Wednesday, March 21, 2012
For more than 30 years, consulting actuary Steve Vernon helped large employers design and manage their retirement programs. Now he helps you meet the new retirement goals: Have enough money to be happy for a long, healthy life. Survive economic meltdowns. Avoid being broke at age 85. Live your life, not the life defined by others.
- By Amy Levin-Epstein
"I started working from home in October last year after the birth of my second baby prompted me to start my own business. With two small children at home with me most days, it can get tricky. Many people will say to work when children are sleeping, but I [say] to work when everyone is sleeping. I have on many occasions fired up the laptop at 2 a.m. after waking up in the night." -- Cassy Small, founder of Big Fish Planning
"As silly as this sounds, one thing that works for me is using the bathroom fan. I will go upstairs in my bedroom to do work and put on the bathroom fan. This louder, consistent humming noise is continually running in the background. When it is on, I cannot hear the phone, the door or outside distractions like cars or people talking." -- Len Saunders, author of "Keeping Kids Fit"
"Regardless of whether you are working from home or not, dress as if you are going to meet with clients. This will provide you with a better professional presence [even] over the phone. And do you really want to do dishes in that nice shirt/blouse?" -- Mark Frietch, president, TAC Services
"I'm more productive if I actually allow myself to work on my natural sleep cycle. I'm naturally a night owl, but for a long time I tried to keep regular business hours. It's an admirable thing to try to do, but I was groggy and unproductive in the morning. I finally decided to let myself work in the afternoons, evenings and sometimes well into the early morning hours. I'm able to hone in, focus and get things done. Not only am I more productive, I'm a lot happier, too!" -- Laura Williams, freelance writer and CEO of GirlsGoneSporty
"I am a slave to my to do list. I make a commitment to myself, based on the amount of time that I have available before a meeting or a break, of how many items I will cross off my to do list. I then stay at my desk until that many items are crossed off. For big tasks, I set a timer for 20 minutes at a time and work like crazy for that 20 minutes before taking a short break." -- Laura Barta, founder of Whole Wide World Toys
"For a long time, I had friends and family that assumed since I worked from home that I could simply do whatever I wanted when I wanted. Eventually I got so irritated at my boyfriend stopping by that I had to lay down a rule: if the door was shut and it was quiet inside, it meant I was basically at any kind of office and couldn't be bothered. Part of focus has so much to do with letting others know what the boundaries are." -- Desireee Baughman, blogger with Consumer Media Network and writer for InsuranceQuotes.org
"Don't feel guilty about leaving the house. I try to leave the house for at least two hours each day. Some days that means going to the gym. Other days it means taking my computer to Starbucks, going for a walk, or just going to the grocery store. Make weekend plans. When I went to the office everyday, my favorite way to spend my weekends was relaxing at home. Now that I work at home, I find that it's helpful to spend more time out of the house. When Monday comes around, I feel much more refreshed, focused and ready to take on the week." -- Kevin Spence, founder of Career Thoughts
"There's a reason large companies limit Internet access and websites -- because they're major time wasters. One of the best things you can do is block out a specific amount of time and unplug everything that doesn't have to do with what your task is at that very moment. Turning off your cellphone and shutting off your wireless router will eliminate the overwhelming draw that you feel to do anything but work. After you check your morning email and various other things, unplug at 9:30 a.m. and commit to not plugging back in until 12 p.m. See how much you'll get done in 2 1/2 hours of a web-less world, or, as some people call it, every day of work in the history of mankind until about 15 years ago." -- Jon Finkel, author of "The Three Dollar Scholar"
By Amy Levin-Epstein
1. Nurture Your Network ... Patiently
2. Ask How You Can Help
3. Know When to Ask — and How
4. Make the Web Work for You
5. Shake Some Hands
- Amy Levin-Epstein Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MWOnTheJob.
- By Amy Levin-Epstein
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
TelecomTV | Video | Executive Insight: WiFi no longer a dirty word
*If you received this via email, click on the link at "Posted by ECGMA to ECGeneral Blog" to view the blogpost"*
Monday, March 19, 2012
Who counts as an author under copyright law can be complicated, especially for software that has been worked on by many hands. This is why licenses are important. They can authorize uses of code in ways that would be otherwise impermissible under copyright law and, drafted appropriately, can protect users from arbitrary actions by the copyright holders.
In the proprietary software world, the license terms are designed to protect the copyright. They're a way of granting a few rights to users while reserving as much legal territory as possible for the owner (the copyright holder). The copyright holder is very important, and the license logic so restrictive that the exact technicalities of the license terms are usually unimportant.
As will be seen below, the copyright holder typically uses the copyright to protect the license, which makes the code freely available under terms he intends to perpetuate indefinitely. Otherwise, only a few rights are reserved and most choices pass to the user. In particular, the copyright holder cannot change the terms on a copy you already have. Therefore, in open-source software the copyright holder is almost irrelevant — but the license terms are very important.
Normally the copyright holder of a project is the current project leader or sponsoring organization. Transfer of the project to a new leader is often signaled by changing the copyright holder. However, this is not a hard and fast rule; many open-source projects have multiple copyright holders, and there is no instance on record of this leading to legal problems. Some projects choose to assign copyright to the Free Software Foundation, on the theory that it has an interest in defending open source and lawyers available to do it.
What Qualifies as Open Source
For licensing purposes, we can distinguish several different kinds of rights that a license may convey. There are rights to copy and redistribute, rights to use, rights to modify for personal use, and rights to redistribute modified copies. A license may restrict or attach conditions to any of these rights.
The Open Source Definition is the result of a great deal of thought about what makes software "open source" or (in older terminology) "free". It is widely accepted in the open-source community as an articulation of the social contract among open-source developers. Its constraints on licensing impose the following requirements:
An unlimited right to copy be granted.
An unlimited right to redistribute in unmodified form be granted.
An unlimited right to modify for personal use be granted.
The guidelines prohibit restrictions on redistribution of modified binaries; this meets the needs of software distributors, who need to be able to ship working code without encumbrance. It allows authors to require that modified sources be redistributed as pristine sources plus patches, thus establishing the author's intentions and an "audit trail" of any changes by others.
The OSD is the legal definition of the "OSI Certified Open Source" certification mark, and as good a definition of "free software" as anyone has ever come up with. All of the standard licenses (MIT, BSD, Artistic, GPL/LGPL, and MPL) meet it (though some, like GPL, have other restrictions which you should understand before choosing it).
Note that licenses that allow only noncommercial use do not qualify as open-source licenses, even if they are based on GPL or some other standard license. Such licenses discriminate against particular occupations, persons, and groups, a practice which the OSD's Clause 5 explicitly forbids.
Clause 5 was written after years of painful experience. No-commercial-use licenses turn out to have the problem that there is no bright-line legal test for what sort of redistribution qualifies as 'commercial'. Selling the software as a product qualifies, certainly. But what if it were distributed at a nominal price of zero in conjunction with other software or data, and a price is charged for the whole collection? Would it make a difference whether the software were essential to the function of the whole collection?
Nobody knows. The very fact that no-commercial-use licenses create uncertainty about a redistributor's legal exposure is a serious strike against them. One of the objectives of the OSD is to ensure that people in the distribution chain of OSD-conforming software do not need to consult with intellectual-property lawyers to know what their rights are. OSD forbids complicated restrictions against persons, groups, and occupations partly so that people dealing with collections of software will not face a combinatorial explosion of slightly differing (and perhaps conflicting) restrictions on what they can do with it.
This concern is not hypothetical, either. One important part of the open-source distribution chain is CD-ROM distributors who aggregate it in useful collections ranging from simple anthology CDs up to bootable operating systems. Restrictions that would make life prohibitively complicated for CD-ROM distributors, or others trying to spread open-source software commercially, have to be forbidden.
On the other hand, the OSD has nothing to say about the laws of your jurisdiction. Some countries have laws against exporting certain restricted technologies to named 'rogue states'. The OSD cannot negate those, it only says that licensors may not add restrictions of their own.
