Tag: business

What Equity Should a Child of God Focus On?

Someone I know shared this text message conversation about a business decision really got me thinking:

Person A: What do you have to give up to get their $ ?

Person B: I don’t care what I have to give up as long as I get a small piece of a much larger pie.  I’ve learned success is largely about the team.

Person A: If all you need is capital, don’t sell your equity – huge mistake…

In the past I would have agreed completely with Person A, however, as I started thinking, this sentence kept rolling around in my head which I couldn’t ignore:

“What is equity?”

Immediately after sentence began circulating I decided to look up the etymology of the word ‘equity‘ because, from my time in the Bible the only usage that I could remember was in terms of ‘justice’ or ‘fairness’ such as in the following quick example:

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:4)

So how did such a great and righteous word like equity become synonymous with owning a piece of a corporate pie?

I did further searching online and could not come up with an excellent answer that satisfied.  There were many posts, links and sites pointing to the term equity in terms of law, but nothing that I could find related to this common practice of calling ownership in a company ‘equity’.

I have heard people recently use the term ‘brand equity’ which further proves that the term is shifting or has shifted from it’s original meaning of ‘fairness’ to this current meaning of ‘asset’ or ‘ownership’.

Almost every day we hear a sentence like this ‘He is building equity.’

Unfortunately, I must, due to a severe lack of time, throw in the towel of finding the answer to my question in the root or history of the word itself.  I will appease myself by making up this historical assumption that “The word equity must have come from the fair, or unfair division of business or real estate assets amongst people and it’s relation to the courts use of the word ‘equity'”.  In short, there were probably many unequitable deeds done in business by predatory and greed sociopaths so that the term ‘assets’ and ‘equity’ became synonymous.  There. Good enough.

But… it got me thinking spiritually as well.  At the same time I wondered what the word itself meant and where it was rooted, I also remember very clearly that Jesus taught about assets and ownership of things in this world.  Here are some bullet points:

  • But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat 6:33)
  • Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mat 6:19-21)
  • Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you]. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned [and] killed the just; [and] he doth not resist you. (Jas 5:1-6)

And there are more.

The crux of the matter is this:

  • Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (Jas 4:14)

But wait, there is a bigger crux:

  • The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psa 24:1)

And the summary is this:

  1. The earth is the Lord’s.  We didn’t make it.  We can’t take it with us.  We can’t own it.  It’s not ours.  We are tenants here for a short time.
  2. You can’t own anything.  You think you own a house or a business but ask yourself this very simple yet clearly forgotten question: Can you own _____ forever?  The answer is an obvious and child-like ‘No’.

So then, what’s wrong with selling 99% of your equity of your 1% can provide for the needs of your family, build a bigger, better, and more ethical company, and spread life and abundance to the world instead of death and destruction?

Isn’t it just a matter of who is on your team, not the size of your pizza slice that dictates all this?

Maybe I’m naive and maybe I’ll get hurt again because of it but life is a vapour regardless so I’m going to keep on the narrow path while I’m here.

 

 

 

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Working with PDFs in Ubuntu

Ubuntu is by far the best operating system in existence.  One of the things that hasn’t been broadcast around much is how Ubuntu is also awesome for business.

If you run a business (or work in one) you will know that PDF files are one of the most standard documents that you work with, or would like to work with.  Here is a bullet proof list of things that I’m always dealing with and that Ubuntu solves:

  • people sending .jpg or .tiff or .png files instead of PDFs (unprofessional but a reality)
  • PDF files being way too big which is unfair to bandwidth, especially if someone will be downloading on a mobile (good percentage chance)
  • I need to split a bunch of pages, do something, and then glue them back together again and I don’t want to print it all and scan it
  • I need to watermark or stamp a PDF with something
  • I need to create a PDF from a word processing document or spreadsheet

These are just some of my regular issues, but great news!  All of them will be solved for you in this post, once and for all, and for free.

How to Compress a Big PDF File Without Killing the Quality

This one took me a while, but all you have to do is:

  1. open a terminal (if you don’t know how, click here)
  2. Navigate with the terminal to where your over-sized PDF file is (If you don’t know how, go to the section on “File & Directory Commands” on this page.)
  3. In the gobbly-gook that is sitting in step #4 below, change the ‘OUTPUTFILENAME’ to the name you want the resulting file to be named and the INPUTFILENAME to the name of the file that is too big and is sitting in the directory you just navigated to.
  4. copy this gobbly gook into your computer clipboard AFTER doing step #3 to it.  I would recommend pasting it to a separate text editor (like body of an email) first, do your changes, and then re-pasting it to the terminal) :  gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/default     -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -dDetectDuplicateImages     -dCompressFonts=true -r150 -sOutputFile=OUTPUTFILENAME.pdf INPUTFILENAME.pdf
  5. Copy your updated version of the gobbly-gook to the computer’s clipboard
  6. Paste it to the terminal with this *different* version of control V.  If you use the normal paste, it won’t work.  Do this: control + Shift (same time) then press ‘v’ and it will paste to the terminal.
  7. press the enter key and the process will run

You should now have a smaller PDF file that didn’t lose too much quality.  There are other versions of this command above which I found killed the quality too much. This one was great for me.

How to Convert a .jpg or a .tiff or a .png File to a PDF File

  1. Open a terminal (if you don’t know how, click here)
  2. Navigate with your terminal to where your .jpg or a .tiff or a .png files are (If you don’t know how, go to the section on “File & Directory Commands” on this page.)
  3. type ‘convert’ and then start typing the name of the file you want to convert.  *TIP: after you start typing the file name, you can press ‘tab’ and it will auto fill.  If it doesn’t completely auto fill it means there is another file name there similar so you have to type a few more letters and then ‘tab’ again.  This saves much time and errors.
  4. start typing the name of the file you want the newly created PDF to be named.  Likely it will be the same as the photo name which is great and convenient because you can use the same TIP above with the tab button and it will auto-fill it quickly.  Caution: if you use auto-fill make sure you change the last three letters to ‘.pdf’ so that it will actually open as a pdf!
  5.  Here is what an example command will look like before you press enter: convert photo_document.png photo_document.pdf
  6. Press enter

If you know how to do basic terminal navigation, this is truly a lightening fast process and super useful.  That said, there is probably a light conversion app out there that does this on Ubuntu and I’d like not to use the terminal if possible so please share

How to Take a Multi-Page PDF File and Split Them into Individual Files

  1. go to the Ubuntu software center search and get “PDF Sam” pdf_sam
  2. Use the ‘split’ feature
  3. Mess around with all the options (I don’t have time to do a full tutorial here)
  4. Enjoy!

How to Take a Multi-Page PDF File and Split Them at a Certain Point in the File

 

  • go to the Ubuntu software center search and get “PDF Sam” pdf_sam
  • Use the ‘split’ feature
  • Make sure you choose the ‘split after these pages’ and the file will ‘cut’ right there.  I haven’t tried it but I bet you could put a comma in there after each page number you want to split at and split a whole series of pages….
  • Enjoy!

 

How to Watermark or Stamp or Batch Adjust Multiple Pages on a PDF in 10 Easy Steps

Tutorial about how to stamp.

Tutorial about how to watermark.

How to Rotate All Pages in a Multi Page PDF File

I wrote this tutorial earlier for this one here.

How to Turn Anything You Can Print into a PDF Document (ie. Emails, web pages, etc)

I wrote this tutorial earlier for this one here.

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Ubuntu Phone About to Shake Things Up

I’ve been an Ubuntu fan since 2009 now.  As soon as I met Ubuntu it was game over for all my desktops, laptops, netbooks, home media servers, etc.  There was no competitor who could make a new or existing machine run so quickly and reliably, and without the pain of viruses and continual financial investments to keep it up to date.  The most exciting thing was that no one owned me.  When I heard that Ubuntu was moving to the phone, I purchased a Nexus 4 (N4) so that I could go along for the ride, as that was the first device for development.

I flashed it on, and took it for a ride.  The first thing I noticed was how amazing the user interface was.  It was as if (shocking as this may sound) someone had actually designed a phone with the user in mind.   When I was forced to use a fruit-phone by the big fruit company for a job once, it was like driving a luxury sports car with one arm cut off and in a cement warehouse:  high quality hardware, perhaps, but I’d rather have my freedom and functionality, thank you.  The big US spy agency phone (google/android) not only spied on me, but also has a user interface experience that never quite made sense.  It was (and still is) difficult to do some basic setting changes.  I tried cyanogen mod as a bit of a ‘lesser-of-two-evils’ but it too had the same issues because ultimately it’s all built on the same shaky foundation.

Ubuntu, on the other hand, is built with freedom and people in mind.  Randall Ross wrote a great post a while back about the pillars of Ubuntu (seven P’s) This article really helps us understand why Ubuntu is not just software.  Randall has been preaching this message for years but only now it’s starting to really hit home with some people.  People are starting to ‘get’ that they have been sold a bad deal for computers (Ubuntu has already taken over that show) but now also the computers we carry in our pockets.

As a business owner as well as sales person for our company, I will not deny that there were some bumpy roads in the beginning.  I needed some basic things that a smart phone could offer which were a bit buggy when Ubuntu launched on the phone a few years back.  I would flash back and forth between the bondage robot (android) and Ubuntu on my N4 while I tried to do my sales job.  No battle is easy and it was never promised to be so.  Some naysayers would laugh and say ‘why don’t you just wait until they have fixed it’?  This would anger me because “relying on they” is what has caused the world to be enslaved by their technology.  I knew that I could not wait for ‘they’ to fix things.  I had to become part of the solution somehow.  So I would stay up to date the best I could, periodically flash in and out and watch the growth. I would offer my feedback and needs to the developer groups and to my surprise, I found out that I wasn’t alone.  Others were listening, fixing, building, changing, debating, enhancing and more.  I realized one very exciting thing – I was and still am part of what is a major revolution in technology.

A revolution?  Isn’t that word a bit strong?

No, it’s not.  Do you remember just a few years ago when every phone in every pocket was either a Blackberry or a Nokia?  It wasn’t that long ago.  I believe it was around 2006, perhaps.  Their day is over.  A revolution occurred, albeit perhaps not one that has not helped the world.  The employees at Blackberry and Nokia felt the revolution and when it came time to renew your nasty cell phone contract, you felt the revolution too.

But this revolution is different.  This one comes without catches, snags or enslavement.  This one allows you to finally have some control over your phone instead of it and ‘they’ having control over you.  Now tell me that that is not a revolution?  Unless your head is really deep in the fruit and robot sand, you will be nodding your head in agreement with me and looking painfully at the ‘nice phone’ you just bought.

And so we are at another turning point.

How do you know when it’s a turning point?  For me it’s when the ‘thing’ moves from the underground to the masses.  It’s the point when it starts to ‘peek out’ and when ‘regular people’ start to acknowledge that something is happening.  For me, it’s when the mainstream media has *no choice* but to start covering it or be forced to lose respect.

I believe today is the day.

This article on a very mainstream technology website (you can tell it’s mainstream by the nasty ads for Microsoft, etc, that interrupt your reading) covered the revolution.  This article explains how the excitement is now here.  The author is unable to deny that something is going on.  He is unable to restrain from wanting to be involved.

The timing on this article was also interesting for another reason.  It perfectly confirmed advice I gave to a friend who is in the middle of launching a kind of ‘uber business’.   He launched his business with the traditional iOS and Android ‘app’ approach.  He wanted to show it to me and so he instructed me to ‘download the app’.  After a short discussion, I explained to him that this business model may be outdated and on the way to extinction.  I did not want to be forced to give a big bad company my information (including GPS location!) to explore my friends business on my phone. I explained politely that he was violating my privacy.  By the end of the conversation, I believe that he took my advice to *strongly consider* moving his development to the Ubuntu platform – a place where he will be immediately received with a warm embrace, not to mention a place that is future proof.

Every business that uses technology (and I believe that is *every* business) needs to seriously consider where they will be in three years.  The way of the fruit and the slave robot is now over.  With the Meizu Pro 5, there is now a very exciting and viable option out of the box.  There are no more excuses to not jump in with all support.  Not only will you bring more freedom to your customers but you will also sleep better at night knowing that the future of your success is not in the hands of a few very powerful people.

Today is a new and very exciting day for the Ubuntu project.

 

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SIP VOIP Clients for Ubuntu for PBX for Business

So you have a business and you also want to build that business on Ubuntu.  You have this annoying need for the old school ‘phone’ and maybe even the older-school ‘fax’.  Your team is all over the place and you want it to appear as if you are a big, professional organization.  The answer is simple – Voice Over Internet Phone (VOIP) system using the SIP protocol. These systems are called “PBX” or “Hosted PBX” for those who don’t have the bananas or are too busy to try building their own phone system (like me).  If you do have both time and bananas, you could get an old computer and build an asterisk machine which essential does what these paid companies do for you.  But time is money and mucked up phone systems could be lost $$… Sup to you.

Just as a reference and a quick plug, I use this Vancouver Canada based company Peopleline because they have proven to be very solid, reasonably priced and very reliable technology running it.  Simple, works, and I don’t have to think about it.

Assuming you have chosen your PBX provider or have your own box running in your basement, now you have to put a ‘softphone’ on your computer, or even your smartphone.  You can do both of these but I will focus only on Ubuntu because Ubuntu is the future and Ubuntu is now.  The rest is just noise.  However, that said, you may have a few team members who have not fully woken up to the fact that their operating system is killing them so for this blog I will be focusing on SIP clients (soft phone software) that will work on Ubuntu and on these horrible other operating systems.  I will be making quick notes on them and giving them a quick review, however, please note that each project is open source so it could be that the day after I post they are already fixed and working.  As of today, though, these are my thoughts:

Twinkle

I should promote Twinkle because Twinkle *only* runs on Ubuntu (not on fruit or redmond, for example).  I wish that I could use Twinkle in our organization but we have a team member who is still booting fruit and so we have to let that story play out to it’s inevitable destination.  I remember using Twinkle and remembering that it was very solid, like Jitsi.  I cannot speak from recent experience about it, but I would recommend any organization that is fully Ubuntu to explore Twinkle and perhaps even add your comments below for the world to benefit from.  I will hopefully be able to switch to Twinkle one day, however… Jitsi is here…

Jitsi

The final verdict is that Jitsi is the best, the most bug-free, always working, pretty robust ‘answer’ for now. It also works cross platform, so they say, which I will have some other victims test for me since I won’t be booting up fruit or redmond.

Jitsi also can take both 555-555-5555 and 555.555.5555 formats, strip the stuff and make the call. This was the deal breaker for me because over one year it will probably save me a who day worth of clicking as some other clients cannot do this simple task

Jitsi is a bit sluggish, however, and seems to take a while to boot up.  If you have a newer machine, it should be fine.

Jitsi also provided me some initial headaches when I first got set up.  The default settings didn’t work with Peopleline, but after a while I found a blog post, copied the settings and it has been a dream ever.  It may be that these settings will work for 99% of the clients out there so I plan to blog those settings with screen shots after posting this.

Yate

Yate is more simple, nicer interface, always works, if you can work with two bugs:

Bug 1: you have to remove the – or the .  from any phone number before you call it.  Unlike Jitsi, Yate doesn’t seem smart enough to strip these away.

Bug 2: There is some audio problem where when a call comes in, you have to hit the pause button twice to engage the call.  This creates about a 2 second lag when you answer your phone which isn’t cool.  However, there is a workaround.  If you shut off your ringer in the settings (permanently) it will answer perfectly, but – you don’t have a ringer and that is kind of an important feature on an old-school phone 🙁

Yate is my second choice so far.

Ring.cx

Honestly, I was really hoping that Ring was going to work.  But there are so many major bugs I had to actually uninstall it completely.  I could make calls but no sound was there. I tried to muck with the settings like I did with Jitsi, but no go.  Ring is the coolest of the options because you can make decentralized ‘phone calls’ from it.  So, I love the project itself but it is definitely *not* a good choice for running a business phone on Ubuntu.  I definitely hope to change this report.

 

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Is Gmail Safe to use ‘Just for Business’?

No.  Google is *not* safe to use ‘just for business’, I confirmed clearly today.

About seven or eight years ago when I moved my whole life over from proprietary operating systems to Ubuntu, I was still using services like Gmail, Google search engine, Twitter, and a few other ‘services’ like these every day within the Ubuntu environment.  Thankfully, I had the opportunity to hear first hand the following most unfortunate story from a German employee of the company that I owned at the time:

“My good friend was just about to get hired for the German police force. She passed all the physical exams and did all the other training courses.  There was no reason whatsoever that she should not have been hired.  This was her dream job.  Then, one day, she was sat down by the decision maker and in one sentence her dreams were crushed .  This is what they said:

“We are sorry but we cannot hire you.  You are connected via Facebook, to a known criminal.”

