Friday, November 03, 2006

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Nov. 3, 2006

Technology Tell All!

Video Professor’s production team earns honors
Before we get into talking about some technology, I want to congratulate Video Professor’s long-time Director of Production Chip Hopkins, and his entire staff, for once again earning prestigious Aurora Award recognition. For their work on the Video Professor’s “Learn How to Buy and Sell on eBay®” tutorial, the team won the Platinum Best of Show Award in the Technology/Computer Training category. In addition, lessons from the “Learn Wireless Networking,” “Learn the Internet with the AOL Service,” and “Learn How to Buy and Sell on eBay” tutorials earned Gold Awards in the same category. I am extremely proud of Chip and his team. The quality tutorials they have been producing for nearly 20 years are the best in the market, and it is wonderful to know that they are being recognized for all their hard work.

Has air safety really improved?
Apparently not. It is pretty scary what can be accomplished with a computer and an Internet connection these days. A graduate student at Indiana University developed a web site that allows people to print fake boarding passes, allowing travelers to circumvent the government’s no-fly list. Now before we call the authorities to have this guy arrested, know that he created the site to prove to the powers-that-be how easy it really is to pull one over on the TSA. Since 911 the TSA has been preaching to us about how much safety on airlines has improved. Has is really? We need some competent folks in there making sure they stay one step ahead of the terrorists.
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Too much information
It’s a darn good thing that Video Professor has a tutorial teaching people to “Learn the Internet.” According to Netcraft, a company that watches the web, there are more than 100 million web sites. Netcraft has been monitoring the web since August 1995, and they said that only 18,000 web sites existed back then. The 50 million mark was surpassed in May 2004 and, in only a little more than two years, that number has doubled.
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Uh, I need to take that back…
I bet Mark Foley wishes he would have used this product. The United States Representative from Florida certainly could have avoided his troubles if he would have used software to erase his online past. That or he could have not sent inappropriate messages in the first place. But anyway, there is new technology that allows people to erase the private e-mails they wish they never would have sent. Check out this review of VaporStream’s new product.
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Off topic:
Earning their keep
One problem that has plagued Major League Baseball in recent years, other than steroids, is that a growing number of fans cannot buy into the fact that pampered players are breaking the bank and not earning their keep. Does Alex Rodriguez truly earn every penny of the $252 million contract he signed? Well, if you’ve ever wanted to figure out mathematically if a player deserves his millions, go to the web site created by Information Builders Inc. They have developed a site that allows fans to analyze a player’s statistics in conjunction with their salary to see if they are worth the money.
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Picks o’ the week!
Up and down, up and down. The minute that I start thinking I’ve figured out how to pick the winners in the NFL, I get popped the next week. Last week, thanks to Minnesota imploding at home and Baltimore’s defense taking control, I finished the week 1-2. The only thing that saved me was an absolutely incredible passing effort put in by Peyton Manning and the Colts against the Broncos. I guess Denver’s vaunted defense has a little more work to do before it can be compared to the 1985 Chicago Bears or the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Coming into the game, Denver’s defense was allowing less than eight points a game, but Peyton and company had no trouble racking up 34 points. So, heading into Week 9, I’m at 14-10 overall.

New England over Indianapolis: This has the makings of the game of the week. Arguably the two superior teams in the AFC are gearing up for a mid-season clash in Foxboro. Both teams are coming off impressive wins last weekend, and this game could be huge in determining home-field advantage at the end of the year. The Patriots have owned the Colts in recent years, and I foresee more of that same dominance this weekend.

Denver over Pittsburgh: What was Steelers coach Bill Cowher thinking last week? With Big Ben coming off a concussion and still dealing with a myriad of other ailments, he still played against a pathetic Oakland team. Still feeling the effects, Ben threw four interceptions and Pittsburgh was handed an embarrassing loss. Well, I see more of the same for the defending Super Bowl Champions this week. Even though they are at home, Denver will eek out a tough win and the Steelers will be left to lick the wounds of a 2-6 start.

Dallas over Washington: I know this rivalry isn’t what it used to be, but it’s still pretty good. Washington, however, is not. I do not think they have what it takes to beat the Cowboys. It looks like Tony Romo was the answer for “America’s Team” last week and it seems that he can keep Terrell Owens in check, at least for the time being. I think that Dallas will pick up an important division and road win.

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder