Worth Noting (2)–Things we think you should check out on the web

Worth Noting — Things we think you should check out

Bile, Venom and Lies—a very informative and enlightening chronicle of how Fareed Zakaria (foreign affairs columnist, host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and a contributing editor to the Atlantic) was trolled. If you visit other websites and participate in at least some social media you are undoubtedly familiar with trolls. Zakaria describes what happened to him–taking trolling to its extreme. He also highlights the problems posed by the easy access to media which confirm one’s own biases. The result is often misinformation spread across the world which unquestioning readers, viewers and listeners take for truth and widely disseminate to fellow believers.  Zakaria discussed it on his CNN show of January 17, 2016. He first posted this article as an op-ed piece in the Washington Post on January 14, 2016.

A major aww alertBob and his “siblings.” We don’t usually link to blogs, but this one is just too precious to pass up. Here’s just one of the images. It’s copyrighted by Chris Graham and the thestoryreadingapeblog.com under a Creative Commons 4.0 license. Find it and the rest at the hyperlink above.

Bob and friends--a golden retriever with a hamster on his nose and a bunch of birds next to him

Kiplinger’s Tech Alerts—a very informative newsletter we get as a Kiplinger’s magazine subscriber but that you too can get if you sign up for it. Here’s a couple small samples from their January 6 mailing: Top Tech Forecasts for 2016. For the whole article, click here.

“What to expect in the year ahead? Big growth for small satellites, virtual reality and augmented reality. More industry uncertainty over Net neutrality. A step to the next level for smart watches. And more.”

“Virtual reality is gaining a foothold, notwithstanding a few stumbles and a chorus of critics. Headsets for the best VR systems yet will reach consumers this year. Facebook’s Oculus, for instance, just started taking pre-orders for its headsets. Samsung and others already have versions on the market. Since VR isn’t new, and updated versions will have flaws, critics will be quick to label the industry a dud. But 2016 will set up the market for years of growth. The coming wave of headsets uses advanced sensors and powerful computer processors that will display lifelike experiences.”

Finding your next book to read–if you’re a reader, how do you pick your next book? Browsing the bookstore or the web? Recommendations from personal friends or social media? Book reviews in the book section of your newspaper or on the web? Here are a couple places to look:

  • Goodreads has reviews by fellow readers, author pages and giveaways. It’s owned by Amazon so you will, of course, find links to buy Kindle books as well as print versions, but don’t let that put you off. The reviews here are a little more sophisticated and there are more of them than on Amazon itself.
  • Snowflakes in a Blizzard (a little word play on the difficulty authors have of gaining visibility for their books; 4,000 new ones come out daily in America). Each week the site has descriptions of new (or older) books with more detail than you will find on most other sites.

Are you a writer and want to promote your book (and yourself) at no cost?Check out Sally Cronin’s site, Smorgasbord—Variety is the Spice of Life, from this link. Another great site for authors is the Story Reading Ape blog. (No, he’s not really an ape, it’s just a little humor; the photo above is not typical of what you will find there). Both sites offer tips as well as the free promotional opportunities; both also have a decent number of subscribers and reach on the web.

When hacking could enable murder–a scary tech opinion piece on CNN.com from January 26th. We worry about identity theft and compromise of financial or medical information. But what about hacking cars or other things that rely on web-linked data to operate? It’s already been on TV episodes of at least two shows we watch. Read the item by security technologist Bruce Schneier. 

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