Collaboration may be the key to problem solving

Tom DiFrancesca

I mentioned a few columns back about the ability to listen to Clovis Wildcat football games online — during the games. Well, now the folks at KWKA/KTQM and I-Net of New Mexico have gone a step further; you can go to
www.kwka.com
and listen to past games. The streaming broadcasts have been archived on that Web site.
That’s a great idea.
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How to use everyday ingenuity to solve problems big and small — that’s the idea behind
www.whynot.com
Why not collaborate with thousands of other folks, folks from various cultures and backgrounds and work together for the common good?
Sounds like a pipedream, but I think the Web site developers could be on to something. Their concept is that one average individual may come up with a couple of great ideas, but the chances of those ideas really going anywhere are pretty slim. So, instead of tucking an idea away in the back of our minds, we share it with others who may possibly be able to implement that idea or use it to stir up their own imagination.
I visited the Web site. I registered (it’s free). I offered some ideas. And I provided some comments. It was enjoyable. I look forward to future participation. Maybe you should go check it out yourself.
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A few days ago, I received a number of e-mails purportedly sent by Microsoft. These e-mails stated that Microsoft had just released a new patch that would fix its latest security flaws and that the file was attached to the e-mail. All I had to do was download and install the patch; quick and easy, and I’d be all fixed up.
Fixed up alright — I would have either installed a virus onto my computer or a file that would allow a virus to be installed on it at a later date.
How did I know there was danger up ahead? I had read in the past that Microsoft never sends out an e-mail with a security update file attached to it. To make sure that I hadn’t misinterpreted something I had read six months ago, I jumped over to
www.microsoft.com
Sure enough, that’s what they say. No files — ever. In fact, there was an alert on the Web site about bogus e-mails being sent out that looked like official Microsoft generated correspondence.
The bad guys, well — they are pretty bad.
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I came across an article about New Mexico in the online version of the New York Times the other day. The article was about the lightning field near Quemado. It was quite interesting and can be read at
www.nytimes.com/2003/09/21/travel/21lightning.html
If you’ve never registered with the Web site, you’ll have to register first. But it’s free.
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Finally, with all of the recent press about the West Nile Virus I figured I’d better provide a decent URL, one that offers lots of information.
Instead of going with a government Web site this time, I’m recommending a commercial one. Jump over to
www.mosquitoczar.com/west_nile_virus .
You’ll find lots of valuable information about the virus on that site.

Tom DiFrancesca III is a freelance columnist and a resident of Clovis. He can be reached at:
tomdifran@ureach.com
or www.trackertom.com