Verizon FIOS sells out to Frontier and what a mess followed

Verizon FIOS sells out to Frontier and what a mess followed

Verizon FIOS sells out to Frontier, Raise your hand if you’ve had serious technological issues with the Verizon Fios to Frontier transition during the past Three weeks. Take it from me, the companies should never have done the conversion on April 1. Not only did they set themselves up to be the butt of “April Fools” jokes, they seemed utterly unprepared. My experience is that there was no strategy, no redundancy planning, and no expert guidance to aid the customer service staff to help their customers. After countless phone calls, demanding that my issues be elevated to supervisors, and countless frustration, I’m happy to say our video services are now back up and running – but it took us a week back-and-forth with Frontier to make that happen, and no small thanks to my own troubleshooting.

Here are some simple steps you can take to remedy the potential problems you may be experiencing at home yourself:

First off, let’s take a walk outside your house to the location where the Internet comes into your home. Look at the Verizon/Frontier box. Is it damaged? Does everything look like it’s connected? Once you’ve determined that, take a flat head screwdriver and open the box. You’ll should see a bunch of flashing lights with a legend next to them explaining which lights are responsible for what action. Make sure you have no orange or amber or red lights flashing. Take note and then close the box.

Good people as technology assets,  Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY April 26, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Good people as technology assets

Good people as technology assets. For the past few months I’ve been talking about technological issues as they relate to specific products or mindsets. I’d like to take a moment to shine some light on the biggest resource we may have to tackle tough technological problems. It’s the people we meet every day. The people we work with, and the bonds and relationships we make. How many times have you found yourself incredibly frustrated trying to find an answer to a technological problem? Of course. there is always the Internet, and thanks to Google, most answers are now at our fingertips. With a little ingenuity, you can easily use the Internet to research your idea or problem and to find potential answers or information.

As an adjunct faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most kind, generous and hard-working students I’ve ever known. They have all far exceeded my expectations. This new wave of future leaders and artists – digital “natives” – have grown up with technology and understand better than most of us its current and potential impact on our lives and in our work.

Home security monitoring systems, what to consider when purchasing,  Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY April 12, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Home security monitoring systems, what to consider when purchasing

You can’t go a day without seeing or hearing the latest ads from countless home security monitoring systems. Having one can lower your homeowners’ insurance rates, deter crime, and give you peace of mind when you are not at home. Video surveillance systems are becoming very routine throughout our lives at home, at work, and in public venues. We are being watched when out in public or in a residential neighborhood. So what’s the purpose of the security system, anyway? And how do you really decipher what’s a good option for you? Here are some quick pointers to aid you in your buying decision.

The first step is to determine what you want to monitor. Is it the access to the exterior of your entire property? Your house? Your front door? Or just the inside environment? Do you want to monitor your home only when you’re not at home? Do you have pets inside when you are gone that may trip a motion sensor? Do you want to check in from your mobile device? Are you confident with the do-it-yourself set up? Most security systems today come with everything you need out-of-the-box. Taking into consideration what you really want to monitor will help you determine the right system for you.

Innovate or disintegrate – why keeping current with technology is a must, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY April 5, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Innovate or disintegrate – why keeping current with technology is a must

Innovate or disintegrate – I had the opportunity to attend an event in March regarding empathetic design presented by The CEO Forum and BIG (Big Ideas on the Gulfcoast) guest speakers Dr. Deena McDonagh and Walter Herbst. Dr. McDonagh is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Mr. Herbst founded Herbst LaZar Bell Inc. in 1962 which has grown into one three largest independently owned product design and development firms in the country.

The two focused their talk on the growing emphasis technology usability plays in the consumer marketplace. What I found most compelling was learning how our assumptions and design concepts are being put to the test. Dr. McDonagh shared a few very interesting case studies including everything from how we use a roll of toilet paper to how we tattoo ourselves with brands like Harley Davidson.

She emphasized in one of her examples that it was clear the designers were men and the women’s perspective was never taken into consideration in designing the product. She went on to illustrate how the product was useful and well intended but the lack of understanding and efficacy for the user in the design and implementation of the concept left quite a few people with the inability to fully use the technology as it was intended.

The benefits and risks of using geo-location on your mobile device, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

The benefits and risks of using geo-location on your mobile device

The rise in precision of geo-location features on smartphones and mobile devices can have enormous advantages for you as a consumer – as well as extremely dangerous consequences. So, just how does your smartphone know where in the world you are? When location services are enabled on devices, the precise physical location of your phone (and you, assuming you are chained to it…) can be pinpointed via latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates down to a matter of feet.

As a user, this can be great for you if you are dying for a Starbucks in the middle of Manhattan, lost in a new city trying to get to a job interview, or wondering why in the world your kid isn’t home at curfew. And, as a business, you can take advantage of geo-location with geo-targeting – knowing your customers’ locations and serving them selected offers based on their proximity to your business.

However, there is a darker side. When GPS or geo-location is enabled on your devices, it may embed the exact location you were when you took photos with your smartphone or mobile device.