She explained that she didn’t even know this person beyond a hello in a bar and that he was in fact the friend of a friend, not her own friend.

Too bad.  So sad.  The end.  A dream crushed.

All because of Facebook’s most excellent free ‘social service’.

I immediately shut down my Facebook account and started warning everyone I know to do the same.

But Google and gmail remained.  Why?

Four main reasons: ignorance, habit, free (as in $, but not freedom), and monopoly of android OS

Slowly over time, I was able to able to get rid of the usage of Gmail and Google search in my daily life, but even now there are traces of these accounts because of my android mobile device(s).  Thankfully I’m now aware and nearly moved over to the much better Ubuntu mobile, but it takes time and even now for business I’m back and forth between systems while the kinks are worked out.  For an article about some bigger-picture reasons why you should start ditching Google, here is an article I wrote a while back.  The main reason was I could literally feel their peeping eyes when custom ads and subtle very suggestive marketing started showing up all around me in browsers, the inbox, and even in obviously targeted emails that I started receiving.  Everything was *very* tailored to my thoughts. Someone was *definitely* watching me.  And I I did not like the feeling.

But all of the above spew is just preamble to my main point which is to answer this question:

“Is it ok to use Google (specifically Gmail) if I only use it for business. “

To be honest, I’ve been a hypocrite.  I knew from my previous research and hours of time spent reading articles that Google is to be avoided at all costs because of the most glaring attacks on personal privacy in literally everything they do.  However, because I started a new company and the other founder was most comfortable with Gmail, I figured it wouldn’t affect us too badly if we just used it as a quick launching pad since we were in a mad rush to set up and he had configured this in the past for our former company.  I figured if I used it just in my Thunderbird email client and didn’t touch the webmail client that I would somehow be more safe from the peeping-tom eyes of Alphabet Corporation and it would not negatively affect me *personally* (i.e. at my personal residence) nor compromise my *personal* position and decision to live a life of privacy and quiet personal enjoyment.

I am sad to say, and not surprised to report that I was wrong and my error compromised my personal privacy and the privacy of my family and set me back many steps from the years of work I had invested in un-googling (or de-googling, whichever verb you choose).  And the way I figured it out happened in the most glaring way this morning – thankfully – or it might have taken me longer to figure it out (I wasn’t the fastest kid in school).

I was reading my Bible (very personal) and went to the normal site where I listen to an audio Bible.  Since I had un-Googled, the ads that appear in the main advertising pane of this site have always been very general.  They were relevant to the ‘general audience’ of a Bible reader. Example ads would be ‘Tour to Israel’ (Christians love those), Audio Bible on CD (not sure who would buy those but they are probably old), and the like.

But today was different – Very different.

Today the advertisement was for a hotel.  But not only is it odd that an advertisement for a hotel should show up, but it was not just any hotel.   It was a *local* hotel.  Huh? And not only was it a local hotel, but it was a very, very small boutique local hotel that nearly no one in the city even knows exists.  Huh???  But the part that really made me squirm was the fact that it was a hotel that I had *just* reached out to for a sales call for my new company – by email.   Ok.  Now I’m concerned.

And why am I bothered by this?  If you are asking this question you are likely thinking one or all of the following:

  • he probably sent them an email or sent an email about them from his Gmail (webmail)
  • he probably searched them first via Google search in a browser or used Google maps and Google tracked it
  • who cares?  I have these custom ads showing up around me all the time and I don’t mind. I have nothing to hide!

The last point was thrown in for fun and if you believe that you should close my blog post and go back to your fully compromised life – but don’t don’t say I didn’t warn you.  However, if you legitimately do want to live a more private life and be spied on less, and were assuming the first two bullet points above, to my surprise and to yours, you are wrong.

I have not *ever* opened my business email with Gmail web mail.  I have not done it once and definitely not from my home.

I have not *ever* searched this hotel with Google search engine, not even for a map (I use www.duckduckgo.com for my search engine which doesn’t track you)

The only place that I ever communicated about the hotel was by email, to the contact point at the hotel, using Thunderbird email client, from my home office.  The wild part is that I’m not exactly sure how they did it. I can only guess that the IP address of my computer (I sadly don’t use a VPN service yet because I’ve been too busy to figure it out) was attached to the email that I sent.  The email then went through the Google servers using the typical email server settings that are plugged into the Thunderbird email client, and then the body of the text (I sadly have not yet set up PGP encryption for the business email either – yes bad me) was analysed by Google.  Once the IP address was connected to the scanned text of the email body, it was sent off to it’s Google ad-words department where the appropriate advertisement was then pushed to my Bible web page as an advertisement when they saw me show up online from the same IP address of my home office this morning.

And the part that *really* chaps my hindquarters is the fact that we are *paying* Google for this email ‘spying service (corporate gmail)’ every month knowing full well that I’m not only participating in this spying, but also endorsing it.

I’m guilty of not putting more energy and effort into protecting myself and my family, but the global effort needs to start soon so that there is a critical demand for a better privacy.  Why is it that I feel that I am one of the odd ones out because I am making some effort?  Is it not possible for the average person to take what they see before their eyes and take small action steps about it?

“But I have nothing to hide!” 

Please take a moment to read these two articles from reputable sources:

http://www.wired.com/2013/06/why-i-have-nothing-to-hide-is-the-wrong-way-to-think-about-surveillance/

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-security/why-nothing-to-hide-misrepresents-online-privacy/

Nothing to hide is pure bunk.  You simply don’t yet value one of the most fundamental *rights* available in our countries.  And if you do not begin to value it soon and help, you will lose this right and deeply regret it (think North Korea).

So, now I’ve confirmed my worst fear about using Google for business, even the paid corporate Gmail.  I’ve confirmed that Google is taking my business emails, analysing the content somewhere, taking my IP address (which in my case was my personal residence) and then using it against me for their further gain.  Even though we pay them and even pay them *more* than what our local email service provider would charges for the same storage and service, they do this to us.

I rest my case, Your Honour.

But wait! There’s more!

By participating in Google’s game, I am also compromising our *client’s* information and, *without their consent*.  If the content of this email was scanned and it involved a prospective customer, that means that *all* company emails are being scanned and used for purposes of which I was not fully aware at the time.  What other things are they doing to us and our customers?  See this article I wrote before about REALTORS and what I view as a breach of fiduciary duty to their clients.

I now believe that it is not right for us to, in good faith, publish that we are protecting our client’s privacy.  By using Gmail in business one is knowingly (now that you read my post at least) putting not only your own company’s information at risk but also the information of your clients.

Do you have a privacy statement that looks something like this:

“COMPANY NAME demands directors, employees, officers, etc to safeguard client data during and after their employement, etc, etc.”

I now question whether a company is compliant with such statements and whether or not a client could, if they could prove you were using a service like Gmail, sue your company for being in such obvious breach of their data.  Your clients, when they send you an email, are not expecting your company to be working cooperatively with a vendor who is analyzing their data.  And if they are, they will likely not be suing you.  But there might be a client like me who doesn’t want you broadcasting their data without their consent.  I would be very unpleased if I was the customer of a company using Gmail knowing what I know now.

It is also very unfair to impose Gmail on an employee, especially if they will be working from home.  I suppose if they only work from within the office, that would be fine but if they take a phone or laptop home and do company emailing, they are putting the privacy and security of their personal lives on the line for their work – which is totally unfair if not disrespectful.  Yes, they could quit and move elsewhere but wouldn’t it be better to brag to them about how much you respect their privacy and their family’s and even help them set up their home more securely?

I’m deeply concerned that our company is not alone in this very risky situation.  I am aware that this stuff is difficult to find time to learn about and to subsequently change. Out of habit we operate.  Out of saving a few bucks (or thinking that you are) we operate.

It is typically the case that a big company change will only occur after the nasty event has already happened (ie. a data breach, privacy breach lawsuit, etc).  But if we start diligently today dedicating a little time to making positive change, I’m fully convinced that in one calendar year the world would be a much safer place to use the internet.

Something to chew on at your next board meeting…

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What does your Email say about you?

I love this post and I come back to it time and time again.  However, it is now both out of date and also needs further commenting.  First, though, go take a look and enjoy the original here:

COOL CARTOON THAT EXPLAINS HOW YOUR EMAIL REPRESENTS YOU

Here are my updates, and I’d love any extras or edits you could provide to make it better:

@hotmail

  • still sends out warnings about the latest email scams
  • is likely from China and thinks this is a way to be more north american, much like changing their name from Wong Wing-Luen to Wayne Wong or Hsien Yang Lee to Stanford Lee – except they missed the memo that fluffybunny2259111@hotmail.com might not land them the dream job…

@gmail

  • thinks that gmail is somehow more secure than hotmail
  • is in denial that google is an american spy agency with sociopathic tendencies
  • thinks that it’s totally ok for google to spy on their inbox and GPS location in exchange for such a great free email and creepy-accurate search engine
  • says ‘I don’t have anything to hide’ when someone explains the violation of their privacy
  • runs google stuff on their iphone just to be sure no one accuses them of being slave to just one task master
  • is surprised, even horrified about what google has seen of their private life, yet continues to use it
  • periodically watches CNN news
  • Godaddy is ‘alright with them’

@icloud

  • got an ipad for christmas from their kids or grandkids and since it ain’t broke why try to fix it?
  • forwards videos of pets doing funny things and historic ones of when things were better
  • think they are really becoming ‘techies’ and use the word ‘techie’ regularly

@outlook

  • think that real business people use Microsoft
  • teach business courses at the local college
  • run small book keeping businesses
  • pay lots of money for anti-virus software and buy a new computer (with Windows) when Windows slows it down
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Has the Traditional ‘Telephone Call’ Seen Its Day?

Which do you prefer? The sound of an incoming text message, or a telephone call?  Which sound makes you lose your focus more?  Which sound evokes more stress?  Which sound compels you to take action?

It seems as though the people around my age and younger would say ‘anything is better than the phone call’.   And you will notice that they don’t call people much, either.  They practice what they preach in that way.

And for people my age or slightly older (I hover around 40 now) the phone call is an ‘interruptive technology’.  You are just about to get started on that business plan., or you are right in the middle or writing that blog post, or you have just found a few quiet minutes to read your Bible and then ‘ring-a-ling-ding-my-dingy-ling-long-wang-chung-have-fun-tonight’ happens.  Or perhaps some other ringtone.  But it doesn’t stop.  Then, if you want to know what this person wanted you have to go to your voice mail, only to find out that no one leaves a voice mail any more because who the heck doesn’t have some kind of caller ID?

It would appear the traditional ‘phone call’ for social purposes is dying indeed…

Even my mom who is 76 years old said ‘text message because it doesn’t keep ringing while I’m on the toilet!”  Good point, mommers!

I believe that phone still has one place and that is for business calls during business hours, or as one friend put it “I don’t take calls that are not scheduled.”  So here is how I see phone still having a place until everyone has some form of VOIP connection:

  • a message (ie. text, Telegram, email) is sent scheduling the call.

example:  eg. “J-dog. Able to chat at 9:30 for 10 minutes?” or

Dear Mr. Robertson, do you have an hour at any point tomorrow for a phone call?

  • the call is made or rejected or rescheduled

For a business, however, it makes sense to have the phone lines open for sales and customer service.  Anyone in sales or customer service would be justified to be with phone and on call.  They are paid to be interrupted.

Did I miss anything?

Do you disagree?

 

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Lucky Cat Gits No Respect!

 

And check this out!  I told you! I told you!  Now Lucky Cat gets reduced. 

 

lucky-cat-reduced

 

LUCKY CAT GITS NO RESPECT!

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How to Rotate Permanently All Pages in PDF Using Ubuntu

If you are too busy to read all my blog articles (say it ain’t so, mama) then you may have missed this nugget of helpfulness.  How often does the realtor or lawyer or such fabulous professional need to slap a confidential stamp on a doc?

However, today I was sent a confidential document that was lying on its side when I opened it.  After about 10 minutes and a screwed up neck I decided that I would not put my potential client through such pain and suffering and would find a way right this wrong.

And I did, praise God.

All you need to do is get setup with the same software PDF Chain (special shout out of thanks to the crew who made it, again) mentioned in the article above.  This time however, the steps are a little different.  Follow along.  It’s pretty easy and works real nice.  Also, if you plan on also stamping a confidential stamp on there, you will have to perform this step *first* anyways or it makes stamping it brutally hard with the wrong orientation.

