Monday, January 21, 2019
Friday, January 11, 2019
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Power of a Positive Attitude
You oversleep. You get a flat tire. You spill your coffee. You get a parking ticket. You lose your keys. Your list of to-dos is a mile long. You’re tired, frustrated, and a little bit hangry.
…I’ve been there.
There was a day when I woke up two hours late for my job… don’t ask me how I managed that. And when I was ONE turn away from work, I saw the lights behind me.
So I pulled over and began to tear up as the officer came up and asked me where I was headed. I looked to my right and pointed towards work. I was so close. So, so close.
I almost let those emotions determine my day. I was frustrated and flustered at first, and I allowed my feelings to flood my mind. That day could have been horrible from that point on if I allowed it to be. I could’ve been moping and wallowing in frustration even longer as I explained to my boss what happened and continued to carry out all my tasks for the day.
But I didn’t.
Yes, those things happened, but they didn’t define me. My attitude allowed me to enjoy the day and smile and laugh and joke even more than usual.
Your attitude is what determines your day. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. The small things in life don’t need to be worried and stressed about so much. The alarm can be fixed. The tire can be replaced. The coffee can be refilled. The parking ticket can be paid. The keys can be found. The to-dos can get to-done. You can get sleep. You can get some food. Maybe a Snickers to satisfy.
Your life is great. You just have to allow it to be.
People don’t make you angry - you allow the anger to dwell within you. Circumstances don’t upset you - you allow yourself to get upset. You choose to worry, you choose to criticize, you choose to blame, and you choose to complain. No one else decides this for you.
You can’t be moving up if your thoughts are bringing you down.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your way of thinking about it. Redirect your attitude. Remember that life is a gift - don’t ruin the contents. Choosing positive thinking provides you with confidence, vibrant health, and true beauty.
Your last day could be tomorrow - choose to live to the fullest each day and live with the attitude you’d want to be remembered for. Remain fixed on the good. See your problems as opportunities. When you keep your face to the sunshine you can’t see the shadows.
Count your blessings
There are so many good things in your life. Look at the blue sky, watch the sunset, go for a good run, have some ice cream. Be thankful for your family. Be thankful for a home. Be thankful for food. There are people worse off than you.
See the good
Bring out the best in people. Bring out the best in situations. Don’t assume. Don’t judge. You can’t control people or circumstances, but you can control your attitude. You can think positively and be light to others.
View setbacks as stepping stones
Don’t get frustrated when things don’t go your way. God knows what He’s doing, and He’s placing the right things in your life. When something doesn’t go according to plan, trust that there’s a better one. You are being moved. Believe in that.
Pray for a positive attitude each day. Pray to recognize your blessings and see the good. Pray for others. Pray to have faith.
Such a simple thing. Smiles are contagious, so shine those pearly whites. Smile at strangers, smile at your friends, smile at your dog. It could make someone’s day.
Having the right attitude will fill you with energy and peace. Be a light to those around you. Redirect your mind. Today is your day if you allow it to be.
Copy right Madison Bloker/boundblessing
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
With surgery and modern technology, Operation Smile gives hope and dignity to children
Jun 4, 2018
Kids in the Philippines threw rocks and slurs at a 6-year-old boy when he tried to go to school. In Madagascar, an 8-year-old girl was shunned by her village and abandoned by her mother, who couldn’t overcome the stigma of her daughter’s condition. In Morocco, a 12-year-old girl hid in shame at home, so no one could see her face.
All three children had a cleft condition, a birth defect that disfigures one in every 500 to 750 babies worldwide. They endured cruelty and isolation for years until a surgery by Operation Smile profoundly changed their lives.
Since its founding in 1982, the global nonprofit has provided free and safe surgeries in low- and middle-income countries for more than 270,000 children and young adults with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. For many patients, surgery is a first step to a happier life in a long road of multiple surgeries, orthodontia, speech therapy and psychological care – all provided by the nonprofit.
A 6-year-old boy in the Philippines with a cleft condition collects recyclables for money. Before surgery, he was often bullied. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Jörgen Hildebrandt)
After surgery, the boy in the Philippines (white shirt) was able to return to school. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Jörgen Hildebrandt)
“The work we do is about the restoration of dignity. It’s really borne out of compassion,” says Chris Bryant, senior vice president of enterprise applications and technology at Operation Smile.
“We believe that every child, every person has dignity, but children born with cleft lip or cleft palate suffer from repeated violations of their personal dignity. We exist as an organization because there is a straightforward and safe way to fix that.” Untreated cleft conditions can also lead to malnutrition, hearing loss, dental problems and speech difficulties.
Last fiscal year, Operation Smile conducted medical missions in 28 countries with 3,700 medical volunteers who provided surgical, dental, post-operative care and screenings in 415,000 patient interactions. Many patients and families travel days to reach a mission site, sometimes crossing rivers barefoot or walking hours from a remote village, just for a chance at transformative surgery. About 21,000 screened patients get surgical or dental care a year.
An 8-year-old girl and her father in Madagascar walk two hours to an Operation Smile mission site for surgery to repair her severe cleft condition. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Zute Lightfoot)
To ensure high-quality work that reaches as many people as possible, Operation Smile runs a tight ship with the help of modern cloud technologies from Microsoft Philanthropies. It uses SharePoint to manage the complex logistics of missions, which include large teams of international volunteers, medical trainings, patient care and surgical evaluations.
“Mission planning requires a tremendous amount of coordination,” Bryant says. “We used to do it on paper or in discrete documents and it was difficult at best. Today we use SharePoint to efficiently corral all the information and share it across the globe in a secure and consistent manner.”
Azure’s global data centers help ensure that patient data is securely stored in compliance with local privacy laws, whether a mission is in the highlands of Honduras or the tropics of India. And a new solution with SharePoint and Power BI has enabled Operation Smile to evaluate surgeries faster.
Evaluations, which compare pre- and post-operative photos, used to take four months, but the digital solution has cut that time in half, making feedback quicker in helping plastic surgeon volunteers deliver the best possible care. Power BI analytics at country, mission and surgeon levels also have the potential to ultimately inform the most effective techniques in repairing specific cleft conditions.
“We want to achieve the optimal surgical result,” says Bryant. “The new evaluation system reduces process latency and has quickly become a key component of our strategy to confirm consistent delivery of quality results.”
Patient screening at an Operation Smile mission in India. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Kieran Harnett)
A mother and her baby in Rwanda before surgery. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Margherita Mirabella)
“The work we do is about the restoration of dignity. It’s really borne out of compassion.” – Chris Bryant, Operation Smile
The nonprofit wants to accelerate evaluations even more by exploring artificial intelligence to analyze photos with a facial modeling algorithm and possibly the AI-powered Microsoft Pix camera app. And it wants to double the number of surgeries it can provide.
“Scaling at this level is not just about doubling our staff,” Bryant says of Operation Smile’s 300 global employees. “We have to be smarter in how we execute missions, fundraise and utilize resources. Leveraging Microsoft technology is an important part of our strategy to extend our reach and help more children.”
The software is part of Microsoft Philanthropies’ Tech for Social Impact program, which empowers nonprofits and humanitarian organizations with technology to advance their missions. With recognition that many nonprofits have limited IT staff, the program provides solutions and resources that help nonprofits innovate new ways to tackle global issues.
Oscar Camino Toledo looks at childhood photos with his mother, Maria Maribel Toledo, in Bogotá, Colombia. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Rohanna Mertens)
“We’re dedicated to making the benefits of world-class cloud technology accessible to nonprofits and delivering solutions with our partners that help them achieve greater mission impact,” says Erik Arnold, CTO of Microsoft Tech for Social Impact.
The work has helped Operation Smile support families like Maria Maribel Toledo and her son, who was born with a cleft lip in Bogotá, Colombia. Maribel was 17 at the time and the only person who didn’t think the situation was tragic was her 15-year-old sister.
“She thought the baby looked cute, so she convinced me to see him again [in the hospital] and cuddle with him,” says Maribel, who had sobbed at the thought of her baby suffering a miserable life.
But seven surgeries and 23 years later, her son – Oscar Camino Toledo – has become a vibrant college student who plays soccer, loves bodybuilding and will graduate next year with a bachelor’s degree in bilingual education.
“Without exaggerating, I have Operation Smile to thank for almost everything in my life,” Camino says. “They were there by my side all the time, through the treatment and into my social integration.”
Oscar Camino Toledo with a cleft lip as a baby. (Family photo)
He’s grateful for the surgeries, speech therapy, orthodontia and emotional support, which his family couldn’t have afforded alone. He now wants to help other kids with cleft conditions – kids like the 12-year-old Moroccan girl who once hid at home and now attends school after surgery gave her a new smile.
Similarly, the shunned 8-year-old girl in Madagascar also went back to school – and giggled for the first time with classmates – after an Operation Smile surgery fixed a severe cleft lip. And the bullied 6-year-old boy in the Philippines proudly called himself “handsome” after seeing his repaired face in the mirror.
Oscar Camino Toledo with mother Maria Maribel Toledo in Colombia. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Rohanna Mertens)
“I want children with cleft lip to know my story and see me as an example,” says Camino. “I would say to them not to be afraid and join Operation Smile because it is worth it. They gave me the tools and motivation to improve my life, to live a life with higher quality.”
To learn more, read “A Nonprofit Guide to Empowering Employees” by Microsoft Tech for Social Impact and Operation Smile.
