2015-08-19 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor.  His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian and professor in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian's Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com and iTunes.In the year 2000 the United States gained the unique distinction of incarcerating more people than any other nation. Having a criminal record may make it difficult to get hired, especially in fields where one is trusted to help the public such as healthcare and education. National Employment Law Project (NELP) research indicates one out of four Americans have a criminal record. If that record contains any convictions the job search becomes even tougher. If one is lucky and has access to good legal services they may be able to get their record expunged and thus job seeking becomes easier. The implications of these statistics are far reaching as a vicious circle gets created where the criminal record impedes employment. Lack of work means the job hunter has less income, if any. It takes money to find employment in many ways. One major way is paying for Internet access as many job openings may be applied for online. A lack of income may also lead to crimes committed to gain money. Crime leads to more incarceration. Hence our economy spirals downward with prisoners being unable to become responsible taxpayers contributing to and buying goods and services from society.

However, there are free ways to access the Internet. Here are a few. The site, www.Juno.com offers ten hours of free dial-up Internet access per month, for PC or other mobile device via hardwire. Register online at Juno.com for details. This is an incentive to use Juno's pay service.

Moreover, WiFi, short for Wireless Fidelity, offers numerous ways to access the Internet for free.  For example, www.Openwifispots.com advertises more than 66,198 free locations in the US. All the user needs to do is enter their zip code.  To use WiFi one must have a computer, such as a laptop or smartphone, that has WiFi capacity aka WiFi reception software installed.  www.wififreespot.com is a similar free WiFi hot spot website. For those wishing to find WiFi hot spots in our city parks, visit www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/wifi

Many merchants advertise WiFi to increase business, but often it is not free.  Many Starbucks or Kinkos charge for the service.  Following are a list of chains that offer FREE WiFi, either advertised or not: Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, Courtyard by Marriott, Office Depot, McDonalds, Staples, Fazoli's and the Apple Store.  Often one may be able to stand or sit just outside the establishment, such as on an adjacent mall bench, and still receive the WiFi single depending on the strength of the WiFi transmission equipment used. 


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