Standard Open-Source Licenses
Here are the standard open-source license terms you are likely to encounter. The abbreviations listed here are in general use.
MIT X Consortium license (like BSD's but with no advertising requirement)
University of California at Berkeley Regents copyright (used on BSD code)
Same terms as Perl Artistic License
GNU General Public License
Library (or 'Lesser') GPL
Mozilla Public License
We'll discuss these licenses in more detail, from a developer's point of view, in Chapter 19. For the purposes of this chapter, the only important distinction among them is whether they are infectious or not. A license is infectious if it requires that any derivative work of the licensed software also be placed under its terms.
Under these licenses, the only kind of open-source use you should really worry about is actual incorporation of the free-software code into a proprietary product (as opposed, say, to merely using open-source development tools to make your product). If you're prepared to include proper license acknowledgements and pointers to the source code you're using in your product documentation, even direct incorporation should be safe provided the license is not infectious.
The GPL is both the most widely used and the most controversial infectious license. And it is clause 2(b), requiring that any derivative work of a GPLed program itself be GPLed, that causes the controversy. (Clause 3(b) requiring licensors to make source available on physical media on demand used to cause some, but the Internet explosion has made publishing source code archives as required by 3(a) so cheap that nobody worries about the source-publication requirement any more.)
Nobody is quite certain what the "contains or is derived from" in clause 2(b) means, nor what kinds of use are protected by the "mere aggregation" language a few paragraphs later. Contentious issues include library linking and inclusion of GPL-licensed header files. Part of the problem is that the U.S. copyright statutes do not define what derivation is; it has been left to the courts to hammer out definitions in case law, and computer software is an area in which this process (as of mid-2003) has barely begun.
At one end, the "mere aggregation" certainly makes it safe to ship GPLed software on the same media with your proprietary code, provided they do not link to or call each other. They may even be tools operating on the same file formats or on-disk structures; that situation, under copyright law, would not make one a derivative of the other.
At the other end, splicing GPLed code into your proprietary code, or linking GPLed object code to yours, certainly does make your code a derivative work and requires it to be GPLed.
It is generally believed that one program may execute a second program as a subprocess without either program becoming thereby a derivative work of the other.
The case that causes dispute is dynamic linking of shared libraries. The Free Software Foundation's position is that if a program calls another program as a shared library, then that program is a derivative work of the library. Some programmers think this claim is overreaching. There are technical, legal, and political arguments on both sides that we won't rehash here. Since the Free Software Foundation wrote and owns the license, it would be prudent to behave as if the FSF's position is correct until a court rules otherwise.
Some people think the 2(b) language is deliberately designed to infect every part of any commercial program that uses even a snippet of GPLed code; such people refer to it as the GPV, or "General Public Virus". Others think the "mere aggregation" language covers everything short of mixing GPL and non-GPL code in the same compilation or linkage unit.
This uncertainty has caused enough agitation in the open-source community that the FSF had to develop the special, slightly more relaxed "Library GPL" (which they have since renamed the "Lesser GPL") to reassure people they could continue to use runtime libraries that came with the FSF's GNU compiler collection.
You'll have to choose your own interpretation of clause 2(b); most lawyers will not understand the technical issues involved, and there is no case law. As a matter of empirical fact, the FSF has never (from its founding in 1984 to mid-2003, at least) sued anyone under the GPL but it has enforced the GPL by threatening lawsuit, in all known cases successfully. And, as another empirical fact, Netscape includes the source and object of a GPLed program with the commercial distribution of its Netscape Navigator browser.
The MPL and LGPL are infectious in a more limited way than GPL. They explicitly allow linking with proprietary code without turning that code into a derivative work, provided all traffic between the GPLed and non-GPLed code goes through a library API or other well-defined interface.
When You Need a Lawyer
This section is directed to commercial developers considering incorporating software that falls under one of these standard licenses into closed-source products.
