About Jennifer Cisney

Kodak Chief Blogger & Social Media Manager

Peepfest 2014

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While spring may bring blooming flowers and baby animals to mind for some people, for us at Kodak Alaris, it means peeps. Marshmallow peeps that is, and our annual Peepfest and competition.

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Dioramas and scenes populated with peeps line the hallway for all to see.

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It just goes to show that creativity does not stop with programming, designing or copy writing.

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It’s always a treat to see the creations this time of year.

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Peeptastic!

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Kodak Alaris at the AHA Heart Walk

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Kodak Alaris participated as a company in the American Heart Association’s Rochester Heart Walk on April 12. Heart health is important to our employees. Kodak Alaris’ James Walworth encouraged everyone to participate “If you are wondering how can you get more active, the American Heart Association has a number of resources and tips on getting more active. But, a great jump start to getting more physically active and heart healthy in 2014 would be to join us on April 12. Take a walk with your friends, family and colleagues on what hopefully will be a nice spring day and jump start a heart healthy 2014!”

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Not only did Kodak Alaris have a team at the walk to raise money and awareness but there were also Kodak Picture Kiosks set up for walkers to print photos from their phones of their experience that day.

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Once they downloaded the My Kodak Moments app they were able to make prints of pictures they took with their iPhones and Androids.

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What a great way to remember the walk!

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The new Kodak Moments HD App for your tablet!

I love my iPad. I find myself using it over my laptop more and more, whether it’s looking up recipes in the kitchen or checking IMDB while watching a movie in the living room. After a look at the statistics, I don’t think I’m alone. By 2015 there will be 82.1 million tablet users in the United States. The average tablet user spends 90 minutes a day on their tablet. 80% of tablet users say it has improved their work/life balance and ummm 35% of people say they have used their tablet in the bathroom!

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It only makes sense that you should be able to make photo books and order prints on your tablet too! Today Kodak Alaris introduces KODAK MOMENTS HD App for your iPad. You can easily create a photo book on your tablet which has a nice big screen, larger than your mobile phone, but still has the power of your laptop, without the bulkiness. Since there is a larger screen, this app is able to take advantage of such features as drag and drop.

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The Kodak Moments HD app has unique features such as Smartfit technology that allows your images to be easily dragged and dropped into simple-to-use templates that automatically format. That way nothing important is lost from your images. You also get KODAK Perfect Touch Enhancement Technology for even better looking pictures.

You can pull your photos from Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. Or from your iPad camera roll. You know what I’m talking about. I have totally seen people on vacation in front of landmarks, holding their tablets up in the air, taking photos.

After you have made your photo book or selected your prints (while lounging on the couch or a lawn chair) you can send your order to a major retailer like Target or Bartell Drugs for pick-up. Or you can have it shipped to your home.

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So go and download the Kodak Moments HD App, try it out and let us know what you think.

Stay tuned for the Android version and new photo products like cards and calendars!

Brighten up your home (and mood) with photos!

This time of year you might start to feel some twinges of spring fever. You might feel like doing some spring cleaning or changing up your home decor. Decorating with photos is an easy and beautiful way to refesh your home.

Turns out, some experts say that looking at photos can have a positive effect.

Woman’s Day recommends that you put photos on the fridge to improve your mood in five minutes. They point out that we look at our refigerator 27 times a day, so it’s a good opportunity to look at something that makes you happy. “Research shows that the happiest people have many joyful family photos displayed in their homes,” says Caroline Adams Miller, coauthor of Creating Your Best Life.

This Yahoo article “How to Cheer Up: 5 Proven Mood-Enhancing Things to Do Right Now” also recommends photos as a way to feel better. UK’s The Open University showed in a study that looking at your personal photos is a better mood enhancer than other traditional activities like eating chocolate, drinking wine or listening to music. They suggest keeping photos in plain sight and occasionally switching them up is a great way to improve your mood.

Considering that looking at photos can make you feel better, displaying more photos around your home seems like a good idea. There are lots of creative ways to use photos in our home decor projects featured in the Kodak Tips and Projects Center.

Here are just a few.

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Photo window frame – Have you ever seen an old window frame sitting out by the curb? Grab it next time and make this cool photo window.

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Family tree mural with photos – show off your family with this life size family tree.

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Glowing photo frame – Warm up your home with this easy to make backlight frame.

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Photo wreath – striking compliment to your mantlescape!

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Photo dishware – perfect for your old family photos. Make copies at a Kodak Picture Kiosk so you don’t ruin the originals.

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Oh and for your fridge? Check out these photo magnets made from upcycled bottle caps!

The DIY steps for all these photo projects are available in the home decor section of the Kodak Tips and Projects Center.

Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk near you to print all your photos for these ideas.

200 Patents and Counting for Kodak Alaris’ Joe Manico

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Joe Manico (Photo Credit: David B. Goldstein)

At the recent Personalized Imaging Global Town Meeting, Dennis Olbrich recognized one of the Kodak Alaris team members for achieving the milestone of acquiring his 200th United States Patent.  Joe Manico was surprised at the attention he received at the start of the meeting and was quoted as saying, “I had no idea, I’m just glad that I got to the meeting on time”.  Joe joined PI in November of 2012 as a Patent Engineer, but he has had a long history of innovation and intellectual property that started back in 1975.  Since then, Joe has come up with creative inventions and has acquired patents in areas of technology including; digital imaging, film and digital cameras, innovative digital displays, printers, and print finishing systems.

I asked Joe a few questions about being a Patent Engineer…

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Very Early Career: Joe a long time ago starting his career – circa 1975

Q: What is your background, your schooling for instance? How does one become a Patent Engineer?

A: “I have taken a very unconventional path and do not recommend it, to quote my High School Guidance Counselor after she learned that I had won a NYS Regents’ Scholarship, “We never thought you were slow or anything but we never expected this?” I didn’t expect it either. I was more interested in making rockets and models than school, except for the chemistry and physics labs.  I got lucky; over the years I’ve had a lot of different jobs in research and development which exposed me to some brilliant mentors, all kinds of new technologies, and engineering and scientific techniques and procedures.  These experiences provided me many opportunities to solve problems and to be creative.  It helped working in environments where there was more interest in the right solution than the right process or credentials.  I’ve always been drawn to work that involves innovation and creativity, and when that work involves technology that leads to intellectual property.”

"final stage" hydro-pneumatic powered video camera rocket

“final stage” hydro-pneumatic powered video camera rocket

Q: You must constantly be writing on the back of napkins or waking up in the middle of the night with ideas. What best practices do you have for maintaining focus, organization and process?

A: “Yes, many scraps of paper.  It’s critical to always write it down.  In whatever your preferred form, paper or digital, make a sketch, write a few sentences, anything to document the idea, even if at the time sounds funny or seems impractical.  The next step is to refine or expand the original scraps of paper or digital note into a more formal format.  For inventions, a simplified ‘Patent Application’ format works well for me; title, date, a brief abstract, and a few annotated sketches.  For product concepts, I like the ‘Print Ad’ format, which gives you one page to communicate the features and benefits of your idea to a potential customer. What’s nice about these forms of documentation is that they can help convey your ideas to a broader audience and by using these slightly more rigid formats it forces you to really think about your idea and solve potential problems with it or think about alternative approaches.  The same thing goes for a simple print ad; it forces you to think about it.  If you do this enough it becomes a habit.  As far as organization my natural way of thinking is to ‘compartmentalize’.  Everything related to an idea goes in the same labeled mental, hardcopy, and/or digital folder.

Kayak Dog: An attachment Joe made so his dog could go on Kayak rides.

Kayak Dog: An attachment Joe made so his dog could go on Kayak rides.

Q: Do you ever get “inventor’s block”, like “writer’s block”? After 200 patents, how do you keep coming up with fresh ideas?

A: “I wouldn’t call it a block, but sometimes you know there is a better solution that you just haven’t thought of yet.  All patents are solutions to problems.  If you like to think about problems you will have ideas.  The more you focus on a specific problem the more ideas you will have on how to solve it.  It’s about picking right problem to focus on.  The real key for me when managing your own ideas, or problem solutions, is to embrace and discard with the same enthusiasm.  If you are working on a problem, dump an idea as soon as you think of a better one.  It’s hard and counter-intuitive, but don’t get emotionally attached to your ideas.  It will help you have more ideas.”

Joe's now 26 year-old daughter Carley!  in "Action Photo" early prototype (Print from Video)

Joe’s now 26 year-old daughter Carley! in “Action Photo” early prototype (Print from Video)

Q: How does your team support one another in what would seem like a competitive environment?

A: “That’s a great question.  A diverse team can analyze a problem from many different perspectives and provides broader set of potential solutions.  If the team has a mutually agreed upon objective and includes many different disciplines and skills then your chances of success really increase.  We are fortunate to work in an environment where people are more than willing to share their ideas and opinions.  I think people realize that the more we work together the more we all will succeed.”

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Joe’s home work space and desk – with patent awards hanging on the wall

Q: Why are patents important to a company like Kodak Alaris?

A: “Generally speaking, patents are important to any company involved in innovation that leads to new products and services. Companies need to protect their efforts and investments in research and development and patents provide that protection.”

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Rotor Kite: Home made high wind rotor kite

Q: Do you think you will make it to 300 patents?

A: “Well, if I do I’ll make it to Wikipedia, that’s their prolific inventor threshold.  I don’t really have numeric goals like that; I get satisfaction out of the process.  I like to invent things, file patents, and see inventions in products.  But, just like with cats; they chase things, they kill things, and they eat things but each of these activities provides its own rewards or there would be no multi-billion dollar cat toy industry.  You have to learn that every idea will not become a patent or make it to the market, but you can’t win if you don’t play.”

Homemade "Sea Crocks"

Homemade “Sea Crocks”

Q: If you weren’t a Patent Engineer at Kodak Alaris what do you think you would be doing?

A: “I’m not sure but I think it would involve working on inventions in some form.  I’ve always liked making things, drawing, and writing but my current role provides the resources and opportunities that are very rare to come by so I really appreciate the work and do my best to make the most of it.”

Photo Projects for a Memorable Valentine’s Day

When it comes to crafting and holidays, Valentine’s Day is right up there for me. It’s all hearts and pink and glitter! I got pretty excited when we started working on some photo projects to share this season on the Kodak Tips and Projects Center. We love adding photos to Valentine’s decorations, cards and gifts because it adds a personal touch. Here are some of the fun ideas we came up with…

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My co-worker, Patricia made this adorable frame with an inexpensive frame, a hot glue gun, and real candy hearts. Bonus? It smells delicious!

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This is the world’s tiniest Valentine’s photo project! Mini-prints at Kodak Picture Kiosk are perfect for making this secret message clothespin.

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You can make this cute heart garland with photos and patterned paper for hanging in your house or even embellishing a gift.

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Hand out treats in these photo tubes. Super easy to make.

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This is where the glitter comes in. After you make a card at Kodak Picture Kiosk, make it extra fancy with glue, glitter, sequins or anything else cute you find in the crafting aisle. Right now all cards at Kodak Picture Kiosk are 33% off.

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We have had this project around for awhile but it’s a favorite. After you eat all the chocolate from your heart shaped candy box, turn it into a picture frame!

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Here is something for the photo adventurous. We have instructions for making heart shaped bokeh.

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Do you have kids that are exchanging Valentines at school? You can make photo cards at Kodak Picture Kiosk with their pictures on them. Get creative with the photo to personalize the cards even more. It helps that all cards are now 33% off for Valentine’s Day.

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This is an idea that really pops. Make prints and add a lollipop for a really cute card/gift.

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We have lots of ideas for taking photos that are perfect for making fun cards and photo books in the Tips and Projects Center. I hope these have inspired you to make this Valentine’s Day a memorable one! We had fun coming up with them for you. Any day you get to use a hot glue gun in the office is a good one!

Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk near you.

Get organized with the Kodak Rapid Scanner II

On the list of top10 New Years resolutions, “Getting Organized” is number two. Was it on your list this year?

The end of January is when a lot of people have either given up on their resolutions or they are taking steps to reach their goals. If you had “Getting Organized” on your list here is something you can do and be able to cross something off!

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Gather up all your loose prints and shoeboxes of photos and head to a Kodak Picture Kiosk with a Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II. A Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II can scan your prints and turn them into digital files that you can use create photo products or Archive DVDs.

The Scanners are so easy to use that you can do it without the help of a sales assistant. They are fast too. You can feed the scanner stacks of 20 pictures at a time and it scans FIFTY 4×6 photos in about a MINUTE! You can also be assured that you will get great image clarity and color from the Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II.

Once you have your photos scanned and digitized you can create a photo book that organizes them however you please. An Archive DVD is a good way to store your photos and transfer them to your computer. You could even cross some other items off your to-do list and use your photos to make thank you cards or photo gifts like calendars.

Kodak Picture Kiosk and the Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II can take care of your printed photo collection so quickly it will assist you in the #10 top New Years resolution for 2014… Spend More Time with Family.

Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk with a Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II using this store locator.