Thursday, December 22, 2011

Although it's been said many times, many ways...

Here at Addison Technologies we are gearing up for Christmas, like many others. We've made our lists, wrapped our gifts, or procrastinated until the last minute, depending on who you're talking about. And so, in order to let you, dear reader, get to know us all a bit better, here are the things that we would love for Santa to place under our tree:

A vacation to Alaska that includes Heli-Skiing (for those at home following along, that's where you jump out of a perfectly good helicopter at the top of a mountain to land and ski down).

Indoor Olympic Swimming pool

Two additional employees for Addison Tech


Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

NFL Tryout


Private island in Fiji (and a house/helipad/dock to go on it)

Round trip to visit the ISS (bring us t-shirts from the giftshop if you get this one)

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Bonus Points if you can match the gift with the AT employee: Brad, Woody, Keith, Corey, and Ann.

Merry Christmas, From Addison Tech, to you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

IE Users and IQ

Start stretching out your fingers, I know the complaint comments will be written, even as I write this. But I read a small article on slashdot about Internet Explorer users, and their intelligence. No, no, not the hoax that went around, that IE users were less intelligent. This is a study about the Risk Intelligence of IE users.

Now, before I even give you a cute little link to go and check out the study, I'm going to cover my hindquarters. We may find out this, too, is a hoax for all I know. their site is certainly nothing to look at (we at AT could help them out with that...I'm just sayin.) And I have not looked through any of their data to see if they're being honest or not. But even they tell you that it's not a scientific study, and they had a small pool to work from. So don't gripe at me, all right?

Right. Now, here's your link.

Their risk intelligence study asked true/false questions, and had the participants answer the question and rate how confident they were in the answer. 100 = they were sure it was right, 50 = they were only kinda sure, 0 = not sure at all. Not rocket surgery. And out of the participants, the Internet Explorer users scored the worst. Go ahead, flame me now. But, I'll tell you, this does help enlighten things. Like the fact that my mom would call and ask if the pop-up proclaiming "Your Anti-Virus Isn't Working!" was legitimate, when she used IE *. Does it mean that IE users are more trusting, and that the rest of the users are more cynical? I'm not sure on that, but I would be interested to see a larger, scientific study done. Assuming that this one isn't a hoax as well.

*It's a moot point now, as we have my mother using Linux. Booya.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Are You Listening?

We've covered a lot of social media themed ground around here, gotten on some kicks, and beaten a few drums. All for worthy causes, but for what good? Sure, your password will be safe (what do you mean that your password isn't a 16 character alphanumeric and special character acronym? Gah!) and your company has a nice, complete social media policy that everyone's signed and familiar with (right? right...) but what after that? Well, as this article points out, if you don't then listen, you've just waisted a lot of time. Social media isn't just sitting at a keyboard, talking into an abyss. It's about listening to what your customers/clients/users/prospects say back to you. And, I can't emphasise this enough, it's about listening to both the good and the bad. Listen. Hear and take into consideration the bad that is said. Try to analyse what is going wrong, and fix that. Let your consumers know that you've heard them, and are working to fix whatever the error may be. At the same point, listen to what is right, and try not to screw that up, shall we? I've seen many products "improved" badly, when they were perfectly fine to begin with (New Coke, anyone?)

Ignoring what your consumer says about your company, your brand, is nothing but disaster awaiting. Back in the pre-social media days, it was said that one person would tell 80 others about a bad experience. Now, that number is not capped at 80. Nor is the number limited for the amount of people that will see your praises sung. Listen, be helpful and attentive to your clients, and you will see the benefits.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gawk While You Can

The question has been raised just about everywhere about if tablets are going to overtake PCs in Joe User's life. I've seen varying arguments for it happening, and others saying that it'll never happen. I've always read them with a grain of salt, gleaning what I can from them, and discarding the chaff. Until yesterday, that is. I read an article that, well, I pretty much agree whole hearted with.

Wait. What?

Yeah, I know. Shocking that I don't have a "Yeah, but..." statement to go along with it. Gawk while you can.

I'll wait.

Now, let me explain.

