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January 11, 2013

Quick Review of CES 2013

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Image Credits: Masterimage3D

CES 2013 stunners

You’re probably sitting there after a long day scrolling through Twitter and Google+ hashtags and stories announcing some of the key items this year’s CES show. Your eyes are either on fire from staring at the screen too long or you can’t focus anymore because there’s just too much cool stuff. Yeah, we feel the same way! So let’s get to the good stuff right away and announce what we think are this year’s CES stunners.


The Sony Xperia Z, Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra (who names these things?) and Samsung flexible display named “Youm” were all unveiled this year. In particular, the much-awaited flexible display Samsung put forth at the Keynote was jaw-dropping.

Samsung flexible OLED Display

There’s been a lot of hype and rumors since last year’s CES, when the rumors first started about the mega-corp was developing cool 21st century that would save us from cracked screens. At the time, Apple was still taking a lot of heat for its screens being too fragile, so this was perfect timing on Sammy’s part. Fast forward to this week’s CES and we now have a working prototype, in which it has been said a new ecosystem can be created from this concept device. The video below shows us more on this amazing new tech development!

Alcatel One Touch Idol Utlra

Onwards to the real fireworks, and the newest titleholder of “world’s slimmest smartphone”. Alcatel outdid themselves at the show and may be one to watch in the future. So how thin is this device? Alcatel’s official measurements put the One Touch Idol Ultra at a paltry 6.45mm! This is definitely poking into Samsung’s flexible OLED display territory. As far as specs are concerned on this bad boy, it sportsa 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, a4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display, the standard 1 GB of RAM and an 8.0 MP rear camera.

Sony Xperia Z

Last but not least, is the dust and water-resistant smartphone aptly put into the ongoing Xperia series. The durable display on itsslim 7.9mm body holds its dual superpowers discreetly. The full HD 5 1080 x 1920p “Reality Display” is really the stunner on this handheld wonder, but let’s be honest: most people will go right out and dump it in their toilet to test out its water resistance level. Sony lists these at IP55 and IP57, respectively. Rounding out the specs, a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU, a 13 megapixel camera and of course, screaming fast 4G LTE make this a solidly built smartphone.


You wouldn’t expect to talk about cars but it is CES after all, and it’s not limited to mobile tech and computing. This year we saw Volvo, Toyota, and Audi put their best foot forward. And best foot it was! I think they may have put both forward in order to make a giant leap into the future of how we visualize and implement our vehicles into daily life.

Volvo Sensus Connected Touch

First up is Volvo and their “inlaid iPad” dubbed Sensus Connected Touch. While many have scoffed at the idea of having a touchscreen in their vehicle (it’s nothing new, people have been modding their vehicles for quite some time), the concept displayed by Volvo is (sorry, Transformers franchise) more than meets the eye. The following video shows more info, and pay close attention to all the bells and whistles that can be found in this highly-connected piece of equipment!

Toyota Autonomous Robot Car

Remember that cool scene in the last Terminator movie when the motorcycles were chasing after Christian Bale? Well, now that’s a reality and it’s being brought to you by none other than Toyota. The company has done its absolute best to wipe the slate clean between them and consumers since their disastrous brake scandal. But let’s do away with that morbid news and get to the meat.

2010 Autonomous Audi TTS

On much the same news, comes Audi with their autonomous research facility’s beautiful piece of road art. Something to note with this story is thatNevada granted Audi the first automaker permit and thus, has allowed them to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads! Move over Jetsons!

Source Credits:

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July 25, 2009

Blogger Conference List Updated

Hi everyone – just a quick note to let you know that The Blog Herald has revised its blogging conferences page with an updated map, calendar and list of upcoming events for bloggers around the world.

Please let us know what you think and what you would add – also what conferences you plan to attend! :)

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May 31, 2009

Blogger Conference Calendar 2009 Now Live at TBH

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blog-conferencesHi everyone! Just a quick weekend announcement to let you know about a new resource page from The Blog Herald.

It’s the Blog Conferences page, and while it’s very much a work in progress, we present it to you with the invitation to help us make it the best list anywhere (and map, and calendar) of upcoming conferences and events for bloggers.

There’s a 2009 blogging conferences map that lets you look at the locations of offline events, as well as a calendar that lets you see when each event is taking place.

And of course we’ve got an itemized list, chronologically sorted, of this year’s planned blogger meetups (BlogWorld,BlogHer, Web 2.0 Summit, etc.).

Well, what are you waiting for? Head on over to our new blogger conference list and let us know if there’s any information you’d like to add!

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March 14, 2009

Could the MingleStick Change Blogger Conferences?

minglestick-by-mingle360I recently spoke with Bradley Blinn, Chief Officer of Sales and Marketing at Mingle360 (Twitter: @mingle360). Here’s what he had to say about the way his company’s MingleStick could change the way bloggers meet and mingle at blogging conferences and trade shows.

In what ways are blogging and the MingleStick similar?

It’s all about connection. A blog connects the author with its readers. The “connection device” is the article itself. In a similar way, our MingleStick product connects two people together. The MingleStick is a physical device that enables two people to connect with a simple press of a button. The MingleStick has proven itself to be great event technology within the convention and tradeshow industry. read more

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March 10, 2009

The Dream Team of Blogging and Social Media Experts at Your Table

Exploring Social Media article series badgeIn “How to Find Your Tribe in One Word” by , she wrote about how it is too easy to feel separated from society by the actions often not of our choosing.

Lots of folks have lots of reason for feeling we’re on the outside.

It’s almost overwhelming. The world can seem to be one huge tribe and we can seem to be the only one who’s not a part. Of course, that’s flawed thinking. Ever met a group of people who could agree on anything huge for very long? The whole world is too big to hold a meeting about who belongs.

It’s not how the world sees you. It’s how you see yourself that counts.

When I was young, my mother taught me to choose my friends wisely. As an innocent, I thought this meant I should pick better, smarter people, i.e, the popular kids. While it is important to be known by the “known” people, what she explained was a bigger principle. You are judged by those you keep company with.

Among all the social media tools I’ve been exploring in this series, this is one of the most important ones: understanding the influence others have on you to help define your social influence. read more

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August 28, 2008

Who Would You Like to Meet at a Blog Conference?

I’m going to be at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas on September 20-21, 2008, and so is David Peralty, who listed “Some People I Hope to Meet at Blog World Expo.”

The list of Exhibitors and Speakers at Blog World Expo this year is incredible. A veritable list of whose who.

His list of people he’d like to meet got me thinking about my list. And then I started thinking about all the conferences I attend and speak at every year and all the fantastic people I meet, some famous and some not, who change my life in those few minutes of meet and greet.

I love blog and web conferences. I learn so much. While many think that I am there to be the educator, I enjoy them because of the lessons I learn from fellow speakers, but most of all from fellow attendees. Those quickly caught moments in corridors, exhibition halls, at my book table, or even in the restroom. Those are where the real business of a conference really happens. Those quick moments of connections made that last long after the conference. read more

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August 27, 2008

WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamp South Africa, World of WordCamps, Blaming WordPress, and Crazyhorse Gallops

WordCamp 2008 in San Francisco videos should be out any time. Lots of WordCamp News including last weekend’s WordCamp South Africa and upcoming WordCamps in Portland, Hawaii, Birmingham, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Utah, Philippines, and more. Jeffro asks you to stop blaming WordPress. Crazyhorse shakes the WordPress 2.7 trunk. How to switch from TypePad to WordPress with only a little stress. And more WordPress news.

WordPress News

Stop Blaming WordPress: In a daring post, Jeffro asks you to stop blaming the WordPress team for problems they have no control over, specifically, WordPress Plugins. I’ve written on this subject before and I agree. WordPress is an ongoing product in constant development and will undergo changes. For the most part, they are very good about announcing changes in code that will impact Plugins and Themes, and getting better all the time. If you support a WordPress Theme or Plugin, it’s your resonsibiilty to keep it updated. Thanks for reminding us, Jeffro.

Bleeding Edge Interface for WordPress 2.7: Ryan Boren announced that the new user interface from the Crazyhorse experimental version of WordPress 2.7 (we hope) is in the trunk. It is usable, but it will bite back, so only use it on your alfa testing blogs where it can do little harm.

Considering Switching from TypePad to WordPress: The never-ending battle between Lloyd Budd of and TypePad continues with his latest rant against TypePad, The TypePad Trap. Rant or not, this is a great article with tips you need to know about if you want to switch from TypePad to WordPress. read more

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June 19, 2008

Free Web Technology Conference: LT Pact 2008 in Vegas

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, one of the world’s leaders in web hosting and server technology, is hosting a two day conference in Las Vegas, June 26-27, 2008, called the LT PACT Conference 2008. The two-day event is free, but registration is recommended.

As bloggers become more server savvy, challenging web hosts to keep up with their growing demands, this is a great opportunity to meet and learn from the industries’ leading experts on SEO, industry trends, virtualization trends and technology, site optimization, web hosting, cloud/grid hosting technology, online storage technology, intellectual property, email and mailing list management and business practices, site automation, business of blogging, security vulnerabilities and threats, backups, and more.

The list of whose who among the list of speakers and the event activities and seminars includes:

  • of and
  • Barry Abrahamson, the server guru of Automattic and
  • Andrew Skale, Attorney, Mintz-Levin and expert in patent, trademark, copyright litigation, and entertainment law
  • James Staten, Principal Analyst of IT Infrastructure and Operations at Forrester Research, a leading expert on x86 servers and infrastructure and trends
  • , Layered Technologies, and Woopra
  • Chris Samson, the Senior Hosting Technology Specialist from CSNA and Microsoft
  • Deven Kampenhout, Web Platform Architect Evangelist at Microsoft, Tim Johnson, Senior Manager of Channel Market Development, Global Marketing, at Seagate
  • Jonah Stein, blogger of It’s The ROI
  • Jimmy Guerrero, the Senior Product Marketing Manager in the Database Group of Sun Microsystems coordinating MySQL’s Web 2.0 and SaaS marketing programs, Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy Officer of Eloqua, an expert in security, legal, privacy, and public relations issues
  • Barry Lynn, the Chairman and CEO of 3Tera, expert on data center innovations
  • Andy Schroepfer, the Founder and Hosting Visionary of Tier 1 Research, an expert in the hosting industry

And me, Lorelle VanFossen. I’ll be joining a panel discussion on the Business of Blogging with Matt Mullenweg and John Pozadzides on Thursday.

