Sunday, May 27, 2012

Where did you hide the body?

I received this request for an interview which I granted:

Hi Thomas,

As you know, I am the writer and co-host of the website I hope you don't mind me contacting you but I thought you might be interested to know that we have launched an expert interview section on our website.

Each interview is published on an individual page, with links to their website, book or anything else that would be of interest to our visitors. In addition to inclusion on our latest website, the interview will also be featured on The All About Psychology website. This website alone receives over 70,000 visits per month and has established itself as a preeminent online information resource for psychology. With this in mind, the expert interviews will provide a great opportunity for anybody seeking to promote anything connected with body language and/or psychology.

Details of each interview will also be featured through all our social media channels, for instance, my co-host's psychology Facebook page, which has over 64,000 followers (

I know that our visitors would benefit greatly from learning more about your expert knowledge so I sincerely hope that you will consider becoming one of our featured expert interviewees.

Kind Regards,
Craig Baxter

If you scroll to the bottom, you can see the interview questions and my answers. Here is the point of today’s technology blog: how do you read “body language” when there is no body?


I have always been fascinated by the science of body language, and I have used it (to my advantage) my entire career. The concept of micro-expressions, the “tell” in poker, the way that someone who is trained in body language can tell the truth from fiction - I find this quite amazing.  We have all heard that 90% of all communication is nonverbal. Social media has exploded in the past five years. Facebook and Twitter are the ultimate examples of this communication revolution. Email, texting, audio, web and even videoconferencing is verbal. You can read a text message or a tweet, but you cannot "feel it".

What would you rather do, be on a videoconference, or meet someone for coffee? High gas prices might force us to have more and more online meetings, but there is something in the limbic brains of humans that just wants “the tribe” to sit around the campfire after the hunt and tell stories. Heck, I sell this technology stuff, and even I don’t want to be on a videoconference! Even HD Video is not the same as being there. Tele-Presence is not really "presence". It's fake, just like a copy of the Mona Lisa is not the same as the original.

If the majority of human communications is nonverbal, and if the majority of today’s global communication is the opposite of how our brains work (and growing exponentially) something’s gotta give!

Technology has caused this problem, ever since the invention of the telephone, the telegraph and the radio. Long before television, people would sit around the radio and listen to stories - their imagination would fill in the rest. The most interesting radio programs of the day, made you pay close attention - there was no entertainment value if you were not paying close attention. You had to participate in the radio broadcast (via your mind and your imagination) or there was no point of having the radio turned on. Today, you can find old radio programs online, and listen to them as podcasts. It is worth your time to do this; it is a great example of how human communications has evolved in the last 100 years.


Technology has caused this phenomenon, and technology will most likely solve it. Lie detectors are becoming more and more accurate. But, we cannot carry a lie detector around with us to our meetings. I see a day in the future, where there will be an app for this; if you have a phone conversation on your iPhone it will have a “BS Meter” that turns red when the other person is telling a whopper.  *Thank God for me, as I look very good in red.....

As the world becomes more and more flat, we will have more and more virtual friends. Since texting and tweeting is so hot, the next big thing in social media will probably be the sarcasm font.  Or the “smart ass” font, or the “I am rolling my eyes” font, or the “I am throwing my drink in your face” font.....

I had a big grin on my face as I wrote that last paragraph... but you would not know that, would you?

Your has serviced 300+ of the Fortune 1000 since 1983 – What’s the secret of your long term success?
[Thomas A. Capone] Find what you would do for free – and then figure out how to make money by doing it.  I have been in love with technology all my life, so finding a career in telecom and technology was my destiny. If you surround yourself with what you love, your competition does not stand a chance. I have not worked a day in my life, since 1983. I have been having too much fun. If it is not fun, you are doing it wrong.

What does your webpage offer its visitors?
[Thomas A. Capone] The world is flat and getting flatter.  Everything is now about distance learning, not just higher education. Everything is about remote work, tele-work, file sharing, virtual classrooms, virtual work.  Even virtual play! Look at the world of video games and virtual reality technologies.  The NYDLA brings not only the technology – but the smart people – the subject matter experts to the people who must master this new world of global distance learning to be successful.  If the future of our world is to be a global marketplace, then it only makes sense to master the technologies and the distance learning techniques of this new world.

