Internet in Bloom #93: Textalawyerinc

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
2018-09-12 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Vigilance!  That term is typically how I end our Internet in Bloom columns here at the Queens Gazette.  However, I could easily use the same term to begin columns for numerous reasons.  For example, are you aware that over 40 percent of New York is at the poverty level?  The same is true for California and the state now has the world’s fifth largest economy.  Your favorite news source will probably back these figures, so this information is not terribly new.

However, www.Textalawyerinc.com is new and surprisingly affordable. As the URL name implies, one may actually pay for the services of a licensed attorney in their state, for an initial fee of 20 dollars, with a nine-dollar charge for additional questions.  You need to download their app and follow their software instructions, such as posting your picture and entering your contact data.  If you are an attorney seeking online work of this nature, they also have an app download for you and offer you pay of about 150 to 200 dollars per client serviced.  Both clients and prospective attorneys may watch their YouTube instructions posted on www.Textalawyerinc.com for specifics.  I do not personally endorse URLs reviewed in my columns, however, how can anyone resist these prices?  Most attorneys I have used in the past cost me about 300 dollars and hour.  What have you got to lose?

Furthermore, in honor of Labor Day, celebrated in September in the US, consider the history of organized labor.  Experts note that about 10% of the US is organized.  This is a historic low point for labor because post-depression figures of the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s had a higher rate of about 35%.  The wealthy paid much more in taxes then.  Therefore, if you want the added benefits of solidarity, such as higher wages, better benefits, and a real pension, a union job is for you.  The easiest way to get into a union I have used successfully, is to seek a government job:  https://statejobsny.com or www.ny.gov or use your favorite search engine for the state or city of your choice.  Hint: Be willing to perform job responsibilities that others will not. You also may have to relocate and be tenacious because the competition for union jobs is fierce.  Vigilance!

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Internet in Bloom #92: Student Loan Help

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018
2018-08-01 / Features

Internet In Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Know anyone paying back a student loan?  It took me over a decade to pay back my student loans.  Those were lean years too.  I would like to help you avoid the mistakes I made.  For example, I should have become an attorney, stock broker or physician if I wanted to make money–not a librarian, which has to be a calling because of its median pay in the US.  That is ifyou can find a librarian position open because typically someone has to retire or pass away in Library-land for there to be an opening.  Librarians love their work. However, there may be some exceptions if one is willing to risk their life daily working in a prison, for example.  Most won’t work in corrections.  I have heard excuses such as, “…my parents won’t let me…” from adult jobseekers.

Moreover, http://www.StudentLoanHero.com (SLH) is a rare, altruistic website with a multitude of resources. It is an unbiased solution to organize, manage, and repay student loans.  SLH was created by CEO Andy Josuweit after years of struggling with his own $107,000 student debt.  SLH is free to use with some of the following categories to assist the student borrower:  Refinancing, Forgiveness, Consolidation (Lower Payments), Parenting, Income-driven Repayments, Defaults and Delinquency, Blogs and much more.  Whatever you do: Stay away from predatory lenders that jack up loan interest by 1000% or more.  They are typically located in the poorest neighborhoods and pray on the uneducated student with cute names like: EZ money, pay-off–who doesn’t love getting paid–rocket-blast-off, U-B-rich and that type of too-good-to-be-true sounding name.  Don’t be fooled. Credit unions typically offer better interest rates than banks.  Internet in Bloom has had columns in the past that listed colleges that still offer free tuition.  They exist, however, the majors are limited and they often have unique terms or locations, such as having to enlist in the military for eight years after graduation or working for the campus in your field for the whole duration of your degree.  Read the fine print after you use your favorite search engine, such as http://www.DuckDuckGo.com, which is my preferred search engine as it does not track your Internet Protocol location with cookies, aka, small attached files.

http://www.Scamicide.com as its name sounds is the creation of Attorney Steve Weisman designed to educated the consumer about the perils of identity theft and cybercrime occurring across a variety of mediums such as websites, e-mail and our phones.  Some of the website’s categories are:  List of Scams, Scam of the Day, Trending Scams, FTC Scams, Top Ten Scams, What-to-do-When-Scammed.  The site also posts useful videos and related literature.

Vigilance!

Internet in Bloom #91 SCOTUS & E-books

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018
2018-07-04 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

If you have been following Internet in Bloom for the Queens Gazette since November of 2010, you probably noticed we love to discuss Internet current events.  Lately, we have a smorgasbord of them.  Let us begin with our Supreme Court.  SCOTUS is losing another judge–Justice Kennedy, appointed during the Regan administration, who may be considered by some to be a swing voter on judicial issues, but in reality, most of his decisions have been conservative.  Supreme Court picks have a tremendous effect on US laws and politics.  Consider famous SCOTUS cases such as Rowe v. Wade, affecting a woman’s right to choose to have a baby–or not.  Lately, during the Trump administration, the public’s ability to form a class action has been curtailed.  Class actions are far more powerful and effective than individual court actions.  However, the Internet still offers a way for the average citizen to participate in class action decisions online.  Go to http://www.TopClassAction.comfor details.

Moreover, the New York Times best-selling author and historian, Thom Hartmann, see http://www.ThomHartmann.com for details, reminds us that regardless of what our SCOTUS decrees, our Constitution clearly indicates that congress may override any Supreme Court decision, such as Citizens United or Rowe v. Wade.  Congress, http://www.Congress.gov, may be reached by phone at (202)224-3121 during business hours, of course.  In fact, for those of you seeking a public press analysis of why the Democrats lost in 2016, several leftist pundits discuss this at http://www.DemocraticAutopsy.org.  Remember, your vote is your voice.

Furthermore, library participation across the nation indicates reading is still quite popular.  See http://www.ala.org for statistics.  The ALA (American Library Association) site also has data and video on why book banning is still a controversial library topic.  However, if one wishes to access e-books online, do they have to pay for this service?  Not yet.  The Gutenberg press project has been around since the 1970’s and has a huge number of e-books, including famous classics with illustrations.  Visit http://www.Gutenberg.org for details. If you seek a pay service, there is always Amazon Prime at http://www.Amazon.com which has an enormous selection of e-books.  Please note: At the time of this publication, Amazon Prime advertises an annual subscription price of $119.00, however this figure does not include applicable taxes.  This price is an increase from the previous one of just $99.00.  In New York or California, you can expect to pay a total of about $130.00 including taxes.  Maybe this is why Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world, if not history itself?  His self-worth: Over 27 billion dollars.

Internet in Bloom #90: Free TV Online

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
2018-06-06 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Technology has changed and improved and so have the ways of receiving television.  I have a BA in Radio / TV and Film that I hardly use, although in my youth I did market it a tad as a stagehand to help me pay for graduate school.  The challenging aspect of the entertainment field is your competition, namely an endless supply of interns, are willing to work for free to get into showbiz.  Plus, you are often dealing with cut-throat family businesses who hand-pick whoever they want, whenever they want.  So if you are serious, you need a plan B occupation to tide you over and over and over.  Getting back to TV and the Internet, www.cordcuttersnews.com is a rare site that explains the several ways one can get TV for free, such as by mounting a broadcast antenna or buy using an existing Internet subscription to stream or piggyback the TV signals.

Personally, I do not own a TV, nor do I stream it on my computer at home.  This gives me time to do other things.

However, many must have television.  It seems like a convenient babysitter.  For those TV enthusiasts, and I admit TV has produced some outstanding programs in the past on such networks as PBS, there are a variety of apps one can download to their cellphone: PlutoTV, TubiTV, Hulu and Crackle are some available from www.play.google.com

Furthermore, PlutoTV may also be found online at: www.plutotv.com and the other above TV apps may also be found online.  Pop them into your favorite search engine, such as DuckDuckGo or Google, for the exact URL.  Warning: It seems like almost everything in life may be addictive–TV is definitely addictive.  Imagine sitting in front of a device that tells you to consume every ten minutes.  In fact, some of the above sources may play the same commercial repeatedly.

Speaking of technology, if you don’t drive with a bottle of beer in your hand, why would you drive while texting, which often requires two hands?  More people are killed from cellphone distractions than from driving while intoxicated.  Someone near me recently broke off a fire-hydrant with their car during rush-hour.  Water flooded the streets.  Roads were closed off.  The police, fire, highway departments and emergency services all had to be summoned.  Vigilance.

Internet in Bloom #89: HUMOR

Thursday, May 17th, 2018
2018-05-09 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

This column has been in existence since November of 2010 thanks to you–our readers, and of course, our hard working staff at the Queens Gazette.  It is my way of giving back to society and I am sure the staff here feels the same.  For those of you who have been following Internet in Bloom over the years, you are probably used to Internet resources being presented and reviewed of a more serious, yet altruistic nature, in part, because I love current events and believe the public does too.  Humor is also helpful, and often a stable in many stressful fields.  To that end I dedicate this column.

Moreover, the Net has all kinds of free access to humor.  However, much of it, to my surprise, is quite vulgar and “X” or adult rated humor.  I have heard experts state that this is primarily profit motivated as there is a guaranteed percentage of the population that supports and buys this type of content.  The majority of the following websites have clean jokes.  The only one that does not is http://www.laughfactory.com because on this site you have to select the correct link to read the inoffensive material.  Visit http://www.laughfactory.com/jokesand scroll down to the Clean Joke button.  Click on it to read their clean joke collection.

http://www.SYCMU.com stands for Stuff You Couldn’t Make Up and includes funny pictures as well as clean jokes to enjoy.

http://www.CleanJoke.com has a large variety of clean jokes listed alphabetically by category.

http://www.FunnyCleanJokes.com has, as the URL name implies, clean jokes as well as a Joke of the Day.

http://www.GCFL.net in addition to clean jokes has a mailing list you may sign up for to have daily jokes emailed to you.

http://www.FunKidsJokes.com as the name implies is designed for young readers.

The Christian religion is one of the world’s largest so you may wish to try http://www.Christian-Jokes.netkeeping in mind that I am not endorsing nor attacking any sites listed.  Internet in Bloom is meant to introduce and review altruistic aspects of the Net to the reader.  I receive no compensation for this column.  Vigilance!  Questions or comments may be emailed to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or to the staff here at the Queens Gazette.


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Internet in Bloom #87: Net Neutrality

Saturday, March 10th, 2018
2018-03-07 / Features

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.comTed Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com

With Net neutrality laws abolished thanks to the Trump administration, it is only a matter of time before ISPs (Internet Service Providers) increase their monthly usage fees for services that have been free, in case yours has not increased by the time this column is published. With that in mind, let us consider some of the more useful Internet services the average user has gotten and may continue get for free, for the time being for both the Windows and Mac platforms:

1. Browsers.  There are many free browsers available so it is hard to say which is better considering they all differ slightly yet still serve as a useful interface between the user and the Internet, primarily the World Wide Web for non-professionals.  The choice, therefore is largely subjective.  I lean towards the Mac platform because even though it costs 20% more than Windows on average, it is targeted far less by Black Hat Hackers as they know only 5% of the population uses Macs.  Also I find Macs to be more user-friendly and thus have less pop-ups.  On my Mac I prefer the Opera browser, visit http://www.opera.com for details, as it offers a display of easy to read, at-a-glance graphic buttons that the user creates representing the sites desired superimposed on a picture or graphic of your choice.

Moreover, the TOR browser is a multi-platform browser available for free for those who want surfing anonymity by not having their IP (Internet Protocol) tracked.  This browser is so effective that many websites will not allow you to use their servers if you use TOR as they insist on planting cookies on your IP so they may monitor your online use.  See http://www.TORproject.org for details.

2. GPS mapping software. Google Maps: https://maps.google.com is ranked highly for both platforms and really saves you time whether you are on foot or behind the wheel.  Warning: It is not always accurate, however for the one percent of the time when it fails, the other 99 percent of the time makes up for it considering the difficult task GPS mapping is, especially in over-crowded cities, such as in New York or LA. Therefore, contingencies are recommended, such as have a hard copy map handy.  One reason for a mapping software failure is going beyond the range of Internet towers, such as in some coastal areas.  This can be quite the wake-up call for those addicted to their cellphones or laptops.

To be continued…

Internet in Bloom #86: Felon Resources

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com since a year or less can be served in county jail. Felonies are sometimes referred to as “high crimes” as described in the US Constitution.

2018-02-07 / Features

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted Bloom

felony n. 1) a crime sufficiently serious to be punishable by death or a term in state or

federal prison,

as distinguished from misdemeanors which are punishable by confinement to county

or

local jail and/or a fine. 2) a crime carrying a minimum term of one year or more in state prison,Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com since a year or less can be served in county jail. Felonies are sometimes referred to as “high crimes” as described in the US Constitution.

The above definition is courtesy of http://www.thefreedictionary.com.  Please click on the legal dictionary link as they have multiple types.

Moreover, since 2000 the US incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.  A challenging task, at best–chaos and a learning experience, at worst.  However, these felons are often released back into society to survive.  Just how do felons find work with their criminal records?  There are books out on the subject.  The military has been known to hire felons, as well as the transportation industry.  Try http://www.jobsforfelonshub.com as they have a comprehensive website for avoiding recidivism.   They have free resources, including guides, reentry programs, legal representation, housing, temporary agencies, education and voting.

Also, there is always http://www.daveskillerbread.com based out of Milwaukie, Oregon since 2005.  Yes, they really use the word “killer” and have a Second Chance Program where they hire felons.

For locations and details please visit their website.  There breads are delicious and contain the finest ingredients.  I assure you I receive no compensation from Dave’s Killer Breads.

Furthermore, I do not recommend working without reporting your income to the IRS for the following reasons: 1. You will receive no government benefits, such as unemployment compensation or disability funding, if you do.  2. The IRS has a history of doling out stiff penalties for tax evasion.  3. I hear jail is no fun.

Lastly, I have spoken to felons and they all agree, even though incarceration provides food, clothing, shelter and medicine, they prefer to have their freedom.  Freedom is a big deal.  Enjoy yours, if you have it.  Thank you for reading.

Internet in Bloom #85 New Year’s Predictions…

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.comTed Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com

January 2018 is here and with it we have some fascinating predictions.  For example, Max Keiser of http://www.RT.com’s financial program bar none, the Keiser Report, believes bitcoin will play a big role in reshaping our economy in 2018.  See www.maxkeiser.com and www.RT.com/shows/keiser-report for ongoing details.  To grasp this one has to understand what bitcoin is.  The following partial encyclopedia definition is made possible courtesy of www.the freedictionary.com–your free source online for multiple dictionaries:  “Bitcoin A peer-to-peer digital currency and electronic payments system introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in January 2009. There is no central repository. Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency that is not
controlled by any government.

Bitcoin is also known as a cryptocurrency, because transactions are encrypted and published in a chained list known as blockchain. Constantly expanding, the blockchain is duplicated in nodes  through the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin transactions cannot be altered or reversed, and this results in a system with built-in trust.
There are many organizations on both the Web and the dark Web (underground or illegal web) that accept Bitcoins, and many people will do work in exchange for Bitcoins.

Bitcoins can be divided into minuscule fractions of a single coin (0.00000001 Bitcoin is equal to

one Satoshi), and every Bitcoin fraction has a unique address.

Bitcoins can also be bought and sold for real money at a Bitcoin exchange that fluctuates like a share of stock.

For example, on January 1, 2013, one Bitcoin was worth $13.38 in United States dollars. By late2015, it was worth around $230 but two years later topped $4,000 with a market cap greater than 70 Billion dollars.

Keiser predicts, along with other economists, such a Dr. Richard Wolff, that we are past due for a market adjustment–aka, large crash.  Bitcoin, just like Max Keiser’s show has been around for nine years this January.  Max predicts that Bitcoin’s widespread use will strengthen investment in gold because the Bitcoin cryptocurrency eliminates our underground economy as Bitcoin is highly traceable as a digital currency would be expected to be.  Hence we will see the beginning of the end of untraceable cash currencies–a blow to organized crime and corrupt banking everywhere.

Internet in Bloom #84: Net Neutrality

Thursday, December 14th, 2017
2017-12-13 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.comTed Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com

Associates of mine have stated that regardless of the damage a US President does America always survives it.  This may be true however, after December 14th when the new FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, eliminates Net Neutrality, you may think otherwise.  Imagine having to pay extra to access sites that you now get to visit for free, such as the popularity search engine Google?  Imagine paying more for any speed of transmission–not just high speed.  Imagine that your ISP does not like the competition it gets from other websites within its jurisdiction, such as Netflix, and decides to charge a separate monthly fee for you to access Netflix or it gives you turtle-like, dial-up, connection speeds that mirror AOL servers when DOS was popular several decades ago.

Consequently, the Internet may have been the wild west, but after December 14th, it may seem like Darth Vader’s Death Star in terms of affordability and choice.  Readers of this column know that I have been writing about the Internet for our mighty Queens Gazette both online and in hardcopy since 2011.  Therefore, I assure you I would not mention the above unless I have researched multiple sources.  Go to https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative to let congress know how you feel about paying ISP’s more and losing your Net freedoms.

Moreover, considering the holiday season is upon us, following are some free movie websites you may wish to try to economize in-case Net Neutrality does disappear:

http://www.123movies.to

http://www.kat.tv

http://www.xmovies.com

Hint: Avoid any icons labeled CAM because that means the movie was videoed with an external camera and therefore the resolution will suffer due to the second generation quality.  Also, I cannot guarantee the legality of these free movie websites and therefore they may cease to exist at short notice, if any.  Lastly, xmovies above does not stand for x-rated cinema.

Happy Holidays.

Please feel free to send your Internet resource suggested URLs to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or courtesy of the Queens Gazette and they will forward them.  Thank you.

Internet in Bloom #83: Voting and the Net

Saturday, November 4th, 2017
2017-11-01 / Features

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.comTed Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com  

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” –Frederick Douglass from http://www.SearchQuotes.com 

The other day I was driving and saw a well-known picture of an American Flag on the back of the spare-tire cover on the SUV in front of me with the words “There is only one.”  This makes one think: is there only one US flag or nation or SUV such as the one sporting this nifty slogan?

The Internet can help here as well.  On a recent video of the “Big Picture” with Thom Hartmann on http://www.RT.com, Thom mentioned that President George Washington’s horse was shot out from under him three times during the Revolutionary War.  That is tenacity.  Thom Hartmann is also tenacious.  A historian, New York Times best-selling author, radio/TV host and actor with 24 books to his name, Thom is the classic workaholic.   I interviewed with him once, briefly on his radio show when I was working in Brooklyn.  Please see http://www.ThomHartmann.com for more details on this prolific US historian.

With Election Day occurring this month, one may wish to review the history of the US and why the country is worth voting for, even though about half of us do not bother to vote and exercise a hard fought right.  Visit http://www.Biography.com and http://www.History.com for numerous video documentaries on a variety of famous Americans, such as the father of our country, George Washington, who married into wealth, became our first US President in 1789 and led the nation from the capitol in NYC after winning the Revolutionary War as a General.  In 1799 when Washington died, being a slave owner, he freed all of his slaves.  Even in death, President Washington was a rare humanitarian.

Please feel free to send your Internet resource suggested URLs to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or courtesy of the Queens Gazette and they will forward them.  Thank you.

Internet in Bloom #82: Our Halloween Economics…

Saturday, October 14th, 2017
2017-10-11 / Feature

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Many Americans love to get scared.  Why else would Hollywood produce many horror films annually, especially around Halloween?  However, fear takes several forms just as people have different likes and dislikes.  For example, if the recent natural disasters with record breaking category five hurricanes being unleased on the globe or the threat of nuclear war, has not caught your attention, maybe it is because you are not an economist.  I have seen a few scary movies in my time and yet they pale in comparison to economist statistics, facts and predictions. The Internet has a plethora of economic resources to share.

Moreover, Dr. Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Wolff has also taught economics at Yale University, City University of New York, and the University of Paris I (Sorbonne).  His work may be found at http://www.rdwolff.com.  Dr. Wolff believes that our economy has only been serving the upper five percent of Americans since 1980 when Reagonomics was born and raised taxes on the poor while lowering them for the rich, aka Trickle-down Economics, which one famous Internet comedian refers to as urination.  The other 95 percent of us have been stagnant economically since 1980 pertaining to wages and savings.

Furthermore, Journalist and Filmmaker Abby Martin of http://www.RT.com recently hosted Author and Economist Peter Joseph who mentioned a variety of fascinating statistics on Martin’s video interview, such as how 83 percent of stocks are owned by just one percent of Americans.  Joseph continued stating plainly that Wall Street is unnecessary and IPO’s are not needed to create and transfer wealth in today’s society.  He continued that the way to end violence is to eliminate poverty.  Did you know that 65 percent of Americans have only $1000.00 in savings?  Remember the crash of 2008?

As of 2008 foreclosures are up a record 81 percent–more that the Dust Bowl crisis of the 1930’s Great Depression.  In case you are still not scared enough and need to watch a few more zombie flicks: 40 percent of the world’s food is wasted.  Forty percent of it is just thrown away or otherwise discarded.  Please see http://theempirefiles.tv for more frightening details, and please pass the popcorn.

Please feel free to send your Internet resource suggested URLs to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or courtesy of the Queens Gazette and they will forward them.  Thank you.

Internet in Bloom #81 Labor Day Origin

Friday, September 8th, 2017

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

The origin of Labor Day is quite multifaceted and was created because of the numerous labor abuses present in the US, including rampant child labor use for long hours in horrid conditions.  Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.  Later in 1893 a massive recession hit outside of Chicago where the Pullman Railroad Company employed many thousands yet laid-off hundreds of workers and cut wages deeply.  In response on May 11, 1894, four thousand Pullman employees went on strike.

Furthermore, on June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a supporting boycott. One hundred and fifty thousand railway workers in 27 states joined the strike, refusing to operate Pullman trains. The huge halt to the rail industry and the interruption of U.S. mail cars set off a national crisis. Congress and President Grover Cleveland, looking to save face, rushed through a bill declaring Labor Day a national holiday. President Cleveland signed it on June 28, 1894. He was backed by the AFL (American Federation of Labor), which threw the first official Labor Day parade that year.  Over thirty strikers died in a bloody, weapon filled strike–a precursor to the Haymarket Square riot of 1886, where more men, including police, died fighting for working conditions that many may take for granted such as: The eight-hour workday, lunch breaks, weekends off, overtime pay, health benefits, sick leave and vacation time.

Most of the above information was gotten from: www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history. 

However, with our nation’s annual median income at about $30,000.00 with corporations and our stock markets reporting record high profits, one must wonder why US wages stagnate?  Could it be that organized labor is at its weakest point in history with private sector union membership at only 6.4%?  Please see www.census.gov for more details.

Moreover, the union membership rate—the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions—was 10.7 percent in 2016, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.6 million in 2016, declined by 240,000 from 2015. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.  Please see: www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf for more labor facts.  For example, union members make more money: In 2016 the median weekly earnings of nonunion workers ($802) were 80 percent of earnings for workers who were union members ($1,004).

So on this Labor Day where can one go online to find union jobs?  The best way is to use your local state employment website, such as www.statejobsny.com.  Good luck and be patient job hunting.

