Could this be the solution for payments

If you have a payment (credit card) system at your store you should read this:

Former Head of Google Wallet Debuts a Universal Payments Terminal

Big media doesn’t get it

Filed under: Information,Recommendations


I’ve read on Techdirt many cases where fighting a problem by trying to keep people out just won’t work because of the Internet.

Yesterday I tweeted

  • Here’s a thought that says Hollywood doesn’t have a clue how to stay relevant ow.ly/BHT0I

Yesterday was also *Talk Like A Pirate Day*

Today I’m looking for the Pitt game and I see

  • football

See that little key? It means that unless you have a cable subscription you can’t watch. Idiots!

Their thinking is they get so much money from the cable subscribers they can’t afford to let us pirates in. Arrrgghh!

I say they can’t afford not to:

  • Cable subscriptions are going down
  • They’re getting far less from their ads then they could already.
    This is the Internet, after all, not cable. Visitors can interact.
  • They’re making people mad who don’t have cable and can’t get around this block.
    Wait, never mind, there aren’t any of those

McDonalds and Really Poor Customer Service

I didn’t intend to write about anything today, that is, until McDonalds ruined my morning.

no mcdI hardly ever go there anymore and apparently I’m not alone. I used to visit quite often and especially like their breakfasts. These days I have cut way way down on my visits because I’m trying to eat healthier. Today, I decided to splurge on breakfast since it’s Sunday, I’d gotten an early start, was out running around and hadn’t eaten at home like I normally do.

I pulled into the McDonalds drive through and waited while the car in front of me took a very long time to order. It could have been a clue, but I just assumed he had a large order or maybe didn’t know what he was doing. When if came my turn I waited a minute or so and then the woman taking the orders informed me they were out of sausage. That was a first for me at any McDonalds, but OK they ran out of sausage. I really don’t like their bacon so I was just going to leave when my wife said she would have an Egg McMuffin meal and Orange Juice instead of the sausage. Since we were ordering I got a coffee. That was a pretty simple breakfast order, but I had to repeat it three times and their order review screen was missing completely, so I couldn’t check that she got it right.

We paid at the first window and the guy in front of me was still at the next window waiting for his *huge* order, which turned out to be another minute of so and only one small bag. We pulled up and after what seemed like a while we were handed our food, coffee and told our OJ would be right up. Two minutes later and a long line forming they asked us to pull up and wait some more. For OJ!

My wife Nancy said *let’s just get out of here*, so I told them to forget the OJ and we drove off pretty agitated. I got a couple blocks away and took a sip of my coffee. Even though I had repeated THREE times to put two creams in my coffee, it was black. I just threw the whole coffee out the window. I made sure there was no one near and I didn’t throw the cup, but it still probably was a poor choice.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end there. Later, I sent out a tweet about my horrible experience and of course McDonalds replied. They wanted to tell them about my visit, so I went to the form they sent me to and tried. Every time there was some missing information and it refused to send (comon McDonalds, the Mr/Mrs field is required???). Not only that after it would go back some other information I’d already entered would be erased so I would get another error. After three tries I gave up, even more pissed off than before and sorry I even tried.

There’s a pretty good lesson here for all businesses. Even if it’s not really true, do you want to make your customers feel like you really don’t want to hear what they have to say? Make it as easy as possible to let your customers contact you. They might actually have something to say that you need to hear or maybe just letting them vent will help ease the situation.

As I mentioned before I rarely go to McDonalds these days and now I’m even less likely to return.

Thank You Everyone for a Wonderful Festival

Filed under: Information

What a wonderful, magical day our first Music For MS Festival was last Saturday at Hartwood Acres.
The music, food and drink were all wonderful, plus the weather was picture perfect.
We should have a preliminary count soon, but fundraising for the MS Society has already gone well beyond our expectations.

Our YouTube channel only has one video so far, but we recorded the entire event. We are currently compiling and editing the videos so we’ll have more posted very soon. We’re going to use them to promote next year’s festival and hopefully also to raise even more money.

Our planning for next year’s event (Aug 15, 1015) has already begun and we’re expecting to grow, not just visitors, but more activities. We already have someone who specializes in MS Yoga. Maybe more food, crafts, or other MS (or non-MS) related activities, etc.

Any ideas???


Last chance for Early Bird Prices

Filed under: Information

Music For MS Festival

A Roots Music Festival
Aug 16, Hartwood Acres

Last chance for Early Bird Prices

  • Special pricing ends June 30
  • Great Music
  • Food
  • Beer & Wine

Please come the website, watch the bands perform and buy tickets
100% of the proceeds go to the Western PA chapter of the National MS Society

Cutting the cord

Filed under: Information,Recommendations

Android Set Top BoxIf you’re considering cutting the cord, there are a ton of choices. It makes it hard to sort it all out.

This is a very good TV Streaming Primer

I use the Medium TV Watcher plan, with PlayOn.tv and a Roku 3

SEO and SEO Scams

My customer forwarded me this today. He was worried that his website was missing out on tons of traffic. I get millions of this crap, so it’s probably easier for me to spot as spam (I added the stop sign)


From: Cool sounding (English) name@gmail.com

Subject: Can I give some honest feedback on your website?

Wanted to touch base: We’ve spoken a while back about your website. I happen to be on it again and wanted to point out a few areas of concern (SEO, Visibility, etc). For what it’s worth, I see a few specific things impacting your site’s profitability that can be improved with a slightly refreshed strategy.

Just to remind: I work with several consultants who I have personally hand-picked: Each of them are more than glad to share CASE STUDIES of their work with you.Would you be open for a brief discussion? At the very least, you’ll gain new insights through an extensive Web Needs Analysis (Doesn’t cost a thing).

All I would need to know is whether you would be open to speaking briefly with my consultants to get started.(P.S.: If you’re no longer interested in getting periodic updates, let me know and I promise I won’t follow up again. Thanks for your time.)

Cool sounding (English) name

Well, where do I start?
Things to be suspicious of:

  • It’s a Gmail account, could be anyone.
    awww, he’s being honest…
  • We’ve spoken?
    Doesn’t know your name.
  • Know anything about your site?
  • He has no website?
  • Only email contact address
    Could be anywhere in the world.

My advice, even if it was a *real* email
Ask them exactly they are going to do for you.

  • There is no secret sauce, if they won’t tell you, run away
  • If they claim great links from quality sites, that means they’re spamming the blogs.
    Quality sites are generally not giving links to someone they don’t even know.
  • Social Media
    Just a buzzword. Same thing, what work are they going to do?
    Are you willing to let them be the face of your business?

This is just a start. Any more ideas?

MS Awareness Week

nmsspax1It’s MS Awareness Week
Look for The ‘Burgh to be lit Orange!
Especially the first night Mar 3rd
Some of the Biggest and Coolest buildings in town

Be sure to put on a little Orange Mar 3-9
and let everyone know why

Here’s an easy way to help…
Attend a really cool event at Hartwood

Music for MS

Filed under: Information,promotion

Music for MS LogoWorking on a music festival for the National MS Society, Western PA Chapter
August 16th at Hartwood Acres

Website www.musicforms.org

Please like the page and help spread the word

Review: I Like my Roku3

roku-3I recently bought a Roku 3 to replace an old VuNow box that I’ve had for many years. I’m probably one of the first cord cutters (6 years in Feb) and I’m always looking for new ways to stream to my TVs.

The Roku was much easier to use than my old box. I especially like the headphone jack in the remote, what a wonderful idea. It’s a pretty simple setup, but you do have to sign up for a Roku account where you can download your *channels*. There were many to choose from and while I didn’t pay for any, there were plenty of free channels available. Some of the *Free* channels are only free to download, you have to pay for content, so be careful of that. You have to give Roku your credit card when you sign up and they will charge that for content. There is a setting where you will be asked for your password before any charges can be applied and I would highly recommend turning that on.

For ease of use and quality of the streams I definitely give it 5 stars. Scrolling through your channels is fast and pretty easy. I did find a lot of duplicate content on the free channels, but adding or deleting channels right from the box is a snap.

It definitely loads content much faster than my old box,  but to properly judge a box like this you have to look at what content is provided and available. While there’s a lot on the Roku network, it’s missing some biggies. Things like regular Hulu, YouTube, playing different formats on local media storage and others (ESPN3 is worthless on Roku without a cable subscription). That’s where PlayOn.tv comes to the rescue. I’ve had PlayOn for many years, too and I do have a lifetime subscription ($59.99 a real deal). It allows me to watch most all the things Roku is missing and it was easy to add to Roku. It’s a private Roku chanel and a little extra work, but certainly not hard to install.

I’m still giving Roku 3 four stars out of five, but it would be lower without the availability of PlayOn media server on it.

With all that being said I bought a second one for my living room.


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