Woopra web analytics programJad Younan and Elie Khoury, the co-founders and lead developers of , a new and popular web analytics program currently in beta, will be flying in from Lebanon for the event, giving everyone a chance to meet these innovators.

There will also be a lot of fun and social interaction, and a lot of food. Among the fun is the LT PACT Poker Tournament hosted by Master of Ceremonies Robert W. Thompson II of NBC’s BravoTV Celebrity Poker Showdown with a total purse of USD $5,000.

Hope to see you there!

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May 10, 2008

Minnebar: How to build a kickass web development team

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Now in the discussion session on “How to build a kickass web development team”.. facilitators are from Bloomington, Minnesota web development firm Sierra Bravo.

“some of our success has come about by growing the talent within…”

Star Tribune’s project manager for the internet – “my development team is moving onto another floor – how do we handle this when we’re used to just yelling over the cubicle wall?”

interesting discussions here about roles within a team – do you have dedicated project managers or not? Where should this go?

Be careful of pigeonholing people into specific roles – better to develop generalists rather than focus too much into one single area…

typical team for Sierra Bravo is 2-3 developers looking at a 400 – 1000 hour project

SB guys: “our philosophy is that collaboration is king. within the interview process we’re asking ‘if you have a really hard problem, what are the steps to solving that problem’”.

“we encourage people to get up talk each other – move about, etc”

“we encourage you to work closely together and have alot of collaboration… we want to give you power to innovate…”

innovation clearly becomes more challenging as a company grows…

in-house development teams have different priorities and roles..

U of MN Medical Education group – no web development team (formal, anyways) – team of 3 that have taken on web development but lack a project manager – just now putting some processes into place to deal with this..

discussion about how to expand teams with getting better & stronger people on the team… how do you build a cohesive & effective group.. getting bodies is a challenge…

getting out and into your local user groups is a good method for building our your teams.. if your team is happy and content then you’ll have an easier time recruiting folks…

How do you ensure a cultural fit within your corporation or team? — is it about the interview process? Formal and informal?

Do you require code samples from programmers or design samples from designers? Mix of about 50/50 in the room on this question…

Code samples do allow you to look at how the individual tries to solve the problem…

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Minnebar: Distributed Teams

Sitting in on the panel discussion about Distributed Teams. I was asked to be a part of this panel and declined since my main intent here at Minnebar was to cover the vent as a blogger/journalist for The Blog Herald.

How do you build a strong distributed team for your projects(s) will be the theme here.

“Distributed ain’t all that…” says one panel member.

“Have any of you worked with a remote team that has gotten it done better, faster, and chaper because of the remote team?”

“Have you had any issues with passing the work back and forth amongst the teams”

Structure of the team will be part of your success – particularly with software projects

Is it advantageous to have a remote team or not?

Audience member: “With distributed teams, the management overhead can really become part of the problem…”

Economic value of the dollar is also impacting the ability to offshore..

24×7 reality with the right software and management solutions can make problems be solved faster – and push a product forward in a much faster timeline – but this experience is relatively rare.

Barry Hess: “I’m the small team guy here… our company is all about the people. New designer at the company is based in Portland because he was the best guy that applied…”

Cost reduction / cost savings is the driver in some companies – china/india is much cheaper than US based labor…

“How many jobs are moving overseas – is this what is driving some of this…”

U of MN CompSci Professor: “Population since 2001 here at the U of MN in computer science is way way down… the bubble had an impact…”

Some companies shift to outsourcing because they can’t manage software projects – so they outsource or offshore in order to drive down costs… and then find themselves with an even bigger issue because now they can’t manage distributed software projects…

audience member: “a distributed team is much more than just designers and programmers”

We’re finally getting to talking about tools rather than some of this philosophical stuff around whether or not this is the right thing to do…

“how do you convince your client or employer to allow you to work remotely” as your own distributed team? Rather than having to work onsite… – trust and having a personal connection is a big part.

“sometimes communication amongst distributed teams is better because in a colocated team we talk more than we document and build processes correctly from the start…”

“sometimes you have to distribute a team in order to increase productivity…”

Many tools mentioned – including most of the 37signals applications.

“is anyone using sharepoint? does anyone like it?”

Google is using high def video conferencing on all day in order to have two halves of one team work together across multiple locations (Mountain View, CA + Boulder, CO)…

I’ll be writing a follow-up post later about how to manage distributed teams along the lines that I’ve seen during my time as a blogger and blog network owner as well.

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