Sunday, July 31, 2011

Google+ The New Facebook

I made the mistake of starting an update on one of the laptops and now, I'm waiting for that to complete, so I thought I'd dump some thoughts . . . I was invited to Google+ and have joined. It's yet another place where I am on the web. Not enough members yet to actually become a regular third place, but someplace where information can be shared. To me, it's a lot like Facebook. The only thing that I see as an advantage is the ability to post only to a particular circle. This allows you to say something to just your family, say, rather than the whole world. We'll see if there will be enough people signing up for the service to make this feature worth it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What causes you to post?

I have written about this before, but what causes you to post something on social media? I know some people constantly post things about where they are and what they are doing. They take pictures of friends and family and even strangers and put them on line with witty comments. They check in while going to the grocery, the gym and maybe even the restroom. No, it's not those types of posts I'm thinking about. It's the type of posts where you express an opinion, talk about something in the news and the like.

This week, it appears that the debt limit crisis and the inaction of the idiots (politicians) in the zoo (Washington D.C.) which has caused several posts on my blogs. I think my blogging depends on what is happening and where I am. I happen to be spending some time at the computer at the moment and find that, as I read news about the inaction on this subject, I find it easy to put things down (or rather up on the web).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Taxes - Internet sales, that is

Taxes, we all pay them. It it said that "death and . . . " are the only sure things in life. But this time, we are talking about sales taxes on Internet purchases. For the most part, we don't pay them. When you buy that book, the money for your purchase goes to the location of Amazon or Barnes and Noble, say, but the taxes that would be charged if you bought the same book from a brick-and-mortar store, say your local Barnes and Noble bookstore don't come back into the community. Your local community looses. All the services supported by local sales taxes looses and maybe one of your neighbors loose their jobs, too. I'm not really for increased taxes, but I do want those services, so I'm in favor of paying state sales taxes on online purchases as long as those taxes come back into my local community to help support the programs I want.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Expanding Places - Google+

I'm in another place -- Google+. You gotta love it. More places than things to say. Today, I'm putzing around with a Google Chrome add in which will allow me to post to both at once. One feature of Google+ that I like is the ability to limit posts to a particular "circle". There are things that I want to share with my family or close friends that I don't want the world to see. Pretty nifty if it works as advertised. How many places are you?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cell Phones, the new computer?

Yesterday, two of my kids upgraded their cell phones to new models. One got an android phone and with it, had to pay the extra for the upgraded monthly service. This got me to thinking that the cell phone is the new computer for these kids' generation. Their connection to the outside world is through the cell phone and not really the phone part. Do you notice that they actually never make phone calls? Their communication is through the texting and services like Facebook and Twitter. I have a work cell phone only and find that I use it frequently to connect with the outside world. I think that the cell phone will continue to be the device which is most used by generations.

The tablet, you say? Well for those with 4G plans, it's really just a big cell phone. The only difference is that the phone part has been removed. I know for my kids, except for calls from their parents, the phone part could be removed from their devices and they wouldn't even miss it.

Perhaps we should rename the cell phone? After all the phone is so infrequently used that it is becoming less and less relevant. Perhaps we should call them slates, mini-tabs, or cell thumbs since kids use their thumbs for texting so frequently that there's even a new condition named after the carpal tunnel like pains that sometimes occur due to frequent use.

Either way, they are a third place which has to be considered in the design of websites and services in today's world.