October Gadget News

RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook
This 7-inch tablet, known as PlayBook, has some features that the current iPad lacks like dual cameras for video conferencing and the ability to play Adobe Flash content. It runs a proprietary new QNX OS from a recent RIM acquisition that claims to be very robust and enterprise-friendly. It will be interesting to see how many developers sign on to create new “corporate” tablet apps.

Portable TV From Vizio
There are lots of reasons for people to own a small, battery-powered TV. It would be handy to watch TV anywhere you happen to be, like in bed or on a boat, for example. Since the digital transition rendered all the old analog-based portable TVs kaput, there have been a few manufacturers like Haier who have brought out ATSC (digital tuner) TVs. Vizio (yes, the maker of those inexpensive Vizio HDTVs) just joined the group with a 7-inch WVGA battery-powered TV that lists for $159.99.

Ivi.tv Offers Cable Alternative but for How Long?
It sounds too good. For $4.95 a month you can stream TV from 25 different channels with a hardwire or wireless router high-speed Internet connection from the Seattle and the New York City markets. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch Eyewitness news from WABC, Channel 7 in New York City? The problem is WABC and just about everyone else associated with the programming is not thrilled about the idea and have been trying hard to get Ivi to “cease and desist.”

Latest Panny Micro Four Thirds
With no mirror to make the camera bulky and interchangeable lenses, we remain big fans of Micro Four Thirds cameras. The latest one from Panasonic, the Lumix GH2, even supports a 3D lens. It has some impressive specs like 3-inch touchscreen display, tap-to-focus, 1080p video, 14 megapixels and 5 fps burst mode. However, it costs as much as a decent DSLR at around $900.

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Why Digital Signage Content Is King – Part 2

Certainly there are a number of third-party content aggregators that can provide fresh information by using real estate on the digital signage screen, just keep in mind that too much syndicated content and you risk squandering your core communication strategy. There is nothing wrong with syndicated content; it’s extremely desirable for many kinds of communication strategies. It’s just that too much of it and your message becomes diluted to the point that, well… what is the point?

Now on to the elephant in the room: Who is creating the content that is going to drive the company vision, value proposition, market differentiators, news, promotions and entertainment? Here, I examine solutions that go beyond the obvious answer of hiring someone like a full-time graphic artist or ad agency -two steps many business owners are likely unprepared to make until they see results that justify investing in professional talent.

Before you read my ‘elephant busting’ content tactics below, keep in mind that the success of any digital sign relies on having a clear communication strategy with stated goals and ways of measurement that are accepted by stakeholders.

Tactic 1: A well thought out template for digital signage will go far; plus, it can be repurposed for other campaigns with little effort. If you are short on manpower to accomplish this, consider your company’s website designer or nascent employee with starlet skills. Another possibility is to outsource the template design to a third-party firm. Either way, you are still in control of your key message.

Tactic 2: Tapping into data automation is a great way to repurpose existing resources without needing a content manager, graphics artist, or a third-party service provider. Additionally, widgets or other software programs can be used to source news feeds, social media feeds, weather forecasts and corporate web pages. This could happen simply by sitting down with stakeholders and identifying pieces of data that could populate a digital signage template automatically without staff intervention.

Tactic 3: Leverage existing marketing, promotional and advertising materials to minimize the amount of original content that must be created. Existing content, including social media assets, TV, Internet or YouTube commercials, viral video and corporate video can be reused on digital signs when appropriate.

This may only require sitting down with the person in charge of marketing and finding out what media assets are available to repurpose on the digital signage system. If such media fits within your company’s communication objectives, your marketing department may be a rich source of Web videos, PowerPoint presentations, animations, logos and other valuable assets.

Tactic 4: Better digital signage software will support RSS as a source feed. RSS feeds are often available directly from one’s website, which may be great way to reinforce corporate news. Additionally, there are countless sources of both local and national news feeds from many Internet providers on popular topics that could supplement a digital signage communication strategy.

Tactic 5: Some digital signage systems are available with optional TV tuners that allow programming to be imported into a digital signage layout. Integrating TV relieves much of the burden of creating a lot of fresh content.

However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. The cable or satellite TV source may not allow retransmission of its programming without first paying a licensing fee. Another is possible competitive conflict. For instance, how would the owner of a used car lot feel about unintentionally displaying the commercial of a competitor on his digital sign?

Relying on these five tactics can help any business owner -small or large- create the content that gets and holds the attention of viewers without taking on a new employee or vendor. In my next column, I’ll offer five more tactics that can be used to help create content, and may finally chase the elephant out of the room.

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How to Repair Slow Computers

Does your computer take a long time to boot and an even longer time to go on the Internet? Are you frequently frustrated with how long it takes to do things on your computer? Try these tips to speed your computer yourself.

Some of these tools need to be downloaded from other sites. One is free and one is a trial version. The others are part of Microsoft Windows and are already loaded on your computer.

1. Fix hard drive errors with the Checkdisk utility on your computer. To find the Checkdisk tool, go to Start>My Computer>Local Disk C:. Right click on the Local Disk C:. On the menu that appears, select “Properties.” Inside “Properties” you’ll see a tab that says “Tools.” Find the error checking utility (first section on tools). Click the button and select both check boxes. Reboot your computer. While rebooting, Checkdisk will fix your hard drive errors.

2. In the same tools section as mentioned above, you’ll find a defragmentation tool. Run it to defragment your hard drive. This puts all the fragments of each file together so it’s not so hard for your computer to find them quickly.

3. Fix registry errors with JV Powertools. This is an awesome computer repair and speed up tool. You can try it for sixty days for free, but it is so good at repairing registry errors and tweaking the system for better speed you’ll want to use it again and again, so you may want to buy it. Use the registry cleaner and system optimizer tools. Download it here: JV Powertools 16.

4. Clean out all your junk files with ATF Cleaner. After installing, check “Select All” and “Empty Selected.” This will clean out temp files, cache files, old installation files, and other unnecessary files that slow down your computer.

5. Turn off unnecessary process with Msconfig. Go to your “Start button” then to “Run.” Type in Msconfig and hit “Enter.” Then go to the Startup tab.. Uncheck any processes you don’t want to start immediately with your computer. You can always start them later. For example, if you don’t want Microsoft Office to start every time you boot your computer, you don’t need it to run on startup. Let it start when you need it. Turning off some processes at boot time will improve your computer’s speed.

Now your repaired computer should be significantly faster.

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Why Professional Cloud Based Email Services Opt for Advanced Appliances?

It has now become impossible for corporate houses to store and keep track of incoming and outgoing emails. That’s because the volume of sent and received mails has gone up significantly in a paperless office environment. This is the reason reputed cloud based email services are keen on advance appliances for proper archiving of electronic messages. Such a device helps companies to search, recover, and produce data, when requested. There are several benefits of this apparatus. Let’s read to know more about it.

Instant Data Search

When a corporation is badly caught in a legal battle, it is required to produce mails that may be 7-8 years old. These records serve as valuable evidence in a court of law. The company cannot afford to waste time looking for old files, documents, and records. With the advent of an advanced mail archive appliance, the process of searching can be expedited and simplified. The device not only archives the mails, but also indexes it as well as the attachments. The indexing is done based on date, day, time, topic, sender, and receiver. In other words, it makes your task extremely simple and convenient. There are no possibilities of your business correspondence getting tampered, deleted, or modified.

Fast Recovery of Several Years of Data

Besides assisting organizations with archiving messages, these devices also score high in terms of speedy retrieval of business data, and that too at lightning speed. The greatest advantage is that it doesn’t curb several users from searching valuable data, information, and attachments simultaneously. There are additional functionalities like all search queries gets automatically recorded for legal use. The installation process is easy and simple as it takes only an hour of your time to install the apparatus so that you can reap the maximum benefits of using an archived email system. It’s a simple plug and play device.

Safe and Secure

With the advancement of technology, modern devices assure protection, security, and damage-proof storage facility for electronic messages. Even attachments that are sent, or received within the organization or outside it are secure and easily accessible. So, email archive compliance adherence is easy with devices having the ability to meet all kinds of legal guidelines in order to keep all business communication safe and secure for several years.

A Look at the Beneficial Features

Devices that are technologically advanced are equipped with features like:

  • Prompt search facility along with fast recovery of archived information.
  • It is tamper-proof and regulatory compliant.
  • You can easily integrate it into any previous electronic mail system.
  • The process of retrieval of information is simple and easy to use.
  • It is provided with a cutting-edge plug-in that helps in the prompt access of info that has been deleted from the inbox earlier.
  • Such appliance is perfect for businesses big and small, including giant corporations.
  • The hardware is secure, safe and flexible for easy use and implementation.
  • The combined login feature gives access to multiple users to keep track of mails.
  • Advanced options help to reduce response time.

So, an effective appliance is one that’s tailored to your organization’s needs for the fast retrieval of messages and attachments.

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