Monthly Archives: April 2013

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – April 30

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a bike with car-like lights, a juror jailed for texting in court, and a mind-reading tablet. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

The Tablet You Move with Your Mind

Control This Tablet With Your Mind

Samsung is planning some Jedi mind tricks with some of it’s new touchless tablet technology. According to Zachary Lutz of Engadget, the company is working with researchers at the University of Texas on brainwave technology. By using EEG caps, they can harnesses the power of the mind to control tablets and smartphones. Right now the technology is aimed to help people with disabilities, but the article suggests Samsung may eventually make it more mainstream.

Texting During Trial Lands Juror in Jail

In a story fit for both the police blotter and technology news, a 26-year-old juror in Oregon, was sent to jail by a judge after texting in the middle of an ongoing trial. Mike Flacy of Digital Trends reports that the judge had previously warned the jury that all electronic devices were forbidden during the trial. When the judge noticed Kohler’s bright screen during the viewing of a surveillance video related to the case, he sent the man to jail on contempt of court charges.

Voice-Activated Vacuum Does Your Cleaning on Command

The new Roboking by LG is a vacuum that takes voice commands and can tell which direction they are coming from. So, simply stand by a pile of dirt and demand the vacuum come over and clean it, says Amanda Kooser of CNET. This robo-vac also has a feature where it will pause when you clap twice. Going for about $735, the Roboking can last for 100 minutes before needing a charge.

Bike Wheels with Build-In LED Lights Designed for Rider Safety

Bike Wheels with Build-In LED Lights Designed for Rider Safety

Revolights City v2.0 bike wheels are sparking some interest among cycling enthusiasts. The wheels, which have built-in LED lights, have taillights and brake lights (just like a car) so riders can be seen at night. According to Mashable, the product has been created by the group Revolights, which in 2011 launched its original LED tires on Kickstarter with much success. However, the biggest complaint about the initial product was that the lights were difficult to put on the tires. So to combat that issue, the company has come back with version 2.0, which are tires with the lights already built in.

Viewers to Determine which Amazon Original Shows will Stick Around

Amazon isn’t just selling DVDs of television shows these days; they’re now airing pilots of 14 original shows on their website, and they’re allowing their customers to choose which ones will stick around. According to the Los Angeles Times, Amazon will post all 14 pilots online and ask viewers for their feedback. Based on the critiques, the company will decide which of the shows are developed into a full series. Among the shows featured are “Zombieland” (based on the movie), a musical office comedy set in Manhattan, and an action comedy about four senators living together in Washington D.C.

 

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Mozy at EMC World 2013

The Mozy team is excited to head to Las Vegas for EMC World 2013, May 6-9 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. You can find us in booth #735 (right next to the EMC BRS booth). We’re looking forward to catching up with old friends and spreading the good word about Mozy. Stop by the booth for a free massage, and make sure to pick up one of the coveted “Back the F:/ Up” t-shirts.

Mozy will also be featured in two EMC World sessions:

We’ll also have a Partner Buzz session on May 7th at 11:30 am featuring a 20 minute Mozy presentation.

“Don’t Gamble With Your Data” Contest and Awesome Prizes

Mozy at EMC World 2013

You shouldn’t ever gamble with your business data by using a backup provider you can’t trust. However, Mozy is offering EMC World attendees a chance to win big by “gambling” for prizes in a giant poker game at our booth. Stop by booth #735 to pick up your cards. Get more information (including a rundown of the over $2,000 in prizes we’re giving away) and mention this blog post when you stop by the booth for an extra card.

EMC World

You can still register for EMC World. Find out more about EMC World 2013.

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – April 22

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a coat that acts like a girlfriend, a bracelet that displays texts and social media updates, and futuristic dressing rooms. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Say Goodbye to Dressing Rooms–New Technology Sizes Customers in Seconds

Say Goodbye to Dressing Rooms

Now showing up in more and more department stores throughout the United States, sizing stations use technology to determine what clothing will fit their customers. Customers walk into the round compartments with clear sides (normally located directly in the center of the floor near the racks of clothes and other displays) hold out their arms, and get scanned by a laser tracker. According to NDTV Gadgets it only takes about 10 seconds for the station to give the customer a personalized shopping guide with sizes, styles, and brands that would fit them best. Currently sizing stations are in 30 shopping malls in the U.S., with Bloomingdale’s being the first to use them.

