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Click Less – And Connect More

How many times have you walked into a meeting and noticed everyone heads down and fingers flying? This scenario is all-too-familiar in our workplaces, not to mention our homes. And we’ve accepted it as normal. In fact, I’ve heard arguments that our head-bowed, thumb-dancing behavior is the natural extension of our advanced society… that we have to grow up and adapt… and that asking for different behavior is a step backwards at best.

To that, I politely say, “Bull.”

Yes – our BlackBerrys, iPhones, and other technology tools have changed our lives for the better, arming us with more flexibility, information, and power than ever before.

And – with great power comes great responsibility, as Spiderman says. Even though our use of these tools has exploded with unprecedented speed, no one has stopped to teach us how to integrate them into the work and life we want to have. When there are no rules, the technology rules us.

Why Should We Care?

Letting technology rule might be fine – if everything else was working well. But it isn’t. And we’re missing something important in our professional and personal lives.

We’re missing connection.

“Connection?” you laugh at me, amazed. “Why, right now I’m connected to my 400 Twitter followers, 875 Facebook friends, and my email contact list in the thousands! I’m more connected than ever before!”

All true. You are connected. But are you connect-ing? My clients, friends, and people in my speaking audiences tell me they’re not. In fact, they’re feeling:A�

Less connected to their colleagues, even those just a floor away,

More distant from their friends and family, and

Even farther away from their own thoughts and voices because they’re constantly responding to the adrenaline buzz of their device(s).

Connection is a basic human need- a longing, even. We want to connect. So you’d think we’d do whatever it takes to connect, right? But we’re not doing it. In fact, we’re unintentionally replacing connecting with clicking.

And it’s not working.

The sad part is that I hear people say “that’s the way it has to be” to be successful in a wired world. Again, I challenge, bull.

It’s Time to Make New Rules

Our wonderful technology tools tumbled into our lives with great speed. When we quickly adjusted to integrate their possibilities, we unintentionally created informal, habit-based rules that we never thought through, challenged or rejected. Until now.

Now, we have the opportunity to design new rules and techniques that work to support our success instead of drain it. With new rules, we can take control of these amazing, empowering tools – and take control of our work lives again.

If you’re ready for new rules, here are four to try. If you want to connect more, try these out and discover how you can click less!

Rule #1: Decide Whether You’re Using Your Technology – or Whether It’s Using You.

Start by asking yourself:

Am I “pulled” into work emails and calls during times I’m trying to be present for my friends or family?

Do my friends or loved ones complain that I pay more attention to the technology than to them?

Do I feel anxious or jumpy when my technology buzzes or beeps?

Do I text or manually dial while I’m driving a car?

If you’ve said “yes” to any of these, your technology is using you. Remember, you’re the one with the brains here – and you’re too smart to get used.

Rule #2: Experiment with Connecting Differently.

In many of our workplaces, it feels like we’ve forgotten that we have alternatives to email, text, and tweeting. So here’s a reminder! You can still:

Call instead of click. Sure, voicemail can be misused as much as email, but a brief, upbeat, and clear message helps build a stronger personal connection.

Walk instead of click. Go to someone’s location, even if it’s a few minutes out of the way. If you’re longing for connection, never pass up an opportunity to be face-to-face – it builds relationships, prevents multi-tasking, generates better ideas, and is just more fun!

Write instead of click. Physical, hand-written notes are not passe. They’re simple to do and carry powerful emotion with them, even when they’re just saying a simple “thank you.” Notes get saved – and remembered.

Rule # 3: Create Your Click-Free Zones

Your local 7-Eleven can be open all the time, with a rotating staff in and out. But you, as an individual, can’t be “open for business” 24/7- especially if you want to work at your peak energy and be successful.

When your devices are on and you’re “open” to receiving and responding to information, you’re open for business. But you can choose a time or situation to be “closed,” too. I call these your “click-free zones.” For example:

On …

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Why You Might Want To Purchase An Outdoor Wireless Security Camera

Buying an outdoor wireless security camera is something that most home owners do not think about. Most folks figure that it is what is inside their house that needs protecting, so they put all of their focus on guarding this area. The thought process is that things that happen outside occur in the open and people wouldn’t dare do things if they think neighbors are watching.
Sadly, you’ll find that having neighbors does not absolve you from having to secure your property. To demonstrate the point, think about how often you really look out your window at your neighbors houses. If you are anything like me, you probably never even notice what your neighbors are doing. Just imagine what could happen when the sun goes down and you’ll quickly realize how beneficial an outdoor wireless security camera can be.
Do you like the car or truck you drive? If you value your vehicles, it might not be a bad idea to protect them with a camera. It is important to get car insurance for these types of issues, but even with car insurance, you’ll still have to repair your vehicle and the criminals will still be lurking out there. Also, insurance deductibles are not always cheap. I would have been much happier had I invested in an outdoor wireless security camera before my car’s windows were shattered in the middle of the day. Even though I was home at the time, I did not notice what was going on until later in the day when I went to drive my car.
Another reason you might want to buy an outdoor wireless security camera is to protect your lawn and the rest of your outdoor property. Do you have a pool,or something else expensive in your yard? When you have items outside the walls of your house, you need to keep a good eye on them. These items tend to get legs much quicker than most. You’ll want to protect if with a security camera as quickly as you can.
You’ll discover that outdoor cameras are not as cost prohibitive as you think. Most of the time, you’ll be able to connect these cameras with your indoor wireless home security cameras. Since these cameras can all connect to each other, you’ll save money on extraneous items. You could even hook it up to your camera monitoring system so that you can see who is at the front door. Front door cameras are excellent for guarding against unexpected guests.…

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CIO Cloud Computing 101 – Problems With Clouds

Cloud computing is all the rage these days and everyone who is anyone is making plans to implement at least some flavor of it as soon as possible. It turns out that the decision to go with a cloud computing solution for your IT department might not be as simple as some would lead you to believe. There are challenges to successfully using a cloud and we need to talk about them…

The Seven Challenges Of Cloud Computing

With all of the magazine articles, conferences, and vendors who have shown up to sell it, it’s easy to forget that utility computing is still an emerging technology – it’s not quite fully baked yet. Neal Leavitt has spent some time studying this area and has identified the following seven issues. CIOs will need to investigate their potential effects before agreeing to any cloud-based initiative:

Control: this is the biggest issue when it comes to using utility computing. By design a company gives up control when they sign up to use a firm’s hosting resources. This means that the provider can make changes to the infrastructure without telling the company at any time. This needs to be managed.

Performance / Reliability: When you are using resources that are not located within your firm’s buildings the question of how much computing horsepower you have available when you need it comes up. Additionally, failures will happen and so understanding how you’ll be notified and how quickly issues will be resolved is critical.

Security: You know that you can protect your mission critical business data when it’s inside your own walls, but what happens when somebody else is managing it for you?

Cost Of Bandwidth: You should be saving money on buying hardware and staffing to maintain it. However, you’ll need to very accurately forecast you bandwidth costs in order to determine the true cost of using the cloud.

Vendor Lock-In: true standards for how applications communicate and control applications that are in a vendor’s cloud have not yet been established. This means that vendors are creating their own proprietary interfaces that could end up tying you to a vendor for longer than you would like.

Transparency: basically this comes down to the difficulty that you’ll have doing an audit of your IT resources. Since you don’t have true visibility into the cloud you can’t say for certain who has access to your data and how you can keep people out of your sensitive data.

Reliability: I’d like to say that clouds are 100% reliable, but I can’t. The trade rags are filled with stories about connections that have gone down and back-up diesel generators that have failed to switch on. There is risk with every decision, you need to decide if you can handle the risk that comes with cloud computing.

