Dave Sill - Socket's You-Make-The-Difference Award Winner for April 2014!


He is described as the “end all fixer of fixers” – April’s You-Make-The-Difference Award winner is Dave Sill!

Originally from Lexington, MO (like last month's winner!), Dave studied at Columbia College before starting at Socket, where he’s been for over 15 years.

“It would probably be quicker to list the roles I haven’t had with Socket,” said Dave. “Right now I’m the ‘Internal Network Operations Manager.’ Whatever that means.”

"Whatever that means" seems to encompass quite a lot. “Socketeers and Socket customers alike call up Dave, regardless of his workload, to fix everything from network outages and fiber issues to Outlook email failures,” said a coworker who nominated him.

“I just tell [my friends] I fix things,” said Dave.

In his free time, Dave takes on some interesting weekend projects. Along with several other Socketeers, Dave participated in last month's Float Your Boat Cardboard Regatta, raising funds for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

Congratulations, Dave!

FREE Socket Fiber trial offer


On the fence about whether to sign up for Socket Fiber?
 
We want to help you jump off the fence! We're so sure you'll love our high-speed fiber Internet that we'll give it to you absolutely free for 2 months. No strings attached.
 
If you don't like it, we'll disconnect it and you won't owe us a thing. You don't have to give us a credit card number. You don't have to sign a contract. There really is NO catch.
 
Learn more about this offer, or call 1-800-379-2142 to sign up.
   

Softball Season is Here!


It’s finally starting to feel like spring, which is great news for Socket’s Softball team – it’s hard to get in the spirit when the temperature’s in the low 50s!
 
The team will be playing on Rainbow Field in Columbia most Friday nights, as part of Columbia’s Adult Coed Softball League. If you’re looking for something to do with the family on Friday nights, come check it out!
 
10 other teams are also part of the league, and games are every Friday night through mid-June. For more information on joining a sports league, visit Columbia’s Parks and Recreation page.

New Net Neutrality Proposal from the FCC


After the “Open Internet Order” was thrown out earlier this year, the FCC announced a new proposal for enforcing net neutrality. While it still maintains that ISPs cannot discriminate against content, they can “enter into individual negotiations with content providers” to prioritize service, so long as the ISP acts in a “commercially reasonable manner.”
 
In other words, if passed, an ISP could give preferential treatment to content from companies that agree to pay extra.
 
According to Tim Wu, in a blog on the New Yorker, "there is no such thing as accelerating some traffic without degrading other traffic."
 
The FCC has stated that this plan is not yet finalized, and may decide to take public comments before instating it.
 
Socket is still committed to the principles of Net Neutrality. Like we’ve said before, it’s your Internet. Use it! To contact an FCC chairperson, visit http://www.fcc.gov/leadership.

Earth Day Tech Tips!


Earth Day is April 22nd, and we’ve put together a few ways you can make a difference.
 
While it doesn’t have to be Earth Day to make some improvements to your computer and office habits, it’s a good time to take stock of our behavior and how it can affect the environment.
 
Of course, if that’s not enough of a reason, there’s always the bonus of saving some cash too!
 
Here are a few simple steps you can take to “go green”:
 

  • Reduce energy consumption by utilizing your computer’s power saver options.
  • Turn off your computer at night, both to conserve energy and to reduce heat stress on your machine.
  • Donate or recycle your “outdated” electronics instead of throwing them out.
  • Consider purchasing “reusable” or “refillable” printer cartridges.
  • Upgrade to an LCD monitor to reduce energy usage by more than half.
  • Reduce paper usage by printing double-sided when possible.

Have any other ideas? Share them in the comments below!

Fiber and the Growth of the Internet


Girl with laptopAs the Internet continues to grow and expand, the need for more bandwidth is also on the rise.
 
Online video is a key reason for this growth, particularly services like Netflix, Hulu and Youtube. As availability and demand for these services and other online videos increases, Internet users will need more bandwidth to keep up.
 
In addition, there are more devices than ever with online capabilities. Families and businesses are connecting to the Internet via laptops, smartphones, tablets, video game consoles and other gadgets. More bandwidth will be needed to accomodate these additional devices and maintain consistent speeds, especially while they're used simultaneously.
 
