Digital Divide 2007

I have been making a point about the Digital Divide for a long point. While I believe socio-economic status is a contributing factor, it isn’t the sole reason.
bq.A new study published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that there is a growing digital divide across America.

Fee-Free Tax Filing

Did your taxes yet? If you did, how did you file them?
bq.Increasing numbers of technology-savvy filers prepare their tax forms using Intuit’s TurboTax or H&R Block’s TaxCut software. But when it comes to filing their returns, many of them revert to paper.

E-Government Access

bq.In Florida, the financial support for public libraries with economic need dropped from 11 cents per dollar in the mid-1990s to 3.9 cents per dollar during the last budget year. The burden keeps shifting, but it appears there is little to no coordination among levels of government.

Giddy over Gates

Last year, I “asked(Shared Computer Toolkit)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2005/06/29/shared what the introduction of the “Shared Computer Toolkit(Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP)”:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sharedaccess/overview.mspx meant for the Public Access Computer Security Tool. I found out this week that it has definitely become a “replacement(An Overview of the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit)”:http://pacomputing.webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=13182.

OpenOffice 2.0

I looked at OpenOffice early in the development, and it was definitely not ready for primetime. The “newly-released 2.0(OpenOffice.org 2.0 Final Launches)”:http://www.betanews.com/article/OpenOfficeorg_20_Final_Launches/1129819229 is a different story, however. Next time we redo our public stations I am sorely tempted to replace Microsoft Office completely.

IE-Only Copyright

bq.The U.S. Copyright Office is soliciting opinions, through August 22d, about it’s planned website upgrade that will require the use of Microsoft Internet Explorer, effectively banning most technically-advanced users and all Linux and open-source advocates from its service. – “Dave Murphy(U.S.

Shared Computer Toolkit

Microsoft has released the “Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP(Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP)”:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sharedaccess/default.mspx. This is not to be confused with the “Public Access Computer Security Tool(Public Access Computer Security Tool)”:http://pacomputing.webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=7593. The PAC Tool was designed for NT Workstation, but has worked great for us on 2000 stations.

Internet Access @ your library

bq.Virtually every U.S. public library now offers free Internet access but most ration it, inhibiting the ability of lower-income families to benefit from the Information Age. – “Anick Jesdanun(Library internet access better than ever)”:http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8ATH0G00.htm?campaign_id=apn_tech_down At my library, we ration internet usage as well.

Broadband Speed

I got the chance to upgrade my home DSL connection from 1.5 to 3.0 and lower the cost at the same time. Whether the fact this coincided with the arrival of cable broadband access in our area is a coincidence or not I will leave to others to judge.

Half-Life Broadband Penetration

I have no idea if Half-Life 2 players are a representative sample of the penetration of Broadband Access into society, but if they are this “survey(Valve Survey Summary)”:http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html shows a rather sizable portion of gamers have high-speed access.