Having gone through all this legal verbiage, the expected thing for us to do at this point is to utter a somber disclaimer to the effect that we are not lawyers, and that if you have any doubts about the legality of something you want to do with open-source software, you should immediately consult a lawyer.
With all due respect to the legal profession, this would be fearful nonsense. The language of these licenses is as clear as legalese gets — they were written to be clear — and should not be at all hard to understand if you read it carefully. The lawyers and courts are actually more confused than you are. The law of software rights is murky, and case law on open-source licenses is (as of mid-2003) nonexistent; no one has ever been sued under them.
This means a lawyer is unlikely to have a significantly better insight than a careful lay reader. But lawyers are professionally paranoid about anything they don't understand. So if you ask one, he is rather likely to tell you that you shouldn't go anywhere near open-source software, despite the fact that he probably doesn't understand the technical aspects or the author's intentions anywhere near as well as you do.
Finally, the people who put their work under open-source licenses are generally not mega-corporations attended by schools of lawyers looking for blood in the water; they're individuals or volunteer groups who mainly want to give their software away. The few exceptions (that is, large companies both issuing under open-source licenses and with money to hire lawyers) have a stake in open source and don't want to antagonize the developer community that produces it by stirring up legal trouble. Therefore, your odds of getting hauled into court on an innocent technical violation are probably lower than your chances of being struck by lightning in the next week.
This isn't to say you should treat these licenses as jokes. That would be disrespectful of the creativity and sweat that went into the software, and you wouldn't enjoy being the first litigation target of an enraged author no matter how the lawsuit came out. But in the absence of definitive case law, a visible good-faith effort to meet the author's intentions is 99% of what you can do; the additional 1% of protection you might (or might not) get by consulting a lawyer is unlikely to make a difference.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Customers report unauthorised charges on iTunes
Monday, March 12, 2012
By Susan Harkins | March 11, 2012, 8:37 AM PDT
Outlook users probably generate the most annoying calls for support personnel. Word and Excel users want to know how to "do stuff," but Outlook users usually need something fixed. They're not malicious mistakes by any means, but Outlook is a complex tool and users are preoccupied with getting their work done — things just happen. Training goes a long way in many cases. If you can teach your users not to do these 10 things, you and your users will all be happier.
1: Clicking Reply All
When someone sends a message to multiple accounts, the recipients can respond to everyone by choosing Reply All instead of Reply. That means some of your users will get responses they don't need to see. It's a waste of their time. It's probably the most annoying thing Outlook users do. There's no cure for this one except to tell them not to. Some will ignore you, and some will do it accidentally anyway.
2: Using the all list
Many organizations have distribution lists so employees can send the same message to everyone on their team, everyone in the editorial department, all the managers, and so on. But one list usually goes to everyone in the organization. Users rejoice to learn that they can let everyone know when their daughters are selling cookies, when they're going on vacation, when they've moved their office, when they're collecting for a good cause… you see where this is going. This breach of good manners annoys everyone.
Tell your users to use the list judiciously — seldom, if at all. If it becomes a problem, restrict who can use the list.
3: Opening attachments from strangers
Some users see an attachment as a gift — surprise! They just can't help themselves. You can tell users not to open attachments, but good virus protection will usually protect the system, just in case. That's the good news. The bad news is, users still open attachments from strangers.
4: Clicking links
Clicking links is fun. They take you to cool sites with all kinds of offers and fun stuff — and embedded controls and scripts that do all kinds of evil things to the system. Most links are harmless, but most users can't discern a legitimate link from one that leads to a phishing site, hard drive failure, or worse.
Consistent training helps, but experience is the best teacher. Making this mistake carries a heavy fine: The user can't work until someone fixes the system. It's also humiliating and can be a bit scary for them. Implement the best software defenses you can, consistently remind users not to click links in unsolicited emails, and hope for the best.
5: Sharing stuff
I can't help wondering how much bandwidth and storage users waste spreading gossip and sharing angels will save the world chain letters, pictures of their offspring doing adorable things, and so on. Most organizations tolerate this misuse to promote harmony, even if it is annoying and wasteful. It's hard to put a price on good will.
