"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 1, No. 43:  October 27, 2000.
_______________________________________________________________

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.  IGNORE THAT DATE: CATI HOPES TO DO BETTER IN 2001
2.  SAFER SEARCHING OF THE WEB WITH GOOGLE'S SAFESEARCH
3.  CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND SEMINARIES: AN UPDATE
4.  SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER
_______________________________________________________________

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.
_______________________________________________________________

1. IGNORE THAT DATE: CATI HOPES TO DO BETTER IN 2001

This newsletter began the year 2000 with the hope of coming
out on a weekly basis, but "man proposes; God disposes."  So
CATI instead of coming out weekly sometimes came out weakly
or not at all.  Thus this issue is dated October 27, 2000,
but it is actually being sent out on December 22, 2001.

So ignore that date at the beginning of this issue (and at the
beginning of any other issues that may come out in 2000).  The
revised plan for 2001 is to date each issue according to the
date it is actually sent, but we'll stay with the old format
for the remainder of 2000.

I hope that you have been finding CATI to be both helpful and
enjoyable.  If you have suggestions on how the newsletter may
be improved (or ideas for subjects or topics that you'd like
to see covered or included in future issues), please pass them
along.  (Just send a quick email to me at cati@traver.org.)

Thank you for your support and encouragement during 2000.  We
have dealt with a lot of maters, as you can see by browsing
through the archives of past issues at

  http://www.traver.org/cati/archives.htm

or by browsing through the partial index at

  http://www.traver.org/cati/pindex.htm

(either one will demonstrate that even if CATI was not able to
come out on a weekly basis, it was able to provide a lot of
material that should be useful to Christians ... and, for that
matter, to anyone who uses the Internet).

If you have found CATI to be helpful and enjoyable, to God be
the glory, for that is the aim of this publication!

--Barry Traver, Editor
_______________________________________________________________

2. SAFER SEARCHING OF THE WEB WITH GOOGLE'S SAFESEARCH

The World Wide Web is a library of information (some good,
some not), but one difficulty is finding the information you
want.  Search engines are "engineered" to help you with your
searching.

For an introduction to search engines (and information on how
to find search engines that are "family-friendly" rather than
pointing you to sites that may perhaps contain offensive or
objectionable material), check out these articles in previous
issues of CATI:

FINDING INFORMATION ON THE WEB: USING SEARCH ENGINES
  http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati12.htm#3

FINDING INFORMATION: FAMILY-FILTERED SEARCH ENGINES
  http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati13.htm#3

Of the many search engines available, I (as well as many other
people, such as Fred Langa of The Langa List newsletter) most
often turn first to Google:

Google
  http://www.google.com/

Google -- rather than presenting a random collection of sites
that have to do with your query -- presents its results based
on how frequently a particular site is referenced by other
Web sites.

Yes, in a sense this puts sites into a "popularity contest"
(and sometimes a lesser-known site that will not appear in
Google's list may be able to provide better information than
more popular sites), but it's impressive how often Google
does provide you with exactly the site you're looking for,
right at the top of the list.

Google, in fact, is so sure of itself that it offers a "I'm
Feeling Lucky" button which gives you the opportunity to take
a chance and go immediately to the first site on Google's
list.  Well, Christians don't believe in luck or chance, but
in the providence of God.  Similarly, in this case it's really
a matter of trusting in the likelihood of Google's providing
you with the destination you most want.

Perhaps surprisingly, it usually does work quite well. Put
"Westminster Theological Seminary" in the query box, click on
"I'm Feeling Lucky" (rather than the normal "Google Search"
button), and you'll be brought directly to Westminster's home
page.  (Even so, I use the regular "Google Search" almost all
of the time, because I like to see some of the other choices
that are available to me.)

For families, one weakness of Google, however, has been that
some of the sites it presents may not be "family-friendly."
"Adult" sites could show up in the results list, which is a
disappointment for Christians and others who want to avoid
the seamier side of the Web.  But there's good news:  you
now can have your Google and family-friendliness too.

Many of you are familiar with the "... for Dummies" books.
In spite of the title, many intelligent people find many of
the titles to be quite helpful.  Well, the same people who
put out the "... for Dummies" books put out many "quickie"
(one-paragraph) daily newsletters as well:

Dummies Daily
  http://www.dummiesdaily.com/

Unfortunately, they do not make past issues available online,
so I can't provide you with a Web address where you can
check out the archives (you'll have to subscribe and make
your own archive?), but the November 24, 2000 issue of their
"Internet Search" newsletter contained this useful news:

"Google now has a SafeSearch option. When you search for Web
pages in Google's famously large list, you can turn on the
SafeSearch to automatically exclude pages that have keywords,
phrases, or URLs (domain names) that are 'adult.' SafeSearch
also checks to see if the pages are in an Open Directory
category recognized as not always suitable for children, and
applies the filtering from SurfWatch to finish the job. If
you find a Google listing that you think should have been
filtered out by SafeSearch, Google invites you to e-mail it
to their attention."

