Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Cell providers ready for Mumford crowd: Wireless phone companies say they will be able to handle increased phone and data traffic this weekend in St. Augustine as crowds file in for the Gentlemen of the Road music festival.

Jeff Ruane / Flickr

If you’re headed to this weekend’s Mumford & Sons concert in St. Augustine, the wireless service providers in the area want you to know they’ve got you covered. 

Some 25,000 people are expected to converge on the nation’s oldest city for the two-day music festival.

25,000 very excited people, says AT&T’s Rosie Montalvo.

“Yeah, social network is what everyone likes to do now. They want to share where they’re at and what they’re doing…and they want to do it instantly.”

Last week, Sony Corporation announced a new line of high-end audio components that promise to deliver a better online audio experience. The announcement comes amid growing evidence that music fans are tired of the crappy sound they hear on their portable music players. Case in point is the success of Cookie Marenco's business of selling super high-definition music downloads.


Parker writes, “A classmate came over to my house recently to work on a project with me. She brought her laptop. When it came time to print, we had to print from her laptop, which meant I had to find the printer disk, hook her laptop up to the printer, and install it, just to print one thing. Is there a better way to do this?”

You’ve probably heard of TED talks, those global conferences that feature speakers from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. On a smaller, regional scale, there are independently-organized TEDx events.

One is planned for here in Jacksonville at WJCT, with a theme of “connecting currents.”

Hosted by Al Letson, creator and host of State of the Re:Union, the event promises to offer awe-inspiring presentations from a diverse selection of industry leaders and artists. 

Andrew Catellier / Flickr

Ric asks, "I’m taking a trip to Costa Rica soon, and I need a simple phone to use while I’m there. I know very little about cell phones. What sort of phone should I buy for international travel, and what do I need to know to make sure it will work before the trip?"

Finding the right phone for international travel can get complicated and expensive in a hurry. Whatever you do, don't just take your normal phone to Central America and start racking up roaming charges. They start at ridiculous and go up from there. If your phone even works there, that is.


Bill asks, "Is there any way to completely block pop-up ads while running Chrome or Internet Explorer? I have turned on the built-in pop-up blocker on both, but that doesn't stop them on many of the sites I visit. What is up with that? I have to wonder what the point of blocking pop-ups is when so many get through anyway, slowing down the page loading to the point that it reminds me of being on dial-up."

Florida is likely a long-shot at becoming known as the founding state of the next Snapchat or Instagram, according to a new report.

Chris Owens / Flickr

Mike asks, "I use two desktop computers at work, and I’m starting to feel like having two keyboards and mice is taking up too much space on my desk. Is there any way I can use one keyboard and one mouse for both computers? Also, is there any app I can use to control my computer from my iPad?"

Thanks for your question, Mike. There are a couple methods to control two different computers from one keyboard and mouse: either with a cable or with software.

Melvin asks, "Apparently I am really bad at looking things up on the Internet. Recently I was trying to remember which country considered bats to be good luck. I searched for 'country where bats are an omen of good luck' and couldn’t find it. My teenage son, however, found the answer in about ten seconds (the answer is China, by the way). What can I do to get make Google give me more useful answers?"

Jacksonville Public Library

The Jacksonville Public Library has launched a new free app that can be used to renew a book, place one on hold or download an e-book.

The JaxLibrary app was funded through a donation by the Friends of the Jacksonville Library. It can also be used  to check out upcoming events at an area library including programs for children, and computer literacy programs for adults.

Kevin asks, "I used to have a link to my email on my desktop, but somehow it got deleted. Now I search for my email on MSN. My son says I’m doing things the long way. To be honest I don’t know much about the web and I get a little bit overwhelmed every time I open Internet Explorer. Any advice?"

Deep breaths, Kevin! It’s going to be okay. We’re here to help.

David Morris / Flickr

Greg asks, "I have a laptop that is about 10 years old, and it is completely beyond repair. What can I do with it? Is it OK to just throw it in the trash?"

NO! Stop! If you've already put it out for the trash, stop reading this right now, and go bring it back inside! Never, ever, throw computers, or almost any electronics, in the trash.

Kevin Meerschaert

65-year old Janet Chamberlin likes to use Facebook. She uses it to keep up with friends and relatives, check out the latests news, and read messages from local businesses she frequents.

Chamberlin is among the growing number of Baby Boomers who are signing on to social media. She lives in Jacksonville but used to live in Utah, and uses Facebook to keep in touch with her old friends.

"Most of the friends I have (on Facebook) are the ones I started with," she says. "They're people I worked with back in Utah, so we've stayed friends on Facebook so I keep up with them."

Creator Series: MomentStrong

Apr 10, 2013
Liz Pierce / Moment Strong

Each week WJCT’s Rebecca Farmer highlights one of the creators participating in Jacksonville's One Spark Festival.

Liz Pierce and her partners have created MomentStrong, a mobile app designed to help users with health and wellness issues such as dieting, smoking, drinking, exercise or stress.