Please feel free to send your Internet resource suggested URLs to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or courtesy of the Queens Gazette and they will forward them.  Thank you.

Internet in Bloom #80: Leading Causes of Death in the USA.

Friday, August 4th, 2017
2017-08-02 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

In the movies and on TV death is rarely depicted realistically.  After multiple heroes or villains get slain the viewer rarely sees the ripple affect causing extreme grief and discomfort among the surviving families and friends.  Legalities, such as wills or the lack thereof and probate court surface.  Organizing and financing wakes, funerals, cremations and burials are arduously required, as well as family often fighting over materials possessions not delegated previously.  The Internet cannot force you to write a living will: a written document that allows a patient to give instructions about medical treatment to be given when the patient is terminally ill or permanently unconscious.

However, the Net can give us the latest statistics on the causes of death in the US and how we may prevent some of these.  For example, consider the Center for Disease Control (http://www.CDC.gov) leading causes of death in the US for 2015: 1. Heart disease, 2. Cancer, 3. Chronic respiratory disease, and 4. Accidents.  This analysis seems plausible.  But what about the 2010 study where the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year?

Moreover, Nation Public Radio online (http://www.NPR.org) reported more recently, a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers are higher — between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death. That would make medical malpractice the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.

Consequently, if medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, the only industrialized nation without nationalized healthcare, would knowing which nefarious, for-profit, medications and treatments to avoid save untold lives and money?  The attorneys at Levin and Papantonio think so.  Visit http://www.LevinLaw.com to see their easy to navigate website with the latest drop down menus listing drug injuries, medical devices and defective products presently involved in huge lawsuits, many of which are class action in nature.  For example, did you know there are OTC (over the counter) medications that can give you the diseases it claims to cure, if you do not already have them?  Corrupt pharmaceutical companies would rather pay restitution in damages than remove the hazardous products from pharmacies, if they can make a profit.  Often that profit is millions or even billions of dollars.  Guess which industry lobbyists contribute the most money to our politicians in Congress?  Vigilance.

Please feel free to send your Internet resource suggested URLs to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or courtesy of the Queens Gazetteand they will forward them.  Thank you.

 

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Internet in Bloom # 79: US Homelessness

Friday, July 7th, 2017
2017-07-05 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

When modern homelessness first emerged in the late 1970s, hundreds of thousands of homeless were forced to fend for themselves with little emergency assistance from governments and communities. The roots of the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) begin in 1981 when the founder, Robert Hayes, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man experiencing homelessness in New York City. The lawsuit was settled out of court, and people experiencing homelessness won the right to shelter in New York City. The Coalition for the Homeless in New York City formed as one of the early community-based coalitions. With the development of other local and statewide homeless coalitions, the National Coalition for the Homeless was formed in 1982 and incorporated in 1984, and was recognized as a tax-exempt, not for profit organization under the 501(c) (3) internal revenue code in 1988.  Visit http://www.NationalHomeless.org for the latest national issues and many ways to take action and make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.  This is a great chance to celebrate our nation’s independence day this year by helping others to become independent.  You do not have to be rich to help.  For example, you may donate: useful stationary and other office items, buy a NCH t-shirt, make a small monetary gift, become a paying member or just give your precious time…

Moreover, yours truly was homeless for a month, but very lucky as I was living out of my vehicle in good weather and had access to a public restroom and food.  I managed to find temporary work while I was homeless–this is challenging at best when you do not have local roots, as I was new in the state at the time.  Most homeless are not as fortunate.  Twice I was searched by the local authorities in my travels, while living out of my rusty, used van which later had to be junked due to a split piston.  Therefore, every time you help a homeless person, even if it is just with a granola bar or some needed information, you are making a difference. I often carry contact information for the local mental health hotlines on a small card I can easily give away. Try http://www.Nami.org for mental health contact information:  What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, the NAMI are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.  NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Need more information on mental health, its definition and treatments nationally?  Visit http://www.Nih.gov for the National Institute of Mental Health courtesy of Uncle Sam, just in time for Independence Day.  Do not let mental illness destroy your family and friends.  Happy Fourth!

Please feel free to send your Internet resource suggested URLs to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or courtesy of the Queens Gazette and they will forward them.  Thank you.

Internet in Bloom #78 Legal Resources

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017
2017-05-31 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

 Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

The other night as I was watching the PBS Masterpiece Theater TV Series SHERLOCK, the super sleuth risked his life repeatedly to solve crimes as only the world’s greatest detective could, I thought of my experience in the real world as a law librarian: Surely there must be an easier way to solve crimes than shooting others or jumping off rooftops and through windows, with bombs exploding and helicopters chasing you?

Moreover, the following is a list of websites that may do just that–enable Internet armchair detectives and amateur sleuths to solve crime or at least pursue more accurate research of it using the vast resources available online in today’s error of modern technology and covert global hacking.  Enjoy.

 

Crime statistics                                    www.Bjs.gov                          Bureau of Justice

www.Ojp.gov                         Office of Justice Programs

www.Nij.gov                          National Institute of Justice

Office for Victims of Crime

www.Ojjdp.gov                      Office of Juvenile Justice

www.SMART.gov                 Office of Sex Offender Crime

www.Crooksandliars.com

Case and Federal or State Law           http://Scholar.google.com

General research                                  www.Duckduckgo.com          This popularity engine does                                                                                                                not track users so it is fast.

www.Google.com

Difficult general research                    www.Dogpile.com                  Meta-search engine.

The Public Library of Law                  www.Plol.org 

Free Legal dictionary                          http://Legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com

General legal research                         www.Law.com

www.Findlaw.com

Self-help legal resources                     www.Nolo.com

Low-income civilian resource             www.Legal-aid.org

Government resources                        www.USA.gov

www.Whitehouse.gov

www.House.gov

www.Senate.gov

www.Congress.gov

ID Theft Solutions                              www.Consumer.gov/idtheft

Legal fraud                                         www.Fraud.org

News                                                   www.C-span.org

http://News.bbc.co.uk             Global emphasis

www.Newsinferno.com

 

Please feel free to send your Internet legal resource suggested URLs to me at: AuthorNotary@gmail.com or courtesy of the Queens Gazette and they will forward them.  Thank you.

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IIBL #77 Futurism Online

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

On May 14, 1948, Project RAND—an organization formed immediately after World War II to connect military planning with research and development decisions—separated from the Douglas Aircraft Company of Santa Monica, California, and became an independent, nonprofit organization. Adopting its name from a contraction of the term research and development, the newly formed entity was dedicated to furthering and promoting scientific, educational, and charitable purposes for the public welfare and security of the United States.  Please visit http://www.RAND.org for details.  For an opposite perspective please visit http://www.ANTIWAR.com. We may be headed for an enormous global war involving North Korea, China, Russia and neighboring allies.  Am I psychic?  A futurist?  A conspiracy theorist?  Hardly.  I merely use the sources that most have access to online, such as the two URLs listed above and http://www.BBC.com/news for a global perspective of current events shaping our lives. Even Pope Francis wants the Netherlands to mediate.  Sound familiar?  Which part of the world was neutral during World War II?

However, in the above paragraph I mentioned the term futurist.  Can one become a futurist online?  One place to start might be the World Future Society which publishes its own magazine renowned for futuristic articles: The Futurist.  If one visited http://www.wfs.org one would be in for an abrupt bait-and-switch because that site forces you to click on a link to pay-to-play site to subscribe to various World Future Society research and publications.  For free futuristic research may I recommend http://www.Ted.com and http://www.ScienceDaily.com for starters?

Suppose I mentioned that in the near future the US will lose 3.5 million jobs because of self-driving vehicles, such as cars and trucks?  As someone who has driven professionally in NYC to put myself through college, I do not recommend this technology.  One may hear details on this futuristic topic and others dealing with our current economy at http://www.democracyatwork.info

home of ivy league educated economist, Dr. Richard D. Wolff.  Dr. Wolff predicts that we are past due for a national economic crash, similar if not greater than that of 2008.  Is he psychic?  Probably not, as he cites the historic trend for the US economy to crash every four to seven years.  Therefore, we are past due for a biggie.  You may wish to store some cash at home in a safe in case there is another run on the banks, similar to Greece’s austerity result or the Great Depression that FDR and World War II resolved. Vigilance.

 

Internet In Bloom #76 The Bible and BBC News

Sunday, April 9th, 2017
2017-04-05 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Every librarian is taught during their American Library Association accredited Master of Library Science, what the most popular book is in the world.  Do you know it?  The Bible.  Regardless of whether or not you are religious, The Bible is loaded with useful, everyday advice and sheer wisdom of the ages.  My favorite chapter is Proverbs.  A convenient, free way to hear The Bible either in short or long segments is available courtesy of Author Brian Hardin who has an affordable book titled Passages, available for purchase on the same site: http://www.dailyaudiobible.com as his website theme is to listen to the whole bible online in one year.  If you are intimidated by the length and general context of The Bible, Mr. Hardin’s site will help you overcome your fears by offering several ways of listening online, such as selecting: Proverbs, Psalms, The Bible (in chapters), The Bible for Kids, The Bible for Teens, as well as a variety of languages, including Chinese.  Donating and buying related novelties is optional.  “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”  Much of our common wisdom comes from The Bible.  Inspirational speaker and author Dr. Wayne Dyer often quoted from The Bible.  See http://www.drwaynedyer.com for details.  A close friend prayed hard on his job search one night and reviewed The Bible.  The next day he got the job interview he sought.  Will this method work for you?  It certainly could not hurt.

Moreover, a new report out by The US Governor‘s Highway Safety Association estimates that there were 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016, the highest number in more than 20 years, courtesy of the BBC News: see http://www.BBC.com/news for details.  This literally emphasizes the Internet phenomenon of cellphone zombies.  The main factor here is cellphone use and distraction by both pedestrians and motorists.  Other less crucial factors: alcohol, cheaper gas prices, sheer forgetfulness…OK, I made that last one up, but I am writing this on April Fool’s Day.  However, in the last six years, fatalities have grown at four times the rate of overall traffic deaths.  Therefore, should we change the name smartphone to look-both-ways-before-you-cross-the-street-phone?  One of my former college students and library patrons was hit by a bus, in part, thanks to her cellphone.  She is lucky to be alive today.  Vigilance.

Internet in Bloom #75 Quotes, the Net and Politics Online

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
2017-03-01 / Features
By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

“I don’t need to know everything.  I just need to know where to find it, when I need it.”  One may think a librarian said the above quote, but actually it was a famous physicist named Albert Einstein.  The source is http://www.quoteinvestigator.com, a rare site devoted to in-depth quote analysis and origins.  Einstein has many insightful quotes, such as “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”  Something that many in politics could learn from.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” –Playwright George Santayana.

However, “I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana, we are doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That is what is it to be alive.” –Author Kurt Vonnegut.  If you like those quotes, you may also visit http://www.goodreads.com/quotes to continue your research.

Speaking of politics, the advent of the Internet has changed our lives in many ways, like it or not.  GPS technology combined with satellite feeds using both wired and wireless signal transmission, combined with online video and a hypersensitive, 24-hour news cycle.  My car’s bluetooth technology enables me to have hands-free conversation from across the nation while I drive.  My cellphone gives me my latest train and bus schedules.  Heck, I can use my cellphone’s access to G-maps to program audible driving directions so I do not have to memorize my car routes anymore.  This technology works the vast majority of the time, so you can just imagine what the future will bring if we have not blown ourselves off the map with covert, hi-tech instruments, such as drones or sophisticated warheads.  All this came about from the US Defense Department wish to secure computer data from attack, by grouping it into packets and reassembling it at various locations using the telephone lines in the late 1960s.  (Look up DARPNET on your favorite search engine for details.)

Moreover, with all the political mudslinging and finger-pointing lately, a wonderful non-profit website for literally following the money in politics, complete with color graphs and expert commentary, is http://www.opensecrets.org, such as http://www.opensecrets.org/revolving or http://www.opensecrets.org/dark-money.  These URLs enable you to follow history’s documentation of conflicts of interest, collusion and sheer bribery, involving many K Street firms and ruthless, anonymous corporate donors, both into and out of Washington, DC.  The crime is bi-partisan.

 

 

Internet in Bloom #74 Tort Law & Credit

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
2017-02-01 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Tort: An injury to one person for which the person who caused the injury is legally responsible. A tort can be intentional — for example, an angry punch in the nose — but is far more likely to result from carelessness (called “negligence”), such as riding your bicycle on the sidewalk and colliding with a pedestrian. While the injury that forms the basis of a tort is usually physical, this is not a requirement — libel, slander, and the “intentional infliction of mental distress” are on a good-sized list of torts not based on a physical injury. A tort is a civil wrong, as opposed to a criminal wrong.

Please note: The above definition is a sample from http://www.nolo.com/dictionary free legal dictionary.  Other excellent free legal dictionaries online include: http://www.thefreedictionary.com and thelawdictionary.org featuring Black’s Law Dictionary (free online second edition) found in many law university libraries.

Moreover, why should you learn about the law?  The American Museum of Tort Law in-person or online will explain.  Visit http://www.tortmuseum.org to see the creation of Ralph Nader, the former third party presidential candidate and famous consumer advocate, and other experts, to find out why tort law is so crucial and historic.  The museum is located at: 654 Main St., Winsted, Connecticut 06098.  Their phone number is: 860-379-0505.  Take the online tour or browse through a few related cases.  One example of tort law changing history and protecting countless others: Remember Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man? Cigarette manufacturers do not use them in their ads anymore, because a series of lawsuits beginning in the 1980s have succeeded in holding Big Tobacco companies accountable for their dangerous products and in making them change some of their practices.

Furthermore, when was the last time you checked your credit history in case you need to purchase a home, a car, secure a loan or just remain solvent if your credit is checked by a potential employer or landlord or financial institution?  If it has been a while I suggest you contact our three credit bureaus in the US every four months or at least once a year to insure they have not made any mistakes in recording your transactions, addresses or other personal data:  http://www.experian.com, http://www.equifax.com and http://www.transunion.com before our next big economic crash.  This may be accomplished online.  Vigilance.

 

Internet in Bloom #73 January 2017: Fake News

Saturday, January 7th, 2017
2017-01-04 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., CKMI.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI.,Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI.,Fake news.  It is the latest media buzzword or term.  Transparent is another beauty.  May I recommend http://www.thefreedictionary.com as it has multiple dictionaries, such as: medical, legal and financial ones?  It also contains an encyclopedia and many foreign language translations.  Consider fake news: the first newspaper was published in Rome by orders of Julius Caesar in 59 B.C.  My point here, is fake news is far from being new.  News is supposed to be new.  News and newspapers have been making corrections for their published mistakes for ages, literally.  Fake news has been around so long that dictionaries have several names for it, such as: propaganda, blowback, misinformation, disinformation, gossip, dirty laundry, bum steers…

However, there are a few websites one may wish to consult when trying to decipher any news.  Visit http://www.factcheck.org for a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in politics courtesy of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  Go to http://www.snopes.com for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.  They even accept reader rumors to debunk and publish.  I was informed in library school that mainstream media will publish whatever the government wants it to.  One creative alternative to mainstream news is a group of outstanding independent journalists, whose ringleader in the accomplished global pharmaceutical buster “America’s Lawyer” Mike Papantonio along with his side-kick, ecology expert, Attorney Robert Kennedy, Jr., with such renowned writers as historian Thom Hartmann and Trial Lawyer Magazine Editor, Farron Cousins.  They may be found with comedian-journalist Sam Seder on http://www.ringofireradio.com or http://www.trof.com.  It is a great website for coverage of uncommon events the mainstream overlooks, such as the Dakota Pipeline scandal and protests, or pharmaceutical scams with major players such as Bayer, Merck, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson.

Moreover, another way to combat the onslaught of fake news lately, is to use common sense and question everything, such as: Is the source listed at all?  If so, is the source an accomplished professional with universal credentials such as education related degrees, awards or publications in their field?  Is proper spelling and grammar used?  Is the data located on a reputable source, known for its reporting accuracy or is found where anyone of any age or experience may post information, such as an online wiki like http://www.wikipedia.com?  Question more.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Internet in Bloom 72: ALA & Free Tuition

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
2016-12-07 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

The following are a few facts about the state of national education from the American Library Association 2012 Reference Book, www.ala.org:

1. Americans spend over 18 times more on video games, $18.6 billion, as they do on their children’s school library materials, $1 billion.

2. There are more public libraries than McDonald’s eateries in the US – 16,766 libraries.

3. Americans check out an average of over eight books annually.

4. 89% of public libraries offer wireless internet access.

5. More than 92% of public libraries provide services for job seekers.

I have mentioned repeatedly in Internet in Bloom, that a nation has to be educated to compete.

However, a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com, and other US publications state Presidentelect Trump may eliminate our US Department of Education. If this occurs the ramifications are staggering. For example, all government-financed schools will close, such as those on reservations throughout the country. Education related programs that depend on government funds will cease, including library programs. Widespread unemployment of many thousands in the education field will ensue. Is this the action of a politician who campaigned on the promise of creating jobs?

Consequently, there are internet resources that may help. Here are a few:

1. www.uncf.org – The United Negro College Fund offers $100 million in scholarship funds annually. Minorities are encouraged to apply. The website is user-friendly.

2. If you are in school, contact your administration to see if you are eligible for any scholarships, awards or financial aid. Check your school catalogs. They are free. Apply often and early.

3. www.fafsa.ed.gov – Ironically, this is the US Department of Education Federal Student Aid Officedesigned to help Americans finance college. If the Trump administration eliminates our US Department of Education, this source of crucial funding will be history.

4. www.nasfaa.org – The National Association of Student Financial Aid Associations. Check with your state’s financial aid office to help you pay for college. An interactive US map allows you to select your state.

5. Pick your favorite search engine. I suggest www.duckduckgo.com because, unlike Google, it does not track your use, and therefore is faster. Search for “free college tuition US.”

You may be shocked as there are several schools left that still offer this. Warning – read the fine print. For example, for US military academies you may have to enlist for 8 years after you graduate. Other free colleges offer very few majors or require you to work as a school employee until you graduate.

Vigilance!

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

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Internet in Bloom #71 November 2016

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
2016-11-02 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom for The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom,

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.  Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Had enough of the 2016 U.S. Presidential mudslinging?  Long for the campaigns that concentrated on issues and not character assassination?  If so, the following websites should be of interest.
Verified Voting, that is http://www.VerifiedVoting.org, provides resources that allow you to find what voting equipment is used in each State, how the equipment works, laws and regulations in place across the country to promote transparent and verifiable elections.  Frankly I prefer the word honest to transparency, but, the term has caught on like wildfire.  The site discusses: Election hacking, voting online and safeguarding your vote in the digital age.

On The Issues, that is http://www.OnTheIssues.org, is a bold, comprehensive voter information site that boasts “Every political leader on every issue.”

The site covers numerous topics, such as: Issues, candidates, Senate, House, news, FAQs, quizzes, the 50 States, Governors, cabinets, Mayors, past US Presidents, State legislation…  Issues covered:

International Issues   

Domestic Issues    

Economic Issues   

Social Issues   

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform   Health Care
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Civil Rights Social Security Families & Kids
Immigration  Jobs Welfare & Poverty Corporations
Energy & Oil Environment Technology & Infrastructure

In closing, an alternative to http://www.Craigslist.org for locating a residence is http://www.PadMapper.comPadMapper is probably not as popular as Craigslist, however, it is a great way to locate a few apartments that may not be available on Craigslist.  As the name implies, PadMapper has filters that not only let you specify the price range, size and amenities involved, but maps your result on an easy to adjust display.  If you have ever had to locate an affordable apartment quickly in popular parts of the USA, you know the search is at best, challenging and at worst, a nightmare, in-part, because of the various crooked landlords around.  For example, I called about one advertised apartment “rental” only to have a slick salesperson try to rope me into taking over a mortgage.  A mortgage is far from a rental.  Also, just because a residence is advertised does not mean it is ready to move into.  Some landlords suggest visiting the address advertised first and then contacting the owner if they are still interested.  This is a sure sign that the apartment being considered is in an awful, aka dangerous or poorly maintained location.

Your vote is your voice.  Happy voting.

 

 

 

Internet in Bloom #70 Motels & Dating

Thursday, October 6th, 2016
2016-10-05 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Motel 6 is a major chain of budget motels with more than 1,100 locations in the United States and Canada. Motel 6 also operates Studio 6, a chain of extended stay hotels. In October 2012, the sale of the Motel 6 chain by Accor Hotels to The Blackstone Group for $1.9 billion was concluded. The Blackstone Group then established G6 Hospitality LLC as the management company for Motel 6 and Studio 6.  Source: Search enginewww.Duckduckgo.com.  Why does this concern you, the weary traveler on vacation or a business trip?  Simple.  Studio 6 can save guests large amounts of dinero because you rent by the week at a discount and unlike the standard Motel 6 accommodations, Studio 6 has a full kitchen.  For details, including military and senior discounts please visit:www.Staystudio6.com.

Moreover, www.TED.com stands for Technical, Entertainment and Design and has been the place to go online for numerous brilliant expert lectures ranging in length from five to thirty minutes on topics such as work, leisure, science, the latest inventions, you-name-it in, get this, 100 languages. Anthropologist Helen fisher spoke about online dating sites.  Fisher said they should really be called online introduction sites.  (As most of us are working longer hours at more jobs, online socializing is a viable alternative to the real thing.)  However, she stressed that once you actually meet your date, the courting ritual that begins is the same as in primordial times regardless of what site you use.  The handful of free dating sites that come to mind, as I am single are: www.Okcupid.com, www.POF.com andwww.Tinder.com.  Tinder requires an additional account withwww.Facebook.com in order to post your pictures to attract mates.

In closing, my own personal experience suggests that one demand honesty when using dating websites as often users complain of the time wasting vicarious, dishonest (old) pictures and worse, married users who state they are single.  Caveat emptor campers.  Common sense dictates meeting in public for the first date and never inviting the person into your home or car for the initial meeting.  I have known victims.  You do not need the headaches of filing police reports, paying attorneys or worse, getting killed.  Aloha.

Internet in Bloom #69: Cheap Flights

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
2016-08-17 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

The humidity is still on this summer with less than three months to go before the strangest presidential election I can recall between our typical two parties and their candidates, with historically low approval ratings.  Therefore, I am going to brighten your day by using the Internet to save everyone time and money.

First, allow me to remind all that there are really dangerous computer virus schemes floating around online for all platforms, Windows and Macs.  I did a search for the binary data presented by one virus and it lead me to a phony antivirus service called Spy Hunter, that created the virus to begin with, because it was the only service I could find online associated with the virus, and they advertised how to get rid of it, but warned that it involved deleting it from your PC registry, so you may wish to download their antivirus software.  They offered a free trial version and a full commercial version download.  I downloaded their free trial because none of the major brand name professional antivirus software I tried could remove the virus.  Spy Hunter turned out to be a collusion scam because I could not delete it from my hard drive and thus has to perform a factory reset of the drive involving reinstalling the operating system, to remove Spy Hunter.  Insidious indeed as deleting anything from a hard drive registry is best left to seasoned pros.

