Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Still playing live TV in your restaurant, office lobby or retail store? Think again!

Do you think it's a good idea to show live TV broadcasts in your restaurant, office lobby or retail store?

You may want to rethink that...

  • It may be easy to stick a big flat screen on a wall and punch a cable news channel but you will never have any control over the programming and advertising.
  • When that happens your audience will see content that may not be relevant or suitable to the venue.
  • Also, you can't block ads from competing businesses.

A really good lesson is this incident in which a McDonald's franchise in Switzerland decided to show a sports channel on their in-store TVs not realizing the channel switched to hardcore porn during the evening.

Another problem is audience tampering.  We've all heard of people using infrared devices to switch TV channels on public and private TV screens.  Digital TVs are not the same as professional digital signage displays that are designed for commercial or industrial use.  A pro-grade digital flat panel does not have a TV tuner so it's not possible for the audience to change what's playing.
Digital signage is not TV and it's important to remember what makes these two technologies so different.  With digital signage you control what content is shown and when it will be shown. Your audience won't see your competitor's ads and they won't be shocked or otherwise offended by the content because you're in charge of what they see.

Of course, live TV remains a great source of content for sports bars, but I would still argue that digital signage can augment this type of content by providing branding opportunities and localized advertising that can be mixed in with the broadcast TV feeds.  Many digital signage solutions support broadcast TV either in full screen mode or in multi-zone layouts so it makes sense to investigate these products and see how you can get more control over what your audience sees.

Digital signage gives you content control plus advertising and branding opportunities that you won't get from broadcast TV.  However, programming digital signage content is not a trivial matter.  It requires some time and effort but those who have tried it know the rewards are well worth the investment.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thinking of digital signage? Think bigger

I try and stay on top of the latest digital signage news and there have been some very interesting announcements over the past few weeks.

Here are a few...

Newest outdoor LED board in Times Square gets turned on.

This sign measures 330 feet and wraps around the front of the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway making it one of the largest LED boards out there.

Aquarium invests in big screens and video wall
The Georgia Aquarium recently paired up a LED video wall with a couple of 84”, 4K screens to enhance their exhibits.  You can find out more here...

Microsoft builds video game buzz with video walls.
Another great article from Digital Signage Today describes Microsoft's use of in-store video walls to promote a new video game.

So what's with all the big screens?  

It's all about the "wow factor".  

As digital signage becomes more commonplace, it’s getting harder to cut through the clutter and grab people’s attention. That’s where big screen installations come into play.  They can help turn a boring trip to the mall into an experience.

Lower equipment costs and technological advances are making LED billboards and other large format screens more affordable for more and more businesses.

Everyone's thinking big.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Do not underestimate the importance of fresh content

Anyone who has ever managed a digital signage system can relate with the following statement: "I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel".

Having to create fresh new content, day-in/day-out can be a pain regardless of the technology running the show. It's like publishing a successful blog or a popular social media feed.  You need to be disciplined and consistent otherwise your content quickly gets stale and viewers tune out.

You must come up with fresh ideas to keep your audience's interest.  Might sound easy but at first but you will soon discover that running a screen network requires a lot of work.  Many popular CMS systems offer content creation tools but it's not much help unless you have your own creative team on staff.

So here are a few suggestions to take some of the pain out of running your own network...

Online resources

It makes sense to spend a bit of money and sign up with a good royalty-free content source like fotolia or shutterstock.  Most of these stock media resources offer annual memberships or sell credits that you can redeem for content.  It's worth the time to look around and check out some of these sites even if only for inspiration.  There are also new free image sites that you should check out like Flicker and Unsplash.   Just be sure to respect all copyrights and usage agreements.

For those who require video content, there are web based services that will let you create your own clips for a small fee.  Most are aimed at the online advertising community but there there are a few that cater to digital signage.  One such service is called Spotomate.  These folks let you create full HD video ads for around $75. Best of all you get access to professional templates designed specifically for the digital signage market and you don't need any special video editing skills.  You just need a few good photos and a story to tell.  The site has many examples you can check out before you get started.  The content is very slick and the results are quite impressive.  Best of all it's affordable and easy to use.

