Friday, June 23, 2006

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog June 23, 2006

Talking About Technology!! tightening up
It took some recent scrutiny in the press and a $30 million lawsuit to get to tighten up its security. These social networking sites are full of predators waiting to meet our kids. MySpace officials announced this week that anyone over 18 years old will be required to know the e-mail or the first and last name of any member they want to reach who is 14 to 15 years old. Also, any MySpace member will be able to make their profiles available only to their friends, keeping them concealed from strangers.

These changes, however, will not be enough. Don’t wait for the web sites to change before you start protecting your kids. Parents, you need to know what sites your kids are visiting. You need to learn the lingo that kids are using online. How many of you know what “POS” stands for? Well if you see that acronym pop up on your kids’ screen, it means they know you are looking over their shoulder.
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Browser wars mean great things for us
Browser battles are heating up. Years ago, Microsoft pretty much ended Netscape’s rule as the browser of choice with its Internet Explorer 6. In the past few years, however, the software giant is feeling the pressure from upstarts such as Mozilla’s Firefox. As these companies keep trying to out duel each other, they keep making improvements that make us more efficient and safe. The new browsers will include greater search capabilities, antiphishing applications and have greater levels of security than we’ve ever seen.
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Hackers get their degrees
If you can’t beat them, join them I guess. The current lack of security experts in the IT world has spurred one university in Scotland to offer a degree in hacking. The University of Abertay in Dundee next semester will offer a course in “Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures.” The course description reads: “In the same way that police detectives need to know how thieves can steal, computer systems administrators need to know what hackers can do." This is a really good idea. Cops are trained to think like criminals, but I just hope they don’t start offering classes on hotwiring Hondas.
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Say goodbye to the 40-hour-a-week guy. Ward Clever, we barely knew you. According to a recent study, new gadgets and technology have made our lives so efficient, that we actually cram 32 hours of activity into a 24-hour day. I knew it was getting out of hand, but there is an insurgence of people who check their PDAs before turning on their coffee pots. Is it really worth it? Ed Reilly, of the American Management Association, says leading these extremely hectic lives leaves people feeling “overwhelmed by the multiplicity of their lives.”
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Off topic:
Let’s hear it for “Jean Van de Velde!”
Is the “C” word a little strong? I won’t say “it,” but I will take a poke. Last Sunday, Phil was in position to win his first U.S. Open title and fulfill the dream he’s had since Papa Mickelson built a green in his childhood backyard. You failed to hit a fairway the entire round. All you needed was par to win and bogey for a playoff. Double should have NEVER come into play. I don’t know what was worse: Hitting driver off the tee and smacking the hospitality tent, or going for the miraculous recovery with your second that ultimately only traveled 25 yards. Take your medicine, punch out and make your bogey. With that New York crowd in your pocket, you were certain to have all the support you would have needed in a playoff Monday. But, let’s not just blame Phil. Hey Monty! Hey Furyk! Hey Padraig! Where did you guys go down the stretch?
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MLB in the iPod era
iPods certainly have taken over everyday life, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier in this case. If it makes my hometown Rockies play better, I’m all for it. With help from the video staff, Rockies players are loading their video iPods up with game footage of the opposition. "We're using Apple's technology as best we can. We figured if you can watch music videos by rock 'n' roll and by country, why can't you watch at bats by San Francisco and pitches by Jason Schmidt?" said Brian Jones, Rockies assistant video coordinator.
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Has “reality” gone too far?
Here’s another story about a baseball team using technology. I played baseball growing up. I once dreamed of being a professional player or manager. I guess I need to move to the outskirts of Chicago. If I did, I’d have the chance play manager for the Schaumburg Flyers, an independent baseball team. What a great idea. The club and MSN have teamed up to allow fans to vote on the everyday moves of the club, including setting the batting order and choosing positions.
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“Speling skilz r croocial”
Caitlin “Cambell,” or more appropriately Campbell, probably spent countless hours studying and preparing to compete in the National Spelling Bee. All her hard work paid off in that she earned a spot in the finals. Too bad, however, that a billboard in her hometown of Amarillo, Texas, to honor her, had her name misspelled.
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Site o’ the week
Have you ever found “alternative” uses for products you buy? Join the club. Well if you’ve ever used Alka-Seltzer® to polish jewelry, or Reddi-wip® as a substitute shaving cream, then this site is for you.
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John W. Scherer
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