In 2012 there has been more change than a CoinStar machine sees

Wow, 2012 has been a year full of surprises and changes. I honestly can’t imagine any more happening. Most of the way through November and so far this year I’ve turned 30, gotten divorced, lost some friends in the divorce, met somebody new, learned who my real friends are, refinanced my house, refinanced my car, put my house up for rent, gone to Seattle, gone to Cabo, gone a little crazy, rediscovered cooking, discovered painting, been promoted to Vice President of Digital Product Management at Vistage, taken ownership of our online product Vistage Connect, gone to Dallas, gone to Erie PA, gone to Columbus Texas, joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego, gotten a new “little” and on and on…. What a ride.

What’s the point of sharing all this? I guess for starters it’s my excuse for why I haven’t blogged in so long. Though I think the the truth is that when I started this blog I missed the point. I LOVE technology, I eat sleep and breathe technology, but this blog became busy work, something to fill time when I was bored, and for the most part it’s been boring. I need to pour my soul into this blog. Share my love for technology, share my life, share what I would want to share with my friends. After all, you’re the only ones reading it ūüėČ

From the work standpoint I am VERY excited by the changes. I honestly think I can help my company realize a whole new approach with digital strategy. There are so many executives out there who NEED Vistage and the coaching we offer because it will help them do better. I look at this from a mission standpoint, if we help more executives that means higher performing companies, more jobs, and a better economy.

From a personal standpoint being divorced is actually a good thing. Why be sad about doing the right thing? So I’ve moved on, I’m enjoying the person I’ve discovered myself to be, and I’m enjoying being around the people I want to be around.

My promise: I will blog at LEAST once a month from now on. This is very cathartic.


How to get the most out of your Google searches

Getting the most out of your Google searches

Click me to learn how to get the most out of your Google searches

This infographic is absolutely amazing. Learn everything you need to know about Google, especially if you’re a student. There really isn’t more I can say about it. Please check it out, print it, do whatever you need. Pin it to the wall!!

I have to tell you, it’s honestly hard to find content this good and this straight forward. There is nothing in this infographic that you can’t use to learn tricks you never would have guessed about Google.

For instance; did you know you can type author:feist magician to find the book Magician written by Reymond Feist?

There are a ton of great tips here, from converting weights and measures to looking for specific file types. Check it out.


Fiverr, how five bucks got me a very scary new stalker

My new secret stalkerMeet my new stalker, he’s very scary and the video below proves it. How did he learn about my blog? How did he learn so much about me?

In this incredibly disturbing video I come to find out that this person, who supposedly fell in love with me through Facebook then Googled me and knows this blog exists, knows my home address and has plans to visit me…. TONIGHT!

The answer to how this malevolent creep got my information (he actually does name my blog and street) is that it was sent to him by my buddy Adam.

Adam really did get this video done for $5. On a new website called Fiverr ( that puts people willing to perform various “gigs” for $4 together with people willing to pay $5 for said gigs. Fiverr then takes the extra dollar and everybody wins. Cool right?

Here are some of my favorites, do you have any?

I will write and sing a song for you for $5

I will call anyone you want and give them a hilarious reading from Vinnie the Statin Island Psychic

I will create a Tim Burton inspired portrait of you or anyone you know for $5





I’m on Pinterest, it’s cool, but what now?

I’m on Pinterest now and I’m very fond of it. It’s a great way for me to show off the things I’m into and finding out what everyone else likes. Buuuuuut, there are a couple things that I wish were different. For instance, it’s ALL ladies!!

Don’t get me wrong ladies, you’re awesome and I find my world 1000x better because you exist (since I wouldn’t exist without you) but as far as a social network goes we have very little in common.

For instance, I’m a guy and I like pop art, video games, and anything nerd. I mean, you’re reading my blog and it pretty much explains it all.

If you click on the image to the left, which is my pin wall, pin area, really what do they call it?, you can see that I have furniture, a cute umbrella, something about dancing in the rain, and a recipe. So, not a whole lot of “guy” going on. The one picture of a zombie finger is cool. I’ll repin that one.

