POSTS WITH TAG: computer

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    It's hard to imagine there was a time when you could break up with someone or be broken up with and then never, ever have to see his horrible, beautiful, heartbreaking face again. Ah, what a comfort it must have been to be able to cry for a day, talk it out with friends, and then know you could move on. There was no high-tech way of keeping tabs on that person, and even if you heard through the grapevine that he had a new girlfriend or wife, you could make it through life without viewing 100 photos of her and knowing hair that shiny actually exists outside of a shampoo commercial.

    Boy, are those days gone. It's now pretty much possible to locate and stalk every boyfriend you've had since kindergarten. Not that you plan on doing this, of course, but here are 7 websites that have made it super easy for "ex-boyfriend stalking" to become an international sport and for no one to ever fully get over and past the ... well, the past.

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    Happy birthday, World Wide Web! Remember when we still called it that? The Internet turns 25 years young today, and whether you think it's the greatest invention since the light bulb or the entire reason our society is falling apart, you must admit it's difficult to imagine our lives without it. Think about it: many of us wouldn't have met our soul mates if not for the Internet. We'd still be faxing thousands of pages of paper a day at our jobs instead of sending email attachments. Lots of us wouldn't even have jobs, or would have very different jobs, if not for the Internet.

    Still, as someone who celebrated all of my single-digit birthdays before the Internet was born, I'd be lying if I said life is so much better now. Here are 4 things the Internet totally destroyed and 4 ways it made life even better.

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    Anaïs and Samantha were two 27-year-old women living very different lives. One was a French fashion design student residing in London; the other a tech-savvy California girl. Thanks to Samantha's love of YouTube, Anaïs' friends were able to make a discovery last year that changed both girls' lives forever. While viewing one of Samantha's many online videos, they thought it was pretty uncanny that the girl looked just like their good friend. A bit of research and stalking followed, but it didn't take long before Anaïs made the most amazing realization of her life: she and Samantha were identical twin sisters separated at birth and reunited by technology

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    Dorothy Holm spent the last few days of her life scribbling what were thought to be random letters on several index cards. The beloved mom and grandmother, who could no longer speak because of a brain tumor, filled up several cards from top to bottom, but the letters didn't make sense to her family members. Still, her grandchildren -- who were preteens at the time of her death -- kept the index cards and continued to wonder what their grandmother was trying to convey. 

    If not for the kindness and knowledge of several strangers who were able to crack the code on MetaFilter.com, their mystery may have remained unsolved. 

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    Passwords. These days, we all have about a million of them. Passwords for shopping sites. Passwords for bank accounts. Netflix, Hulu, your kid's school website. The list is endless. It's hard to come up with them and remember them. So what do most of us end up doing? Using some easy-to-figure out password even the dumbest of criminals could crack. The security firm Splashdata has releases it's annual list of the "Worst Passwords." I would be anything you use at least one or two of these. Check out the list below and then take a look at our creative suggestions for coming up with better ones that no one will figure out. 

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    I’ve seen some people fall asleep in some pretty odd positions while traveling on airplanes. One time, this poor fellow in the middle seat lowered his tray table and just conked out on it like it was a pillow.

    But I’ve never seen someone fall asleep with a finger on the keyboard. But a video on YouTube titled “Dude sleeping on jet w/finger on slash key” has changed that. Someone filmed a guy on a plane snoozing away, his finger pressed firmly to the “///////” key, and page after page on his computer filled with slashes.

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    It's one of those crimes that just leaves you shaking your head in despair. Sanaz Nezami was beaten to death by her husband. Smart and vibrant, she had just arrived to Michigan to pursue an advanced degree in engineering when his savagery left her brain dead. Far away from her family in Iran, they couldn't be there physically in her last moments, but the nurses at the hospital helped them say their final goodbyes over the Internet.

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    If anyone is old enough to remember MySpace (anyone? anyone at all?) you might recall there was one day that will live in infamy when a glitch on the site made it possible for everyone whose profile you had been checking out in secret to see that you'd been visiting their page. In other words, you became exposed as a bona fide stalker. Oh, it was chilling and awful and those of us who lived through it spent hours concocting ridiculous excuses we could have on hand in case we were called out by our "stalkees." Well, instead of learning from this nightmare, Google's Gmail has decided to add a feature that will strip us of our privacy just a teeny bit more. And it's bound to affect us in at least 3 horrible ways. 

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    Twitter's an awesome resource and loads of fun. For us nerds, it's a great place to quickly get your news headlines and rapid-fire social commentary. There are also some pretty hilarious and fun people to follow on the site. (*cough cough*). But, like everything good and awesome, the site also has it's fair share of the 'not awesome'.

    Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, you might decide to block someone on Twitter. Hopefully you don't come across toxic people too much in your general interneting, but when you happen upon some not-so-nice folks, it's always good to know that the technology exists for you to block them. Out of sight, out of your feed, and out of your mind. Good riddance. But, for a few hours yesterday, Twitter made a change to its blocking policy that changed all that. 

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    It seems lots of us are finding ourselves in awkward Facebook situations lately. We log in, planning to mind our own business and just poke around the site for 10 minutes, and then we read a status update like, "Life is horrible at the moment. Need cheap divorce lawyer. Totally screwed up this time, but at least I know it." 

    Okaaay. So maybe part of you feels like you should support your "friend" and at least show him or her that you approve of the ability to recognize one's own screw-ups. But you can't press the "like" button because, well, what exactly are you "liking"? The fact that he's getting a divorce? Facebook knows your friends are oversharing way, way too much. And it has a potential solution for that.

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