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Ruth Lafler
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wind damage
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Revelstoke (95 photos)
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I think even my Very Smart friends might find the last set of words challenging. Do I really know a word if I've seen it and understood it in context but can't define it?

In light of the news about Michele Bachmann's migraines, it's an interesting question what medical conditions would make one unfit for the presidency. Of course no one can predict the future and presidents can (and have) developed medical conditions that would have made them unfit during their terms (Wilson, Reagan), but what conditions would you knowingly accept? Obviously FDR managed, but times were different -- there was more time to act/react, less immediacy.

Okay, for those of you who have delved more deeply into the nuts and bolts of Google+ than I have, a couple of questions:

It's great to have all these circles, but can I customize my stream so it defaults to a specific circle (or circles -- hey, can you put your circles into circles? That would be handy!)? That is, if I have a circle called "family and close friends" (don't we all?) can I set it to default to that instead of a general stream?

Second, and in the same vein -- on Facebook I can "hide" someone -- that is, I don't see their posts in my newsfeed but we are still "friends," I can check in on them periodically, and they can see and comment on my posts (this is particularly useful for people who post about 90 percent about their games, although I have all the game apps completely blocked from my feed as well). Google+ does not seem to have similar option -- I can block someone, but that means completely blocked both ways, and I really don't want to do that.

So, basically, what I'd like to avoid is having my stream default to a vomiting of everything that's been said by everyone I know. Possible?

ETA: It occurred to me that a simple solution would be to change the stream from a check option to an uncheck option. That is, instead of individually choosing the circles you want and seeing them one at a time, you simply uncheck the circles you don't want to see.

I've been reading the rumors about the new Amazon tablet that is supposed to be released this October. What boggles my mind is that yet again tech bloggers are predicting the demise of the dedicated e-book reader. Tech bloggers apparently don't actually read books, and they mostly hang out with other people interested in cutting edge technology who find dedicated e-book readers boring.

A tablet no more replaces a dedicated e-book reader than a glossy coffee-table book replaces a paperback, and no one who actually reads books from "cover-to-cover" on a regular basis would even suggest that it could or should. Amazon knows this, and I would be surprised if it discontinued dedicated e-book readers. The math is really quite simple: only a fairly small percentage of people actually buy books, and a small percentage of those people do a huge percentage of the purchasing. In other words, the vast majority of books are purchased by a very small number of people; those people who actually buy a lot of books will want and buy a dedicated e-book reader because that's the best way to read books. Many other people will buy a multi-function tablet and they will use it to read books occasionally, but will they buy books? Some -- probably more than they do now, which makes them an appealing target -- but not many. They'll read blogs and other web-based content, or listen to music or chat or watch cat videos, but they won't buy appreciable numbers of books. Rumors are that Apple's ibooks store has been a flop for exactly that reason, while Amazon is continuing to sell huge numbers of Kindles and more important, seeing increased sales to people who own them.

But don't try to tell that to the tech pundits.
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