If you use AT&T, they are probably aware that you are reading this article right now, where you are reading it, what you click on before and after you read it, and storing all of that information to use in targeted marketing and advertising later on. It’s not just AT&T, either, but we’re sharing this info with you after a recent profile of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in Fortune magazine in which he openly laid out the mega-company’s plan to profile and target customers for advertising.
AT&T has transformed itself into a media colossus by buying Time Warner, adding to its incredible array of content from holdings including HBO, CNN, TNT, and others in combination with a huge distribution network across mobile broadband, DirecTV, and U-verse. Stephenson shared his vision of permanent, across-the-board surveillance of all those customers for extremely targeted – and personal – advertising.
Kristy CooperHow AT&T plans to use private customer info you may not be aware of
Keeping up to date with technology is important for every kind of business – even ones that have nothing to do with technology. Technology is inescapable part of life and business. Farmers carry smart phones, vineyards utilize drones, and brick-and-mortar businesses have sophisticated security systems. Crafters use the online shopping carts to sell their products, and cupcake makers use tablets to accept payments on the road. These are just a few examples of how everyone needs access and familiarity with technology to help their business thrive.
The risks of ignoring or trying to do without technology can harm a business in many ways, but the rewards can mean getting ahead of your competition and thriving in the long run. Here’s a few reasons why.
Kristy CooperWhy keeping up with technology is good for business
From checking in at your local polling venue on a computer or tablet, to registering to vote by smartphone, or using an electronic voting machine to cast a ballot, computers have become an important part of voting in America. As election time nears, however, concern about the security of those computers is high, and everyone from politicians to engineers are addressing ways to keep the process safe from hacking or harm.
Even though touch screen computers have been in use for more than a decade, the last four years have brought so much news of foreign and domestic computer hacking, disruptive social engineering, and potential election rigging that many people are asking to return to systems with paper receipts.
A war started last year that may have escaped your notice. The players: Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Prime, Apple and more. The issue: A full-scale battle for your attention, in what’s being called the “streaming wars.” Options are increasing, pricing and platforms are changing, and some of your favorite shows are bouncing from one service to another. Here’s a quick overview of what’s going on and how it can affect you.
Costly, contentious, and with all the drama of the latest Kardashian scandal, the streaming wars are what you see happening as various studios, media giants and tech companies are trying to position themselves to become long-term essential streaming platforms. Low-cost subscriptions, mega-budget original programing, and non-stop jockeying for who gets licensing rights for popular shows like The Office, Seinfeld, and Friends are just a few of the moves that are being used to try to stay on top. Too many options can equal viewer fatigue, and streaming companies know that they need to rise above the crowd when households decide they want to only deal with a few at a time.
Kristy CooperHow the streaming wars will affect your viewing habits
We’re adding a little science to our blog today to bring you news that the North Pole is moving! We’re not talking about reindeer and elves here, but rather the magnetic North Pole, which affects everything from navigation systems to military operations to apps on your smart phone.
What is the magnetic North Pole?
The magnetic North Pole’s location is used as part of the World Magnetic Model that both civilian and more sophisticated mapping systems are based on. It’s actually one of several “north poles” on our planet. One is true north, which is the northern end of the axis on which the planet turns. But the magnetic North Pole is actually the place where you could stand with a compass and all the magnetic field lines would be pointing vertically down. Magnetic north is susceptible to the movement of liquid iron in the Earth’s core. These currents tug on the magnetic field, which is what makes it move around. In fact, since its first formal discovery in 1831, the north magnetic pole has traveled more than 1200 miles from the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada to high in the Arctic Sea. This wandering has generally been quite slow, around five to six miles a year, allowing scientists to easily keep track of its position. But since the turn of the century, this speed has increased to around 34 miles a year.
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Kristy CooperHow to be the first to know when Softcom is available in your area
Many medical breakthroughs of the past few decades can be attributed in some part to contributions from technology and the internet. But did you ever think that it would be the internet that might be possible for sending us backward when it comes to fighting disease?
Measles, a disease that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared as eliminated in the U.S. as of the year 2000, has suddenly skyrocketed to outbreak status this year. As of Wednesday, April 25, there have been 695 cases of the vaccine-preventable illness reported in 22 states in just the first few months of this year.
Kristy CooperHow social media played a role in the measles outbreak
If your kids have smartphones, you know that it’s a full-time job trying to keep track and control their usage. According to recently released data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 94% of 15-year-olds have a mobile phone, 86% of minors are on the internet without any content filtering systems, and 28% to 38% of minors access unsafe or harmful content with those rates escalating as they get older.
Parental-control apps have made monitoring and protecting children much easier these days, giving you the ability to track locations, block objectionable or dangerous websites, restrict access to social media or games, and monitor who kids are communicating with. In the long run, these apps can also help children to develop good habits for how they use smartphones as they grow up.
Kristy CooperBest parental control apps for monitoring kids’ smartphones
Working from a home office has a lot of perks, but if you don’t set up your technology correctly or follow certain safety protocols, you risk annoying, expensive, or even disastrous consequences. Here are some of the most common tech fails that occur in home offices – and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Not backing up
Set up frequent, regularly scheduled automated backups for your data, so you don’t have to remember to do it manually. This is especially important if you run a small business or are a solo entrepreneur with no IT department to handle this issue. A crashed website, lost client files, missing financial records, etc. can harm and even destroy your reputation and possible your career. There are a wide variety of backup options available to fit every size of business and every budget out there.
Kristy CooperHome office tech fails – and how to avoid them
If you’ve been so busy working in your home office that you can’t remember the last time you updated or organized, it’s time to let spring cleaning fever take over. We channeled our inner Marie Kondo to bring you these tips for streamlining systems and getting your home office in its best shape ever.
Let’s start with the basics – cleaning and organizing your workspace.
Kristy CooperHow to spring clean and streamline your home office
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