Online News

RSS feeds can be a great source of dynamic content.  This can be really useful because the content is maintained and updated by someone else and your screens will receive regular updates which helps keep the content fresh and interesting.  However, make sure you read all licensing documentation and usage agreements.  Assume RSS feeds available to the general public are meant for personal use and are not intended for re-distribution.  If you run across one of these feeds and wish to use it on your screens, make sure you contact the rights holder first to find out if they offer an agreement for commercial use

Publicly available RSS feeds do not come with the same guarantees as commercial feeds and public servers may go offline at any time creating gaping holes in your carefully designed layouts. You might end up with empty news banners or weather widgets unless you use paid content that is meant for digital signal use. 

Fortunately, several creative studios have jumped into the commercial news and sport feeds business to help network operators get online content specifically designed for digital signage use.  BlueFox, Screenfeed and Seenspire all offer rich, professional looking content that is updated daily and they make sure news organizations behind each feed have been paid for this type of use.  Expect to pay a small monthly fee per screen per month.  Large screen networks can negotiate volume discounts and new topics are constantly being added.

It's important not to underestimate the importance of fresh content so feeding your digital signage network should be priority one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's wrong with this picture?

I was visiting my local walk-in clinic the other day and noticed the news feed zone across the bottom of the screen was blanked out.  But that wasn't the worst of it.  There's a lot more going on here.

If I were the venue owner, I would be concerned about seeing a large portion of the screen  dedicated to promoting the screen network itself.  In fact this self-advertising graphic occupies more space than the venue's own branding. Then we have the main content area squeezed between a header at the top and the news and weather feed at the bottom.  This significantly reduces the impact of the main content zone in the middle of the screen.

It's unfortunate because a lot of the content shown on that screen was useful and informative but it was squished and stretched into an ugly layout.

If I were redesigning this layout, I would...
  1. Drop the venue operator/owner's logo from the screen.  If the person looking at this does not know where they are, they either need glasses or they have serious cognitive issues.  This particular venue is a walk-in medical clinic so you kind of expect the audience to be aware of their location.  This is something I would classify under... "Duh!"
  2. Take out the entire branded header area and resize the main content zone so it occupies at least 80% of the screen.  Better yet, I would also take out the scrolling banner (see point 4 below).  If the network operator wants to promote themselves, they should make their branding less conspicuous.  Speaking to network operators... Unless you have statistics to the contrary, you should assume folks looking at your screens are interested in the venue's content, not who is delivering it.
  3. If you need to display news and weather feeds, consider using a commercial provider like Screenfeed or Seenspire.  This will ensure a more reliable service and you won't breach any acceptable use policies with the content owner.  Redistributing a publicly available RSS feed is almost never permitted.  Read the fine print.
  4. Instead of filling screens with multiple channels of information, why not opt for full screen content with larger text and bold graphics.  Multi-channel/multi-zone content layouts are becoming a big issue for an aging population that cannot read the smaller fonts used in these layouts.  Legibility should be paramount.
Remember folks.  People don't have to look at your expensive TV unless they have a good reason to do so.  If they don't like what they see, they'll just grab their smartphones and ignore it all.  Give your audience a good reason to look at your content.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Interactive applications to get a boost

The days of the touch screen may be counted. Well, in a few years anyways.

The folks at Metaio are demonstrating a new thermal detection technology that could have a big impact in the way we create and use interactive kiosks. By combining existing hardware with some custom software, Metaio has found a way to track interactivity in the real world, essentially by detecting a heat signature that we all leave behind each time each time we touch something.  With their technology,  touching a physical object will work just like a mouse click.

Gizmodo has a nice article about this and you can also check out a video that demonstrate how this technology could work.

