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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Kerry O'Shea Gorgone's Disney Travel Tips

I'm looking into a trip to Orlando and Disney. My friend, and marketing and social media law expert, Kerry O'Shea Gorgone shared her tips her tips with me:


Okay, here's what I've got for Disney Travel tips.

Disney Experience App

First, download the Disney Experience app

You want that. You can link up your companions' passes and yours, so you can book FastPasses for rides, dining reservations, and stuff like that for everyone.

The scoop on FastPasses

Speaking of which, here's the scoop on FastPasses

They let you come back at a pre-set time so you don't have to wait in the standby line for rides. If you plan these right, they can save you a ton of time.

Are you staying on Disney property?
If so, you can book dining at the sit-down restaurants up to 6 months in advance (and you totally should, because the sit-down restaurants book up fast). You also get to book FastPasses for rides up to 60 days in advance. Again, definitely do it, because those go, too.

Magic Bands

People staying at a Disney hotel also get a Magic Band (awesome RFID bracelet you can link to your passes. It even links to your credit card for in-park purchases.

Extra magic hours
Guests also enjoy "extra magic hours," when they get to enter the parks early or leave late, so you get more park time than the plebes.

All the perks of staying "on property" at Walt Disney World are here

Attraction Tips
The Animal Kingdom's gotten much better over the years, with a roller coaster now. The Kilamanjaro Safari's the most popular ride, so hit it first thing in
the a.m., when it's faster to get on. Cooler temperatures mean you'll see more animals, too. I like to go on twice, because it's different every time! Take a Fast Pass for it, then go on through the regular line. By the time your first safari's over, you'll be able to use your FastPass!

At Disney's Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania is probably the most popular attraction, go straight for a "Fast Pass." That way, you can get on without too much of a wait later, although Fast Passes run out for that one pretty early.

It's a fun ride, but not worth waiting 90 minutes, which some families do! At Epcot, "Soarin'," a gentle ride that simulates a gliding experience, is the family-friendly ride that books up fastest. That's the Fast Pass to grab on your way in there.

For Magic Kingdom, the latest ride is the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. The wait is always insane. If you'er staying on property, this should DEFINITELY be one of the FastPasses you book in advance. Otherwise, decide how important it is to you, because it's a long-ass wait.

About Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, J.D./M.B.A.

Kerry is a lawyer, podcaster and speaker. former college professor, Kerry develops training programs for MarketingProfs, and has addressed audiences at industry conferences including the B2B Marketing Forum, the Social Brand Forum, Vocus Demand Success, and FLBlogCon. She has also spoken at specialty conferences including Bloggy Boot Camp and the Type-A Parent Conference, and frequently conducts private workshops for clients.

Listen to her Markerting Profs podcast.

JetBlue Airways Best Fare Finder

JetBlue Airways Best Fare Finder.
Have you ever clicked "My Dates are flexible" when looking for a flight on JetBlue? I usually don't, but today I did and found this.



It's a cool calendar showing fares for the whole month. Very nice user interface.

Monday, December 28, 2015

4 Tips for Great Webcam Video

4 Tips for Great Webcam Video



1. Get to the Point.
Don't rehash 'last week's show' or get sidetracked.

2. Listen for Great Sound.
Sound is the most important part of video. Use an external mic if you have one. It makes a difference.

3. Look for the Light.
Additional light is good. Light up the background too. Don't sit with a window behind you, have the window behind the camera, shedding light on the subject, you!

4. Position the Camera at Eye Level.
Look me in the eye. When recording yourself talking, or live streaming an interview or broadcast, raise the camera to eye level. If you have a laptop with an inbuilt camera, don't leave it sitting on your desk, raise it up with something like a stack of books.


4 Tips for Great Webcam Video 1. Get to the Point. Don't rehash 'last week's show' or get sidetracked.2. Listen for...

Posted by Steve Garfield on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I have given up on Massachusetts Health Connector

It's December 26, 2015 and I have given up on Massachusetts Health Connector. They ate my payment. They took my money (11/12) and my insurance provider has not seen the payment (12/26).



