Tag: Life Skills

Life Hack: Using Clips to Improve Your Life

I don’t usually find a lot of videos that have a wide appeal, but this bad-boy is really good.  Except for his use of unsafe technology (apple) in his demo and their nasty proprietary adaptors, this is a very inspiring and useful video.

USEFUL VIDEO TO USE CLIPS EVERY DAY

I had some challenges replicating his ear-bud trick because my ear buds have a rigid mute button section but I’m sure there is a way to make it work with that, too.

I’m definitely going to go and buy myself a bag of clips and I bet the clip industry just got a nice boost in annual revenue thanks to this dude.

I also found this article to build further on your already-excellent repertoire.

Hope you enjoyed as much as I did.

 

 

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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  However, it is now both out of date and also needs further commenting.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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Question the Magic (QTM): Hello Barbie

Thanks to my usual homeboys for forwarding this one.  It’s simply…. MAGIC!

HELLO BARBIE which costs a mere… oh…. HUNDRED BUCKS, will also, for that small fee, spy on your children (and you as a bonus) and report its findings to an unidentified source for not-fully-disclosed purposes.

The Magic

Your kid speaks to Barbie and Barbie comes back with one of EIGHT THOUSAND possible lines.  That size vocabulary seems like ‘magic’.  To kids, even more so.

The Smoke.  The Mirrors. (new section)

Your kid’s voice (and yours if you spend any time with your kid which you will likely no longer have to do once they get this bad-boy) is ‘magically’ whisked away through your wifi connection, to a server that is not yours, where it is torn apart, analysed and then matched to a good response.  The good response is sent back to Barbie who ‘magically’ speaks it to your kid.

The Risks

Your kids voice is leaving your house and going into the hands of a bunch of people you don’t know.  Entire conversations could be recorded and analysed by unknown groups of people with unknown motives.  You put your own child at risk, you put at risk the children who hang out with your child, and you put at risk anyone within earshot of Hello Barbie’s ‘magic’.

The Solution

By your child a gift without a battery or internet connection this year, or, better yet, don’t buy them anything at all and take the money you were going to spend on them and go for a nice meal out, look in their eyes, and tell them how much you love them.

Hello Barbie won’t cry about it.

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Phone with Etiquette or No Phone At All?

Yesterday a friend of mine sent a list of phone etiquette to make sure that we are being as respectful and professional as possible in the way we represent our company and ourselves as individuals.  I am thankful for the list and I made a mental note of all the suggestions and implemented the changes that I could.

However, before presenting the list, I thought it was interesting timing that it was sent to me on the very same day that I published this articlePerhaps, since the telephone itself seems to be a dying form of communication, more efforts should be spent on putting the last nails in its coffin rather than focusing energies on doing it better.  This was a point presented to me.

A conversation started about my article was about voice mail, for example.  Here is a copy and paste from our email dialogue:


me: There is one person who calls me all the time. I mean all the time. Then, what’s more funny is they always leave a voice mail and the message is always the same “call me back when you have some time.”

“Call me back when you have some time??” I just spent 2 minutes checking my voice mail to find that??

friend: This is exactly the use case for having someone else answer your calls. That person obviously:

  • Wants to talk to someone,
  • Does not value your time,
  • Doesn’t get the basic etiquette of leaving detailed messages,
  • Frustrates you.

While we consider whether the phone is an interruptive technology that breaks focus and sucks our productive time, or whether it’s legitimate, relevant and useful we will continue to debate.  In the meantime, here is the phone etiquette list that he sent me, with his comments [and my comments in these nice square brackets], that I think is good to adhere while we await the cultural and social shift to complete:


 

Phone off the table. 
It’s usually a no-no. Shows lack of respect as you’re not giving the person 100% of your attention.
Ringtone.
Get a normal ringtone. Something professional sounding like a regular phone ringing or something not large and different. Your current ringtone is jarring when it goes off and it doesn’t sound professional.  It should not be jarring. it should not be obnoxious.  [I thought my hip-hop bass loop was dope…?]
Voicemails.
Keep them short.
[I would add to not leave one at all if it doesn’t contain specific information that will justify the 1.5 minutes they will have to spend to retrieve said message]
Meetings.
Don’t answer your phone in a meeting with a client or vendor unless you absolutely have to. By keeping your phone out of sight it makes it a lot easier to keep to this rule.
[I would add that by turning it off completely would assure focus.  Perhaps if someone around you was gravely ill or giving birth you might be justified but clearly explain this to the person you are with in advance]
Announce your name / company name when answering. 
[this works well and is recommended unless you, like me, have multiple businesses running through the same phone number….  another good case for VOIP technology over the phone]
Speakerphone.
Let people know if they are on speaker phone.
[unless you are recording them for future incriminating evidence for court]
[lol?]
The above list is good for business, but I would say that this list should also be applied to any social gathering.  It’s quite sad to watch a couple checking their emails with wine and and candlelight in an expensive restaurant.  It speaks to our sad state of disconnectedness and we should be ashamed…

 

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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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Driving: A True Depiction

 

My mom responded with this video but didn’t actually put it in this post so I’ll help her out…

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Our Online Future Encapsulated

A friend of mine sent me this speech (transcribed) today and I was absolutely unable to stop reading it right to the end.  I found out that my browser has ‘reader mode’ which was cool, by the way.

Read this article.  You’ll learn about how you are victimized but it ends with some awesome inspiration.

It encapsulates:

  1. Our current situation of privacy invasion
  2. Some super tangible and practical solutions we can start implementing
  3. The bigger picture of the sharing of wealth (yes, he managed to get this in as well)

Beautiful!!

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Seriously Moving Artwork for Our Generation

It’s very rare that I’m moved by art, to be frank. I’m kind of pragmatic and busy.  But this link crossed my path and stopped me in my tracks.

Steve Cutts, whoever this guy is – is simply amazing.

Take a look at each piece of art.  Just let each one sink in and I’m convinced you might start to rethink the way you live a little bit.

Thanks, Steve! Your work is forever emblazoned on my brain walls…

 

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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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Who is Bad: Ashley Madison, the Hackers, or the Clients?

Answer: All three.

Ashley Madison built their empire on the nasty foundation of encouraging the destruction of marriages, their clients took the bait like Adam and Eve, and the hackers trespassed.

But Jesus died for all of them.

What matters most in this story is the theme of internet security.  This article covers most of the key points if you need to brush up, like I did, on what this topic is even about.

Now that we’ve seen pretty much the epidemy of potential personal damages that could result from a digital breach, it’s important to take a very high level look at how we handle our information.  It’s tempting to get very lazy and not consider these things but you must or you, too, will be breached (hopefully not at a website like this, though).

What we all need is a personal audit.  A trusted person to come in and ‘hack at our digital life’ for three hours and give us a report to show us just how naked we are.  I am guessing that 98% of us will be labelled as ‘dancing naked in front of apartment window at night’ under the vulnerability section of the audit.  Some of those questions might be:

  • do you use gmail?
  • do you use Facebook?
  • how about hotmail?
  • do you let your kids use a computer or smartphone alone?
  • do you have apps on your phone?
  • do you have location services turned on your phone?
  • do you have anyone in your life who knows about this crap?
  • do you put incriminating information into SMS text messages?
  • do you have security cameras at your house?
  • do you use windows?
  • do you use apple?
  • and more

And with your semi-annual audit you can reduce your potential breaches significantly.

As a starting point, get to know members of your local ubuntu community.

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