Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adobe PDF Guide: How to Do Everything with PDF Files

Adobe PDF Guide: How to Do Everything with PDF Files: "Adobe PDF Guide: How to Do Everything with PDF Files"

Customer Feedback for obamacto :: General forum

Customer Feedback for obamacto :: General forum: "Barack Obama is going to appoint the nation's first CTO. What are the top priorities?

- suggest the top priorities for the CTO -"

First U.S. tech officer will have hands full -

First U.S. tech officer will have hands full - "First U.S. tech officer will have hands full. By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama's pledge to name the nation's first chief technology officer has triggered a flood of wishes, hopes and demands from tech enthusiasts who'd like the job to have the same stature and reach as, say, the White House national security adviser."

Technology Live: News, digital cameras, HDTV, desktops, laptops, video games and more -

Technology Live: News, digital cameras, HDTV, desktops, laptops, video games and more - "The Crawler Radio & MP3 Player is a mere 603KB download that lets you listen to and record Internet radio streams, selected from preloaded stations provided (most without commercials) or by adding your own favorite online radio stations.

If you need to leave the house but want to record an upcoming show, pull up the scheduler and select which station to record from the drop down menu, what time to begin recording and what time to end. Now you can listen to that recorded audio anytime (and offline, too).

Because files are saved as MP3s, you can also copy over the tracks to a portable music player such as an iPod. Quality varies between stations, however, maxing out at 192 kilobits per second (example: 'Powershot' dance radio). Preloaded stations are listed by popularity or by genre (rock, pop, classical, alternative, country, gospel, and so on)."

Why Mood Boards Matter | Webdesigner Depot - Photoshop Tutorials, Wordpress, Icons, WP Themes

Why Mood Boards Matter | Webdesigner Depot - Photoshop Tutorials, Wordpress, Icons, WP Themes
Mood boards for design work, including WEB design, yes? WinDirStat: Windows Directory Statistics WinDirStat: Windows Directory Statistics: "WinDirStat (WDS) is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Windows. It shows disk, file and directory sizes in a treelist as well as graphically in a treemap, much like KDirStat or SequoiaView."

Subscribe to Digital Photography School - 3 Methods

Subscribe to Digital Photography School - 3 Methods

21 Settings, Techniques and Rules All New Camera Owners Should Know

21 Settings, Techniques and Rules All New Camera Owners Should Know

The Top 100 Photography Blogs - Photography Colleges

The Top 100 Photography Blogs - Photography Colleges

The Best Tools To Watch TV On Your Computer |

The Best Tools To Watch TV On Your Computer |

HAA, Hired Assassin Agency

HAA, Hired Assassin Agency

Friday, December 26, 2008

Your first day with a new Mac: the get-started guide for Windows users | News | TechRadar UK

Get a MAC for Christmas?

Your first day with a new Mac: the get-started guide for Windows users | News | TechRadar UK: "Your first day with a new Mac: the get-started guide for Windows users
20 handy OS X tips"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The ultimate portable PC troubleshooting toolkit | News | TechRadar UK

The ultimate portable PC troubleshooting toolkit | News | TechRadar UK: "The ultimate portable PC troubleshooting toolkit
Free apps to fix poorly PCs - and they all fit on one USB stick!"

GammaCorrection_demo.jpg (JPEG Image, 300x1200 pixels) - Scaled (52%)

GammaCorrection_demo.jpg (JPEG Image, 300x1200 pixels) - Scaled (52%)
FYI, only. Newspapers, prefer Windows Default Gamma of 2.2, for example. MACs typically default graphics at a lower level.

Make the Most of Your New PC - First Start - Features by PC Magazine

Make the Most of Your New PC - First Start - Features by PC Magazine
New Machine? Read this.

Resplendence Software - WhoCrashed, automatic crash dump analyzer

Resplendence Software - WhoCrashed, automatic crash dump analyzer: "WhoCrashed reveals the drivers responsible for crashing your computer

Whenever a computer running Windows suddenly reboots without displaying any notice or blue screen of death, the first thing that is often though about is a hardware failure. In reality, most crashes are caused by malfunctioning device drivers and kernel modules. In case of a kernel error, most computers running Windows do not show a blue screen unless they are configured to do so. Instead these systems suddenly reboot without any notice."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Does SPRANQ's Ecofont really use 20% less ink? - Download Squad

Does SPRANQ's Ecofont really use 20% less ink? - Download Squad

Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

TechFuga - All the top Tech news

TechFuga - All the top Tech news

PC Wizard | System Resources Tune-Up. Download | PC World

PC Wizard | System Resources Tune-Up. Download | PC World: "PC Wizard 2008 can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your PC's configuration and performance. Everything, that is, except how to fix it.

This free utility looks at your PC's hardware and software-and everything in between. It lets you see your system in as much or as little detail as you like. For example, you can simply scan a summarized list of all the hardware running on your system, or you can dig deeper and see the level of activity on each of your processor's cores, as well as the thermal temperature of the computer."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Eastside Business - Promoting Business in Bellevue, Bothell, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Redmond, Woodinville and beyond - Eastside Computer Services Expert Turns Bruised Apples into Beau

Eastside Business - Promoting Business in Bellevue, Bothell, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Redmond, Woodinville and beyond - Eastside Computer Services Expert Turns Bruised Apples into Beau: "“At one point, I took a wild guess and wrote an e-mail to steve@apple.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , asking Steve Jobs, co-founder and president of Apple Computers, for three or four copies of the Mac OS X operating system for this project.

“I got back a reply from his administrative assistant, telling me that five copies of Macintosh operating system were in the mail. But when they arrived, the five copies turned out to be family packs, which means he donated a total of 25 copies of the expensive software. That gift was several times what I originally asked for. The generous donation allowed me to expand the program.”

In addition to updating the old Apple computers, Ray has found cheap dial-up Internet accounts and provided rudimentary training for the “lost youth” recipients. He usually tries to throw in a free printer and some auxiliary speakers, because some of his private clients at Mac Ace don’t want the extra peripherals that come with a new computer system.