The keyboard. It's all about the keyboard. Some people don't mind not having a physical keyboard to peck out their manifestos on, but me, if I'm doing something that requires more than a Words With Friends game, I want a real keyboard. It's a quirk of mine. Hunt-and-peck sends me into a spiral of flashbacks to my first computer/typing class, and it's not pretty folks. And before you suggest it, I don't want to lug one around with me, as a peripheral for my ipad. I have enough things to carry and remember, what with purse (heavy enough already, thanks) diaper bag (not storing it with the sippie cup,) cell phone, etc. I have a hard enough time remembering my cheap-o sunglasses, for goodness sake. Thus far, I haven't forgotten a kid or the ipad, but honestly, it's just a matter of time.

Another thing about it, is that I realize I'm not Joe User. I am, however, friends with lots of them. While they want real keyboards to type their emails on, they also want it for things like hot keys.* Several fancy themselves as amateur photographers, cooks, bloggers, etc. As such, things like photo editing and more in depth applications require a real keyboard/mouse in order to not be a frustration. They are similar to me, in that their ipad/tablets have replaced the laptop for some things (Facebooking, Twitter, shopping, music, etc) but not for the things that are a bit more time/labor intensive. When the powers-that-be figure out how to resolve that issue, I think the tablet is gold.

*hot keys = keyboard short cuts. think "Crtl + C" instead of clicking the menu option for "copy."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peer Pressure

Realizing that I've beaten the social media policy drum before, I shall try to refrain from rehashing it all again. However, I had to share a triumph: my son's school has adopted a formal social media policy. We were notified yesterday that the school handbook had been updated regarding the school's policy for social media and its students (and before you ask, I had nothing to do with it.) If a tiny school in the middle of nowhere can have a social media policy, what's stopping your company? You don't want to be outdone, do you?* Don't be lazy.

*Forget everything your mother told you about peer pressure for this. You want to be like the cool kids, who have social media policies. Only the losers don't have one. No, really, they lose the lawsuits. It sucks to be the loser.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gamers to the Rescue

Let me clarify something, before I get into the meat of this blog post: I am not a gamer. Geek, yes. Nerd? About some things. But gamer, I am not. I was doing good to beat Super Mario Brothers, back in the day. Pinball, I'm golden. Air hockey? A more ruthless soul has not been met. Video games, though, notsomuch. But, being a geek and around computer people on a day-to-day basis, I know gamers. And knowing them, this article doesn't surprise me much. In fact, it makes me proud that gamers are helping do something so useful.

What I am curious about, is how will this information be utilized later. No, no, not the protein folding data. We pay medical researchers for that stuff. No, what I'm curious about is who else will start utilizing gamers as cheap problem solvers. We already have complex problems being solved via distributed computing* in other areas of science as well—SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) uses it to analyze radio telescope data, for example. What intrigues me, is the question of who else will turn a problem into a video game, and then let gamers do the dirty work, as it were. We already have folks who are using twitter as cheap research and development and open source code operating systems, so why not make a game out of problem solving? I'm not talking about the stuff that's kind of a given, I'm wondering what non-lifesaving problems could we solve. Could they figure out how to make my dishwasher load itself (my laziness knows no bounds, sure) or figure out how to find that one sock the dryer always eats. Figure out how to make flying cars an affordable reality; how to make my regular car's heater work faster on a cold morning. Would those things change the world? no. would it help the common man? Oh yeah.

*lotsa unrelated computers, networked together to compute a common problem

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wishing You a Geeky Halloween

If you have spent any amount of time around geeks, you have an idea that Halloween is a big deal for us. It is our high holy holiday, the day when you normal folk act like we do year round. For one dark, murky night of the year, we are not given odd looks for traveling with a robot or broadsword, nor are we mocked for our obsessive attention to detail. Sure, we made that costume for a *con earlier in the year, but hey, we arent going to turn down another chance to use it!
So, out of our love of Halloween, we at Addison Technologies are going to give you a roundup of things techy for Halloween:

Number 7 is my personal favorite:
Ghoulish Gadgets

While I *want* the vortex tunnel, the haunted toliet paper would be pretty fun too:
Terrifying Halloween Gadgets

Halloween up your cube at work:
Think Geek

What geek Halloween post would be complete without jack-o-lanterns:
Geek Jack-O-Lanterns

Or some nasty looking edibles:
Jello Blood Worms

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Make Me an Offer I Can't Refuse...