Today, I paid my new insurance provider directly.
I'm going to just have to wait and see what happens to that payment that got eaten by the Mass Health Connector.
Happy New Year.
cc Charlie Baker

UPDATE:
Within minutes of making this payment DIRECTLY to my new health insurance provider, I got an email confirmation from them. That's how you do it.

UPDATE 12/28:
My DIRECT credit card payment to my insurance provider was received on 12/26 and posted to my account on 12/27. My Balance Due is now $0.00.


It's December 26, 2015 and I have given up on Massachusetts Health Connector. They ate my payment. They took my money...

Posted by Steve Garfield on Saturday, December 26, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Best Beer Bar in Amsterdam: Arendsnest Proeflokaal

Best Beer Bar in Amsterdam: Arendsnest Proeflokaal
Seriously, just go here. Inside, outside, it's all great. Plus, the bar tender will help you choose.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Massachusetts Health Connector Payment Portal Is Not Amazon.com

I just went through the sign up process for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector. After enrolling, you have to make your first payment to complete the application process. You make a payment on the Payment Portal, a separate system from the enrollment system.

The Massachusetts Health Connector Payment Portal Is Not Amazon.com

There are issues. Many of them can be solved. Most deal with user interface, but the biggest problem is that the Payment Portal is a separate system from the enrollment system.

Massachusetts Health Connector: Enrollment System - BALANCE DUE
On the Massachusetts Health Connector enrollment system, after you place your order for health insurance and are presented with your BALANCE DUE, you have to go to the Payment Portal and enter everything in by hand.



That's not right.

It's a computer system.

Massachusetts Health Connector: PAYMENT PORTAL

Enrollment ID
If you choose to enter in your Enrollment ID, you have to enter it in without the "RefID_" prefix. Why is that even displayed?



Billing Information
Maybe since it's the first time through, the Payment Portal does not know what my balance due is, so you need to key it in to the Pay Other Amount field.

It's not easy. There is a default 00.00 amount there. I went over to the Massachusetts Health Connector and COPIED my amount due, and then tried to PASTE it into the Pay Other Amount field. It didn't work. I ended up re-keying it in.

Next up was Checking Account Number and Bank Routing Number
When you enter numbers into these fields they are hidden from view. You can't see what you are typing. Over to the right you can see the last four digits of the number you typed, after you type it in, but there's no way to turn off the hidden characters.



Give us the option to display what is typed.

Make Another Payment
If you've chosen both a health plan and a dental plan, at this point you want to make another payment.

First off, why can't I pay both dental and health with one payment? Again, it's a computer system that should know how to apply a total amount to individual payments.

Amazon does it with multiple vendors on the same order.

When you Make Another Payment you are back at square one and have to key EVERYTHING back in again. Enrollment ID, Billing Information, email, etc...

It would be nice it all your info was retained and all you had to do was enter in the new PLAN TYPE and AMOUNT.

Conclusion
It would be nice to complete enrollment on the Massachusetts Health Connector, then be able to click to pay the total balance due, having the system distribute the total between Health and Dental.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Boston Globe Links to A Website Online, But Not in the Print Edition

I'm happy to see the Boston Globe linking to a website that's featured in an article.

City Hall unveils StartHub ‘homepage’ for startups, partnering with IBM:
City Hall’s plan to attract and support startups is getting some more firepower.

On Tuesday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh unveiled StartHub, a website designed to serve as a homepage for technology entrepreneurs in Boston.

StartHub will feature information about the city’s technology scene, including a list of incubators and co-working offices, events calendar, industry news, and “a curated stream” of Boston-based companies and investors.
But when the article is printed in the newspaper, it needs to print the URL too, http://www.starthub.org


Image: Boston Globe StarHub Article with no link

Monday, October 26, 2015

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Review

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera isn't point and shoot. To master it, you've got to explore camera settings beyond today's AUTOmatic world.

Friday, October 16, 2015

2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 Test Drive


Note:
Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode.

Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure:
Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

2016 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate - CNN ONLINE FACEBOOK POLL RESULTS are still online

Some sites are reporting that CNN took down their online Facebook poll results from the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate.