Google’s High Speed Internet Coming to Austin, Texas

Google Fiber, a high-speed Internet that runs 100 times faster than the average broadband connection, is now coming to Austin, Texas, says Mashable’s Samantha Murphy.  This announcement comes a whole year after it was announced the service would first be available in Kansas City, Kansas. Google says it plans to have homes in Kansas City connected starting in mid-2014. What city will be next on Google’s list?

LED Smart Bracelet Displays Texts, Social Media Updates

Texts and social media messages can now appear right on a person’s wrist with new the new technology of LinkMe. Michael Seo of TechCrunch reports that LinkMe, a single chrome ring that slips around the wrist, connects to a users smartphone via bluetooth and incoming texts and social media updates scroll along the outside. The inventors are attempting to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter to fund their project. A LinkMe can be purchased on the site for $99.

Single? No Problem. This Coat Will Make You Feel Loved

Girlfriend Coat

A group of Japanese students have invented a coat that serves as a girlfriend substitute. Yes, you read that right. This coat hugs men who wear it and even whispers sweet nothings into their ear. According to CNET, the Riajyuu Coat features a belt around the midsection and motors on the back. The motors tighten the belt and squeeze the person wearing it so it feels like they are being hugged. A set of headphone lets the wearer listen to a woman’s whispers. It’s not being sold in stores, so for now lonely men might be stuck with the task of finding a human partner.

Twitter Working on New Music Feature

There’s been a lot of buzz this week about new music project being develop by Twitter. Clues around the web have led experts to believe that Twitter is introducing a music feature that will recommend songs and artists based on who each particular user follows, reported Ben Sisario of The New York Times. It’s still unclear, however, whether it will be accessible on the Twitter website, or if it’s a different website altogether. Right now, there’s a website set up with the Twitter logo and “#Music” appearing on the page. There is an area to login but it says “coming soon” next to it. For now music fans will just have to take a wait-and-see approach to finding out what Twitter has in the works.

 

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Food Trucks and Social Media

Whether they’re hawking donuts, tacos, Mexican food or fish, food trucks have started to become commonplace in many cities in the United States. Coinciding with the increase in the number of food trucks is the ubiquity of social media. Given that food trucks often move to multiple locations during the day, outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram are the perfect tools to help hungry customers find the meal they’re looking for. These apps also lend themselves to telling the stories of these trucks, with great pictures of food on the grill, check-ins from trucks that have just parked and are open for business, and posts with the schedule for the upcoming week. Without these tools, it’d be much more difficult for food trucks to connect with their audience, especially because they’re often open for business in different locations each week.

 

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Uninterrupted Work Flow in 3 Virtual Offices over 3 Different Continents

Working Around the WorldImagine working on your laptop in a coffee shop where the barista only speaks Mandarin.

Living in Shanghai, China is unlike any other experience. But working in a foreign country doesn’t necessarily have to be so different.

At least, if you can set up a virtual work station, you won’t ever have to worry about adapting to new office dynamics. Work whenever you want, however you want.

The must-haves are a comfortable work space, a reliable internet connection, and your data backed up to the cloud.

China. Argentina. Morocco.

At times, the air and noise pollution in Shanghai got to me. As did the communication barriers.

But whenever I needed to get some important work done, I just had to pay for a nice cup of coffee before I could begin pounding away at my keyboard, tuning out the foreign world around me while increasing my productivity.

When I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, there was WiFi everywhere, and in some cases, it was free. WiFi was available in bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and even public parks and plazas.

Then, after a day’s worth of hard work, I’d gorge on empanadas baked in the shop around the corner, or several slices of “fugazetta” pizza from local gem, El Cuartito.

Around Morocco, you can find a strong connection at McDonald’s. But when the popular fast food chain is out of sight, the big telecom providers offer contract-free Internet connections. Meditel offers a portable USB key that lets you connect your computer to its 3G network all around the country. Best of all, it’s cheap and it’s prepaid.

Keeping Security in Mind

Whenever I was on the road, whether I was traveling between Shanghai and Beijing or crossing the border from Argentina to Uruguay, I always made sure my laptop was wiped clean of any sensitive data and that those critical files were only available in the cloud.

Bag, laptop, passport, and wallet stolen. 

I have been fortunate enough that I have never been robbed or pick-pocketed while traveling. Knock on wood. But a friend I was traveling with once had her bag stolen out from under her seat at a Starbucks in Buenos Aires. The worst part was that she had kept her laptop, passport, and wallet in that very bag.

Throughout my travels, for personal and professional purposes, I’ve made it a point to keep important documents and possessions in secure places (i.e. passport and credit cards in the hotel safe, or sensitive work documents in a reliable cloud server). So, if I was robbed or mugged, it wouldn’t be a total inconvenience. Or if my computing and mobile devices got damaged, at least my work would be safe.

