Wave goodbye to Google Wave

Google recently made a mildly surprising announcement (at least, to me) that the company is shutting down its online collaboration tool, Wave. Google does a lot of cool, neat and worthy stuff obviously, and I think Wave fits into this category. It's just that the actual marketing of it was rather peculiar.

Make new friends by renting them

The definition of "friend" has been watered down a bit with the advent of online social networking. It seems that now, your friend might be someone with whom you've never met, even someone with whom you've never communicated, with the exception of a simple button click on a website. This can be a good way to meet people, but it's a bit weird to call a person a friend when it's quite possible the individual on the other side could be an enemy, a fish or a hat.

Facebook privacy concerns? Well, it could be worse ...

By now, I'm sure that everyone and his or her dog (assuming said dog is on DogBook) has heard the hubbub relating to new Facebook privacy policies. I have to be honest: I haven't read every single story about it, primarily because I don't intentionally publish stuff online that should be private. In general, people rarely read terms and conditions before signing up for something online, but hopefully now, people will check out Facebook's privacy terms and decide whether or not they want to keep their account.

New stuff coming soon

As you have probably noticed, I haven't been writing as much on here lately. There is a reason for that: There are a few exciting things in the works over here, but I cannot divulge all of the information yet. Let's just say that besides a new book coming out, there's an entire foundation behind it, meaning a real publishing company (with books from people other than me!). We're still working out all of details, so I'll keep you posted!

Watch for extra charges at the Waverly post office branch

While the United States Post Office seems to be losing money each month, at least one Baltimore branch has decided to take matters in its own hands - by charging extra postage at random intervals.

The Waverly branch of the Baltimore United States Post Office charges an additional 17-44 cents for an article of mail that can be sent from the USPS Hampden branch for just 44 cents. It's pretty shocking that one would receive a different rate from various post office branches. Before compiling this story, I had to check with my own eyes to make certain this was accurate.

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Random News

Baltimore indie bookstore carrying 'Corporate Ties'

The Book Escape in Federal Hill is now carrying Corporate Ties. I just noticed online that this store is selling a copy of The Developers for $5. That's a great deal (although I won't get a penny if someone purchases it).

Turn all the TVs off with just one button

When I originally wrote this, I was also keeping tabs on the St. Louis-Boston World Series game. It's a distraction I can live with, though, because baseball is more important than telling you what's on the web, right?

Then again, if my TV went out, I would be furious because I'm a Boston fan. But if it were the Yankees playing the Astros, and if the TV went off, I probably wouldn't care.

Bing Maps launches

Microsoft continues its march toward competing with Google by launching Bing Maps. I took it for a quick test run, and in general, it's pretty comparable to Google Maps. There's hardly a discernible difference between the two, honestly. You can change routes pretty easily, look for local businesses and email links to friends. Probably the strangest thing I noticed, however, is that the base URL turns into bing.com/maps, instead of remaining maps.bing.com.

Vote if you can

The time has come again to actually make a difference in the outlook for your city, county, state and country. Will you be an active participant this time around?

Sure, one vote may not mean much. But if everyone used the same philosophy, no one would vote, except perhaps the candidates and a few random people who vote Mickey Mouse every year. While it would be nice to have streets made out of cheese, do you really want a mouse running the house?

Can databases make your life easier? Bank on it

Many of you have surely noticed lengthy URLs at different times while surfing the Internet. Here's an example of a large URL: http://lw8fd.law8.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/getmsg?curmbox=F000000001 &a=23f60270a632fa3543041ec27819571d&msg=MSG991341874.3 &start=1993662&len=1265&msgread=1&mfs=2011. What does all this craziness mean?

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