“These older computers are slow, but they work just fine,”

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Linksys Router | Linksys Routers | Simply Kathy

Linksys Router | Linksys Routers | Simply Kathy: "Linksys Router | Linksys Routers
Apr 2, 2008 Author: azumi | Filed under: LINKSYS FIRMWARE/DRIVER DOWNLOADS, Linksys devices, linksys wired routers, troubleshooting LINKSYS devices

Linksys is a brand which manufactured Networking devices. These are Networking devices which can be easily configured. These are routers, switches, network adapters, gateway, modem, access points, and etc"

Online file storage | Livedrive

Online file storage | Livedrive
Unlimited Online Storage.

Not FREE, but free under Beta at this time. -tp.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free phone calls with Calling America

Free phone calls with Calling America
Ten second delay for commercial, but FREE and easy set up.

How to Rebuild your Computer and Reinstall Windows Without Headache

How to Rebuild your Computer and Reinstall Windows Without Headache: "How to Rebuild your Computer and Reinstall Windows Without Headache

Written by Amit Agarwal on December 18, 2008 Text Size - If you are planning to rebuild a ’slow’ computer by reinstalling Windows (XP or Vista) from scratch, here’s a pre-installation checklist + some time saving tips.
Fix Problems by Reinstalling Windows"

FrontierDG - computer software

FrontierDG - computer software
Record everything you hear on your speakers.

FilePhile: Free Unlimited File Transfer

FilePhile: Free Unlimited File Transfer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pixolu - find what you imagine

Pixolu - find what you imagine
Photo search. Interesting interface.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Open Sesame - The Daily WTF

Open Sesame - The Daily WTF: "Emmanuel Florac and the rest of his officemates had a bit of a problem: while they could freely leave the office as they pleased, none of them could get back in. Undoubtedly, it had something to do with the new ironclad door and accompanying electronic locking mechanism that was recently installed. Try as they might, no one’s keycard would open the door." Creative thinking and technology at WORK. -tp

21 Amazing Free Websites to locate ANYONE | How to Find a Person

21 Amazing Free Websites to locate ANYONE | How to Find a Person
21 Amazing Free Websites to locate ANYONE
"Well…this is it. Finally after 1 year of being in the people search industry I collected this extensive list of websites and I present you here today in this post that took me around 2 hours to write."

craigslist: olympic peninsula classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events

craigslist: olympic peninsula classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events
Craig's list classified for the Olympic Peninsula. Sell, buy, etc.

Using WebNote for post

This is a test, using a Webnote link to a page with Webnote highlighting and annotation. tp/

How Should I Prepare a New Computer? -

How Should I Prepare a New Computer? - "How Should I Prepare a New Computer?"

ArmorSurf Basic | Internet Tools Download | PC World

ArmorSurf Basic | Internet Tools Download | PC World
It's a secure Web browser. It's a Flash video downloader. It's a straight-up devious little program.

Monday, December 15, 2008

eMail security tip for members

Important in the First Month - SPAMfighter: "And a very important piece of advice:
Never open a spam mail and remember to turn the preview pane off. This way only those messages you deliberately open are displayed. The pictures in spam mails are usually made so spammers can see if you open them and that means a lot of spam.
To turn the preview pane off:

Outlook Express: Click View Menu > Layout and remove the check mark beside Show Preview Pane.
Outlook Express 6.0 offers a 'Read all messages as plain text' option. This is a good alternative to disabling the preview pane.

Outlook 2000/XP: Click View Menu > Preview Pane.
Outlook 2003: Click View Menu > Reading Pane > Off."

Obama Moves to Revolutionize White House Communications - The Fix

Obama Moves to Revolutionize White House Communications - The Fix
"One of the fundamental precepts of our campaign was to use the new technology to reinvigorate our democracy. That's a commitment we will bring to this administration," senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

Raising the profile of the radio/video address part of a broader communications approach by the incoming president designed to take advantage of the technological tools at his disposal -- video on demand being the most prominent -- to ensure his messages are being seen by the broadest possible audience.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reciva Radio Portal

Reciva Radio Portal
Pick the music genre you like from hundreds of stations.

LED Light Bulbs

LED Light Bulbs

Monday, December 8, 2008

RJL Software - Software - Utility - AutoRun Wizard

RJL Software - Software - Utility - AutoRun Wizard: AutoRun Wizard v2.04 - Shareware
AutoRun Wizard allows you to configure the tasks that occur automatically when a CD/DVD is inserted into the CD/DVD drive. AutoRun Wizard takes advantage of the existing functionality within the Windows autorun.inf file and builds off of it. We support the option to run any file." Use this when you create a custom CD for autoplay. -tp

Intel Looks To Blanket The World With Self-Powered Sensors -- Intel -- InformationWeek

Intel Looks To Blanket The World With Self-Powered Sensors -- Intel -- InformationWeek
The wireless identification and sensing platform, or WISP, could be used for measuring the environment or inserted into the human body to detect medical problems.

The Mutopia Project

The Mutopia Project
This should accompany the posting directly BELOW. TP.

Lilypond | MUSIC SCORE Publishing


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Free DVD Burning Software

Free DVD Burning Software
Older post, but worth looking at some of these proggies if you need one or two.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hide physical drives in Windows Explorer

Hide physical drives in Windows Explorer

Google Maps

Map an Exact Intersection -

Should you choose to map a specific intersection without street numbers, simply type “STREET1 at STREET2, CITY, STATE” for a map of that intersection.

For example:  go to Google Maps and type this in the search maps box:
West Spruce at Fifth Street, Sequim, WA

email posting OR signature suppressed 

Digital camera specs made easy -

Digital camera specs made easy -

New Web Crawler Allows For Searching, An...

Silobreaker: Zoetrope: New Web Crawler Allows For Searching, An...
Coming by next summer, and it is likely to be FREE from Adobe.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

AntiFreeze | Utilities Download | PC World

AntiFreeze | Utilities Download | PC World
Will it work if your system freezes? Don't know, but it's worth a try. FREE.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Songbeat. The music is mine!

Songbeat. The music is mine!
Search, play, download music or get desktop version of Songbeat.

Monograms : JournalEngraver, Personally Engraved Notebooks and Pens

Monograms : JournalEngraver, Personally Engraved Notebooks and Pens
Personalized presents??

40+ Useful Cheat Sheets for Designers - Six Revisions

40+ Useful Cheat Sheets for Designers - Six Revisions

Send messages, and get notification if a site is down.