 

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Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – April 16

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features Facebook making waves on Android, an “invisible” bike helmet, and a new app to help keep teen drivers safe behind the wheel. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

The Bicycle Helmet You Don’t Wear on Your Head

The Bicycle Helmet You Don't Wear on Your Head

A bike helmet called Hövding that has been developed by two Swedish industrial design students is turning some heads, says Jeremy Bogaisky of Forbes. The “helmet” is really an airbag in a collar worn around the neck. If there is an accident it deploys to envelop a bicyclist’s head. The product has been approved, but its inventors are facing some challenges because of the device’s high price ($515) and some reservations about it’s effectiveness. The invention does solve the problem of people not wanting to wear conventional helmets because they aren’t stylish or will mess up their hair. Also, an electronics redesign is in the works and could help lower the cost of the product. Whether this invisible helmet will become a trend among cyclists remains to be seen.

New App Aims to Keep Teen Drivers Safe on the Road

A new app designed for the iPhone (and coming soon to Android) is attempting to help teen drivers be more alert and experienced behind the wheel, according to USA Today. The app, Time to Drive, was developed by the University of North Carolina and is geared for both teen drivers and their parents. Some of the features in Time to Drive include the ability to record the amount of driving the teen does and what conditions they’re in, tracking of hard stops, tips for parents, and goals for teens and parents to work on together. The app comes at a time where it’s much needed; teen driving deaths increased last year after being on the decline for several years prior. Statistics show that new drivers are at the highest risk when first getting their driver’s licenses. The creators of the app are hoping that by making practice more fun and easy they can help cut down the number of fatalities.

Could You Do Without Your Cable TV? 30 Percent of Americans Say Yes

Could You Do Without Your Cable TV? 30 Percent of Americans Say Yes

The popularity of Internet television and streaming shows on tablets and devices is allowing many people to keep up with their favorite shows without having to pay for cable television. Alexis Kleinman of The Huffington Post reports that a recent survey by Belkin and Harris Interactive found that 30 percent of Internet users in the United States would consider ditching their cable plans and primarily watch content online. Does this mean the end of television? It’s highly doubtful that would happen anytime soon, but statistics show a large increase in online viewers. Currently, 106.2 million American watch TV shows online at least once a month. And the survey predicts that by 2014 more than 50 percent of Internet users in the United States (130.7 million people) will be watching television online.

Facebook’s “Home” is the Talk of the Tech World This Week

Facebook is making headlines yet again, this time for it’s new “Home” on Android. Home is a series of apps that attempts to always keep mobile users on the social media platform’s network, according to CNET’s Jennifer Van Grove.  When using Home on Android, the phone’s home screen becomes a Facebook cover feed, or a visually rich and swipe-able version of the news feed. Home also includes a more picture-perfect version of messaging, complete with a Facebook-invented feature called “Chat Heads,” with colorful notifications that include friends’ pictures.

 

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Business, Marketing, and Big Data: 5 Key Tips for Bringing Them Together

Business Marketing DataThe explosion of social media and online/mobile commerce over the last few years has created a treasure trove of information. For many leading business people, deft analysis of this “big data” is the new key to making better business decisions.

Whether you’re a three-person shop or a sales force of dozens, one of the key benefits of big data is that its massive analytical potential can lead to the discovery of results-oriented patterns within massive sets of incoming information — exactly the kind of material that social media and commerce-based sites tend to generate.

But how to leverage it?

It’s not enough to simply amass the raw info.Strategists from small-business owners to large enterprises need to integrate that big data with the “on-the-ground” tactics.

To get a start on that, we turn to several experts who are working on the tools to effect just this kind of integration. They bring us five tips for better marketing, using big data as a primary approach.

Bringing Big Data to the Marketing Table

We turned to Mark Cerullo, senior manager of Campaigner email marketing, to help isolate the five basic principles to help owners achieve those goals in the big-data realm.

