Jonathan Stoddard's blog

KTG Founder Completes Bicycle Ride Across America

Hi everyone, It's been a long time since updating this blog, and there are several reasons for that. One reason is that this summer I completed a cross country bicyle ride. I completed the ride with a great friend and support from my wife. The experience was incredible and I saw many great sights and meet so many interesting people. I was so thankful for this experience. 

Visit this website to learn more about my bicycle ride across the country.  

Linux Linux Everywhere

While Linux is far from being mainstream, it does run on a surprising number of embedded devices.  Here is a neat list of devices that are running various flavors of Linux.   

Google Launches Apps Marketplace

Google Apps MarketplaceIn an effort to continue to increase Google Apps adoption among businesses, Google recently launched the Google Apps Marketplace.  The apps marketplace includes 3rd party apps that integrate with Google Apps.  Chris Vander Mey, project manager for the Google Apps Marketplace wrote:


"Once installed to a company's domain, these third-party applications work like native Google applications. With administrator approval, they may interact with calendar, email, document and/or contact data to increase productivity. Administrators can manage the applications from the familiar Google Apps control panel, and employees can open them from within Google Apps.

With OpenID integration, Google Apps users can access the other applications without signing in separately to each. The Google Apps Marketplace eliminates the worry about software updates, keeping track of different passwords and manual syncing and sharing of data, thereby increasing business productivity and lessening frustrations for users and IT administrators alike. That's the power of the cloud."

In my experience with helping migrate people to Google Apps, one of the reasons people still have to use Microsoft products is because they rely on 3rd party apps that interface with the Microsoft software.  The Apps Marketplace is certainly part of Google's effort to free people from Microsoft's grasp.  


Google's Privacy Principles

People tend to (rightly) be concerned about how Google uses the information they have about users.  Especially if you trust Google to store your email and documents, you want to know your data is secure.  Because January 28 is International Privacy Day Google posted a blog about their dedication to user privacy.  While the post doesn't change their privacy policy, they did include a nice video that provides a good overview of their policy.  


If Your Password Is 123456, Just Make It HackMe

popular passwordsI've written about the importance of good passwords before and a recent NYTimes article just confirms my suspicions that weak passwords are one of the biggest (yet easily prevented) threats to data security.  

I wonder who in their right mind would use "password" as their password, but apparently it's one of the most popular password choices.   The article states, "According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like “abc123,” “iloveyou” or even “password” to protect their data." 

Read If Your Password Is 123456, Just Make It HackMe

Nexus One: Web Meets Phone


Google announced its flagship Andriod phone, the Nexus One, a few days ago.  As with all things Google, the announcement generated a lot of buzz in the news.  The above video is a cool overview of the phone.  You can easily tell Google is trying to compete with the iPhone.  


TechCrunch also has a good review of the Nexus One.  

Crooks Hijack Facebook Accounts, Injuring Dignity

I'm not one to be paranoid, but viruses in social networking sites can attack more than just your computer.  

From the NYTimes article, "It used to be that computer viruses attacked only your hard drive. Now they attack your dignity."

Google Search Tips: How to find the information your looking for.


Matt Cutts, a Google engineer, provides some simple yet powerful tips for getting the most out of our Google searches.  




"Bill Gates" - provides results that have exactly match Bill Gates.

Bill -Gates - provides results that have Bill but not Gates. google - provides results that only from the domain

Site:gov mortgage - provides results that include mortage only from .gov websites.  


Hope these are helpful!



How Safe is Cloud Computing?

I am a big proponent of cloud computing for small business.  Software as a Service (SaaS) and online backups are examples of cloud computing.  Cloud computing gives small businesses powerful software at a very affordable price.  Plus another great benefit is you don't have to bother with maintaining a server.  

One of the biggest worries about SaaS is data security and reliability.  Many traditional IT consultants continually remind people of widely publicized outages or data losses to help bolster their cause.  

While there have been some well publicized downtimes at major cloud providers, I have always made the argument, that if server downtimes at small businesses received the same publicity, we would all quickly move to the cloud.  

I remember studying about the availability heuristic in Psych 101.  A common example of the availability heuristic is people tend to worry more about a plane crash than an automobile accident.  Even though we are far more likely to be in a serious automobile accident we worry more about a plane crash.  Why?  Because when a plane crash occurs it gets so much media attention.  We can easily remember news of a plane crash, but have difficulty remembering a auto wreck.  

I believe the same principle applies to worries about cloud computing.  When there is a glitch with a cloud services provider everyone knows about it, when a small business server crashes only a few people know about it.  Even though we are far more likely to have our computer crash, we worry more about relying on the cloud for our services.  

I'm glad I'm not the only one to believe this theory. Infoworld is running an article titled, "Your data is safer in the cloud than you think."

Meet Tom, He Helps You Plan


toms plannerIf you have ever used Microsoft Project you know it takes a good bit of time before you understand how it works.  Adding to the difficulty is if you are working on a project with others and they don't have MS Project--it doesn't come standard with Microsoft Office.  

Tom's Planner is a web app that makes it easy to create Gantt Charts and share them with others.  

Tom's Planner boasts a simple drag and drop interface to create schedules and Gantt Charts.   Another interesting features of the software is that the project files are stored locally on your computer which helps to alleviate security concerns with web-based software.  

Tom's Planner is currently in a beta version which means that all accounts are free.  In return they would like you to provide feedback about the service.  The website states that once the software sheds its beta label it plans on giving all beta users one year free access.  

Another great feature is that others can view your Gantt charts for free, without an account.

 toms planner gantt chart

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