Second, so you have saved up some money or your job has provided you with capital or frequent flyer miles and you wish to fly away to an exotic land to relax sipping a cold Pina Colada.  You could spend a lot of time and effort creating your own searchable database with your favorite word processing program comparing every airline and all the related pricings, which are extensive depending on flight specifics or you could try Google Flights.  That is www.google.com/flights or www.kayak.com/flights however Google Flights is more user-friendly.  With the slightest change in destination or airline or seating class resulting in cost differences of hundreds, even thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for those multi-city combination travel, room and car rental packages, Google Flights is worth your time.

In closing, www.parkingpal.com, the Internet creation of legal parking expert Lou Camporeale, is a must if you drive in NYC as he answers many tough parking questions and teaches you how to avoid and fight parking tickets for free.  Stay cool campers.
 

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Internet in Bloom #68 Magic Numbers

Friday, July 15th, 2016
2016-07-13 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

The heat is on this summer with less than four months to go before Election Day.  Math has its place in life when you need to know how much to charge, what you should be getting paid or what you should pay.  It is the way many in business keep score.  Four issues back Internet in Bloom For The Layperson, number 64 discussed websites to protect you from deceptive statistics.  For example, mean, median and mode were discussed as mathematical averages with different perspectives and outcomes pertaining to statistics and what a researcher or advertiser is trying to communicate.  Consider one definition of mean: An average calculated by adding the value of the points in a data set and dividing the sum by the number of data points.  This average is different than the median.  The median is less affected by extreme values in a data set.  It is the value half the data points fall below and the other half fall above.  The mode is the most frequently occurring value in a data set.  As one can see, means, medians and modes produce different types of average depending on the desired outcome.

In case that concept is not confusing enough, consider going to the US Census Bureau to extract needed statistics.  Visitwww.census.gov and click on the various links.  The government census is primarily written for statisticians as their tables and graphs tend to include every type of data analyzed, which is accurate if you are trying to cover as much as possible, yet very frustrating if you just want an isolated statistic for your personal use, such as the national per capita income for the most recent year or the median household or family income for the most recent year.  Fear not, www.deptofnumbers.com is a gift.  This wonderful website has links that give you the specific answers you want for recent years you need, with links such as, employment, unemployment and income.  I can get statistics much faster and easier there than from the US Census online.  Sorry Uncle Sam.  Now if only www.google.com could be more like www.duckduckgo.com and stop tracking my web surfing so I stop getting pop up ads only from sites were I tend to shop!?

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Internet in Bloom #67 Free Pix/Genealogy

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
2016-06-08 / Front Page  Print article Print

Internet in Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., CKMI.

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book TheLibrarian’s Guide to Employment in theInformation Age is now available onAmazon.com.

The Internet has the potential to change lives.  For example, I taught photography at the State University of New York (SUNY) and often see photographers trying to get attention by using the latest technological gimmick in a way never done before, such as panoramic landscape, time-lapse from day to night in one photo.  The other day I had lunch with a computer specialist and photographer named Ian Minnerly who really impressed me with his photography.  Ian, unlike most of us, gets to travel across all 50 United States with his technical career, servicing libraries and other educational entities.  In his spare time he takes pictures of landscapes, macro-photography, cityscapes and nature.  His work is undoubtedly among the best I have ever seen with stellar subject-object composition, sharp focus, balance and the rule of thirds and fifths.  Please see for yourself at www.imstudiosonline.com where you cannot help but escape and take a break from your life imaging the circumstances involved with these breath-taking compositions from across the continent.  See if you can identify the location of some of the shots.  Mr. Minnerly even has a contact link to an email template that enables you to easily send him commentary.  His home-office is in sunny Delray Beach, Florida.  Thank you Ian.

Furthermore, “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Mark Twain the famous author and humorist said that in a New York speech back in 1900.  I believe this trend of hesitant discovery continues with the pursuit of genealogy.  A good librarian should be able to assist patrons in exploring their family roots and the key now lies with the Internet.  For the world’s largest collection of free family records, with such morbid graphics captured as Death Certificates, to help prove one’s existence, visit www.familysearch.org, a user-friendly website for virtually all ages.  For example,  www.familysearch.org/learningcenter has over 200 genealogy tutorials ranging in length with 14 languages available.

Moreover, if you go to www.usgenweb.org you will see another absolutely free website devoted to genealogy.  If you explore the state and county websites, you will see variation as each page or database is the creation, property and responsibility of a volunteer. But, you will also find that all of the counties will provide links for you to post queries, access the state’s home page and archives.  So if you are lucky enough to come from a functional family or if your dysfunctional family has not soured your sense of wonder and curiosity about life, now is the time to search your family history because it has never been easier thanks to the Internet and the many website designers, computer programmers and hosts who believe national genealogy is worthwhile.

Internet in Bloom #66: Free Cellphone Number

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
2016-05-11 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com.

Can you recall a more nerve-racking, unpredictable, media circus, clown-car of candidates and pundits, violent, presidential race?  I sure can’t.  Surprisingly Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have yet to be indicted, but, as the infamous New York Yankee Catcher, Yogi Berra said: “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.” Be it the stagnant economy, escalating subway slashings, national police crimes against innocents, climate change or the 24/7 news cycle media circus, tripping over themselves to cover the most sensationalist mudslinging spewed, more of us will be voting this November than ever before in history. EvenPope Francis has endorsed Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders.  When was the last time a Pope got involved in a US primary and got global news coverage?

Consequently, the Internet can make voting easier withwww.vote.org.  Vote.org allows users to quickly and easily: register to vote, check your registration and get an absentee ballot.  It only requires you enter some contact data about yourself in a short template.  Compared to the NYC Board of Elections website, www.elections.ny.gov, it is much more user friendly and quicker.

Moreover, speaking of Internet conveniences, supposed I told you there is an app for both android and iPhone cellphone formats that will enable you to have a free second US phone number with perks such as: texting, number porting, custom voicemail and caller ID, notifications and ringtones?  Cool huh: www.sideline.com offers all of the above for details.  You may also find sideline on Google Play: https://play.google.com to download the app involved.

Funny, I have heard people say the Internet will replace libraries.  What I notice most, now that libraries have access to the Internet, is more printing by all.  More printing means more printers, staff and space required for the additional printers, paper, printouts and service for the resulting increase in computer networks to better enable Internet access.  One example, of how the Internet has improved library efficiency and convenience is with public library apps that enable the user to:  search library holdings, borrow, reserve or renew and item, locate branches, hours and staff, call or text librarians, etc.  TheQueens and Brooklyn Borough Public Libraries (QBPL and BPL) have these apps ready to download on their websites, if you have a library card.  Visit  www.queenslibrary.org and www.bklynlibrary.org.  At present, for the QBPL you are best to do a search for “QBPL mobile app” using their blank search filed at the top right of their home page.  The BPL is a little more technically hip with an actual BPL mobile apphyperlink on the left side of their homepage. To get your initial card you have to visit a branch in person.  The largest NYC public library with 92 branches, the New York Public Library (NYPL), has yet to offer their mobile app download.  However, I was told it is in progress as you read this column. The public library is one of the most rewarding, cost effective services offered.  Where else can you get shelter from the elements, while educating yourself or having a staff of professional researchers help you: write a resume, complete a school assignment, research your family genealogy, brush up on community events, use the Internet to find a job or even, dare I say, a mate, borrow media, explore all of the world’s knowledge in organized classifications and more?  I have spent some of the most enjoyable hours of my life in libraries.  A library card is well worth the time it takes to get one.  Please keep in mind the above website data is subject to change.

Internet in Bloom #65 FREE NYC Adult Ed Classes

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016
2016-04-06 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a NYS Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book TheLibrarian’s Guide to Employment in theInformation Age is now available onAmazon.com and iTunes.

When you read a communication error was it an accident or a bait and switch tactic meant to entice you through the purposeful omission of facts?  For example, I was on the MTA subway (see www.mta.info for details) when I noticed an advertisement overhead by the New York City (NYC)Department of Education offering free adult classes if one goes to www.adultednyc.org for details.  So being curious about anything being offered for free, I typed the URL into my browser and noted the page it linked to had a different URL:www.oacenyc.org.  This was my first clue that something may be wrong, because most of the time when I surf online this URL switch does not occur.  OACE innocuously stands for Office of Adult and Continuing Education.  I perused the web page and clicked on the only link out of many that gave me specific information about the free adult education course being offered in NYC: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

Basically, I discovered the only prerequisite is to be over the age of 21 and a NYC resident.  I poked around further, found a related phone number and called the office to find out what classes are being offered, when and where.  I was told I had to come in, in-person.  The price was right and I heard the person on the phone mention Web Page Design was one of the classes offered.    I visited the closest OACE office, where I was told I would have to make an appointment for placement testing to see if I qualified to register for the classes, which are taught year-round.  The small print on my appointment sheet mentioned the testing is five hours long and consists of math and reading.  As sheer luck would have it I picked up a brightly colored handout in the office that gave an overview of these “Tuition Free Classes.”  This was a great stroke of luck where my endless curiosity about things paid off.  In small print under the eligibility question it stated information not listed on the MTA subway ad about who is eligible: “Any NYC resident 21 years of over without a US high school equivalency (HSE) or diploma may register.”  This saved me the trouble of registering and making future trips there. Now you know why the MTA subway OACE advertisement described above seems deceptive.

However, if you do not have a GED (General Education Diploma) or HSED (High School Education Diploma) or a standard high school diploma, these classes are well worth your time and will save you the hefty cost of taking these courses elsewhere.  The classes offered are:

Basic Education, English of Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), High School Equivalency (GED/HSED), Digital Technology, A+ Certification (PC/MAC repair), Web Page Design, Microsoft Office and Computer Literacy.  Also omitted from the MTA subway ad is that if you are taking any Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes you may need to buy books and supplies.  Note: Residency documentation is not required but a picture identification card is.  For more details call OACE at (718) 638-2635 or email them at OACE@schools.nyc.gov.  Certified instructors teach OACE classes.  In case you are wondering, a HSED is similar to the older GED, except the HSED involves taking a greater number of total classes in such subjects as civics.

Internet in Bloom #64 March 2016

Friday, March 18th, 2016
2016-03-09 / Front Page

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a Notary Public, SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., NP has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a Notary Public,SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

“Beware the ides of March” because this is a presidential election year and already the media freak-show has reared its ugly head.  For example, The DOL (Department of Labor) monthly job report is as rosey as ever with consecutive job growth.  However, if our economy is so strong, how come the NYPD reports over 600 slashings and stabbings in New York City since January 1st, this year: an increase of twenty-one percent since last year?  If the best form of welfare is a job, where are these jobs?  Are they full or part-time?  Do they pay a living wage or come with decent benefits?  Do these numbers include our prison and hospital populations?  What about those that have stopped looking or just moved to another country?  How come as a native NewYorker and battle hardened strap-hanger for years, I have never seen so many homeless living in our MTA subways and on our cold, crowded streets this winter?  No wonder slashings and stabbings have increased–thousands are furious, hungry and hurting, thanks in large part, to our economy.Consequently, there is much we the people can do to educate ourselves using the Internet to sort out the lies from the truth, be they from our sources, politicians, the media or even global governments.  Visithttp://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/stat3.html for a refreshing look at how to lie and cheat with statistics, complete with graphics.  For example, when you hear the word average, is the source referring to the mean, median or mode?  The differences are crucial.  Another great site online for learning to spot fraud is http://www.seobook.com/how-lie-statistics  which reminds us that correlation is not necessarily causation.  A third site worthy of mention uses a slide presentation:http://www.slideshare.net/lhoelter/teaching-students-how-not-to-lie-with-statistics  stressing the approach of avoiding lies when using statistics.  This site reminds us to question everything.  For example, if a sample was used how was it arrived at?  Was anything purposely excluded to bias the outcome?  Can the example be repeated accurately over time?  Are any important trends being overlooked or omitted?

Lastly, there are a few excellent books that review ways to protect one from lies and fraudulent stats: How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff is a classic.  The Honest Truth About Lying with Statistics by Cooper Holmes.  Even The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age by Ted Bloom, has several well thought out, street-wise chapters on ways to protect oneself and one’s job from pernicious bosses, nefarious coworkers and misguided clients in today’s dog-eat-dog workplace.  All three books may be found online at Amazon.com.

Internet in Bloom #63 February 2016

Thursday, February 4th, 2016
2016-02-03 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom

By Ted Bloom

Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

 Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Happy New Year!  January 2016 just saw the second biggest blizzard in our city’s history according to snowfall measurements in Central ParkJFK airport saw more than 30 inches of powder.  Our mayor intelligently banned all traffic except emergency vehicles.  Of course a few New Yorkers resisted and had to be arrested.  Kudos to Mayor Bill DeBlasio.  For a city of more eight million, our casualties were thankfully minimal.

Moreover, years ago I published a fitness column in New York and wish I knew about the following website: www.DrugSafetyNews.com.  Here is an excerpt from that site:  “The Xarelto lawsuit filed against the manufacturer of Xarelto (Janssen Pharmaceutical) and the co-marketer (Bayer Healthcare) states these companies failed to warn patients and physicians of the increased risks of fatal internal bleeding when using Xarelto. The complaint states that if these companies had warned of the risks, then patients would have been prescribed the drug warfarin, a medication in which internal bleeding can be treated with high dosages of Vitamin K.” The website is the creation of Attorney Mike Papantonio of the law firm Levin and Papantonio.  As you may guess the site lists a variety of questionable medications and related pending legislation.  Pharmaceutical companies are notorious for keeping money in politics and have about 25 lobbyists in Washington, per congressperson, so monitoring their ongoing law breaking and profiteering with deadly new drugs is not a bad idea.

Furthermore, 2016 is an election year with immigration being a hotly contested topic.  However, did you know that if you meet income requirements you may wave the hefty fee involved?  Please go towww.uscis.gov/feewaiver for details.  Many immigrants will qualify for this fee waiver.  For example, the fee waiver must be mailed and cannot be emailed.  However, you need to call to get the current mailing address.  The US Citizenship andImmigration Service (USCIS) has a toll free number.  The immigrants I know are the hardest workers I have ever seen and would make outstanding citizens.

Consequently, one reason to become a US citizen is that if you combine citizenship with a high school diploma or GED and are unemployed or under-employed and meet income requirements, you may be eligible for free tuition, registration, testing and books, for a variety of entry-level occupational certifications such as: Medical Assistant, Computer Support Specialist, Commercial Bus or Tractor-trailer Driver and both armed and unarmed Security Guards through the New York State Department of Labor.  The DOL calls this funding an Individual Training Grant (ITG).  Visit www.nyc.gov/trainingguide for details and do not be afraid to click away at the various links.  The grants range from $400.00 to $5000.00.  For example, if you already have a two or four year degree you are also available for financial assistance to become a Computer Systems Analyst or Network Administrator.

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Internet in Bloom #62 Free Legal Advice…

Thursday, December 24th, 2015
 RegoPark2010

2015-12-23 / Front Page

Internet in Bloom For The Layperson
By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Happy Holidays! If you have read our Internet in Bloom columns over the years you may be familiar with the type of Internet website review typically created for the holidays: a rapid-fire list of useful websites with witty, short descriptions. For example, try a search for “fat free fries” in your favorite popularity engine, such as http://www.Google.com or http://www.DuckDuckGo.com and note the various vegan recipes you get. Fat free French fries exist and are easy to make. Less LDLs means better health.

However, this year things will be different. Instead we will review a few rare websites in greater detail, beginning with http://www.Rutherford.org, home of the Rutherford Institute, the brainchild of Attorney John Whitehead, based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. The institute is a nonprofit civil rights organization that provides legal services at no charge to those whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated. They have been doing so since 1982. Just click on the Legal Assistance link on the top of the web page. Free is good.

Next we have the most bizarre yet altruistic website I have seen yet: http://www.DoSomething.org. Nancy Lubin of Monterey, California started this organization for youth that was featured in a recent talk on http://www.TED.com (a trend-setting, free academic lecture website, I have introduced several times previously in this column.) DoSomething boasts it is one of the largest youth organizations for social change in the world with: 4.6 million members, 130 countries, and over 240 volunteer campaigns. They even offer employment and internships with the motto asking if you “Want to make the world suck less?” Following are some sample campaigns offered that may interest you: Teens for Jeans (collect jeans for homeless youth), Search for Specs (Eyeglass donations for the needy) and Blessing Bags (bags of local essentials donated to local homeless shelters). The campaigns get weirder, trust me, with names like Free-to-Pee (Promote transgender restroom signs) however, I do not have the space to elaborate.

Consequently, the above DoSomething organization lead to a crisis analysis website based on Nancy Lubin and DoSomething’s unexpected call center experiences with numerous texts they received from needy youth with a variety of problems from suicide to drug abuse to stress to bereavement to depression… The entire list can be seen at the resulting website called http://www.Crisistrends.org. Their motto is to empower journalists, researchers, and citizens to understand the crises Americans face so we can work together to prevent future crises from happening. The website gives you a fascinating look at what can be done with text message statistics when analyzed by the day of the week, time of day, time of year and US state when comparing youth problems in easy to read graphs. So for our readers interested in helping others, social work, therapy, psychology, psychiatry, statistics, sociology, computer science, web page design, spreadsheet software, trivia, or cool stuff to talk about, this is a terrific website to play with as it is interactive and user-friendly. Try this for a New Year’s resolution: Get out there and do something campers!

Internet in Bloom #61 The TPP, OSHA, Voting and the Economy

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

Internet in Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

The press is the only industry mentioned in our Constitution. Lately, journalists have a glut of newsworthy stories to choose from – including one that may end the Constitution and US sovereignty, as we know it.

“The TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) would allow foreign corporations to sue federal, state and local governments in an international tribunal for passing an increase in the minimum wage or any other law that could hurt expected future profits.” —Senator and 2016 Presidential Candidate, Bernie Sanders.

The ramifications here are historic, treasonous and simply terrifying. Imagine losing all of our hard-earned labor laws that many gave their lives for – see the Haymarket Square incident of 1886 in Chicago or theTriangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 in Manhattan, for examples – because of global, fascist greed? This includes many national achievements some may take for granted, such as: the eight-hour workday, weekends off, overtime pay, paid family leave, medical and retirement benefits, child labor abuse prevention, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s FLSA (Federal Labor Standards Act), President Kennedy’s New Frontier and President Johnson’s Great Society, the Job Corps, the Department of Laborand union representation, anti-discrimination legislation, the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations that literally protect life and limb – please seewww.OSHA.gov for details. This list is enormous. I have already contacted all of my elected representatives at least once, about stopping the TPP. You may wish to do the same, if you have not already, as the TPP will be voted on in

Congress shortly. The internet can help save a tremendous amount of time here.

Please go to: www.house.gov/representatives/find and www.senate.gov/senators/contact and of course,www.whitehouse.gov/contact. It has never been easier or more important to email the House, Senate and White House.

Moreover, the economy has gotten worse since the subprime mortgage crash of 2007-2008 according to economists such as highly sought-after speaker, Dr.

Richard Wolff, Visiting Economics Professor at the New School here in NYC. Dr. Wolff stated our national median income has actually decreased by several thousand dollars since the crash, regardless of rosy propaganda the mainstream media may be spewing. For example, the DOL BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) loves to publish job growth without being specific as to if the jobs are low-paying, part-time, offer any benefits, mention how many have given up looking for work, the percentage of the population incarcerated or hospitalized and therefore may need to work, but cannot seek it for obvious reasons. Hence the BLS unemployment rates are skewed and could easily be doubled. Visit www.Rdwolff.org for more information on Dr. Wolff and to access a variety of his lectures and videos. The lighter note is with the holiday season once again upon us, a secret to saving huge sums of money may be found at:www.revbilly.com and the Church of Stop Shopping as we consume more than any other country on the planet. Amen brothers and sisters.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd.,

CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A librarian and professor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the US Department of

Labor, as well as being a SUNY

Communications Instructor, a YMCA

Director and a Certified Krav Maga

Instructor. His first book, The Librarian’s

Guide to Employment in the Information

Age, is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Internet in Bloom #60: The MTA, Selfies and The Bible

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Internet in Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Today I got onto a crowded Q train car and watched as several passengers of both genders proceeded to squeeze past me to slide two metal door handles sideways and walk between the subway cars while the train was moving at a fast pace, ignoring the large “Do not cross between cars sign” with its prominent, universal red circle with the diagonal line through it.  Shortly thereafter a young boy pointed to the sign and asked his mom why the sign was there.  I know a few train conductors so I answered the child politely, who could not have been more than ten years old, as his mom was not saying anything.  “That sign is to keep people from dying as they cross between the moving train cars.”  Yes, dying: http://web.mta.info/safety is an informative website for safety tips, videos and statistics, such as in 2012, 141 people were struck by MTA subway trains in NYC and 55 were killed.  You name it, it has happened in the subway.  One local newspaper headline reads: ‘Man Falls to Death While Defecating Between Subway Cars.’   Most years, suicides outnumber murders and accidental deaths on the MTA. One good bump or hard turn or unexpected hard braking is all it takes to throw one off the train when crossing between moving cars, whether the train is above or below ground.

Speaking of accidents, self-defense includes protecting oneself and one’s loved ones from accidents, such as falling.  The cinema may lead the public to think that self-defense is reserved for stoic martial artists surrounded by mean looking enemies with weapons or maybe fighting off hungry sharks because of a shipwreck.  Really.  According to the media and entertainment website www.Mashable.com, more people died from taking “selfies” with their cellphones than from shark attacks this year.  Tell that to Steven Spielberg, director of the iconic movie Jaws, made in 1975.

Moreover, most of the people I see ignoring their surroundings by wearing headphones or ear-buds while biking or skateboarding or texting others with nominal communications while walking, are our nation’s youth.  Hence, I have a recommended site for all to study: www.Dailyaudiobible.com by Brian Hardin.  Any librarian will tell you the most popular book in history is the bible.  With so many people bent on killing themselves needlessly, the public might as well brush up on the most famous published interpretation of what comes after death.  Regardless of one’s religion or lack of it, when you are at the pearly gates faced with the book of life and a famous religious figure, you may wish to know what to expect.  Thou shall not murder.  Love thy neighbor.  Do un to others…these are universal themes in all religions.  The amount of work Brian Hardin put into the site is astounding.  He is a talented reader, as you will hear daily biblical excerpts for free.  These may even be downloaded into your PDAs (Portable Digital Assistant).  Until next column, duck ‘n’ cover.

Internet in Bloom #59: Gun Violence

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
2015-09-09 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

As one who has been following our global media for many years, recently the trend of gun violence has been overwhelming. This goes beyond the medium being the message or the importance of attracting sponsors to make a living. Even though I am a martial artist I am not a gun enthusiast. Weapons have increased dramatically in their sophistication since our US Constitution was written in 1787. Our second amendment now has different implications. Further proof that times have changed, we no longer quarter soldiers as indicated in our third amendment. Drones, assault weapons and nuclear warheads had yet to be invented in 1787. However, the American love of freedom, liberty and democracy still exists. As does distaste for tyranny and lifetime political appointments of oligarchs.Moreover, many assume anything on the Internet is empirical. Not so. The trick is determining which sources are the reliable ones. Consider the following sobering statistics on US gun violence:

•One in three people in the US know someone who has been shot.

