Category Archives: Technology

Questions for Hillary Clinton About Her Emails?

The press goes easy on her, asking softball questions when she’s on talk shows, but she does make it hard for any journalists who take their jobs seriously to ask questions. She hasn’t had a real press conference since early December 2015. But, if they were to get the chance, what are the questions we want to hear the candidate asked that the media just aren’t asking?

A State Department Inspector General report on Clinton’s use of a private server for government business was released recently. It found that use was a violation of policy.

We have some questions for Secretary Clinton about the report. Let’s start with who was using the private server and for what purpose.

  1. Have you read the report?
  2. Have you discussed it with your staff?
  3. Which staff members had an email address on your private server?
  4. Did they use that email address for government business?
  5. Did they also use those email addresses for State business? (Emails that would not necessarily be preserved as required by law.)

Continue reading Questions for Hillary Clinton About Her Emails?

Things You Should Do If You’re In an Accident?

After an Accident

First, stay calm. Breathe in slowly. Breathe out. Are you hurt? If so, remain where you are and phone for help or ask someone to phone for you.

If you are not hurt and your car is drivable, move it out of the way of traffic. (This means onto the shoulder of the road, not home to your garage. Leaving the scene of an accident is a big no-no.) If you cannot move it, turn on your hazard lights.

Get out of your car if/when it is safe to do so. If someone is injured, do not move them. Wait for EMS.

If someone is injured, call 911. Otherwise just call your local police so that they can fill out an accident report for you. (Pause your reading for a moment look up your local police department’s phone number and program it into your phone.) Tell the police there was a car accident and give the location. Do not say, “I hit someone” or anything that admits fault.

When you approach the other driver you can ask if they’re okay but do not apologize for the accident or admit fault. I know, nice people want to apologize for their mistakes and an accident is definitely a mistake! But, that only works if the other person is also a nice person. You’re already having some bad luck and you don’t want to make that worse by admitting fault to someone who will use it against you later. Don’t start yelling at the other driver and accusing him of causing the accident, even if it’s true.

Exchange information with the other driver: their name (and the car owner’s name if the driver is not the owner, also ask their relationship to the owner), contact information, make and model of vehicle, driver’s license number, insurance carrier and policy number. If the other driver asks for your social security number, do not provide it. They do not need that to file an insurance claim. Don’t discuss what your insurance policy covers either. Just give them the number of your insurance company and let them handle it.

If there are witnesses (this doesn’t include people in either car), get their names and contact information. Look around to see if there are traffic cameras or if a nearby business has video surveillance cameras that may have recorded the accident.

Take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene. Note the time of day and the weather conditions.

Make a note of the officer’s name and badge number. Ask for a copy of the police report.

Report the accident to your insurance company.

Don’t post the details about the accident to Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or anywhere else on the internet.

Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of an Accident

You should always have your car’s registration and a copy of your insurance card in your glove compartment. If you or another frequent driver/passenger of the vehicle has any special medical conditions, it would be a good idea to keep a printout with the medical information with your other documents.

Other things that may be useful in an accident are flares or warning triangles, a first aid kit, a flashlight and work gloves. If you live somewhere that has cold weather, you may want to add hand warmers, emergency blankets (also called space blankets), a hat, and insulated gloves.

Make sure your cell phone has your local police department’s phone number and an emergency contact for you. Store the emergency contact in your phone under ICE (In Case of Emergency).

Skills I Can Learn in a Short Time?

What can you learn in a few weeks to a few months that would look good on resumes or college applications and maybe give you something interesting to talk about at parties?

Learn HTML and CSS – Okay, this may not make you the life of the party but it will look good on resumes. has a free online course that can teach you how. The estimated course time is about 7 hours.

Learn First Aid and CPR - The American Red Cross offers classes (the ones in my area are $90 to $110 each). Sometimes schools, businesses, churches or other organizations will pay someone to come teach CPR and first aid to interested members can learn for free, so it’s worth asking around.

