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February 2011
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April 2011

Free Comcast HD: Legally

All the major networks broadcast HD over the air.  And Comcast carries them.  But they don't tell you this and most of the customer service reps don't know how it works.   So how do you take advantage of this?  

update: 11/6/2013.  Comcast has decided to encrypt the free broadcast HD signals and charge you to watch them.  It may be a good time to drop Comcast TV, buy an antenna and get Netflix and Hulu instead.

First off, make sure your HD TV has the option to delete channels.  Then plug your cable directly into your TV and hit channel search.  It will pull in all the analogue and digital channels.  Then go to the delete channel function.  Many times you will see a channel listed several times.  Like 2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3.   In this case, 2 is analogue and 2.1 is HD for the same channel (2.2 and 2.3 are bonus channels you won't get on your cable box).  Delete 2, but leave the others.  Walk through all the channels doing this.  If you see just a number by itself, like 20, leave it alone.  Now everytime you change a channel, you will get the HD version if it is available.

If you also have a cable box with On Demand, here's what you do.  Install a high quality cable splitter to the cable coming out of the wall.   Aa Attach two cables.  Plug one directly into the TV and follow the procedure above.  Plug the other one into your cable box.  Using RCA cables, or HDMI cable, plug that directly into the cable box and the other end into the appropriate input into your TV.  Viola!   Now when you want to watch regular broadcast on your TV, just use the normal TV input (in setup it will be Antennae / Cable).  When you want to watch channels only available on the cable box, select that input.

 


How Do You Know Your Presentation is Going Well?

It is very challenging to present to a small group of people who see a lot of presentations.  Here's the first sign you are doing well:  No one checks their email on their phone.  Aa

I was once giving a presentation and half way through, one person got up, went into the corner and hopped onto a conference call.  Fortunately for him, there were no heavy objects nearby. 

It is up to you to engage your audience.  Here's what I've found to be effective:
- Never present in the front, always sit with your audience.  That way you can quickly pick up if they are getting bored or have a question.
- Never have more than 10 words on a slide.  This forces you to know your material very well and engage in a discussion with your audience.
- Always tell a story.  I think of them as the handles on the suitcase of your idea.  Stories have many more connection points than a slide full of text.
- Toss half of your slides.  Well, not really toss, but put them at the back of the presentation to answer questions. 

Good presentations revolve around conversations that are relevant and of interest to your audience.  And engaged people don't check their email.


Impact of the Affordable Care Act on You

Think of this as a Public Service Announcement.  There is are a lot of lies and damn lies rhetoric around healthcare reform.  (note to everyone, can we please talk about job creatation and infrastructure now please)  This site gives very understandable information about your state and what it means to you as a person or business:

http://www.healthcareandyou.org/

And the people behind it are here.  Very credible.  Check it out and know the facts.