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At the Corner of Work and Home: How Influential Are Your Smart Devices?

by ‎09-27-2011 03:55 PM - edited ‎09-27-2011 03:55 PM

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My colleague Stefanie Scott continues her ongoing look at the future of work, or perhaps more accurately, the future of the work “place.”

 

Her most recent interviews with professionals who work at the office, home, on the road – anywhere really – examines employer attitudes about managing employees who work from home.

 

We’ve examined here at Verizon At Home how technology has helped employers feel more comfortable with mobile employees and how consumers have impacted the tools companies use to get work done.

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American families are using more and more broadband-enabled devices, including game consoles, IP-based TVs, smartphones, PCs, notebooks and tablets to make life’s daily juggle easier.

 

In fact, families not only have more devices in their homes, they’re also using them simultaneously, creating greater demands on the home’s broadband network.  Broadband, and specifically Fiber to the Home broadband like that of Verizon’s FiOS, is shifting how families connect and consume entertainment and information.

 

On Wednesday, Sept. 28, you’re invited to join our next ‘Meet the Expert’ real-time chat with Ann Shaub, one of our passionate directors of product management.

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9/11 Tapped Nation’s Innovative Spirit

by Employee ‎09-09-2011 04:47 PM - edited ‎09-09-2011 05:18 PM

th_Flag_statue_of_Liberty_jpg.jpgOn Fridays, I’m often blogging about how technology is changing the world.  There are times, however, when world events change technology. 

 

The terrorist attack on American on Sept. 11, 2001, was an event that has pushed forward the boundaries of technology.  Several news stories appeared this week that give unique insight into these 9/11-driven technology advancements that emerged from the shadows of tragedy. 

 

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My goodness, Apple sure seems to have trouble keeping track of its stuff.     

 

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This week, two men pled not guilty to charges of taking an iPhone 4 prototype an Apple engineer left in a German beer garden in Redwood City, Calif., and then selling it to gadget blog Gizmodo for $5,000.  Now we’re hearing that another Apple employee recently lost an iPhone prototype at the Cava22 bar inSan Francisco.  The phone ended up being sold for a mere $200 on Craigslist.  This prototype has yet to be recovered and the San Francisco Police are in hot pursuit.

 

But wait, there’s more!  Apple’s also looking to recover a prototype of a 3G MacBook that somehow made its way onto Craigslist, Ebay and even to an Apple Genius Bar for repair. 

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weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgThis week brought the news that Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO of Apple, most likely because of worsening health issues.  A flood of news coverage ensued, and sometimes seemed sadly like a eulogy.  But it’s altogether appropriate that the media is lauding Jobs for his countless achievements, and as a man who made an indelible mark not just on technology, but on culture as well.  From the first MAC computer and MacBook, to all the i-Devices (iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad), a steady stream of technology that’s changed the world was delivered by Apple under Jobs’ leadership.

 

I highly recommend this CNN story that concisely and poignantly outlines Jobs’ career and, more important, some of his philosophy on life and work.  CNET News also carries a nice compendium of videos that illustrate Jobs’ charisma and natural salesmanship. There’s also a good look at Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook, here.

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A Better World Through Technology

by Employee ‎08-19-2011 01:01 PM - edited ‎08-22-2011 12:51 PM

weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgI marvel every day at how technology makes my life easier and better.  As a boomer who grew up in the 60’s, things like cell phones, the Internet and even HD TV still seem miraculous at times.

 

What’s really cool is when the power of technology gets aimed at a societal issue and ends up making the world a better place.  I ran across three news stories this week that illustrated the amazing good technology can generate.

 

A startling military statistic has generated a massive shift toward energy conservation and clean energy gadgets on the battlefield.  One out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraqwas the result of protecting fuel convoys.  So, to reduce fuel convoys to protect lives … and to relieve fighting forces of heavy batteries and tanker trucks that slow them down … the military is becoming a major purchaser of clean energy gadgets and investor in projects like experimental solar-powered desert bases.

