BBP : Episode 3 – Cables, Sports, Updates & Manage WP

BBP : Episode 3 – Cables, Sports, Updates & Manage WP

Episode Three of the BeBizzy Break Podcast on this busy day-after-Labor-Day episode.

Topics include unwinding my giant ball of cables and ancient technology, college football apps, a pending Divi upgrade, and whether or not I should be afraid of the sale of ManageWP to GoDaddy.

If you have a suggestion for a future interview, please contact BeBizzy via our form or on Twitter @BeBizzy.

Enjoy the conversation with Scott, and don’t forget to give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher!

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 2 – Scott McCarthy, Silicon Plains

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 2 – Scott McCarthy, Silicon Plains

Episode TWO of the BeBizzy Break podcast is up and available for download from iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Pocket Casts, so go get subscribed and listen to my interview with Scott McCarthy, VP of Sales at Silicon Plains.

We talk about how a managed services company can enhance your IT staff for all businesses regardless of size.

Silicon Plains is located in Bismarck, ND and their website is http://www.siliconplains.net. Give Scott a call at 701-390-9876 if you’re interested in their services or just want to talk about how a managed services provider can make your technology stronger and work better towards making your business more profitable.

If you have a suggestion for a future interview, please contact BeBizzy via our form or on Twitter @BeBizzy.

Enjoy the conversation with Scott, and don’t forget to give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher!

Motorola Moto Z Droid Smartphone

Motorola Moto Z Droid Smartphone

Most Olympic swimming events are decided by tenths, even hundredths of seconds. During this Olympic cycle there have even been several ties for medals as there was literally no way to separate athletes as they came to the wall.

And then there were the races that had Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky won the 800m freestyle final by 11 SECONDS. The entire field of runners in the Mens 100m sprint ran their complete race in a shorter amount of time than that. And aside from Katie just being a superior athlete, a main reason for her dominance was a change in the stroke she was using. By changing the game, she changed the outcome… by a lot.

Same goes for technology. When we were tired of carrying CD’s around, mp3’s showed up. When we were tired of carrying multiple sets of media around that stored mp3’s, the iPod appeared. As a DJ I’ve used LP’s, VHS tapes, cassettes, CDs and now mp3 and mp4 files stored on laptops for all my music allowing thousands of songs instead of a handful of records in crates.

On the mobile phone front we were at a bit of a crossroads. Both Android and iOS are pretty good at what they do, and unless you were an enthusiast the same phone would work for years at a pretty acceptable level. All have good cameras, have LTE network service (some networks are better than others), decent processors and are built thinner and lighter. Many have expandable storage. All can have cases and protective covers added.

But once in a while someone changes the game. The Motorola Moto Z Droid is that change. AND, it’s exclusive to Verizon Wireless.

On the surface, the phone is like most any other high-end smartphones.

  • 5.5″ Gorilla Glass screen
  • Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB memory, expandable up to 256GB
  • 13MP primary, 5MP selfie camera
  • Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, accelerometer
  • 2600 mAh battery
  • NO headphone jack! Don’t worry, there’s an adapter to connect to the USB-C in the box and another way to listen available.

Ok, the lack of a standard headphone jack is weird, but other than that, pretty standard stuff.

The MODS

Moto ModsWhat changes the game, is the MODS.

For those of you not familiar with the new mods for the Moto Z, here you go. Mods are attached to the main phone body by a series of powerful magnets, making the attachment easy and not requiring any disassembly of the phone. These mods allow you to transform your phone so the capabilities are extended and include:

  • Moto Insta-Share Projector
    Project your phone screen up to 70″ on any surface, self adjusting the keystone to accomodate the picture. Great for business people who may need to show spreadsheets or slides, or just anyone who may want to show photos or video to friends or family.
  • JBL Soundboost Speaker
    High quality JBL sound anywhere with a built-in kickstand. There’s even an extra battery that brings up to 10 hours of extra battery life.
  • Incipio offGRID Power Pack
    Need up to 22 hours of extra battery life? This sleek battery “case” looks like a beautiful case and continues to work with wireless charging.
  • Moto Style Shell
    Add materials like real wood, genuine leather and more as a styling case to the Moto Z with the Style Shells. Magnets allows you to change in seconds, and while the unprotected back of the phone has the camera protruding a bit more than most phones, the shells (and other mods) bring the camera flush and protected.

So why the big deal?

Phones like the iPhone do a great job of finding the “happy medium.” The have good storage, a good camera, decent battery and ok speakers. Several Android phones maintained the slightly “better-than-average” features as well with better cameras and ok sound, or a great battery, but poor front camera.

The Moto Z mods allow additional functionality to be added to an already great device by simply attaching extension mods to the original phone via strong magnets. So a business person who doesn’t need impressive sound can have a 70″ projector in his pocket, or a power user can have an additional 2200 mAh of battery ( for a TOTAL OF 4800 mAh!!), or that girl who takes a ton of videos can show them using the JBL speaker mod with the attached kickstand.

Throw in the fact that most of us buy some sort of case but may want to go without, or with a different look for multiple events and this makes the mods invaluable.

This phone and the mods are a great step forward in mobile technology. Sure, eventually, we’ll all have a projector built in, a great battery, and amazing speakers in a same small footprint occupied by the Moto Z and other great smartphones. But until then, the Moto Z forces other mobile phone companies to take a look at their devices and think, “What about this?”

Check out the Moto Z Droid and it’s mods at a local Verizon store or at the Verizon Wirless website.

Want to learn more about the Moto Z mods? Watch the official video:

or this great review of the projector and speaker from Hot Hardware.

Do you have, or want, the Motorola Moto Z Droid? I’d love to hear your review on the device, or get questions if you need some clarification on something before you take the plunge.

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Right Time To Move To A Phablet?

Right Time To Move To A Phablet?

Most of us have used cell phones, or more recently, smartphones in our daily life. In recent years, our phones have replaced our computers as our go-to internet device, our communication device, even our entertainment device.

Even more recently companies like Samsung, Google and even Apple have moved to larger devices. Some have included a stylus, some have included extra battery, but all have added screen real estate which makes video, games, and even apps better and easier to use.

So is it time to move to a phablet (phone/tablet)?

I have used cell phones since the day of bag phones (yeah, I’m old… I  know). Since the bag phone I’ve used large brick phones, small flip phones, a large Microsoft Pocket PC with a hidden keyboard, iPhones, Android phones, and yes, even phablets.  I’ve been the COO of an internet company, worked in inside and outside sales, a marketing agency, and now own two businesses.

Of all my experiences, needs and uses my favorite phone to this day is my Samsung Note.

To be fair, I use my phone for a TON of different things like taking notes during meetings, keeping my schedule up to date, websites, emails, social media, photos and much, much more. But really, what could you get from that extra screen real estate?

  • Larger videos for you and the family to watch Netflix or your own videos.
  • More readable font sizes without cramming things on to your narrow screen
  • Pen stylus for note taking, picture drawing, or stylus-specific apps.
  • Better screen for GPS apps
  • Better mobile internet viewing, especially for mobile-enabled pages, but even when viewing websites that have not been made for mobile viewing (call me if this is your page… I can help!)
  • An awesome social media experience when it comes to Facebook, Instagram and others.  Photos and videos just look better in a larger format.
  • And more…

What might be some of the negatives?

  • Larger footprint takes up more space in purse or can be tough to fit in a pocket.
  • For those with smaller hands (me!) it can be problematic to use one-handed (the Note software compensates for this if activated).
  • The larger screen does use battery at a faster rate
  • If you already use a tablet, some of the features could overlap, or possibly be replaced by a phablet (positive?).

So with the recent announcement of the Samsung Note 7, and the impending iPhone 7+ (rumored) announcement days away, now might be the time to consider a larger phone. Personally, I am out-of-contract, and am definitely considering the move to the Note 7 when it’s released in early September. After viewing the launch announcement and reviews (like this one from T3.com) it looks like very comparable specs to my Samsung Galaxy S7, with a larger screen and a few other great features like a bigger battery, more memory, the external memory is back, and of course, the S-Pen and assorted apps.

As the release date approaches and the iPhone announcement becomes official, I would encourage you to read reviews online, talk to your local Verizon store, and even watch the #VZWBUZZ hashtag on Twitter to get some awesome information on the Note 7 and the many benefits of the phablet devices. I can’t wait!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Simplify Your Life With Google Tasks

Simplify Your Life With Google Tasks

We’re getting to that time when summer is coming to a close, vacations are wrapping up, and school is on the horizon for many families. On top of that, soon it will be the holiday season, sports, school meetings and conferences, and oh yeah, work.

How will you manage all of those details to make sure everything gets done. Many use the standard central hand-written calendar on the refrigerator or family cork board. Or worse, there’s the sea of post-it notes decorating our desks, computer monitors and desks. But did you know the better solution is probably in your hand right now?

