Category: Computer & Technology

February 24, 2020 Off

Internet Child Safety Software Options

By Tammy Schneider

Increased access to the internet and social media presents countless opportunities every day for your child to be exposed to mature content, bullying, or inappropriate interaction with others. While threats abound, there are also tools available to help you monitor online activity and block harmful content.

Responsible parents set boundaries, and it's important that safe internet and social media usage behaviors are reinforced early and consistently. These programs and software help you do that.

Parental Controls on Browser Settings

Firefox: Download the FoxFilter add-on , and then adjust your settings under Options. In the sensitivity settings, check off screens for URL address, title, meta content, and body content. After adding keyword filters and sensitivity, navigate over to Settings. In the dropdown menu, select Privacy, and disable website tracking

Internet Explorer: Navigate to Tools/Internet Options/Content and open up Parental Controls. Here, you can set time restrictions so your child isn't using the computer when you're not able to monitor it. There's an extensive content advisor for different categories and slider bars, allowing you to screen which sites get through. Choose which sites and apps are allowable by navigating to the Games section under Windows.

Google Chrome: Chrome doesn't offer any parental controls, but you can download third-party apps in the Chrome store, but you're better off using a different default browser for your child's internet use.

Microsoft Family Safety

While it requires Windows 8+, the Microsoft Family Safety download settings allow parents to monitor and set limits on the time their child spends online, which games, apps and pages they visit, and screen and block specific pages. While Windows 7 includes some parental settings, the Family Safety program provides an extra layer of protection and screening on internet use.

Net Nanny

This paid program offers all of the options available on the free Microsoft Family Safety download,plus SNS message monitoring. Net Nanny settings can screen for chat rooms, blogs, and other social media (including Facebook). Available for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and Android, Net Nanny monitors both home computing and mobile devices. Set screens to block, mask, warn or hide questionable content on web pages and even instant messenger services. One neat feature is the Profanity Mask, which allows you to access pages that have profanity on them without blocking the page entirely. It simply provides a screen for the inappropriate language, an especially handy tool for use on those awful comment sections.

Make sure your child understands the boundaries you set, and don't be afraid to enforce limitations on internet access and use. Even if your own child is responsible and abides by your limits, there's no controlling what others may say and do. When you can't be there to make sure your child is safe, provide an extra level of security.

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February 20, 2020 Off

Boomers, Computers and Progress

By Tammy Schneider

My first job was at McDonalds when I was 15 years old. We had no computers or cash registers. We were armed with a pencil and an order pad with a cash drawer under the counter. We wrote out the order and the amounts, then calculated the total with the sales tax. Yes, without a calculator or a computer we could add, subtract, and multiply. Good thing we had to memorize all of those “multiplication tables!”

We also did the impossible, we counted back the change! The kids that work at McDonalds now don’t need any of this. They look at the picture on the keys and the computerized register does all of the work. They don’t even need to read, just know what each item looks like. The computer even counts the change! Have you ever handed the cashier a penny after he/she has entered the cash tendered amount? If you have, then you have probably noticed the confused dazed look of fright that comes over the cashier. You have also most likely had to tell them how much change to give you.

Remember how exciting it was when VCRs came out and we no longer needed to miss those movies or shows we wanted to see? Remember the flashing light on the front that the instruction manual failed to clearly tell us how to correct? Most of us were so threatened by new technology that we enlisted our teenagers to resolve those flashing light issues. Isn’t it amazing how quickly they were able to just instinctively know how to handle the things that stumped us!

Speaking of finding information, remember those encyclopedias that took up half the room? When we didn’t know the answer to something, we looked it up in books or asked our parents and grandparents. Even during our adolescent rebellions when we knew our parents were clueless, they sometimes had answers we could accept. Now every piece of information known to man is at our fingertips on the internet. Our entire problem solving process transitioned to computers and all but eliminated jobs for those encyclopedia sales people. Have we kept up? When you have a question or need information is the computer the first thing you think of? Chances are if you are a “boomer” it isn’t, we still tend to go to the familiar books first.

I even remember that we watched television without a remote control. We had to get up, walk to the TV, and actually turn the knob to change the channel or volume. Can you believe that? I still don’t know what all of those remote buttons do. Think of all of the things that we have once depended upon and later watched them become extinct. Things like carbon paper for example were once a staple item and now have very little value or usefulness.

I remember back in the early 1990s when the typewriter on my desk was replaced with a computer. I was warned that our company was going to start issuing computers to everyone and then it happened. I came in the next morning and stared at that big monstrosity and trembled as I thought about pushing the on button. What if I pushed the wrong button and it exploded on my desk! I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and then I did the un-thinkable, I joined the tech savvy crowd and turned on my first computer. That was easy enough but what was I supposed to do next? I had no idea how to even type up a memo or send an email. I didn’t even know how to use the “help” feature. I was in luck though because I had a teenager at home! She had already solved the VCR issues so I knew what I needed to do.

I went to the store and bought a computer. My daughter came to my rescue and hooked it all up for me and then started teaching me how to use it. It was actually a good bonding time and fed her beliefs that she knew more than I did. Little by little she helped me learn to use my computer and now I can’t imagine working without one. I don’t know how we managed. In workplaces today, there are untold numbers of people that use the computer 100% of their day. We don’t even need filing cabinets any longer! When a storm knocks out the power, there is nothing to do except maybe dust our keyboards.

My 30 year old daughter helps individuals with computer issues as a side job. She is still amazed at how many of us are so threatened and/or clueless about computers. I still find myself going to her for answers impulsively rather than just using google. I thought the process of finding answers to questions was more difficult than it actually is. Then I watched her open google and then type in “how do you get red Kool-aid out of carpet?” She had the answer in seconds. I would have likely tried something like “carpet care” and had to wade through pages and pages of search results.

Recently I received an email from another boomer friend warning of a deadly computer virus that would wipe out our hard drives and send the same virus to everyone in our address book. Being the good friend that I am I sent the warning to everyone I know, including my computer geek daughter. I was fearful that I would lose tremendous amounts of information that I have stored on my computer. Immediately my geek kid sent me a response informing that the virus warning was an old hoax and that there was nothing to fear. She attached a link to a website that can help us discern what is truth or fiction. The website is 1)www.truthorfiction.com. Imagine that, we can even discern truth or fiction by going on-line. This is yet another example of how I think like a boomer instead of a technologically evolved person. This was also another opportunity for my daughter to laugh at how “old” I am.

I of course explained to her that we boomers are just fearful of all things computer that we don’t fully understand. Although it is no longer terrifying to turn on my pc and I have learned how to use the “help” function and the wonderful “undo” button, I am still easily rattled when I get these “a virus is coming” emails or need to do something new. I know of CEOs that still don’t have computers at their desks. They are not keeping up with the times as much as they think they are. According to the article 2) “Diagnosis: Internet Phobia” in the April 25, 2005 issue of Newsweek on page 74 Nadine Joseph and Brad Stone reported that “fewer than 31% of seniors older than 65 have ventured online, compared with more than two thirds of the younger baby boomers, 50 to 64. Of seniors older than 65 whose annual household income is less than $20,000 a year, an even slighter 15% have gone online.” According to the website 3)www.clickz.com 63% of boomers aged 55 – 64 have computers in their homes and of those over 65 years old only 34% do. These statistics taken from the 2005 US Census Bureau also report that 62% of all households have computers. I imagine future statistics will show the numbers are still growing in boomer households. Progress is “booming” and boomers need to embrace it!

Sources:
1) www.truthorfiction.com
2) Diagnosis: Internet Phobia in the April 25, 2005 issue of Newsweek on page 74 written by Nadine Joseph and Brad Stone
3) www.clickz.com…

January 31, 2020 Off

UTC – Internet and World Wide Web Time System: UTC has Replaced GMT as the Universal Time Standard

By Tammy Schneider

UTC – Internet and World Wide Web Time System: UTC has Replaced GMT as the Universal Time Standard

Many people around the world wonder when the “Message Detail” of their email shows the time in UTC, and not in GMT. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is widely considered as the international time system, but “UTC” is still largely unclear in the minds of many, and causes confusion.

In a casual sense, UTC and GMT are not different from each other. Therefore, a casual observer may assume “GMT” wherever “UTC” time is mentioned. But it may help to understand UTC more precisely because in technical terms, UTC has already replaced GMT as a standard time system. In fact, UTC replaced GMT as the basis of the primary reference time scale in most time zones way back in 1972. In the United States, UTC has been adopted as legal time in the Title 15 of the U.S. Code.

In technical terms, UTC is more advanced than GMT because it takes into account the gradual slowdown in the rotational speed of earth. UTC or “Coordinated Universal Time” is based on International Atomic Time. The technical difference between UTC and GMT may not be more than a small fraction of a second. Therefore, to a casual user it does not make a real difference. But in a technical context, where very high precision timings are required, UTC is the preferred alternative.

Internet and the World Wide Web

Most Internet and World Wide Web standards use the UTC time system. The Network Time Protocol that synchronizes the computer clocks over the Internet with that of the atomic clock makes use of UTC.

International Broadcasters

International Broadcasters, such as the BBC World Service, or even the amateur radio bands make use of UTC when they have to declare their broadcast timings and schedules.

 

Aviation

Aviation industry also clocks its timings in UTC. It is used for making weather forecasts, preparing flight plans, managing air traffic control clearances, and maps. UTC helps to eliminate confusion about time zones and Daylight Saving Time.

Military and Space Systems

Advanced military and space systems also use UTC for their time and date records. For defence equipment and communications equipment that requires very high degree of timings precision, UTC is the timing system of choice.

UTC makes use of high precision atomic clocks, shortwave time signals, and satellites to maintain its stringent levels of accuracy for a variety of scientific, navigational and communication purposes. That makes it the most advanced and dependable time system in the world today from a scientific perspective.…

June 12, 2019 Off

Small Computer Desks: Efficient Solution for Space Constraints

By Tammy Schneider

These days most people cannot afford to have very big houses and have constraint of space, particularly when we are living in apartments. Situation in the offices is also similar due to high cost of commercial spaces or their high rentals. It is important to plan saving of the space. The most common thing used these days both in home and offices is a computer desk.

Small computer desks are becoming more popular due to their inherent saving of space. Thus they indirectly prove cost efficient in your office or home. The person can sit in a small space. The small desks are even suitable for children and young people. In case you have a very small room, a smaller computer table will be the right choice. A small computer desk is provided with several shelves for saving the space. All accessories such as printers, scanners etc can be placed in different compartments made by the shelves.

There are desks available with small compartment on top of the desk. These are more suitable, as they provide extra storage space for your stationary, documents, reference books etc. A separate stand is also a choice for accommodating the PC unit. The keyboard tray is pull out type, which is the best way of space deployment. But you require adjusting the height of the keyboard tray so that the wrist movement is convenient to work.

A small desk for your PC has two way benefits. They are inexpensive and at the same time they can be very easily assembled.

Those people who have lot of collection of CDs or DVDs also can get small desks where the proper compartments are provisioned to keep up to 100 CDs or DVDs disks.

By providing the shelves for discs, retractable tray for key board, compartments for PC accessories, printer, scanners, etc. and space for stationary the desk is quite compact and perfectly suits the need of small rooms in offices and at home.

You can efficiently utilize your space. It is important to see that the desk is comfortable to sit for all in a relaxed position without any strain on the legs or body. Leg space should be sufficient. If the desk is too small and inconvenient to work, it may affect your body's posture severely and may cause back or neck pain.

