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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Whither Go My Words?


The Internet provides us the ability to craft our words into an art-form. We communicate by typing our language onto a screen; we click a button that sends our words into an infinite space. Whither goes our message? Who knows? Out there somewhere, or everywhere?

Communicate we must for combining this modern utility with our art we reveal our character. Our ancient ancestors did the very same with their utility of a natural marker, leaving for the ages a record of their thoughts on the walls of their cave homes.

And so it is with each and every blog post I make. I cast my words, my thoughts, into the ether. Are they communicative? Are they well-crafted words? Are they long-lasting? Are they powerful?

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First off –DO NOT follow the advice of a “fraudulent” email being sent about the Internet, “How to Lock Your Car and Why!” The email is “kinda” true, as it may indeed apply to automobiles manufactured before the mid 1980s, when the Remote Key-less Locking Device for automobiles was first introduced.

According to Snopes.com, the email is doubly FALSE as it states that Snopes has approved the information in the email. In fact, Snopes has verified as FALSE the basic premise that car thieves, sitting somewhere in a parking lot, are using a new device that can easily grab and clone your security code as you lock your car using a key-less locking device. The email further states that police are advising people to thwart the thieves by using the key-less remote to lock a car while still sitting “inside,” before exiting. In this case, according to the fraudulent email quoting the police, the thieves cannot grab your code.

Before following the email’s advice, you would be far safer to lock your car the “old-fashioned” way, with the key in the lock. That is because locking your car, from inside the car, is far more likely to end up with you locked outside of your locked car, and your key, along with your children and pets, still inside.

Since the 1990s, manufacturers of these key-less entry devices have been employing rolling random codes which change each time the system is used to lock or unlock a car, thus rendering ineffective the car thieves “code grabber” devices. Automobiles manufactured after the mid-1990s, are not vulnerable to being quickly and easily opened by criminals armed with code grabbers.

Yes, a very determined and smart thief could thwart the system according to Keeloq. However, the thief would need specialized knowledge and then spend hours, if not days, crunching data in order to replicate a device to produce the correct entry code. The thief would also need to know that the vehicle would stay fixed in place during the time he was calculating the key code.

So — when you receive this email warning you about the use of your Key-less Remote to lock your car, be advised that the information in that e-mail is FALSE, and, in the interest of the personal safety of others, please do not disseminate it any further.

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A Snag from Edna

My father and grandfather patented this masonry hammer in 1935, while they were living in Baltimore, Maryland. I just came upon Google’s Patent Search and looked up their names, Arthur J. Richardson and Edward J. Richardson. Voila – their patent popped up immediately: HAMMER – Richardson et al.

An interesting bit of trivia is that I see my father was using only the initial “J” for his middle names. His full name on his birth record was “Edward Arthur James Richardson.” I am posting it under “technology,” although that does seem a bit odd for a hammer in today’s computer world. But … it was something new, wasn’t it? A new technology for masonry?

Those ever-inventive Richardsons! What will they think up next? See A Richardson Grandson.

The image, Richardson Hammer, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s FLICKR account.

Visit Neddy’s Vanishing Memories for more of Edna’s writings.

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OVER 10,000 Apple Apps and Counting!
Did you know, that in the first 142 days since Apple first started accepting new iPhone/iPod Touch Apps, there have been over 10,000 Apps added to the iTunes App Store?

My grandson told me that he has downloaded five pages of Apps onto his new iPod Touch. My Touch holds twice as much as his and I have only five Apps in toto: Facebook, Crazy Candle (came in handy for a candle-less birthday), Stanza (love it for reading ebooks), Twitterific and DataCase. Actually I have only four, as DataCase, the most expensive of all of them, didn’t work, so I deleted it.

So, thanks to Grandson’s enthusiasm, I went to the Apple Apps Store and downloaded many of the recommended ones at this link: “Top 15 iPhone Apps of 2008,” except for the games, plus a few others I found. Games bore me. I only downloaded the “FREE” Apps, as I know from experience that the Apps that charge oftentimes do not work, and there is little if any chance of getting a refund. Then I went to bed and before falling off to sleep I tried figuring out what I had done. Imagine this – I now have 160,000 recipes on my iPod, the complete works of Shakespeare plus some that scholars are not sure he wrote, Pandora radio, Urbanspoons restaurants, and two more lights, in case I need to see where I’m going at night. Now I need to find time to sync these to my new iPhone.