Who was your inspiration to pursue a career in telecommunications?
[Thomas A. Capone] Honestly?  James Bond!  When I was young, I loved the James Bond gadgets and gizmos.  How the technology saved the day – the real hero in those movies was Q, not James Bond.  One of the first car phones that I ever saw in my life was in a James Bond movie.  This was in the 60’s and I was hooked ever since.  I bought my first car phone in 1983, all thanks to Bond, James Bond.

You have been in business for 29+ years, what the secret to successful face to face negotiation?
[Thomas A. Capone] Listen twice as much as you speak.  And by listen, I mean all of the communications, especially the nonverbal.  The eyes tell everything; the facial expressions, the stance, the body language is my secret weapon.  It is not just knowing if someone is telling the truth.  It is to know if the person truly cares; it is the knowing if the person is truly interested in your product, your service, your solution. How many times will people be polite in business, saying one thing but then doing the complete opposite?  The ability to read the body language is such an asset to anyone in business, much less someone in sales. If you can get to the truth, the rest is just details.

When public speaking, what is the best way to encapsulate your audience?
[Thomas A. Capone] Credibility is everything.  Time is so precious, if your audience does not feel like they should be right here – right now – listening to your presentation, you are lost.  The key is to make your presentation more valuable than anything else that they could be doing at that moment.  The need to FEEL what you are saying, much more than hear what you are saying.  If you connect with your audience, it is magical and memorable.  The key is to respect their time – they could be doing anything at this moment, and they are here, listening to you. Why? If they don’t feel it, you just wasted their (and your) time.  Respect their time, and you will earn their trust, and their business.

What body language do you look for when selling a product?
[Thomas A. Capone] Eye contact and eye movement.  While you are speaking what are they looking at?  Are they looking at you, the product, their iPhone, or are they looking out the window? What are they looking at, and why? For me, it always starts with their eyes.

Where do you see your communications business in 10 years?
[Thomas A. Capone] Telecommunications and technology has changed the world, and it is not slowing down anytime soon.  Just look at Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, iPads, YouTube, etc. - they have all changed the world forever. Texting and email have become 90% of all human communications.  Teenagers today only text, rarely do they use the phone. And yet, we all know that 90% of all human communication is nonverbal.  Is Facebook not one big virtual communication medium?  You will never meet in-person 99% of the people that you know via Facebook. Social media is anything but social, and yet it is the biggest thing in the world of business.  I find this fascinating. I see MTP remaining focused on the human side of technology. Until the day comes when robots are talking to robots, we need to address the human aspect of telecommunications and technology. Technology Based Learning Systems is the future of all business, and I will be very busy for the next ten years, I can assure you. There are plenty of jobs and wonderful careers in this space, and the world economy will rise or fall on these new technologies, and how they are put to use. Facebook did not exist ten years ago – what will the next ten years bring? I met you Craig, through Facebook, yes?

What have you planned for the rest of 2012?
[Thomas A. Capone] I shall be focused on expanding the as the premiere online distance learning organization in the USA. Every day there will be new technologies, new services, and people will be forever looking for help in navigating these uncharted waters.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

There are Germans Everywhere!!!!

Wash Your Hands and Say Your Prayers Cause Jesus and Germs are Everywhere

My grandmother had this sign in her kitchen. It still makes me smile, for when I was little, I thought she was talking about “Germans” and not “Germs”.

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness." The origin of this expression is unclear, though it could have originated from ancient Hebrew or Egyptian writings. The first English version seems to have originated from Francis Bacon. In any case, the meaning is clear: keeping your body clean is vital.

Cleanliness is important in any workplace; however, it is crucial in certain occupations. For instance, cleanliness is a top priority in the medical industry. Bacteria can become a life and death issue. Fortunately, the personnel can use a wide variety of methods, including the wearing of scrubs. Keeping your hands clean is another method to prevent the transferring of bacteria.

1. Understand the importance of hand washing

According to some experts, washing our hands is the most effective way to prevent diseases from spreading. That is due to the link between bacteria and diseases. Diseases spread when we contact fluids from people's bodies. For instance, consider someone with the common cold. After blowing his nose, he could inadvertently place mucous on a doorknob. The virus can survive there for a while, and thus be transmitted to another person who touches the doorknob. By simply washing our hands frequently and being conscientious about what we touch, we can reduce the transmission of bacteria.

In addition to the common cold, failing to wash your hands throughout the day, can increase the likelihood of transmitting numerous infections, including the common cold, digestive viruses, flu, hepatitis A, and skin infections.

2. Wash at the proper time

How often should you wash your hands? Experts recommend that people wash them at least 10 times daily. However, those in the medical profession should wash them even more frequently. For instance, here are some activities after which you should scrub away:

- before you eat
- after you eat
- before touching your nose, mouth, or eyes
- after contacting fluids from bodies
- after contacting items that have contacted fluids from bodies
- after using the restroom

You might be shocked at how infrequently people wash their hands. After using the restroom, only about two-thirds of Americans wash their hands!

3. Wash your hands by using the proper technique

Washing your hands properly does not involve rinsing your hands quickly. Instead, you should use certain techniques. Use warm, soapy water and wash them for roughly 15-30 seconds. If you do not feel like using a stopwatch, wash your hands while singing the "ABC song." Then rinse your hands thoroughly. Experts have determined that the length of time you wash your hands, is much more important than the type of soap that you use (i.e. antibacterial soap).

Where are you going with this, Tom?  I thought your blogs were always about technology???

Antibacterial soap IS technology.  But the actual USE of the antibacterial soap - that is all human.  Science figured out that the washing of the hands is very important indeed. But only 100 years ago they did not wash their hands at all, not even before the surgeon cut you open. Today, doctors and nurses will wash their hands - and THEN they put on gloves on top of their freshly washed hands.

Now, are you “washing your technology hands” in your germ filled business world?  

Did you backup your hard drive today? Did you defragment your computer to save 30% on time and electrical energy to run your computer?  Did you protect yourself from malware, spyware and other nasty things? The list is long - the list of things that we all know that we should be doing, but we still do not do.  

 We all know that washing our hands is the right thing to do - and yet we don’t do it - why?  Even when there are signs posted right in our face to remind us to do it - we still do not do it.  My grandmother would be so happy if we all would just agree to “wash our hands” in the business and technology world every single day. 

“Waste not, want not” as my grandmother would say. If we don't waste what we have, we'll still have it in the future and will not lack (want) it. If we address our technology problems today, we shall not have to address them tomorrow.

Do you promise to start washing your filthy, dirty, grubby, nasty, germ-ridden (technology) infected hands at YOUR work place and at home - today, and every day?  Yes?  

Let’s shake on it!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bad Robots and Mother's Day

Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The word technology comes from Greek, meaning "art, skill, craft". The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: examples include construction technology, medical technology, and information technology. 

I remember when I was young, I did not need an alarm clock, or an online calendar, or buzzers or beepers to remind me that I had a hot date that night. There was a good chance that I was thinking about that upcoming event all day - there was very little chance that I was going to “forget” that I had a date later that evening. When you are getting ready to leave for vacation, it is highly unlikely that you need an electronic reminder to prevent you from driving to work that day, but to drive to the beach instead. Here is my technology epiphany for this wonderful Mother’s Day:

If it is important, technology can remind you.  
But if it is important TO YOU, no technology is required.

I have missed more meetings because I put the reminders into my online calendar, and then I was not near my computer for the reminder.  Reminders in a smart phone are of no use to anyone, when we start ignoring them. If you have to “think” about the technology - if you have to convince yourself that you need it, or why you need it, then there is a good chance that you don’t really need it.

My best business presentations took place, when my PowerPoint failed, and I was forced to speak directly to and connect deeply with the audience.  The best events in my life, did not require an electronic reminder. I did not need an electronic calendar to remind me to show up for my wedding, or to show up for my kids graduation, or to show up for anything that was truly important to me.  