Fortunately, fiber-to-the-home networks will be able to keep pace far into the future. If you're eligible for our fiber services, now is the time to have this technology installed to your home! That way, as your bandwidth needs grow, so can your services.
 
Find out how to have fiber installed to your home and try it for 60 days - no strings attached. Even if you don't keep the service, you'll have the technology available at your home in case you need it down the road.
 
As always, give us a call at 1-800-762-5383 with any questions.
  
 

Matt Kohly - Socket's You-Make-The-Difference Award Winner for March 2014!


Matt Kohly has been named Socket’s You-Make-the-Difference Award winner for March!
 
Matt joined Socket’s legal team back in July 2004. In the decade since, he’s worked with other telecom companies so we can provide service in more areas, as well as working with Socket’s owners to determine which services and areas would be best for expansion. He’s also been instrumental in the development of Socket’s fiber network.
 
“For those of you who know Matt, you can clearly see that he goes above and beyond for everything that is sent his way,” said a co-worker who nominated him for the award.
 
Originally from Lexington, MO, Matt earned a bachelor’s degree in business from MU and then a master’s degree in agricultural economics. In his spare time, he likes to unwind on his bicycle or anywhere that involves a river or lake. He's even traveled by kayak across the entire state on the Missouri River! He also enjoys hanging out with his wife, Sherri, and kids Matthew and Kara.
 
“Seriously, I am stunned and flattered and very much appreciate the recognition from my peers,” says Matt about winning the award.
 
Congratulations, Matt!

Clean Up Columbia 2014


Considering how cold it's gotten since, it's hard to believe how perfect the weather was over the weekend for the 18th Annual Clean Up Columbia!
 
As part of a citywide volunteer effort, Socketeers helped clean up our designated Adopt-A-Spot, Clark Lane. Over the course of the day, over 1,350 volunteers total pitched in around town, collecting over 1,500 bags of trash.
 
In past years, we've collected hubcaps, shopping carts, and various other car parts. This year we didn't find anything quite so large, which is a pleasant surprise. There's still the carpeting of fast food wrappers, but it feels like progress!
 
If you'd like to learn more about Adopt-A-Spot, or other volunteer projects the city has available, visit the City of Columbia website.

Float Your Boat for the Food Bank!


It was perfect weather for sailing - we're not sure how it was for swimming, but luckily our team didn't have to find out!
 
The third annual Float Your Boat was held on April 12th, 2014, and brought in its largest crowd yet. The event raised over $20,000 for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, which is enough to provide over 255,000 meals to families in need.
 
Congrats to Socketeers Dave S., Jason V., and Jamey L., who captained "The Corporate SponsorSHIP!" Their cardboard boat made it to the finish line no worse for wear.
 
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for their competition. We hardly knew ye, "Barnacles and Tartar Sauce."
 
To learn more about the Food Bank, including how you can help, visit sharefoodbringhope.org.
 

Have You Updated Your Password Lately?


It’s always a good idea to periodically update passwords, but if you’ve been putting it off now’s the week to do it.

The “Heartbleed” bug is an encryption flaw that’s affected hundreds of sites, making it possible for third parties to view protected information like passwords. While the bug only came to light this week, there’s no telling how long hackers have known about it. Many sites are recommending password changes as a precautionary measure.

Sites affected by the bug include Gmail, Yahoo, Dropbox, Instagram and Intuit TurboTax. Several other sites, including Facebook and Twitter, haven’t said whether they were affected, but have recommended password changes as well.

If you’re creating a new password, remember:

  • Don’t use any personal information.
  • Use a combination of letters, special characters, and numbers. Try to avoid words.
  • Use more than 8 characters – the more, the better.
  • Don’t use one password for all your accounts.

The list of affected sites is still being updated, so check back often. For more info on increasing your password strength, check out our post on superhero-strong passwords.

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Who is Socket

Founded in 1994, Socket is a Missouri-based telephone and Internet service provider with the largest service area in the state.

Socket is a privately held company that provides families and businesses a choice for local and long-distance phone and Internet service. We combine the highest quality customer service with in-depth technical knowledge.

Our network serves more than 20,000 residents and businesses in more than 400 Missouri cities, and our customers enjoy simple billing and quick, friendly service.
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