Send message, free, of your text.  200 word limit.  A link is mailed to your recipient:

Site down.  Be notified when it's back up:

email posting OR signature suppressed 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

CD DVD Burning Programs FREE

CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.
This is still my favorite burner and I've used a lot of the commercial ones.

BurnAware Free 2.1.7
BurnAware Free is a free CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc burning software. It is ideal for users with basic disc burning needs as backup, creating data, audio, video discs and burning disc images. Free, easy to set up and maintain, it enables you to save your files to disc quickly and provides a more flexible interface to help you complete your burning tasks much faster.

DP CD DVD Burner 1.2 Beta 2
DP CD DVD Burner is a very small and easy to use free CD/DVD burner.

Folder SimpBurn 1.0 Beta 3
Folder SimpBurn is a standalone burning program.

StarBurn 10.5
StarBurn is a powerful tool for grabbing, burning and mastering CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD media. StarBurn supports all types of optical storage media (including CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, BD-R/RE, HD-DVD-R/RW and DVD-RAM) as well as a wide variety of burning hardware.

Lots of good free programs available

3 alternative ways to get Windows updates - Download Squad

3 alternative ways to get Windows updates - Download Squad

InfraRecorder » Welcome

InfraRecorder » Welcome
Burner software. Free. Make data, audio, mixed mode discs. Burn iso, etc.


Edited. Too much noise.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Change Internet Time Sync Interval v2.0 (5/24/2008)

Change Internet Time Sync Interval v2.0 (5/24/2008)

Copyright 2002-2008 - Doug Knox

By default, Windows XP and Vista will try to synchronize your computer's time with an Internet Time Server on a weekly basis. This utility will allow you to change the interval (frequency) between Internet Time Updates. You can choose from weekly, daily, hourly or "custom" settings. Download the ZIP file and extract the contents to your hard drive. The EXE file you extracted is the program. There is no install/uninstall.

I tried it and set my clock once a day. (SS)

This site also has lots of other good information.

You MUST have Administrator level privileges to use this utility.

.Net Framework v2.00 is required to run this utility.

Operating System(s): Windows XP. Requires the VB 6 runtime library (included with Windows XP), Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003.

Version 2.0 - Completely re-written to work with Windows Vista, as well as Windows XP. Intervals changed to Hourly, Daily and Weekly. No custom intervals are available.

Version 1.2 - was a re-write of the Registry code that works much better.

Version 1.1 - fixes a bug when more than 9 hours were selected for the update interval.

Download Internet Time here.

This page last updated 06/24/2008 06:40
All material © Doug Knox

Friday, November 28, 2008

is it going to rain?

is it going to rain?
click on the link. Going to rain knows where you are when you ask. Clever. You get a ONE word answer. -tp

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Exclusive Lifehacker Download: Belvedere Automates Your Self-Cleaning PC

Exclusive Lifehacker Download: Belvedere Automates Your Self-Cleaning PC
Based on file, it moves it, deletes it, copies it, etc.

Spam Arrest - Try Spam Arrest

Spam Arrest - Try Spam Arrest
Protect your in box. Easy to set up and pre-approve senders, etc. Buy two years for 45/yr. Is it worth it? Check out the site. -tp

More Freeware stops for proggie junkies...

Freeware by Dario Volaric:
Freeware by Ur I.T. Mate Group:

email posting OR signature suppressed 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Combo Fix A good Malware Remover


ComboFix is a program, created by sUBs, that scans your computer for known malware, and when found, attempts to clean these infections automatically. In addition to being able to remove a large amount of the most common and current malware, ComboFix also displays a log when it is finished that contains a great deal of information that an experienced helper can use to diagnose, retrieve samples of, and remove infections that are not automatically removed.

Due to the power of this tool it is strongly advised that you do not attempt to act upon any of the information displayed by ComboFix without supervision from someone who has been properly trained. If you do so, it may lead to problems with the normal functionality of your computer.

Please note that this guide is the only authorized guide for the use of ComboFix and cannot be copied without permissions from and sUBs. It is also understood that the use of ComboFix is done at your own risk.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Temporary email forwarding

Temporary email forwarding. 

You are given an address after you enter an address your temporary email is forwarded to.  Use this for ads, freebies, etc.
email posting OR signature suppressed

Share files. Send link by email, etc. FREE.

Clipdiary | Utilities Download | PC World

Clipdiary | Utilities Download | PC World
Save your clips while your work and/or browse.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

MPlayer for Windows

The award-winning OpenSource media player available for Windows now!

This package contains the latest builds of MPlayer for the Windows platform as well as SMPlayer and MPUI.
Thanks to the award-winning MPlayer engine, more than 192 Video- and 85 Audiocodecs are supported natively!
For maximum performance the package includes optimized MPlayer binaries for various CPU types.
Furthermore the Full-Package includes the Binary Codec Package to enable even more audio/video formats.
Everything in one self-contained download :-)

The Light-Package is a stripped-down version of this package, that includes MPUI and the MPlayer binaries only.

Last Update: 2008-11-13

Firewall for Vista 64bit, Manual Updates for Vista 64bit

Comodo is a good, free firewall for Vista, 64bit O/S
Both 32 bit and 64 bit are available in the drop down menu box.
MANUAL Updates for Vista 64 bit, DEFENDER software.  Go to:

oblong industries, inc.

oblong industries, inc.
Computing with gesture, and real-time, real-world images. An interface that you and I might see in the years to come.

Dell recycling FREE at Staples

Dell and Staples are making it free to recycle any Dell computer product at Staples stores nationwide, according to a Nov. 12 press release. Customers can now responsibly recycle any amount of Dell branded computers, printers, monitors, or peripheral items for free at Staples' 1,500 U.S. store locations, without having to make a purchase.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tweaks. Save You Tube files, ISOdisk creator, Radio 4 in the Netherlands, Old versions of programs, streaming readio,

-FireFox tweaks, using About:config -

-TubeMe Version: 1.5.2 File Size: 545 KB Price: Free Operating Systems: Windows XP, Vista How many times have you wanted to save a YouTube video to your hard disk for future viewing? This free piece of software does it for you. You'll be able to save YouTube videos as .flv files, then watch those videos with any multimedia software that supports the .flv format. Before downloading the videos, you also get a full description of them, as well.  --Preston Gralla Read more and download this software: TubeMe.,64509-order,4-page,1-c,video/download.html

-Super Free Youtube Video Downloader is a tool to download YouTube video and save YouTube video to your pc. It allows you to download multiple videos from YouTube with ease. Using Super Free Youtube Video Downloader , You can easily download YouTube video and save them as flv (for Standard Quality) or mp4 (for High Quality) format.

