Archive for the 'technology' Category

Daily Gratitude: Geekery

Growing up, I rarely fit in. I was a reader, an early adopter of technology, didn’t watch tv, abstained from drugs/alcohol/boys and didn’t get fashion and popularity at all. It was painful

Now I have the comfortable identity I wish I had then. Geek. Woman and geek. Or, geekgrrl. I’m so grateful to have found kindred spirits, both locally and across North America online, and life is good.

No one describes being a geekgrrl better than the amazing Marian Call (buy her albums!):

Posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: gratitude, technology | 1 Comment »

Daily Gratitude: Internet

My daily morning ritual includes a check of all email accounts, facebook, twitter and a couple of different newspapers, all online. If I don’t have time or ability to sit down at my computer, I can do it all via my BlackBerry instead.

I tend to take so much for granted about today’s technology and the Internet. Being always connected, having the Internet always available for information, maps, phone numbers, schedules, etc is really an amazing capability.

I’m grateful for it, and all the technologies that support it. I wonder what the next 20 years will bring?

Posted on Monday, December 27th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: gratitude, technology | 1 Comment »

Random Odd Things

I started writing a serious blog post on changes in lifestyle over the last twenty-five years – then said “meh”, hit save, and wrote about random odd things, instead.

  • How does talking about bra color raise awareness of breast cancer? Is it an attempt to outsmart cancer by figuring out which color it doesn’t like? (Thanks, Eric!)

  • How does a failed terrorist attack by a Nigerian, screened and boarding his plane in Amsterdam, demonstrate a systemic failure of the US TSA system?
  • Why are baristas in bikinis still a source of headline news and community outrage? I know, it must be the inhumane, winter cold working conditions for the exploited women.
  • How long before we won’t be able to buy groceries at all without bringing our own bags or other containers at some politically correct stores?
  • Washington state has been debating the parameters of allowing convicted felons to vote. The latest ruling supports voting from prison, based upon civil rights concerns. If I recall my long-ago civics class, didn’t a felony conviction once cost a citizen the privilege of voting?
  • Why do teen boys never manage to pack toothbrushes when they travel? And does this change with maturity?
  • Does this headline annoy the snot out of anyone else? “Day One For Obama’s Transgender Technologist” How about “Day One for Highly Qualified Test Pilot/Technologist”, instead?
  • Speaking of technology, do you care about the upcoming Mac tablet computer? Personally, I’m ambivalent – Apple does shiny well, but is about as closed source as a vendor can get.
  • Why do Joan Osborne’s blues make me happy, not sad?
  • What would it take to make Sarah Palin go away? And don’t you think we could raise the price of her silence, whatever the total?

Are there any other random things you think about in the oh-dark-thirty hours of the night? Share them, please!

Posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: Politics, technology | 5 Comments »

Need some Facebook Friends?

I am a minor league social media whore. I blog, tweet regularly and have an active facebook account. I comment on other blogs, post in online forums (fora?) and participate in organized online activities like NaNoWriMo, Blog Action Day, International Shutdown day, etc. I belong to two informal online communities, formed around common interests and kindred spirits.

Really, though, I use social media as an augment to my real world social life. I have some 150+ Facebook friends, slightly more than the average but nowhere near the numbers of some of the true online socialites out there. Every one of those friends is a real life friend. They are all folks I know, would have lunch with, can call, email or talk professional questions through with.

I simply don’t accept friend requests from people I don’t know. It doesn’t matter that they’re a friend of a friend – I’m not using it to network broadly and make new friends. It’s not that I share a lot of really personal information on Facebook – but I don’t have time to wade through updates, app requests and quiz results from folks that are not friends. (And *ugh* on the stupid quizzes, can’t we demote them to a separate feed or something already?)

Anyway, I saw a news article today about a service, uSocial, that enables you to *buy* new friends on Facebook. (Because, yeah, that’s what true relationships are made of!)

Not surprisingly, Facebook itself doesn’t like it and considers it a violation of the terms of service. Conceptually, it “detracts from Facebook’s efforts to create a culture of authenticity.” You think?

I can’t imagine being so caught up in the world of online popularity that you would think that buying friends (or fans) would be a worthwhile investment. It’s a sad world out there where that type of service can be a viable business model.

Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: communication, technology | 5 Comments »

A Tale of Great Customer Service

I have been battling perplexing and annoying Internet connectivity problems for nearly a month. Occasionally my digital local line drops out, and quite frequently, my Internet access has high latency or comes screeching to a full stop. For those that are into such things, a description of the problem and initial troubleshooting is below the cut.

Today, during a particularly bad patch of connectivity when I was trying to participate in a conference call & webcast, I got annoyed and managed to send a note out via twitter:

Nasty internet connection latency plus repeated digital phone service crashes means yet another call to Comcast. Isn’t telecom fun?

Much to my surprise, a Comcast technician replied to my tweet within 15 minutes with an offer to help.

This could have seemed a “big brother” type response, but the technician made both a non-intrusive open-ended offer to help and her twitter account was set up with obvious care – her name, a picture and a profile that indicated she was a real person.

Through @replies and DMs, she did proceed to help, rather successfully. It appears she provides support through this model all day long and is rather pretty darn effective at it.

By the end of the day, I had a call from a Tier 4 local plant technician who looked at my stats and records and agreed that there was indeed a problem with my Comcast connection. (Darn it, I wasn’t taping…) I will be getting a call from a field supervisor to set up an onsite trouble call early next week.

What Comcast didn’t know is that I work in call center technology for a similar Alaskan company, and am always interested in effective use of alternate support channels.

This is a nice model, a positive application of Twitter and the near-real time capabilities of the Internet, and I’d love to see our company adopt something similar in its technical support center.

Nicely done, Comcast!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: communication, technology | 8 Comments »