Writing in Style

A guide to creating professional-looking documents.

Microsoft Word has been around for more than 30 years, so you can be forgiven for thinking you know everything there is to know about this software application. Word is arguably Microsoft's most well-known and most used application and every edition contains new features. Learning and using them all is probably not something many people will bother to do.

However, you don't need to master every feature in Microsoft Word in order to create useful, polished documents. In this MakeUseOf article, Joel Lee talks about the importance of good design. He sets out 10 simple design rules and explains the importance of each one. Following these rules can help make your reports, letters, and resumes look better and be more user-friendly too.

Supporting Web Links
Windows 10 Tip: How to use LinkedIn and Microsoft Word to help you write your resumeHow to Use the LinkedIn Resume Assistant in Microsoft Word Word help center Video: Word Tips Week…

Getting Creative

Google has an entire division dedicated to helping you get creative.

Did you know that Google has an Arts and Culture division? Recently, social media was buzzing with side-by-side images of people and their lookalike twin from classic art. The software enabling these comparisons was from Google's Arts and Culture division. While not every comparison was on the mark, it still made for some interesting viewing.

Mark Austin of Digital Trends reports on this app and some of the other creative and cultural apps that Google is experimenting with. Google has partnered with 1,600 museums to make their collections available to the world.

Supporting Web Links
Arts & Culture ExperimentGoogle Arts & CultureVideo: Find your doppelgänger from art history with Google’s Arts and Culture app What We Can Learn From The Unlikely Success Of Google's Arts & Culture AppBuying Art Doesn’t Have to Be Intimidating: Yes, There’s an AppBest painting software for artists: 9 digital painting a…

Reflections of an Internet Pioneer

Looking back at the Internet's origins.

Vint Cerf is often referred to as the "Father of the Internet." In this article from NPR, Laura Sydell documents those early days with Vint Cerf and then compares them to the creative vision of a science fiction writer, William Gibson.

Interspersed with Sydell's article are links to various bits of audio with these gentlemen and others as they discuss their recollections of those earlier times and share their thoughts about the way the Internet is used today.

Supporting Web Links
Radia Perlman: Stabilizing Networks through a Winding Career7 Black Computer Tech Pioneers You Should KnowJohn Perry Barlow, Internet Pioneer, 1947-2018Video: The Secret History of The ENIAC Women | Kathy Kleiman | TEDxBeaconStreetChasing Grace Project highlights women in technologyInternet Hall of FameHow Claire Evans Is Writing Women Back Into The InternetInternet History 1962 to 1992Discussion Questions/Activities
Discuss the background of the Internet …

Translation, Please

Iceland faces growing concerns.

Many countries have their own native language while also having one or more secondary languages. Being bilingual or even multi-lingual is common in many countries, with one language, often the "mother tongue" being used at home and another language being used for business or education.

With the Internet making global communication even easier, English has become the dominant language for many countries. In this article from The Guardian, Jon Henley discusses the growing concern Iceland has over their increasing use of English. Icelandic is a rich and complex language dating back hundreds of years. It is the majority language in the country, but in the digital world it is virtually non-existent. Spoken by roughly 340,000 people, Icelandic is barely a blip in the world of computers, where the majority language is English. Referred to as digital minoritisation, Icelanders fear their language will become digitally extinct. And, if that happens, t…

Reach Out and Touch

It's all about making connections.

Imagine being able to just tap the wall to turn on a light or turn a table into a musical instrument. Just another sci-fi movie effect? Not if you're using special conductive paint. Bare Conductive, based in London, is making it possible to create electrical circuits by simply using a paintbrush and their paint. When you add a circuit board and a switch or a computer, that's when the magic happens.

Claudia Romeo explains the concepts in this article and an accompanying video from Business Insider. Bare Conductive's paint is able to conduct electricity because it includes small particles of carbon, which are good electrical conductors.

Supporting Web Links
A conductive sound wallVideo: Designer uses conductive paint to customize instruments for musicians with disabilitiesVideo: Color-Changing Fabric With Conductive ThreadElectrick: Low-Cost Touch Sensing Using Electric Field TomographyFile #002 – The Case Of The Broken Circuit (Valentine …

Which Port to Choose

Understanding your options.

When it comes to the physical ports on your computer, the choices are fewer than they used to be in earlier years. SCSI, PS/2, and parallel ports may be long gone, but that doesn't change the fact that there can still be some confusion regarding which port to use for which device.

There are multiple types of display ports and this article from Michael Brown of PCWorld discusses the pros and cons of two of them - HDMI and DisplayPort. Meanwhile, the Thunderbolt port, originally found on Apple computers, is making its way to other devices. Tyler Lacoma from Digital Trends provides some useful information about what Thunderbolt does. Meanwhile, for some handy advice on USB-C, check out this article from Windows Central by Jerry Hildenbrand.

Supporting Web Links
High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Facts Computer Ports and ConnectorsInfographic: Ultimate Chart of Computer Connectors and PortsA Guide to Computer Ports and AdaptersAbout Thunderbolt port…

Are You an Entrepreneur?

Do you have what it takes?

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and forms - some are young, some are old. Some have awesome tech skills, while others have a great idea and know how to find the people with the tech skills to bring it to life. In this Forbes magazine article Parmy Olson reports on a young man and the robots he created.

Silas Adekunle was 25 years old when he met with Apple to display the robot he created and called MekaMon. What began as a 15 minute meeting has turned into a successful distribution deal with Apple. Adekunle's MekaMon robots are being offered in Apple stores and sold as battle-bots. Part of his success is due to the robots' quality, animation, and affordability. But another part is due to timing - these robots also use augmented reality - an area in which Apple is very interested.

Supporting Web Links
MekaMon: from a handmade prototype to Apple's shelves in just four yearsMekamonMekaMon is an AR robot that you control using your smartphoneWatch Bos…