Here's how Google describes its SafeSearch filtering, a
feature that should be of interest to families:

"Many Google users prefer not to have adult sites included
in their search results. Google's SafeSearch screens for
sites that contain this type of information and eliminates
them from search results. While no filter is 100% accurate,
Google's filter uses advanced proprietary technology that
checks keywords and phrases, URLs, and Open Directory
categories for more than 200 million web pages. Moreover,
Google uses data licensed from SurfWatch, an industry
leader in content filtering, to augment the filtering
process.

"When SafeSearch is turned on, sites and web pages containing
pornography and explicit sexual content are blocked from
search results. Google strives to keep the filtering
information as current and comprehensive as possible through
continual crawling of the Web and by incorporating updates
from SurfWatch editors. If you find sites that contain
offensive content in your results, even with SafeSearch
activated, please send an email with the site's URL to
safesearch@google.com and we will investigate it."

  http://www.google.com/intl/en_extra/help/customize.html#safe

So the good news is that Google (which is perhaps the best
general search engine on the Web) is now "family-friendly,"
so that you can do safer searching with Google's SafeSearch.

Enjoy!

By the way, if you want to know more about search engines of
various types, one place where you may find much information
is the following site:

Websearch.About.com
  http://websearch.about.com/
_______________________________________________________________

3. CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND SEMINARIES: AN UPDATE

The following is an update to the following article published
in the previous issue of CATI:

CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND SEMINARIES: SOME WEB SITES
  http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati42.htm#2

Not one, not two, but three subscribers sent me additional
information that may be of interest to other CATI readers.

First, one subscriber gently took me to task (and rightly so)
for having omitted from my list Erskine College and Erskine
Seminary.  Since these schools are related to the Associate
Reformed Presbyterian Church, a denomination that is part of
NAPARC (North American Presbyterian And Reformed Council), I
should definitely have included Erskine in my list even though
my list of some Christians schools, colleges, and seminaries
made no pretense of being complete.

Here's the Web address for Erskine College.

Erskine College
  http://www.erskine.edu/

You're supposed to be able to get to the Erskine Seminary
pages also if you begin at that address, but I had little
success (well, no success) in doing so.  There's probably
a way to get there from here, but it certainly was not
obvious (at least to me).

I did, however, find not one, not two, but three front
doors to Erskine Seminary through use of a search engine:

Erskine Seminary
  http://www.erskine.edu/seminary/

Erskine Seminary Information and History Home Page
  http://www.erskine.edu/seminary/administration/seminary_information.htm

Welcome to Erskine Seminary
  http://www.erskine.edu/seminary/erskine_index/erskine_index.htm

Second, another subscriber informed me that there is a new Web
address for Mid-America Reformed Seminary:

Mid-America Reformed Seminary
(old Web address)
  http://www.m-ars.com/
(new Web address)
  http://www.midamerica.edu/

For now both addresses seem to work fine.

By the way, I'm told that "women may come from Venus, but real
men come from MARS" (whatever that means).

Third, another subscriber suggested my making this addition to
my lists of colleges and seminaries:

Reformation Christian Ministries: College and Seminary
    Information Page
  http://www.refcm.org/education/homed.html

Reformation International College/Christ College (RIC/CC)
  http://www.refcm.org/education/ricweb/ricatweb.html
Doctrinal Information
  http://www.refcm.org/education/ricweb/ricatweb.html#doct

Reformation International Theological Seminary (RITS)
  http://www.refcm.org/education/ritsweb/ritscatweb.html
Doctrinal Information
  http://www.refcm.org/education/ritsweb/ritscatweb.html#doct

Again, my lists were not intended to be comprehensive and I'm
sure there are other fine schools that I omitted, but you can
use the other resources I provided to locate other Christian
schools, colleges, and seminaries.

Enjoy!
_______________________________________________________________

4. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER

This is the forty-third issue of a free newsletter devoted
to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy,"
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the
"Internet").

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe
to CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your
real name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.

Past issues:  you'll find archives of past issues of CATI
available online at   http://traver.org/cati/.  ("It's not a
pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.)
________________________________________________________________

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.