QR Codes Proliferating: Are You Ready to Become a Human Hyperlink?

  • Quick Response (QR) codes are beginning to resonate with a variety of users. Retailers, publishers, art institutions, musicians, government organizations and charities are all using QR codes to direct customers to a variety of online opportunities (contests, information, party invites and more).
  • The QR codes are square, checkered symbols that can be scanned with smartphones by downloading free scanner apps.
  • Starbucks used QR codes for a scavenger hunt, the Red Cross used them to direct people to a relief donation page, ABC included codes in magazine ads for the new series “Pan Am” and now every 2013 vehicle in dealer showrooms will be required by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to have QR-coded fuel economy labels.
  • A company called Skanz now sells silicone braceletes with QR codes so anyone can scan your wrist and access a Web page with your contact information, social media links, and more. You can create different “Skanzsites” for professional and personal use and if you don’t want to wear a bracelet, you can instead buy iPhone4 cases with codes on them or QR decals.

Federal Agency Cuts Costs by Moving Email to the Cloud

  • U.S. General Services Administration (that oversees the bulk of purchasing and acquisitions for the federal government) is the first federal agency to migrate its email systems completely into the cloud.
  • Unisys recently completed moving GSA’s 17,000 employee email accounts into the Google Apps for Government email client.
  • According to Digital Trends, “Unisys claims the move should save the GSA about 50 percent over the infrastructure, maintenance and personnel costs of an in-house email system. The change is part of a federal effort to save around $3 billion over the next five years by shutting down 40 percent of the federal government’s costly data centers.”
  • Nextgov.com reports an additional 15 agencies — including the USDA, NOAA and the Army — have plans to move into the cloud.

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