Google Tasks has been around for quite a while, but is one of the least utilized of the standard Google products but it’s also one of the easiest and most powerful to use.

Google Tasks

Some basic information about Google Tasks:

  • Integrates with Google Calendar. With so many of us using Gmail for our email system, this calendar is used daily by many of us.
  • Great Chrome extensions that puts your task list near your address bar with a simple click.
  • Tons of great widgets that allow display and interaction with your task list.
  • Ability to set due dates, reminders, and even colorize tasks for easy identification.
  • Make a repeatable reminder for tasks like bill payments, regular meetings, and more.
  • You can even share tasks with other family members or co-workers in the event that you need some help completing the task.

So no that we’ve seen the need and basic capabilities of Google Tasks, let’s take a look at some mobile apps available on both Android and iOS that bring out the utility of Tasks.

  • GTasks – My favorite Google Task app. It easily lets users create categories, colorize them, and sort by due date, alphabetically, or more. The standard version is free, with a paid version for more capabilities. Works on both mobile platforms. It also includes some great widgets that allow you to show all tasks, or a specific category so multiple views can be created.
  • Tasks – Standard app for Google Task users. Again, free version does all the basic features but there is a paid version for more versatility.
  • Sync2 – Want to sync your Google tasks with Outlook? Sync2 does a great job of importing not only your tasks, but calendars and contacts. The program can be set up to sync in any direction, including bi-directional so any changes made to either the PC or mobile version are sync’d to the other. Sync2 is about $40, but if you have multiple devices, this is well worth it.

I use Google Tasks to run two businesses, keep up with personal items, and keep my daughter going in college. By setting up multiple widgets on multiple pages on my Samsung S7 Edge, I am able to keep multiple balls in the air and keep things moving. Entering new tasks is extremely easy using GTasks on my phone, or the Chrome extension on my PC, and the items are sync’s directly with all devices, including my Outlook program.

Get organized and productive using your favorite mobile device using Google Tasks as your primary task manager. Your kids, your work and your sanity will appreciate it.

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Blog Break – 7/27/16 – Kickstarter, Tumblr & Tony Robbins

Blog Break – 7/27/16 – Kickstarter, Tumblr & Tony Robbins

Today’s tech and business to read over lunch are :

Website Launch – Rock Point

Website Launch – Rock Point

rpRock Point opened earlier this year on the Mandan side of the Missouri River and has featured outstanding live music acts like Parmalee and Pop Evil.

Now Rock Point has launched a BeBizzy Consulting developed website that is responsive to mobile devices, shows upcoming events in an easy-to-use calendar, features an outstanding food and drink special menu, and much more.

Check out the site at http://rockpointnd.com and their Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat pages.

What to join Rock Point in having YOUR business displayed to virtually any device? Contact BeBizzy Consulting and let’s get your web project started today!

rockpointnd_website

Google is the New Phone Book

Google is the New Phone Book

online business listingWhen was the last time you used a phone book for something other than a door stop, table leveler, or napkin weight? Last year? The 2000’s? If you’re a millennial… EVER?

As a business owner you simply have to accept that a majority of potential clients are using the internet to find places, hopefully YOURS, in which to spend their money. The days of customers paging through a large book that sat on top of their refrigerator has been replaced by a powerful computer constantly connected to the internet and sitting in our pockets, purses and desks at all times. Having a local business listing that is consistent and accurate has become more important that a large ad in the phone book.

Here are some stats:

  • 4 in 5 consumers search for local businesses online
  • When customers find incorrect information about a business online, 73% lose trust in that business
  • Up to 40% of location information online is incorrect!
  • Incorrect or incomplete information causes small businesses to lose potential customers at a cost of $10 Billion per year

Local Business Listings

Because of all the potential origins and changes in online business listings there is a huge chance your business is affected in some way. Incomplete or incorrect information can be caused by several things, including :

  • moving
  • purchased lists of businesses
  • web address variances (www or no-www)
  • phone number changes
  • logo revisions
  • map markers blocks away from your actual business
  • and much more

How Can I Update My Business Listing?

There are several inexpensive, inefficient solutions to correcting local listings. Many of these can take several hours to update, only communicate with six or seven online directories and can take several days, even weeks to update.

But what if I told you there was a way to update your local online listings to over 50 sites in just a few days? What if there was a way to issue consistent information like your address, phone number, website, images, logo, and even a clickable featured message for special offers to all of these sites?

