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22 posts from November 2007

November 28, 2007

Political Debates on You Tube? You Bet

Tell your kids, You Tube is not only for dance videos, mom humor, star wars humor, music or science experiments. Tonight I am watching what I think is the beginning of an historic era: CNN and You Tube are hosting Republican debates. Yes a news station and a user generated video site are working together to allow voters across the nation to submit their questions for a presidential primary debate. Wow...

As I said before, as a MOMocrat, I have come out supporting John Edwards For President. Here is the link to the Democratic You Tube Debates. Including user generated sites as a way to submit questions for debates is a trend I hope continues.......

NaBloPoMo Day  20

November 27, 2007

Shout Out to Single Parents

I wrote my own personal account of how I am thankful for my single mom, but I also want to give a shout out to all single parents. I grew up in a divorced household, and I remember feeling isolated at times. There are now many online resources for single parents that can help them obtain information.

Another others I missed?

NaBloPoMo Day 19

November 26, 2007

John Edwards on Net Neutrality

John Edwards was interviewed on Techcrunch about Net Neutrality. I have heard him speak and find him very knowledgeable on many issues. The CNET News Blog defines Net Neutrality as "the idea that broadband operators shouldn't be allowed to charge content providers extra fees for premium placement or delivery, nor should they be permitted to prioritize or discriminate against content."

Here is what John Edwards said about Net Neutrality in the Techcrunch interview:

"I believe that if we do not guarantee net neutrality, the Internet could go the way of network television and commercial radio - with just a few loud corporate voices and no room for the grassroots and small entrepreneurs."

Even more, John Edwards "wants to see universal broadband available to all U.S. households by 2010". I am a big supporter of broadband for all so I am thrilled to see his support in this area.... But for transparency purposes, I need to let you know that I am a Momocrat so my support is already with John Edwards. His understanding of the issues around broadband is just icing on the cake..

November 25, 2007

I Am A Mom Who Has Run Out Of RAM...

Lately I have been busy scanning for CyberMonday deals, looking for cool gadgets to include in my Techmamas holiday gift guide, doing other blogging tasks, getting ready for the holidays, getting winter clothes out, volunteering at my kids schools and keeping my wonderfully energetic three boys on the move... But today I had this feeling that my mind just can not manage anything else, and I realized that I had run out of RAM... Just like RAM is used to process all the applications running on a computer at one time, a mom must constantly manage multiple tasks throughout her day.

Wouldn't it be nice if we can just upgrade our RAM so we could add more tasks to our day. Like finally volunteering for more school events - updating the family calender to keep all the activities straight - calling my mom friends to organize that moms night out - clearing out the toy closet - doing the filing instead of putting it in a "to file" box!, getting rid of all the old socks that my boys have, making my own doctor appointments, getting to the health club more, more, more.....  I recommend 2GB RAM for computers, so why can't I upgrade my own?.

For now, I found a low-tech solution. Even though I have a BlackBerry to manage my life, I decided that writing my to-do list on a paper notepad will help me transfer some of the tasks overloading my RAM - to a notebook. Any other hints??

NaBloPoMo Day 17

November 24, 2007

Save a Tree, Save a Stamp, Send e-Cards...

I saw the phrase "save a tree, save a stamp, send e-cards" on the Daily Green website. I was happy to see that there is another good reason to send paperless thank-you's - especially for those that think they are bad manners... Or maybe this is another good excuse "I have to send paperless e-cards because I am going green" (how does that sound, can ya see how desperate I am for excuses?). In reality, I have hit the point in my life where I have all my friends emails and phone numbers, but few addresses. So saving a tree sounds good to me.

NaBloPoMo Day 16

November 23, 2007

The Family Computer

Although I ended doing more online "looking" then buying on Black Friday, I did spend some time looking for computer deals. I finally cleared out my garage to make room for a play space, and we decided to put a family computer in the family room - where we can monitor it's use. My third grade son has my old laptop, but it has strict internet controls so I don't worry about him using it when I am not around. But that computer is old and on it's way out - so we need a new one.

I saw deals at Apple, Staples, Newegg and all over the internet. But I find these official shopping days overwhelming - so I am holding off for now.  This also gives me more time to finalize our list of needs for the family computer. I did find this summary from Kimberly Keith on About.com very interesting:

The list above really applies for kids in elementary school (in our district it is not until 3rd grade that kids can even type their homework anyway). I do think it is a good summary. Some of the terms may be confusing so I provided links to help explain them:

  1. RAM (or random access memory) is the 'main memory' or primary storage: the working area used for loading, displaying and manipulating applications and data. For running multiple programs at one time, it is important to have the appropriate amount of RAM. I say go for 2GB just to be safe when getting a new computer. RAM is a volatile memory as the information or instructions stored in it will be lost if the power is switched off (these definitions are from Wikipedia).
  2. Hard Drive is where files are stored and retains information when the computer is powered down. I think 160GB is a great size to house all the family files. But I would throw in an external hard drive to store family digital photos and as a back-up. I will post later on more alternatives for backing up computers.
  3. Here is the Wikipedia definition of Firewires.
  4. USB port allows consumers to plug in USB cards to transfer or store information. Some elementary schools have children take their homework home on USB flash drives. USB ports also allow interfacing with additional hardware. For example, the Flip video camera has a USB port built in so that transferring video's are as easy as plugging in the USB port and transferring the file.
  5. Internet Access: CNET has a good review of the internet access options. I personally prefer a wireless network (wi-fi) so that the family laptops and desktops can all share the internet access anywhere in the house. I will also post later on some wi-fi recommendations.

NaBloPoMo Day 15

November 22, 2007

CBS News On Teens And Technology

Here are the links to the newest posts from the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric series "The Secret Lives Of Teens" (on November 19 I posted with the schedule of the series).

The cat & mouse post has a link to "Tips and Resources: Teens Online". This section has an extensive listing of resources to find out more information about online safety for teens. Also worth taking a look is their series "Teens and Technology" or "GenTech".

NaBloPoMo Day 14

November 21, 2007

Have Thanksgiving Etiquette Questions? Go online..

Last year I posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog about my search for holiday etiquette. One of them was what to do with all the electronics gear that guests come to events with these days. From a New York Times article I learned that as a host you can "avoid the cellphone problem by cheerfully requiring everyone to place electronic gear in a basket upon arrival" of guests. And if you have last minute etiquette questions, Emily Post Institute has online tips for a happy Thanksgiving.


NaBloPoMo Day 13

November 20, 2007

Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Store Shopping or Online?

I will be happily sleeping in the Friday after Thanksgiving, or what is affectionately called "Black Friday". My current plan is to take part in the shopping fun online, not only on Black Friday but also on Monday - or Cyber Monday that is... I can do my shopping from my pajamas, and I don't have to get up at 4:30am.

For those that think Cyber Monday is a myth, they may be right. Last year CNET found that the biggest online shopping day was December 5. But Robin Raskin from the Yahoo Tech blog found that this year there may just be more deals online then in stores. And not being one to fight the crowds, I think I will opt online.

Here are some of the online sites:

NaBloPoMo Day 12

November 19, 2007

CBS News On The Secret Lives Of Teens - And The Web

I get emails notifying me of TV shows or websites often but this one I thought was relevant to my readership. CBS is airing a series on the secret lives of teens (on the web). They will talk about the dilemma of how parents deal with monitoring their teens on the web, and the issues of stalkers having access to teens online. Listed below is the info on the series.

If anyone has input on how they monitor their teens (or tweens) on the internet, please comment on this post. I implemented internet controls so my pre-tween son only has access to the sites I allow him to (at home). But what if he visits his friends houses and they DON'T have internet controls? And he is still at an age where they use the web to visit sites that have fun games or see videos on You Tube. Pre-tween kids don't seem to have an interest in social networking online.

For tweens and teens, I have heard that online social networking becomes a big part of their lives. So my next question would be how can parents respectfully monitor their teen's interaction on social networking sites? Especially when some may think it is "creepy" for parents to "friend" their children online....

CBS News with Katie Couric: "THE SECRET LIVES OF TEENS"

Here are some links to the online portion of the story from the Couric & Co. blogs: "The Secret Lives Of Teens" and  "First Look: Teens and The Web". Here is the link to the video preview.

Here is the TV schedule:
MONDAY,   NOVEMBER 19 ,   PART 1:
DILEMMA FOR PARENTS: Parents of a teenage girl show us how they spy on their daughter.  Are they doing the right thing?

TUESDAY,   NOVEMBER 20, PART 2:
A TEEN'S PERSPECTIVE:  DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK?   How do teens feel about parents watching their every move on the web?  We talk to one teen about it and explore ways to evade the blocks and monitors parents put on teens' computers to protect them from internet dangers.

WEDNESDAY,   NOVEMBER 21 , PART 3:
STALKING:  We speak with a small town police officer who's trying to keep track of stalkers....a seemingly impossible task.  We'll also take a look at how easy it is for strangers to access personal information....even your location.

NaBloPoMo Day 11

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