Obama, Facebook, Ping.fm, Touchscreens

Wow, it was quite a day yesterday. A new year, a new day. A new president, and a new hope (that sounds vaguely Star War-esque).

And I ended up watching the coverage for nearly the whole day while I was working.

I have to say; I’ve never been interested in attending an inauguration and frankly Washington, D.C. hasn’t been a place I’ve particularly wanted to visit. Heck, we’ve even avoided going near it while traveling on a few vacations.

But this time I felt differently. I would have loved to be there, in amongst history being made. Despite what the outcome of Obama’s presidency is going to ultimately turn out to be – good or bad.

But we’ve certainly made history.

Personally, I’ve found myself trying to be more tolerate and less biased against others since Obama was elected. I’ve always tried to be, I should say that, but I haven’t always been so successful. But things ‘feel’ differently, like maybe we can all do better now. I know we probably won’t – but we could.

Heck; when kids who had previously worn rapper t-shirts and watched their favorite “gangsta” videos on MTV and VH1 are switching to wearing Obama t-shirts and watching CNN – well, something good is happening, at least temporarily.

Despite all of this I am still continually surprised and deeply disappointed in the attitude of some of my friends, family members, acquaintances, and clients. Not to mention others in Jefferson County.

I’ve always loved this area – Jefferson County, but I find myself more and more disappointed by some of the people themselves, and their attitudes.

Facebook. I’ve been a member for quite some time. And a member of some of the other social networking sites also for quite some time.

But in the last few months I find myself using and really enjoying Facebook more and more.

I think it’s the privacy of it.

The other social networking sites pretty much allow anyone to read your comments, your status, see your pics, and read your comments to others.

But with Facebook there’s more of a sense of privacy and community among friends.

I mean – you can’t be stupid and post too many personal, private things or add friends you don’t know. But at least with Facebook what you do post is among your friends, and you can tweak the privacy settings to your specifications.

Anyone can find you if you use your real name – they just can’t see anything else about you unless you’ve made them a friend.

I’ll say it again – I really like Facebook. I’ve found that I enjoy keeping up on my friends and family, and even with old school mates and friends from way back, many I’ve lost track of.

I even like the silly (and not-so-silly) games and “gifts” applications.

And the discussions on groups I’ve interested in.

There’s a sense of a bit more maturity than sites like Myspace.

I find myself checking it every day to see what others on my friends list are doing, and updating my status update. I’ve really re-connected with a number of people.

I’m surprised that not everyone is a Facebook user!

And speaking of status updates – if you’re a member of multiple social networking sites and want to update all of your status updates at the same time check out http://ping.fm You can set up multiple sites like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc. Then you can do one update and have it appear on all of your profile sites simultaneously without any further effort. Quite nice. Very useful.

Also, if you like to get one integrated feed of what your friends and family are doing from various sites check out http://friendfeed.com

Recently I got a chance to play around for for quite sometime with an iPhone. It was work-related, as it was the only Internet access I had to help troubleshoot a dead Internet connection.

The problem turned out to be a deteriorated cable connector or cable end – a quick trip to the nearest small hardware store was all it took; though technically it should have been fixed by the cable company and not me. But it was quicker for my customers to get back online by just having me do a bit of quick wire stripping and connector crimping then getting a Time-Warner guy out…

The iPhone is an incredible device, and the interface is very intuitive.

It occurred to me though; is the touchscreen concept on larger scale machines like desktops and laptops good for longterm use, despite new touchscreen computers and monitors coming out?

I suspect the repetitiveness of every day working with touchscreens on a large-scale isn’t going to be any healthier then using a mouse or keyboard, in the repetitive injury department. But that’s just my informal observation. Your mileage may vary, and I’m sure we will see.

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