 

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Amazing Apps and an Iconic Birthday

by Employee ‎08-12-2011 03:32 PM - edited ‎08-12-2011 03:33 PM

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I love applications that inspire creativity and help create joy.  The Toontastic app is one.  It lets young children create animated cartoons that they can narrate themselves, using their own artwork, stock art or a combination of both.  This summer, kids all over the world used the app to create stories about their summer vacations, which were then entered into a contest sponsored by Launchpad Toys, designer of the app.  You can view and vote on your favorite of the top 10 stories here.  The winner gets a Lego Space Shuttle set.  How cool is that? 

 

Ever-helpful New York Times tech guru David Pogue offers up a collection of apps this week for the summer air traveler.

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Retro Tech

by Employee on ‎08-05-2011 01:30 PM

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For some reason I’ve felt a bit nostalgic lately, so this week’s blog is not so much about how technology is moving us forward, but rather how it can also reacquaint us with things from the past.

 

Take Snail Mail My Email, for instance.  Email, instant messaging, Facebook and the like have all contributed to the demise of the hand-written letter.  While it’s great to communicate quickly and easily, something is lost along the way.  The thought, effort and craftsmanship of a handwritten note deliver a different emotional experience than our often soulless e-communications.  San Francisco-based designer Ivan Cash founded Snail Mail My Email to bring some old-fashioned hand-written letter joy back into our lives.  

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Get Your Game On for Summer Learning

by Employee ‎08-04-2011 09:44 AM - edited ‎08-04-2011 09:48 AM

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Guest post from Al Browne, the national director and vice president of education and technology for the Verizon Foundation. Al is responsible for the foundation’s Education and Technology initiatives and focuses on how technology and effective partnerships can advance education in America. 

 

By Al Browne

 

It’s almost the end of summer vacation and, if you’re like me, you may wonder: “How much of my kids’ educational experience also is taking a vacation?”  All young people experience learning loss when they don’t engage in educational activities during the summer, according to the National Summer Learning Association.

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Heat Wave

by Employee ‎07-29-2011 10:14 AM - edited ‎07-29-2011 10:17 AM

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It’s summer and many U.S.cities are sweltering in record-high heat.  This can mean increased danger for tragic deaths of children who are sometimes accidentally left in the back seat by distracted parents. 

 

Matt Richtel of The New York Times writes this week about Department of Transportation hearings that will address how technology could come to the rescue and save children’s lives.  In an era when cars can park themselves, alert drivers who drift off to sleep and practically wash your dishes at the same time, it only makes sense that technology could be used to alert a driver who has left a child behind in the car.  Of course, aware and educated drivers are also a huge part of the solution, and the DOT will be looking at those issues as well.  Would you make use of this kind of technology?

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Apples, Owls and X-Rays

by Employee on ‎07-22-2011 01:21 PM

weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgApple got a lot of attention last spring when it opened a “pop up store” during the South by Southwest festival in Austin.  The instant storefront was mobbed by festival-goers and locals with a burning desire to get their hands on the latest i-stuff.

 

If you’re in China, however, it’s a case of buyer beware.  Pop up “Apple Stores” are showing up there, but with a twist. They’re knock offs.  Evidently some of the employees in these fake stores don’t even realize that they’re 1) not really working for Apple and 2) that they’re selling lookalike smartphones, tablets and other Apple-like paraphernalia or, worse yet, illegally obtained genuine articles. 

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It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane … It’s a Cloud

by Employee ‎07-21-2011 01:25 PM - edited ‎07-21-2011 01:40 PM

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Editor’s Note: Nitin Khanna has led development initiatives for Verizon Digital Media Services, and products such as FiOS TV Widgets and Verizon Hub. He’s a regular Dallas-area volunteer teaching children computer programming skills.

 

By Nitin Khanna

 

A friend of mine tweeted recently, “I lost my all old pics ... feeling like my memory is swept out.”

I know how he felt. When writing my first draft of this blog, my computer crashed, and my notepad does not auto-save or recover.  :smileysad:

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weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgOK, I’ll admit it.  My memory’s not as good as it used to be.  Typically I’ll blame my forgetfulness on my advancing age.  But now there’s an even better excuse.  I’ll blame it on Google.

