Staying connected on the go

I recently took a trip out of state. I packed everything I needed in my car; cash for the tolls, coffee cup, clothes, umbrella, and my many devices: laptop, iPod, phone, GPS and tablet. I had all the necessary items except what was keeping me connected. At the hotel with a dead phone I realized I forgot the wall adapter that charged my phone. Silly me. With each electronic  having a separate battery and charger, it’s easy to lose track of all the USBs, mini USBs and various car and wall chargers.

Here are a few things I bring on a trip to keep connected:

USB/Mini USB Flash Drive
On some devices a USB 3.0 port is customary, where a mini USB is now the universal connection for tablets and most cells.

Mobile Hot Spot
If without WiFi, the hot spot allows me to pick up a connection through a designated access point.

WhatsApp
A cross platform instant message service to send text, pics and videos, this is available for iOS and Android phones.

Apple’s Airport Express
Because everyone likes free stuff and most travelers hate having to pay for recurrent internet charges at hotels… Apple came up with a solution to set up your own WiFi connection in a box.

USB Wall charger/car charger (extra)
For those times when I thought I packed everything, but didn’t.

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This week’s cleaning house – Technology Highlights

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[Interact with my Presumé here]

Prezi showed me how to create a resume that stands out.

LA county students hacked their district’s iPads. Makes you wonder if they should have built a privacy app that was child proof.

Never miss a word with Livescribe smartpen, a Bluetooth compatible writing device. It makes lazy writers (like me) never have to use a computer – they can send their scribbles with the click of a pen.

Evernote is doing some great things like integrating with Salesforce and starting an online marketplace, but does not garner my attention with a statement like this: “[We want to] eliminate the stupid uses of paper.” I say NO: preserve our love for books and neon post-its.

Starting October 5th in Durham, North Carolina, you, me and grandma will be able to try Google Glass first hand. This traveling roadshow with LIVE demos and Q&A will be on tour before releasing to retail next year.

And crowdfunding kicks off with Kickstarter campaigns and bitcoins; fictional online currency to exchange goods.

Mapping TED’s Ideas Worth Spreading

TEDTalks duo ecologist Eric Berlow and physicist Sean Gourley questioned how to connect TEDx ideas – some 24,000 video clips in a content library in the cloud. Identifying patterns, they developed an algorithm, or mathematical structure to correlate relationships of this data.

Things to know when watching:

Natural language processing (NLP) – for speech-to-text translation to extract key concepts of an idea

Meme-ome – mathematics that underlines an idea, the results from NLP

Interestingly, tags do not generate ideas, but rather a network structure of network IDs. These architectural complexities are examples of creative synthesis, central topic points or bridging of ideas.

We constantly try to make connections in our lives from those with people and events that shape who we are. In this blog I try to make connections and with the beauty of tagging, you can see those keywords at the end of each post.

Google’s Fall Rollouts

You could go to one of the many Google blogs and be distracted by flashy ads invading the side panel of your screen and be bombarded by Facebook notifications of useless polls and updates. Or you can let me highlight Google’s big announcements below. Still here? Good.

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Quickoffice
Editing a Microsoft® Office document, let’s say Excel, is not that easy on a Google Nexus tablet, or any Android device for that matter. Sure it’s easy to view a document with Smart Office, but you cannot make changes. Google introduces Quickoffice, free to use and easily integrates with Office and Drive.

Note: Everybody likes free swag. So when you log into Google Drive from your Quickoffice account by September 26, 2013, you’ll receive an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage.

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Google Keep
I use my Google Keep post-it app daily and now it syncs seamlessly with Google Drive. Also recently rolled out, Google Keep features time and location reminders you can set to your checklists. For example, I can make a grocery list on my tablet in Google Keep and with a click of a button, it is accessible on my PC via Drive to print out for the grocery store. I can also be notified of such a list when approaching the destination thanks to Google Now location reminders.

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Open edX
Google teamed with edX to “further innovate” the open source MOOC platform. Both companies have the same goal: to accelerate education by making it accessible through technology. With this shared vision and Google as a contributor to edX’s new website MOOC.org, students will hve access to quality learning.

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Chromebooks
In an effort to make college education more affordable and accessible, Google is partnering with colleges to offer reduced priced Chromebooks. Twenty percent of school districts deploy Chromebooks with Google towering the market at the $300 price mark. This school offers Chromebooks fully equipped to its students with a price tag under $200.

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Google Translate
The latest version of Google Translate for iOS recognizes handwritten text in nearly 50 languages. I can literally use my stylus to handwrite umlauts or Chinese characters rephrased letter by letter.

New Hampshire’s Best Known Secret

There are two event websites I use for niché groups and networking – Meetup and Eventbrite. These sites are useful to finding activities in your area. This week I attended a 3½ hour NH Salesforce User Group (via Eventbrite) held at the FIRST headquarters.

I will gladly use this time to capitalize on “New Hampshire’s best known secret.” So you know those segways that public safety officers and annoying tourists scoot about on? The Human Transporter was invented by Dean Kamen of DEKA, and noted friend of inventor Ray Kurzweil. In an effort to get students (ages 6-18) more excited about STEM careers – engineering, robotic design, and animation, Dean Kamen started the nonprofit FIRST. Inspired students plan and then construct working renditions of moveable models with LEGO® Robotics, and often work with scientists to solve real-world problems. Competitions aspire students to gain 21st Century skills including creative problem solving and fosters lifetime exploration of science and technology for children, our tomorrow’s leaders.

Back to the User Group…

A user group is essentially like-minded people gathering around a table of donuts and coffee (sadly no NY bagels) sharing ideas, tips and tools of the trade. I listened, I shared, I observed. We discussed best ways to use Salesforce to attract different audiences, how we can bridge the gap with mobile communication and by using the CRM platform to its greatest potential, see substantial ROI. As an audience member, I was most impressed with Southern NH University’s College for America demonstration as I saw first hand the student portal, paying close attention to how the organization optimized the system for their user. An opportunity to see inside some of New Hampshire’s most promising companies and a chance to learn about SF best business practices, this was an event I will have to wait until next February to attend again.

The brain behind Google Engineering – Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil, futuristic thinker, TEDTalks, SXSW speaker, and founder of Kurzweil Education Systems. He is the man who thinks he will live forever and inventor of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, developed with optical character recognition (OCR) technology and text-to-speech software for sighted and blind people.

In 2012, Larry Page hired him as the director of engineering at Google. Following my last post, Kurzweil is working on projects with machine learning (AI) and natural language processing.  By 2029, Kurzweil hopes artificial intelligence will be able to recognize human emotion and advanced syntactic parsing.

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For clarification, [Kurzweil]:

My mission at Google is to develop natural language understanding with a team and in collaboration with other researchers at Google. Search has moved beyond just finding keywords, but it still doesn’t read all these billions of web pages and book pages for semantic content. If you write a blog post, you’ve got something to say, you’re not just creating words and synonyms. We’d like the computers to actually pick up on that semantic meaning. If that happens, and I believe that it’s feasible, people could ask more complex questions.

Kurzweil is using Google as a catalyst to propel artificial intelligence into the future. With great anticipation, I can’t wait to see Google’s transcendence into machine learning research.