (I never ever thought to do this) - Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and SS#. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost 2 weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done.

There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them in their tracks.

The numbers are: 

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 
  • Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742 
  • Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289 
  • Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along just about everything. Do think about passing this information along. It could really help someone?

Bev Koebrich [auntiebev@mediaone.net]

Bob Jensen Advice:
As soon as possible, take photocopies of every card (both sides) in your wallet or purse.  Also photocopy your passport and other documents that might be lost while traveling.  Then carry and/or store them in a safe place.  Better yet, scan the images into an MS Word document.  Add Website, phone, email, and postal address information not on each card.

In your MS Word document recommended above, add password protection to that document using the menu choices (Tools, Protect Document).  Then you can carry your backup information safely on a laptop computer while you are on a trip.  Then if you lose your wallet or purse, you have instant access to vital information that you need. 

I suggest that you add this entire table to the MS Word document containing images of your cards.

 

 Stop Annoying Telemarketing Calls
For stopping incoming telemarketing calls, I have had great results using my Telezapper that I purchased from Radio Shack for about $50 --- http://www.telezapper.com/default.asp
The Telezapper is a one-time purchase and very easy to install.

No preventative is perfect, but for Texans the new preventatives offered by the Texas PUC-Customer Protection Division are the best opportunities for putting an end to unwanted telemarketing calls.

The main new option is to get on the Texas "No Call Lists" and renew these registrations every three years at http://www.texasnocall.com/  (or phone 1-866-896-6225)

Beginning on January 1, 2002, you can add your name, address and telephone number to state-sponsored “No Call Lists,” which will identify you as someone who does not wish to receive telemarketing calls. You can choose to register a residential telephone number for one or both of two “No Call Lists” sponsored by the Public Utility Commission (PUC.)

STATEWIDE “DO NOT CALL” LIST

The first list, a statewide “Do Not Call List,” will apply to all telephone marketers operating in Texas. There is a registration charge of $2.25 for each residential phone number to be included in this list only. Your registered residential telephone number(s) will remain on this list for three years.

“ELECTRIC NO CALL LIST”

The second list has been created to prevent calls only from Retail Electric Providers (REPs) and telemarketers calling about your electric service. There is a registration charge of $2.55 for each number placed on the “Electric No Call List.” Numbers placed on this list will remain on the list for five years. Both residential and business numbers can be registered for the “Electric No Call List.

HOW DO I SIGN-UP?

At www.TexasNoCall.com - Utilize the Internet for an easy, automated method that provides instant registration. The site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To register by mail, use the printable registration form at www.TexasNoCall.com, or request a registration form by calling 1-866-TXNOCAL(L) (1-866-896-6225) or writing: TEXAS NO CALL, P.O. Box 313, E. Walpole, MA 02032. To register by phone, call toll-free 1-866-TXNOCAL(L) (1-866-896-6225.)

 

Online and telephone registrations must be paid by credit card. Mailed applications may be paid by personal check or credit card. Residential customers may register for both “No Call Lists” at a cost of $4.80.


 
Companies that conduct telemarketing activities should call 1-866-896-6225, or read the Telemarketing FAQ for compliance information and additional details regarding Texas’ “No Call Lists

 

ASSISTANCE FROM THE PUC
Questions: Call: 1-866-797-4839 (TTY 1-877-864-4725)
Visit: http://www.powertochoose.org
          http://www.puc.state.tx.us
Complaints: Write: PUC – Customer Protection Division, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, TX 78711-3326
Call: 1-888-782-8477 (TTY 1-800-735-2988)
Online: Complaint form at www.TexasNoCall.com
Email: customer@puc.state.tx.us

KidZui's Parent Plan Lets Children Explore In Safe Corner of Web
This week marks the launch of a parental-control service with a somewhat different approach. It's called KidZui, and it aims to offer kids a safe subset of the Internet where they can roam freely without triggering parental worry. KidZui, for children ages 3 to 12, hopes to emphasize the positive, rather than the negative. The service, from a San Diego company of the same name, claims to encompass 500,000 safe sites, photos and videos, ranging from pop culture to science, comics and games to history. You can watch the latest "American Idol" contestant, learn about dinosaurs, delve into history or visit popular kids' sites, such as Webkinz and Club Penguin. The sites, photos and videos included in KidZui are approved by a team of about 200 parents and teachers across the country, and are ranked by age, so that a site that might be right for an 11-year-old isn't served up to a 4-year-old. While a child can establish a list of friends in KidZui, and can share content with them, there is no instant-messaging or email function.
Walter S. Mossberg, " The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120597536349250547.html

The KidZui homepage is at http://www.kidzui.com/

Also see:

Stay Safe Online --- http://www.staysafeonline.info/ 

"New, free Miss America browser aims to keep kids safe on the Internet," MIT's Technology Review, October 4, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/19480/?nlid=581

 

From: Brian & Lauren Eggleston

To Auntie Bev,

A hard lesson learned is that much of what gets forwarded around on the Internet is fabricated. There is a website that works towards confirming or debunking such items:

http://www.truthorfiction.com 

Take for example the recent e-mail you forwarded me on Lee Marvin and Bob Keeshan (Capt. Kangaroo). It seemed true enough as I remembered the Lee Marvin was indeed a Marine who had served in the Pacific in WWII. However, it seems someone has embellished the truth (for whatever their own reason) and now that e-mail is making the rounds:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/keeshan.htm 

Another one I thought was true following 9/11 was the one about the Budweiser delivery truck removing its beer from the shelves of a mini-market in which the middle eastern owner/employees were celebrating the 9/11 attacks. I never questioned the e-mail because it seemed so true. I was to learn months later that this was a complete fabrication, although I'm sure celebrations like this probably occurred. The point is that someone created the e-mail to stir up patriotic fervor. No matter the intention, it just goes to show that you can't take what you receive on the Internet for granted. It pays to check it out, and this website serves as a good source. By the way, here's the answer to the Budweiser item:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/budweiser-mcfarland.htm 

On the other hand, here are a few that are confirmed to be true and make for good reading:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/usswinstonchurchill.htm 

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/ncci.htm 

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/starbucks.htm 

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/redcross.htm 

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/flagoffense.htm 

Love

Brian

Bob Jensen's threads on "urban legends" and other Internet frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#ThingsToKnow 

 

 

Some Innovative Options for Online Users

Email Forwarding
SwitchEmail: Free Email Forwarding http://www.switchemail.com/pages/index.asp 

Email-To-FAX Service 
OURFAX: Free World Wide Email to Fax Service http://www.ourfax.com/ 

Telephone Voice to Email Service
Copytalk is a glorified dictation service. From any phone, you dial Copytalk's toll-free number. At the tone, you dictate, for example, an e-mail message. Between 3 and 20 minutes later, the message you dictated is sent on its merry way across the Internet (with or without your review, at your option), looking exactly as if it came from your desktop PC --- 
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/24/technology/circuits/24STAT.html
 

Convert Print to Spoken Words
From Syllabus News on September 11, 2001

The recently released Scan and Read family of software scans any printed material and converts it to spoken words, delivered in a variety of voices through the computer's speaker. The software also displays the text on the screen and highlights each word as it's read, a helpful feature for readers of all ages, those with learning disabilities, and non-English speakers looking for a way to increase their vocabularies. The more advanced members of the software family include word processing capability; the ability to access Microsoft Word files and convert them to spoken words; automatic image rotation, which allows software to convert text regardless of how it's positioned on the scanner bed; and the ability to create MP3 files, which can then be downloaded to other devices.

For more information, visit http://www.premier-programming.com

Access Your PC from Anywhere - Free Download
GoToMyPC --- https://www.gotomypc.com/ 

FAQs --- https://www.gotomypc.com/help.tmpl?SessionInfo=9197287/5C369812E7DB446/null 

ZDnet gives it a rating of 9 out of 10 --- http://www.cnet.com/software/0-3227892-1204-8480755.html 

PC World Review --- http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,8177,00.asp

 Also check on LogMeIn --- https://secure.logmein.com/home.asp?lang=en

Running Your On Campus Computer from Off-Campus Using GoToMyPC Software

I am afraid I don’t have much to add other than what you can read under “Security” at https://www.gotomypc.com/en_US/helpIndex.tmpl

The 30-day free trial is important since you can test whether GoToMyPC can penetrate your campus firewall. Keep in mind that your on-campus computer has to be booted up, which may entail having a secretary boot it up now and then (e.g., after there’s a power failure on campus).

Also keep in mind that if you have a laptop that you use on campus, there’s not added risk in connecting that same laptop off campus.

I used GoToMyPC for a few years and was able to penetrate the Trinity University firewall. There were not problems using my laptop off campus to access my office computer on campus. I was somewhat surprised that GoToMyPC could penetrate the sensitive firewall at Trinity University.

After I retired, Trinity requested that I instead use their Cisco VPN system which is much more limited (albeit free) than GoToMyPC. With VPN, I can update files stored on network drives (e.g., Web server files, BlackBoard files, and my LAN private-access drives on the Trinity network) but not my on-campus computer (which no longer exists after my retirement). I suspect that I could access my on-campus secretary’s computer with GoToMyPC, but I have no need to do that. When I want to send files to her, I upload files via VPN or FTP to my Drive J LAN drive on campus. She also has rights to access my Drive J. She can also access my Web server files such that the few times I’ve had trouble accessing the Web server from New Hampshire she can update my Web files on campus. For a few weeks recently, the Clean Sweep security program for Web server access was giving me trouble. I actually had to send my laptop to techies on campus to fix up the Clean Sweep problem. In the meantime I uploaded files to Drive J on campus, and Debbie then uploaded them into the Drive W Web server on campus. Fortunately this is no longer necessary after my laptop was returned from the techies on campus.

The VPN system really does not add much more than what I can also do with the old fashioned FTP protocol. I actually use VPN and FTP with equal effectiveness. But I miss my GoToMyPC full access to a campus computer.

Other alternatives to GoToMyPC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoToMyPC

Bob Jensen

"Access Your Home PC Even When You're Not Home," by Rick Broida, PC World via The Washington Post, February 9, 2010 ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/08/AR2010020803380.html?wpisrc=nl_pmtech

I routinely use my local coffee shop as a temporary office--and judging by the number of other laptop users I see there, I'm not alone.

Invariably I end up needing something on my home PC--a file, an e-mail stored in Outlook, a Web link I bookmarked, or whatever. If only I could access that system from afar!

I can. In fact, there are many solutions that afford remote access to other PCs, but I've yet to find one I like better than oldie-but-goodie LogMeIn Free.

All you do is download and install the small LogMeIn utility (which is available for both Windows and Mac), set up your account and password, then leave your PC running when you leave the house.

To connect from afar, just open up a browser (on any Internet-connected PC), head to the LogMeIn Web site, and sign into your account. Click the big green Remote Control button, enter your password, and in a few seconds you'll see your home PC's desktop right inside your browser. (The first time you do this, you'll need to install a browser plug-in, which is quick and painless.)

You can now interact with your home PC just as if you were sitting at it. (I recommend maximizing the LogMeIn window within your browser so you can enjoy a full-screen interface, which is much easier on the eyes.) Keep in mind that everything will seem a bit slower than usual, which is simply a by-product of remote access. Also, graphics may look a little splotchy, as LogMeIn intentionally reduces Windows' color depth to improve performance.

If you do maximize the LogMeIn window, you'll need to move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen (near the center) to access its toolbar.

I can't tell you how many times LogMeIn has come to my rescue. I'm also a fan of the LogMeIn Ignition app for iPhone, which provides the same incredible remote access right on my handset. (Alas, it's a little pricey at $29.99.) Confession: I'll sometimes fire up the app to remotely shut down my downstairs PC, just so I don't have to run the stairs.

Is there a remote-control utility you like better than LogMeIn? If so, talk it up in the comments!

Bob Jensen's threads on archiving and long-term storage ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#archiving

Bob Jensen's threads on free services for sending large files over the Internet ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#SendingLargeFiles

 

 

Ten Ways to Reduce Chargebacks and Fraud Merchants' concern about online credit card fraud and chargebacks is rising at a significant rate. According to the 2001 Online Fraud Report conducted by Mindwave Research, 41 percent of merchants say the issue of online credit card fraud is "very serious" to their business. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3443 

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

Bob Jensen's e-Commerce threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm

 

Technology Glossaries --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm 

Bob Jensen's main bookmarks page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm

Bob Jensen's threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Electronic Commerce --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 

Assurance Services --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 
(Including SysTrust, WebTrust, Truste, BBB, etc.)

Selected additions to New Bookmarks (with commentaries) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm

Bob Jensen's Threads on XML, XLink, XHTML, XBRL, XForm, XSLT, RDF and the Semantic Web --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 

Accounting and Office Software --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm 

In general, if you need to find out "how something works," I suggest that you commence at http://www.howstuffworks.com/ 

Web Developers Virtual Library --- http://www.stars.com/ 

Excel, JavaScript, and Other Helpers and Videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

 

Statistics in Real Time --- http://www.statmarket.com/ 

Find comparison facts on most any Website ---
http://reviewandjudge.org/HOME.html
For example, enter "www.trinity.edu/rjensen/" without the http:\\

Note: Top 25 Google e-searches of the month
          Most Popular Web Sites 2006 - 2007 --- http://www.webtrafficstation.com/directory/

Most popular Web sites of the world --- http://www.webbieworld.com/default.asp 
I never heard of them --- http://www.webbieworld.com/ranked.asp 
(Where in the heck is Google?)

Exploring the Digital Nation-Computer and Internet Use at Home ---
http://www.esa.doc.gov/Reports/exploring-digital-nation-computer-and-internet-use-home

Question
Who is the most downloaded woman?

Answer
Since 1996, images of Danni Ashe have been downloaded over 1 billion times --- http://www.billiondownloadwoman.com/ 
(I tend to not trust this kind of data)

Who uses the Internet? --- http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v02n01/www2.html 
A bit of history --- http://www.msichicago.org/scrapbook/scrapbook_exhibits/commex/history.html 
Also see http://www.e-government.govt.nz/docs/channel-surfing-200409/chapter16.html 
Also see http://www.ncpa.org/pd/economy/pd070999e.html 
Some rather interesting facts from the Sherwood Oaks Christian Church --- http://www.socc.org/archive/internetclass/InternetClassPage2.html 

Question
How many internet hosts were there in 1981 compared to the end of 2002?

Answer
At the end of August in 1981 there were 213 hosts.  In January of 2003 there were 171,638,297 hosts --- http://www.isc.org/index.pl?/ops/ds/host-count-history.php 
(I trust this data because of the careful way in which it is collected.)

Frequently asked questions and answers about the Internet --- http://www.isc.org/index.pl?/ops/ds/faq.php
Other details --- http://www.isc.org/index.pl?/ops/ds/  

Global Statistics --- http://www.thecounter.com/stats/ 

Get Sticky --- http://getclicky.com/

Yahoo Statistics and Demographics --- http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/Statistics_and_Demographics/ 

Consumer Internet Barometer --- http://www.consumerinternetbarometer.us/ 

The Consumer Internet Barometer is a unique quarterly study that reveals what US consumers think, feel, and do relating to the Internet. It captures behavioral and attitudinal measures correlated with usage trends.

It identifies trends such as:

"I know that these actions would be controversial in this age where we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," Mr. Tenet said, "But, ultimately, the Wild West must give way to governance and control."
Tom Zeller, Jr., "On the Open Internet, a Web of Dark Alleys," The New York Times, December 20, 2004 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/20/technology/20covert.html?oref=login 

The average online buyer is spending more this holiday season; is less price-obsessive; expects to buy during the last week; and among big spenders, is more likely to be male than you might expect.
Rob McGann, "Snapshot of the 2004 Online Holiday Shopper," ClickZ Network, December 21, 2004 --- http://www.clickz.com/stats/sectors/retailing/article.php/3450651 

Online merchants are poised to record a much bigger rise in holiday sales than their offline counterparts. Broadband expansion, more luxury gift sales and a rise in late shoppers help the bottom line.
Joanna Glasner, "E-Tailers to Post Strong Season," Wired News, December 23, 2004 --- http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,66122,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2 

Sooner or later, advertisers had to figure out the Internet. Here was a medium that was reaching into nearly every office in America. And at home, it was wresting millions of eyes away from the TV. It could even count mouse clicks. Today, Net advertisers are finally hitting their stride.
Stephen Baker, "Where The Real Internet Money Is Made Advertising on the Web could top $9 billion this year -- and there are lots of ways investors can profit from the trend," Business Week, December 27, 2004 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_52/b3914442.htm 

Canadians spend more than 37 billion minutes surfing the Internet monthly or an average of more than 34 hours a month or 80 minutes a day. Yahoo reported in another study that 48 per cent of respondents indicated they could not go without the Internet for more than two weeks.  Aside from on-line shopping, banking and booking travel, Internet users are searching for relevant information about names in the news.
Diana Pereira (See below)

"Who Opens E-Mail Spam," by Diana Pereira, Globe and Mail, December 22, 2004 --- http://www.globetechnology.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20041222.wyahoo1221/BNStory/Technology 

 

Builder.com --- http://builder.cnet.com/webbuilding/pages/Servers/Statistics/ 
This site is great for definitions and explanations.

Why Web usage statistics are (worse than) meaningless --- http://www.goldmark.org/netrants/webstats/ 

Internet Sizer http://www.netsizer.com/  
(This site has a link to a neat graph that shows the increase in Web use in a spinning real-time counter.  It resembles the counter on Times Square that used to show the increases in the U.S. National Debt.)

Web Characterization --- http://wcp.oclc.org/ 

WebLog Expert Lite http://www.weblogexpert.com/ 
Bob Jensen's threads on Weblogs and Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Weblog 

Listings from Webreference.com --- http://webreference.com/internet/statistics.html 

Internet Statistics

CyberAtlas (*)
Internet market research and information site. Provides a periodic overview of Internet trends, demographics, marketing, and advertising information.
CyberGeography
Interesting collection of experiments and approaches in visualizing internet statistics and topology.
GVU WWW User Surveys
User surveys dating back to 1994. The surveys feature a wide variety of WWW usage and opinion-oriented questions.
The Internet Index
"An occasional collection of facts and statistics about the Internet and related activities." By Win Treese of Open Market.
ISC: Internet Domain Survey
Estimates the number of hosts and domains by doing a complete search of the Domain Name System. From the Internet Software Consortium.
Media Metrix
Web market research information and analysis service providing demographic data, measuring Internet and digital media audiences and usage since 1996.
MIDS: Matrix Information and Directory Services
MIDS provides statistics on about the Internet and estimates of its growth. Information is presented textually, graphically, and in geographic maps.
Netcraft
Conducts the Web Server Survey which tracks the usage of HTTP server software. Also offers a searchable hostname database.
Nielsen Net-Ratings
Online usage and popularity statistics.
Nua's Internet Surveys
An organized collection of Internet statistical surveys. Has digests of the important research reports and demographic surveys from the major research companies. Includes summary graphs and data of Internet statistics and trends. Offers a monthly newsletter.
StatMarket
In-depth statistics on a wide variety of Internet topics, and a sharp interface. StatMarket provides free global Internet usage statistics gathered from tens of thousands of web sites and and millions of daily visitors.
TheCounter.com
Detailed browser statistics, including information on monitor resolution, color depth and java/javascript usage.
Yahoo: Statistics and Demographics
Yahoo's collection of related sites.

Most popular Websites in the world --- http://www.webbieworld.com/

Get Sticky --- http://getclicky.com/


Chris Nolan clued me in on the following site about  what is happening on the Web.  Note the Top 50 list.
Web Characterization --- http://wcp.oclc.org/ 

Statistics
     Size and Growth
     Country/Language
     Economic Activity
     Top 50 List
     Miscellaneous
     Documentation

  Publications

  Related Links

  Project Staff

  Home

 

Other related sites


Internet Economy Indicators  --- http://www.internetindicators.com/ 

Microsoft Office News and Updates (Windows, Word, Excel, etc.) --- http://www.wopr.com/ 
Woody's Office Portal includes free tips on use of MS Office software and free newsletters
Example: the Placebar Customizer (for the Start bar in Windows) --- http://www.wopr.com/office2000/placebar.htm

The WOPR PlaceBar Customizer is a powerful tool that allows you to customize the Office 2000 common dialog's Places Bar.

The Placebar Customizer is only available as part of the WOPR 2000 add-in collection, which is included free with Woody Leonhard's new book titled Using Microsoft Office 2000, Special Edition

From TheFreeSite.com --- http://www.thefreesite.com/Webmaster_Freebies/Free_counters_and_trackers/ 

TheFreeSite.com
 Anonymous Freebies

 Business Freebies

 Free Chat Services

 Email Freebies

 Family Freebies

 Freebies FAQ

 Freebie Features

 Free Fonts

 Fun Freebies

 Free Games

 Free Graphics

 Free Internet Access

 Free Java & JavaScript

 Link to Us

 Misc. Freebies

 Free Newsletter

 Newest Freebies

 Other Free Stuff Sites

 Personal Management

 Free Personals Service

 Free Postcards

 Prizes and Contests

 Free Samples

 Seasonal Freebies

 Free Software

 Free Sounds

 Free Technical Support

 Free Web Space

 Webmaster Freebies

The free Journal of Accountancy has a monthly column called Technology Q&A.
This is a great source for tips on how to use MS Office products, particularly tips on using Excel --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/joahome.htm 

THE TOP 100 PRODUCTS OF 2000! http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?72332:2700840 

Advice for hiring external service for your computing devices (tech support) --- http://www.digitalduo.com/402_dig.html

Wow Software Listing of Project Management Software
The Project Management Center --- http://www.infogoal.com/pmc/pmcswr.htm 
The homepage is at http://www.infogoal.com/pmc/pmchome.htm 

Online Magazine (for Information Professionals) --- http://www.onlineinc.com/onlinemag/index.html 

ONLINE is written for Information Professionals and provides articles, product reviews, case studies, evaluation, and informed opinion about selecting, using, and managing electronic information products, plus industry and professional information about online database systems, CD-ROM, and the Internet. This site contains selected full-text articles and news from each issue of the magazine. Direct letters to the editor to Marydee Ojala ( Marydee@xmission.com ). If you are interested in writing for ONLINE, please see the Authors' Guidelines.


Bob Jensen's threads on Webledger systems such as NetLedger --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/webledger.htm 


Business office software tools (including accounting and tax software)
Phil and Mac's Secret Free Place --- http://www.maxpatch.com/misc4.html 
Readers should definitely take a look at this annotated software index, although some items appear to be out of date.

 


 
Internet Companies Directory (A Partial Listing)
COMPANY DESCRIPTION URL

e-Retail (consumer products and services)

1-800 Contacts Contact lenses http://www.1800contacts.com/
Alloy Online Goods for teens http://www.alloy.com/
Amazon.com Books, music, electronics http://www.amazon.com
Autobytel.com New, used car guide http://www.autobytel.com/
Barnesandnoble.com Books, music http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
Drugstore.com Medical products http://www.drugstore.com/
eBay Auctions http://www.ebay.com/
Egghead.com Computer products http://www.egghead.com/
Expedia Travel planning http://www.expedia.com/
Hotel Reservations Network Discounted hotel rooms http://www.180096hotel.com/
Priceline.com Travel reservations http://www.priceline.com/
Stamps.com Postage http://www.stamps.com/
Ticketmaster Guides, tickets http://www.ticketmaster.com/
Travelocity.com Travel reservations http://www.travelocity.com/
e-Finance (banks, brokerages and credit companies)
Ameritrade Securities broker http://www.ameritrade.com/
Charles Schwab Securities broker http://www.schwab.com/
CSFBdirect Securities broker http://www.csfbdirect.com/
E-Trade Securities broker http://www.etrade.com
IndyMac Bancorp Mortgage lender http://www.indymacbank.com/
Intuit Personal finance info http://www.intuit.com/
NetBank Consumer banking http://www.gefn-compubank.com/
NextCard Consumer credit http://www.nextcard.com
TD Warehouse Securities broker http://www.tdwaterhouse.com/
Wit SoundView Securities broker http://www.witsoundview.com/
e-New Media (advertising/subscription-supported media)
AOL Time Warner Consumer content http://www.aoltimewarner.com/
Ask Jeeves Search engine http://www.ask.com/
Cnet Networks Technology content http://www.cnet.com/
HomeStore.com Real estate content http://www.homestore.com/
HotJobs.com Career content http://www.hotjobs.com/
InfoSpace Wireless content http://infospace.com/
MarketWatch.com Financial content http://cbs.marketwatch.com/
McAfee.com Computer protection http://mcafee.com/
MP3.com Music content http://www.mp3.com/
Multex.com Financial content http://www.multexusa.com/
NBC Internet Consumer content http://www.nbci.com/
SportsLine.com Sports content http://sportsline.com/
Terra Lycos Consumer content http://www.terralycos.com/
TheStreet.com Financial content http://www.thestreet.com/
Apollo Group U of Phoenix Online Education content http://www.ipopros.com/histdeal_pla.asp?deal=2285
Yahoo Web guide http://www.yahoo.com/
e-Access providers (connections to the Internet)
Aether Systems Wireless Internet access http://www.aethersystems.com/
Excite At Home Internet access http://www.excite.com/
EarthLink Internet access http://www.earthlink.net/
Juno Online Services Internet access http://www.juno.com
Metricom Wireless Internet access http://www.metricom.com/
IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Please be advised that Metricom has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
NetZero Internet access http://www.netzero.net/
Prodigy Communications Internet access http://www.prodigy.com/
RCN Internet access http://www.rcn.com/
Research in Motion Wireless Internet access http://www.rim.net/
WorldGate Communications Internet access http://www.wgate.com

Dr Jensen,
In your internet access directory you have listed e-Access providers - none of these providers offer managed services...i.e. a place to safely house your servers and storage with both physical and internet security provided in addition to system administration services and storage and backup services. If you ever add these to your listing please consider including us, S4R ( www.s4r.com ) - we provide these services at the best prices around and give the best service!

Thank you.

Jennie Enholm | S4R (760)804-8004 x113

e-Learning providers (corporate) For more details go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
Caliber Training and executive dev. http://www.caliber.com/ 
Pensare Executive development with plans for degree programs in partnership with prestige universities http://www.pensare.com/ 
UNext Executive development and for-credit programs through UNext's Cardean University and in partnership with prestige universities http://www.unext.com/ 
Smart Force Executive development http://www.smartforce.com/ 
Quisic Content development, executive development, and for-credit courses http://www.quisic.com/ 
(Formerly called University Access)
Headlight (From CyberU) Recreational learners and an online small business training center http://www.cyberu.com/training/headlight/index.asp 
OnlineLearning.net Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://www.onlinelearning.net/ 
University of Maryland University College Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://www.umuc.edu/ 
Fathom (headed by Columbia University in conjunction with many prestigious partners)  A huge knowledge portal that offers over 600 courses http://www.fathom.com/index.jhtml 
New York University Online Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://i5.nyu.edu/~jmm282/nyupage.html 
University of Phoenix Training and executive development and for-credit courses (The largest accredited private university in the world.) http://www.phoenix.edu/index_open.html 
The Kaplan Colleges Training and executive development and for-credit courses (including the online Concord School of Law) http://www.kaplancollege.com/ 
Sylvan Learning Systems Training and executive development and for-credit courses (and testing centers) http://www.sylvan.net/ 
Intellnex from Ernst & Young (the first Big 5 accounting firm university) Training and executive development http://www.intellinex.com/flash/index.htm 
Many other corporate providers are discussed in a book that can be downloaded free:
The Business of Borderless Education, by S.C. Cunningham, et al., (Australian Department of Education, Evaluations and Investigations Programme of the Higher Education Division, 2000).  Hard Copy ISBN 0 642 44446 3 and Online Copy ISBN 0 642 44447 1 --- http://www.detya.gov.au/archive/highered/eippubs/eip00_3/bbe.pdf 

Bob Jensen's documents on e-Learning are available free at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
(Note that most prestige universities have already or are forming private corporations for online delivery of training, executive development, and for-credit courses)

How to find online training and education programs http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's other bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm 




  • PC World Videos on New Products --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    MacWorld: Tricks and Tips --- http://www.macworld.com/howto.html

     




     

    Bookmarks

     

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    Walt Mosberg Video Reviews of New Devices
    Google's Nexus One
    --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus_One
    Video:  The Wall Street Journal Technology Editor Walt Mossberg Reviews the Nexus One (Google Smartphone) ---
    http://online.wsj.com/video/mossberg-google-nexus-one-heats-up-phone-space/CC1A608F-7C23-4886-8F1F-4A312DEAF344.html

    Cloud Computing --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing
    The Litl
    --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litl
    Video:  The Wall Street Journal Technology Editor Walt Mossberg Reviews The Litl (cloud computer) ---
    The somewhat negative review by Walt video follows the above Nexus One video.
    Other device reviews follow in succession:  New Bayer diabetic test meter) the Barnes & Noble Nook Book Reader, .Intel e-Reader for sight-impaired readers, . . .  . .
    http://online.wsj.com/video/mossberg-google-nexus-one-heats-up-phone-space/CC1A608F-7C23-4886-8F1F-4A312DEAF344.html


    The 50 Most Influential Gadgets of Our Time ---
    http://time.com/4309573/most-influential-gadgets/?xid=newsletter-brief


    The MileIQ Gadget from Microsoft Can Save Thousands of Tax Dollars for a Business Traveler (or lead to greater reimbursements from employers) ---
    Try it for free --- https://www.mileiq.com/


    "Gadgets get smarter, friendlier at CES show," by Glenn Chapman and Sophie Estienne, MSN News, January 3, 2016 ---
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/gadgets-get-smarter-friendlier-at-ces-show/ar-BBo9rFE?ocid=spartanntp

    From drones, cars and robots to jewelry, appliances and TVs, the new technology on display at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show promises to be smarter and friendlier than ever.

    The annual tech extravaganza with more than 3,600 exhibitors set to formally start on Wednesday in Las Vegas is likely to see innovation across a range of sectors, from health care to autos, connected homes, virtual reality and gaming.

    "There are always a couple of winners at CES, and sometimes there are the sleepers that turn out to be the cool thing," Gartner analyst Brian Blau told AFP.

    But Blau said the innovations are "often evolutionary, not revolutionary."

    Televisions will play starring roles at the show as usual, with giants such as Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio among contenders in a market rapidly shifting to ultra-high definition.

    "We are in the sweetest of the sweet spot in the TV market," NPD analyst Stephen Baker told AFP while discussing CES.

    "Sales of 4K TVs are exploding right now," he said, referring to the popular new high-definition format.

    Drones are also expected to make a splash at CES, where an Unmanned Systems Marketplace has doubled in size from a year earlier to cover 25,000 square feet (2,300 square meters).

    Blau expects the drones on display at the show to be more sophisticated, with easy controls and even applications that let them be operated using smartphones.

    "If you want to make it popular with consumers you have to make it relatively easy to use and foolproof," he said. "And that is what a lot of drone manufacturers have been doing."

    - Apple presence felt -

    Electronics makers are also using building smart technology into all manner of devices, allowing them to adapt to how people use them, responding to voice or gesture, for example.

    "A lot more of your devices are going to run with less direction from you but a greater sense of how to help you out," Blau said.

    Continued in article


    Time Magazine:  Top 10 Gadgets of 2015 ---
    http://time.com/4105591/top-10-gadgets/?xid=newsletter-brief

    Time Magazine:  The 25 Best Inventions of 2015 ---
    http://time.com/4115398/best-inventions-2015/

    Time Magazine's Choices for the 2014 Top 10 Apps ---
    http://time.com/3582114/top-10-apps/?xid=newsletter-brief

    Yahoo Tech's Choices for the 2014 Top 10 Gadgets ---
    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-10-most-wanted-tech-c1417549586539/photo-iphone-6-photo-1417549459482.html


    "Loop Payment Fob Lets You Swipe Your Phone Instead of a Credit Card," by David Pogue, Yahoo Tech, February 20, 2014 ---
    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/loop-payment-fob-lets-you-swipe-your-phone-instead-of-a-77259827533.html

    Maybe you’ve heard: Big technology companies are frantically trying to get rid of credit cards.

    It’s a worthy goal, actually. Many people carry around purses or wallets that are bloated and bursting with plastic cards. And for what? Each sheet of hard plastic exists solely to bear a magnetic strip that you can run through card readers at checkout.

    The dream is to let you pay for things, quickly and easily, with the swipe of your phone. Or, someday, your watch. Fast, convenient, secure — and cardless.

    It’s not going so well, though. The world’s shops, gas stations and restaurants already have all the equipment they care to install: standard credit-card readers. They’re not interested in buying something new just to accommodate, for example, Android phones that are compatible with Google’s Wallet payment system.

    But now there’s something new called the Loop, which began life as a successful Kickstarter project. It’s instantly compatible with those hundreds of millions of existing credit-card readers. But it still lets you pay for stuff without ever extracting any plastic from your wallet or purse.

    It does that by sending out a magnetic signal that tricks the credit-card reader into thinking that you’ve actually swiped a card through it.

    I’ll wait here while you read that again.

    This is the part that’s hard to believe. You wave the Loop near the card-reader slot, up to a couple of inches away, and — beep! — you’ve just paid. (Inside the Loop, there’s an inductive magnetic loop of wire that generates an alternating current. Hence the name.)

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology


    "Samsung Has Two New Smart Watches Launching In April — Here's Everything They Can Do," by Steve Kovach, Business Insider, February 22, 2014 ---
    http://www.businessinsider.com/samsung-galaxy-gear-2-2014-2

    . . .

    Here's a quick breakdown of the new features in the Gear 2/Gear 2 Neo:

    • The new Gears will include a universal remote control app and built-in infrared sensor that will let you control your TV from the watch.
    • There's a music player app that lets you listen to your songs, even if the device isn't paired to a smartphone.
    • The watches double as fitness trackers, and can monitor your heart rate, sleeping habits, and steps taken. The data syncs with Samsung's S Health app, which comes preinstalled in Samsung phones like the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3.
    • Both models are slightly thinner and lighter than the original Galaxy Gear, but the Gear 2 is a bit heftier than the Gear 2 neo.
    • Both models have a 1.63-inch color touchscreen and the wristbands and watch faces come in a variety of color options.
    Other than that, the new Gears will mimic the functions of last year's model. The Gear pairs with your Samsung Galaxy phone via Bluetooth using a special Galaxy Gear app. After the pairing, you can use Gear to check incoming texts, calls, emails, tweets, etc. without having to pull out your phone. You can also make calls from the watch using a built-in speaker and microphone.

    The Gear also has an app store, which includes some big-name apps like Evernote and the mobile social network Path. However, other big names like Facebook and Twitter are still missing.


    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/samsung-galaxy-gear-2-2014-2#ixzz2u9KEDx00
     

    "Pebble Steel: Best Smartwatch So Far," by David Pogue, Yahoo Tech, February 13, 2014 ---
    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/pebble-steel-best-smartwatch-so-far-76486495620.html

    There’s nothing about the success of the new Pebble Steel smartwatch that you couldn’t have predicted by studying tech history.

    Over and over again, gadgets become insanely successful when they do a few things very well. (See: PalmPilot, iPod, iPad.) And over and over again, gadgets flop when they are freighted with the wrong collection of features in a hopeless mass (Zune, ultramobile PCs and the Nokia N-Gage — a combination game console/cellphone).

    Which brings us to smartwatches. A smartwatch, of course, is a wristwatch that connects wirelessly with the phone in your pocket. It can display incoming text messages right on your wrist. It can vibrate to let you know when a call comes in, even when you wouldn’t have heard your phone. It can pass along alerts — new email, Facebook messages, stock-market crashes — right to your wrist.

    There are some advantages to having this information close at hand. It’s a lot less tacky to glance at your wrist during a meeting than to pull out your phone. When you’re riding a bike, it’s safer to get your next-turn GPS instructions by glancing at your wrist than it is to fumble for your phone. When your arms are full of packages or groceries … well, you get the idea.

    There are lots of smartwatches available, but you probably have very few friends who own one. That’s because they’re all pretty terrible (the watches, not your friends).

    The best-known one, the Samsung Gear watch, costs $300, works with only three Samsung phone models, has a camera on the watchband, lets you make phone calls by holding the watch up to your head — and looks like an HDTV strapped to your arm.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    As far as touch screen goes I give smart watches the big finger.

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology


    "The Future of Personal Entertainment, In Your Face:  The Glyph headset is weird-looking and expensive, but amazingly immersive," by Rachel Metz, MIT's Technology Review, January 30, 2014 --- Click Here
    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/523966/the-future-of-personal-entertainment-in-your-face/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20140130

    I’m watching a jellyfish pump past me lazily, its movement interrupting the twinkling of underwater particles, when a sea turtle suddenly swims my way and starts munching on the jellyfish’s tentacles.

    I know that I’m actually watching this scene unfold in 3-D on a prototype of an entertainment headset called the Glyph, which fits over my eyes like a giant, awkward pair of electronics-filled glasses and projects images directly onto my retinas, showing the equivalent to an 80-inch TV about eight feet away, but the image in front of my face feels real enough that I cry out, “Oh, no, don’t eat that! That’s not going to taste good!”

    he world outside my undersea environment is less dramatic: I’m sitting in the sparse office of Avegant, the startup that began building the Glyph a little more than a year ago. The device can be used to watch 3-D and 2-D videos, play video games, and listen to music. Avegant also plans to include head-tracking capabilities in future versions so that the Glyph can be used for 360-degree immersive experiences.

    Nearly 1,500 people have committed $499 or more to buy the device through Avegant’s Kickstarter campaign, which has raised over three times its $250,000 goal. The company plans to deliver the gadget to backers in December, and then start selling it generally.

    So what makes the Glyph special? Avegant says it’s the headset’s image projection method, which reflects light onto each retina through a series of lenses and tiny mirrors and makes for sharper, easier-to-watch images than using a screen, as many competing products like Oculus Rift do. Its ability to mimic depth certainly makes it particularly good at showing natural-looking 3-D content.  

    When I visit Avegant’s Mountain View, California, office to try out the device, I expect to be unimpressed; I’m skeptical of the Glyph’s utility and I’ve never seen a 3-D demo that really wowed me. But this time was different. There are two headsets on the table when I walk into Avegant’s conference room—an older prototype with its guts exposed and no headphones, and a newer one that looks like a giant pair of headphones and is a lot closer to what you’ll probably see when the Glyph hits store shelves.

    Avegant’s chief operating officer and chief software officer, Yobie Benjamin, helps me put on and adjust the older prototype, which has flimsy plastic arms and had to be held onto my head. Both prototypes are plugged into a gray box about the size of a toaster—a battery, I’m told, which in the next version of the Glyph will be housed in the ear cans and frame and provide three hours of video-watching or game-playing.

    I first watch an action scene ripped from a 3-D Blu-ray of the movie Avatar, which plays from a connected laptop (the Glyph can connect to any media player with an HDMI input, so you can use it with many smartphones, laptops, and tablets). With the Glyph on, I see what appears to be a large, bright screen in front of my face, with a black frame around it, and I can gaze above and below at slivers of the outside world. The Na’vi appear to fly around in front of my face, yet I don’t sense the delays, screwy coloring, or image doubling that I’ve noticed when viewing 3-D content in the past. There are some pixelated shots, but I’m told those are glitches in the Avatar file, not the device.

    The undersea video, which I watch next, is similarly captivating, with clown fish swimming about and bright pink coral reflecting light in different directions. The aforementioned encounter between the turtle and jellyfish looks vivid and bright.

    The Glyph enables this by emitting light from a low-power LED, which is reflected by an array of two million tiny mirrors onto a lens system and then projected to the back of your retinas. This seems to make for a much more comfortable viewing experience. I would happily watch a whole movie like this if time permitted.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    The focus is on entertainment, but I predict that one day a gadget like this will be used to immerse students in such things as mathematical models, works of art, settings for great literature, living history, etc. The gadget might even be used to immerse students in the Halls of Congress and other horror shows.


    How-To Geek’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide 2013: The Best Gadgets and Gear ---
    http://www.howtogeek.com/177064/how-to-geeks-holiday-gift-guide-2013-the-best-gadgets-and-gear/

    Smart TVs Are Stupid: Why You Don’t Really Want a Smart TV ---
    http://www.howtogeek.com/176392/smart-tvs-are-stupid-why-you-dont-really-want-a-smart-tv/

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a smart TV? Well, not really. If you do have a smart TV, you’d be better off combining it with a cheap set-top box rather than actually using its smart features.

    Smart TVs are actually a decent idea. The problem isn’t that the idea of a smart TV is stupid, the problem is that the smart TVs themselves are stupid — or, at least, not very smart.

    Smart TVs in Theory

    A smart TV may also be referred to as a “connected TV.” Essentially, it’s a TV that’s connected to the Internet. It has built-in apps to take advantage of this — for example, a smart TV would likely have apps for playing videos from Netflix and YouTube. Smart TVs generally also have other built-in apps — a web browser, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Angry Birds, and so on.

    In theory, having a smart TV would be great. The TV would have a network connection and be able to connect to the Internet to play videos from sources like Netflix and YouTube without needing a separate box. You get a web browser and everything else you’d want to use. It’s all integrated into the TV, saving you money and eliminating the clutter of additional boxes and cables.

    The Problem With Smart TVs

    In practice, smart TVs just aren’t that great. Smart TVs have software made by TV manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG. Their software is generally not very good. Smart TVs usually have confusing, often baffling interfaces. Controlling the smart TV’s features will generally involve using a remote, probably using on-screen buttons on the the TV. The menu interfaces usually feel old.

    But don’t take our word for it. A report from NPD last year indicated that only 10% of smart TV owners has used the web browser on their smart TV and about 15% had listened to music from online services. The majority of them had used video apps, however — for example, to watch Netflix on their TV without plugging in additional boxes.

    Smart TVs will become dumber over time as they don’t receive updates. New video services won’t work on old TVs, and their operating systems may never receive updates from the manufacturer. Some smart TVs may already lack services you’d want to use. For example, Amazon notes that “Amazon Instant Video is available on select 2012 and 2013 LG Smart TVs.” Not all of them, in other words — just some of them. You’d have to do your research before buying a smart TV to get the services you want.

    Even if you choose a smart TV with all the services you want, you’ll likely have a bad interface for them and may never get updates for existing services or new services.

    Continued in article


    "A New and Improved Nexus 7," by David A. Pogue, The New York Times, August 8, 2013 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/a-new-and-improved-nexus-7/

    OK, we get it, Google — you want to be a hardware company.

    Well, guess what? You’re actually doing a pretty good job of it!

    One year ago, you offered a seven-inch tablet called the Nexus 7. You priced it at a remarkably low $200. You admitted that you didn’t make any money on it, in hopes of selling more books, movies, music and TV shows

    ¶You priced the new Nexus 7 higher: $230 for the 16GB model. The 16GB iPad Mini has a larger screen, but it’s also $100 more. The value of the Nexus 7 looks even better next in the configurations with 32 gigabytes of storage ($270, versus $430 on the Mini) and, coming soon, LTE cellular Internet ($350, versus $560 on the Mini).

    ¶Meanwhile, you’ve improved the tablet in dozens of ways. You’ve added a (mediocre) camera on the back, although, bizarrely, you’ve moved the front camera way off-center. You added stereo speakers: they are fine, but not as strong or clear as the Kindle Fire’s. You threw in (very slow) wireless charging, meaning that you can set the thing down onto a compatible charging base without actually plugging in a cable.

    ¶You’ve made the thing slightly slimmer, slightly lighter (0.64 pounds) and slightly narrower — only 4.5 inches wide, which means that a large hand can hold the entire thing edge to edge and still have a free thumb to tap the screen.

    ¶And that screen — wowsers. It’s glorious, bright and sharp. You maintain, Google, that at 323 dots per inch, it’s the sharpest of any 7-inch tablet. I believe you’re right.

    ¶It’s too bad you made those design compromises, though. That nice pleather back is gone — on the new model, it’s just hard plastic with a slightly rubbery coating. The corners are sharper. And you made the margins on the short ends much bigger than on the long sides, making this long, skinny tablet look even longer and skinnier.

    ¶I’m so glad you focused on speed, Google. According to CNET’s benchmark testing, the new Nexus 7 was faster in most tests against the Mini and rival tablets from Samsung and Sony. Responses to touches on the screen are smooth and fluid. Battery life is around a day and a half of typical on-and-off use.

    ¶The operating system, Android 4.3 (which you still call Jelly Bean), has a few tiny tweaks and a couple of bigger improvements. First, parents can set up a children’s account so that children can access only apps that parents approve. (And it can restrict access to in-app purchases). Weirdly, though, parents can’t make the Settings app off-limits, so the truly rebellious offspring can still wreak some havoc.

    ¶Second, you added Bluetooth 4.0, which lets certain accessories — usually activity trackers like the Fitbit Flex — communicate wirelessly without draining the battery much.

    ¶Continued in article


    Chromecast --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromecast

    Streaming Television = Google's Chromecast + a hardware Dongle
    "Chromecast Review: Finally, an Easy Way to Watch the Web on TV," by Rachel Meltz, MIT's Technology Review, July 30, 2013 --- Click Here
    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/517656/chromecast-review-finally-an-easy-way-to-watch-the-web-on-tv/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130731

    Jensen Comment
    I have pretty good experience with the HDMI connection on my high-end Dell Laptop (called Studio) ---
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI

    My wireless connection to the HDMI plug is rather unreliable so I instead take my laptop close to the television set and use a hard wire connection. It works great.

    The problem is that lower-end cheaper laptops do not have the HDMI port. I think the Chromecast dongle only requires a USB port.

     


    "Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case for iPad: A Review," by Erin E. Templeton, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2013 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/belkin-ultimate-keyboard-case-for-ipad-a-review/48851?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


    "I Just Wore Google's Glasses For 2 Weeks And I'm Never Taking Them Off," by Robert Scoble, Business Insider, April 27, 2013 ---
    http://www.businessinsider.com/robert-scoble-i-just-wore-googles-glasses-for-2-weeks-2013-4

    This week I gave five speeches while wearing it.

    I passed through airports four times (two more in a couple of hours).
     

    I let hundreds of people try my Google Glass.

    I have barely taken it off since getting it other than to sleep.

    Here's my review after having Google Glass for two weeks:

    1. I will never live a day of my life from now on without it (or a competitor). It's that significant. 

    2. The success of this totally depends on price. Each audience I asked at the end of my presentations "who would buy this?" As the price got down to $200 literally every hand went up. At $500 a few hands went up. This was consistent, whether talking with students, or more mainstream, older audiences.
     

    3. Nearly everyone had an emotional outburst of "wow" or "amazing" or "that's crazy" or "stunning." 
     

    4. At NextWeb 50 people surrounded me and wouldn't let me leave until they had a chance at trying them. I haven't seen that kind of product angst at a conference for a while. This happened to me all week long, it is just crazy.
     

    5. Most of the privacy concerns I had before coming to Germany just didn't show up. I was shocked by how few negative reactions I got (only one, where an audience member said he wouldn't talk to me with them on). Funny, someone asked me to try them in a bathroom (I had them aimed up at that time and refused).
     

    6. There is a total generational gap that I found. The older people said they would use them, probably, but were far more skeptical, or, at minimum, less passionate about the fact that these are the future, than the 13-21-year-olds I met.

    So, let's cover the price, first of all. I bet that 
    +Larry Page is considering two price points: something around $500, which would be very profitable. Or $200, which is about what the bill of materials costs. When you tear apart the glasses, like someone else did (I posted that to my Flipboard "Glasshole" magazine) you see a bunch of parts that aren't expensive. This has been designed for mass production. In other words, millions of units. The only way Google will get there is to price them under $300.

    I wouldn't be shocked if Larry went very aggressive and priced them at $200. Why would Google do this? 

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology


    "Holiday Gadget Wish List 2012," by Terri Eyden, AccountingWeb, November 19, 2012 ---
    http://www.accountingweb.com/article/holiday-gadget-wish-list-2012/220246?source=technology

    Roku Streaming Stick
    This great item comes from Roku and is a new format for their streaming media device. Simply plug in the USB stick to the HDMI port of your Roku Ready TV, and the self-powered unit will allow access to numerous services. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Video (including prime video access) are all available, among hundreds of other apps for streaming movies, music, news content, games, and more. For the money, Roku's products give you more flexibility than the equivalent Apple TV line.
     
    Boxee TV
    Another new "cut-the-cable" addition in the streaming media category is the new version of the Boxee TV box, which for the first time offers a DVR function. This first-of-its-kind service is currently boasting unlimited online storage for recorded media from your antenna or cable. The service fee of $15 (currently discounted at $10) is comparable to other TiVo style services, but the unlimited storage will be a tempting offer for many users who would like to start cataloging their media online. It remains to be seen how this offer holds up and what limitations exist to file access.
     
    Kindle Paperwhite
    The most recent offering from Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite, is a great upgrade over the previous units. Eliminating one of the few downfalls of their previous e-readers, low-light reading, the new Paperwhite technology allows for low or no light use. This front-lit screen gives the reader the ability to read in complete darkness while maintaining the e-ink-enabled benefit of reading for long periods with limited eye strain. Granted, some users may not be prone to reading over long periods; this is a great product for readers who seek to get lost in a good read.
     
    iPad mini
    If that's not your preference, Apple's newest toy might suit you for a lower price than its previous tablets. Still not matching the price of the Kindle Fire HD (another new viable option in this category), the iPad mini takes a new shape to Apple's tablet line. Shrinking the 9.7 inch screen of previous iPads to 7.9 inches, Apple has answered a common request for a smaller version of their market-dominating line. Interestingly, the iPad mini is actually a smaller version of multiple generations of the iPad that combines the display quality and processor of the second gen, with the camera of the third/fourth gen iteration. As such, the retina display is missing, but the mini is much lighter and slimmer than previously available versions. Additionally, cellular versions are available, giving flexibility to users on the go.
     
    LG Tone (HBS-700) Wireless Stereo Headset
    Though not a new product or a new technology, the LG Tone (HBS-700) Wireless Stereo Headset delivers on an idea that many other brands seem unable to. A favorite around the Xcentric office, this would make an excellent gift for anyone looking for wireless flexibility for both calls and music. Seemingly unconventional, the chosen design circumvents common complaints with headsets of this kind. They will fit on anybody, are comfortable, provide the needed control functions, and are more durable than they seem at first glance. The sound quality while listening to music won't cut it for an audiophile, but is more than adequate for most users. Stereo ear buds for calling gives more sound isolation than the standard Bluetooth headset, and the mic quality seems to be on par with other headsets. For portable wireless listening on a larger budget, the Bose SoundLink® Bluetooth® Mobile
    Speaker II was released in September and is an excellent alternative.
     
    Chromebook
    The newly released Chromebook is another intriguing product available in time for the 2012 holidays. This third gen lighter/smaller version comes with some great features for a price point just above the Kindle Fire HD and lower than all Apple tablets. It remains to be seen if Google is creating a new category or if this line will fade away. However, the newest release might be worth a look for certain users. Primarily a browser-based system, the newest Chromebook does include HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Bluetooth, a webcam, and dual band Wi-Fi, while boasting 6.5 hours of battery, all in a slim, lightweight package. Though primarily based on using Google's services on the web, a Citrix plug-in is available to access more complete Cloud services. I'd want to try this out to before banking on it, but for the price tag, Google is clearly trying to break into this market.
     
    Other Mentions
    Here are a few other great gift ideas:

    "Top 10 Epic Tech-Gadget Failures," by Robyn Tippins, ReadWriteWeb, December 14, 2012 ---
    http://readwrite.com/2012/12/14/top-10-epic-tech-gadget-failures 

    1. Minidisc

    2. Highway Hi-Fi

    3. DivX

    4. Web TV

    5. The Audrey Internet Appliance

    6. Palm Foleo

    7. Panasonic Jungle

    8. Solar Bath Apparatus

    9. Flobee

    10. Walking Toaster (The Aristocrat of Toasters, The Toast-O-Lator)


    Ubiquitous computing --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubiquitous_computing

    "PC makers hope that new ways of interacting with computers will boost sales"  PC makers hope that new ways of interacting with computers will boost sales," by Tom Simonite. MIT's Technology Review, January 10, 2013 --- Click Here
    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509751/pc-makers-bet-on-gaze-gesture-voice-and-touch/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130111

    "Touch Screens that Curve, Bend, and Even Touch Back:  New technology could let the screens on future devices wrap around corners, act like paper, and sense touch on the rear as well as the front," by Tom Simonite, MIT's Technology Review, January 11, 2013 --- Click Here
    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509761/touch-screens-that-curve-bend-and-even-touch-back/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130111

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology

     


    "A Handheld Projector You Might Actually Want  With built-in Roku, it's like a portable internet TV," by David Zax, MIT's Technology Review, October 11, 2012 --- Click Here
    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/429596/a-handheld-projector-you-might-actually-want/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121012

    Here’s something you probably didn’t know you wanted. 3M has come up with a handheld projector--or “picoprojector”--with a Roku Streaming Stick built in. That means that the $300 device can function as something of a portable TV, with access to Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, and the like.

    BGR was one of the first to spot 3M’s press release on the topic a few days back. In it, 3M touted a projector “small enough to fit in your hand, yet able to project an image up to 120 inches,” one that was “perfect for family movie nights, sleepovers and evening backyard parties,” with it’s (claimed) two-hour-forty-five-minute battery life. 3M also called the device “first-of-its-kind,” promising a shipping date by October 22. (It can be preordered here, for now with a promo offering a $20 credit from Amazon Instant Video.)

    The good people of CNET have already gone hands-on with the device, which they grant 3.5 stars out of 5: “very good.” They call it the first mini-projector with “some mainstream appeal.” They also dub it a “well-thought-out gadget” and especially recommend what seems to me the delightful experience of projecting video onto the ceiling while in bed. CNET’s principal quarrels are that the resolution is merely DVD-level, and that the device only puts out 60 lumens. You’ll need to be in a pitch black room with the whitest of walls if you really want to get up to that 120-inch screen. (Here, a deep dive on their image test data.) The biggest problem CNET identified is that the battery life, in practice, appeared to actually be closer to one hour and forty-five minutes--barely enough for a movie.

    Technology Review has written a fair amount on handheld projectors in the past. For more info on the project of integrating them with smartphones, see The Galaxy Beam: 15 Lumens and a Lot of Cheese,” andIn Quest for Smartphone Projectors, a Focus on the Lens.” And for a look at the research that went into the narrowest pocket projector out there--a mere six millimeters thick--check out Duncan Graham-Rowe’s article, “An Even Smaller Pocket Projector.”

    The 3M projector isn’t cheap, but I like the sentiment at the end of this video: “It’s time to share the big screen together.” In an era in which we would sooner cluster around an iPhone with friends to share a tiny YouTube video than head out to the Cineplex for some old-fashioned movie magic, this picoprojector recaptures some of the cinematic experience in a device not so much larger than the gadget in your pocket.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


    Question
    If you wanted to be like my hero David Pogue, what would you buy?

    "What Pogue Actually Bought," by David Pogue, The New York Times, June 8, 2012 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/what-pogue-actually-bought/

    I get plenty of reader e-mail, and if I had to graph the question categories, “What should I buy?” would be the tallest bar by far.

    If you could hold your finger down on that bar to explode it into sub-bars, “What do you own?” would be a pretty tall one. Imagine, in other words, if your job let you test and try every single brand of camera, tablet, phone, laptop and GPS, which would you buy for you and your own family?

    That’s why, every couple of years, I write the following post: What Pogue Actually Bought. Hope it’s useful to somebody.

    Main computer. A 13-inch MacBook Pro. I also have a Windows desktop and laptop, and there’s an iMac in the kitchen for the kids, but the laptop is my main machine.

    I’d love to get a MacBook Air, which is just as fast and far lighter and thinner. My problem is storage. The Air uses a chunk of memory, a solid-state drive (SSD) as its hard drive, rather than a physical, spinning disk. That’s great. Fewer moving parts, faster start-up, better battery life. But SSD’s are very expensive, and come in small capacities. The biggest one you can get in an Air is 256 gigabytes, compared with 750 gigs on the traditional hard drive on a MacBook Pro. I traffic in photos and videos; I’d run out of space quickly on a 256-gig drive.

    I’ve been experimenting with other solutions: keeping my main photo and video collections at home on an external drive, for example, and having only the latest on my laptop. For now, though, I’m hauling around two extra pounds and a DVD drive I never use.

    Camera. I bought the amazing Canon S100, a tiny pocket camera with the biggest sensor on the market. I wrote about my reasons here. But in two weeks, I’ll be switching my allegiance. You cannot believe what’s about to come down the photographic pike. Trust me: If you’re in the market for a small camera with astonishing photographic results, hold off for a few weeks.

    I also have a Nikon D80 with three lenses, an SLR that’s showing its age. It still takes fantastic pictures, but I ache for better speed and to be able to capture video. Truth is, I use it less and less in the age of big-sensor, pocketable cameras. But I’m thinking of replacing it one of these days with a D5100, which is just about at my prosumery level.

    Phone. I have an iPhone 4S. I’m constantly looking at and testing Android phones, which are just getting better and better  — the imminent Samsung Galaxy S III looks positively juicy — but for now, features like Siri and the whole iCloud thing are keeping me in the Apple camp.

    It’s a Verizon phone. As an East Coaster, my fondness for the Verizon network’s ubiquity led me to overcome my cynicism regarding Verizon, the company.

    Phone case. None. I know I’m tempting fate, but the Gorilla glass hasn’t yet let me down, and if you’re going to buy a phone for its slimness and beauty, why bury it in plastic?

    GPS. We own two cars: a Honda Fit and a Toyota Prius V. They’re absolutely fantastic cars; I’m so proud of myself for choosing them. They both have built-in GPS.

    In general, the Honda’s GPS is light-years better than the Toyota’s. For one thing, it doesn’t lock you out when the car is in motion, so the passenger can program in your address while you drive. For another thing, it’s simply better designed. The Prius’s GPS weirdly lists my town as being in “NY Metro Region” instead of Connecticut, for example.

    But the Prius’s built-in GPS has a perk that, let’s hope, will soon come to all cars: the ability to speak your destination address instead of painstakingly tapping it in on the touchscreen. And you can do it while you’re driving. “200 West Hartley Extension, New Rochelle, New York.” Bingo: you’re on your way. I’ve waited years for this.

    Software. My family relies upon BusyCal for our calendar, which is just about one of the best programs I’ve ever used for anything. Fast, crashproof, simple, attractive, and it speaks to all the online calendars like Google’s and iCloud’s.

    The rest of my life is spent in Mail, Word, Excel, Photoshop, FileMaker and this ancient freeform database cards program called iData. My notes, lists, brainstorms, phone numbers, driving directions, recipes, Christmas gift ideas and other thoughts have been happily trapped in that program and its predecessors for 20 years.

    I also use TextExpander, which expands typed abbreviations for better speed and accuracy, and a little free macro program called Spark, which lets me open various programs and perform other functions with keystrokes of my choosing. And Dropbox. Wow, I love Dropbox, although I’ve added SkyDrive (7 free gigabytes instead of 2) to my desktop, too.

    Online. Almost every day, I stop in to Twitter (I’m @pogue) to post a link to my latest column, or, if I don’t have one, to post a joke of the day. I usually manage a Facebook visit, too, to see what’s going on in my social circle.

    What else is on my bookmarks bar? NYTimes.com, Techmeme, Google Voice, my kids’ school homework assignments site, my blog and the local commuter train schedule site.

    I’ve just moved my online photo galleries to SmugMug, for the reasons I wrote about in the Times today. I’m really excited; I feel as though MobileMe’s demise, in this regard, was good for me.

    Noise-canceling headphones. In January, I reviewed the latest noise-canceling headphones — a must gadget for anyone who’s a passenger in planes, trains or automobiles. I wound up buying my favorite of the lot: the AKG K495 NC. Expensive, but holy fuselage, did I make the right call. These things pack down smaller than the rivals, sit so much more comfortably on the ears (six-hour flight? no problem), and block sound so much more effectively.

    Continued in article

    Note that there are many interesting comments to David's post.

    "Ingenious New Earbuds From Arriva," by David Pogue, The New York Times, May 31, 2012 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/ingenious-new-earbuds-from-arriva/

    "A New G-Shock Watch Awaits a New Bluetooth," by David Pogue, The New York Times, January 24, 2012 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/a-new-g-shock-watch-awaits-a-new-bluetooth/

    "Videotape to DVD, Made Easy," by David Pogue, The New York Times, January 27, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/27/technology/circuits/27stat.html?oref=login 

    "Dropbox Will Simplify Your Life," by David Pogue, The New York Times, October 20, 2011 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/dropbox-will-simplify-your-life/

    "Making Sense of All the New Laptop Flavors," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012
    http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323713104578131092136289494.html

    "Mossberg’s Annual Holiday Laptop Buyers’ Guide (Video)," The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012
    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/11/23/mossbergs-annual-holiday-laptop-buyers-guide/?mod=WSJBlog&mod=


    "Google Glass and the Future of Technology," by David A. Pogue, The New York Times, September 13, 2012 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/google-glass-and-the-future-of-technology/

    New gadgets — I mean whole new gadget categories — don’t come along very often. The iPhone was one recent example. You could argue that the iPad was another. But if there’s anything at all as different and bold on the horizon, surely it’s Google Glass.

    That, of course, is Google’s prototype of a device you wear on your face. Google doesn’t like the term “glasses,” because there aren’t any lenses. (The Glass team, part of Google’s experimental labs, also doesn’t like terms like “augmented reality” or “wearable computer,” which both have certain baggage.)

    ¶Instead, Glass looks like only the headband of a pair of glasses — the part that hooks on your ears and lies along your eyebrow line — with a small, transparent block positioned above and to the right of your right eye. That, of course, is a screen, and the Google Glass is actually a fairly full-blown computer. Or maybe like a smartphone that you never have to take out of your pocket.

    ¶This idea got a lot of people excited when Nick Bilton of The New York Times broke the story of the glasses in February. Google first demonstrated it April in a video. In May, at Google’s I/O conference, Glass got some more play as attendees watched a live video feed from the Glass as a sky diver leapt from a plane and parachuted onto the roof of the conference building. But so far, very few non-Googlers have been allowed to try them on.

    ¶Last week, I got a chance to put one on. I’m hosting a PBS series called “Nova ScienceNow” (it premieres Oct. 10), and one of the episodes is about the future of tech. Of course, projecting what’s yet to come in consumer tech is nearly impossible, but Google Glass seemed like a perfect example of a breakthrough on the verge. So last week the Nova crew and I met with Babak Parviz, head of the Glass project, to discuss and try out the prototypes.

    ¶Now, Google emphasized — and so do I — that Google Glass is still at a very, very early stage. Lots of factors still haven’t been finalized, including what Glass will do, what the interface will look like, how it will work, and so on. Google doesn’t want to get the public excited about some feature that may not materialize in the final version. (At the moment, Google is planning to offer the prototypes to developers next year — for $1,500 — in anticipation of selling Glass to the public in, perhaps, 2014.)

    ¶When you actually handle these things, you can’t believe how little they weigh. Less than a pair of sunglasses, in my estimation. Glass is an absolutely astonishing feat of miniaturization and integration.

    ¶Inside the right earpiece — that is, the horizontal support that goes over your ear — Google has packed memory, a processor, a camera, speaker and microphone, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a battery. All inside the earpiece.

    ¶Google has said that eventually, Glass will have a cellular radio, so it can get online; at this point, it hooks up wirelessly with your phone for an online connection. And the mind-blowing thing is, this slim thing is the prototype. It’s only going to get smaller in future generations. “This is the bulkiest version of Glass we’ll ever make,” Babak told me.

    ¶The biggest triumph — and to me, the biggest surprise — is that the tiny screen is completely invisible when you’re talking or driving or reading. You just forget about it completely. There’s nothing at all between your eyes and whatever, or whomever, you’re looking at.

    ¶And yet when you do focus on the screen, shifting your gaze up and to the right, that tiny half-inch display is surprisingly immersive. It’s as though you’re looking at a big laptop screen or something.

    ¶(Even though I usually need reading glasses for close-up material, this very close-up display seemed to float far enough away that I didn’t need them. Because, yeah — wearing glasses under Glass might look weird.)

    ¶The hardware breakthrough, in other words, is there. Google is proceeding carefully to make sure it gets the rest of it as right as possible on the first try.

    ¶But the potential is already amazing. Mr. Pariz stressed that Glass is designed for two primary purposes — sharing and instant access to information — hands-free, without having to pull anything out of your pocket.

    ¶You can control the software by swiping a finger on that right earpiece in different directions; it’s a touchpad. Your swipes could guide you through simple menus. In various presentations, Google has proposed icons for things like taking a picture, recording video, making a phone call, navigating on Google Maps, checking your calendar and so on. A tap selects the option you want.

    ¶In recent demonstrations, Google has also shown that you can use speech recognition to control Glass. You say “O.K., Glass” to call up the menu.

    ¶To illustrate how Glass might change the game for sharing your life with others, I tried a demo in which a photo appeared — a jungly scene with a wooden footbridge just in front of me. The theme from “Jurassic Park” played crisply in my right ear. (Cute, real cute.)

    Continued in article


    "Amazon Heats Up Gadget Wars," by Greg Bensinger, The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2012 ---
    http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444914904577623690307576820.html?mg=reno64-wsj

    Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +0.83% is ratcheting up pricing pressure in the gadget wars with an advertising-supported tablet that will be priced lower than similar models, according to people involved in the discussions.

    The tablet will be part of a parade of new devices expected to hit the market with hopes of appealing to consumers in a tight economy during the crucial holiday season.

    On Wednesday, Nokia Corp. NOK1V.HE +1.07% is set to give a peek at the first line of smartphones powered by Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT +1.65% new Windows 8 operating system in New York. Across town that day, Motorola Mobility is expected to unveil its first major phone since it was acquired by Google Inc. GOOG +0.50%

    And Amazon on Thursday is holding a media event in Santa Monica, Calif., where it is expected to introduce a new version of its Kindle Fire tablet.

    Those companies are trying to get ahead of rival Apple Inc., AAPL +0.21% which on Sept. 12 is expected to unveil a new iPhone.

    Apple has also been working with suppliers on a smaller version of its iPad tablet that will be similar in size to the current Kindle Fire, people familiar with the matter have said, while Microsoft said it would start selling its new Surface tablet in the coming months.

    "You've got a flood of competitors in tablets," said Jeff Kagan, an independent analyst. "Marketers have to figure out how to differentiate theirs, whether on price or capabilities. That's probably going to be a few years before we get there."

    The cheaper, ad-supported offering from Amazon, along with other upcoming gadgets from electronics makers, could put pressure on Apple, which has become the world's most valuable company in part by pricing its devices at a premium.

    An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Amazon initially got into the device market in 2007, when it launched a line of Kindle e-readers.

    The Seattle company has since dropped the price of its Kindle e-reader significantly. The device originally was priced at $399, and soon dropped to $359, then fell to $299 for a later version.

    Last year, Amazon launched a slate of Kindle e-readers that were priced between $109 and $189, with models offered for $30 to $50 less to readers willing to have advertisements appear on screen savers and at the bottom of certain screens.

    In the tablet arena, Amazon dove in last November when it released its $199 Kindle Fire. The seven-inch-screen device is priced aggressively compared with Apple's iPad, which starts at $499.

    On Thursday, Amazon said it had sold out of the Kindle Fire, while promising "an exciting road map ahead."

    It is unclear how well Amazon's Kindle Fire has sold. The company doesn't disclose sales.

    Amazon's new ad-supported tablet would come at a discount to tablets without the advertising subsidy, said the people involved in the product discussions. Exact pricing and which advertisers are involved is unclear.

    The new tablet would display an ad after the user "wakes" the gadget, said one person briefed on the matter.

    Amazon has discussed how some versions of the new tablet would connect to the Internet only through Wi-Fi networks, said the person briefed on the product.

    Additionally, Amazon is testing its own smartphone to take on Apple's iPhone and could release it as soon as the end of this year, officials at Amazon's parts providers who declined to be named said in July.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology


    "Ingenious New Earbuds From Arriva," by David Pogue, The New York Times, May 31, 2012 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/ingenious-new-earbuds-from-arriva/

    . . .

    Well, Arriva is back.

    Here again are the bendable, back-of-the-head earbuds. Here again are the big, finger-friendly volume and play/pause buttons at the nape of your neck. The Arriva Leo, as it’s called, however, doesn’t need an iPod Shuffle. Instead, it has Bluetooth. So it plays the music from an iPhone, iPod Touch, Android phone, BlackBerry, iPad, laptop or anything else with Bluetooth.

    The idea now is that you can keep the phone in your pocket while you run or work out. It transmits your music to the earbuds on this comfortable, nearly weightless headband while you work, jog or run.

    As a newly minted runner — I’ve been at it for only a month — I’m a strong believer in the concept of listening to music or podcasts while running. (Yes, yes, I know this is not exactly a world-shaking observation.)

    But I had two problems with the standard iPhone earbuds cord. First, I have weirdly shaped ears that can’t hold earbuds in place. I’m deformed; I’m missing the antitragus. Second, that cord is a hassle when you’re running, and even when you’re not. So I figured that the Leo would be the perfect solution to both problems.

    And it is.

    During my first run with these things, they kept slipping out of my ear sockets. I spent some time on the company’s fairly amateurish Web site, though, and found videos that explain how to customize them. The entire headband is made of bendable metal with a couple of squiggles along the way, which you can pinch to tighten or pull apart to enlarge. You can also bend the stalks that have the actual earbuds on them.

    By turning those stalks almost 90 degrees, forcing the earbuds straight into my ears, I managed to sculpt the Leos into a shape that doesn’t budge during runs.

    Unfortunately, I find myself having to repeat these bendy tweaks before every run. That’s about the only time you can use “hassle” and “Leo” in the same sentence.

    The sound is very good; the Leos are sweatproof and splashproof; they play for five hours on a charge; and they let you take phone calls, too. When you tap the power button behind your head, you answer the call, which comes in on only the right earbud. I was about to object to the arrangement, when it occurred to me that you use your regular cellphone only on one ear, too! This one-ear calling thing is a drawback only when compared with regular Android or Apple earbuds, which bring the call to both ears.

    By learning which of the three big buttons do what functions when you tap or hold them, you can skip tracks, adjust volume and even operate Siri voice control (“play some Beatles”).

    The Leos come with a pocket carrying case and a set of “Acoustibuds,” silicone snap-on cones for earbuds that go deeper into your ear. There are other Bluetooth earphones, of course, but I haven’t found any others that have both Bluetooth and a behind-your-head design, instead of over it. That style means you can wear them with glasses, sunglasses, helmets or hats — and even if you’re wearing nothing at all on your head, it doesn’t mess up your hair. Note to spies or people in boring meetings: If you have long hair, this design means that you can even listen to music without anybody realizing it.

    The Leos cost $75, and I’m happy to say that they continue the old Arriva’s tradition of cleverness and smart design.


    A Mobile Phone and Tablet in One Device
    "Mobile Device That's Better for a Jotter Than a Talker," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2012 ---
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204792404577225230450572346.html

    Lots of folks carry a smartphone, and, at least some of the time, tote a second mobile device—an iPad or other tablet. But some people might prefer a product that combines the two. Similarly, many have come to love the finger-controlled interface popularized by Apple, but might prefer at times to use a stylus, a common tool in the pre-iPhone days.

    Samsung is hoping to offer all of the above. On Sunday, it's introducing to the U.S. a phone-tablet hybrid with a large 5.3-inch screen that uses a stylus as well as your fingers. It's called the Galaxy Note and costs $300 with a two-year AT&T contract.

    While the Note could be mistaken for a small tablet, Samsung insists it's a phone that merely offers some of the roominess of a tablet. And in fact, it runs the last purely phone-oriented version of Google's Android operating system, called Gingerbread. This product positioning may be due to bad memories of another company's effort to sell such a 'tweener: Dell's 5-inch Streak, which was marketed as a tablet that could make calls and failed miserably in 2010.

    After testing the Galaxy Note, I have decidedly mixed feelings about it. It isn't a very practical phone and, as a tablet, it can't match the experience of the iPad, which is more spacious and has over 150,000 apps designed for it. However, I can see where some folks might consider the 5-inch screen a good trade-off for much better portability than other tablets, and Samsung has done some very interesting work in making the stylus, which is stored in a slot on the device, useful.

    As a mobile phone, the Galaxy Note is positively gargantuan. It's almost 6 inches long and over 3 inches wide. When you hold it up to your ear, it pretty much covers the entire side of your face. You look like you're talking into a piece of toast.

    The Note is so big, an iPhone can almost fit within its display. And it dwarfs even the more-bloated crop of recent Android phones, like Samsung's own Galaxy S II series, whose screen can be as large as 4.5 inches. And while it can fit into a large pocket or handbag, the Note isn't going to slip unobtrusively into your jeans or a small purse. It weighs 6.28 ounces, nearly 30% more than the iPhone and nearly 50% more than some Galaxy S II models.

    For people who use Bluetooth earpieces all the time, or who primarily use the speakerphone function, the Note's size may not be a problem. But for the rest, the Note is just too large to go without a more reasonably sized phone, which defeats the one-device argument.

    Voice quality in normal use was good. But, in my limited tests of its Bluetooth voice capabilities, the caller on the other end felt the Note sounded significantly worse than the iPhone or other Android models I've tested.

    However, as a data device, I liked the Note a lot. Its screen sports a high resolution that made photos, videos and text look very good. It uses AT&T's high-speed LTE data network, where available, and in my tests it was very fast. The larger screen enabled more of a Web page to be visible without scrolling than on typical phones.

    Like all Android devices, it has fewer, and, in my opinion, generally lower-quality third-party apps than the iPhone. But those I tried worked well. The Note was consistently speedy and responsive.

    The 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera both did a good job. Photos and videos I shot from the rear camera were excellent. But I found the sheer size of the Note undercuts its convenience as a camera and there's no dedicated camera button or quick way to launch the camera when the screen is locked, as there is on some other phones.

    In moderate mixed use, where I played music and videos, surfed the Web, texted, used email constantly and took pictures, the Note's battery lasted more than a full day between charges.

    Unlike Apple, Samsung allowed AT&T to load a bunch of its own apps you might not want on the Note, like a $10 to $15 a month program for locating family members via cellphone GPS. A particularly egregious example is a Yellow Pages app that's jammed into the very top of your contact list.

    Another drawback: While other Android phones I've tested can be plugged into either a PC or a Mac so you can manually transfer files onto them, I couldn't get the Note to do this with either of two Macs I tested with it. It did work with Windows machines.

    The stylus is a big plus, at least for users who like to jot down notes, create sketches or annotate documents in a way that's much more precise than using a fingertip. Even on the iPad, which wasn't designed for a stylus, third-party styli have become quietly popular, but Samsung has taken the idea much further.

    The Note's stylus, called the S Pen, can be used instead of a finger to launch and operate apps. But that isn't its main purpose. It's meant to work closely with a special app called S Memo that allows you to take notes or make sketches. These can be saved or shared via email or text messaging, or uploaded to sites like Facebook. They can include photos or typed text.

    The software allows the stylus to draw in different colors and widths and to emulate a brush or marker.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology


    "Ingenious New Earbuds From Arriva," by David Pogue, The New York Times, May 31, 2012 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/ingenious-new-earbuds-from-arriva/

    . . .

    Well, Arriva is back.

    Here again are the bendable, back-of-the-head earbuds. Here again are the big, finger-friendly volume and play/pause buttons at the nape of your neck. The Arriva Leo, as it’s called, however, doesn’t need an iPod Shuffle. Instead, it has Bluetooth. So it plays the music from an iPhone, iPod Touch, Android phone, BlackBerry, iPad, laptop or anything else with Bluetooth.

    The idea now is that you can keep the phone in your pocket while you run or work out. It transmits your music to the earbuds on this comfortable, nearly weightless headband while you work, jog or run.

    As a newly minted runner — I’ve been at it for only a month — I’m a strong believer in the concept of listening to music or podcasts while running. (Yes, yes, I know this is not exactly a world-shaking observation.)

    But I had two problems with the standard iPhone earbuds cord. First, I have weirdly shaped ears that can’t hold earbuds in place. I’m deformed; I’m missing the antitragus. Second, that cord is a hassle when you’re running, and even when you’re not. So I figured that the Leo would be the perfect solution to both problems.

    And it is.

    During my first run with these things, they kept slipping out of my ear sockets. I spent some time on the company’s fairly amateurish Web site, though, and found videos that explain how to customize them. The entire headband is made of bendable metal with a couple of squiggles along the way, which you can pinch to tighten or pull apart to enlarge. You can also bend the stalks that have the actual earbuds on them.

    By turning those stalks almost 90 degrees, forcing the earbuds straight into my ears, I managed to sculpt the Leos into a shape that doesn’t budge during runs.

    Unfortunately, I find myself having to repeat these bendy tweaks before every run. That’s about the only time you can use “hassle” and “Leo” in the same sentence.

    The sound is very good; the Leos are sweatproof and splashproof; they play for five hours on a charge; and they let you take phone calls, too. When you tap the power button behind your head, you answer the call, which comes in on only the right earbud. I was about to object to the arrangement, when it occurred to me that you use your regular cellphone only on one ear, too! This one-ear calling thing is a drawback only when compared with regular Android or Apple earbuds, which bring the call to both ears.

    By learning which of the three big buttons do what functions when you tap or hold them, you can skip tracks, adjust volume and even operate Siri voice control (“play some Beatles”).

    The Leos come with a pocket carrying case and a set of “Acoustibuds,” silicone snap-on cones for earbuds that go deeper into your ear. There are other Bluetooth earphones, of course, but I haven’t found any others that have both Bluetooth and a behind-your-head design, instead of over it. That style means you can wear them with glasses, sunglasses, helmets or hats — and even if you’re wearing nothing at all on your head, it doesn’t mess up your hair. Note to spies or people in boring meetings: If you have long hair, this design means that you can even listen to music without anybody realizing it.

    The Leos cost $75, and I’m happy to say that they continue the old Arriva’s tradition of cleverness and smart design.


    Most readers on the AECM may not even remember Dick Tracy's cool wrist watch ---
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Tracy

    "A New G-Shock Watch Awaits a New Bluetooth," by David Pogue, The New York Times, January 24, 2012 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/a-new-g-shock-watch-awaits-a-new-bluetooth/

    As one Las Vegas cab driver told me, the International Consumer Electronics Show held earlier this month seems to be in an economic bubble all its own. “The big fashion industry convention show was down, from 80,000 attendees to 40,000,” he said. “But C.E.S. didn’t seem to get the e-mail that we’re in an economic slump.”

    And sure enough, those 37 football fields’ worth of exhibit space packed in mobs of exhibitors and attendees—and a lot of great ideas.

    One of the best came from Casio, whose representatives conducted 20-minute demonstrations of its new G-Shock GB6900 wristwatch.

    The central conceit is that it communicates with your phone, making all kinds of cool features possible. As I wrote in my column on C.E.S.:

    “Your watch can vibrate when you get a call, text or e-mail and show the person’s name, even if your phone is in your purse or briefcase. The G-Shock can help you find a phone lost in your sofa by making it chirp loudly. It can also beep at you if you leave the phone behind in, say, a restaurant. Only two obscure phones work with this watch so far — but when more phones become compatible, watch out.”

    This arrangement makes a huge amount of sense. How many times have you complained that you missed a call because you didn’t feel the phone’s feeble vibrating in your pocket? Now you won’t be able to miss it; the vibration takes place right on your wrist. (You tap twice on the watch’s face to send the call to voice mail.)

    You know how cellphones set themselves automatically as you travel from time zone to time zone, courtesy of the cellular network? Well, now your watch can set itself, too, since it’s talking wirelessly with your phone. Clever!

    So is the song-title feature, which displays the name of whatever song your phone is playing right now.

    Casio also demonstrated an “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” app: when you collapse on the kitchen floor, far from a phone, you can press a button on the G-Shock to place a 911 call through your cellphone, wherever it may be in the house.

    Finally, I loved the automatic login/logout feature, a software concept in which your PC unlocks your account when you (wearing your watch) are nearby, and locks it when you wander away for coffee or a meeting. No more passwords!

    I found all of these ideas really ingenious — but I was sad to find out that you can’t actually buy or use this watch yet. It uses a new, low-power Bluetooth chip called Bluetooth Smart (or Bluetooth 4.0), which will mean great things for gadget lovers who currently associate Bluetooth with battery drain. But the watch doesn’t work unless your phone also has Bluetooth 4.0 — and right now, only a couple of them do.

    Continued in article


    "ProfHacker 2011 Holiday Gift Guide," by Mark Sample, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 8, 2011 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/profhacker-2011-holiday-gift-guide/37610?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    2012 Happiness Buttons (beautiful tech futures slide show) --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/TechFutures.pps

    With a bit of sarcasm
    "Yes, You Need More Gadgets," by Michael Schrage, The Harvard Business Review Blog, October 20, 2011 --- Click Here
    http://blogs.hbr.org/schrage/2011/10/yes-you-need-more-gadgets.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

    Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price
    You might want to examine the NYT feature while it is still free --- http://nyti.ms/9EegB2

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
    See below


    "The 11 Coolest Gadgets From CES 2012," by Steve Kovach, Open Forum, January 19, 2012 ---
    http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-11-coolest-gadgets-we-saw-at-ces-this-year?extlink=em-openf-SBdaily


    With a bit of sarcasm
    "Yes, You Need More Gadgets," by Michael Schrage, The Harvard Business Review Blog, October 20, 2011 --- Click Here
    http://blogs.hbr.org/schrage/2011/10/yes-you-need-more-gadgets.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

    Everyone heard the rising panic in her voice. The irritating chatterbox nattering away on her cell phone while in line to board our flight suddenly realized that her boarding pass was — surprise! — in the Smartphone she was talking on. She'd have to disconnect the call in order to wave her device before the optical reader. The impatient queue behind her burst into laughter, smirks and chortles as her call abruptly ended. I'm not ashamed to say I was among them.

    The (brief) era of single and serial mobile devices is over. The age of multiple and parallel devices has begun. An impromptu survey of CIOs revealed that the typical executive already has roughly three devices connected to the enterprise network. Our traveling companion should have known better. She could have continued irritating everyone as she boarded if only she'd remembered to put her boarding pass on her other iPhone, Android, Kindle, iPad or latest tablet. As Smartphones become significantly smarter — Siri? Watson? Is that you? — the combined cognitive and coordinative challenge of juggling three or four devices becomes more like supervising a small team than managing a personal assistant.

    Treating phones, tablets, BlackBerries and laptops as distinct technical entities is pragmatically anachronistic. In the twinkling of fewer than two Moore's Law generations, the central personal productivity question has shifted from, "How do I get more value from my mobile device?" to "How should I get more value from my device ensemble?"

    The notion that you might need a Smartphone to manage your Smartphones may seem mildly funny and ironic. The simpler reality is that smart ensembles of smarter devices require smarter networking. Syncing — simply making sure your devices have the same up-to-date data — is the sterile path to convergence. What you need to do is both more demanding and more rewarding. Pay attention. Pay attention to those moments when you wish you had another phone. Observe seatmates who aren't merely multitasking but multi-device multitasking. Who is chatting on their phone while retrieving email on an iPad while highlighting an HBR article on their Kindle? Then ask yourself: are they doing this because they're inefficient? Or because this improvised arrangement makes them more efficient?

    Utilizing two or three devices doesn't inherently make you two or three times more effective. Diminishing returns exist. But there are frequently times when having two or three devices working with, and for, you concurrently can make you an order of magnitude more productive. For example, the ability to have your phone conduct searches on your tablet and allow you to compare competing results sent by a colleague as you virtually chat with and text each other could turn a task that takes a typical day into one requiring less than an hour. It's not the total bandwidth that matters; it's how that bandwidth is split up and shared.

    Productivity/creativity/effectiveness breakthroughs will increasingly come not from greater data sharing between devices but enabling devices to collectively offer integrated user experiences. A single tablet or phone is — Microsoft should excuse the expression — a window or a lens. But three or four devices becomes a productivity "cockpit" that allows you to have multiple views. In other words, your phone will "know" to put the boarding pass on your tablet if you're on the phone at boarding time. Your two tablets will "know" to display the synchronized "bird's eye" and "walkthrough" views of a site you're planning to visit. Siri will "know" to send the Facebook and Flickr imagery to your tablet — and the reference materials to your Kindle — of the two couples you and your spouse are supposed to meet at a party in an hour. Every mobile device will have a "stick shaker" capability to alert their user that "must see/must respond" information must be accessed.