 

A study of Columbia University students (who I’m sure are utterly brilliant) released this week suggests that our increasing dependence on Internet searches is changing the nature of human memory – specifically “transactive memory.”  Think of transactive memory as a kind of external hard drive for your brain.  It’s your mom, your co-worker, your trivia-loving best friend – the people you’d ask Meredith to call if you got stumped on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”  It’s all about the stuff you don’t have to remember because you know someone else will.

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And the Winner Is …

by Employee ‎07-14-2011 04:53 PM - edited ‎07-14-2011 05:05 PM

winnerbig.JPGThis spring, Verizon ran a contest to honor the many “mompreneurs” across the country. We asked small business owners who are mothers to shoot a video or write an essay about a day in their lives. Verizon's Hardest Working Small Biz Mom contest was open to both Verizon and Verizon wireless customers, and we received wonderful entries from across the country.

 

Many of the women who entered the contest have a home-business or started their business in their home.  The stories they shared were very inspiring – how each was able to care for her kids, family, their business and more.

 

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Video Cameras: On the Case and in Your Face(book)

by Employee ‎07-08-2011 03:01 PM - edited ‎07-08-2011 03:12 PM

weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgI’m tempted to say that if you live under a rock, or in a cave, you may have missed the onslaught of news coverage of the Casey Anthony trial verdict this week.  But I won’t, since you’d probably have your smartphone or tablet with you anywhere you live.

 

Yes, most of us have overdosed on the trial and those who haven’t just want to stop hearing about it.  I’d be remiss in not mentioning the trial in this blog, however, for one reason.  It’s widely being referred to as the “first social media trial,” due to the amplification of every minute of the proceedings, not only through traditional news media, but also though social media channels.

 

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Connecting the Dots in Digital Media Distribution

by ‎07-06-2011 12:34 PM - edited ‎07-06-2011 12:35 PM

Puneet Kalia.JPGEditor’s Note: Puneet Kalia has led product design and development initiatives for Verizon Digital Media Services, and products such as Digital Assistant and FiOS TV Widgets. He’s a self-described computer geek.

 

By Puneet Kalia

 

There has been a great paradigm shift to digital media in last few years. Different techniques and various media-enabled devices like cell phones, tablets, PCs, and gaming consoles are streaming high quality content, and from the looks of it the trend is just getting started.

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Pop Stars, Sonar and Dunbar

by Employee ‎07-01-2011 02:08 PM - edited ‎07-01-2011 02:30 PM

weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgPop Quiz!

 

“We used to enjoy searching for the singers we love, but we’re entering into an era where we’ll just create them.” 

 

Does this quote refer to:

  1. The emergence of shows like American Idol and The Voice?
  2. The use of recording studio tools like Auto Tune to provide anyone with great singing chops?
  3. Computer graphics and holograms replacing human pop stars?
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Private Eyes, Public Eyes

by Employee on ‎06-24-2011 10:17 AM

weeklyroundup.jpgLast year we all got a big laugh when veteran actress Betty White joked in her Saturday Night Live hosting monologue that Facebook “sounds like a huge waste of time.”  After all, it was a Facebook campaign that landed her the hosting gig.

 

This week Facebook was no joke for a Cindy Lincoln in Florida.  She claims it saved her life.  Read this news story about how folding laundry led to a fall, which led to a broken femur, which led to Facebook to the rescue.  (I think maybe the real lesson here is it’s always a great idea to carry a cell phone with you when you’re home alone.)

 

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Better Living Through Technology

by Employee on ‎06-17-2011 02:24 PM

weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgOne part of life that’s been significantly enhanced by technology in recent years is customer service.  Verizon is a big business that’s put the power of technology in customers’ hands to create a better service experience – like our online tool that lets you build your own bundle, our In-Home Agent self-service tool, the verizon.com/support and My Verizon portals and more.  This week the New York Times features some small businesses that are doing big things for customers through technology.  I especially liked that Great Clips has an online check-in option that lets you see how long the wait is at various locations.  Very cool!

 

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Testing a New Service that Puts Your Home in Your Pocket

by on ‎06-13-2011 09:21 AM - last edited on ‎06-14-2011 12:07 PM by Employee

ann.JPGEditor’s Note: Guest blogger Ann Shaub is a director of product management at Verizon. A busy working mother, she helps lead the Verizon team working to bring Verizon’s new Home Monitoring and Control service to residential customers in 12 states and theDistrict of Columbia.