•Thirty-one Americans are killed with guns daily and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.

•Every day 55 people kill themselves with a firearm and 46 are shot or killed in a gun accident.

•Our US firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 of our peer countries in wealth and population.

•A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide or suicide or accidental shooting than to be used in self-defense. Sources for the above: www.bradycampaign.org, 2015, Princeton University Press, 2006, CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars, 2015, and the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care, 2010.

Consequently, is there one solution for this horrific shooting rampage fed by our media, weapon manufactures, the NRA and the US Constitution? Probably not, however the Internet has a unique website that analyzes our differing gun laws in all 50 states so the user will know which states have stricter gun laws than others. It does so in a humorous fashion–if it is possible to find humor in this deadly topic: www.crimadvisor.com. This site even has a short video to pique your interest whether you are a law abiding citizen interested in the highest levels of gun safety or a ruthless gun trafficker only interested in your bottom line. Did you know that only 60 percent of gun sales in the US require a background check?

The other 40 percent of gun sales may be done online or in-person at a gun show with no background check depending on the state, enabling felons, fugitives, the mentally ill, gang members, hate group extremists, terrorists and virtually anyone to buy guns. For further details I heartily implore you to visit the sites listed above.

Internet in Bloom #58: FREE Internet Access.

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
2015-08-19 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

In the year 2000 the United States gained the unique distinction of incarcerating more people than any other nation. Having a criminal record may make it difficult to get hired, especially in fields where one is trusted to help the public such as healthcare and education. National Employment Law Project (NELP) research indicates one out of four Americans have a criminal record. If that record contains any convictions the job search becomes even tougher. If one is lucky and has access to good legal services they may be able to get their record expunged and thus job seeking becomes easier. The implications of these statistics are far reaching as a vicious circle gets created where the criminal record impedes employment. Lack of work means the job hunter has less income, if any. It takes money to find employment in many ways. One major way is paying for Internet access as many job openings may be applied for online. A lack of income may also lead to crimes committed to gain money. Crime leads to more incarceration. Hence our economy spirals downward with prisoners being unable to become responsible taxpayers contributing to and buying goods and services from society.

However, there are free ways to access the Internet. Here are a few. The site, www.Juno.com offers ten hours of free dial-up Internet access per month, for PC or other mobile device via hardwire. Register online at Juno.com for details. This is an incentive to use Juno’s pay service.

Moreover, WiFi, short for Wireless Fidelity, offers numerous ways to access the Internet for free. For example, www.Openwifispots.com advertises more than 66,198 free locations in the US. All the user needs to do is enter their zip code. To use WiFi one must have a computer, such as a laptop or smartphone, that has WiFi capacity aka WiFi reception software installed. www.wififreespot.com is a similar free WiFi hot spot website. For those wishing to find WiFi hot spots in our city parks, visit www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/wifi.

Many merchants advertise WiFi to increase business, but often it is not free. Many Starbucks or Kinkos charge for the service. Following are a list of chains that offer FREE WiFi, either advertised or not: Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, Courtyard by Marriott, Office Depot, McDonalds, Staples, Fazoli’s and the Apple Store. Often one may be able to stand or sit just outside the establishment, such as on an adjacent mall bench, and still receive the WiFi single depending on the strength of the WiFi transmission equipment used.

Internet In Bloom #57 : July 2015

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted Bloom

If a village can raise a child, why can’t the Internet do the same–or at least help?There are many wonderful websites for single parents or parents in general. Following are just a few. Who doesn’t like free stuff? www.Singleparents.about.com/od/freebies gets my vote for one of the most creative and beneficial sites for parents. Here is a sampling: free meals, free furniture, free phone service, free software, free parenting advice and free school lunches. For example, the free phone service is available to qualifying families through several government programs. Also, please keep in mind that www.Craigslist.org has a free stuff link, complete with pictures of the freebies under the for sale heading. Craig is a nice California dude, the site is based out of California, however, I strongly suggest you meet the party involved in public in a safe setting before you agree to anything, just as if you were using an Internet dating website.

Moreover, another plethora of knowledge is www.PBS.org/parents A librarian by trade, I am still impressed by the sheer amount of research gone into this website. Following are the titles of the main tabs on the home page: birthday parties, child development, education, fun and games, food and fitness, parenting, kids programming, kids shop, videos. But wait, there’s more! Mouse over each of the above tabs and see a drop-down menu of more related categories. Further down on the right side of the web page we have three more tabs under the heading Parenting Tools: child development tracker, activity search and bookfinder.

Where’s the story? PointsMentioned Map 5 Points Mentioned

Not to be out done, we have a website based out of midtown Manhattan: www.SingleparentUSA.com an independent, non-profit organization that began in 1975 offering the following links in the upper left corner of its simplistic, blue home page: about us, our programs, problem gambling, support us, our team and contact us. Some of the programs offered under the programs link are: father support groups, mother support groups, parenting workshops to aid in identifying abusive behavior, operant conditioning, setting limits and healthy communication, gambling and alcoholism rehabilitation, youth communications and support groups and more. Just as countries have to be well educated to compete in our global marketplace, our kids are our future and must be raised correctly, regardless if we are parents or not.

Queens Gazette readers please note: If you have any websites you would like to see reviewed or mentioned in general, in this column, please email or snail-mail me care of the Queens Gazette. Contact information may be found in this publication. If the sites meet our standards I will consider including them and give the sender credit for the lead. As always thanks for reading Internet in Bloom and the Queens Gazette and keep up the research.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Brooklyn and Manhattan, some of his credentials include, creating a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a YMCA Director, a SUNY Communications Instructor, a Certified Krav Maga Instructor and a member of the largest krav maga school in NYC: KMI. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Internet in Bloom #56, June 2016

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Internet In Bloom For The Layperson
BY TED J. BLOOM

In my never-ending battle to find legitimate ways to generate revenue using the internet, I found one with odds better than playing the national lottery. This website has the potential to make you a millionaire overnight. All you have to do is locate or help the FBI locate the right cybercriminal. If you help bust a global computer hacker, you may receive rewards of $100,000 to a cool $3 million dollars, in your spare time. To see a list of current FBI dossiers of cyber-badguys committing various types of computer fraud conspiracy, go to www.FBI.gov/wanted/cyber. To submit leads or other information to claim your reward, visit www.FBI.gov/contact-us. Apparently, Russia and China are on the menu lately.

Moreover, speaking of the dangerous world of law enforcement, www.killedbypolice.net is a politically neutral listing of national police killings and hyperlinks to their news sources. This structure is very convenient, as with just a click of a mouse or tap of a finger for you touchscreen users, one instantly views the local news team coverage of the tragic event so you know where to avoid for a while until the police tape is taken down, unless you like traffic jams and chaos in general.

Last but not least, is one of my all-time favorites – a way to get back at the banking industry for their pitifully low interest rates on savings accounts: www.maxmyinterest.com is a revolutionary idea in online banking as the service takes your funds, with your permission, and constantly moves them to bank accounts paying the highest interest rates, thus your money remains FDIC-insured at all times while it accrues higher interest than your home bank pays. For example, an investment of $50,000 will accrue about $400 annually in interest.

Maxmyinterest is the creation of Harvard University graduate Gary Zimmerman, who has a degree in economics and is backed by an impressive board of directors with other Ivy League credentials, including attorneys. Frankly, I am not a fan of online-banking for security reasons. However, if I were to take the risk, maybe with a Mac platform, as most hackers target the Windows platform for recognition purposes, Maxmyinterest gets my vote just to remind the banks that the customer should come first – even when it comes to powerful banksters.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Internet in Bloom #55, May 2015

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
2015-05-27 / Features
By Ted J. Bloom

This semester, in addition to my various college library responsibilities, I taught over 50 students Information Literacy–a course that did not exist before the Internet did. Molding our city’s young minds, once again reminded me that many of us, college educated or not, believe that virtually any source on the Internet is a valid, credible plethora of knowledge waiting to be plucked like low hanging fruit from the world’s finest orchards. Really?Moreover, try the following experiment. Please keep in mind that this test will work regardless if you pay for the Internet or not. Select a common search engine, such as http://www.Google.com. Google is a commercial, advertiser supported, popularity search engine, meaning it bases your results on popularity of use, while it also displays advertisements paid for by outside sponsors. Google states the user will only see ads if they are related to the search performed.

By the way, http://www.DuckDuckGo.com is also a commercial, popularity search engine yet is does not display ad banners, nor does it track user use, as Google does, so not all search engines are the same. Type “movie trailers” in the blank search field in Google. Quotations around the search terms force the search engine database to locate only the instances where the two words appear, in the specific order you typed, therefore, you will get more effective results. For this search you will get numerous website hits. Consider a few: http://www.TrailerAddict.com. One of the first results, this site sounds harmless enough except, it took me many hyperlink clicks to locate the desired trailer. I had to view several screens of multiple ad banners first. Thus, I do not consider this site to be user-friendly. Once, I got to the window that had the trailer I sought, I was forced to watch a thirty-second car commercial. However, the website software did allow me to view the trailer full screen after clicking on the correct icon. Conversely, http://www.IMDB.com is my preferred site to view trailers on and was listed towards the bottom of the second page of results on Google. In just a few mouse clicks I was watching my desired trailer, full screen, without being made to view a commercial first.

Furthermore, why wasn’t IMDB listed on the first page of results? According to Google, it is not as popular, meaning more users view TrailerAddict. This logic escapes me because, surely I am not the only person who watchers movie trailers on the Internet. Do web users really prefer using TrailerAddict over the IMDB? IMDB stands for Internet Movie Database. The title TrailerAddict indicates searchers will be more likely to find movie trailers than a four-letter acronym, such as IMDB, that one must decipher. However, over time services with acronyms have become very successful, like the famous restaurant chains, KFC’s and TGIF’s or merchandise brands, such as HP printers or BMWs. Not to mention feared government agencies such as the IRS, FBI, CIA or the even the IDF. IMDB has been online for many years. This logic begs the question: Is Google using ulterior motives in their user search result placements? If so, what are they and what other web services are also questionable in this fashion? What about the use of pay-to-play biased listings here? Is that legal for a public search engine online? Only time will tell…

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Internet in Bloom #54, April 2015

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book, The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age, is now available on Amazon.com in paperback, ebook or audio book.  The audio book is also available on iTunes.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book, The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age, is now available on Amazon.com in paperback, ebook or audio book. The audio book is also available on iTunes.Who owns the Internet? Whether it is our Federal government, such as our FCC (Federal Communications Commission) or the huge telecoms, such as Verizon, the telecommunications company that is challenging the FCC’s authority to regulate the delivery of high-speed and capacity Internet access to the public, one thing is certain–it is extremely challenging to make a living or any significant amount of money using the Net for the average citizen. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are not the norm in today’s competitive workplace.

Moreover, unlike other online publishers I have researched, Amazon’s Audio Book Publishing division known as ACX (Audio Creation eXchange), allows the author to keep all rights while collecting global royalties. However, the author receives no advance, but if the royalties are reasonable, this should not be a financial deterrent. At present Amazon’s royalties seem fair. The author may choose to pay a fee directly to the talent used to produce the audio book or barter with the talent so they get half of the audio book royalties in return for recording the vocals of the audio book or the author may record the vocals in their own sound studio and keep all of his or her percentage of the royalties as the majority of the proceeds go to www.Amazon.com. With my recent audio book: The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age, one may play a five minute sample directly from the www.Amazon.com web page listing my audio book by clicking on the hyperlink labeled: play sample. If one does they will hear the rare talents of seasoned voice-over producer and narrator A. T. “Al” Benelli of the Merlin Group. Of course I am biased because I chose to use the services of Mr. Benelli. But, if you hear his reading skills, I am willing to bet you will agree he a gifted speaker. Please visit http://merlinsvoice.com for details. Feel free to send me feedback directly by leaving reviews online at www.Amazon.com or emailing me at www.NewYorkLibrarian@gmail.com or by contacting the staff here at our Queens Gazette and they will forward the correspondence to my attention.

Internet in Bloom #53 March 2015

Friday, March 20th, 2015
By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book, The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age, is now available on Amazon.com.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book, The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age, is now available on Amazon.com.

Recently, I went to www.nielsen.com, a media rating site reviewed previously here in Internet in Bloom, and noticed the top five of Nielsen’s Top 10 DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles were all sequels. Sequels typically indicate a weak economy, because it means producers are afraid to risk marketing original work, so they stick with a theme that will give them a guaranteed audience, even if that audience is a small one. As this column is altruistic, there is a proven way to make money online, if one can write and has basic computer literacy.
Moreover, remember the movie Fifty Shades of Grey? I have not seen it as it is not my cup of tea, but I know of it. It began as a self-published book that did very well online and therefore a big publisher purchased the rights from the author. One has to be extremely careful when publishing online because in the writing business there is a constant battle for product rights due to the income one gets for the writing. Amazon offers a comparatively good deal for writers interested in self-publishing. See www.amazon.com for details. Unlike other online publishers I have researched, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows the author to keep all rights while collecting global royalties. However, the author receives no advance, but if the royalties are reasonable, this should not be a financial deterrent. At present Amazon’s royalties seem fair.

Where’s the story? PointsMentioned Map 3 Points Mentioned

However, one has to be able to convert their word-processed files to a webpage format such as an html (HyperText Markup Language) file. The computer savvy among us will also need to program active tables of contents using hyperlinks and bookmarks or the automated equivalent depending on whether you have access to the mac or windows platform. Inserting page breaks are crucial so that PCs, laptops, notepads and book-readers, such as Kindles and Nooks, do not display an endless page of mashed words. Lastly, one will need to create and upload a cover in a picture file format, such as a jpeg (Joint Photographer’s Expert Group) file. Picture editing software will help here or you may try KDP’s cover creating software online. One must do a little more than just rely on a “WYSIWYG” (What You See Is What You Get) editor to fill in an online template or two as with many webpage creation sites available. To see an example of the above techniques in practice why not locate my first book? If you go to Amazon and search for The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age or my name, Ted Bloom, you will be able to view my cover and read a generous ebook sample. Amazon will even allow you to download free Kindle software to do so.

Internet In Bloom #52 February 2015

Friday, February 13th, 2015
2015-02-11 / Features
By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga instructor.  His first book will be available soon.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga instructor. His first book will be available soon.

Considering the tri-state area recently got hammered by two blizzards in less than a week, you may be expecting me to review a multifaceted and very reliable weather forecasting website, such as www.NOAA.gov. However, Internet In Bloom readers know our government’s National Weather Service site, as I have reviewed it before.

Moreover, New York City has come up with a great new, free identification card that includes all kinds of benefits, if you are a City resident and have a picture ID and are at least 14 years old. There are some exceptions to having a picture ID, if you are under 21 and have a guardian who can accompany you to an IDNYC Enrollment Center. Anyone can apply, regardless of citizenship, criminal history or income. More than eight million of us may find out all the exciting details at www.nyc.gov/IDNYC such as: a one-year free membership package at 33 of the city’s leading cultural institutions, including world-class museums, performing arts centers, concert halls, botanical gardens, and zoos. One has to visit one of NYCs multiple IDNYC Enrollment Centers. They are located in all five boroughs of the city.
Furthermore, you will be able to use your IDNYC card at any public library in New York. The card can be integrated with your account at the New York, Brooklyn, and Queens Public Library Systems. This is the first time a single card will be accepted across all three systems. To use your IDNYC card at a library, ask a librarian at your local branch to connect your IDNYC card with your library account or sign up for a new library account and use your IDNYC card as your library card. Plus, you will be able to open a bank or credit account at more than a dozen financial institutions across New York City.

Did you know that BigAppleRx is the City of New Yorks official prescription drug discount card, and now you can access discounts with your IDNYC card? Also, you receive a 10-percent discount off annual NYC Parks Recreation Center membership for adults age 25-61. This is available at any of our parks’ 35 neighborhood recreation centers. With your IDNYC card, you will receive access to the YMCAs Y Roads young adult centers and New Americans Welcome Centers. You will also receive 20 percent off of family memberships at all 22 YMCA centers citywide.

But wait, there’s more! You will receive a five-percent discount off all purchases at Food Bazaar supermarkets in New York City on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Exclusions may apply. To get the discount, simply show your IDNYC card at checkout.

There’s even more! New York Pass is a citywide pass to 83 tourist attractions. With your IDNYC card, you will receive a 25-percent discount. You can skip the lines with a one, two, three, five, or seven-day pass. To sign up, call 888-567-7277 or visit the New York Pass office at 36 West 44th St., New York, NY 10036.
In closing let’s not forget: the fabulous IDNYC card can be presented to the NYPD for purposes of issuing summons or desk appearance tickets instead of arrest, and for entry into public buildings, like schools. You may even use it as ID for taking the high school equivalency exam in New York City. In this competitive economy with free trade shrinking domestic labor at record levels, I suggest all the educational credentials you can afford. See you next column.

Internet In Bloom #51 : January 2014

Saturday, January 17th, 2015
2015-01-14 / Features
By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book will be available soon.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book will be available soon.What a new year! Why go to the movies when our news media has stories about every genre?

Disasters: Overseas, a passenger airline making a routine flight disappears into the foggy sea with the passengers, crew and black box nowhere to be found. A wrecked cruise ship is the target of one the biggest maritime salvage operations in history to be followed by a 51 ton cargo ship running aground requiring more salvage by the same expert.

Where’s the story? PointsMentioned Map 3 Points Mentioned

Horror: USA, a 23 year old son decapitates his mother in a jealous rage. Elsewhere, a young father is arrested for tossing his five year old child, who later dies, off a bridge.

Espionage: Sony Pictures is hacked by North Korea over a satire produced about Ruler Kim Yong Chol. President Obama calls the action cyber-vandalism and imposes new sanctions on North Korea.

War: France, Islamic extremists kill 17, starting with an assault on a satirical magazine company and ending at a Kosher supermarket, involving the deaths of journalists, terrorists, police and innocents. So much for freedom of the press or free speech. The Presidents of France and the US condemn the anti-Semitism.

Mystery: Domestically we have police killing civilians or is it civilians murdering cops, or both? Will the advent of police wearing body cameras help? Police department studies indicate that cameras reduce crime.

Comedy: One of the world’s funniest and most successful comedians and actors in history, commits suicide and makes the cover of TIME Magazine, among other numerous publications. David Letterman of Late Night TV steps down and is replaced by Comedy Central’s Steven Cobert.

Medical Drama: West Africa, the Ebola virus continues to kill thousands creating unwanted Ebola orphans. London, a paralyzed man has been able to walk again, with crutches, after a new therapy involving transplanting nasal cells into his spinal cord.

This is a tough act for the Internet to follow. Go to www.nielsen.com/us/en/top10s.html or type Nielson Ratings into your favorite search engine, such as www.DuckDuckGo.com or www.Google.com and click on the TOPTEN link on the top of the Nielson webpage. Discover what Americans are watching, reading, playing, browsing, buying and more: TV Shows, Books, Music, Video Games, Movies, Social Media and Websites. These Top Ten lists are compiled on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. For example, did you know that Android phones outsell iPhones? Do you know who the nation’s largest online merchant is? DuckduckGo is extremely fast because it does not track you (plant cookies on your Internet Protocol address as you surf).

Internet in Bloom #50 December 2014

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
2014-12-03 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.In the holiday spirit use the Internet to save your life or the life of someone you know who drives. Visit www.NHTSA.gov our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website and click on the “Search for recalls” link in the upper right column. You will then see a template that enables you to search for recalls on any car you like once you enter the related data. I use public transportation, however if I drove I would own an economical Toyota Prius hybrid with an MPG of 50. I searched for recalls for a 2010 Prius and found six deadly ones.

For example, GM has an ignition recall involving a defective coil that will shut down your ignition if you bump your igntion key chain with your knee as you drive, turning the vehicle into an uncontrollable missle. If you own any Japanese car, such as a Honda, Nissan or Toyota, your air-bags, if made by Takata, could kill you if deployed as they can shoot sharp, casing shards into your head and torso.

Moreover, as the USA is the world leader in weapon production and sales, it may come as no surprise that US DOJ FBI research indicates we now have one active shooter incident every three weeks. If that seems like a lot it is because the active shooter incidents in the US have been increasing noteably over the past decade or so. “An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms…” states our US Department of Homeland Security: see www.dhs.gov for details. This differs from the definition of a mass killing where three or more victims die. Active shooter expert Chris Grollnek, MS., AJS., at www.chrisgrollnek.com informs us the weapon used most by active shooters is the handgun at 64 percent of the time. This gives you an idea of the mentality of many active shooters because if the goal is mass murder an assault weapon such as an M-16, would be far more efficient than a .38 caliber pistol. Assault weapons are only used 13 percent of the time.

Therefore, reducing the availability of handguns at your workplace is advisable because the workplace is where most active shooters strike, followed by schools and goverment properties. These rampages last just five minutes or less meaning it is worth the time to learn how to react to an active shooter because the crisis will most likely end before the police can intervene. This is an involved topic however, for now experts recommend you keep three steps in mind in the following order: Run, hide and fight. If you remain calm, are physically and mentally fit, as well as having self-defense training your chances for survival are much better. Hint: Turn off your cells phones or at least set them to vibrate if you suspect an active shooter. Also learn what a gunshot sounds like compared to fireworks. The difference could save your life by alerting you to the presence of a shooter. This is Ted Bloom watching your back and wishing you and the Queens Gazette staff a safe and happy holiday season.

Internet in Bloom #49 : November 2014

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
2014-11-05 / Features
BY TED J. BLOOM

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.

The best salespeople know in order to satisfy a client and continue sales they have to bring something new to the table at each meeting to keep the relationship established progressing. Business people from all walks of life, not just sales, realize that new information given often begets new information in return making those involved more valuable, if the data is valid. For example, consider the following statistic: 16.6 million people experienced identity theft in 2012, with financial losses totaling 24.7 billion dollars. As impressive as this statistic sounds it means little unless one receiving the information knows what identity theft is. Identity theft includes one or more of three types of incidents: 1. Unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing account, 2. Unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information to open a new account, 3. Misuse of personal information for a fraudulent purpose. Both the above definition and the statistic itself come from the US Government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. This data and more may be found online at: www.Bjs.gov. One of the convenient aspects of US Government data made public is that it typically falls into the public domain for copyright purposes. This means that regardless of whether the person using the data gets paid for it, they do not need to get permission to publish or otherwise use the data.

Furthermore, other sources of empirical, in other words researched based or scholarly data online that one can easily decipher are: The Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.Bls.gov, the Center for Disease Control at www.CDC.gov, www.bestplaces.net, www.zipskinny.com, the US Census Bureau at www.Census.gov and http://quickfacts.census.gov.

