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Operational Excellence with Technology

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Go Fast in Las Vegas

Las Vegas hosts a ton of trade shows every year. The next time you travel to Las Vegas, have I found a deal for you!

A lot of the strip hotels have spotty wireless internet (they want you in the casino not surfing the web) and those that do have internet charge heftily for it.

The convention center has good WiFi, but again they charge for the privilege.

Add the two together and your internet bill will be larger than your food bill.

While at the Consumer Electronics Show I found a better solution that is somewhat unique to Las Vegas.

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Plane Quiet

If you fly a lot you’ll see more and more people wearing their own headphones, usually active noise cancelling.

My first experience with noise canceling headphones came the first year United flew the new Boeing 777. Upgraded to business class, the headphones were nicer and had a noise cancellation switch. It made a noticeable difference.

Active noise cancellation headphones work using a small microphone to listen to the outside noise then generate a sound pattern that neutralizes that noise as it reaches your ear.

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Are You Off-Color?

Back in the early days of the PC, a color screen was a luxury for the “rich” with a whopping 320 by 200 resolution (about the same as most current cell phones) and all of 16 different colors. They were expensive, often more than $1,000.

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Enterprise VoIP

One of my sales agency friends installed a new high speed internet/telephone system about 4 years ago from a company called cBeyond. It operated over a T-1 line (a business class high speed internet connection). Plugged into that T-1 line was a telephone system called a PBX (private branch exchange—once the providence of only very large companies).

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Skype

One implementation of VoIP everyone should be looking at is Skype. The biggest reason is it is free. The software to use Skype is free. Skype to Skype calls anywhere in the world are free. All you need is a headset for your computer, which you can get for $5 to $10 if you don’t already have it (experience has proven that using the speaker and microphone built into most notebooks produces very bad quality phone calls). Calls to regular phones in most the rest of the world are only 2 cents per minute.

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Lower Phone Bills

You would think everyone has heard about VoIP, Voice Over Internet Protocol. It is advertised on TV by a number of companies, especially Vonage.

But apparently not. If your long distance bill is more than $30, it might be worthwhile to investigate VoIP as a cost saving opportunity.

One option in VoIP is a service like Vonage, Broadvoice, etc. Most cable companies also offer “digital phone service” that is VoIP. And many regular phone services are coming up with VoIP options.

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I Can Hear You Now!

Cell phones have become an integral part of society… There are over 200 million cell phone users (that’s two out of every three people in the United States).

When I sold the family rep agency in 2000, I decided to use my cell phone as my primary business phone number. With as much traveling as I’ve done since, it was a good choice. My phone works almost everywhere in the world—except inside my house.

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Farewell Amazon?

I have to admit I have a reading problem.  If there were a 12 step program for book buyers, I’d have to join.  The problem with all those books is they take space.  At some point you can build any more bookshelves.  Older books are moved to storage, but eventually the collection gets out of hand.

My wife dropped some “subtle” hints the book collection was getting out of hand.  The last time that happened I ended up recycling 800 pounds of my college notes.

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