I can see a lot of great applications for this such as e-commerce and wayfinding.  Interesting stuff...

photo credit: redtouchmedia via photopin cc

Friday, April 11, 2014

Navori announces support for the NEC OPS media player hardware

NEC OPS Digital Media PlayerSwiss-based Navori just announced the immediate availability of a new version of their QL Player Android software that is compatible with the NEC Android based Open Pluggable Specification media player.  This extremely small device (20cm X 12cm X 3cm) is designed as an add-on to many NEC large format displays.  You just insert it in an open slot and you're good to go.
Mr. Jerome Moeri, Navori CEO says – “As a pioneer in the development of Android digital signage software, we are pleased to see screen manufacturers build Android-based devices that are able
 to support all the features of our Navori QL software.
Customers looking for high-end turnkey products are delighted with this new direction initiated by NEC and soon to be followed by the rest of the market.
Android offers many advantages over proprietary operating systems since it’s compatible with screen devices as well as tablets and mobile devices.”
It's nice to see some new professional-grade Android hardware and vendors like Navori stepping in to offer support.  It will be interesting to see if other OPS hardware manufacturers decide to jump on the Android bandwagon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How will the looming Windows XP deadline affect your digital signage deployment

Microsoft may be ending support for Windows XP on April 8th but the world won't end on April 9th and here's why... Properly configured digital signage PCs will continue to operate reliably and securely on Windows XP post April 8.

Now, what do I mean by properly configured?

Any PC running Windows (any version of Windows) that is used for digital signage should be locked down tight.  This means no automated Windows updates.  No anti-virus.  All non-essential Windows apps and components should have been removed or deactivated and the only apps running would be the ones required to display content and communicate with a dedicated CMS.

If you followed these rules when you deployed your PCs on XP, they will continue to work post April 8th. These PCs have not received any patches or security updates for quite a long time... in some cases, years.  These updates were not required then and they won't be required tomorrow.

Why?  PCs used for digital signage are essentially single-purpose devices performing a set of automated tasks. They are much less likely to be exposed to viruses or malware since they aren't used for email or other general office use.

Now it's important to make a distinction between a passive digital signage application and an interactive kiosk that is used for secure transactions.  There is a good article on the Sixteen Nine blog by Nick Donaldson that goes into great detail about the potential risks of continuing to use Windows XP past it's expiry date and it touches on many good points.

However, a properly configured and locked-down PC running on XP should be fine until the hardware fails at which point you will most likely replace the whole unit, never mind the operating system.  By then you will have lots of options to choose from.  You can switch to new hardware running a current version of Windows or you may go with Android, Raspberry Pi or some type of Smart TV.

If your PCs aren't locked down yet, it's still time to do it... At least, until April 8th, 2014.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Small form factor PCs fight back!

There has been a lot of press lately about Android devices replacing PCs and for good reason.  The performance matches a lot of low-end PCs and the price sure is appealing.  Another big selling point has been their small size which make them easy to hide behind pretty well any display.

Intel has been fighting the good fight with their NUC boxes but there have been few high-end small form factor PCs available until now (except possibly PCs from these guys).  Engadget recently published an article on a new PC from Shuttle that will most certainly find itself behind a lot of digital signage displays.  The specs are impressive with support for processors up to Core i7 and triple monitor outputs.  As the article mentions, cooling has been optimized so this unit will be able to operate at temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius. This is a big deal because it's not always possible to locate your PCs were there is good ventilation.

I always thought of Shuttle as the makers of those "breadbox" PC units having built one a few years back. They have since expanded into other form factors that make them quite attractive to digital signage integrators.  

Android sure has its place in this market but nothing can beat the PC for versatility and support for multiple screens.  It's good to see more activity on the PC side for a change.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Television Point of Sales inserts custom ads in live TV broadcasts

Walk into any sports bar and chances are you will find a combination of big screen TVs, projectors and video walls showing some sporting event.  It's like walking into your local Buffalo Wings and finding yourself surrounded with more flat screen TVs than you'll find at your neighborhood Best Buy.  I can just imagine this guy who looked up and had an epiphany...  All those channels and no local advertising to be seen.

This guy's name was Dennis DeMay of Television Point of Sales, Inc.

Dennis tells me his company offers a proprietary video server that detects when an ad is coming up in a TV broadcast and then plays the ads in a small window in the lower right hand corner of the screen while the system pushes local ads in full screen.  The alternate feed is switched in real time and the transition is seamless.

Using this system, bar owners can sell advertising space on their screens while respecting all broadcast regulations because the ads are not prevented from playing.  They are simply resized on the fly and played in a smaller window while ads controlled by the venue owner are shown full screen.

It's an interesting take on the whole local content thing and assuming no one is breaking any laws, a pretty nifty way for venue owners to take control of their screens and offer some ad space to local businesses.

Here the company's corporate summary...

Television Point of Sales, Inc. (TVPOS) provides proprietary video server products and services which enable business venues offering television-based entertainment to advertise directly to their most valued customers... those already on-site. We offer no less than the Holy Grail of effective advertising: a way to market relevant products directly to a highly motivated and well-qualified demographic at or near the point of purchase, where buying decisions or impulses can be acted upon immediately.

TVPOS has developed a unique and highly effective PC-based ad delivery technology which monitors conventional broadcast television signals to identify network ads in real time, instantly switching to an alternate audiovisual feed to show advertisements or promotional spots of immediate interest to the patrons of compatible venues. The transition from network programming to in-house messaging is seamless and unobtrusive, appearing where ads would normally be expected to occur and making for a natural television viewing experience without interrupting program content. Depending upon the network, there are typically from four to five advertising breaks per channel per hour during the business day, giving you up to ten minutes of advertising space per hour at two minutes per break (for example.)

The conventional approach to television advertising is expensive and inefficient: Network programming supplied to viewers is periodically interrupted by commercial breaks consisting of several unrelated and often intrusive ad spots aimed at the general demographic presumed to be watching a given show. In this sense, programs are a delivery system for advertisements, presenting many ads of interest to only a very small percentage of viewers - a scattershot approach, at best.
Wouldn't it make more sense to identify business venues where a sizeable audience of like-minded consumers is expected to congregate in the presence of television monitors near a point of purchase, and to advertise only products of immediate interest to them?

This is where Television Point of Sales comes in. Our clients are business venues such as restaurants, bars, health clubs, casinos, banks, and even the rooms of host hotels during themed conventions. Targeted ads for in-house products could include featured menu items in restaurants, drink promotions in bars, sports drinks and concessions in fitness clubs, financial products in banks, and amenities and featured restaurant promos in hotels.

Implementation of our system is straightforward: TVPOS AdServers dedicated to each monitored channel are installed in the client's audiovisual equipment rack, requiring only power, an internet connection, and standard or HD baseband television feeds. The equipment interfaces easily with the client's A/V distribution system to best deliver the desired network programming and in-house advertisements to their captive audience.

Our servers can be configured to deliver in-house ads by run of schedule, or by a client's unique scheduling requirements. Ads are distributed to the servers via an Internet connection as required, and a summary of ad runtimes and frequencies can be generated for client use or billing purposes.
TVPOS services include identification of client advertising needs and potential revenue streams, media development and presentation, external billing support, system installation and support, and customization of hardware and software to suit clients' needs.

We have compelling evidence and feedback from marketing efforts that there is a significant demand for our services in the U.S. and abroad. Our efforts so far have been aimed at developing and perfecting our technology to answer the needs of the market and to chart a strategy to fulfill them. We welcome strategic partnerships or software license opportunities for those companies in the digital signage markets that are looking to create a significant edge over their competitors.

I'm told TV POS is currently looking to license the technology to anyone who wishes to integrate it into their existing digital signage solution.

Anyone interested should contact Dennis at 615-781-2818 or via email:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Advice for anyone looking to deploy digital signage "on the cheap"

The digital signage market is flooded with low-cost alternatives to traditional PCs.  You have solutions based on Raspberry PI, Android and Smart TVs.  These technologies offer a wide range of possibilities at a very attractive price point.

Here is some advice for anyone looking to deploy digital signage "on the cheap"...

First off, there are tons of cheap Android devices on the market today.  These come in many shapes and sizes (the ubiquitous "fat USB key" and square "puck") you can stick behind a screen with a strip of Velcro. Then you have digital signage CMS providers that let you download and install their apps on your own Android device which makes the whole setup quick and easy.  In many cases you can pay a monthly fee for the server access and you are good to go!

Sounds too good to be true?  Well, I'm afraid it is.  There is more to it than just loading an app on any old Android device.  I've been spending some time testing these types of devices with various digital signage apps and I can tell you it's not for the faint hearted.  Playback performance and reliability is all over the map and the main culprit is a lack of Android OS optimization (also known as "ROM" customization).

Since most are derived from consumer Android tablet hardware you will often find Netflix, YouTube and many other apps sitting on the desktop, eating up precious storage space.   You also need to deal with a menu bar, clock and other notifications permanently displayed on your screens.  Cleaning up all that junk will take a lot of time and patience. Trust me, there is nothing worse than having to debug one of these things.