  1. Standardize Best Practices. Big data can give you a dynamic, real-time view into the behavior of prospective buyers. Use it to help discern content type, frequency, and sequences that yield the best results. For example, if your data reveals that a video demo followed by a personalized email yields the best results, standardize the practice.
  2. Segment for Success. Use big data to segment your audience into specific subgroups. You can combine a number of data factors — such as job title, location, items and services purchased, or pages viewed — to create an audience segment. You can then create highly targeted communications specific to each group. For example, you can deliver tips specific to CMOs in a specific industry or create a bundled offer to buyers who have purchased a specific product or service in the past.
  3. Up Your Game with Integration. Integrate information from different systems to capture, analyze, report, and then act upon the intelligence you have collected. Multi-channel information can be used to gain visibility into user behavior and help you tailor smarter strategies for reaching and engaging your audience. For example, your website, CRM data and e-mail campaigns all yield streams of information. By pooling these individual streams of information you gain greater insight into your customers’ behaviors, likes, dislikes, and buying patterns. You can use this to not only customize more relevant content but also to tailor the delivery channel and timing.
  4. Use This, and Then Use That. Use big data to create automated triggers based on user behavior. Develop specific follow-up actions prompted by customer behavior. For example, a visitor that reads a blog post on marketing may be prompted with a message that directs them to a marketing-software demo. An opt-in form may trigger an immediate follow-up call from a sales representative. An abandoned online shopping cart might prompt a follow-up e-mail with a special offer for completing the transaction.
  5. Data Strengthens Data. The inflow of big data can help you to become more efficient about what is captured, stored and used. You can identify the data that is most relevant for your business. You can save time in analysis but also store only what is important to your business needs, thus saving on data storage costs.

 

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Prezi Offers Visually Stunning Way to Share Ideas

Prezi Presentation AppSome speakers bore their audiences to tears by using presentations that have nothing but slides with dull lists and bullet points. As the material blends together and their listeners slowly drift off to a faraway place, the presentation fizzles. Whether or not the information was good becomes unimportant–all because the way it was presented was tedious and boring.

Professional speakers and lecturers are turning towards technology to engage their audiences and communicate their ideas. Dr. Daniel Crosby of IncBlot Organizational Psychology understands the power of a good presentation. His TED Talk called “You’re Not That Great: A Motivational Speech” kept audiences rapt and earned him a place as one of Monster.com’s12 thinkers to watch in the world of leadership and organizational development.

What was Crosby’s secret for keeping the presentation interesting? Well, for one he had some very interesting information (he’s currently writing a book based on it). But Crosby also credits Prezi, cloud-based presentation software with a zoomable canvas that allows you to create visually captivating presentations that lead audiences down a path of discovery.

“Since Prezi is dynamic, beautiful and novel, my participants engage at an increased level which makes my job easier,” Crosby said.  ”I can’t count how many times I’ve had someone come up to me after a presentation and have them ask me, ‘What was that software you were using?’ It immediately makes me and my work memorable.”

Prezi’s software allows users to present from any device. Choose between the freedom of the cloud, the security of your desktop, or the mobility of the iPad or iPhone. Prezi is also three dimensional, allowing users to guide their audience through the presentation, rather than just flip from slide to slide. Users can also zoom out to show the overview of the Prezi, zoom in to examine the details of their ideas, or simply move freely through the Prezi and react to the audience’s input.

TED Talks - PreziPrezi is starting to become the technology of choice for many other TED Talks speakers as well, including Peter H. Diamandis, founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, the co-founder and chairman of Singularity University.

“Prezi is helping reinvent the art of presentation,” Diamandis said. “Farewell, one-dimensional thinking. Hello motion, dynamism, flexibility and power of inter-connection. When I gave my TED Talk, I chose Prezi to bring my ideas to life.”

While Prezi has almost immediately caught on among professional speakers, it’s also become popular within other sectors, including business. According to Prezi’s Kelly Hook, currently 80 percent of the Fortune 500 are utilizing Prezi to facilitate presentations and the company just hit 20 million users and 2 million iPad downloads.

So whether your next presentation is to TED or to your sales team, consider using Prezi to step outside of the PowerPoint box.

For more TED Talk videos, including many using Prezi, check out their YouTube channel. WARNING: May be addicting.

 

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My name is Traci and I work for Mozy

Last month we piloted our series “My name is ____ and I work for Mozy.” This series is our way to introduce you to some of the extraordinary people that work at Mozy and who are the catalysts to why Mozy is a great company.

This month, we’d like to introduce you to Traci Magleby, Sales Manager with the “most-est.” Traci manages the sales team for the West Area for Mozy’s EMC Backup and Recovery Services team. In addition to being an extremely approachable and compassionate person, Traci also works with our EMC Partners to close deals to their customer base for Mozy’s military-grade security enabled cloud backup and recovery enterprise offerings.

My name is Traci and I work for Mozy

I define my workspace as …
Functional and inviting (a mix of job-essential items with mementos & pictures of my family). I want my space to be approachable, where anyone feels welcome.

A device I can’t live without …
iPhone

When I arrive at work, I typically start off by …
I usually arrive to work before my team which gives me the opportunity to jumpstart my day. I go through my email inbox, check my calendar for appointments that day and schedule time into my calendar for tackling must-do items. I also start completing my tasks in Salesforce. Once my team arrives, I take time to check in with each of them and find out their schedules for the day and any items needing my attention.

My work routine is …
My work routine varies day to day. Some days I am in a boardroom all day reviewing my team’s pipeline or on management calls. Other days, I am on the road, training partners or visiting customers. And then other days, I am at my desk going through spreadsheets and reports. I try to ensure that I communicate with members of my team daily and do everything I can to help make it easier for them to sell Mozy!

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …
Even though I love music, I seldom listen to music at work. I find that in my position, I am constantly being asked questions and communicating with my team. I like my team to know I am accessible when they need me – I don’t want earphones to get in the way! An added benefit is that it allows me to overhear conversations my team is having with partners and customers. It keeps me in the loop on their deals and allows me to provide any needed feedback.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …
People buy from people! Relationship building is crucial so start now in building your network and relationships.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …
My family, the outdoors and being creative.

My eating habits are …
I drink lots of water and bring snacks from home so I’m not tempted to indulge in the free soda pop and less healthy options in our break room. At home during dinnertime, I gather my family together almost daily and my favorite part is the conversations we have. I’ve been attempting to curb my sweet tooth this year, so I have limited to having sugar or dessert to once a week. My kids have joined me in this goal and I’m surprised with how well they are doing.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …
I would choose my grandmother – she’s one of my biggest heroes. She has such a zest for life and I love how she handles life’s hard situations with confidence and grace. I benefit from her wisdom and would enjoy learning more of what makes her who she is.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …
I try to give my time to things that matter the most in my life and I try to live a life full of gratitude. I hope I’m remembered this way.

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – April 1

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a new phone charger that’s slim enough to fit into wallets, apps that help you hail cabs, and a 5-foot jellyfish robot. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

A Five-foot Jellyfish? Good thing it’s Only a Robot 

Robot Jellyfish - Surveillance Tool

As if people don’t find regular jellyfish pesky enough, Virginia Tech researchers have created a 5-foot robot version that can autonomously patrol oceans for surveillance and environmental monitoring, according to UPI.com. The robo-jellyfish has been named “Cyro” and was developed as part of a multi-university, nationwide $5 million project funded by U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research. According to the article the goal is to “create self-powering, autonomous machines that can travel the world’s ocean for surveillance, monitoring the environment, studying aquatic life, mapping ocean floors and monitoring ocean currents.”

Study Shows Facebook Users Check Facebook 14 Times a Day

How many times have you checked Facebook from your phone today? 5? 10? 15? A recent study by the analytics firm IDC shows that people check Facebook on their phones on an average of 14 times a day, according to NBC News. And Facebook wasn’t even the most checked application, according to the study; it was email. Also, the group surveyed said they spent about two-and-a-half hours a day on their phones. Almost half the group (44 percent) used their phones as an alarm clock, and 79 percent checked their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up

Having Babies with Three Biological Parents May Soon Be Possible

As a child it was pretty tough to sneak things by two parents. Now things might get even more difficult. CBS New York reports that new technology that would bring babies into the world with three biological parents is close to being legalized in the United Kingdom. The main goal behind the technology is to be able to prevent mitochondrial disorders. The British public overall has supported the technology, according to published reports, but lawmakers have yet to make a decision on whether doctors can use it.

This New Phone Charger is So Slim it Will Fit in Your Wallet

Chargecard Wallet Cell Phone Charger

Finally there’s an answer for techies on the go who are tired of their cell phones running out of batteries. And it doesn’t require lugging around a a phone charger–well, at least not one of normal proportions. The ChargeCard, an invention that turned up on the site Kickstarter, is a USB phone charger that can fit in a wallet as easy as a credit card, says Seth Porges. The charger easily slips into a wallet, but some people are even finding that it fits between their phones and cases.

Use One of These Apps to Hail Yourself a Cab

Tired of missing out on cabs all the time in your nearest city? Luckily, there are several apps for smartphones and devices that can help you get your next taxi or ride share. This week, a post on the Mozy blog profiles Hailo in New York City and TechHive’s Caitlin McGarry breaks downUber, Side Car, and Lyft. Whether you’re looking for a yellow cab, a limo, or simply to get in the HOV lane, these apps make coordinating a ride easier than ever.

 

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