Blog // Connected Texas

Tech Firms Often Neglect the Unique Needs of Seniors

By Jeremy Thacker

The Washington Post recently published a thought-provoking article on the plight senior citizens face trying to keep up with the pace of technology. An excerpt from the story is below: Rapidly changing technology places everyone on a constant learning curve. This poses a particular challenge for seniors. Americans older than 65 now number 40 million — that’s roughly 13 percent of our population. The U.S. Census Bureau says that 11 million are older than 80. Very few of them are going to learn to use the innovative and intuitive devices younger consumers can’t seem to live without. Shockingly, few companies are providing pragmatic...

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Here Comes Santa Claus: The Jolly Old Man’s Broadband Blip

By Jeremy Thacker

Santa Claus is coming to town. And now, thanks to broadband, you’ll know exactly when to expect him! Jolly Old St. Nick is preparing the sleigh for his big night of round-the-world work. And, as soon as he takes to the sky, you’ll be able to track his travel with military precision. NORAD is the military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the U.S. and Canada. And now, the North American Aerospace Defense Command is tracking Santa on Christmas Eve. The “NORAD Tracks Santa” app is available on Apple products, Android, and social media sites. The agency offers information by phone and online about St. Nick's location....

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How Technology is Fostering Unconventional Alternatives in Education

By CTX Staff

The Wall Street Journal produced an informative article on current trends in telelearning. More kids than ever before are attending school from their living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. The result: A radical rethinking of how education works. An excerpt from the story is below: It was nearing lunchtime on a recent Thursday, and ninth-grader Noah Schnacky of Windermere, Fla., really did not want to go to algebra. So he didn't. Tipping back his chair, he studied a computer screen listing the lessons he was supposed to complete that week for his public high school—a high school conducted entirely online. Noah clicked on his global-studies...

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In the Pines: Folklore Woes Come to Modern Life

By Jeremy Thacker

  How ETS crews are overcoming the Texas Pine Tree problem American folk and rock singers from Dolly Parton to Nirvana have been telling of troubles “In The Pines” for more than a century. The song is haunting, and now, new research is making it clear that the woeful tale of the pine trees will continue to haunt us into realms that old mountain singers could never have imagined. It turns out, “In the Pines, where the sun never shines” is also the perfect place to end up in a wireless service “dead zone.” According to Wireless Crash Course, by Paul Bedell, pine needles are organic material made up mostly of water. That means they are...

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