Notes from all over

by GDA gda@accessmn.com

7-30-2015

Well, it is a fact: computers are here to stay. They have invaded every facet of our lives, from business, publishing, science, even telling us how to cook. You can't drive down a street without seeing several people walking along playing with their telephones. It has gotten so bad that many have forgotten what it is to think; their phone does it for them.
This isn't all bad, but it does have me wondering.
I remember buying new computers and a printer for one of our newspapers and then finding out the printer wasn't working with the computers. When I called the people who sold it, they said they had a new program to fix this problem, and it would be ours, free, in about three months. Just think, they knowingly sold a product that didn't work.
Now we are finding out that we are not safe using our beloved computers, i-Pads, i-Phones, etc. There are people out there called "hackers" and they spend every waking minute trying to get into your computers. Then they insert a virus that will completely screw up your computer. What they really like is hacking into the personnel data base of companies and getting information about their employees. They can use that information to steal from your accounts or even buy tons of items on your accounts. Yes, you probably can get some of that corrected, but in the meantime, watch out.
The computers were a godsend to the newspaper industry, but now they are being abused by many. Some reporters, editors and even publishers would rather surf the Internet for stories than go out and actually cover the events themselves. You will notice in some dailies, and even some weeklies with lazy editors, that the same story will grace their front page as others have and many will take credit for the story, even though they didn't write it. The art of reporting is going away because of that.
Now, some newspapers share stories with others that they trust and that is good. To be a legal newspaper for a municipality, a newspaper is supposed to have half the news or more locally generated. This has never been checked on, but look at any newspaper you buy and see where the news comes from.
In the meantime, be careful with those electronic gizmos. Way back in the '60s, while in Air Force Intelligence, I was part of a team to write a new program. We were level six while the best that the public had was level 4. In other words, there are governments who are light years ahead of the public as far as the computer world.
The trouble is, we are losing the ability to actually write stories and sentences. If you send an email, you use a lot of letters that are supposed to mean something. Grammar goes out the window.
Will people in our future look back at us as being lazy? Will good writing and grammar be ancient?
Now, if this darn computer doesn't lose this story in cyberspace
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Can you believe it, we have one month of summer left? Enjoy it while you can.


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