November 28, 2011
How convenient! Cyber Monday. As if a stampeding herds of human cattle on Black Friday weren’t enough! We now have another great marketing invention (born in the reality of an emerging habit and cultivated in the petri dish of “what makes American shoppers tick.” There were no fewer than 10 emails in my Hotmail account when I woke up this morning, all of them offering a wicked deal today. Even the hotels points programs aren’t missing a beat, offering me a special rate on my next stay…if I book NOW.
Materialism aside (my mother-in-law informed all her children over Thanksgiving that we are very materialistic; note to self), the reality is that we all have shopping lists, people for whom we need to buy (including the mother-in-law), and a budget with which to do it. So, whether or not you’ve waited til today to check out your favorite online shopping destinations, first go make your list, then at least give online retailers a shot. My favorites for working moms who undoubtedly are managing “THE LIST” for the household……
- AMAZON! Rob and I signed up for Amazon’s Prime program this year. Yes, it costs $80 but with Christmas, the last minute needs, and our — ehem — struggle with instant gratification, it is more than paying for itself for us. We have quite literally bought everything from a massive table saw (that had to be delivered in an 18-wheeler) to… well, duh… books. Amazon is also great for LEGOS, as we have several Lego obsessed children in the Klause/Joss clan.
- Ten Thousand Villages! I’ve talked about Ten Thousand Villages numerous times on this blog. After joining the Board of Directors last year, I tested out the online store for Christmas 2010. Not only were the small jewelry items I purchased perfectly wrapped and protected, but the home decor items came beautifully packaged with small tag descriptors that told a story about where each item originated and the artisans who helped to create it.
- Victoria’s Secret — Even if you’re not gearing up for the big Fashion Show this week, and in spite of the fact that telling all your Facebook friends what color bra you wear is so 2009, Victoria’s Secret continues to be where I like to get my girly on. Lately, my obsession has been pajamas. I have at least 4 sets of PJs from Victoria’s Secret– nothing X rated (much to Rob’s dismay), although one set is leopard print. My SIL over at BigRedKitchen might be the recipient of some new jammies this year. This usually stylish, hot mama revealed to me that she has been wearing the same moumou/t-shirt to bed for 10 years.
- Lilly’sKids — yes, you read that right. Christmas sweaters and kitschy decor aside, the Kids section of Lillian Vernon really has some adorable, personalized items, especially for girls. I’ve bought personalized gifts like sleeping bags, roller suitcases, flip flops, beach towels, water bottles and pencils. And it is actually PROOF that I took the time and ordered in advance to get my niece’s name on everything! And let’s face it… PotteryBarn took this good idea and perfected it even more… Lilly’s kids is just a heck of a lot cheaper.
Clearly, there are no earthshattering sites here. This Mama could use some new ideas but these have served me well over the last 5 years! My goal this year is to actually uncover some new online gems to help me complete the list… (more on that Excel sheet later!)
Happy (Cyber) Monday!
September 3, 2010
I actually remember not too long ago when anything in the Washington Post print edition that was written by a washingtonpost.com reporter had to have the caveat “Special to the Washington Post” at the tail end of the piece. These two newsrooms were entirely separate entities, and it was the one with the .COM address at the end that was treated like the red-headed step-child.
How times have changed…and the ground has shifted under our feet over the last decade. Bets are now placed on how long the delivery model can survive.
As much as I love the daily morning ritual of retrieving my Post from the driveway (and yes I immediately pull out the Style section while I recycle Sports and Metro), it’s now online where I find and share the columns, stories and photo series that capture my attention the longest. Yes the Post still has the Loudoun insert, but if they’re smart, they’ll start putting more contributed content online from the region’s readers as well.
WUSA 9 , DC’s CBS affiliate, is starting to do that… If i can get my act together, I will soon start blogging for the hyperlocal Leesburg, Ashburn, and Reston communities – of more than 50 communities around DC where WUSA 9 is gathering news and content. In Ashburn, for instance, it’s everything from Donald Trump’s opening of (what was once) Lowes Island Golf Course to Redskins training camp… even a crime report from the local Subway shop.
Not that you need more proof, but even USA Today is at it again… completely overhauling its newsroom to center around content hubs… Chris O’Brien of the “Next Newsroom Project” captures the shift in his blog.
Could there be a more exciting time to work in media, even PR? No way! ”Publish or die” now haunts everyone, every day. Today’s newsroom is really just the corner Starbucks.
April 30, 2010
The self-aclaimed king himself James Cameron of Avatar and Titanic fame stopped by the Newseum this week to pay tribute to students from across the country who worked their tails off to come up with innovative solutions (on the Microsoft platform) to solve societal problems… from global warming to cleaning up the oceans to addressing gender equality. These teams were amazing. There was no one they’d rather show their work to than James Cameron, the ultimate example of groundbreaking innovation.
He was gracious, he was sincere, and he reiterated the message of how important technology and science careers are to our continued success as a nation and a culture.
October 30, 2009
If you want to see the future (and the present) of cloud computing, take a look at this Forbes article which unveils the cool Datacenter outside Chicago…
here are a just a few paragraphs from the story…
Microsoft’s New Cloud Computing
Quentin Hardy, 10.29.09, 10:20 AM EDT
Forbes Magazine dated November 16, 2009
Out of the blue: Microsoft’s new operating system will run through all computers in its giant data network.
“In a suburb outside Chicago, Microsoft has been showing off its latest data center. The 707,000-square-foot building will hold, at top strength, 162 sealed cargo containers of up to 2,500 computer servers each, plus thousands more servers in conventional racks. The cost: $500 million. But though Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system is capturing all the attention these days, this bland building might be a place to see the company’s future.”
“All the computers will run on a single operating system called Azure that, eventually, will let big companies run applications like e-mail and house data at this and other Microsoft ( MSFT – news - people ) centers. Azure is the company’s main play in the biggest contest in technology, called cloud computing, wherein data storage and computation take place many miles from customers’ desks. The idea is to cut the cost of the labor, the hardware and the energy that go into data processing, and to make files accessible to workers who move around a lot. Proponents promise cost reductions between 30% to 90%. At the Chicago center only three Microsoft employees and a few contractors can run over 400,000 servers catering to more than 670 million e-mail and instant messaging accounts and drawing 60 megawatts of electricity.”
“Microsoft will initially use this center to run 250 of its businesses, including the Bing search service and the Xbox Live gaming platform. Those now run on servers all over the world. But the real goal is to persuade big companies like Coca-Cola Enterprises ( CCE – news - people ), Fujitsu and Pitney Bowes ( PBI – news - people ) (which have taken a peek) to trust their data to the megacomputers and then trust Azure to manage it.”
If we’ve seen anything this week — enter Los Angeles - it’s that the battle over the cloud is going to be a long, hard-fought one.
October 27, 2009
From Seattle to West Hempfield township, Lancaster County, Windows 7 Parties are taking place all over…honestly, I should have launched it here at the House of Klause — not only because I am loving it (I work for Microsoft, what do you expect), but because my Mac husband has been using it longer than me (on one of his 7 machines) and loves it… Here are some direct quotes…from me and from him… guess which one is from whom..
“It’s fun to shake the screens have all but one disappear”
“It’s 64-bit goodness rocks”
“The Sticky Notes function (start, all programs, accessories, stickynotes)”
“It starts up wicked quick”
“Stability, reliability, security”
“The new tool bar allows me to manage about 50 windows at once!”
Yes, some of these are from the very guy who made my life difficult this week by re-launching White House.gov in Drupal/Open Source. (big sigh…) But I digress. Just for fun, here are some glowing stories on Windows 7…
— First is my colleague Kristin’s summary blog post on some of the cool stuff happening around the launch…she highlights a very cool campaign that our citizenship team launched called “7 ways to change the world’ — looking specifically at how Windows 7 features can benefit the work of non profits and governmental efforts to address the world’s challenges.
— eSchool News: Schools give Windows 7 favorable reviews
— Wall Street Journal – A Windows to Help You Forget….“After using pre-release versions of Windows 7 for nine months, and intensively testing the final version for the past month on many different machines, I believe it is the best version of Windows Microsoft has produced. It’s a boost to productivity and a pleasure to use. Despite a few drawbacks, I can heartily recommend Windows 7 to mainstream consumers.”
– Wired — Seven good reasons to switch to Windows 7…..“Because no matter how comfortable you are with XP, you do deserve an OS that’s both newer and better, and Windows 7 will deliver.”
— CNET – Microsoft Windows 7 (Professional)…CNET editor’s rating: Outstanding