Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Brief Notes on Importing CDs in the New iTunes

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

It's just my luck that I wrote my lessons for December before the new iTunes was released. This version is dramatically from the last release, and it's been a real bear getting things done.

You might feel the same way, having gone to the trouble of learning iTunes. Generally speaking, the new iTunes feel like it was meant to be easier, particularly for Old People. When you open the program for the first time, take a moment to use Apple's tutorial. (It will be awhile before I post again.)

Here is the biggest change I noticed, which will help you: The library and devices are at the top left and right of the program. I received two CDs in my Christmas stocking, and set about importing the music to my library.

The CD appeared in the program when I put it in the computer. If you want to import your music, click IMPORT CD at the top right of the screen. You'll see the title of the album in the TOP LEFT. If you click the title, you'll be able to access your library.

That's all I have for now; hopefully a Young Person is nearby to field questions. That's what they're here for, right?

Facebook, ever the changing network of social urgency, added a new feature at the end of the summer: Close Friends.

In addition to separating your contacts into lists based on location or connection (college, work, neighborhood association, etc.), you can add friends that you know well or frequently interact with. Facebook added the friends you communicate with most often as a default when this feature rolled out. You may have noticed and removed everyone in a blind panic, or non-gallantly shrugged and carried on with your blase use of the site. (That's what I did!)

The benefit to this feature is that you can keep up with the friends you know better, actually care about, or worry about missing updates from. Their posts will go to the small globe at the top of your page, which is generally reserved for notifications regarding your own activity.

Take it from Facebook: "You can add your best friends to this list to see more of them in your news feed and get notified each time they post."

Facebook explains how to add to your Close Friends list:

And to get less notifications:

There are also smart lists and custom lists, but if you have that many friends, and need that many lists, I'm pretty sure this is not a blog you need. (...I'll probably review it in February anyway.)

Facebook does not notify when you add someone to your Close Friends.  

So stalk away, friends!

This will be the last Lessons for Old People article for 2012. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I am going to focus on some personal projects in January. I hope to see you in February. As always, e-mail me with posts you'd like to see or any questions you might have.

Additional Resources:
How do I use lists to organize my friends?, Facebook
How do I adjust the notifications I get about Close Friends?, Facebook

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vocabulary Lesson: Disemvowel

Disemvoweling is when a person removes the vowels from a sentence. This is a practice reserved for Internet commenters that leave unsavory, impolite, or just plain mean comments on a blog post. Time named the practice one of the top 50 inventions of 2008.

The idea is to make the person look ridiculous. It's a unique form of censorship, in that the comment is still available to read. It sometimes draws more attention to the comment due to the challenge of reading it sans vowels. The practice may effectively eject the person from the community.

Here is what disemvoweling looks like, using the phrase, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Wikipedia used this example too. It turns out that the spam on this blog is pretty mild.
Th qck brwn fx jmps vr th lzy dg
I don't disemvowel, simply because I'd have to edit comments, and that is far too much work when I can just click DELETE.

Additional Resources:
Disemvoweling, Wikipedia Kotaku’s New Tool: The Straight Razor of Disemvoweling, Kotaku How To Keep Hostile Jerks From Taking Over Your Online Community, InformationWeek

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Technology Lesson: Downloading Your Free Weekly Single

Apple's iTunes provides one free single a week. (And also many free TV episodes.) Downloading these free singles is fast and easy. Here's how to build your music collection with free music.

Turn on your computer, and log in if necessary.

Start iTunes. Click ITUNES STORE in the left column of the program.

Look for the picture that says SINGLE OF THE WEEK. You might need to scroll to find it.

Click the image that says SINGLE OF THE WEEK. The week I wrote the lesson, Norah Jones was the artist. The artist will change each week.

You'll see the artist and song of the week on the right. Under the artist will be a grey bar that says FREE.

You may need to sign into iTunes. If prompted, do so.

The song will appear in your PURCHASED music and your library. The download will occur automatically, following your sign in or clicking FREE.

Feel free to drag the song to your iDevice.

All iTunes lessons

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Technology Lesson: Hiding Sponsored Posts (on Facebook)

Not to overemphasize the importance of Facebook (wouldn't it be nice if we could all walk away?) but today's lesson is, again, about Facebook.


I think it will be extremely helpful. Facebook's Suggested Posts have inspired great ire among its users, and the uninvited posts are a distraction and sully the Facebook experience.

Luckily, hiding the posts is an easy process! It's just like hiding people or posts you don't want to read.

To start, log in to Facebook. Go to your news feed.
When you find an unwelcome Sponsored Post, hover your mouse over the post.

You'll see a small arrow in the top right corner of the post. (Not the page, the post.) Click it.

Click HIDE.

Facebook will congratulate you on this brilliant decision: "This story is now hidden from your News Feed."

You will be given the chance to Unhide the post. if you want to do that, click UNHIDE. You'll also be given the opportunity to unhide all posts from this company. This is not a bad idea, and you should consider doing that too.

Facebook says that its new Sponsored Posts program does not affect its usability. I disagree, if only because I constantly hide Sponsored Posts, and the program's existence is a thorn in my side.