On a sad note about technology!!!

Wireless Router

Wireless Router (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days ago I lost my Internet connection! In the middle of the week when I have to actively participate on one of the social websites daily, and a different website a few times weekly, for one of the two classes I’m taking this semester.  I also have to participate in a forum- type of discussion almost daily for my other class. Naturally, as you can imagine, I panicked.

I called my Internet provider immediately, and they promised to help and have someone walk me through the necessary steps to reactivate my wireless box over the phone without problem. Ok, so remember when I said that I lost connection a few days ago?  Well, I still don’t have it! Now, it turns out my wireless router has gone bad, and I was told as long as I get it replaced with another, I will be good to go.

So, I drove to the nearest service center the next day and explained my issue, only to be told that the router I have is not available for pick up at any location in the area. Now I will have to wait for a few days to get a technician to come to my house and set it up, since they didn’t have any available tech people to come the next day. Again, naturally, I’m upset. I’m getting closer to the weekend, I have to finalize my research for the presentation I have to give the next week on one a social media website, and I have to finish homework for my other class! It doesn’t feel good to depend on something outside of our reach. I’m helpless without an Internet connection!

Panera Bread

Panera Bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I spent several evenings at Panera Bread, doing my assignments until closing time. Interestingly enough, I never had given much thought to the people who are using their computers at public places.  Well actually I did, but in the context of judging, thinking that they can’t part with that thing for a few moments to get a bite to eat. The question is now; if they eat only for the sake of free Wi-Fi, and if they can part with their computer for any reason?  After this experience I will look at people using their computers at public places differently. I will see people with tight deadlines and a faulty wireless router trying to keep up!

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Microsoft Kinect uses in the Medical Field

Yes, we like playing our games in our virtual worlds, we like standing in front of the TV and move to get the highest score, but, wait! Is this technology out there only for our entertainment? Maybe it was meant to be at the time when it was developed, but it surely is not any longer! Kinect seems to have many uses, from virtual games to hands free technology, from helping the blind navigate to helping teach human anatomy. Kinect is now even helping surgeons operate during an aneurism procedure.

I found this article on CNET very fascinating. The Microsoft Kinect technology is partnering up with “Miracle Mirror” technology to see CT (Computerized Topography)  or x-ray images of internal organs in 3 dimensional pictures. The “Miracle Mirror” creates illusion images of one’s inside organs based on a CT of their internal organs.

Kinect for Xbox 360 logo

Kinect for Xbox 360 logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This technology is still in its infancy, and for the now is being used mostly for educational purposes, but possibilities are endless according to the German scientists who are trying to use this technology in medicine more deeply.

Another great use of Kinect technology, is allowing touch-less voice manipulation of data. For example, neurosurgeons are using this technology to manipulate CT 2D and 3D images during aneurism procedures, keeping their hands free for better precision and keeping the operating room environment sterile at all times during the surgery. This method is in plans to be used more widely among surgeons, as it provides the necessary information, and allows a surgeon to have their hands free for performing the surgery more precisely.

This also proves that new technology can not only assist with keeping operation rooms germ-free, but also allow the surgeon to focus better on their work, while using the state of the art visual assistance. One can say that using the Microsoft Kinect in this environment is definitely not child’s play!

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Facebook as a self-branding tool

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Many use Facebook on a daily basis to keep in touch with friends and family, to find the best online deals, to play games, etc. In the last week or so, I was using Facebook as a marketing tool for my personal brand. Using Facebook for this purpose is much different from recreational use. Self-branding requires more involvement, it means investing more time and effort then just blabbing about your day, playing your favorite games, and looking for coupons deals. You are building your online image and desired reputation.

I found that using Facebook as a self-branding marketing tool can be very successful. If you know how to use the right tools to build a connection to groups with the same interests, then you can share ideas and news about your brand. You can also link your personal website and other social media such as: LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging sites, and many other sources promoting interests related to your brand.

Connecting to others with similar interests can speed up the process or research or locating information, as someone else has already posted the info on their page. Another helpful feature about self-branding on Facebook, is the interaction and feedback from others. People will let you know whether or not a certain comment, post, or idea is on the right track.

When using Facebook as a personal branding marketing tool, people should keep their personal life separate from the professional image they present to the public. Personal interests can be part of the profile and a small percentage of the professional contribution; however, having a heated discussion about idiots on the road with your friend or family member should be kept out of the self-promotional page.

Linking the entire source used to market one’s brand is also a very good use of Facebook. This can present the whole picture of your brand, and make it accessible to a wide variety of people, such as, your professional connections, groups you belong to, and friends and family who can use the information on hand if they are promoting you or recommending your brand to others.

I find the use of Facebook for self-branding, very useful and easy to navigate. I would also like to add that people should be careful when befriending unknown individuals and do the research before befriending someone who can potentially damage the reputation of their brand. If you are unsure how an individual or group will affect your brand then it’s better not to get involved with them.

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Fashion and Social Media

OSCAR DE LA RENTA PREFALL 2007 By Dan Leca

OSCAR DE LA RENTA PREFALL 2007 By Dan Leca (Photo credit: coutorture)

It’s needless to say that the digital world and social media are taking over the world one thing (or interest) at a time. Next in line is fashion. We are not talking about online shopping, wider varieties, or better choices. We are talking about high end fashion; by invitation only for the wealthy and important, at famous types of events when a famous “name” is coming out with the new collection.  Now people can see the newest editions, styles, and trends right off the runway from the comfort of their home. They can also rate a certain item and influence its popularity using social media.

Due to social media, designers can get an honest feedback about their product from a broader audience which could lead to a greater success.  Just recently Oscar De La Renta used  social media to promote his new collection using  “TheFancy.com”. Some critics say that it could be risky move for big names; however, it seems that the digital world is one big marketing strategy. As long as the product is getting enough exposure and people are interested in following such events online,  marketing as a whole will embrace social media. Marketing firms are clearly aware of the power of social media to deliver information about a product to a broad audience, by the least expensive method, and in the shortest period of time.

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Cover of "Minority Report [Blu-ray]"

Cover of Minority Report [Blu-ray]

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel this whole explosion of virtual identities (Avatars) is taking over the world.  Not only do we have for our entertainment, state of the art games, with outstanding interactive graphics, but we also have a second world where we can take on a new virtual identity in different periods of time and live happily ever after. Now in the real world, we have Avatar customer service. I can’t say that the idea doesn’t sound a little spooky, but this is now our reality. According to the article on CNN by John D. Sutter, the New York’s airports will launch Avatar as “virtual customer service”. According to the article, this is going to be piloted and if successful, then even better features can be implemented so the Avatar can interact with people.

How many of you find this concept unreal? I do; just a few years ago when “Minority Report” came out the virtual world was the product of our overworked imagination and thing of the not so near future. I was thinking then, that the movie was very entertaining, but very invasive to one’s privacy, as one’s every movement was monitored. Here we are, being replaced by our virtual selves in year 2012. I wonder how long it will take to replace people in any kind of face to face customer service with avatars who are not going to have to take lunch breaks, vacation, get sick, or be paid overtime. Now, I know some technical issues can arise, but given the fact that machines are easier to replace than people, this will forever change the world as we know it. And we thought outsourcing was bad!

Finally, I can’t help but wonder where do we fit? How does the big picture fit into our lives?  I’ve concluded it is in human nature to evolve and to adjust to these new conditions. The world of technology is fascinating and exciting, and we just have to find our place in it. I know it sounds intimidating to think about our future on new unexplored ground, but keeping an open mind can help us see new opportunities, and new horizons which could be as fulfilling as the future we imagined to have.

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My reflection on Twitter

twitter logo map 09

(Photo credit: The Next Web)

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m taking a Social Media class, and  part of the requirement is using  Twitter as way to promote my professional brand. My reflection of  media is that Twitter is a great database depository for information that one might  look for. The information can be found on the web; however, someone already found it and put it out there for easier access. Twitter is a clutter of information.  Access is easy only if one spends countless hours of following posts daily. I do not think it was organized for easy exploration, not to mention the numerous time wasting micro-blogs about trivial, uninteresting news.  I do not feel  Twitter is my cup of tea, but I do think that it can be very informative for people who have time to follow Twitter on a daily basis. I will try to spend more time using it, and try to get more experience using  Twitter for a while, and see if I will change my mind.

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Self Branding

An example of the share buttons common to many...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am currently taking a Social Media class; which, in part is teaching about self branding online, and given the advice received from my career advisor, I have decided to work on my personal brand. To be perfectly honest, I never gave the idea of personal branding much thought. By reading about personal branding, I learned that it means a lot in the professional world and is an effective way of marketing one’s skills-set, knowledge, and expertise, to a large audience in a short period of time. I also understand that if done correctly, it could make a world of difference for me later on. I think if I start now and build a foundation, then later it could save time when searching for a job.  Let’s face it, at this point I’m not aiming for an executive level job where my profile and portfolio are a necessity. That being said, I realize it is important to define your skills, goals, and priorities.  Granted, some of those will change and evolve into different things over time, but the foundation should stay the same. My goal is to reach out to people who are looking to hire for entry level IT Management positions, or to get in touch with people who can provide tips on how to succeed in my search. I want to convey to my audience my qualities and achievements. Even though my new career has not started yet, I know I have what it takes to succeed. I’m not afraid of trying new things and learning new skills, and I consider myself a persistent, driven, and devoted individual, who is able to learn quickly and willing to take risks. If we are not willing to put our ideas out there and challenge traditional ways of thinking, then we are not going to evolve or grow. We have to be willing to take some risks in order to better ourselves and our future.

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Career Croasroads…

Picture I made for my goals article

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of years ago I found myself at a crossroad!  I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who could say that they didn’t like the direction their career was heading. I wanted to open a world of possibilities, and the one way of achieving that was to get additional education, with more specialized skills that have a broad application. I decided to get a degree in IT Management. Figuring out what I wanted, finding a school that fit my goals and schedule, staying late studying and taking the tests while working full-time, was believe it or not, the easy part! Now I face the transition phase and it’s intimidating! How to get there? How to make first step? I have some necessary skills and professional experience; however, I don’t have technical experience. The job market is very competitive, and basic requirements are not going to cut it. I realized I have to do more than just add additional education on the resume, and then start looking.  I’ve met with a career adviser and I would like to share her insights about my situation. Besides working on my resume and looking for a suitable position, she mentioned the power of networking. By making my goals public to people in my organization, my friends and family, and people I meet, I can increase my chances of a successful transition. So, that’s what I’m doing now, putting my goals and hope out where a broad audience can see and relate, be it personally, or professionally.

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