Improve Your Public Speaking Skills - Join Toastmasters. They have 15,400 clubs in 135 countries. It’s a non-profit organization that helps members improve their communication and leadership skills.

Learn American Sign Language - Or the sign language appropriate to your country. You’re not going to be an expert within just a few months but you can learn some basic communication. Start ASL has some free online classes. ASLU has tutorials and lots of resources. ASL Pro has video tutorials along with resources for students and teachers.

Or, if you’re not good with your hands, learn a language from or Both are free.

Social Media Marketing - There’s more to this than being popular on Twitter or Tumblr, it’s about presenting an image and delivering a message. DS106 is an open online course on digital storytelling presented by the University of Mary Washington.

The University of Salford, Manchester offers an open online course covering search and social media marketing for international business.

ALISON offers an online course called Diploma in Social Media Marketing. The course if free but you will need to register to access the course resources.

Dinosaurs! - The University of Alberta offers Dino 101 – Dinosaur Paleobiology. It’s a 12-week free online course. It may not do anything for your resume, but it sounded interesting so I’m including it.

Most Expensive Things Ever Built?

- Abraj Al-Bait Towers – $15 billion, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

abraj al bait

It’s a government owned building and has the world’s largest clock face. The Ajyad Fortress, built in 1780 by the Ottoman Turks was destroyed in 2002 to make room for the buildings which include apartments, a hotel, restaurants and a shopping center.

– The Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) – $21 billion, under the English Channel between Folkestone, United Kingdom and Coquelles, France.


The Chunnel is just over 31 miles long (50.5 kilometers). Millions of people have taken the (usually) 35 minute trip since the tunnel opened in 1994 but, during a two-day period last July, a few thousand more tried to make an unauthorized trip through the tunnel on foot. About 3,500 migrants from Africa and the Middle East tried to get into the tunnel in an attempt to get into the UK.

- Three Gorges Dam – $26 billion, Sandouping, China

three gorges dam

This hydroelectric dam is the world’s largest power station. It’s 7,661 feet long and rises 607 feet above sea level.

– The International Space Station – $160 billion, low Earth orbit


You can see the ISS when it passes overhead. (It looks like a quickly moving light.) NASA lets you look up the schedule and you can even sign up to receive email and/or text alerts letting you know when to watch for it.

Things to Do in San Diego This Week Besides the Con?

The annual San Diego Comic-Con starts with Preview Night on Wednesday July, 8 and runs through Sunday, July 12. Maybe you don’t have a badge for every day. Maybe you know you’ll spend the night waiting in line for Hall H and want to plan something away from the convention center after your “must see” panel is over. If so, you’re in luck, there’s a lot of things to do in the area surrounding the convention center and the rest of San Diego.

First in the immediate area:

There’s usually something going on in the space between the convention center and the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. Last year there was a Gotham-themed zip line.

The Hello Kitty Cafe food truck will be at the Petco Park Interactive zone from July 8 to July 12.

On Friday and Saturday July 11 & 12, The Walking Dead Escape will be across the street at Petco Park. You can try to evade the zombies ($40 per ticket), be a zombie ($75 per ticket, includes being zombiefied by a professional makeup artist), or just watch ($20).

Also at Petco Park, there’s been an interactive zone the past few years. This has includes an Adult Swim fun house, a place to meet Hello Kitty, and assorted promotions for upcoming TV shows and movies. You will need to be 18+, have a Comic-Con badge, and get an Adult Swim RSVP (free) for some of the attractions.

MTV Fandom Fest is in Petco Park on Thursday with a concert (All Time Low and Flo Rida), free food, games and giveaways. 7:00 – 10:45. Tyler Posey and Bella Thorne will host the MTV Fandom Awards.

Nerd HQ has a free hang-out spot for nerds plus Conversations for a Cause panels with favorite celebrities. Most of the panels sold out very shortly after going on sale, but you can still hang out at the New Children’s Museum from July 9 to July 12 with fan parties on Thursday and Saturday. Watch the video to find out all of the (FREE!) things they’ll be offering.

