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The cowboy and the Gucci guy

January 29th, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in General | No Comments »

cowboy and the Gucci guyA little humor about technology!

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his heard in a remote mountainous pasture in Alberta when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”

Bud looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing heard and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany ..

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel®
spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”

“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Bud.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bud says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”

“You’re a Member of Parliament for the Canadian Government”, says Bud.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing required.” answered the cowboy. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep.

Now give me back my dog.

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Samsung Cell Phone Causes Fire Under Pillow

July 29th, 2014 ernie Posted in Cell Phone Safety | No Comments »

Samsung Cell PhoneYoung teen sleeps with her phone under her pillow and wakes to smoke as smoldering cell phone starts a fire! This is what happened to one teen and the picture shows the damage caused by the phone to the teen’s pillow. This was something that they sure did not expect to wake up to. Can you imagine this situation happening to you!

The whole phone melted,” her father, Thomas, added. “The plastic, the glass. You can’t even really tell that it was a phone.”  There is not much left of this phone and the family is thankful it is just a damaged pillow and not a lot more serious!

Samsung Cell Phone on Fire

The family contacted the news, and then Samsung, who pointed out that the battery inside the phone was in fact a replacement and not an original Samsung unit. They also pointed out that the phone’s user guide advises against such an action, noting that covering a device with bedding or other material can restrict airflow and start a fire. Who reads the instructions or the warnings that come with the phone. We are generally so excited to use our new phones that we ignore all of these instructions.

The Tolfrees, though, did not read that warning. (And let’s be honest – when’s the last time you read through the complete instructions to any electronic device you purchased?) “If anything, they should put a big warning on it, like a cigarette label, if that’s the case,” Thomas said.

Samsung has requested the burnt phone be sent to them for a post-mortem, and they are providing the Tolfrees with a replacement device, as well as fresh bedding and a new mattress and pillow.

Looks like the Phone Fairy came after all. This is a story that could have been much worse and both the family as well as Samsung are really lucky that they did not have to deal with something much worse than what happened.

Samsung Cell Phone – Getting Enough Sleep

In a related story, many people are also losing sleep because they take their cell phones to bed with them at night. They want to stay in touch and if someone sends them a message in the middle of the night they can react to the message. Personally the writer takes his phone to bed, it stays on the night table and is used as an alarm clock. The setting for privacy is set from 10pm to 7 pm so that there are no beeps or alerts during that time regardless of what messages or alerts come in.

We should say that this is common to all cell phones not just Samsung Cell Phones. If your phone does not have a privacy setting, then you are really better off to leave it down stairs away from the bedroom so that you can get a good nights sleep. Too many people are getting up in the morning not rested and not performing well during the day as a result. Teens can be especially affected because they need a lot of sleep as their bodies are adjusting to adulthood. Parents you may want to speak with your teens or remove the phone at night so that they can get the sleep they need to have. Even school results can be impacted due to lack of sleep.


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Apple Product Replacement Support

January 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Apple | No Comments »

Apple Product Replacement SupportI own an Apple iPhone five and it is one of the best devices I’ve ever used. Not only do I use it for a phone I also use it for most of my business. I have a to do list which keeps track of all the things that I need to keep track of and when I should get them done, I also use it for my calendar, my banking, and of course updating and writing blogs like this one. I decided to write a blog about this particular subject because my iPhone five needed to be replaced and I was totally impressed with the way that Apple handled my service requirement. Their service was truly amazing.

My iPhone five is only about eight months old and unfortunately it started to have shadows on the screen. I could still use the screen without any problem but I thought that I should have it checked out by Apple. I called their telephone support line and spoke to one of their support people and described the issue that I was having.

Apple Product Replacement Support – Fantastic

Without hesitation he decided on the fly to provide me with a replacement iPhone which he arranged to have shipped by UPS to my home. It would have arrived within two business days except that there was a weekend in between and I was not home on the day that the UPS driver arrived on his first attempt to deliver.

On the third business day I received my iPhone five and proceeded to transfer everything from the old phone onto the new phone. The first step is to make sure that everything from my old phone is backed up to the iCloud. Once this is complete you can then erase everything from the old phone. You also must transfer the Sim card from the old phone for the new card. There are instructions provided to show you how to do that.

Once the new phone was turned on it needed to be upgraded to the latest iOS. After this was complete it was a simple matter to back up the new phone from the iCloud and place everything back onto my new iPhone. This was simple and straightforward and only took a few hours for everything to download.

Areas to Improve

The only wrinkle was that I needed to reenter all of my passwords for the various systems and applications that I use on my iPhone. I personally choose not to store any passwords on my iPhone to provide additional security but that is just something that is peculiar to my own way of doing things.

I was totally happy with the support and service that Apple provided to me. They even provided the box that I was to use to ship my old iPhone back to Apple along with the routing tag and shipping information.

Apple provides an excellent service and I would strongly recommend their company anytime.

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Text Message System

December 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Text Messages | No Comments »

Text Message SystemA text message system operated by the telco is the most common text message system that most people are familiar with. For a fixed monthly price you can usually find text message system services that are unlimited. In other words you can send as many text messages every month as you want perfect smoke price.

Increasingly there are Online text message systems that are being offered by online Internet companies. These companies include Skype, WhatsApp and iMessage are three examples. Skype and WhatsApp will operate across any platform including android and Apple smart phones. iMessage will only operate on Apple system and they are free to all Apple smart phone users. The bottom line is that you must have a smart phone to be able to run these particular applications.

Text Message System – Manage from Your Desktop

Some text message systems can be Managed from your desk top. Skype for example can be used on your desktop as well as your smartphone providing significant flexibility and capability.

Set up tracking and reports if you need to keep track of the messages that are sent by text to your customers acquaintances or friends. There are applications available to run text message campaigns for marketing and sales activities, as well as sending alerts to customers and to general populations who carry smart phones and phones that are capable of receiving text messages.

Text Message System – Use Your Smart Phone

Another neat feature about using Apple iPhones and iPads when sending text messages is that if you have an iPhone and iPad linked on the same account, copies of your text messages will be on both devices.

This is particularly useful if you use a combination of an iPhone while on the road and an iPad in the office or in your hotel room at night. Having the flexibility of these text messages on both systems provide you with a great deal more information and control. The convenience alone is worth having both of these devices. At times you may want to use the larger iPad, while when you are at a meeting, going for a coffee, etc, you may want to only carry the iPhone. With either device you will always have the confidence of knowing that you are on top of your text messages at all times.

These apps are being upgraded all of the time. Recently, they have enabled voice recordings, pictures and videos to be attached to these message systems. They are no longer just text messages system, they have evolved into something much more powerful.

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Text Message Campaigns cont’d

December 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Text Messages | No Comments »

Text Message CampaignsOur last post discussed managing expectations, setting goals and objectives when you run a text message campaign. The important thing here is to set expectations and be able to measure them to enable your team to know if they are being successful or not. Most good text messaging companies will ask you to focus on this aspect. If their customers are successful, then they consider their products and services successful as well. In fact before you even call a company to discuss Text Message Campaigns, you may want to discuss with your team the objectives and goals of the campaign so that you can maximize your time and discussion results with the company that you interview to run your text message campaign.

Operators and customers also need to measure results since this is the only way you can really know if your program is successful or not. You may measure sales, queries, responses and overall customer contacts.  Depending on your business, you may measure an entire different set of key results. The most important thing is to figure this out ahead of time, make sure that the items you want to measure can be measured and check with the customer to make sure the they are satisfied with these measurements. Also you will want to know what the value is that will indicate success of the text message campaign. this is critical for both the supplier of Text Message Campaigns as well as the company that you are working for. Both parties need to show success!

Tracking Text Message Campaigns

If it cannot be tracked automatically, then you need to find another method to track results. Senior management ultimately want to know the impact on the bottom line i.e. profit and revenue! If you cannot show how this text message campaign is contributing to the bottom line, then your program is in trouble.

Tracking codes are normally used to track customer queries and response rate, however this is only a small part of the results you are really looking for. If you are getting a large response rate, but not converting to sales, then your in bound team may need to be tweaked to increase conversions. Focus on results and fixing problems as needed to ensure that the investment you are making in text message campaigns are a success.

Accounting for  Text Message Campaigns

Accounting can prepare reports to demonstrate the success or failure of the plan. Report results and keep management informed regarding progress, especially the impact on the bottom line. If you are the project manager for the Text Message Campaigns, always review these reports daily. Prepare summary reports for senior management to demonstrate the success or in some cases the lack of success for your Text Message Campaigns.

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Text Message Campaigns

November 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Text Messages | No Comments »

Text Message CampaignsOr previous post discussed the basics of text message campaigns. In this post we wanted to dig a little deeper into setting the goals and objectives of these campaigns. We feel that this is the most important part of the job or tasks for a number of reasons. We will discuss some of the reasons why setting goals and objectives can be so important in no particular order. Most people just want to get the program started, but hut this approach can mean that your campaign delivers a poor performance, something you do not want to explain to your boss. Do the job right up front and get better results.

Text Message Campaigns –  Managing Expectations

Managing expectations is one of the objectives of your goals and objectives. Your boss and management team needs to understand what the company is going to get out of this campaign for the money that they are spending. If your objective is 100 units sold and you sell 90, your almost their and might be considered successful, however if your objective is 1000 and you sell 90 units you’re a bum and probably will get fired. Setting your objectives is critical to managing expectations and your perceived success. It is important for the company from a budgeting perspective to manage the cost of the campaign and the response to the campaign. It is also important to your personal career to set the right expectation so that you are considered successful and not someone who missed their objectives.

Text Message Campaigns – Setting Goals

Setting goals also drives preparation for success. Preparing for success also means that you have sufficient product to ship and you have staff ready to help meet that need. Your associated budget is critical. If you cannot meet demand, while some people would say it is a good problem to have, your customers may shrink if you cannot meet their expectations rapidly.

Your suppliers must also be on board to produce and deliver sufficient product to meet your customers needs. Long delays can occur if you get it wrong as well as if you have too much product to ship and not enough sales.

On the other hand if you have a great deal of product available and ready to go with no sales or limited sales, the company has spent too much money and now you are faced with an inventory that will need to be discounted in order to move it.

Think about your goals and objectives carefully and set them in such a manner that you must stretch to meet them and also have a reasonable chance of success with your text message campaigns. You also need to be able to measure the results so that you can assess the results, improve on your next campaign and also explain to your boss or your customer how the goals and objectives were met.

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First time using Siri dictation

November 14th, 2013 ernie Posted in iPhone5 | No Comments »

First time using Siri dictationThis is the first time I have use the Siri dictation system in iOS seven with Apple iPhone 5.

I really am trying to figure out the best way to write blogs using the dictation system compared to typing all the blogs by itself. this could be a huge time saver for me, even though I am a relatively fast at typing! But there is no comparison to speaking and having a system auto convert to text in terms of speed as long as it is accurate.

My previous experiences been with Dragon naturally speaking and I have found it to be problematic in its accuracy in terms of interpreting my voice and coming up with the right structure and grammar etc.

First time using Siri dictation – Experience

This is the first time I’ve used the Siri system for dictation and in finding it to be almost 100% accurate and I’m sitting in the middle of a mall all kinds of external noise distraction around me, yet it seems to be working really well.

I have not corrected this particular post show you how accurate the Siri system is for dictation. I think there are probably five or six errors that I would’ve corrected had I gone through this post and done so manually. But I am very impressed with the accuracy of the system and I think I will be using it from now on.

I came across or was aware beware of the Siri system for dictation by reading an article from Feedly which is the news processing service that I received. Note that with the update to IOS8.2, the dictation function using Siri is much improved. It is more accurate, gives you real time results instead of having to wait for a response and it seems less impacted by spurious noise that may be in the background. Still, for best results you still need to enunciate clearly, articulate each word clearly and speak at a regular speed to achieve the best results. Even with this requirement, using Siri for dictation is far superior to typing by hand on your iPhone or iPad.  The writer uses this function a great deal and it saves time as well as improves the amount of material I can post. Accuracy is approximately 98%, so there is a need to go back and proof read.

First time using Siri dictation – Summary

This is definitely an improvement over dictating to Dragon Naturally Speaking and then copying it directly over to WordPress now I can dictate directly into WordPress which will save me some time as I’m writing these blogs. Let’s face it if you have the gift of the gab, speak clearly and articulate clearly, Siri will do a great job for you in terms of saving time.

This is a huge efficiency gain for anyone who writes a lot, whether you are doing blogs like I am, composing emails, sending text messages and generally developing content for your daily work.

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Text Message Campaign

November 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Text Messages | No Comments »

Text Message CampaignThe basics of setting a text message campaign is really quite simple. The difficult part is capturing all of the data you need to make the campaign successful. Anyone can send a lot of text messages to random numbers, but if you can target customers who have expressed some interest in your product or service, then your text message campaign will be much more successful and deliver the results you’re looking for. The first step is to decide who your target customers actually are, how you will collect their mobile numbers, what products or services they are interested in and how you will track results once you send out your messages to these customers. Can you confirm someone actually read the message? Can you confirm that they responded to your message and are you able to report on the success of the messaging campaign. These are tough questions to answer, but your management team is going to want to know the answers before they approve future expenditures in this area.

Text Message Campaign – Develop the Message

The second step is to develop the message that will appeal to the most customers while getting the message across to your target audience in a price effective manner. There are numerous companies on the Internet that will provide you with the software capability to send text messages to your customers.

Establishing goals and objectives helps to establish expectations for yourself as well as your management team and is the third step.  They drive budget, they drive staffing and they drive the overall cost of your text messaging campaign. You also compare results against these goals and objectives and explanations regarding any differences in results versus goals and objectives. This is something that your management team will be very interested in reviewing.

Text Message Campaign – Customer List

A customer list that is finalized and developed hopefully from interested customers is probably the best use of your money. This is the fourth and a really critical step in determining your success.

Handling the response is the last step in the process. While this is the kind of problem you want to have, there is no use having a great marketing campaign unless you have the company infrastructure to handle the demand and deal with customers. Keep them happy with a great product and great service and they will keep coming back. Failing to meet their expectations will drive customers away and give you a black eye with respect to customer service and recurring business. This is the time when your business can become profitable and can drive further campaigns that lead to further success.

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Text Message Advertising Companies

October 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Text Messages | No Comments »

Text Message Advertising CompaniesSign up with text messaging advertising companies to arrange to send text messages to your customers and potential customers. There are many details that can make a huge difference in the success of your campaign and determine the ultimate return on investment that you receive.

Evaluate the details before you sign a contract. For example where are you getting your phone numbers to send text messages too? Is it a list of phone numbers that you purchased, with no relation to your business? Or are the numbers from a list of customers who have provided their phone numbers with their permission for you to send sales up dates and advertise items that they might be interested in. Many people are ok with this later type of text message especially if they are interested in the products or services that they offer.

Text Message Advertising Companies – Customer List

Will you reach your customers with your customer list? This is so important if you are going to target customers with your sales information and get a decent return on investment. Avoid just blasting out information to customers unless you are attempting to expand your overall traffic. It is a bit of a wild card and success rates may vary a great deal, however your ROI will be lower as should the cost of the program as well which is a negotiating point.

Incent customers to visit you online or to your store by giving them a reason. A coupon for some amount of money, an exclusive discount for them or a special sale just for them may be the ticket you need to get them interested. Make it worth their while to first of all to sign up and receive your text messages and also visit your store or online website.

Aim for high value customers that have signed up to your list and want this information. If you can filter these customers even further and target the information to women’s clothes for example you will be even more successful. When they sign up try to learn as much information as possible so you can filter and target your messages.

Set objectives and then measure the objectives to assess the success of the program, to make decisions on further targeting and even if the program should continue or not. Often a few tweaks can make a huge difference in your campaign. By setting objectives you must also figure out how you will obtain the information to measure the results which can be built into your campaign.

Further by setting objectives or goals and measuring the results, companies will have valuable information to justify the program, to support future programs and to tweak the added programs that are being planned. The same approach can be applied to email campaigns in addition to text messaging campaigns.

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Text Message Marketing

October 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Text Messages | No Comments »

Text Message MarketingText message marketing can be an effective marketing technique aimed at online and mobile users with regular cell phones as well as smart phones. More and more people are now using smart phones which also allows them to use online technologies for texting that are free as an online app between people who have the same app. Skype, Whatsapp, iMessage and many more applications are providing this service free of charge to the end user for the chance to display advertising to that same customer. Gone is the day when you used the telephone systems text message system for marketing.

Get your customers to sign up by providing them with an incentive. They may be interested in your products and want to receive sale information or information about new products. You can give them a choice between receiving an email or a simple text message to update them on sales that you may be offering or discounts on services. This is a great way to alert them that products they are interested in are on sale and available at stores they frequent.

Text Message Marketing – Incentives

In-cent your customers to sign up by offering a discount of some kind on their first purchase over a specified amount. This works well to encourage sales as well as to encourage people to sign up to your distribution list.

This is a value able list of clients since they signed voluntarily and they also are looking for information from your company to gain more information about sales and new products. Your chances of making a sale is far greater with this list than any other list that you might purchase. Lists that are purchased are not qualified in any way and represent a random list of emails and phone numbers that have been gathered. Your return rate for a list that is not pre-qualified will be very low.

Do not waste money on blasting text messages to paid lists. The odds are much lower that any of these people will be interested in any of your services or products. These lists have usually just been collected from other lists and may not even be valid email id’s.

Use text messaging advertising to alert customers to sales and special offers aimed at clients who have expressed a previous interest in your services and products. This is probably the most important list of customers that you will have. Also when you do complete a sale, if you do not already have their email or cell phone number this is the time to ask for it. In addition ask for a report on the success rate of your text message marketing plans to confirm results and fine tune the program so that your success can be repeated and improved on in the future.

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