    Continued in article

    Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price
    You might want to examine the NYT feature while it is still free --- http://nyti.ms/9EegB2

    "Hooked on Gadgets and Happy About It," by Alexandra Samuel, Harvard Business Review Blog, June 8, 2010 --- Click Here
    http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/06/hooked_on_gadgets_and_happy_ab.html?cm_mmc=npv-_-DAILY_ALERT-_-AWEBER-_-DATE


    "The 10 Biggest Web News Stories of 2011," by John Paul Titlow, ReadWriteWeb, December 23, 2011 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_10_biggest_web_news_stories_of_2011.php

    "Top 10 Culture-Tech Stories of 2011," ReadWriteWeb, December 19, 2011 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/top_10_culture-tech_stories_of_2011.php

    "The Top 10 tech trends for 2012," by Pete Cashmore, CNN, December 19, 2011 ---
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/19/tech/innovation/top-tech-trends-2012/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

    "52 Cool Facts About Social Media," http://dannybrown.me/2010/07/03/cool-facts-about-social-media/
    Thank you David Albrecht for the heads up on this link

    NPR's list of Best Books in 2011 ---
    http://www.npr.org/series/142590674/best-books-of-2011

    The Year's Weirdest News Stories ---
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheat-sheets/2011/12/23/strangest-cheats-of-the-year.html

    Wow, this is an Amazon-centric list
    "8 Ed Tech Predictions for 2012," by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, December 22. 2011 ---
    http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/8-ed-tech-predictions-2012

    1. Tuition and Campaigns:  The cost of higher ed will become a major campaign issue in 2012.  Candidates will have competing diagnoses for the issue, and competing plans to make higher ed both more affordable and more available. Educational technology and blended/online learning will receive lots of attention.  

    2. For-Profits and Open Education: The (welcome) surprise of 2012 will be an existing for-profit higher ed provider making an important and significant contribution to the open education movement. For-profits will step up to open learning for purely practical and self-interested reasons, namely the need to improve brand positioning and status, but this will not matter as all lifelong learners will benefit.

    3. Kindle Subscription Model: Amazon will surprise the doubters and finally introduce an "all-you-can-read" KIndle subscription model.  The price point will be high enough ($1 dollar a day) to exclude all but the most dedicated biblioholics, but the program will be way more successful (in terms of people signed up and Kindle devices sold) than Amazon could predict.

    4. Media Management and Lecture Capture Tie-Up:  We will see a merger between some lecture capture company (Echo360, Panopto, MediaSite, Tegrity) and some media management player (Kaltura, Ensemble, ShareStream). This tie-up might be a merger, but more likely will be the result of a purchase by a larger company (publishing or tech) or an investment from a private equity group.   

    5.  A LMS Data Loss Event: Someplace, somewhere, something very bad will occur. This will be the loss of a significant number of courses with the associated course data -- and these courses will not be retrievable. This event will accelerate the adoption of cloud-based, LMS-as-a-service models, as local LMS installs are at higher risk than industrial grade distributed LMS/database cloud services.

    6. China Investment:  A Chinese company (backed by the state) will make a major investment in a U.S. ed tech company and/or a for-profit EDU provider. The Chinese higher education market is currently huge but poor, in the future it will be both bigger and richer. China will not be able to build enough campus-based universities to meet demand, and will need to find methods to quickly scale postsecondary blended and online higher ed. These will be strategic investments on the part of China.

    7. Academic Library / Amazon Breakthrough: 2012 will be the year that academic librarians and Amazon finally enter into a productive relationship. Amazon will figure out that today's college students are tomorrow's e-book buyers, and will finally understand that the academic library is an incredible resource and partner.

    8.  Amazon Purchases: Amazon will get into the digital textbook and digital coursepack market in a big way with a major purchase (XanEdu or Study.net or Atavist or Inkling or some other). My money is on Amazon also buying Netflix or Hulu, solidifying its position as the great content aggregator and distributor of the early 21st century.

    Wow, this is an Amazon-centric list
    .

     

    A Multiple Choice Test
    "The Year in Review:  Test your recall of 2011 finance trends," CFO.com, December 1, 2011 ---
    http://www3.cfo.com/article/2011/12/magazine_finance-news-2011

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


    Walt Mossberg's  2011 Year in Technology
    "Year of the Talking Phone And a Cloud That Got Hot," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2011 ---
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204552304577112622008341602.html

    While other industries struggled, consumer technology seemed to march ahead as always in 2011, with important new products and services continuing to roll out. Sure, some tech companies, like BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, suffered reverses. And some products, like Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad, flopped. But many shone.

    So here is a look at a few of the biggest tech products of the past year, with some analysis of what they signified and what issues they raise for 2012. As with all my columns, this one is focused only on products and services provided to consumers. Also, as usual, this column isn't meant to offer investment advice or to evaluate the management skills or financial condition of companies.Even in a year when its iconic leader, Steve Jobs, resigned as CEO and then passed away, Apple kept going from success to success. In March, it introduced the iPad 2, a thinner, lighter, faster version of its groundbreaking tablet and sold tens of millions of them. In October, it brought out the iPhone 4S, which proved popular even though it looked identical to the prior model. One reason: The phone introduced a voice-controlled artificial-intelligence system called Siri that answers questions and performs tasks without requiring typing or searching. Siri, while still rudimentary, could herald a revolution in practical artificial intelligence for consumers.

    The lesson here is that Apple is driving the industry toward simpler, more reliable digital experiences tied into ecosystems of content and cloud services. It is expected to bring out radically new iPhones and iPads in 2012. But can it fend off challenges from popular, rapidly improving rivals using Google's Android operating system? And, in the absence of Mr. Jobs, can it keep churning out game-changing hits?

    The Kindle Fire

    Despite some initial software flaws and its chunky, plain hardware, the diminutive Fire appeared to be the first color tablet to gain significant traction against the iPad. The biggest reasons are its ultralow $199 price and its tie-in to Amazon's huge content library. But the Fire may have started a trend that could be a problem for Google: It demotes the Android operating system to an under-the-covers piece of plumbing, ignoring Google's user interface and apps marketplace.

    In 2012, Amazon is expected to bring out a larger, possibly sleeker Fire, and, if it continues to prove popular, it could attract larger numbers of apps designed for the Fire and sold only through Amazon. But despite its success with simple e-readers, Amazon has little experience as a maker of general-purpose computing devices, and it will have to be nimble and creative to keep up with Apple and more-traditional Android rivals.

    LTE

    Though several cellular technologies claim the moniker "4G" to indicate fast data speeds and greater capacity, only one, LTE (Long Term Evolution,) delivers true broadband speeds consistently. This past year, it finally spread significantly in the U.S., both in terms of geography and in the number of devices supporting it. The LTE leader by far is Verizon Wireless and it has the potential to make the wireless Web, and wireless streaming of video, the equal of their wired counterparts. AT&T is racing to catch up and Sprint, which uses a different 4G system, says it will join the LTE parade.

    But at this stage, LTE still consumes too much battery power. And LTE networks, if they become the norm, could get overwhelmed. To fend off this prospect, the biggest carriers in 2011 began charging more for greater data usage, a move that could curb the spread of innovative services that rely on large data downloads, such as video streaming and sharing of music and high-resolution photos.

    The Cloud

    Many players began offering consumers the opportunity to both store their data on, and run apps from, remote servers on the Internet, a system called cloud computing. Google even introduced a new kind of laptop, the Chromebook, that has almost no internal storage and relies almost entirely on the cloud. An example of a cloud service: music "lockers" that store all your songs on multiple devices. Cloud services are sure to expand in 2012, but questions remain on their reliability, security and privacy. And while most now cost little or nothing, these offerings could become another monthly fee burden for consumers. [PTECH-JUMP] Samsung

    Android became easier to use with the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich version, used in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The Android Army

    In 2011, Android overtook Apple's iPhone and iPad operating system, called iOS, in users. Though no single Android device is as popular as the iPhone or iPad, Android is now the collective leader, with hundreds of devices using it. Samsung, in particular, had success with its Android-based Galaxy devices. And a new version, called Ice Cream Sandwich, continued Android's steady improvement by making it easier to use. However, Google may be losing control of Android, as hardware makers and cellular carriers redefine it to suit their own needs, and fail to offer consumers updates in a timely fashion. Except for the Kindle Fire, the operating system hasn't caught on in tablets. Windows

    Microsoft has been way behind in the new areas of super-smartphones and tablets. In 2011, the software giant began to try to reverse that situation. It introduced the first competitive version of its sleek, sophisticated Windows Phone software, called Mango, though so far without much uptake by consumers. And it previewed a bold new version of main Windows, called Windows 8, with a multitouch interface that, unlike Apple's approach, is a single operating system meant for both PCs and tablets. It will start shipping in 2012.

    Still, Windows Phone must somehow attract many more users. And Windows 8 is a gamble, because it includes two interfaces: the new tabletlike face and the old, familiar Windows look, which could confuse consumers.

    Ultrabooks

    In 2011, Apple's MacBook Air, previously a niche product, became the new standard for laptops—thin, light, speedy, with long battery life and solid-state memory for storage instead of a hard disk. Now, Windows PC makers are following suit with similar machines called Ultrabooks.

    Ultrabooks may recharge the Windows laptop scene in 2012. However, they will have to become less costly—they now hover at around $1,000—and their solid-state drives don't offer the capacity of hard disks at an affordable price. [PTECH-JUMP] Lenovo

    Television

    Continued in article


    "3 Reasons You'll Buy Google's Nexus 7 Tablet," by Eliot Weisberg, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/video-3-reasons-youll-buy-googles-nexus-7-tablet.php

    "Google Nexus 7 Makes Amazon Kindle Fire Irrelevant," by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/06/google-nexus-7-makes-amazon-kindle-fire-irrelevant.php

    "Will Google’s New Nexus Q Kill Google TV?" by Mark Hachman, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/will-googles-new-nexus-q-kill-google-tv.php

    Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

     


    3-D Printer Video--- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZboxMsSz5Aw


    Question
    Suppose you are in a traditional classroom and you've grown tired of lugging amplified speakers with your laptop?
    Suppose you also have a small LCD projector for student viewing of  laptop videos.
    How can you get quality amplified sound to accompany the projected videos?

    The Panda Pal is an affordable little device that allows you to amplify audio from a laptop, a portable MP3 player, a cell phone, or any device with a mini headphone jack.
    "Little Gadget, Big Sound," by George Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2011 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/little-gadget-big-sound/32110?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at below.


    Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price
    You might want to examine the NYT feature while it is still free --- http://nyti.ms/9EegB2

    "Hooked on Gadgets and Happy About It," by Alexandra Samuel, Harvard Business Review Blog, June 8, 2010 --- Click Here
    http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/06/hooked_on_gadgets_and_happy_ab.html?cm_mmc=npv-_-DAILY_ALERT-_-AWEBER-_-DATE

    Yesterday's New York Times has a two-page feature, Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price . It's a sign of the growing awareness and concern about how our network-centric lives are not only affecting our work but also our personal lives, and even our bodies — you might say, our souls.

    The Times article looks at one wired family to make the point that all these gadgets negatively affect us. "Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave" the story reads. "They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information."

    This is the same argument made by Nicholas Carr in his recent article for Wired and his new book, The Shallows, released yesterday. It's interesting to learn from Carr that neuroscientists can now illuminate some of what happens in our heads when we go online. But then again, their concerns are not fundamentally different from the worries expressed about the Internet over the past fifteen years.

    The Internet is bad for our brains, the argument goes. It's bad for our relationships, our families and maybe (if it stops us thinking creatively or deeply) it's even bad for our careers.

    As a pathological gadget and Internet user, I'm not going to join the chorus and argue that network and screen time impoverish our minds, our friendships and our communities. Maybe they do, but so what? Networks aren't going anywhere, nor is our time online likely to decrease. In fact, there's every indication that our time online is going to keep expanding.

    What we need are practical strategies for how to reduce the negative impact of the net on our brains, and to magnify its positive effects. The Times article notes one study that showed Internet users "showed greater brain activity than nonusers, suggesting they were growing their neural circuitry," and another study of video gamers showed that games "can improve reaction and the ability to pick out details amid clutter."

    I haven't got an MRI machine handy, so I can't document the impact of my net-taming practices at the neural level, but here are some strategies I can recommend for those who want to mitigate the personal and social impact of multitasking, and amplify the benefits:
     

    1. Ration your e-mail: E-mail is one of the chief sources of distraction since so many of us feel compelled to check for new messages throughout the day. Different friends have shared their strategies for keeping e-mail at bay, like scheduling a specific two-hour period to process e-mail each day, or checking for new messages only after emptying the inbox. I rely on Gmail filters to support my own system for maintaining an empty inbox and I find that the practice of processing my inbox to zero also helps me focus my e-mail checkins on the moments when I actually have time to respond.
    2. Structure your monotasking: I'm used to working with a dozen programs and fifty windows open on my computer, and as per the practice reported by the Times, I'm switching windows constantly to follow links or check e-mail. So when I'm trying to write a report or do any kind of focused work, I break my multitasking habit by working on a computer that has very limited memory (so I can only have a couple of applications open at a time), or I restart my main computer and launch only a couple of applications. You could even create another account on your computer that has access to only Word or Excel, and no Internet connectivity, so you can force yourself to monotask.
    3. Take a tech sabbath: The National Day of Unplugging married the Jewish practice of observing the sabbath with the growing need to get some distance from technology. Try taking one day with no screen time. That means no TV, no Blackberry, no Internet. If you find it creates a useful pause in your wired-up life, consider making it a weekly practice.
    4. Find hope outside your inbox: Last year I started experimenting with ways to break my constant email and Twitter check-ins. I realized I was looking for that jolt of excitement, the possibility that some sort of good news would come my way with each check-in. When I started exploring other ways to get a little unexpected delight in my day — by talking to a stranger, or visiting a new part of town — I was able to reduce my reliance on the net as the bearer of good news.
    5. Use your right brain/use your left brain: If you spend your computer time geeking out in Excel or checking Google Analytics, it's time to give your right brain a workout with a browse through Flickr or a film editing project in Final Cut. If you spend your computer time writing poetry or creating collages in Photoshop, it's time to give your left brain a workout with a game of Scrabble or some financial management with Mint.com. The more you vary your online diet with activities that draw on both hemispheres, the more you'll be tapping into the net's potential to grow your brain's circuitry.

    If you had to sit through a meeting with me, and watch me take notes in Evernote, tweet, and chew my nails at the same time) you would find that these practices have hardly turned me into a picture of mellow monotasking. But I take some comfort in the fact that I'm still able to focus on a single task for up to 5 minutes at a time. Considering the amount of time I spend online, neuroscientists might call that a miracle.

     

    PC World Videos on New Products --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm


    PC World Videos on New Products --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html
    PC World 2008 Gadget Review --- http://www.pcworld.com/video/id,975-page,1-bid,0/video.html
    Also go to www.amazon.com and search for gadgets in the Electronics category.

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    Technology Section: Computer Firms, Hardware, Software, Training, Research Labs, and Institutes
    Audio, Video, Web Cameras, Speech Recognition, Telephony, and Multimedia
    Audio on the WWW (RealAudio)

    PC World Videos on New Products --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    "Project Video, Photos from a Phone PowerPoint decks in your pocket," Business Week Video, November 2008 ---
    http://feedroom.businessweek.com/?fr_story=32c50be245fe235d42a0895cec076331c8bda821
    The gadget comes from Microvision --- http://www.microvision.com/


    "Pulse Smartpen by Livescribe," Rick Lillie's Thinking Outside the Box Blog,  May 9, 2010 ---
    http://iaed.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/pulse-smartpen-by-livescribe/

    While attending a recent accounting education conference, I played with Pulse Smartpen by LivescribeThe Pulse Smartpen records and links audio to what you write.  It provides an interesting way to take notes and capture information that can be played back later for review, study, and/or sharing with others.

    I was curious about ways the Pulse Smartpen might be used to create course materials and share them with students.  Livescribe’s website includes a variety of illustrative recordings.  Click this link to view a demo lecture entitled “Crossing the Chasm.”  The demo shows how to use the Pulse Smartpen to record and share a lecture that includes drawing a picture or diagram and supporting the drawing with audio.  [NOTE:  In order to make the viewing screen easier to see, you may wish to click the icon in the upper right-corner of the playback screen to enlarge the viewing screen.]

    I see how the Pulse Smartpen can capture a drawing and audio explaining the drawing.  This could be particularly useful for creating a walk-through explanation of a problem or process.  Note that you need to draw the picture from scratch as you put together a walk-through explanation.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on tricks and tools of the trade ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


    iPhone Versus the Blackberry?
    Here’s a video ---
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl7cqFQatP4
    But features have changed since this video was created. The iPhone has more apps, but some users are not after these many applications.

    Video:  Laser Pico Projector Microvision "Show" --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UfarRM0BoM

    "iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Projector Plans Revealed," ElectricPig, March 17, 2010 ---
    http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2010/03/17/ipad-iphone-and-macbook-projector-plans-revealed-apple-patent-spied/

    iPad, iPhone and Macbook models could become part of a projector system if Apple makes good on a patent that’s been uncovered. The plans revive speculation that Apple is pondering putting pico projectors into future iPad, iPhone and Macbook designs and using them as controllers in a projection system.

    Apple’s patent details several different approaches to creating a projection system. It may create a brand new controller for a projection system with a pico projector built-in or bake the feature in to future versions of the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Macbook.

    With its eye on further promoting the iPhone and iPad (and its iWork suite) as business tools, one reason for bringing a projector to the iPhone OS family would be to make them more attractive to business people that give presentations all the time.

    Putting a powerful pico projector into the iPad or iPhone would give business folk a way of quickly showing what they’re working on and as Patently Apple suggests could easily be integrated with Apple’s Keynote Remote app.

    Meanwhile, after promoting the iPod Touch as the “funnest iPod” and gunning for the gaming market with the iPhone and iPad, a pico projector could bring extra appeal for casual gamers. Rumours of an iPhone pico projector first surfaced last summer.

    There’s also the potential for a pico projector power up to allow you to project films or TV shows from your iPad or iPhone onto any suitable surface. It would be a great move to make the iPad even more appealing as an on-the-go entertainment machine.

    Apple’s patent details a networked projection system using multiple clients and suggests that the projector could even be built into a network hub in the same way that Time Capsule has a router built-in.

    As usual with Apple, just because they’ve toyed with an idea doesn’t mean it will ever reach us. But we’d love to see Apple TV perked up with a built-in projector and future iPad and iPhone variations with pico projectors.


    Video from the Los Angeles Times:  Android Versus iPhone ---
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17IB2ipYY3I

    "A Wave of Android Smartphones Outsells Apple:  Devices that run Google's Android software outsold the iPhone in the first quarter, helping make Verizon Wireless a smartphone powerhouse," Olga Kharl, Business Week, May 20, 2010 ---
    http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2010/tc20100510_027179.htm?link_position=link1

    This story has been updated to include a comment from Apple.

    A storefront in one of the busiest shopping districts in downtown Portland, Ore., is painted black, with "Droid Does" in large letters over the doors.

    Orchestrated by carrier Verizon Wireless, aggressive promotions such as this one for Motorola's (MOT) Droid smartphone, plus a blitz of direct mail, newspaper, and TV ads, and two-for-one deals on Android-powered handsets, lifted first-quarter sales of smartphones based on Google's (GOOG) Android operating system above sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone for the first time, market researcher NPD Group reported on May 10.

    Android-powered phones accounted for 28 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S., exceeding Apple's 21 percent share during the quarter, NPD said. Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry models led the category with a 36 percent share.

    Leapfrogging Apple is an important milestone—and not just for Android, an open-source software developed by a consortium of companies led by Google. NPD's report also shows how quickly Verizon Wireless has become a central player in the fast-growing market for the pocket computers known as smartphones. In the first quarter, Verizon customers bought 30 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S., nearly equaling the 32 percent share of AT&T (T), which has an exclusive contract to sell the iPhone, according to the report. AT&T also sells an Android handset from Motorola and plans to carry an upcoming Android smartphone from Dell (DELL).

    Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said in an e-mailed statement on May 11 that NPD's report is "very limited" and based on 150,000 U.S. consumers responding to an online survey. The survey "does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide," she said. The "iPhone has 16.1 percent of the smartphone market and growing, far outselling Android on a worldwide basis," Harrison said, citing data from market researcher IDC.

    Verizon no longer seen as desperate

    Until recently, Verizon was an also-ran in the smartphone market. It carried the BlackBerry, but didn't have a breakthrough consumer-oriented smartphone to compete with the iPhone. Analysts were calling for Verizon to strike a deal with Apple to distribute the iPhone. Last December, Verizon said it had effected network upgrades that would enable its network to handle extra traffic should Apple decide to expand the number of carriers authorized to sell iPhones.

     

     


    "Pint-Size Peripherals Scan or Print at a Price," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2010 ---
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704820904575055321581158304.html?mod=WSJ_Tech_RIGHTTopCarousel

    It's often said that less is more. If only this were true for computer devices like printers and scanners, which take up a lot of desktop real estate. The reality is that small, stylish, portable versions of these gadgets are often pricey and not as functional.

    This week, I reviewed two products that unfortunately live up to that reality: a portable printer and mini scanner that put a premium on good looks at $300 each. I've been using Fujitsu's newest $295 mini scanner, the ScanSnap S1300 (fujitsu.com), and PlanOn System Solutions Inc.'s tiny $300 PrintStik PS905ME (http://3.ly/6QVS). There are several good printers, scanners or all-in-ones that cost significantly less or offer more functionality than these devices.

    But boy, do these gadgets look good. The Fujitsu ScanSnap collapses down to a small, rectangular box with mirrored buttons. The PlanOn PrintStik resembles a box of aluminum foil in the kitchen drawer—except more compact.

    Both devices are small and lightweight enough to fit in a bag or briefcase, if necessary. Either one of these could be ported around without a problem: The PrintStik weighs 1.5 pounds and the ScanSnap weighs twice as much at 3.08 pounds. Both fit well in a tiny work space or on the desktops of people like me, who don't print or scan much and don't want a device taking up a lot of space.

    As is usually the case with smaller devices that lack display screens and extra buttons, one hopes they come with straightforward software or simply plug in and play. The Fujitsu ScanSnap meets that requirement with software that installs on Macs or PCs and can be used without reading complicated instructions.

    The PlanOn PrintStik uses thermal printing to produce images and characters on scrolls of paper. The PlanOn PrintStik worked adequately as a basic black-and-white printer for Windows PCs (it isn't Mac compatible), but fell short as a wireless printer for smart phones. The PrintStik is meant to receive and print documents sent to it via Bluetooth from BlackBerrys, but I found the BlackBerry program to be clumsy and in the end, it didn't even work despite at least two dozen attempts. PlanOn's tech support said they thought my PrintStik's Bluetooth could be faulty, but couldn't send me a new device in time for this column.

    These two devices offer some interesting design elements. The PlanOn PrintStik PS905ME uses thermal printing—an old technology that has been around for decades—rather than ink cartridges, to produce images and characters by applying heat at tiny points.

    The PrintStik's thermal printing only works with special scrolls of thin, slippery paper. It comes in packs of six rolls for $23; one roll is about 23 feet long and prints roughly 30 sheets of letter-size paper. You can opt to print only as much as a document requires to save paper. But a long document prints out in one continuous scroll rather than separate pages.

    The PrintStik has a rechargeable battery that lasts long enough to print about 30 pages; a wall charger is also included. It can churn out up to three pages per minute. I can imagine tossing this printer into my suitcase for business trips; it would also come in handy for printing boarding passes for use at the airport, among other things.

    Documents that are supposed to be printable from the BlackBerry with a remote-printing app include Web pages, attachments including PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, JPEGs, and PowerPoint presentations. PlanOn representatives say an app will be available for Apple's iPhone and Google's Android phones in about four or five months; they also are working on an iPad application. Though the PrintStik's remote-printing app for the BlackBerry is currently free, the company intends to begin charging $30 annually for its remote-printing service this summer.

    Fujitsu's ScanSnap S1300 can suck in 10 pages at once, and has two cameras that can scan the front and back of printouts. This process can scan as many as eight dual-sided pages a minute. Item sizes range from 2x2-inch cards to legal documents.

    The ScanSnap comes with a wall charger but also runs without being plugged into the wall: It uses a USB cord for charging from a PC in addition to the USB cord that transfers data between the scanner and computer.

    Seconds after I scanned documents into the ScanSnap, colorful icons appeared on my computer screen. Choosing one of these icons let me send the documents to one of the following: email, Word, a printer, Excel, iPhoto or Cardiris—a program that exports contact information from scanned business cards into Address Book or Entourage; CardMinder on Windows exports contact information to Outlook and other programs.

    If you want to scan old or precious documents, you may not like using the ScanSnap's sucking method for scanning, in case a page gets stuck or damaged. For sensitive objects or page scanning, the best bet is to use a flatbed scanner or all-in-one (that prints, scans, and faxes) with a lift-up lid that scans items on a flat surface.

    Though the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 and PlanOn PrintStik PS905ME aren't the least expensive or the most functional devices of their kind, they're easy to move around and take up minimal amounts of space. For some people, that may be well worth the higher cost.

    —Edited by Walter S. Mossberg.

    Question
    What hand-held device can photograph close up and read aloud from books, price labels, receipts, and newspapers?

    Hint:
    This device has far more uses beyond being a helper for sight impaired people.
    For one thing, auditors might make use of this when detail testing.

    Intel Reader --- http://www.intel.com/healthcare/reader/index.htm

    The Intel Reader, powered by an Atom processor, is a handheld device with a five-­megapixel camera that can read aloud any printed text it is pointed at, including product labels, receipts, and pages from books and newspapers. Previously, visually impaired or dyslexic people required a desktop scanner connected to a computer to convert print into speech.
    "Scan and Listen," MIT's Technology Review, December 17, 2009 ---
    http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/24198/?a=f

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#Technology


    YouTubeMP3
    From the Scout Report on August 14, 2009

    Free YouTube to MP3 Converter 3.2.1.58 ---  
    http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/free-dvd-video-software-download.htm

    If you've ever wanted to just listen to a particular YouTube video at your leisure as a mp3 file, this application may be just the thing. Visitors simply need to install the program and drop the YouTube URLs in question into a box. The application will convert the files into the mp3 format. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP or Vista.

    Jensen Comment
    I tried this and my first saved file was a  MP3 file of Les Paul and Mary Ford
    The full video file on YouTube is at
    World is Waiting for the Sunrise --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iGXP_UBog4 

    I pasted the above URL into the converter program and saved it to my hard drive as a MP3 file.
    It saved as a 3,132 Kb compressed audio file that you can listen to at
    http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/LesPaulWaitingForSunrise.mp3

    It's neat the way the program can download in background from YouTube. This way you can start a download and then go about your business in other software. Your computer will give a tiny bleep when the download is finished. If you then download another file, be sure to first change the "Output" file name so as to not write over the previous download file.

    A clear advantage to saving YouTube audio or video is that these links come and go on YouTube all the time. The above link to the Les Paul and Mary Ford video might even have been removed between now and when I pasted the above link into this document. But my MP3 recording is now subject to my control, although care must be taken with respect to copyrights. I assumed that this demo will not upset anybody. U.C. Berkeley and other universities who put full length lectures and courses on YouTube encourage users to download the audio or video files (the video takes up an enormous amount of file space).

    Another advantage is that you easily edit the MP3 file and/or make clipped portions to be saved as other audio files. For example, a six-minute clip might be saved from a 75-minute YouTube lecture from MIT.

    I was amazed at the ease with which YouTube audio can be captured and saved as a file on my hard drive. When it’s audio that’s more important than video of a talking head or unneeded viewing of music performers, there is a great savings in storage requirements for audio files versus video files. This includes the wasted space of talking heads in videos and the desire to hear music without necessarily always having to watch it performed while you are playing it in background.


    Librarian Pro 1.4.4 --- http://www.koingosw.com/products/librarianpro.php 

    This application is a nice way to create an organized and cross-referenced catalog for books, movies, and music. Visitors can keep track of loaned material, and they can easily import detailed cataloging information from popular sites like Amazon. Also, the application allows users to export these lists onto iPod and other such devices. This version can be used for fifteen days at no cost, and it is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer and those running Max OS X 10.4 and newer.

     


    "GPS: More Features, At Lower Prices:  Whether you want just good basic navigation or lots of extra features, these portable in-car GPS units won't cost you an arm and a leg," by Liane Cassavoy, PC World via The Washington Post, November 13, 2008 --- Click Here

    In most cases, though, the more you pay for a GPS, the more features you'll get. The chart-topping, $425 Magellan Maestro 4350 and the second-place, $480 TomTom GO 930 are the two most expensive systems we tested. And they do offer lots of extras, like hands-free calling with Bluetooth, FM transmission (so you can hear turns announced over your car stereo), and built-in audio and video players. But they also truly earned their leading positions due to their excellent navigation features: These two devices consistently found the quickest, most convenient routes.

    The Navigon 2200T landed in our third spot, followed by the Garmin Nuvi 265T. Rounding out our Top 5 was the $220 TomTom One 130 S--a very basic, but still capable, navigator. All three of these devices will get you where you're going without a problem. They all sport 3.5-inch screens, which seems cramped compared to the 4.3-inch screens found on the Magellan and the TomTom GO 930. But they prove that you don't have to ante up the big bucks to get a reliable navigation device.

    In fact, paying more doesn't mean you're necessarily going to get better navigation advice. The Sony NV-U94T, which missed the cut, lists for $400 (you can find it online for about $375)--and it provided some of the worst directions we've seen. In one case, its route was so far off that I was convinced I had entered the destination incorrectly (I hadn't). In another instance, I asked it to avoid toll roads, and it sent me on--you guessed it--a toll road.

    Continued in article


    "New Keyboard Saves Accountants Time," SmartPros, January 18, 2008 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x60437.xml
    The R-Tab Keyboard homepage is at http://www.r-tab.com/


    "Gadgets Show How Much Power Your House Eats," Geoffrey F. Fowler, The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204261704574276022585190910.html

    Curtailing your home electricity use is a bit like losing weight: You already understand the basics of how to do it, but it’s hard to accomplish without help and motivation. An array of gadgets are vying to serve as electricity personal trainers, monitoring home power use minute by minute, and making you feel guilty about indulgences like blasting the air conditioner.

    I have been testing three of these devices, the Power Monitor from Black & Decker Corp., the very similar PowerCost Monitor from Blue Line Innovations Inc., and the more-sophisticated The Energy Detective 5000 from Energy Inc. In my tests, the Black & Decker model provided the most effortless electricity-tracking service. At $99.99, it is also the least expensive.

    The devices provide real-time data about how much power you’re using across the house in terms that are easy to comprehend: cost per hour and cost per month. Turn on the microwave and watch the cost jump from 10 cents to 25 cents an hour. Turn off some lights and see the cost drop a few cents.

    The firms say their customers have, over time, seen drops of as much as 20% in power bills by being more mindful of electricity use and making informed purchases, such as installing efficient light bulbs. The largest drops are often recorded in households that have (power-hogging) electric water heaters, and where the whole family gets involved in monitoring use. An independent Oxford University study in 2006 found that people getting direct feedback on their power consumption reduced use 5% to 15%.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    These gadgets don't much interest me personally since I'm an economical old dog to a point who, at this stage of life, will be frugal with power but not to a point where I will sacrifice quality of life. But I see an immense opportunity here for business firms and other organizations to identify and correct power wastage.

    These gadgets might be of interest in managerial/cost accounting courses. Students might be assigned to think creatively about how to use these gadgets in particular business firms such as fast food restaurants or law offices.


    2008 Gadget Ratings from Wired News --- http://www.wired.com/reviews 


    Geeky Toy Gifts --- http://www.wired.com/gadgets/gadgetreviews/multimedia/2008/11/gallery_toys_robots


    Audacity Free Audio Recorder and Editor --- http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    Free Audio Dub 1.4.1.2 --- http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-Audio-Dub.htm 

    The fastest way to edit audio files!

    Free Audio Dub is the free audio editing software that lets you delete unwanted parts from audio files without re-encoding.

    And "without re-encoding" means without loosing original quality!!! This is a lossless conversion, which is very fast.

    Supports many audio formats: MP3, WAV, AAC, AC3, M4A, MP2, OGG, WMA .

    The latest free versions of RealPlayer will capture streaming video without having to install capture card hardware --- Click Here
    Real Media --- http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=RealMedia

    Jing Free Video Capture (video) --- http://video.techsmith.com/jing/latest/demo/introvideo/index.html
    Jing Download --- http://www.techsmith.com/download/default.asp
    Camtasia Studio (not free but great for the price) --- http://www.techsmith.com/products.asp

    A-Z Free Video Converter 6.81 --- http://www.cnn-video.com/download.html 

    A-Z Free Video Converter allows users to convert a wide range of file formats (such as WMV, MPEG, and DIVX) to the popular MOV formats (especially good for Quicktime players). The converter can be helpful for a range of media projects, including classroom presentations and the like. This particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

    You can also make these conversions in Camtasia Producer, but this software is not free like the A-Z Video Converter software.
    You can read about Camtasia at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

    Related Jensen Links

    Technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology

    Streaming Media --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#StreamingMedia

    The latest free versions of RealPlayer will capture streaming video without having to install capture card hardware --- Click Here
    Real Media --- http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=RealMedia


    "Giving Up on Gadgets:  A Pew survey shows that most of us are fed up, and some of us give up when our tech tools -- and tech support -- fail us," Brennon Slatterly, The New York Post, November 18, 2008 --- Click Here

    A national survey conducted by the Pew Institute solidified what we already know: technology fails and it burns us up.

    The survey sought to unearth how often our tech fails, how we try to fix it, and our feelings about the process. The numbers are pretty astounding:

    The first stat is huge but also predictable. Think about Comcast and its notoriously shoddy customer service. How many times have you signed up for wireless Internet access only to find it doesn't work properly? Then you have to call customer service, wait a billion years for a human being, and either navigate the problem over the phone or elect to have an agent visit your home, again, and get charged for the inconvenience.

    The San Francisco Chronicle asked Comcast spokesperson Andrew Johnson for the company's thoughts on the research. Johnson responded evasively and then tried to shift blame. "A lot of the issues fall in the user error category," he said. Blurbs like that don't exactly inspire my confidence.

    How does this process of failure and solution-hunting make us feel? You probably guessed it right: 59 percent were impatient; 48 percent were discouraged; and 40 percent were confused.

    The scariest stat from the Pew's research was that while 38 percent of respondents called customer service, 28 percent fixed the problem themselves, and 15 percent got help from friends or relatives, another 15 percent of gadget-owners gave up. Once their machine died, their will to fix it died, too.

    I wonder what this says about us as gadget owners. Is it that the gadgets themselves are too complicated? Too prone to malfunction? Or is it our overwhelming impatience towards the lengthy and complicated process?

    I can't imagine dropping serious dough on a piece of equipment and then just throwing in the towel, no matter how obnoxious the repairs may be. I'd sooner sit on the phone for two hours than let it go, but apparently 15 percent of those polled don't feel the same.

    Continued in article

     


    May 4, 2008 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

    I have placed a (Camtasia) video online on omnisio.com, which allows comments to be placed OVER the video.

    http://www.omnisio.com/v/49zPDUbdjhG/the-basic-accounting-equation 

    This is a video that I have on youtube and just linked it to Omnisio.

    Jensen Comment
    There are some other cool things to do with video at http://www.omnisio.com/


    Question
    Is Apple's MobileMe a good idea for you?

    "Apple's MobileMe Is Far Too Flawed To Be Reliable," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2008; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121685869764279343.html

    So it was a big deal when Apple announced a new service that, for $100 a year, would bring corporate-type synchronization of email, calendars and contacts to anyone. It was even better that Apple promised that the service, called MobileMe, would work on Windows computers as well as on the company's own Macintosh computers, iPhones and iPod Touch hand-helds. To top it off, Apple threw in 20 gigabytes of online storage, a suite of Web-based applications, the ability to synchronize browser bookmarks and an online photo gallery.

    Unfortunately, after a week of intense testing of the service, I can't recommend it, at least not in its current state. It's a great idea, but, as of now, MobileMe has too many flaws to keep its promises.

    I am not referring to the launch glitches that plagued MobileMe earlier this month, such as servers that couldn't keep up with the traffic and email outages that, for some users, persist as I write this. Those were bad, but they have eased considerably. Apple already has apologized for them and is giving customers an extra 30 days on their subscriptions to make up for the poor start. The problems I am citing are systemic.

    Here's how it's supposed to work. You subscribe to MobileMe and set up a new MobileMe email account, which can also suck in email from your current address. Your MobileMe email is pushed to your Windows computer using your choice of Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or the new Windows Mail program. It's also pushed to your Mac using the built-in Apple Mail program. And it shows up instantly on your iPhone in the phone's built-in email program.

    Similarly, if you add, delete or change a calendar entry or a contact on any of the devices, the change automatically is reflected on all the others. In Windows, the MobileMe calendar shows up in Outlook, and the contacts can be viewed in Outlook, the Windows Address Book or Windows Contacts. On the Mac, the calendar and contacts appear in the built-in iCal and Address Book programs. On the iPhone, MobileMe uses the built-in Contacts and Calendar programs.

    Bookmarks can be synchronized using either the Mac or Windows versions of Apple's Safari Web browser, or Internet Explorer 7 on Windows.

    At the MobileMe Web site, using any computer, you can send and receive email via a Web-mail program, and view and edit your calendar and contacts. Changes made on the Web site instantly show up on your computers and your iPhone, and vice versa. Also at the MobileMe Web site, you can maintain a photo gallery and view your online file storage.

    But in my tests, using two Macs, two Dell computers and two iPhones, I ran into problem after problem. One big issue is that while changes made on the Web site or the iPhone are instantly pushed to the computers, changes made on computers are only synced every 15 minutes, at best. Apple has admitted that this is a problem, and says it is working on it.

    But there's more. The Web site was sluggish, and occasionally calendar entries wouldn't load at all. Sometimes, you have to manually refresh the Web pages to see changes made on your devices. And when I tried to open my Web-based file-storage page directly from the MobileMe control panel on Windows, I got an error message on both Dells.

    My MobileMe calendar, which originated on a Mac, didn't flow into the main Outlook calendar, but appeared as a separate calendar in Outlook, which was visible only by changing settings. My address-book groups on the Mac, which are simply distribution lists, didn't show up as distribution lists in Outlook, but as separate address books, and they also weren't immediately visible. Apple blames Outlook quirks for these issues, but in my view, it should have overcome them.

    Other problems abounded. On one occasion, my synced contacts on the iPhone appeared as names only, without any information. In general, synced contacts on the iPhone loaded slowly.

    When my Apple Mail program used rules I had set up to automatically file certain emails into local folders instead of leaving them in the inbox, they simply disappeared from my MobileMe account on the iPhone and the Web site. Avoiding this requires a tedious editing of all your rules.

    Twice, MobileMe was unable to sync my bookmarks at all, and when it did, their order was scrambled. When I synced contacts to my iPhone, my custom ringtones for particular contacts were lost and had to be reselected.

    Apple patiently explained each of my problems, sometimes helping me with workarounds, sometimes claiming they were rare, other times saying that it was working on fixes.

    Continued in article


    Question
    What is the AlphaSmart Dana?
    Why might you fall in love with Dana?

    "The Workhorse," by Scott McLeMee, Inside Higher Ed, May 14, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/05/14/mclemee

    Laptop computers have revolutionized the art of procrastination. Combining the power of word processing with the convenience of wireless access to the universe of material available online, they make it easier than ever to shift from serious concentration to glassy-gazed spacing out. It takes “just a second,” after all, to “look something up.” Those bland phrases connote a world of barely concealed guilt (as when an urban consumer chooses to buy something that “fell off the truck”). One minute you decide to check the wording of a quotation from Montaigne, and before you know it, you are on YouTube. It happens.

    The solution, of course, is self-discipline – in roughly the sense that a cure for poverty is to get a lot of money. Saying this hardly qualifies as good advice. An elementary quality of self-discipline is the capacity to minimize the chances of distraction. And for that, it can help to go (relatively) low-tech. One of the best secret weapons in the battle against psychic entropy is the AlphaSmart Dana, an ideal device for anyone who wants to keep at hand a digital notebook that is just a notebook. No frills, no bells and whistles, no distractions: nothing, in fact, but a tool for turning thoughts into sentences.

    The Dana is not really an alternative to having a regular computer. There are lots of things it can’t do. But it’s helpful for bolstering concentration in a crunch, as well as the perfect keyboard for anyone who needs to take notes during a meeting, lecture, or conference. So reports my spouse, who uses her Dana primarily for such occasions. (The only downside might be that people keep asking to take a look at it: the design is sufficiently distinct from the normal laptop to be conspicuous.)

    The Dana is the latest version of a product originally meant for use in elementary school classrooms – a cheap, bare-bones, and durable machine consisting of just a keyboard and a small screen. The changes introduced over the past few years suggest that, somewhere along the way, the manufacturer discovered it had an adult market.But the virtues of that earlier model are all preserved in the more recent incarnation.

    First, I’ll describe the generic features of the AlphaSmart, found in both the kids’ version and the Dana. Then, we’ll consider the changes introduced into the more recent design making it especially useful for adults. Casual observation suggests that we grownup AlphaSmart users are, so far, rather few in number. But we make up for our numbers by a certain fanatical devotion — in spite of a few imperfections, which I’ll note along the way.

    The AlphaSmart, whatever the model, is lightweight (about two pounds) and made chiefly of plastic; yet it surprisingly rugged. It runs on a rechargeable battery. According to the manufacturer, it can run for up to 25 hours of use on a single charge. I haven’t kept track and cannot say if that figure is accurate. But certainly it hasn’t been necessary to charge the battery more than once every week or two. Compare that to the usual experience with laptops, which demand rejuicing every few hours, at least.

    If you leave it sitting idle for more than a few minutes, the AlphaSmart turns itself off automatically. But there is no need to keep hitting “save” frantically. Actually, it doesn’t even have a “save” command. Instead, the AlphaSmart just stores whatever you type as you go. Turning the power back on, you go right back to the draft as you left it.

    There is a set of buttons along the top of the keyboard marked F1 through F8. Each one opens a document. In other words, you can create no more than eight documents at a time, each the equivalent of about twelve single-spaced pages. You can send documents to a printer via a plug in the machine – or, perhaps more sensibly, you can download them to another computer using a chord. Unfortunately you have to send them one at a time, and the process is rather slow, at least by contemporary standards of instantaneous massive data transferal. (With the Dana model, it is possible to “beam” documents via an infrared transmitter, but I haven’t used that feature.)

    A few years ago I bought the AlphaSmart 3000 (the basic model, designed for elementary school use) and found its minimalism and its long battery life quite appealing, at least for a few weeks. Then its deficiencies started to show. The screen was quite small; you could see only three or four short lines of text at a time. And the action on the keyboard was not ideal. You really had to punch each letter to be sure it connected. No doubt this was not a problem for the kids originally intended as its users. But a quicker and lighter touch would sometimes leave me unable to read my own work, as if some sentences were in an Eastern European language.