The 39th Annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive will be at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in Ballroom C. You’ll get a t-shirt, swag, snacks, cool water and the chance to help someone, maybe help save a life.

The Nerdist Conival at Petco Park, July 9 – 12. There will be a Borderlands-themed laser tag, panels, game playing, and robot building. Follow the link to see the schedule and details.

FX Fearless Arena will be in the Hilton Bayfront Park. There will be interactive experiences for The Strain, American Horror Story: Hotel, Fargo, and The Bastard Executioner. You must be 18+ for most of them. July 9 – 12.

Free Assassins Creed Obstacle course across the street from the Convention Center. July 9 – 11.

The Central San Diego Downtown Library with have a gallery display of the Art of Comic-Con. Free.

Play LEGO Dimensions at the Hard Rock Hotel with photo ops and exclusives.

Cat Cafe Coffee and Kitties Comic-Con Special. $20 will get you 30 minutes of cat visit time, a souvenir, and a drink or food item.

Line Webtoons‘ US launch will be at Lou & Mickey’s on Friday and Saturday with free give-aways, comic inspired make-overs, and free drinks. They’ll also have free charging stations for your phones.

Donate a comic book for US Marines serving overseas. The first 400 donors will get a special lanyard that will get them a 20% discount at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Free screening of the movie Vacation. Register for tickets in advance.

The next generation of Griswolds is at it again. New Line Cinema’s ”Vacation,” starring Ed Helms (”The Hangover” films) and Christina Applegate (the ”Anchorman” films), takes the family on the road for another ill-fated adventure. The film marks Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley’s directorial debut. Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s ”favorite family fun park,” Walley World.

A Little Farther Away:

Gam3rCon, July 8 – 12. Table top games, classic arcade, panels, parties, art exhibit and cosplay. $60.

Hop-Con 3.0: The w00tstout Festival

Tickets are $75 but include 10 4 oz. samples of craft beer, a commemorative glass, complementary gourmet food stations, and the company of fellow geeks.

 Chris Hardwick will be doing a live Nerdist podcast on Saturday, July , 2015 at the Balboa Theatre. Sir Ben Kingsley is expected to be the guest for the 7:30 pm show. There will be a second show at 10:30 pm.

The tickets for the 7:30 show are for sale now for $37.50 each. Tickets for the 10:30 show will go on sale June 5.

Legend of Zelda Concert at the Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall. Prices range from $35 to $75.

Take the Coronado Ferry across the bay from the Convention Center Marina to Coronado Island.

The San Diego History Center has an exhibit of the art of Dr. Seuss. Museum admission is $10.

Zombie Attack Total Combat Paintball July 10 and 11. $30 per ticket if you buy before July 6, after that it’s $50.

“Victims” of the Streisand Effect?

Can we call them victims when they brought the trouble down upon themselves? If you don’t know, “the Streisand Effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.”

– A Glasgow hostel owner fights back after a guest left a negative review. There was even a drinking game created for the comment fight (at the risk of alcohol poisoning). Sure, you can say, well, it’s Glasgow, what did you expect? But the hostel owner was originally Canadian! They’re supposed to be nice!

– Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing (a PR firm) did not handle a customer’s complaint about not receiving gaming controllers. There’s even an internet meme based on it.

– Beyonce’s publicist didn’t like the fierce photos from her Superbowl halftime show.

It did not go well.

Faith healer Adam Miller sues over a YouTube video.

You go, girl! It went from a barely noticed video to one with thousands of views.

– A Boston moving company called Casey Movers received a bad review on Yelp so they sent a letter threatening legal action. That led to the discovery of bogus positive reviews for the company.

– You might think that politicians would know better but Texas Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson has experienced the Streisand Effect. The section of her Wikipedia page about how she granted scholarships to relatives and children of her congressional aide kept disappearing. That got the attention of the media. It didn’t matter in the long run, she was still re-elected. Having a (D) beside your name lets you get away with all sorts of funny business that would get you booted from office if you had an (R) instead.