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News Article: Being Smart About Web Mail October 9, 2008

Posted by Mike in Learning, News, Online Service, Passwords, PC ABCs, Technology.
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Read Michael Horowitz’s article, originally posted on CNET News, for some good common sense practices to help secure your web mail account on Yahoo, GMAIL, Hotmail and others.

Being Smart About Web Mail

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Learn About a Key Difference between the New Blackberry Storm and the Apple iPhone October 9, 2008

Posted by Mike in Apple, Blackberry, News, Reviews, Technology, Worth a Look.
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Read this article from Internetnews.com to get detailed information on how the Blackberry touch screen will differ from the Apple iPhone’s:

Smartphone Success May be in the Touch

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Yahoo has high hopes for calendar makeover October 8, 2008

Posted by Mike in News, Online Service, Organize, Worth a Look, Yahoo.
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The Internet pioneer will revamp its online calendar starting Wednesday. New: subscriptions, sharing, and targeted advertisements for events.

View Original Article

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Verizon officially debuts RIM BlackBerry Storm October 8, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blackberry, News, Reviews, Technology, Worth a Look.
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Research In Motion and Verizon Wireless officially announce the first touch-screen BlackBerry, and CNET gets a hands-on look.

View Original Article

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Election 2008: Find Senate Voting Records Online October 2, 2008

Posted by Mike in Learning, News, Online Service, Worth a Look.
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Here’s a link to McCain’s Senate voting record.

Here’s a link to Obama’s Senate voting record.

Forget the hype.

Forget the spin.

Ignore the commercials, the editorials and the talking heads.

Watch the debates, but compare what is said with their past voting history.

Take a few minutes to review the Senate voting records of our 2 presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama.

The Washington Post has compiled this information on ALL members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives:

The links have additional information on the 2 men, but the voting records should provide a good indication where the candidate’s stand on a variety issues.

The Internet has put the facts at your fingertips. Reading them is up to you.

Remember to vote in November!

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Election 2008: These Web Sites Verify the Facts September 10, 2008

Posted by Mike in Freebies, News, Online Service, Politics, Technology, Worth a Look.
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Voters in the 2008 Presidential elections deserve to know the facts. Candidates can get carried away with rhetoric at the expense of the facts. FactCheck.org is an unbiased web site dedicated to confirming, clarifying or denying the facts referenced in statements made by Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

As they said on the classic TV show Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Well, that’s all FactCheck.org cares about. They want to help voters understand the facts so that Americans are choosing a President based on substance and not style.

Another web site to visit is PolitiFact.org, which is a service of the St. Petersburg Times/CQ.

Get the facts and make an informed decision this November. Vote for the candidate that you think will help you the most, but please base your vote on substance and not style. America’s future depends on it.

Ymail – Get the Yahoo Email Name You Always Wanted July 12, 2008

Posted by Mike in Freebies, News, Online Service, Politics, Technology, Worth a Look, Yahoo.
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yahoo-logo.JPGIt’s been said that there is no one else in the world just like you. Well, that’s true. However, the same truism doesn’t apply to your name. If you’re like me, then you discovered that your #1 choice for an email name was already taken when you signed up for the ever-popular Yahoo Mail.

Unless you were an early user on Yahoo or you have a unique name like Barack Obama, chances are you settled for a 2nd choice. The John McCain’s of the world settled for adding numbers or a middle initial, which often causes confusion. (My apologies for the appearance of politics in a tech blog, but it is an election year.)

Well, Yahoo is giving you a second chance to get the name you always wanted….sort of.


(They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so Google should be blushing).

You can now get an email address that ends in @ymail.com. If you already have an @yahoo.com address, you’re not guaranteed to get the same email name with the @ymail.com. In other words, all email names are again up for grabs.

The @ymail.com account can serve as your primary Yahoo ID, if you choose. You’d need to login to Yahoo services with the full email address.

What are you waiting for? First come, first serve! Go get that email name of your dreams right now!

Microsoft Surface Technology Delights Customers at AT&T Wireless Stores July 11, 2008

Posted by Mike in Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft, News, Software, Technology, Worth a Look.
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In pursuit of a new Blackberry, I visited a local AT&T Wireless store yesterday and discovered several high tech display tables utilizing Microsoft Surface technology! How cool is that?  I know I stayed in the store twice as long just so I could play with it.

By placing one of the display models of the Blackberry onto the tabletop, the table display changed to show me information about the device along with AT&T’s wireless plans. I could also touch the screen and change the table display into a large coverage map of the area, showing me where AT&T wireless service was available in the area.

Microsoft Surface technology is kind of like the touch interface on an Apple iPhone. It responds to your touch but also allows other users to interact with it at the same time.

A quick visit to the Microsoft Surface web site explained that a select few AT&T Wireless stores in New York City, Atlanta, San Antonio, and the San Francisco Bay Area have received these revolutionary display tables.

Look at the FIND IT section of the Microsoft Surface web site to find the addresses of one of these stores near you.

Of course, you may want to wait a few days to visit since the new Apple iPhone is being released at AT&T stores today.

An Ode to the New Hands-Free Driving Law in California July 1, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Fun, Hands-free, Hardware, Humor, News, Poem, Technology.

An Ode to Hands-Free Driving in California

California drivers, July 1st is here!

Get that cell phone out of your ear!

Hands free is the way to be

Or you’ll get fined by the CHP

If you want to drive hands free

A BLUETOOTH ear piece is the key

Driving and dialing just isn’t shrewd

(Not to mention a tiny bit rude)

But take heart, Dear Drivers

Don’t feel vexed

The law still allows you to text!

(That’s it. This agonizing poem is done. Thanks for reading. Rhyming is fun.)

Get answers to the FAQs about the law from the California DMV.

Keeping the Customer Happy: Dell Grants Windows XP a Stay of Execution June 27, 2008

Posted by Mike in News, Software, Technology.
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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Dell will continue to offer customers the option to “downgrade” from Windows Vista to Windows XP when purchasing a PC until 2009.

In some cases, there will be an additional charge to do so, but at least the option exists.

For more details, please read this blog post: http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/95202

Bad Spelling and Online News – Sloppy or Smart? June 13, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Business, News, Technology.


How many of you have noticed that misspelled words are becoming more common online in legitimate news articles?  Whether I am browsing CNN.com or ESPN.com or a local newspaper web site like the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com,  I see the same problem.

Misspelled words are an exception rather than the rule in traditional newspapers.

Why are they more abundant in online articles?  After all, word processing programs have a handy little spell checker button to eliminate the problem. (On a side note….does anyone find it humorous that the word “blog” is still identified in many spell checkers — I’m looking at you MS Word 2003— as a misspelled word?)

I have a few ideas as to why spelling errors are tolerated in online news:

  1. Need to produce more articles, more quickly
  2. Sloppy editing or none at all
  3. More “non traditional” journalists writing the news and making mistakes

OR……is it intentional?   I hadn’t considered this option until I googled “increase in spelling errors” and came upon Shaun Low’s blog where he had written this article:

Are Spelling Mistakes Good?

Shaun’s article asks the question from a blogging perspective.  Specifically,  googlers misspell words when they type in a search.  If you include a misspelled word in your blog post, it may increase traffic to your blog.  Of course, in theory the same line of thinking may apply to online new articles.

However, I’m not sure this is the reason for sloppy spelling.

I think it is just carelessness and a change in attitudes among writers and readers.

Browser Wars: Newcomer Flock Looks like a Contender June 11, 2008

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Fun, News, Reviews, Software, Technology.

Browser Wars.jpg

I just downloaded and installed Flock. I’ll provide a more complete review after I’ve familiarized myself with the software, but here is my initial reaction:

  1. WOW
  2. WOW
  3. WOW

Internet Explorer better watch out for this one. It is actually built upon the FireFox browser, so I can’t call FireFox a direct competitor.

Here’s a news article I found on BusinessWeek that led me to try Flock:

In Browsers, Flock May Lead the Flock.

Visit Flock’s web site to download this free program.

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Free Wireless Amber Alerts on your Phone to Help Find Abducted Children May 25, 2008

Posted by Mike in Freebies, News, Online Service, Technology.
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Something as simple as a text message on your phone could help you save a life.

This free service, sponsored by the Wireless Foundation in Washington D.C, will send a text message to your phone once an Amber Alert has been issued in your area. It will also send you a text message once the alert has been canceled.


It is fast and easy to do and it may help quickly locate an abducted child before its too late. Click here to learn how it works.

You can specify from 1 to 5 zip codes in which to receive Amber Alerts. This means, your phone won’t receive a text message from an Ohio Amber Alert when you live in California. Unless, of course, you’ve chosen an Ohio zip code in your settings.

Here’s a link to an FAQ page if you want more information as well.

Be an Informed Voter with this List of Web Sites February 2, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Humor, Learning, News, Politics, Videos.
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With the 2008 Presidential primaries campaign in full swing and the Super Tuesday primary elections a few days away, many Americans are still deciding who to vote for this year. John McCain, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and other presidential hopefuls are zig zagging across the country to shake hands, kiss babies and stump for votes.

Remember to vote in the primaries and in the election next November. If you don’t participate, you shouldn’t complain about the results.

Here are some web sites to help you be an informed voter on the candidates and the issues for this 2008 campaign.

Candidates official web sites:

  1. Mike Huckabee
  2. John McCain
  3. Ron Paul
  4. Mitt Romney
  5. Hillary Clinton
  6. Barack Obama


  1. Project Vote Smart
  2. News Coverage 2008 Candidates
  3. Democratic Party Web Site
  4. Republican Party Web Site
  5. Rock the Vote
  6. Who’s Donating Money? 2008 Campaign Contributions

Worth a Look:

  1. QUIZ #1: Take a Quiz on the Issues to See Which Candidate You Should Vote For
  2. QUIZ #2: Another Quiz to See Who You Should Vote For
  3. QUIZ #3: The Glassbooth Quiz

Opinion (Humor, Blogs and Videos):

  1. Vote Different YouTube Video: Hillary as Big Brother
  2. YouTube Video: Actors Impersonate Obama and Hillary
  3. MyMcCainBlog
  4. Elect Romney Blog
  5. Vote Hillary
  6. Blog Obama ’08
  7. Huckabee for President Blog
  8. Colbertocrat – Craig Colbert’s Political Humor

Article Lists Tech Disappointments for 2007 December 14, 2007

Posted by Mike in News, Technology.
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eWeek.com provides us with their list of emerging tech disappointments for 2007.

Do you agree or disagree? Or do you have a list of your own?

Getting Some Respect: Blogs will soon be included in Google’s Universal Search December 14, 2007

Posted by Mike in Blogging, News, Online Service, Technology.
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Google Sphere

I came across this article by Clint Boulton on eweek.com.

Google Adds Blogs to Universal Search

Retrevo Helps Answer Your Tech Questions Quickly December 5, 2007

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Hardware, iPod, News, Online Service, Reviews, Technology.
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The catch phrase on their web site is “matching people and electronics.”  Retrevo.com compiles lots of useful information about a product in a matter of seconds. 

Need a product review before you buy? Retrevo has them.  I typed in iPod Touch and Retrevo listed expert reviews at ilounge.com, zdnet.com and playlistmag.com.

Need a manual for an electronics product?  Retrevo can help find them. I typed in HP Deskjet 5850 and the site found the manual for me.  True, I can go to HP.com to get it, but then it may take a few minutes to narrow my search and find the manual.  Retrevo got the link for me in less than 5 seconds.

Doing the math:  If time=money, then time saved=money saved.  Retrevo’s service will save you money!  Of course, that’s far-fetched claim that you won’t find anywhere on their site, but maybe it’ll help you find the best deal on that iPod Touch which could save you some real coin.

Want to shop for a Slingbox?  Retrevo will give you plenty of sites to browse.

Retrevo will also list blogs, forums and manufacturing info on a given product (when available).

Trust me, this site is worth a look and a bookmark in your favorites.

Read this Post by SuperBibliodigital to Keep Current on New Software and Online Services November 20, 2007

Posted by Mike in Blogging, News, Software, Technology.
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Her blog will point you to a great site for keeping track of the latest and greatest web sites, software programs and other tech goodies.

SuperBibliodigital’s Killer Apps Post.

In the News: Palm Apps to Run on Nokia’s Internet Tablets November 16, 2007

Posted by Mike in Business, Hardware, News, Software, Technology.
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It looks like thousands of applications designed for the Palm OS platform will get new life on Nokia’s 700, N800 and N810 Internet Tablets.

I found this article today while browsing eweek.com.

 Read Henry Kingman’s article.

Going Green: Eco-Friendly Tips for the Holidays November 2, 2007

Posted by Mike in Fun, Learning, News.

Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s!”

Quote from article,”Green Your Holiday”, by Jaclyn Hope and Amy Gotliffe

The “Green Your Holiday” article was written by Jaclyn and Amy for ROAR Magazine; a quarterly publication for members of the Oakland Zoo. I found the article interesting and informative, so I wanted to create a post to share some of their suggestions.

This post will essentially paraphrase their article published in ROAR for Winter 2007, Issue 30.

Tips to Keep the Holiday Green:

  1. Keep cut trees out of the landfill! Visit Earth 911 for ideas and info.

  2. Buy LED Lights – they are 80% more efficient than regular lights.

  3. Put holiday lights on a timer.

  4. Consider gifts that won’t end up in a landfill, like tickets or a gift certificate for a massage.

  5. Re-use greeting cards as colorful gift tags.

  6. Travel Light by carpooling with friends or family.

Web Sites for Green Gift Ideas:

  1. NorthStarToys

  2. Worldwidechild

  3. Realgoods

  4. Globalexchange

  5. Greenshopping

  6. Ecomall

  7. Laptops.org

Think local, fair trade, organic, sustainable, handmade and creative!

How a Radio Show Host Made Me Blog Off Topic September 11, 2007

Posted by Mike in Blogging, News.
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This topic has nothing to do with technology, but given the significance of today’s date and the events of 6 years ago I thought it best to talk about it.

Listening to Ronn Owen’s on KGO NewsTalk 810 this morning, he began his show with an hour’s discussion about 9/11.  In particular, he was concerned that networks were choosing not to show video footage of the terrorist attacks because they were worried it would upset viewers.

Callers to the show provided varying opinions on whether or not this footage should be shown.  One woman was concerned that her son’s school wasn’t discussing the terrorist attacks with the students and another caller said that his son (age 14) couldn’t recall seeing the actual video of airplanes crashing into buildings and killing hundreds of people.

I agree with Ronn.  We need to see the footage on the anniversary of the attack.  It is the Pearl Harbor of our time and we must not forget the shock, the grief or the savagery of these attacks.  There are people in the world who hate Americans with such fervor and vitriol that they killed civilians on our own soil.

9/11 happened. 

Remember the day.  Remember the victims.  Remember the grief.  Remember the courage. Remember the compassion.  Remember so our children and future generations do not forget.

Watch this tribute and remember: