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Tutorial 1: Home Digital Tech & The Home World: The Cloud?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In the olden days (BDA -- before the digital era), before the prevalence of (a) home computers, (b) ubiquitous Internet access, and (c) digital entertainment media (i.e., CDs, DVDs, MP3s, phone cameras/videos, YouTube, Google, smart phones, and HDTV) data had to reside in your possession, otherwise it was inaccessible. People then, and to a large extent, now, did not realize how limiting that was.

Take land line-based phone systems (POTS -- plain-old telephone service, as we called it in the telephone biz) up through the 1980s as an example. At additional cost, you could get the following features in your home phone system:

* Cordless phones
* Embedded answering systems
* Remote message pick-up
* Speed dialing
* Custom outbound messages

The problem with these system, no matter how much money you paid, when the batteries ran out of juice, or failed, or the systems failed, you lost all your parameters, including: names, numbers, messages, configuration parameters. I found the reconfiguration process so time-consuming, bothersome, and annoying, that I moved all my information to a computer file, and never programmed a speed-dial number, again. Even, with this file on my notebook computer, when I was traveling 3 to 5 days a week, I found that I needed a paper copy of the most frequent numbers even though I had the notebook computer, a cell phone, answering service, and pager.

Now, with my contacts list "in the cloud" (via Google), I never need to re-enter data, even as I change cell-phones AND carriers. This capability is so ubiquitous and easy to use, that if you held a gun to my head, I would not be able to remember MDW's, MDD's cell phone numbers. (I do, however, rmemeber my brother's and my best friend's cell numbers because these numbers pre-date BDA.)

So what's this "cloud" thing and how does it work?

Here, "cloud" means the data resides on publicly and ubiquitously accessible servers via publicly and ubiquitously accessible Internet.

If we were to continue to consider just the cloud data that has to do with telephony, it is instructive to see how Google operates versus my wireless carrier Verizon Wireless. Verizon, too, offers, contact storage, and they too, have decided to try to enter the cloud data business. There are at least three major problems with Verizon, however. First, you must be a customer of their expensive, and limited cell-phone service, if you want their cloud service. Second, the interfaces to their services are not public, so third parties cannot build apps to make the services more valuable. Third, compared to Google, they have no idea what they're doing, so everything they offer is more cumbersome, harder to use, and more likely to change -- often not for the better.

'So, why do I continue to use Verizon, if I think so little of it?', I hear you ask? Because I live in the "third-world country" of New Hampshire where cell coverage is spotty and 3G and 4G coverage is even worse, and Verizon remains the dominant carrier. And, even with Verizon, I had to buy a "network extender" from them, at exorbitant cost, that uses my broadband connection (cable modem) to actually make and receive cell phone calls in my home. Other folks in my subdivision that do not have the extender cannot use their cell phones in their homes.

Does this help? What else don't you understand?

BTB, it's the PDE (post digital era), that makes SP possible.

Lee emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RD03875 4/23/2014 12:34AM

    You have no idea what living in a "third world country" is like, I have been to many third world countries and they don't have the luxuries of cell phones, computers, electricity etc. Referring to New Hampshire as a "third world country" is unacceptable and rude!

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BETRHO48 4/22/2014 5:54PM

    emoticon Thanks so much for another enlightening message.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/22/2014 3:53PM

  All I can say is I am not one who feels the need to be 24/7 accessible, but I do find the cell phone useful in emergencies for sure.

I do use my computer a lot but an far from what I would consider techno-savvy. I am just as happy that way.

I remember record players and 45's too! My kids . . . not a stinkin' clue what that's all about. Heaven forbid they should listen to a radio station, because it might play something they don't want to hear. OMG

