Thursday, December 11, 2014

For this blog post entry I am going to discuss 'The Tech Guy' podcast. It is a radio show that is based off of the main website, which is a site that excels at technology and science blogs, it always has a stream going, either live or previously recorded.

The show I watched and am interested in is The Tech Guy. It is hosted by a man named Leo Laporte, The show airs every weekend in over 170 cities both on the radio and the Internet. The show is based on Leo's big personality and love for technology. It mixes humor and technology based knowledge about on the spot caller questions or comments. He is sort of a jack of all trades technology radio show host having a wide range of topics that he is knowledgeable about. He gives his opinion on things such as the quality of the new iPhone5 or if someone should upgrade their router to fit their needs.

I personally find him slightly annoying, although I do like the topics that he talks about. I don't necessarily have an opinion on a particular thing that he talks about because the show is over two hours long and he talks about an abundance of things. The idea of the show is great though, I'm sure it's a very helpful show for individuals that are not very tech savvy. He helped a couple people with computer issues that I help people with every day at my work, which was pretty funny to see. I can imagine if you have a computer issue and you don't know where else to turn, if you can get through the call waiting line he would be a pretty good person to ask for general help.

I did notice that he seems to be an Apple hater, although he does it discreetly (probably to avoid offending people). I agreed with something he said about Apple with the general idea being: you pay about double for an Apple product, but you know that you are going to get 5+ years out of it without it breaking. That is definitely true, if I think there is a product that I know I will use for 5 years or longer (not too many products for me, because I generally upgrade all of my tech gadgets in two years or less) then I will buy Apple. For example I bought an iPad a couple years ago knowing that I was going to use it for years to come, so I went with Apple purely based on their reliability. I would never buy an Apple computer though, because I like to build my own computers and customize them to my liking and upgrade at my own free will.

I hope this blog was helpful on whether you should watch 'The Tech Guy' or not. You can watch about 5 minutes of his podcast to know if you will want to continue watching or not. I hope you all enjoy the Holidays!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ted Talks: "Am I dying" the honest answer

Original source:

I have watched several TED Talks in the past, as I find them very interesting. The beauty of a TED Talk is that it doesn't require props or a large effort to set up the stage for the speech, it just requires a good speaker with a great idea. It can be short and simple like the one I am reviewing, but equally as powerful. Matthew O'Reilly's "Am I dying" The honest answer is extremely touching. It is about a Critical Care EMT in Suffolk, New York that after a career of lying to people faced with imminent death and telling them that they were going to live, he instead decided to start telling the people the truth; that they are going to die. The reaction he got was surprising, and he noticed there was a pattern of how people reacted to hearing the news that they will die: 1) Wanted forgiveness for their faults in life. 2) Wanting to be remembered 3) The need to know that their life had meaning. He describes that in every situation where he has given somebody the bad news that they will in fact die he has received one of those three reactions, usually followed by peace and acceptance of the reality of death. This TED Talk shows that in death there are only a few things you care about, and in general they revolve around the need to feel like you made a positive impact on this world, and to know you did everything possible to minimize regrets.

There were no props or other visual aids used in Matthew's presentation. In this case, I don't think any are needed, you can tell by his eyes that he meant every word he said; death is not something to be scared of. Given the TED Talk was only about 6 minutes long, I would say it was an extremely impactful and effective use time, the presentation was extremely powerful both in message and delivery. There were no questions asked or humor used, Matthew says "thank you" and walks off of the stage. He delivered at a medium pace, and my only complaint is that he stumbled on his words a couple times, which is understandable because he is an EMT, not a public speaker. I think the overall flow of the presentation was exceptional. I felt as though the user walks you through, his background to establish trust in his opinion, and then leads you through body of the Talk.

I truly am comforted by watching this TED Talk. Death is something that is both inevitable and generally scary. It's nice to know that given imminent death, the overwhelming reaction is peace and solace. I think if I was faced with death I would not regret my past like some of these others have, but instead be sorrowful that I would have no more future. I do think I would like to hear that I am going to be remembered as a positive influence in peoples lives.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are here to stay. There are different strategies that companies and individuals use to convey the information they want and develop their own online identity. Companies using Facebook and Twitter have target audiences they are trying to reach out to. I am going to be talking about two different organizations that have completely separate agendas in their online presence, and what their reasons are for using these services.

Many of us frequent big box stores like Walmart often to do some if not all of our shopping due to cheap prices and wide selections. These kinds of companies are using Facebook and Twitter profiles, mainly targeting people that are already customers. If you like them on Facebook or Twitter you see between 3 and 5 posts a day, mainly targeted product advertisements. Around Halloween they were bombarding people will ideas of things to buy for Halloween parties like costumes, food, crafts for a successful Walmart purchased Halloween. There is very little distinction between their Facebook and Twitter pages, they are used very similarly in the fact that it is a flow of products and services that they would love for you to buy at Walmart. It also offers a unique experience where they will respond to your Tweets or Facebook posts with customized responses to make it a friendly and inviting online experience. In general it’s a way for them to constantly feed you advertisements for free with the intention of making more money. For many it could be useful to get ideas for holiday season, similar to how Pinterest is used.

The next example I will use is completely different both in its delivery of content and its reasoning for doing so. The Green Bay Packers use their Twitter and Facebook the same way most sports teams do, more as a source for news, updates and a means to get fans excited for upcoming events and contests. Similarly to Walmart, both its Facebook and Twitter are used for essentially the same purpose, almost with identical content. This is due to the fact that most of what they do is news related. The Packers use their Twitter account as an official way to release information about injured players and their expected returns. Really the NFL and world as a whole use Twitter as a way to get news extremely fast and to the point.

Twitter and Facebook have become means for organizations to easily pass current information and ideas on to their followers. The interesting thing is that you aren’t forced to follow anyone, and conversely you can unfollow anyone at any point. If an entities followers are going up or down is a pretty solid indicator if they’re doing a good job or not in the eyes of their followers.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Direction

I went to UW-Milwaukee directly out of high school just like the vast majority of my friends did. The main difference though is that most of them knew what they wanted to go to school for, whereas for me it wasn't that simple. I knew prior to going to school that computers and technology was where my heart was but I found it hard to convince myself that that's what I should do for the rest of my life. For me video games are a hobby of mine, a way to pass time, a way to keep myself sane from the stress of everyday life. In my mind for whatever reason it seemed like it would take the enjoyment out of my past time if I worked on computers for 8 hours a day then go home and try and unwind on a computer like I frequently do. So in the end I kept searching for something else to catch my interest similar to how technology has and over the course of a couple years at UWM I failed to find that alternate career choice. So I racked up debt and decided to move on from UWM, it was an expensive lesson learned.

I worked a dead end job for a couple more years and got fed up with being broke and unfulfilled and decided to go back to school for IT. The idea of going to school for IT matured in my mind. I no longer was going to fight it, IT was always the only choice I just failed to believe it. What's so bad about making a career out of what you're passionate about? So I did it and after my first two semesters I have a 3.96 GPA and I'm feeling better than ever. Knowing I was going to be taking an internship and capstone class I applied for an IT job with Milwaukee County and got it. I ditched my other job and feel like I'm finally on the right track to making my goal of becoming an IT professional a reality. MATC has been amazing so far, the teachers are so passionate and caring and I've made some good friends in my classes. In my time at my new job I've met multiple IT guru's that are MATC graduates so I really feel like I'm in a great place.