Tico Byte - April, 2009

Dear PC Club members,

The next meeting of your club will be this coming Saturday, April 18th, at 9am at the Pan American School.  This month we will discuss TV news networks on your computer, DVD Shrink, helpful websites, web site building on the club site, and progress on the PC Club June party (pool, eats, new location and lots of fun).  So come early and commune with your friends and acquaintances over free coffee and donuts.  I hope to see you there.

Now on with the byte.

Item 1: social networking works

Penny Ireland's family is so scattered around the world that Facebook, the popular social networking site, has become the family's No. 1 way to communicate.  "We call it our living room," the 56-year-old mother said by phone from her home in Houston, Texas. "Everybody can tell what everybody else is doing."  "Everybody" includes Ireland's five kids and her 83-year-old mother, who has a Facebook profile she accesses daily, Ireland said. 


Whole story: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/04/13/social.network.older/index.html 


Item 2: We all need this  (Actually, I see this as big in the future.)


Starting in March, Ford (F) began offering Web access through an optional, $1,195 in-dash PC to buyers of some of its trucks, including the F-150 pickup. Aimed at small business owners such as contractors, the PC lets users surf the Web using the Opera browser on Sprint Nextel's (S) wireless network. "There's a need for productivity, a need for connectivity," says Ed Pleet, a product manager at Ford. Other automakers, wireless service providers, and a host of companies hope to tap into that same need, equipping vehicles with a broadening array of high-tech services, such as Internet access and TV services. "One could see countless opportunities when you put Internet in the vehicle," Pleet says.  


Whole story:




Item 3: This is practical


Consumers are cooling to cable. And they're not very satisfied with satellite TV. In fact, according to consumer research firm GfK Roper Consulting, about 40% of those surveyed during mid-2008 and early 2009 said they'd be willing to do without cable or satellite TV. Instead, they'd just as soon watch programming on free sites like Google's (GOOG) YouTube or buy videos à la carte from Netflix (NFLX). Of those surveyed, only 37% said they were getting good value for the price they pay for cable or satellite subscriptions.  The trend is showing up at some of the biggest cable and satellite TV providers. Subscriber totals dropped last year for Comcast (CMCSA), Dish Networks (DISH), and Cablevision Systems (CVC), while Netflix sales are growing apace, and traffic to video sites including Hulu, owned by General Electric (GE) and News Corp. (NWS), is surging. 





Item 4: Nice video on Windows keyboard shortcuts at http://cnettv.cnet.com/2001-1_53-50005770.html



Item 5: Did you all see the new add image function in Gmail??


Go to your gmail account and go to 'Tools'.  Look for the add image option and enable it.  It allows you to put images directly into your email.  It's neat.



Item 6: For those of you into 'cloud computing', here's an interesting site


Windows/Mac/Linux: If you're interested in the idea of cloud computing and remote access to your files but a bit paranoid about putting your data on some third party server, Tonido is a great compromise. Tonido brings cloud computing home by using your computer as the storage server and host for the applications. Once you've installed Tonido, the only function the Tonido servers themselves perform is keeping track of your IP to make remote logins easier for you. Tonido has a juke box for remote media streaming, a photo organizer, a blog-like personal journal that has support for web clippings and Twitter integration, easy file sharing with Webshare folder management, and a workspace with calendar, notes, and task lists. In addition to making it easier for you to remotely access your files and work with them regardless of the applications available on the remote machine you're using, Tonido has a built in P2P service which allows you to network with friends and colleagues to share files and collaborate on projects.





Item 7: An interesting article on Colombia and digital tools


Berlín, Colombia, is an onion town; the pungent aroma hangs over the surrounding fields. Almost as pervasive as the green stalks shooting up from the ground are the mobile phones found in the hands of its almost 1,000 residents. The town is removed from modern life, but wireless communications and media introduced by outside companies are haphazardly thrusting the campesinos into the present, and on to the future.

Wired.com photographer Bryan Derballa reports from an isolated farming community coming to terms with videogames, the internet and global communication. 


Whole story: http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/multimedia/2009/04/gallery_countryside_tech 



Item 8: The best computer friend you ever had


At the next club meeting.  Come and find him or her.  They are there.