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    No offense. I understand very little of it but that's okay because I'm not a tech person. My brother would understand all of it. Phones are my pet peeve. We only have access to satellite T.V. and internet in my "gray" area and that is hit and miss. I'm okay with it as there is nothing on T.V. I love and the internet is a colossal waste of time. So I live in a third world country too and I actually like it. I still have a land line, corded phones. I don't use the answering machine feature. Never used the remote message pick-up. No speed dialing. I can spare the half a minute to dial. There is no cell phone service at my home. No bars. Verizon is the predominant cell phone carrier in my area too. AT&T is the land line carrier. The AT&T tech doesn't have a AT&T cell phone though. He has a Verizon one but it doesn't matter here, like I said. It's just as worthless. I have a tracfone for when I'm on the road,, for emergencies, never set up the voice mail, and have only had it the past few years because my son needed to reach us when we were settling my MIL's estate out of town. I have 2486 minutes and will soon have 800 more. I have no desire for a Smart Phone or anything resembling one. No desire to carry one in my hand like it's an extension of my arm while falling face first in fountains. Sitting on a toilet and taking to someone - totally gross. Nearly killing people while breaking the law texting and driving. Using the "groovy" new McDonald's app. LOL. To me, this all makes people look simple minded - stupid. Men used to want to impress women with their physiques, now they want to show you their BIG phone. LOL. Maybe it's because I carried a beeper for years. I was actually important enough that people had to reach me immediately so I could rush to the hospital to save people's lives. Listening to mental midgets in line behind me in the grocery store with rude blaring conversations is enough to turn me off. "Whaz up?" "Nuthin." "Whaz up with you?" " Nuthin. I'm a Wal-mart"" Blah, blah, blah. Nothing is really going on, especially in the cerebral region. Now if someone was having an intellectual conversation, I might feel differently but, most of the people in my area who are capable of that deliberately have their cell phones turned off. I know because people complain to me about how I can reach some of these people when they can't. It's because I'm not a pest, I'm not calling them because I may have to spend some time in silence, alone. I'm not calling them when I'm on the toilet. I'm not calling to give them the fascinating news that, "I'm at Wal-mart doing nuthin". So you will have to leave me behind on this one. I don't get people's love of phones and probably never will. No cloud for me other than the cumulus kind.

Comment edited on: 4/22/2014 3:54:18 PM

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ICEDEMETER 4/22/2014 12:37PM

    But what is the cost of the "cloud"? What do we lose in privacy, and personal responsibility, and even in the use of our own memories by utilizing the "cloud"? Beyond the cost to each individual, what is the cost to society?

I deplore the current belief that everyone is supposed to be accessible 24 hours a day by cell phone or email or text, and am saddened at the acceptance of each little step towards entire populations being under continuous surveillance by GPS locators and access to whatever data is stored in the "cloud".

While I appreciate the convenience of the library of knowledge that is on-line, and tools such as SP, I would be far happier if all of my personal data (banking, medical, taxes, etc.) were stored on separate servers that were not accessible on the 'net. It is far too easy for these to be hacked, and there is no longer any expectation of privacy for any of our data. We do not get to pick and choose which personal information is stored on-line, as the businesses and governments that we have no choice but to deal with are the ones choosing to store data there. Personally, I feel that this "cost" is far too high for the "convenience".

Yes, I am a dinosaur. I find my little notebook of phone numbers to be easier to carry around than an electronic version, and don't feel the need to be accessible 24 hours a day, so don't carry a cell phone. My ancient 'puter stays quite happily at home - I have no need of it while out in the world, doing "real" things and talking with "real" people.

You say that it was "limiting" to have the responsibility of keeping your own personal information safe and accessible only to yourself and those with whom you chose to share it --- I would happily accept those "limitations" (which I would have to see enumerated, since I don't feel that there were any) to go back in time to when there was enough actual privacy that individuals were the ones who chose what information about themselves was put in to the "public domain".

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JLAMING263 4/22/2014 10:35AM

    I am better of having read this!!! emoticon

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Hey, Peops, Too Tired to Write Much Today!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Errands and pre-errand prep all day.

Because DVR settings do not reside in "the cloud", and the DVR does not have standard interfaces (UGH!), when you replace your DVR/receiver (Dish -- but they're all the same), there is a boatload of "manual" re-configuration to do. (Of course, the alternative is watching commercials, and missing the few programs you really want to watch.)

Used a Netgear WiFi widget, for the first time, yesterday, to connect the Dish DVR/receiver to the Internet. Quite nifty. I'm going to have to get an additional one, each, for my Samsung TV, and Sony DVP.

UPS, post office, doctor (tick bite from walking in the woods), supermarket, taxes "debris" filing.

Did get in over 12,000 steps, including a 48-minute metered walk, and my "floor exercises".

Time to track, and then off to ... emoticon

Lee emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETRHO48 4/22/2014 6:10PM

    emoticon Looks like you accomplished a lot! And 12,000 steps - Great job!

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    I used to feel like I was only slightly technologically inept. Now, I just feel way behind the times!

Very busy day you had. Hope you rested well!

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    I have no idea how to worh the DVR. It's probably for the best. LOL.

My husband has already had a tick too from the woods. Hate those things!

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NELLIEH1 4/22/2014 9:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon MOnday is also my busy day!!

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DEBBYFROMMT 4/22/2014 9:22AM

    ??? I am so tech un-savvy I have no idea what you just said. I had to have my daughter write out how to use the DVD player before she left for college!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


* The businesspeop went to the seminar. Peop felt the program was well worth the money peop paid.
* The businesspeop was an Enlishpeop. Peop was also a she.
* Friends, Romans, and countrypeops, lend me your ears ...
* The policepeop had been on the force 15 years when peop became a firepeop working on the arson squad.
* All of peopkind was in mourning when Samuel died.
* Peop was a primate. We know this because peop was a hupeop.

