Technology Blog

DO THIS NOW! Protect your phone from loss or theft (and lots of other stuff too).

Last week my phone and I parted ways. I had it in my pocket as I walked around the library, and it must have fallen out, because all of a sudden I couldn’t find it anymore though I looked thoroughly. Someone must have picked it up and pocketed it, opting out of turning it into the lost and found, because soon enough they started posting to my Facebook account.

Here’s the thing-this was a brand new cutting edge phone (the Galaxy Note II) chock full of every manner of apps to amuse and enlighten me, and as they say, there’s an app for everything. One of my apps could have been a security app that would allow me to locate and retrieve my phone from the lucky thieves who happened upon it. But in all my technological wisdom, I had not activated a single app that could help me recover my phone. And so I never got it back.

Computer Access for Customers with Disabilities

In the past couple of years, many Denver Public Library Branch Locations have settled into their new digs, enjoying remodeled spaces, more public computers, and updated software. Did you know that several Branch Libraries, including the Central Library, also have improved workstations for customers with physical barriers to access?

These computer workstations have adjustable tables that move up and down to accommodate wheelchairs or customers who are unable to sit. Several types of mice and keyboards are available upon request too, including stationary trackball mice and large print, high contrast keyboards.

The Central Library also has a Braille printer.

Browser Extensions and Internet Security

Browser extensions are small pieces of software you can choose to install that enhance the capability of your web browser. You may also hear them called add-ons or plug-ins, depending on the browser you use.  The benefit to these small pieces of software is you can personalize your browser so you can easily access information, block annoying ads, or even increase your overall Internet security.

I have a few extensions that make it into my favorites category.  Let's take a look at what they are and what they can do for you.

21st Century Travel

I guess I sort of remember what it was like to travel before the internet. I definitely remember having to buy a phone card for long road trips, and carrying around a sheet of paper with important names and numbers on it.  Once when I was about 19 I landed my mom, my sister and me in a weird industrial neighborhood in a rental car in Chicago. Folding paper maps have never been my jam.

I admit it -- I'm super happy to have a smart phone, and to be able to research destinations online. It's awesome. So as mon petit ami and I prepare for a spring adventure to Paris, I am reflecting on just how heavily I rely on the web for my travel plans. There’s some great stuff out there, for sure. I do a lot of research before I go anywhere. It helps me relax and alleviate anxieties I might have about going somewhere new. I thought it might be useful for me to divulge some of the travel planning tools I use.

Want to read? You can't do that at Google anymore

RSS icon

A few months before its eighth birthday–on July 7, 2013–Google will be shutting off its Google Reader service. Reader, for those who don’t use it, aggregates RSS feeds.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Websites use it to announce when they have a new post and users can then subscribe to those announcements (called RSS feeds) to be constantly updated. If you sign up for email announcements for a blog you like, for example, you get constantly notified. Maybe even annoyingly so. But with RSS, you can sign up and get the update when you want (or still have the notification announce itself). They run behind a lot of websites too. Almost every podcast uses RSS to deliver their new episodes.

Digital Magazines Available at DPL!

Zinio digital Magazines

Zinio for libraries offers full digital copies of your favorite magazines to view on your computer or mobile device. We have subscriptions to over 200 popular and specialty magazines. Your DPL library card will give you unlimited access to this entire collection. Best of all, titles do not have to be returned and do not expire.

Quick start guide for first time users:

Please note you must create two accounts, a DPL Library Zinio account to browse the Library collection, and a Zinio.com Reader account to view the magazines on your computer or mobile device:

Like! New Facebook Classes on Privacy, Security and Business Pages.

Facebook

There’s so much more to Facebook than simply where to click and who to friend. Almost since its inception, Facebook has been criticized for its lax privacy stance. Someone (Mark Zuckerberg?) must have taken the criticism to heart because the recent Facebook privacy changes have

given users more control than ever before over Who Sees What, and how users can guard themselves against unwanted Sharing.We’ve put together an entire class called Facebook: Privacy and Security, dedicated exclusively to learning about what you can do to be as protected as possible and still enjoy socializing* on the biggest social network the world has ever seen.This class will become a monthly regular in the Community Technology Center’s offerings- catch the first one on

Why is the Internet Slow? And What's the Library Doing About It?

Bandwidth Explosion

If you use the Library's public computers, you know that we have experienced a decrease in Internet connection speed. There are a number of reasons for this, several of which have been addressed. And we have isolated the cause of what we hope is the last remaining issue. The good news is that the Library now has a dedicated segment of the City and County of Denver's Internet connection.

This means we aren't competing for bandwidth with other City agencies, and our heavy Internet traffic (we have over 1,500 computers) is not interfering with the Sheriff, Courts or other agencies. The bad news is that this shift has yet to improve the connection speeds at our public computers and this is due to the way we currently filter the Internet. What is not news is that Internet traffic is growing exponentially worldwide.

Apps and eBooks for kids!

galaxy note ii

Did Santa bring the kids new tablets or eReaders for Christmas? Are you befuddled by the new look of the library’s eMedia page? Wondering what apps are right for your child?

Whether you want to download library eBooks to your iPad or find great apps to keep your children entertained, we can help get you started! Swing by the Children’s Pavilion the first two Sundays in January and learn how to make the most of your new devices.

On Sunday, January 6, we’ll show you how to find and download free children’s eBooks and audio eBooks from the Denver Public Library website. Check out the new look of our eMedia page, and learn how to install the required software to your computer or device (see schedule below).

How do I know which gadget to buy?

Which Gadget is Right for You

It's that time of the year for my casual daydreaming about gifts for friends and family to turn to wide-eyed panic as I realize I'm quickly running out of shopping days. The time of the year when I look for the gift that says "I love you but I am able to display it in an ironically distant way," but usually end up settling for saying "I found this at the 7-11 on the off-ramp into town." 

If you've got any gadgets on your list - laptops or ereaders or tablets or anything else with a pretty screen - it can be even harder to pick out the right gift. That's why the CTC is offering the "Which Gadget is Right for You?" class, this Tuesday, December 4, at 5:30 PM on level four of the Central library. We'll be discussing the pros and cons of different ereaders, tablets, and smartphones - so come with questions!

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