Archive for October, 2011
In the business world, it’s easy to find perfectionists. Are you one?
Perfectionism can help us have a critical eye, keep us driven and motivated to work harder, but if you find yourself changing direction again and again, questioning your choices, or stressing about small details, perfectionism will be more of a hindrance then a help. Many negative things can stem from this, the most prominent being wasted resources of both time and money. At the end of the day the outcome doesn’t generally justify the effort. Here are some tips to liberate yourself from the net of perfectionism when you find yourself ensnared.
Make a Decision and Stick to it
You make good decisions; that’s the reason you’re managing the projects you are working on. So when you make a decision, stick to it. Try not to second-guess yourself – this just wastes time. Who’s to say your fourth or fifth decision will be any better or beneficial? If you start that second-guessing game, it can spiral out of control!
Trust your Employees
When you tell your staff your plan and what resources you’ll need from them, listen to their input. They will let you know if it’s possible and if they think it’s a good idea. Paying attention to their insight will help prevent you from sliding into another guessing game. Another piece to this is, trusting your employees to do their part well. You hired them because they are skilled, right? Lastly, before you start executing your plan, just in case…
Have a Plan B
You never know what’s going to happen! A hurdle may arise that can’t be overcome, so make sure you have a plan B. A backup plan can help you from getting entrenched to deeply in your first plan and devastated if things go wrong. The more flexible and ready for change you are, the easier it is to adapt to things life throws at you.
There is a fine line between perfectionism and having a critical eye. It’s essential to always strive for the best, but obsessing about getting something perfect is harmful to the project and your mental health. The steps I’ve outlined above will help you to free yourself from the perfectionist mindset, if you find yourself there.
Here is a great article about avoiding the pitfalls of perfectionism completely.
In a world where technological advances appear everyday in news-feeds and broadcasts, the annual T3 Gadget Awards is a microcosm of all of these advances in one location. Like the Oscars for Technology, the T3 Gadget Awards nominate the most cutting-edge gadgets out today. With past releases like the iPad 2, Microsoft’s Kinect and huge advances in gaming, it’s worth a quick note to show some of the most important revelations that have taken place in 2011. Over 960,000 votes, together with the final tabulations of a 6 person specialist panel, determined the winners. Here are just a few of the more interesting revelations, as well as some interesting–if not ironic–choices for winners.
Ironic Winners As gadgetry encompasses many arenas, so must the T3 categories. This means that categories like Best Retailer and Gadget Personality of the Year are included. The latter had one of the more ironic choices for winner: Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Although one cannot argue his importance in the world of communication, he’s never been known for his George Clooney-esque charisma. Then there’s the category of Best Commuting Device. Here, pitted against automobiles and electric bicycles, the winner was the Amazon Kindle. True, it will help pass the time while traveling, but it does make a perplexing choice for Commuting Device of the Year.
Influential Winners One of the most interesting awards, Digital Media Service of the Year, was a bit of a surprise, seeing as Mark Zuckerberg walked off with the Personality of the Year. Instead, it was Twitter that beat out Facebook and Google for this influential award. Surely the CEOs of giants like Apple, Google and Facebook aren’t crying themselves to sleep over their T3 Award losses. However, they must definitely take note that Twitter’s win speaks volumes regarding where social media is headed. Facebook must continue to innovate and not upset their community, or they may well end up lost and neglected like MySpace.
Surprising Winners One of the most surprising winners to the average observer could be seen in the Phone of the Year. While most would think that the iPhone 4 would run away with the award, the Samsung Galaxy S II actually impressed the voters more. Likewise, the Brand of the Year surprised a few as Google took top honors. Surpassing giants like Apple and Facebook, Google’s place as the top brand can’t be taken for granted. Again, it is just the T3 Gadget Awards, but the reality that those in-the-know are voting makes it a significant win for Google.
