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Technology Corner: 2005 Gift Giving

abstract:Each holiday season we review the latest technology gifts to thrill your loved one, and keep friends and family on top of the electronic media wave. There is something here  to please everyone.


December 21, 2005
 The Blackberry Cell Phone: Don't let the patent debacle steer you away from this awesome technology - a must for business people on the go. The only phone that allows you to send and receive email (other phones use SMS, Simple Messaging Service, which cannot communicate email to computers email)

Apple 60 GB iPod with Video Playback Black

Now you can put all your music in your pocket and still have room for practically everything else. Catch up on your reading with audiobooks. Browse your memories with photo slideshows, complete with music. Watch video podcasts, music videos and your favorite TV shows. Consult your calendar or look up an email address. Even check the time in another city or time your fastest lap. The new iPod keeps it all close at hand.

Got A Digitial Camera yet? You can click and save, e-mail, print, manipulate into art, and simply dump the duds. I've got the Canon G3 which is so easy to use, and is available new or used from Amazon. While you're at it, might as well throw in a bigger memory card (1000 photos!!) and a Canon Photo printer, the prices for these things have never been more affordable!

The iPod Holds 10,000 songs, tons of talking books, and is smaller than your cell phone; you can listen with hi-fidelity ear phones and groove anywhere. (Snowboarding gear has a spot for the ipod in their jackets and are wired to deliver sound up the sleeve to a touque or a helmut.)  Or you can power the iPod up with mini speakers and blast out a party anywhere! Visit the apple store online for more details. Better yet, buy it, you won't go wrong. Note: itunes has 5,000 audio books, both classic and current. For Mac and Windows.

iSight Once again by Apple, this baby lets you see your msn/e-mail partner over the Internet live for FREE and it's so easy anyone can set it up in minutes! If your folks live far away, your spouse travels frequently, kids are at college, or you are just plain tired of LD phone charges, this is for you! "The size of a Hostess Ho Ho, smooth motion, full screen & very little delay" says David Pogue's in this great article in Ciruits/NYT Dec 4th. Only costs $149, but of course you'll need two.


e-books Have you delved into these yet? My friend swears by them.  Here's a website to research with links to resources. Pick the one you like and start collecting your e-library. Advantages: public domain works (includes most classics) are generally available as free downloads, plus you can read while your partner sleeps! (It's got its own illumination.)

The ABC's of Browsers

A browser is a client software that you open when you want to surf the web. It reads the html (hypertext markup language) document and transforms it into sentences and images using commands that determine what font size and type to use, whether to format the page a certain way, whether there will be a hyperlink inserted to take you to a different web page, etc. Here's an example of html:

The ABC's of Browsers

A browser is a client software that you open when you want to read an html (hypertext markup language)document.

You can see the computer code for a page you are visiting by clicking on VIEW in your browser menu, and select "source".

You can customize the browser you use with features such as: setting your opening page to a favorite site—the BBC World News or; you can bookmark your favorite sites; you can adjust your security settings to high, medium or low to allow for cookies or refuse pop-up windows, and so on.


What is a cookie? Cookies have a bad reputation, but they can be advantageous or disadvantageous. People tend to believe that by allowing a cookie to be set they are disclosing personal information. This may or may not be true. It is important to understand that html is "stateless", (it does not remember which page you're coming from or where you're going to next).

Each page on the web is completely independent of any other. In order for a website to remember information from a preceeding page when you click NEXT or BACK the sender and receiver have to have agreed to a "session managment".

This can be achieved in two ways, on the client side (cookies), or on the server side. A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent from the webserver to your browser during the time of your visit.

The kind of cookies you don't want are third party cookies. That's when, unbeknownst to you, you've visited a site and that site has shared your information with other websites its in cahoots with, and suddenly you're receiving spam from places you've never even visited. The solution is to go to "tools" on your browser bar, select "internet options" then "privacy" and set the cookies slide bar to "do not accept 3rd party cookies...".

What do they do with this information? For the most part it just helps them determine how best to optimise their site to handle your visits, and also to see which articles are popular so they can focus on features and editorial topics their readership is interested in. Sometimes they even use this information to switch ads next to the popular articles, to entice you to click on something you may otherwise have missed in a different spot. Ads bring in revenue and that helps pay the bills so you don't have to pay for access to the site. It's a good thing - as Martha would say.

And Now For The Bad News

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has issued a warning to the public, and simply put: Microspft's IE (Internet Explorer) is not safe.

It's rather complicated, but in a nut shell... TO BE CONTINUED

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