    Both problems have been solved with the Dana model. The keyboard is far more sensitive (no more passages of inadvertent Bulgarianism) and the screen is much larger, holding between six and nine lines of text, depending on the point size of the type you are using.

    You can select the latter – along with options for italics, bold text, margin justification, and so forth – via menus on screen. They respond either to keyboard commands or the touch of a little stylus that comes with the machine. (You keep it at hand in a groove along he right side of the Dana.) This model also offers some of the other familiar features of a word processor: spell-checking and a thesaurus, plus the ability to get the word count for a given document.

    All of which marks a great improvement over the earlier version. The main problem that the Dana shares with the elementary-school model is that the screen is not brightly lit. No doubt that helps with the battery life. But in my experience, the lack of sharp contrast makes staring at the text rather hard on the eyes, after a while. In practice, it turns out to be an ideal “workhorse” machine for taking notes and pounding out rough drafts, which can then be reworked on another computer.

    The Dana retails for $350 from the manufacturer, but you can find one online for a fraction of that price. (The two machines in our household cost around $100 each.) Two slots on the back allow you to insert secure data (SD) cards, which increase the memory considerably. SD cards are sold separately, costing between $20 and $60 each depending on their capacity. I have not yet tried one out, but am sorely tempted – not for the added memory so much as greater ease in moving documents from the AlphaSmart to another machine.

    Just for the record, it bears mentioning that AlphaSmart has also introduced a version of the Dana with wireless internet access built in. But I want nothing to do with it, for that defeats the whole point. Such embellishments are the Devil’s handiwork.


    Gadgets

    Notes on the Smart Pen
    The smart pen that Wired Campus flagged back in May was unveiled last week at a technology conference in Palm Springs, Calif. The company behind it, LiveScribe, has been aggressively marketing the device to college students with the slogan "Never miss a word." It's basically a combination recording machine and camera. Users take notes while a minirecorder, embedded in the pen, records whatever is being said. Later, to clarify the written notes, the user can touch the pen to a specific passage and listen to a recording of the instructor speaking those words. A tiny camera links what is being written to what is being recorded. In a takeoff on television commercials for pharmaceuticals, the smart-pen advertisement below features a student who suffers from "restless mind syndrome." The pen is offered as a panacea. Livescribe has set up a Facebook page to push the pen, and offers to pay college students to promote the device on their campuses. It's also advertised on the Web site ThePalestra, where Andy Van Schaack, a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University, who is an adviser to LiveScribe, is seen praising the pen. Will the pen, which sells for about $200, take off with college students? Will it be used as a crutch for students who are too tired or distracted to listen to their professors?
    Andrea L. Foster, "Notes on the Smart Pen," Chronicle of Higher Education, February 5, 2008 ---
    http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2719&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade in education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm
     


    From the Scout Report on April 25, 2008

    A-Z Free Video Converter 6.81 --- http://www.cnn-video.com/download.html

    A-Z Free Video Converter allows users to convert a wide range of file formats (such as WMV, MPEG, and DIVX) to the popular MOV formats (especially good for Quicktime players). The converter can be helpful for a range of media projects, including classroom presentations and the like. This particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

    Related Jensen Links

    Technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology

    Streaming Media --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#StreamingMedia

    You can also make these conversions in Camtasia Producer, but this software is not free like the A-Z Video Converter software.
    You can read about Camtasia at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

     


    New Wireless Mouse Technology

    "Squeaky Wheels: Tracking Mobile Mice," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2008; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120768223569198837.html

    This week I tested three entry-level mobile mice designed for laptops, from Logitech, Microsoft and Kensington Computer Products Group. These $30 mice include a USB receiver that plugs into a laptop, allowing the mouse to work wirelessly. When not in use, this receiver fits snugly beneath the mouse, turning its power off to save battery as it snaps into place. These mice are also somewhat smaller than regular mice so they can easily slip into a laptop bag.

    Mobile mice are now more stylish than the traditional desktop mice, and like laptops and digital cameras, come in various shapes and colors. The mice I tested are available in pink, white, red, blue, orange and gray. Next week, the Microsoft mouse I used will be available in shades of pomegranate, aloe, dragon fruit (dark pink) and milk chocolate; a khaki-colored shade called crème brûlée will follow in June.

    I tried Logitech's $30 V220 Cordless Optical Mouse in black, Microsoft's $30 Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 in aloe, and Kensington's $35 Ci75m Wireless Notebook Mouse in orange. To gain some perspective on high-end mobile mice, I also looked at two pricier options from Logitech: the $50 V470 Cordless Laser Mouse with Bluetooth (instead of a USB receiver) and the $70 VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse.

    My vote for a favorite low-end mobile mouse had me struggling between portability and comfort. But overall, I found that the Logitech V220 offered the best combination of small size and usability. The Microsoft mouse was also comfortable to use, but its slightly bulkier size made it less portable, and it didn't feel as sturdy as the Logitech. While the Kensington was the flattest and most portable, it wasn't as comfortable to use as the Logitech or Microsoft mice.

    To conserve battery, all three of these mice go into low-power mode after 10 minutes of nonuse, but none of them turns off completely. Battery indicators light up when juice is running low. According to company estimates, the Microsoft mouse has a battery life of over six months and the Logitech mouse has a battery life of up to six months. The Kensington mouse's battery life was estimated to be three months. I didn't use any of them long enough to prove the company claims.

    These mice are compatible with Macs and PCs, and are plug-and-play -- meaning you don't need to install any additional software to make them work. I used each on laptops running Mac OS X and Windows Vista without any problems. The Microsoft and Logitech mice also can work with their own special software programs, but the extra features, such as reassigning a mouse button to open an application, aren't really necessary for the average user.

    The $30 Logitech V220 fit comfortably in my hand, with rubber grips on its sides and a generously sized, smooth-gliding rubber scroll wheel that made it easy to use. This scroll wheel can be nudged to the left or right for horizontal scrolling, a feature found on most of Logitech's mice.

    Unlike the Microsoft and Kensington mice, which show flashing red sensor lights, the Logitech uses an invisible optic sensor. This sounds cool, but because the mouse doesn't use any lights, it can be left on accidentally. I did this a few times before remembering to stow the USB receiver in the mouse to automatically turn off its power.

    Of the three, the Logitech mouse was the only one with a manual on/off switch -- so you can turn it off without snapping the USB receiver into place in the mouse. This could save frequent travelers from having to detach the USB receiver every time they want to turn off the mouse, and could let people keep the receiver plugged into the laptop.

    Kensington's $35 Ci75m was the flattest mouse by far, making it a cinch to slip it into the outside pocket of my already full laptop bag on a train trip to New York. And this mouse has a bonus feature: It can work wirelessly or with a USB wire, which wraps up inside the mouse and serves as a backup in case the mouse runs out of battery. I tested this by removing the batteries and using only the USB wire, and it worked like a charm.

    I also liked the way the Kensington USB receiver disappeared into the body of the mouse, while the Microsoft and Logitech receivers protruded a bit when stowed, adding to the thickness of the mouse when tucked into a laptop pocket.

    But though this bright orange mouse received approving feedback from passersby, it wasn't all that comfortable to use after a while. Its flatness saved room in my bag, but didn't give my hand much support. It also felt flimsier than the Logitech, and its small wheel wasn't as satisfying to use.

    I received early test units of Microsoft's $30 Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 in aloe, pomegranate and milk chocolate.

    This mouse has rubber sides for a better grip, like the Logitech, and an arched shape for comfort. Its wheel is slightly smaller than Logitech's, though its overall size was bigger and more like that of a regular mouse -- not one designed specifically for mobile use. But even though the Microsoft mouse was larger, it didn't feel as solid as Logitech's; rather, it felt more like the thin Kensington. Its right and left buttons felt less stable, and its wheel didn't roll as smoothly.

    I did like Microsoft's nod to new colors, and the aloe -- a cool hue of green -- was my favorite.

    For people who don't mind spending a little extra money on a mouse, the $50 V470 Cordless Laser uses Bluetooth, eliminating the need for a USB receiver altogether. It took only a couple seconds to pair this mouse to a MacBook with built-in Bluetooth, and it worked smoothly. A manual on/off switch on this mouse's underside can help to conserve battery.

    The $70 Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser is sleek with shiny black accents and a silver-edged wheel. The "Nano" in this mouse's name refers to its ultra tiny USB receiver, which sticks out only about a quarter of an inch when plugged in, so it can be left in a laptop at all times for ease-of-use. If needed, this receiver can be hidden away in the cavity of the mouse, under a snap-on lid. I used the VX Nano to glide around Web pages and Word documents with buttery smoothness.

    No matter what mouse you choose to use with your laptop, most will be considerably more comfortable than touch pads and trackpoints, especially while working on long, mouse-intensive projects. But of the three lower-end mobile mice, the Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse delivers the best combination of comfort and transportability.


    When Cell Phones Won't Work There's Now an Inexpensive Way to Signal Emergency Time and Location

    "Phoning Home Without a Phone:  Simple Device Alerts Emergency Contacts From Remote Areas," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2008; Page D5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120165547095927163.html

    On a chilly day, most folks find it tough to open the front door to retrieve the newspaper -- much less climb a 15,000-foot mountain. But plenty of people court danger by rappelling down canyons and camping in remote woodlands. This week, I tested a device that will give thrill seekers a little extra insurance: It lets the folks back home track their progress, and learn when they're OK or when they're in trouble.

    When activated, the $170 SPOT Satellite Messenger from SPOT Inc., the Milpitas, Calif., unit of Globalstar Inc., emits a signal to GPS satellites, which notify SPOT's messaging service. The service then sends a message to friends, family or emergency rescue teams about your current status. Because it uses GPS technology, the SPOT will work even when you're far from cellphone signal range and anywhere in the world.

    I tested SPOT in my Washington, D.C., neighborhood (city parks still count as outdoorsy) and on a trip across the California desert and mountains on the way to a conference -- though I was scaling mountains in an air-conditioned SUV rather than in a rock-climbing harness.

    In my tests, SPOT worked without a problem. Notifications from the device were delivered to my friends via email and text message and included my current latitude and longitude. The service also sent along canned messages that I set up in advance on the company's Web site at www.findmespot.com and hyperlinks to Google Maps that showed my location.

    SPOT charges a $100 annual service fee, which includes an unlimited number of messages that can be sent out from your device using three buttons: OK/Check, Help and 911. An additional $50 per year tracking service called SPOTcasting follows and marks your exact location every 10 minutes for 24 hours each time it's initiated.

    This simple and straightforward device could really help in a dangerous situation. And the company takes its job seriously: A steely message on the SPOT packaging reads, "Opening this box is the first step in making sure you don't come home in one." But SPOT could also save the day in less-adventurous situations, such as when your car dies and you're out of cellphone range.

    However, SPOT isn't perfect. While its three message-sending buttons make it easy to use, they also limit the types of messages it can send. There's no keyboard, so messages must be brief and set up in advance on the Web site. And the device only sends messages and can't receive them. Your friends and family have no way of getting back in touch with you on SPOT should you send a Help message from beyond cellphone range.

    SPOT is a bright orange device with roughly the same surface measurement as a BlackBerry, though it's considerably thicker. Its durable casing makes it waterproof and floatable, along with working in extremes like -40 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 21,000 feet above sea level. It runs on two AA lithium batteries, which last for different amounts of time according to the type of message being sent.

    Setting up SPOT took only a few minutes on the Web site. A default or personalized message can be set up to go out with OK/Check and Help notifications, and email addresses and cellphone numbers (for SMS text messages) can be entered online as the destinations for these messages. Every message includes the user's current location in terms of latitude and longitude, along with a hyperlink to access that location via Google Maps.

    Continued in article


    Two Cell Phones With Keyboards
    I looked at two of the latest handsets in this category: the LG VX9800 from Verizon Wireless and Samsung D307 from Cingular Wireless.  For the LG phone, Verizon offers a choice between $400 with a one-year contract and $300 with a two-year contract. Cingular sells the Samsung for $250 with a two-year service contract. Of the two phones, I like the LG better despite its higher price: The keyboard is much easier to use than Samsung's, and the phone offers a few extras, including a 1.3-megapixel camera and a media card slot.
    Grace Aquino, "Two Sleek Cell Phones With Handy Data Entry:  Sending text messages and entering contacts in your phone's address book can be a whole lot easier with a keyboard-equipped handset," PC World via The Washington Post, November 28, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/CellKeyboard


    Question
    How do multi-touch screens differ from traditional touch screens like you find on an ATM machine?

    But multitouch interfaces are potentially much more versatile. They allow you to use your fingers to manipulate virtual objects on a screen as if they were real, sort of the way Tom Cruise's character did in the 2002 Steven Spielberg science-fiction film, "Minority Report." For example, Microsoft's Surface allows users to rearrange groups of digital photos by just dragging them around on the table top as if they were actual paper prints. Unlike the touch screens on, say, ATMs, multitouch devices are able to distinguish between the press of a single finger and the press of multiple fingers, and to interpret the motions or gestures you make. They take different actions depending on how many fingers they detect and which gestures a user performs. On Apple's MacBook Air, the touchpad still allows you to use one finger to move the cursor and click like a mouse can. But, optionally, it can do much more using multitouch gestures. You can rotate photos by just touching two fingers to the touchpad and moving the images on the screen as you wish. You can quickly move back and forth through a series of Web pages or photos by "swiping," or placing three fingers on the touchpad and moving them rapidly sideways. And you can shrink or expand a photo, or zoom in and out on a Web page, by pinching the image.
    Walter S. Mossberg, "Multitouch Interface Is Starting to Spread Among New Devices," The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2008; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120174029197330447.html


    From Mossberg's Mailbox
    "How to Split Up MP3 Files," The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2006; Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/mossberg_mailbox.html

    Q: I'm downloading some lectures in MP3 format and then transferring each to an audio CD to listen to while driving. An occasional lecture in the series is too large to transfer to CD. Is there a program that will divide these into two tracks so that they can be written to separate CDs?

    A: Yes, there are multiple little utility programs that can split (or join) MP3 files. I haven't tested any of them, so I can't recommend one. But you can find them by going to www.download.com and typing in "mp3 splitter."


    The Duo introduce that wonderful time-shifting gadget, the digital video recorder --- http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,200,00.asp
    Also see "Meet the DVR," The Washington Post, December 31, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/DuoDVR

    "Videotape to DVD, Made Easy," by David Pogue, The New York Times, January 27, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/27/technology/circuits/27stat.html?oref=login  

    Whoever said "technology marches on" must have been kidding. Technology doesn't march; it sprints, dashes and zooms.

    That relentless pace renders our storage media obsolete with appalling speed:5¼-inch floppies, Zip disks or whatever. And with the debut of each new storage format, millions of important files, photos, music and video have to be rescued from the last one.

    At the moment, the most urgent conversion concerns videotape, whose signal begins to deteriorate in as little as 15 years. Rescuing tapes by copying them to fresh ones isn't an option, because you lose half the picture quality with each generation. You could play them into a computer for editing and DVD burning, but that's a months-long project. You could pay a company to transfer them to DVD, if you can stomach the cost and the possibility that something might happen to your precious tapes in the mail.

    There is, fortunately, a safe, automated and relatively inexpensive solution to this problem: the combo VHS-DVD recorder. It looks like a VCR, but it can play or record both VHS tapes and blank DVD discs, and copy from one to the other, in either direction. Pressing a couple of buttons begins the process of copying a VHS tape to a DVD, with very little quality loss. (You can't duplicate copy-protected tapes or DVD's, of course; only tapes and discs you've recorded yourself.)

    And if your movies are on some other format, like 8-millimeter cassettes, you can plug the old camcorder into the back of this machine, hit Play, and walk away as the video is transferred to a DVD.

    (Of course, now you have to worry about the longevity of recordable DVD's. Fortunately, a DVD's movie files are stored as digital signals, not analog, so you won't lose any quality when you copy them onto whatever video format is popular in 2025. Video contact lenses, perhaps?)

    As a bonus, a combo VCR-DVD player-recorder can eliminate one machine stacked under the TV, one remote control and, in most cases, one set of cables to your TV. (None of this makes it simple, however. All of these machines are far more complex than, say, a stand-alone DVD player.)

    I sampled four of these combo boxes: the Panasonic DMR-E75V, the RCA DRC8300N, GoVideo's VR2940, and the JVC DR-MV1S. (Who makes up these model names, anyway - drunken Scrabble players?) All are available online for $285 to $350. As it turns out, shopping for a combo recorder is an exercise in compromise. Here are some of the trade-offs you have to look forward to.

    JACKS Each recorder has a dazzling array of jacks on the front and back panels, for ease in connecting to your other home-entertainment gear. For example, each has so-called component video outputs for a superior picture on recent TV sets. JVC and GoVideo even included a front-panel FireWire input, which lets you dump footage from a digital camcorder directly onto a DVD.

    Unfortunately, the GoVideo deck lacks an S-video input, a high-quality connection to many camcorder models. And a note to videophiles: The RCA, JVC and GoVideo decks can play both VCR and DVD signals through the same set of component video cables, so you don't have to switch TV inputs to get the best quality. DISC FORMAT Thanks to a foolhardy war between electronics companies, there are two incompatible formats for blank DVD's, confusingly called DVD-R and DVD+R. Recorded discs of either type will play in most recent DVD players, but you have to be careful to buy the right kind of blanks for your recorder, and many stores carry only one type.

    The RCA and GoVideo decks require DVD+R (and their more expensive, erase-and-reuse variant, DVD+RW). The Panasonic and JVC players take DVD-R discs (and the erasable DVD-RW). A disc of either format must be "finalized" (a 2- to 15-minute electronic shrink-wrapping) before it will play in other DVD players.

    As a bonus, the Panasonic and JVC models also accept a third format called DVD-RAM, which doesn't play in most everyday DVD players. But if you just leave it in your recorder, you can use it pretty much like a hard drive, adding and deleting recordings at will, slicing out commercials, watching the beginning of a show whose ending is still being recorded, and so on.

    Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#Technology 

    Recall that David Pogue is also the author of a must-have book for frustrated Windows users who at last make a switch to a Mac system.  I wrote the following module in the January 18 edition of New Bookmarks:

    Tired of Computer Viruses, Spyware, and all the Other Microsoft Diseases?
    Switch to a Mac

    If you switch to a  Mac, a must book is Mac OS X: The Missing Manual by David Pogue http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0596000820/002-3743809-1628824?v=glance 

    This book explains how to translate what you liked to do in Windows into how to do the same things on a Mac.

    Question
    How can you turn your PC into HD TV?

    Answer
    "HD PC: Cheaper Than High-Def TV," Wired News, September 4, 2004 --- http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,64850,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

    High-definition television can show the sweat beading on an athlete's brow, but the cost of all the necessary electronic equipment can get a shopper's own pulse racing.

    Instead of dropping more than $1,000 for a new TV, set-top box and antenna to bring in the signals that dramatically improve TV picture quality, look not in the living room, but in the home office. A $200 upgrade can turn a personal computer into a "starter" high-definition television.

    The new product from ATI Technologies puts high-definition versions of Law and Order, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and other hit TV shows within the budgets of far more households.

    Indeed, the Markham, Ontario, company bills its HDTV Wonder as "the home's first HDTV device," able not only to show HD-video, but also to record scheduled programs onto a hard drive. Still, some experts say it may be better to start saving for the real thing.

    "It's a tricycle with training wheels," said Gartner media analyst Laura Behrens. With the possible exception of college students and people living in cramped apartments, few households have any interest in watching television on a computer monitor, Behrens said. Moreover, a TV system designed for high-definition broadcasts would offer superior picture quality.

    The ATI system uses the home PC's computing horsepower to process over-the-air high-definition signals and the monitor's high resolution to display them in vivid color. Although other cards have been available, ATI's offering puts nearly everything one needs into a single box and at a $200 price that reviewers say sets a new low bar.

    The HDTV Wonder includes a remote control designed for use on a PC and an antenna to pick up the digital signals. By contrast, the MyHD from Korea's Macro Image Technology and the WinTV-HD from Hauppauge Computer Works cost $100 more and do not come with an antenna.

    ATI says there are 1,129 digital television stations -- not all of them in high-definition -- sent over the airwaves in the United States, with at least one of those signals reaching almost every household.

    All of the major networks are broadcasting much of their entire prime-time schedule in high-definition, Behrens said. On CBS, for instance, viewers can watch the Republican National Convention in all of its high-definition pomp or tune into an ultra-clear performance by Paulina Rubio on the Latin Grammy Awards in high-definition, for free. Many cable and satellite TV companies also offer additional HD programming, but at a monthly fee. Aside from HDTV, the ATI card can display regular cable television and record shows on hard drives. Consumer reaction to the product has been mixed. A review in PC World magazine said the device "severely taxed" a top-of-the-line computer that was decked out with a Pentium 4 microprocessor and a gigabyte of memory.

    Another reviewer, on ExtremeTech, listed a 10-point wish list for the device -- including a simpler remote control and easier-to-use software -- but said prime-time TV and sports programming was "glorious to watch."

    Loyd Case, ExtremeTech's technical director, said ATI's card and others like it may best serve the technologically savvy because, but may be too challenging for the novice user. The real advantage of choosing a PC card is the ability to turn a computer into a "media hub" for the home, holding music, pictures, movies, and television broadcasts, Case said.

    "I think it's always going to be more of an enthusiast type of market," he said.

     


    PC World Videos on New Products --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html

    The Duo introduce that wonderful time-shifting gadget, the digital video recorder --- http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,200,00.asp
    Also see "Meet the DVR," The Washington Post, December 31, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/DuoDVR


    A Talking Pen That Computes and Checks Spelling

    "New Computer Pen Reads Handwriting And Can Talk Back," by Stephanie Kang, The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2005, Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110549457385323664,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace 


    "Portable Media Center Is the Wrong Choice For Nontechie Users," by Walter Mossberg,  The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2004; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,personal_technology,00.html 


    The holidays may mean food and decorating to some, but for the geek crowd, they're just another excuse to buy gadgets. Here's a collection of cool ones on my Christmas wish list.

    "Gifts to Sate Your Technolust," by Xeni Jardin, Wired News, December 2, 2004 --- http://www.wired.com/news/holidays/0,1882,65880,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2 

    For geeks, the most telling signs of seasonal reality have nothing to do with a crisp chill in the smog, the scent of tofurkey roasting in the microwave or that scraping sound a super-sized fir makes when you're cramming it through the front door of your nano-apartment.

    No. The sure sign it's time to move out of holiday denial and into holiday acceptance is the sight of all those fresh gadgets jamming shelves at the mall.

    TrafficGauge -- Sometimes, simplicity is what makes a tech tool great, and the TrafficGauge handheld freeway map is proof positive. Its flat, rectangular display looks like a PDA, but instead shows only a fixed map of local freeways. The display dynamically fills with solid or blinking lines to indicate slow or stop-and-go road conditions. [Elaboration not quoted here]

    DVX-Pod -- Yes, the name includes a familiar suffix, and the curvilinear white frame does look a little Apple-y. But the DVX-Pod has little in common with the rest of the current crop of handheld entertainment devices. And with a formidable array of features, this personal media player may be well-positioned to compete with Microsoft's portable offerings. [Elaboration not quoted here]

    Sennheiser headphones -- Nothing says, "Go away, I'm watching a Kurosawa epic on my handheld" like an intimidating pair of noise-canceling headphones, a mandatory add-on for any personal media player purchase. Sennheiser offers an array of admirably equipped models, including our fave, the HD212Pro. Tight treble, buttery bass and helpful elimination of the rest of the world around you. [Elaboration not quoted here]

    Apple, Apple, everywhere -- No list of gadget gift ideas would be complete without mention of the myriad iPod variants and accessories out this season. In addition to the now-ubiquitous mini, Apple Computer's holiday basket includes a U2-branded black-and-red edition iPod that features chrome-etched autographs and holds 5,000 songs, and the iPod photo edition, which stores and displays up to 25,000 pics on a color screen (music playback capabilities also included, natch.) If the person on your list is already packin' a pod, consider something from the long list of accessories -- knit "iPod socks," cute little leather cases that clip on to belts or purses, and helper devices like the Bose SoundDock Digital Music System. Dock your iPod into the device, and voilà: an instant digital stereo system. [Elaboration not quoted here]

    Everquest Design space history bags -- What better to wrap your digital gewgaws in than a bag that's been floating around in space for a year? Everquest makes laptop bags, messenger packs and other handy carriers using fabric recycled from landing parachutes used on space missions. Editions from the International Space Station and the Russian Soyuz craft are available now, and a space shuttle line is coming soon. Bags are well-constructed, include plenty of pockets, and hold up well with hard use. If the fabric's good enough for cosmonauts, it's strong enough to carry your earthbound electronic burdens. [Elaboration not quoted here]


    PHPQuickGallery --- http://www.csh.rit.edu/~benjamin/programs/program.php?program=PHPQuickGallery 

    PHPQuickGallery is the solution for those who want to have a simple, easy to manage web gallery. Adding new photos or galleries is as simple as creating directories and copying in the files (You could keep them there, but you do have backups of your photos right?). PHPQuickGallery doesn't require the user to add the photos to a database, go through some web form, or have a script run to create new web pages. PHPQuickGallery will automatically detect and display anything new that is added.


    "Since Keeping Photos In Shoeboxes Is Passé, Try Making Slideshows," by Thomas E. Weber, The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2004, Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,personal_technology,00.html 

    Recently I tested nine programs capable of turning snapshots into video presentations. I found that some work especially well for beginners -- or anyone who wants to whip up a slideshow without investing a lot of time.

    The basic steps for creating a slideshow are pretty much the same regardless of which program you use. You start by selecting a group of digital photos and placing them in the order in which you want them to appear. (A rule of thumb says to show each photo for about five seconds, so 30 photos will give you a slideshow 2½ minutes long.) Next, if you like, you can add a soundtrack -- most programs will incorporate any MP3 file you want. Finally, you burn the slideshow onto a DVD.

    Some slideshow programs are included as part of broader video-editing packages designed to produce DVDs from home movies shot with a camcorder. Others, which cater mainly to still-image photographers, focus primarily on slideshows. Among the dedicated slideshow programs, I prefer ArcSoft's DVD SlideShow ($50, www.arcsoft.com ), which allowed me to put together a polished presentation in about 30 minutes.

    DVD SlideShow's strength is its menus, which walk you through the process in clear, simple steps while still providing access to advanced options -- notably, "pan and zoom" tools that add motion to still images by zooming in on a portion of the image or moving it around the screen. Another worthwhile feature: the ability to archive the original digital-photo files on the DVD along with the slideshow. That makes each DVD a valuable backup copy of your images.

    One downside to ArcSoft's program is its price. Considering that good video-editing packages don't cost a lot more, some consumers may not want to pay this much solely for slideshow production. And while DVD SlideShow's features help justify the price, they could go further. The program allows you to lighten or darken individual photos, for example, but it doesn't include a fix for redeye -- one of the most common snapshot problems.

    If you plan on working with home videos as well as slideshows, it makes more sense to get a video-editing package. The good news here is that one of the most user-friendly editing programs includes a straightforward slideshow maker. It's called MyDVD 5.3 Deluxe from Sonic Solutions ($70, www.sonic.com).

    Like DVD SlideShow, MyDVD has users follow a simple process, and the program will archive the original photos onto the DVD. However, MyDVD doesn't include pan-and-zoom features, and you'll need to lighten or darken poorly exposed images and fix red eye using another program, such as Adobe's Photoshop Elements, before importing them into MyDVD.

    Those using an Apple computer won't need to agonize over which slideshow program to choose. Apple's excellent iLife package ($49; included with new Macs) is all they'll need. Users can construct slideshows in the package's easy-to-use iDVD program or move slideshows from iPhoto into iDVD for burning onto a disc. For more effects, the iMovie video-editing software can add panning and zooming motion.

    No matter which software you try, there are tricks you can use to make better slideshows. The most important: When in doubt, go with an understated approach. Most programs offer a variety of exotic "transitions" that make the next photo in the sequence appear to explode out of the prior image or spin around the screen. Basic dissolve or fade-in/fade-out transitions show off photos best.

    Similarly, pan-and-zoom tools -- dubbed "Ken Burns effects" by Apple because they evoke the documentary filmmaker's style -- can leave your audience dizzy unless applied judiciously. (Windows users who get serious about panning and zooming eventually may want to consider a $199 program called Imaginate from Canopus that gives you supreme control over these effects.)

    One last tip: Keep the slideshow format in mind when you take pictures. Snap some images that help recall the details -- the sign outside a restaurant, for instance. They may not be worth printing, but they can help tell the story.

    More in the article.

    "On the Road Again," The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2004 --- http://online.wsj.com/page/0,,2_1097,00.html?mod=home_in_depth_reports 

    About 40% of workers now travel for business, and that figure will rise to two-thirds by the end of 2006, by some estimates. And as the roster of road warriors grows, so does the demand for new gadgets to keep business running smoothly. Here are 10 technologies that companies are using to keep their mobile workers connected and productive.

    Wi-Fi + VOIP = ?
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109051080284071051,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2  

    The ability to make wireless calls over the Internet is coming. But the combination of wireless calls and the Internet may unleash a whole new set of unpredictable changes in the telecommunications industry.

     
    Getting Old Photos Onto Your PC
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109059952883672336,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 

    The next time you have a few weeks with nothing to do, here's a project guaranteed to kill the time: Grab that old shoebox full of snapshots and scan them into your computer.


     
    H-P Gets a Makeover
    http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109052778547671386,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
     Hewlett-Packard has long been known as one of Silicon Valley's old gray ladies, famous for dull products such as financial calculators and heavy-duty printers. But the company hopes a new design initiative can turn around its dull image.

     
    Expanding Cells
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109059481168772289,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
    What will your cellphone be able to do in the future? South Korea -- where residents already use their phones to watch movies, activate home appliances and post photos on Web sites -- offers some clues.

     
    1-800-USELESS
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109059641035272309,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
    For consumers, call centers are often a descent into voice-mail hell. Maybe they don't have to be. Companies are starting to spend money on technology to revolutionize the way call centers operate, for a more efficient and friendly experience for customers.

     
    Lost in Traffic
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109052982818971448,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
    As the e-commerce boom snowballs, big retailers have begun piling into comparison sites -- and making life a lot tougher for their small competitors. Here's how the little guy can survive.

     
    Videophones: The New Generation
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109051654537871156,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
    Videophones have been promised as an everyday device for decades. But now, broadband connections are breathing new life into a technology that has never lived up to its potential.

     
    Photo Ops
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109052470765771301,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
    The problem: What do you do with all those pictures you can now take on your cellphone? The solution: moblogs.

     
    Business Solutions: Protecting Your Network
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109059703283972319,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
    Software makers try to stay ahead of attacks by issuing a steady stream of patches installed manually on each desktop. Now, better ways to manage patches are emerging -- and they promise to make the protection process faster and more efficient.

     
    Web Watch
     http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109051200985071085,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
    From golf equipment to garden art -- see what's hot on the Web.

     

    Mac users can create their own Internet radio stations 
    Nicecast 1.0 ---
    http://www.rogueamoeba.com/nicecast/ 

    Top Digital Cameras --- http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,113291,00.asp

    What you need to know before buying a digital camera (probably more than you want to know)
    When can we stop using the term "digital cameras" and just call these things "cameras"? They began outselling film-based cameras in 2003, and by the end of this year over half of U.S. households will own a digital model, according to the Photo Marketing Association International. But their mass-market status doesn't change the fact that digital cameras remain computers with lenses, and they require some of the same careful shopping -- from contemplating puzzling measurements to choosing among incompatible formats.
    Rob Pegoraro, "Be Camera-Ready When You Shop," The Washington Post, August 21, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/20/AR2005082000187.html?referrer=email   

    Set up free conference calls at http://www.freeconference.com/
    Also see http://www.yackpack.com/uc/   

    Low Cost Conference Calls --- http://www.ecom-universe.net/mortgage/conf/ 

    "You Can Merge MP3 Tracks To Avoid Hearing Gaps in Music," by Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB106323053792236900,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

    There's no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

    Here are a few questions about computers I've received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about listening to music on an iPod, Wi-Fi interference, and protecting your computer from viruses.

    Q: Apple's iPod plays songs with a slight pause between the tracks. What this means is that, on an album such as the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper," certain songs don't play with seamlessly mixed segues as originally released, but instead with annoying gaps in the flow of the music. Is there any way to fix this?

    A: There is no setting on the iPod, or on any other player I know of, to eliminate the gap between tracks. But it's possible to get rid of the gaps by merging, or "joining," MP3 tracks on the computer before transferring them to portable players. This procedure turns two or more tracks into one, either during the process of converting songs from a CD, or afterward.

    Apple has added a feature to its iTunes music program, free of charge on all Macs, that allows you to join CD tracks during the conversion process. When you insert a CD to be converted into MP3 files, you just select two or more tracks and then go to the Advanced menu and select "Join Tracks." The program will draw a link between the names of the tracks, and will then merge them into a single MP3 file.

    There are a number of programs for Windows that do something similar. One is a $20 shareware program called "MP3 Splitter & Joiner," from EZ Softmagic Inc., at www.ezsoftmagic.com . Another is "Twins File Merger," from Twins Software Online, a $15 shareware program found at www.twins-software.com . Both programs work on MP3 files that already are on your hard disk. The Twins Software Inc. program also can merge other types of files, including video clips, text files and Word files.

    Continued in the article.

    Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- http://ptech.wsj.com/ 

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm 


    "H-P Has an Easy Way to Let You Convert Old Videos Into DVDs," by Walt Mossbert, The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB10614140399004700,00.html?mod=Personal+Technology 

    Using a computer to transfer old videos onto DVDs should be simple, but it's a hassle. Older camcorders and VCRs are analog devices and can't translate the contents of a video into the digital format computers understand. You need an extra gadget called an analog-to-digital converter to put between the camcorder or VCR, and the computer.

    A number of converter products are on the market. But they are often complicated or unreliable. I recently tested three of them that worked poorly, or not at all. Some new digital camcorders can act as converters, but they are expensive and tricky to use in this way. And you still need a DVD recorder, something most PCs lack, to actually create the discs and finish the job.

    Now, Hewlett-Packard is attacking the problem with a gadget called the DVD Movie Writer dc3000. It's an external accessory for Windows computers that combines, in one integrated box, an analog-to-digital converter and a DVD recorder. It will be sold late next month at $399.

    H-P promises that the DVD Movie Writer will allow users to convert old videos from their camcorder or VCR tapes to DVDs in just a few simple steps. In my tests, I found the claim to be true.

    But there is one huge caveat: Microsoft's Windows Messenger, an unrelated product that comes with every copy of the Windows XP operating system, interferes with the video transfer and must be disabled for the DVD Movie Writer to work correctly. H-P says there is a new patch for Windows that fixes the problem, and that the patch will be included in the installation software for the product. If the fix really works, the company will have a winner on its hands.

    Continued in the Article

    Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- http://ptech.wsj.com/ 

     

    Online Magazine (for Information Professionals) --- http://www.onlineinc.com/onlinemag/index.html 

    ONLINE is written for Information Professionals and provides articles, product reviews, case studies, evaluation, and informed opinion about selecting, using, and managing electronic information products, plus industry and professional information about online database systems, CD-ROM, and the Internet. This site contains selected full-text articles and news from each issue of the magazine. Direct letters to the editor to Marydee Ojala ( Marydee@xmission.com ). If you are interested in writing for ONLINE, please see the Authors' Guidelines.

    Technology and Multimedia

    Hello, Professor Jensen.

    I came across your web pages with the listings of the many other useful web pages.

    I am writing to ask if you could add PhoeniX Technologies Incorporated (PTI) to this list. Our Visualeyez™ suite of products is an ideal candidate for 3D, real-time, Virtual Reality and animation applications. Of particular significance to virtual environment projects is its flawless marker ID tracking--virtually eliminating marker swapping problems and the associated requirement to clean up data. An appropriate category for our listing would probably be "Technology/Multimedia". --- http://www.ptiphoenix.com/VZfeatures.html 

    If a link to our site could be added to your page, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

    David Binner PhoeniX Technologies Incorporated 3D Motion Capture System Real Time, ALL THE TIME

    4302 Norfolk St. Burnaby, B.C. V5G 4J9 Canada Tel: 604 - 321 - 3238 Fax: 604 - 321 - 3286

    Audio Searching for Sounds --- See Audio Searching

    DVD Technology and Burners (Older-Style versus HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray)

    DVD FAQs --- http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html

    TiVo (pronounced TeeVo)= digital video recorder (DVR) mostly used to capture television shows for replay later on according to an annual fee that downloads television schedules making it easier to choose what and when to record. History of this device and its controversies are summarized at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiVo

    “Tapping Your TiVo's Hidden Talents,” by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2008, Page D8 --- Click Here


    Blu-Ray versus DVD

    Blui-ray Disc --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc

    How Blu-ray Discs Work --- http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/blu-ray.htm

    "At last, Blu-ray poised to change the big picture," by Tom Shales, The Washington Post, December 8, 2009 ---
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/07/AR2009120703811.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter


    How to Buy a DVD Recorder --- Click Here

    Older Articles
    Top Rewritable DVD Drives --- http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,113276,00.asp 

    Burn TV on DVD
    Does your aging VCR, with its clunky analog tapes and limited capabilities, feel antiquated? Maybe it's time to switch to a slim DVD recorder. Today's models offer better quality and larger recording capacity than ye olde VCR--plus on-screen programming guides, and built-in hard drives that hold hundreds of hours of video. The newest DVD recorders far outshine last year's relatively primitive models--making this a great time to jump in. They're cheaper, too: A year ago, such recorders were priced for the television elite--up to $1000 for one with a 160GB hard drive--but today various models are within reach of ordinary TV watchers. A basic recorder (like CyberHome's DVR1600) sells for less than $100; a model with an 80GB hard drive (for example, the Lite-On LVW-5045) costs less than $300; and a deluxe 250GB model (such as the Toshiba RD-XS54) runs about $700.
    Richard Baguley, "Burn TV on DVD:  The latest DVD recorders have hard drives, program guides, and lower prices. If you love TV, one of these ten models may be right for you," The Washington Post, November 30, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/29/AR2005112901188.html?referrer=email  

    Blu-ray set to be DVD standard after Toshiba white flag:  Alas most of us will need new DVD players (probably new computers)
    Sony's Blu-ray looks set to become the standard for high-definition DVDs after Toshiba signalled Monday that it may give up in a long-running format battle, to the relief of investors. Toshiba Corp. is reviewing its HD DVD business and "a complete withdrawal is one of the options it is considering," an industry source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Blu-ray and HD DVD -- which are incompatible -- can provide cinematic-quality images and multimedia features but the players come at a much steeper price than current-generation DVDs. The demise of HD DVD could spur sales of next-generation DVD players among consumers, who have been reluctant to gamble on one of the formats, analysts said, although Blu-ray was already far ahead in sales, particularly in Japan. Blu-ray can store more data than HD DVD but was initially seen as more expensive to make. Nonetheless, a growing number of Hollywood studios and retailers have decided to go exclusively with Blu-ray. US giant Wal-Mart gave a decisive boost to Blu-ray last week when it said it would stop selling HD DVDs.
    PhysOrg, February 18, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news122541604.html
     

     Jensen Comment
     The question for you is whether you television sets and computers can play Blu-ray disks?
     For example, Dell and HP strongly supports the move to Blu-ray, but we have to expect this is partly due to Dell and HP users who will now buy new computers.
     Dell now takes orders for a Blu-ray laptop --- http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/12/12/dell_touts_blu-ray_laptop/

    Neflix enthusiasts like me will have to enable their accounts to get Blue-ray DVD movies --- http://www.netflix.com/MediaSelection?lnkctr=gnHdMedia

    February 19, 2008 reply from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

    I'm pretty ignorant here.

    (1)  Will Blue Ray work with any HD TV?
    (2)  When standard DVDs are no longer produced, will the Blu-Ray DVDs work on the regular DVD player on my laptop?
    (3)  If the answer to (2) is no, then will it work to pop out my old DVD drive from my computer and purchase/install a new Blu-Ray drive, or will the lack of HD on my computer screen (machine is 15 months old) destine it to the junk heap.
    (4)  Is all the bother really worth it?  I mean, I watch DVD movies on my laptop, and I'm not seeing HD at all.  Everything seems fine.  In fact, all of this is better than anything I ever had before.
    (5)  I pick up my DVD movies at the Walmart $5 bargain bin, and at pawn shops.  How long until I can start picking up blu-ray DVDs for the same prices at the same places?
    (6)  Will getting HD improve my BMI?

    David Albrecht
    LD in Ohio
     

    February 19, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

    What pretty well sealed the deal for Sony’s Blu-Ray was when Wal-Mart adopted this standard worldwide for movie disks and players.

    I don’t have all the answers to your questions David, but the two technologies are not compatible. On our computers most of us have CD drives, older-style DVD drives, or in on occasion Toshiba’s standard HD-DVD drives. The CD disks and older-style DVD data disks are cheap and will probably be around for quite a while for data file recording and reading. The HD-DVD recorders and players will go the way of Betamax when the VCR standard beat out Betamax. Original DVD drives would not play HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movie disks. However, HD-DVD players could playback older-style DVD disks that you may have recorded on your computer or purchased from vendors of data and software.

    HD-DVD drives will not play Blu-Ray DVD disks that will become the new equivalent of the VCR back when we rented movies on VCR cartridges and recorded television programs on VCR recorders. Older style DVD drives that are on many computers will not play Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disks.

    You can get answers from the following links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-Ray

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD-DVD

    Technical --- http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hd-dvd3.htm

    The bottom line is that we will have to buy Blu-Ray drives for our television sets rather quickly. Folks who purchased archives of Betamax and HD-DVD movies will be out of luck just like those of us with boxes full of 8-Track music cartridges are out of luck. You will soon have to purchase a Blu-Ray player to watch DVD movies. You will also be buying Blu-Ray recorders to record television shows for your personal use.

    Colleges will have to spend a lot of money putting Blu-Ray technology in electronic classrooms and labs. Even more costly will be getting Blu-Ray technology on faculty and staff computers. This will take time. It will be possible to replace the DVD drives without replacing the computers, but my guess is that many colleges will wait until faculty/staff members are due for new computer upgrades. In the meantime you will be able to buy blank CD and older-style DVD disks for some time at places like Staples. HD-DVD blanks will disappear much more quickly.

     Bob Jensen

     

    February 19, 2008 reply from Mac Wright [Mac.Wright@VU.EDU.AU]

    So today Toshiba has thrown in the towel. But what is next? from the time Sony threw in the Betamax towel until Video CDs was (I estimate) about 15 years. then DVDs arrived, then High speed internet, now Blue ray, In the end it is up to the market (probably on the Asian Continent and Indian Sub Continent) to decide how they will take their dose of movies, and with what new technology it will be delivered (and there are very few Wal -Mart stores out there!).

