Khalil Mack on the Raiders: ‘Those my brothers over there’

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Khalil Mack turned the corner after his shower, stopped, and observed the swarm of cameras already crowding his locker.The man of the hour played his first game in the Bay Area on Sunday, albeit not against the Raiders, since Oakland traded him to the Bears on Sept. 1.Mack is a defensive player of the year candidate and his Bears (11-4) are NFC North champions. He couldn’t be happier with his new team. But that doesn’t mean he holds anything against his old one, or even the …last_img

Google+, What’s the fuss?

first_imgIf you are interested in learning a bit more about Google+, join +Kevin Gamble and +Stephen Judd for a free eXtension webinar on Friday December 2, 2011 at 2 PM EST.Launched less than six months ago (June 28, 2011), Google+ is a social networking service provided by Google, Inc. As a social network, Google+ shares traits (ability to share updates, links, photos, and videos) with other large social networks like Twitter and Facebook.I began using Google+ when it first became available in a field-trial status, and have been impressed with its ease of use and the level of interaction among the users. Because users can comment on posted content, there isn’t a length constraint, and comments remain with their original post, conversations are easier to have than they are on Twitter. I’ve also found the ability to share to limited groups easier to use than similar features in Facebook.With the recent advent of Pages in Google+, businesses and organizations can also interact with other Google+ users. I’m holding off on fully endorsing the use of a Google+ page, until features like multiple administrators are made available.Below is some basic information about Google+ and how it works:Your Profile:At the core of Google+ is your personal profile, information you enter about yourself and can include: an Introduction, occupation, employment history, education, places you’ve lived, contact information, demographic information, photos, and related links. There are privacy settings to control which information is visible publicly, versus visible to people you connect to on the service.The Network:The usefulness of Google+ will depend on who is using Google+ among the folks you want to interact with and on making those connections. When you first start using the service, you can search for people in your address book you may know are using Google+, or by searching by name or topic of interest. As you add people to your network, you place them in Circles, which later allow you to publish updates to selected Circles, or view updates from one Circle at a time.Following people is not strictly reciprocal:With Google+, you can follow an individual without them following you back, and vice versa. (This is in contrast to the way Facebook originally worked, where the process of “friending” someone, required the agreement of both parties. Facebook has since introduced the subscribe feature, which changes this dynamic.) However, you do have the ability to block a person, so he or she can’t comment on your posts and will only be able to see information you post publicly.Posting:You can publish content to Google+ through the web interface, mobile applications, Google Reader, or through +1 buttons on various websites. Unlike Twitter, there’s no character limit for Google+ updates, and they can include embedded photos, videos, and links. However, formatting options are limited to bold, italics, and strikethrough. When you publish content, you can choose the people to share that content with, by making it Public or sharing it only with selected individuals or Circles. The users you share a post with will have the ability to comment on or reshare the post, unless you have locked the post or disabled comments.Reading posts:By default, Google+ will display content that people you follow have posted. These posts may have been shared publicly, or shared with you directly or via a Circle the poster has you in. You will also see your own posts. You can comment on, reshare, or +1 these posts. You can filter this view by selecting to view the posts from an individual Circle instead.Other features:Google+ has several other features in addition to content-sharing:Hangouts (group video chat for up to ten participants) (I have found this to be one of the most useful tools on Google+ for enabling real-time collaboration with geographically dispersed groups)Messenger (group text chat for up to 50 people, available through mobile application)GamesSearch (ability to search–based on people and content–and save searches)Photos (share photos from Picasa, and instantly upload photos from mobile devices)Pages (a way for companies, organizations, brands, and other non-persons to share content and interact with other Google+ users)Overall, Google+ has become my preferred social network and I look forward to using it as it continues to change. Like any social network, it will benefit from wider adoption, so that I can find more interesting folks to interact with.If you are interested in learning a bit more about Google+, join me and +Kevin Gamble for a free eXtension webinar on Friday December 2, 2011 at 2 PM EST. Details are at: http://www.extension.org/learn/event/372More information:Google+ Help CenterWikipedia – Google+Author: Stephen Judd (+Stephen Judd, @sjudd) This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.last_img read more

Resisting the Urge to Splurge

first_imgBy Jennifer Hunter, Ph.D., University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension ServiceMarketing has made it both appealing and easy to want “more bang for our buck,” such as when we size up a meal at a fast-food restaurant or upgrade to a premium cell phone or cable package. Often, it can be very tempting to receive “more” for what appears to be a relatively small amount of additional cost. The extras, however, can definitely add up!Due to fast-paced lifestyles, many families are tempted to eat fast-food meals, which can be both unhealthy and expensive. We all make decisions every day about the type and quantity of food we eat. The average meal deal at fast-food restaurants costs between $5.00 and $7.00. If a family of four eats out three days per week, the family will spend nearly $4,000/year on fast food!Join us in saving this month by making small daily deposits July 1-30 to save $100 in 30 days.Food choice is just one example of how families are tempted to spend more in an effort to get more for their money. Cable television providers and cell phone carriers are examples of companies that commonly “bundle” services into larger, more expensive plans.Like many of our household bills, communication services, such as cable, phone, and Internet, should be reviewed on an annual basis. Compare your use of the services to the price you are paying. Consumers often do not fully utilize their contracted services.Do you pay extra for an unlimited data plan, but only use a small amount of data every month?Do you send a large number of texts every month, but only have a small number of monthly texts included in your plan?Do you have premium movie packages on your cable or satellite plan but find that you do not watch any movies?Do you have a land line telephone with unlimited long distance and have a cell phone with unlimited minutes?Bundling packages can be beneficial, if you need and use all of the services provided in the package. Although additional features and options can be tempting, review the terms and conditions of bundle offers. Evaluate each component of the bundle-deal separately. For example, if you are considering a home cable, internet, and land line phone bundle, price each option separately for the exact service or product that would best fit your needs.Reviewing each option individually allows you the opportunity to determine the service that best fits your lifestyle and budget.If you have an unlimited cell phone plan, you may decide to completely cut your land line or only need a very basic land line.If you like to watch movies, compare the price of adding on premium movie channels to online movie streaming services.Higher internet speeds are often very tempting, but do your research. How do you use the internet? If you are surfing the web and sending emails, a lower bandwidth may be sufficient. If you stream high volumes of content or online gaming, you may want a higher bandwidth.If you choose to bundle services with promotional pricing, be aware of long-term costs of the services and how to change your plan when the promotional period ends. Be certain to mark the date in your calendar so that you remember to take action.Families have many options for household expenses such as cable, satellite, phone, and Internet services. Shopping for different providers can help you find the service that best fits the needs of your family. If you find a plan with a different carrier at a lower cost, check with your current provider before switching. Many providers will have customer retention departments. Customer service agents will often work with you to offer a better plan to retain current customers.Contact Jennifer at [email protected]last_img read more