Lead photo: A girl shunned by her Madagascan village because of her cleft condition holds a photo of herself before surgery. (Photo courtesy of Operation Smile, Zute Lightfoot)
© Microsoft 2018
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
AT&T plans to expand reach of 5G, AT&T Fiber, and G.fast
January 8, 2018
By Sara K. Madden
AT&T says it anticipates launching mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018, alongside its plans to expand the reach of AT&T Fiber for consumers and businesses, and of G.fast. AT&T's plans include becoming the first U.S. company to launch mobile 5G service in a dozen markets by late 2018, the company attests. With AT&T being a driving force for standards acceleration in 2017, the company expects its 5G services to be based on 5G industry standards.
In December 2017, 3GPP, the international wireless standards body, finished crucial elements of 5G new radio (NR) standards as a result of that acceleration. Hardware, chipset, and device manufacturers can begin expediting development since these specifications are now available, enabling AT&T to deliver mobile 5G services.
In addition to the company's plans to provide mobile 5G to consumers, AT&T says it should trial 5G technology with various sized businesses. Last January, the company announced that initial lab trials of 5G demonstrated support of 14-Gbps transmission, and latency of less than 3 ms (see "AT&T outlines 5G, other broadband plans"). AT&T plans to use 5G technology to help businesses throughout several industries evolve business operations and improve customers experiences in 2018.
According to AT&T, its focus on 5G does not mean it will neglect other technologies. Currently, AT&T has over 8 million business customer locations in the U.S. either on or within 1,000 feet of AT&T Fiber. Based on the number of fiber to the home (FTTH) households using publicly available data for major fiber providers in its footprint, AT&T will bring its 100% fiber network to Amarillo, TX, Beaumont, TX, Evansville, IN, Gainesville, FL, Panama City, FL, Springfield, MO, Waco, TX, and other new metros areas, says the company.
AT&T says that in 2017 it reached over 7 million locations throughout 67 metros across the nation with its ultra-fast low-latency internet service powered by AT&T Fiber (see "AT&T Fiber network reaches five new metro areas"). In 2018 AT&T plans to add 3 million additional locations as it works toward reaching a minimum of 12.5 million locations across at least 82 metro areas by the middle of 2019.
Additionally, AT&T says it plans to offer a new internet option of varying speeds to consumers in apartment communities in an additional 14 metro areas, and to launch G.fast to apartment communities within its 21-state footprint in 2018.
In August 2017, AT&T began offering internet speeds up to 500 Mbps with G.fast for multifamily properties throughout eight metro service areas beyond its 21-state footprint (see "AT&T begins G.fast rollout in 22 metro markets"). With G.fast, AT&T ways it will continue to provide residents in existing multifamily properties ultra-high speed internet connection without placing new home run inside wire, allowing for an efficient upgrade of apartment buildings to stream live video on DIRECTV NOW.
Finally, the company plans to continue network advancements with 5G Evolution technology in hundreds of new metro areas, alongside launching mobile 5G in 2018.
Friday, July 13, 2018
AT&T’s Investment in Magic Leap Focused on Distribution, Content, Network and Technology
AT&T* is announcing a strategic, exclusive U.S. consumer relationship and investment with Magic Leap, developer of proprietary spatial computing and experiential platforms. The agreement combines Magic Leap’s focus on transformational technology and products with AT&T’s innovative network and distribution to usher in a new kind of contextually aware, intelligent, human-computer interactivity.
“AT&T is excited to pair our pioneering technologies, unmatched network, content platform, and vast customer ecosystem with Magic Leap’s efforts to build the next generation of computing,” said AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan, who has observer rights with Magic Leap’s board. “We’re designing and offering the future of entertainment and connectivity, and this exclusive arrangement – in combination with our 5G leadership position – will open up new opportunities and experiences.”
Magic Leap’s debut product, Magic Leap One, Creator Edition, is a lightweight, wearable computer that will enrich real world experience with digital content and is scheduled to ship later this year to qualified designers and developers.
“We’ve joined with AT&T because we believe in a combined vision of expanding high-speed networks, edge computing, and deep integration with creative content,” said Rony Abovitz, Founder, President and CEO of Magic Leap. “Coupling the strength of the evolving AT&T network with Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform can transform computing experiences for people.”
This relationship establishes AT&T as the exclusive wireless distributor of Magic Leap products for consumers in the U.S. When available for consumers, AT&T customers will be among the first to experience it in select AT&T stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, with more markets to follow.
*About AT&T Communications
We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation’s largest and most reliable network and the nation’s best network for video streaming.** We’re building FirstNet just for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve over 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.
AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.
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**Coverage not available everywhere. Based on overall coverage in U.S. licensed/roaming areas. Reliability based on voice and data performance from independent 3rd party data.