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National Electric Guitar Day

National Electric Guitar Day

The electric guitar has been the one key instrument to influence people, genres and industries.

The electric guitars allowed companies to create amplifiers which in turn allowed live performances to be louder and reach more people in a single location.

This created tours, managers, live sessions and inspired genres such as blues, jazz, funk, rock and roll.

Les Paul was inspired to see if he could record his guitar over again. So he created the multi-track. This impacted the music industry by allowing multi-track recording, and audio engineering and audio consoles became the thing that now people were working so hard to create. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Jimi Hendrix pushed the limits and boundaries of the available tracks in the consoles and the walls of sounds they could create.

The electric guitar inspired many to create riffs, sounds, noises, orchestras, bands, solo acts, guitar solos, and video games!

So on November 27th, join me celebrate #NationalElectricGuitarDay and listen to this week’s episode of Rock ‘n’ Block

Also, please leave a review and like the podcast in iTunes.

Carry On: Leaders travel light

Carry On: Leaders travel light

When we travel, we pack our bags with our belongings and set out our course, the adventure, the next gig. If it is an over the weekend, short or business trip there is a preference to have a carry on with us with the most important things we need on an immediate basis, such as medicine, a couple of shirts, shoes, underwear, pants, jeans, and trunks if you fancy a dip in the pool or the ocean.  By the way, hello from Puerto Rico! Now, If you are like me, you want to pack your tablet, the music player, the phone, the book reader, a physical book (I like them), chargers for all gadgets, notebooks, and portable gaming device (I still like to play video games.) Then you realize you are packing more than you need. You are willing to take more than you should.

In life, there are times you’re willing to carry things that your don’t need, things that don’t belong to you, or are of no use right now you. 

Most people, including myself, tend to carry stuff from our past. Bad experiences, guilt, things that don’t belong to user did at one point in but are no longer relevant as we’ve moved beyond that.  You’ve had experiences in the past that have formed, molded, changed, and made you grow; Yet, struggle with on a daily basis because they are that heavy baggage which leaves no room for growth.

You need your baggage to be light and carry only the essential, the tools necessary for that trip such as your knowledge and experiences, the good parts and have enough space left to bring something back, with you, to gain, whether it’s more knowledge and a great experience.

Life is definitely a journey that starts with one step. It will be as many steps and miles as you decide to go. It may be a lifetime or a limited time, but make sure you don’t take more with you than you need.  Make sure every step you take leads you to new experiences, to growth. Remember that there is no jumping or leap into success as Jeff Goins author of Art of Work reminds us. You build bridges that connect you to an unknown future and territories so you may conquer it and bring back that knowledge to lead others there. As a leader, entrepreneur, go to person, an expert, you look at things from different angles such as marketing, business, financial, or a customer’s, team’s and CEO’s standpoint. You are able to pivot and stay on your ground. But that can be accomplished as long as you are willing to focus on what’s necessary.

Being aware of the moment and understand you are not to travel heavy but lightly by carrying on your carry on.

Gadgets for Entrepreneurs on the go!

Gadgets for Entrepreneurs on the go!

Entrepreneurs more than likely don’t have an office. They work from remote locations, coffee houses, their couch, bed, car, using their laptop, desktop, mobile phone, tablet, or any smart device they have with an internet connection and that enables them to connect to their chosen ecosystem of social media and website. 

Here is a list of the favorite gadgets I swear by that are truly remarkable and have made the 18k miles flown this 2018 a bliss keeping me as productive and as productive as possible. 

Chargers

We depend on our smartphones and tablets to stay connected to clients, family, socialites and the latest greatest with how is Tony Stark going to save us in Avengers 4 (maybe that last one is just me.) 

These two chargers mentioned here are my favorite ones. For plug-in options the Belkin has always delivered the best options and customer service ever since I had my job at Apple back in 2007. The fact that you obtain the wall and car charger plus an independent USB + (the one for your device) connection is great! The cable is resistant, strong and long. All three qualities that make it superior to Apple’s original charging cable IF that is your phone type. Apple knows how to design stuff. Especially how to design it to break it so you buy more. Capitalism?

For those who love wireless charging, I know I do, I present you this option. In my household I am an iPhone user (of course!) and my wife is an android phone user (I’m not sure why yet.) Our phones have the option to charge wirelessly and when I was looking for options I was reminded by a good friend that Anker makes really great products, which is true. I decided to pick this one up because of the review and I was not disappointed. 

In our kitchen I have setup what I call a “charging stating. We have a multiplug with two USB 2.1 A plug-ins. Each has a Lightning connector and a USB-C, but then we have the Anker Wireless Charger. You will always find one of the iPads, one of the phones,  or other gadgets charging and whenever we go and get coffee, a quick bite, do the dishes or something we just set the smartphone on top of the charging pad, leave it there and it is charging. Keep in mind that it will not charge as fast as plugged-in but hey it does the job and you don’t have to be using cables!

Headphones

Being an Audio Engineer is both a blessing an a curse. You know how to identify good sounds and you know how to identify bad sounds. The problem is…which one you think are the most common?

When I find headphones that I truly like, basically, I marry them. I do not want to be apart from them and I always want them by my side. I do not want to use any others. 

Here are my current and favorite headphones. 

Beats Studio 3

When the Beats by Dre came out I was working at Apple Retails Stores in Orlando, FL. I thought that they sounded too bassy for my taste. It represented and targeted a very good demographic, people who were into Hip-Hop, RnB, EDM. 

I have always been into Rock, Metal, Classical and enjoy my pop music. But if the only thing I can hear is Bass and I can not appreciate other sounds then just forget about it. 

When this new generation came out, a friend was very adamant that I try them out. I started researching them a lot. I was also never a fan of the design. Too big in my opinion. But I just decided to go for it. 

Now all I can say is…WOW!!! I bought the Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones Shadow Gray because they looked cool. Pairing them with my iPhone 8 Plus, AppleTVs (yes multiple across the house) and my Mac was a bliss. The first thing I did to test them was to listen to Call of Ktulu by Metallica in S&M recorded in 1999. I was able to listen to every single detail. Then Master of Puppets kicked in and that was it. I could listen to the crowd, the bass drum, the bass guitar, the riffs, the orchestra, everything, and then I looked up and realized my wife was talking to me but I haven’t realized because of the noise cancelling. 

So when I took my next trip first thing I packed were my Beats. I decided to test them to the extreme. What is the worst thing that could happen on a 4hr plane ride? You got it! Crying baby!

Amazing how I enjoyed listening to music, watching movies on the plane and playing Nintendo Switch on the plane, all while the baby was crying and I didn’t hear anything. When I landed – mind you I take redeye flights to maximize time and productivity during my travels – I was still fresh and didn’t have a headache, ringing in my ears or anything that would cause a headache. 

Reviews

EnacFire E19

I saw a friend using the previous version and I assumed they were BOSE wireless buds.When we got to talking and he recommended on Amazon I immediately looked them up. Reviews were mixed. But I trust my buddy when it comes to technology. 

Ordered them without second guessing myself. They are really sleek looking, kinda makes me feel like a spy, provide really good sound when it comes to music, podcasts, and while on the phone. 

Their nose cancelling is very good, although I preferred the Beats definitely. But for a day to day walking around the city without carrying anything too bulky, being in the gym lifting weights, running or something of the sort this is a great piece of technology.

The carrying case actually charges the buds and you can use the right independently. The controls can pause, skip or backtrack a song and even access Siri – although it is kind of a hassle, to be honest, I am happy with these headphones and use them daily when I am out on the mall, family gatherings, or even just walking my dog.  They are not too bassy, they don’t sound flat, for podcasting, power metal, heavy metal, symphonic metal, hip-hop, EDM, phone calls, audiobooks, they are simply great. 

USB Hub 

I am an Apple User. Every Mac is now with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports which is better/worse. Better because through one port you can transfer huge amounts of data and many things and worse because dang it what the heck do I do with all my USB flash drives, and peripherals. Now I need dungles, and bungles. 

The benefit of this hub is that it is small, compact, a nice length cable and it is only $14.99 on Amazon. I have been using it and wherever I go, I take it with me. Sometime I don’t even use it in my computer but for other people who forget to bring their own or need to plug more than one device at a time. 

USB C Dock

When I got my Macbook Pro with only USB C, I started to look for options to maximize the ports. Most of the posts and articles suggested docks. Some of them didn’t convince me and some of them were just not very sexy looking design wise. Others were just snap on the side and that was it. Plus I would still have to use my own charged. 

Henge Docks, were different. The bring all the connections you need, a charging port, a SD Card slot, turning your notebook into a workstation with the connection to a display and ethernet as well. 

The beauty about this device is that you can set everything here and is just plug and play. This is excellent for conference rooms, for the entrepreneur who has a home office, or for his office and doesn’t want to be carrying his charging cable back and forth. You just unplug the cable from the dock to the MacBook Pro and that’s it. Simple!

Webcam Covers

Now, I am not the type of guy that is paranoid about “big brother is watching.” But after taking several courses about cybersecurity and ethical hacking, I decided to take care of certain things in my household and make them more secure. Something simple was: Webcam covers. 

These little three pack is simple enough to protect your computer, your tablet and your phone. Which is just what you need. The question is, why would you ned it right?

In a time and age where anyone can become anyone important, at any point in time, it is best to be careful and not let any window of opportunity to let people sneak in to your analog life from your digital one. 

Will Social Media Run The Elections or Will The People?

Will Social Media Run The Elections or Will The People?

Ever since 2011 social media has been a constant battlefield where no matter where you go to, what timeline are, what video you play or which page you like, account follow, you will sooner than later stumble upon a targeted political ad or will stumble upon news are design for click & bait. 

Fast-Forward to 2015, and the fact that Donal Trump became the president, was no surprise. “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”  How So? Well when you continue to talk, whether it is something that causes controversy, reaction, positive or negative, it causes engagement and that is what the social media companies want. Engagement. 

We are products that validate the existence of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Google. Whenever we like, share, comment, or report the ad, unfollow, we are providing valuable data to the algorithm, which is compiled and they fixed it in a way that then it can be tweaked for success for campaign managers so they can invest and target more efficiently the audiences. Every 24hrs they can get better reports and now how they are doing, with which type of demographics, sex, religion, age, ethnic and affiliation groups. 

I am a mid 30s, hispanic, Christian faith, heterosexual, married and when it come to my gender I choose male. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, I use Gmail, have an iPhone and this blog. Love Metallica, podcasting, and Batman is the best superhero ever. 

That last paragraph is enough data to create a profile and target me to sell me things that could really and potentially interest me to click on them to read the news. Once I click on one of those it means that the algorithm of the social media will try to keep showing it to me as much as it can so I can see it. Hence why the Timeline in Facebook is no longer the way it was and you keep seeing the same things over and over again. 

Machine Learning = Humanity Predictive

Knowing that there are machines, software really, learning about our habits and gathering all that data is kind of creepy. Imaging a Dr. House + Your Mother combined into one being. Is like being Vision from the Avengers but knowing everything about everyone. 

The problem with all of this is that instead of making decisions because of values, because of reason, it will be harder because inception and little by little the influence of every post, ad, news, posts, MEME, video, etc. 

HULU now started providing ads about the elections while I was trying to watch some shows. Pandora and Spotify as well. It used to be regular TV and Radio. But now…it’s on the internet in social media. Because everyone is on social media and glued to their phone. The UX/UI studies, colors, frequency, timing, influences people, wether they know it or not. 

The Machine learns what keywords get a reaction and a rise out of you, your age group, your county, state, gender, and based on the pages you like, the public figures you follow and engage with and if those are in favor or not with the candidate the campaign manager wishes to target to so they can become supported, click on the aritcle, share it, comment on it, help it become a trend and spread like wildfire. 

Even using the people who are against the candidate is a good tactic. Controversy creates headlines and news. This is something that a lot of people forget. Rock ‘n’ Roll was “the devil’s music” during the 50s and 60s. Then it became hippie music. The satanic. Then looser’s music. Then it was Rap and Hip-Hop’s turn to be tagged with some label that didn’t really represent what that movement was about. Biggie and 2-Pac anyone?

Targeting people who are against you using your most controversial article, news or any type of content keeps you as a trending topic. If you are everywhere and everyone talks about you, what do you think will happen? 

Voldermont was no longer given power because no one talked about him nor mentioned his name. No engagement with the subject or persona.

But in this day and age, where the Baby Boomers have joined social media, and some do not understand click and bait, nor understand that not all the newspapers are ethical as they used to, shout out to Breaker Magazine for being the difference in this point, it’s so easy for those with pockets to spend millions on social media, influence as many people as they can on a daily basis and stay as present as they can. Then set themselves up for success to win. 

Should social media be allowed to have such power to influence audiences? Should target ads be so powerful that they follow you everywhere you go and promote everything you search for over and over again?

Social Media & Google: Leaders of Information

I decided to visit the Google Trends site and quickly research what was trending. These are the trending topics right now in Google. 

But what surprised me was the fact that google already had a featured article about the midterm elections with all the data ready to go. 

Here are the tops searches since halloween until today:

What does this tells us? People are looking for answers on the internet rather on people. They would much rather get convince on their own from reading on social media, and news outlet than going to the rallies and events and seeing what actually happens. Seeing what really is going on and how history is going down. 

They would rather look at history in the making through the filters of social media, than look at the real face. Think about it. 

Is social media owning you? 

Tell me in the comments below. 

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