I can't tell if they were taken down at some point, but they are up now.

You can see the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary - CNN FACEBOOK POLL RESULTS here: http://cnn.com/vote.


Image: 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate - CNN FACEBOOK POLL RESULTS Courtesy CNN

When I was watching the debate, I was looking for the Facebook integration. All I saw was the hashtag #DEMDEBATE, and followed it on twitter.

I had no idea that I was supposed to go to the CNN Facebook page to interact in real time. Did they publicize that?

Did you know?

Did you vote in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate - CNN ONLINE FACEBOOK POLL?

UPDATE:
Sorry, Bernie fans: The polls are coming in, and it looks like Clinton won the debate

Monday, October 12, 2015

BAA Half Marathon - Boston


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):


Disclosure:
Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Friday, October 09, 2015

How to Upload a Video on Twitter.com

How to upload a video to twitter from a browser.

GO TO twitter.com

CLICK TWEET


CLICK MEDIA


SELECT A VIDEO


More details about formats, from the twitter blog:
What video formats do you support?
We currently support MP4 and MOV video formats on mobile apps.
On the web, we support the MP4 video format with H264 format with AAC audio. You can upload videos up to 512MB, however you will be prompted to edit videos to 30 seconds or less in length.

What are the limitations on video resolutions and aspect ratios that can be uploaded on the web?
Minimum resolution: 32 x 32
Maximum resolution: 1920 x 1200 (and 1200 x 1900)
Aspect ratios: 1:2.39 - 2.39:1 range (inclusive)
Maximum frame rate: 40 fps
Maximum bitrate: 25 Mbps

TRIM
Now you will be presented with the video in a window that lets you trim the length to 30 seconds or less.


CLICK DONE


COMPOSE
Add any text to your tweet.



CLICK TWEET
Click TWEET to share it. After you do that, you'll see a progress indicator showing that your video is uploading.



Then you'll see it processing.

HERE IS THE EMBEDDED TWEET WITH MEDIA INCLUDED:


You can also embed the media only:


Note that a link back to the user and the tweet is embedded into the video for credit.

Click the user name and you go to the user's tweet stream. Click the twitter icon and you see the original tweet.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

KitchenAid Siphon Coffee Brewer Puts on a Show


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode.

Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):


Disclosure:
Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Day Trip to Martha's Vineyard


Note: Video shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure:

Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Here are my tips on choosing sessions for #INBOUND15, with my picks.

Guest Post on the INBOUND blog: 5 WAYS TO SELECT SESSIONS FOR INBOUND 2015.
With over 250 speakers at INBOUND 2015, it's going to be difficult to choose which sessions to go to. There are many different ways to decide on which speakers to see. Here are five I've found helpful at the hundreds of events I've attended.

Monday, September 07, 2015

REVIEW Wine for a Wedding handcrafted & personalized wine box gift


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure:
Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Greenway Water Feature


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Boston Public Market


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):


Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Samsung NX1 Touch Focus on Samsung Smart Camera App

This is a great feature that lets you use touch focus on an Android or iOS smartphone, using the Samsung Smart Camera App, to focus the NX1 remotely over the camera's WiFi. It's great for one person shoots where you are the only one shooting video and being on camera talent.



Note: Video shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Start and Stop Recording NX1 Video with the Samsung Smart Camera App

The Samsung Smart Camera App lets you remotely control your Samsung Smart Camera with the Samsung Smart Camera App over WiFi. It also allows you to enable touch screen focus, so you can focus the camera by touching the screen on your smartphone.



It's very cool, especially since it allows you to see what the camera is seeing.

Note: Video shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode.

Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):


Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Should you edit your photos before sharing?

I'm testing out the Samsung #NX1, and been posting my unedited photos online. I figured that people would want to see how good the images are when they come directly from the camera.

I mentioned this to my friend Eric Swardstrom, and he said that I should see if an edit might enhance my photos before posting. I used to do that.

Take a look at a photo I shot at a recent Locally Owned meeting at Station 8 in Jamaica Plain.


UNEDITED


EDITED

What do you think?

Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lord Hobo Brewing Company in the Boston Globe

The Boston Globe: When an expert taster decides to brew
Daniel Lanigan’s Cambridge bar, Lord Hobo, meticulously curates a draft list of 40 beers. Boom Sauce is the taster’s first signature brew.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Finally, A Beach Umbrella that Won't Blow Away!



The dig-git beach umbrella with shovel anchor is a fantastic product. It works as advertised and impresses people at the beach when they see how it works. It makes them sad that they just spent $99 on some other umbrella that doesn't work as well. The shovel works great. Easy to pull up out of the sand to when done.

Buy on Amazon.com (Affiliate link)


Dig-Git Beach Umbrella w/ Integrated Anchor

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Boston Harborwalk Photowalk with #NX1 for #MPB2B


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode.

Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):


Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

ROW 34 is a Fantastic Oyster Bar in Fort Point, Boston


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode.

Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):


Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

[Video] Golf Ball Sized Hail in Boston 08/04/2015 HQ 1920x1080 #NX1

Must credit Steve Garfield http://stevegarfield.com









Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

[Video] Boston Media Makers Roll Call August 2, 2015 (HQ 1920x1080) Shot with Samsung #NX1



What's intersting in this video is seeing how quickly the camera focuses on each subject. Also, when presented with a strongly backlit subject, the camera handles it well. Pretty nice.

Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode using Sennheiser MKE 400 shotgun mic.

Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):


Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

Xfinity Customers: Restart your Modems, Test your Speed

Speed Test from XFINITY®

Yup, 176 Mbps download speed is fast. Thanks Xfinity!



Earlier: Comcast adds faster Internet:
To keep pace with customer demands for faster Internet speeds, Comcast is boosting its most popular 50 megabits-per-second Internet plan to 75 megabits-per-second at no added charge – and adding a new speed level, 150 megabits-per-second...

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Quick Video Test: Converting Samsung #NX1 to Compatible YouTube Format

I shot this video as 1920x1080 at 30 fps and then dropped the mp4 file into the Samsung Movie Converter software. Then, after the conversion finished, I trimmed the video with Quicktime Player.



I also used the Samsung Camera Manager App on the iPhone using a WiFi connection to the NX1, that allowed me to see what the camera was seeing, and control recording. That is a very cool feature. It's always been a problem seeing what the camera is recording if it didn't have a flip out lens.

Samsung Camera Manager App:
Description:
'Samsung Camera Manager' is an app that works in conjunction with the latest wireless sharing features found in the newest Samsung Smart Camera including NX1.
You can connect your camera and iOS device then share images easily with the Samsung Camera Manager.

[Main features]
1. MobileLink
- Copy photos from the Smart Camera to the iOS device
2. Remote Viewfinder (Pro)
- See the live view of the Smart Camera on your iOS device
- Remotely control & operate the Smart Camera from your iOS device

[Compatible models]
- NX1 and special Samsung Smart cameras launched after September 2014.

[System requirement]
- iOS 6.1 or later

Untitled
Image: Samsung Camera Manager App

Untitled
Image: Samsung NX1 in tripod with Sennheiser MKE 400 shotgun mic

This camera encodes video files using H.265 which requires a conversion prior to editing or uploading. I've been experimenting with different video recording modes and am getting mixed results.

Read more on the NX1 video capabilities here: LAB Review – Samsung NX1 Video Mode – Frustrating!

Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.

This Statue of a Native American I found in Maine is Very Cool.

Indian statue. Maine.

He was watching over this lake:

Maine lake.

Indian statue. Maine.

Indian statue. Maine.

Indian statue. Maine.

Indian statue. Maine.

Indian statue. Maine.

Pine Cones and Indian statue. Maine.


Note: Photos shot with Samsung #NX1 in AUTO mode. Buy on Amazon.com (affiliate link):



Disclosure: Samsung supplied the Samsung NX1 28.2 MP Wireless SMART Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm f/2.0-2.8 "S" Lens to me on loan to play with and requested a short write-up and/or photos shared with the #NX1 hashtag.