If the XYZ Project at work has a hard deadline for Monday, it certainly would not hurt to have that in your Google Calendar, synced up with your smartphone and laptop. But, if the project was really important TO YOU, then you really did not need that electronic reminder, right?  You probably knew all too well (all weekend long) that Monday is the big day at work; no beeping or buzzing or vibrating devices required.

If you are late getting to work because you forgot to set your alarm clock, it not the alarm clocks fault. I say that your job is not important enough to you. If you missed a deadline at work because your online calendar failed you, I contend that the project in question was not that important TO YOU in the first place. The project might have been very important to your boss, and it might have been very important to your team (your co-workers) but it was not very important TO YOU.

I don’t know if we are going to have personal robots in my lifetime, but they are coming.  iPhones and iPads are early versions of personal robots, and they would be impossible to even accept just ten years ago. Now we take them for granted. Are you telling me that you are still getting lost, or that you are still showing up late for important meetings at work, or that you are still forgetting birthdays or other important events, even while owning a smartphone?  These missed events may be important to someone, but they are obviously not important TO YOU. The best technology (light bulbs, traffic lights, water filters, air conditioning, etc.) require no thought at all - they just make life better, period. One day in the not too distant future, I am sure that we all will be saying the phrase “Bad Robot!”  Will it really be the robot’s fault, that we missed the meeting, or forgot our wedding anniversary?

My mother passed away when I was 23 years old, after fighting cancer for many years. I now have lived more Mother’s Days without my mom, than with her.  My wife and I have two beautiful sons. Everything in my life that is good and important to my world is directly connected to the celebration of Mother’s Day. I do not need a battery powered reminder in my iPhone or computer or technology of any kind to remind me that today is a most special day. I live it, no batteries required.  

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

One Small Step for Man

Speak into the Microphone

Geek Alert: A microphone (colloquially called a mic or mike) is an acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts sound into an electrical signal. Microphones are used in many applications such as telephones, tape recorders, karaoke systems, hearing aids, motion picture production, live and recorded audio engineering, FRS radios, megaphones, in radio and television broadcasting and in computers for recording voice,speech recognition, VoIP, and for non-acoustic purposes such as ultrasonic checking or knock sensors. Most microphones today use electromagnetic induction (dynamic microphone), capacitance change (condenser microphone), piezoelectric generation, or light modulation to produce an electrical voltage signal from mechanical vibration. 

What would the world be like, without the invention of the microphone? No radio, no movies, no television, no telephone. No YouTube videos, no rock concerts, Nothing could be recorded, nothing could be duplicated, shared or transmitted.  What would life be like on earth, if overnight all of the microphones on the planet would disappear?

Remember this: “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”.  There would be no need to invent the microphone, if the content - the message - the words, music or sound - was not worthy of amplification.  The musician who creates art, forced the microphone to be invented.  The professor who has something to say, the politician who gives a speech to change the world, these were the motivation for the invention.  “One Small Step for Man” would have still been a giant leap for mankind - I am sure that the astronaut would have still taken those steps on the moon in 1969 even without a microphone recording his words. But would we remember? JFK, Martin Luther King..... what if there were no microphones in their day? And what if there WAS a microphone working and recording the words of the Gettysburg Address?

We live in the age of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. Anyone can write a book, a blog, an email.  Anyone can transmit a thought, an image, a belief around the world in seconds, and it can be scaled - it can reach millions of people in seconds. The “microphone” changed the world - or did it?

Remember, if you can’t sing, you don’t need a better microphone, you need singing lessons. If your jokes are not funny in person, they probably won’t be funny on the Internet, either. How do you send a handshake over the Internet?  How do you send a hug to a neighbor in need? You can donate money via PayPal to a worthy cause, but it is not the same as showing up in person.

By the way, the “real” quote was “One small step for a man - one giant leap for mankind”. The microphone cut out (for just a fraction of a second) and the true famous quote was born. I like the mistake better, don’t you?