Friday, 8 June 2007

Newsletter Issue 133, June 2007



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 133, June 2007
Hi guys,
Think of the power of Virtual Earth combined with Google, the Yellow Pages and your physical neighbourhood... read Real Neighbourhoods on the Internet below.
If you have taken the plunge to upgrade to Office 2007, or if you are planning making the upgrade and need to think through staff training, read Office 2007 Menu Fix
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Real Neighbourhoods on the Internet

Heather Havenstein Framingham reported in Computerworld on the first of June that a company called Fatdoor.com, based in California, had created a "website that mirrors the real world to let users to connect with their neighbours".
OK, so that doesn't sound that exciting. But when you realise that this is not anonymous interaction; this is local people connecting directly with their physical world neighbours and businesses, this opens a completely different dimension to networking.
The CEO and co-founder of the company, Raj Abhyanker, launched the company with Chandu Thota,  lead developer for Microsoft's 'Virtual Earth' mapping and location tool. Teamed with this fairly substantial duo as investor and company Chair is Bill Harris, the former CEO of PayPal and Intuit. Bill Harris says "We're trying to build something on the internet that mirrors the real world. We call it a local community network. It is a social network that is based around the place you live and the ... people you know. It is not an anonymous activity; this is a social network for adults."
Abhyanker wanted to use the web to "enhance neighbourhoods, to give the power to the few who are very active to use for the common benefit of all neighbours."
Fatdoor is built using Virtual Earth maps, showing specific house and businesses as icons. The icons can be "claimed" by browsers to hold their online profiles, which can be viewed by others in the neighbourhood looking for specific services, to start a club, form civic groups for various projects, produce a neighbourhood newspaper, or for whatever other purposes they want to grow this concept into. As browsers add content, their neighbours can learn about local events or business deals, eventually fostering an active, self-regulating neighbourhood similar to Wikipedia.
It will be interesting to see how much advertising will be allowed by the neighbourhood groups; or whether they can in fact keep it out.
Fatdoor has been released to Silicon Valley residents for now, with later releases planning on expanding the site cities and towns throughout the US. The site will first list all businesses in the local Yellow Pages and then allow each of those companies to personalise the listings, he says. Users can then add reviews and comments about the businesses.
Watch this space, I think!
 

Office 2007 Menu Fix

For those of you who have already taken the plunge into Office 2007 and are being driven insane by not being able to find things because of the new Microsoft menu structure, there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
An US company, Addintools, has produced an additional 'ribbon' (aka menu tab which launches a sub-menu bar) for Word 2007, Excel 2007 or Powerpoint 2007 which mimics the Office 2003 menus.
Addintools' download is under 3MB with a 30 day trial available. Individual software for Word 2007, Excel 2007 or Powerpoint 2007 is available for US$15.99 each or as a package for US$29.95. Installation is easy and once you have downloaded and installed the software, shut down and restart for the new Office 2007 ribbon to appear in each application.
You can customise how you want the ribbon to show. The default is a new tab called 'Menu' before Office 2007's Home tab. There is also an option to have all the menus show up under a single 'All' pull-down list. With the default options, your Word 2007 will look quite different. The Menu tab has a reasonable facsimile of the Word 2003 menu and toolbar with the Office 2007 features added where appropriate.
As a replacement for the Office 2007 interface, Classic Menu for Office 2007 works well. Network administrators can make it available for influential users who don't want to change the way they work when the company deploys Office 2007. It can also serve as a 'half way house' for people who are having trouble making the change. However, you can have the Office 2007 ribbon and tabs remain unchanged, so you have the best of both worlds; the Office 2003 menus available as a backup to 2007.
But wait, there's more! Any of the items on 2003's Menu tab can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) at the top, either individually, menus only or the entire ribbon ('how to' instructions in the next newsletter).
Thanks to Woody's Office Watch for first writing about this product.

PC Security Baseline

According to the June issue of Windows Secret's newsletter, we no longer need dedicated antispyware software. They report "the antispyware tools in ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite continue to improve, and the Apr. 10, 2007, PC Magazine goes so far as to say that the ZoneAlarm suite 'blocked and removed spyware better than the best standalone antispyware products'."
They feel that purchasing the ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite (US$50) is the best way to go. This suite includes software firewall, antivirus, and antispyware as well as other OS and privacy-protection features. It recently received an Editor's Choice from CNET, which cited its "perfect balance between best-of-breed security protection and ease of use."
Norton Internet Security 2007 (or 'NIS 2007'), is the only major alternative to ZoneAlarm, receiving an Editor's Choice designation in the April's PC Magazine.
So now the security requirements preferred by Window's Secrets are:
  • A hardware firewall (eg, Netgear's RangeMax 240 WPNT834 router);
  • A software security suite (eg, ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite); and
  • A patch-management system for staying current with the latest updates (eg Microsoft Update).

TLAs for SMEs

Here is this newsletter's TLA for you:
  • MHWS, Mean High Water Springs. This is the average predicted levels of tidal levels at Standard Ports in New Zealand

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do in PowerPoint with the Tab key:
  • PowerPoint "Switch to the previous program" Alt & Shift & Tab
  • PowerPoint "Switch to the next program" Alt & Tab
  • PowerPoint "Select the previous toolbar or switch to the previous tab in a dialog box" Ctrl & Shift & Tab
  • PowerPoint "Select the next toolbar or tab, or the next tab in a dialog box" Ctrl & Tab
  • PowerPoint "To select an object, Esc if embedded within text, TAB key to cycle forward (or SHIFT+TAB to cycle backward) through the objects until sizing handles appear." Esc & Tab
  • PowerPoint "Display a topic from a thumbnail" F6 & Tab & Enter
  • PowerPoint "Go to the last or previous hyperlink or move between frames or move to the previous option or option group or select the previous field or button in the e-mail header" Shift & Tab
  • PowerPoint "Select the next or previous button or menu on the active toolbar or (with an object selected) select an object " Shift & Tab

Hot Linx
For those of you who enjoyed the Fry & Laurie series Jeeves & Wooster, check out the wake up call at http://voco.uk.com/
"Computers make us more productive. Yeah, right. Lifehacker recommends the software downloads and web sites that actually save time. Don't live to geek; geek to live" at http://www.lifehacker.com/
Those of you needing a Kiwi ISBN number for a document, or a batch of numbers, can register an application online at http://www.natlib.govt.nz/services/get-advice/publishing/isbn/isbn-application
If you have plenty of time to watch the world go by, then check out http://www.cheddarvision.tv/ , and watch cheese grow mould :-)

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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