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computers, internet and social networking

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computers, internet and social networking

Four recent technology announcements that benefit older adults

AARP announced the launch of its AARP TEK Academy.  “This is a free, easy-to-use online classroom designed to help 50-plus Americans get the most out of technology to connect with family and friends, explore employment opportunities, access health information, enjoy entertainment and more. Located at AARPTEK.org, the site can be accessed from a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops and offers dozens of tutorials on a range of helpful topics, from social media to staying safe online. AARP TEK (which stands for Technology Education and Knowledge) launched last year offering hands-on workshops in select cities to empower the 50-plus audience to use technology to live their best lives. The TEK Academy is the latest offering as part of this program.”  Learn more at AARP TEK.

AARP TEK Launches Online Classroom as Lifelong Learning Opportunity for 50-Plus

08/18/2015

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP announced today the launch of its AARP TEK Academy, a free, easy-to-use online classroom designed to help 50-plus Americans get the most out of technology to connect with family and friends, explore employment opportunities, access health information, enjoy entertainment and more.

Listen up – will new pricing of data plans further limit seniors?

If you don’t like the way carriers serve older adults, just wait, it could get worse.   A few months ago we learned that carriers are pushing tablets, ha! Just as tablet sales overall are slowing. Carriers obviously read that Gartner report about slowing tablet sales -- and then 'encouraged' us to add a tablet to a plan for $10/month for up to 5GB of data. How generous. That’s not a lot of movies, maybe 2.5 hours of streaming HD per month. But what plan? How to encourage data usage with wireless data plans? No problem, those have all changed, with AT&T following T-Mobile and Verizon aping AT&T. And all of this following the precedent long set in Europe – now the full price of the phone is disclosed ($650 for an iPhone!). You could buy the phone upfront, but not to worry – there’s a monthly installment plan for the list price phone.

Pew report reveals 17 million seniors disconnected from the utility of the Internet

First the numbers – good news, sort of. The latest in Pew posting headline in the news misleads. Period. Who’s Not Online -- about Internet adoption – reports the change in online use since the year 2000. The text works hard on enthusiasm and a bit of 'game over' in terms of saturation: 84% of adults are now online! Saturation for some groups! Considerably higher than in 2000!  Note the 'on the other hand' age-related caveat: "About four-in-ten adults ages 65 and older (39%) do not use the internet, compared with only 3% of 18- to 29-year-olds."  Education is a factor (more educated, more online, no kidding). Where you live (less rural, more online). But there’s the neon punch line: "Adults from households earning less than $30,000 a year are roughly eight times more likely than the most affluent adults to not use the internet."

Consumers lose: medical hacking, 911 failure, Google rules

Ho hum – another day, another few million records are hacked. Rant on. It’s a small hack really, only 4.5 million impacted by the UCLA Medical System cyber attack. But what a relief, the impacted individuals will receive identity theft recovery and restoration services and credit monitoring at no cost. That category of service firm is buying plenty of ads all around and may be one of the boom businesses of 2015.  Because of course the 4.5 million must be added to the 22 million Federal government individuals and the 80 million Anthem Blue Cross individuals -- for starters.  And the solution?  A new services industry emerges with vendors popping up in every flavor. As for fines for those that let the data get out of the bag? As for the notorious insurance industry leader, Anthem (first quarter net income $865.2 million) has received a fine of $1.7 million – but fines for data breaches remain rare.

Google crushes content to boost mobile friendliness

Google forced the creation of so-called mobile sites?  Rant on.  Last week I published a list of Medication Management technologies that could be useful to baby boomers. Great. This week I looked at those websites a bit more closely, not squinting at my phone, but instead from my desktop PC. I selected a few of them – stared at the full motion video on the desktop sites, and ran their URLs through the Google Mobile Friendly-ness test. I also put in MobiHealthNews and Weather.gov (Google says not mobile friendly). The URL for Anthem.com  was deemed mobile friendly, but when searching via Google for Anthem.com, I was directed to an Overview page (not friendly). Then I look at the tortured feedback on Google’s own recommended forum about this topic: So many sites have been failing this test -- with their owners fixing and then pleading with Google to take another look.

Bloom Launches With A New Way To Connect Parents, Grandparents, and Children

06/16/2015

After several months of development, the Google Ventures and FKA-backed bloom, is unveiling its first generation of products aimed to combat dementia, and (perhaps equally as important) the disintegration of communication among families.

The seed which blossomed into bloom’s initial suite of products was initially laid in founder Keith Kocho’s head by an errant copy of MIT Technology Review, Mr. Kocho says.

BOOMER-FOCUSED STARTUP ASSURE TECHNOLOGIES NAMED FINALIST IN

06/15/2015

SANTA CRUZ, CA – Santa Cruz based startup Assure Technologies has been selected as a finalist in the Third Annual SXSW V2Venture pitch competition, to be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on July 22. One of five finalists in the Social Technologies category, Assure Technologies will present their business to a panel of expert judges before a live audience.

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