Archive

Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Welcome Bella Kitchen (formerly Top Pizza) – Rose Hill, Kirkland WA

January 13th, 2010 No comments
Bella Kitchen (formerly Top Pizza), Kirkland WA

Bella Kitchen (formerly Top Pizza), Kirkland WA

Looking for a great pizza around Kirkland with a special home-made thin crust and fresh ingredients?  Give Bella Kitchen a try!  They’re conveniently located off of the 405 – 85th St. exit in Kirkland.

  • Order Online for pickup or delivery
  • FREE DELIVERY within 3 miles
  • $15 minimum order
  • Deliver to parts of Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, and Bothell

You can See their menu and Order Online with ClickEats, free of charge, anytime.

Is Social Media Taking Time Away From Family?

October 26th, 2009 No comments
Time Slips Away

Time Slips Away

This question was asked in an NPR radio show a couple of weeks ago and really got me thinking.

The radio show had a couple of callers where the wife said that dad comes home and then hops on the computer.  When one of the sons pleads for dad’s attention, dad says “In a minute.”  An hour later, he emerges, but the son has gone on to something else.

Wow.  I’ve been guilty of this and see that Social Media and the internet really does take time away from the family.

This made me think about the message I’m sending the kids.  That mom & dad are always on the computer and ignores them when they want attention.  Talk about a message you don’t want to send.

At the same time, the urge to shop, get news, send Tweets, update friends on Facebook, etc. is so hard to pull out of.  As a mom with an internet-based company to run and grow, who relies heavily on social media and the internet, this battle for time is especially difficult.

I’m going to try to restrict my time on the computer so I can give the kids quality time, especially around dinnertime.  Will that do the trick?  Don’t know yet, but will be finding out.

How about you?  What do you think and what do you do?

(425) 223-3287

The Family That Plays Together Stays Together

October 13th, 2009 No comments

Custom Fit Nutrition

Custom Fit Nutrition

This is a guest article by Joy Supplee of Custom Fit Nutrition.

—————————————————————————————

We’re always hearing that we need to get more exercise but our busy schedules seem to get in the way.  Gym memberships can be a great motivator for some, but can be difficult to maintain over time.  And what about time with your family or significant other?

Wii Fit Plus

Wii Fit Plus

Here’s an idea to promote both a healthful lifestyle and time with your loved ones: consider purchasing a Wii Active or Fit system or even a used Play Station II system with Dance Dance Revolution for a lower cost option. These are video game systems that you can use for either personal workouts or fun physical games & competition with your loved ones.  And many video game stores will offer refurbished models at a lower price that even come with warranties.

It won’t matter what the weather looks like outside, you won’t have to drive anywhere and you will be spending quality time with your loved ones and having fun as well as improving your health!  How can you beat that?

Women In Technology

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

This Women in Technology post from Tech Flash has gotten me thinking about, well, women in technology.

John Cook wrote the original article back in the Spring, which received some interesting comments about why he’s even writing the article and the validity of the top 100 list.

Now, Tech Flash is hosting a reception and networking event open to all, to discuss women in technology with respect to leadership, science, computing and other topics.

Being in business and technology, as well as being a mom to a young girl and boy, I have many thought about women in technology that I wanted to share.

What is ‘In Technology’?

At first, my idea of someone who is “In Technology” was of someone who directly produces technology.  So, when I first read the original article, I didn’t really think many of the women were ‘In Technology’ so much as working for technology companies.  Most were not software developer geeks, did not have a engineering/computer science background, and were not THE head of a software company.  Without this background of being in the trenches, it is more difficult to establish credibility as a ‘Woman in Technology’, at least in my opinion.

This is not to say that none of the women are not ‘In Technology’.  Women like Marianne Marck, who I know back from my days at the Disney Internet Group, is an example of a former software/db developer who has moved up the ranks to become a VP of Technology for Blue Nile.  This is how most of us imagine moving up the proverbial ladder.

I think issues come into play when you start mixing people who come from a technology background with people who work  for tech companies.

GEEK-DETECTOR

After reading John’s article, I really had to think about what ‘In Technology’ means.  For me, ‘In Technology’ spans a range, and at the core is how many degrees of separation someone is from actual software development.  The closer you are, the more you can be called a geek (or a former geek) and a technologist.

So if you were to put a simple measure of how geeky one is (now or in the past), call it a GEEK-DETECTOR, and 6 levels (to keep it simple), I think the levels would be:

  • 1st level – developing software
  • 2nd level – front end development, network engineer, systems administrator, low level software testing writing own scripts, database administration
  • 3rd level – technical program management, sw testing, web designers
  • 4th level – directly managing level 1-3 people,
  • 5th level – your company sells technology, so you know something about technology, but you’re not creating the technology in levels 1-3
  • 6th level – Everyone else

I know I’m missing some and this is quite simplified, but this is what’s coming to mind right now.  The reason I put sw developer as the 1st level is because they can get applications up and running without any of the other levels.  Even though network engineers and sys admins are very technical jobs, they’re unnecessary if there’s no software for them to actually get onto the internet and administer.

So What?

So if you applied the Geek-Detector measure to the list of women in technology, it’d be interesting to see how many women have been at level 1.  I think very few have and that most started in the 3-5 level range.

For me, I think the purpose of having a networking night for women in technology is to acknowledge there are women who work in all levels of technology, but to also recognize the fact that we need to work harder at getting more girls into levels 1 and 2.  These positions are key to organizations, are usually in high demand, and pay very well.  To get them there, we need to support each other so we can beat a path for young girls to achieve this.

I’ve got ideas on how to do this that I’ll write about in the future.  Stay tuned.

Shallots Asian Bistro: Online Ordering Now Available

September 2nd, 2009 No comments
Shallots Asian Bistro

Shallots Asian Bistro 2525 4th Ave Seattle, WA 98121

Welcome Shallots Asian Bistro, Belltown!

Shallots serves Asian/Fusion cuisine, with influences from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and Thailand.

Open for lunch, dinner, and late night dining.

Other Information

Online Ordering: Available for delivery & pickup (order online)

Delivery Area:  Free within 1/4 mile, $3 from 1/4 – 2 miles.    $5 from 2.1 – 3.5 miles.

Delivery Minimum:  $15

Delivery Hours:

  • Daily:  5pm – 9:30pm

Business Hours:

  • Lunch:  Mon-Fri 11 AM – 3 PM
  • Dinner:  Sun-Wed 5 PM – 10 PM
  • Late Nite Dining:  Thurs-Sat 5 PM – Midnight

Cool Interactive Graph: How Different Groups Spend Their Day

August 28th, 2009 No comments
NY Times

NY Times

Interested to see how people in different groups spend their time in a day?  Take a look at this graph from The New York Times. It not only gives a very interesting view on how people spend their time, but it’s presented in a unique way that allows people to really learn more.

  • men
  • women
  • employed
  • unemployed
  • black
  • white
  • age 15-24
  • age 25-64
  • age 65+
  • etc.

Clicking on one of the groups changes the graph.

Hover over the graph to read more summary information about that exact section you’re hovering over.

Clicking on the graph gives more detailed information on that section.

Pretty cool!

What do you think?

Be Cautious: Typing Email Address May SPAM Friends

June 23rd, 2009 No comments

A few months ago, my husband received an email from a friend to view pictures of some event.  My husband went to the site and created an account to view the pictures.  The next thing he knows, his entire address book was ‘scraped’ and all contacts were sent the exact email he had received from his friend.  He thinks this was initiated from a Facebook application, but wasn’t sure if it was his Facebook address book or some other address book that was scraped.

Welcome to SPAM 2.0

So I wasn’t too surprised to see an article in NY Times Typing In an E-Mail Address, and Giving Up Your Friends’ as Well that describes the author having the same experience.  In the article, the author called out these sites as having scraped and SPAMMED her contacts:

Tagged

Mylife.com

Desktopdating.com

I’m sure there are more.  If you know of others who have done this, please send us a comment so we can add them.

This whole practice is a gray area, but should be covered by the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) law, as described in the article.

Recommendations

Here are a few recommendations on avoiding this:

  1. Don’t supply your username and password from large sites like Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail, to a third party sites.  This can be tough if the third party is actually owned by the larger company.  This is because the large sites allow third parties to use code (APIs) to collect user and account information from them as long as they have the correct username and password.
  2. Create separate, different usernames and passwords for sites.  This is like #1, but more specific.
  3. Use a password manager.  If remembering usernames and passwords is a problem, you can use these programs to remember them: 1Password, Sxipper, Keychain or Firefox Password Manager.
  4. Finally, just be very cautious about getting pre-written email invitations from friends.  If you’re not sure about the email, reply to your friend asking what’s going on.