BeBizzy Consulting has access to this tool! We have partnered with a company that has direct API programming into over 50 listing websites to ensure your information is consistent across the network, including these sites:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo!
  • Facebook
  • SuperPages
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • Here
  • And more!

Contact BeBizzy Consulting to update your local online business listing today and in short time you will lock your listings on over 50 sites and apps, create listings on some sites/apps where you currently don’t have a listing, make your map markers accurate, suppress duplicate and incorrect listings across the network, link a featured message to a Schedule An Appointment, Contact Us, or even a custom landing page within your website, and get reports on how often your are viewing your site.

We’ll gather a few pieces of information from you, and then you can leave the technical stuff to us!

Automate & Secure Your Home with Nest Devices

Automate & Secure Your Home with Nest Devices

nest_default_share_iconI’m a sucker for shiny new tech objects. There, I said it.

But I’ve resisted the need and the lure of most “internet of things” things like thermostats,cameras, doorbells  and more. Until now, that is.

A few weeks ago I received a bundle of Nest devices including the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest Cam, and the Nest Smoke + CO Alarm from Verizon Wireless as I’m a part of the #VZWBUZZ team. I was immediately impressed with the devices and in just a few minutes I had all three of them configured and installed in their place in my home.

I will take a few moments to discuss all three devices and my experiences with them and how they might be right for your lifestyle.

Nest Thermostat

2016-05-08 08.30.38I’ve had a programmable thermostat in my home for several years now. Living in North Dakota the heater is running all winner as the temperatures plunge to below 0°, and the AC runs all summer as we climb to 90°+. So being able to control when each of these items should run and for how long can be a huge money saver. In fact, I saw a $30 decrease in both heating and cooling seasons by installing the programmable thermostat.

So when I opened the Nest Learning Thermostat box and read the documentation on how it can be either told when to run at certain temperatures, or LEARN when you’re home and adjust the internal climate as necessary, I was intrigued.

Installing the device into the wall was easy with included instructions, so don’t be turned off by that. It came with a large cover plate that covered any blemishes left on the wall by previous thermostats and the device itself simply snaps in place.

Connecting to the thermostat from the downloadable Android/iOS app is as simple as snapping a photo of a QR code with your camera and entering a few numbers. From here you connect to your wireless network, configure a few other items, and snap the thermostat in place to control your heater or AC unit.

It’s really that easy. And now the device starts learning when you go to sleep, when you wake up, when you leave and come home from work, and many other features that help keep your home, and you, as comfortable as possible.

For more information on the Nest Learning Thermostat, check out this page at Verizon.com.

Nest Cam

2016-05-08 13.27.57Since I work at home, the Nest Cam is probably the product I was least excited about. However, now that I installed it and have it sitting on my wi-fi network, I can honestly say it’s nice to have.

As with the Thermostat, programming and configuring was done on the app using the QR code and camera. It resides on a coffee table pointed at the main window, entrance door from outside, and other entrance area from the kitchen.

I was able to set up zones on the app that can either notify, or not notify me of sound or motion inside of those zones. This was a big deal since my dogs are constantly moving about the house.

The best part of the camera is that I can tell it to turn off when someone with the app installed is home. This keeps me from getting tons of notifications of motion when my wife is home, and her from getting them when I’m at home working.

When you’re away from home you are notified by either email or on the app, your choice, as to any sound or motion that triggers the camera. You are then able to watch on the app or browser to see AND hear what’s happening inside your home. And check this out, there’s even a speaker in the camera so if you see something correctable by your voice like a pet misbehaving you can say something that’s heard in your home and hear the response.

All in all, the setup and configuration of the Nest Cam took about ten minutes. Allow more time if you’re going to mount on the wall and have to get power to it.

Visit Verizon.com for more information on the Nest Cam.

Nest Fire + CO Alarm

Check out the Verizon.com page for more information on the Nest Cam
2016-05-08 15.26.27My smoke detectors in the house are hardwired with battery backup. However, they are close to 15 years old and were in desperate need of replacement.

So when I was able to test this device I was excited. Configuration and setup was again, five minutes with the app, the QR code and a bit of info like wi-fi password. Installing the base and hanging it took maybe ten minutes, so easily within 30 minutes if you read and follow instructions (I’ve never been good at that…). The alarm tested during setup and it is LOUD, so make sure you let everyone know you’re testing. The app displays your alarm(s) and provides a status.

