Tag Archives: Kat

Community Contest: Make Me a Sammich Edition

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It’s community contest time!

Last week, my assistant Kat had to be in Chicago while her Dad was in the hospital for some surgery. While she was there, our good friend Lamarr took Kat out for a fantastic lunch (or so I’m told – I wasn’t invited!). After lunch was finished, Lamarr dragged Kat out to visit Fry’s Electronics since she had (GASP!) never been to one before.

Apparently, the two friends have a long-standing tradition in which they each periodically demand the other make them a sammich. Lamarr recorded this short clip at Fry’s, and now we’re putting the question out to all of you:

Who should be making the sammich for whom?

Robert Scoble Interviews Kat During Gnomedex

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During the Gnomedex registration party, the people watching the live stream wanted to talk to Robert Scoble. Kat dragged him over to the camera and apparently tried to leave. Robert had other ideas though. He decided to turn the tables on her and he interviewed her. Keep in mind that Scoble interviews some of the biggest and brightest people in technology and social media.

In the minds of our community members, Kat is a rock star of social media AND technology, and it was smart of Robert to take time to talk with her. I’ve long said that I would not be doing as well as I am without having her by my side for the past three years, and I meant it. She was instrumental in making Gnomedex happen this year, and in making it the best we’ve ever had.

According to this footage captured by UncleJohn, Robert and Kat had quite an interesting conversation. What would YOU ask of either of them if you were going to interview them?

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Used iPhone 3GS Unboxing

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When I received my iPhone 4, I decided to give my 3GS model to my assistant and Community Manager Kat. She works extremely hard, and is always willing to drop whatever she’s doing to take on something else whenever I need her to. She’s fantastic at handling the community issues that crop up, and it seems as though everyone loves her. I was lucky as hell to find her three years ago on accident, and I don’t know what I’d do without her! Here you’ll find her attempt at an unboxing video. GO EASY on her, y’all. This is the first time she’s done something like this. She was extremely nervous, so she asked her daughter Ashley to join her in the video.

As you can see, I threw in some extra goodies! Kat was quite shocked to find everything that was in the box. She tells me her favorite is the gorgeous CalypsoCrystal iPhone Dock. These are solid lead crystal, and each are hand-made. They truly are beautiful, and the video doesn’t do it justice.

I included the Richard|Solo external battery so that she never runs out of juice. There’s a car charging kit as well as a wall-charging plug.

Next in the box was the ZeroChroma iPhone Theater Stand with Sound Scoop. I thought this would be a nice addition to her accessory collection. You never know when she may want to watch movies or listen to music… that sound scoop REALLY works well!

I also included the ThinkGeek AirVolt Wireless Charger (click here for ThinkGeek Coupons). Kat is a big-time fan of anything from ThinkGeek (hint! hint!). I know that these wireless chargers are a lifesaver at times, so I wanted to make sure she had one.

Kat indicated she has already bought a “girly” looking iPhone case. Lord help me… I’m not sure my heart could take seeing it when she’s here next month for Gnomedex! However, I did send my case along.

Since she’s new to the iPhone and smartphones in general, Kat is very excited to start trying out apps. Anyone who wishes to send her a free code to test something out (and then possibly talk about it here on my blog), feel free to Email her directly.

Kat – thank you for everything that you do. No one really has a clue how hard you work, or the amount of hours you put in every week. Hell, I’m not sure even I know how much of yourself you give every day. Just know that the entire community appreciates it, and we’re better off for having you running the show behind the scenes.

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4th of July Fireworks can be Deadly

We often hear about accidents involving fireworks at this time of year. Inevitably, we’ll read about someone losing a home due to the many exploding rockets landing in places where they shouldn’t. However, we tend to think that it can’t happen to us. We’re cautious, right? We follow proper safety procedures. We don’t shoot them towards homes or businesses. The problem is, though, that not everyone cares enough to even think about these things. Such was the case two years ago when my Community Manager Kat nearly lost her home.

Kat was inside working on some things for me late that night just before the holiday when she heard a lot of popping noises outside. She sighed and went to check… seeing the kids from down the block once again shooting off various fireworks in the parking lot of the strip mall across the street. Sadly, Indiana doesn’t have a law against this. The police refused to do anything about it. About a half an hour later, she heard sirens that sounded awfully close. She opened the door to be greeted by smoke pouring from the roof of the buildings across the street. The pet store, fireworks store and tax service office were on fire.