If you've been on the interwebz in the last two days, you've noticed that people everywhere are griping about the changes that Facebook has just rolled out, just like every other time that they moved the cheese on the social media giant. And there, of course, are some great, snarky memes parodying both sides of the argument. but I ran across an article about Facebook that intrigues me far more than the volumes of others, crying out "My news feed is different! Wah!"

This article states that, in order for a business to be a successful entity on Facebook, you should not run a "campaign." That's a bit contrary to what we have been taught, isn't it? But it says that fewer people are liking brands, and recommending that their friends like the brands too. My experience on fb says that this is true--I'm very selective about the brands that I like, and I rarely recommend things to friends (my logic: I detest spam in any form, and do not, therefore, want to inadvertently spam my friends with my fondness for a certain brand of widget.) If I am not alone in that sentiment, then you can understand that some people will view an active campaign on facebook as a potential annoyance.

Well, lovely, you say. How do I reach my target audience on facebook, then? One way is to engage them with a program, as opposed to a one time campaign. Customer rewards can make it worthwhile for a person to like a brand. Using myself as an example again, I "like" a local deli for the sole purpose of finding out what the discount code for the week is. Say the word of the week to the cashier, you get a percentage discount. Other places keep me updated on the daily/weekly specials, free shipping, or any other bonus that they are not offering to the general Joe Customer. If my friends would like the bonuses that the business is offering, then I am more likely to send it on to them.( IE, because of me, my father, husband, and many friends "like" the local deli that offers specials.) Keep in mind that you can reach a more vast audience if you use your social media together. Use your geo-location program, your Twitter, Facebook, etc, all together. I cant tell you how many RT's I've seen on twitter, where someone was entering a weekly contest.

Before you go, however, do go read the article referenced. No, really. I only graced you with an opinion about part of the article, but it has more little nuggets for you to internalize. Consider it homework.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Policy

Addison Technologies has always supported Labor day and its meaning. A Holiday created for the purpose of work, putting everything else on hold and giving thanks to having the ability to produce. We have tried many times to institute a policy of donating a day of work to your employer on this day, however for some reason employees would rather stay at home. It just seems counterintuitive to celebrate labor by grilling out as opposed working for free.

Until, Addison is successful in implementing free work day on Labor day, we sadly inform you our office will be closed Monday due to the policy of the current observance of Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hey Look! Another Steve Jobs Blog!

Yeah, I know, there's a lot about him right now. But love him or hate him, Steve Jobs has been an extremely influential person in the world of computing. And while reading through countless articles about him, and mocking those which sounded like obituaries (mentaly calling up Monty Python's "I'm not dead yet" and the SNL "Gerald Ford, tragically died this weekend" skits) you see a lot of adoration. A little fewer in between is the negatives, but all have to admit how much the guy has influenced the way we view computers now days.

My first experience with his product was the lovely green monitored Apple IIe, playing Oregon Trail so many times that we were trying to kill off our pioneers rather than get them to California (oh, and we played the learning games the school provided. But we finally wore our lab teacher down so she would let us play Oregon Trail.) My first experience with a computer with a color screen, GUI, and mouse was the Mac, in that same computer lab. Fast forward to college, and I used the design lab's blue candy-shelled iMacs to do my class assignments. Then I married a computer geek, and we now have three Apple products in the house: a Macbook, and two iPads. Our kids know how to operate Netflix, Angry Birds, and Kindal on the iPads--such a different experience than that of the 3 1/4 floppy'ed IIe. And as always, I'm curious to see what Apple will come up with next. What will make my kids think of the iPad as a relic, in their future? The Apple-sans-Jobs company will have all eyes on them in that respect, to see if they can continue in that tradition of innovation.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Death of the HP Tablet

"As I write this, I’m sitting in a cafe. Around me, there are five people on laptops — four of them are MacBooks. Four other people are using tablets — all four are iPads. Welcome to the Post-PC world."*1

Yeah, that pretty well sums it up. HP announced last week that it is discontinuing its tablet division and webOS products, and is trying to spin off the PC division. The part of this that rather surprised people is that this comes only a couple of months after buying the Palm brand and webOS, in order to try to really compete in the tablet world. They launched commercials with celebrities (that chick from GLEE and Russell Brand are the ones that I remember right off the top of my head.) But apparently that did not compensate for the fact that the OS, while smokin fast on other hardware, was bogged down and slow on the HP tablet hardware. And while their PC sales are good, they still are being eclipsed by Apple's MacBook sales. In my own house even, with two computer industry professionals, the numbers are three Apple devices, one PC, and an ancient dinosaur of a desktop that I *think* is running a version of Linux. I personally only know of one person who has a non-Apple tablet, and that was bought after this announcement, when the price dropped. Was HP merely getting out early in this situation, reading the writing on the wall, or is it jumping ship that could be fixed? Time will tell.

In the meantime, here's what other people are saying about it:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Stop Blog Spot

If you're anything like me, you may read blogs and think link round ups are a cop-out. In writing for this blog for a while now, I realize they are not necessarily so. For me, it is a by-product of adult ADD and not wanting to miss showing you all informative/uber neat/completely random things! It was near-to-impossible to narrow things down to one (coherent) post, there were security topics, hardware topics, awesome save your live apps, and so here you are:

UPSM is working on an app that will document the locations of all AED's (automated external defibulators.) So if someone is experiencing cardiac arrest, you or the 911 operator could locate one nearby, thus getting help more quickly.

If you find your laptop is lost or stolen, change the passwords that are stored in it immediately. Duh, I know. But it can be hacked from the laptop, and you could be screwed.

A PC with Mac Air specs? Why yes, I likee. Oh wait, read that last paragraph. Fail.

Wait, what do you mean that mobile banking on your android went wrong? How could banking on an easily-lost, app'ed up device go wrong?

Price versus Function, Tablet versus iPad.

For the truely geeky amongst us, we mourn as news of SyFy's Eureka is cancelled.

And, for good measure, something from the tinfoil hat file.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bragging Rights

We talk about a lot of things on this blog, from tech news to geeky things, interwebz innovations to soapboxes. But guess what? We actually *do* know what we're talking about, and we've gotz proof! Our illustrious Brad Hurlock has written an article for 422 Business Journal on social media. He covers all the stuff that you may or may not know, from "don't only pimp your business" to "get thee a social media employee policy." But, you know, he makes it sound way more professional. Cause he's good like that.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I'm sure you've noticed, dearly devoted reader, that I have a *cough* few soapboxes that I climb upon from time to time. I'm going to pull out the one that is labeled "Really, People?" Ok, everyone ready? Got a good seat? *scans crowd* Can everyone see? Ok? Good...

Ok, I just read this article about all the malware on Facebook. Go and read that article, it's short. I'll wait.

*shuffles feet, waits for people to get back...*

Folks, what possesses people to click on that, thinking "this is legitimate"? I mean, really? And the same goes for the one that is the "funny condom commercial" and "live baby birth." Did your grandma post the link for "funny condom commercial"? So, lets look at the logic: would they normally do that? If the answer is no, then...come on, make the jump with might be malware. Is it worth the risk of a facejacking virus that tells everyone you're gullible1, for the slim possibility of seeing a photo that someone committed suicide after taking? Is it worth your clients, vendors, etc seeing that you clicked on a lamp that happens to look like questionable lady-bits? After all, there is truth in the old adage "It's better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt."

*steps down from soapbox, cleans off shoe prints. tucks it back under the table.*

1 Yes, if you have clicked on one of those links, I'm calling you gullible. My own aunt has clicked on one, and I've called her that as well. I have no shame.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's getting cloudy

If you've been paying any attention to web innovations lately, you'll notice that clouds are the latest thing happening. But for those who have been paying attention - squirrel!- to other things, we'll explain the concept briefly. Cloud computing is resources, such as data or software, that are available on demand from a network rather than from the local computer. Say, you are working on a project, and need a certain piece of data that is on the cloud. You connect to the cloud, via interwebz, and get that data, and continue on your merry way.

So here's why there's so much buzz about it lately--Google has a cloud, Amazon has a cloud, Apple has a cloud, lotsa clouds out there. And lets face it, not every user is going to be using them for business--they are set to revolutionize the digital music industry, by allowing users to access their music files wherever they are. Everyone from Joe Businessman to little Billy Tween will be using them for work and pleasure.

Here's some articles about the different clouds:
iCloud casts shadow over other cloud services

Amazon Sees Many Winners in Cloud But Wants Top Spot in eBooks

Google Launches Cloud Music Service ‘Music Beta’

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Search is Dead, and I Don't Feel So Well Myself...

Is traditional searching of the interwebz dead? Bing certainly seems to think so, and Google, though not as vocal, has amended its search features as well. This article discusses that Bing's people are saying traditional ways of searching the web--text content, links, etc--isn't as useful as it used to be. Today, they claim, people want more than just the standard web search results when they type in "seafood." They want the restaurants with the best reviews, they want the best recipes, and they don't necessarily want the history of fried seafood. Ok, understandable. We all want what we want, and don't want the unnecessary.

So, how are Bing and Google achieving this miracle of mind-reading? Crystal balls? Tea leaves? Government mind control devices? No, no, nothing that complicated. Bing, if you are simultaneously logged in to Facebook and Bing, will look at your and your friend's "Likes" and will use that to influence your search outcomes. Google is using their +1 feature, which allows you and your friends to rate websites for their content. A higher +1 rating among your friends means that the site will show up higher in rank on your searches. Essentially, both of these features are asking your friend's opinions about your topic, and guiding the search results based on that.

As with most things, I can see the good and bad with this. If I were able to tell Bing/Google which friends to listen to, I'd be gold. I have some friends who, upon the search for "seafood" would begin asking if the restaurant's menu also has chicken fingers, since that is all they consent to eat. Other friends, though dear to my heart, are not to be trusted for movie recommendations. You get the idea.

So now, we get to sit back and watch to see if this will revolutionize the interwebz search process, or if is more of an annoyance than it is worth.

*bonus points to anyone who can tell me which author the title of this post is an homage to.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something to keep an eye on...

So, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced that it has added 35 new members, saying that it shows an interest in web standards such as HTML.

First, we don't expect everyone to know that there was even a W3C in existence. We'll give you a pass, it's a web geek thing. But the W3C is hoping that with these new inductees (Sony, LG Electronics, Netflix and Facebook are among the 35) will help to breathe new life into the innovation of HTML and the interwebz.

That's cool, you say, but really, what does it mean for me? Well, if there are new innovations made for the interwebz, it means that--should you implement those innovations on your website--you then are cutting-edge for your products as well as your clients. And of course, someone has to learn and implement those changes, thus bringing some economic opportunities for web developers. Innovation always brings competition and change to the marketplace. Hence why you should keep an eye on what goes on in web innovation. We're just saying....

And, to indulge our ADHD a little, here's a smattering of things that caught our eye but really don't have anything to do with anything:

Super cool looking PC case: Lian Li PC-U6 Cowry case: an aluminum seashell to keep your PC looking stylish

Well this should be interesting: Firefox 4 downloads way ahead of IE9

Failed Gadgets: Buxton Collection

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hey Look, It's a New--Squirrel!--Blog!

Yes, dear readers, it's blog time again. This time, I'm having a hard time focusing on what topic exactly to opine about. So, you get to reap the ADHD benefits, and get a --Squirrel!-- link round up. And comments. You know, cause that's how I roll.

Facebook, Your Future Bank
I don't trust Facebook to get my privacy settings right, so I sure don't see myself handing them my banking information any time in the near future. And what do you mean that the "virtual currency" market will reach 2.1 billion in 2011? That's a lot of fake gardens, Farmville people. How about you give me the $$ you'd spend on that, I'll make a real garden, and not pester the crap out of your friends?

Microsoft: IE9 best at sparing your laptop battery
I read this article on a laptop that has no battery life left, has been through three--count 'em--three power cables, and it occurred to me that I hadn't ever thought about my browser being an integral part of my power drain. But there you have it, in all it's graphy glory.

The Next Generation Of Social Networking Has Emerged
"The next generation" might be exaggerated a bit (I read nothing of Klingons, blind engineers, or British-accented Frenchmen.*) However, I see using social media as invention sounding board, cheap R&D if you will, as just another facet of social media as a marketing tool.

PSA of the Day
Just a good thing to do every so often. Who among us hasn't felt the nausea of a hard drive crash? Or, for those elite, smelt the distinctive odor of toasted computer components? Neither is pleasant, so lets just back our info up, shall we?

* yes, I just made a Star Trek reference. My geekery knows no bounds.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Facebook "Like"

Been on Facebook lately? Yeah, I know, that's a silly question. But have you noticed that Facebook has been changing the use of the "Like" button? That when you like a company now, it acts more like you've shared it? And so it shows up on your friends' news feeds, letting them know you like a company. From a marketing standpoint, this is fantastic--John, and all of John's friends now have more brand awareness for WidgetCo that he just liked. John will be able to receive special offers that WidgetCo may send out, and therefore hopefully be more brand loyal. And WidgetCo hopes that John's friends will in turn like the Facebook page too. for a business, that is wonderful--more brand exposure.