Because of the location status, I am going to be purchasing two more alarms for the other floors of my home and replacing them as well. Knowing via the app where smoke or CO gas has been detected is great information for putting that fire out or determining an exit of the building.

And some of you may be interested in a feature that allows a user to stop a fire alarm for up to 15 minutes in the event that the home fills with smoke from a burned cooking experience, electronic project, or other reason.

Visit Verizon.com for more information on the Nest Smoke + CO Alarm.

2016-05-06 15.33.39These Nest devices are a wonderful way to start the home security and automation process. They leverage the power of Google and tap into our reliance on mobile technology, which makes the process easier to manage and more powerful.

If you would like to cut your home’s heating and cooling costs, see your home when you’re gone, or know if your home is experiencing an emergency regardless of where you are, the Nest products are an easy way to get started. And I can’t wait to see what they think of next!

And, if you want to see how these devices work together, check out this wonderful post on the Nest website!

AND, if you’re really creative and want to get more out of your Nest Bundle devices, connect them to other “internet of things” devices and other mobile apps using hundreds of IFTTT (If Then Then That) recipes. Find out more about these by clicking on the links below.

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

 

 

 

 

Learn Your Smartphone Features This Spring

Learn Your Smartphone Features This Spring

Untitled designBy now the odds are good that you either own a smartphone or are considering one. Or maybe it could be that your husband or kids have joined the smartphone ranks recently. And while these devices are amazingly powerful computers in our pockets and purses, most users don’t understand how to use all of the features of smartphones.

Well, getting outside and doing some fun activities are a perfect opportunity to use these awesome smartphone features and to learn some new ones.

NOTE : Using some of these functions will utilize your data plan, so be care and keep track of your data use if that is a concern.

Camera

One of the best features of today’s smartphones is the fact we have a wonderful digital camera that shoots both photos and video at the ready at all times. My new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has one of the best mobile cameras available! As you’re out biking, hiking, or just playing in the sun, many photo ops will present themselves. Take a few moments to document beautiful, fun, or out of the ordinary things that mean something to you, or could be shared with others via email, text messages, or social media. There are more advanced apps available for taking and editing photos like Snapseed, so play around with them and start taking some fun photos.

Don’t forget to back these items up by using cloud services like Dropbox, Google Photos or others.

GPS, Location and Weather Services

Need to track an outdoor adventure or find new places to explore? Your smartphone has amazing location services at your fingertips. Google Maps is a default, but don’t forget to look for specific apps for your activity. I like to use Maverick for hunting/fishing, but there are city-specific apps that show trails and parks, apps for hikers that track altitude and others that will document trail progress.

And don’t forget the weather apps. Having weather data widgets Morecast and apps like Radarscrope can provide up-to-date radar, temp, wind and other weather data that can make starting, or stopping, your adventure on time a little easier.

Music and Other Media

Remember the days of having to cart a large boombox and a case full of cassette tapes to the beach or tennis court in order to have some entertainment while having fun outdoors? Not anymore! Now all you need is a smartphone and some headphones to have access to almost any song ever recorded. Throw in a bluetooth speaker and you can share this entertainment to the group. If your device supports it, you can store music on external memory, or use a streaming service like Spotify, Pandora or even Sirius XM if you’re a subscriber.

On the video side, keep yourself entertained with apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO. There’s no excuse for being bored with access to your smartphone!

Social Media

In the last five years social media has captured over half of the adults in the US. We love to share photos, videos, news articles and random thoughts with anyone who may want to listen. So why not share where you are, what you’re doing, and who you are with in real time using your smartphone? Get out that camera, share locations, and let your friends feel jealous about you taking that kayak out today. Some of the more popular social media sharing sites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

And don’t forget about sharing video in these sites using Facebook Live, Vine, Periscope and others.

The list of apps that allow you to share experiences with friends and family is endless. There are apps that help you with construction and remodel projects, travel, outdoor activities, and much, much more. Really, I think you would be surprised how many apps can help you have fun or document your adventures.

Grab your phone, and even your tablet, and get outside. Start taking photos, sharing adventures, and learning how to use all these great features on your tech. There’s plenty of demos and tutorials on YouTube and other resources. Then, when it comes to taking a photo of a wedding, sharing that video of your child singing at a school play, or finding a secret hiking spot on your next vacation, you’ll be a seasoned pro!

Have a tip you’d like to share with others about learning your phone’s features? Send it to me on Twitter @BeBizzy or leave them in the comment section below!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz