Saturday, June 21, 2008

Teach Your Kids Online Etiquette

We are teaching our kids of proper behaviour in the society. At least, we are trying to do our best to teach them. Equally important to explain them the main rules of the online etiquette - so called "netiquette". There is a collection of the simple recommendations of what your children should avoid in online communication:
  • Posting stolen or cracked software is not recommended. This is plainly illegal and can be considered as a criminal offence.
  • Emailing anything that is part of a pyramid scheme. These are also illegal, and they work perfectly just for their creators. For everybody else - it is a lost battle, no matter what you read in the spam promises.
  • Giving out your own or other people’s phone numbers or personal information. Use alternative (or disposable) email addresses and secondary free Internet phone numbers, when giving away this information is mandatory.
  • Emailing to a large group of people and revealing their email addresses to all the recipients. While sending message to multiple recipients, it is recommended to put their addresses in the BCC field. That will also prevent the private responses to be delivered to the entire group.
  • Posting anything without acknowledging the source. It is considered polite and advisable to show where the item came from with a link or short sentence, if the information is available.
  • Formatting emails with colored text/background. They are difficult to read without converting them.
  • Typing your messages or emails in all capital letters. “Shouting” or “screaming” in caps is rude.
  • Emailing very large files without letting the other person know. Getting a large file will slow things down for users, fill up their mailbox and prevent them from receiving something that may be more important. In some cases, it might completely block the mail server.
  • Emailing alerts about viruses that you haven’t verified are real. Make sure the virus isn’t a hoax before you tell everyone you know.
  • Sending an attachment that might be infected with a virus or Trojan. Scan for viruses regularly and keep your software up-to-date.
  • Emailing with long subject lines. Use the body of the email for your message and the subject line for a brief description.
  • Emailing with no subject line at all. This is a Spammer tactic. A subject line gives someone a little information before they read the main text. It also helps people sort and organize their emails. Besides, in most cases, your email with no subject will go directly to the bulk mail or spam folder.
To add personality and humor to your messages, use smileys, also known as emoticons, expressions you create from the characters on your keyboard. It just like adding tones to your online voice. A few popular ones include:
:-) Happy :-( Sad :-o Surprised :-@ Screaming :-I Indifferent :-e Disappointed :-< Mad :-D Laughing ;-) Winking

Monday, June 16, 2008

Trapster Free Services - Avoiding Police Speed Traps

"If someone slows down because of it, it's accomplishing the same goal of trying to get people to obey the speed limit"
Bill Johnson - Executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations

Have you ever been stopped by traffic police for speeding? I bet, it was not the most pleasant experience in your life, followed by the financial punishment and traffic school detention (if you are eligible). The best way to avoid speed tickets is avoid speeding. Yes, it is easier said than done. Especially, if you are in running late for your flight or the entire traffic flow is rushing beyond the traffic speed limits.

Anti-radar has been a good warning solution. But, it has at least three noticeable limitations:
  1. It is not considered legal in all states.
  2. Some of the police scanners have been recently upgraded to the new signal type, that is not catch able by the old anti-radar devices.
  3. While driving in the mountains, sometimes, you can catch the police trap by anti-radar only at the moment, when radar registers your speed, not giving ahead-of-time warning.
The new free service Trapster offers an interesting Web 2 online social solution to the problem: it offers one-touch reporting and automated alerts for police speed traps through their portal. Pete Tenereillo, a programmer in Carlsbad who developed Trapster, described it as "a social network for sharing information about police speed traps." Tenereillo confirmed that all most current-generation cell phones, Blackberries and other PDA’s can accommodate the Trapster software.

Trapster works like this: After you sign for a free membership, you can download the Trapster software to your cell phone or PDA. Later, on the road, when you spot a police trap hiding, you just punch in # 1 (pound one) on your cell phone or dial a toll-free number. Other users are then alerted on their cell phones or PDA when they approach the same speed trap, you discovered.

At this point, the service has not been met with opposition by law enforcement because it ultimately encourages drivers to slow down.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Start your Free Images Search Here!

You need images for your Web Site, Blog, greeting card, or school project. Where would you go to search for the free pics? Flickr is a good starting point.

A fresh service, compfight, is supposed to propose a better searching capabilities for the Flickr hosted images, than the Flick itself, in terms of the speed of scan and quality of image search. It is not affiliated with Flickr, but uses the Flickr API, and lets you toggle Creative Commons search right under its search box. You have an option to do a full-text search on images titles and descriptions, or to limit your search just to Creative Commons licensed works only.

Results are returned on clickable thumbnail pages, 250 to a page. Choosing one will get you to the related full-image Flickr page. Simplistic interface and keeping the preferable user settings makes this user-friendly site a good option to start your images searches from.

Access Link:
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