Monthly Archives: April 2012

Big Grips Available

A friend of mine just bought her first tablet.   She takes it everywhere.  Lucky for her, she’s much easier on
electronics than I am.  Considering the number of times I’ve dropped my phone, I am lucky it still works.  For this reason, I make a point of buying a rubbery case for my phones.  The grip is easier for me to hold on to, doesn’t fall out of my pocket, and cushions it somewhat when I drop it on the floor, sidewalk, or stairs.

For those of you who are like me, or who share a household with someone like me, Chester Creek now offers Big Grip iPad cases.  They’re large, soft cases that grip the iPad, so you can grip it. The foam material is squishy which makes it easy to hold. This means the Big Grip is helpful for seniors who might not have the grip they used to and for children with small hands.  I don’t exactly fit into either category, but I know plenty of people like me who just can’t seem to keep a good hold of things. My butterfingers make me a liability where expensive tech is involved.  Thankfully, the squishy foam material in the Big Grip case also offers protective cushion around the iPad, just in case you do happen to drop it.

Below are some specifications from our website:

  • 9.47″ x 11.57″ x 1.5″ (240 mm x 294 mm x 38 mm)
  • 7.125 oz. (.20 kg)
  • Easy access to all ports and controls
  • Unobstructed cameras (iPad 2 version), Wi-Fi antenna and ambient light sensor

April is National Autism Awareness Month!

April is National Autism Awareness Month -

Autism is a developmental disability that has a set of behaviors, but which is a “spectrum disorder.” This means that individuals with Autism can be affected in a range of ways and to different degrees. One in 110 children is diagnosed with Autism in the United States, a seemingly high number. It is more prevalent in boys and usually appears during infant and toddler stages of life. This is not a disorder that can be “cured” or outgrown. However, there are treatment options that can help minimize some of the negative effects and aid the individual with development. From the Autism Society, here are some signs that may indicate autism in young children:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects

Autism sometimes means that an individual cannot process ideas or learn as well as others. However, in many cases, it simply means that the individual learns and processes information differently.  As noted above, Autism Spectrum disorders can range from extremely inhibiting to very high functioning. One type of ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s is a less severe type of Autism, usually with little to no delay in language development. Individuals with Asperger’s may have a hard time “fitting in” and interacting with others. They may also have a very strong focus on a couple particular subjects, sometimes to the exclusion of most other things.

Recent Google Update

Google, search-engine giant and otherwise non-evil company of tremendous technological stuff, has recently updated its privacy policies.  This move consolidated the privacy policies of many of their services into one, allowing for data to be shared across services (i.e. your schedule and your docs work together, etc.).  Many individuals raised concerns about data being less secure, though I am not among them.
Google was keeping the same information before. They just combined some of it.  In any case, following this update they’ve now released something else I found interesting.

Because the data from various services is being combined, they are now able to offer users a compiled monthly report on the user’s own activity.

This will allow users to track their activity across all Google services that they are signed into.  The product was announced this past Wednesday.  “Every day, we aim to make technology so simple and intuitive that you stop thinking about it – we want Google to work so well it just blends into your life, but sometimes it’s
helpful to step back and take stock of what you’re doing online,” wrote a Google product manager.  This feature can also help you keep your information more secure.  “Knowing more about your own account
activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account.  For example, if you notice sign-ins from countries where you haven’t been or devices you’ve never owned, you can change your password immediately and sign up for the extra level of security provided by two-step verification.”

This report also allows you some insight as to exactly what the company does know about you.  Based
upon my February report, they know I use an Android phone, a Windows computer, AT&T cell service, and Charter internet. Frankly, I was expecting more. However, when I thought about it, I realized that I am seldom signed in to a Google browser while doing most web surfing.

Social Skills and Social Media

Social media has permeated much of American society in the last decade or so – MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest. People are a lot more connected than they used to be in that way.  We update our statuses, we check-in, we let people know where we are and what we are doing. We share our opinions constantly. There have been innumerable studies about the effects of our exposure to social media.

One recent study found that these sites are not a good replacement for real human interaction.  When communicating electronically, people miss out on voice intonation, facial expressions, and body language.  It is hard to learn emotions and social skills through a computer monitor.

That said, social networking sites can also help teens develop empathy for others.  A World Vision 30
Hour Famine study found that many teens feel that social media has helped them to be more aware of the needs of others. More than half of those polled agreed with this.  This number has been growing in recent