I am here to report that the favorite of all that I downloaded has got to be Pandora. It works perfectly. I now have my own custom made radio on this little device. It is like the old “Bluegrass Country” at WAMU has come back to life. WAMU kicked “Bluegrass Country” over to HD radio and the Internet, so they could have more “BORING, BORING” talk on WAMU. I’ve not listened to them since. Who needs them anyway? I’ve got an iPod Touch with all my favorite music on it. But I do miss Ray Davis.

The Shakespeare App is incredible, except it is not easy to read. I am used to reading books on my iPod Touch with STANZA, and I feel certain that I can download Shakespeare’s plays from STANZA for reading. But this Shakespeare App is nice for impressing my friends with my “new found” erudition. See, I carry ALL of the Bard’s works in my purse. If there are any quotations that they cannot remember, I can find them all right here on my iPod.

One of the lights was really not worth the price – FREE. I am going to delete that as I cannot figure what it is suppose to do, except click off and on. I like the Flashlight, as it could come in handy at the theater or when trying to find something at the bottom of my black bag (my purse). I’ve not tried the WordPress App yet.

Most of these Apps need WiFI to work, which in the past would have been a problem for me, as the iPod Touch is not always connected. That is probably why I had not downloaded so many Apps to it. Like the Google Maps are great, but I don’t usually need them at home where I have computers and Internet. I need them when I’m away from home – like on the streets of DC where they don’t work on the iPod Touch. Now my iPod Touch stays home and I go abroad with my new iPhone, where I will always be 100% connected to the real world – the Internet.

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A Picture from Edna

I am celebrating by playing with my new iPhone on this exciting New Year’s Eve of 2008. I even made my own docking station tonight.  See my iPhone dock above. I made it myself and was so proud until Katy Blue jumped onto my desk and knocked it over. CATS! ROTFL. 😉

I went down to the Apple Store yesterday to complain that my iPhone was not working. The Apple geeks (very sweet young women) told me that I was clicking too many things at once – causing the iPhone to freeze and crash. Oh yeah? Cliff says, “oh yeah, that’s exactly what she does all the time, with everything that doesn’t respond immediately.”

Anyway, they were so nice and helpful, and I was so relieved to be assured by a genuine Apple geek that my iPhone was not defective, that I went ahead and purchased the iPhone case she recommended. I think I like having the iPhone encased, as it is now. It’s a bit bigger, not as sleek, but it seems easier to handle and hold onto.

When she sold me the new white case she also tried convincing me to purchase the iPhone dock. I didn’t feel that I would need it. I already have three docks that I have been using for my iPod Touch – one Apple dock for my home theater, one Bose Sound Dock, and one iPod dock that came with my Cambridge Soundworks radio. She described how this iPhone dock sits next to the computer and charges and syncs the iPhone.

Well, once I came home I have been feeling the lack of not having an iPhone dock sitting next to my laptop. It is quite amazing. I have been using my computer to charge my iPod Touch without a dock for the past year, and never felt I was missing anything. Now I feel I must have a dock for my iPhone. The seed of want has been planted into my brain.

I spotted a little cardboard card box on my desk and then found an exacto knife to cut a slot for my iPhone to rest in. Now I know that I really do need that Apple iPhone dock. This makeshift contraption of recycled cardboard is not going to suffice for long, especially with marauding cats on the prowl. Next time I’m at the mall … Apple Store, here I come.

The image, My iPhone Dock, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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It works! I have been wanting this DVD, but it is from Scotland, and there did not seem to be any guarantee that it would work in an American DVD player. Well, it was a Christmas present for me, and it works. It works in my DVD player even though the DVD itself has “PAL” scribed upon it. When I ordered it at Amazon, it was listed as for NTSC. GADS, it is so difficult to figure out all the ins and outs of technology. I wrote about it here when I first ordered it: “Transatlantic Sessions 3, by Edna Barney.” This set of DVDs is a lovely musical creation – took a lot of musical and video-graphic talent to plan and create it. Of course, only those who love old time acoustic music will appreciate it.

This is a very great piece on the second DVD by Tim O’Brien – real old timey Bluegrass music. Here is a link that has more video of some of the pieces on the two DVDs: http://www.squidoo.com/transatlanticsessionsvideoshowcase.

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A Picture from Edna

My Christmas Gifts For You

I made this Christmas card using Picnik. My 2008 Christmas Card, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s FLICKR account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Big Moon Rising


If you go out on this Saturday night,
you”re sure of a big surprise.
If you go out on this Saturday night,
You better not close your eyes.
For every wacko and robber and crook,
Will gather about for certain because,
Tonight’s the night everyone sees the Big Moon Rising.

Yes, we are getting closer and closer to that mysterious and ancient ritual known as The Winter Solstice. Be prepared. We know not what awaits us in that long night when vampires vamp and werewolves weir and howl at the Big Moon Rising. Take your flashlight along for the chilly wind of a fleeing specter may extinguish any candles and lanterns you be carrying.

If you stay away form Hampstead Heath, you may be fortunate enough to make it through the Night of the Big Moon without being gobbled alive by hobgoblins or have your blood drunk by blood-thirsty British vampires. However, you will not be totally safe. Because the gravitational pull of both the sun and the moon are at their strongest, there is a high probability that the earth will tremble, move and shake right under your feet. Earthquakes on a Saturday night! Nothing could be worse if you are watching the Big Moon Rising from The California coast.

Look Up Tonight!  You will not see this again for another eight years, …. if ever.

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Below is a screen-shot of part of my PortableReading library at Facebook.

A Picture from Edna

I am very skeptical of most applications at Facebook. I have had some bad experiences with them. A music application I tried took over my computer and would not let me escape from its website. Just today, I tried one that a friend sent me, which resulted in a $9.95 charge on my cell phone – unbeknownst to me. So beware with most of them.

However, here is one, totally “FREE,” that I cannot say enough good things about. At Facebook the application is known as “PortableReading” however, its website calls itself “TextOnPhone,” which is somewhat confusing.  “TextOnPhone” is for iPhones and iPods which I have not had much success with on my iPod Touch. For iPod reading I use Stanza, as I have already blogged.

But … “PortableReading” works wonderfully on Facebook. Join Facebook for free, and then sign on for the “FREE” application “PortableReading.” Then you will have your own personal library at your fingertips. You can choose your free books, set the type, colors, and size, so that you can read on your computer screen without scrolling by just clicking the “next” button to go to the next page. I do not know if one can use this application without an Internet connection. I have not been able to do that on my iPod Touch, which is another reason I prefer Stanza for that.

Stanza does not have a Facebook application, so if you want to conveniently read “FREE” books on your computer, PortableReading works great. Give it a try.

The image, My Facebook Library, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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I am thinking about the DVD I ordered myself the other day and wondering if I am going to get what I expect. I have no idea if I got my order right. I have been wanting the “Transatlantic Sessions 3” folk music recording from Scotland, but it has been so difficult to figure it out. Is it a CD, a DVD, and which volume do I want? The Album Covers all look the same. I think I want Volume 2, but what I ordered has only one DVD. I ordered it at Amazon and it lists nothing about the tracks that are on it.

I have had so much difficulty, as I could not find a DVD recording that would play on American DVD players. Finally this week, I found one labeled “NTSC.” However, it is also labeled Video-DVD. If “Video-DVD” means that new-fangled DVD that has video on one side and CD on the other, that will be a problem for my Bose Theater system, as it does not recognize those, and goes bezerk. I guess I will play it on my laptop first to see what it is exactly.

Would not most music afficianadoes say that “Transatlantic Sessions 3,” “Transatlantic Sessions 3, Volume 1” and “Transatlantic Sessions 3, Volume 2” are really weird names for folk music albums? Who would have thunk that’s what they are? Maybe they aren’t after all, and I am about to find that out. I will really be disappointed. Then I will have to download RealPlayer onto my computer so I can listen to the album on the Internet here: RTÉ Television.

You can see a wonderful performance here in this video of “Saint Anne’s Reel,” at the bottom of the page, and know why I am wanting this album: Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas.

This will be my Christmas present from Captain Cliff even though he does not know it. Last year he gave me a DVD of Pavarotti singing at the Cathedral in Montreal. It was a difficult album of music to find, so I had to do it myself, as Captain Cliff would not have had the patience.

I already ordered the wrong CD of Irish music this week. I wanted the album with “Grace” on it, and the search engine took me to “Amazing Grace,” and I got confused. There were no audio clips, so how could I be sure? Perhaps I will like the wrong album that I ordered. Anyway, I found that the Irish Tenor album I want is out of production and has to be purchased “used,” and for triple bucks.

Here is my collection of YouTube Videos of: Transatlantic Sessions 3. See … you could spend the rest of your life right hear at this post listening to my music, if you were crazy too.

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