Artificial Intelligence

“Terminator”, “the Matrix”, “iRobot”. These are 3 of my top 10 favorite movies and the common link between all of them is Artificial Intelligence. I have had an interest in Artificial Intelligence for as long as I can remember. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has existed in Hollywood for decades, but it is shocking how advanced it is becoming in the real world. We have all asked Google for directions to a restaurant, or we have asked it to look up the phone numbers for plumbers in our area, but thanks to Google Duplex we will soon be able to use Google’s AI technology for so much more. We can simply ask Google to schedule an oil change for Friday between 10 and noon. Google will then look up where you have gotten your oil changed previously, it will then automatically call that place of service on the phone and schedule the appointment for you. How good is it? The technology is so good that the person on the phone doesn’t even realize that they are speaking to a computer. In fact, in an effort to get ahead of some ethical and philosophical pitfalls, Google is going to have its AI system identify itself so that people know that they are not talking to an actual human. IBM has decided to take their AI technology one step further they have sent Watson to medical school. Watson has spent the past few years analyzing medical data, and at this point it is very close to being better and more efficient than an Oncologist at determining care paths for cancer patients. During recent...

Top Five Ways to Spring Clean Your Tech

With the warm days and fresh air arriving, spring cleaning is well underway. While decluttering closets and washing baseboards seem almost automatic this time of year, have you thought about tidying up your technology? If not, you’re not alone! At ReadiTech, technology is always top of mind so I’m here to pass along my top five musts for your spring cleaning. 1. Disable bloatware applications. Your cell phones and computers often come preloaded with many applications you do not use and do not need or bloatware applications. Go through the applications and programs installed and free up some much-needed space. 2. Unsubscribe to those mailing lists. We all know exactly what I’m talking about. You bought one thing, one time five years ago from a website and now you get a million unwanted emails about their sales and offers. Most of these emails come with an option to unsubscribe so you don’t receive them anymore. You can often find this option by opening the email and scrolling to the bottom. You’ll usually find it in small print, so look carefully. 3. Take the trash out. Speaking of email, you probably have more than you need! This is a great time to go through your email and delete any emails are not needing. Check your inbox, junk, trash, and sent folders. Delete what you don’t need and organize the remaining emails into descriptive folders. Checking your email is less overwhelming when it’s clean and organized. 4. Backup your valuable files. Whether it’s pictures of your family or important financial and tax records, we all have files we couldn’t bear to...

Five Reasons you need Door Access Control for your Business

Have you ever wondered who may have the keys to the front door of your business?  It can be kind of scary to think of who may have access to your assets, company records, and client information.  Because our security needs are always changing, maybe it’s time to consider a door access control system.  Below are just some of the reasons why you may want to purchase a system. Customizable Access History Remote Access Security Long Term Feasibility The basic role of a door access system is to keep unwanted guests out, while allowing hassle-free entrance to those who need it. As much as it would greatly simplify our world, businesses just aren’t run the same.  Everyone has a different idea of how they would like to keep their business secure.  If you want to have one person oversee your door access you can do it.  If you’d like to have a tiered approach, that is also very doable.  Another big customization is how the doors function.  Some prefer doors unlocked during certain time periods, or maybe just one door on its own schedule.  This again is easily accomplished. Our online software tracks and records all the activity on every door.  You can easily go back and see who came in your doors at 3am on a Sunday morning.  This can be used for tracking entry, but also used for payroll at the same time.  Remote access is a huge benefit so individuals no longer must travel to location to unlock or lock doors, easily done remotely saving time and money. Another benefit is having control of keys, wondering...

Signs of Summer

Spring has sprung, but at DRN & ReadiTech signs of summer are surfacing as we wrap up the interview process and make offers for our summer internships.  In 2001, DRN & ReadiTech created a summer internship program in our marketing department.  Fast forward seventeen years, our summer internship program is going strong and has grown into other areas of the business including operations, IT, and accounting. The benefits of the internship to the interns and DRN & ReadiTech are many.  The interns gain valuable experience and exposure to a professional working environment with the opportunity to apply what they are learning in real time, work scenarios.  DRN & ReadiTech provides mentorship to the interns and helps them develop the skills they are acquiring at school and an employment opportunity that allows them to come “home” for the summer.  DRN & ReadiTech also has the unique opportunity to potentially see the interns return in the future for full time employment opportunities.  In 2015, we realized this benefit when a previous marketing intern returned to DRN & ReadiTech for full time employment.  Others have gained employment in the industry as well.  One DRN & ReadiTech intern went on to work for the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association and another began their career after graduation at a North Dakota sister cooperative. Further supporting the many benefits, a Gallup Blog titled “Why Colleges Should Make Internships a Requirement”, shows recent graduates who graduated from 2002-2016 who had a relevant job or internship while in school were more than twice as likely to acquire a good job immediately after graduation. More than 42% of the...

Why Everyone Should have a Firewall

The Internet can be a scary place.  You have probably heard the news about all the data that has been compromised from Facebook user accounts.  Even if you don’t use Facebook or social media of any kind you should still have a firewall.  It is important to know what the firewall can do and what it will not do. It is imperative to change the default password that the firewall has when it comes out of the box. A firewall protects your network from unwanted Internet traffic from coming inside your personal network.  Firewalls filter the information passed between your computer and the Internet which then either allows safe traffic through or blocks unsafe traffic.  For instance, a firewall will block unauthorized remote access to your computer. It will not block remote control apps used by technology companies or spammers that you give permission to remote control your computer.  Many scammers will have a pop up message that says your computer has been infected and to call a specific number.  Once you call they will ask to remote into your PC and do more damage and possibly steal information.  It is very important that you trust who you give remote access.  Some firewalls even have software built-in to allow them to act as content filters.  Content filters can protect you from specific file extensions, or specific website content or webpages which may be harmful. It is very important that you change the default password on your router or firewall.  Every model of firewall uses the same default username and password, which is very easy to obtain with a quick...

Your Personal Information is Safe With Us

No matter what you use for a news source, you hear or read about data breaches on a daily basis.  This past week, the news has been filled with stories about Facebook and how it allowed a third party data collection agency to gather and use information about its Facebook users. According to Breach Level Index, there have been 9,740,567,988 data records lost or stolen since 2013.  That equates to 59 records every second! In today’s world, it is not a matter of if a business or individual will be affected by a security breach but when. ReadiTech has several measures in place to protect the cooperatives data information as well as that of its customers.  And, we adopted a mindset that fundamentally changes the way we protect our organization.  This mindset is that cyber security is real and an ongoing project, one where we have to always be preparing for potential attacks and data breaches. Today, I would like to address how we use the data we collect from our customers. ReadiTech is compliant with the FCC rules and regulations regarding the collection of Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI).  Federal law allows us to use the information from your current records to market and advise you of new products and services that may satisfy your communication needs, unless you notify us otherwise. The information we collect or have access to regarding your services, address, phone numbers, date of birth, social security number, etc., is confidential.  Not only is it the law, but it also our duty to protect that information.  We do not share nor sell any of...