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Posts under ‘Websurfing’

And so I offer you this Mel Torme Christmas story

Every year on Christmas Day, I link to my favorite Christmas story, which stars Mel Torme. This has been a rough year in many ways, but reading that story always makes me happy, and I hope it will do the same for you. Merry Christmas!

Snopes’ world

These are busy times for fact checkers. The last line of defense against the torrent of half-truths, untruths and outright fakery that make up so much of the modern internet is in a downscale strip mall near the beach. Snopes, the fact-checking website, does not have an office designed to impress, or even be noticed. […]

It isn’t Christmas without Mel Torme

Every year on Christmas Day, I link to my favorite Christmas story, which stars Mel Torme. It is often shamelessly ripped off a lot, which is a Bad Thing that one Should Not Do. So click over and read it, and may your heart grow three sizes today. Merry Christmas to you and yours from […]

Wednesday video break: A visit from St. Nicholas

Still my favorite rendition of this classic poem: And now I’ve got to dash away as well. Merry Christmas to all, and I’ll see you on the flip side.

Tracking city performance

Cool. The City of Houston launched a website Monday pulling from a massive database of 311 service requests that allows visitors to create custom graphs counting everything from bad tasting water and missed yard waste pickups to storm sewer odors and traffic signal timing. The site also includes links to the most recent quarterly performance report to the mayor, the site’s Data Portal website where it hopes to inspire civic-minded […]

Tuesday video break: With how much care are your stockings hung?

Christmas Eve, y’all. You know what that means. I’ll post the Mel Torme story tomorrow. Until then, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

First Hackathon project released

Cool. Budget Bootcamp, a new city website application that provides easy access to city budget information, is the first Houston Hackathon project to become reality.  Budget Bootcamp is hosted on the Finance Department’s website and provides citizens an educational walkthrough of the City’s budget data – both for the recently adopted Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, as well […]

The Houston Hackathon

From the Mayor’s office: Houston Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City of Houston will host a 24-hour “Open Innovation Hackathon” on May 17-18 at the Houston Technology Center and at Start Houston. A hackathon is a day-long event in which software developers, designers, and data analysts collaborate intensively on data and software projects. Over […]

The insurance exchanges are coming. Whether we get some form of “Medicaid” expansion or not, this will be a key part of bringing health insurance to many currently uninsured Texans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, the state’s largest health insurance provider, is launching a statewide campaign on Tuesday aimed at getting Texans enrolled in […]

Check your DNS

Your computer may be infected with a virus that will cause it to lose connectivity to the Internet in July. For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer. Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising […]


Rachel brings up a topic that I admit had not occurred to me. Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Pinterest. Chances are, if you’re a woman, your hand is up right now. Chances are, if you’re a man, you are either rolling your eyes because you’ve heard of it and are sick of hearing […]

From the “More things you need to be slightly paranoid about” department

Nothing like a new domain suffix to remind you of the potential for creative malfeasance. The University of Kansas is buying up website names such as and But not because it’s planning a Hot Babes of Kansas site or an X-rated gallery of the Nude Girls of the Land of Aaahs. Instead, the […]

A Survey of Uses and Users of Online Sources of Political Information

I have been asked to pass along the following survey of uses and users of online sources of political information by researcher Tom Johnson, who tells me that “the vast majority of our survey respondents [so far] have been conservatives” and they’d like to get a few more responses from liberals to balance things out […]

One more time, Merry Christmas, Mel Torme

Every year on Christmas Day, I link to my favorite Christmas story, which stars Mel Torme. Apparently, this story is so popular now that it gets ripped off a lot, which sure seems to be contrary to the Christmas spirit if you ask me. Speaking of the Christmas spirit, you couldn’t find a better example […]

Social media guidelines in San Antonio

Interesting. There’s no standard policy or set of procedures governing how public entities or their employees should use social networking sites. Agencies are in various stages of evaluating what constitutes proper online conduct. Bexar County is writing a social media policy that would address personal networking. There’s nothing about it in the county’s computer resources […]

Saturday video break: That was the year that was

For one last look back at 2009, via the folks at Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, here is Videogum‘s roundup of the year’s best viral videos. Top that, 2010.

Charging for Twitter

I’m sure something like this will eventually happen. Twitter Inc.’s co-founders say the rapidly growing online communications company will eventually charge fees for its services, but it’s unclear which ones and what will drive revenue. “There will be a moment when you can fill out a form or something and give us money,” said Evan […]

Tweet it! The cops!

Tweet it! The cops!

New frontiers in social networking and law enforcement. Milwaukee’s department is one of a growing number of police and fire agencies turning to social networking Web sites such as Twitter, which lets users send text-message “tweets” to a mass audience in 140 characters or less. The tweets can be read on the Web or on […]

Texas lawmakers on Twitter

Elise Hu has compiled a list of elected officials in Austin who use Twitter, for those of you who are into such things. It’s a shorter list than I would have expected, but I’ll bet it grows before the legislative session is over. A few locals I can add to the list: Houston […]

Texas lawmakers on Twitter

Non-profit social media

And may all your Christmases be white

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

As always, Merry Christmas, Mel Torme

Keep Houston Rich

The Twitterati

Things Younger Than McCain

“When Obama Wins”

Diet Coke and Mentos: The sequel

Single-serving sites

The Stupid Filter

Death of Facebook predicted: Film at 11

Facebook and Plaxo spam