Why We Must Save Net Neutrality

Why We Must Save Net Neutrality

Yesterday, my children, both teenagers asked a lot about net neutrality.  I was explaining what it is and what it means. It was interesting as a parent to see them question a policy and government action. Watching them grow is very difficult and also exciting.

Below is a tweet that sums up net neutrality very well in the short Tweet form.

The Internet has created many industries and continues to do so. Innovations that where science fiction are now a reality.

Like Chris’s Tweet above, net neutrality prevented internet service providers (ISP’s) from controlling the bandwidth and types of services offered by content providers. What this means is that if an ISP decide they don’t to offer video over their network they can block or it limit how much video will be provided. This provides a way of preventing new innovations from being advanced if they use up more bandwidth or any other reason the ISP decides.

The main purpose of net neutrality is that the service provide (Internet provider) can NOT limit or block any type of legal service or content. This doesn’t prevent the provider from limit the amount of bandwidth providing but does prevent the provider from limiting bandwidth based on the type of service provide or the content provider.

There are a lot of memes spreading saying that people will pay for each Tweet or Facebook post. This is not entirely accurate, but the point that is trying to be made is that an ISP can decide to put limits on tweets sent. The provider could create an additional costly layer of the internet service to charge more for Netflix access because it streams video. The provider could create an additional more costly layer to use video live streaming services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer.

This is the basic idea of net neutrality. This could limit more advances in the use of the Internet. We are now seeing virtual reality services which would use more bandwidth, by setting a limit on how much a person could use this technology at a reasonable cost would prevent the technology from advancing.

Net neutrality needs to be maintained so we can continue to innovate and build new industries and services that can be used for commercial or personal uses.

We must be heard and have this ruling overturned.






Blogging Motivation…

Blogging Motivation…

I’ve been struggling lately with my blogs. I have two, my personal blog here and my non-profit (SunflowerEffect.org). I enjoy blogging and writing, I find it relaxing and a time for me to reflect.
I also journal just about every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Just thoughts throughout the day and sometimes long entries in my journal. I journal about ideas that I would like to write about and share. I also journal about personal thoughts and feelings.
Curious how many of you go through this and how to get back out. Between family, work, and volunteering, life gets overwhelming. I sit down and begin to write about technology, community, mental health, addiction or just my thoughts that are going through my head. I then stop and decide to leave the post in draft and never publish it. I look back and wonder why I didn’t complete it and publish it.
I would love to hear from you, do you go through this? Do you do something to restart refresh yourself? What do you think about before publishing?
Thank you in advance for any discussion and suggestions.
CRMUG Summit 2017

CRMUG Summit 2017

I was able to attend CRMUG Summit again this year. The 2017 Summit was hosted in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. I have been so impressed with the amount of content and the people who attend Summit both times now.

Before I leave for the Summit, I always prepare what my goals are out of the Summit. The number of sessions available is amazing and it is very easy to become overwhelmed and miss some very good sessions. Having my goals helps lower, not eliminate this. I keep my goals simple and also use the available app to “favorite” sessions I want to attend.

  • GDPR
  • Dynamics 365 v9 Update
  • Reporting
  • Customization

The topics listed above where were I wanted to focus this year. Of course, this can change based on further discussion with others at Summit. This year I heard there were about 7,000 people in attendance. Each year it continues to grow.


On April 27, 2016, the European Parliament adopted the General Data Protection Regulation. I work with a global company and knew this topic was very important even though I am not personally involved in the project myself. This regulation becomes enforceable on May 25, 2018.

I attended a roundtable discussion about GDPR with others who have had a lot more time to research and prepare for GDPR. I wanted to become more familiar and be able to bring back information I learned.

One thing that I learned about GPDR is that there is still a lot of questions about this regulation.  

Right To Be Forgotten

One major discussion was the Right To Be Forgotten and how this impacts other requirements for organizations. If a person is an EU citizens, they have the right to be forgotten and this is a personal option available to each EU citizen. This becomes complicated as personal information is many times exported to Excel or other reports used by organizations and all of these exports must be destroyed if a person requests to be forgotten. One thing to keep in mind is that if the data is required for other regulations such as financial reporting the data can be maintained. A major part of this is the ability to anonymize information so there is no way of personally identifying a person.

Data Policy

A data policy is a key component of GPDR. Having a data policy that not only specifies what data is being stored but also why it is stored. The policy must explain why the company needs the data that is stored and how they are protecting this data. A person’s consent is very important, once the data policy is available an individual must consent to a company’s use of their personal data. This means a person; a company cannot provide this consent for one of their employees. It was also discussed how if and when the data policy is changed consent must be collected again from people. 

This onehour roundtable was very informative but brought many more questions to me. As I stated this was my first exposure to GDPR and I am looking forward to learning more and correcting any misconceptions that I may have. 

