Category Archives: Technology

General Technology Related Posts

Recognize the music – Guest Service

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”
– Friedrich Nietzsche.

This quote by Nietzshe has always stuck in my head. No so much for the statement itself, but for what it can be expanded to. We all dance to our own music. Some call it the beat of our own drum. To some, our dance looks chaotic. To others, it looks rhythmic and intoxicating. What more interests me, are those people that can recognize other peoples music and sync with them in their own rhythm and beat. These are the truly talented hospitality folks I occasionally work with. Continue reading Recognize the music – Guest Service

Secret Menus – Would they work in all hospitality?

Growing up in Southern California I became addicted to In-N-Out burger. Though I never worked there, several of my friends in high school and college did. It was through their conversations I first learned of the “Secret Menu” items and become addicted to animal style Double Double burgers. To this day, They are still my favorite, still not published on the menu board but no longer really a secret. Continue reading Secret Menus – Would they work in all hospitality?

Starbucks Application and Web Referals

Seamless Native App to Web Site integration needed!

Have you downloaded the latest IOS Starbucks Application? In many ways it feels cleaner with the tile format and more items and information added. The ability to subsidize the pay of the employees (i.e. Tipping) is an interesting add as well.

When reading through the screens of information like the benefits of my Gold Card, the attainment of drinking way too many coffee drinks and having way to many on the run lunches here, I notice several references to the Starbucks web site for more information. First impression is Im in a Starbucks App connected to the internet. Can’t you just show me that page rather than list it’s URL for me to go to? Continue reading Starbucks Application and Web Referals

Theory of, and the Internet of EVERYTHING!

Physics has a pursuit of the Theory of Everything. It’s goal is to provide a single framework that connects the physical universe. It gets into some pretty heavy stuff that we all have heard of like Einstein’s General Relativity and the hot topic of Quantum Mechanics.

The idea that there is a single mathematical equation to explain the universe brings me back to meaning of the universe defined in Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. 42 may be the answer but the answer is beyond most of us to understand. Continue reading Theory of, and the Internet of EVERYTHING!

My Applications I use on a daily or regular basis

I get asked at least once a week what applications I use on my iPad and Computer to make me functional. I had an email I would send to people but have decided since I need to get my Blog entries back up, this would be a good place to point them to.

Here are my applications…

Evernote: I refer to this as my primary application sometimes. I use it daily to as their tag line says “Remember Everything.” This application takes input from web, camera, email and a variety of other ways, does an OCR for text and indexes it all. It’s fuzzy logic search, tagging, reminders make it one app I wouldn’t function well without. If you register through this link, you can earn yourself a one month premium subscription trial and help extend my subscription by a month! EVERNOTE REGISTER

PDF Expert: My favorite application for editing, drawing and commenting on PDF files on my iPad.

Quickoffice Pro HD: My favorite application for editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on the iPad.

GoodReader: Between Quickoffice and PDF Expert, this may be duplicate of some tasks but I have found several times that PDF and office documents are viewed better with formatting in GoodReader. If I have time one day, I’ll work on a comparison chart.

Pages, Numbers Keynote. These are Apples alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you are going all Apple then you may consider changing to these. But then you need to learn how to save as Microsoft format to exchange documents with other people that use those. May be better to stay Microsoft Word and Excel even if you are all mac.

DropBox: I use dropbox to sync and have access to files between my PC, iPad, iPhone and from the web on computers when I don’t have mine. Also many of the applications I mention here can access the Cloud based storage directly.

TurboViewer: DWG and CAD file viewer. This is faster and better than the official app from AutoCAD below.

AutoCAD 360: AutoCAD viewer for CAD files. Need to get a free account to use. This is the “Official” AutoCAD viewer and sometimes displays files better than TurboViewer but TurboViewer has been more consistent in displaying better and faster.

VSD Viewer: This is for Microsoft Visio. I’m not sure you need to view Visio files. We do a lot of our one lines in Microsoft Visio but publish them in PDF format.

Skitch: An editor to put documents/images/pictures directly into an Evernote folder.

Talkboard: A whiteboard application used to collaborate with other people on a drawing.

Magic Plan: A neat application that I use to take a camera picture of a room and it draws the room for me. Not 100% in its abilities but it has helped me several times save a few hours of work.

WolframAlpha: An encyclopedia style application that provides answers to lots of measurement and statistical questions.

Basecamp and Wrike: These are two project management applications I use for getting non-computer people involved with my projects. Basecamp is simple and has made the difference in several projects but lacks some real defined PM features. Wrike is still fairly simple but operates like a more formal project management application.

Audible: This is my book listening application. I only list it because I do use this several hours a week to listen to business books and information. Including wall street journal. It by far is the application I spend the most amount of time in.

Mark Munger

Verizon iPhone – I can hear you now!

I received my Verizon iPhone today. I’ve had mobile phone service since 1985 through Pac Bell, AirTouch and all the other iterations up to Verizon Wireless. But when the iPhone came out, I got an AT&T account as well and have used it as my primary phone for a few years. So will I switch back?