-ISODisk, free software for mounting and create ISO disk image.

-Radio 4 Live:

-Old Versions, REDUX:   Older versions of software.

-Streaming Radio:

-Clusty Blogs combines Vivísimo's federated search and clustering capabilities to bring you the best blog search on the web. With one search box you can search and cluster these top blog search engines:
    * Blogdigger
    * Blogpulse
    * Feedster
    * Technorati
You may also search by URL to see which blogs are linking to a particular site and Clusty will automatically send your query to each search engine's link search.

-Troublesome words:

-Convert PDFs on line:

-Poetry Radio:

-Search for movies, books, music, digital files, etc.:
email posting OR signature suppressed 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Are Our Brains Becoming “Googlized?”

Just Behave - A Column From Search Engine LandAre our brains being rewired by using the Internet? The evidence tends to be pointing that way.

As somebody interested in how the mind works, I read with interest the results of a recent study at UCLA that used the sexiest research tool around today, fMRI scanning. fMRI allows researchers to see which parts of the brain are active when participants are exposed to different stimuli. And for the first time I’m aware of, this was used to track brain activity while people engaged in various online tasks, including searching.

First of all, the “official” story of the study. Then I’ll launch off into my own personal speculation, as the study raises some mind altering implications, and I use that term “mind altering” in it’s literal sense.

The internet: Keeping aging brains limber

The objective of the study was to see if regular internet usage was more effective than other intellectually stimulating tasks in keep the brain limber in aging test subjects. Gary Small, a professor the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, along with Teena D. Moody and Susan Y. Bookheimer, will be publishing the study in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychology. By the way, Small also has a book out which has just been added to my reading list: iBrain, Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind (after reading the book, I might have to rethink the opinion which follows).

In a nutshell, the findings were that “emerging computerized technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle aged and older adults,” and that “internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function.” This is a long way of saying that being online helps keep those little gray cells busy. The level of brain activity was compared to that of reading a book. With internet usage, a significantly bigger piece of neural real estate lit up on the fMRI indicating that more parts of the brain were engaged.

I was particularly interested in the comments on Internet searching, as it seems to line up with my beliefs on the subject. Recently I tried to walk through the cortical and subcortical interplay that happens when we do a search. I have also mused that online activity might be remapping our cortical networks. It appears that this might be the case.

There was one particularly interesting finding in the study. Not all brains fired up at the same level of activity. In those without previous Internet experience, the variance between the level of activity reading and that while online searching wasn’t significantly different, but in those with prior experience, activity was found in the frontal, temporal and cingulated areas of the brain, areas associated with complex reasoning. The brain in these participants was getting a much more thorough workout.

The purpose of the study was to measure the effectiveness of online activity in slowing geriatric cognitive loss. But for me, the more interesting implications come in understanding that the brain of Internet users may be remapping itself.

Or is Google making us stupid?

Earlier this summer, the Atlantic’s technology writer, Nicholas Carr, wrote an article entitled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

“Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going - so far as I can tell - but it’s changing.”

Now, the way Carr puts it, it sounds pretty ominous. Remapping neural circuitry? Reprogramming the memory! One gets the picture of a gremlin armed with wire cutters and a chain saw, having their way with our cortex. But the fact is, “remapping” and “reprogramming” happens every day. If it didn’t, you’d never remember your phone number or where you lived. The forging of new neural connections and the pruning of old ones are the basic functions of our brains. It’s how our brain works.

But the UCLA findings might indicate something more permanent, something related to the recent discovery that neuroplasticity, once thought to only be present in the very young, is now known to be a property of our brains throughout our lives. By the way, Small’s other work does show a significant divide between the online skills of the young (Digital Natives) and older generations (Digital Immigrants).

First of all, let’s understand how we learn. Learning involves creating new neuronal firing paths. Basically, as we learn we increase the potential of neurons responsible for storing the new knowledge to fire together. Donald Hebbs called it “fire together, wire together”. Each time the network of neurons fires, the potential to fire again is increased. That’s why things get easier, the more we do them.

In my cognitive walk through of searching explanation, I hypothesized about how the act of searching might pull concepts from various storage modules in the brain (mental images, memories, brand associations, concepts, experiences, sounds, etc) and bring them into the prefrontal cortex, enabling the synthesis required to make a click decision. I’ve said a number of times before that the act of searching is a complex cognitive ballet. Looking at the fMRI image, it appears I was right.

But here’s the thing. In somebody with little or no previous experience with the Internet, the neuronal paths required to pull the information forward might not have been forged. No neurons have been “wired together”. This could explain the discrepancy in the UCLA study between Internet experts and neophytes.

There’s nothing particularly amazing about this. This is simple learning. It is interesting to see how online activity engages multiple parts of the brain, but there’s nothing earth shaking here. But here is what is interesting, and I think it might go to what Nicholas Carr is alluding too.

Our neural plasticity

Studies have shown that our brain has amazing plasticity. We can literally remap entire sections of our cortex to take on new functions. In his book, The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, Jeffrey Schwartz recounts how stroke patients have been able remap other parts of the brain to take over motor skills and sense from the striken part of the brain. Blind people use their visual cortex to enhance the sense of touch needed to read Braille. This is not just a synaptic strengthening typical in learning. This is wholesale remapping of the brain, creating enduring pathways for recurring functionality.

So, if the brain has this ability to remap new functions into low traffic areas of our cortex, are we in fact remapping our brains to be more adept in navigating online spaces? Carr contends that our attention spans are getting shorter and he worries that soon we’ll be unable to make our way through a book or even a moderately long magazine article. Or, if we take the alternate point of view that seems to emerge in the UCLA study, is regular use of Google keeping our mind more limber, regularly exercising the synaptic connections between cortical areas? The fact is, the flexibility of our cortex evolved to enable humans to better adapt to dynamic environments. As our world got more complex, we needed to move beyond the programmed responses of the limbic system to something that gave us a little more latitude to respond appropriately to situations. Yes, if we use the Internet frequently, our minds will accommodate by building skills in this area. But this doesn’t imply that we’re getting the virtual version of a frontal lobotomy or, conversely, supercharging our intellect. It just means that we’re using our inherent hardware for new purposes so that we can better keep up with our world. It’s the same flexibility we all come born with, and it’s what makes humans rather remarkable.

