This Is Your Brain: On the Web

brain: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from via kwout

Some, like Marshall Kirkpatric at ReadWriteWeb, believe it might not be long before Google (with ads support) will offer human brain chip interfaces to the web. All web, all the time with cerebrocortical intergration to auditory and visual centers. Think it, and Amazon will get it to you free shipping. Imagine, and it is a blog post. Log in, and with your eyes closed, you’ve seen a distant friend’s YouTube video of their son’s graduation an hour ago. You hear an audible ping: you’ve got mail!

Orwellian? Utopian? Or real and imminent? Interesting thoughts here this morning, and for the time being, entertained privately before my fingers turn the thinking into keystrokes for you to share.

But on the other hand, with the implant still some good while off, is the web already a part of our brain’s software even before the hardware comes along?

Particularly, what with all the social networking momentum, are we becoming a “hive mind”–a syncitium of language, images, calendars, joys, perversions–but hopefully also and especially, good ideas and good will instantly transmitted through the cortex of the net?

Or are we becoming slaves to the InfoGod of Instant Gratification, connected 24/7 so that we are not alone, so that we will have been heard and think ourselves part of some illusory Larger Thing that may only be the Soma of our times?


Two large family dogs playing in the snow? Nope. Two computer users sharing a common screen–yours, or theirs.

And how I wish I’d had something like–if not just exactly this: CROSSLOOP …when my mom was struggling with the simplest email and browser problems a year ago.

I wasn’t able to walk her through every glitch over the phone because she was running a different browser on a different Windows version on an antique laptop in Birmingham. She finally gave up out of frustration, and the machine went into the closet for good.

With CrossLoop on both machines, I could have seen her problem, and she could have watched how I fixed them as I controlled her mouse and screen. Voila! And she could still be reading Fragments and getting my emails.

You might have a similar situation with a new or older computer user who doesn’t live just right across the street. You might want to give this FREE software a look. (Windows only at the moment and requires DSL.)

The reviews are good. I’m hoping to use it myself instead of whining about not knowing how to do what I need to do in InDesign and PhotoShop in the next few months. Somebody can show me!


I was growing weary of watching gmail grind and grind to bring up my messages–so much so that I started using Opera only for Gmail since it was so much perkier than FireFox plus Gmail. I almost considered going to some other mail service when along comes NEW Gmail a few weeks back.

And man was it faster. But sadly, there went several Gmail related extensions I’d grown accustomed to, not the least of which was Lifehacker’s Better Gmail. The part I missed most were the colored labels which really made finding TYPES of email message a snap as I scanned down the long list of 100 recent messages.

Well the good news as of this morning: colored labels have now been incorporated into regular (new) Gmail. And changing label colors and label names is now a snap, done from the label list in the left sidebar.

As my ol’ mammy used to say: Good things come to those who wait!

That Sinking Feeling

A sour note in the PC to MAC transition?

Yes I own registered versions of Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Indesign CS2. Yes I have a registered copy of MS WinXP Pro. Yes I want to continue to run them on the MAC next year under Parallels. And yes, it just occurred to me I probably can’t: > $$$

My Adobe Creative Suite is under an academic license, purchased when I was teaching at Radford, and probably not along an upgrade path. And besides, at least Photoshop wouldn’t even let me put a copy on my laptop. I’m thinking now my one installation is all I get, so just copying the Windows version to the MacPro is not gonna happen. Add $1k to the cost of the upgrade expense. Ouch. Better to upgrade PS to the MAC version; limp along with InDesign from upstairs when I have to.

Windows XP came on the dell. I have a disk, of course, but I will have to purchase a new package–less than $100.

I did stop by Computer Pros in Roanoke last week and decided I could cut initial cost by using my current 19″ monitor and sound system and use some dinky speakers and get a smaller inexpensive LCD monitor for the PC that will go upstairs for Ann to send email. That lessens the sting a little.

Now the matter of when. My hope is to hunker down for three months (Jan-March) on this book project. Do I want to add the learning curve and the back and forth between PC and Mac in the middle of what should be a focused effort without distraction? Or will the Mac make the process easier after a week of learning my way around?

This is no small matter making a transition of this extent and kind after 20 years of habit and ease in the frustrating PC rut I’m in. I’ll be glad when I’m on the other side of it, the checks have cleared, and Im’ feeling like I made the right decision for the long haul.

Gmail Hell

This may help somebody out there avoid the hours of frustrated sleuthing it took me to fix a broken “updated version” of Gmail.

Suddenly, I couldn’t access my account–from Firefox, at least. Worked fine in Opera and MSIE.

“Contact creation failed”. Log in again. Same message. Delete cookie, clear cache, reboot–no change. A few others reported the problem but it took a half dozen runs to find anybody with the solution:

Blame the FireFox Better Gmail extension. Their webpage now says

“UPDATE, October 29th, 2007: The Better Gmail extension is not yet fully compatible with the new version of Gmail currently being rolled out. We’re working on the upgrade now. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, to use the Better Gmail-compatible version of Gmail, click the “Older Version” link on the top right side of the page in your Gmail account.”

So, now you know. And I’ve frittered away my blogging moment before work, with three posts waiting in the queue. Ah well.