Zen at Work

Posted by Theresa Hietpas

Nov 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

relax iconA Little Zen for Your Work Day…

We’ve all heard or read about the benefits of “meditation”, “mindfulness”, “single-focus” and “keeping your brain active” to relieve stress and increase your health, well-being and longevity. When was the last time you consciously took time to do any of those things? We spend more of our waking hours at work than almost anywhere else, so there’s no better place to set up a little brain training!

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Topics: Social Media, Apps, website

Beware: Fake Google + Invitations

Posted by Eric Torres

Jul 11, 2011 3:48:00 PM


describe the imageWhenever people desperately want something, criminals have always come up with ways to rip people off.  It's a practice as old as time.

The Google+ invite frenzy has prompted some devious spammers to send out fake invitations.  Sophos, a cyber securities firm, first reported this spam.

Gmail users would receive a Google+ invite that looks like the real thing.  Except when you click on the link to the Google+ invite, it leads you to a completely different website, riddled with malware.

This isn't the first time that insane demand for Google products spawned scams.  Back when Gmail membership was an exclusive club and a hot item, spammers sent existing Gmail users a notice that Google had just given them 50 extra invites.

All they have to do is fill out a form with their Gmail password.

Apple, was also used as bait.  Back before the iPad was released, bogus Facebook pages were set up to ask users to be beta testers; they would get the iPad in advance and then keep it for free.

All these Apple fans had to do was provide their personal information and cell phone number.  Their cell phone number was subsequently enrolled in an expensive premium service.

For active Internet users, scams and spams are a fact of life.  Abiding by the following guidelines, however, will lessen the pain.

  • Don't respond to sweet offers that you didn't pursue or don't know the origin of, whether it's a Google+ invite or a millionaire trying to give away his fortunes.
  • Don't ever give out your personal information to email requests from scammers posing as legitimate entities.  Legitimate entities will never ask you that; the only time they might prompt you for personal information is when you approach them do something.
  • Too good to be true offers do not exist. For example, somebody looking to share the wealth of somebody who has no "next of kin"...does not happen in real life. If you're not sure, don't go for it, especially if you have to provide your personal information or grant access to your computer in exchange for it.
The best way to prevent this is to pay attention and be aware of what sites you are visiting and links you are clicking on. When you enter in password, personal, account, or credit card information, double check to make sure you are on a reputable website. Double check the URL and make sure the URL address is what you think it is. Double check the website you are on to make sure there is nothing suspicious so you won’t fall prey to these scams.




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Topics: New Service, SPAM, new website, Google, New Products, Social Media, Malware, Beta

Google + Social Network Arrives

Posted by Eric Torres

Jul 1, 2011 10:20:00 AM

google plus
This week, Google launched its own social network in an attempt to challenge Facebook with a service that ties together all its existing sites including Gmail. Google’s long expected second shot at taking on Facebook in the social networking space has arrived in the form of the Google+ Project. It has some interesting twists on the social networking model but is far from a Facebook-killer.



Google+ is structured in a remarkably similar way to Facebook, with profile pictures and news feeds forming a central core. However, a user's friends or contacts are grouped into specific circles of their choosing - as opposed to the common pool of friends typical on Facebook.

Google+ started rolling out to a limited number of users on Tuesday in what the company is calling a field trial. Only those invited to join will initially be able to use the service. Google did not say when it would be more widely available.

To create Google+, the company went back to the drawing board in the wake of several notable failures, including Google Wave and Google Buzz, a micro-blogging service whose launch was marred by privacy snafus. 'We learned a lot in Buzz, and one of the things we learned is that there's a real market opportunity for a product that addresses people's concerns around privacy and how their information is shared,' said Google spokesman Bradley Horowitz.

As with Facebook's service, Google+ has a central web page that displays an ever-updating stream of the comments, photos and links being shared by friends and contacts. A toolbar across the top of most of Google's sites - such as its main search page, its Gmail site and its Maps site - allows users to access their personalized data feed. They can then contribute their own information to the stream. Google+ will also offer a special video chat feature, in which up to ten people can jump on a conference call. And Google will automatically store photos taken on mobile phones on its Internet servers, allowing a Google+ user to access the photos from any computer and share them.