 

By: Ann Shaub

 

In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing from some of the 50 Verizon employees testing our new Home Monitoring & Control service in their New Jersey homes. Apartments, single- and multiple-family homes, different home Internet speeds – we chose a wide variety of user scenarios to confirm real-world results.

 

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Games, Guitars and Going Green

by Employee ‎06-10-2011 02:38 PM - edited ‎06-10-2011 03:21 PM

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The massive gaming conference, E3, was held this week in Los Angeles.  I’ve attended this show before and it’s a mostly-enjoyable assault to the senses.  CNN has a quick video that gives a taste of it all, for those of us who missed it this year.  Just remember, all you online gamers, that the speed, reliability and latency of the network you play on can be the difference between defeat and victory.

 

If you’re more into smartphone games than single shooters, check out Seth Schiesel’s New York Times story on what he considers the best games for phones, and the best phones for games.  

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Did You Know? June 8 is World IPv6 Day

by ‎06-07-2011 06:00 PM - edited ‎06-07-2011 04:58 PM

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If you’re not already wearing it, time to put your geek party hat on. After all, June 8 is World IPv6 Day and a global one-day event is taking place on the World Wide Web.

 

Many of you have probably heard of IPv6 by now and those with their hats on know that IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol version 6, the new Internet addressing system meant to succeed IPv4, the current addressing system that is running dry of addresses.

 

One obvious question: What ever happened to IPv5 and why didn’t it get its own day?  Turns out, number 5 – also called Internet Stream Protocol – was developed more than 30 years ago, but never caught on and was eventually left sitting on the side of the information superhighway.  

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Beer, Dropouts, Thieves … and the Wonders of the Milky Way

by Employee ‎06-03-2011 03:37 PM - edited ‎06-03-2011 03:38 PM

weekly_RoundUp_AtHome.jpgIt’s the graduation season again and college seniors are now casting their fates to a deflated job market.  The software developers and engineers among them might want to check out San Francisco-based start-up Hipster.  The local-destination-discovery online business is recruiting in a way sure to catch a frat boy’s eye -- $10,000 and a year’s supply of free beer for certain new recruits, or to those who refer candidates who get hired.  Let’s give Hipster an A for creativity, but perhaps an F for setting up youngsters for a drinking problem. 

 

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Gadgets Make Life Easier; Soldiers Keep Us Free

by Employee ‎05-27-2011 01:05 PM - edited ‎05-27-2011 01:07 PM

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Shopaholics rejoice!  The folks at Google announced this week that they’ll make our purchasing easier than ever with a “digital wallet” service.  The wallet allows you to pay for purchases and receive coupons by simply waiving your Android smartphone in front of a special reader at the checkout counter.  Even cooler, eventually they say you can add gift cards to the wallet.  I’m one of those people who tucks my gift cards into a kitchen drawer and then immediately forgets they exist.  Google executives say “eventually you’ll be able to put everything in your wallet.”  Awesome!  I’m not too worried about this leading to me buying more stuff, but it sure will make purchases easier.  Would you use a digital wallet?

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No Crystal Balls Needed: The Future Looks Incredibly Bright

by ‎05-24-2011 09:35 AM - edited ‎05-24-2011 10:06 AM

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Products often get the star treatment in our industry, but quite frankly, the experiences you have with us are only as good as the network you are on.

 

As I like to tell my neighbors, Verizon’s networks help people stay connected with the people they care about while using a wide-range of digital devices including PCs, netbooks, TVs, cell phones and tablets.

 

But while the number of Internet-connected devices we use grows, we feel very confident that the way we’ve built and manage our enterprise, wireless and wireline networks will keep you and me motoring along smoothly.

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Flights of Fancy

by Employee ‎05-20-2011 09:00 AM - edited ‎05-20-2011 09:20 AM

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As the shuttle Endeavour took off this week on its final journey into space, the gadgets, gizmos and technology associated with NASA were nearly overshadowed by the poignant human interest story around Commander Mark Kelly and his wife, Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  But, despite continuing debates over the relevance of space exploration, the technology truly did continue to dazzle. 