Do you think this will work?

Probably not.

But, tracking nutrition and exercise does!

Keep after it.

Lee emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NELLIEH1 4/21/2014 6:31PM

    emoticon Thanks for keeping us on our toes linguistically!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/21/2014 5:44PM

  This sheop (a female peop) did pretty well yesterday, thanks to planning and tracking!


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    I did really well on Easter. Didn't over eat or stuff.

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DEBBYFROMMT 4/21/2014 9:07AM

    LOVE it Lee! You do a good job using peop instead of man! I like the way you think!

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MAVERICKDR 4/21/2014 6:32AM

    The peoping tom lost his head at Thanksgiving. Or something like that. It's gonna be a good day emoticon

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RD03875 4/21/2014 12:59AM

    Saying peeps about people is like nails on a chalk board to me, hate that word, it's PEOPLE

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Hey, Peops; or, More to the Point, Peop!

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The English language is a wonder; in fact, it's several wonders, since it really isn't one, coherent language. It's the live, growing, amalgam of the many languages that led to the evolution of London/England and eventually the British Empire/colonies, the United States, the United Kingdom, all of the ethnicities and their languages, including those that have emigrated, and contributed to the latter. And, WRT the latter point about "ethnicities", one must consider nerds among the ethnicities, because English is the preferred language of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). :-|

English, BTW, has about ten times as many words in its working lexicon as does the next most prolific language (German). In brief, "English" is "InkLush"!

English, however, does have its downside. First, it has ten times as many words as the next most prolific language. Not a plus when you're trying to learn it, as a first, and especially as a second language. And, that fact drives the issues I'm about to describe. Second, it's extremely irregular. Take the first sentence of this paragraph, and the one immediately preceding this one. In the first, I, correctly, did not follow the rule of possessives sporting an apostrophe ess, in "its", because "it's" is reserved for the contraction of "it is" (which I did do in the second). Third, spelling is an adventure. That's why "spelling" is a competitive sport in the United States. Witness: spelling bees. In contrast, for example, modern languages such as German and Hebrew, are largely phonetic. Fourth, because of all the "foreign words" and foreign language influences, it has an enormous number of homonyms ( m_list.html ), which, again, creates confusion in diction, spelling, and second language learning. (You may remember that I covered this in a prior post.) Fifth, the sheer size (and other complexities) also drives an exponentially larger collection of idioms, common figures of speech, and inclusivity of complex word forms (like "inclusivity").

Implicit Sexism
Despite all of this richness and attendant complexity, English also retains a remarkable amount of sexism. Many of us typically say "he", when we mean, s/he, because there is no neutral auditory morpheme for 3rd person singular. Moreover, the individual words are, to my taste, inherently sexist. Namely, an individual people, is a perSON. And, we are all, collectively huMANs -- and in the historical collective -- huMANity. There is also MANkind. HuMANoids! Etcetera!

But, we have a unique opportunity, now. A morpheme -- a lexical opportunity -- has percolated to the surface of our pop-culture. The word is "peops",the singular of which is "peop" (spelled this way, no doubt, to distinguish it from the Easter candy brand, "Peeps").

Such distinguished peops, as Dr. Gregory House (played by the English-[hooray]-MAN [alas], Hugh Laurie, has used this exact word in several episodes of "House". Need I say more? Wink. Wink. Nod. Nod.

"Peop" for President (er, PRECEDENT)!
I leave it you, good peops, what say you? Make your vote in your comment to this blog by addressing me either as "Peop", or "Yo".

Also, if you would, please, include one or more latest new thing you've tried, or will try, in your nutrition or fitness program in the last month, or future month.

Follow-Up on the Prior Blog Post
Yes, the post was about Motherhood -- although some of you extended it to Parenthood.

My thoughts about Motherhood are really what prompted the bulk of today's "allegory"/proposal. I've often thought that Mothers Day is just wrong. YOUR MOTHER'S DAY is the day YOU were born. On a birthday, each peop should be giving peop's mother a present, not the reverse.

While I know that this latter proposal would be an extreme disappointment to Hallmark, the florists of the world, and Mark Zuckerberg, among others, I believe it also deserves careful consideration.

seriousLee -- more than you suspect emoticon


Because posts like this engender special attention from the "grammar police", I'd like to point out that I knowingly use quotations marks in a non-accepted way. Specifically, I only include the sentence or phrase ending punctuation in the quotation marks, when the "ender" is actually part of the quotation.

Also, I often use multiple phrase ending punctuation marks as in "Are you mental?: Yes!"

