Archive for June, 2011
Monday, June 27th, 2011
Christians have always been known for gathering together in supportive groups. The internet is no exception. They have also provided alternatives to what the rest of the world has to offer. With the popularity of MySpace and Facebook, the Christian community has jumped on the bandwagon and provided their own alternatives, and some of them are down right cool!
- Christian.com – This social network for Christians provides plenty of opportunities for connecting with your Christian friends and church members. It also gives you the chance to meet and connect with other Christians, both near and far. You can also learn more about the ministries and churches that have pages within the network.
- Xianz.com – Not quite as easy to pronounce as facebook or myspace, but they are a growing community. Currently, they are listing over 40,000 strong in their membership list.
- PrayerGroup.org – If you’d rather join a smaller network which seems to be drawing a good international mix of people, you might want to try this one. With a focus on sharing prayer requests and support for one another, the faith foundation of this group seems to overshadow the social aspects.
- MyBlab.com – This social network site seems to be centered around the Christian music culture. Christian bands and musicians are encouraged to setup pages on the site. BLAB stands for Be Linked As Believers.
- MyPraize.com – Christian music is a subculture of its own, and this social network focuses in on that group of Christians whose praise music is central to their daily lives. It is not limited to one genre. It covers all the different flavors from traditional gospel to hip-hop to classic rock.
- iChurchNetwork.com – Free video streaming software is available for use by the members. They can post live video streaming on their site or use their video viewer on your own website. The site does also operate a store that sells Christian music and literature.
- TheDesperate.com – Cool? Very cool! The site already has been nicknamed ‘TheD’ and has a mobile version available. The D has a vibrant feel to it. If you’re looking for others who are serious about their faith, but individual in their expression of it, this seems to be the place.
- InChristNetwork.com – Another newer network, this social network includes chatting and strong encouragement to share your faith on a regular basis.
- GodXpression.com – This Christian social network has used advertising to help fund their site, something you don’t see on many of the others. Instead of music video to catch your attention on the homepage, you’ll find comedic video instead.
- LambsNest.com – Safe and clean environment is the motto of this new Christian social networking site. Their homepage fits that description in many ways. It is uncluttered (clean) and shows pictures of happy young people (safe). It’s still trying to make its place among the many choices available.
If you’re looking for a social networking alternative that will be supportive of your Christian faith and free from some of the social garbage that can be found on other social networks, you have plenty of wholesome alternatives to choose from.
Posted in internet service | Comments Off
Saturday, June 25th, 2011
The advancements in treatments for people diagnosed with autism are incredible. Scientists and doctors are discovering new things every day that can help autistic people live a normal and fulfilling life. Computers and other technology are playing a key role in these advancements. Check out 10 ways computers and technology help people with autism.
- Video modeling: Autistic children can learn by watching videos of specifically modeled skills. The learning is often better than face-to-face because watching the video is not as scary as having a real person in front of you. The child can watch the video over and over until they get the concept.
- Computer games: Many skills can be worked on through video games. Some autistic children can’t focus on a person’s whole face for example. Games can teach them to focus on multiple stimuli at the same time, which will then help them to cope better in the world. They will understand people better if they can focus on their whole face when they are speaking to them and understand and interpret what that person is saying correctly versus what often happens if they are just focusing on their mouth or nose.
- Computer aided teaching: Children who used computer aided teaching programs were more successful at learning than those we didn’t use the computer. The children could be more attentive to the character on the computer screen than they could their actual teacher, but have both together they learned better and at a faster rate.
- Byonetics: This is a technology that works to repair the parts of the brain affected by autism. This treatment can be used in conjunction with other treatments. The child listens to a soothing CD while falling asleep and buried under the soothing sounds are the frequencies that are repairing the brain while the child sleeps.
- Early diagnosis: The gene analysis technology that has come about over the last few years is making great gains on diagnosing autism earlier and earlier. There is a greater chance for someone with autism to get the help they need to live a normal and productive life if they are diagnosed early.
- Imaging: Technologies like the MRI and Pet Scans can map the brain and allow doctors to detect differences in the brains of an autistic person and potentially learn how they can best treat that person.