You have all of this fantastic technology at your fingertips and everywhere you see great opportunities to capture a lifetime of memories: family fun times, vacations, work events, or just documenting what you had for breakfast! We all do it. We take a quick snapshot, upload it to one of our favorite social networks, and voilà! In a matter of seconds, our lives are on display for thousands of people to enjoy and comment on. Or, do something far more sinister…

No WIFI Connection? Working on emails off-line is a great option! Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY MARCH 22, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

No WIFI Connection? Working on emails off-line is a great option!

Have you ever been somewhere with no WiFi connection and felt like there’s nothing you could do to be productive? Say you are on vacation, away from the office, or in a location where there is no free Internet. You have your laptop with you. What do you do to use your time effectively? Many email systems will allow you to work off-line. It’s not only possible, it’s also a good way to make use of idle time.

Depending upon what email service you use, you may be able to respond to existing emails, compose new ones, or just take some time to clean up your inbox or sent mail. To work offline, first you must determine what type of email service you’re using. Is your email a web-based system that requires you to login into a URL, such as www.outlook.com? If that’s your scenario, you can use your mobile device’s Internet access as an WIFI “hotspot.” Check under your settings or control panel options on your mobile device to see if your device allows this. Then, turn the option “on.” Now, check your laptop WIFI icon and you should see the name of your mobile device, like “John’s iPhone.” This solution is called “tethering.” It basically shares the mobile device WIFI with your computer so you can check and write emails fully accessing the Internet.

Techknowledge: How to Troubleshoot Like a Champ! Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Techknowledge: How to Troubleshoot Like a Champ!

Techknowledge if you’ve ever become frustrated trying to overcome a technology challenge, today’s Tech Tip will give you advice on taming the tech beast and discovering ways to fix it yourself.

With a little self-drive, curiosity, and perseverance, you will be amazed how some simple daily troubleshooting on your part can help you gain the techknowledge you need to solve many issues yourself.

Think about the multitude of new technologies that have launched during your lifetime and how you felt when you first used them. Remember the first time you used a DVD player? Got your first cell phone? Streamed a movie on your TV? Heard about “cloud” storage solutions? Do you remember how long it took you to get up to speed? I’m guessing your answer is “no.” Today, most of those inventions are probably essential to your everyday life and as simple to use as electricity. My aim is get you to feel as confident as possible to solve other technology snafus.

What to do when Apple AirPlay isn’t playing nice, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY MARCH 1, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

I found out the hard way that Apple’s AirPlay doesn’t always work as advertised. According to Apple: “With AirPlay, you can stream music, photos, and videos to your AppleTV, or stream music to your AirPort Express or AirPlay-enabled speakers.” Of course if you’re using AirPlay with any Apple suite of products, chances are the feature will work fine on your phone, computer, or tablet. But what if you’re using Flickr video, or Spotify? Have you noticed that sometimes your video won’t play? You get the boilerplate error message saying something went wrong.

After some serious time troubleshooting and a lot of trial and error, I stumbled upon a solution that allows your video to play. Be aware that since you are connecting devices, notifications from one of your connected devices may interrupt your movie viewing? What do I mean? When you’re trying to access Apple TV and you’re trying to play a Flickr video, the only way I found to make it work is to mirror your screen or connect using mirroring. This allows the video to play both on your device and through Apple TV. Don’t get me started on the inconvenience this causes. Using this option, you’re basically tying up two devices and using up your mobile phone or tablet batteries unless the device is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Everyday Tech, This weeks Tech Tips, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Everyday Tech Tips, This weeks Tuesday’s Tech Tips departs from my usual business orientation to focus on one of my favorite, personal technology topics: home and entertainment systems!

Today, you can wire and add wireless network connectivity to everything from your air conditioner, appliances and home alarm to gaming, entertainment systems, and tablets. The convenience of going high-tech at home can be an amazing convenience, but it’s not without its challenges.

You have many different options on how you set up your network configuration. You might choose to limit access to certain devices based on the user (different settings for mom and dad or each child), the time of the day, or even set time ranges when each device may be used. Let’s say you have kids who need to use a tablet or laptop for school homework each weekday. You can set up a standard time range internet access will work for each device: Monday through Thursday from 3pm-8pm for example. That way, you can be assured your kids are not up until 1am playing video games on school nights! You can also set internet content filters to limit which sites your children can access. Best of all, these features can be customized for each device and password protected so only you can change them.

Creativity many businesses view creative services as a cost-center, when in truth, a well-defined creative service department should help to increase your bottom line. The potential value of a good creative marketing team extends far beyond copywriting and graphic design services. Instead of utilizing your creative team as implementers, the real value of these professionals is to aid you in addressing your critical business challenges.

Including your creative staff at the strategy level, will enable you to incorporate design thinking, or a human-centered approach into your business process. Start looking at the creative department as an intricate part of your client service and include them in brainstorming solutions to difficult problems.

Repackaging ideas and maximizing creative services within your business is low cost and high impact. Including the creative team in strategy sessions builds buy-in and can provide an entirely different perspective. Best of all, the team approach will ensure implementation is targeted and mission-specific, moving the team forward to develop even stronger campaigns.


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