9/11

Post image for The Loss of Innocence

Innocence was lost today, not just in Connecticut but across the world. Our future was tragically and horrifically gunned down in yet another act of senseless violence.

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After 9/11, our nation changed. We became paranoid, more careful and we thought, safer. Today’s events prove otherwise. Violence can come from anywhere, from strangers or from people that we know. It can be directed at a nation or at an individual. Tragically, the people who are most affected are usually the innocent, the bystanders and at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the children and those people developing these young minds into our future leaders and caretakers.

As a father of three, I have seen how innocence becomes lost. My oldest daughter’s first day of pre-school was on 9/11. Today I will pull all 3 of them into my arms and tell them I love them, forever and always.

As my children have grown, they have been exposed to more violence and more tragedy. Most likely, they don’t fully understand these horrific acts. This may, in some way, be a good thing. But I don’t want them (or me for that matter) to become desensitized to tragedies like this. At the same time, I want to shield and protect them from this crazy world. Our children are our future and we as parents and caregivers are dutifully bound to ensure their safety, success and longevity.

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Post image for Ooma VoIP Adds Innovative Feature to Assist in 911 Notifications

Today, I learned that Ooma, a VoIP company who I recently reviewed, has added a pretty interesting feature to their telephony service. In the past, there has always been a bit of a question around the reliability of 911 calls using a phone service that uses an Internet connection for it “digital dialtone”. Advances have been made and now most VoIP services include Enhanced 911 service; the “Enhanced” part means not only is the caller ID sent to emergency services, but also the full address associated with the caller’s phone number, and the call is routed to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point.

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But Ooma’s announcement today is not around Enhanced 911, a service that they have long had, but around adding more value to their customers that do need to call 911. Starting today, you can now add up to 3 email addresses or text numbers to the “My Ooma” online control panel within the 911 section. These addresses or numbers are used to notify key people should 9-1-1 be dialed on the subscriber’s Ooma phone. The configured text numbers or email addresses will be notified automatically when 9-1-1 is called. This is in addition to the call made to emergency responders.

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This service does require you to be on the Ooma Premier plan, something that I definitely recommended in my review. The plan costs $9.99/month and you can pre-pay for a year for an additional discount. Ooma does also offer a “free” service where the only cost that you pay is the tax on the line.

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To those readers in the US, Happy Thanksgiving. To everyone else, happy Thursday! Not too much happening out there today (in the US at least).

  • Four Years Not Enough for “Godfather of Spam” – “Spam costs every American–every one of us–over $13-a-year each, $42 billion in all, and that’s just what business pays. And that doesn’t include the criminals’ take. Is four years and a $250,000 fine really the best punishment for the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Spam?” Put another way: Do we take the criminal aspects of spam seriously enough?” (source: PCWorld) HTD: Wait, that’s it? Maybe part of the punishment should be hand writing letters of apology to each and every person who ever received a Spam email. That would keep them busy. Not only should Spammers be locked away, without access to computers, the ISP that host them should really be shutting these guys down immediately and not waiting for the Feds to come in. A person can only dream of a spam-free email environment!
  • How to Try the New Google Search – “Confirmed. The rumors about Google’s redesign are true, and you can try it for yourself with a very simple method.” (source: Gizmodo) HTD: Any change to the über-simplistic Google search page deserves a bit of a mention. And there is always a backlash. I think the new design makes sense, as it looks a lot like the Google News section. But, Gizmodo has also quickly posted a way to undo it and revert back to normal.
  • Website Wikileaks publishes ‘9/11 messages’ - “A website has published what it says are 573,000 intercepted pager messages sent during the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Wikileaks says it will not reveal who gave it the messages – some of which are from federal agencies as well as ordinary citizens.” (source: BBC news) HTD: Why am I not surprised by this? This type of information is captured somewhere so all someone needs to do is get access to it, compile it and publish it. More recently, when large media events occur, we now get real-time news streams right on Twitter. Twitter can provide you with the “real-time web” where you learn about breaking news before the rest of the world.

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