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Steve Keifer RSS Feed (Northern Virginia)

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Fire HD 7, 7" HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - Includes Special Offers, Black
Fire HD 7, 7" HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - Includes Special Offers, Black
Price: $139.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and Slow to Use, February 27, 2015
I am huge fan of almost all Amazon products, but sadly I have been very disappointed with this device. The operating system and user interface are very slow, frequently freezing up. The hand gestures to control the screen are not intuitive. The battery life is very short. The 8GB drive is easily consumed as the operating system takes up much of the space.

One of the most attractive features was the FreeTime features for kids which allow you to limit browsing time and content. However, I find FreeTime to be very confusing. It puts content about princesses and dolls in profiles for boys (and vice versa). Games, movies and books that you purchase do not necessarily show up in FreeTime without you explicitly adding them. If you reach a time limit on Free Time the device often freezes up.

However, when it works (60% of the time) it does work well.


Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV
Price: $99.00

5.0 out of 5 stars So Much Better than AppleTV, February 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Amazon Fire TV (Electronics)
The Fire TV device (or stick) is a must have for Prime Members and other Amazon addicts. I like it much better than the AppleTV which doesn't offer any value out of the box (i.e the content is only available if you pay for it). By contrast, Amazon offers a wide selection of movies and games for Prime members at no additional charge. As soon as you plug the device in you can access millions of hours of free content as well as the option to purchase additional titles. Amazon will even pre-configure it for your account before they ship it.

I recommend buying this even if you have streaming capabilities in your PlayStation, Chromecast or Roku.

My only complaint is that I find the user interface to be confusing. It is difficult to browse through content beyond the 10 most popular titles in a category.


3pcs Replacement End Caps Covers for Jawbone UP 2 2nd Gen 2.0 Bracelet Band Cap Dust Protectors (not for the 1st Gen)
3pcs Replacement End Caps Covers for Jawbone UP 2 2nd Gen 2.0 Bracelet Band Cap Dust Protectors (not for the 1st Gen)
Offered by Lucky Emily
Price: $3.87
28 used & new from $1.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Just Like the Original Caps that Ship with the Up, February 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am always skeptical about purchasing parts from someone other than the original vendor (Jawbone in this case), but these snapped right on to my UP bracelet and work as well as the original cap that shipped with the unit.


Classic US Push Pin Travel Map with Black Frame and Pins 24 x 36
Classic US Push Pin Travel Map with Black Frame and Pins 24 x 36
Offered by PushPinTravelMaps
Price: $129.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pins Sold Separately, February 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A bit pricey, but it was well packaged for shipping and the frame/backing is of high quality. I wish they included the push pins to insert on the map.


Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG
Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG
by Robert Peters
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.87
31 used & new from $9.62

3.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Case Studies - Great Read for Marketers, February 10, 2015
Peters jumps right into the case studies which is awesome because that is the best way to understand what growth hacking is. He covers 40 case studies - far more than I have seen covered by other authors. However, I found the analysis to be lacking in some cases. Much better explanations of Dropbox, Uber and Airbnb growth strategies can be found with a simple Google search. And some of the case studies I would argue are not really growth hacking. Peter Cashmore writes great content and sells advertising on his Mashable site - how is that growth hacking? However, Peters does offer great analysis of the growth strategies behind Evernote, Square and Github, which are three case studies I had not seen elsewhere.

The book is a fast read. It is organized into chapters for each company so you can skip right to the ones you are interested in. I recommend it.


The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways
The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways
by Earl Swift
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.10
120 used & new from $3.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but Still Many Unanswered Questions, December 11, 2014
A fascinating read, but the Big Roads left me wanting more. Lots of unanswered questions such as - What was the strategy for US highways after the interstates? What can we expect from future interstate construction? Why are there no interstates in Alaska? What was the strategy for the H-1, H-2 and H-3 interstates in Hawaii? Why do we need the 17-mile Interstate 97? Or Interstate 99 that appears to go nowhere?

Overall the book is excellent, however I did find some of the content to be out of balance. For example, there are three chapters devoted to the political challenges with connecting I-70, I-95 and I-83 in Baltimore, but no mention of why Interstates aren't connected in Washington DC. And no discussion of whether highways were considered for Manhattan. There are numerous references to the military and defense departments role in securing funding for the interstates, but no clear explanations for why this was so important. For example, the author mentions how interstates were intended to help evacuate 70 million cities after nuclear attacks, but with no explanation as to how this volume of traffic would be accommodated in a short window of time.

However, there is very good coverage of the civilian motivations for the roads. The author explains the safety, congestion and travel challenges that existed with the US highway system in a very detailed manner. There is very good coverage of roadside attractions such as South of the Border (in South Carolina). I also enjoyed the explanations of how Howard Johnson's, Holiday Inn and Stuckey's grew national footprints after the roads were constructed.


The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things
The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things
by Daniel Kellmereit
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
36 used & new from $6.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Written for Investors and Tech Vendors, December 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was looking for a book that tells the story of the future potential for the Internet of Things. Although, this is the best book I have found published on the subject I found it to be very high level. I think it could have provided much more of a vision for the future of the Smart Home and the Industrial Internet. Nonetheless, it is still a good read.

The book correctly points out that although the name "Internet of Things" is new the concept of smart devices dates back many years. And the authors provide a nice historical perspective on the evolution from Machine to Machine (M2M) technologies to today's state of affairs.

The book appears to be targeted towards technology vendors and venture capitalists that are considering investments in the Internet of Things. Several of the later chapters are focused on how to approach the market.


42 Rules for Building a High-Velocity Inside Sales Team: Actionable Guide to Creating Inside Sales Teams That Deliver Quantum Results
42 Rules for Building a High-Velocity Inside Sales Team: Actionable Guide to Creating Inside Sales Teams That Deliver Quantum Results
by Debbi S. Funk
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
27 used & new from $17.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Primer on the Future of Sales, November 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The book covers a broad range of topics from compensation and performance metrics to hiring criteria and organizational models. There are good explanations of the different types of functions within Inside Sales (lead identification, new business sales and managing existing accounts) as well recommendations on how to team with Field Sales. If you have worked in sales or marketing then much of the information will be familiar to you. However, I suspect you will not have seen all of the concepts packaged in such a well-written, easy-to-read format.

I would have liked to see more depth on the concept of a high-velocity, low-touch business model. And also more on best practices for scaling an Inside Sales Organization from small to large.

Nonetheless, I would recommend the book for anyone seeking an introduction or a refresher on Inside Sales.


Smead Manila File Folder, 1/3-Cut Tab, Letter Size, Manila, 100 per Box (10330)
Smead Manila File Folder, 1/3-Cut Tab, Letter Size, Manila, 100 per Box (10330)
Price: $8.89
39 used & new from $4.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Best with 2-Dimensional Items, October 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
You can store all kinds of documents in these folders - utility bills, bank statements, insurance policies and even securities certificates. The folders work with many different kinds of paper - standard office copier paper, colored construction paper and even multi-sheet carbon copies. I found the folders work best with 2-dimensional items.

The folders are easy to carry with you so they can be used at home or in the office. If you have more than 50 folders, consider purchasing a filing cabinet or a desk to store them in.

The big mystery for me was why they ship folders with three different tabs in a single box. Some tabs are on the left, others in the center and some on the right. Very curious. I suspect it must have something to do with government regulations in the Philippines where the folders are made.


BlackBerry Power Plug with Micro USB Cable - Original OEM ASY-24479-002 ASY-18683-001 ASY-28109-003
BlackBerry Power Plug with Micro USB Cable - Original OEM ASY-24479-002 ASY-18683-001 ASY-28109-003
Offered by Blue Point
Price: $5.99
12 used & new from $2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Work Consistently with Q10, October 6, 2014
I purchased two extra power cords to use with my Q10 so I would have one for my office and one for travel. The power plugs appear to be an exact replica of the cord which shipped with my Q10 unit. However, the plug does not charge consistently in North America. It works on some occasions and not on others. It is relatively inexpensive so probably worth the risk to try.


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