The next thing I’m going to try is to really feed my pinboards so that I can create ones that appeal to my own demographic. I think by doing this I’ll be able to identify like users and pin back and forth between us. It’s really what social networking is all about right?

I guess my advice to new Pinterest users is don’t immediately start following everyone you know. That’s not what this social platform is about. Be very thorough in finding people who have boards that interest you. Follow those boards, and repin what they have. Also, create your own boards that really show what you’re all about and make sure you populate them (I’ve yet to put in a strong effort here) and you will find people that share your interests will follow you.

That’s what Pinterest is, social networking based on interest, not on connection.


Having Fun With QR Codes

Like our Facebook page with just this QR code

It’s amazing what “new” technologies can do in the right hand. I put new in quotes there because the technology we’re talking about today, QR codes, was invented by Toyota in 1994. However, since the invention of these fascinating little images we have found tons of fun ways to use them.

So, what exactly are they? They’re a lot like bar codes, except that instead of being limited to just a few numbers some QR codes can have as many as 7000 characters. You can make QR codes that include your entire contact information. Alphanumeric QR codes can contain 4,296 characters.

If you want to check out some cool things you can do with QR codes I’d suggest going over to QR Stuff ( and playing around with it. Here are some of the options they list.

  • Website URL – link straight to your website, rather simple
  • YouTube video – this would auto load a video on your phone
  • Google Maps – pull up a location on the users phone, like you know, your business
  • Twitter – nuff said
  • Facebook – Great option here, you can go to a profile, auto like a page, etc..
  • Telephone number – it can actually dial your business
  • Pain Text – this is great for scavenger type things. Pull up plain text that says anything you want i.e. “say the word Tubalcain at our store and get a free gift” P.s. if you don’t know what Tubalcain is you need to know it, guaranteed way to get out of jail.
  • SMS Message – not only can you pull up a phone number but you can make the phone write a text for the user to send. So they can do things like subscribe to your text updates or get a phone call back
  • PayPal Buy Now link – put this QR code on your product at a show or on a poster of your product, then you customer can buy it right then and there without having to do anything else.

There are more but I hope I’ve shown you just how amazing these little things can be. Seriously, you’ll have a blast playing with QR codes if you get into it. And believe me when I say that EVERYONE will know what a QR code is in the next three years. While it’s old technologies the crazy uses for it are just getting started, just you wait.

So how do I read these codes? Basically, you just need an app on your phone. Be careful though, some apps automatically do whatever the QR code says, this can be dangerous if somebody puts malicious code on a website or wants you to send a text to a premium number that’s going to charge you $39.99. So I like to use the good old Google app on my iPhone. By using the picture icon next to the search I can take a picture of any QR code and immediately know what it’s going to do BEFORE it does it.. See below:

I spent six hours cleaning up my Facebook timeline, should you?

Facebook Timeline, the all stories setting

This was when I realized how long it would take to clean up

At first I thought that switching to timeline would be a fun activity and a cool new way for my friends to see my profile. I couldn’t have been more wrong about the “fun” part.

Let me take a few steps back actually. I recently decided that I was going to live by my own advice, whatever you put on the internet you should assume is public to everyone (at least as it pertains to social media). So I’ve made all my profiles public, visible to all, and I’m being as transparent as possible. After all, I’ve got nothing to hide.

Well, that wasn’t exactly true. Once I switched to timeline I started playing around with it and realized that it’s possible for somebody to see every single post I made since I joined Facebook (only a few months after the site was created). That was a problem because Andy from 2007 is a much different Andy that the one from 2012. Nothing was worthy of being fired for or anything like that but still, it wasn’t the foot I wanted to put forward.

So I began reviewing all posts, month, by painstaking month. I started doubting whether it was even necessary to do this, after all how many people are going to go over my entire timeline with a fine toothed comb? The answer is simple, any future employers. See this NYTimes article to prove it: Social Media History Becomes a New Job Hurdle. You can see from the article that employers are using what you post as a decision point, and why shouldn’t they. So if you are in high school, or the parent of a young future president that is active in social media. Remember to clean up that history, or better yet, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your future (or current) boss to find.

Have you had any timeline horror stories?

What is SOPA and PIPA, the law causing an internet blackout today and what does it mean to you?