Final Thoughts

As exciting as the new field of cloud computing is, CIOs need to slow down and take a deep breath. This is new stuff and that means that not all of the details have been worked out just yet. There are seven major areas that could have a dramatic impact on your company’s ability to get the most out of cloud computing. Do your homework and see if cloud computing offers you a way to apply IT to enable the rest of the company to grow quicker, move faster, and do more.…

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Taking a Good Care of Touch-Screen Hand Phone

Nowadays a lot of electronic devices are mostly completed with the improved technology of touch-screen, including some types of hand phone. For this device, touch-screen technology has some more advantages than the ordinary screen. It provides you greater efficiency and also more elegant and stylish appearance. However, you need some extra attention to maintain the performance of the technology well.
There will be several tips you could try to maintain the performance of your touch-screen hand phone. The first thing as well as the most important thing to do is taking care of the LCD screen. This is the most sensitive part of the device so that you need to maintain it regularly. You can use screen protector to protect your screen well. Make sure that you choose protector in exact size to your LCD screen.
You also need to maximize the stylus usage to minimize your LCD screen get any dirt. It will be the second tips to maintain the performance. Therefore, your screen will be protected from any stain resulted from oily or sweaty hand. Using stylus in the appropriate and correct way also helps you to keep your LCD screen last longer. For this reason, you have to understand well the right way to us the stylus. They are:
1. Handle the stylus upright to the touch screen.
2. Treat it the same way like you are holding pen or pencil to write.
3. Be careful in touching the screen with your finger because it is very sensitive.
4. Moderate pressure will be enough to press and tap the touch screen, because this certain screen is specifically designed to handle dragging and tapping pressure by the stylus.
By those simple tips, you can keep your touch-screen hand phone in high performance. The better you are about your device, the longer time it serves best performance for you.…

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Freight Matching Community – The Next Wave of Loadboard Technology

In the trucking industry, you have carriers and brokers. The brokers find freight and then match that freight with trucks. Then, the trucks carry that freight to its destination. Sounds simple enough. The challenge has always been connecting those people with freight to those people with trucks.
In the past, brokers and carriers developed one-on-one relationships with each other and built these relationships into a business network. The brokers knew that the carriers in their network could be relied on to pick up and deliver the freight safely and on time. The carriers also knew that they would get paid for their hard work. In other words, these networks were effective because they were built on trust. Brokers and carriers did business in-person, over the phone and eventually by fax and email. This way of doing business worked but it took a lot of time and money.
Enter the internet revolution. Soon, people were using the internet to get information, buy and sell goods and services. Doing business online saved time. Before long, loadboards were created. Loadboards were internet websites that allowed companies to advertise their freight and trucks with other members of the transportation community. Now, companies could exponentially grow their networks and their businesses, while saving significant time and money.
Loadboards started becoming really popular but soon, some negatives issues arose. More and more users were connecting from all over and it became difficult to know exactly who companies were dealing with. Brokers started to worry that their freight wouldn’t get delivered safely and on time. Carriers also worried they might not get paid for their work. People were no longer certain they were working with companies they could trust. Then social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube started allowing people to use the power of the internet to connect with others while preserving their ability to develop and grow trusted networks of friends, colleagues and business partners.
What happens if you combine the powerful loadboard technology and incorporate social media components? The result is a system that allows users to create their own community of trusted networks.
Thus the new world of Freight Matching Communities is born.
Freight Matching Communities combines the power of freight matching technology with the benefits of a social networking.
Similar to a group on Facebook or LinkedIn, users first post their excess freight and trucks within their private trading community which they can set up using the carriers and brokers that they know and trust.
If the user is unable to find a match in their private community then the posting then becomes available to other members of the Community If the posting still does not get picked up, it then becomes available to other users on their public Freight Matching loadboards. If all else fails, then the postings can be offered out to users on the other public freight matchings.
Freight Matching Communities is the next wave of loadboard technology. It can catapult your business efficiency so talk to your trusted partners and create your freight matching community today.…

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Manufacturing Is Not THE Answer to Increasing US Economic Competitiveness for Reducing the US Debt

There is an old an adage in the halls of the Pentagon that goes “Defense is always fighting the last war”. In other words, after a military engagement is finished DoD attempts to restructure itself so that its capabilities are more effective for the last engagement. This is an adage that is very true in the history of DoD and today many in DoD work very diligently to ensure that it is no longer true.
In many ways when it comes to rebuilding America’s economic competitiveness, many have fallen prey to this time old adage. And as DoD has found on repeated occasions, fighting the last war can be very deadly for the military and the country.
The US has divested itself, both by design and by default, of its manufacturing base creating a weakness that China and others have exploited for a competitive advantage. This weakness has now been exploited to the level that its adverse impact on the economic health of the US is so pronounced, that it can no longer be denied by anyone except the most nave or out of touch pundits.
In response, there is a growing call-to-arms across the US private and public sector to rebuild the US manufacturing base to its past glory. The strongly inferred, but not always stated premise is that rebuilding the US manufacturing base is guaranteed to rebuild America’s economic health– in other words the manufacturing base of a country is the foundation of a country’s economic competitiveness.
It is the case that the Chinese saw and exploited the weakness presented by America’s declining manufacturing base but by just removing this US weakness does not equate to a US strength–it just eliminates a US weakness that could be exploited by China and others for a competitive advantage. In effect, removing the US weakness by rebuilding the US manufacturing base is just fighting the last war.
With this US weakness eliminated, China and others will just shift the fight to another battlefield.
To rebuild the economic health of the US we must acquire and maintain a competitive advantage, not just eliminate a US weakness that provides China with the opportunity to acquire a competitive advantage relative to the US. Rebuilding the US manufacturing base can eliminate the US weaknesses so that it can no longer be exploited by China or others to the detriment of the economic health of the US, and it is the case that the US manufacturing base could be rebuilt in a manner that provides the US with a competitive advantage and thereby increase the economic health of the US. But, contrary to what is being maintained in the press and by a growing number of experts, the US manufacturing base is not the foundation of America’s economic competitiveness–the exploitation of technology is the foundation of America’s economic competitiveness as well as the foundation of all of our competitors’ economic competitiveness.
To rebuild America’s economic competitiveness, and thereby the country’s economic health, and not just eliminate a weakness or build a limited fleeting competitive advantage in one area, we must out maneuver our competitors in the exploitation of the worldwide technology which is the foundation of all competitive advantage.
The problem is that at the end of World War II, decision-making in the US for the most part, abandoned technology-based planning and adopted economic-based planning. In economic-based planning the foundation of all decision-making is the effective utilization of the funds to accomplish a function where, within a company in most cases, the function is to maximize profits. In other words, the funds are what are being manipulated and the measure of success is how efficiently the funds have been manipulated. Adoption of economic-based planning is the root cause of America’s loss of its manufacturing base.
In contrast, in technology-based planning the foundation of all decision-making is the effective acquisition and utilization of the technology to generate a competitive advantage. It is the technology not the funds that are being manipulated as the foundation of decisions. Keeping in mind that technology is correctly defined as any application of science to accomplish a function.
The problem is that after the US adopted economic-based planning after WWII, the rest of the world continued using and refining technology-based planning. China and India have been using highly refined, very aggressive technology-based planning to rapidly transform their perspective countries into economic superpowers.
Within the US intelligence community under the Reagan administration, I directed a program the Socrates Project, that determined that the underlying cause of America’s declining economic competitiveness was the country’s switch from technology-based planning to economic-based planning. The Socrates Project also developed a highly advanced form of tech-based planning–automated innovation–that would enable the US and all its private and public organizations to consistently out maneuver all competitors worldwide in the …