Finally, there are certain words that I always misspell -- intentionally. Most notable is "wholistic"! I want nothing to do with "holy"! :-|

Beyond this, I also make lots of mistakes. The ones, above, are intentional. The rest are unintentional.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1SALMON1 4/20/2014 1:03AM

    I like the idea that the use of Peops will become common. I agree that our language (other languages? it may be a human characteri- stic...) are sexist - a natural evolution, probably un-avoidable but we can recognize that and perhaps correct it! I will try using peops & see how it goes. Thank you, fellow peop, for suggesting it! Nutritional new frontier for me is moving away from so much fruit and toward more veggies. Usually I eat at least 1 apple, orange, & banana per day; recently I switched to carrots, celery, & peppers (not privation - I like them!) and this week will add cauliflower, zucchini, and I don't know what else.
** BE WELL!**

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BETRHO48 4/20/2014 12:19AM

    You're a great PEOP!

I loved the previous blog about mothers and DEFINITELY love your idea of giving your mother presents on your birthday.

You're a prolific writer. Love this blog, too.


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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/19/2014 10:04PM

    I thought it was spelled "peeps" just like the sickening, little, gritty, Easter candy calledPeeps. I'm usually the last one to know the latest slang though, as I live in a rural community and am not into it. I still see people that I went to high school with who were "out there". Even after all of these years my perception of them is mired in the 60s when they were wearing goofy Nehru suits and were spouting gibberish like "Groovy, Baby, Groovy." And "Rad!"

Thankfully, English was my first language as I took a year of Latin, a year of French, a year of German, and 2 years of Spanish. I hated all but Spanish. Unless something jogs my memory, I remember very little of them except Spanish too.

I'm trying new recipes this month. Pea salad and carrot salad are my latest things. I like them.

Comment edited on: 4/19/2014 10:21:22 PM

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68ANNE 4/19/2014 9:38PM

    Thank goodness I don't go through the blog just to be a grammatical authori-tie

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DEBBYFROMMT 4/19/2014 3:11PM

    Lee This is fantastic! I had come to realize that English is also the language of money. Swiss business"men", and Japanese business"men" speak English (although sometime not very well).

BRAVO on an excellent blog! You are a good "peop".

As far as something new? Hmm, I'm quite a creature of habit, but I'll think of something!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/19/2014 2:57PM

  1. You are a good PEOP!

2. Trying kick boxing (not well @ the moment, but hey . . . give it time!)

3. Nutrition -- trying new fruits. The latest is ugli fruit. Can't say I'd get it again (it's a citrus fruit and does indeed look kinda ugly!) Next I'm going to try a grapple (a type of apple). We'll see! Who knows what else my produce guy will have me trying!

Have a wonderful Easter!

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World's Hardest Job

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Looking for a change of work environment? I'm not sure this is it!

I'll comment on this tomorrow.

Lee emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RD03875 4/19/2014 1:54PM

    This has been floating around the internet for a couple weeks. I knew without watching it was a mom.

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BRENJET 4/19/2014 9:11AM

    As I mom, I cried when I watched this!!! I love this "job" more than life itself!!!!!!! I love MY mom!!!!! and....My dad is pretty awesome, too!!!

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1SALMON1 4/19/2014 12:32AM

    Thank you, Lee - I enjoyed that very much!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/18/2014 5:31PM

  Listening to the job description, my only answer to the position was PARENT . . . not just Mom, not just Dad, but PARENT!

Thank you for sharing it. Going to share it with my 18 yr. old DD. Think she'll get it??? NOT! LOL

Hope you and your family have a blessed Easter.

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    I can't watch it. My adobe flash player doesn't work and when I upgrade it it still doesn't work.

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GARDENCHRIS 4/18/2014 11:57AM

    so nice and thank you! I am that person for my children....

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IMAVISION 4/18/2014 10:35AM

    When I first read the title of this blog, I thought "I bet they get it wrong! Fulfilling the stewardship of parenthood is the all time hardest "job" ever!"

emoticon so much for posting this!

God bless!


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IMEMINE1 4/18/2014 9:41AM

    emoticon I think it makes them stop and think.

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NELLIEH1 4/18/2014 8:18AM

    This job has been a privilege to is not meant to be an alone one. My doing this could not have been without the one who was there to not only provide for and protect us, but to share in many of these tasks...especially on DH!
And neither of us could have done this without the One Who created, redeemed and sustains us daily...Jesus the Christ.

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DEBBYFROMMT 4/18/2014 7:52AM

Yes, I've done that job!


Comment edited on: 4/18/2014 7:52:38 AM

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MAVERICKDR 4/18/2014 6:51AM

    Thanks for sharing this, Lee. Food for thought. emoticon

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BETRHO48 4/18/2014 12:39AM

    The link is working now.
emoticon Unbelievable! Awesome! I love it!
Thanks for putting it in your blog.

Comment edited on: 4/18/2014 12:40:39 AM

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BETRHO48 4/17/2014 11:08PM

    So sorry, Lee, the link did not work for me! emoticon

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