Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

Category: Technology (page 1 of 3)

Emojis, Emoticons, and Acronyms: Be Careful – The Meaning is in the Eyes of the Recipient…or Judge…or Jury

I recall the first informal use of an acronym I received in a business communication.  It was the summer of 2011 and I was working on a lawsuit where opposing counsel sent me an email that ended with “LOL”.  I was quite disturbed because although we had a congenial relationship, I thought it was a bit much for opposing counsel to close the email with “Lots of Love.”  I immediately printed out the email and took it to the attorney in charge of our office and explained my concern.  After laughing out loud, he told me that is exactly what “LOL” means.  Although I was embarrassed to display how far behind I was with communicating in the 21st century, part of me has always thought that my interpretation wasn’t that ridiculous.  In fact, in preparing this article, I did some quick research and found that today, “LOL” can mean “Laughing out Loud”, “Lots of Love”, and “Lesbian On-Line”.

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Using Social Media to Evaluate Potential Employees

Let’s assume that you have an opening at your firm for an open position.  You have screened the resumes submitted and narrowed the field of potential candidates to six.  You can easily Google each candidate and see what information is available on the internet about each, which might help you further narrow the field.   A study from CareerBuilder shows that 70 percent of employers now use social media to screen job candidates before hiring, up from 60 percent a year ago and 11 percent in 2006.  Should you?

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Is Anyone Listening? Your Virtual Assistant is.

Virtual assistant are flooding the marketplace.  There is Amazon’s Alexa, the Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot.  There is also Google Home/Google, Siri, Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby.   Last week, we learned that Amazon and Microsoft have been working together to make Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other because they recognize the future importance of virtual assistants.

Voice-assisted technology makes life easier.  For example, Google Home can control thermostats, appliances, lights and security systems.  You could leave your office and command that all lights turn off and the temperature change.  Alexa can play music during the work day, accessing Prime, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Tunein.  Google Home can perform research through a Google search.  By using these devices, however, you are exposed to privacy risks because they are listening for voice data and transmitting it to third parties.

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What You Need to Know About Wearables

Wearable technology was once limited to athletes and medical practices, but in recent years, it has become almost ubiquitous for both personal and professional use.  Sales of wearable devices generated $3.5 billion in 2014, and that amount is expected to quadruple by 2019.  Wearable technology has massive potential for the construction industry, but before you implement it, carefully consider the potential risks.

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4 Emerging Technologies That Can Benefit Your Firm

It is an exciting time for design and construction professionals.  In the last few years, innovations in technology have emerged that are rapidly changing the way that you work, and will continue to shape the industry for future projects.  Here are a few of these emerging tools and how they can benefit your business.

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