Google makes access to information easier and I myself have wondered what this will do to our learning habits. But the fact is that the information revolution is just the latest in numerous changes in how we perceive and cognitize the world around us. Our cortical remapping allows us to adapt to these changes and utilize them effectively. It may not be a question of smart or stupid. It might just be a different way of doing things.

Gord Hotchkiss is CEO of Enquiro, a search marketing firm that produces search engine user eye tracking studies and other research.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Belkin Switch-to-Mac Cable automatically switches you to Mac, gives you a high-five - Engadget

Belkin Switch-to-Mac Cable automatically switches you to Mac, gives you a high-five - Engadget Yea for Mac users.

Google tracking

Collective this is called:  Google is using its search engine to assemble real-time data related to flu onset in the U.S.  Anyone searching for terms related to flu, symptoms, care, remedies, etc., are tracked by their IP address.  In this way Google can plot where the inquiries originate.  See for graphs, etc.  What's next, STDs?  

Tests last year show that google was two weeks faster tracking flu than the Center For Diseases.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Fix Ion Turntable Problems Recording with Windows Vista

"I love my Ion USB turntable, but I only get one track of audio. What am I doing wrong that it only records one channel? It has never worked properly so I have converted many LPs with only one track of stereo working. I have Windows Vista. Please help!"

Windows Vista detects USB audio devices differently than Windows XP, which means Vista improperly detects the Ion USB Turntable as a mono device instead of stereo. To fix the problem, you need to make an adjustment in the Windows Vista Control Panel.

To correctly configure your computer for recording in stereo, you need to open the Sound option from Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound. Click the Manage audio devices link, then click the Recording tab, select the Microphone USB Audio CODEC from the list of recording options and click properties.

Ion Turntable audio configuration

From the Advanced tab select 2 channel, 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality). After clicking OK on all open screens, you're ready to record in stereo.

Free firewall proggie

Comodo is a good, free firewall for Vista, 64bit O/S
Both 32 bit and 64 bit are available in the drop down menu box.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peninsula college is teaching about podcasts and new media.

Click on the image for the full size. This appeared in the Winter catalog of the college.

Computer in the head, FREE DVD creator, and search books

-Yea.  I know.  It's not about technology or computers, but it's USING THE COMPUTER IN OUR HEAD TO SOLVE A PROBLEM -tp. Prevent Flat Bike/Motorcycle Tires. Here's an easier way to flat-proof your bicycle: make a flap of stiff plastic that extends in front of the back wheel until it nearly touches the pavement. Then glue or rivet a rubber flap to the lower edge that brushes against the pavement. A bleach bottle is a particularly good source of plastic since you can gain some stiffness from curve to the neck, and depending on your bicycle design, you might even profit from the neck itself. I learned this many years ago when I was a motorcycle mechanic and discovered that perhaps 90 percent of all flats are on the back wheel. The reason: the front wheel stands the object up, the back wheel runs into it. All the flap does is knock the object back down, and that's all that's necessary. I put one these on my motorcycles and have never again had a flat in more than thirty years and hundreds of thousands of miles of riding. I put them on my bicycles too, and never have flats. -- Bill Babcock

-Free DVD Creator provides you a handy tool to convert and burn DVD movies from video files. It can create DVD from all video formats such as AVI to DVD, DivX to DVD, Xvid to DVD, MPEG to DVD, WMV to DVD, MP4 to DVD, MOV to DVD, RM to DVD...Then you can play the DVDs on portable or home DVD player. With Free DVD Creator, you can create DVD movies with NTSC or PAL video standard, 4:3 or 16:9 video aspect, 720x480/720x576 or 352x240/352x288 video resolution. Create DVD menus with built-in DVD menu maker. And burn DVD movie disc or just create DVD files (.ifo, .vob) on your hard drive. With Free DVD Creator, you can easily turn the vacation, wedding and family movies into DVDs that you can burn and share with your friends and family. And it's completely FREE! Have fun~ :-)Also like DVD Flick, the Free DVD Creator wizard is dead simple to use. First select the movies you want to burn and arrange them in the order you'd like them to playback and appear on the DVD menu. On the next screen, you can completely customize your DVD menu screen. Once you've made it that far, just start burning. Free DVD Creator (like DVD Flick) will handle all of the file conversions necessary, then write the DVD-ready video to a DVD complete with your custom menu. If you have trouble with the one step convert-and-burn (when I tested it, Free DVD Creator created the DVD but didn't immediately burn), just re-open Free DVD Creator and this time select Video DVD Burner instead of Create Video DVD. Then just point the Burner at the VIDEO_TS folder that Free DVD Creator made the first time around (by default it's located at C:\DVDTemp\ and hit Burn. That worked for me without a hitch.

-SEARCH BOOKS.  Great tool.  See the book:  Try your own searches.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Gmail Backup

I used this today and it was sweet. I backed up over 60 megs of email that was stored at gMail. It made a folder for me on my local hard drive, automatically, and put all my mail in the folder as .eml type files, readable with Wordpad. Great, free proggie. -tp.

Gmail Backup Software: "Gmail Backup is a freeware that allows you to backup and restore your Gmail email account. It backups all the emails in your account along with the attachments and also preserves the labels.

Download the application and install it, you just need to enter your gmail username and password for it to recover all the emails. You need to enable IMAP access in your gmail account to backup emails using Gmail Backup. To do so, go to settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP and enable IMAP access. After entering the username and password specify the directory to store the backed up emails. Then click backup.

Gmail Backup

Optionally one can use date range for taking backup. It stores all the emails in .eml files, so you can access these emails using other programs like MS Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird. You can also restore the gmail emails to another account or the same account using the recover function of gmail backup. This works with Google Apps domains also, so if you want to migrate all your regular gmail account to Google Apps domain this is a good tool to do that.

This is a useful tool to backup Gmail regularly to avoid any unexpected surprises. Gmail backup is a freeware for Windows, Linux. Windows version has a GUI but Linux (also works with Mac) version is command-line only.