 

  1. click ‘burst’
  2. click ‘source file’ and go and find your multi-page document that needs adjust ment

how-to-rotate-01

 

how-to-rotate-2

 

3. Click ‘save as’ and find a place where you wish to save all these individual pages.  I suggest you create a folder for this moment since if you have a lot of pages they are going to end up getting split into individual files as the following shows:

how-to-rotate-03

4. Go back to PDF chain and now we are going to reassemble them as one file and rotate them at the same time by clicking ‘concatenate’.  Don’t worry.  Until I found PDF Chain I also had no idea what that word meant.  Looks like a Spanish festival or something..  but I digress.  What you need to do now is add all those files you just created with the + plus sign button as the following shows:

how-to-rotate-04

5. Now you will note the ‘rotation’ column.  If you click it will give you 90, 180, or 270 degrees.  go through and change each one to whatever you want.  Honestly, I think there might be a bug here because the one I expected to work didn’t and the only one that didn’t make sense made it work… but I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed so maybe it will make sense to you.  Just be prepared to try a different orientation if it doesn’t work right the first time in the output file.

how-to-rotate-6

6. Choose ‘save as’, choose your location where you want the single file to be saved, give it a name and then choose ‘save’.

That’s it.  Now you should have your original file in the orientation you like.

Now, if you would like to go and add ‘confidential’ or other stamps or watermarks to it, go ahead and dive into my original post on the topic and that should work like a dream.  It does for me.

Thanks for showing up.  Here’s a yellow sunshine sticker for you.

ubuntu-pdfchain

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What is an Entrepreneur and Can We Turn it Off?

What exactly is an entrepreneur and is it possible to turn the switch off?  I’ll answer the second question first: No.  You can’t.  You might drop the ball for a long time but you’ll die unsatisfied if you forever stop action towards building something.  Now that we got that out of the way, what is an entrepreneur?

My friend sent me this article today and I had to chuckle a bit.  It seemed in many ways to paint a perfect picture of me, but a few points jumped out where I stood strongly against them.  I’ll only highlight the points that I have comments on or disagree with:

4. You marvel at successful business owners. Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are just a few of your heroes.

Although their bags of money are impressive, it would be hard to write a list of men I would like to be less than these folks with the exception perhaps of Branson.  Zuckerberg is responsible for the greatest invasion of privacy ever, Jobs was a demonically inspired and a harsh man to people who built his empire and Gates is – well – boring like the government.  Yawn me to death.  I’m sure they all started as entrepreneurs but they seemed to all end real bad.  Hopefully Branson will be exception.

18. You like calling the shots. You like the sound of being a director.

No. I don’t.  The last thing in the world I would want to be is a director.  I want to be a builder and an encourager of talent – somehow.

19. You set goals for yourself. Big or small, goals fill your life.

No. I don’t. And that’s also why I haven’t succeeded yet.

23. You plan everything down to the little details. Plans are a prerequisite for any activity.

Not even close to who I am.  I hate plans. See #19 above.  But systems?  I love systems.  Systems help me not have to plan as much.

29. You’re hyper competitive. You can’t even play a board game without flipping that switch.

Nope. I’m not.  However, I love to build stuff.  I feel that if you build stuff and learn how to build well, like houses, people will buy the product and like working with you.

32. You negotiate whatever you can. Flea markets and salaries are just the beginning.

Nope. I don’t negotiate anything.  If someone wants to write out a contract where they take 80% of my company and I am excited about building it, I’d probably sign it on the spot.  That’s also why I insist on working with logical people.

36. You avoid things that waste your time. You’re immune to mobile games and idle social-media time.

I have to give a big ‘amen’ to this one.  Like a loud ‘amen’.  Freakin’ hate crap that sucks my will to live – like TV.

38. You make rational decisions, not emotional ones. For the most part, you trust your logic over your emotions

No. Not me.

43. You’re crazy about new technology. You’re addicted to learning how new technologies can improve your life.

There it is! woot!

44. You read the news every day. It’s an ingrained habit.
I only read the Good News of the Bible every day.  Worldly news I let others filter and then tell me if I happen to talk to them.

All in all, this is an amazing summary blog about what an entrepreneur is.

To expand slightly, for me, it’s the most incredible thought to think that perhaps I, a grain of sand on a beach, might be able to impact the entire beach if just the right opportunity comes at the right time, and I take the right action with everything I’ve got, with the right people.

It is on this hope that I keep fighting and never give up.

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