Morgan Freeman is everywhere!

December 28, 2009

So awesome.  Credit to Holy Taco.


My checklist for the trek to CES 2010 this year – UPDATED 12/28/09

December 28, 2009

Stuff I’m gonna be hunting down at CES2010 this year:

My 5 Immutable Rules of LiveMeeting (a.k.a. “Prep work you should do before you run a LiveMeeting”)

December 21, 2009

image Have you ever seen someone doing a presentation on stage that didn’t turn off their cell phone? 
Or didn’t turn off the room lights so the projection screen bled ‘white’? 
Or didn’t sound right or had ‘feedback’ because the speaker never bothered to do a microphone/sound check?

…well, guess what:  LiveMeeting has the same problems except they involve software preparation instead of physical preparation for the presenter. 

Here are 5 simple rules that I see people break all the time when it comes to LiveMeeting presentations:

    I consider not uploading your deck to be a lack of professionalism – and if you don’t know what “uploading your deck” means, you’ve likely never done it and really need to take a class on how to use LiveMeeting.  I mean, what it comes down to is despite having the luxury of doing the presentation remotely, you did so little preparation, you didn’t even bother to upload your deck to the LiveMeeting servers so that it appears clearly on the customer’s screen, much less test what the experience is like for your customer.  And BTW, you ought to flip through the deck once it’s been uploaded to ensure animations, fonts, & graphics placement translated correctly.  Improperly ‘translated’ slides is another dead giveaway you didn’t review your presentation online before the meeting.

    “DON’T PRESENT USING POWERPNT.EXE” (Corollary to Rule #1)
    I would be embarrassed if I delivered a presentation this way.  Live remoting/sharing-out POWERPNT.EXE and doing the presentation from within Powerpoint instead of LiveMeeting’s optimized, client-side caching presentation engine ignores the customer viewing experience and is either lazy or you don’t know how to use LiveMeeting.  For those of you who haven’t been on the viewing end of someone doing this recently there are two major issues for attendees when presenters do this:
    Slide changes are HEINOUSLY SLOW
    Waiting for a slide to change while an attendee is on a mediocre Internet connection is painful:  Blocks of the screen appear slowly and it’s like viewing the live video through a 56kbps modem.  It kills the attendee’s ability to follow your presentation.
    Presentations DO NOT SCALE.
    The slides don’t automatically size to fit the attendee’s personal LiveMeeting window.  This forces them to scroll up/down, left/right if they are running at a lower resolution than the presenter.  This results in attendees defocusing on what you’re saying and spending time scrolling around the screen.

    People… PLEASE.  This is Presentation Skills 101:  Before the customer sees your demo screen, shift down to 1024×768 & preferably down to 256 colors if possible – especially if you intend on doing a demo.  People can’t see your demo or your presentation if 1/3rd of it is off screen and requires the user to use the horizontal scroll bars to read it.  Frankly, this is probably the worst LM etiquette violation a presenter can have.  In my mind, it’s akin to having a customer meeting and not putting your cell phone on vibrate.  It’s just thoughtless and inconsiderate.
  3. “S… L…O…W… DOWN.”
    There’s a few of presenters I know that could be nicknamed, “The Fastest Slide Changers in the West”.  Customer centricity demands that you remember that LiveMeeting slide refresh speeds can be slow, slow, SLOW… especially with the horrible speeds of certain customer’s Internet gateways.  LiveMeeting’s presentation engine will pre-cache slides on a viewer’s machine in the order in which they’re organized to provide a smooth transition experience however it requires that they be connected for at least a few seconds beforehand so that it has time to download the content in the background.  If you jam through slides or especially ‘hop around’ your deck, people may not even see what you’re showing because you moved too quickly.  
    (An easy way to ensure you know what your attendees experience is like… is to simply open a separate LiveMeeting window as an ATTENDEE.  This way you can present and see what the attendee refresh rate is like.)
    Why would you ever not record the session for the customer to playback?  Why wouldn’t you want other customers to see the presentation recording that couldn’t attend?  And why wouldn’t you take the time to upload your Powerpoint for download via the LiveMeeting “Handouts” function?  All this is, is preparation.  Even if you choose not to forward the recording link to the customer later, this is still a great thing to have just in case the customer said something and you need to go back to the recording to find out what it was.
    (This is a corollary to the age-old, “Don’t assume there’s a projector at a customer’s site.”)
    I don’t understand folks that show up onsite at a customer then suddenly ask out of the blue, “Hey, is there Internet access available?  We need one so that someone can demo the product remotely.”  They reveal that they don’t have a cellular Internet adapter and thus can’t connect to a LiveMeeting session.  People that don’t arrange to have an Internet connection ahead of time by asking the customer or the account team set themselves up to fail by not verifying the one thing they REALLY need for them to be able to execute their presentation.

