Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Speed Test! aka How Fast Is Your Internet/

Hi All,

Quickie entry today!  SpeedTest - let's users see how fast their upload and download speed is based on a ping test! Click here for the test and then click on the box that says 'Begin Test'.

Users can share the results with other users on Facebook or on Twitter.  In addition, users can test multiple browsers or devices and see the results in one place by creating an account on Speedtest.net.

Click here to learn a bit more about just what pinging is; as well as what download and upload speed means!

But wait...there's more.

Since we live in such a smartphone-centric world now, users can use Speedtest mobile to accurately test the performance of mobile cellular connections including LTE, 4G, 3G, EDGE and EVDO networks.  Users can see how fast the cellular network is no matter where you are located.   The app is available in the AppStore, WindowsStore, GooglePlay and on AmazonApps. 

Enjoy the link and your newly found stats!

Regards,
Stu

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fake News

Hi All,

Fake news had been in the - well - news a lot lately.  For example, if you conduct a Google search for 'fake news' you get over 150 million results.  Interestingly readers get results from the 'Top Stories' section - at least as of 6/17/17 at about 10:34am - The Guardian, Fox 5 Atlanta and Newsweek.  All of which are verifiable news outlets and sources.

This blog entry is not a discussion on politics, political parties or people involved in the government. Its simply an entry in the blog that deals with fake news.  Onward!

Wikipedia has a very unbiased, lengthy and comprehensive entry on fake news.  Click here for the entry and click here for the link to a discussion of twentieth century and twenty-first century fake news.  It makes for interesting reading.

Snopes is a website that is fairly well known. It basically debunks urban legends.  However, this link discusses specific examples of fake news on the site.  This next link fact checks various articles and news events as well.

FactCheck.org is a  website that has, as its mission, "to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

So...FactCheck.org is unbiased, accurate, fair and a great place to learn more about fake news.  This next article is called 'How to Spot Fake News?' and was written in November 2016 - very current and timely and interesting.

In addition, the Viral Spiral page has a list of some of the claims they get asked about the most.  Finally, all of FactCheck.org's articles called 'Ask FactCheck', can be found at this link.

Finally, click on this link from the venerable New York Times - its basically a search of the site for the term 'fake news'. 

Other interesting and/or useful fake news sites include, HuffPost.com, Fake News-NPR and this link from the Guardian (a UK newspaper) titled, 'What is fake news? How to spot it and wha tyo ucan do to stop it?'

Enjoy the link and the articles and how to become an even better news consumer!

Regards,
Stu


Friday, June 16, 2017

New York Public Library Puts More Than 180k Images Online

Hi All,

Back in early January 2016, the New York Public Library made more than 180,000 of its public domain images available as high-resolution downloads for users.  

Users can download images of maps, documents and photo illustrations directly from the organization’s Digital Collections website without restriction.

The images were released along with changes to the NYPL Digital Collections website - basically the changes were meant to create a more user-friendly interface so users can find free content!

Which means....if you are interested in New York City images, you are more than likely interested in Farmingdale images.  Forthwith...the Farmingdale Public Library Digital Collection. Access is via the New York Heritage Digital Collections link.  This specific link will take you to the Farmingdale Public Library images in the collection. 

As if that were not enough, click on this link to read the NEW Farmingdale Public Library Local History Blog.  

And, finally, for those of you who are interested in the Farmingdale history or the history of the Farmingdale Public Library, click here. 

Enjoy the links and the memories and the history!

Regards,
Stu


Thursday, June 15, 2017

The American Civil War - Great Books to Understand the Conflict

Hi All, 

The American Civil War lasted from 1861 and lasted until 1865.  Some great books have been written about this monumental, historic conflict.

HistoryNet.com has an article titled 'Ten Civil War Classics'. And while the list is over 6 years old, its is a great starting point for the budding civil war hobbyist.  Some of the more well-known books on the list include Shelby Foote's 'The Civil War: A Narrative' and James McPherson's 'Battle Cry of Freedom'.

Not too be outdone, the New York Times generated a 'Civil War Booklist' some time ago.  Interestingly and usefully enough the list starts with the following caveats:

" Far more books have been written about the Civil War than about any other event in American history, and Lincoln’s stack of books towers over that of any other American figure. Any recommended reading list therefore has to be highly selective and at least somewhat arbitrary."

Well said and well written.   The books in the list are broken down by category: General Histories, Lincoln, Battles, Biographies, Civil War in Culture, Military and Miscellaneous. 

And - where available -  the titles have links to the New York Times book reviews of the title highlighted.

Click on this link to find if any of the books in either of the two articles listed above can be found in the Farmingdale Public Library. 

Enjoy the reviews and the books and don't forget to look in the Farmingdale Public Library to get the book!

Regards,
Stu


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MedlinePlus - Trusted Health Information for You

Hi All,

Medline Plus is a government sponsored health website. Specifically the site is sponsored by the venerable U.S. National Library of Medicine and the NIH (National Institute of Health). 

The site has an amazing wealth of information, but for today's blog entry I'd like to discuss the section of the site that covers drugs, herbs, and supplements.

Users can learn about prescription drugs and OTC (over-the-counter) medicines, including side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more.

Users can browse by generic or brand name. 

Users can browse dietary supplements and herbal remedies to learn about their effectiveness, usual dosage and drug interactions. 

When a user locates a particular drug they want to research - in this case Lipitor - you get the following information: 
- Why is this medication prescribed?
- How should this medicine be used?
- Other uses for this medicine
- What special precautions should I follow?
- What special dietary instructions should I follow?
- What should I do if I forget a dose?
- What side effects can this medication cause?
- What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
- What do do in case of emergency or overdose?
- What other information should I know about this medication?
- Brand names of the medication
- Brand names of combination products?


At the bottom of the page is a notation of when the particular page was last revised - which is essential information for someone who is trying to learn more about a particular medication!

Enjoy the site and learning about the medication(s) you might be taking!

Regards,
Stu