32 posts categorized "Sites for Parents"

February 09, 2008

YES - you too can get FREE software

When I saw the post this morning on Techmeme from the New York Times "Facing Free Software, Microsoft Looks to Yahoo", I was somewhat confused. Why would a company like Microsoft - that makes uggles of money from selling software - want to jump onto the free software bandwagon? This quote from the article describes what may be their strategy:

"But a merger would also allow Microsoft to adapt its empire to compete in a world of low-cost  Internet-centered software."

So - let's talk free software. First of all, there is lots of it out there and many are viable alternatives to software that we are all paying for now. I still use Microsoft Office and many Adobe Products, but also use things like Google Spreadsheets for collaboration. I emailed one of my favorite tech resources - my brother (who happens to be a big open source fan) to send me links of the open source websites he recommends. I also added links to Google and Yahoo sites that have free software available. Considering I have been a techie for years, having all of this free software available is an amazing opportunity. Even if I have to look at some ads to get it... And this is all a step closer to the concept of "cloud computing".

Any sites to add??

February 08, 2008

Twins Blogroll - From Sarah and the Goon Squad

I just added a link in my techie parents typelist to my cyberbuddy Sarah and the Goon Squad's Twin Blogroll. This is an easy way to see a listing of other twins/multiples bloggers so take a click over... As I commented on the post, there are lots of us out there online. And really we have double the fun and double the amount to share (or triple the fun...).

February 05, 2008

Online Sites To Follow Election 2008

In honor of Super Tuesday, here are links to websites that either provide information or commentary on Election 2008:

When it comes down to my vote, I agree with my fellow Silicon Valley Moms Blogger Jill - I need clarity. This is especially a problem because I am heading off to vote right now.....

January 19, 2008

Parents Need to GetNetWise

Tube I read a quite humorous post about a conversation a mom had with her son in the car..... The title was "The Part of the Internet Al Gore Did Not Fix" and referred to the fact that her son had learned about adult toy stores from ads he saw online.

Considering I am a big fan of installing Internet website controls on every computer, I hope a similar discussion will not happen in my car.... Yet, my kids do have friends who have computers and so I know they will be exposed to something inappropriate. I am also sure that at some point my son will get creative with our Internet controls and wonder onto something... I will hope to handle it with the advanced parenting humor used by Deb on the Rocks.

One commenter linked over to the "GetNetWise" website as evidence Al Gore did try to fix it... The website has great internet safety links and resources -  so good job Al Gore and friends! I searched to see his name on the Advisory board, even though I did not see it I am sure he had something to do with it.. But I did find some techie looking government committees including the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus and the Wireless Task Force.

Good to know every government official does not think the Internet is made up of tubes...

December 15, 2007

Your Own Personal Technology Review Team

Instead of having a team of people to help me review products like some organizations, I need to fit in writing about technology between school drop off and pick-up. So, I put my own team of experts together and they are called "review sites" and "tech columnists" and "tech magazines". It is mind blowing how much information review information is available.  Here are the details for the strategy I used to find my personal technology review team, and I suggest those seeking technology advice should also put their own team together (see the bottom of this post for my technology team).

My strategy is to pick the outlets I feel provide good information, understand that each has their own slant and then take all the information and try to see what pops out for me. For example, one of the most popular sites for digital camera reviews is dpreview.com.  Yet they are very technical in nature, so some may want to add visits to CNET reviews, Digital Camera HQ and your favorite tech columnists like David Pogue from the New York Times, Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal or Yahoo Tech.

I was also delighted to find a New York Times article along the sames lines of this post (that I started writing weeks ago..). The article is titled "A Universe of Gadget Advice" and gives a great example of John Boutin's (the reporter) strategy for finding the right technical information online. Overall, I find this time of year the best time to obtain reviews on technology because of the holiday gift guides. These guides can be useful not only for the holidays, but to choose items for the after holiday sales and any items that were on the "buy" list for the rest of the year.

When you find the sites you like, I suggest setting up online subscriptions or "RSS Feeds" to review the headlines for these sites on a regular basis. You can have the feeds loaded to an aggregator like Bloglines or to your email homepage with Google or Yahoo. RSS Feeds can be used for specific categories like technology feed for CNN or for the whole blog feed similar to the blend of all Yahoo Tech advisors feed. To set up the RSS feeds, just look for the word "subscribe" or "RSS Feed" on the website that you want to add, the instructions are usually easy to follow.

I also suggest setting up print subscriptions for your favorite newspaper or tech magazines. I still enjoy looking over the New York Times or Wall Street Journal as well as some of my favorite tech magazines in print. And there is something about reading the print edition that goes best with my cup of coffee in the morning.

Ok, that last point was in my dreams because lately it seems that my mornings are consumed with feeding and getting my three boys ready for school. So if you are a mom in my position, still keep the print subscription for quiet moments, RSS feeds to your homepage for when the kids go to sleep and email RSS subscriptions to read the information from your email or on your smartphone. Look for email subscriptions that are sent from the publisher with no header from the feed service (like offered by Feedburner) and that also offer plain text or html emails. I find these their feeds are easy to read on my BlackBerry Curve.

TechMama's Personal Technology Team:

Holiday Gift Guides:

Blogger Holiday Guides:

Tech Columnists:

Technology Review Sites:

Knowledgebase (there are no solid guarantees that all knowledgbase info is 100% correct, some sites are user driven so find the resource that fits your needs and keep looking if the answer does not seem correct):

Did I miss any? Please comment to add your favorites....