    Kind regards,

    Mac Wright
    Co-ordinator Aviation Program
    Victoria University
    Melbourne Australia

    February 19, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Mac,

    Interestingly, Barry Rice and I had a somewhat similar debate when Barry first started the AECM. Barry argued that the CD had no future because other portable hard drives were better ways of storing data. He was correct only to a point especially with respect to overwriting files (no CD-RW at the time of this debate). Portable hard drive cartridges in those days cost about $100 and stored roughly the same amount of data as a CD. Some types of data were difficult to burn on CDs in those days. Also remember that there was no flash memory in those days such that hard drive cartridges relied on mechanical readers prone to breakdowns.

    You’ve got to remember that in mid-1980s it was much more difficult to download data on the Internet and hard drive capacity on a PC was less than 1 Gb such that storage was nowhere near as cheap as it is today.

    My counterpoint to Barry was that we could buy a blank CD for about $3 in those days as compared to comparable storage costing $100 on portable hard drives such as those Iomega cartridges that were subject to high failure rates relative to the less expensive CD disks. Certainly my old CD stored files are still around today whereas all my Omega cartridges and drives are kaput.

    In any case, I think the Blu-Ray DVD disks will be around for at least a decade (no computing hardware technology lasts forever). Reasons include:

    • You don't have to pay for an expensive monthly broadband connection to rent or buy a DVD disk.

       
    • Hollywood studios are embracing Blu-Ray DVDs as the sales and rental medium of the future for users who cannot or do not want to download movies, such as the many television lovers in the world who do not use computers. Also, in the heart of Africa or the Amazon where there is no live TV reception, users with TV sets can still use DVD disks on television sets.


       
    • Even though outfits like Netflix now make it possible to download movies, this is still less popular than the tremendous disk rental service that Netfilx offers these days for playback on television sets (I love this service). Although I could download movies on my computers, I prefer to get the DVD disks that I can watch in comfort of my Lazyboy chair in front of a large-screen television set. Already Netflix has an option for renting DVD disks in the Blu-Ray format.


       
    • DVD rental and sales disks in stores appeal to browsers and impulse shoppers. I would never think of buying movie on sale at Wal-Mart unless I stumbled over a display of on-sale legendary movies in the in the aisle.

       
    Blank DVD disks are still very cheap ways to store lots of data over a long time and less prone to failure than any other alternatives.

    Bob Jensen

    February 19, 2008 message from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

    Is it really progress?

    My grad classes have some interesting takes on this stuff. Few of them know what an 8-track cartridge is, and I doubt anyone on this list remembers magnetic wire recorders (before the invention of tape) which my dad used when I was a little kid.

    So what is *real* progress?

    I make students question the use of the word "standard". This allows some very good discussion in graduate systems technology classes.

    For instance, I take issue with the statement "the market will decide". See http://cob.jmu.edu/fordham/essay11.htm which is a part of my grad class from two years ago.

    To quote from a paragraph late in that essay, "While the media pundits call this a "standard", it really isn't a consumer-level standard at all, but rather a "producer-level" standard. Calling the Blu-Ray-vs-HDDVD a standards war is like calling the "Boeing vs. Airbus" a standards war. What the consumer wants is irrelevant. A few large companies will decide which format they will use, because to the consumer, both deliver what is essentially the same product. Once several of the producers have selected one format over the other (due more to politics, payoffs, kickbacks, and the good-ol-boy system than any valid reason), the consumers will simply end up taking what they are given. Think about it. When was the last time an airline asked you which plane you prefer, an Airbus or a Boeing?

    You were buying the end-product: the trip to Orlando, the video image, or whatever. As long as the end-product was delivered, the minor conveniences along the way were irrelevant. As that essay points out, failure to deliver convenience to consumers doesn't really matter anymore any way, a la big banks, phone companies, cellular providers, credit card companies, etc. In our inter-related technology, the need for compatibility overrides the market's wishes in terms of ALL the petty stuff. And since the large producers make the big decisions, ... well, you get the idea. The market isn't what decides.

    That essay is the springboard for some interesting and thought-provoking discussions on accounting system design. Yes, accounting systems design. Think big.

    David Fordham
    James Madison University

     

    Audio Chat Lines

    Microsoft V-Chat 1.1 Home Page
    Talk City
    Talk.com
    Welcome to Yahoo! Chat,

    Miscellaneous Audio on the WWW

    From the University of Virginia (Music, History)
    Lift Every Voice --- http://www.lib.virginia.edu/speccol/exhibits/music/audio.html 
    You can download the music.

    For MP3 information, I recommend going to http://www.howstuffworks.com/mp3.htm  (You have to hit the Next button quite often). I am afraid that I am rather inefficient about this. I record audio as WAV files using my Turtle Beach software. Then I edit (clip, change volume, enhance) the wav files before compressing (converting) into MP3 files. The software I use for compression is called Blade. The link to Blade download options can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q4.htm#MP3 

    Easy CD Creator 5 Platinum --- http://www.roxio.com/en/products/cdrpc.jhtml 

    Easy CD Creator 5 Platinum for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/Me goes way beyond the software that came with your CD recorder. Now you can burn and share anything on CD - your music just the way you like it, your photos, your videos - even backup your critical data - faster and easier than ever.

    A utility called Spin Doctor in the above package allows you to record audio directly into MP3 formats on a hard drive.  There are other utilities for editing and burning the files to a CD-R or a CD-RW disk

    There are other alternatives.  For professional work that you are planning, I recommend that you look at more sophisticated software and hardware. For example, you might exercise the free trial offer at http://www.cdr.com/html/play_record.htm   Another very good option is WinRip.  WinRip from InterVideo is an MP3 player and encoder that includes the ability to embed and present in an MP3 file additional information such as lyrics, links and promotions. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=2613 

    Recording what you hear:  More MP3 and audio-file tools than you can shake a memory stick at!

    Fred Langa, "Converting Audio Files? Let 'Er Rip!," Information Week,  July 25, 2005 --- http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=166401664

    MacWorld: Tricks and Tips --- http://www.macworld.com/howto.html

    With all that as lead in, here, then, are the suggestions from your fellow readers for the best tools for converting, ripping, and burning audio, extracted from over a megabyte of original text mail files:

     


     

     
    Audacity
    Acoustica MP3 CD Burner
    Adaptec CD Creator
    Ashampoo
    Audio Catalyst
    Audiograbber
    Burn Quick
    Burn4Free
    BurnAtOnce
    Burrrn
    Cakewalk Pyro
    CD Burner Pro
    CD Burner XP Pro
    CD'n'Go
    CD Extreme
     

     

     

     
    CD to MP3 Freeware
    CDex
    Cheetah Burner
    Creative OEM Software
    DeepBurner
    Disc Master
    dMC/dBPowerAMP
    Easy CD-DA Extractor
    Exact Audio Copy
    Express Burn
    Feurio
    Free Rip
    HotBurn
    HT Fireman
    iTunes
     

     

     

     
    J. River Media Center
    JetAudio
    K3b
    Musicmatch
    Nero
    PlexTools
    Real Audio
    RecordNow
    QuickBurn
    Quintessential
    Roxio
    Shorten Files
    Winamp
    Windows Media Player
     

     

     

    Windows Media Player
    Fred, I have several ideas about freeware to burn MP3s and a possible solution to Ken's problems in burning CDs. I use Nero for most of my CD and DVD burning so I do not have a lot of experience with other freeware, but here are two I have used. First, Windows Media Player Version 10 can burn CDs from MP3 files. It can also rip music in MP3 format if you change the rip setting from its usual WMA setting. Look under Tools, Options, and then go to the Rip Music tab. Here is a link to the download. Also, Musicmatch Jukebox has a free version in addition to its paid version. It can also burn and rip MP3 files. Here is the link to the free download. In the past, I have had somewhat the same problem Ken appears to be having when burning a CD. At the very end of a burn (usually 99% complete) I would receive an error saying the burn could not complete. After some research, I found that having autoplay on might cause the PC to read the almost complete CD and try to run it JUST BEFORE it was complete. Turning off autoplay solved that problem. Most CD recording software now does this automatically during the burn process so you can leave autoplay turned on. I am not sure if this would solve Ken's problem, but it appears that he is having the same problem with every CD-burning software he tries so it might just be worth checking.
    -- Clay Teague

    Older options for recording and composing music are summarized at http://www.cmptv.com/computerchronicles/shows/99-00/1720music/1720-summary.html 
    If the above link is bad, try http://www.computerchronicles.org/index.asp 

    For MP3 information, I recommend going to http://www.howstuffworks.com/mp3.htm  (You have to hit the Next button quite often). I am afraid that I am rather inefficient about this. I record audio as WAV files using my Turtle Beach software. Then I edit (clip, change volume, enhance) the wav files before compressing (converting) into MP3 files. The software I use for compression is called Blade. The link to Blade download options can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q4.htm#MP3 

    For MP3 compression of WAV files, I use an old (free) version of Blade described at

    http://bladeenc.mp3.no/skeleton/intro.html

    http://showcase.netins.net/web/phdss/mp3/encoders/blade.htm

    "Teachers' Tools for the 21st Century: A Report on Teachers' Use of Technology" is available online at 
    http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2000/2000102.pdf 

    I might give you some advice following my first try at using BladeEnc to covert WAV audio files into MP3 audio files.

    I downloaded BladeEnc from ZDnet at http://www.zdnet.com/ (simply type BladeEnc into the search box).

    Either turn off your screen saver or turn it temporarily up to a high enough number so that your screen saver does not kick in during the process of creating MP3 files. The screen saver does not stop the process, but you may get a blank screen that makes you think the program has crashed when it has not really crashed.

    I found it easier to copy my WAV files into the same folder as the BladeEnc.exe program.

    Recall how in may cases you can either run a program or drag files over a program (e.g., in Windows Explorer). For example, you can run Notepad.exe and then click on (File, Open) to load a txt file. Or you can use Windows Explorer and simply drag the txt file over Notepad.exe without opening Notepad.exe ahead of time.

    With BladeEnc you cannot run BladeEnc.exe and then load your WAV file into the open window. Instead you simply drag the WAV file over the BladeEnc.exe file and it automatically commences to covert that file into an MP3 file. When it is finished, you have both the original WAV file and a new MP3 file.

    In Windows Explorer you can hold down the Shift Key and multiple select files to drag over the BladeEnc.exe file. This will record the selected files automatically. However, I could not get this feature to work for a large selection of more than 12 files. Hence, I converted about 10-12 files at a crack.

    For professional work that you are planning, I recommend that you look at more sophisticated software and hardware. For example, you might exercise the free trial offer at http://www.cdr.com/html/play_record.htm   Another very good option is WinRip.  WinRip from InterVideo is an MP3 player and encoder that includes the ability to embed and present in an MP3 file additional information such as lyrics, links and promotions. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=2613 

    Options for recording and composing music are summarized at http://www.cmptv.com/computerchronicles/shows/99-00/1720music/1720-summary.html 
    If the above link does not work, try http://www.computerchronicles.org/index.asp 


    RealAudio downloads are another matter.

    Hi YYYYY,

    I paid $30 for RealDownload. See http://www.real.com/download/?src=sidenav,international 

    I'm not an expert, but I cannot find where downloads of this type are "files" in the usual sense of a separate file for each download. Instead I get an index to downloaded files that are mysteriously stored in places that I cannot access in any way other than using the player index.

    You might consider doing a RealDownload word search on Google.

    Hope this helps.

    Bob

    Bob,

    I frequently link students to NPR's audio archives on my course web sites. I have found it unwieldy to use these archives in class unless I have an electronic classroom. I have tried making audio cassettes from the archives, but the quality is very poor. Is there any way to download Real Audio files onto my own computer for future playback/manipulations? I haven't figured out how to do this on my own. Thanks for any advice you have on this count.

    YYYYY


    Bob Jensen's Threads on Napster and Other P2P Systems --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/napster.htm 

    Resources --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/newfaculty.htm 

    For MP3 compression of WAV files, I use an old (free) version of Blade described at

    http://bladeenc.mp3.no/skeleton/intro.html 

    http://showcase.netins.net/web/phdss/mp3/encoders/blade.htm 

    I might give you some advice following my first try at using BladeEnc to covert WAV audio files into MP3 audio files.

    I downloaded BladeEnc from ZDnet at http://www.zdnet.com/ (simply type BladeEnc into the search box).

    Either turn off your screen saver or turn it temporarily up to a high enough number so that your screen saver does not kick in during the process of creating MP3 files. The screen saver does not stop the process, but you may get a blank screen that makes you think the program has crashed when it has not really crashed.

    I found it easier to copy my WAV files into the same folder as the BladeEnc.exe program.

    Recall how in may cases you can either run a program or drag files over a program (e.g., in Windows Explorer). For example, you can run Notepad.exe and then click on (File, Open) to load a txt file. Or you can use Windows Explorer and simply drag the txt file over Notepad.exe without opening Notepad.exe ahead of time.

    With BladeEnc you cannot run BladeEnc.exe and then load your WAV file into the open window. Instead you simply drag the WAV file over the BladeEnc.exe file and it automatically commences to covert that file into an MP3 file. When it is finished, you have both the original WAV file and a new MP3 file.

    In Windows Explorer you can hold down the Shift Key and multiple select files to drag over the BladeEnc.exe file. This will record the selected files automatically. However, I could not get this feature to work for a large selection of more than 12 files. Hence, I converted about 10-12 files at a crack.

    Converting 331 Mb of WAV files into 28 Mb of MP3 files took me about 20 minutes.

    CyberRadio --- Find your favorite artist or radio station http://www.akoo.com/ 

    Did you know that there are over 1,600 radio and TV stations broadcasting live in RealAudio and RealVideo? The hard part is finding all of them. With vTuner Plus, you have instant access to more than 1,600 radio and TV stations from around the world. Try it from RealNetworks for about $15.
    http://www.realstore.com/specials/tuning.htm
     
    World Wide Web FAQ
    WWW FAQ: What are WWW, hypertext and hypermedia?
    Web-Based Training Information Center (Good Discussion of CBT)
    Links to WBT and Related Sites (CBT Links)
    The Virtual Institute of Information
    Scour.Net Internet Media Guide
    Agent7 Plus (voice activated animation on the web)
    6E:002 RealAudio Lecture Home Page (University of Iowa, Real Audio)
    Real Audio Download Site (Also Hardware)
    A Moment In Time
    Alligator Records
    Audio on the Internet Frameset (Japanese)
    AXIS Inc. (Japanese Music)
    Idoru
    Index of /multimed/sounds
    Index of /multimed/sounds
    Indiana University School of Music Home Page
    Microsoft FrontPage Information (With Real Audio)
    MPEG compression museArc Informationsseite
    Online Music and Audio References
    Oyez Oyez Oyez: A Supreme Court WWW Resource
    Progressive Networks, The Home of RealAudio
    Smashing Pumpkins Audio Archive (Includes museArc audio player downloads)
    The Digital Carpenters (MIDI)
    UnderWorld Links Sound
    University of Kansas, Department of Philosophy
    Virtual Radio Home Page
    Web Wide World of Music
    Welcome To AudioNet!
    Welcome to Yahoo! Chat,
    Worldwide Internet Live Music Archive
    Yookoso Main Menu (Boyle's Course)

    Human guides at
    About.com at http://www.miningco.com/  

    Audio Examples

    Years ago I made the Wow Site of the Week the Oyez site at Northwestern University.  Under funding from the U.S. Government, the Oyez site enabled anyone in the world to download the audio of actual oral arguments of lawyers standing before the U.S. Supreme Court --- http://oyez.nwu.edu/ 

    Oyez Baseball http://baseball.oyez.org/  

     
    vTuner Plus
    Audiopublishing
    A Moment In Time (Radio)
    University of Kansas, Department of Philosophy
    Webnoize - State of Music on the Web
    Welcome to Treasure Island (Internet Radio, Audio)
    Idoru
    Index of /multimed/sounds
    Index of /multimed/sounds
    Indiana University School of Music Home Page
    Online Music and Audio References
    Progressive Networks, The Home of RealAudio
    UnderWorld Links Sound
    University of Kansas, Department of Philosophy
    Virtual Radio Home Page
    Web Wide World of Music
    Welcome To AudioNet!
    Worldwide Internet Live Music Archive

    History

    The Journal for MultiMedia History (From SUNY Albany)
    Radio 411
    Surfing the Aether

     

    Speech Recognition, Speech to Text Translation

    Bob Jensen's Technology Glossary Discussion

    How transcription works ---
    http://www.howstuffworks.com/search.php?terms="Speech+transcription"&x=47&y=27
     
    Dragon NaturallySpeaking

    IBM VoiceType

    Lernout and Hauspie Voice Recognition

    Bell Labs Text-to-Speech (speech recognition)
     
    Applied Voice Recognition, Inc. (Speech Recognition)
     
    Siemens Business Communication Systems (Speech Recognition)
     
    Islip (Pittsburgh) video search engine using speech recognition ition for video librarires
    SBN Workshop - Microsoft Agent Home
    Platte Canyon Multimedia Software Corporation (illustration of ToolBook and Microsoft Agent Speech Recognition)
    Past, Present and Future: A Trip down ToolBook's Memory Lane (Microsoft Agent Speech Recognition)
    Peedy's Pizza Palace
    Microsoft Agent Character Data
    Peedy's Pizza Palace
    Richard Campbell's MS Agent Demo
     
    From the Scout Report on October 24, 2008
    Express Scribe 4.26 --- http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/index.html 

    If you're hoping to transcribe a speech for an upcoming project, you'll want to look over Express Scribe 4.26. With this transcription player, users can adjust the playback speed, manage various audio files, and even use a set of multi-channel controls. This particular version of Express Scribe is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

     

    Speech Translation, Text to Speech audio

    Translate Text Files into Audio (Using a Mac Computer)
    Books2burn translates text files into a series of audio files, which may then subsequently be converted to mp3's or other formats --- http://educ.kent.edu/~mweinste/ 
     
    Bell Labs Text-to-Speech
     

    Video on the WWW (Real Video)

    The Journal for MultiMedia History (From SUNY Albany)

    Did you know that there are over 1,600 radio and TV stations broadcasting live in RealAudio and RealVideo? The hard part is finding all of them. With vTuner Plus, you have instant access to more than 1,600 radio and TV stations from around the world. Try it from RealNetworks for about $15.
    http://www.realstore.com/specials/tuning.htm

    On the leading edge with (the billionaire former partner of Bill Gates) Paul Allen at http://www.paulallen.com/  (a man of many talents and interests who invests in so many things that it boggles the mind of a poor bookkeeping professor)


    Capturing Web Page Images and Other Windows Screen Images (including scrollable images)

    January 27, 2010 message from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

    I use a relatively simple screen capture program called "CaptureWizPro" by Pixelmetrics ( http://www.pixelmetrics.com/ ) for capturing screen content.  I like it much better than other capture programs.  I went to "The Summa" web page and used CaptureWizPro to capture the web page and saved it in .pdf format. . . .

    I used the "auto scroll down" feature to capture the entire web page.  I saved the page as a .pdf file and clicked the option to "fit to page."

    When you open the attached .pdf file, you may need to use the +/- option at the top of the Adobe Acrobat screen to adjust the size of your blog page.  I was able to increase the page size to file most of the screen which made your content very readable.

    People have individual preferences for screen capture.  Of all that I have used, I CaptureWizPro the best.  It makes capturing/printing/saving blog pages very easy to do.

    Want to take this one step further?  Try WebNotes ( http://www.webnotes.net/ ).  With WebNotes, you can annotate (highlighting and sticky notes) web pages and .pdf documents.  WebNotes is a Web 2.0, hosted service.  I use it to annotate web pages and .pdf documents that I include in my course materials.  WebNotes provides an easy way to guide students through articles.

    Hope this helps.

    Rick Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA
    Assistant Professor of Accounting
    Coordinator, Master of Science in Accountancy
    CSUSB, CBPA, Department of Accounting & Finance
    5500 University Parkway, JB-547
    San Bernardino, CA.  92407-2397

     Email:  rlillie@csusb.edu
    Telephone:  (909) 537-5726
    Skype (Username):  ricklillie

    January 28, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Rick,

    This is very interesting software, I notice that there are some Websites that offer free downloads, but I don’t trust those sites. I have already ordered the professional version from PixelMetrics, but since I like to buy software on a mailed CD it will be a couple of weeks before the CD is delivered up here. I like a mailed CD because I can install the software on multiple computers and do not have to be online for the installation. Also if the vendor goes bankrupt I still have the installation CD.

    Question 1 I just read where this will also capture video frames from YouTube. Have you tried a YouTube screen capture?

    Question 2 Have you tried to capture a picture of a Windows Media Player screen of paused video using CaptureWizPro?

    One of the most difficult things to capture perfectly is a Windows Media Player screen. I’ve never had any luck using SnagIT with on Windows Media Player screens. SnagIT captures what looks like an image, but you really cannot save the image as a bmp or other picture file.

    Thanks for telling us about the CaptureWizPro software.

    Bob Jensen

    January 28 2010 reply from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

    Hi Bob,

    About Question #1

    I CaptureWizPro does capture video.  I saves files in a variety of formats.  I have not tried to capture a YouTube video file.  When I include a YouTube video in my course materials, I either include the URL link to the video or use the html code to embed the Flash player in the web page.

    Video and audio capture
    Record screen activity and/or sound to AVI, WMV, or GIV movie files of WAV audio files.

    About Question #2

    Yes, you can capture screenshots from Windows Media Player.  I've had the experience with getting nothing but a black screen.  Below is the explanation from CaptureWizPro.

     

    Rick Lillie

     

     


    From the Scout Report on October 31, 2008

    Path Finder 5.0 --- http://www.cocoatech.com/ 

    Finding certain files on a computer can be an onerous chore from time to time, and Path Finder 5.0 is a good solution for anyone who's been bedeviled by such a task. The application includes a dual pane browser, cut and paste support, and a website that includes an interactive tour through its other features. This version of Path Finder is compatible with systems running Mac OS X 10.5 and newer. Also, this is a 30-day free trial version, and a full paid license is required after that point.


    VideoInspector 2.0.1.114 --- http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?vtb 

    Have you ever had a video file that just wouldn't play? VideoInspector 2.0.1.114 may be just the thing for such a situation. VideoInspector helps identify the coder-decoder required to play a specific file and it is available in over 12 languages. There's also online support for this application, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

     

    Web Cameras and Video

    Media College (New Zealand: Tutorials on Production of Multimedia) --- http://www.mediacollege.com/

    Internet Archive: Cornell University Libraries http://www.archive.org/details/cornell

    "A Pocketful Of Video Miracles Two new ultrasleek camcorders offer brilliant picture quality," Larry Armstrong, Business Week, January 19, 2004 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_03/b3866031.htm 

    I was never a fan of camcorders. Maybe it's because I didn't appreciate other people's home movies (and don't have kids of my own). But mostly it's because I never wanted to carry around one of these big, bulky machines. They're unwieldy, with flip-out screens and pop-up viewfinders; they're heavy, at a pound or more; and they require their own bag to stow all the accompanying paraphernalia -- from spare batteries to adapters and cords. A simple point-and-shoot camera that I can slip in a pocket is good enough for me.

    Or at least it used to be. In the past two months, two companies have come out with digital camcorders roughly the size of a deck of cards -- about a third the size of today's typical camcorder. Both, Panasonic's SV-AV100 and the Fisher FVD-C1, are small enough to slide easily into a trouser pocket. I've been playing around with the pair for a few weeks now, and I'm convinced that someday all camcorders will be like this.

    The secret to their diminutive size? No moving parts. They record on solid-state memory cards instead of tapes. And they do a much better job than digital still cameras, which shoot video but only in short, grainy clips. They also outshine card-based "multimedia" minicams from Gateway (GTW ) and others, which at best, produce herky-jerky movies viewable only in a tiny window on your computer monitor.

    Instead, with the two new camcorders, your home movies will fill your TV screen. And the picture quality is almost as good as that of a state-of-the-art digital video (DV) camcorder that uses MiniDV tapes. In fact, the Panasonic camcorder uses the same recording technique, called MPEG-2, that's used to record commercial DVDs. The Fisher model uses a high-resolution, full-screen version of MPEG-4, the format used by the cheaper minicams. Because the MPEG-4 scheme compresses the video signal more than MPEG-2, the picture isn't as good as the Panasonic's, but it's more than acceptable.

    The downside is that the companies' emphasis on video quality means those postage-stamp-size SD memory cards fill up fast. Each camera comes with a 512-megabyte card that, at the highest-quality setting, lets you record 30 minutes of video on the Fisher or 10 minutes (20 minutes if you lower the quality a bit) on the Panasonic. At the lowest, you can get many hours of video -- 10 hours on the Panasonic, 3 on the Fisher -- but it's probably not worth watching. Extra cards will cost you: The high-speed SD cards used by the Panasonic are about $220 at Ritz Camera stores or Amazon.com (AMZN ).

    As with anything this techno-chic, the new camcorders aren't cheap, either. Fisher's, made by Sanyo Electric, is $899 and is sold only at Sears -- at least for now. Panasonic's lists for $1,000, but Internet retailers sell it in the $750-to-$900 range. Each comes with a docking station, which makes it easy to watch movies on TV or transfer them to your PC.

    Continued in the article

     
    The Nose's HomeCAMs page
    braindump | chipcam.live
    ana voog: ana cam anagrams ana log ana pix ana links
    Larry's World Home Page
    HouseWife Home
    VIP - Virtually In Person
    RealNetworks, The Home of RealAudio, RealVideo and RealFlash (for PowerPoint)
    Audiopublishing
    Welcome to Macromedia (Real Video)
    VideoDome.Com Network - Movie trailers, music videos and infomercials on demand
    GEO Publishing (Real Audio, Streaming Audio)

    Video and Telephone Conferencing Images

    "You Can Merge MP3 Tracks To Avoid Hearing Gaps in Music," by Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB106323053792236900,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

    There's no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

    Here are a few questions about computers I've received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about listening to music on an iPod, Wi-Fi interference, and protecting your computer from viruses.

    Q: Apple's iPod plays songs with a slight pause between the tracks. What this means is that, on an album such as the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper," certain songs don't play with seamlessly mixed segues as originally released, but instead with annoying gaps in the flow of the music. Is there any way to fix this?

    A: There is no setting on the iPod, or on any other player I know of, to eliminate the gap between tracks. But it's possible to get rid of the gaps by merging, or "joining," MP3 tracks on the computer before transferring them to portable players. This procedure turns two or more tracks into one, either during the process of converting songs from a CD, or afterward.

    Apple has added a feature to its iTunes music program, free of charge on all Macs, that allows you to join CD tracks during the conversion process. When you insert a CD to be converted into MP3 files, you just select two or more tracks and then go to the Advanced menu and select "Join Tracks." The program will draw a link between the names of the tracks, and will then merge them into a single MP3 file.

    There are a number of programs for Windows that do something similar. One is a $20 shareware program called "MP3 Splitter & Joiner," from EZ Softmagic Inc., at www.ezsoftmagic.com . Another is "Twins File Merger," from Twins Software Online, a $15 shareware program found at www.twins-software.com . Both programs work on MP3 files that already are on your hard disk. The Twins Software Inc. program also can merge other types of files, including video clips, text files and Word files.

    Continued in the article.

    Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- http://ptech.wsj.com/ 

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm 


    MacWorld: Tricks and Tips --- http://www.macworld.com/howto.html


    "H-P Has an Easy Way to Let You Convert Old Videos Into DVDs," by Walt Mossbert, The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB10614140399004700,00.html?mod=Personal+Technology 

    Using a computer to transfer old videos onto DVDs should be simple, but it's a hassle. Older camcorders and VCRs are analog devices and can't translate the contents of a video into the digital format computers understand. You need an extra gadget called an analog-to-digital converter to put between the camcorder or VCR, and the computer.

    A number of converter products are on the market. But they are often complicated or unreliable. I recently tested three of them that worked poorly, or not at all. Some new digital camcorders can act as converters, but they are expensive and tricky to use in this way. And you still need a DVD recorder, something most PCs lack, to actually create the discs and finish the job.

    Now, Hewlett-Packard is attacking the problem with a gadget called the DVD Movie Writer dc3000. It's an external accessory for Windows computers that combines, in one integrated box, an analog-to-digital converter and a DVD recorder. It will be sold late next month at $399.

    H-P promises that the DVD Movie Writer will allow users to convert old videos from their camcorder or VCR tapes to DVDs in just a few simple steps. In my tests, I found the claim to be true.

    But there is one huge caveat: Microsoft's Windows Messenger, an unrelated product that comes with every copy of the Windows XP operating system, interferes with the video transfer and must be disabled for the DVD Movie Writer to work correctly. H-P says there is a new patch for Windows that fixes the problem, and that the patch will be included in the installation software for the product. If the fix really works, the company will have a winner on its hands.

    Continued in the Article

    Audacity Free Audio Recorder and Editor --- http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    Free Audio Dub 1.4.1.2 --- http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-Audio-Dub.htm 

    The fastest way to edit audio files!

    Free Audio Dub is the free audio editing software that lets you delete unwanted parts from audio files without re-encoding.

    And "without re-encoding" means without loosing original quality!!! This is a lossless conversion, which is very fast.

    Supports many audio formats: MP3, WAV, AAC, AC3, M4A, MP2, OGG, WMA .

    Jing Free Video Capture (watch the video) --- http://video.techsmith.com/jing/latest/demo/introvideo/index.html
    Jing Download --- http://www.techsmith.com/download/default.asp
    Camtasia Studio (not free but great for the price) --- http://www.techsmith.com/products.asp

    A-Z Free Video Converter 6.81 --- http://www.cnn-video.com/download.html 

    A-Z Free Video Converter allows users to convert a wide range of file formats (such as WMV, MPEG, and DIVX) to the popular MOV formats (especially good for Quicktime players). The converter can be helpful for a range of media projects, including classroom presentations and the like. This particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

    Technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology

    Streaming Media --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#StreamingMedia

    You can also make these conversions in Camtasia Producer, but this software is not free like the A-Z Video Converter software.
    You can read about Camtasia at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm


    May 4, 2008 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

    I have placed a (Camtasia) video online on omnisio.com, which allows comments to be placed OVER the video.

    http://www.omnisio.com/v/49zPDUbdjhG/the-basic-accounting-equation 

    This is a video that I have on youtube and just linked it to Omnisio.

    Jensen Comment
    There are some other cool things to do with video at http://www.omnisio.com/

     

    Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- http://ptech.wsj.com/ 

    One of the most fascinating things that I learned during my visit to Temple University was the progress the WHYY Philadelphia television station is making toward two-way interactive wireless distance education using high definition television (HDTV).   I now refer to WHYY as the digital entertainment and education dome over the Delaware Valley.
    http://www.whyy.org/education
    http://whyy.org/campaign/index.html

    HDTV in many ways overcomes the bandwidth problem and students will eventually be able to see each other in full screen, full motion video across the WHYY wireless HDTV system.  But lest you get too excited about this tremendous advance in wireless technology, my computer science friends (thank you Aaron, Gerald and John) remind me about the "lost bit" problem with HDTV.  You may not notice the lost bits when viewing each other from afar, listening to students throughout the Delaware Valley discuss cases as if they were in the same classroom, and watching your instructor's visual aids wirelessly from miles away.  But you will curse the lost bits when you try to transmit a database or receive data whizzing across a HDTV wireless.    HDTV cannot fully replace hard wired fiber optic cable, because HDV has a lost bits parity problem.  I guess there is still hope for all those heavy duty digging machine operators eager to tear up our streets and lawns to bring the Internets 1 and 2 to our schools, businesses, and homes.

    Audio Visual Services
    Cornell University's CU-SeeMe Page
    Microsoft Expedia travel services
    miro Computer Products (MPEG Board)
    Computer Conferencing on the Web (Discussion Forums and Groupware)
    Vancouver Film, 3D Computer Animation, Alias, Multimedia, Classical Animation and Acting School
    Agent7 Plus (voice activated animation on the web)
    Welcome to Cyberflix the Interactive Story Company.

    Miscellaneous Audio, Video, Web Cameras, etc.

    Jensen Advice is Cheap: Digital Cameras and Everything Else

    I have received a number of requests for advice about digital cameras.  I like my Sony MVC-XS350 that I bought at Wal-Mart.  It shoots directly to a CD-R or CD-RW, which allows me to create and store picture files without a computer.  It's relatively heavy and too bulky for a shirt pocket.  You should be warned that some of the newer printers that will print directly from memory sticks will not yet print from CDs.  I have to go through my computer to print the pictures.

      Since I’m not an expert on digital cameras, I refer people to  http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-camera.htm 

    Also see Walt Mossberg's December 22, 2004 Review
    "What to Look for When Buying A Digital Camera:  A Guide to Understanding Megapixels, Digital Zoom, Batteries and Memory Cards," Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal,  December 22, 2004; Page D5 ---  http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110366826096806466,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Flead%5Fstory%5Fcol 

    When it comes to many questions (products, science, etc.) , I refer people to http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/
    This fantastic site now has a new search engine. 

    When it comes to encyclopedia-type questions my next favorite referral is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
    If you don’t like something in a Wiki module, you can change it yourself from your browser.  If you don’t find a module, you can perform a service for the world by writing a module.
    ****************************

    December 21, 2004 reply from Curtis Brown at Trinity University

    Bob,

    Chances are you know about this site already, but a great source of information for people shopping for digital cameras is http://www.steves-digicams.com/  -- details and reviews of every camera imaginable, links to price comparisons, and a list of the "best" cameras in a variety of different categories.

    Curtis

     

    From the Scout Report on October 31, 2008

    Path Finder 5.0 --- http://www.cocoatech.com/ 

    VideoInspector 2.0.1.114 --- http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?vtb 

    Have you ever had a video file that just wouldn't play? VideoInspector 2.0.1.114 may be just the thing for such a situation. VideoInspector helps identify the coder-decoder required to play a specific file and it is available in over 12 languages. There's also online support for this application, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

     
    Orbit Downloader 2.7.8 (download multiple files at the same time) --- http://www.orbitdownloader.com/ 
     
    "Home Movies Go Straight to DVD," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2004 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109035905524368956,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Flead%5Fstory%5Fcol
     
    Welcome to Silicon Vision, Inc.! (telephony with video)
    Axis Communications - Networked by Axis
    COOLPIX 300
    SYMBOLS.com -- encyclopedia of Western signs and ideograms
    Bookmark NIKON ON SITE now
    ExtronWEB (VGA Switches)
    http://www.futuretel.com/dvp.html
    IPIX- The World Leader in Immersive Imaging
    Microplex Systems Ltd.- Network Print Servers and Hubs
    FutureTel-MPEG Digital Video Compression
    Sagebrush Systems Home Page for audio, sound card software (Recall)
    daisy chain (animated greeting cards)
    Welcome to the PlusZone (RealPlayer Plus Audio/video Text Site and Recording Tips)
    daisy chain (Animated Greeting Cards With Audio)
    Movie Viewers for Windows 95 (TUCOWS)
    Live3d: Download Page: Windows Versions
    Bell Labs Text-to-Speech
    Intel Indeo® Video 4.3 (Driver download)
    IAT: Homepage
    Motorola Search Results
    NYU Center for Advanced Technology
    Progressive Networks, The Home of RealAudio
    Search the Motorola Web
    WiscINFO Web Server

    Did you know that there are over 1,600 radio and TV stations broadcasting live in RealAudio and RealVideo? The hard part is finding all of them. With vTuner Plus, you have instant access to more than 1,600 radio and TV stations from around the world. Try it from RealNetworks for about $15.
    http://www.realstore.com/specials/tuning.htm

    Digital Camera Imaging --- http://www.imaging-resource.com/ 

    Document Imaging

    Summary of Alternatives --- http://dmoz.org/Computers/Software/Document_Imaging/ 

    LaserFische --- http://www.laserfiche.com/company/ordering.html?googledocuimage02 

    Document Imaging --- http://www.docimag.com/ 

    Digitize old documents and books with 1MAGE® Software --- http://www.1mage.com/

    Ulead --- http://www.ulead.com/ 

    Digital Camera Imaging --- http://www.imaging-resource.com/ 

    Wireless Technologies, PDAs and Telephones

    Wireless Communications --- http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Wireless1

    4G (fourth generation wireless) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G

    "The state of 4G wireless at a glance," MIT's Technology Review, September 21, 2010 ---
    http://www.technologyreview.com/wire/26335/?nlid=3540&a=f

    This is a summary of how U.S. wireless carriers are dealing with the transition to fourth-generation, or 4G, network technology, which promises faster data speeds:

    -- Sprint Nextel Corp. subsidiary Clearwire Corp. already has a 4G network up and running, and Sprint started selling the first compatible phone this summer. But Clearwire is using WiMax, a technology that's imcompatible with LTE, which everyone else is using or plans to use.

    -- Verizon Wireless plans to bring LTE to 25 to 30 cities later this year, mainly for PC modems. Phones will come next year.

    -- AT&T Inc. plans to launch commercial LTE service in the middle of next year. In the meantime, it's upgrading the speeds on its 3G network.

    -- T-Mobile USA hasn't made any specific plans public. It's focusing on upgrading its 3G network for now.

    -- LightSquared is a dark-horse entrant funded by a private equity firm. It plans to build an independent LTE network, with service starting next year, but financial and regulatory hurdles remain.

    -- MetroPCS Communications Inc. turned on LTE in Las Vegas on Tuesday, and plans to expand it to the rest of its coverage area by January.

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

     

     


  • How to improve home and office wireless performance

    From Mossberg's Mailbox, May 17, 2007 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117936324882805661.html

    Q: The wireless connection to my wife's Windows XP computer keeps going down. The computer is about 75 feet (but through three walls) from my Dell Truemobile 2300 router. Should I assume I need a better, more powerful router? And, finally, will it also connect to my MacBook Pro laptop?

    A: A more powerful router might help, but wireless reception varies greatly depending on home construction and layout. You might look for a new router that features a technology called MIMO, which I have found in my tests can improve both speed and range. Even with a new router, you might also have to move its location. There are also various boosters and repeaters that can be used, though some of these require more technical expertise to install than most folks have.

    One good method for extending the range of a wireless connection is to buy a set of so-called powerline adapters. These carry your network signal over plain old electrical lines, and some models allow you to create a wireless network by plugging a wireless router into such an adapter in a distant room. I described these adapters in more detail in a column you can find at: ptech.allthingsd.com/20060817/powerline-adapters-access.

    In my own home, I have used both MIMO routers, and powerline adapters, successfully with mixtures of Windows and Apple Macintosh computers, including the MacBook Pro, and various Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard laptops.

     

     


  • "Bucking convention, Time Warner Cable lets customers set up cheap Wi-Fi hotspots," MIT's Technology Review, April 23, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/18570/

  • In a big win for a little Wi-Fi startup called Fon, Time Warner Cable Inc. will let its home broadband customers turn their connections into public wireless hotspots, a practice shunned by most U.S. Internet service providers.

    For Fon, which has forged similar agreements with ISPs across Europe, the deal will boost its credibility with U.S. consumers. For Time Warner Cable, which has 6.6 million broadband subscribers, the move could help protect the company from an exodus as free or cheap municipal wireless becomes more readily available.

    Fon was founded in Spain in 1995 on the premise that people should not have to pay twice -- once at home, then again in a coffee shop -- for Internet access. At first, the company offered software that let members, called Foneros, turn Wi-Fi routers into shared access points, but it took hours to get up and running.

    In the fall of 2006, Fon, which counts Google Inc. and eBay Inc.'s Skype among its investors, started selling and sometimes giving away its own branded wireless router, called La Fonera. Since then, it has distributed about 370,000 of them worldwide.

    La Fonera splits a Wi-Fi connection in two: an encrypted channel for the Fonero and a public one for neighbors or passers-by. Foneros can decide how much of their bandwidth to share with the public and can log on to any Fon router without charge. ''Aliens,'' as Fon calls nonmembers, can register on a Web page and pay a modest $2 (euro1.47) or $3 (euro2.20) for 24 hours of access.

    In the U.S., where it costs $10 (euro7.35) for a day pass to use a T-Mobile HotSpot at a Starbucks, Fon's economics seem particularly appealing.

    Joanna Rees, chief executive of Fon USA, said such rates at coffee shops, airports and hotels might work for a business person with an expense account but are too high for people who just want to quickly check e-mail, make a call on a Wi-Fi phone or play on a wireless video game device.

    ''They're extorting people,'' Rees said.

    Starbucks Corp. and T-Mobile USA Inc. representatives responded that they provide a premium service, and that customers see value in paying for speed, security and reliability.

    Fon has about 60,000 Foneros in the U.S. In February, the company launched ''Fonbucks,'' a one-month router giveaway aimed at people who live above or next-door to a Starbucks. It was an amusing way to get more La Foneras into high-density areas, and it worked to the tune of 6,800 free routers.

    But until now, ISPs in the U.S. have resisted the Fon model. Most big companies' end-user license agreements prohibit subscribers from sharing their connection outside the home or business. Verizon Communications Inc., for example, can terminate contracts if it finds an ad-hoc hotspot.

    Continued in article


    Tom Hicks brought me up to date on wireless home firewall computers.  He recommends Linksys products such as the one at http://www.linksys.com/splash/wcg200_splash.asp 

    The Linksys Wireless-G Cable Gateway is the all-in-one solution for Internet connectivity in your home. The Cable Modem function gives you a blazing fast connection to the Internet, far faster than a dial-up, and without tying up your phone line. 

    Connect your computer to the Wireless-G Cable Gateway via USB, or take advantage of the built-in 4-port 10/100 Ethernet Switch to jump start your home network. You can share files, printers, hard drive space and other resources, or play head-to-head PC games. Connect four PCs directly, or daisy-chain out to more hubs and switches to create as big a network as you need. The built-in Wireless-G Access Point allows up to 32 wireless devices to connect to your network at a blazing 54Mbps, without running cables through the house. It's also compatible with Wireless-B devices, at 11Mbps. The Gateway's Router function ties it all together and lets your whole network share that high-speed Internet connection. 

    To protect your data and privacy, the Wireless-G Cable Gateway features an advanced firewall to keep Internet intruders and attackers out. Wireless transmissions can be protected by powerful data encryption. Safeguard your family with Parental Control features like Internet Access Time Limits and Key Word Blocking. Configuration is a snap with any web browser. With the Linksys Wireless-G Cable Gateway at the heart of your home network, you're connected to the future.

    Online Magazine (for Information Professionals) --- http://www.onlineinc.com/onlinemag/index.html 

    ONLINE is written for Information Professionals and provides articles, product reviews, case studies, evaluation, and informed opinion about selecting, using, and managing electronic information products, plus industry and professional information about online database systems, CD-ROM, and the Internet. This site contains selected full-text articles and news from each issue of the magazine. Direct letters to the editor to Marydee Ojala ( Marydee@xmission.com ). If you are interested in writing for ONLINE, please see the Authors' Guidelines.

    You should also learn about the PDQ Smartphone at http://www.qualcomm.com/pdQ/

    The pdQ smartphone combines state of the art CDMA technology with the most popular, fastest-selling handheld computer platform - the Palm Computing® platform

    Simplify your life and lighten your briefcase with the pdQ smartphone from QUALCOMM. It's the perfect wireless way to stay connected. For starters, the pdQ smartphone is a CDMA wireless phone. Plus, it puts important Personal Information Management applications like an address book and a date book right at your fingertips, anytime you need them. With the pdQ smartphone, downloading applications or enhanced features from the web or a CD Rom is a breeze.

    And there is also Phone.com at http://www.phone.com/

    We are a leading provider of software that enables the delivery of Internet-based services to mass-market wireless telephones. Using their software, wireless subscribers have access to Internet-based and corporate intranet-based services, including email, news, stocks, weather, travel and sports. In addition, subscribers have access to telephony services, which may include over-the-air activation, call management, billing history information, pricing plan subscription and voice message management.

    The market share leader in the latest PDA devices is Palm VII.  The Internet connections to the world are wireless and use only AAA batteries.   I wish it had a keyboard when it is not connected to a PC.  But there are some great features in spite of not having a keyboard.  For a Palm VII product review, see http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/all/990521palm .
    The Palm home page is at http://www.palm.com/
    A keyboard is at last available for the Palm VII wireless PDA:
    http://www.palmzone.com/experiences/09.shtml

    You can read more about the Palm VII at http://www.palmzone.com/experiences/9909.shtml

    Other wireless products
    http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_10/b3619004.htm

    Web tools, including tools for Browsers; HTML, XML, & CSS; Graphics & Design; Multimedia; DHTML & JavaScript; Java; Servers & E-Commerce; Scripting; Demo. http://www.webtools.com/    

    On October 17, 1999 the Digital Duo on PBS television had a good update show on wireless technology.  The web link is at http://www.digitalduo.com/218_dig.html .

    In an earlier show, we reviewed the Palm VII, a handheld organizer that can send and receive wireless e-mail and do some modest Web surfing. There were major e-mail problems and Web limitations, in addition to the non-starter pricing scheme.

    But there's definitely something neat about wireless connections, as millions of cell phone and pager users will tell you. It's also great surfing the Web without a wire. If you're stuck in a boring meeting, you can check your e-mail and the news while you pretend to take notes. More and more ways of getting online without the line have been introduced, though none of them are perfect.

    Wireless suffers from the same problems as cell phones—i.e. expensive service plans, spotty service, and wildly expensive roaming programs. But there are some bright spots, and things are likely to get better. A number of different products are available, each with its own set of limitations and advantages.

    There are two basic types of wireless hardware: handheld devices and those that work with a computer. There are also two basic types of networks. One is the nationwide paging network, which the handhelds typically use. The second is called CDPD, which stands for Cellular Digital Packet Data—which, of course, works with the analog cellular phone network (Don't ask). It's also known as Wireless IP, for Internet Protocol. The good news is that it's available pretty much throughout the country, except for some places like Atlanta and Los Angeles.

    CDPD claims a data rate of 19.2 kilobits per second, but in reality, you get maybe 10 or 11. Not bad for e-mail, but you'll definitely want to turn off graphics in your browser or you'll be forced to watch the pictures ooze down the screen.

    Wireless service packages vary widely, including unlimited service for between $40 and $60 a month. But as is the case with cell phones, you've got to read the contracts carefully, because you could get stuck with a stiff per-kilobit fee when you roam.

    A PC card modem from Sierra Wireless goes for about $350 from some of the service providers. It comes with software that works with standard Windows laptops and Steve's favorite whipping boy, Windows CE models. Steve tried this unit—in a real Windows machine, thank you—and was pleasantly surprised how well it worked. You get an always-on connection to the Web, and it doesn't use up much battery life. About the only drawback is that slow data rate.

    We haven't tried a similar card from Novatel Wireless, but it's about $100 cheaper.

    Novatel also makes a CDPD modem, called Minstrel, that costs about $350, and clips onto the bottom of a Palm III, so it becomes a Palm VII-like device, but about twice as thick and heavy. It works pretty well with standard third-party Palm e-mail and Web software. The major drawback is that slow data rate again, and surfing the Web on a teeny screen is no picnic. But for some people it's worth a look.

    Another handheld device is the BlackBerry, from RIM, which stands for Research in Motion. The BlackBerry looks like an oversized pager with a built-in minuscule QWERTY keyboard that's surprisingly good. You can send and receive e-mail over the air, and the unit will buzz you when new messages come in. Like Palms, the BlackBerry has a built-in contact and schedule organizer.

    Also like the Palm VII, the BlackBerry uses a paging network, which is even slower than CDPD, but unlike the Palm, its wireless service plan gives you unlimited messaging for a flat fee—in this case $40 a month. It also uses your regular e-mail account, but it works best if your company is running Microsoft Exchange servers. You can use it without Exchange, but it's a pain.

    RIM's Model 950 is a two-way pager that can also do e-mail. But to get unlimited service, you have to pay $100 a month on top of the $350 or so for the device. Their 850 model, can be set up for two-way paging or e-mail only, but not both at once. There are ways to get Web browsers for these, though you probably won't be happy with them. And though the keyboards are fine, the little screens are pretty bad.

    The trick with these services is to find an unlimited-usage plan so you don't get a bill that shocks you. That's not the case with the Motorola PageWriter from SkyTel. It uses national paging networks, and after your first 10,000 characters a month for $25, it charges a penny a character. Use this frequently and we see bankruptcy in your future.

    A cheaper deal is the Ricochet modem from Metricom, which attaches to your laptop. It costs about $300, but unlimited service is only $30 a month. It doesn't use CDPD or a page network, but a special network all its own. For now it's limited to about 28 kilobits per second. An upgrade to 128Kbps has been promised for a while, as has service to a lot more markets.

    Before you sign up for any of these products, make sure you understand what you'll be paying for service. Also, understand how e-mail will work, because some of these systems give you access to the Web without an address, which makes it hard to send mail through your regular provider. Others make you use a special address, which means you can't get your mail from your usual address unless you can forward it.

    We left out at least one wireless data device, and that's the cell phone. There are already phones that can get and send e-mail, but that's only the beginning. You can buy phones today that connect to your PC with a simple cable, and some of these include mini-Web browsers. The problems are, as with everything cellular, where can you get the service, and how much will it cost? Again, there are service gaps and ways to pay far too much.

    Providers like AirTouch, Bell Atlantic and Sprint have introduced CDMA Wireless Data. If you have the right phone, you can plug it into your computer and surf the Web—if you're on the right system and in the right place. But for now, coverage is limited. GSM providers like VoiceStream already offer a similar service with GSM phones; but GSM still has big gaps in its national network—like Chicago.

    How you pay for these services remains a question—even some of their Web sites don't tell you how they work. But one thing is likely: sooner or later you'll want to go wireless and you'll find the right way to do it.

  • Internet Companies Directory (A Partial Listing)
    COMPANY DESCRIPTION URL

    e-Retail (consumer products and services)

    1-800 Contacts Contact lenses http://www.1800contacts.com/
    Alloy Online Goods for teens http://www.alloy.com/
    Amazon.com Books, music, electronics http://www.amazon.com
    Autobytel.com New, used car guide http://www.autobytel.com/
    Barnesandnoble.com Books, music http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
    Drugstore.com Medical products http://www.drugstore.com/
    eBay Auctions http://www.ebay.com/
    Egghead.com Computer products http://www.egghead.com/
    Expedia Travel planning http://www.expedia.com/
    Hotel Reservations Network Discounted hotel rooms http://www.180096hotel.com/
    Priceline.com Travel reservations http://www.priceline.com/
    Stamps.com Postage http://www.stamps.com/
    Ticketmaster Guides, tickets http://www.ticketmaster.com/
    Travelocity.com Travel reservations http://www.travelocity.com/
    e-Finance (banks, brokerages and credit companies)
    Ameritrade Securities broker http://www.ameritrade.com/
    Charles Schwab Securities broker http://www.schwab.com/
    CSFBdirect Securities broker http://www.csfbdirect.com/
    E-Trade Securities broker http://www.etrade.com
    IndyMac Bancorp Mortgage lender http://www.indymacbank.com/
    Intuit Personal finance info http://www.intuit.com/
    NetBank Consumer banking http://www.gefn-compubank.com/
    NextCard Consumer credit http://www.nextcard.com
    TD Warehouse Securities broker http://www.tdwaterhouse.com/
    Wit SoundView Securities broker http://www.witsoundview.com/
    e-New Media (advertising/subscription-supported media)
    AOL Time Warner Consumer content http://www.aoltimewarner.com/
    Ask Jeeves Search engine http://www.ask.com/
    Cnet Networks Technology content http://www.cnet.com/
    HomeStore.com Real estate content http://www.homestore.com/
    HotJobs.com Career content http://www.hotjobs.com/
    InfoSpace Wireless content http://infospace.com/
    MarketWatch.com Financial content http://cbs.marketwatch.com/
    McAfee.com Computer protection http://mcafee.com/
    MP3.com Music content http://www.mp3.com/
    Multex.com Financial content http://www.multexusa.com/
    NBC Internet Consumer content http://www.nbci.com/
    SportsLine.com Sports content http://sportsline.com/
    Terra Lycos Consumer content http://www.terralycos.com/
    TheStreet.com Financial content http://www.thestreet.com/
    Apollo Group U of Phoenix Online Education content http://www.ipopros.com/histdeal_pla.asp?deal=2285
    Yahoo Web guide http://www.yahoo.com/
    e-Access providers (connections to the Internet)
    Aether Systems Wireless Internet access http://www.aethersystems.com/
    Excite At Home Internet access http://www.excite.com/
    EarthLink Internet access http://www.earthlink.net/
    Juno Online Services Internet access http://www.juno.com
    Metricom Wireless Internet access http://www.metricom.com/
    IMPORTANT NOTICE:
    Please be advised that Metricom has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
    NetZero Internet access http://www.netzero.net/
    Prodigy Communications Internet access http://www.prodigy.com/
    RCN Internet access http://www.rcn.com/
    Research in Motion Wireless Internet access http://www.rim.net/
    WorldGate Communications Internet access http://www.wgate.com
    e-Learning providers (corporate) For more details go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
    Caliber Training and executive dev. http://www.caliber.com/ 
    Pensare Executive development with plans for degree programs in partnership with prestige universities http://www.pensare.com/ 
    UNext Executive development and for-credit programs through UNext's Cardean University and in partnership with prestige universities http://www.unext.com/ 
    Smart Force Executive development http://www.smartforce.com/ 
    Quisic Content development, executive development, and for-credit courses http://www.quisic.com/ 
    (Formerly called University Access)
    Headlight (From CyberU) Recreational learners and an online small business training center http://www.cyberu.com/training/headlight/index.asp 
    OnlineLearning.net Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://www.onlinelearning.net/ 
    University of Maryland University College Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://www.umuc.edu/ 
    Fathom (headed by Columbia University in conjunction with many prestigious partners)  A huge knowledge portal that offers over 600 courses http://www.fathom.com/index.jhtml 
    New York University Online Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://i5.nyu.edu/~jmm282/nyupage.html 
    University of Phoenix Training and executive development and for-credit courses (The largest accredited private university in the world.) http://www.phoenix.edu/index_open.html 
    The Kaplan Colleges Training and executive development and for-credit courses (including the online Concord School of Law) http://www.kaplancollege.com/ 
    Sylvan Learning Systems Training and executive development and for-credit courses (and testing centers) http://www.sylvan.net/ 
    Intellnex from Ernst & Young (the first Big 5 accounting firm university) Training and executive development http://www.intellinex.com/flash/index.htm 
    Many other corporate providers are discussed in a book that can be downloaded free:
    The Business of Borderless Education, by S.C. Cunningham, et al., (Australian Department of Education, Evaluations and Investigations Programme of the Higher Education Division, 2000).  Hard Copy ISBN 0 642 44446 3 and Online Copy ISBN 0 642 44447 1 --- http://www.detya.gov.au/archive/highered/eippubs/eip00_3/bbe.pdf 

    Bob Jensen's documents on e-Learning are available free at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
    (Note that most prestige universities have already or are forming private corporations for online delivery of training, executive development, and for-credit courses)

    How to find online training and education programs http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

    Bob Jensen's other bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm 

     

    Ubiquitous Computing

    "Project Video, Photos from a Phone PowerPoint decks in your pocket," Business Week Video, November 2008 ---
    http://feedroom.businessweek.com/?fr_story=32c50be245fe235d42a0895cec076331c8bda821
    The gadget comes from Microvision --- http://www.microvision.com/

    "Clever New Gadget Makes E-Mail Very Easy," By Walter S. Mossberg, WSJ Personal Technology Column,
    http://www.ptech.wsj.com/ptech.html   .  Excerpts from Walter's article are shown below:

    MY MOTHER has been sending me e-mail lately. To some of you, that's no big deal. But my Mom is 75 years old and has never touched a computer. She's a smart woman, a formidable woman, just not a woman who cares to spend her golden years wrestling with a personal computer. So, Rhoda Mossberg wasn't on e-mail. But that was before the MailStation people arrived in my office.

    The MailStation is a new $99 e-mail machine, small and friendly and intended for computer-averse people like my mother, and millions of others even younger. It's from Cidco of Morgan Hill, Calif., a big maker of telephone gear such as caller-ID boxes. The machine nominally goes for $149 and comes with built-in e-mail service that costs $10 a month. But if you pay for a year of service up front, you get the machine for $99 and the service for another $99 for the year, or $8.25 a month for an unlimited number of e-mail messages.

    The MailStation is the latest in a new class of devices I've been advocating for years, called information appliances. Unlike a general-purpose PC, which tries to do everything and winds up being way too complex, these appliances are customized for performing only a handful of digital tasks very easily and well. Examples of info appliances around today are the Palm handheld computers, WebTV set-top boxes and Sony PlayStation game machines. All are computers, but they're not general-purpose computers.

    Things that make Cidco's MailStation unique among specialty devices are a fully functional keyboard, a screen that will let you read up to 12 lines of an email message at a time, a spell checker, and other features in a device small enough to fit in a purse. 
    http://www.cidco.com/

    The MailStation is just one of many forthcoming Internet devices and specialty products that takes a subset of things we can do on a full computer and makes then easier to use on a smaller device that does not require a complex operating system such as the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. 

    The Psion Series 5 gives you the computing power that you need without the excess weight. It has a touch type
    keyboard and full page width touch-sensitive screen, yet weighs less than 13 ounces (or less than 360g), has around 35 hours of battery life and fits into your pocket. The Series 5 handheld computer is compatible with all leading Windows 95/NT4 word processors, spreadsheets and databases, and synchronizes with schedule and contacts software on your desktop PC, including Microsoft, Lotus, Corel, WordPerfect and other applications. PsiWin 2 - included as standard - docks your Series 5 to your PC.  See http://www.psion.com/series5/index.html

    The market share leader in the latest PDA devices is Palm VII.  The Internet connections to the world are wireless and use only AAA batteries.   I wish it had a keyboard when it is not connected to a PC.  But there are some great features in spite of not having a keyboard.  For a Palm VII product review, see http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/all/990521palm .
    The Palm home page is at http://www.palm.com/ .   
    A keyboard is at last available for the Palm VII wireless PDA:
    http://www.palmzone.com/experiences/09.shtml .

    Stan Gibson has some doubts about these Internet devices and specialty computers in an article entitled "Non-PC devices are fine, but they're not, well, PCs ."
    http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/columns/0,4351,404732,00.html

    Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm

    Computing History

    UCLA's Internet Project --- http://www.ccp.ucla.edu/pages/internet-report.asp 

    How the Internet Began (Humor) --- http://home.comcast.net/~singingman7777/Beginning.htm
    Link forwarded by Barry Rice

    Computing History Timeline --- http://trillian.randomstuff.org.uk/~stephen/history/timeline.html
    Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing

    Media College (New Zealand: Tutorials on Production of Multi-media) --- http://www.mediacollege.com/

    American University Computer History Museum --- http://www.computinghistorymuseum.org/ 

    The Apple (Computer) Museum  --- http://www.theapplemuseum.com/ 

    A History of Microsoft Windows (slide show from Wired News) --- http://www.wired.com/gadgets/pcs/multimedia/2007/01/wiredphotos31

    Oldcomputers.com  --- http://www.old-computers.com/news/default.asp


  • Technology Product Price Comparison Sites

    "Tech Tactics for Hard Times," by Rob Pegararo, The Washington Post, October 2, 2008 --- Click Here

    Inconveniently enough, though, the stuff of a technological lifestyle -- the hardware, the software, the services -- can add up to a large fraction of your budget. And a lot of these items do count as essential by many people's reckoning. So how can you chip away at that figure?

    The obvious answer is to do nothing: That is, don't buy new things. Stick with last year's camera, the computer of 2005 and the printer of 2003. This option isn't always viable, however. Gadgets break, and technological progress can make using an older but still functional model seem painful.

    When that time comes, you can still shop defensively. Employ price-comparison sites, like PriceGrabber ( http://pricegrabber.com ), Yahoo ( http://shopping.yahoo.com ) and Microsoft's Live Search Cashback ( http://search.live.com/cashback ), to locate the cheapest deal. Resist the temptation of this year's alleged must-have feature -- say, 10 megapixels of resolution on a digital camera or 4 gigabytes of memory on a laptop -- to buy whatever people were excited about a year ago and which now costs less.

    Buying used hardware can also slash costs, though some devices, such as laptops, tend to age poorly.

    And, of course, decline "upsells" like fancy cables or extended warranties. (Instead, if you can, buy with a credit card that extends the manufacturer's coverage for free.)

    Software provides another way to trim the tech budget. Investigate free and open-source alternatives to commercial programs. For example, try OpenOffice ( http://openoffice.org ) before you drop $150 or more on Microsoft Office.

    But your greatest savings by an overwhelming margin are not in one-time hardware or software purchases, but in the subscriptions that make up most of the operating costs.

    With cellphone, land-line, TV and Internet services, you can easily hit $175 a month, the equivalent of two laptops a year.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    Although the above sites are probably legitimate, watch for sites found by Web searches. It is somewhat common for a site (or a TV advertisement) to claim to make price comparisons across vendors when in fact there is some type of hidden agenda such as kickbacks from a particular vendor or even some type of partnering arrangement that makes the price comparisons suspect. For example, competitor prices might be a "suggested retail prices" which are far different than the cash and carry prices. I am always suspicious of an auto insurance firm that advertises "comparison prices" all the time in television advertisements. It doesn't seem likely that a competitor that often has the lowest prices will be treated fairly in such price comparisons.

    Also be somewhat suspicious of the many software comparison sites, although many such sites are very informative and helpful.

    Bob Jensen's threads on alternatives to MS Office are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Pricing


    Restoration of Files

    From the Scout Report on April 17, 2009

    .Restoration 3.2.13 --- http://www3.telus.net/mikebike/RESTORATION.html 

    If you've ever found yourself in a pickle after accidentally placing some needed files in the recycle bin, you'll appreciate this helpful application. Created by Brian Kato, the Restoration application effectively restores files which have been deleted from the recycle bin by mistake. Conversely, the program has another function that makes it almost impossible to restore all deleted files. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.

     


    Remember those trackers who rode ahead of the posses of the wild west

    "How Do I Track My Kid's Surfing? Tammy Setzer wants a way to keep her children from deleting their Web browsing history," by Lincoln Spector, PC World via The Washington Post, May 5, 2009 --- Click Here

    The browsers, like Internet Explorer and Firefox, won't let you do that. In fact, they're going in the opposite direction. They're adding features to help users cover their tracks. (I discuss these tools in Selectively Delete Some of Your Browsing History.) That's wonderful for adults, but it's problematic if you need to protect your children.

    What you need is child protection software--a program that will operate in the background, keeping track of what your kids are doing, blocking stuff you want blocked, and reporting back to you.

    Before I recommend a program, I want to discuss the best way to use such software. I'm writing this not as a technical expert, but as a father with a grown son and two teenage daughters.

    If you tell your children that you're going to monitor their Internet access, they're going to hate you for it (at least temporarily). But if you don't tell them, it will be far, far worse when they finally find out. It's best to be open with them, weather the storm, and seriously listen to their objections. Let them be part of the decision-making process about what will and will not be allowed, even though you, of course, must retain the last word.

    And tracking their surfing habits makes more sense than blocking sites. If they know that you can see every site they visit, they'll learn to make wise choices, and isn't that what this is all about?

    I recommend a brand-new program from Symantec called OnlineFamily.Norton, in large part because it encourages feedback between parents and children. It won't even let you hide the fact that you're spying on them. If they visit a site that falls into a category you object to (last I counted there were 47 categories), they will be told why they can't visit that site, and they'll get an opportunity to write you about it. You can block sites in the undesirable categories, merely monitor them, or have Online.Family warn the kids then allow them to proceed.

    Online.Family can also block certain searches, monitor instant messaging, and control how much time your children spend on their computers. That last one is important. Too much time on a computer can be worse for a child than what they do on it.

    The actual program is quite small, and runs in the background on your child's PC. You can monitor their activity from the Online.Family Web site, or be alerted to problems via e-mail.

    OnlineFamily.Norton is free through the end of the year. Symantec isn't saying what it will cost after that. I suspect they'll charge for it as an ongoing service, rather than a one-time purchase.

    Bob Jensen's threads on computer and networking security are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection


    Mac OS versus Windows OS

    I’d be interested in hearing success stories about the Windows emulators on the Mac.
    Increasingly with the greatly reduced prices of computers, most Mac users have a Windows machine that will run software available only for the Windows OS.

    Supposedly these have gotten better for emulating Windows on a Mac.

    Fusion 3 (not free) is a popular add on --- http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/
    Unlike the Windows emulator available from Apple, Fusion 3 allows split screens where one screen is Max OS and the other is Windows OS. However, it will also run in a single-screen Windows view.

    I doubt whether Fusion 3 is updated for the latest Windows 7 views of Windows

    "Mac Browser Camino 2 Gets A Release Candidate," MJ Siegler, Tech Crunch via The Washington Post, October 27, 2009 --- Click Here

    When it was revealed that  Mike Pinkerton, the lead developer for the Mozilla's Mac-based Camino web browser was moving over to Google to take charge of building Chrome for Mac, there was some concern that Camino would be neglected. Pinkerton assured development on Camino would continue, and sure enough it has. Today brings the first release candidate for Camino 2, the new version of the browser.

    Camino, though much less prevalent than its Mozilla sibling, Firefox, has a solid following among Mac users who appreciate its speed. It has long been my browser of choice as it's relatively lightweight and very fast compared to Firefox. And compatibility with various sites seems better than Apple's own Safari.

    We've been beta testing Camino 2 for several months now, and it's solid. It offers several improvements over the first iterations of Camino, notably in speed and the way it looks. Mozilla notes that this Release Candidate 1 could become the final, first official build of Camino 2 if there are no critical issue found.

    So it looks like despite Pinkerton's Chrome time commitments, Camino 2 will beat Chrome for Mac even reaching beta status.

    The anticipation for Chrome for Mac continues to build. Even Google co-founder Sergey Brin admits that he's disappointed with how long it has taken to develop. But, as we noted the other day, Chrome for Mac ? not Chromium, the open source browser on which Chrome is based ? looks like it's getting closer to a beta release.

    November 22, 2009 reply from Trinity University Geology Professor Glenn Kroeger

    Bob:

    Fusion 3 runs Win7 great! I have several virtual machines, so that I can run WinXP, Win7 and Liniux to test software I develop. I also use Fusion for several heavy duty processing packages for GIS and seismic processing. Much prefer it to a real windows machine... if Windows gets uppity, I can restart one virtual machine while my Mac and other virtual machines just keep chugging along.

    For best results, I suggest a faster CPU, larger cache and as much RAM as possible. For examples, it works great on my MacBook Pro with a 2.8G processor (with 6M cache) and 4 GB RAM.

    Glenn

    November 22, 2009 reply from Trinity University Chemistry Professor Nancy Mills

    Bob,
    I used VMFusion when I transitioned from Windows to Mac with the idea that I could use my PC programs and not buy new ones. It was awkward for me to have to open VMFusion when I needed to draw chemical structures or make plots. And, my PC programs began to work more erratically. But this did buy me time to make the complete transition to Mac, which was good.
    Nancy

     

    November 22, 2009 reply from Trinity University instructional support expert Robert Chapman

    Hi Robert,

    I use VirtualBox from Sun on my Mac without issue. It supports all of the important features that are required for running virtual machines simultaneously. There is a free open source version available. The email included below has experiences/myths that I would fine either peculiar or very circumstantial for the user. For a "power user" they seemed like pretty rookie mistakes issues. I hope the Mac experience goes better for you. If you have any questions about VirtualBox let me know. Thanks.

    http://www.virtualbox.org/

    Instructional Support Manager
    Robert Chapman

    rchapman@trinity.edu

    November 22, 2009 reply from Tax Professor Richard Sansing at Dartmouth

    I have had success using "Parallels Desktop" on my Mac to run Scientific Workplace and the Solver function on Excel.

    Richard Sansing

    Parallels Desktop --- http://www.parallels.com/

    November 22, 2009 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

    Due to the number of people requesting elaboration on my comment about the "myths of the Mac", here are my experiences:

    Let me preface these by saying I've been told these myths over and over by Mac fans who enthusiastically tried for years to get me to ditch my Windows machines for a Mac by using these arguments on me. I don't say that all Mac users hold these beliefs, but enough of my Mac-fan acquaintances claim they are true for me to label them "myths" rather than simply a mistaken error coming from a single uninformed or naive Mac user.)

    Myth 1: "The Mac isn't affected by viruses". False. Even though I very, very rarely use my Mac on the Internet, my iMac contracted a virus. I don't know where it came from, but our Tech Support people found it while troubleshooting a problem it caused. And it was darned hard for them to find me any Anti-virus software that really works on a Mac without gumming up the works bigtime. They installed three different Mac-based anti-virus programs before they got one that didn't make at least one of my standard Mac apps stop working. If Macs aren't affected by viruses, why are there anti-virus programs for Macs? My tech support people reluctantly agreed that the myth is false when I asked them that question.

    Myth 2: "The Mac OS-X doesn't crash." False. I've had at least four crashes, none of which can be explained by anyone, including our tech support people, who repeated the myth to me until they sat in my office and watched it happen. Yes, the whole shebang, not just one program (or app, as the Mac users calls them).

    Myth 3: "Mac-based programs don't crash." False. I've gotten used to saving my work every five minutes on the iMac (I usually go 10-15 minutes on the Windows machines) because I'm tired of seeing the little pop-up window: "Adobe Premiere Pro (or some other program) has unexpectedly quit working. You have lost any data that was not recently saved. You can try opening the program again." This happens regularly in my Adobe Creative Suite 3 for Mac programs, as well as two native iMac-'included' apps that came pre-loaded on the machine.

    Myth 4: "The Mac doesn't just freeze-up suddenly like Windows programs do from time to time." False. I've let Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, iDVD, Safari, and several other programs sit overnight in a "hung" state before Tech Support comes over and unplugs the machine -- unlike Windows machines, even holding the button on the back doesn't seem to reboot a Mac when it's frozen.

    Myth 5: "The Mac is a lot easier to learn." Maybe True for some, but not for me. Then again, I was 53 years old when I started learning the Mac, whereas I was only 33 when I learned Windows 3.0, which was built upon the DOS which I learned when I was in my mid-20's, which was similar to CP/M which I learned when ... so I'll chalk up my learning curve to age and curmudgeonliness.

    Myth 6: "Everything you can do on a Windows machine you can do on a Mac by using a Windows emulator." False. I have at least four programs which run fine on Windows which refuse to run at all on my iMac... out of about a dozen I tried. This was the first myth that our Tech Support people readily admitted was false without me having to demonstrate it to them. They recommended de-installing the emulators (which I have, eagerly) and sticking with running all Windows programs on Windows machines, and using only Mac programs on the Mac. (Note that this does not solve the problems I have with the Mac programs noted in the myths above.)

    Myth 7: "You can run Windows programs on a Mac, but they run a little slower than on a Windows machine." Maybe True for some programs, but not all... Some of my programs were not a little slow, they were agonizingly slow, taking MINUTES instead of seconds to respond. This was the second myth that our Tech Support agreed was false without my having to convince them. I now run Windows programs only on Windows machines.

    Myth 8: "Mac's have no trouble with Firewire." False. Every single time I try to capture video from my Canon ZR-960 videocam, it takes eight or ten plug-ins and unplugs before the machine finally recognizes it. Once it recognizes it, however, everything is good from there on out. The Adobe Premiere people say its the iMac, not their program. The camera works fine on Windows machines. The problem is indigenous to certain individual iMacs, not all. It works fine first time on about half of the iMacs tech support tried, but failed on the other half. The camera works fine first time every time on all Windows Vista machines, including my Vista Home Edition at home, even using the exact same cable. (My office WinXP doesn't have a firewire card so I haven't tried it on XP.)

    Myth 9: "Mac's have no trouble with USB devices like outboard disk drives." False. For some reason, my iMac will not recognize one of my Western Digital outboard disk drives... ever, even though it has the NTFS partition created on another identical iMac!. The disk simply doesn't show up on the desktop when plugged in. Either partition! The disk works perfectly on every Windows machine I've plugged it into. Both partitions (NTFS and FAT32) show up on XP and Vista machines without problem. My three other disk drives work okay on my Mac, and even my thumb drives (FAT32 only!) work fine on the iMac. But this one doesn't. I've never had a Windows machine that refused to recognize ANY outboard disk drive. Yes, it's a USB 2.0 compliant disk drive, purchased in 2008. The disk works on some of CIT's Macs, but not others, and no one can explain why.

    Myth 10: "It's just your individual machine, not Macs in general. You must have a bad machine." FALSE. I've used up a lot of brownie points with our tech support and CIT people by taking my stuff over to their iMacs and duplicating the problems on THEIR machines when they try to tell me it's just my individual machine. In fact, in two instances, I've succeeded in "stumping the chumps" by making their machine fail in front of their eyes in new ways that MY machine has never done before. In one of those two, the tech support guy was actually running the machine, not me. So it's not just the way I'm holding my mouth or blinking my eyes or doing covert things with the command keys.

    Now in all fairness, I have to admit that I'm something of a power user, meaning that I probably use about 15-20% of an application's capabilities, compared to the average user who uses probably 5-10% of the capabilities. I exercise the programs and explore recesses and features and use the intermediate capabilities (the textbooks call them "advanced" features, but in reality, even I don't even begin to touch some of the real advanced capabilities of most mature modern software applications! So I may be bumping into some unexplored territory with my attempts to get the real performance out of some of these programs. So I won't criticize the average Mac user who claims these myths are true, because his/her experience might never have led him/her into the situations where I encounter the problems.

    Most Mac tech support people will admit that these myths are myths. The few who still don't admit they are myths seem to believe I'm bringing bad karma into their offices and machines. If I am, it is unintentional. But they may be right, given the large number of Mac users who still insist the above statements are gospel truth.

    SUMMARY: I'm not dissing the Macs in favor of Windows machines. Macs do have a lot going for them. My iMac flies like lightning compared to Windows when it comes to video editing, video rendering, audio conversions, photo editing en masse, and other A/V applications (on those occasions that it doesn't hang, crash, or automatically reboot without me doing anything!). So I'm relatively happy with the Mac for those applications. And I can't even complain too much about the operation or learning curves of some of the Mac apps -- like Safari, etc. But I don't find those apps any EASIER, however, especially since the interface's logic is so different from what I'm used to on Windows machines.

    But I must say that I'm not yet convinced that the Mac is in any way superior (or even comparable) to a Windows machine for any of the office-related (lower-case o) applications like word-processing, spreadsheets that I've tried on it, especially for the features that I use, nor do I believe a Mac is anywhere near as safe and reliable as all of my Mac-fan friends had led me to believe. In fact, I would dare say that my iMac has actually been just as unreliable and prone to problems as any Windows machine I've ever had. Not necessarily worse, but every bit as bad.

    I know Mac users who will disagree, and I know Windows users who will also disagree, believing that nothing can be as problematic as Microsoft software. I'm going ONLY on my own personal experience. As my doctor told me only 29 hours ago, as his test diagnosed me with H1N1 with no symptoms whatsoever but a previously-unexplained fever, "hey, everybody is different... everybody is different."

    David Fordham
    James Madison University


    Interchangeable Files on a Mac versus a PC
    Mac Version of Quicken is Inferior and Incompatible

    From Walter S. Mossberg's Mailbox on May 7, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124164628523093263.html

    Q: I switched from PC to Mac a year ago, but now I am thinking of adding a Windows laptop. If I do, what kind of compatibility problem would I have? I would be using the laptop mostly to write, to send/receive email and to Web browse.

    A: In the old days, there were compatibility problems, but most of those have gone away. Based on your simple predicted usage, I'd say that you should be fine. For instance, both Macs and PCs can interchangeably open and edit all of the major file types -- JPG pictures, MP3 music, Microsoft Office documents, Adobe PDF files, etc. Email and instant messages can, of course, be exchanged between the two platforms, even if you are using different programs. And Macs understand Windows file extensions. Also, you can use both platforms simultaneously on the same home network to access the Internet.

    In some cases, you might need different programs to open the same files on the two platforms. But even that obstacle has greatly diminished. For instance, programs like the Firefox and Safari Web browsers, Adobe Reader, iTunes, Microsoft Office, Google Earth, Picasa, Photoshop and many others come in native versions for both platforms that can handle the same files. And, of course, Web-based programs like Gmail and Yahoo Mail work on both. Sometimes, the same programs have different features and user interfaces on Windows and Macs, but I haven't found these differences hard to master.

    The biggest problems for average users are Quicken, whose Mac version is inferior and incompatible; Internet Explorer, which is no longer made for the Mac; and Microsoft Outlook, which is replaced on the Mac by a program called Entourage that is similar but uses a different file format. And networking can be tricky. In general, the Mac does a better job of seeing Windows PCs on a network than Windows does of seeing Macs.

     


    "Helping Your Data Decamp to a Mac," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122886922043793175.html

    Apple has promoted this PC-to-Mac switching concept heavily over recent years -- particularly with its "I'm a Mac" commercials, which bluntly compare the Windows and Mac operating systems. Windows Vista has been a source of consternation all its own, and some people have opted for the Mac rather than risking problems with a Vista PC. Apple recently reported that about 50% of the people buying Macs in the Apple stores are new to the Mac.

    If you buy a new Mac from the Apple store, staffers there ("Geniuses," as they call themselves) will transfer your files over to the new machine free. This process takes place in the store, though Apple says it generally isn't a "while you wait" task. If you buy a Mac elsewhere, such as online or at Best Buy, Apple stores charge $50 for this transfer.

    But some people aren't comfortable with the idea of handing a computer filled with their personal files over to a stranger. If this is the case for you, some other viable options include copying your old PC's data onto a portable hard drive or onto discs that are compatible with the new computer. If several home computers are networked, files can be transferred onto a drive accessible by all the machines.

    This week, I tried yet another method, copying data from a Windows machine over to a new MacBook using a special transfer cable from Belkin International Inc. The aptly named Switch-to-Mac Cable plugs into USB ports on two computers. It came out a month ago and is available for $50 at places like Best Buy and Apple stores. Like other transferring methods, it moves only files and not programs or applications, such as Microsoft Word. (Windows applications can run on a Mac using programs like Boot Camp, Fusion or Parallels.)

    I tested the Belkin Switch-to-Mac Cable by transferring data to a new Apple MacBook from my two-year-old Lenovo ThinkPad X60, which runs Vista. (Most people will transfer from an older PC that doesn't run Vista.)

    After installing the software included and connecting the transfer cable to both the Mac and Windows PC, short, on-screen prompts walked me through the steps for copying data from one computer to the other. On one instructional screen, I checked boxes to indicate what I wanted to transfer, including documents, pictures, music, videos, Internet Explorer bookmarks, desktop wallpaper and desktop files. Here, I could also opt to transfer a custom folder as well as personal information from Outlook like email, contacts and calendar.

    I liked Belkin's simple approach, including unintimidating software and a straightforward cable with a glowing, white indicator. But the files didn't all properly transfer from my Windows laptop to my Mac. Most notably, the software prompted me to move files on my desktop, but the cable moved only five of the 23 selected files stored there.

    Also, I use Mozilla's Firefox as my default browser, but Belkin doesn't move Firefox bookmarks to the Mac. Still, my Internet Explorer bookmarks moved over into Safari, Apple's browser. Belkin explained that it left out Firefox transfers, instead focusing on programs like Safari that come installed on Macs. Even without a cable, Firefox itself will export bookmarks to be moved to the Mac in just a few simple steps.

    I had no problems transferring everything else, and things like photos and music moved to the Mac appeared there in logical places. For example, photos stored in the "My Pictures" folder on my Windows PC automatically moved over to iPhoto on the Mac and retained their original folder labels in iPhoto.

    In most cases, newly transferred files were clearly labeled on the Mac in folders marked "Windows PC." After my initial transfer, I used the cable for additional transfers, and the data moved in those follow-ups were labeled "Windows PC-2" and so on. When my email, contacts and calendar transferred from my Windows Live Mail desktop client, I wasn't sure where this data had moved within Apple Mail because I didn't see a "Windows PC" folder. A Belkin representative explained that files transferred to Apple Mail are stored in an "Import" folder.

    If your transfer doesn't work perfectly the first time, try moving stray files into a folder that transferred successfully in a previous attempt. I did this with some of my desktop files when they didn't move over and it worked, albeit with an extra step.

    Over the phone, I walked through numerous troubleshooting scenarios with Belkin to figure out why my desktop files didn't transfer over to the new Mac, but nothing helped. Belkin said it hadn't seen my desktop transfer problem in its tests.

    I was frustrated to find that Belkin doesn't offer much in the way of detailed instructions for users, such as a FAQs Web site or troubleshooting steps for common hiccups. Its simplicity is an asset, but when performing an important task like transferring data, I'd rather have the option of knowing more than less. Belkin says it plans to add more help for users in the future.

    As its name indicates, the Belkin Switch-to-Mac Cable isn't designed to transfer data from one Mac to another, nor from one Windows PC to another. Nor will it transfer data from a Mac to a Windows PC. Additionally, all hidden directories and system directories are ignored, as are all files with the following extensions: .exe, .com, .dll, .scr, .ini, .db, .lnk.

    Not tested was a competing product from Detto Technologies, the $50 Move2Mac, which comes in two versions: One enables transfers from older PCs without USB ports, the other enables transfers from PCs with USB ports that are running Windows 98, Millennium, 2000 or XP -- but not Vista, which the Belkin enables.

    If you're moving away from a Windows PC, Belkin's Switch-to-Mac Cable is one tool that can make this transition easier.


    Saving Websites as PDF Files

    PDFMyURL Saves Web Sites as PDF Files --- http://lifehacker.com/5461512/pdfmyurl-saves-web-sites-as-pdf-files

    You can also use Adobe Acrobat to save Websites as PDF files

    Exacting Print Outs of Web Pages
    David Albrecht wanted hard copies of some pages in his blog --- for example see the page at http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/
    As with most blogs and many other Web pages, the File, Print commands on a Web browser does not generate the desired facsimile when printed.
    David asked AECMers to suggest ways to get printed facsimiles of his Web pages.
    The thread drifted a bit into screen capturing of video frames.

    Capturing Web Pages and Other Windows Screen Images (including scrollable images)
    In particular note Shari Thompson's answer message below.

    January 27, 2010 message from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

    I use a relatively simple screen capture program called "CaptureWizPro" by Pixelmetrics ( http://www.pixelmetrics.com/ ) for capturing screen content.  I like it much better than other capture programs.  I went to "The Summa" web page and used CaptureWizPro to capture the web page and saved it in .pdf format. . . .

    I used the "auto scroll down" feature to capture the entire web page.  I saved the page as a .pdf file and clicked the option to "fit to page."

    When you open the attached .pdf file, you may need to use the +/- option at the top of the Adobe Acrobat screen to adjust the size of your blog page.  I was able to increase the page size to file most of the screen which made your content very readable.

    People have individual preferences for screen capture.  Of all that I have used, I CaptureWizPro the best.  It makes capturing/printing/saving blog pages very easy to do.

    Want to take this one step further?  Try WebNotes ( http://www.webnotes.net/ ).  With WebNotes, you can annotate (highlighting and sticky notes) web pages and .pdf documents.  WebNotes is a Web 2.0, hosted service.  I use it to annotate web pages and .pdf documents that I include in my course materials.  WebNotes provides an easy way to guide students through articles.

    Hope this helps.

    Rick Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA
    Assistant Professor of Accounting
    Coordinator, Master of Science in Accountancy
    CSUSB, CBPA, Department of Accounting & Finance
    5500 University Parkway, JB-547
    San Bernardino, CA.  92407-2397

     Email:  rlillie@csusb.edu
    Telephone:  (909) 537-5726
    Skype (Username):  ricklillie

    January 28, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Rick,

    This is very interesting software, I notice that there are some Websites that offer free downloads, but I don’t trust those sites. I have already ordered the professional version from PixelMetrics, but since I like to buy software on a mailed CD it will be a couple of weeks before the CD is delivered up here. I like a mailed CD because I can install the software on multiple computers and do not have to be online for the installation. Also if the vendor goes bankrupt I still have the installation CD.

    Question 1 I just read where this will also capture video frames from YouTube. Have you tried a YouTube screen capture?

    Question 2 Have you tried to capture a picture of a Windows Media Player screen of paused video using CaptureWizPro?

    One of the most difficult things to capture perfectly is a Windows Media Player screen. I’ve never had any luck using SnagIT with on Windows Media Player screens. SnagIT captures what looks like an image, but you really cannot save the image as a bmp or other picture file.

    Thanks for telling us about the CaptureWizPro software.

    Bob Jensen

    PS:  Some Blog Printing Considerations

    The Problem of Frames in Blogs --- http://www.webpronews.com/blogtalk/2007/11/27/hp-blog-printing

    Scrapbook Blogger --- https://www.scrapbookblogger.com/

     

    January 28 2010 reply from Rick Lillie [rlillie@CSUSB.EDU]

    Hi Bob,

    About Question #1

    The CaptureWizPro does capture video.  I saves files in a variety of formats.  I have not tried to capture a YouTube video file.  When I include a YouTube video in my course materials, I either include the URL link to the video or use the html code to embed the Flash player in the web page.

    Video and audio capture
    Record screen activity and/or sound to AVI, WMV, or GIV movie files of WAV audio files.

    About Question #2

    Yes, you can capture screenshots from Windows Media Player.  I've had the experience with getting nothing but a black screen.  Below is the explanation from CaptureWizPro.

     Rick Lillie


    January 28, 2009 reply from Shari Thompson [shari.thompson@PVPL.COM]

    Hi David
    I think a relatively hassle-free way would be to use Adobe Acrobat (either Acrobat Standard or Acrobat Pro). Albeit somewhat more costly than other software suggested, you can try Acrobat for free by downloading it from: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/

    I’ve found Acrobat to be the most convenient way to quickly convert a document—in any software format—into a good quality pdf that prints the way it displays. I use Acrobat almost daily at work. It makes document distribution a heck of a lot easier.

    Acrobat samples: • I converted a section of your blog to an 8-pg pdf in about a minute (see “The Summa” pdf, attached)

    Someone earlier mentioned want if you want just the blog text without the ads in the margins. I know of a couple ways to do this:

    o One way: Start with the originally converted pdf, and then use the crop tool to take off the right margin. Acrobat displays a pop-up that visually shows how much of the actual image will be cropped. (see “The Summa cropped ”)

    o Or use the browsers print feature and select “Adobe PDF” in place of your printer: Select “text only” from your browser’s print button and choose “adobe PDF” as the printer. Adobe then converts the selected text (and images, if selected) into a pdf. (see “The Summa - just the text”)

    Email or give me a call if you have any questions. My employer paid $300 for it a few years ago, but looks like you could buy it at academic pricing for $160: http://www.adobe.com/education/purchasing/education_pricing.html 

    Shari Thompson CIA
    Internal Auditing Manager
    Professional Veterinary Products
    Direct 402.829.5248 Fax 402.829.5322

    www.pvpl.com

    January 28, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Shari,

     What a great idea.

     Thanks so much.

     Just to make it easier for readers, I linked your facsimile files as follows:

    The software below looks interesting:

    Scrapbook Blogger --- https://www.scrapbookblogger.com/

    Bob Jensen

     

     

     


    Convert Scanned Picture Files or PDF Files into MS Word or Other Text Files

    Turn PDFs Into Word Documents:  The aptly named PDF to Word service extracts the text from PDFs for easy editing in Word. And it's free!" by Rick Broida, PC World via The Washington Post, May 15, 2009 --- Click Here

    Ever wish you could edit a PDF file in Microsoft Word? Seems like that should be easy enough, especially when you're dealing with a document that's mostly text. Alas, a PDF is really just a collection of images, meaning you can't edit the contents in their native format.

    Of course, there are pricey software utilities that will convert a PDF into Word-friendly text. But there's also PDF to Word, a Web service that accomplishes the same thing absolutely free.

    All you do is upload your PDF and choose your desired output format: Word or Rich Text Format. Then you sit tight while the service works its magic, eventually sending you an e-mail with a link to download the converted document.

    Best bet: Choose Word over RTF. Word conversions end up looking remarkably similar to your original PDFs. Ultimately, the quality varies from one document to another depending on its content, layout, etc.

    Jensen Comment
    It is also possible to scan hard copy pages and convert the scanned text into computer text. This is not so simple when using electronic book readers like Kindle, which is why they are the most secure form of publishing for authors who do not want their works copied. Of course no form of publishing is completely secure since cameras may take pictures of text pages.


    Scan Multi-Page Image Documents into PDF and Text Files (especially note the reply from Patricia Walters at the ending of this Tidbit)

    Nitro Professional --- http://www.nitropdf.com/

    Nitro PDF® Professional, the complete Adobe® Acrobat® replacement, helps you do what you need to with its powerful tools to create, convert, edit, combine, secure, annotate, form-fill, and save 100% industry-standard PDF files.  

    Nitro Pro has claimed the top spot in Computerworld's review of PDF editors, beating out Acrobat X (and the rest) with its powerful editing features and superior ease of use.

     

    May 29, 2011 message from Jim Richards

    As long as it is a PDF document and not something that has been scanned as images to PDF, then Nitro Professional should do it. It will do more than one page at a time.

    Sometimes trial versions will only do a small number of pages but the full version will do the entire document but it might take a while to do it. I have tried it will annual reports but I have never tried to do 244 pages in the one document.

    I just tried it with the XBRL Dimensions Specification and it worked fine. I was going to do a research report from Aberdeen that contains graphics but it needed a password to open the document in Nitro.

    Tables sometimes cause Nitro problems. On some occasions it does read them as a table but other times it is tabular columns. It may depend on how the original document was created.

    I am not sure if I can attach a zip file to list email for you to look at so I will send it directly to your email address.

    Jim
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jim Richards
    Phone (Home): (08) 9249 6874
    Phone (Mobile): 0419-172-100

    May 29, 2011 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Jim,
     
    I'm confused by your first sentence. If the document is already a PDF document, what would be the purpose of scanning it into a PDF document?
     
     
    Then it dawned on me that the purpose might be to obtain PDF documents that do not have origin security clearance for selection, cutting, and pasting. But why should it matter how the original PDF document was generated when using Nitro? Pehaps what you were saying in the first sentence is that when a file is not an image file or a text file, then Nitro does not do a PDF conversion?
     
     
    Also creating a PDF document is not quite the same as obtaining a fully-editable OCR text document. A PDF document can have search capabilities vis-a-vis an image file, but if the selected PDF text cannot be copied into free text it would seem that this is not quite the same as OCR with something like Omni Page Pro ---
    http://www.nuance.com/for-business/by-product/omnipage/index.htm
     

    I question whether Nitro will work when a book publisher types a book in MS Word, and converts the book into a PDF document with security settings that will not allow selection, copying, and pasting. If this were possible the whole world would be converting published PDF books into MS Word documents that can be modified by users. I suspect Nitro only works when the original authors set weaker security parameters for their PDF documents. Otherwise book publishers would stop publishing in PDF formats.
     
    My guess is that the only way to illegally beat the PDF book publishers is to create an image file of each page --- which then is an image file that cannot be edited easily or searched for key words.
     
    Book publishers cannot prevent image file duplication even when they only sell books in hard copy. That's why God invented scanners.
     
    Getting image files from eBook readers like the Kindle and the iPad is a bit trickier, although there are probably scanning apps out there now for copying book pages. Are there such apps available?
     
    I've never held an eBook reader over a flatbed scanner.


    Bob Jensen
     

     

    May 30, 2011 reply from Jim Richards

    Hi Bob,
    Sometimes a PDF ( and a private reply from Barry confirmed this) is a PDF that has been created by scanning pages to create images of each page rather than creating the PDF from a Word document. If the PDF consists of pages that are images it would require OCR and Nitro does offer this as an additional alternative but it is not something I have tested.

    What I was trying to explain was the two different ways in which the PDF could have been created. It could be a “native” PDF created by some other application(s) [such as Word and printing to a PDF file or Acrobat itself] or simply pages that have been scanned and collected together in a PDF document. The latter would require OCR capabilities if the text was to be extracted from the document.

    Nitro can extract the text from a PDF file if it is a “true” PDF but the more difficult approach is to extract text using OCR if the original document used to create the PDF scanned images of a pages. So if someone had an paper document, scanned all of the pages and then inserted those images into a PDF file, the PDF consists of images rather than text. This would mean that OCR would be needed to try and extract the text from the document.

    My understanding from Barry that this latter process was used to create his PDF file.

    Jim
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jim Richards
    Phone (Home): (08) 9249 6874
    Phone (Mobile): 0419-172-100

    May 30, 2011 reply from Scott Bonacker

    If you have one of the Acrobat products, you can run OCR on it and then copy the text. But you’ll lose formatting. Accuracy of the OCR depends heavily on the quality of the scan – at least 400dpi black and white is what we use.

    Or you can save it as a Word file from within Acrobat, not sure all formatting would survive though.

    Not cheap, but if you are going to do this often you could get OmniPage Pro
    http://www.nuance.com/for-individuals/by-product/omnipage/index.htm
    Might be a good departmental purchase -

    Nuance also has a free reader that comes with a conversion service
    http://www.nuance.com/products/pdf-reader/index.htm

    There is a Yahoo group that might have ideas as well –
    paperlessdigitallife@yahoogroups.com


    I hope this helps,

    Scott Bonacker CPA
    Springfield, MO

    May 31, 2011 reply from Patricia Walters

    I just downloaded and tried the Nuance PDF Converter for Mac that worked like a charm converting a pdf to word.  I haven't yet tried it on a longer annual report, but I was impressed that all formatting was retained.

    I was also impressed that I could remove words or sentences entirely from the pdf rather than simply blackline them.  

    Thanks again for this recommendation.  

    Pat

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm


    Convert From One Text Format into Another Format

    "Pandoc Converts All Your (Text) Documents." by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 23, 2012 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/pandoc-converts-all-your-text-documents/38700?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    For the past few months we ProfHackers have been running an occasional series about using the command line. I got us started with a couple posts explaining why you might want to use the command line and how to get started using it. Konrad followed with a posts about the uniq command and the sort command for working with text and data files. Amy added a post about how the command line let her hack the NOOK Color, and I wrote about using pdftk to manipulate PDFs.

    Taking up the command line is easier if you have a specific problem you’re trying to solve. For me, the problem was that I wanted to do all of my writing in a plain text format, like Markdown or LaTeX. But I need to be able to share my writing in a variety of formats: HTML for the web, PDF for printed documents or academic writing, and occasionally RTF or Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.

    The best way I’ve found to move between these formats is Pandoc. Pandoc is a command line tool written by a philosophy professor, John MacFarlane. Its general use is to take a document in one format and convert it to another. You can get an idea of the wide variety of formats Pandoc can translate by looking at an enlargement of the header diagram.

    Here’s an example of how this works. Suppose that you have a Markdown document like the one we created for the post on Markdown. (View pandoc-example.markdown on GitHub.) You can convert this to a number of text formats with a simple terminal command:

    Markdown to HTML (HTML output on GitHub):

    pandoc pandoc-example.markdown -o pandoc-example.html

    Markdown to LaTeX (LaTeX output on GitHub):

    pandoc pandoc-example.markdown -o pandoc-example.tex

    Markdown to DOCX:

    pandoc pandoc-example.markdown -o pandoc-example.docx

    Markdown to PDF (download PDF):

    pandoc pandoc-example.markdown -o pandoc-example.pdf

    That command calls pandoc, tells it which file to convert (pandoc-example.markdown) and tells it which file to export (e.g., pandoc-example.html). Pandoc figures out what types of files these are from the extension, or you can pass it additional arguments. For some of the formats, you can convert the other way. For example, you could convert LaTex to Markdown or to a Word DOCX, or HTML to Markdown or LaTeX.  To convert to PDF, though, you’ll need to have LaTeX installed on your system.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

     

     


    Microsoft’s Word 2007, Excel 2007, and PowerPoint 2007 Compatibility Pack

    July 27, 2009 message from a friend

    Oh, no! I have XP because some of my programs wouldn’t run on Vista and all I’ve heard about Vista is what a pain in the behind it is. Someone sent me a Word doc a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t open it because it was in Word 7. I wrote back, said I couldn’t open it, and could they send the message (it was an invitation of some sort) in the body of an e-mail message. Never heard back from them. I wouldn’t get a computer with Windows 7 yet…if XP will be minimally supported for another five years, I can wait a year or two. I need a new computer, but I don’t need headaches.

    July 28, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

    There are various alternatives (free and not free) for reading docx, xlsx, and pptx files. But I do not trust downloads from companies I’ve never heard of before.

    I recommend looking into Microsoft’s Compatibility Pack ---
    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/HA101686761033.aspx

    Microsoft has added new file formats to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 to reduce file size, improve security and reliability, and enhance integration with external sources. To help ensure that you can exchange documents between Microsoft Office releases, Microsoft has developed a Compatibility Pack for the Office Word, Office Excel, and Office PowerPoint 2007 File Formats.

    Bob Jensen

     


    Saving a Video Clip as a Bitmap

    Drag the video clip into the Camtasia Producer timeline.
    Find the frame you want to save as a bitmap
    Click on File, Save frame as
    Name the file and save


    Sending Large/Huge Files Free

    Send files, large and small, with more privacy on the Web --- http://www.pando.com/

    Share My Screen Pro ---  http://www.share-my-screen-pro.com/

    A free way to send up to a 1 Gb huge file by email
    This is a good way to send video and audio files!
    YouSendIt is now called Hightail ---- https://www.hightail.com/


    From the Scout Report on March 6, 2015

    poetic.io --- https://poetic.io/ 

    poetic.io is a simple and secure way to transfer files. Sign up just requires an email address. From there, users may drag and drop files as large as 3GB to the poetic.io page, enter destination emails, and then send. (To put this in perspective: the average full-length movie is about 1GB.) Besides speed and efficiency for large file movement, the site also provides basic security, so that readers know only their recipients will receive the data. The site is free and accessible from any computer with an Internet connection, and can be a welcome tool for teachers who need to share data with students and each other, co-workers who are working on data-heavy projects, and others who share large data files (video, graphics, photos) in their work and play.

     


    I love the Hightail (formerly YouSendIt) service that does not require zip or any form of file compression.  You can learn how to use YouSendIt in less than a minute --- https://www.hightail.com/

    Question
    It frequently happens that you want to send or receive email attachments that are just too large to sent via email.
    For example, my Christmas letter was a DOC file that contained so many pictures that I just could not send it via email to Kinkos for printing.
    What are some of the free alternatives for doing transferring such files between friends or organizations?
    What is this neat new thing called SideDrop?

    Answer
    You can read about alternatives for sending large files at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#SendingLargeFiles

    I love the Hightail alternative and cannot explain why this valuable service is free --- https://www.hightail.com/
    It's a bit slower than attaching email, but that's because the files are so large.
    For example, I told Jerry Searfoss he could send me the blueprints of his grand new house in Pullman via YouSendIt, and it worked.

    Hightail added a service called SideDrop --- https://www.hightail.com/
    You can watch a video at the above site that explains SideDrop. Even if you don't want to bother with SideDrop, Hightail is still a great service.


    From the Scout Report on January 25, 2013

    Digital Pigeon --- https://digitalpigeon.com/ 

    If you're looking to send large files, why not give Digital Pigeon a try? With this free version of the program, users can send up to four 500MB files a month to three recipients. It's a great way to consolidate the transfer of large pieces of information, and the site includes a demonstration and an FAQ section. This version is compatible with all operating systems.


    "A Way to Share Photos, Files And Money in Black & White:  Walt Mossberg reviews Xsync, an iPhone app that uses QR codes to transfer photos, songs, videos and even money, The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2019 ---
    http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324734904578243730813204830.html?mg=reno64-wsj

    Say you want to quickly transfer a file, like a photo or a contact entry, from your smartphone to a friend's. Most people would email or text the file. But a number of technologies have come along to make the process quicker and simpler.

    On some Android phones, you can "beam" files like photos from phone to phone by tapping one phone to another, or bringing them very close. But that requires that both phones have a special chip, called NFC, which isn't yet universal on Android phones and doesn't exist at all in iPhones.

    Another approach is to use an app called Bump, which transfers files between iPhones and Android phones when those holding them do a sort of sideways fist bump. It works pretty well, but you have to make contact with the other person.

    This week, I've been testing a different approach—an iPhone app called Xsync. It doesn't require any special chip and instead uses a free app and a hardware feature almost every smartphone possesses—the camera. While it is primarily meant, like Bump, for transfers between phones in proximity, it works over long distances. I was able to almost instantly send and get photos, videos and songs using Xsync between two iPhones held up to computer webcams during a Skype video call.

    The key to Xsync is the QR code, that square symbol found seemingly everywhere these days—online, in print newspapers and magazines, on posters and other places. These codes typically just contain text—often, a Web address. But Xsync, a tiny company based in Seattle, generates QR codes that initiate the transfer of whole files, or in the case of photos, even groups of files. It has a built-in QR code scanner to read these codes using the phone's camera.

    The biggest drawback to Xsync is that it is currently only available for the iPhone. An Android version is planned for sometime this quarter. Meanwhile, you can use an Android phone with any QR code reader to receive, though not send, files sent via Xsync.

    The Xsync app is something of a teaser for the underlying technology, which the company calls the Optical Message Service. The company's goal isn't to build its own apps, but to license the technology to cellphone makers so it becomes a built-in way to transfer files.

    Here's how it works. Once you install Xsync on your iPhone, you select an audio file, photo, video, contact, or calendar appointment, each of which is represented by a simple icon. The app creates a QR code representing the intended transfer of that file and temporarily sends the file to Xsync's server. Your friend uses Xsync to scan the QR code you've created with his or her iPhone's camera, and the files are sent to your friend's iPhone.

    In my tests, it was easy, quick and reliable. I successfully used Xsync to send and receive all the included types of files with an iPhone 5, an iPhone 4S, and an iPad Mini. I was also able to receive files on an Android phone, a Google GOOG -0.96% Nexus 4, via a QR code generated by Xsync.

    You can even generate a QR code using Xsync that will allow you to transfer money from your PayPal account to another person's, though that requires an added authentication step for security. But it worked, and would be a good way to, say, split a bill at a restaurant. (This PayPal feature of Xsync doesn't work with Android, for now.)

    The company says the file transfers are secure, for two reasons. First, they are encrypted. More important, each code is generated for a specific transfer and expires after a relatively short time. For instance, codes for photos expire after 24 hours, according to the company.

    You can use Xsync to transmit certain kinds of files—including documents—you've stored in your Dropbox account, though, oddly, the Xsync app hides this document-transfer feature under an icon for sharing calendar appointments.

    And you don't have to be close to make the transfer. In addition to my Skype example, you can send a QR code generated by Xsync via email or text message, or even post the code to Facebook FB -1.59% . Another person can then scan the code to get the file.

    Xsync can generate codes that represent either existing files on your phone, or files you create on the spot. If you don't want to use an existing one, the audio, photo, video and calendar icons in the app invite you to create a new file to be transferred.

    Continued in article


    Signature995 9.0 --- http://www.signature995.com/ 

    If you're looking for a way to securely transmit and digitally sign PDFs, look no further than this application. Using Microsoft Cryptographic technology, Signature995 features a multi-tabbed interface that is easy to use. Visitors can also encrypt other file types (such as doc and zip files), and they can also limit file access to certain users. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.


    Screencasting
    ScreenCast from TechSmith is a leading storage/server alternative for your Jing and Camtasia videos ---
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TechSmith

    However, there are quite a few other screeencast video capturing alternatives and hosts ---
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_screencasting_software
    This is a pretty impressive Wikipedia comparison site!

    Bob Jensen's video helpers ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm


    Dropbox (Cloud Storage) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dropbox_%28service%29

    "Dropbox Will Simplify Your Life," by David Pogue, The New York Times, October 20, 2011 ---
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/dropbox-will-simplify-your-life/

    Every time I’m tempted to write about some tech product that’s been around awhile, I’m torn. On one hand, I’ll be blasted by the technogeeks for being late to the party. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem right to keep something great hidden under a barrel from the rest of the world.

    So here goes: I love Dropbox.

    Continued in article

    October 26, 2011 reply from Lim.K.Teoh

    SugarSync is also a good alternative that offers a greater storage for free. Its unique advantage is that we don't have to install any software to access the files.

    Lim

     

    October 22, 2011 reply from Rick Lillie

    I read David Pogue's post about Dropbox.  I agree it is easy to use and is a great tool for file sharing.

    There are many software programs and hosted collaboration services available (both free and for fee) that focus on file sharing as a way to collaborate.  But, file sharing is just one aspect of collaborating with others on a project.

    Dropbox is great for what it does.  There are alternatives that do much more than what Dropbox does. 

    For example, for the past few years, I have used Collanos Workplace as a way to collaborate with students on independent study and group projects.  Collanos is similar to Groove Networks (now part of enterprise edition of Microsoft Office).  Collanos emphasizes organizing the project and workflow and includes many options for communicating and incorporating other technology tools as needed to meet project needs.

    I've also used Collanos Workplace to collaborate with colleagues on research projects.  Recently, I've been using a great online hosted collaboration service called Glasscubes It's more intuitive than Collanos and shifts the process to "the Cloud."

    There are lots of tech tools to use for research and classroom activities.  The key is to find the tool that "best fits" the needs of the project and the technology skills of both students and instructor.

    Best wishes,

    Rick Lillie, MAS, Ed.D., CPA
    Assistant Professor of Accounting
    Coordinator, Master of Science in Accountancy
    CSUSB, CBPA, Department of Accounting & Finance
    5500 University Parkway, JB-547
    San Bernardino, CA.  92407-2397

    "Automatic File Conversions and More with Dropbox Automator," by Joe Brockmeier, ReadWriteWeb, December 31, 2011 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/automatic_file_conversions_and_more_with_dropbox_a.php

    Computers keep getting closer and closer to making people obsolete. The latest step towards human obsolescence? Dropbox Automator, a Web-based tool for setting up actions that happen as soon as you put a file in a Dropbox folder. It’s not flawless just yet, but it might provide a useful service for many Dropbox users.

    The service is powered by Wappwolf, an online “action storethat features a set of Web actions that can process files. For example, it has ready made actions to encrypt and decrypt files, extract text from PDFs, convert documents to PDF, generate QR codes and manipulate images.

    Zoho CRM offers a complete customer life cycle management service online. Zoho CRM helps you manage your Sales, Marketing & Customer Interactions online. Automation, customization, integration, and collaboration allow you to grow your business and have a 360-degree view of your business. Get Started with 3 Users Free!


    "8 Simple Ways To Share Data Online," by David Strom, ReadWriteWeb, June 17, 2011 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/biz/2011/06/8-simple-ways-to-share-data-on.php

    If you have to jointly author a spreadsheet with a colleague, what is the first thing that you do? Email it back and forth. This can be painful, particularly as you try to keep track of your partner's changes and hope the emails transit back and forth across the Internet. Add a third or fourth person, and things get worse. Luckily, there is a better way, and a number of Web-based service providers have stepped up with tools to make spreadsheet sharing a lot easier than sending attachments.

    We've written about a few of them, including Longjump and Hyperbase (one of our products of the year for 2008), but I have tried a bunch others, and will show you what is involved and how they stack up.

    The process is very straightforward: you either copy and paste data or take your spreadsheet and upload it to the service, after creating accounts for you and your collaborators. Then you can make changes via your Web browser, no other software is required. Some of the services allow for more bells and whistles. Setup time is minimal; your data is properly protected by the service and safe from harm. And you don't need to learn any Web/database programming skills either.

    For many people, the spreadsheet is still one of the most popular low-end database applications. The rubric of a table of rows and columns is easily understood and can easily be used as a way to view records and fields of a database. Plus, you don't need to design special reports to view your data entries, and you can easily sort your data without having to create data dictionaries or other database structures, just use the appropriate Excel commands. Having a specialized service that can share this data makes it easier to collaborate too, whether your partners are across the office or on the other side of the world. As long as they have an Internet connection, they are good to go.

    There are eight different services currently available, in order of increasing cost:

    Online Spreadsheet Sharing Services

     

    Service

    Price

    Storage limits

    Pagos  Spreadsheetlive.com

    Free (for now)

    1 MB

    Google Docs

    Free

    Really unlimited

    Microsoft Live

    Free

    50 MB

    Smartsheet.com

    $10/mo for up to 10 spreadsheets

    30 MB

    Longjump Database

    $19/mo for two users

    3 MB

    HyperBase

    $175 setup plus $44/mo for 5 users

    1.25 GB

    TrackVia.com

    $250/mo for 10 users

    4 GB for entry plan

    Intuit QuickBase

    $299/mo for 10 users

    1 GB for entry plan

    Pricing and support

    When you decide on the particular service, it pays to read the pricing fine print. There are discounts for annual subscriptions on most services, and some such as Smartsheet offer additional discounts for non-profit and educational institutions. All of these services have 14 day or 30 day free trials to get started, so you can get a feel of what is involved in manipulating your data and how easy it is to make changes, produce reports, and receive notifications.

    Continued in article

    June 18, 2011 reply from Amy Dunbar

    I find Google docs great for small spreadsheets, but cumbersome for large files.

    I set up Dropbox folders for each of my groups in my online class (3-5 students in a group). They post their project spreadsheets in the group folders, and if a student has a question, I can quickly open the spreadsheet to see what is going on. Students contact me by AIM and we discuss the spreadsheet via AIM. Works like a charm for me.

    Amy Dunbar

    UConn

     

    Bob Jensen's threads on sending large files across the Internet ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#SendingLargeFiles


    Question
    How can you both send large files across the Internet and convert them to PDF format?

    From the Scout Report on December 12, 2008

    You Send It Express --- https://www.hightail.com/

    Sending large files to colleagues and friends around the world can be cumbersome, so it's nice to learn about Hightail Express. Visitors who sign up to use the application can send up to 2GB, convert files to the pdf format, and also take advantage of password protection and certified delivery. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP, Vista, or Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher. Additionally, it's worth noting that this is a trial version which is offered for free for fourteen days.

    December 19, 2008 reply from M Robert Bowers [M.Robert.Bowers@WHARTON.UPENN.EDU]

    Just a reminder if you want to convert files to pdf. There is a program, cutepdf ( www.cutepdf.com ) that converts any file to pdf. If the program has a File|Print feature, it allows you to print to cutepdf.

     


    Process Terminator 1.0 --- http://www.jcsoftware.co.nr/ 

    Getting rid of an unresponsive program or process on a computer can be frustrating, so it's nice to learn about this application. Process Terminator allows users to list the running processes, examine them, and quickly terminate the processes in question. You can find the program by clicking on "Downloads" from their homepage. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

    Students and instructors sometimes need to send each other very large files, including files with lots of graphics, audio, and even video (such as video recorded using Camtasia). Email attachments are limited to relatively small files.

    "Send Large Files via Yahoo Mail:  Can't get by with Yahoo's 25MB attachment limit? Have no fear: a newly added Drop.io application effectively raises the limit to 100MB," by Rick Broida, PC World via The Washington Post, September 18, 2009 --- Click Here .

    Good news for Yahoo Mail users: If you've had trouble sending large files, help is at hand. A new Drop.io application lets you send attachments as large as 100MB.

    By default, Yahoo allows attachments no larger than 25MB. That's pretty decent, but it probably won't cover a video, big batch of photos, or the like.

    Enter Drop.io, one of my favorite file-sharing services. When you sign into your Yahoo account, look for Drop.io's new Attach Large Files option in the Applications box. Give a click and follow the instructions to select your file(s) and compose your message to go with it.

    Don't worry about the clogging up your recipient's inbox with your mammoth attachment: Drop.io doesn't send the actual file, but rather a link to where it can be downloaded.

    Drop.io is an easy to use, online collaboration and file sharing service that provides users with a simple, real time and private way to chat and share  --- http://drop.io/about
    Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop.io

    When possible, files that are not extremely private are best placed, temporarily at least, on a Web server such that only the link need be transferred. Users can then download these files files. I've had large files that I kept on a Web server for less than 20 minutes --- just long enough for particular persons to download the files.

    Bob Jensen's threads on other alternatives for transferring very large files across the Internet --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#SendingLargeFiles 


    TeamViewer 4.0.5615 --- http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx


    MediaMax allows you store up to 25 Gb free --- http://www.mediamax.com/index.aspx

    "Share Video Captures and Huge Files for Free:  Two terrific tools: Jing gives you smart, painless video and screen captures; TransferBigFiles lets you share files of up to 1GB in size," by Steve Bass, PC World via The Washington Post, July 25, 2007 --- Click Here

    I tried Jing this morning and I love it. It's smart and free, and a kick to use. In less than a minute, I figured out how to highlight a portion of my screen, record what I was watching, and save it to Jing's server, ready to share.

    Jing is a freebie developed by TechSmith, the same people who sellSnagItandCamtasia, the industrial-strength screen and video capturing tools. I'm telling you this because I don't want you to be disappointed with Jing, especially, if you've used either of TechSmith's other programs. Jing is, as the PR guys said, a lightweight application. And for lots of people, that's just fine.

    . . .

    I have a new way to send a gigantic files. No, I mean really gargantuan files, up to 1GB. Axosoft'sTransferBigFilesis a nice, free alternative toYouSendIt, the Web-based service program that only allows 100MB--unless you want to pay a fee.

    TransferBigFiles lets you send up to five files at a time. I like being able to send a file to five people, too, though I'd prefer being able to blind-copy the recipients. Other features: You can password protect the file and get a confirmation that it's been downloaded. Files are held for five days and then deleted.

    Chances are good that the folks at Axosoft will discontinue the service in a year (as did dropload.com, another file transfer site), once they discover how much competition there is and that they won't become millionaires with this service. But for now, let's start transferring files.


    Camtasia Studio (not free but great for the price) --- http://www.techsmith.com/products.asp
    In particular look for Screencast


    Yet Another Way to Send Large Files Across the Internet
    This is important as we enter the era of sending students our Camtasia videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm
    My PowerPoint file on Camtasia is at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/EdTech/PowerPoint/

     

    "Sending Large Files Down the Tubes:  Sharing Content Is Just a Drag And Drop Away," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal,  October 3, 2007; Page D8 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119137101138247131.html

     

    Too many times, I've shared a large batch of digital files with friends or family members only to realize that I included an unwanted photo or shared with someone accidentally. But once these documents are sent, they're out of my control and on a server somewhere being distributed via email or through a photo-sharing service. Making certain files private or changing who has access to those files is a complicated, time-consuming process.

     

    This week, I tested another product in the long line of programs that uses automatic synchronization to simplify the process of sharing large files by giving you the ability to change files and privacy options at any time. It's called Tubes (www.tubesnow.com) from Tubes Networks and it takes its name from the pneumatic vacuum-tube system commonly used in bank drive-throughs that motivated me to join my Mom on visits to the bank as a kid. Mom would pull up and a container would whoosh over through a tube to arrive beside the car window; after a quick exchange it returned with her deposit slip and a lollipop for me.

    Tubes aims to work with the same sort of magic. Once installed, its desktop application stays opened on your computer as a place where "tubes" are made for sending files. Any type of file can be dragged, dropped and sent off to share with other people using these virtual tubes. As soon as you release data into a tube, a whoosh sounds (like that of the vacuum tube) and your files are encrypted and uploaded to the Tubes server.

    Invited guests view your tube's data in its full, uncompressed format. The owner of the tube always has the final say on what is shared with whom, and changes made to tubes on your hard drive are detected instantly via automatic synchronization, guaranteeing viewers will always see the latest version of the tube. Shared tubes are also accessible via the Web, saving viewers from downloading the Tubes desktop program.

    Other products like Sharpcast (www.sharpcast.com) and Pando (www.pando.com) also offer ways to share large digital files; Sharpcast uses synchronization similar to that of Tubes -- it all happens behind the scenes without any work on the user's part.

    Tubes is available in a free version that provides a gigabyte of storage, or in paid versions with five, 10 and 20 gigabytes of storage for $6, $11 or $21, respectively.

    Most of the time, Tubes worked well for me when I installed it on two Windows machines, one running XP and one running Vista. Tubes' smart use of an already familiar process -- dragging and dropping -- gives you the impression that you already know how to use it and makes sharing files seem easy. I started dragging all sorts of files into tubes that I created, naming them and labeling them with a representative icon (one of 10 offered by Tubes or one of my own images).

    For all its usefulness, Tubes certainly has room for improvement. For now, there isn't a Mac version of the program, and when friends and I tried accessing shared tubes using a Mac Web browser, the results were inconsistent and sometimes didn't work at all. Windows Vista had its own issues. After installing Tubes on my Vista laptop, an error message labeled "invalid argument" made me feel like a member of the debate team. And I couldn't see thumbnail images of photos in my tubes using Vista, though I could on Windows XP.

    Today, Tubes is releasing an updated version of its program that aims to improve the usability and look of the product, including refining the processes of sharing tubes and looking at tubes via the Web.

    Before sharing tubes, I adjusted the permissions granted to each guest by labeling them as a Reader, Author or Editor; only the Owner can invite others to view a tube. But these labels can get confusing. More than once, I granted guests the highest level of permission, which is Editor, allowing them to make changes to the files in my tube, only for the guest to be asked for his registered Tubes email and password, which an invited guest shouldn't need.

    The Tubes experience was best when the recipient of my Tubes invitations had the application installed on his or her desktop.

    After installing Tubes on a computer at work, I installed it on my home PC and easily auto-synched tubes that I created at work onto my home PC -- a big plus.

    Tubes incorporates the Web by assigning a unique URL to every file in every tube, and every tube automatically generates its own Web site, or "tubeSite," as it's called. Individual URLs for each file can be found by right clicking on a file and selecting an option to copy the URL into an email or browser. I copied the URL of a shared MP3 audio file and pasted it into my browser; it played a Fountains of Wayne song with no problem. But sharing these URLs with others is only possible if the owner gives permission.

    Comments about tubes can be made in the "tubeBlog" -- accessible through any tube in the application or online. I created a tubeBlog for a tube with photos from one of my vacations, adding descriptions and comments to specific photos. Others, with my permission, could do the same, using the photos from the tube or just leaving comments.

    A friend used Tubes to share photos with me while vacationing in Italy and Amsterdam. I added my own travel photos and an itinerary made in Microsoft Word to his tube and changed the tube's title; these alterations synched instantly.

    Even if you aren't online, you can access tubes or make changes to them by dragging files in or taking them out; updates are made automatically the next time your computer connects to the Web.

    Tubes is off to a good start, but it needs to improve its system to make permission levels more understandable for tube owners and those invited to see a shared tube. With a few improvements, Tubes could be a product that I'll continue using on Windows computers long after this column.

    Continued in article

     

    TeamViewer 4.0.5615 --- http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx

     

    Bob Jensen's threads on competing alternatives for sending huge files (many of them free) are at
     http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#SendingLargeFiles


    I’ve avoided Dropbox thus far due to the high cost of storage.

     

     

    Dropbox file synchronization and storage --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dropbox_(storage_provider)

     

    Dropbox is a cross-platform cloud-based storage application and service operated by Dropbox, Inc. The service enables users to store and sync files online and between computers and share files and folders with others using file synchronization.There are both free and paid services, each with varying options.

     

    It is also not clear to me that Dropbox will always be able to penetrate a campus firewall if you are updating a desktop PC from your laptop at a remote site.

     

     

    Dropbox has good reviews but is not truly a free service unless your college or other employer subscribes for you. I think it is free service to faculty and staff at the University of Connecticut.

     

     

    For me, this would be very expensive file storage at over $1,000 per year that I instead get free from Trinity University. 50 Gb will not go far when you are serving up multimedia files on the Web.

     

     

    A PC Magazine Review of Dropbox --- http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2343852,00.asp

     

    Dropbox is the simplest, most elegant file-synchronization tool I've ever used. Dropbox Basic provides 2GB of storage free, and Dropbox Pro gives you 50GB for $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year. The service stores files with strong encryption on multiple servers in Amazon's S3 service and works equally smoothly on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs. If you prefer to synchronize folders you already have on your system, or if you want to keep several folders fully synchronized between multiple machines, Dropbox may not be for you. It synchronizes only files stored in a single dedicated folder. But its smooth and hassle-free operation make it our

     

    Bob Jensen's threads on archiving and long-term storage ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#archiving


    Orbit Downloader 2.7.8 (download multiple files at the same time) --- http://www.orbitdownloader.com/ 


    August 23, 2005 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM]

    This company says that you can upload large files to their server and email a link to download the file, all for free.

    https://www.hightail.com/

    Does anyone have experience with this company?

    I currently use filesanywhere.com for something similar, but that is a paid service. A few more bells and whistles to be sure though.

    Scott Bonacker, CPA
    Springfield, Missouri

    Jensen Comment: 
    I experimented with this by sending a 200 Mb video file to myself.  It is a fantastic free service that can be used when the file you want to send is too large to attach to an email message.  It supposedly will take a file up to 1 Gb without even having to zip or otherwise compress the file.  My Internet Explorer browser wanted to block the download, but when I clicked to accept the file it downloaded beautifully.

    My students will find this useful for sending large database files to each other in course projects.

    You do not have to send the file by email to Hightail.  All you have to do is provide the recipient's email address and the file on your computer that you want to send.  You do not even have to supply your own name or your own email address.  The recipient then receives a message that he/she has seven days in to download the file.  Hightail will not store the file beyond seven days.

    I cannot vouch for the security of data stored by Hightail.  If you are sending sensitive data such as credit card numbers or a book draft that you've not yet secured a copyright number, then I suggest that you encrypt the file before sending it.  There are various options for encryption.  For example, most database programs like MS Access have encryption utilities in the software itself.  Another encryption alternative (free) is described below.

    August 25 reply from a Computer Science Professor

    And how does YouSendIt access the file on your system?

    This is the problem to which I refer by the phrase "today's digital environment". The idea of giving someone else your data and a destination and "trusting" them to do the right thing with the data is a scary thought.

    Why not deposit your data in your web space yourself and notify the recipient of its availability. If it needs to be secure, encrypt it with Open encryption software (public key), such as gpg, before putting in in your web space. And certify your public key.

    August 26, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi XXXXX,

    Perhaps there is a security problem that I do not know about. If this is a gimmick to crack a firewall, then I would like to know more about it.   It does not seem more dangerous than the many times I download files from Web sites, e.g., PDF files, PPT files, etc.

    This is incredibly easy to use. I can imagine people who do not have enormous amounts of Web server space available using the Hightail alternative for sending home videos, audio files, and large picture files. In many cases, people are sending files that they would willingly place on a server if they had enormous server space available at zero cost.

    Thanks to you and Gerald, I make some very large files available now on a Computer Science Department Web server --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/  Of course these can be easily downloaded by anybody in the world.

    However, there are some database files that I cannot place on a Web server. Most are hypothetical databases acquired free from various vendors, databases that I'm allowed to modify for my teaching purposes and students can modify for assignments. These would not be of much use for anybody to steal, and I do not have the legal right to make them available to anybody other than my students.

    Even if I did put some of my larger databases on your Web server, I would hog a tremendous amount of your capacity for very limited use by a few of my students for a very short period of time.

    Hightail simply asks the email address of where you want to send a huge file and then gives you a browse button to find that file on your system. Large files do take some time to send out.

    It would probably be best to send that recipient an advanced warning to expect such a file.

    The recipient is then notified when the file is available for downloading and that it will be held for seven days.

    When the recipient downloads the file, he/she receives an option to either run the file or to save it.

    Neither the sender nor the recipient need install any software and the service, for whatever reason, is free.

    My students are especially going to like this for exchanging databases in my courses. Obviously the files would have to be encrypted or sent by some other means if the files were truly sensitive.

    Bob Jensen


    Free encryption software
    From the T.H.E. Journal Newsletter on August 25, 2005

    Cypherix's (www.cypherix.com) Cryptainer LE is a free 128-bit encryption program that allows users to modify and hide files with a single password by creating multiple 25MB encrypted containers on their hard disk that can be loaded and unloaded whenever necessary. The easy-to-use, drag-and-drop system works on all 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows, and can protect and secure any file or folder on any media, including flash drives, CD-ROMs, and USB keys. Cryptainer LE also allows users to send encrypted e-mails without requiring the recipient to install the program to decrypt the files. To download, visit www.cypherix.com/cryptainerle/index.htm.


    Remote Control Computing (Windows, GoToMyPC, Cisco VPN, UserView, Crossloop, etc.)

    "The iPad Now Can Take Command of Computers," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2011 ---
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704590704576092010647673424.html

    It has long been possible to control one PC or Mac from another, legally and with permission. Though the process can be tricky to set up, companies often use it as a maintenance and training tool, and some consumers use it to help others solve computer problems, or to reach back to their home or office machines while on the road to access information.

    But what about remotely controlling a PC or Mac from the newest category of digital device, a multitouch tablet? Well, it turns out there are apps for that.

    Such apps have been around on super-smart phones like the iPhone for years, but phone screens are so small that using them to open and operate programs and folders on a Mac or PC is very frustrating, at least to me. The iPad, with its roomy 10-inch screen, is a different story. It actually has the real estate to make the process much more practical.

    I've been testing a couple of these apps on my iPad, using them to remotely control Windows PCs and Macs at my home and office. In fact, I'm typing this paragraph in Microsoft Word on a Mac remotely from the iPad.

    My conclusion is that these apps do work, but even on the large iPad screen, they're too clumsy and confusing to use on a regular basis, mostly because touch-screen tablets aren't a great match for the way traditional computers—designed for a mouse and a physical keyboard—work. Also, the apps have some functional limitations, and they are heavily dependent on the speed of the network or Internet connection, which can make them slow at demanding things like video.

    For my tests, I selected two apps squarely aimed at average consumers. One is called LogMeIn Ignition, and is the iPad and iPhone incarnation of a longstanding computer-to-computer remote-control product called LogMeIn. The other is called iTeleport. It has been around, under various names, since the early days of the iPhone, and now comes in an iPad edition as well.

    Both apps get around the complexity of setup by installing a special free program on the computer you wish to control that talks to the iPad app. The apps can see and control all the computers on which you have installed companion programs. I found setup easy and the connections generally reliable and fast enough, except for video.

    But the big drawback to these products is that they are clumsy in controlling the target computer. Each allows two basic methods for this. In one, your finger moves the computer's mouse cursor and you click the virtual mouse by tapping. In the other, you can directly tap on things on the remote screen. In my view, LogMeIn was better at the first method and iTeleport was better at the second. But I found both clumsy and tedious in both programs, especially when I tried to combine controlling the remote computer with the frequent need to use touch to move the image of the screen around the iPad's display.

    Continued in article


    On your wireless system
    "How to Turn Your iPad into a Touchable Second Monitor ," by Jason B. Jones, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 23, 2011 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/how-to-turn-your-ipad-into-a-touchable-second-monitor/34299?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    . . .

    Air Display is only slightly more spendy than DisplayPad, but it also has more flexibility: it works on both OS X and Windows, and you can install it on any iOS device–handy for all those times you want to mirror your 27″ iMac monitor on an iPhone screen! By contrast, DisplayPad is Mac-only and iPad-only. If that is the only combination you want to use, though, in my experience DisplayPad is slightly smoother.

    I use the app almost entirely for editing documents, for grading, and for typing in notes from various sources, and so the ability to control the Mac from the iPad is of less interest to me. You can see some of the challenges of using these apps for input by viewing these dueling videos of people running full-blown Photoshop on their iPad: first on DisplayPad, and second from Air Display. (Keep in mind, though, that the strength of the wifi network is the first predictor for how well the apps work.)