It is better to know about the material used for making the table and select the table made from right material. The computer desks available are made from high density MDF or plywood. MDF desks are stronger. Desks made of ply are not durable and may sag or droop down soon. Mostly the surface of desks is laminated with the PVC which gives nice look and resistance from abrasion.

It is better to have a small desk provided with plastic buffers under its feet. This helps to protect the floor from damages. The feet of desk should grip the floor properly. They will stop the desk skidding over the floor.

Most of the desks are designed on principles of ergonomics. Ergonomics, if you describe briefly, helps in proper designing of furniture or work places etc. so that the different parts of a human body are in proper positions and your posture is not harming you when working on desk. Desks are also space effective. They are a perfect purchase for a small room. You can buy a desk which is stylish in appearance. There is ample of choice from the latest trendy designs.…

April 30, 2018 Off

The Great Divide of Radiohead's OK Computer

By Tammy Schneider

Radiohead – OK Computer (Cassette) - Discogs

Let’s face it: “Creep” was and is a good song. If you say that you don’t feel awesome when the distortion kicks in for the first time before the chorus, then you’re probably lying to yourself. However, there are plenty of Radiohead “purists” out there who disagree and even reject their entire debut album, Pablo Honey, as part of the Radiohead canon. Still, many Radiohead fans will say that the quality of their music began to decline after the release of The Bends in 1995. This debate surely has a great deal to do with the disconnect created by their landmark 1997 release, OK Computer.

The Bends saw lead-singer Thom Yorke and company looking deep within to find their inspirado, often flirting with outright lyrical depression much as they had with Pablo Honey. While the lyrics often remain morbid on OK Computer, it is not an internalized gloom they are drawing from but rather an external paranoia. “Phew! For a minute there I lost myself,” Yorke croons again and again at the end of the gestapo-ballad, “Karma Police.” The robotic spoken word of “Fitter Happier” satirizes the conventional middle class drone and further emphasizes the theme of a growing disconnect between society, human interaction and emotions.

While the lyrics alone separate OK Computer from its predecessors, it is the music that makes this album a standout in Radiohead’s catalog and perhaps their best work. They had merely hinted at this sort of diversity, creativity and musical range in their previous albums. The songs on this album sound absolutely full to the brim with textures so vivid you can touch them.

Lead-guitarist Jonny Greenwood had never before been able to summon the tones and effects present in such songs as “Subterranean Homesick Alien” and Radiohead’s first true piece of theater, “Paranoid Android.” It pays off. With Greenwood’s guitar sorcery in the spotlight the songs take on a life of their own and make for a listening experience that is unique and exhilarating.

Silence is even utilized masterfully, providing space to breathe on the bare bones finale “The Tourist,” and nearly unbearable tension on “Exit Music (For a Film).” The diversity of moods, which help the album hold up under repeated listens, range from the beautiful disappointment of “Let Down” to the disturbing psychosis of “Climbing up the Walls.”

OK Computer is Radiohead’s early career masterpiece. It was the album that solidified them as critical darlings and ensured them millions of fans throughout the world. While The Bends hinted at a desire to cast aside the conventional post-grunge Brit-pop style, it still clung to it instinctively. The Bends is generally not considered their masterpiece, but it certainly gave them the confidence to make an album like OK Computer. And with the absolute faith of their label and a massive fan base, OK Computer allowed them to make Kid A which allowed them to make whatever the hell they wanted. Yet OK Computer has become a musical Demilitarized Zone among Radiohead fans. Early career fans say that OK Computer is good but led to the “atrocities” of their later career; so-called “purist” Radiohead fans say the album ushered in the the band’s glory years. Either way, OK Computer stands as a bastion for 90s rock music and should be on any list of best albums of the decade.

www.buy.com/prod/ok-computer/q/loc/109/60135192.html

www.jr.com/product/music/pm/_256883/

www.rhapsody.com/radiohead/ok-computer

www.tower.com/ok-computer-radiohead-cd/wapi/105789668

www.overstock.com/Books-Movies-Music-Games/Radiohead-OK-Computer/67570/product.html…