But in all of this liking, does Facebook come off sounding like a valley girl? Are they making the fact that someone likes something on Facebook trite? Is it becoming something that people will gloss over, simply because it is everywhere? Are we losing the impact of the marketing by making it automatic, rather than something someone has to make an effort to do? Will John's friends care that he likes WidgetCo, or will they ignore it because there's five other news stories similar to it? Something for marketers to noodle.

*side note, you know how if you stare at a word too long, it can look like it is spelled wrong, when it isn't? well, in writing this, the word "Like" is looking crazy wrong right now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where Were You in 2001?

Let's travel back to the year 2001, shall we? Gas cost $1.46 a gallon, and a postage stamp was 34 cents. The iPod is released, and Wikipedia goes online. Shrek, Ocean's Eleven, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone were at the theater. What were you doing in 2001? I was in college, typing term papers on a two inch thick Compaq laptop that ran Windows 98 (that would change at Christmas time, when I would upgrade to Windows ME.) I surfed the interwebz on dial-up, with Internet Explorer 6. In the ten years since then, I have graduated college, gotten married, had five different addresses, spawned three children, and upgraded IE twice (IE9 is due any time now.)


What's that? You're still using IE6? I'm afraid that we're going to have to stage an intervention regarding that. And this site would agree. After all, as they state on the site, "Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer 6." You don't want to be behind the times, do you? you don't want to make some poor web developer's life harder, do you? If you use IE6 you are doing just that--developers have to put in extra hours to support IE6, as opposed to the newer browsers. So go and upgrade your IE already. Let someone else be left behind by technology.

Friday, March 4, 2011

And One Password for All

Wanna know what I think would be a fabulous idea? Make one password work for everything you do on the internet. Think about it: you would no longer have to remember your password for Amazon, for your bank, your credit card site, itunes, etc. Pay your car payment online? Same password as for your Papa John's account. How could this go wrong, really?
Was that a little heavy on the sarcasm? Sorry folks, I'll try to lighten it up next time.

So, yeah. There is a proposal floating about wanting to make this happen, in the name of security. "It will be a great thing for commerce" they say. "It will be more efficient" they say. Efficient, maybe. More secure? I doubt it. You see, in jobs past I have worked with people who, though they were told not to, wrote down their passwords on sticky-notes, and had them stuck to their monitor. Even if their password was "12345" they still had it written down, and stuck to the computer. Really. They weren't being asked to have complicated or elaborate passwords, no 15 character, numeric and special characters combo jobs. But, you may say, they'll take it more seriously! They'll be sure to make it a password they'll remember, be conscientious to make it secure! If you believe that, then we've not worked with the same type people in the past.

Another reason that I have big misgivings about this "one password" idea is that, if it were to be hacked, a person would be screwed. This would be password would be linked to benign things like Amazon and Papa John's (if those retailers enrolled in the program) true, but it would also be linked to things like your banking, your mortgage, and your medical records. Think that having your identity stolen now is a pain? Then think about it if they could get everything about you, down to your tonsils that you had removed when you were eight. This would way surpass what they can do with your Discover card number and your social security number. "But it would be really hard to be hacked" you may say. True. But even the Pentagon's computer system has been hacked. If our military, our national security's computer system is vulnerable to hacks, then I am skeptical that they could keep so much information out of the wrong hands.

And that is what all of this boils down to, really. It's my information. My mortgage, my Amazon account, my hospital records, my Expedia account. If i choose to be a moron and tell everyone that my password is the names of my kids all put together, then so be it. I get to reap those repercussions. But I would rather be able to make those decisions than have it made for me. Maybe I'm stubborn. I rather think it's independence.

Want to read more about it? Take a look here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The End Is Near!

Anyone feel like marching on a street corner and wearing a sandwich board proclaiming the end is near? We could shout at people with a bullhorn that the interwebz is running out of IP addresses, and we must repent! Come on, it'll be fun! No? Ok then, maybe scaring people with tales of blog's deaths, told by a campfire? Sill no? Man, what fun are you?

