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'. 


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.


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.


Helping seniors learn new technology

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


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.


New Digital-Divide Campaign Would Leave Seniors Behind

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

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