Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Political Literacy: a new service from Computa.Cat55

Need a politically based store checked?   Have a question on how the political process works that you wish answered?

Computa.Cat55 is now offering a new service:  Political Literacy.   Send a legitimate story or question and we wll do our best to check the story's veracity or answer the question.   The submission form may be found at 

Disclaimer: Only reasonable and polite submissions will be answered 

How to NOT Have Your Opinion Taken Seriously Social Media

Social Media:  forms of electronic communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos) (

Sharing information and ideas - sounds good, but too often lately, social media conversations have devolved into people REacting rather than acting thoughtfully and few minds seem actually changed by the emotion charged rhetoric.  For those who wish to have readers NOT take your opinion seriously, I have developed the following guidelines: 

If you want people to scoff at or ignore your view:
  • Do not do any research of your own.  Take all your views from inflammatory language of other reactive sources.
  • Pass on all stories that fit your view without checking their veracity. It does not matter if it is fake only that you like it.
  • Use only sources with the same bias as you have. Never check for opposing viewpoints.
  • Use vulgar language. It can be a substitute for reasoned arguments.
  • Call people names.  Insulting people encourages them to look favorably on your views.
  • Respond to the online trolls.  Getting into an argument will surely change their minds.
  • Use pornographic images or acts.  Thoughtful people will be swayed by nudity of course.
  • Avoid facts.  They just get in the way of emotion.
  • Threaten people.  Fear tends to bring such good lasting change, especially if you threaten their family.
  • Hijack all conversations to push your own agenda.  Sticking to the subject at hand is for polite wimps. 
  • Word headlines to give the worst view of your opponent and the best view of your allies.  Avoid objectivity at all costs
  • Sprinkle your comments with unresearched end of the world, worst case scenario comments.  It is so convincing for those who do not hold to your view in the first place. 
  • Be courteous only to those who hold your own view.  Be rude to all others.
  • Protest with no real goal in view.  Just let them know you are unhappy but not what they are supposed to actually be able to legally or morally DO about it.
  • Do not bother with good grammar or correct spelling.  It just gets in the way of posting as quickly as possible. 
To summarize: If you wish to avoid having people take your view seriously, items such as reason, research, objectivity, courtesy, and well-thought out posts are to be shunned at all costs.

Oh wait, but what if the cost is that people you want to convince do not actually listen to you or believe you...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

How Hackable Is Your Password?

You have been hacked!

Digits in numerical order?  The word "password" ?  Or my favorite, "qwerty", straight off the keyboard?
These are some of the weak passwords mentioned in the above linked article.  With the rise in reports of hacking reports, not just in the election, but from companies such as Yahoo, Facebook, and Dropbox, strong passwords are more needed than ever.  Here  are a few tips on creating one.

  • Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Use a unique password for any online bank accounts.
  • Use things that are hard to guess or use information that a hacker can not easily find out about you online
  • Use longer passwords
  • A password keeper program such as Last Pass   can store your passwords under one master password (make it a really really strong one!) and even generate passwords for a site for you
  • Change your passwords regularly
  • Use 2-factor authentication (What is 2 factor authentication?)

Tech Tidings for January 14

When You Need Toughness More Than Power
The Acer Chromebook is built for ruggedness more than performance, but that can be an advantage in certain situations.

Facebook Founder Wants to Hear From You
Mark Zuckerburg is taking his yearly challenge on the road.  He wants to meet with people in all fifty states.  
Meanwhile FB is testing putting ads in videos.

Is Improved Physical Fitness One of Your New Year's Goals? 
Try one of these apps.
Or this Google calendar update

A Tech Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump
One company's technology view for a new US presidency

And Speaking of Political Subjects
Homeland Security weighs in on helping states with election cybersecurity.

And Speaking of Cybersecurity'
A Twitter account may allow Wikileaks to track you.

Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Encourage Reading with E-Books

Reading for Entrepreneurs
Recommended reading for tech entrepreneurs

Happy 10th Birthday iPhone
Watch the original announcement for the iPhone.

ISS Welcomes a New Crew Member
Janette Epps is the first African American crew member for the International Space Station.

President Obama Leads a VR Tour of the White House
President Obama will soon be leaving the White House, but before he does,  Facebook Oculus 360 degree video tour was created.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Tech Tidings for January 2: 2017 Tech Trends Predictions Special


Making predictions about future trends is a tricky business at best, but as this new year starts, some folks are looking into their technology enhanced crystal balls and trying to do so.  Here are a few of the things that might be trendy in technology in 2017.

The Ability to Edit Tweets 
Users are asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for just such a feature.  Dorsey has created a hashtag for users to request features.

Focused Virtual Assistants
Tech Crunch's list includes virtual assistants that are more focused and learn as they are used. Autonomous vehicles are also on their list, as is more from Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Meanwhile, Security Remains an Issue
Data security will continue to be an issue in 2017.

Smart Home Tech
CNET's list starts off with smart home tech such as voice assistants.   It also includes improvements to TVs and laptops.

Android in Car
Fiat Chrysler and Google are teaming up to put Android technology into cars.

So, what interests you most from the above list?  What would you like to see in technology in 2017?  Post your thoughts in the comments section. 


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tech Tidings for December 24

"Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be. The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena.
Tim Cook, Apple CEO on why he met with President Elect Donald Trump

Cook Explains Decision to Meet with Trump
In an internal memo, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained to employees why he choose to meet with PEOTUS Donald Trump despite differences.

Child Protective Features Come to Android
You can now create a restricted access profile for your child on Android devices.

2017 Tech Trends: one company's view
The Next Web releases its view of tech trends for 2017

Uber Takes Self-Driving Car Pilot to Arizona
As negotiations with California break down, the company is moving to friendlier Arizona. 

Tracking the Spread of Fake News Stories 
A beta search engine called Hoaxy helps folks track and visualize the spread of fake news.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tech Tidings for December 20

image from Pixabay

Keeping Out Internet Trolls
Internet trolls are folks who comment online for the primary purpose of stirring up trouble.  Now a new tool from Twitch lets a user keep trolls out6 of their chat.

Instagram Adds Videos 
Instagram has released a video feature that lets users share a video. However, the videos can not be saved for later viewing.

Facebook Adds Options 
Facebook meanwhile is releasing a 360 degree live video tool...
and live audio also

Group Conversations Come to Snapchat
Chat with up to 16 people on Snapchat with this new feature.
Protecting Your Privacy From Your Own Apps
Your favorite apps may be collecting more personal information than you realize.  Here is what some users did about it.

What Happening on Streaming Services
Britbox heads to the US
New items on Netflix
New items on Hulu

A Gift Guide for Geeks of All Kinds
Check out this gift guide from Cool Tools

Finally, on the Politics and Technology Front...
Facebook and the fake news crisis
Should Trump have a chief data officer?
Trump meets with tech leaders
More hacking (potentially) news
       and how you can avoid being hacked
Social media and the Orlando shootings