Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Home Automation

Home Automation:

We started our journey towards Home Automation with the purchase of the Nest thermostat. The projected cost savings was approximately 10% of heating bill. This would cover the cost of the Nest in year (1) one.

I got the Nest thermostat as a Christmas gift so I had no up front cost. Once it was unwrapped,  we did a product review video and updated the installation instructions. The only concern I had was the wiring. Since the wiring was low volt, labeling and installation of the thermostat  was simple.

Nest has created installation videos that makes the process relatively simple.( Nest Installation video ) Once the Nest is installed, you connect it to your wireless network and your off and running.

The next step was to install Nest application  on my smart phone, I configured Auto-away which sets the temperature at lowest level which was typically 60 degrees. This helps save energy costs while everyone is away at work. The last step to  complete Home Automation is to set up a heating schedule.  The schedule warms up the house prior to us waking up for the day.

The Nest has saved on heating cost and can be proven out by the Energy History report. The Nest has helped us begin our journey towards Home Automation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Review

We have began the process of migrating to a Hybrid Hyper V cloud infrastructure. The process of developing the next generation platform provides great value. The evolution of  Social media is driving big data housed on servers around the world.  The utilizing  of virtualization and the cloud, improves flexibility, redundancy, and overall management of the infrastructure.

The goal for our migration to virtualization and Hybrid cloud is to respond to customer needs faster, save money for our clients, and integration of onsite and cloud infrastructure.

The following benefits can be realized by Azure cloud infrastructure:

  1. Azure Stream Analytics provides insight into devices, sensors, infrastructure, and applications.
  2. Azure Document-DB none SQL query and transaction processing.
  3. Increased privacy protection and improved security compliance.
We are implementing Azure automation to save time and money completing cloud management tasks. We are looking to improve operations and customer services utilizing Azure platform!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Snow boarding Video blog

Snow boarding video 

Snow boarding is a great  winter activity especially in North East of New England.  The snow boarding season has been exceptional as we have been berried with snow. I enjoy free style boarding, racing, and cruising the mountain.

Currently I am ridding a Burton Blunt with Malavita bindings. While ridding in the North East I prefer a flexible board to navigate narrow and some times icy trails. While ridding I enjoy listening to music through my GIRO helmet and capturing video footage on my GoPro.

We have been documenting our snow boarding adventure and technological advances in video capture technology.  We will be implementing a video blog in conjunction with our Jbrockproduction YouTube Channel We hope everyone enjoys the season!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Career development - tools and resources.

Career Development - How to acquire skills valued by employers that will help advance your career. Training and Education are often the most over looked corporate assets. Typically trained and educated employees help corporations grow.

Career Development and education often fall on employees shoulders to take advantage of tuition reimbursement. Tuition reimbursement is not often used unless some one is pursuing a masters degree or  changing career objectives. Enhancing corporate training and developing trained employees should be high priority goal.

One of the major obstacles in regards to training is finding time. In some situations an employer will give employee the day off to attend training. This benefit should motivate the employee and improve productivity. The bottom line is, employee and employer must find time for career development, training, and education.

In the super competitive job market, employers are looking for candidates with highly specialized skills. Acquiring highly specialized skills can be expensive, so employees must have a career development plan. Make and take time to invest in yourself!

iTunes University Education
Learn to code
MIT open course
Khan Academy
There are many resources available, take the time to find them and utilize! Good luck.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Protection against security breach

In today environment, data breaches are very common.  The latest breach affects 2 million Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter passwords. The hackers installed key logging software maliciously on computer around the world. The software virus captures log in password and sends data to remote servers. Trustwave researchers discover the servers on 11/24/13 in the Netherlands.  The server contained passwords for 93, 0000 accounts on various web sites: Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter,  ADP, Linkedin and more. According to ADP, Facebook, users have been notified and passwords reset. To cover their tracks, hackers used a Proxy server to route compromised information.
It is recommended that you change your passwords on a regular basis. Users should change passwords at least 3 times per year,
The affected sites L( Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter,  ADP, Linkedin)
Review the following:
1.    Two set password verification should be set up on all web sites especially financial.
2.    Password rotation system should be developed
Once hacker has users ID and password, the first thing they do is access your email. The may send out spam or viruses. They are really looking for your bank account information. They will try the obtained user ID and password to access your account. It is very important to have different password for key accounts.
Improved computer forensics should help detect and prevent these type of security breaches in the future. More information to follow on protecting your on line account to follow!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Great place to work

The best place to work is always a good read to help determine what constitutes great work environment. The first consideration usually is pay and benefits. All things being equal work environment is key factor as well.

The current study I am reviewing was written by Julia King for Computerworld. The top 100 companies have great benefits, challenging projects, training, which keeps employees engaged and happy. One of the keys for each company is they value and support their workers.  These are companies we should support with our buying power.

100 best companies to work for:

1.       U.S.A.A is a growing company to the tune of 8% annually. U.S.S.A insurance invest heavily in training by providing $10,000 per year tuition / training reimbursement.  U.S.S.A   has great pay and benefits, annual bonus of 18% of annual salary. provides financial services to the USA military and their families.  

2.       CareerBuilder success is based on providing opportunities for staff to continue education initiatives and rewards for strong performance.  CareerBuilder offers $10,000 a year in tuition reimbursement and an employee innovation competition where employee can earn additional $10,000.  Total bonuses for IT staff can reach 20% of annual salary.  offers career placement and career planning advice.

6.  Verizon Wireless invests in employees by providing online training, instructor lead course and $8000 a year tuition reimbursement.  Verizon Wireless was able to release a new sales portal capable of handling increased usage due to employee’s efforts and training. provide mobile services to corporate and individual users.

8. has high employee involvement in developing hosted CRM applications.  IT uses to create apps for team projects.  The company has a renowned internal social network called chatter. The portal allows users to share ideas, collaborate, and discuss technologies.

11. University of Pennsylvania one of the premiere Ivy League University offers great benefits, tuition reimbursement, 403B retirement plan, and a flexible work environment. Some of the additional perks include discount on cars, computers, and cultural events. ISC Exploration allows staff a day to explore new ideas, technologies, and processes.

13 Cedars-Sinai Health System views I.T. as a strategic partner in filling organizations goals.  I.T. staff are trained on latest medical technologies such as electric health records and implement systems to automate tasks.  The overall goals is to improve patient care.

16. Principal Financial Group Collaboration is emphasized with all departments on technology driven projects. Employees customize their careers paths and are able to work flexible hours which is great value to employees.