Moreover, bestplaces.net and zipskinny.com above often rely on entering a zip code or zip codes for across the board demographic data and comparisons between zip code locations in the USA. The seven URLs mentioned in this column are just a sample of empirical statistical resources available. They are convenient because at present they are free resources. However, for profit research is also available and often used with executives paying as much as 300 dollars per hour or more, for researchers to mine specific data, for example, on their competition to be bartered with at formal corporate meetings or casual power lunches. ProQuest Dialog is one such database consulted in these instances. Happy Holidays.

Internet in Bloom #48, October 2014

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
2014-10-15 / Features

Internet In Bloom

The world is so full of crisis lately. Even as a journalist since 1999, author and college librarian, I dread reading the latest headlines. ISIS propaganda, Syrian genocide, the Ebola virus, rampant police brutality, low wage protests, white collar crime, SCOTUS controversies, ongoing unemployment, under-employment and historic climate change are enough to make anyone wince in outrage and sheer disbelief. The main purpose of this column is to inspire the reader with assets the Internet offers to make life a tad easier. With China’s economy recently surpassing ours in size, a good place to start is by helping Americans save money. When I was on line at one of my financial institutions, I got into a brief, yet very informative conversation with a smartly dressed gentleman and gifted speaker, who proceeded to inform me of the bank’s questionable history and confirmed my suspicions about credit unions versus commercial banking. He is a certified financial planner and radio/Internet broadcaster and blogger Steven Pomeranz. What luck! I am always seeking new Internet leads for my column. Go to www.OnTheMoneyRadio.org for an amazing collection of free, intelligent financial advice in the form of current and archived shows, book recommendations and seminar listings.

Moreover, another great Web site for financial analysis and advice, including a variety of short financial videos by journalist and author Jean Chatzky is www.BankRate.com. BankRate allows user-friendly templates to quickly compare bank, credit union, mortage, insurance and auto loan rates. It even offers a variety of credit card calculators to project debt pay-off, loan consolidation, student loan debt and your FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation, one of several companies that calculates your credit score) score range. Furthermore, BankRate has numerous retirement, investment, savings and college planning calculators that reckon with astonishing accuracy. This sobering Web site is bound to make you more frugal and wealthy. www.Cheaptickets.com is the Web site to visit for vacation packages involving air travel, car rentals and hotel stays in a variety of low-priced deals. They also offer cruise and other outing rates. This Web site is why travel agents are disappearing. For the standard prices charged by many hotels, you can get airfare and car rentals included to various destinations.

Also, www.PriceGrabber.com offers templates to enable comparison shopping online from a variety of merchants. And for targeted savings depending on your buying preferences and location, www.Groupon.com may save you 50 percent or more on purchases you might normally make anyway.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY communications instructor, a YMCA director and a certified krav maga instructor.

Internet in Bloom #47, September 2014

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
2014-09-17 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

The Internet is not the same as the World Wide Web. For example, e-mail transmission uses the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) not the Web. The Internet is a massive network of networks connecting millions of servers (computers). The World Wide Web is an information-sharing model built on top of the Internet using HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code on the HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web 25 years ago, on Aug. 19, 1989 as a side project while working at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research—the English translation from the French name) and chose to share his technology globally. It has since caught on with 40 percent of the world using it as a way to share data and otherwise communicate in ways never dreamed of. We have advancements in education with degrees offered via distance learning at many organizations. There is online tutoring in many subjects, such as computer science at: www.GCFlearnfree.org Careers and romantic relationships have been established and destroyed thanks to the Internet and the Web. Berners-Lee would like to see the Web used freely by the other 60 percent of the globe, with no censorship from governments limiting communication between locations. He would like the Web to aid in speedy disaster relief and healthcare. Berners-Lee is calling for global crowdsourcing of a “Web Magna Carta” you may participate in at www.Webat25.com The original Magna Carta is the charter granted by King John at Runnymede in 1215, recognizing the rights of the barons, the church and the masses. It guarantees basic human liberties under law.
Additionally, University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first nonprofit, tuition-free, accredited, online academic institution dedicated to higher education globally for all qualified individuals, despite financial, geographical or societal constraints. Founded in 2009 by Educator Shai Reshef, www.uopeople.edu is affiliated with the UN, the Clinton Global Initiative, Yale Law School, NYU (New York University), Microsoft and HP (Hewlett-Packard). There is a one-time application fee of $50 and a $100 processing fee per course. UoPeople offers two and four year degrees in business administration and computer science. Expect to pay $2,000 for an associate’s degree and $4,000 for bachelor’s degree. Scholarships, internships and mentoring are available. Online education is ideal if one is pressed for time, and you cannot beat the price. Thank you Professor Reshef.
Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.

Internet in Bloom #46 August 2014

Monday, August 11th, 2014
2014-08-06 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA director and a certified krav maga instructor.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA director and a certified krav maga instructor.

Simon Anholt is a policy advisor who helps governments develop strategies for economic, political and cultural use with other countries. He is also the brains behind a rare Web site that compares and ranks how countries contribute to humanity in an in-depth and intriguing format found at www.Goodcountry.org that primarily consists of a chart with the following eight categories: Overall Rankings containing mostly 2010 data, Science and Technology, Culture, International Peace and Security, World Order, Planet and Climate, Prosperity and Equality, Health and Wellbeing. Anholt has also lectured about his Goodcountry Web site on www.Ted.com, a stellar academic lecture Web site that is a must for intellectuals, students and the curious in general. In case you are wondering, Ireland ranked first, followed by Finland ranking second and Switzerland ranking third. The bottom three countries are Iraq ranking 123rd, followed by Viet Nam, ranking 124th and lastly Libya, ranking 125th.
Moreover, in a world where the economy makes the news daily and the wealthy are often lionized by the media, it only seems logical that someone would create a Web site that informs consumers if they can find products cheaper than on www.Amazon.com. Surprisingly, Amazon does not always have the best prices. Here is how to work this new site: Locate a product on Amazon. Copy the URL from your browser displaying the product. Paste the URL in the search field featured in the upper center of www.Savings.com/pricejump and click the green and white GO button. The site informs you if you can find it cheaper elsewhere or not.
Lastly, www.levinlaw.com/practice-areas/defective-prescription-drug-lawsuits is a unique Web site created as a public courtesy by the Levin and Papantonio law firm, listing numerous defective prescription drugs and their lawsuits. Some examples you may be familiar with are: Fosamax, Pradaxa, Yasmin-Yaz, Lipitor, Paxil and Vioxx. Huge pharmaceutical companies have no right to knowingly sell defective drugs to consumers because they will make a tremendous profit after they pay legal restitution in court. Paying a million or even a billion in legal penalties is nothing for a drug company that knows it will still make nine billion in profit afterwards. At 400,000 deaths per year, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer. Therefore, you may wish to avoid newly marketed medications until they have been sold to the public for one to five years or longer.

Internet in Bloom #45: July 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014
2014-07-09 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

by Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Old timers may recall traditional temporary services that hired people to perform market research such as mystery shopping or product sampling and analysis where huge corporations would contract temp services to hire researchers to buy cars at remote dealerships or rate beverages.  www.Amazon.com has something similar.  In today’s hi-tech, Internet age, Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace that requires human intelligence. This service gives businesses access to a diverse workforce and gives employees thousands of tasks to complete in their spare time.  It is based on the idea there are still many things human beings can do more effectively than computers, such as identifying objects in a photo or video, performing data de-duplication, transcribing audio recordings, or researching data details. Traditionally, tasks like this have been accomplished by hiring a large temporary workforce which may be time consuming and costly.  Both employees and employers may use this service by visiting www.mturk.com and following the easy directions depending on if you seek work or wish to hire researchers.  Note: The temporary jobs at Amazon Mechanical Turk are meant as part-time work and are best suited for those who type efficiently as word processing online forms are involved. 

Moreover, if one peruses various dating sites online they will note many pictures of prospects posing in front of foreign places to make them seem more cultured or well-travelled, such as the Eiffel Tower in France or the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.  Suppose I told you how you could save untold dollars in air-fare and travel lodging by enjoying historic landmarks, statues, theatrical performances, world-class museums and architecture right in your backyard?  Shakespeare in the Park, one of New York’s most beloved summer traditions, presents free celebrity-studded performances all summer in Central Park. Another summer tradition, Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular lights up the sky over New York Harbor.  Along with palatial museums like The Met and the American Museum of Natural History, there are hundreds of art galleries in neighborhoods from Chelsea in Manhattan and Williamsburg in Brooklyn to Long Island City in Queens.  Take in miles of cityscape from atop the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock (the observation deck at Rockefeller Center).  Photograph scenes of the harbor and Statue of Liberty during a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  Or walk across the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge.  Day or night, the views are spectacular!  Even Coney Island has a new roller coaster:  The Thunderbolt, with several inversions, hence it is not for the squeamish.  For details see:  www.iloveny.com and www.nycgo.com.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet in Bloom #44 June 2014

Monday, June 9th, 2014
2014-06-04 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

How would you like to improve your finances? Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees of Financial Literacy, www.360financialliteracy.org is a U.S. volunteer organization of certified public accountants to help Americans with their personal finances and money management skills. It covers financial education in all areas and stages of life from youth to retirement. Sample 360 categories: Teens, College Students, Employed, Military, Small Business, Couples, Parents & Children, Home Owners, In Crisis and Retirees. It includes online mortgage and retirement calculators, data on a variety of financial topics such as taxes, paying for education, credit, investing, budgeting and a Q&A section. You may also register online to receive periodic financial news.

Speaking of budgeting, care to know the annual White House budget in detailed percentages? Did you know about 60 percent of it goes to military spending? See www.OneMinuteForPeace.org for details, including a multicolor pie chart and other insights.
Moreover, if math is not your specialty or if you would like remedial help, Internet in Bloom readers may be familiar with www.SOSmath.com and www.MathTV.com – the latter offering video and slide show demonstrations with a real college professor and published author.

Need affordable legal advice? Legal Zoom, at www.LegalZoom.com, may be just the solution. Unless you are an attorney, Legal Zoom offers a plethora of legal services including legal counsel at a huge discount. The least expensive university law school tuition and fees I know of in New York City costs more than $100,000 – many others cost three times that much, depending on the legal specialty chosen, so access to a competent attorney is quite valuable.

The way Legal Zoom reduces client legal fees is by offering flat fees and monthly payment plans for business and personal services. Of course, Internet in Bloom readers know if they meet low income requirements they may be eligible for pro bono legal aid at www.Legal-aid.org or even the New York City Bar Association at www.NYCbar.org – another stellar value in the Empire State.

With net neutrality under attack, what will the Internet be like in the future? Will it offer equitable access or just another pay-to-play playground for the one percent? For now, an innovative alternative to the highly commercialized entertainment bonanza www.Youtube.com is a site called www.vimeo.com. Vimeo is restricted to videos you create. You may upload videos for free, however your space is limited unless you subscribe. The more you pay each month, the larger your storage memory is on Vimeo. The Vimeo database is quite large and worth searching through for topics of interest, including excellent instructional pieces.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom #43 May 2014

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
2014-05-07 / FeaturesPrint article Print

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd.

Technical professionals know that regardless of what advertisers say, technology tends to isolate. Therefore, so-called social media may be deceptive. Does it really bring people together to meet in actual human face-to-face, interactions? Or does it separate us with PCs, laptops, cellphones, co-axial cables, fiber optics, earphones and the like? Are dating sites filled with vicarious users who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet instead of risking rejection or an awful blind date? Fear not. Sometimes anti-social networking may be useful. The Mac platform via iTunes, offers an app called: Cloak—Incognito Mode for Real Life. This app uses other location-based, social networking apps, such as Foursquare, to enable the user to locate and track unwanted individuals, such as nagging ex-spouses, micro-managers at work or the occasional harassing stalker—anyone with a mobile device can be mapped and avoided globally. Visit www.iTunes.apple.com and click on or search for their App Store. Locate the “social networking” section of apps and search for Cloak—Incognito Mode for Real Life. This app is the best reason I can think of to get an iPhone, because other cellphone platforms, such as the Android, do not offer Cloak—yet. I predict they will. What is the logic in buying expensive mobile devices one may easily lose? My cellphone is the most inexpensive one I could find for just that reason. It is not as big or modern looking as most others I see in public, but it gets the job done. If you doubt me, simply ask yourself, how many times have you seen cellphone users with cracked screens? If it can be dropped, it can also be lost. In our college library people lose anything portable: backpacks, coats, umbrellas, textbooks, pocketbooks, wallets, hairbrushes, cellphones, flash drives, keys etc.
Moreover, www.bbc.com/news reports both Apple and Samsung have been suing each other for millions of dollars for years over intellectual property, namely patent infringements. Click on the Tech link on the upper left of the BBC News homepage to search for related stories. History shows that business ethics and integrity are hard to find in technical fields, regardless of what computer or phone platform you invest in. I suggest you avoid flashing these expensive goodies around in questionable areas, as folks have been robbed and killed for less. Ask any NYPD officer at www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/home/home.shtml for details on preventing theft. Another reason to be careful when you use PDAs is buses, trucks, cars, even bicycles, often hit pedestrians ignoring their surroundings.
Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet in Bloom #42 April 2014

Friday, April 4th, 2014
2014-04-02 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.

The site, www.Mynextmove.org may seem identical to the best online career resource in history, the Department of Labor’s (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH): www.BLS.gov/ooh. However, the DOL’s newer Mynextmove site is more user-friendly and designed with the newly unemployed or new jobseeker in mind. For example it has a free, 60 question, job profiler that is as good as any skills inventory I have used. The profiler alone is worth your time. Plus the Web site’s career research is more recent than the OOH.

Speaking of free online resources, www.Score.org is a virtual goldmine of data. SCORE stands for Service Corps Of Retired Executives and is sponsored by the Small Business Association (SBA). Did you know SCORE helped start 37,054 new small businesses and create 82,206 jobs in 2012 alone? Thinking of becoming an entrepreneur? Care to advise others due to your business experience and want to give back to the community? Have an existing small business and need to increase your revenue? Wonder if you chose the right business or the best legal structure for an existing business? The national SCORE Association has 364 chapters and more than 13,000 mentors. SCORE’s counseling is free and confidential. SCORE counselors come from all aspects of the business community and may be: active, retired, executives or other professionals. SCORE counselors receive specialized training. Turned down for a small business loan? Maybe SCORE can help. The SCORE Web site enables you to easily locate the closest SCORE chapter. For example, the New York City SCORE location may be reached at www.newyorkcity.score.org and the main office is at 26 Federal Plaza, in Manhattan, with branch locations in Manhattan, The Bronx and Brooklyn. The NYC SCORE location offers more than 45 seminars, online and in-person workshops annually at little or no cost with more than 60 volunteer counselors.

There are free workshops for veterans. Following are some sample free or low cost workshop topics: Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business, Quickbooks Hands-on Seminar, Building Traffic for Your Web site, Create the Business Plan Right for You, How to Incorporate, Startup Financing, Branding, Finding Customers, Security, Growth Strategies, Sales, Social Media, Budgets, Bookkeeping, Selling a Business, Online Business, the Internet, Payment and Collections, Human Resources, Employee Benefits, Taxes, Apps and Software, Demystifying Imports and Exports and Legal Issues.

Furthermore, the SCORE NYC location has a blog: www.scoreonblogger.blogspot.com with links to such topics as SCORE Success Stories to help motivate and educate. An experienced New York entrepreneur, I have attended many SCORE workshops and meetings and strongly recommend SCORE in general.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

 

Internet in Bloom #41, March 2014

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

2014-03-05 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

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The best explanation for this frigid winter is from political talk show host and award-winning, historian author, Thom Hartmann, on his regular broadcast, The Big Picture, courtesy of www.RT.com, weekdays. Just go to www.RT.com, click on Shows and then The Big Picture.  Hartmann’s knowledge of history is uncanny. However, I had no idea he also studied the weather.  He blames the deep freeze on global warming. As our polar ice caps melt, the earth’s gravitational pull on the Gulf Stream, one of our global jet streams, changes, causing a more varied pattern, thus explaining its expanded scope in the U.S. this year. Hartmann also has a radio show that may be sampled if searched for on www.tunein.com, your source for more than 100,000 of the world’s radio stations online. Search for the Thom Hartmann Program. Some of you old-timers out there may remember Hartmann from his days on Air America Radio. Hartmann has written 24 books, is a famous international lecturer, teacher and psychotherapist. He replaced Al Franken’s spot on Air America Radio, when Franken left to eventually become Senator. A regular guest of Hartmann’s is attorney, or as Hartmann refers to him, “America’s Attorney”, Mike Papantonio from another non-mainstream news outlet online, www.Ringoffireradio.com with attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and journalist Sam Seder. You may also recall Seder from his days on Air America Radio. Ring of Fire Radio is rare, because host Papantonio features several experienced attorneys from across the U.S., covering breaking news that mainstream media does not go near.

How about a distraction from this long, arctic winter? The Internet is a stellar place to learn math for free.  Most I know are not gifted when it comes to math. However, author and professor Charles P. McKeague and some of his students have created a rare site loaded with methodical videos, textbooks and worksheets that make learning math easier. The videos can even be listened to in Spanish. The Web site was created in 2008 while the professor and his students were error testing a college algebra textbook. Arithmetic, algebra, calculus, geometry, and trigonometry are just some of the topics. The site makes money by selling annual, unlimited access to all videos, textbooks and worksheets. They also sell textbooks and ebooks. Many are available for free online. Visit www.MathTV.com for details. For those of you who prefer text only math assistance, visit www.SOSmath.com complete with practice exams with immediate answers.  Where Math TV is primarily written with the college student in mind, SOS math is more universal and thus written for high school, college and adult learners in general. Speaking of higher learning, professors and librarians alike, do not recommend using wikis because anyone may post to a wiki site. Therefore, wikis may not be empirical or valid.  See you on the beach.  

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and YMCA Director.

Protect Net Neutrality! Stop Verizon!

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Protect Net Neutrality! Stop the FCC and Verizon Today!

Internet in Bloom #40, February 2014

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
2014-02-05 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd

I stayed up late texting and sharing pictures with a friend I met on www.OKCupid.com, a free dating Web site, or talking with a group of like-minded individuals I discovered through an event advertised on www.meetup.com, to help me find better employment. Thus, to take the sting out of the new day, before I trek into the bathroom, I turn off my radio-alarm clock, boot-up my PC and put on another informative, free, online, academic lecture, from a nonprofit Web site created in 1984, www.TED.com. TED stands for technical entertainment and design, and is based out of New York and Vancouver. The speaker is New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram, a former New York and federal prosecutor. Milgram explained why most judges, attorneys and police have little access to vital criminal statistics, such as conviction records, violent vs. nonviolent history, high-level vs. low-level incarceration and recidivism. She concluded this is the main reason U.S. prisons contain mostly low-level offenders, such as people arrested for shoplifting, while society’s deadly felons roam our streets. Another reason was that judges tend to use their experience and instinct, a subjective measure, instead of the above statistics to objectively prosecute cases. Another problem mentioned was poor inter-office communication.

Consequently, as if that lecture was not scary enough, toweling off from my shower, I jump into some sweatpants, sit down at my PC, catch up on new, free e-mail at www.gmail.com and visit one of several online news Web sites to quickly read the headlines and see if I wish to go further into the article, before a short workout and fast breakfast. I see an interesting one about U.S. dependence on fossil fuel destroying the world due to climate change. As I click on the link, I get a pop-up window explaining I have exceeded my number of articles. If I wish to continue, I must pay a monthly fee. Hmm. This fee is in addition to the monthly fee I already pay to access the Internet through my Internet service provider (ISP). Luckily, I know that if I go to my favorite search-engine, www.DuckDuckGo.com, the one that does not track my Internet protocol (IP) address for advertisers, so I may browse anonymously, I can locate a free proxy server Web site to bypass my present server, mask my IP address and be enabled to read the intriguing climate change article as a new viewer, such as www.covertbrowsing.net. Oh no! Now that our courts have recently struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet Order, aka Net Neutrality rules established in 2010, ISPs such as Verizon, Comcast and Cablevision, can block or slow down my connection speed to any Web site and offer tiered packaging to consumers. Thus, I may get a pop-up window stating I may only access www.DuckDuckGo.com, or any other search engine, if I pay an additional monthly fee.
Solutions? Go to www.freepress.net and make your voice heard. Petition and support freedom of the press as the press is the only industry mentioned by our founding fathers in our U.S. Constitution. Contact your political representatives by hardcopy USPS mail, as e-mail can be electronically deleted in a split second. Vote often, with no excuses otherwise. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and YMCA Director.

Internet in Bloom January 2014

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
2014-01-08 / Features
 Internet In Bloom For The Layperson
   BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar back in 46 BC and chose January 1 as the first day of the year, in part to honor Janus, the two-faced (literally) Roman god of beginnings. The two faces enable Janus to see both the past and the future—a handy god for any civilization. However, the New Year has been celebrated as far back as 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon following the vernal equinox in March. Therefore, New Year celebrations and resolutions have been with us for quite some time. One New Year’s resolution you may wish to consider is quitting smoking because studies indicate half of all male smokers are impotent. If you go to www.TED.com and search for Dean Ornish, you find at least three lectures, two of which are only six minutes long. Dean Ornish, M.D. is a clinical professor for UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) and a famous nutritional author. For example, did you know that 95 percent of cardiovascular disease may be reversed by changing your diet and exercise habits? Did you know your genetics may be changed this way as well? The culprits appear to be saturated fat and processed (junk) foods. Did you know there are foods that will increase your brain cell size, such as blueberries, chocolate and alcohol in moderation?

Additionally, another New Year’s resolution to consider is to be very careful when you use your cellphone or other portable electronic device. Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) more than nine people are killed every day in the U.S. due to vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver? The Internet is an intriguing invention, however, the annual fatalities here total more than 3,650. Nation Safety Council (NSC) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research indicates cellphone use causes more than 25 percent of vehicle accidents and the trend is increasing. These figures are actually much higher in number due to underreporting. Drivers questioned by the police and courts do not want to incriminate themselves so they deny Portable Digital Assistant (PDA) use, such as with a cellphone. See www.caraccidents.com/cell_phone_car_accidents.html for related pictures, stories and statistics.

To end on a positive note, did you know that the nation’s oldest college, which charges more than $100,000 annually in tuition, fees, room and board, has created a Web site with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that offers a variety of free online courses to audit or take for certification if you register with the site? The Internet is allowing the public free access through Harvard’s ivy covered walls at www.edx.org. One may find free online courses for the following schools at www.edx.org: Harvard, MIT, The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the University of Texas System.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet in Bloom December 2013

Saturday, December 21st, 2013
2013-12-11 / Features
Print article Print

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED

What comes to mind when you think of the holiday season? Merchants and charities increasing their revenues? Annual holiday songs being pumped everywhere? Seasonal sales? Office parties and how to survive them? Speaking of the workplace, if you visit www.bls.gov, home of our U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may note, among a plethora of other data, that as of the December 6 entry, the unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing. This sounds good—initially. However, before the huge subprime mortgage crash of December 2007, our national unemployment rate was at 4.5 percent. When we see those numbers we may celebrate, regardless of the season. Remember, most unemployment rates do not include those of us: incarcerated, hospitalized and most who have just given up looking for work in general. Also, are those new jobs full-time? Do they include full medical benefits? Do they pay what the old jobs did? Are they as safe or safer? If they include retirement vehicles, such as pensions, are the pensions protected? Apparently not, if you work for the city of Detroit or the state of Illinois, according to recent bankruptcy news. Governor Cuomo was guilty of cutting New York state pensions, as well, in the recent past.

Moreover, the holiday season falls in the final tax quarter of the year for most U.S. businesses and therefore, is often when mass layoffs occur to prepare for the first tax quarter of the new year. If Santa gives you or someone you know the dreaded pink slip, you may wish to visit or refer them to the Federal DOL Wage and Hour Division Web site: www.dol.gov/whd.shtm to make sure no federal labor laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, were broken, involving: overtime pay, hours recorded, minimum wage (this includes the youth minimum wage if workers are under age 20), legal deductions and garnishments, etc. Your local state has a wage and hour division too. For example, the New York state DOL Wage and Hour Division Web site is:

www.labor.state.ny.us/agencyinfo/minwage_home.shtm 

These agencies have investigators and attorneys on staff that may request documentation so please prepare and keep thorough records.

On the lighter side of the Internet, I am amazed at how many pay for access to movies online. Considering the season of giving is upon us, following are three Web sites that offer free access to a variety of major motion pictures: www.hulu.com, www.crackle.com and the latest one I discovered www.ffilms.org. I find the Google Chrome browser works well for this URL. Of course www.youtube.com is a great site to locate movies or their promotional trailers in several languages. Please keep in mind, as with all Internet sites, there is no guarantee the sites will be functional 24/7 or even in existence, because just as companies and organizations come and go, so do their Web sites. Happy holidays to all and a special thanks to the Queens Gazette staff who publish an outstanding service for our readers online and in hard copy, here in the Big Apple.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for atrisk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

November 2013

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
2013-11-13 / Features      Print   

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson 

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.       
 Libraries revolve around equitable access for everyone. The probability of the Internet evolving to the revolutionary, global giant of communication it is today is almost nonexistent, considering the staggering challenges of the 20th century, such as: two horrible World Wars, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the rise of unparalleled global terrorism and vicious militias. The current economic depression, which some pundits may call a recession, caused in large part by more than 30 years of Reaganomics removing most of the wealthy and corporate tax revenue from the U.S. economy, paving the way for laws that favor corporations, also make the advent of the Internet and its continued, ubiquitous use, unlikely at best because of Net Neutrality, otherwise known as equal access for all to data online. Communications expert, author and educator, Marshall McLuhan was way ahead of his time with his aphorism, “The medium is the message,” which pertains to the Internet, as telecom giants, such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, battle our courts for control of what can be accessed and by whom.

Moreover, Verizon is the latest greedy, telecom curmudgeon, pitting its top lawyers against the FCC’s Net Neutrality law in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a court considered second only to the Supreme Court in power. Unlike our Roberts Supreme Court, this D.C. Circuit Court, is not biased towards any one government political party—yet. Corruption knows no party affiliation and thus, things could change at any time. If Verizon wins, the face of the Internet will be changed forever. Imagine being limited to using Web sites Verizon picks based on kickbacks to Verizon from Web site owners. How can we combat this pernicious rapaciousness? Contact your representatives in the White House, the House and Senate for starters. See www.whitehouse.gov and www.house.gov as well as www.senate.gov for good measure. Text your friends. Put those smartphones to good use on the train or bus or even stopped – and I mean fully stopped, in your car or truck because cops are ticketing drivers merely for wearing Googleglasses in California. It is considered watching TV while driving. Besides getting you and others killed, those cellphones and other PDAs can accrue some expensive tickets while driving.

Additionally, we can learn more about the law for free, using the Internet with Google Scholar at http://scholar.google.com which enables you to search articles and actual case law. It even has an advanced search option if you click on the tiny black arrow on the far right of the blank search field in the center of your monitor. This is pretty generous for a company that offers a variety of ebooks online without allowing users to print them. See http://books.google.com to start playing Sherlock Holmes. While you are at it, why not visit one of the largest online law libraries in the world: www.plol.org. There you can find: case law, statutes, codes, regulations, Constitutions, court rules and legal forms, all for free—no $300,000 law degree required.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan, with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY communications instructor and a YMCA director.

 

 

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Internet in Bloom October 2013

Sunday, October 6th, 2013
2013-10-02 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd

Anything that is digitized is not private.  History tells us the U.S. government invented the Internet as a way to protect its computer data by sending it out in packets over the phone lines so it does not sit in one place, in case of an attack.  To get a better idea of the current politics involved, one may wish to visit www.trackoff.us and view the trailer for a movie called, Terms and Conditions May Apply.  If you doubt anything digitized is not private, pop the term:  “Facebook used in marijuana bust” into your favorite search engine and you will find several resulting links to news stories where the world’s largest social network, www.facebook.com, was used by the government authorities to arrest citizens in possession of and/or growing and/or selling marijuana.  Please note Facebook has enabled prosecution of other crimes, not just ones that are marijuana related.
Moreover, in this democratic experiment we call the United States, about 60 percent of our annual White House Budget goes to military spending.  As the USA is still the world’s leading superpower, this should come as little surprise.  However, did you know that only six percent of that same annual budget goes to education?  Maybe that is why in the year 2000, a New York City teacher named Charles Best started his organization to raise money for educators at www.donorschoose.org.  The site enables you to donate as little as one dollar to your favorite teacher and cause, such as books or supplies, and receive a personalized thank you note.  Looking for a tax write off?  This may be just the place because educated workforces compete better in the global marketplace.  Most products I see are made outside of the U.S.
Additionally, here is an innovative idea online:  www.keyme.net.  Just scan your keys into your smartphone.  Then bring the phone to a hardware store if your keys become lost.  A working key copy is made on the spot.  Pure genius!
Furthermore, if you are considering college or are in college, a comprehensive site maintained by our U.S. Department of Education is www.studentaid.ed.gov with information on college preparation, types of aid available, application procedures, scams to avoid, managing your loans, and the qualifications necessary.
Finally, to see a convenient archive of “Internet In Bloom” columns since they began in 2011 in the Queens Gazette, visit www.bloomat.wordpress.com.
Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

August 2013

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
2013-08-21 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

by Ted J. Bloom

It pays to write your representatives in Washington, D.C.  For example, I was concerned about possible cuts to social services, such as Social Security, established in 1935, which covers 58 million citizens and Medicare, established in 1965, which covers more than 47 million people, so I wrote the president.  Medicare is the most successful healthcare program in U.S. history, keeping millions of our seniors out of poverty.  Therefore, before our social services go through any changes, what follows is President Obama’s response as it pertains to the Internet:

“…My administration continues to support older Americans encountering unfair treatment, financial hardship, or difficulty obtaining health care.  To learn about help available through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, visit www.CMS.gov.  For resources and information on how to prevent, report, and stop Medicare fraud, visit www.StopMedicareFraud.gov.  To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit www.HealthCare.gov.  To find assistance for senior citizens and their families, visit www.Eldercare.gov, or call 800-677-1116. For help with Medicare, visit www.Medicare.gov, or call 800-MEDICARE.  Additional information and resources are available atwww.USA.gov/Topics/Seniors.shtml.  For assistance using Internet resources, I encourage you to visit your local library…”

Moreover:  Internet organizations change constantly, such as companies that grow, move or go out of business, so Web site URL (Web address) accuracy cannot be guaranteed.  However, I test every site before I use it in this column.  With Internet privacy concerns at an all-time high, the last thing you need is to inadvertently download a virus or malware due to a phony Web site.

Speaking of malware, did you know even your smartphones are susceptible?  Simply go to your favorite search engine. I prefer www.duckduckgo.com because they do not track you online, so it tends to render results quickly, and search for “free smartphone antivirus apps”. My favorite is AVG because it is the most user-friendly and offers a nifty GPS (Global Positioning System) locator option if your device is lost or stolen.  I tested the GPS locator.  It accurately located me in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn with no problem.  However, there are other effective ones.  I suggest experimenting, as you can delete any app downloaded by going into your phone’s settings.  These apps are available for all phone platforms.

Finally, to see a convenient archive of Internet In Bloom columns since they began in 2011 in the Queens Gazette go to www.bloomat.wordpress.com.  Thank you.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and YMCA Director.

Thursday, July 4th 2013

Friday, July 5th, 2013
2013-07-03 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED

The media’s preoccupation with Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance and Private Bradley Manning, who allegedly sent 250,000 diplomatic cables and 500,000 battlefield reports from Afghanistan and Iraq to Wikileaks in 2009 and 2010, thus considered the largest leak of secret U.S. government documents in history, is not surprising, considering many technical experts, myself included, have been telling the public not to put anything of a sensitive or private nature online for years.  If you would not post the data on the front page of your favorite newspaper then do not use it online.  I like to consider the Internet, the Eternal-net, in that respect.  If you doubt this, choose your favorite search engine and do a search for your name.  If you are feeling brave, do a Google image search by using www.Google.com and clicking on the Images link on the top of your screen.
Speaking of Google, for a company that began in 1998 with the motto, “Don’t be evil” you have to wonder if a better name for the company might have been George Orwell’s  “Big Brother Is Watching You”.  For example, now if you create a new e-mail address with Google, you will have to provide a working phone number.  If you want to delete your Google e-mail account software aka app, short for application, from your cellphone, you will probably be forced to perform a factory reset, which deletes all of your previous software downloads, such as handy GPS maps, games, etc. The word Google sounds friendly, like the mumbling an innocuous newborn makes. However, CBS News leaked that Google will be selling their own brand of PDAs soon, such as tablets and other portable devices.
Alternatively, you could use a different company for your free e-mail, such as www.Hushmail.com.  Hushmail advertises privacy online through encryption. However, in 2007 this company was documented giving total access to all of its user records to the government. Yahoo’s free e-mail at www.Yahoo.com, is loaded with huge, full-page commercials. Ugh!  At present all free e-mail providers have pluses and minuses.
On a lighter note, as featured in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, www.Taskrabbit.com is an innovative temporary employment Web site for both individuals and companies.  For individuals, the site gets 20 percent of all payments.  Taskrabbit is located in major cities throughout the U.S.  For a list of which cities and towns, see the Web site itself.  Their concept sounds ideal for those who like to set their own hours and have more autonomy, as most employees set their own rates for each task performed. The site gives you average rates so you know what to charge per service performed. Users may post tasks they would like to pay others to do, such as:  shopping, returns or exchanges and furniture assembly.  All employees are given a background check.
Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Wednesday, June 5th 2013

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

2013-06-05 / Front Page

Teeth3.10.13
Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd.

Graduation tends to be a festive time of year. However, experts state half of all college students graduate and half of those graduates are finding jobs that do not require a college degree. In fact, a Rutgers University survey indicates half of all college graduates have any full-time job.

Since the Wall Street crash of 2008 the U.S. job market has changed dramatically. The Internet’s prevalence has affected the national employment growth and decline. Consider a few of the top fields in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.Bls.gov, industries with the largest projected wage and salary employment decline for 2010 to 2020: The postal service in the federal sector and newspapers in the information sector. E-mail has taken the place of written communication in many business and private situations. Web sites have replaced newspapers, TV and radio as ways many people now get their news and weather reports. This information is now available 24/7 online.

Conversely, top fields in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industries with the largest projected wage and salary employment growth for 2010 to 2020 are construction, retail trade, health care and education, with the greatest combined emphasis in the healthcare field. Go to http://www.Bls.gov/oco for the most comprehensive online career resource in history: The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Clearly the Internet is providing communication opportunities never before available. For example, I was on international TV for the first time on May 31 this year, courtesy of http://www.RT.com and Host Thom Hartmann’s The Big Picture program’s “Your Take /My Take Live” segment. I merely e-mailed a short video commentary I produced with my PC’s built-in webcam. OK, admittedly, I have an advantage because I am a former award winning CATV videographer and I used an Apple iMac OS X with a large 21.5 inch monitor.

Another way to use the Internet when job hunting is to know your rights as an employee and American citizen. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has an easy to use site at http://www.EEOC.gov, designed to help you: File a charge of employment discrimination, submit a Freedom of Information Act Request, find help for small businesses, get training, order publications and locate your local EEOC office, among other options. There is also a for-profit site, http://www.EEOC.com, that focuses primarily on EEOC laws.

Moreover, if you work in the restaurant or bar industry or are seeking work their http://www.insidedish.com is the appetizer for you. It offers eatery reviews, an industry job search database, and ways for you to submit workplace reviews. As this industry is one of the few that may legally offer wages below minimum wage due to the tips involved, it is haunted with corruption. Ask any server, bartender or host who relies on tips.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet in Bloom May 2013

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
2013-05-01 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

Suppose I told you regardless of our stagnant economy and high unemployment—though not as bad as in Spain or Greece—you could work saving the world as a secret agent? Can you perform manual labor? Do you like to travel with expenses paid? The starting salary is at least $40,000 annually and the education requirement is a high school diploma. As a Mercy For Animals (MFA) Undercover Investigator this description is a reality. You will be legally gathering evidence in the agribusiness environment to hold animal abusers accountable. Go to www.Mercyforanimals.org for details. MFA is dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies. MFA has locations in New York City, Portland, Oregon and all over the world. MFA is successfully prosecuting huge corporations. Their Web site videos are astounding, if not life changing. You can even blog for them. MFA has influenced many to become vegetarians. I have been a healthy one since 1996. Do not have the stomach to take covert videos and pictures of confined, neglected, tormented, or killed animals, yet you still want to be altruistic? If so, www.Idealist.org is the perfect job search Web site for you. Idealist has a database collection of more than 7,000 global, humanitarian job openings as well as numerous organizations, volunteer opportunities, internships, events, programs, resources and people with a common goal of benefiting society.

Moreover, if you have more than a high school diploma, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice (AAS) you will have more investigator positions to qualify for at such Web sites as www.Indeed.com. Just type “investigator” and the location desired in the blank search fields at the top of the Web page. Need to know which career path is best for you? Go to www.Bls.gov/oco for the most comprehensive online, career resource in history: The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). Type in any standard job title in the blank OOH search field, such as Registered Nurse, for a comprehensive analysis of the qualifications, working environment, salary, skills, future job growth and related associations and occupations.

As for health care, in addition to Affinity, (Affinityplan.org) covering New York City, and Fidelis Care (www.Fideliscare.org) covering New York state, www.Healthfirstny.org and www.Healthfirstnj.org are two other Web sites for free and low-cost health care in New York and New Jersey.

In closing, the news is loaded with disasters lately, both man-made and natural. However, you may protect yourself at www.Ready.gov. Ready is Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-supported and available in Spanish as www.Listo.gov. A variety of other languages are available with a click of your mouse at the top of the home page. Ready is a national public service designed to educate and empower, complete with activities for kids. The Web site helps you Plan what to do before, during and after emergencies; build disaster kits; protect your business and get involved with related community organizations. You will be prepared for everything from blackouts and biological threats to tornadoes and hurricanes.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

April 2013

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
2013-04-03 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

Just when you thought things could not get any crazier globally, we find Cyprus closing its banks, ATMs and financial markets, while charging its bank customers a levy to bailout their failing economy. We in the U.S. have not experienced anything like this since the bank runs of the Great Depression of the 1930s when unemployment was three times higher and FDR’s New Deal created millions of jobs working on our national infrastructure. That and WWII pulled us out of the economic slump. Thus, now is a great time to diversify your assets if you have any left. USAA (United Services Automobile Association) is the only large financial institution I know of that only employs workers in the USA. They offer competitive rates on their investment products, with ATMs nationwide. Their credit cards offer some nice perks too. You only have to be active military to use their auto and home insurance. However, they have numerous incentives if you are active military, such as articles on what to expect in the military and discounts on various products, such as the federal version of TurboTax software. Go to www.USAA.com for details.

Moreover, in past editions of Internet in Bloom we have mentioned options for free or low-cost health insurance in New York City at www.affinityplan.org and New York state at www.fideliscare.org pending low-income qualifications. However, what if you are one of the nation’s 42 million freelancers who are working at least 20 hours a week or your income disqualifies you for free or low-cost health insurance? In 1995 Attorney and CEO Sara Horowitz created a solution in Brooklyn called the Freelancers Union. The Freelancers Union has over 207,000 members with half in New York state. If you qualify, you get some nice benefits, such as free yoga classes, corporate discounts nationwide and financial advice. See www.freelancersunion.org for details.

Additionally, www.change.org is a site for activists to search for petitions and get involved in their favorite causes, such as CISPA. CISPA is the nefarious Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act bill which, if passed, will enable Uncle Sam and corporations, warrantless access to any online communications regardless of your knowledge or permission. Does this violate our Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protecting us against unreasonable searches and seizures?

Feel like a sleuth? At www.stolencamerafinder.com you can be one. This global site boasts several expensive digital camera recoveries, including in New York. The site works by searching for metadata encoded in each digital picture online. Metadata is merely a fancy word that means data about data. Once the Internet database finds a match you are contacted with the location and associated name or names of the pictures being used. You then contact the local police with the evidence and they get your camera back for you. This site even has a gallery of successful camera owners and their stories with pictures, of course.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

March 2013

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
2013-03-13 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

The U.S. has fallen off the fiscal cliff and become sequestered—the latest installment in our political theater. The sequester was enacted in 2011 as part of our Budget Control Act to motivate Congress to agree on appropriate tax increases and spending cuts to balance our $1.5 trillion deficit. It was meant as a last resort to spur Congress to action before the 2013 deadline. They failed. No nation has ever cut itself to prosperity. You may wish to keep this in mind the next time you vote or consider impeachment. The good news is they put aside certain programs as exempt, such as war, Social Security and Medicaid. The bad news is that many crucial programs are not exempt, such as: Medicare, unemployment benefits, Meals-on-Wheels for our seniors, pre-schooler Head Start education and federal jobs.

Moreover, in difficult economic times like these, it is useful to keep up with current events. Internet in Bloom has recommended major media outlets online such as the BBC News, www.bbc.co.uk/news or The New York Times, www.newyorktimes.com. However, progressive, non-mainstream sites can be insightful, such as www.truth-out.org, where an oped column discussed the removal of a Greek neonazi party office, Golden Dawn, by community organizers in my neighborhood of Astoria. Go to www.freespeech.org, www.buzzflash.com and www.ringoffireradio.com, for more progressive views. See www.takejusticeback.com for a rare site with no advertising, designed by trial lawyers to educate consumers about corporate crime and your rights, with petitions and testimony by readers. Some of the stories are harsh.

Consequently, one way to combat this pernicious sequester is to find work and stay employed, because there will be resulting job cuts and federal worker furloughs, aka reduction in hours. Try www.newyork.cbs.local.com/audio to give you access to CBS News Radio 88’s huge archive of audio program clips. Search for: Your Next Job. This will bring you to attorney Steven Greenberg’s daily audio segment. Greenberg also founded the Web site www.jobs4point0.com for older jobseekers. For example, did you know that one out of five jobseekers in their prime, ages 25 to 54, have stopped looking for work? How should you behave at a company party? What should you exclude from your resume?

As Congress is shunning poor, hungry seniors with this sequester, you may wish to donate your time or money. Two good sites for this are www.mowaa.org and www.citymeals.org.

Furthermore, www.singleparentresources.com lists a plethora of support services, such as certified childcare providers for parents who have to care for their pre-schoolers longer than expected thanks to the sequester Head Start cuts.

Additionally, the price of chicken and beef will be rising due to federal agricultural worker furloughs. One solution is to become a vegetarian. I have been one since 1996. It is cheaper and safer. See www.goveg.com for a well designed Web site, full of colorful interactive graphics to help you make the transition step by step. Need more encouragement? Read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. See your local library or go to www.books.google.com so you can read it online. However, Google will not allow you to print it out. To find it used at prices lower than www.amazon.com, try www.half.com.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet in Bloom February 2013

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

2013-02-06 FeaturesPrint article Print

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Our illustrious Mayor Bloomberg has made the news again. This time, by setting the college donation record to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, with a total of $1.1 billion over the past 40 years. Upon reading this, and hearing other ginned up government employment statistics, one may think our economy is prosperous in the world’s richest nation. Internet in Bloom readers know from past columns that unemployment stats typically do not include those who stopped looking for work, are hospitalized, or incarcerated. What the news media excludes here is the in-state tuition alone for the private, nonprofit Johns Hopkins University is more than $42,000 and only 18 percent of those who apply get accepted. Besides all the people you see begging on the streets, peddling DVDs, food, or clothing without a license, or living in our subways and shelters, are there any other economic indicators worth noting to prove otherwise?

Moreover, U.S. Census figures indicate 19 million homes were vacant in 2010. Those numbers have improved little since then. The famous urban legend, myth and rumor-busting site www.snopes.com states there are six vacant homes for every homeless person in the United States. The National Alliance for the Homeless concludes there are at least 700,000 homeless in the U.S. Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) testimony indicates that about one-third of 12-9s resulting in death are suicides. 12-9 is MTA lingo for being hit by a train. The above stats indicate that most in this country are not billionaires setting donation records. Need further proof? A recent Rutgers University survey indicates that 51 percent of all college graduates since 2006 have any full-time job.

Accordingly, the following are some Web sites to help college students, graduates and jobseekers in general, find work:

www.USAjobs.gov/studentjobs is Uncle Sam’s searchable job database.

www.idealist.org advertises nonprofit jobs.

www.experience.com offers internships at private employers and entry-level jobs.

Furthermore, you may wish to compute whether you have enough assets to retire comfortably. www.USAA.com aka the United Services Automobile Association has a stellar retirement calculator that is easy to use and free. Click on the Advice Center and Am I on Track links.

In closing, the following site seems so illegal, it may not be there by the time this column is published: www.megashare.info. However, crooked or not, I have watched several recently released, major motion pictures for free. Warning: If you visit this site, do not download anything, no matter what popup ads may tell you, as it is probably a scam! For example, if you get a message that says you must download a plug-in to watch the movie, ignore the message and select a different movie. Also, do not use this site if you do not have updated, professional anti-virus software installed and running. 

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for atrisk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

 

January 2013

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
2013-01-09 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Numerous studies indicate the leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease. However, did you know that these same studies show the fifth leading cause of an American dying is purely accidental? If you visitwww.failblog.org and view the numerous video clips or visitwww.youtube.com and search for “fails” you will see an enormous number of accidents. There are even movie series that capitalize on these many injuries. Search for the Jackass trailers on www.IMDB.com for further cinematic details. Did you know 55 people were killed by MTA trains in New York City in 2012? That is over one fatality each week. So what does this macabre freak show of statistics have to do with a technical column about the Internet? Here is a clue: In 2006, 14 million smartphones were sold in the U.S. Last year those sales skyrocketed to 108.4 million smartphones. What are people doing with those phones besides talking?

