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Google Keep – Strong but Simple
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If you’ve heard of Google Keep, perhaps you don’t realize that it’s more capable than you expect. It’s one of the most focused and useful apps in Google’s arsenal. On the surface it’s a stylish basic note taking app, but dig deeper and it ties into several other Google services, making it easier to get things done. Here are some ways to unleash the amazing...

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Your Business Website Needs a Blog
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Show of hands: Have you ever heard of the Internet? I think some of you have. [smile] I have been developing web sites since the 1990s, from pure html coded sites, through numerous iterations of development products (anyone remember Netscape’s “built-in” development space?), up to the present versions of several platforms. Presently I have built and maintain hosting for over 150 websites using WordPress...

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I PING You PING…
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My WordPress clients ask me about the emails they receive that notify them of Pingbacks from one of their posts. Here’s how this happens: I post something on my blog that someone else likes. That person posts something on her own blog that includes a link referencing my post. This automatically sends a pingback to me (if we both have pingbacks enabled in our blogs). My blog receives the pingback, then automatically checks the other blog post to confirm that the pingback...

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The Basic Mistake People Make on Twitter
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Twitter has been around since 2006, and I posted my first tweet early on in 2007. It wasn’t earth shattering, but I did handle the new idea of Twitter with elegance and sagacity, and got my point across in a mere 16 characters: Click Here to see my First Tweet I first wrote about Twitter here in this blog back in 2008 and shared my...

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Faster Than the Sound of Light
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Ever since I started using the telephone (back when we only had to dial 7 numbers for most calls!), I knew that the person on the other end was as near as a few milliseconds away. Of course, I never thought of “milliseconds” back then – our voices were carried across the wires at the speed of light (as we were told), so it...

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Mack McTask – Don’t Call Me a Consultant!
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by Marc Silverman (circa 1995) (This piece was originally written and published in 1995 for the Mac Street Journal, the New York Macintosh User Group’s printed newsletter. The Internet was barely known at that time, and the term “cell phone” was yet to become part of the language.) Mack McTask, a private computer consultant was recently interviewed at his office by a Mac Street...

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Tags – Not Just For Graffiti Anymore!
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Tags – Not Just For Graffiti Anymore! Bar Codes are so retro! Now we’re all using QR Code tags – the little matrix of black squares and shapes that are popping up on magazine articles, food and beverage packaging, and soon, no doubt, on somebody’s forehead. It’s called a “two-dimensional barcode,” and can be used to store a relatively large amount of information when...

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Show Me The Money!
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  Most people want to know where their money’s coming from. Some people, however, want to know where it’s going. I get to know both! There’s a web site that uses the full power of the Internet, and the power of its users, to let anyone track and analyze the movements of the paper currency they spend. Where’s George? It’s something that can be...

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It’s My Birthday (And I’ll Lie if I Want To!)
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It’s My Birthday (And I’ll Lie if I Want To! New Year’s Day 2009 came in with a few added surprises: Automated birthday wishes from a couple of web sites, and even some personal birthday messages from Facebook friends who I already know in real life. But my birthday is in the summer, so their early wishes, thoughtful as they are, landed today as...

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A No-Hype Look at Skype
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I knew about Skype – it’s an online application that lets anyone make audio and video contact from computer to computer as long as each person has Skype installed and running. You could use it to make Skype “calls” to and from anywhere in the world for free. I tried it, it was okay, and I let it go – I didn’t have a...

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Fly Me To Your Room
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Fly Me To Your Room Pictures on the Wing These days, digital photos are ubiquitous. And not only that, they’re EVERYWHERE. In your cell phone, in your digital camera, in your computer, even in your iPods or other PDAs. They’re everywhere for you to enjoy, but sharing them with others is a different story. “Free your pictures.” That’s the mantra at Picwing. Picwing is...

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Outdoor Fun With GPS
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Here’s a hobby where all you need is a $30 billion satellite system, and a handheld GPS device. Luckily, someone lent us the satellites! Most Internet-related pastimes require us to sit at our computers far too long – games, chat rooms, weblogs, newsgroups – all demanding our interaction while we gaze at our screens and key in our words or actions. Now I’ve embraced...

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Hello Chumby
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Hello Chumby. New watches come out from time to time, cars are updated yearly as “this year’s models” are unveiled; new flavors of Ben & Jerry Ice Cream are always being developed. These are all just variations of products that already exist. But every so often a completely new category of product appears. Sometimes it’s cool and unique (the Segway, perhaps), sometimes it’s unexpected...

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Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing
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What are you doing? I’m wondering whether it’s at all possible to make a statement that’s not more than 140 characters in length that says something pertinent. (Okay, that’s 139.) What are you doing? Demonstrating how people worldwide have found that posting “tweets” that are seen by folks who follow them is a timely way to communicate. (138, easy.) What are you doing? Reading...

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This Hoax is Serious!!!
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This is serious!!! I would do it for you. Actually the subject of the above email when it arrived in my email box was “Fwd: FW: FW: FW: : Fwd: This is serious!!! I would do it for you.(corrected)” Those extra forwards told me that somebody who knows me thought this was so urgent for me to read that he didn’t hesitate at all...

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Free Software For Sale!
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Free Software For Sale You can get more than you pay for! A long, long time ago, when the world was young, people loved getting free software for their computers. This usually meant that they were getting it from someone else who bought it, or more likely, from someone who already got it from someone else. People who did this were called “Software Pirates,”...

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Password Please
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Password Please Better Safe Than Sorry… PC Magazine reports that these are the 10 most used passwords, ranked in order: password 123456 qwerty abc123 letmein monkey myspace1 password1 blink182 (your first name) I’d bet yours isn’t on this list, but you might use a similar “weak” password – even for your most sensitive information or financial web sites – that’s as easy to remember...

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More Songs About Buildings and Food – March 1, 2008
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People complained grandly when the plans for a tower above the Hearst Building at 57th Street & Eighth Avenue were unveiled, but what most failed to realize was that right from the start the 1928 structure’s plans called for a tower to be constructed. The lower part of the building (sorry, I have to go back and reshoot this one!) was designed as the...

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Algorithmically Speaking – February 29, 2008
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There’s a tradition in many places in the English-speaking world that women may propose marriage only on Leap Day. There’s probably another tradition that men have their sturdy travel suitcase pre-stocked and ready to bolt at a moment’s notice when February 29th rolls around. In case you need to be prepared, here’s the programming algorithm for leap years: if (year modulo 4 is 0)...

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Happy Art – February 27, 2008
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Walking across Rockefeller Center today my usual path was blocked by a huge sculptural work replete with neon tubes and fancy light bulbs. It looked like an electric representation of a fountain, or maybe it’s meant to be some whipped cream extravaganza. In any case, it reminded me of a Coney Island...

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My Workaday World – February 26, 2008
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Some days are spent inside, at my Mac, working, working, working… I don’t get out, (with a home-office the commute doesn’t involve the out-of-doors), and then suddenly it’s dark outside, and Cirrus (the Budgie) is already in his ring waiting for someone to cover his cage so he can go to sleep. This was one of those days. I did, eventually, take a walk...

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Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? – February 25, 2008
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“What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” The “Mystery Machine” turned up on the Upper West Side today, replete with Scooby-Doo decked out in his foul weather gear. He looks good for his age, he’s almost 40 years-old now, but he’s still dancing to the music over on You...

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I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy – February 24, 2008
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Businesses close every day in New York, but when it’s one you love and enjoy there’s a greater sense of loss. Café La Fortuna has been an Upper West Side constant for 31 years, and today is their last day of business due to increased rent. The announcement was made on Friday, and it’s been wall to wall crowds all weekend. We looked in...

