Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Internet innovation comes to Lake County in 2007

MIDDLETOWN – Over the past year, interesting technology innovators have reached out to Lake County. Their first stop? The "gateway to Lake County," Middletown.

In January, Althea Garner of Fountain Valley donated a Ryze Business Network to the town. The online network is called "Project-Middletown." It is free for anyone to join at http://middletownca-network.ryze.com.

Project-Middletown is a wondeful online resource. People from around the world, as well as folks in Middletown, use it. What do they use it for? Sharing information and solving problems. Here the transmission of email messages can be done without sharing actual email addresses. Messages can also be easily maintained online under a single thread identifying the topic being discussed. Using the network is easy, efficient and fast.

But, that is not all. Every Saturday Project-Middletown promotes business advertising four different ways - plain text, HTML (pictures), audio link (online radio spot) and video link (online TV spot). All FREE!

In September, local residents got an extra-special treat. It happened at the Middletown Area Business Association (MABA) mixer at the Middletown High School's Multi-Use Room. The three special guests for the monthly business mixer each gave an amazing slide show presentation.

Kevin Comora, president of Vizicast Multimedia, came up from Cotati and gave a presentation on digital signage. This form of advertising is something the local town hall has been interested in for some time. Comora actually showcased his multimedia magic using three well-known local businesses – Langtry Estates, Sylvie's and Ferguson Cutlery. You can still see it by visiting www.sftv.com and clicking the link, "Middletown, USA." Just be sure to download the "powered by Scala plug-in," first.

Joel Moss, supervisory special agent for the FBI, was next. Moss had come up from San Francisco to draw attention to Infragard. This is a special program designed to improve and extend information sharing between private industry and the government, particularly the FBI, when it comes to matters of national security. Anyone can join Infragard, provided a preliminary background check is passed. For more information about Infragard, visit www.infragard.net.

John Schuman, senior worldwide evangelist for Adobe Systems, gave the final presentation. His presentation featured Dreamweaver, the most famous Web design program in the world.

It is interesting to note that Schuman made a very special effort to be at this mixer. Earlier that day he flew from Las Angeles to Sacramento. From Sacramento, he rented a car and drove the two-hour jaunt to Middletown just to be involved in the MABA Mixer. Now, that's passion!

For "Christmas in Middletown," which took place Dec. 1, Brian Jacquet of Sling Media drove up from up from Walnut Creek to introduce the locals here to the wonders of "placeshifting." What does that mean? It means you can now take your home TV signal with you wherever you travel via a mobile wireless device (like a cell phone, laptop or PDA). All you really need is a Slingbox by Sling Media hooked up to your cable box at home.

Believe it or not, placeshifting via a mobile device even works at 25,000 feet while traveling in an airplane. For more about the Slingbox, visit www.slingmedia.com.

Following "Christmas in Middletown," a special request went out in this very publication for the sharing of Christmas wishes for the town. Thanks to Orb Networks of Emeryville, holiday greetings for Middletown from around the world can be heard on the "Merry Xmas Middletown" Channel. Just visit http://public.orb.com/lamarjmorgan.

What's on tap technology-wise for Middletown and the surrounding area in 2008?

Look for Crave Coffee House to open up a new location, this time in the Hardester Shopping Center in Hidden Valley Lake. Like the Crave Coffee House in Middletown, the new location will also be a WiFi hot spot.

Speaking of Wifi, the WiFi Co. of Colorado will be introducing free WiFi hot spots with splash page advertising to Lake County this coming year.

The Middletown Merchants have granted approval for an education committee. This committee may start holding weekly breakfast meetings beginning in the next few months at a local eatery featuring Skype conferences.

What is a Skype conference? It's an Internet phone call that can showcase video. And, if the Middletown Area Town Hall is successful in moving Middletown forward, digital signage may soon become a reality for ALL of Lake County. The process, of course, begins with Middletown.


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