Consider the following Internet statistics: Approximately 80 percent of us age 12 and older check our e-mail at least once per day. Sometimes I do it during my MTA commute. The average total hours Americans age 12 and up spend online is 18.3 hours. New York City is a fast-paced, hard-working metropolis where many are in a rush. How many times have you been in a hurry only to be slowed down by someone paying more attention to their cellphone than to their surroundings? It happens to me daily. For all of you drivers or vehicle passengers, how often have you seen a car or truck drifting or otherwise driving erratically, only to spot that driver multi-tasking on their smartphone or other PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)?

Moreover, to view more eclectic Internet statistics visit www.internetsociety.org. This site touts a global board of trustees, complete with their pictures and countries of origin. Just as the alcohol industries advertise not to drink and drive or to drink responsibly, maybe it is time for our Internet and phone carriers to wise up and do the same, before more innocent ‘net browsers are laid to waste on the circuitous highways of life all of us have to travel daily just to make a living?

Happy New Year. May 2013 be a safe and prosperous one for all of our readers, sponsors and digerati.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

December 2012

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
2012-12-19 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

Ho ho ho! If former U.S. CIA Director, General David Petraeus, can have his e-mail hacked into, how safe do you think your personal or business desktop computer, laptop, netbook, tablet or smartphone is online? This includes Mac users. For example, this year in the U.S. alone, 80 percent of malware attacks were redirects, mostly from legitimate Web sites that were hacked. Simply clicking on links in emails or browsing Web pages infected with malicious code is all it takes. Legitimate Web sites are popular targets for cybercriminals who prey on the unsuspecting Internet user. Did you know that business losses from cybercrime overtook losses due to physical theft for the first time in 2010? Cybercrime is growing.

However, criminals prefer easy marks. Therefore, here are 10 steps to help prevent cybercrime:

1) Install well-known, brand name, commercial antivirus software that has been on the market for at least one year. The problem with the free versions is the software tends not to run constantly in the background. The only time your computer is being tested for viruses is when you manually start the free antivirus software scan.

2) Update your antivirus software for the latest virus definitions on a regular basis. New viruses are created constantly by hackers trying to make a name for themselves.

3) Stay offline as much as possible. Avoid leaving your PC online constantly. I power down my home computer every night before I retire.

4) Avoid pornographic sites as they are known virus carriers.

5) Beware of high traffic networks: Shop with your home computer, not at work.

6) Do not bank online. I never do.

 

7) Never open links from solicitor e-mail. Instead go to the seller’s Web site. Trust your intuition. If you do not recognize the sender, why open the e-mail? Delete it.

8) Use a credit card instead of a debit card, because this way you are only liable for your first $50.00 if you report the fraud within the first 30 days. Read your statements carefully to avoid unwanted charges.

9) Run your antivirus software on your whole PC the night before you shop to attempt to remove planted malware, such as key-stroke loggers, embedded in your browser.

10) Why give out your actual e-mail address to companies that are just going to sell them to other vendors, leaving you with an onslaught of unwanted spam? One solution: http://10minutemail.com. As the name implies, this site gives you an e-mail address that expires in 10 minutes. Need more time? The site allows you to add another ten minutes. However, if you are new to e-mail software and need a permanent e-mail address go to http://mail.google.com as they tend to have less distracting advertising than other e-mail suppliers.

Moreover, www.pcradioshow.org is a great site for computer use information for both the newbie and the expert. The site belongs to WBAI’s award winning Personal Computer Show, which has been broadcasting for over 25 years.

Happy Holidays.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

November 2012

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
2012-11-14 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED., CPL.
Hurricane Sandy’s ferocious impact on the tri-state area once again reminded us that people are more important than possessions. A college librarian for years, I have found the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Web site to be the most dependable and user friendly. This federal government organization falls under the Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. They have extensive weather forecasting, including storm and hurricane centers for detailed satellite tracking graphics and data. They also offer a variety of weather related news releases. If you like nature, this is a great resource. Please see www.noaa.gov for details.

Moreover, what does Hurricane Sandy have to do with the law? Many victims may have to sue their insurance companies to get full coverage for weather related damages. In this awful economy most Americans probably cannot afford the services of seasoned lawyer. If you get what you pay for, can New Yorkers get free legal advice? Believe it or not there are several ways to get pro bono legal services:

•The Legal Aid Society is the oldest and largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. providing free legal services for clients who cannot afford to pay for council.  With a staff of 1,400 including 850 lawyers and 600 social workers plus a plethora of paralegals and other support professionals, go to www.legal-aid.org to see if you meet low-income criteria required for their assistance.

•Suppose you do not qualify for council from The Legal Aid Society?  The New York City Bar Association (City Bar) was founded in 1870 in response to public concern over legal corruption in NYC.  The City Bar has over 23,000 members, over 150 legal committees and is a voluntary organization of lawyers and law students.  They offer free Monday night law clinics where you can schedule time to meet with a New York state attorney.  For details please visit www.nycbar.org and search for the Committee on Legal Services for Persons of Moderate Means. Their headquarters are on 44th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan.

•Contact your local law school and see if they offer community outreach programs to advise persons in your situation.  If the schools do not have these programs offered directly they may refer you to outside entities that do.

•Smaller law firms that advertise free consultations may be of service.  The best strategy is to contact them towards the end of the week when they are least busy, or better yet, in the summer when business slows down and they have more time to take your phone call.  If your case is strong enough, an attorney may represent you in on a contingency basis where you only pay a retainer if your case is won.

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Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

October 2012

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
2012-10-24 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED

Just because you are paranoid does not mean you are not being followed. In fact, if you own a cellphone or use a debit or credit card the chances of being tracked are very high, especially in a major city. New York City has a variety of NYPD Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras recording our movements 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Shop online? Your purchases and preferences are being monitored and sold, just like consumer snail-mailing lists. How else do you explain those ads that pop up for items similar to ones you buy online when using such search engines as www.Google.com? Amazon.com is so brazen it even suggests items based on your purchasing history the second you log in. Even when I do not log in, I get e-mailed suggestions from them. Netflix.com also gets your attention by using your name while it posts suggested entertainment. “Our best picks for Ted”. The monitoring does not end with consumers. For example, did you know that most company tractor-trailers are monitored via Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology?

Freedom of speech and of the press was so important to the founders of this great country that the press is the only industry mentioned in our U.S. Constitution. Please see our First Amendment for details. However, the right to privacy was also crucial to the framers and is elaborated in our Fourth Amendment. With the advent of the Internet you can follow and support this right and several other related civil liberties issues by visiting a site run by a cutting edge, public interest research center in Washington, D.C., established in 1994, at http://epic.org. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) was designed to focus public attention on such topics as: body scanners, cloud computing, domestic surveillance, drones, Facebook, Google Books, Google Street View, iPhone privacy, medical record privacy, National IDs, social networking privacy, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and numerous other important issues.

Moreover, if you live in New York and meet low income criteria, such as being unemployed or under-employed, you may be eligible for free health insurance courtesy of the Affinity Health Plan, an independent, non-profit, managed care company, located in the Bronx.  For details please see www.Affinityplan.org or call 1.866.247.5678.  Last month Internet in Bloom spotlighted a different free health insurance organization, based out of Queens:  Fidelis Care.  Please see www.Fideliscare.org  or call 1.888.343.3547 for more information.  Where else in the US will you find free health care?

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom September 2012

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
2012-09-19 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED

The nation’s August unemployment rate decreased from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. Normally this is good news, except the drop was due to youth, 16 to 24, who are no longer looking for work. One way to combat this trend is find a job with a convenient Web site created by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. At present it features over 975 technical companies that are hiring. This site uses a unique mapping layout of the company locations indicated by specific icons such as a briefcase to represent companies that are hiring. If you click on the mapped briefcase icon it gives you the company name in a pop up balloon. The Web site is loaded with links so once you locate a company you are interested in just click on its link to the company site. The prospects are mapped and listed in a scroll through column on the right side of the Web page. See http://mappedinny.com. This site is extremely user-friendly.

Moreover, if you live in New York and meet low income criteria, you are probably eligible for free state subsidized health insurance courtesy of Fidelis Care AKA the NYS Catholic Health Plan. They have a location in Rego Park and several upstate. One has to be persistent to process the application with them as they probably are understaffed and overworked like the rest of New York: www.fideliscare.org or call 1-888-343-3547.

Is it legal to park in a spot with a broken or missing parking meter? What is the legal definition of a crosswalk? How does one legally park a commercial vehicle? You may think these questions are trivial at first glance. However, did you know New York City issues nearly 10 million tickets a year, generating almost a billion dollars in revenue which the city counts on receiving? You can find the answer to the above questions and much more if you visit http://parkingpal.com–home of Paralegal Researcher, Author, Speaker, Computer Expert, Consumer Advocate and all around nice guy: Louis Camporeale. His site is loaded with uncommon knowledge about parking and driving the mean streets of NYC. This New York native wrote The New York City Parking Survival Guide and moderates the Parking Pal Discussion Forum found on his site. NYC, unlike other U.S. cities, was founded by the Dutch to make money, period. Therefore, this book pays for itself quickly.

Lastly, on the lighter side of research, www.mandatory.com and www.holytaco.com has a collection of hysterical and bizarre photos and video clips.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom August 2012

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
2012-08-15 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED

In hard times many go back to school to become more marketable. However, the education industry is often a good place to find employment. For example, during 2011, more than 4,710 colleges and universities posted over 97,910 faculty, administrative and executive job postings to www.HigherEdJobs.com and the site is visited by more than one million a month as verified by Google Analytics. At present, HigherEdJobs lists 17,899 jobs at 1,968 institutions by category, location and type. Most colleges have their own Web sites that list their job openings.

Ever have trouble finding a childcare provider or know someone who has? For free referrals and a plethora of related services visit the NYS Office of Children and Family Services online at http://ocfs.ny.gov or if you are Asian or feel more comfortable communicating in Chinese see www.childcarecpc.org which is the Asian Childcare Resource and Referral service under the Chinese-American Planning Council, working under the above NYS Office of Children and Family Services. Both sites enable online form submission for free qualified childcare referrals. An example of the qualifications, include: CPR and First Aid certification, screening for child abuse, good mental health and two years’ experience.

While on the subject of China, did you know you may now find the New York Times online in Chinese? It comes in Mandarin and Cantonese at the click of a mouse in the upper right corner of the web page at http://cn.nytimes.com.

Recent American Trucking Association (www.Trucking.com headquarters in Arlington, VA) statistics indicate the industry turnover is at a whopping 88 percent as of the fourth quarter of last year and about 83 percent as of the first quarter of this year. Turnover is simply defined as the percentage of employees that quit an industry. Thus, if you have 100 employees in a company and 10 quit that year the annual turnover is 10 percent. The LA Times reported the high turnover as good news, meaning it indicates increased business and therefore, truckers are being hired by better companies for higher pay, hence leaving their prior company is a promotion. Regardless of the specifics it clearly indicates a strong need for good drivers. The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) pay range is a median of $38,000 with the upper 10 percent making over $57,000. However, owner operators make over $100,000 per year. Not bad considering the prerequisite is: a high school diploma, a state CDL Class A, this may involve a trucking school costing about $3,000 to $5,000 for most, or having the employer pay, with a contract for continued employment of about two years and good health. Of course you will have to be away for several weeks at a time, be able to work independently and meet deadlines without incurring traffic violations, such as your vehicle being overweight, failing to keep a travel log and speeding, never mind keeping the truck on the road in one piece in all weather conditions. The prevalence of GPS technology means tractor-trailers are monitored more than ever before in history, so drivers will have to be good at following industry regulations to remain employed.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

 

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Internet In Bloom July 2012

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
2012-07-18 / Features
 
 
 
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Some employment recruiters of the world’s first and largest specialized financial staffing firm, Robert Half International (RHI), which started in 1948, were paraphrased on CBS News Radio 88AM, stating they do not add anyone to their LinkedIn networking page www.Linkedin.com unless they met them in-person first. As mentioned in previous Internet In Bloom columns, inperson contact is crucial for finding employment, regardless of the technological advances of the Internet. A popular RHI Web site for business jobseekers seeking temporary placement is www.Accountemps.com. Temping may lead to full-time employment as well as free training in the latest office related software clients are using, and therefore should be taken seriously. In the past few decades RHI has grown from a multi-million dollar company to a multi-billion dollar one.

Moreover, are you willing to work unorthodox hours? Entrepreneurs do it daily. Are you a fit, friendly, altruist? Why not contact a health club that is open twenty-four hours a day such as www.24hourfitness.com or www.Planetfitness.com? The Planet Fitness club near my college is always busy.

Furthermore, did you know that if you are a college freshman you may be eligible for a $2,000 student loan with no interest? See www.Billraskob.org for details. If you are the child of a military officer you may be eligible for a $5,500 student loan with no interest. Visit www.MOAA.org for information.

Like to quit smoking or know anyone you would like to convince to quit? Examine www.Nycsmokefree.org and www.Nysmokefree.org for ways to learn more. The money you save alone makes quitting smoking a gold mine.

How would you like to improve your knowledge in a variety of topics for free while feeding the hungry? The United Nations World Food Program enables you to do just that online at http://Freerice.org.

Did you know there are about 43,000 homeless people, including families in New York City? If you need shelter or would like to volunteer to help the homeless, please see www.Nyc.gov/dhs for details about the NYC Department of Homeless Services.

To end on a lighter note, here is an application every smartphone user should have: Fake Phone Call. The URL is enormous so go to www.Google.com or your favorite search engine and search for “Free Fake Phone Call App.” Click the appropriate link depending on your smartphone platform, such as Android or iPhone and download an app that will help you escape boring meetings or endless talkers in seconds. Just open the software, select the timer for the fake call and your phone will ring at that time setting. Five seconds works well for me.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for atrisk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom June 2012

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
2012-06-20 / Features
 
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Contrary to popular belief and 2012 presidential campaign mudslinging, there are jobs left in the USA. Consider New York City. Now that warmer weather has arrived, www.nycgovparks.org has a variety of park related, full-time openings and a list of related job search links. Prefer to work indoors in cool air conditioning? The big apple is happy to oblige with www.nyc.gov/html/dcas for a variety of Department of Citywide Administrative services openings as well as Information Technology and New York City jobs in general. Can’t make it to a computer or smart phone with cloud access? No problem. Call the NYC DCAS with a landline at: 212-669-1357.

Moreover, speaking of politics, common sense indicates the more we manufacture in the United States, the less jobs we create outside our borders. Librarians are not the only people who may search the Internet on a regular basis. Many products are still made here in America. It may take a few minutes using a popularity search engine, such as www.Google.com or www.Bing.com or for really difficult queries, a meta-search engine, such as www.Dogpile.com or www.Metacrawler.com. For example, I have big feet, so shoe shopping can be challenging for me. I love a comfortable pair of cowboy boots. The last pair I purchased fell apart in about a year. They were made overseas. Never again! Recently, I bought a beautiful pair of Double HH brand boots from near-by Pennsylvania, at a discount with a coupon code I found on Google. Go to www.Doublehboots.com. These puppies are strong, great looking and comfortable, Partner.

Furthermore, ask any IT professional and they will tell you that technology has a history of isolating its users. Many of you may have heard stories about folks walking into objects, including moving vehicles, because they were concentrating more on their PDAs (Portable Digital Assistants) than their surroundings. Early computers were stand-alone units. They were not designed to talk to each other at random until networking systems were later developed. You computer geeks out there may remember token ring topology. But I digress. Imagine, if we could use the Internet to unite people who have common ground so they could do meaningful things? Or even just to do fun things that may not be that meaningful? Care to join some fellow vegetarians for lunch on Sunday? Maybe find a group of activists who are in your registered, political party? Maybe locate some like-minded singles for a walk in the park? Look no further, www.meetup.com has all of the above and many more clubs and organizations to browse.

Lastly, one of my college students introduced me to a creative Web site hosting (blog) service that offers Webpage design with no ad banners and it is free: http://Wordpress.com offers a variety of predesigned themes for you to experiment and choose from. Much fun. I archived my last year of publications there to test out a Webpage. See for yourself at: http://BloomAt.wordpress.com. One caveat: WordPress does offer more convenient (shorter) domain names and fancy Web site hosting features for monthly fees, so not all of their themes will be available for free.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

 

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Internet In Bloom, May 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2012-05-16 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

With summer approaching, many are concerned about how they look in a swimsuit. I could easily devote a series of columns to fitness resources online. However, with U.S. troops in Afghanistan longer than the Vietnam War, Occupy Wall Street protesters still being arrested, the worst economy since the Great Depression, U.S. and Israel on the brink of invading Iran over nuclear weapon development, which could involve retaliation by Iran’s allies China and Russia triggering World War III, Korea testing long-range weapons, France changing presidents, Syria killing its own people, China making the news again for the human rights violation of a blind lawyer seeking political asylum here, Greek corruption destroying the Euro, justifiable gun homicides tripling since the controversial Stand Your Ground law began—courtesy of NRA lobbyists, the nation and the media glued to the outcome of the heated Martin/Zimmerman case in Florida, and the commander-inchief position of the world’s greatest superpower up for grabs in a presidential election this November, there truly are more important issues to focus on at present. As a former fitness director, I will leave you with this much: Calories consumed have to equal calories expended or else one typically gets a surplus stored as fat. Exercise daily and look in the mirror often before you jump in the shower.

Moreover, you are entitled to your opinions but not your facts. The movie The Avengers broke U.S. box office records for the biggest opening weekend, raking in over $200.3 million. Apparently, American escapism is alive and well amidst all the political and international turmoil. This is not surprising, considering only about half the United States votes. A great site to catch up on events here and abroad is www.bbc.co.uk/news with its constantly updated, One Minute World News video along with a large selection of clips in a variety of eclectic topics, such as: U.S., Canada, World, Business, Science, Technology and of course the U.K. Speaking of accurate sources, FOX News aired a colossal blooper with new Republican candidate Mitt Romney stating that since the Obama administration began, 92 percent of the resulting unemployed have been women. Even FOX News diplomatically rebuked Mr. Romney saying the statistic he mentioned was impossible. For more lively coverage of the presidential race with record mudslinging expected from both sides, see Attorneys Mike Papantonio and Robert Kennedy Jr., along with journalist Sam Seder’s video coverage on www.ringoffireradio.com.

Lastly, Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov indicate during the first 13 months of the Obama administration the U.S. lost 4.3 million jobs. Furthermore, since the Obama presidency began our country has lost 600,000 public service employees, such as teachers, firefighters and police officers. The New York Times, www.NYTimes.com reports we lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008 alone. Hence it is no wonder that people are going abroad to find work at www.goabroad.com. Discover nationalized healthcare at www.workopolis.com, Canada’s biggest job Web site. Aloha.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for atrisk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

 

 

Internet In Bloom, April 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2012-04-04 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED BLOOM

Apps are typically software applications that do not require extensive installation. At present there are over 300,000 iPhone apps. However, how many of these will be used on a regular basis? New York City straphangers will be happy to know that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has an easy to use Web site loaded with links to many useful services including 124 apps to download for a variety of Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) platforms, such as iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone at www.MTA.info. Please note that if you use www.MTA.info on Friday afternoons or weekends, you will access The Weekender page, with helpful data about schedule changes due to construction, etc. To reach the main MTA page with all the nifty links, including numerous apps, just click on the MTA home link on the upper right corner of the Weekender page. Imagine not having to carry a subway map because it is stored in your smartphone.

Moreover, we have suggested and detailed many employment Web sites in past Internet In Bloom columns in the Queens Gazette, however, none have been as creative as www.glassdoor.com. Glassdoor not only has a job search database link, but offers pro and con company reviews by employees. Company presidents and CEOs are fair game too as they are rated by their own staff. Please note that not all companies have been reviewed, however, the innovative concept makes the site worth trying. This site is your opportunity to rate management.

Lastly, are you getting too many harassing phone solicitations? The Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry could be just what you need. Go to https://DoNotCall.gov and follow the easy directions to enter your phone number. Click on the

Register A Phone Number link to begin. You may enter up to three phone numbers. However, please note:

Not all calls are covered. For example, you may still get calls from political organizations, charities, phone surveyors and calls from companies you have given permission to contact you, such as with companies that you already do business with. If your phone number has been on the National Do Not Call Registry for at least 31 days and telemarketers still call, you may file a complaint with the the Federal Trade Commission on the same National Do Not Call Registry Web site. Click on the File A Complaint link. Consequently, a Harris interactive poll indicates that most National Do Not Call Registry users get fewer calls or none at all.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, March 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2012-02-29 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

As a native New Yorker who has traveled across the U.S., I still get upset when I see people down on their luck. According to a University of Indiana study on poverty published in January, more than 15 percent of Americans live below the poverty level. That is more than 46 million of us. Therefore, job creation will be a crucial topic for our presidential election this year. With that in mind, following are seven employment Web sites that you may have been unaware of:

1. www.usajobs.gov: This one is a biggie. It is the main site for federal employment data. However, as with any large bureaucracy, be prepared to file lengthy application forms, either online or in hard copy. You are best to have a completed, generic job application available before using this site.

2. www.govcentral.com: Information about jobs, salary tables, benefits and a discussion board to post related employment questions. Again, you are best to have a completed, generic job application available before using this site.

3. www.loc.gov/hr/employment/index.php: How does working for the world’s largest library sound? Library of Congress openings and internships await you here. Again, you are best to have a completed, generic job application available before using this site.

4. www.archives.gov/careers: Data here on employment and internships at the National Archives and its branches. Again, you are best to have a completed, generic job application available before using this site.

5. www.sihr.si.edu: Job openings and internships at the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum and research complex, and all its institutions.

6. http://chronicle.com/jobs: One of the best sources anywhere for openings in higher education with a user friendly interface that is simple and effective.

7. www.workforce50.com: As the site name implies, this site specializes in job openings for those age 50 and over. However, do not be discouraged if you are under 50. If an employer wants to hire you, your ability to perform the job is the most important factor, regardless of your qualifications. Age discrimination is illegal in all 50 states.

 

Bonus site: My personal favorite job search Web site is www.indeed.com as it is comprehensive and easy to use–a true no-brainer for online research, regardless of your background. It boasts over one billion job searches monthly, available in 50 countries and 26 languages. This one is probably your best choice from this column. However, the Internet is not an excuse for human contact. One must pick up the phone and press the flesh (shake hands). Contact everyone and anyone you know who may provide leads. It is a small world. For example, one of my former Job Corps students found Saddam Hussein.

Lastly, www.tunein.com will turn your computer, cellphone or any PDA (Portable Digital Assistant) into a global radio with live programming. This app requires a download to use.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, May 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-05-25 / Features
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Internet In
Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED

Ted Bloom. At a party in Los Angeles I ran into a Hollywood pyrotechnician. I tried to convince this wealthy, theatrical union member why movies needed more realism in their action scenes. He told me something I will never forget, “People don’t want to see reality.” I guess fantasy has a place in life, yet, one reason why I write non-fiction and have a book in progress, is to prove him wrong and prove that reality can be just as engrossing as fantasy. For example, free is good when it is really free, right? Would you listen to a ten second advertisement if it meant you could call virtually anywhere in the world or locally for ten minutes at no cost? I would consider trying this site before someone wakes up and buys them out, www.freephone2phone.com.

