Podcasts, Internet Explorer, two great websites
Bob's Tech Talk
July 1, 2022 | View PDF
Q. How do I listen to podcasts?
A. As the old saying goes, “there is an app for that.” Many different apps, in fact. And beyond apps, most podcasts are just a click away on the Web.
Podcasts are audio-only programs that have exploded in popularity in the last few years. The best place to start depends on your device. For a personal computer, a Web browser and a Google search is an easy place to start.
On mobile phones, podcasts are the perfect companion for keeping your mind occupied while driving or working around the house. For Android owners, the best place to start is the “Google Podcasts” app, which is either pre-installed on the device or can be downloaded for free on the Google Play store.
For Apple owners, the “Podcasts” app is installed on all new devices, or available as a free download. This app works on the Mac, iPhone, iPad and AppleTV.
Podcast apps provide a search feature for finding show topics, along with controls to download and listen to individual episodes. If you subscribe to a program the latest episode downloads right away, and future episodes will appear when they are released.
Once you get started, you will be amazed at the great listens that are just a few taps away.
Q. Why is Internet Explorer no longer available?
A. I am old enough to remember the Web before IE existed. I watched as it tormented web page designers for over a decade, and now I am ready to raise a toast to its end.
As of June 15, Internet Explorer is officially, completely discontinued. It will never be updated again. The party has moved on to Microsoft’s latest browser Edge, as well as the far more popular options of Google Chrome and Apple Safari.
Many users do not even realize that a web browser is a distinct app. For them, the browser is what appears when you click on a link. This trend is likely to continue as more apps include a custom built-in web window.
The dividing line between the Web and apps will become even fuzzier in the years ahead. And while apps do provide exciting new features, there are places were web pages continue to provide real value. Just as televisions did not replace movie theaters and radio did not replace concerts, the World Wide Web will continue to shape the online landscape for years to come.
Q. I love web pages that explain how everyday things work. Google shows me sites I have already explored when I look for more. Are there any pages you think are worth exploring?
A. Here are two of my all-time favorites: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com and http://www.ciechanow.ski/archives/.
They are among the most difficult-to-type URLs I have ever shared on Wander the Web, but they warrant a fresh look.
The site cambridgeincolour started in 2005 as a collection of essays, and it has evolved into a thriving community of photographers.
The site is authored by Sean McHugh, and although it has expanded into books and discussions, the heart of the site remains the first-class tutorials.
The entire list can be found under the menu item “all photography tutorials.” Even if you are not a photographer yourself, consider reviewing a few of the essays. They will change how you “see” photographs.
The page ciechanow.ski/archives/ contains a list of over a dozen essays. A few of the older entries cover topics that are probably not on any of my readers’ bucket lists. But recent topics cover things such as GPS, ships, mechanical watches, and internal combustion engines.
Each page features lush animations and clear explanations. There is not something for everyone, but for some of my readers, they will discover a special treat.
Wander the Web
Here are my picks for worthwhile browsing this month:
Kate Marvel: How Climate Change Works
This 20-minute video featuring Dr. Kate Marvel is an excellent summary of fact vs. fiction. To skip typing the URL, search Google for the title above.
Check Your Internet Speed
Your Internet service provider charges more for faster speeds. While real world performance will always be a little slower, it is a good idea to test your connection every so often.
A summer thunderstorm streaming on demand. A great way to unplug your mind.
Bob has been writing about technology for over three decades. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.