The unusual story of Jim Kubicek, an IT consultant and business owner in Cumming, Georgia captured my attention recently. Due to a disagreement with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce having unpaid bills, Jim’s company KIT cut off its services. What followed was the local Sheriff charging Jim with “theft by extortion”, “computer theft”, and “computer trespass”. All of these felonies could conceivably see Jim spending 45 years in jail. Incredibly, this is a small town with a population of 5,613, so I’d expect people like Jim are known to a large number of people in his local area. This is becoming a far-too-common cautionary tale we can learn from.
While reading The Formula, by Luke Dormhel, a treatise on the many ways computer (and other scientists) have attempted to quantify and algorithmically understand the world, I was struck by this idea of our past present and future. What kind of future are we looking at when humans are replaced by robots and even laws are being handled by artificial intelligence? The answer is, I don’t know, but it got me thinking.
Last year I had an idea: Create a really, really high quality newsletter. Reading technology related news is a daily and rigorous ritual for me, so why not take that effort and synthesize it into a curated list of “What to Read”? Many others are doing this, of course, but I felt the value for readers was to get it from your trusted technical advisor (I manage technology for a number of small and medium sized businesses). For many years this voracious appetite for news and information was only for myself, but I knew it was time to change that. Time to share this with the world.
The story is all too common: I go onto Kijiji (a Canadian Craigslist clone) and find what I had been looking for: an iPad. I see the post’s price and presume it’s an “anchor” price, so I start off asking if the device is available and if they’d take a lower number. What follows is finding out the iPad posting was misrepresented as a “personal” sale, when in fact it was a business selling the product at a firm price, quoted without tax. Another asshole muddying what’s known as the “grey” market for the rest of us. Too many of these types of experiences, and you start to wonder if this can ever be improved past this level of failed experiment.
You might think the two of these have nothing in common, but I find it surprising how these two share similar tactics. In fact, taking a similar approach to writing information in each place might improve your odds of getting that message accross clearly and concisely. You may be the type of person that writes one-word message in email and Tinder profiles; and this wouldn’t be an article for you. For everyone else, however, read on to see these two in action.
When I was asked to move a customer’s 2000-odd contacts and 13 gigabytes of mail to Google’s cloud services from his MacOS-based computer, I knew this was going to be more than a challenge. To complicate matters, he had been using Outlook as a POP3 client of Google Mail and kept all his folders locally in Outlook 2011. From the beginning, I knew this was going to be an undertaking but I have some tips to help you face these particular challenges.
By now you’ve probably noticed the photos I share have two distinct attributes. First, none of them are watermarked with a name, company or otherwise. Second, the photos come with titles and (relatively) long captions. Furthermore, I work to give you access to the highest possible resolution of each photograph. Why? I’ll fill you in on my process, and offer some tips about what you should do both of these very contentious ideas in photography.
You might remember I used to do a fun set of predictions on this blog. I would then take the previous year’s predictions and tally up my successes and failures. For some reason, I stopped doing that. It’s a shame because it allows for a great amount of introspection and foresight. Well, I’m back at it and I’m going to use this space to look back a bit, and then tell you what I think is coming for 2017.
While in the Dominican Republic I made it my personal mission to gain data access on my smartphone. Over the years, this process has become easier as the companies have accommodated smartphone users. With an unlocked smartphone, you can get reliable and useful pre-paid cell phone and data access in the Dominican. I’ve learned a few things along the way that you’ll want to know if you plan to do this.
Book authors like anyone in a creative industry are feeling the crunch of piracy. By all accounts, this is a big problem, but most reports we see from online outlets are bonkers, dubious and stated as pure loses. This is more than stupid when reasonable people should have good, useful information. The reality is, we should buy books and support authors more.