Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Web 2.0 - "A Global Village"

The Future is Upon Us - WEB 2.0

Ok, what exactly is this thing called: "Web 2.0"?

According to Wikipedia, an online (free) encyclopedia, Web 2.0 "refers to what some people see as a second phase of development of the World Wide Web." A quick peek at Web 2.0 reveals some interesting characteristics that this "second phase" of the Internet offers in commnunication via various applications such as: weblogs - linkblogs - podcasts - RSS Feeds - social software - web APIs - web standards - online web services - Ajax ... and of course this list is becoming limitless.

Web 2.0 got its notority in a BusinessWeek artilce entitled: "It's A Whole New Web" that describes how people today are living inside the Web "by the millions" and they are "gathering and dissmeninating their own news with blogs and podcasts, creating customized article and photo feeds from their favorite sites and even anotating them with helpful text tags that others can search for on the Web site"

Yes the Web is "a changin" to a "do-it-yourself" movement, a world within a world. Maybe the term "World Wide Web" should be adjusted to what Marshall Mcluhan wrote in 1967, his book entitled: "Understanding Media", that the world is changing, "Time has ceased, space has vanished. We now live in a global village...a simultaneous happening" (1967: p.63).

Interestingly, almost 40 years ago, Mcluhan envisioned that "We live mythically and integrally...In the electric age, when our central nervous system is technologically extended to involve in the whole of mankind and to incorporate the whole of mankind in us, we necessarily the consequence of our every action" (1964: p.4).

One final interesting point is that television newscasts are now breaking away from their normal broadcast form, via TV, and such Global TV now offers their nightly newscast through Web 2.0 in the form of a podcast so you can listen to the entire program on your MP3 player on the way to work or while eating breakfast as you scan your RSS reader to see what the world is up to today. In fact, they advertise: "Miss the Global National newscast on Television? Now you can audio format on your portable MP3 player!"

More and more people are connecting via online avenues, using Web 2.0 without knowing it exists...but where would be today without it and where are we headed with it?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Online Shopping

Millions Now Shop Online

How About You?

With all the horrifying stories one hears about the Internet, why would anyone dare to enter their
credit card online?

Especially considering that most people do not properly protect their computer systems from incoming and outgoing attacks by hackers just lurking around every crevice of the Net?

I for one shop online, however I do consider my system to be as safe as it can be in today's computer world.
This topic is for another Blog...

Online shoppers are rising in record amounts and according to
PCWorld magazine, "Holiday shoppers spent more online in 2005 than they did in 2004, continuing to steadily steal market share from brick-and-mortar shops..."

In fact, according to a current study of online shoppers surveyed said they "plan to do at least 54 percent of their shopping online" purchasing everything from lucky stones, books, computer equipment, cameras, programs - you name it, they buy it!
Why the hype about online shopping? People are feeling safe with online shopping - they must be?

senior representative from the Nielson/NetRatings points out that "E-commerce is gaining ground amongst consumers during the holiday season due to its convenience, product selection and lower prices." Prices seem to amount for something...Enticing millions of shoppers away from the hectic malls and to the solace of their quiet home computer office where they can browse with ease, shop without the pushing and shoving and the horrendous lineups and lack of parking spaces, not to mention the weather conditions.

Oh yes, and let us not forget that dreadful tax: In Canada we pay a total of 15% tax on any mechandice we buy...But not online - man, what a savings!
Online shopping is a unique experience.

If you have never ventured into this realm, do yourself a favour and head over to
E-bay, and even dig deep as you will find that many stores such as Future Shop offer better deals in their online stores and many offer FREE delivery to boot!

For an extensive article on E-Bay by the President of the Sarnia Computer Users' Group, check out this great discussion about shopping online at E-Bay. For more CLICK HERE...

For those of you who like your flyers, why not get them all on one website? ONLINE FLYERS FROM MOST STORES

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Serious Flaw in Microsoft Metafile Interpreter


Before reading any further, you may be doing yourself at great justice by going to Steve Gibson's Security website to get the patch for this new threat. Just click on this text.

Of course, if you are like myself, you should not download every patch that comes flying your way...First, listen to the podcast where Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson discuss this current FLAW in detail. Here is the LINK for the show.

According to TechSpot they are warning people not to open sites you do not trust with *wmf file extensions. These extentions are Windows Meta Files that are used for file exchange and device support that are "a widely used format associated with Microsoft Windows.

Firefox and Opera users can get infected. All Windows operating systems are not cleared, XP users are at the top of the warning, however as SecurityFocus posted: "Microsoft Windows XP is considered to be vulnerable at the moment. It is likely that other Windows operating systems are affected as well.

The IRONIC thing about this is the original culprit: MICROSOFT. A visit today to their official website, the first thing you see is a nice flower with sunglasses on and smiling and text floating in and about the nice blue sky telling us to "Start having fun". No mention of the terrible screwup flaw that is hot on the presses all-over-the-world today. Even when you go deeper in the Microsoft's website, click on the Security button and guess what? Yep we have: No Warning.
(Owner of above photo)

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Friday, December 23, 2005


Welcome to the all new Blog:

TECH TRENDS by Gregory West

BIO: Gregory is the author of TECH TRENDS column in Business Trends magazine, reviewer for O'Reilly Publishing, and Amazon. Gregory West is the head writer of RHETORICAL SOUNDOFF. He is also the Editor of SCUG Report, a newsletter for the Sarnia Computer User's Group. SCUG is a member of the Association of Computer Users Groups APCUG where greg is also a writer for computer/Internet issues.

The intent of this blog is to fire out fast and hopefully short snippets of infodata relative to current TECH TRENDS of the day.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this Blog and if you have any suggestions, questions, or fantastic websites to share, well fire away:

Oh yes, and one final suggestion: Please visit my political Blog, sometimes correct and sometimes depends on which way the wind is blowing.

Please check it here:

Thanks, and enjoy the future herein...
(Owner of above picture) RHETORICAL SOUNDOFF My Technorati Profile