Coach Quotes

December 16, 2009

My father sent me these.  Man, this is good stuff.  I don’t know how many of these are real but they sure are funny.

image #1.  ‘After you retire, there’s only one big event left… and I ain’t ready for that.’ Bobby Bowden / Florida State

#2.  ‘The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.’ Lou Holtz /Arkansas

#3.  ‘There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.’ Woody Hayes / Ohio State

#4.  ‘I don’t expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation.  I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation’ Bob Devaney / Nebraska

#5.  ‘It’s kind of hard to rally around a math class.’ Bear Bryant / Alabama

#6.  ‘I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.’ Bear Bryant / Alabama

#7.  ‘I never graduated from Iowa, but I was only there for two terms – Truman’s and Eisenhower’s.’ Alex Karras / Iowa

#8.  ‘My advice to defensive players:  Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in a bad humor.’ Bowden Wyatt / Tennessee

#9.  ‘I could have been a Rhodes Scholar, except for my grades.’ Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State

#10.  ‘Always remember… Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David.’ Shug Jordan / Auburn

#11.  ‘I asked Darrell Royal, the coach of the Texas Longhorns, why he didn’t recruit me and he said:  ‘Well, Walt, we took a look at you and you weren’t any good.’ Walt Garrison / Oklahoma State

#12.  ‘Son, you’ve got a good engine, but your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.’ Bobby Bowden / Florida State

#13.  ‘Football is not a contact sport – it is a collision sport.  Dancing is a contact sport.’ Duffy Daugherty /Michigan State

#14.  After USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame, his postgame message to his team:  ‘All those who need showers, take them.’ John McKay / USC

#15.  ‘If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education.’ Murray Warmath /Minnesota

#16.  ‘The only qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb.  To be a back, you only have to be dumb.’ ‘Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

#17.  ‘It isn’t necessary to see a good tackle.  You can hear it.’ Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

#18. ‘We didn’t tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking.’ Wilson Matthews / Little Rock Central High School

#19.  ‘I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.’ Knute Rockne / Notre Dame 

#20.  ‘Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.’ John Heisman  AUBURN

HUMOR: Mac vs PC: Retail Wars!

December 10, 2009

I’m a huge fan.  Hoggworks brings the funny.


(Mac vs PC:  Retail Wars!:

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Walt Mosspuppet – another creation of Hoggworks Studios.

Walt Mosspuppet has a YouTube channel of sorts which is where he started – a parody of Walt Mossberg and his "opinion" column in the Wall Street Journal, his appearances at All-Things-Digital, etc.:
(Warning:  Some of this is NSFW.)

For more commentary from Walt Mosspuppet, visit the Mosspuppet blog & the Mosspuppet Twitter feed:

Kurt’s latest podcast subscription list

December 1, 2009

imageHere’s a list of a few things that I subscribe to these days.

  • Five Hundy By Midnight – “The Original Las Vegas Podcast”
    Still, strangely, the best Las Vegas podcast out there… mostly because Tim & Michelle actually TALK about Las Vegas and Las Vegas related topics.  Imagine that.  The least professional podcast I listen to is one of the few podcasts that actually stays on the topic of the show.  Wow.  What a concept.
  • Sessler’s Soapbox Video Podcast – “G4TV’s Editor-in-chief Adam Sessler’s video commentary”
     Adam, besides being a UCLA Bruin, has one of the sharpest minds in the video game industry and shares his thoughts in a weekly podcast.  Frankly, I wish this was a DAILY podcast because while I don’t always agree with him, his podcasts are always well-reasoned, rational, and thought-provoking.  I wish every podcast I listened too was as such.
  • imageWindows Weekly with Paul Thurrott & Leo Laporte
    I blaze a trail through Leo’s Apple & Google zealotry to glean the wisdom that is Paul’s commentary on “all-things-Microsoft”.  Paul’s always got a good perspective on matters, often understanding the motivations behind certain events that other’s don’t, and many times he says the things out loud that simply NEED to be said out loud and I think it’s very cathartic for people in IT.  I think it’s also impressive that Paul understands as much as he does without actually being an employee.
  • KOXM Official Xbox Magazine Podcast
    This one surprised me:  This is a really good quality podcast with a lot of great information, delivered by what I can only surmise are 3 guys high on weed.  All kidding aside, Dan Amrich are hilarious and
  • Onion News Network Video
    No one makes a better professionally done web video than The Onion.  Not ever College Humor’s originals beat The Onion for their consistent quality and gut-busting LMAOs.
  • The Adam Carolla Podcast
    Still one of the more oddly entertaining podcasts on the Interwebs, Adam never fails to make me laugh with some off-color and ass backward comment of his.  With his professionally sharpened wit and litany of top shelf guests, it’s no wonder his podcast is one of the top 10 most listened to.
  • Xbox Live’s Major Nelson Radio
    Oddly, KOXM talks more about Xbox than Larry usually does. Although sometimes as much as 50% of the podcast often has absolutely nothing to do with Xbox, gaming, or even anything Microsoft-related, it’s still a good source of interesting information like NPD sales statistics of consoles and games monthly, new console enhancements, and ‘why/how people get banned from Xbox Live’.  So if you can fast forward through the iPhone-talk, Blu-ray-babble, and Kindle-fawning, you can usually get good insight into events like PAX, Tokyo Game Show, and E3.
  • WMExperts Podcast
    The guys over at WMExperts do a really good job on podcasting week after week about a story that… well… is really tough to report on considering how LITTLE is being actually released about new devices and new software products for Windows Mobile recently.  I really have to tip my hat to these guys for doing what they do on a week-to-week basis… and I listen to their broadcast every week religiously.  Funny how OUR own product group doesn’t have anything like this despite desperately needing a little community development and publicity.