From Google and Samsung, Apple and Microsoft, to Facebook and Twitter, the list of nominees is a “who’s who” of technological innovation. Please take the time to look over the complete list of nominees and winners, of which the Gadget of the Year and Innovation of the Year weren’t even mentioned here. It’s truly interesting to see how fast the gaming world is evolving, how fast technologies are being created and, consequently, becoming outdated. For fun, check out the candidates from the first Ceremony held in 2008, a lifetime ago in technology years!
Becoming “greener” has been a hot topic nowadays, not only amongst the public but also in high-tech companies. Many companies are looking into green tech as a method to save energy , save the environment, or to simply save money. One of the first things you must know when looking into conserving energy is what uses the most energy?
The CEATEC conference was held recently, just outside Tokyo Japan. During this conference, Toshiba and Intel announced plans to release new technology that helps monitors energy usage. With the conscientious turn the world is taking, it doesn’t come as a surprise that two major tech companies would have plans to develop something that gives transparency to energy consumption. The following is a short synopsis of the ecologically aware features these two companies will be implementing in 2012.
Intel has created an application that enables PC users to monitor the energy consumption of their PC. The application has an easy-to-read dashboard that organizes the data into graphs, charts, and statistics, which make it very user-friendly.
Toshiba is combining their recently acquired Landish Gyr smart-meter tech with some of their own developments to bring a “smart home” offering to the table. The “smart home” gives people knowledge of the energy consumption inside their homes. Toshiba is also creating a variety of cloud technologies for energy monitoring that will be available to many different types of industries including healthcare and city infrastructure.
While these two companies have big plans for energy monitoring in 2012, it seems as though many organizations in the US are moving away from it, namely, Microsoft and Google. In June, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of Hohm, their energy-monitoring service launched in 2009. Google also seems to be changing its green game by shutting down Google Powermeter, which they also launch in 2009.
We can see that though companies in the US are moving away from energy monitoring, companies in Japan are focused on it. What will the future be for the green technology world? It’s hard to say, but if you have any ideas or speculations about this, we would love to hear them!
Do you remember hearing the first disappointed comments following the iPhone 4S announcement? To put it simply, everyone was a bit dissatisfied that the new iPhone was not going to be a full-blown revamp of the iPhone 4. Some were concerned that it would just be an iPhone 4 with a few simple upgrades, suckering gadget-junkies to stand in line for hours only to discover that the 4S was fundamentally the same as its predecessor, with only a few more bells and whistles. Well, the truth is, the new iPhone is a bit of both. It is not a revolutionary product like the original iPhone – or even the iPhone 4. Rather, it’s more evolutionary with several impressive upgrades. Here’s a quick look at 3 of the upgrades Apple has created in the 4S – and whether or not they’re worth standing in line for.
Maybe the most noticeable of the iPhone 4S upgrades is found in its speed and power. The 4S features a dual-core A5 chip found in the iPad 2, which makes opening apps, loading the browser, scrolling through home screens and countless other operations much faster and smoother. Apple states that the iPhone 4S is twice as fast as the iPhone 4, and exhibits seven times its graphical prowess.
Probably the most compelling reason to upgrade to the 4S is the addition of Siri – a “personal assistant” who can parse the information you tell it through a mere conversation. For instance, should you tell Siri, “Please tell Jodi that I’m running late”, it would know who Jodi is and which meeting you’re talking about, and contact her to reschedule. It’s a pretty cool feature when it works. However, when Siri doesn’t work, it makes you realize that it’s still a work in progress. Although Siri shows its personality in its humorous answers to questions it can’t yet answer, you just want it work. For more on the topic, visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsights/2011/10/17/is-siri-seriously-awesome-or-seriously-flawed/
Another cool aspect of the iPhone 4S is that it has basically made MobileMe a stock feature. All Apple products from now on will have access to iCloud. This means that it no longer matters which device you use, you have access to any piece of information you’re looking for, whether it’s an mp3, a photo, app or document. It’s truly remarkable, until you stumble upon some of its unwieldy aspects. The most frustrating of these is the fact that MobileMe has already created a user ID that iCloud doesn’t recognize.
Furthermore, if you have an email address through Yahoo or Gmail, it won’t recognize them because they don’t have a me.com address. All new technology comes with learning curves, but the fact that we think Apple should be above these frustrations makes them all the more, well, frustrating.
In the final analysis, the iPhone 4S will of course be a huge commercial success. But, are the upgrades worth the wait? In the end, it depends on who you ask. If you’re a Mac-addict, forever in need of the most up-to-date and coolest toy, then of course, it’s worth the wait. With its improvements in power, efficiency, speed, software and upgrades, the 4S is an impressive machine. However, if you’re able to get all you need from your old 3G(S), there’s really nothing completely revolutionary about the iPhone 4S. As an evolutionary device, it’s still pretty cool.
When you think of the ways the cloud has changed businesses, creativity is not what usually comes to mind first. You will be surprised at how beneficial the cloud has been for people in creative industries. The cloud allows for a massive amount of information to be stored and accessible to people quickly from almost any location. And thanks to the popularity of tablets, people can access that information and share it at the simple touch of a button. Here are a few ways that the cloud and tablets as a team have improved the way that creative people do business.
The size of someone’s portfolio was previously confined to what they could physically carry. Because of this size limitation, there were limitations to the content as well. Now, thanks to the cloud, they can create separate files tailored to each client’s needs, which they can quickly access from a tablet. This mobility can lead to more business more quickly.
In the past, collaborating with people in different time zones was very difficult. It required sending huge files through email, working on them independently then sending them back. This created multiple versions and duplicate copies, which was confusing. Cloud computing users can work on the same file simultaneously. This speeds up the collaborative process and keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.
Mindmapping is a great way to brainstorm and when done in conjunction with the cloud, the amount of people that can give their input is not limited. You can access these files on tablets, work with local colleagues, and update the shared file for everyone. These elements break down the distance barrier that has limited idea brainstorming in the past.
When you diagram cloud computing and add the mobility of the tablet into the mix, there are almost no limitations to where creativity can happen.
Everyone loves computers. Why is that? The answer is easy: they’re highly valuable items. They automate some of the more challenging parts of our lives and grant us entertainment. However, it’s this value which makes our machines hot targets for thievery. Here are some simple measures you can take to help ensure that your computer is safeguarded from such attempts.
All computers are portable, even if they are desktop models. A thief is more than happy to do a quick grab and run, leaving you with nothing but a few cords and a monitor. To further increase your computer network security, try adding a security cable. These cables are generally locked with a key, and cost only $40. They are both easy to install and simple to operate, and add a level of physical safety to your computer that is priceless.
A computer’s value is not only determined by the physical items that make it up. Sensitive information can often be found by searching a computer’s hard drive. While backing up and encrypting all of your information can be a great way to save and safeguard valuable data on any computer, it’s crucial that you consider foregoing the storage of private and financial information anywhere on your machine. Information such as your checking account number, credit card information or social security number shouldn’t be stored permanently on a computer.
There have been a large number of great computer tracking apps developed in recent years.
While these apps require the hard drive to remain intact in order to work, if you act quickly, they highly increase your chances of recovery. There have been numerous cases in which a stolen laptop has been discovered using one of these services. While your laptop’s return may not be promised, it’s still a great safety measure to take.
While all of these tips are useful in keeping your computer safe, there is no replacement for common sense and reasonable vigilance. Make sure to take good care of your computer; chances are it takes good care of you.
In recognition for it’s Las Vegas hosted cloud computing platform, NetEffect has been selected by the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce for their annual Business Excellence Award. The awards are given in five categories, and NetEffect won the Innovation through Technology Award.
We’re very honored to be recognized and we very much look forward to the awards celebration on October 13th at Texas Station!
NetEffect provides business-class IT support, computer consulting, and business phone systems for VoIP. We’re the first and only Nevada-based company to offer a fully hosted, cloud computing solution. For a free network consultation call us at 702-318-7700.