Commentary

Despite the term “Google” becoming somewhat synonymous with the term “search,” where people say “Go Google this” meaning to do an Internet search, Google is far from a monopoly. I sometimes have a hard time convincing others that Google is not the only search engine available, and that Yahoo!, Bing, and others are highly competitive and in some cases superior to the ubiquitous Google. Of the major search engines today, Yahoo! is the oldest, starting operations in early 1994, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy.

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I started writing a Father’s Day column, but somehow in my mind, and with my fingers on the keys, I ended up with thoughts of my grandfathers, the two men that loved me without reserve, judgment, or ill will. Carl Henry Cannon and Marshal Eli Cole both loved me with wild abandon and made me know I was special to them. Every child needs that, and I was blessed to have it from two men that were as opposite as any two could have ever been. Granddaddy Cannon was fun and filled with mischief, and he laughed a lot. In fact, he laughed so much that his face had creases just from the smiles.

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Q. I bought something at a pawnshop for $350. It was just confiscated by the police because it was stolen. Is there any way to get my money back?

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about some Web sites that evaluate and rate free Android apps (tinyurl.com/d9mjm6j). Since that column was published in The Examiner, I have received numerous requests from readers asking for a similar column on iPhone apps. This is my response to those requests.

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It has taken the better part of my 70 years to finally come to terms with the events that have shifted my life’s course as it has been run. Please do not feel sorry for me. I have had a wonderful life thus far; I am surrounded by loving family that keep me hopping, and have a life filled with work, play and fun. I have so many friends across this country, many from years of writing their stories, and I have a great number of plans that I have not yet fulfilled. I believe my dad would have wanted it that way, from all I have learned.

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Q. Someone is walking their dog on my yard and not cleaning up. Is it legal for me to set up a video camera to take a video and catch the person?

A. As far as the law is concerned, you generally have the right to photograph or video anything done in public. Basically, if you can see it from the front of your house, you can video it. If you visit YouTube, you will see you are not alone when it comes to catching negligent dog walkers.

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It has been about three years since Microsoft released its very popular Windows 7, intended both as a full release product and as an upgrade for the problem-prone and controversial Windows Vista. Now, Microsoft has simultaneously released a free “Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview,” as well as a nominally priced Windows 8 upgrade offer for anyone purchasing a new Windows 7 PC, as of June 2.

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About two years ago, I upgraded my traditional cell phone to a (then) state-of-the-art Nokia smartphone running the latest version of the Symbian operating system. With that smartphone I had 3G Internet speeds, could read my e-mail, watch YouTube videos, browse Web sites and download any of the hundreds of Symbian apps then available.

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Working really hard and giving your best effort in an attempt to carry out a plan or to meet a goal for someone else can end in negative feelings when the other person doesn’t seem to understand or value our contribution. We are disappointed. There are times when we honestly feel we have followed the orders or instructions we were given only to have them change in midstream. We wanted the person or people to see it our way or to at least give verbal acknowledgement to the fact that we tried.

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Q. I am about to move out of an apartment that I have lived in for two years. I gave my landlord notice and will move in a few days. What can I do to make sure I get back my deposit?

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