Want to try the service? Right now, it’s strictly invite only. Some press are being allowed in, along with others that Google hand picks. There’s no ETA on when wider invites will be available. Unusually, this isn’t being called a beta test or an experiment but rather a “field trial” that’s meant to finally gather some feedback from outside Google itself. The limited test is probably wise. It’ll give Google more time to discover things it might not have anticipated being problems, as was the case with Buzz.

For more detailed information and additional video tours of Google + click here.

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Topics: New Service, Concept, Google, Social Media, Communications, Facebook

Call Your Facebook Friends Free with T-Mobile’s Bobsled

Posted by Eric Torres

Apr 20, 2011 10:45:00 AM


After rumors that Skype and Facebook were in talks to add Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capability to Facebook chat, coming from nowhere, the newly released Bobsled app by T-Mobile just jumped at this opportunity by providing free voice calling to Facebook members worldwide.  Days of calling people with a phone number are numbered.

Bobsled by T-Mobile

T-Mobile has announced a new service named Bobsled and that is worth getting excited about. Why? Because it means that you can make free voice calls through Facebook — even if you're not a T-Mobile customer.

Once you install the app (powered by Vivox), a little phone will appear by online friends’ screen names of those who have the app installed, and placing a phone call is just a click away. Bobsled takes out the need to dial friends’ numbers, or remember screen names, which is required by Bobsled’s competitors on Google Talk and Skype. You can also leave a voice message for your friends and family when they are not available. The messages can be public by posting a link on your friends wall or they can be marked private and will be sent via Private Message.

Bobsled by T-Mobile Voicemail

Bobsled will eventually be a suite of services but T-Mobile is launching it first as an app for people using PC or Mac computers. According to T-Mobile’s official press release, Brad Duea, Senior Vice President, T-Mobile is confident that the service will continue to expand, possibly even to T-Mobile’s mobile platforms.

“Integrated voice on Facebook is a critical part of our roadmap for Bobsled by T-Mobile and Vivox is the clear leader in this area,” said Duea, “Vivox is a talented and innovative company, and we look forward to a successful partnership with Vivox.”

In the near future, T-Mobile plans to evolve Bobsled by T-Mobile to include video chat, the ability to place VoIP calls to mobile and landline U.S. numbers, and will offer applications on smartphones and tablets across various mobile platforms, regardless of the carrier that powers such devices.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the service, visit www.LetsBobsled.com or look for the free download from Facebook’s mobile app page. From what I can tell, the install is fairly simple and is finished in three steps.

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Topics: New Products, Social Media, Communications, Facebook, VoIP, T-Mobile, Bobsled by T-Mobile

River Run Tech Blog: RockMelt - The Newest "Social" Web Browser

Posted by Eric Torres

Nov 8, 2010 8:59:00 AM

With Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera all duking it out for browser market share, some might think the world doesn’t need another Web browser. However, a group of rockmelt logodevelopers led by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria have taken the wraps off of RockMelt, a new Web browser that builds on the notion of a social Web by building Facebook and Twitter directly into the browser. RockMelt will also include integrated sharing tools and an enhanced way to navigate through Google search results via the keyboard to find exactly what you want. Additionally, if you happen to be using a public computer or someone else’s system, no problem: RockMelt is the first browser to be “fully backed by the cloud.” Just run RockMelt, and your personalized browsing experience is waiting for you.

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Topics: New Products, Social Media, Communications, Browser, Cloud-based, Beta, Social Web Browser

River Run Tech Blog: Google To Pay $8.5 Million In Buzz Settlement

Posted by Eric Torres

Nov 3, 2010 8:43:00 AM

A federal judge in San Jose has granted preliminary approval to an agreement calling for Google to pay $8.5 million to settle a Google Buzz Logoclass-action lawsuit stemming from the launch of Buzz, the company said on Tuesday. 

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Topics: Google, Social Media, Tech News

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