Thursday, August 24, 2006

Responding to Hoax Emails

What do you do if you get an email that you know is a hoax?

If you receive a lot of hoax and other garbage emails, it can be tempting to fire off an irate reply condemning the sender for his or her foolishness. Serial hoax-forwarders might actually deserve such a reply. These email pests consistently refuse to check before forwarding even when recipients repeatedly point out their gullibility. However, the majority of people who forward a hoax email do so in good faith and perhaps simply need a bit of guidance on the issue from a more Internet savvy individual.

That said, I think there is a right way and a wrong way to go about providing this guidance. Here's what works for me:

Read more at Hoax-Slayer

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Build a PC with the Best Bang for the Buck

August 14, 2006
By Jason Cross

Typically, our Build It systems are purpose-built. Designed to do something and do it well, they're laser-focused on providing a single optimal, but realistic, solution. Perhaps it's a money-is-no-object Gaming PC or a Media Center PC. But the very nature of the PC is to be flexible and customizable, and we realize that not everyone can have their needs pigeonholed into these purpose-built PCs. Some of us just need a good general-purpose PC that can handle almost any task. Many of us use our PCs for a whole wealth of activities, and need something that's great for typical office desktop applications, downloading music and video, syncing up with a music player, burning DVDs, lightweight video editing, playing games, watching movies, editing photos…and most DIYers will want it to be able to run Windows Vista well. With this edition of our Build It series, we strive to recommend system components for just such a PC. The idea is simple: Rather than picking a price point or a particular task and optimizing a PC for it, we'll examine each part in the broad context of a general-purpose PC, choosing the component that falls into that magic spot where performance and features intersect with price.

This is one of our most popular Build It configurations, and it always generates plenty of heated discussion. We hear everything from, "Thanks for the article, that's exactly what I was looking for," to "You should have used a cheaper CPU," or "You need a more powerful graphics card." Naturally, different users have different needs and desires. If you don't play any games, you might opt for a sub-$100 graphics card. If you do a lot of video editing, you'll want a bigger hard drive and maybe a faster CPU.

Read more at Extreme Tech

Friday, August 04, 2006

10 Memory Tricks for Elementary Students

Article provided by Sylvan Learning Center

It's not just parents who could use a memory boost; children can brush up on their recollection skills, as well. From kindergarten through third grade, your child can use memory techniques to remember lists and simple grammatical rules. Below are ten memory tips that will help your child excel in school and in life.

The alphabet system. Help your child associate images that are represented by the letters of the alphabet. This is a great method for remembering long lists of items in a specific order, and a useful tool for your child to practice alphabet order. For example, "A is for apple, B is for boy."

The link/story method. Help your child invent bizarre or funny stories to link items he needs to remember. For instance, if he needs to learn primary colors, have him develop a story such as: "The yellow bird grabbed its red parachute and flew into the blue sky."

Acronyms. Have your child make a word out of the first letters of the item to be recalled. For instance, the letters that spell HOMES represent each of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.

The journey system. This system uses landmarks on a journey. To remember the first four presidents of the United States, take this journey: On our way to Washington, we saw our friend Adam, who wanted to go to Jeff's house to play a new video game called Mad (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison).

Movement learning. Songs that include movement help children remember the song's vocabulary. "Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes" is very effective.

Excitement and sound. When reading a book aloud, adding inflection and excitement to the story will help your child remember it. "Fee, fi, fo, fum," boomed the giant in "Jack and the Beanstalk." Children will pick up the emotion of the story through the words that you act, and their increased interest will help them retain more of the information.

Rhyme and rhythm. This is an effective tool for remembering dates or simple grammatical rules. Example: "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Or: "I before e, except after c."

The number/shape mnemonic. With this system, your child builds imaginary pictures and uses numbers to represent the shape of the object. The number seven could be a boomerang, for instance.

Color code. The use of color is linked strongly to memory. If your child needs to remember the original 13 colonies, have them color-code a United States map.

Acrostics. In a poem that is an acrostic, the first or last letter of each line combine to spell out a word or phrase. Here's an example:

Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
arth needs us to do our best to keep things clean.
aring for the planet is everyone's job.
ou can do your part to save the environment.
ollect metal, paper, and plastic for recycling.
itter free is how it has to be.
verybody should work together to keep the planet clean.