As you can see from that video footage, this was a devastating fire. It was quite dangerous since there are houses (including hers) so close to where those stores stood. It was horrible due to the fact that there were more than a hundred animals in that pet store waiting to be adopted into loving homes… including new baby kittens. None of the animals survived. Since there was a fireworks store attached to the pet store, the fire chief felt it was too dangerous to send men inside to attempt a rescue.

In this next short video clip, you can hear the sheer terror and panic in her voice as the fire finally made its way inside the fireworks store. You can hear her yell that the windows are about to blow. Just a few seconds before that, she saw what she described as a “huge fireball” come from the back of the store… right out through the window she was facing. She saw fiery debris landing on her home, and was about to have a panic attack.

Thankfully, no one was injured and all homes in the area were spared – including Kat’s. It was later determined by investigators that the fireworks the kids were shooting off in the parking lot did, indeed, cause this massive fire. One of the rockets landed on the roof of the pet store, smoldering there and quickly sparking.

It CAN happen to you, no matter how careful you or anyone around you is. I urge you to use extreme caution and care when playing with fireworks. The next unnecessary explosion could be your home.

Have a happy – and SAFE – Fourth of July.

Giving Away my iPhone

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Now that I have my iPhone 4, I had to decide what to do with the iPhone 3GS. I could sell it. I could put it up for auction. I could keep it for a backup device, since it’s still in excellent shape. Some of the chat room members wanted me to smash it or microwave it – neither of which I wanted to do. There were so many possibilites that I had no clue what the hell to do with the phone.

I decided I should call someone for advice. Like a dork, I tried using the iPhone 3GS to make the call. The call wouldn’t go through… duh. I had already transferred my service to the iPhone 4. No worries, I have a backup!

My assistant and Community Manager Kat answered the phone with a cautious “hello?” Instead of my asking her to do something, I simply hollered out “Kat – do you want an iPhone?” Her answer, predictably, was “uhm. Yes!!” Immediately, most of the chat room went nuts congratulating her, and showing their appreciation for what I had decided to do. One person, though, said “no fair! Why does that chick get a free iPhone?”

This phone isn’t exactly “free,” folks. You have no idea how much work this woman does on a daily basis for myself and the community as a whole. She puts in a LOT of hours, and is always right there when I need her. I can call, email or IM her with something pressing, and she literally drops whatever she’s doing to jump on the new task as though it were nothing.

Kat has helped hold the community – and me – together for just about three years now. I’ve said publicly and on the stream many times that I don’t know what I’d do without her, and that’s the truth. She somehow balances all of the work she does with volunteer work, and being a mom and grandma. She’s almost always in a happy mood, and will literally give the shirt off her back to someone who needs help. I’ve seen her go out of her way on so many occasions to help someone out.

If there is anyone on this planet who “deserves” this iPhone, it’s Kat. I know she’s thrilled to be getting it, and could care less that it’s not the new model. She’s never had a “smartphone” before, and is very much looking forward to this one. With the type of work we do, she really does need to stay connected, no matter where she may be. I know this iPhone will go a long way towards accomplishing that.

Kat says that since she’s never used an iPhone – she needs YOUR help! What free apps do you recommend? She doesn’t play any games. She’s interested in productivity, social media and music apps. She’s also on the prowl for a “cute” iPhone hard case that will protect well but still look “cool.” Additionally, since she helps me out with videos, reviews and the blog, she’s willing to test out any apps that someone may want to send her way and post about them here on my blog. If you want to reach out to her in that way, you can always Email her.

Kat – thank you for everything. You are a rock star. Those simple words don’t begin to express what you mean to this community.

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Internet Famous

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I am not Internet famous. However, that hasn’t stopped Ron from wanting to ask me a series of questions relating to Internet fame. He’s talked to several other celebrities, and asked the same questions of them. I can only hope my humble video response helps him in some way with his research!

  • What were some of the factors in your early years or education that prompted your involvement in social media? – I’d have to say the Speak ‘n’ Math. I used to love punching numbers into that thing, and trying to solve math problems. I sucked at Math – I’ll admit it. I was always bad at showing my work on paper. Instead, I would create formulas with a calculator to solve the problems for me.
  • No longer associated with TechTV, how have you been reaching out to your audience? – You have to understand that I already had an online audience of over 100,000 people before TechTV ever happened. In fact, that is WHY I was asked to be on TechTV. I’ve been online since 1992. TechTV came about for me in 2001. I’m still doing the same things I have always done. It’s just easier to do now with the advent of new tools such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • What services do you provide your sponsors or clientele? – I do get paid to consult with companies about how to have a bigger and better presence online. I also do various speaking engagements throughout the year. As far as the sponsors, we produce the videos each week, as well as the Gnomedex conference.
  • While you may not consider yourself Internet famous, how has it led to your success online? How has it furthered your career? – It’s led to my success because I’m doing it. You have to work at it, constantly. You have to stay in touch with the people in your community. I don’t know how this has led to Internet fame. I have a very dynamic personality, for sure. I get paid to be myself. I don’t think I could achieve any more happiness than that.
  • How have you branded yourself? – Well, I am myself. The old Lockergnome classic cartoon-y looking logo has been around for many years. The Chris Pirillo brand is technology – information, help, advice. I’m a conduit for many thousands of people who share information and ideas, which is pretty cool.
  • What advice can you give others who are looking to make an impact online? – If you want to do it, dedicate yourself. Don’t expect success to come overnight. If you’re happy with what you’re doing – then you’re successful. When it comes to the way others will measure success, it’s hard won, and takes a lot of time and work to come by. Do something different. Be yourself – be genuine – but stand out!
  • Who do you consider to be Internet famous, and why? How do you think Internet fame differs from other types of fame? – I don’t consider it to be any different, actually. I think it’s a cult of personality, and it’s easier to connect with celebrity (and easier to become one) via the Internet. The main difference I’d say is connections between a person and their community. We used to have a distance between celebrities and their followers. This isn’t so prevalent now, with the advent of social media outlets. As for who I would consider to be Internet famous… iJustine. She’s genuine and has a good heart. I think she’s going to be moving on to bigger and better things in the near future.
  • What are you involved in today that differs from your previous work? – I’m doing a lot more local outreach here in Seattle. I’m doing things like meetups and Tweetups – either co hosting or attending. I’m meeting people who are doing the same types of things as I am. I’m much more locally aware than I used to be in the past.
  • What’s the one thing about you that people don’t know yet? – Hah! I sleep with my Throwboy RSS pillow!
  • Point me to a couple of URLs on YouTube of videos that you feel best showcase who you are. – I’m going to throw this back to my community. I’d like you guys to leave a comment to this video, and point out the URLs that you feel best show who I am. I’m interested to see your responses!
  • Are there any future projects you would like to share? – Yes! I’d like to share them all!

I certainly hope these answers helped! The video will soon be encoded, uploaded and posted to my blog by my good friend, assistant and Community Manager Kat. (YAY KAT!) She keeps me on track, and I couldn’t do what I do without her! There are a lot of people who are vital to this company, and I sincerely appreciate them all.

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Malware – Hate to be Correct

There are times when internet predictions are simply too easy. Last Monday, on these pages, there was an indication that there would be an increase in malware because of the news of the swine flu problem. Regrettably, this has come true. There has been an increase in spam, phishing, malware and other nefarious online activity.

For this reason, the suppliers of SUPERAntiSpyware were asked if they would extend their promotion with us. They have extended the generous offer to our readers until May 8, 2009 to save ten dollars off the normal purchase price.

The other reason for extending this offer for our readers is that it gives an opportunity to address an issue that one of the commenters raised. There was a question about who in the security community recommended this product. Well, names can be listed and we will do so briefly:

  • Our very own Kat is a four-year Microsoft MVP in the area of Windows Security. Kat has been working on malware-removal forums for nearly seven years now, and is an Administrator at GeeksToGo. She highly recommends this program on a regular basis.
  • Catherine Forsythe and her software assessment group recommends this program. Catherine has been assessing security programs for over a decade now.
  • Mike Healan from the original SpywareInfo site and newsletter began recommending this product when it was first introduced.
  • Sean Roe, another Microsoft MVP and owner of 247Fixes calls SAS an excellent program.
  • All of the malware-removal websites that are “heavy hitters” in this field recommend this program to their users. The list of sites includes (but is far from limited to): GeeksToGo, BleepingComputer, SypwareInfoForum, and What the Tech.

We could go on and on, but there should be a point made here. No security program is absolutely faultless. Given the nature of the internet and the pace of infections, absolute guarantees just do not happen. However, that being said, pains are taken to recommend the very best available. There may be disputes about which program is the most effective and that is bound to happen. What is recommended has been vetted thoroughly by literally hundreds of Experts in this field on a regular basis. Each and every one of them still recommends this program to literally thousands of people every single day.

IF there was a dubious program recommended, the inbox would feel it within hours of the program being featured. This does not happen. One person raised an issue. Nevertheless, let there be no doubt whatsoever that computer security and keeping your data safe are taken seriously here. It would be wonderful if no security products were needed. That is not going to happen any time soon. Therefore, we present serious security software to our readers and do hope that, with the good prices, some time and focus will be paid to keeping the computer safe. It matters because it can impact upon you and then others online.

What is Your Day Job?

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People ask me all the time what exactly my ‘day job’ is. What is it that I DO all day every day? I’m about to answer that question once and for all. I am now going to show you what it is I do for a living. Yes, it’s true. I play music in my armpit. But that’s honestly not all I do. So what DO I do?

You can catch the video content that we produce each weeknight over on our YouTube. Of course, you can join us in the chat room, and watch us live as we record those videos!

I run the Lockergnome blogging network, where you can make money simply by writing about your passions or hobbies. We also have our new site just for Geeks, where you can make friends, upload videos and music, write a blog, and participate in forum threads!

When I’m not busy with those things, I also write a monthly column for CPU Magazine, and produce a small segment for CNN Live online each week. I travel occasionally to different Tech events, where I am often asked to be a presenter. I also produce content each month for ExpoTV, reviewing the latest hot tech products on the market.

All in all, there are many different things that I do on a daily basis as my “day job”. I only touched on the main things that you can easily see here. I also put on a large conference each year, called Gnomedex, take care of product reviews for our sponsors, and the like. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why I’m forever indebted to people like my uber awesome (did I mention awesome?!) assistant Kat, the best System Admin (and all around IT genius!) on the planet Ryan, Editor Bob, and all of the other people who help make everything I do possible. You guys rock, and I couldn’t do it without you.


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Is Spam Ever Going Away?

One of the best posts on LockerGnome today dealt with the news that one of the major spam outfits has finally been taken down. For those of you who are heavily involved in malware removal like Kat is, this is very good news, indeed. Why not take a look around at what else has been happening in our neck of the woods today?

LockerGnome Posts

Geeks Posts

Geeks Blogs

Are there any Free Web-Based Virus Scanners?

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What is more stupid… running your face alongside a cheese grater, or running Limewire? I argue that it’s far healthier to run your face on the cheese grater. What can you do if you don’t run an anti-virus on your desktop? Or what if you download something but want to be 100% sure it’s not a malicious file before you install or run it? Is there any other way to protect yourself?

P2P programs are a breeding ground for malware of all types. That’s why I always recommend you stay away from programs like that, not counting the fact that much of what you would download is illegal. I’m just talking about the viruses, trojans, rootkits and spyware that can and will infest your machine.

Anyway, if you come across a file that you’re just not sure of, you may run it through your desktop client. We all know that desktop solutions can have false positives, or totally miss something it really shouldn’t. How can you be sure it’s safe then?

Well, there are a couple of excellent places online where you can test single files. The first of these is VirusTotal. Virustotal is a free service that will run a file through 32 separate anti-virus programs. Afterwards, it will give you a report. The report will contain the results from each AV, the date of the last update of each AV.

There are two blogs found on Lockergnome that you can always count on to keep you up-to-date with the latest information on what Security products are good, what’s in, what’s out and what to stay away from. One is written by Ron’s MVP award area is in Windows Desktop Experience, and Kat’s award is in Consumer Security. Both are well known in their fields, and know what they’re talking about.

If your program reports something as bad that you aren’t sure is… why not take an extra moment to run the file through VirusTotal? What are your thoughts on P2P programs, and even computer security programs?


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