Friday, July 28, 2006

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog July 28, 2006

Tech Talk!!

Are employer e-mail restrictions justified?
Bosses will say e-mail and IM restrictions are a necessary evil in the work place. Employees will say it’s nothing more than “big brother” trying to control our actions. Well, the argument can certainly be made that employers have to monitor e-mail, for very good reasons. Companies are trying to cover themselves. According to this story, 24 percent of companies have been subpoenaed due to employee e-mails and 15 percent have actually gone to court over e-mails. That leads to immense, unnecessary and avoidable legal fees.
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Beware of “FormSpy”
I wanted to pass along some information to all you Firefox users out there. According to McAfee, there is a Trojan horse floating around that disguises itself as part of the Firefox browser. If you see something called “FormSpy,” don’t install it. Read the attached link for all the details. Also, this can serve as a good reminder. You have to protect your computer. There are so many bad places on the Web. Make sure your computer has up-to-date firewalls and protection. If you need help, or have any questions, you can find a lot of great resources on my web site at
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Help for commuters? Yes. But is it a good idea?
This sounds like a great idea, but is it a double-edged sword? Google, last week, began sending traffic information to commuters’ cell phones. This is great for helping people avoid the trouble spots and make their daily grind a little more manageable. There’s a “but” though. People are distracted enough when they are driving. Do we really need people reading the most up-to-date traffic information while motoring (or lack thereof) down the highway? Hey pal, watch the road or you’ll be in my bumper.
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Can it hit the ball for me too?
It’s summer. I like to golf. I wish I were better at golf. Maybe if I can figure out how to get this device to hit the ball for me, I’ll be in much better shape. Utilizing GPS technology, this caddie can tell you pretty much anything you need to know on the golf course about your ball position. It does everything except carry your bag for you, and hit the 7-iron, of course.
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Off topic:
Reveal your celebrity twin
“Hey you like ‘fill in the blank ________’.” I think we’ve all said that a hundred times to our friends. Who doesn’t have a friend or an acquaintance that looks just like a celebrity? Well, if you don’t, there is a web site that can reveal to you who your celebrity twin is. They’ve created software that analyzes facial features on downloaded photos and matches them to facial features of celebrities. Beware; the results may be a little frightening.
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Monopoly robbing the bank
I always “called banker.” No matter who I played with, I was always the banker. For some reason, I enjoyed handing out the yellow, blue and pink dollars to my friends and family. Maybe I got a rush when they gave it all back. The new version of Monopoly in the U.K., however, has pretty much taken the fun out of the banker roll. They’ve replaced the bank with an ATM-like device and the players are given debit cards instead of stacks of colored paper. In my opinion, sometimes technology does not need to be present in every aspect of our lives.
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Give me a break!
I know this country is becoming more and more obsessed about work. The 40-hour-a-week job rarely exists anymore. Heck, with PDAs and cell phones, some can make the case that they are on call 24/7. It is fine for some, but when you go on vacation and you bring your office, you may need to re-think. According to a recent survey, 43 percent of Americans take work with them on vacation, that’s up from 23 percent in 1995.
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Site o’ the week
Feeling a little stressed at work? This web site may help those blues a little. Enjoy.

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder