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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 23, 2012 / 9 Kislev, 5773

A second look at Windows 8: Proceed with caution

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8 operating system, which debuted at retail at the end of October, is, at best, an acquired taste. Should you chow down until you like or should your response be the same as the famous toddler confronting a plate of greens in an old "New Yorker" magazine cartoon: "I say it's broccoli and I say the hell with it!"

If you're buying a new computer for the holidays, you may have little choice: media reports indicate that most, if not all, of the new Windows-based computers to be offered on the so-called "Black Friday" that kicks off the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa shopping season will come with Windows 8 installed, and no other option. "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black," Henry Ford said of his Model T in 1909, and, so, black it was.

Windows 8 is no Model T, not by a long shot. The "new and improved" Start screen offers a host of ětilesî that supposedly lead into various applications and features, such as news, weather or financial information. There's a Windows 8 desktop which looks like the traditional Windows workspace, but pressing what used to be the "start" key on the keyboard won't pop-up a menu, but instead take you back to the tiles.

Die-hard longtime Windows users may well chafe at these improvements, removing, as they do, familiar and, more importantly, keyboard-friendly interfaces -- press a key, pop up a menu -- in favor of touch-screen interplay. On a touch-friendly Windows 8 computer, you can start a program by touching the ětileî or a traditional desktop icon or shortcut. That's where computing is headed in the future, even if you or I, personally, may not be there yet.

Microsoft, of course, is billing these changes as evolutionary, saying: "Windows has been reimagined to be all about you," with the new Start screen and tiles offering "instant access to your people, apps, sites, and more, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing."

But do I want a bunch of tiles from which to choose things, when my old Windows desktop and icons were good enough? Is Microsoft, noted for its keyboards and mice as well as its software offerings, driving us towards a post-mouse world?

Well, if Microsoft isn't, the smartphone/tablet age is. Few of us use mice to navigate these new devices, and while there are plenty of keyboard options for, say, Apple Inc.'s iPad (and an optional, snap-on keyboard cover for Microsoft's own, new, Surface tablet), I'm guessing the majority of tablet owners are letting their fingers do the walking, both to navigate the program icons and to type using an onscreen keyboard. And while Microsoft promises mouse-friendliness with Windows 8, I have the feeling I know where the future is heading.

And that's OK, I guess. We're not -- most of us, I'd suspect -- using old CRT monitors anymore, or daisy wheel printers or 300-baud dial-up modems. Time marches on, and technology advances. It would have been nicer, though, if Microsoft had offered a bit more coherence between the two worlds, to sort of ease the way as we all make the transition.

I've had very limited testing with Windows 8, chiefly on an Apple iMac where, thanks to the latest version of Parallels Desktop software (http://www.parallels.com/), Windows 8 not only runs, but can also be configured to run its applications alongside Mac apps. This ěcoherentî mode (there's that word again) gives users a rather nice multitasking ability.

So far, Windows 8 has run what I've thrown at it, most notably the OpenOffice.org productivity suite, which is file-compatible with Microsoft's Office programs, but, unlike those, is free for the downloading. I've used the Internet Explorer 10 browser, and sampled such embedded "tiles" as Weather, News and Microsoft's Bing search engine.

Everything's worked just fine. It seems speedy enough running under emulation; by the time you read these words, I should have a PC or two with Windows 8, installed, to test and gauge its responsiveness in a 'native' setting.

But here's the bottom line: if buying a new Windows-based PC is on your holiday shopping list, absent a chance discovery at a retailer, you'd probably need to special order a Windows 7 system to get one. Most of the new machines will feature Windows 8, and as with the famous "Borg" collective of "Star Trek: Next Generation" fame, resistance is futile. The good news is, it's not all that bad.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2012, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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