Curse of the Comparative Marketing Review

There once was a time, in the mid-1990s when tech authors could actually make a living — oh, you could, can, and shall always be able to make a “killing” writing if you strike the right stone! — writing computer books and about other tangential topics, and that effort could support an author life and subsidize a family.

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Education as an Abstraction: Teaching with Real Things

When teaching becomes an abstraction and not something real, the learning doesn’t stick in the student very well.  Imagination must first be grounded in a hard reality.

As we move closer into living in a 24/7 virtual world, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that learning is best fostered using real things, in real-time, in the same, real, room with each other getting real.  That is important in all human interactions, not just the classroom.  We’re always trying to learn from each other and doing it with real objects is a powerful experience that binds.

When you’re teaching about a flower — is it better to show a computer image of a flower, or hand out a flower printed on a piece of paper, or is it best to share a real flower plucked from a garden in your alive hand?

A real flower authentically engages every bodily sense and creates a sensation in the mind.

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The Apple AirPort Time Capsule Review: 3TB Edition

Of all the electronic doodads I am surrounded by every day, the one I use the most, and the one that gets the least amount of appreciative forethought, is my AirPort Time Capsule — my silent sentinel.  My AirPort Time Capsule connects and manages all my iPhone and iPad and Apple TV and wireless printer WiFi connections to the internets, and it backs up all my most precious data.  When Apple released a new AirPort Time Capsule this week, I loved the new design, and I upped my commitment at the 3TB level and I have been delighted ever since.

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Obamacare Begins to Trickle Down

We are starting to see the aftereffects of Obamacare starting to trickle down to patients, and there are some things that are both odd and curious.  Obamacare goes full-blown in 2014, and in 2012 some doctors started the transition process by writing electronic prescriptions, but 2013 is already turning out to be the Big Obamacare Year of Change.

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Transitioning from Duane Reade Flex Rewards to Walgreens Balance Rewards

Change is inevitable and after Walgreens bought the iconic Duane Reade chain of neighborhood pharmacies in and around New York City — and decided to keep the Duane Reade logo and name even though the stores are all “Walgreens” underneath the advertising sheath — I have been waiting for the official moment when Duane Reade is no longer really Duane Reade.

That moment happened on Sunday when Duane Reade’s excellent “Flex Rewards” program — spend a dollar and get a point — was replaced by Walgreens’ new “Balance Rewards” program where you spend a dollar and get 100 points.  With the Duane Reade card, you hit 500 points and you got $5.00USD; with Walgreens, you have to earn 5,000 points to get the same $5.00USD.  There’s nothing quite like unnecessary complication to help make things less simple — especially when a Duane Reade manager told me this morning that the new national Walgreens reward program was copied from what Duane Reade had been doing regionally.

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Cyber Comm Will Lock You Down

United States Cyber Command is now in action — proactively protecting you by thwarting the ethereal outsider threats from terrorists, rogue actors, and other nations wishing to do us harm — but that lockdown protection travels two ways: In and out.  We know the in — but the out is you — and your local internet connectivity.

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