     

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm


    Running Your On Campus Computer from Off-Campus Using GoToMyPC Software

    I am afraid I don’t have much to add other than what you can read under “Security” at https://www.gotomypc.com/en_US/helpIndex.tmpl

    The 30-day free trial is important since you can test whether GoToMyPC can penetrate your campus firewall. Keep in mind that your on-campus computer has to be booted up, which may entail having a secretary boot it up now and then (e.g., after there’s a power failure on campus).

    Also keep in mind that if you have a laptop that you use on campus, there’s not added risk in connecting that same laptop off campus.

    I used GoToMyPC for a few years and was able to penetrate the Trinity University firewall. There were not problems using my laptop off campus to access my office computer on campus. I was somewhat surprised that GoToMyPC could penetrate the sensitive firewall at Trinity University.

    After I retired, Trinity requested that I instead use their Cisco VPN system which is much more limited (albeit free) than GoToMyPC. With VPN, I can update files stored on network drives (e.g., Web server files, BlackBoard files, and my LAN private-access drives on the Trinity network) but not my on-campus computer (which no longer exists after my retirement). I suspect that I could access my on-campus secretary’s computer with GoToMyPC, but I have no need to do that. When I want to send files to her, I upload files via VPN or FTP to my Drive J LAN drive on campus. She also has rights to access my Drive J. She can also access my Web server files such that the few times I’ve had trouble accessing the Web server from New Hampshire she can update my Web files on campus. For a few weeks recently, the Clean Sweep security program for Web server access was giving me trouble. I actually had to send my laptop to techies on campus to fix up the Clean Sweep problem. In the meantime I uploaded files to Drive J on campus, and Debbie then uploaded them into the Drive W Web server on campus. Fortunately this is no longer necessary after my laptop was returned from the techies on campus.

    The VPN system really does not add much more than what I can also do with the old fashioned FTP protocol. I actually use VPN and FTP with equal effectiveness. But I miss my GoToMyPC full access to a campus computer.

    Other alternatives to GoToMyPC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoToMyPC

    Bob Jensen

     


    How to Teach With "Start" and "Remote Control" in Windows
    You should become very familiar with the Landmark Act before designing any course materials

    For over two years, after we bought our retirement home in New Hampshire, and before I retired from Trinity University in Texas, I used GoToMyPC to remotely operate my desktop computer in Texas from hotel rooms and my home in NH during summers, holiday breaks, a sabbatical leave, and other visits to NH. GoToMyPC works great and did penetrate my university's firewall. This is an annual-fee based option for remotely controlling your office computer or the computer of a friend or student in a distant location --- https://www.gotomypc.com

    Also check on LogMeIn --- https://secure.logmein.com/home.asp?lang=en

    I now use Cisco's VPN which is free to me when I want to download files into various servers on the Trinity University Network. But VPN is not quite the same as a remote control system for operating a distant computer --- http://compnetworking.about.com/od/vpn/p/ciscovpnclient.htm

    Since I no longer have an office and desktop computer in Texas, I no longer use GoToMyPC. However, the other day I had call to use a free utility that is built into the Windows operating system. I simply clicked on "Start" and "Remote Control" and gave a Trinity University computer technician remote control of my PC (actually it's joint control since we both had control of my computer). This remote control can be granted for any specified amount of time (e.g., 20 minutes or two hours) and can be granted without having to give your password to the remote operator, although you can also choose the password-required option.

    Note especially that the pre-specified time allotment is a key advantage over the free  "Start" and "Remote Control" alternative relative to the fee-based GoToMyPC alternative. However, GoToMyPC has some key advantages when the remote user is on public computers such as Internet cafes and public library computers.

    The remotely located technician named Gabe and I were both on the telephone and jointly operating my computer. He performed some repairs and updates to my computer's email system while I watched. He also explained what he was doing on the phone. This saved us both a lot of time relative to the typical technical support phone call in which the technician asks you over the phone to do a sequence of complicated things on your computer. You have to fumble with your keyboard and phone at the same time, and the technician sits and waits doing nothing for periods of time. It is much faster to use "Start" and "Remote Control" and let the technician do the work while you watch and listen. I might add that I did not have to turn off my firewall for this, although firewalls may be a problem for some users.

    It suddenly struck me that  "Start" and "Remote Control" might be a useful option for teaching one-on-one to a student at a remote site ranging from an on-campus dorm room to a site half way around the world. It would be much more efficient than trying to explain something technical on the phone with the student and then having to wait until the student makes it work on her/his computer.

    This could be especially useful as a free alternative for remotely teaching certain types of handicapped students such as students having limited use of their arms or hands. Special course materials could even be designed with the  "Start" and "Remote Control" features in mind.

    It also struck me that Gabe and other technicians are often doing the same things over and over with computer users. It would save a lot of money and time if technicians like Gabe and Microsoft made Camtasia videos explaining common repetitive solutions to computer problems --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

    UserView --- http://www.techsmith.com/uservue/features.asp 
    TechSmith has a newer product called UserView that really sounds exciting, although I’ve not yet tried it. It allows you to view and record what is happening on someone else’s computer like a student’s computer. Multiple computers can be viewed at the same time. Images and text can be recorded. Pop-up comments can be inserted by the instructor to text written by students.

    UserView can be used for remote testing ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#OnlineOffCampus

    Userview offers great hope for teaching disabled students such as sight and/or hearing impaired students --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped

    Set up free conference calls at http://www.freeconference.com/
    Also see http://www.yackpack.com/uc/   

    Bob Jensen's threads on Technology Aids for the Handicapped and Learning Challenged are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped
    You should become very familiar with the Landmark Act before designing any course materials.


    From the Scout Report on April 11, 2008

    CrossLoop 2.11 ---  http://www.crossloop.com/ipage.htm?id=download 

    What if Bob is in Shanghai working on a project and Jane is in Dubai and needs access to something on his desktop? There are a number of ways to solve this quandary, and one of them happens to be the CrossLoop application. With CrossLoop, users can virtually share computer desktops across all sorts of borders, whether political or other. Guest users can save files to the other desktop and also use any application. This version is compatible with computers running Windows NT and newer.


    Synching and Backup of Multiple Computers

    May 14, 2011 message from Roger Debreceny

    Ross Stevenson asked recently about synching and backup. I use three systems in tandem.

    First, for some years now I have been synching all files on my laptop and two desktops with Windows Live Mesh (and its predecessors). It works seamlessly and quickly. It does require a bit of discipline to ensure that you maintain the same directory structure -- which actually makes life a little easier as the file that you need will be in the same place on each computer.

    http://explore.live.com/windows-live-mesh?os=other 

    Second, one of those PCs in turn is backed up daily to Mozy@Home. I am currently backing up 45gb to Mozy.com at a cost of ~$50pa.

    Third, I use a free subscription to synch up to 2gb through www.dropbox.com. This synchs the files to the three desktops, the Web through www.dropbox.com , Android phone and Android tablet. I share a folder in that structure with a co-author. Our shared writing and data files are stored in this folder. There are Mac, iPhone and iPad dropbox apps as well. There are also some newer alternatives to dropbox, but they do not seem to have any better functionality.

    Roger Debreceny


    "Synchronizing Your Bookmarks on All Your PCs," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123379804164650385.html

    Lots of people now have multiple computers, at home and at work, and many use more than one Web browser. That makes it hard to keep bookmarks straight. If, for instance, you bookmark a Web site as a "Favorite" on your PC at work using Microsoft's Internet Explorer, it doesn't automatically show up as a bookmark in Apple's Safari browser on your Macintosh at home.

    But I've been testing a new, free program, available now, that aims to solve this problem. It synchronizes your bookmarks automatically among all your computers, Windows or Mac, and across all the main brands of Web browsers -- Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla's Firefox. On PCs running Windows XP or Vista, it works with Internet Explorer and Firefox. On Macs, it works with Safari and Firefox.

    The program is called Foxmarks, and it's from a San Francisco company of the same name. The Foxmarks software has been around since 2006, but worked only with the Firefox browser -- hence the name. Yet Firefox isn't the dominant choice on either Windows or Mac. So the company decided to expand the product to Internet Explorer, which is the built-in browser on Windows (and thus No. 1 in the world) and Safari, which is the built-in browser on Mac.

    This new version, available for download at foxmarks.com, doesn't merely synchronize your bookmarks between copies of the same browser. It synchronizes them between different browser brands, even if some are running on Windows PCs and some on Macs.

    In my tests, Foxmarks worked well, with a few minor caveats. After using it for five days, I now have exactly the same set of bookmarks (or Favorites, in Internet Explorer's parlance), arranged in the same order, on multiple computers -- Windows and Mac -- in a total of 12 different copies of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

    There's a different version of Foxmarks customized for each of the three main browsers, but each talks to the same password-protected Web account, which contains the latest version of your bookmarks. When you add, delete, rename or rearrange any bookmark in any browser on any of your computers, the Foxmarks software sends the change up to the Web account. Then, the next time any of your other browsers checks with the Web account, it receives the change.

    For example, in my tests, I bookmarked a Wikipedia article in Firefox on my Dell running Windows Vista. Foxmarks then caused that same new bookmark to appear in Internet Explorer on the same Dell, and in both Firefox and Safari on my Apple Macintosh computer. And, on each machine, the new bookmark for the Wikipedia article was in the same location.

    In another case, I changed the order of two bookmarks in the Bookmarks Bar in Safari on one of my Macs, and the same re-ordering was replicated on a Windows PC in the Links Toolbar of IE and in the Bookmarks Toolbar of Firefox.

    If you don't want exactly the same set of bookmarks on all your machines, you can set up different profiles with different bookmarks for your work and home computers.

    You can access the password-protected Web site containing your bookmarks from any PC, even if it isn't one of yours, and can view a customized version of this site via the browser on an iPhone or other smart phone. You can even set up a mobile profile that will show you just a subset of your bookmarks in your phone's Web browser, though you can't sync bookmarks to and from a phone.

    From the Web, you can alter your bookmarks, and these changes will then be pushed down to the browsers on your computers. You also can share bookmarks with others via email or an RSS feed.

    There are other Web-based repositories of bookmarks, notably a service called Delicious. But none that I know of automatically synchronizes bookmarks among browsers and computers, which is the main function of Foxmarks.

    Foxmarks has another feature: It can also sync stored passwords for Web sites you frequently visit. But this trick works only in Firefox, and in my tests didn't work properly all the time.

    The software has a few other limitations and glitches. The Internet Explorer version is still labeled a beta, or test, version because it still produces occasional syncing errors, especially in Vista. That was true in my tests, and I'd be wary of using it with Vista, though it performed solidly in Windows XP. It works reliably only with Internet Explorer 6 or 7, not the pre-release version of Internet Explorer 8, which the company isn't yet supporting.

    On the Mac, Foxmarks works only with the current Leopard version of the operating system and the current version 3 of Safari. It doesn't work with the Windows version of Safari.

    And syncing isn't instant. It can take as long as an hour for each computer to check with the Web site and get the changes.

    The company plans to keep Foxmarks free, but is hoping to make money from future, unspecified products.

    Foxmarks is a clever, well-done product that can help users of multiple computers and multiple browsers to keep their Web lives in order.


    Questions
    How can you search for text within a stored image, especially books and articles downloaded as images rather than text?

    What if you could collect, in one well-organized, searchable, private digital repository, all the notes you create, clips from Web pages and emails you want to recall, dictated audio memos, photos, key documents, and more?

    Evernote ---  http://www.evernote.com/
    Perhaps the real "killer" feature of the program is that it has optical character recognition (OCR), which allows users to search for text within stored images.
    (there are free and fee options)

    From the Scout Report on February 12, 2010

    Evernote 3.5.1.1410 --- http://www.evernote.com/ 

    Looking to remember an image you found? Or perhaps a helpful email link? Evernote makes this all possible, and it can be used with a range of mobile devices as well. The program works as a note-taking application as well, and everything a user does with the program is automatically synchronized to their Evernote account. Perhaps the real "killer" feature of the program is that it has optical character recognition (OCR), which allows users to search for text within stored images. This version of Evernote is compatible with computers running Windows XP and Vista or Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6.

    "Digital File Cabinet You Can Bring With You Anywhere," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2010 ---
    http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100120/evernote-review/

    What if you could collect, in one well-organized, searchable, private digital repository, all the notes you create, clips from Web pages and emails you want to recall, dictated audio memos, photos, key documents, and more? And what if that repository was constantly synchronized, so it was accessible through a Web browser and through apps on your various computers and smart phones?

    Well, such a service exists. And it’s free. It’s called Evernote. I’ve been testing it for about a week on a multiplicity of computers and phones, and found that it works very well. Evernote is an excellent example of hybrid computing—using the “cloud” online to store data and perform tasks, while still taking advantage of the power and offline ability of local devices.

    The idea behind Evernote is to be a sort of digital file cabinet. It allows you to create “notebooks” containing items called notes. These notes can range from text to photos to many kinds of attached files. You can locate, group and peruse them quickly, without having to dig through a computer’s file system. When I first reviewed the product, back in 2005, Evernote was a Windows-only, purely local information organizer. Now it’s a multi-platform, Internet-savvy, synchronized place for your ideas.

    You can sign up for Evernote free at evernote.com, and use it entirely as a Web-based application, through any of the major Web browsers. But Evernote also comes in customized versions for a staggering array of devices: Windows and Macintosh computers, and for all the major smart phones, including the iPhone; the BlackBerry; phones running Google’s Android operating system; the latest Palm (PALM) phones; and Windows Mobile phones.

    This week, Evernote, which is made by a small Silicon Valley company of the same name, is introducing a totally revamped Windows version that brings the platform into parity with the company’s previously more advanced Macintosh version.

    I tested Evernote on two Macs and two Windows PCs, as well as an iPhone, a Palm Pre phone and the new Nexus One phone from Google (GOOG). I also tried free plug-ins the company offers that make it easy to insert all or part of a Web page or email into an Evernote note. These are available for the Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome Web browsers, and for the Outlook email program. There are also system-wide Evernote buttons, which make capturing notes quicker, for Windows and the Mac.

    I found Evernote works well for gathering ideas for business or personal projects, hobbies, or events you’re planning. When you see something or think of something you want to add, you can do it from whatever computer or phone is handy, and it will shortly appear on all of them.

    Here are a few examples of how I used Evernote. I typed notes to myself on my desktops and laptops. I dictated a reminder to myself using the Evernote app on my iPhone. I used the Nexus One’s camera to take a picture of a person’s business card. I also copied text from Web pages, emails, and Word documents, and pasted them as notes. I even attached whole files to notes.

    Within a few minutes, all of these notes were available on my personal Evernote Web site and from within all the Evernote apps on my computers and phones. I could search through them, email them, print them, group them with related items, or edit and annotate them.

    Every Evernote user also gets a unique Evernote email address, and anything you email to that address goes into your repository as a new note. You also can use Twitter to get a note into Evernote.

    The program has a few extra-cool features. If you create a note from a photo that includes printing, Evernote’s servers will try to figure out the words and make them searchable. This worked well in my tests with photos of business cards. And some smart-phone apps can save items directly into Evernote notes. One example I tested successfully was the Associated Press news app on the iPhone.

    There are a few minor downsides to Evernote. While there’s no overall limit to the amount of data you can store, you can only upload 40 megabytes a month with the free version, attach certain types of files to notes, and you are forced to view ads. A premium version, which costs $5 a month, or $45 a year, increases the quota to 500 megabytes monthly, removes the ads, allows attaching any file type, and adds more features.

    Also, I found the Evernote programs and apps, while similar, differ slightly depending on the capabilities of the platform they run on. Among the phone versions, for instance, the iPhone app is by far the most full-featured, and is currently the only one that can store whole notebooks offline, though the Android version is due to get that feature soon. Finally, the Evernote plug-in crashed Outlook on one of my Windows computers.

    But, all in all, I found Evernote to be a valuable, easy-to-use tool that simplified my work and made good use of both the Internet and all my devices.

    Jensen Comment
    The video video introduction and links to a video library are at http://www.evernote.com/about/video/
    This is a product that I am probably going to install.

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm


    An alternative to Safari Web browsing for Mac Users (Camino is better in some ways)

    "Mac Browser Camino 2 Gets A Release Candidate," MJ Siegler, Tech Crunch via The Washington Post, October 27, 2009 --- Click Here

    When it was revealed that  Mike Pinkerton, the lead developer for the Mozilla's Mac-based Camino web browser was moving over to Google to take charge of building Chrome for Mac, there was some concern that Camino would be neglected. Pinkerton assured development on Camino would continue, and sure enough it has. Today brings the first release candidate for Camino 2, the new version of the browser.

    Camino, though much less prevalent than its Mozilla sibling, Firefox, has a solid following among Mac users who appreciate its speed. It has long been my browser of choice as it's relatively lightweight and very fast compared to Firefox. And compatibility with various sites seems better than Apple's own Safari.

    We've been beta testing Camino 2 for several months now, and it's solid. It offers several improvements over the first iterations of Camino, notably in speed and the way it looks. Mozilla notes that this Release Candidate 1 could become the final, first official build of Camino 2 if there are no critical issue found.

    So it looks like despite Pinkerton's Chrome time commitments, Camino 2 will beat Chrome for Mac even reaching beta status.

    The anticipation for Chrome for Mac continues to build. Even Google co-founder Sergey Brin admits that he's disappointed with how long it has taken to develop. But, as we noted the other day, Chrome for Mac ? not Chromium, the open source browser on which Chrome is based ? looks like it's getting closer to a beta release.


    New Technology for WordPress sites
    "Omeka Gets Access Keys Plugin, by  Cory Bohon, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 14, 2011 --- |
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/omeka-gets-access-keys-plugin/34011?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Just a few months ago, I wrote a post introducing a plugin I developed that allows anyone to make their WordPress site more accessible and easier to navigate. [Note: like almost all WordPress plugins, this one works if you're hosting your own site but not if your site is hosted by WordPress.com.] This pluginwhich is listed in the WordPress.org plugin directorymakes it easy to specify keyboard shortcuts for built-in WordPress functions and for access to other internal or external pages.

    Access keys, as you may already know, are an example of universal design: they make a site easier to navigate not only for people who are blind or have low vision but for all people (provided they can use a keyboard).

    But I couldn’t just stop with WordPress. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working to create a plugin with the same functions for Omeka, a content management system for scholarly collections (and a ProfHacker favorite). Just yesterday, I released the Access Keys plugin for Omeka to the public, allowing any Omeka administrator the ability to make their site a little more accessible with just a few clicks.

    The Omeka Access Keys plugin allows an admin to give keyboard shortcuts to the following built-in action:

    In addition, the Omeka plugin will read aloud the available access keys to users navigating through the site using a screen reader. For the visual users, the site administrator can place a small link to a listing of the access keys anywhere in the theme.

    Continued in article

     

     


     

    How to Download PC Videos to Giant Screen TV Sets

    Question
    Giant screen TV sets are better than computer screens for viewing video, including course content video recorded by instructors using such capturing software as Camtasia. As we increasingly download video files or capture streaming video on the Web into video files, it is possible to transfer those files to a DVD disk for playback on other computers and TV sets with DVD players. However, is it possible to transfer files to TV in one step without having to make DVD disks?

    "From the PC to the TV:  Device Captures Certain Video Files To View on the Tube," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2007; Page D5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119317840417068995.html

    With video content making up a huge chunk of the online world nowadays, wouldn't it make sense to have a one-step way to transfer videos from a PC to a TV, just as easily as moving files from one computer to another?

    Imagine a special device that not only plugged into your PC so you could drag and drop video files onto it, but also then hooked up to your TV to play back those videos. Rather than watching TV shows or movies on your laptop, you'd be doing so while comfortably relaxing on the couch, no high-tech networking required.

    SanDisk Corp.'s Sansa TakeTV (www.take.tv) attempts to do just that, but is more complicated than it should be. This device, essentially a 4½-inch USB thumb drive with attachable accessories, costs $100 or $150 for four or eight gigabytes, respectively. By itself, it moves videos from a Mac or Windows PC to a TV, but only certain types of files are transferable.

    Since TakeTV won't work with videos downloaded from other online services, such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store, SanDisk created its own service, called Fanfare (www.fanfare.com), to work with TakeTV. Users plug TakeTV into a PC, download a movie or TV episode from Fanfare, unplug the device and attach it to a TV to watch the videos. Fanfare is still in its beta, or testing, stage and doesn't currently offer much content. Its big-name networks include Showtime and CBS, but only certain episodes of some shows, like "Dexter," "Survivor" and "CSI Miami," are available.

    SanDisk's TakeTV and Fanfare are just getting started, and because of that have plenty of restrictions. On the upside, Fanfare is a visually attractive program -- a real change for a company best known for selling flash storage. And the quality of the video playback was impressive. But for now, this device-and-service combination is frustratingly green.

    Fanfare works only on Windows right now, and downloaded videos can't be played back on the PC. Because of its current beta status, fees for movies and episodes of TV shows are being waived for a limited time. Content providers will eventually charge $1.99 per episode or nothing if they choose to use an ad-supported model.

    SanDisk plans to keep improving Fanfare's content, now limited to a total of 90 episodes from shows on six networks. But playing videos on a TV can be frustrating, lacking simple features like a visible progress bar when you're rewinding or fast-forwarding. And if you need to stop a video halfway through watching it and happen to power off the TakeTV, your place is lost.

    TakeTV gets points for its clever design. Its USB part tucks into a sleek holder that disguises the whole thing as a slender rectangle for porting around. On its own, the holder operates as a remote for controlling TakeTV when it's connected to your TV. A separate television connector plugs into the TV using red, yellow, and white composite cables or just an S-video cable. This TV connector must also plug into a power outlet.

    Not everyone will like the way TakeTV looks hooked up to a television, as its connector uses long, unsightly composite cables.

    I started off slow, first just dragging and dropping video files from my computer into TakeTV. At first, I accidentally moved MP4 files, which aren't compatible with TakeTV. Some types of video files that would transfer: DivX, XviD and MPEG-4 (AVI, MPG and MPEG files fall under this last category). Here's the problem: Most people don't know what format their videos are in, so finding the correct formats could be a real hassle.

    One file I transferred was a short video of a trip to California. Its footage looked startlingly crisp and clear when played back on a standard definition television. SanDisk says videos will play in DVD quality, and I thought this was an accurate assessment.

    Using the Fanfare service was rather straightforward. Upon plugging your TakeTV in for the first time, you'll be prompted to download the Fanfare client, and to use the client you'll need to register, creating a user name and password.

    The Fanfare program is colorful and animated. It shows the available networks (CBS, Showtime, Smithsonian, The Weather Channel, Jaman and TV Guide) in a vertical list. Network names and titles of show episodes glow as you move your mouse over them; still shots from each movie or show illustrate just what you'll be getting, including previews of certain videos.

    With my TakeTV plugged into a PC at work, I selected a plus icon to download the pilot episode of Showtime's twisted series, "Dexter." This 53-minute episode took 30 minutes to download. I downloaded a 17-minute film called "Countdown," which took just short of 20 minutes to download. But I couldn't watch these videos until I was in front of my TV at home due to Fanfare's no-PC-playback policy.

    Once TakeTV was plugged into my TV, I chose videos from a list; a pre-created folder called "Fanfare Downloads" automatically holds everything you download from the service.

    I was using the $100 four-gigabyte TakeTV, which SanDisk estimates will hold about five hours of video; the $150 eight-gigabyte should hold up to 10 hours. A useful illustration of my device's capacity showed in Fanfare to indicate how much space was taken (mine was 46% full when I wrote this).

    SanDisk knows it has a lot of improving to do, especially if it wants to challenge successful services like Apple's iTunes. As is, TakeTV has the right idea, but forces users to jump through too many hoops. It plans to make Fanfare usable on Macs sometime in the future, and hopes to enable video playback on PCs before the end of the year. For now, it's best to hold off on getting excited about this device or its service.

    Bob Jensen's tutorials on Camtasia are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm

    How to capture streaming video and/or streaming audio --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#StreamingMedia


     

    Question
    When might you want to run Linux on your Windows computer?
    "E-Banking on a Locked Down (Non-Microsoft) PC," by Brian Krebs
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#IdentityTheft 


    Authoring for Courseware

    Question
    How can you best publish books, including multimedia and user interactive books, on the Web?
    Note that interactive books may have quizzes and examinations where answers are sent back for grading.

    My Answers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


    NetRipper 2.0 (Photographs, Graphics, Education) http://www.net-ripper.com/index.php 

    Net-Ripper Features Net-Ripper Features
    Net-Ripper turns your favorite Web gallery into a slide show WHILE IT DOWNLOADS! Images are RESIZED TO YOUR SCREEN, and there's NO CLICKING on popups and links! View previously captured images OFF-LINE.
    How does Net-Ripper work? How does Net-Ripper work?
    1. Rips The Best Images from Web Sites.
    Net-Ripper is an enhanced web browser which instantly turns images from web pages into slide shows. Multiple pages are searched at once for images and movies, annoying popup message and banner adverts are skipped, meaning more efficient use of connection time. Net-Ripper also remembers where it's up too, and will carry on grabbing where it left off when a site is visited again.

    2. Creates a Slide show as it Rips.
    The slideshow is created as soon as the first image is downloaded, and plays while Net-Ripper continues to download and add images to the slide show. Images are re-scaled to fit the screen as they are played, there is no need to scroll to see all of a large image, or to reduce screen resolution to make small images a reasonable size.

    3. An Offline Browser. 
    Net-Ripper automatically archive images downloaded for later offline access, displaying all the sites grabbed using thumbnail images. Users can browse through the sites and individual images, deleting those that are no longer required. Any of the archived images can also be displayed as a slide show.

    Bob Jensen's summaries of course authoring and course management software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

    Question
    Would you like to choose a color and then easily find its RGB number code?
    Flickr Color Selectr (gives color codes and sample picture backgrounds) --- Click Here --- http://color.slightlyblue.com/
    Move the color slider up or down and then move the mouse around the rectangle. A left mouse click then brings up a new set of pictures using the color that you pointed on with the mouse. You also get to see a large number of changing pictures by moving the mouse and slider around.

    Bob Jensen's summary authoring software --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

    Survey of Courseware Shells and Authoring Software
    Compare Web Tools
    UMinfo - Tools for Developing Interactive Academic Web Courses
    Tool Comparison (Compares authoring software, asymetrix librarian, etc.)
    Welcome to CyberClass
    WBT Systems - TopClass: Distance Learning and Web Based Training Management Systems
    Allen Communication (Quest)
    Asymetrix Learning Systems, Inc. (ToolBook)
    YAHOT: ToolBook: Utils
    OnLive, Inc. (especially for Mac users)
    Macromedia - Authorware
    Macromedia Director
    Dreamweaver
    Welcome to GoLive CyberStudio 3
    PHP3: PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
    Macromedia: Dreamweaver - New Features
    Macromedia Dreamweaver - Dreamweaver 1.2 Quick Reference
    Rick Birney's demo of streaming ToolBooks
    Welcome to CyberClass
    WBT Systems (TopClass Authoring Software for Education and Training)
    Welcome to Aimtech
    IBM Global Campus Community
    Mellon Technology Project
    Share Carolina - UNC-CH (Free Internet Tools)
    Computer Resources
    http://192.156.184.95/multimed.txt
    Lessons from Business School Web Sites
    Multimedia Software
    Netscape created it. Prosoft will train you to master it.
    Web Course in a Box
    Learning Insights Software for Business and Finance Courseware

    Create your own Web applications with ease using this free Zoho Creater software

    August 7, 2006 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

    Is this a MS Access-killer-app?

    http://www.zohocreator.com/

    "This free Web-based software handled the job -- but without the bells and whistles of Access that had baffled Mr Hughes. And since the program stored his data on the Web, his colleagues could tap into it easily with a browser. "To me it was like a godsend" says Mr. Hughes, operations manager at SoluChem. "
    Robert A. Guth, The Wall Street Journal Online --- http://www.zohocreator.com/

    Exclusive benefits of Zoho Creator  --- http://www.zohocreator.com/
      Create Apps from scratch
    Create your web application in minutes, not days. It's just a few clicks away.

     
      Create Apps from spreadsheet
    Import your spreadsheet to create web application automatically.
      Browse, Copy & Customize
    Browse public applications. See something you like? Copy and customize to your needs.

     
        No coding required
    Create web application without coding. You don't need to have HTML or PHP skills .
      Embed Forms/Views in website
    Embed Forms and Views easily into your website and blog.
     
        Share your App
    Share your app with other users or keep it private among your friends, colleagues and clients.

     

    Zoho Creator helps you to easily create personal and business web applications on your own by structuring and presenting your data in a lot of interesting and useful ways. You can view the data as a table, calendar or just as a summary. In addition to just viewing your data in many ways, you might also want to perform one or more of the following:

     With Zoho Creator, you don't have to write code to build a simple data collection and viewing application like a Contacts list. But, scripting will be indispensable for building a full fledged application with complex logic, for example, Library Manager.

    Jensen Comment
    Although this is not course management software, it can be used for authoring presentation lessons by instructors.

    Bob Jensen's summaries of course authoring and course management software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

     

    Electronic Books

    I have a document online that is intended to provide updates on electronic book technologies and products --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm 


    Create Your Own Wiki

    Probably the main advantage of a wiki is that Web pages can be made and modified directly from a Web browser such as Internet Explorer. Persons other than the original author can generally modify a wiki module.

    How Wikis Work --- http://computer.howstuffworks.com/wiki.htm
    Also see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki

    Best known Wiki site is Wikipedia where readers can add modules, modify modules, and add modules to discussion tabs --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
    Bob Jensen's threads on the pros and cons of Wikipedia --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#KnowledgeBases

    Creating Your Own Wiki Site --- http://personalweb.about.com/od/wikihostingandsoftware/Wiki_Sites_Wikia_Wikicities_etc.htm

    Flex wiki - Wiki Hosting
    A wiki hosting community where you can create your own wiki or change someone else's wiki.
    Jotspot - Wiki Hosting
    Create your own wiki using a wiki hosting program that looks and works like Word.
    Media Wiki - Wiki Software
    This is the wiki software that is used by Wikipedia, Wiki source, and Wiktionary to create their wiki's. Get a copy of this wiki software for yourself.
    Netomat - Wiki Hosting
    Share your pictures and other files, write text, even draw on this wiki hosting site. This is your own wiki site that you can use to communicate and share things with your friends and family for free with this wiki hosting site.
    Socialtext - Wiki's for Workgroups
    Have your whole workgroup add their thoughts all in the same place on this wiki hosting site. Instead of sending emails around, post

    There are many other wiki hosting alternatives that you can find using Google.
    One example of where you can pay for space to create a wiki site --- http://www.wikispaces.com/
    K-12 teachers may apply for free space.

    Richard Campbell forwarded the following instructional video about Wikispaces ----
    http://epmedia.ecollege.com/media/kaplan/store/mediasohl/using_wikis/using_wikis.html

     


    Computer Firms (Hardware and Software)

    Software Updates and Reviews --- http://www.versiontracker.com/windows/

    The Taxonomy Warehouse is a fantastic search engine in terms of helpful categories --- http://www.taxonomywarehouse.com/ 

    There are many manuals for using the Mac, but few that come with two hours of video tutorials. Jim Heid's Macintosh iLife is like watching a presentation at the local Apple Store, without having to lift your posterior off the sofa.
    "The Easy Way to the ILife," Leander Kahney, Wired News, December 21, 2004 --- http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,66102,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2 

    Online Magazine (for Information Professionals) --- http://www.onlineinc.com/onlinemag/index.html 

    ONLINE is written for Information Professionals and provides articles, product reviews, case studies, evaluation, and informed opinion about selecting, using, and managing electronic information products, plus industry and professional information about online database systems, CD-ROM, and the Internet. This site contains selected full-text articles and news from each issue of the magazine. Direct letters to the editor to Marydee Ojala ( Marydee@xmission.com ). If you are interested in writing for ONLINE, please see the Authors' Guidelines.

    Advice for hiring external service for your computing devices (tech support) --- http://www.digitalduo.com/402_dig.html 

    The ultimate portal to businesses and products http://www.1jump.com/ 

    I have a directory of computer haredware and software firms.  This directory is in sorry need of updating.  However, you may find it somewhat useful.  There are really two files:

    Web tools, including tools for Browsers; HTML, XML, & CSS; Graphics & Design; Multimedia; DHTML & JavaScript; Java; Servers & E-Commerce; Scripting; Demo. http://www.webtools.com/

    Bob Jensen's Threads on XML, XLink, XHTML, XBRL, XForm, XSLT, RDF and the Semantic Web --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 

    When searching for a vendor, I recommend that you go to the http://www.realnames.com web site:

    If you know a product name and want to find what company makes that product or vice versa, you might triy http://www.realnames.com .   Web site URLs are also provided.  I typed in "Authorware" and was taken directly to the Authorware product section at the Macromedia web site. 

    When searching for a book, I recommend that you go to the  http://isbn.nu/ price comparison web site:

    Probably the best known online bookstores are Amazon at http://www.amazon.com and Barnes and Noble at http://www.bn.com .  The Powells book seller claims to be the largest new and used bookstore in the world at http://www.powells.com/ .  But there are other online bookstores. 

    A free comparison guide that will find you the best deal among various bookstores is provided by Glenn Fleishman.    You can search even faster by typing the ISBN number following the "nu/" in the URL address. However, I do not recommend that you do this since it will take you directly to only one book seller (Amazon).  Instead I recommend that you do the following:

    • Find the ISBN number by whatever means.  If you don't know the ISBN number, you can go to one book seller such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble to locate the book and the ISBN number.
    • Go next to http://isbn.nu/ .  (I do not recommend adding the ISBN number directly to the end of the URL.)
    • Enter the ISBN number in the box provided at http://isbn.nu/ .  For example enter 0130811521 in the box.
    • Click on the "Compare" button to get a listing of alternative deals for the book.  For the above book, Books-A-Million has a significantly lower price that most other vendors.  However, when you read the footnote you notice that in order to get this lowest price you must have a Millionaire's Club Membership costing $5.00 per year.  However, the savings on this one book justifies the membership price.  Without this membership, Barnes & Noble has the best price on this particular book having ISBN 0130811521.  Amazon certainly does not have the best deal on this book.
    • Carefully read the footnotes and note the shipping charge comparisons that are also provided.

    Alternately, you can also select a particular book seller in the drop box below the ISBN entry field.  This does not give you a table of comparison prices like you get with the "Compare" button.

    Out-of-Print books can be searched for by title from http://www.outofprint.com/ .

    Internet Companies Directory (A Partial Listing)
    COMPANY DESCRIPTION URL

    e-Retail (consumer products and services)

    1-800 Contacts Contact lenses http://www.1800contacts.com/
    Alloy Online Goods for teens http://www.alloy.com/
    Amazon.com Books, music, electronics http://www.amazon.com
    Autobytel.com New, used car guide http://www.autobytel.com/
    Barnesandnoble.com Books, music http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
    Drugstore.com Medical products http://www.drugstore.com/
    eBay Auctions http://www.ebay.com/
    Egghead.com Computer products http://www.egghead.com/
    Expedia Travel planning http://www.expedia.com/
    Hotel Reservations Network Discounted hotel rooms http://www.180096hotel.com/
    Priceline.com Travel reservations http://www.priceline.com/
    Stamps.com Postage http://www.stamps.com/
    Ticketmaster Guides, tickets http://www.ticketmaster.com/
    Travelocity.com Travel reservations http://www.travelocity.com/
    e-Finance (banks, brokerages and credit companies)
    Ameritrade Securities broker http://www.ameritrade.com/
    Charles Schwab Securities broker http://www.schwab.com/
    CSFBdirect Securities broker http://www.csfbdirect.com/
    E-Trade Securities broker http://www.etrade.com
    IndyMac Bancorp Mortgage lender http://www.indymacbank.com/
    Intuit Personal finance info http://www.intuit.com/
    NetBank Consumer banking http://www.gefn-compubank.com/
    NextCard Consumer credit http://www.nextcard.com
    TD Warehouse Securities broker http://www.tdwaterhouse.com/
    Wit SoundView Securities broker http://www.witsoundview.com/
    e-New Media (advertising/subscription-supported media)
    AOL Time Warner Consumer content http://www.aoltimewarner.com/
    Ask Jeeves Search engine http://www.ask.com/
    Cnet Networks Technology content http://www.cnet.com/
    HomeStore.com Real estate content http://www.homestore.com/
    HotJobs.com Career content http://www.hotjobs.com/
    InfoSpace Wireless content http://infospace.com/
    MarketWatch.com Financial content http://cbs.marketwatch.com/
    McAfee.com Computer protection http://mcafee.com/
    MP3.com Music content http://www.mp3.com/
    Multex.com Financial content http://www.multexusa.com/
    NBC Internet Consumer content http://www.nbci.com/
    SportsLine.com Sports content http://sportsline.com/
    Terra Lycos Consumer content http://www.terralycos.com/
    TheStreet.com Financial content http://www.thestreet.com/
    Apollo Group U of Phoenix Online Education content http://www.ipopros.com/histdeal_pla.asp?deal=2285
    Yahoo Web guide http://www.yahoo.com/
    e-Access providers (connections to the Internet)
    Aether Systems Wireless Internet access http://www.aethersystems.com/
    Excite At Home Internet access http://www.excite.com/
    EarthLink Internet access http://www.earthlink.net/
    Juno Online Services Internet access http://www.juno.com
    Metricom Wireless Internet access http://www.metricom.com/
    IMPORTANT NOTICE:
    Please be advised that Metricom has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
    NetZero Internet access http://www.netzero.net/
    Prodigy Communications Internet access http://www.prodigy.com/
    RCN Internet access http://www.rcn.com/
    Research in Motion Wireless Internet access http://www.rim.net/
    WorldGate Communications Internet access http://www.wgate.com
    e-Learning providers (corporate) For more details go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
    Caliber Training and executive dev. http://www.caliber.com/ 
    Pensare Executive development with plans for degree programs in partnership with prestige universities http://www.pensare.com/ 
    UNext Executive development and for-credit programs through UNext's Cardean University and in partnership with prestige universities http://www.unext.com/ 
    Smart Force Executive development http://www.smartforce.com/ 
    Quisic Content development, executive development, and for-credit courses http://www.quisic.com/ 
    (Formerly called University Access)
    Headlight (From CyberU) Recreational learners and an online small business training center http://www.cyberu.com/training/headlight/index.asp 
    OnlineLearning.net Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://www.onlinelearning.net/ 
    University of Maryland University College Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://www.umuc.edu/ 
    Fathom (headed by Columbia University in conjunction with many prestigious partners)  A huge knowledge portal that offers over 600 courses http://www.fathom.com/index.jhtml 
    New York University Online Training and executive development and for-credit courses http://i5.nyu.edu/~jmm282/nyupage.html 
    University of Phoenix Training and executive development and for-credit courses (The largest accredited private university in the world.) http://www.phoenix.edu/index_open.html 
    The Kaplan Colleges Training and executive development and for-credit courses (including the online Concord School of Law) http://www.kaplancollege.com/ 
    Sylvan Learning Systems Training and executive development and for-credit courses (and testing centers) http://www.sylvan.net/ 
    Intellnex from Ernst & Young (the first Big 5 accounting firm university) Training and executive development http://www.intellinex.com/flash/index.htm 
    Many other corporate providers are discussed in a book that can be downloaded free:
    The Business of Borderless Education, by S.C. Cunningham, et al., (Australian Department of Education, Evaluations and Investigations Programme of the Higher Education Division, 2000).  Hard Copy ISBN 0 642 44446 3 and Online Copy ISBN 0 642 44447 1 --- http://www.detya.gov.au/archive/highered/eippubs/eip00_3/bbe.pdf 

    Bob Jensen's documents on e-Learning are available free at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
    (Note that most prestige universities have already or are forming private corporations for online delivery of training, executive development, and for-credit courses)

    How to find online training and education programs http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

    Bob Jensen's other bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm 

    Hi Professor Jensen,

    I am the webmaster for PacificCable.com. We sell computer cables, networking supplies and X10 Home Automation products. Can you please check out our website http://www.pacificcable.com  and consider adding a link to us?

    Thanks,

    Cliff Knopik 
    Webmaster http://www.pacificcable.com  
    800-931-313

     

     

    Toshiba

    Toshiba Top 10 Most Frequent File Downloads
    Toshiba Service & Support (Special Site)
    Toshiba Service & Support Home
    Toshiba Top 10 Most Frequent File Downloads

    AHP Analytic Hierarchy Process

    What'sNew at Expert Choice? (AHP and ANP)
    Expert Choice, Inc. Homepage (AHP)
     

    Apple

    Tired of Computer Viruses, Spyware, and all the Other Microsoft Diseases?
    Switch to a Mac

    If you switch to a  Mac, a must book is Mac OS X: The Missing Manual by David Pogue http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0596000820/002-3743809-1628824?v=glance 

    This book explains how to translate what you liked to do in Windows into how to do the same things on a Mac.

     


    A Few Questions and Answers from Walt Mossberg

     

    "Spreadsheets and Firefox; Managing Network Contacts, by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal,  September 30, 2004; Page B5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109649487646631729,00.html?mod=technology%5Ffeatured%5Fstories%5Fhs 

    Q: If I switch from Windows to the Macintosh, will all my Windows programs still run on the Mac? Can I use all my files, like Excel spreadsheets and photos and music?

    A: Apple's Macintosh computers use their own operating system, not Microsoft's Windows, and therefore they aren't designed to run Windows programs. So, if you switch to a Mac, you shouldn't count on using your current Windows programs, such as Outlook, or Windows Media Player. There are Mac versions of some popular Windows programs, like Microsoft Office, and equivalents for other programs. You shouldn't buy a Mac unless you are prepared to leave your Windows software behind and use new Mac software.

    However, there is an exception. If you must use an irreplaceable Windows program or two occasionally, you can run them on the Mac, provided you buy special software from Microsoft called Virtual PC, which emulates a Windows computer on a Mac. Essentially, it fools Windows programs into believing a Mac is a Windows PC. But Virtual PC is slow, and is vulnerable to Windows viruses and spyware, so I don't recommend it for heavy use.

    Files are a different story. All your Windows MP3 music files, JPG picture files, text files, Adobe PDF files, and other common file types can be used right out the box on a Mac. And, if you buy Microsoft Office for the Mac, all of your Excel, Word and PowerPoint files can be instantly opened and edited on the Mac.

    Q: I've switched to the Firefox Web browser, but have found that some Web pages that formerly opened fine in Internet Explorer, especially financial pages, don't work right in F