FINDING A PEN PAL ONLINE

A reader described himself as “an over-the-hill guy” who remembers having a pen pal in his youth and he liked it. It was great fun, he said, but how would he find pen pals these days? Well … PenPalParty.com has international pen friends. You can specify adults who speak English, are over a certain age, or use any criteria you like, by going to penpalparty.com/lookforpals.html. You could also go to favorite websites, such as your favorite newspaper or magazine. If there’s a topic you’re interested in, comment on it and include your email address so people can write you back. When Joy was in her 20s, she loved the pen pals she met through “Single Booklovers,” which still exists at […]

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TWITTER MOMENTS

Until now, news on Twitter was only as good as the services you subscribed to. You could search for a topic, click “follow” and from then on see posts on that topic whenever you went to Twitter.com. Now they’ve added “Moments.” Moments are more like traditional news headings. Click “Moments” at the top left of your screen any time of the day or night to see what’s going on. When we clicked,  we saw travel stories, music, sports and political news. Usually there’s not much going on.

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HIDDEN FACEBOOK FEATURE

Bob clicked on a hidden Facebook feature and discovered an old pal from Philadelphia. Turns out there’s a Facebook button called “Other.” It’s faint and hard to see, but that just makes it more mysterious. It’s there you may find mail from people who aren’t on your friends list, also ads for things you never wanted.

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ONLINE DATING REVISITED

We’ve never tried “Hinge,” which is a fast-growing dating service. We didn’t try it because we’re married and happy about it. Now that a widowed friend has tried it, we’re adding a few words of caution. Hinge.co is a free app that finds matches for you from friends of your Facebook friends. By confining the field, they claim you’re more likely to find suitable matches. When our widowed friend started Hinge on her iPad, she was startled to see her adult son’s face beaming up at her; she was afraid it was about to match her with his friends, despite the huge age differences. No one had ever disconnected as fast as she did. She didn’t realize the app just […]

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APP HAPPY HELLO

To whom it may concern: We are told by younger folks that nobody makes phone calls these days, they text each other. In case you do make calls once in a while, “Hello: Caller ID and Blocking” is a free Android app that makes it easier to place calls using a free Wi-Fi connection. It also blocks unwanted calls.

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ONLINE DATING

According to The Economist magazine, “Tinder” is now the most popular dating site and app (Android) (iPhone). We thought it was too new to have achieved that status. But young people are now saying “Hinge.co” is even better. (“CO” is the country suffix for Columbia; it doesn’t mean a web site is based there, just that it’s registered there.) Tinder lets you swipe past any photo you’re not intrigued by. It requires a different swipe when you find someone you like. If they’ve done the same thing with your photo, you’re matched and something might come of this. Hinge.co matches you only with friends of Facebook friends. Though it might sound foolish to restrict the field, it gives you the […]

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DECEASED BUT ON FACEBOOK

A widowed friend of ours is still keeping her husband’s Facebook account open, several months after he passed away. She has no plans to close it. Many experts suggest “memorializing” such an account to make it impossible to send messages there, but she sees no reason to do this either. We agree. Survivors probably want to hear from anyone who hasn’t yet learned of the death of their friend so it’s best to keep channels open.

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A MEMORIAL ON FACEBOOK

One of our best friends passed away recently, and we were reminded of the digital afterlife: Facebook accounts and email that just keeps going.

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MORE ABOUT TWITTER

We recently explained what they call a “hashtag” on Twitter: It looks like this: “#.” It’s used to organize and navigate your way around Twitter. Typing #BillGates when you’re logged into Twitter, for example, takes you to Gates’ Twitter page. A reader wrote in to say he loved the explanation, but what about the “@” on Twitter?

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WHO’S LOOKING AT YOU KID?

If you’re one of the 271 million Twitter users, you may want to know how many people are potentially viewing your tweets. Go to Analytics.Twitter.com to find out. We found that our tweets were received daily by around 1800 people. Of course, just because someone is getting your tweets doesn’t mean they’re actually reading them. Stop us before we tweet again!

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