Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tech Tidings for March 2


Google Introduces Tool to Improve Online Conversation
... because, apparently, expecting people to choose courtesy on their own isn't working.

On a Related Theme: tools for parenting digital kiddos
A root content blocker may help keep porn away from your children (not a bad idea for others either)
A tool to help limit screen time

A Tool to Protect Us While Using Tech Tools
Or you could just log off and pay attention while you commute (by foot or car)

Proving That the Internet Can be Informative as Well as Contentious 
Here are some links with interesting, useful, and even educational content.

So, here's to being more courteous AND more informed! 

The Problem with Sharing


Now, sharing can be a good thing.  We encourage children to learn to share and the Bible speaks of sharing with those in need.  However there is a place where sharing may not be caring -- social media.

Social media makes it easy to share; one click and its done.  However, in these fake news - and other unpleasantness - days, some caution before clicking is in order.   Take a few precautions before you share that story, such as:
  • Read the entire post. On Facebook, only the first bit may show. Click on that Read More to get the whole item.  Tweets may include links; check out the links as well as the tweet.
  • Use extra caution on items that are biased.  Just because it agrees with your "side" does not make it true. 
  • Avoid sharing items that are just plain insulting, nasty, vulgar, or such.  This goes for supposed jokes too.  These items just show discourtesy.
  • Do not share in anger, revenge, hurt, whatever.   Negative emotions and reasoned thought often do not mix well.
The number one element, the key element, however, is 
  • Check with other sources to see if the item is true.  Make sure those sources are reliable media outlets.
So,  before sharing on social media, this library media specialist says: check it out!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tech Tidings for February 9


Beware: Mac Version
While not at the level of attacks on Windows, there are problems for Mac users also.

Headphones and Hearing Problems 
Now how about those folks that play their car radios at deafening volumes?

Android Wear 2.0 
Google introduces its smart watch.

VR and Roller Coasters
As if roller coasters were not scary enough...

The Magic School Bus Returns
Ms. Frizzle, Liz, and the students are coming to Netflix.
And also coming to Netflix...

Flipboard Gets a Redesign
Personalization features are improved.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tech Tidings for February 2

And in tech news tonight...

From Facebook
A tool to protect from hacking using email
Changes to Feed to avoid fake, sensationalized, or scam stories
Discover People helps you make friends - at least on Facebook
AI helps with word pictures for blind

From Google
Google Earth goes to open source
An advanced recipe search - for those of you who actually cook
Dropbox Paper out of beta to take on Google Docs\

Other News
Lego Life, a new social network for kids, includes Lego emoji
European Southern Observatory releases images
Also on satellite photos
Smarter e-books coming
AccessMaps helps find routes for limited mobiity folks

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tech Tidings for January 27

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. - Albert Einstein (Scientist)

A look at social media in recent days seems to show the truth of this quote.  Reasoned, thoughtful responses and kind, polite disagreements are too often lessened in these days of instant communication.  People often comment without thinking -- or checking out all the facts -- first.  I hope that all of us - and I am starting with myself - will take the time to think first and respond courteously. 

NOW, getting off my soapbox and on to technology news:

...Or have a designated driver or watch it at home or just do not drink alcohol...
Not a alcohol drinker myself, but since I would like streets to be safe on Super Bowl Sunday - and all the rest of the time also ...

Cloudsight Offer for Universities and Schools
Cloudsight is offering free use of its computer vision AP  to educators.  More info and a signup link available in article.
And for educators of younger folks
And finally, for STEM folks

Hoping No Pyrotechnics on This Samsung
A new phone is coming from Samsung at the end of March

Tech Leaders Included in Trump's Manufacturing Council
A wide range of industries seem included in this council.

Google Pixel - Next Try
Google is retooling its Pixel handset to be less expensive

Tracking Trump Website 
A new website is keeping track of President Trump's rhetoric verses performance.

Is Net Neutrality Doomed?
It depends who you ask according to Forbes article.

Keyboard Goes Retro - Sort Of
The keys are old school typewriter round, but the colors are candy bright.

Thoughts on Cybersecurity
Tech Crunch has a few thoughts on cybersecurity for the new administration.

With Security Now Tightened
Presidential Twitter account

Now if we could get other sources to do the same...
Facebook is working on the fake news problem.

Another Reason to Watch Out 
Snapchat is set to use ad targeting method.

Redesign for LinkIn 
LinkedIn is getting a new Facebook like interface.

YouTube Messenger?
YouTube is reportedly tesing an in-app instant messenger(because we don't have enough to distract us already).

And ending with a little fun...l
Geeks toys!

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...