December 10, 2007

Online Gambling Addiction - With Kids??

Addiction seems to be a hot discussion item lately.....I was watching E! this morning while blogging and a Dec. 2006 repeat titled "THS Investigates Online Nightmares" came one. The New York Post published their thoughts on the show (Cyber House Rules).

While situations like those are not an epidemic, it is important for parents to understand that online addiction is a reality for some families. Here is a interesting link to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery that has a page specific to Youth Gambling Addition: (https://www.addictionrecov.org/youthgam.htm) .

They also list the signs to watch out for:

  • Unexplained need for money
  • Money or possessions missing from the home
  • Unexplained charges on credit card bills
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Missing school or classes
  • Frequent anxiety, depression or mood swings
  • Dropping of outside activities and interests
  • Excessive watching of TV sports
  • Undue upset at the outcome of a sports match
  • Late night calls

There is a toll free number to call if you suspect someone is having an addiction problem: 1-800-522-3784

I called the number to see if it was valid, and a live person answered the phone - confirming the line is active.

Because addictive behaviors can also lead to suicidal thoughts, the show also offered these websites as resources:
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.com
www.hopeline.com
www.afsp.org
www.sprc.org

And these two help lines:
1-800-273-talk
1-800-suicide

November 09, 2007

NaBloPoMo Day 1: Technology As Art

I decided to join NaBloPoMo as a way to post all the tech links I am sent or find that I want to share with my readers. I did join a couple of days late (it is writing for each day of November). So I decided to participate until the first week of December.

Earings_3 Liz from Cool Mom Picks sent me this link to an artist named Debby Arem that uses recycled circuit board products to make handmade jewelry, clipboards, bookmarks and keychains. This is an excellent example of recycling an item that creates environmentally unfriendly scrap and using technology as art.

Another beautiful example of technology as art is an online virtual art gallery called the Silicon Valley Art Museum. Their online exhibits are mesmorizing and represent meaningful subjects like cancer as well as events like burning man. I showed my sons the NASA commissioned art projects, and they enjoyed those pictures. I enjoy being able to take my sons to an art museum without leaving the house...


September 12, 2007

Social Networking With Wrinkles??

Matt Richtel of the New York Times wrote an article titled "The Graying Of the Web" that discussed the social networking sites aimed at baby boomers and graying computer users. The sites mentioned in the article were:

  • Maya's Mom - I am not only a fan of Maya's Mom but am also a member. This company was founded by Silicon Valley momtrepreneur Ann Crady. Maya's Mom was just sold to Johnson & Johnson. I view Maya's Mom not just as a site for baby boomers or graying computer users - but moms of all ages.
  • Eons - Gathering place for people lovin’ life on the flip side of 50.
  • Rezoom - The ageless generation.
  • Multiply - Share digital media
  • Boomj -  Social and Lifestyle network for Baby Boomers
  • Boomertown - Social networking for those 50 and over..

I have not used the other sites but may take a look. I am a big fan of Facebook, I joined and am happy to have found many of my (female and male) friends on the site. So I would not call these other sites Facebook with wrinkles, because I think Facebook can be used for young and old social networkers. But there is value in sites that specialize in specific demographics. I am also partial to mom blogs, especially in Silicon Valley, Chicago or DC Metro!

July 12, 2007

Alpha Mom Web 2.0 App for Baby Naming

Rattle It is about time someone did this - check out "AlphaMoms Baby Names".  The database has 25,000 names stored that can be browsed alphabetically and searched. Best of all, each name has the language and meaning next to it. Names made easy!

July 04, 2007

Wikipedia - How It Works

Wikipedia Last Sunday's New York Times magazine had an article about Wikipedia: "All the News That's Fit to Print Out (by Jonathan Dee).  Wikipedia is a online encyclopedia that can be edited by any registered user. This free source of information is not free of controversy; some question whether the information can be trusted. I go by the "read but verify" while using Wikipedia. But I use the site often, if not only to see how other people view the definitions or as a easy way to obtain links for blog posts. Wikipedia is also a great example of the positive forces of Web 2.0; a free online resource updated by an extensive and loyal user community. Here are some factoids from the New York Times Magazine article:

  • USERS: The first level is for users (4.6 million registered English-language users). Anyone can register. The Wikipedia page explains that users have the ability to start new pages, edit semi-protected pages, rename pages and upload images. The introduction has more information about user abilities.
  • ADMINISTRATORS: 1,200 are "administrators" have extra access, including the power to block others from the site. To become an administrator, the user must answer a series of five questions. Other users have seven days to either approve or dis-approve.
  • STEWARDS: Above the administrator level is "bureaucrats" who can appoint administrators. The level about bureaucrats are "stewards" who are appointed by the seven-person Wikimedia foundation board of directors. There are only 30 stewards. There are also levels above the stewards but it was not clear how many.

The New York Times Magazine article shed light on the dedicated, young and almost cult-like group helping to keep Wikipedia going - all without pay. Some of those dedicated few did get their moment in the spotlight by being featured in the article. I thought it interesting that I obtained information on how Wikipedia works from mainstream media while it seems many young get their news from the Internet. So it is good for the "older" folks to see what the "young" folks are reading on the Internet.

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