Cyber Monday: Protect Your Online Shopping

I had an opportunity to speak about Cyber Monday and how to best protect your online shopping experience on today’s Wills & Snyder show on Cleveland’s WTAM 1100.

I also wrote a Cyber Monday Survival Guide for Best Buy On to help you best prepare for this online shopping holiday.

This year marks the 5th “Cyber Monday” since the original declaration by in 2005. The theory behind the day was that most people would come back to work on the Monday after the busy Thanksgiving weekend and do their online shopping through the faster Internet connection at work.

Although faster home broadband options mean many people will shop online throughout the holiday season, most retailers will have Cyber Monday specials available on their websites. All without having to stand outside a store in the cold for hours waiting for Black Friday.

Protect Your Kids From Cyber-Bullying

According to some studies, between 9% and 35% of kids today have experienced some form of cyber-bullying and online agression.

I had an opportunity to talk with the Wills & Snyder show on WTAM 1000 in Cleveland today about tips to help protect your kids from cyber-bullying.

CES 2010: Convergence

One thing that struck me as I walked through the displays of gadgets and gizmos at the International Consumer Electronics Show was how CES 2010 had made good on a word that was often used in the last decade, but hadn’t seen much mention recently: “convergence”.

The idea of living room convergence, where multiple technologies come together in the comfort of one room, used to be an often mentioned dream of technology innovators who wanted to accomplish the tasks performed by TVs, VCRs, computers, telephones and more via a single box that could live on a shelf in your house.

The use of the term died out at CES over the years, but recently we’ve begun to see the dream become reality. Last year saw the rise of Netflix streaming movies coming via the Internet to XBox 360s, PS3 and Internet-enabled Blu-ray players. This year, it arrives in the form of HDTVs with built-in app stores that can run games, get weather updates or stream movies directly from multiple network sources.

One of the apps that I saw that I think will make a huge change over time was the Skype app on a few Panasonic and LG HDTVs shown at CES. The technology that allows video conferencing using a webcam and Internet connection isn’t new, but the ease at which it can be performed with an app built into the TV will make adoption and use explode. Could Skype-enabled HDTVs kill home telephone lines more so than mobile phones have?

Another example of convergence is the ease at which Blue Label 2.0 laptops from Toshiba, Dell and Sony can connect wirelessly to an HDTV using Intel’s new Wireless Display technology. A Netgear HDMI wireless receiver connects to the HDMI port on your TV, and setup consists of a clicks on the laptop. Computing from the couch will be easier than ever.

So what’s the future of convergence? Well, check out the video predictions of the Geek Squad Chief Inspector for our guess. Hint: It may involve bionic eyes.

The Statistics of Social Media

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="450" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

The most surprising thing for me when it comes to stats about social media is just how quickly it’s becoming popular with the traditionally non-tech orientated non-teen population.

Hulu a Better Deal for Advertisers?

There’s some talk in online communities about the state of Hulu and whether they’re limited number of advertisers is a bad sign for the company.

My personal opinion is that advertising on Hulu has some serious advantages over regular broadcast television, at least if you discount the difference in the number of viewers.

As a viewer, I’m far more likely to sit through the shorter commercials on Hulu, even if they’re unskippable, simply because the interruptions aren’t long and frequent. Also, I’m noticing that I’m paying far more attention to the commercials simply because there’s less of them. There isn’t a “wall of advertising” that ends up blurring the messages into noise.

I don’t think Hulu will entirely kill broadcast or even cable television, at least not for the current generation of viewers who have grown used to it, but it’s certainly another sign that digital distribution channels like iTunes, Xbox Marketplace and Netflix streaming video are here for the duration.