Compare this to a CMS vendor's own hardware.  When you purchase an Android device pre-loaded with a CMS vendor's app, you also benefit from their custom ROM development.  The OS interface is tweaked to ensure only the content is displayed full screen.  Vendors will often include some type of watchdog app that ensures the device is monitored and runs smoothly.  This is all rolled up into the ROM and replicated across all their units ensuring consistent results.

So when you buy a cheap Android unit off Aliexpress or some other offshore e-commerce site, remember you won't get any of this optimization.  You won't get any watchdog apps.  You're on your own so you better like tinkering with ROMs and spending a lot of time on Android forums.

In my opinion, purchasing a "fully baked" Android player from a reputable vendor makes a lot of sense. You can assume the devices have been optimized and tested for 24/7/365 use.  The ROMs are clean and there is no bloatware.  Best of all you benefit from technical support and a warranty if something ever goes wrong.

Sub-$40 devices are easy to find but in the end this stuff needs to work.

Here are a few vendors who ship Android hardware with their own software pre-installed :

A quick Google search will bring up many, many more...


Monday, February 24, 2014

Calorie counts on restaurant menus coming soon to Ontario, Canada

In a move that follows recent trends in the US, the Ontario Health Minister is about to announce legislation that will require QSR chains to add calorie and other nutritional data on their menus and menu boards.  As reported in this Toronto Star article,  the new law would make Ontario the first province to require nutritional information to be added to restaurant menus.

Large QSR chains like Tim Hortons, McDonalds and Burger King who already have digital menu boards in place will have an easier time making the transition.  In some cases they can look at their US counterparts and adapt the content to the Canadian market.

However the new law may help persuade some restaurant chains who still use static, printed menu boards to make a move to digital.  I am sure many CMS vendors will be making calls once the new law gets implemented.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My take on this year's Digital Signage Expo

Here is my take on the 2014 DSE in Las Vegas.
  • The show didn't feel much different from previous ones except for the venue which I found to be a nice change from the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The Sands Expo and Convention Center was conveniently located, specially for those staying around that part of the strip.  Next year it's back to the LV Convention Center.
  • It was quite busy on both days.  Wouldn't be surprised if attendance was up over last year.
  • The show used to be dominated by software vendors but this has changed over the last few years. All the usual suspects were front and center. NEC, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Intel...
  • Lots of small Android and other non-Windows devices but it all felt more "mainstream" which is an indication the Android market is maturing.  Not a bad thing actually.  Of course, there were many vendors showing off Windows based PCs like Shuttle and iBase.
  • Shuttle announced a partnership with Scala at the show, meaning you can now order various models with the Scala player pre-installed.  We see this a lot with software vendors validating PCs and providing disk images that hardware vendors so they can set up and ship units with the least amount of fuss.  
  • I was impressed with the dual-sided freestanding display from AG Neovo at the 22Miles booth.  The vertical unit featured a dual 55" LCD panels mounted back to back (one side touch-enabled, the other not).  This makes for a very thin profile (23.4mm) that looks very upscale.  Much thinner than mounting individual screens back to back.
  • Speaking of screens.  I was blown away by the Dynascan displays.  Anyone looking for exterior or store window displays should check out Dynascan.  Really nice stuff.
  • Word came out during the show that Google is entering the digital signage space via the Chromebox small form factor PCs that were recently launched.  So it looks like the Chrome OS will become another alternative to Windows.  Stay tuned on that one... Lots more to come.
  • Maybe I've been to too many of these shows but I didn't see anything that I would consider revolutionary.  Screens and projectors are getting brighter and sharper...  Software solutions continue to improve and add support for new technologies.  Wayfinding solutions are becoming more and more common. It will be interesting to see how things shape up until the next DSE.
  • Last but not least, congratulations go out to partner Seenspire who took home 3 content awards (one Silver, two Bronze).  These guys do great content.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Does Google Chromecast have a future in digital signage?

Google has recently opened up it's Chromecast streaming media player to third party developers via a new SDK and this could have a big impact in our industry.  Up until now, most of the big global software and hardware providers have stayed out of our sandbox (with the exception of Intel).  However, this move by Google could have significant implications for the digital signage and OOH sectors.

Most digital signage solutions have been moving towards low-cost playback devices.  We have seen Android and now Raspberry Pi devices that are priced around $100.  At $35, Google's Chromecast media player undercuts all existing solutions by a wide margin.  Now that any software developer can build and adapt their apps for this platform, how long before we start to see digital signage solutions that run on Chromecast?  After all, we already have apps that run on Samsung's Smart TVs.

If you are a software provider in the digital signage space, you should seriously consider supporting these hardware platforms.

Many have speculated about when we would see a major player like Apple or Google enter the digital signage space.  These companies may not have a direct interest in this market but the introduction of the Chromecast proves they can still have a big impact.  Digital signage may not be on their radar but their products will invariably end up in our space and they have the potential to be very disruptive.

Who knows what's coming next?  Next year's DSE may offer seminars on "Pushing targeted ads to the Apple iWatch".

Stay tuned!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Swiss based Navori to launch new Android player at ISE Amsterdam

Swiss based Navori SA will be launching their latest Android based digital signage player at the ISE show in Amsterdam.  The Navori QL StiX 3400 delivers native 1080p content and features HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). HDMI-CEC lets devices communicate together via the HDMI port so the QL-StiX can send commands to compatible screens, much like what you would expect from RS-232 on PC hardware.  The QL StiX 3400 promises enhanced performance and offers the same plug-and-play simplicity as Navori's original QL StiX 2400.

Navori has also announced the latest release of it's Navori QL CMS platform.  Version .28 offers several enhancements such as:

  • New player monitoring based on a series of predefined queries.  Administrators can create and store queries that users can call up to get a quick view of their player network status.
  •  New user rights have been added to the system.  It is now possible to restrict access to playlists (view only).
  • The software features a new add-on that lets users perform updates via USB key.  Great for Windows players that are deployed in locations lacking WiFi or LAN access.  Server based data feeds can also be deployed using the USB update method.
  • The QL Manager software application is now certified for deployments up to 50,000 players.

This latest release also features many other performance enhancements making it a great choice for all types of digital signage applications.

For more information, visit the Navori booth at ISE Amsterdam, Hall 8 stand 8K225.

Disclaimer:  Navori SA is both a client and a partner.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Could Dell's new compact Android device be a game changer?

Dell recently launched a new compact Android device under the Wyse Cloud Connect brand with an eye on the digital signage market.  Wyse is well known for it's thin client computing platform but this device's specs match what we've seen marketed by several digital signage companies in the past year.

We've seen lots of private labelled stuff coming out of China with various form factors.  This is the first "name brand" product with a big corporation behind it.  Dell is well known and respected in the corporate IT world and any digital signage solution running on this hardware platform would benefit greatly from Dell's reputation, it's technical support and service.

Pricing is on par with what we've seen with private labelled products so this is a very smart move from Dell and I think we'll see a lot of digital signage products running on this platform.  No need to take chances with generic or consumer grade hardware now that you can one of these devices for $130 US.

I think this will help accelerate the migration to Android devices for digital signage.

Can a Lenovo or HP device be far behind?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Startup displays power of nanotechnology

Startup displays power of nanotechnology

NanoShutters could be the next big thing for digital signage.  A startup in Kitchener, Ontario has created a new way of controlling the transparency of windows and mirrors using nanotechnology sandwiched between two thin, flexible sheets of plastic.  This film can be laid on surfaces and controlled remotely using a smartphone.  There are many applications including windows, bus shelters, office walls and partitions, store windows...  The list goes on.  Expect to see some actual products on the market using the NanoShutter technology in the near future.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's eve is a good time to reflect on the past and plan for the year ahead.    Besides the usual self-improvement goals (eat better, exercise more...) I also include professional goals. Things I should improve to better serve my clients.

What does this have to do with the picture above?    I snapped this shot at my local WalMart a few days before Christmas.  This screen stands out for all the wrong reasons.  This PC was caught rebooting, mid-day during one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

These should be part of someone's New Year resolutions:

  • Pay attention to details. 
  • Test and verify.  
  • Monitor and fix.  

I added them to my list.  Will you?