- Voice Activated Communications Aids: VOCA’s help children “say” what they want to say, but are unable to say it for themselves. This item uses pictures that can be customized for the child’s specific needs. The child can look for the picture of the toilet and press a button that will say that they need to use the restroom or something like that. Many autistic people are unable to speak and need alternative methods to communicate.
- Mind reading software: This software captures examples of people showing different emotions. This will help autistic children behave appropriately in social situations. Often times autistic children will have trouble understanding why someone who is jumping up and down and smiling is doing that. It’s just a scary thing to them. If they understand that this person is just very happy then they have no reason to be afraid of them or to act out.
- Virtual Reality: A system allowing children to be in what seems to be real world situations to learn what to do without the dangers that would exist in the real world. This is still in it’s early stages of development and they have had some issues with autistic patients being willing to wear the headgear.
- Eye tracking technology: This allows doctors to get a read on social competency of a particular patient. Depending on where their eyes focus during a given video will give clues to doctors and allow them to treat the patients appropriately instead of guessing. Researchers are also using this technology to investigate the core of autism and to help figure out how to treat and cure it.
Posted in internet service | Comments Off
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Facebook is the hub of social activity for many teenagers.Unfortunately, just like any teen ‘hangout’ it can be a source of danger and negative influence, if not monitored. Kids want their privacy and don’t always tell their parents when they experience negative things online. Cyberbullying through facebook has become an ongoing problem with teens. Your teen could be on the receiving or giving end of this issue without you being aware. Inappropriate content sharing, viruses and sexual predators are other issues parents need to watch for on their kid’s facebook pages. So how can you monitor what is happening on their pages without standing over their shoulder when they are online or on their cell?
- Befriend their friends – This is not very subtle and may not even work, but give it a try. Send friend requests to their closest friends. If you’re friends with their friends on facebook, you’ll see the conversations they have with each other.
- Grandma – If their grandmothers are on facebook, have them send friend requests to their grandchildren. Kids easily say no to their parents, but grandparents generally are not seen as the enemy that parents are. If Grandma cares as much about your kids as you do, she’ll keep an eye out for suspicious behavior for you.
- Youth Pastor – Youth pastors love to use facebook to keep in contact with the kids in their group. Make sure your kids are facebook friends with their youth pastor or youth leaders. If you have any special concerns, share them with the youth pastor so that he can keep his eyes peeled for you.
- Be facebook friends – Why shouldn’t you be facebook friends with your kids? Some parents have simply made this a requirement in order for their kids to create a page in the first place. Of course, facebook friends still only see what is posted on the wall and not the private messaging that goes on. Kids know this and will use the private messaging to avoid public exposure.
- Keylogger Software – This is a software that records every entry that is made on your computer, that includes passwords. By using this behind the scenes software, you can capture your kids facebook passwords so that you can log on to their accounts. You can also read what they have typed in emails and instant messaging. It is ‘spyware’ that works for you, instead of against you.
- Norton Online Family – Norton is well known for its security software. It has also created software for keeping your family safe. It can monitor their social network activities, including instant messaging. It also has the capability of setting time limits for when, and how long, they spend logged onto a specific site like facebook.
- Piggyback – This is another family monitoring software that integrates with facebook. It is primarily set to function as a gaming monitor and will let you know all the games your child is actively involved in online each day. It also has a system of rewarding your child for positive behavior.
- TrueCare – This monitoring software requires the cooperation of your child. You must either be a facebook friend with your child or have your child’s login information in order for this to work. The point of the software is to collect the information for you and send you alerts only if certain words appear. It is focused mainly on the protective aspect of monitoring their activities.
- SocialShield – This is a very comprehensive program which will monitor your child’s activity on social networking sites regardless of what computer or cellular device they login from. It will notify you of potentially dangerous activity, including activity that could simply be harmful to their reputation.
- Password Holding – This may not seem very ‘clever’ but it certainly is a wise solution for parents. Simply require that you know the passwords used for their social networking accounts so that you can log into them at any time and then do so at least once a week. While you are logged onto their page, be sure and check their ‘archived messages’. They may not even realize that this option is there. You will be able to read any conversations they have had with their friends, even if they were done through the instant messaging feature.
The teenage years are critical and difficult times. In spite of their protests to the contrary, your kids still need your protection and your direction. To ignore their facebook activity is to ignore your responsibility as a parent.
Posted in Internet Service | Comments Off
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
The Catholic Church has been around for centuries. One of the things that make Catholicism unique is their rituals and traditions steeped in many generations of Catholics. There is nothing more sacred to the Catholics than the Pope, and in extension, the Vatican. Does it seem strange that the Vatican would use the Internet? Isn’t the church like any other business? Probably not since they are non-profits and aren’t really soliciting people from a data list. I’m guessing they don’t send out a lot of SPAM to people trying to get them to come to church on Sunday or Saturday night. Check out 10 Ways the Vatican Uses the Internet.
- Vatican Website: There is an official Vatican website that is quite extensive in explaining the church’s position on various news stories. The one most striking was the position on the abuse of minors. The site can be viewed in various languages and contains all sorts of historical data regarding the church and it’s archives. Surprisingly there is even a tab called, “Vatican Secret Archives”.
- A Platform for Change: The Vatican is encouraging priests to use the Internet to reach people that are using the Internet in a sinful manner. This is a new day and the church must stay up to date if they hope to stay relevant in today’s world and with today’s young people.
- Social Media: The Vatican is trying to use You Tube, Facebook and Twitter to get their message out and to open up a dialogue with people in an open and non-threatening, non-intimidating way. There are Facebook pages dedicated to Pope John Paul II.
- Promoting Tourism: There’s a lot of information about the historical significance of the Vatican. The museums as well have a lot of information posted as well. There are tons of pictures depicting how beautiful the Vatican is and encouraging people to visit and tour the Vatican.
- Radio Vatican: Through the Internet it is now possible to hear radio programs from all over the world. As you can imagine many topics are covered, but mostly discussions about being Catholic and learning more about what it means to be Catholic in today’s society. The Catholic Church’s position on every day topics and current events.
- Vatican TV: While you can’t watch this 24/7 you can watch broadcasts of what is going on at the Vatican through the Internet to your computer. Church services are most common occurrences to see on Vatican TV.
- Warning System: You’ve heard about people getting on their soapbox to rant and rave about a topic of concern. Well, the Internet is that soapbox for the Catholic church. The Vatican believes that the Internet is making it easier for people to find Satan and to find others to worship Satan. The church is using the Internet to preach against many Internet issues such as pornography and Satanism.
- iPhone app: For Communication Day the Vatican released an app for iPhones that allows people to have an open dialog of friendship and learning. The Vatican has really made it a priority to reach out to their younger members by way of technology.
- Prayerbook app: This specific application on Facebook is to allow the sharing and discussing of traditional Catholic prayers. You can also see different passages from the Liturgy of the Hours. I believe it to be the hope of the Vatican that if all of this information is readily available that people will make use of it.
- www.Pope2You.net: This is a different website where people can focus more on what the Pope is saying instead of the more formal Vatican website which seems to have a lot more do to with tourism. This website has movie reviews as well as digital postcards that you can send via e-mail.
Posted in internet service | Comments Off
Sunday, June 12th, 2011
For years, we’ve lived with cords and cables all around our house. The television, the stereo and the computer have all had multiple cords and cables connected to them. We’ve done our best to try and hide them out of site, but they have always been decorating nightmare. They’ve limited where we can place our electronic equipment and by doing so, limited where other furniture is placed as well. Well, the day has finally arrived. It is time to GO WIRELESS!
- Cell phone only – The first thing to go should be your landline. Even if you’ve used cordless phones, they still needed to be plugged into a telephone jack somewhere in the house. The additional extensions also needed to be plugged into electrical outlets. Get rid of the wires and the expense and find a good cellular plan that gives good reception at your home, and your phone calls will be truly ‘cordless’.
- Bluetooth printer – Printers have always been an issue. They have needed to be physically connected to the computer or computer network in some way. This limited where you could place the bulky machines. They often ended up taking up much needed space on your computer desk. With bluetooth technology, you can now connect your computer to a bluetooth enabled printer with no cables at all. All you need is an electrical out let to plug it into for its power.
- Wireless mouse and keyboard – This one another hassle for our computer desks. We had to find a way to route our keyboard and mouse cords to our computer. We also had to keep that computer close enough for those cords to reach it. No more! Our keyboard and our mouse have both lost their tales and can be operated cord free.
- Wireless speakers – More tangles of wires connected our speakers to our computer to give us good sound quality. We can still have the speakers, but we can order them without the wires or have our speakers built into our computer and eliminate the extra units.
- Wireless ISP – We even have the option of connecting to the internet itself without using cables. We can use a wireless card from our cell phone provider or we can contract with a wireless ISP that will deliver the internet to their wireless modem sitting in our ‘wireless’ house.
- Wireless headset – No more cords are hanging from our ears as we listen to our phone, our ipod or talk over the internet. We can wear a bluetooth headset that provides wireless communicate to our ears and from our mouth.
- Get rid of the stereo – We don’t need the stereo to play our music anymore. We play it on our computer, our ipod, cell phone or tablet computer. We can play our CD’s in the computer, if we so desire, or just copy the music from them into digital files that can be shared on all our devices.
- Get rid of the TV – We really don’t need it anymore. With the improvement of the screen quality used for computer monitors and a highspeed connection to the internet, we can now watch television shows on the internet. We can access all kinds of television programs online and watch them without commercials on our computer.
- Get rid of the DVD player – Remember when we all had to have the big entertainment center to contain our television, our DVD player and our stereo and speakers? Those entertainment centers aren’t selling anymore. We play our DVD’s on our computer, or we simply download the movies direct from the internet and skip the DVD’s all together.
- Get rid of the radio/alarm – Even that little electronic item sitting next to your bed isn’t needed anymore. Your cellphone has an alarm built into it and you want to put it on your nightstand while it charges during the night anyways. You might as well get rid of the alarm clock, and radio you can access on your ipod and computer, so why have a radio that’s too big to put in your pocket?
Now, if they could just make our coffee pot wireless, THEN we’d really be making progress!
Posted in Internet Service | Comments Off
Sunday, June 5th, 2011
Police officers in Scotland have been testing a new tool which uses Twitter as a safety communication alternative. Its following needs a little more time to see if it can achieve the kind of growth necessary to make it a viable tool. Here are ten possibilities that police officers might use the Twitter app for.
- Receive crime related tips. The public could tweet to their local officers about possible criminal activities that they notice in their neighborhoods. ‘How’d you know we were here?’ the criminal asks. ‘A little ‘birdie’ told me,’ is the officer’s reply.
- Relay safety information. Sending out tweets to notify neighborhoods of dangerous situations, or simply reminders about basic safe practices, is another way they could use Twitter for safety.
- Seek witnesses of a crime. Law enforcement is often seeking witnesses and others who have information about a crime. Twitter would be a great way to broadcast those requests.
- Receive citizen’s concerns. Twitter is a conversational tool. Police officers can receive input as well as give input. Citizens would feel that their police department was much more accessible.
- Emergency alerts. Occasionally, the police need to notify a neighborhood of events in a very short time. Information can move very quickly over the Twitter network.
- Missing persons reports. Twitter would also be a great way to get out the word on missing individuals, whether it is a child, an elderly person or just someone who hasn’t returned home when they should. Twitter can reach many people who wouldn’t be reached by television or radio.
- Re-routing around accidents. Accidents can shut down traffic. Letting people know that they need to seek a different route in these instances is very difficult to do. Sending out a tweet could be very effective in this situation.
- Detour reminders. Detours due to construction tend start on Monday mornings, an easy thing to forget following a weekend off. Detour reminds could be sent out via Twitter to remind commuters of the detours start date.
- Traffic slowdowns. Even when traffic isn’t completely stopped or being re-routed, bottle-necks occur during rush hours that might be avoided if tweets were being sent out to notify commuters of problem areas ahead.
- Neighborhood crime notices – Often times burglaries occur in your neighborhood, and you aren’t even aware they have happened. Sending out neighborhood crime notices could put neighbors on the alert and hopefully prevent repeats in the same area.
The effectiveness of Twitter has already been demonstrated in marketing and social networking of many kinds. It would only make sense to make use of a tool that is so readily available. It remains to be seen whether you will start to see tweets from your local police station, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
Posted in Internet Service | Comments Off