First glance:

Data & Speed: I’ve decided that if I really need to be on the phone and use the data connection at the same time, I am rarely not within a WiFi zone. So that doesn’t bother me. Running speed tests from a few locations in the Las Vegas area this morning I found that AT&T does have some slightly fast data speeds but at best it’s 2368kbps vs 2011kbps.  I can live with that.

Converting / Restore: I restored the backup of my AT&T iPhone and it notified me one app, PageOnce, had an invalid signature. Another app, PocketScan, failed to restore for some misc reason.  I also noticed my song count is off by about 20 songs out of about 2000. Not sure where they went but I’ll look into it. Other than that, the restore appeared to be a great success. If anyone is interested, my critical apps are Toodledo, Evernote, and Trillian. Other apps of personal value are Pandora, Tweetdeck, Facebook and Mashable.

Phone Calls: Vegas has good AT&T coverage except when big conventions come to town or in some of the casinos. I’ll test this out further as I go. But I look forward to my drive to California tomorrow to watch my AT&T signal go away and still have a few bars on my Verizon iPhone!

Tethering: I tested using the phone as a WiFi hotspot and it worked well. .8Mb/s down and .4Mb/s up. I can live with that was well. I’ll test it against the MiFi in a few days.

Should I have waited for the iPhone 5? Well since I pass my technology down to other family members, I’m sure nobody minds another iPhone 4 in the mix. I’ll likely still upgrade in June just like I always have.

Otherwise than above, it really is an apples to apples conversion. 🙂

CES 2011 takeaways

Overload of stuff. All good stuff though. But what were my impressions about technology and products.

Television bezels are getting thinner and thinner with almost all picture and no frame.

3D without glasses is getting better but not quite here.

There are enough tablets being shown that they may move beyond tech enthusiasts to everyday users.

My phone can do everything I want including make a phone call IF i happen to be within a good coverage area.

Technology acceptance and use is at an all time high and rapidly increasing. This is one industry that is not having a recession.

Microsoft takes 30 days to process digital order?

I recently renewed my Microsoft Action Pack. This is a benefit that Microsoft provides to it’s partners allowing then to use, demonstrate and close sales on Microsoft technologies to increase productivity at customers business’s. I went online, completed the information and paid with a credit card. Very smooth, or so I thought…

I needed to download something over the weekend to show and got the message that I didn’t have access. I checked my credit card statement and indeed, the charge had gone through. Thinking it was just a system error, I emailed to inquire but didn’t quite know what to think of the response

Thank you for your inquire however, the Partner Network states that the order could take up to 30 business days to process… WHAT? 30 days to process an all electronic order for a digital download. I ordered a product from a neighbor of Microsoft’s, Amazon.com, on a Saturday and had my product delivered to my doorstep on Monday.  And Microsoft can take up to 30 days for a digital download? Maybe the folks in Redmond need to take a field trip down the road to see how internet commerce should really work.

Smart Interactions

Smart Phones have become an industry upon themselves. Even I sometimes wonder what I would do if I couldn’t play chess or wordwarp on my iPhone. But do applications really make a phone smart?

If there is an APP for That then there also needs to be an application for that App. And to be truely smart that application should involve interactions with other applications, data or devices.

A device isn’t truely smart unless it has something to be smart with. Knowledge isn’t power unless it’s shared and applied. In a connected, smart world this is even more the case.

Smart phones and Smart Devices in general need to interact, share data and as a group, create better information and environments. I’ve worked for several years on bringing networks that were once individual silos of information together. But only in the past few years has the integration of the devices on those converged networks begun to interact natively. Here is where the power of smart devices really pays off. When they talk together and no longer require a master router/gateway/controller to interpret and be a point of contention and failure. It is when we have a true collective of individual components that we really achive a smart world.

Let me know your thoughts!

The future looks cloudy

I’ve followed cloud computing for a while with great anticipation of it’s potential. Although I still see some issues with security and management, the current range of companies offering services fits many current needs at prices that are cost effective and versitality that exceeds what any company (or individual) may need.

Elastisity is a term I associate most with the cloud. Todays computing environment has many ebbs and flows and the cloud allows you to plan for the median rather than the extremes. I am a fan of Amazon Web Services (Check my facebook page to verify!) which I believe has one of the best Cloud Computing offerings. From low level to high level to storage, Amazon is excelling at this.

What’s this got to do with Hotels, Casinos, and/or Real Estate? Computing is a resource that does not need to be located locally with the user. All three of these industries have limited space or have better use of space than to have computing resources stored and managed locally. We have used Citrix, Terminal Server and other products to move applications to a manageable environment. Moving applications into the Cloud is the next eveolution of this access.

Check out Amazon Web Services (AWS) and let me know what you think. Also in my list are

Google: Is it evil to want to dominate the Internet?

Microsoft Azure: It is evil to want to dominate computing worldwide but they do bring better things to life. (whoops, wrong company tagline!)

AT&T Synaptic services: I’ve always like the core AT&T technologies and this is core.

And GoGrid: I hae a collegue talking this company up but need to do some more research. They sound good!

Cloud Computing is on an early adoption stage much like the internet of the 90’s. It will grow. It will suceed. It is here to stay.