Sometimes there are fantastic articles and news about technology.  This is a place to put links with commentary to other articles.  If you hear of good news – technology related stories…let me know.

You will find stories about cool companies, great new technology and computers.  These may be also about changes in the way people use tech items or how companies or schools are adapting to the ever changing world.

Facebook as a Marketplace, but its mobile only.

There are so many ways to sell stuff these days…like local stuff – the stuff in the closet, garage and basement stuff.  You can use craigslist (funny how this seems so “old” now), eBay, Facebook local groups, letgo – and then all the apps and sites you have not heard yet.

 

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A short time ago, my family needed a new freezer.  We have three boys at home – so we go through a lot of food and we use the deep freeze to stock up.  We were looking for an upright freezer.

I looked on craigslist for a couple weeks – but there wasn’t too much.  Some for $150, some for $400.  But are they good, bad or smelly?  So I jumped on Facebook and just asked if anyone had a lead, I had some quick responses and within 24 hours…I bought one.

The best part – I knew the seller.  So I felt good about the transaction.

That is the power of Facebook.  They have had “Buy/Sell” groups for a while…”garage sale” groups.  But now, they have the Facebook Marketplace.  Its only on mobile – but they gave it prime real estate.

They launched this fall – and it is quite good.  This has potential, there is a lot of stuff for sale – in my area there is a ton of stuff popping up.

It will be interesting to see the impact this has on the other options.  I can say – I finding my self using it more than Craigslist.  Craigslist is just too hard to navigate from mobile.

Your 2016 Olympics – Breakout Year for Streaming TV

I’m not a full on Olympics nerd like some, but this year I am really excited to watch – its a breakout year for streaming tv.  NBC is turning the 2016 Olympics into a springboard for the masses to adopt the streaming tv.  Its a taste of what we all want – more action from all the sports.  Its streaming sports we want to see it – when we want to see it.  NBC is streaming most events – and allowing us to go back and watch them when we want or as many times as we want.  The onset of set top streaming boxes makes it happen.

History – 2012 Olympics Event Streaming

In 2012, it was hard to get this to work.  You had to get a TV connected to your laptop.  Do you have an HDMI cable on your TV?  Do you have an HDMI out on your laptop?  Oh wait – that’s not HDMI, its a display port.  What’s a display port?  Can I get a converter for that?  Do I have a long enough HDMI cable?  How much is a 25′ HDMI cable?  Grab a kitchen stool and set it up between you and the TV, set the laptop on that.  Now hope it doesn’t fall.

It really was painful – every time you wanted to change the sport, you had to go use the mouse or the track pad.  The sound was crap, if you could get any sound to work at all and then you’d sit back down in the chair to watch and the live stream would hangup.  It was magical…but at the time, it worked – and everyone thought you were the cool.

What did it look like in 2012?

urlThe interface looked good for time, we would laugh at it now – but it worked.  It was streaming TV – the sports we wanted to watch.

You could watch most all sports – anytime.  Most people gave up trying to really watch it on the TV and just went into the den and watched from there.  It worked.  It wasn’t perfect – but it seemed high tech at the time.

The interface allowed you to keep track of the metal count, you could see the events – kind of carnival style and it still looked like a website.

How bad is internet in Australia?

Side note: the Olympics video streaming technically started at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which is kind of funny really – Australia has been known for its slow internet speeds and in 2000 it was worse.

Other Side Note: There were some things rumbling back in 2008 for streaming “regular” TV.  But none has sports yet.

But it wasn’t what we all wanted.  We want all the bells and whistles of the NBC live Olympics show – but the ability to watch the sport we want, when we want to watch it.

2016 Olympics Event Streaming

Hello Roku.  (It works on many streaming players…but I am in love with my Roku 4.)

This is the breakout year for streaming TV - NBC Olympic coverage is the best it has ever been.

streaming_optionsNote:  You’ll need to download the NBC Sports app or go to the NBC website to view it there.

The coverage is amazing.  It could be the breakout year for streaming TV, I mean – you can see what has been on, what is on and what is coming up.  Its what TV can be when you break the mold and try some new things.  Its not perfect – but its really, really good.

I just got done watching women’s table tennis, recapped the 10m air rifle (which I had no idea was even an Olympic sport before now), women’s handball and a whole bunch of swimming events.

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Oh, and also – I can still catch-up on the NBC website too.  While researching this article – I found out the 112th ranked Zambian Judo dude beat the 6th ranked dude.

hakaI also learned what the “Haka” is and that I already knew what it was because of some silly rugby movie I watched 3 years ago, (It was Forever Strong or Invictus) but I didn’t realize the dance had a real name – hey, I’m ignorant.

bballI didn’t learn this, it was more of an expectation…the USA Basketball team was dunking all over china.  And I mean MONSTER dunks…not those other remedial dunks.

Breakout Year for Streaming TV – Thank you Olympics and NBC

The coverage is Amazong.  I have almost watched more Olympics this year than any year ever – and its day 3.  I have been exposed to more sports than ever and I am excited about some of the other, different sports I have an opportunity to see this year.  Its the Olympics my way, on my schedule.

It shows the future of streaming – its the way TV should be.  We don’t need to have Bob Costas tell us everything (but I will say – the informational piece he did with the CDC dude on why the zika virus is not a huge issue to you in Brazil unless your pregnant (if you are pregnant…stay the hell out of Brazil) – but if you are not and are in any water…it probably has poo in it.)

So if you give me what I want…what I really, really want

Compelling, streaming content.  I hope other providers, networks and media types are taking notes.  This is how I want my TV.  The sooner – the better!  I don’t want to mount a dish to my roof, I don’t want to put a TV antenna in my window, I don’t want to pay you $200 a month for the privilege of you spamming the crap out of me and giving me 130 channels I don’t want, so I can get the 7 I do.

Oh, and sports networks.  (Big 10, ACC, SEC, NBA, NFL, MLB (you’ve been trying) – and ahem, ESPN) – this live streaming of TV works great.  LIVE sports is the last mile – its what we all want people.

And, Monday Night Football – what if I could watch any camera feed I WANT.  How about that?  I can still hear the commentary, if I WANT.  Rewind the things I want…but I don’t want to see your repetitive shot.  Why does every football play have to be wide angle croud shot, cut to sideline coach calling in the play on the headset, cut to QB ISO, cut to rear view…make it stop.  Maybe all I want to see if the linemen.  I like watching the ground game – the trenches…let me see that please.

Let me know when this goes down…in the mean time, I’ll be watching the Olympics.  I hear that badminton and modern pentathlon are coming up.  And I need to watch that dude crash into the wall on the bike again.  What the heck…it didn’t even look like he tried to turn at all.  And why didn’t dude in the green shirt take a picture of that?

This Olympic bike crash gives new meaning to "breakout year for streaming TV"

The 3-Point Plan For Building Your Brand

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One of the most vital aspects of running a small business is building the brand. There is often much confusion about this, about what brand-building is and how to do it well. In all honesty, there is not so much to it as is often made out. But that is not to say that it is a walk in the park. Like anything worth doing, it takes time and dedication to get right. But there are some tried and tested methods for making your brand a successful one, and it is worth learning them. Ultimately, building a brand is a simple matter of deciding what it is that your company is trying to say – and then saying it. Let’s take a look at the basic process in a little more detail.

Proper Placement

For any brand to be received well by the general public, it needs to be accessible. By this we simply mean that it makes immediate sense to people. To achieve this, it is first necessary to properly identify your brand. You need to know what it is, what it looks like, what it stands for. To get this right, there are some simple steps you can take. One common piece of advice at this stage is to think of your brand as a person. Treat it like you would a personality. How would you describe it to someone who doesn’t know it yet? Practicing this simple exercise can really help you to get a clear idea of what your brand is like. This part of the job is also made easier if you already have a clear vision in place for your business. In this instance, your brand might well be a mirroring of that vision. Once you can identify your brand with ease – and describe it well – you are in a good position to place it. All this means is that you know where it belongs in your target market.

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Consistent Communication

When it comes to the question of how to actually build your brand, communication is the key. For a brand to grow, you need to expose it to lots of people. But more than that, you need to communicate consistently with those people. This is where the hard work really happens. The communication with the public is the actual brand-building in action. There are many tools and tricks to achieve that consistency you are looking for. Many business owners find that it is worthwhile hiring the services of a pr company. If you outsource your communications in this way, you can be sure of the professional consistency your brand needs.

Extra Expansion

Provided that the above has been carried out properly, you already have a brand on its way to full growth. The next question you will face is how to ensure its continued growth. The answer is quite simple: you need to approach more and more people. A brand only grows if there are more people to become aware of it. For that reason, it is at this stage that your marketing campaign really needs to take an upturn. You should, at this point, be approaching a wider and wider range of the general public. So long as you continue to do this – and as long as you remain consistent – your brand is likely to grow. And that is pretty much the name of the game.

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More 1-to-1 learning – now with Chromebooks

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From chicagotribune.com:

“Grayslake Community High School District 127 approved the purchase this week of 1,425 Chromebook personal computers as part of a 1:1 learning initiative that’s scheduled to roll out next school year.”

Schools use Chromebooks to get to 1-to-1 Goals

Chromebook-logoMany school districts around the US are trying to get to their 1-to-1 goals and choosing Google Chromebooks to get it done.  The price is right – at sometimes 1/3 of the cost of a MacBook, schools cannot help but make the move to Chromebooks.  It just makes sense from a cost stand point.

The biggest change comes on the administration side.  Teachers need training so they understand how the Chromebook works.  Most school already use Google Drive to store files – so it snot a big learning curve.

The 1-to-1 programs really seem to get the students ready for the next steps.

See the best Chromebook apps for students.

Greater application with Chromebooks over iPads

From the dothaneagle.com:

“Dothan City Schools’ decision to end its use of iPads in favor of Chromebooks had just as much to do with application as economics, the system’s superintendent said Tuesday.”

and “Ledbetter estimated the sale of iPads would help pay for more than half the cost of leasing new Chromebooks. The school system will send out RFPs (requests for proposal) in an attempt to get the highest price possible for the iPads.”

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Chromebooks over iPads

It comes down to economics – and, the chromebooks over iPads do everything the school needs them to do.  (With the exception of some video, which they plan to continue to use some iPads.)

But at the end of the day – they will sell the iPads and fund a good portion of the chromebook purchase.  And most schools use Google drive to store their files, so they are already there.  With the increased functionality of Google’s office package…it is hard to resist.

Check out the best chromebooks for 2016.

 

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