SOPA and PIPA reality infographic

Click for full size infographic explaining SOPA and PIPA

Your favorite websites could be ripped from the internet for something you did. That’s the plain and simple explanation of what you see being protested on the internet today. If you edited a Wikipedia page about China and posted an image the Chinese government found not to their liking they now have a powerful, too powerful, method to fight back. Get Wikipedia removed from the internet all together. I’ll be honest, that’s a doomsday scenario. I’m sure that our government wouldn’t rip Wikipedia down just because of an image. But the reality is that hundreds, thousands, of your favorite websites are at risk, simply because of how they operate.

Video sharing sites, photo sharing sites, any website where consumers can choose what to post are at risk for DNS blocking if they are deemed to not do enough to fight copyright infringement.

Why is this such a big issue? Because it’s a step in a direction that is¬†fundamentally¬†wrong for this country. We would be using the exact same tactics employed by China, Iran and Syria to censor information on the internet. It’s a step towards agreeing that something that was born of the very freedom we enjoy, the internet, should no longer be free.

I am not saying copyright owners should lose their rights on the net. The reality is that piracy is rampant and there is way too much abuse of copyrights in public channels. We all know it, we’ve all tried to view an NFL game that was blacked out (well, most of us anyway), we’ve all watched a video from something we saw on TV that had been illegally recorded and maybe we didn’t even know it. So let’s own up to that reality, agree to consume less piracy, but lets SCREAM OUT against this “nuclear option.”

To share your thoughts with Congress and join The Strick click this URL:


Firefox 4 Review – It rocks my world

Firefox 4 Own You Have you had a chance to check out Firefox 4 yet. If you haven’t please press pause on the YouTube window you have open (yes I can see your screen… spooky) and go get it immediately. It’s o.k. I’ll wait.. oh, a link would help: Download Firefox 4.

Looks: Is it just me or is this one nice looking interface? Honestly if Firefox 4 was a guy he’d be on the cover of GQ. If Firefox 4 was a girl you’d be following her on twitter.. let’s just say it’s got it going on..

Is it faster? I’m not nerdy enough to load up laptops with every variable the same and different version of FF but anecdotally I can tell you that yes, it’s a BMW M3 compared to the beat up 325i you used to get your first handy at prom (was that just me?).

Does it work well? Well, let me put it this way, I didn’t use Chrome for months after it came out because the Add-On that I live and die by (Roboform) didn’t work. I decided since it works in I.E. and Chrome I’d upgrade to Firefox 4 anyway (Yes, I regularly use all three browsers, and Rockmelt too when I feel like complaining about something). It worked guys, right out of the proverbial box. Roboforms, Firebug, Aerofox, all of it….

Final Verdict: 9 out of 10 (and other browsers all now get deducted 1 point for not being as great)

Thanks Firefox team.. seriously you should all go support them in any way you can.

And if you’re a lady and you stumbled across this entry don’t worry I have something for you too. Not only is Firefox now the best browser HANDS DOWN but you get to watch cute little cuddly Fox cubs play around in their den supported by the team.

Watch the Firefox Live FoxCam

The Japanese Tsunami Victims Can Thank You Google for the Crisis Response Center

Google Crisis Response Center for 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami It’s mind blowing when stuff like this happens. I woke up today, walked my dogs, and the second I get in the door my wife says “did you hear, an 8.9 earthquake hit Japan and a tsunami wrecked pretty much the whole north east coast.” No, I hadn’t heard but I immediately jumped on the net to see what was going on. One of the most difficult things about times like these for the people involved is trying to track information, find loved ones and find some sense of order in chaos.

In steps Google again, they did this for the Tsunami in Indonesia, with a tool to save the day. At the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis Response Center you can, in Japanese or English, get news, write into a bulletin board, learn information about essential services connect with people via social networks and even keep track of maps showing locations of survivors etc..

I would gladly give up a technological breakthrough like XBox if somebody told me I had to chose between it existing and this tool, even though I’ve never personally had to benefit from it (thank you and knock on wood). Google, in your quest to “do no evil” on this one I have to say, JOB WELL DONE.. honestly, thank you for this and please do more of this.