Download Gmail Backup, [Via Lifehacker]"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Miscellany...Lots of new links

-Send a file:

-Search for color palette, based on existing image:

-Website patterns:

-Back ... at the Washington Post.  The FED page:

-Tired of Windows nagging you to restart.  Stop it with: Start, run, type: net stop "automatic updates"  - Quotation marks are required.  Another way to do this:
Modify Group Policy settings.

    Start, Run "gpedit.msc" to bring up the group policy editor. Then navigate to the folder

    Local Computer Policy
      Computer Configuration
        Administrative Templates
          Windows Components
            Windows Update

There are two settings and both will work, so it's your choice. Either enable No auto-restart for schedule Automatic Updates installations or set Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations to a long time interval, like 1440 minutes.

-Picture site:

-Pres. Elect Obama's new site: Submit YOUR ideas with a from via email:

-Real Time STATS for the World:

-SINGLE CLICK SHUTDOWN FOR XP. Here's the updated version of the popular shutdown shortcut for Windows XP. Just right-click onto an empty area of the desktop then select New then Shortcut from the menu that appears. Click the Browse button and navigate your way to: C:\Windows\System32\Shutdown.exe.
Click Next, give the shortcut a name and click Finish. Now right-click the new shortcut, select Properties and in the Target box, add the command line ‘switch’ -l (to log off), -s (to shut down) or -r (to reboot). A basic shutdown shortcut command line should look like this:

    C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -s


-The SITES listed in this BLOG have been gleaned from:

-Current Includes current tv schedules and shows.

-ArtPromote – art and culture online  A searchable directory with thousands of annotated listings in over 200 categories of visual art, music, and literature.

-Scour  “Scour's purpose is to bridge the gap between searchers and relevant results. By providing a platform for the user to vote and comment on relevancy, searchers connect with one another creating a true social search community, attained through innovative solutions to meet the needs of today's web searchers.”

-Search.  MSE   Returnd text AND images on same page, along with Wikipedia Rtulst and BLOG results on the same page.  Try it.  tp.

-BeyondExec - Spawn Processes and/or Shutdown Remote Windows NT/2000/XP WorkStations. Have you ever wanted to run a process such as an application installer/setup, service pack, virus definition update etc on a group of target computers without having the burden of installing any remote client on your target computers? Perhaps you have needed to Shutdown, Powerdown, Reboot, Suspend, Hibernate, LogOff or Lock a large number of workstations at the one time or at certain times from a scheduler and give the user notice and the ability to cancel the operation beforehand?

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Are you a GEEK?

In order for you to prove where you stand, I've compiled a handy list of 50 key geek skills. Many of them are straightforward, some are tough as hell. Only the most dedicated shut-in basement dwellers will score a perfect 50. How do you stack up? Hit the jump to find out, and be sure to keep a tally as you read—there's a poll at the end to see how you measure up to your fellow Giz readers.

1. Install a hard drive in a laptop
2. Perform a clean OS install on a machine with two OSes
3. Swap out the battery on your iPod/iPhone
4. Jailbreak an iPhone
5. Wire your house for Ethernet and Coax cable
6. Use BitTorrent and RSS to automatically download new shows from trackers
7. Use an A/V receiver to its fullest capability (every port is taken)
8. Calibrate an HDTV without the manual
9. Use a DSLR in full manual mode
10. Hack the encryption and mooch your neighbor's Wi-Fi
11. Solder cleanly enough to get around a circuit board
12. Use your 3G phone as a Wi-Fi access point
13. Shove the guts of a modern game console into a retro game console
14. Design a webpage in HTML by hand that features a picture of your cat
15. Use Photoshop to imperceptibly doctor a photo
16. Abstain from buying extended warranties
17. Know where to buy cheap cables and accessories
18. Fix your parents' computer over the phone without looking at a computer
19. Enter the Konami code
20. Comment on Gizmodo from your phone
21. Type quickly using T9 texting
22. Program a universal remote
23. Contribute code to the Linux kernel
24. Hide porn from your significant other
25. Avoid DRM on everything
26. Know how to back up your data to networked storage—and actually do it
27. Watch TV shows on the internet for free
28. Edit together digital video ripped from YouTube
29. Play any SNES game on your computer through an emulator
30. Reset expired trial software by messing with the registry
31. Hackintosh your PC
32. Download pre-release movies from Usenet
33. Hack the Wii to play homebrew games
34. Get around web content filters on public computers
35. Get into a Windows computer if you forgot your password
36. Securely erase your data so it can't be recovered
37. Share a printer between a Mac and a PC on a network
38. Build a fighting robot
39. Write your own Firefox plugins
40. Navigate and reorganize the files on your computer in DOS
41. Get something on the front page of Digg
42. Get through to executive customer service
43. Rip a CD to V0 quality MP3s
44. Rip a DVD to DivX
45. Build your own computer from parts
46. Swap out the hard drive in your DVR for a bigger one
47. Get an NES cartridge working again by blowing in it
48. Calibrate a 7.1 surround-sound system
49. Play downloaded games on a Nintendo DS
50. Talk about things that aren't tech related

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WPA security on your wireless router...

WEP Wi-Fi security has been known as an easy-to-crack security protocol for a while now, which is why it was superseded by the more secure Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) standard. But now a PhD candidate studying encryption has found an exploit in the WPA standard that would allow a hacker to "send bogus data to an unsuspecting WiFi client," completely compromising your Wi-Fi security and opening your network to all sorts of hacking. Lucky for you, it's not terribly difficult to protect yourself against the new exploit.

The key: Just log into your router, switch off Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) as an encryption mode, and use Advanced Encryption System (AES) only. TKIP is the only protocol that the hack applies to, so switching to AES-only will ensure that your Wi-Fi network is safe again. It's quick and easy, so do yourself a favor and make the adjustment now so you don't run into any problems in the future.

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How Much Ink Is Left in That Dead Cartridge?

We ran printers until they said it was time to change the cartridge--and found that some left more than 40 percent of their ink unused.

PC World's Tips for Saving Money on Printing

For additional advice on reducing the cost of running your inkjet printer, see "The Cheapskate's Guide to Printing," "Save Money on Inkjet Printer Ink," and "How to Spend Less on Printing and Get Better Results."

