Monday, December 7, 2009

Thing 47 -- Evaluation

Most interesting use: screencasting, because I think it could really work for people . . . especially if it was involved with a class assignment.

Least useful: Twitter. I don't want to subscribe to people's marketing, I get enough of that.

Most useful: Scrapblog, TripAdvisor

The most useful thing of all would be to teach people how to put up actual webpages. That knowledge is very helpful in explaining to people why the page they're tying to bring up isn't working, or why they keep accidentally printing out advertisements on frames-built pages.

Thing 46 -- WebJunction

I can see where the courses could be a great thing -- especially in places without easy access to library-paid training courses. They could be helpful, too, for people who can't quite keep up with the pace of county training! I notice that their beginning Word class, considered to be 5.5 hours self-paced, seems to cover less than the county's three hour Word Level 1.

Thing 44 -- The Economy

I got more online bank/investment accounts than I ever imagined while settling my mom's estate -- I needed access to hers. Plus I use my own.

I suspect that Michael Lewis' Vanity Fair article The End had more specific things to say about the crash than that four minute video, but I was unable to watch the video on my computer, so I can't compare them.

The Good Sheet's graphic timeline was interesting.

I already knew about Craigslist (and its many scandals! Murder! And other stuff!), but have never used it, and probably won't. :)

FrugalDad had some okay suggestions, but nothing earth-shattering. I'm from good German upper midwestern stock and both my parents grew up in the Depression; I'm already doing most of that stuff.

"Reuse bath towels. Sounds gross at first, but think about it – you are clean when you get out of the shower. Hang up towels after each use to thoroughly dry, and only add them to the dirty clothes pile after every three or four uses."

Until I was well into adulthood, I never knew there were people who DID wash towels every day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thing 42: Online TV/Movies

The annoying thing about websites that put up tv shows is that they seldom include the first episodes of a series. I wouldn't be buying dvds of a show if I haven't even seen the first episode. I do notice that Hulu put up the pilot of "Chuck," but Castle only has recent episodes, Eastwick has only clips (although ABC has episodes on its own website). Star Trek TOS has all of Seasons 2 & 3, using a link to CBS. I'm mystified; why not S1?

Penguins vs. Panthers: wonder what a "condensed game" to the tune of 20 minutes is? OTOH, it could be the entirety of the action these days!

If there's something I've missed on tv, I usually go to the network website. Mostly I don't, because the couch is more comfy than my computer desk chair. Maybe I'll do this when I learn how to hook up the laptop to watch Hulu programs on tv -- there's a reason I bought a 32" television, after all. And that's going to happen some time after I learn how to program the dvr to record the same show every week . . .

3. Create a login and set up a queue of items for viewing at a later date.

Yeah, right. I sure will if I ever feel the need for MORE tv.

3. What do you think the impact of free Internet video entertainment will be on broadcast or cable TV?

Almost none, unless netbooks become ubiquitous (likely) and wifi conections get good enough to watch streaming video in such huge files (not holding my breath). People want to see their favorite shows in order, as soon as possible. I do know people who dl their faves from itunes for money, and loads of people who dl tv from the internets.

Thing 41: Mashup Your Life

Um, no. Just no.

Since I refuse to use Twitter, Facebook, or read my Google Reader, this definitely does not work for me. I'm all for lessening my digital footprint, not making it bigger. There's only time for two hobbies, and while I use social media websites in the commission of both, Using Social Media is not one of those hobbies.

Although . . . I did get a good laugh out of Profilactic. Name choice: good or bad?

Thing 45: Cloud Computing

I was listening to Ken Auletta, author of Googled: The End Of The World As We Know It on NPR a couple weeks ago and he provided an extremely succinct definition of cloud computing. Any time I'm accessing the processing power of other people's servers, that's cloud computing. So whether I'm blogging, using email (cause all the action's taking place on somebody else's servers, even if I'm paying my own ISP instead of using Yahoo or Google), storing photos on Flickr or SmugMug, taking part in any internet-based game or using any software not stored on my CPU, that's cloud computing.

[As an aside, I was really intrigued to learn how Google ranks their hits.]

I had to laugh at the idea that cloud computing improves my productivity. Um, no, but it certainly is a fabulous social enhancement/time sink.

Also, calling it "cloud computing" obscures how basic the idea is. It's like renting space/production facilities in somebody else's warehouse. The Tame The Web blogger points out questions like, "How do you trust Google to keep your information secure?" or "What if you can’t get on the Web?" Those answers, I suspect, are much the same as when you're renting somebody else's warehouse. 1. Take away the keys, i.e. encrypt it 2. Tough bananas. If you can't get on the Web, you're probably not in a situation where you can access your own computer, either. If you can access your own computer, why isn't the stuff ON it? Don't you believe in backup?

My question is, what about when the warehouse burns down? The info isn't in a cloud, it's on somebody's machine. I guess that like the answer to 2, you can't do cloud computing without backing up -- put your materials in several places.

Thing 40: Mashup The Web

I live in a very safe area, but I also think our local authorities don't report to

I liked the restaurant-finder, Lunchbox.

The video on how web mashups are developed was genuinely interesting -- although I must admit the idea of net-based ecosystems vs operating system based ecosystems made my head explode. :) I take it that adding photos to Google Earth is some kind of a mashup, or doesn't it count as a mashup if the application was created by Google for one of its own products in the first place?