computers, internet and social networking

Includes PC simplification software, personal computers for seniors, home routers, web conferencing, Skype-related, social networking, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

Why free software costs us time and time again

See the new features in THIS upgrade – now go forth and suffer!  I admit it. I am one of the millions of Android phone users. That makes me something of a glutton for Google-induced pain. This week, I was trying to provide helpful navigation assistance in downtown Boston, where any navigational aid is a blessing. I discovered that Maps and its associated and fast-talking Nav app were somehow upgraded -- and thus rendered mysterious. Maps still works – if you don't mind two crashes, the third startup is a charm. But it now has an unrecognizable set of icons and hidden options – and Nav is no longer a separate app. Sadly, I was not helpful navigating. Later I learn from the angry hordes on the Android forums that there is an Uninstall option to enable return to the previous version. And further research reveals a setting for the aptly named Google Play Store -- Do not auto-update apps. For good reason. The default is, naturally, the reverse. >>> Read more . . .

Google+ is a loser

Well-written and nasty about this 'social networking'. 

07/02/2013

Tablets and smartphones owners are wealthier and younger

Connecting through glass by older adults – forward, but slowly.  The Pew numbers are out and offer confirmation that -- as consumer devices -- feature phones are nearly dead and laptops may be dying. But smart phone ownership among seniors is marginally up from the previous 13% – now 18% of the 570 surveyed adults aged 65+ and 39% of boomers aged 55-64. What’s different is the dominance of the device among younger adults – 55% of those aged 45-54 and 69% of those aged 35-44 have smart phones.  Meanwhile tablet ownership among the 65+ has progressed to that same 18%. (Uh, could those be the same folks that own smart phones?)  And tablet ownership, a newer category and less dominant than smart phones, fits an older crowd: 49% of adults aged 35-44 own one, and 38% of those aged 45-54 have them.   >>> Read more . . .

Complexity is killing us – where is the Universal Easy Mode?

Windows 8 – the interface that needed a ‘Start Me Up’ revision. The emotion that has been unleashed by the launch of Windows 8 is fun to read about – unless you have a new computer pre-installed with it. Then you are in deep trouble – you are dealing with a mysterious user interface designed for a Windows phone that nobody will buy – nor will you – but sadly, you are running it on a computer. You cannot find the Start menu, locate a network printer, find where files are placed -- and that’s actually before you’ve done any work. The lack of a Start menu alone immediately spawned an entire software industry of add-ons! But thankfully, someone tells you about a downloadable START button – and you’ve taken one small step forward – at least until the complainers are silenced with Windows 8.1. >>> Read more . . .

Your Social Security is smart about phones

Social Security has a smart phone app.  Never one to be behind the technology times, Social Security has announced the availability of a smart phone site, noting that 35 million page views come via smart phones -- over what period, how many repeats, we can only guess. The site must be a work in process, however. Before I could even type my password into MySocialSecurity, a message informed me that the information which I had not yet requested was best viewed on a desktop. No kidding. There are more options and tidbits of information on the desktop site than on the mobile site, including the non-trivial process of applying for benefits. On a phone would be a study in persistence in the face of daunting obstacles. But life is good: "phone users can connect with Social Security on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest."  Whew, if we couldn’t connect through Pinterest, I just don’t know what we’d do. >>> Read more . . .

Winning SeniorLink helps seniors stay connected

A 16-year-old helps older clients with technology.

05/14/2013

Silver surfers fighting loneliness with technology

A study teaching older people how to use programs like Facebook has found social media can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness among seniors.

03/26/2013

Helping seniors learn new technology

Though lots of communities offer computer classes for older adults, the response has been mostly local and small-scale.

05/03/2013

AARP: Seniors need better access to Internet to support aging in place

Many older adults still do not have affordable, high-speed connectivity at home.

04/16/2013

New Digital-Divide Campaign Would Leave Seniors Behind

Getting online, a priority for low-income children; but low-income seniors are being left behind.

04/08/2013
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