Jeff Bertolucci, PC World

Nov 2, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SOCIAL MEDIA in the next few years.

Defined here, folks: Social media are primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings.[1][2] The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and "building" of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences. [Source: Wikipedia]

With the shift of both The White House and Congress to a Democratic majority, you can expect to see lots of new legislation over the next four years. Obama’s social media platform offers an amazing opportunity to get people more involved in their government, by keeping them abreast of issues and urging them to contact their representatives to push policy forward.

After all – this is what representative government is supposed to be about – but, think about it, when was the last time you talked to your Congressman (or at least one of their handlers)? Obama can leverage social media to make people much more involved in the process of bills becoming laws, and encourage his supporters to pressure their representatives into supporting his policies.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Net Neutrality

We often banter about terms, or read them in the newspaper, but what do certain, popular phrases mean? For example, Net Neutrality. I found a good explanation and definition, here:


What does Obama’s election mean for science and technology?

What does Obama’s election mean for science and technology?

FCC Expands Use of Airwaves -

FCC Expands Use of Airwaves - "FCC Expands Use of Airwaves
'White Space' to Be Opened to Devices Connected to Web"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Surf, but surf SMART

Surf the Net:  Net-addicts unite! We’ve known it all along, and now we’ve been proven right. A recent study at the University of California Los Angeles found that searching the web stimulated centers in the brain that controlled decision-making and complex reasoning. A simple task like searching the web appears to enhance brain circuitry. Brain scans showed that much more of the brain was activated by internet use than by simply reading a book. Not to mention, there are all sorts of lovely online brain teasers and games on the web, just waiting to make you smarter. And here’s the clincher: the more you surf, the more your brain works.
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Movies on line, and Stuff for the Head..........

-Watch free movies on line:

Got your thinking cap on?  Want to move away from the boob tube?
I compiled this list a few moments ago.  It's a good one. -tp.

-Just what it sounds like.  Great video interviews, lectures and opinions. This is a digital age, one in which a wealth of accessible information empowers you, the citizen-consumer. But where is the information coming from? How accurate and unprocessed is it, really? Ask yourself this: how empowered do you feel debating a television screen or a newspaper?

-The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.

-We pride ourselves on having a diversity of views in our dialogs and an accordingly diverse comments section, where thoughtful disagreement is expressed in civil terms.

-JOIN the BRILLIANT IDEAS NETWORK for DISCOURSE and DEBATE Amassing video from public events and colloquia around the world, the online video storehouse is the wide angle lens to TED's close-up. Giving up a TED-like uniform polish for the capaciousness of its collection, is quickly expanding its inventory through a deep roster of partners: a number of schools, the New Republic, Brookings Institution, the Oxonian Society, the Long Now Foundation, the Hoover Foundation, and the Aspen Institute.

-Open Culture BLOG..A guide to SMART media: at  is a aggregate of all educational videos across the web.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Links on broadband Internet and cable issues:

Benton Foundation

Center for Communication and Civic Engagement

Center for Digital Democracy

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Grassroots Cable Coalition

Hear Us Now

Media Access Project

Minority Media and Telecom Council

Philadelphia Grassroots Cable Coalition

Public Knowledge

Save the Internet Coalition

Seattle Wireless

Technology-focused blogs:

Jeff Chester


Media Policy Blog


Telecom Consulting

Truth, Justice, and Telecom Policy

Sequim Community Radio

KSQM, 91.5 FM Going on the air in Sequim.

Community Radio

Faxing, sending messages, list all files, calibrate monitor, speech recognition, Photoshop plubin, Medical antiques, Jukebox, Productivity tools, and is the site down, or is it ME?

-Internet Faxing:

-Send message to a group:

-Instantly Create A List Of All Files In Windows XP.:

-New. Calibrize is free software that helps you to calibrate the colors of your monitor in three simple steps:
Download at:
-Shoot 1.6.4  Shoot is a speech recognition program that translates your voice commands into arbitrary keystrokes:
-Photoshop compatible plugins by MV:
-Speed up Open Office:

-Medical Antiques:

-Tom's (NUNZIO'S) Jukebox of tunes...

-Productivity toolbox:

-Is the site down or is it just me?
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Any Video Converter Free Version

Any Video Converter Free version is an All-in-One video converting tool with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed and excellent video quality. It allows you to effortlessly convert video files between every format! This free version supports DVD NTSC, DVD PAL, MPEG-I, MPEG-II, MPEG-4 and Flash FLV video profiles.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop (the latest version)

Version 8.10 (October 2008)

Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition delivers the features you need for an increasingly mobile digital life, including 3G wireless support and guest sessions that lets users temporarily share computers without compromising security. Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition consolidates its support for virtualization with an integrated Virtual Machine builder, and brings with it a fully-supported Java stack and support for per-user directory encryption. More »

Includes the latest enhancements and is maintained until 2010

What does Ubuntu mean?

Ubuntu is an African word meaning 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.

Font program, eating more cheaply, Video downloader and player, and get the LATEST hosts file.

-CFONT PRO FEATURES Supported Fonts Built in support for TrueType, OpenType, Bitmap, and Postscript Type 1 fonts Preview Fonts Preview fonts from any folder, CD, disk, or network drive. See what the fonts are before you install them Font Engine Extremely powerfull font engine provides a detailed view of your installed fonts with a complete property listing of each. Proof Sheets See all the fonts on your system in one convenient view. Control the color, text and style of what is displayed. Complete Find Dialog
Our find dialog will not only search through installed fonts but will also search your computer for fonts. Supports file filter masks (i.e. Ari*.ttf or *.ttf)
Many more features: FREE, of course.

-As the financial crisis deepens, more Americans are cutting back on eating out and staying home to cook their own meals. According to the NPD Group, a market research company, restaurant meals now cost on average about three times what it takes to make a similar meal at home. While fast-food restaurants are maintaining a relatively steady customer flow, sit-down restaurants are seeing sales plummet. According to Edward E. Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, "There has been so much of a focus on Wall Street and the credit problem, but the real source of the problem in the fourth quarter is going to be consumer spending, and restaurants are one of the canaries in this coal mine."

-BearFlix Basic Version: File Size: 6875k License Type: Free Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 98 Looking to not only find videos online, but download and play them, and share them with others--all in the same software? Then you'll appreciate this simple-to-use file sharing client that uses the Gnutella file-sharing network. Searching for a video is simple. Type in your search term or terms, see the results, then decide which you want to download. You can manage and queue downloads, pause them, resume them, and so on. It looks and works much like many other file-sharing clients. --Preston Gralla Go to the download page now:

-Get latest HOSTS file to block hijackers, parasites and unwanted adware and spyware at:
The site at: is a FAQ page for installing and using the FREE hosts file. -tp

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

You tube features; new - Wired Gadget BLOG

It’s not a big new feature but it’s certainly one that will come in handy: YouTube will now allow you to send users to a specific point in a video by appending a short tag to the end of a video’s URL. It’s pretty surprising that this functionality wasn’t available earlier, as Google Video introduced the same feature over two years ago. YouTube users have been forced to rely on third party services like Splicd to do the same thing. To specify a point, append a tag to the end of your video link with the following syntax: “#t=1m45s” (you can change the numbers before the ‘m’ and ’s’ to edit the minutes and seconds, respectively. Here’s an example:
As another nice touch, YouTube will also automatically detect when someone mentions a time in a video comment and add a hyperlink to that point in the video.
The feature just went live and there isn’t any easy way to do this though the YouTube UI without manually adding the tag (YouTube hasn’t mentioned it on its official blog yet, either). The YouTube team also has a great sense of humor. As was covered earlier this month,YouTube commentors are now presented with a button asking if they’d like to hear their comments read aloud before they are posted, in the hopes of preventing instances of accidental stupidity (the feature is a response to this now-famous comic).

Wired Magazine Gadget Lab BLOG:
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Temporary email address and Obama plans to have a Chief Technology Officer in his cabinet !!

Temporary email address.  Receive only.

Obama’s CTO: Line Up Tech Nerds - Barack Obama’s run for the White House set new standards in effectively utilizing internet resources and social networking to garner votes, so it comes as no surprise that the Illinois Democrat plans on creating a Chief Technology Officer cabinet-level position should he defeat John McCain November 4. Speculation has already started brewing over who could land that important job with D.C. insiders pointing to candidates like Google “chief internet evangelist” Vint Cerf, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Princeton professor Ed Felten.
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More OO tools, PDF to Word Conversion, Converting Word DOCX files...all FREEBIES

-Open Office Writer's Tools:

-Free Online PDF to Word Conversions - is a free online PDF to Word converter. It's real simple to use and doesn't require your email address or registration. You just upload your PDF document and when the conversion is complete, download your Word document. Download the desktop version of PDF UNdo for Free.

-Convert docx to other formats, free, or download proggie:

-Download coverter for docx to RTF at:

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Go GREEN and get Google ALERTS by email.

The last time I was at my bank, I was asked if I want my statements, etc., sent by email rather than regular mail.  I said yes,of course, and I "went green"...just as I did a few moments ago when I gave my OK to AARP to send me email rather than a hard copy of their monthly publication by postal mail.  I suspect you will see a lot more institutions doing this in the weeks to come.  -tp.

Google Alerts: Google Alerts are emails automatically sent to you when there are new Google results for your search terms. We currently offer alerts with results from News, Web, Blogs, Video and Groups.
I use alerts when I'm gathering data on a topic or monitoring current news.  FREE, fast, easy.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Open Office Templates, High School Courses on line and SequimPC News site (NOT SPCUG related)

-Open Office Extras; Templates:

-On line high school courses:

-Miscellany from SequimPC News:  (This is NOT a SPCUG site.)

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Making democratic "use" of government statistics, etc.

This is in line with our MISSION statement.

Government 2.0: Ask What You Can Hack for Your Country
Posted: 20 Oct 2008 11:52 AM PDT

 “The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book, you either do it right or you get eliminated.”
    - Gordon Gecko, Wall Street

Corporations exist in a continuously changing ecosystem, with behavior strategies, evolution, cooperation, competition, camouflage, mimicry, and yes, extinction. The environment is constantly changing; disequilibrium is the norm.

Similarly, the governments of countries exist in a complex global ecosystem of competition, trade, and war. Some countries are up, some are down, and many are in the middle – and these ranks evolve due to many factors. Even Gecko himself compares the fictional Teldar Paper to “that other malfunctioning corporation, the U.S. of A.”

If the federal government doesn’t want our country to go the way of the dodo, it needs to adapt to changing times – and changing technology, including the many emerging Web 2.0 tools. One Gecko-ish malfunction of government is that it collects a huge amount of data with which it does hardly anything truly useful. Crime statistics, labor trends, pothole locations and many other interesting bits haven’t often been easily accessible, and that strategy doesn’t serve the public well.

Information Innovation

No longer. Innovative people are finding interesting uses for government data. Witness just one example, SpotCrime, a comprehensive private sector mashup of crime reports and real-time interactive maps for not just every state in the U.S., but also many countries around the world.

Using SpotCrime-DC for about 5 minutes, I quickly learned of three recent robberies occurring very close to my home – all between 7:00 and 7:30 am. (Note to self, no morning jogs around the neighborhood.) No one is uninterested in this topic, whether you are protecting your family or just scoping out the competition – but without this simple to use mashup, the information would be overwhelming, confusing, and inaccessible (although technically it is “publicly available.”)

The U.S. government has more than just crime data, though. They have massive storehouses of geographic data, labor statistics, transportation information, census data, genealogies, environmental and ecological trends, economic indicators, and statistics on aging, to name a few. There is literally something for everyone.

Now, a lot of this data is already publicly available; but in what formats? Take this example of the top 100 growing counties in the U.S.. However, you have to download the data in an Excel spreadsheet or as a .CSV file – how many people even know what to do with a .CSV file? And what if you can’t afford Excel, or don’t have it handy when you want to use the public data?

Finally, a good reason to hack the country.

Dr. Mark Drapeau is an Associate Research Fellow studying Social Software for Security (S3) at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy of the National Defense University in Washington DC. These views are his own and not the official policy or position of any part of the U.S. Government.
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

On line health and medical

I am trying to line up a health worker to deliver a presentation on health/medical sites and resources, but if I am NOT successful, I will do one as best I can, making sure the sites are reliable and up to date.  -tp.

Medical Dictionary:

Medical Encylopedia:

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