Ok, seriously. we really are running out of IP addresses, did you know? though as this interview states, it'll take another year-ish before it results in zombie riots, there is some salvation to be had. We are currently using Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). when we run out of IPv4 addresses, we will move to IPv6, which will give us 340 undecillion (3.4×10 ^38) new IP addresses. That's a stinking lot of zeros.

And this article talks about how the NY Times tried to scare folks claiming that blogging is dead, among young people. Yes, they're using Twitter and Facebook to microblog, condensing their lives into 140 character bites. That means that blogging (in the long diatribe sense) may be not as popular, but blogging is changing, evolving. And besides, you'll still have the long format blog around—too many people depend on photo-by-photo tutorials of how to make a perfect grilled cheese for it to go too far.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring Starter Site Promotion

Addison is offering a special promotion for spring on a new solution we developed called a Starter Site. To be eligible for the Spring 2011 Promotion for you must like AddisonTech on facebook. Just go to and leave a comment that you are interested in the Spring Starter Site and we will contact you to get things started.

We aim to customize your website solution to meet your goals, and sometimes an entry level site is the right fit. We are now offering a managed cost solution that provides versatility while protecting your image because image is everything. Your website doesn't have to look as if your nephew painted your logo on your work truck.

It's a standard 4 page web site, that will have a custom banner, and you will be able to populate the pages and be able to update them as often as you like. If you can upload photos on facebook, you can do this. It's Brochure ware at a managed cost.

One Domain
4 page web site
Customized banner
Your preferred color genre
Logo integration to banner
Background image or color
You manage the content
Written online tutorial

Who is it for:
Perfect for contractors
Perfect for auto shops
Perfect for Pizza shops
Perfect for businesses that don't have a website

50 dollars a month no setup fees
This is not a consultave solution
You provide pictures(ex. banner and background) and logo
You create and upload content
2 year contract
Credit card required

In Review:
We generally consult and design custom web sites that blend with current marketing strategies and increasing brand awareness and loyalty, however over the years we have not been able to offer something for businesses that just haven't reached a need for those high end services. This is the genesis of the Spring Starter Site and to kick it off we are offering it with no setup fees for a limited time. Just go to our facebook page and like us, then comment on our wall that you want the spring starter site and someone will be in touch with you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

WebSite Design: Timeline rules

Web Design / Time rules

As a Web designer or a owner/manager of a company building a new web site, you will be combing over every fine element hundreds of times. That is an important part of the process, but it is equally important not to lose site of the goal of creating maximum user experience on your website. We spend hours upon hours criticizing whether logo should be ½ centimeter to left or this icon should be higher etc etc… Sometimes it better to stop, close your eyes, go the home page and use the time rules. The Time rules are simple and concise.

Part One: 3-5 seconds.
In the first three to five seconds the user will form an opinion about the professionalism, trustworthiness and overall pleasure of the company. This where a good web designer earns his/her pay. So Let’s do an exercise. Open a browser, let the home page load, count to five, and answer the following questions as if you had never seen the website prior to now.

1. Was the website professional and clean?.. pictures..colors..branding

2. What size company did the web site portray?

3. What was the one branding/messaging that was most prevalent?

4. Would an existing loyal customer recognized the site as being the same company
He or she does business with everyday?

5. Would a prospective customer relate the web site to the product or service it is known for?

6. Did the website have a positive or negative rating overall? Give reasons.

Part Two: 7-10 seconds.
The second crucial timing as to whether a website is successful at its goals are in the seven to ten second range. After a user has created an opinion towards the company, the user needs to be able to find information. The information will be different depending on the company or purpose of the site. A user of a news site, for example, would be looking for the hottest, new story of the day. A user of a law office might be looking for types of law they practice or a list of lawyers at the firm. This is where things like, navigation, featured areas, contact information seen clearly in the banner, and live help applications help in making sure the user finds information. If the user does not find how to get to the information in this critical window, he/she will most certainly click the back button and go to a competitor’s website. The vast majority of objectives, relative to what information a user is looking for, should be covered in the site planning portion of the website design. Having a good Site Map and a description of featured areas on the home page prior to site design is critical. Once it gets in the designers hands it is often too late to fix major missing objectives.

After the site design process the website designer plays a key role in prioritizing objectives with page placement and size. Also navigation is cricitical in making sure users find information. Ready for the exercise? First determine what specific information you are interested in finding. You may have 3-4 major things your website should be able to do. That is fine, do this exercise 3 separate times and each time look for one of those things. Once you have a target, open a browser count to ten while navigating for that information. Now Answer the following questions.

Was it natural to find the information?

Did it require thought or translation in terminology to find the information? Did the site use the correct wording for the item a common user would know?

Was the information obvious?

Repeat these questions for all major types of information users would be searching for on your site. Understand you can’t satisfy every user so use common sense and the 80/20 rule (80 target the major 80% of users in the major search) and let minor information and expansive information be more of a drill down option.

Hopefully this will help you gauge the success of your new web design and realize that its not completely about overanalyzing every space on the web site, but being a success to the user in a certain timeline. If you have any questions or would like us to consult on your website go to and contact us. And yes you can try the time rules on our web site and give us feedback if you like. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Giants are Battling Again

I'm sure by now, you've seen news of the allegations that Google has made against rival Bing, about Google's search results being copied. Google says that they can prove that Bing uses their search results –they have linked results to specifically garbled queries in Google, and then watched those same results show up for Bing searches. While there isn't a lot that Google can do--people who are in the know about these things say that Microsoft likely didn't break laws with this snafu--they do seem to be trying to deliberately embarrass their competitor. This really isn't that surprising to anyone, as much as Google and Microsoft have battled in the past. We expect the next move in this brawl to be that Microsoft will be caught shooting spitballs at Google, causing Google to reply with "Neener-neener" and blowing a raspberry.

Here's a plethora of links on this story, though they all pretty much say the same thing:
Wall Street Journal
PC World
Financial Times

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Did You Win the Nigerian Lottery?

The holidays are behind us now, with their massive amounts of online spending. I remember hearing someone joke that Black Friday and Cyber Monday were followed by Identity-Theft Tuesday. Well, in a way, they were right. But according to this article every day is "Identity Theft Day" in the underworld of the internet. Nefarious nere-do-wells can buy a person's credit information for reasonably cheap (I can just hear it now: "what do you mean MY credit information was only worth $500!")

While some retailers are utilizing ways to combat this, making sure your IP address and credit card number are from the same region of the US, etc. But what about you? What can you do, to proactively take responsibility for your rear end? Well, first off, don't respond to phishing emails (Go ahead, roll your eyes, but apparently some people really do believe they won the Nigerian lottery.) After that, just be aware. Look at the website you're going to make a transaction with. Does it say "https://....." (emphasis on the "S") in the checkout address bar? Is there a little padlock on the bottom right side of your window? Does something just not "feel right" about the website? If the answer to any of these three is "no" then don't do business with them. Find what you need elsewhere, it is the interwebz after all.

*At least I'm not beating the "secure password" drum again, right? But you do need one, you know.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is It Photoshopped?

We've all seen the photoshopped photos, emailed by people claiming "Look at what my aunt's cousin's baby sister's neighbor's pool boy's grandma saw in her photo!" We know, and can easily determine that "the face of Saint Aurelia of Austria she saw in the clouds above Cincinnati" is actually Lady GaGa's face photoshopped over someone's Cincinnati postcard. But what about the good Photoshop jobs? Like, maybe, photos that are used as evidence in court cases? Well, scientist Hany Farid has figured out a way to look for signatures, much like ballistic forensics, in photographs. He says that he is able to tell what camera make/model took the photo by looking for these signatures. If the signatures are altered, then photo editing software has been used on it. It does not, unfortunately, show where or how the photo has been changed.

This allows new verification to a photo's authenticity, useful of course for legal things, court cases and such, but also to photographers and photo purists. Just think: we can finally know if there are legitimate photos of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster,and UFO's!

Monday, January 3, 2011

We told you so. Again.

We told you so back Here
Now, go read this article

For the love of Pete, employers need to get a social media policy for your business. Don't just make one up, either, but make sure it will hold up according to the law. Yeah, that will cost a little bit of money. But better that, than learning things the hard way, in a lawsuit.
If you are an employee who utilizes social media, then be sure of what your company's policy is. Is it wise for you to mix business and pleasure—ie, are your coworkers or clients your friends or followers? Can you even mention who you work for? What about mentioning coworkers or projects? Find these things out before you potentially find yourself in a lawsuit.