Dynamics 365 v9 Update

Last year at Summit we learned about the launch and rebranding of Microsoft CRM Online to Dynamics 365. This year version 9 of Dynamics 365 was already announced and webinars available. But, we had the opportunity to attend sessions and hands-on labs with version 9. With version 9 of Dynamics 365, Microsoft has made available some new features that I am excited to use. Two of the biggest features that I am excited about are UUI and Virtual Entities.

Updated User Interface

The user interface has been updated even without using the new UUI. The updated user interface is cleaner to make it easier on the eyes and usability.

UUI Unified User Interface 

Dynamics 365 will now have a new user interface that is designed to be responsive and offer cross-device viewing. A big advantage of the UUI is to make a consistent user interface on any device. So, you can design a form once and have it available on all devices.

But, we must keep in mind this is not a feature that you just turn on and it works. A new “app”, a feature that was released in version 8.2 needs to be created where we set the user interface to UUI and then build out the forms and menus to be available in this app. This will take time to design and implement but will bring users a more streamlined experience. 

Currently, Advanced Find is NOT available in the UUI which is a big limitation for us. 

Virtual Entities 

There is never one single system that contains all of the data that is needed. Integrations with other systems is common and I have been doing integration for all of my career.The purpose of a Virtual Entity is to allow data from a different system to be available within Dynamics 365. The data in the system is NOT stored on Dynamics 365, but to the end-user it appears as if it is.

A virtual entity provides a way of creating an entity based on an OData feed to Dynamics without storing data in Dynamics and thus reducing the storage being used. A requirement of Virtual Entities is that the primary key must be a GUID. 

During the hands-on lab time, I created a virtual entity and added this entity as a related entity to the account entity. I was then about to open a form and use a drop down that pulled from the oData feed that was NOT stored on Dynamics. I could save data and use Advanced Find to find accounts that had data from this oData feed set. 

  1. Define a Virtual Entity Data Source, currently, it only supports OData V4 Data Provider. 
  2. Create a new custom Entity of type Virtual Entity, specifying External Name and External Collection Name corresponding to the name of the entity and entity set in the OData service to connect to. 
  3. Set the Id and Name attributes (or any custom attribute) of the Virtual Entity to the corresponding fields of OData entity. 
  4. Id (Primary Key) field must be of type GUID else we will get the exception. 

Create Your TV 2.0 Show With BeLive.tv

Live streaming has so much to offer and is really taking off. Now, with so many more innovative technologies like BeLive.tv you can live stream and have a strong interaction with your audience. I have been using BeLive.tv for over a month now and have found the platform to be easy and powerful. BeLive provides a way of streaming from BeLive to Facebook Live and enhancement the stream with wonderful features from BeLive.

  • Have up to three (3) people online at a time (with Talk Show Format)
  • Have up to ten (10) people in the lobby waiting to go live on the show (with Talk Show Format)
  • Screen sharing (limited availability on Talk Show Format)
  • Show Facebook comments during the stream and interact with people (all formats)
  • Stream to Facebook personal timeline, page, group and events (all formats)
  • Very responsive support team
  • Highly interactive user group

The BeLivers Facebook Group is the place to be to learn about streaming and also BeLive. It is also a community of people who are willing to help and learn and teach each other. Yes, a community, that is what I think of it. I have made some good friends on the BeLivers group and we help each other.

Being Part of an Agile team

As a technologist I have worked on several different types of teams over my 20+ years of technology development career. Also, as a person I have been involved in different types of groups of people that are working together to solve a common problem or outcome. Several years ago I began a journey with Agile and started working on a Scrum team. I became a Certified Scrum Master and learned from some very intelligent and passionate people who know Agile and Scrum. I have built relationships so I can continue to learn, I believe that you must always continue to learn and never become stagnant.

Today, I wanted to share a blog series that two people that I know and learned from wrote. They have been instrumental in my Agile journey and I am grateful for the knowledge they have shared and continue to share.

Agile seems easy until people get involved.

This quote from the blog series is spot on! Agile does appear very simple, but once you start working on an Agile team with other people it gets difficult. There is confusion, tension and personalities. This must be addressed for any process and Agile has tenants that are geared towards this.

This post is about sharing the series, Agile Leaders, that Russ and Jay wrote, I encourage you to read the series to learn about Agile. I would also like to hear you experiences with Agile. I will be writing more about my thoughts on working in an Agile team and my experiences and frustrations.

I think on of the biggest benefits and struggles of Agile is the short iterations. Delivering something on a short schedule that others can provide feedback on. I say this is a benefit and struggle because first, it is better to identify misunderstandings of requirements early on. Struggles, well anytime you are trying to deliver something complex in a short time, frustration and challenges come to the forefront. Personally, I love challenges, maybe that is why I chose the field I am in.

I would like to hear from you, do you work on an Agile team? What are your thoughts on Agile? How do you apply Agile in other work that is NOT development? I am using Agile to start a non-profit that I am working on and will provide my thoughts as I progress.

Full Disclosure: I work for Russ and Jay at the same company. This post is NOT an affiliate link but just something that I believe in. I do NOT write about anything on this blog that I personally don’t agree with. 

My opinions are my own.