6: Forgetting passwords
Long heavy mournful sigh, followed by a bit of gentle head banging.
Most users don't have to password-protect Outlook, but occasionally, you run into a setup where multiple users access their email via the same machine. To access their account, they have to remember their password. Good luck with that.
7: Ignoring messages
Some users just don't want to communicate via email. They don't like it and they don't want it. But in most organizations, email is no longer a convenience; it's how co-workers interact. Unfortunately, there's always one or two users who refuse to play nicely, who ignore emails or claim, "I never got that message." You can try to correct this behavior through training, but it usually turns into a management issue.
8: Sending email to everyone in their address book
Sending an email to everyone in the address book isn't easy to do — I mean, it's not easy to do by accident. Yet users still manage to do it. This is especially annoying if Outlook adds every sender to the address book as emails arrive. What a wasteful, annoying mess, especially if you have to get the administrator involved to try to recall them. (Just thinking about calling an admin makes me genuflect uncontrollably.) Training won't help here. Just say, "Don't ever do that again."
9: Deleting necessary items
One of the great support mysteries is why Outlook users delete contacts, only to discover they need them after all. This happens with all Outlook items, in fact: emails, tasks, appointments, and so on. You might encourage users not to be so quick to delete items. Let old items hang around for a while until they're truly obsolete. The exception is email; no one benefits from a neglected Inbox.
10: Deleting a profile
Outlook profiles relate accounts and settings to specific users. Most users will have only one, but having more than one is an efficient way to keep things separate. For instance, users might want a profile for work and another for home. You can also accommodate multiple users on the same machine by creating a profile for each user. Unfortunately, they sometimes delete profiles. I'm not sure how or why they do it, but they do.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
- Your original password.
- Your original password with the first letter capitalized. This is only for mobile devices, which sometimes capitalize the first character of a word.
- Your original password with the case reversed, for those with a caps lock key on.
2. Designing Compelling Messaging
3. Sending Strategic Newsletters
4. Online Advertising
5. Managing Customer Databases
6. Building Alliances
- Building an Effective Website - I have shared in other articles how important it is a website for e-Marketing to be successful. It is not only design and layout but also the real business strategy behind. You have to consciously to make your website effective for your business and engaging your customers interactively. A website will only perform well when it is being revised and updated according to the environmental changes with Compelling Messaging.
- Designing Compelling Messaging - It is really back to marketing basics about communications. You have to high play your products/services' benefits rather than functionality in order to distinguish your differential advantages over your competition. A lot of time, customers' buying decisions are based on trusts that built on the success references you are giving of other cases. Before you get this right, e-Marketing will never be a success.
- Sending Strategic Newsletters - e-Newsletters are so easy to send out if you have any emails of our suppliers, partners, customers and prospects. However, your compelling messaging must be ready before your e-Newsletters can be successful. In additional, you need to send out useful information or knowledge occasionally other than sales promotions in order to attract your target audience to keep subscribing your newsletter.
- Online Advertising - The most basic Online Advertising option I recommend is Search Engine Marketing. It is becoming mandatory for any companies nowadays to make sure their company information/advertisements are showing on the first page of search results. Without doing this, your website will just never be found in a very long while!! Other Online Advertising options can be Web Banner Ad on your target customers populated websites or contextual advertising, etc.
- Managing Customer Databases - When you start doing e-Marketing, the next important thing is to keep up with your customer database(s). This is very crucial because your customer database will grow throughout your e-Marketing activities. The most basic way to do this is to use Excel or Outlook or any other mail clients but as you grow your customer database, it is better to adopt a Customer Relationship Management software or a e-Marketing campaign software.
- Building Alliances - No one can be successful by doing e-Marketing alone and this is the fact! Hence, building alliances and letting your alliances to promote your products/services in their websites and other channels are the very key to success with e-Marketing. You potential return on investment (ROI) will grow even better than you can imagine.
Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com