November 27th, 2013
I am so excited to be part of one of my favorite holiday events of the season. On Black Friday November 29th at the Reston Town Center the wonderful Holiday Parade kicks off at 11AM. Macy’s-style balloons, musicians and marching bands, dancers, antique cars, community groups, and more make up this one-of-a-kind, one-hour procession welcoming the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus for the season. This year’s theme is “Destination: Reston“.
Then at 6PM is the annual Christmas Tree lighting. Santa and Mrs. Claus roll in to light to tree. I’m honored to emcee this years lighting. My colleague Doug Kammerer will be on site doing his weather reports live for NBC Washington too!
Bundle up and join us for an unforgettable way to start off this holiday season! If you’re out there.. say hi!
November 26th, 2013
The loss to San Francisco isn’t the only thing fans are fired up about. It’s what happened during halftime that triggered a twitter war.
During the game, the team acknowledged the history of the Navajo Code Talkers as part of Native American Heritage month. They are the brave men who helped save thousands of American lives during WWII with their code and language skills.
Four of them were honored on the field. The stadium embraced them… after all they are heroes and deserve it. Although, it’s Native American Heritage Month.. the timing of the tribute came under fire online immediately. Most people accusing the Redskins of using the code talkers as props in the ongoing name change controversy.
Shortly after the game.. the Redskins posted this tribute video to the code talkers. It features pictures, President Obama and one of the Navajo Code Talkers saying “Hail to the Redskins.”
The backlash so far.. has been big. There have been supporters however who believe that this was a great way to honor our heroes.
November 26th, 2013
When bad weather hits.. we often say call your airline ahead of time to check on your flight.. but what does that really mean.
MORE: Tuesday Commute Could Get Messy
There are things you should ask and tools you can use to avoid being a victim of cancellations and delays.
FlightAware.com, a website that tracks airline traffic unvelied its “misery map.” Hub airports like Chicago’s O’Hare, Denver and DC showed the most red for misery on the map Monday– after 600 flights were canceled.
When you call ahead.. don’t ask simply if your flight is delayed.
You need to have your flight number and ask the attendant for the aircraft number assigned to your flight. Then ask where that tail number is right now. That is the best indicator of whether you’re gonna be delayed or even canceled.
A couple websites to help you out.
Flightcaster.com predicts flight delays..sometimes hours before airlines figure it out.
Nextflight.com lists upcoming flights in case yours gets cancelled.
And there’s APPS like flightstats or flighttrack pro which track your flight in real time.
November 18th, 2013
One of my morning stories.. that may have you double thinking what you tweet. What if I told you there’s new software that lets your boss determine whether your dedicated or lazy by looking at your feed.
IBM claims to have new profiling technology that paints a picture of your personality based on your tweets.The software scans recent tweets.. analyzing words to to develop your profile.
For example caring people may use words like WE, FAMILY and HOME while the dedicated talk more about their achievements.
Researchers say employers can use the data to see if someone is right for the job.
IBM tested the software, analyzing 300 twitter profiles while getting users to take psychometric tests.They report the two favored each other more than 80% of the time.
November 13th, 2013
Have you ever asked the IT pro at your work what’s the biggest threats they have to fix? You might be surprised what you hear.
It appears a big problem is porn found on your bosses computer.
Software firm ThreatTrackSecurity reports 40% of IT professional said a big problem was cleaning executive’s corporate devices infected after visiting a porn site.
But porn-born malware isn’t the only issue.
More than half said malicious email links topped the list.
While 47% blamed attaching infected thumb drives and smartphones to the PC.
Something I found most unsettling– almost 60% of analysts say they’ve confronted a data breach but the company decided not to tell customers, partners and shareholders.
November 11th, 2013
When it comes to the Redskins we often get so wrapped up in the game it’s hard to imagine the personal battles some of these athletes fight everyday at home.
Defensive end Stephen Bowen is one of them. In 2011 he lost a son. 2 years later he and his wife Tiffany have found coping is easier… when they can provide comfort for others.
I recently sat down with the couple at their Virginia home. Click below to watch their inspirational story.
November 10th, 2013
An alternative site to the President’s health care plan troubled website Healthcare.gov has popped up to prove a point.
Three 20 year old programmers in San Francisco built their own version of Healthcare.gov.
It’s called TheHealthSherpa and allows users to browse insurance plans in their zip code. They’re working on providing the federal tax subsidies you might be eligible for.
I typed in Fairfax’s zip code and immediately got more than a dozen pages of plans to choose from. When I typed in Reston’s .. I got nothing. So it appears there’s still some bugs to work out on this site as well. The point though is that this process is simpler. Healthcare.gov doesn’t give info on pricing and benefits until you register and fill out an application. That has proved to be a painful process for most.
Techmeme reports Healthcare.gov services are much more complex than what TheHealthSherpa is offering—saying the guys did it to show how an aspect could have been designed better and built faster.. locally. The White House contracted out most of the Healthcare.gov project to a Canadian company.
November 7th, 2013
We are so psyched it is Thursday night football! We’re throwing a tailgate party and we want you to join in!! Remember to use #Thursdaytailgate when you post your game night photos!! Go Redskins!
November 6th, 2013
After the disastrous roll out of healthcare.gov a new study is out that shows there’s hope for the future of Government customer service.
This morning.. we’re getting a glimpse at what Government Services will look like in year 2020.
Government social network.. GovLoop surveyed hundreds of federal, state and local employees and found that technology is believed to be the answer to ending negative perceptions of government service.
Over the next 6 years, most believe web based and mobile platforms will significantly change the way agencies do customer service.
72-percent say better search and navigation will make customer service as easy as a google search.
Integration of LIVE video chats are expected to be another great tool.
The big complaint among workers right now according to Mashable– the lack of human contact and unwillingness to meet customers needs.