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Shape of Things to Come – February 23, 2008
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In the future, every building will be famous for fifteen minutes. Today’s quarter hour goes to Frank Gehry’s pleated, “incredible lightness of being” structure along the West Side Highway in Chelsea. I’m a big fan of unique architecture, especially in New York, where it seems that every building designed from 1970 through 1990 came from an old “Girders and Panels” set that I had...

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Snow Trouble at All – February 22, 2008
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Today is Lili’s birthday and since I passed the “gift challenge” for Valentine’s Day, and I bought her a major birthday gift early, she said it was okay if I got her something small. So today I got her a little snow. I made sure enough fell on our street to give us a beautiful “wake up call” this morning. Happy...

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The Election Dispirit Continues – February 21, 2008
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On my way home tonight, just before the umteenth “Great Clinton-Obama Debate,” I grabbed a quick shot of the Big Apple’s Mascot bedecked in the colors of electoral patronage… red, white and wheew! Spin, spin, spin you giddy, gumptious, grandiose, gregarious, goofy Democratic candidates! (My nod to Scott Clark, ABC sportscaster extraodinaire, for his lively daily reportage from whom I lifted my favorite –...

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The Total Lunar Eclipse – February 20, 2008
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It was supposed to be cloudy, but here in New York City the skies were clear as a bell as the Earth’s moon was completely covered by the Earth’s shadow. I saw hues of reds, oranges, and browns, but no greens or purples as some observers noted in previous lunar eclipses. Also, Saturn and Regulus flanked the moon adding to the celestial extravaganza. Spotted...

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Ivy League – February 19, 2008
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This afternoon Lili and I attended a lecture on how the diverse cultures and tribes across the African continent regard Astronomical phenomena. The campus was expansive – I’ve actually not visited Columbia University for quite some years, and it was a nice break to take a little trip uptown for an interesting...

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Global Warming – February 18, 2008
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Today it was 60° here in New York. It rained, then stopped, then poured, then stopped. The rain isn’t confusing, but the number of warm days in the middle of February has gotten more of us thinking in general terms just how much different winters are then they were in our youth. This shot was taken today in the middle of a sun...

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Not Just For Breakfast Anymore – February 17, 2008
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There’s a Sunday flea market at 76th Street & Columbus Avenue that’s been a neighborhood staple since the late 1970s. I couldn’t resist this terrific Yellow Kitchen Set as my “Photo-a-Day” this morning, though it might be too much of an eye-opener for sleepy eyes first thing of the day. I’m sure it’ll find a nice home in someone’s mid-century design...

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Natural Highs – February 15, 2008
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I see these rooftop water towers every day, but hardly notice them any more… until I spot one lit strikingly by the late afternoon sun. In the 1800s the original water tower builders were barrel makers who expanded their craft to meet the need for water pressure as buildings in the city grew taller in height. Even today, no sealer is used to hold...

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Lest We Forget – February 14, 2008
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‘Tis a big day around our place on February 14th. The “temperature” of the entire rest of the winter is often predicated on the “quality of my participation” regarding the entire realm of this holiday… No, I didn’t buy her this 22 inch chocolate chip cookie, but I passed the “gift exam” and I’m not in the dog house – at least until her...

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MicroHoo! – February 13, 2008
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Today’s the day before Valentine’s Day, and the courting never stops. Maybe Yahoo! just doesn’t want to have a relationship with Microsoft. But whoever finally wins the heart of Yahoo!, perhaps at least they’ll fix this big, costly, Times Square (crossroads of the world!)...

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Snow Dusting – February 12, 2008
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The weather people made a big hue and cry about this “major storm” with snow and sleet tonight, flooding tomorrow morning, and the general end of the world as we know it. Looks like a basic Manhattan “light dusting” to me, but I’ll report further from my “safe room” at some undisclosed location tomorrow. Happy 1st Manhattan Snowfall for...

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