 

From a $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (basically a massive magnet that seeks out invisible dark matter) to tiny postage-stamp-sized satellites, Endeavour carried a payload that will further the world’s knowledge of the universe – how it was made and where it may take us.  To top it all off, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told ABC News that we intend to explore “deep space.”  Now this is where my inner geek got excited, because one of my favorite TV shows of all time is Deep Space Nine.  Once again, science fiction becomes fact!

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Tech Makes Studying and Exercise … Fun?

by Employee ‎05-13-2011 02:41 PM - edited ‎05-13-2011 02:42 PM

 

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It’s the time of year that strikes fear into many a high-schooler’s young heart – studying for the June SAT or ACT college admissions tests. 


Technology has come to the rescue with a multitude of online applications that make standardized test studying nearly as fun and interactive as texting and game playing.  Bob Tedeschi of the New York Times gives an informative run-down of several online study apps that today’s screen-addicted teen should look into. From interactive, 3-D “flash cubes” (remember those dull, old flash cards of old?), competitive games and tips on pre-programming your Texas Instruments calculator for complex math equations, there’s a lot of great and inexpensive ways for students to harness technology to make sure they’re  prepared for the dreaded test days.

 

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Get Discounts and More with Verizon Perks

by ‎05-10-2011 12:14 PM - edited ‎05-10-2011 12:46 PM

kroeger.JPGEditor’s note: Have you heard about Verizon Perks?  Verizon Marketing Director Dustin Kroeger explains how Verizon residential customers can get discounts on merchandise and services.  His letter is reprinted from the May-June issue of Verizon Spotlight magazine.

 

By Dustin Kroeger

 

Do you like saving money? Sure you do. After all, given the choice, who wants to pay full price for anything when you can get it at a discount?

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Technology Helps Bring Down Bin Laden

by Employee ‎05-06-2011 01:54 PM - edited ‎05-06-2011 02:56 PM

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The news story of the week, and perhaps the decade, was of course the death of Osama Bin Laden.  In many ways, it was a technology story.

 

The technology used to track and locate Bin Laden seemed right out of Mission Impossible.  This Fox News story details the role that satellite-linked cameras, hyperspectral image processing, stealth drones, top-secret stealth helicopters, and even armored hounds played in finding Bin Laden and in the safe and successful raid on his compound. 

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Technology Connects, and Disconnects, Us

by Employee ‎04-22-2011 12:01 PM - edited ‎04-22-2011 12:02 PM

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Live-music fans who couldn’t get to this year’s Coachella festival in California were in luck last week, as YouTube streamed webcasts of all 61 bands’ performances on three stages over the three-day event.  More than 4 million people tuned into the webcasts to see acts like Arcade Fire, Kanye West, The Stokes and dozens of  less well-known bands hoping to attract their own followings.  This CNET News story goes into details about how the YouTube webcasts benefitted fans, the bands, and the music industry.  I have to wonder, though, if this means there will no longer be a cachet around attending a major music event.  If you can’t brag that you were there, because 4 million people were “virtually there” as well … then what fun is that?  Would you rather be in the crowd and seeing the bands up close and personal, or enjoy the event from the comfort of home?

 

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About The Authors

Bob Elek

Manager - Media Relations

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with FiOS since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

Alberto Canal

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Alberto is in the public relations group. He loves to share tech, sustainability, feel-good, and random news of interest. A happy FiOS quad play customer, he likes to use his family as guinea pigs.

Deidre Hart

Manager -- Media Relations

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Deidre is a member of the consumer PR team and loves to talk everything FiOS and everything football. She’s also a happy Triple Play customer.

Phil Santoro

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Phil has been extolling the virtues of FiOS ever since he had his Triple Play installed and can’t image how he ever managed without it. He writes about developing technologies that enable him to fuel his addiction to movies and sports whenever he wants, no matter where he is.

Caroline Wilson

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Caroline manages the Verizon FiOS Google+ page, capturing the latest in entertainment, technology, sports and everything in between. She loves using social media and the written word to extend the FiOS conversation.

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