Category Archives: Internet

Can Obama “alert” your phone?

A couple weeks ago I gave up my decade long use of Blackberry phones. It was a tough decision, but my old 3G phone was acting up plus there were a couple apps I wanted that I couldn’t load to the Blackberry.

So I got an Android. As I was removing all the Google apps – not an easy task – I came across one app called EMERGENCY ALERT.

Emergency Alerts app

Click to enlarge

There are 4 alerts but only 3 can be ‘checked’ or ‘unchecked’. You’ll notice in the photo that the top alert is ‘grayed-out’ meaning I can’t choose to unclick it. It says: Presidential alert – Mandatory alert.

Think about the times we might get an alert from the current Prez.

  • Nuclear war from Iran, Russia or Korea – kiss your arse goodbye!
  • An alert that he’s set up martial law.
  • An alert that he’s now the Dictator.
  • Distribute propaganda.

I tweeted about this and received a number of comments from people who DID NOT like this. The I-Phone people said they had the Emergency Alerts app but that the Presidential Alert wasn’t on their phone. I guess Obama has more influence with Google than with Apple.

The reason this is so disturbing is that we have lost so many of our freedoms with Obama’s tenure and those of us who read “1984” see this as an another intrusion. I hate to think how the FCC’s Net Neutrality Law will control what we can see and write!!

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Learning to use my “Big Girl” camera

I’ve made many references in various articles here about the importance of good photos when marketing a home for sale. Over the last few months, I’ve “put my money where my mouth is“. I bought what I call my “big girl” camera.

Sony A-300 camera

Photo taken with my Blackberry

Then I had to buy a book to figure out how to use it because the mini instructions that came with the camera assumed the user actually knew something about SLR’s. Then I found I really needed to buy a longer range flash attachment. Of course, I already had a tripod.

All told, I’ve invested about $1000 to take nice photos of my listings. I’m only about 1/4 of the way through the big book, so I’ve still got a lot to learn. AUTO is my favorite go-to setting right now, but I’ll get there.

This Sony A-300 is a great camera for a Realtor® because it goes down to 18mm, which means much more of the room can be in the photo. No it’s not a funny looking fisheye lens … it’s just a wider shot. The other handy thing is the LED viewing screen. It is movable up or down so if I hold the camera high over my head – because I’m not real tall – I can tilt the screen to still see the image. Or I can hold the camera low and tilt the screen up to see the image. That’s handy because getting down on my knees isn’t always convenient – especially outside in snow or mud.

The new flash attachment can be tilted to bounce the light off the ceiling, thus lighting the whole room or targeted to brighten a specific area. Its only negative is that the batteries can be drained when shooting a large home. I normally take 100-200 photos. The batteries last through the 100 photos but give out by the time I reach 200.

I still carry my little Nikon CoolPix2 in the car for quick shots or videos during my day, and of course, my Blackberry camera is ALWAYS with me. But for the serious stuff, my BIG GIRL camera gets to go along.

Now, if I could just figure out this ISO-thingey.

 

Talk, Talk, Talk … Text, Text, Text … just not FTF*

Are you tired of hearing the term “social media“? If you don’t participate, you probably are. I DO participate and even I’m a little tired of the term. IMO, it’s really a misnomer as it can be anything BUT social.

People sit in meetings or restaurants with their head down – thumbs flying on their smart phone – totally oblivious to the REAL people around them. As I’ve said before, I’m a chatterer. I was in the Verizon store earlier this week, talking to a young woman – also waiting – when she mentioned that she has “just a phone”. If you have “just a phone”, do you feel as though you have to apologize for being so “antiquated”?

Have you ever heard people refer to other people by their Twitter name rather than the name their parents gave them? (I’m @ReesesPeanut in case you don’t know.) Have you canceled your newspaper subscription because you get all your news online? Have you switched which TV news station you watch based on which one uses Twitter so you can comment to them in real time? If someone tells you something, have you ever responded with, “yes, I read that on Twitter yesterday“?

Are you making business connections on LinkedIn, perhaps hoping to land an opportunity for a new job? I recently coordinated a get-together of people I used to work with via LinkedIn. We had a lot of fun and it wasn’t a bunch of Gen X or Y’ers that attended. Have you heard that the fastest growing group on Facebook are women over 55?

Whether you’re into the social media thing or not, you should watch this YouTube video that’s been making the rounds on various blogs. Good or bad, the way we communicate has changed. What’s your thoughts on this change?

* FTF = face-to-face.

The Google Toolbar simplifies life.

Here’s a handy computer tip for you. If you install the Google Toolbar, you can easily perform searches on Google without closing out the web site you’re currently on since a new page tab will open for the search results.

A Google search box is included with the tool bar, so simply type in the keywords of the search, and voilá, you’ll get your results. You can easily search maps by entering an address into the search box. There is a spellcheck feature which I find works a little better for checking email messages or my blog posts. Or if you wonder who owns that phone number that’s calling you as a telemarketer, simply type the phone number – with dashes – into the search box. Chances are other people have already reported the number and you’ll be able to see the complaints.

The Toolbar has other features as well, so you can have it show the icons that are most beneficial to you. Once you add it to your other toolbars, I think you’ll find it a handy gadget. When I occasionally use the computers in the Worthington office, which don’t have the Google Toolbar, I really miss it. You might want to try it.

A look back in order to look to the future

I participate in a real estate blogging network called Active Rain, along with around 130,000 other Realtors®. I used to do more blogging there, but once I started this blog, I don’t write there very often. Mainly, now I just stay in touch with certain bloggers who I enjoy reading as we share tips, thoughts and ideas.

Over the holiday weekend, I wrote an article for that audience of people in the industry who are naturally, also bloggers. My article was a call-to-action for us as Realtors®, but also as U.S. citizens, regarding our current economy and the future of the Nation. Naturally, everyone has an opinion on those topics, so there are good comments after the article as well. Click here if you’d like to read the article and comments.

Hopefully, it will at least stimulate your thoughts whether you agree with the concept or not.

The Gov’t is still searching Sgt Murphy

In January I wrote a post about the City of Delaware (Ohio) obtaining a new member to their K-9 unit. At the end of the article I mentioned that The Murph thought he could qualify for this job. It was written in fun, AND it mentioned Sgt Murphy.

Well, with the stat counters I have installed to track visitors’ traffic, I can monitor the search terms people used prior to visiting my sites. Sometimes I can see the name of the corporation for the people who visit. It has been so-o-o funny to see who is searching for “Sgt Murphy”. One of those has been the FBI in Washington, DC. Yesterday it was the Dept of Homeland Security.

Now, I’ve no idea who the REAL Sgt Murphy is, but I’ll bet those folks are surprised when they land on a page showing him as a little wiener dog.

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