3 Reasons Why Your IT Spouse Should NOT Be Your Designer/Webmaster

June 8th, 2009 1 comment

Lately, I’ve been running into restaurant owners whose spouses are “IT” people (often software developers) who are responsible for designing and developing the business’ website.  This would be fine if the spouse were a web designer and knows about marketing, but sadly, this is usually not the case.

3 Reasons the IT spouse Should NOT be the Designer, Developer, or Webmaster

1.  The website will look like it was made by a geek.

2.  Updates to the business’ website will, WITHOUT A DOUBT, end up on the “honey-to-do” list, competing with mowing the lawn.  If  you take your business seriously (and like your relationship with your spouse), don’t let it compete with your lawn.

3.  The website will not make the business shine like a good marketing & sales website should.  IT people are good at putting things together, but usually not good at marketing and sales.

An Analogy

To help business owners get a better understanding of the difference between a software developer (IT) and web designer, I used this car analogy in the past:

Software developers = auto mechanics.   Web designers = the auto body shop

Auto mechanics will fix your car and make everything run smoothly no matter what the car looks like on the outside, just like software developers.  The body shop will make your car look pretty, no matter if your car runs or not.   As a generalization, I’d say the majority of software developers are not web designers, and the majority of web designers  are not software developers.

What Should You Do?

I recommend the following:

1.  Allocate a budget for the website.  A dollar amount will help gauge what can and cannot be done.

2.  Get referrals of website designers and developers.  Graphic designers are often more print-oriented and may or may not do websites.  Ask people you know and trust about who developed their site and if they were happy with the company they worked with.  Look at their work and make appointments with ones whose type of work you like.  I believe it’s important to find people whose style matches the style you are looking for, because designers often stick to the same style.

If you plan on making frequent updates to your website, I suggest using WordPress or another blogging engine as your website platform.  At ClickEats, we created our own engine that allows owners to update their specials, menus, etc. without knowing any HTML.

3.  Make appointments and interview at least 3 people. Make sure you like the person, they are professional, and they are flexible with your needs.  Many will also give you financing plans that will fit for your pocket book.

4.  Pick someone and sign a contract to make sure you stick to what you’ve agreed upon.

Do you have other suggestions or stories to share?  If so, please tell us in the comments!

Cool Software When You Get “Error Deleting File or Folder”

May 27th, 2009 No comments

Recently, I tried to delete some files from my computer, only to get an error message that says, “Cannot delete Folder (or file):  It is being used by another person or program.”

Talk about frustrating.  There didn’t seem to be an easy way to figure out which program was using the file/folder so you could stop it.

Then I came across Unlocker.  It’s a free program what will help you identify and unlock files/folders so that you can delete it or whatever else you wanted to do before getting the error.

Two thumbs up!

Cornell Study on Restaurant Technologies

April 28th, 2009 No comments

Found this article Cornell Study Finds Restaurant Goers Like Innovations in Early Dining Stages interesting.

Cornell presents the results of a national survey on customers’ perceptions of eleven restaurant technologies, which were then grouped into 5 categories.  They found:

  • customers are more comfortable with technologies in the early dining stage, such as virtual (computerized/internet?) menus and pagers
  • the technologies used most commonly were pagers and online reservations, followed by internet ordering
  • cell-phone payment was used hardly at all
  • after customers used the specific technology, the perceived value of a specific technology increased

Cornell also found these benefits to customers:

  • Improved convenience
  • Increased control

And these benefits to the restaurant:

  • Accelerated service speed
  • Reduced processing/labor costs
  • Increased volume and revenue
  • Improved service and product quality

The results show that the consumers do not perceive every technological innovation to be equally valuable.  The most frequently used technologies were

  • pagers (56% of all respondents),
  • online reservations (32%),
  • internet-based ordering (27%), and
  • handheld order taking (27%).

Consumers have become accustomed to technology and use those that improve communication, increase efficiency and reduce errors.  They recommend that restaurateurs evaluate specific technologies that are appropriate for their restaurant.

In other words, if you have great food and service, and combine it with more convenience and control for the customer, this is of high value to customers.  And if it has high value, it will stick around.