Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sweet!!!

I know I'm a big tech geek, but do we really get to live in a time where this is possible? Incredible!! It'll be a few years down the road before your bestie has one but I can't wait...

video video

I mean it's no Macbook wheel* but it'll have to do in the meantime. Currently, it seems like just a novelty but I think there will be some amazing applications for practical uses.


*You should look up the Macbook wheel, amazing...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Okay, for real!?!?

After being a Children's Pastor for many years I discovered along the way something I call, "Object Lessons Waiting To Happen." For instance, you're in a convenience store and there is an energy drink called "Superman," object lesson waiting to happen. You see a giant gummy foot, a can of candies called "Toxic Waste," you get the idea. Things that I usually buy put in a drawer and wait for the right time/lesson that they apply to. Over the years it's been a really fun thing for me.

Now that I've started to blog and have a camera phone I've discovered a whole new category I call, "Oh, that's blogworthy." Truthfully, it's only blogworthy if I say it is which is probably up for discussion. Beth and all my other friends who care, I know blogworthy isn't a word but I'm making it a word to go along with the things that I think are blogworthy. Snarky little thing aren't I?

So for my first installment I'm going to include two items that seem so ridiculous to me I'm not even sure I'll comment about them.


I lied, I will comment...

Only whipped cream is supposed to come out of those cans people. Because who wants to squirt pancake batter in their mouth. Oh, you know you do it too!!! And if you don't you should, it's great fun.

Notice it's not just Batter Blaster but Organic Batter Blaster.










In case you can't read that tag, and I'm pretty sure you can't it says, Toeless Socks! TOELESS SOCKS?!? I don't even understand this. I even looked them up on the internet to see if there was anything I missed. Rest assured there's no need for you to check. There is no good reason. I don't even think this counts a a fashion statement. I did read that you could wear this with flip flops but if you need to wear socks with flip flops why...are you wearing flip flops.

Blogworthy, don't ya think?

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Virgin Eyes

I've had quite a few people ask me about protecting kids on computers and tracking computer usage.

Personally, I recommend K9 it's free, basically web based, and comes recommended by real users. I have to admit that I have not personally used it but I have helped someone set it up. It has a pretty simple interface and uses a small footprint on your desktop. Which means it uses very little system resources, so it will still run well on older computers. The setup is a good interface with clear options.

When you try to access a site that K9 has blocked it will prompt you for your password. For the first couple of weeks it will be a little bit of a pain because it will probably block some sites that you've already deemed are safe. In setup there is a way to enter a web address to allow it always or to block it always. In a single user setting it can be annoying to enter your password sometimes, but at least it will filter out many unwanted things that stream in your computer.

Here's a link from PCWorld.com with a review of K9: PCWorld.com K9 Review

Link to K9: http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

This review and K9 website do a much better job at articulating features but let me say this, if you have children or youth in your home you've got to have a blocker. There are just to many accidental options out there not even counting the real temptations that come along. Without trying to sound gender biased, I recommend that men especially, use it on their laptop or desktop even if they are a single user. That's not to say the ladies are not having issues but let's face it we're not quite as visually stimulated and do naked pictures of men ever pop up? Okay, they do but not nearly as often. Youth if you've got your own laptop, be proactive and put something on there to filter out content. Don't wait for mom or dad to lock down your laptop. Granted if you've got your password you can see anything you want but at least it's not just gonna pop up in your face.

Last but not least if you are someone who does lots of web surfing, searches and picture searches this will really help filter out unwanted content.

enuff said...

Friday, March 13, 2009

What?!?! Another new Facebook (Part 1)

So the consensus on the new Facebook seems to be somewhat mixed and by somewhat mixed. I mean, "Everybody hates it." After a few minutes of looking here's my initial observations.

1. The new "News Feed" is the previous "Live Feed." If you're a voyeur like me you've been clicking on that tab for the past couple months to see what all of your friends are doing in real time.

2. Underneath the "News Feed" on the left it will show your friends in groups if you've put them in groups. That way the feed is not so overwhelming for those of you who have 500,000 friends.
-You put friends in groups by selecting the "Friends" tab at very top in the blue bar.
-Then select "Make a New List" and name that list.
-You also have the opportunity within "Settings" to allow different permissions
to each of your lists.
-Remember, you have the freedom to put a friend on more than one list.
(Handy, I know. Thanks, Jen Walsh)

3. The "Highlights" on the left, are things that more than one of your friends is doing with ads mixed in. Which is very clever advertising and very smart for Facebook. Let's face it, Facebook has to be able to make money on the free service they are offering us and they just haven't been.

This is just a few things to help weed through the new changes and there will probably be more to come as I play around.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Caught in the Moment

So I'm sitting here at my friends house and watching their little girl for a while. Naturally, I have my two favorite little dogs with me. As the pups start playing and chasing each other around the little cutie begins laughing and trying to chase them. When they run back past her she looks a little shocked and then just giggles and tries to catch them. They pretty much don't know she's trying to play with them but the scene goes on for a few more minutes with much playing and laughter.

It reminds me how much life begets life. And how the actions of others so often cause us to react and how our actions cause others to react. Many times we think about that in a more negative context but if we look around, not only is it positively happening all around us, but we have the ability to start the ball rolling in other people's lives.

P.S. I'm pretty sure one of my favorite thing to do is watch my pups play. There something about watching a something do what is was made to do that is somewhat entrancing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tech Tip: Gmail Google Docs & Google Calendar

Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar have added apps so that you can use them offline. I've always thought the biggest drawback to the Google Apps has been the lack of offline capability. That said, they are moving in the right direction. Currently, the offline calendar app only lets you view your calendar and not add or delete items, which is a major drawback, but it's certainly a start.

Offline Gmail and Google Docs are better developed. The offline Gmail allows you to view all your email and attachments. It also allows you to write emails that it places in an outbox until you are online again at which point it sends them. There's not much I've missed about Outlook since switching to Gmail, except the offline capabilities which are really shaping up.

So here's a little more about Google Calendar. Some of the sweetness is that you can share calendars with others. For instance you can create a personal calendar and a family calendar.
The family calendar can be public, private or group. In group settings you can invite others to the calendar and they can add it into their Google Calendar. You can change the settings to be view only or allow them to change and add things to the calendar.

So here's an example; let's say you're a family with two teenagers. You can have a family calendar which is stored on the web that each of you can access. Mom, Dad, teens 1 & 2 can update their events right to that calendar. Vacations, sporting events, work schedules etc. can be updated and each member can view the family calendar that no longer has to have a home on the fridge but can be checked from any computer online.

In a work environment calendar planning is amazing because right there in your planning meeting you can be putting in events and instantly they're appearing on coworkers calendars.

Another sweet thing is Google integration. When you receive an email with a date and time an option shows and asks if you want to add it to your Google Calendar select ok and BAM! the event is posted. I mean isn't this how computers should work for us. It's not complicated programs that have to be set up with the latest IT brain in huge corporations but it's right here and easy.

Obviously, each person has to have a gmail account but they're free and easy to set up. You can also filter mail from another account straight into gmail. Personally, I have four accounts that all filter into my main gmail account. My main one, my business one, my account for signing up for things that will mostly get spam, and another account that I monitor.

So get your friends, your family and your coworkers online and start using some tools that can be really productive.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tech Tip: Facebook Notifications

So I was at a friends house today helping with some computer stuff and I noticed her inbox was filled with Facebook messages. There is a way to control which notification emails you receive from Facebook.

In Facebook if you go to Settings, choose the Notifications tab and you can enable/disable which messages Facebook sends to your inbox.

In that same Settings area you can also change your Privacy settings controlling which information you share and with who.

Have fun!

JLUK