The URL http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov does not have an easy mnemonic like many sites do. However the U.S. Department of Justice has succeeded in creating an intriguing Bureau of Justice Statistics site regardless of the fact that standard Boolean (using terms such as AND, OR and NOT), database searching is at best, difficult. Considering I am a librarian who searches databases professionally, I was surprised. Then again, a part of me was not due to the federal government’s track record rescuing hurricane Katrina victims and supplying aid back in 2005 where over 1,800 citizens died. The bottom line here is, if you work in the legal field, a student doing criminal research or just someone who likes to know how dangerous the world really is, this site is a gold mine. Corrections, courts, crime, law enforcement, victims, key facts, employment, funding, terms and definitions, the list of topics is enormous. I suggest you click on the A-Z Topic List link in the extreme upper right-hand corner of the site to navigate effectively.

Airlines are charging for items they never did in the past, such as luggage. Imagine if you could board with an additional suitcase or backpack full of your favorite possessions and gadgets at no charge? Even if you do not fly, the following site is literally something out of a James Bond film as the company sells to the Secret Service and has a patent for its unique ear-bud, wiring design involved in its clothing. If you go to www.Scottevest.com you can playback videos of the CEO demonstrating this covert line of both men’s and women’s clothing, ranging up to 37 hidden pockets with magnetic openings so items are less likely to fall out. One Scottevest highlight: transparent, Iphone and Blackberry pockets designed so you may access and operate the PDAs right through the garment itself. Hidden here means the pockets are designed not to bulge outward when used. There are even ones for a whole Ipad and water bottle. At present the clothing is legal in all 50 states.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for atrisk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, June 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-06-15 / Front Page
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

by Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSE.

Ted Bloom.According to several sources, including the U.S. Census, the current average divorce rate in America is 50 percent.  I write average because this rate varies depending on such factors as age, gender and specific divorce number. For global divorce rates please see www.Divorcerate.org for specific countries. 50 percent basically means that at best, most marriages are vulnerable and at worst–leaky vessels ready to sink.  With Congressmember Anthony Weiner making the news due to his online, remember this is an Internet review column, emailed pictorial flirting, outside of his marriage, only to have the media later reveal that his wife is pregnant, it is important to recall he is not the first politician to do so, nor will he be the last. In fact, our laundry list of Congressional names is quite embarrassing for such esteemed leaders of the most powerful nation in the world with many lives hanging in the balance every day, here and overseas.
However, I want to respectfully remind our readers this great nation has more going for it than infidelity.  For example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) virtually saved this nation from economic ruin during the Great Depression with a multi-billion dollar congressional appropriation known as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) headed by Harry Hopkins, which basically employed more than 8,500,000 different persons on more than 1,410,000 separate projects from 1935 to 1943.  The WPA built 651,087 miles of highways and roads. It constructed, repaired or improved 124,031 bridges, 125,110 public buildings, 8,192 parks and 853 airport landing fields. Maybe you have noticed the WPA trademark, Art Deco architecture, throughout our five boroughs?  Maybe you recall the most famous picture taken during the Great Depression of an anxious mother and her children? She had good reason to be nervous as she recently sold the tires from her car so her kids could eat. 
Moreover, speaking of Uncle Sam, the Internet is full of terrific watchdog sites to protect and aid users in this hi-tech era of historic hacking and Wall Street financial boondoggles involving such nefarious Ponzi schemers as Bernard Madoff. Recently, I was shocked to read at www.newsinferno.com, a wonderfully organized news source site, about a famous brokerage firm that advertised for many years on CBS News Radio 88AM and network television, for selling worthless REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) to gullible senior citizens. See www.consumeraction.gov to receive your FREE 161 page Consumer Action Handbook within three to four weeks, by filling in a simple template with your mailing address. This handbook, which may also be read online at the above URL, covers a variety of crucial topics such as:  Avoiding fraud, contract scams, banking, cars, credit, financing your education—a hot topic, employment—an equally hot topic, food, recycling, healthcare, housing, insurance, investing, phone scams, identity theft, telemarketing, travel, TV, utilities, wills, funerals and on a lighter note, the Internet.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for atrisk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, July 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-07-27 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Did you know the press is so important in the U.S. it is the only industry mentioned in our Constitution? See our First Amendment. No wonder our FBI and the British Parliament are concerned about media mogul Rupert Murdock’s alleged wiretapping of more than 4,000 people, including widespread erasure of voicemail, accessory to murder of a 13 year old female kidnap victim, 9/11 responder communication interference and accountability for over $1 million in hush money for political bribes. I have been following this case on a variety of Internet sources, such as the www.bbc.co.uk/news and www.nytimes.com. NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, http://onpoint.wbur.org tends to give centrist, balanced news coverage of the weeks’ events and several spin-off topics. Fox News gives an arch conservative perspective, however, they are part of Murdock’s media empire and thus are being investigated by the FBI, in New York City of all places, as part of the above alleged wiretapping scandal. For a leftist perspective www.ringoffireradio.com has two famous international attorneys, Mike Papantonio and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. making in-depth analysis of current events. Clips of them speaking on other newscasts are often available, such as on the Ed Shultz Show, http://wegoted.com or The Randi Rhodes Show, www.therandirhodesshow.com.

Consequently, it is amazing at how technology online has evolved from the primitive phone text dissemination of DARPNET in the late sixties to present day, broadband streaming video on such Web sites as www.youtube.com. I get the vast majority of my news from the Internet. Knowing where to look makes playing back archived video clips a joy as I do it on my time when it is convenient.

However, do not let all this hi-tech, wiretapping overwhelm you. There are numerous protective and educational sites online to turn to for cutting edge information. Considering our government invented the Internet, why not go to www.onguardonline.gov? This government site shows you how to protect against fraud online. It gives tips to secure your computer and personal data. It offers articles, fun, interactive games and videos for all ages. It is sponsored by some pretty powerful U.S. organizations: The Federal Trade Commission, Office of Justice Programs, Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Education, US Department of State, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, Security and Exchange Commission, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Additionally, www.staysafeonline.org. is a similar site that lists a variety of links to other Web sites that offer free computer virus, spyware and malware tests. See the Free Security Check-ups link under the Tools and Resources tab. It is run by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and sponsored by such big hightech, corporate names as: Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec, McAfee, Facebook, PayPal, General Dynamics, AT&T and Verizon.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for atrisk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, August 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-08-31 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Jobs. FDR created 40 million of them in just four months back in the thirties. Are NAFTA and GATT the culprits? Are our taxes being collected fairly and distributed properly? Teddy Roosevelt wanted all Americans to enjoy a living wage. Eisenhower championed the interstate highway system in the fifties. JFK and LBJ began and promoted the Great Society with such training programs as the Job Corps to create vocations for our youth in the sixties. Clinton balanced the budget. G.W. Bush ran up our debt to unprecedented levels. Obama is struggling to improve things with his stimulus packages, yet recently the markets have fallen repeatedly by several hundred points in just one day—and then bounced back like a yo-yo. Historically national employment is a bi-partisan issue. What is the solution? Do we move to China or India like many U.S. companies? Shall we create our own work by becoming entrepreneurs?

A native New Yorker, I have lived and worked in the U.S. my whole life, enjoying the good times and surviving the trying ones. Anyone can use the Internet to help them find a job or create one. For example, readers of my columns know I am an advocate of our U.S. DOL, as I recommend the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to get comprehensive research on any occupation before trying it. Just go to www.bls.gov/oco and use the search field in the Occupational Outlook Handbook for data on industry training, qualifications, history, working conditions, competition and the outlook in general. www.salary.com is also helpful if one seeks documented, field pay rates to use on job interviews, once the hiring authority brings up the topic of compensation.

There are many ways to discover work. One of the easiest is to find a need and fill it. For example, I work a night shift as a college librarian. Most people prefer a day shift. Take this strategy one step further: www.howstuffworks.com is an educational, award-winning site of Discovery Communications started by a North Carolina University professor in 1998. It lists the following as the ten most dangerous jobs in the U.S.: Logger, pilot, fisher, iron/steel worker (construction in general), sanitation worker, farmer/rancher, roofer, electrician, trucker, and taxi driver/chauffeur. The order may change depending on industry accidents and fatalities recorded annually but the categories remain the same. Are there any you would enjoy? Many of these jobs do not require extensive training. The pay may surprise you. According to the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract for 2000 and 2009, the median annual salary, for all U.S. workers is $38,428.00. The BLS May 2010 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimate, mean annual salary for all occupations is $44,410.00. Have a clean driver’s license or at least a clean commercial driving record? There are numerous trucking companies that will give you paid training to get your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). If you prefer, the tri-state area has several schools that offer a CDL in less time with job placement and financial aid available. The BLS lists truck drivers as one of the top thirty occupations with the largest number of openings due to growth and replacement. The BLS mean wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is $39,450.00 with occupational wage estimate of $57,480.00 made by 90 percent of the drivers. www.salary.com figures for this part of the country are higher. Roll on big mama.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, September 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-09-21 / Front Page
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd.

Ted Bloom.It takes iron persistence to find meaningful work, unless you plan on getting extremely lucky or are related to the hiring authority.  For example, one of my favorite writers got rejected over 350 times before he made his first sale.  He then went on to be one of the best Western novelists and historical writers in history with more than 200 million books in print—many became movies. He even received a congressional gold medal for his contribution to American history as a distinguished author: Louis L’Amour.  See www.louislamour.com for details. Speaking of history, a great site to visit to research a variety of fun, historical topics, including This Day in History, along with related TV shows and educational games is www.History.com, courtesy of the History Channel. Another of my favorite writers was William Barclay “Bat” Masterson who assisted Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, Arizona in 1880.  This professional gambler and lawman traded his gun for a pen and ended his career in New York as a sports journalist.  Even back then, it paid to be flexible. Moreover, in our last column we discussed using the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to get comprehensive research on any occupation before trying it by going to www.bls.gov/oco and using the search field in the Occupational Outlook Handbook for data on industry training, qualifications, history, working conditions, competition and the outlook in general. Equally as useful is speaking to someone in the field you wish to enter to discover their unique perspective so you may better determine if the industry is for you. This method is formally known as an information interview, which may be just as important as a job interview, because it may lead to one. However, documentaries may give valuable occupational insights. For example, last column we discussed the merits of being a trucker. There is a tremendous difference between being a local route driver, coming home nightly, versus a long haul trucker, involving sleeping at truck stops, battling the elements and minding national or international driving laws. Did you know you could make an average year’s salary in just two months if you are willing to drive in the Arctic? If you watched the Ice Road Truckers (IRT) video documentaries at www.History.com, you would. You would also earn every penny as the temperature on those icy roads is often 30 degrees below zero and requires driving over frozen lakes, even parts of the Arctic Ocean. The main risk here is once your 80,000-pound rig crashes through the ice, at those Arctic temperatures the ice immediately refreezes above you, sealing you in a watery grave. Many truckers have been killed in the Arctic. For example, one driver’s rig went through the ice and miraculously his tractor floated long enough for him to escape onto the truck’s roof only to be greeted by hungry wolves. It pays to research your prospective employer.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, October 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-10-26 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom MLS., MSEd.


Henry Ford failed and went bust five times before succeeding with the famous Ford Motor Company.  He knew the value of treating his help well as he was known for saying, “If I don’t pay my workers well, who will buy my cars?” Furthermore, New York Times journalist and author Thomas Friedman recently stated on NPR’s On Point program with Tom Ashbrook, now is an ideal time to start your own business. Readers of my columns know I am an advocate of SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, sponsored by the SBA, Small Business Association because they provide a wealth of knowledge in the form of mentoring, advice in general from decades of field experience, free or low cost workshops on a plethora of business topics including the Internet and loan application assistance.  They have many local success stories throughout the U.S. For details, including the location of the SCORE Chapter nearest you visit www.SCORE.org today. Even if you plan on being an employee for the rest of your days, knowing how to run a business or having run one, will make you more valuable as you will be able to better empathize with your employer. This may help you avoid workplace errors and endear you to your boss. I ran a fitness company for a year and the experience was priceless.

However, for the rest of us working stiffs, the following employment statistics may be of interest:  National Public Radio recently aired that the college educated have a lower percentage of unemployment, five percent, than the uneducated at 15 percent. Moreover, studies indicate that college educated workers make more money and enjoy their jobs more. There are always exceptions as Apple Spokesperson, Steven Jobs, who recently passed away, was a college dropout. So was Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates. Consequently, unemployment figures may be misleading. For example, they often do not include the percentage of the population that are incarcerated for however long, hospitalized, or have just given up looking for work.  With the Bloomberg administration laying off almost 800 NYC education employees this month, the White House Annual Budget of about six percent for education compared to 60 percent for military spending, becomes far more transparent.  Sobering news like the above layoffs again begs the question:  Where are the jobs?  One excellent source online is the US DOL’s O*NET, Occupational Information NETwork at www.onetonline.org. A wonderful addition to the DOL’s Occupational Outlook Handbook online, I often promote at www.bls.gov/oco. For one thing, O*NET gives you the choice of getting your job title research in the form of a summary or detailed analysis.  I recommend you start with the Occupation Search field. In general O*NET is easier to read and uses more of a statistical approach, which may save jobseekers a lot of precious time.  If you select a job summary you will get the following categories: Tasks, Tools/Technology, Knowledge, Skills, Activities, Context, Education, Interests, Styles, Values, Related Occupations, and Wage/Employment Trends. This data is crucial for deciding if a field is right for you and for interview preparation.

Lastly, in case you are one of those that must have music while researching online, www.stereomood.com is pure bliss. Just click on the mood that suits you and at your disposal is a vast list of various artists. Enjoy.      

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, November 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-11-16 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED.

Did you know research indicates a link between property crime and unemployment? A survey by the Police Executive Research Forum suggests property crime spiked as our financial system crashed in the last six months of 2008. Statistics from over 233 U.S. law enforcement agencies indicated an increase in robberies, up 39 percent, burglaries, up 32 percent and other property crimes. The forum blames cutbacks in police overtime. James Wilson of the Los Angeles Times writes that the burglary rate typically rises two percent for every one percent increase in unemployment. For detailed crime statistics visit http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice. A stellar site for U.S. statistics in general is www.census.gov. If robbery is defined as the taking of money or goods in the possession of another, by force or intimidation, (definition courtesy of www.thefreedictionary.com), then one would be wise to be protected. As burglary involves breaking and entering into a building without permission, the need for protection becomes greater as the combination of robbery and burglary can happen anytime, anywhere. One solution is to learn self-defense, namely a martial art. This will boost your confidence and keep you fit.

Furthermore, Pankration is a Greek martial art that translates to “all powerful”. Pankration was a brutal sport with virtual ly no holds barred, except for biting and eye gouging, introduced in the Greek Olympics in 648 B.C. A combination of boxing and wrestling, Pankration is one of the first martial arts documented and still practiced today.

Moreover, the Indian monk Bodhidharma traveled to fifth century China to teach Buddhism. He ended up at the famous Shaolin Temple in China teaching the monks a form of gymnastics to stay fit which developed into the martial art Kung Fu. Kung Fu translates to “merit master”. This came in handy as the temple was under constant fear of attack by neighboring armies and gangs of bandits. Legend has it that after Bodhidharma’s teachings, a small group of Shaolin monks defeated the entire Ming Dynasty’s army. This is not that far-fetched as seasoned martial artists perform feats of superhuman strength, such as breaking stacked concrete slabs with their bare hands or balancing on one finger. The word monk is synonymous with peace, altruism and empathy. Therefore, when Shaolin monks were forced to fight they avoided using weapons that could easily kill, such as swords. Hence they specialized in hand-to-hand combat and staffs.

However, martial art cinema tends to be fictional in many ways. For example, in movies such as Kiss of the Dragon with Jet Li or Enter the Dragon and The Chinese Connection with Bruce Lee, our hero slaughters multiple villains rapidly while the mob of enemies move around looking menacing, but not attacking simultaneously. If all the bad guys struck at the same time our hero would be toast. A good site to view a variety of movie trailers is www.imdb.com.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, December 2011

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2011-11-30 / Political Page
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM

In our last Internet in Bloom we showed how robberies and burglaries increase as unemployment rises.

One solution to fight unemployment is to buy products made in America. This promotes work here and boycotts overseas sweatshops. Please see www.madeinusa.org and www.Americansworking.com.

Also in our last column we explored selfdefense as a way to protect oneself, boost confidence and stay fit in a bad economy. We discussed some martial art origins, such as Greek Pankration and Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu. In medieval times the most feared weapon was the sword because guns, such as flintlocks, were primitive and needed to be braced against a tree to get any accuracy, if at all. The past systems of self-defense reflected this. Krav Maga is a modern form of self-defense that began when the state of Israel was established in 1948. Krav Maga is Hebrew and translates to contact combat. Famous boxer, wrestler and athlete, Imi Lichtenfeld from Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, created Krav Maga for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to turn civilians into commandos to fight the pernicious Nazis. To recap, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was this country’s solution to the extreme poverty of the Great Depression. This primarily involved the U.S. government putting money back into the economy to create jobs with the New Deal, the National Labor Relations Act, the Social Security Act, a tax reform bill and such programs as the Works Projects Administration to invest in our infrastructure, for example, by building U.S. highways, bridges and tunnels. Simultaneously, Germany was also suffering severe paucity and turned to Adolf Hitler’s Nazis to exterminate the neighboring Jews as a financial solution. This created record genocide and the Holocaust, in which more than 10 million people were slaughtered. Six million of those killed were Jews. To give you an idea how vicious Nazis were, they were given puppies as companions during their brutal training, at the end of which, demanded killing the animals with their bare hands. Thus, Krav Maga had to be effective. It is not a sport or a traditional martial art because it has no rules. When your life is in danger, such as when deadly force is used, anything goes—it is your right.

Moreover, Krav Maga movements are based on natural instincts. They are a combination of several martial arts, such as Thailand’s Muy Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jujitsu, Japanese Karate, boxing and wrestling. However, you do not have to be an Olympic athlete to learn Krav Maga. Virtually all ages and genders can benefit. In 1978 Imi Lichtenfeld and some students started the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), a nonprofit organization that promotes and teaches Krav Maga in Israel and globally. Nonprofit Krav Maga training is far more efficient due to the IKMF’s lack of a profit motive biasing student progress. For example, the New York City (NYC) IKMF school uses no belt system of promotion. The IKMF only recently began Krav Maga training in NYC. Please see www.Kravmagainstitutenyc.com for details.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, January 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2012-01-04 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM, MLS., MSED

The holiday season is typically stressful with the highest suicide rates of the year, right? Not according to Psychology Today magazine and the National Center for Health Statistics. That grim distinction occurs in the U.S. in the spring. Blame it on the Easter Bunny. However, this time we have the added stress of returning overseas soldiers looking for work. You may recall how Wall Street’s subprime mortgage crash of 2008 eliminated about eight million American jobs. Is there a magic Web site to give everyone work? Yes and no. The Internet can help you find and train for better employment. It is no substitute for human contact. Cold calling on prospects is still required, regardless of what webmasters may want you to believe.

Moreover, http://www.w3schools.com is a computer language and Web site design, tutorial site which college professionals recommend. It boasts the ability to learn and get certified in: HTML, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, XSL, ASP, SQL, ADO and VBScript. The free tutorials come complete with tests to check your knowledge. The certifications are not free, however, they are comparatively cheaper than big name, industry certifications, such as Microsoft and Citrix. Often in life you get what you pay for. To err is human. To forgive is not necessarily divine according to http://w3fools.com –a unique Web site put together by a group of upset computer pros, who have documented several mistakes on behalf of w3schools.com. It is worth visiting, just to see the types of mistakes and if you could have spotted them. For example, in one HTML sample page a header tag is missing. HTML relies on correct tag placement to function. Like I advise my students, always check your work. You do not have to be a professional to run spelling and grammar checking software ubiquitous today.

Furthermore, in the spirit of giving, eBook sellers beware. There are a few terrific, free eBook sites that enable you to playback directly from the servers involved or download eBooks in a variety of formats, such as MP3 for your computer or PDA or be burned directly into CDs. They are: www.librivox.org, www.literalsystems.org and www.audiobooksforfree.com. The latter requires one to register online first—a task most computer users are used to in this high-tech era.

Lastly, the holiday season, including New Year’s Eve and Day, are ideal for more than just drunk driving accidents. Evil hackers post fraudulent Web sites so they can steal your credit card account numbers and go shopping. One way to better protect your hard earned cash, is to learn the difference between two popular domain names: http and https. HyperText Transfer Protocol and HyperText Transfer Protocol Security. When using your credit card online, take a minute and look carefully at the Web site URL, Universal Resource Locator, in the search field at the top of your web browser. Only give out your credit card information if you see the https domain—the “s” standing for security.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

Internet In Bloom, February 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012
2012-02-01 / Features
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Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM MLS. MSED.

President Obama taught constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School and thus one would expect him to be a seasoned public speaker as, evidenced at his recent, well written, State of the Union Address. To read transcripts of over 100 of the President’s speeches visit http://Obamaspeeches.com. Compared to other political sites that contain the President’s speeches, it has less advertising per webpage, enabling for shorter printouts and quicker reading. Consider the following recent excerpt: “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, and a retirement that is dignified.” Our readers know that in past Internet in Bloom columns we have tackled the issue of using the Internet to find employment in various ways.

Moreover, another way to find work is to target jobs that offer pensions. Pensions pay out guaranteed benefits for the worker’s life, unlike more common 401(k) plans, which may or may not involve employer matching of a percentage of employee savings. However, this guarantee is only as good as how well the fund is managed. Remember the Enron scam? The public sector, such as local, state and federal government positions typically offer the most pensions. Traditionally, police, firefighters, teachers and judges have pensions. Many jobs that offer pensions are dangerous and do not always pay well. Thus, pensions are an added incentive. Most union government jobs have pensions, thus joining a union helps. However, according to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics research, see www.Bls.gov, in 1983 the national union membership rate—the percentage of wage and salary workers who were union members—was 20.1 percent with 17.7 million union workers. That percentage has declined by almost half to 11.9 percent as of 2010. Thus, organized labor in the U.S. is at an historical low point, unlike in countries such as France and Germany where organized labor is stronger with a larger middle class. The site www.Unionjobs.com lists openings by geography, with both domestic and international listings and alphabetical listings by individual organizations. Of course, one may wish to contact the union business agents directly, as getting into a powerful union is typically very competitive, to say the least.

Lastly, to end on an up note, www.Groveshark.com provides free music streaming, online radio stations, and lets you connect with artists and friends. Unlike other music sites, no software download is required to listen to your favorite tunes. For example, www.Youtube.com has become commercialized, often forcing users to view movie trailers and other commercial interruptions before being allowed to access the desired video—a growing trend online. Furthermore, www.Groveshark.com is compatible with the latest smartphone apps for: Android, iPhone, Nokia, Blackberry, etc.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

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