Monthly Archives: December 2016

Reflecting on 2016

This is the time of year I reflect back over 2016 and I always look forward to more personal achievements the following year. I’m always seeking more and fret on being static when I should be moving ahead or up.

Overall it’s been a weird year with off ‘predictions’ by folks who have been around for years. Where I’m older now and been around the block with different careers, it doesn’t take me long to kind of get a broad overlook of the whole situation. A view from outside the box sort of thing.

In the winning of contracts for example, employees with 30 years in … expecting no issues renewing a contract but shocked to see it happen. The university trained, young blood mentality today of cut and get cheaper with the expense of getting rid of the seasoned and experienced. Bring in new and train… pay them less though. Only looks good on laptop accounting screens … more profit. Keep it up kid, you’ll go far.

Yep… that’s definitely sarcasm

Companies outsourcing Internationally to take advantage of cheap labour and layoff the ‘home’ workers. That’s the world today.

How can a womanizing racist become President of the United States? Ain’t going to happen they said along with the current President, soon to hand over the reigns in January.

Along with things that changed and to my lifestyle is the disappearance of the rental movies in the city where I live and pretty well everywhere. I enjoyed browsing through the new releases, chatting with the store owners and looking forward to an entertaining night.

One thing that hasn’t changed is those new songs that have that beat I like and crank up the volume a tad. The best tune I like this year is Justin Timberlake’s .. Can’t Stop The Feeling. That song wants to make me get up and do the funky duck.

It took a while but I jumped into the Bitcoin online world this year and so far, It’s been a plus while I read the positive news about the digital currency.

There was a lot of other surprises and disappointments … too many to mention here like ‘My Boys’ not making the playoffs last season, the Montreal Canadiens and I’m certain most folks have gone through ups and downs as well. I’m always the stay positive type guy and don’t think about the past much, it’s about moving on and ahead  … 2017 will be even better in work, business and personally.

 

 

 

It’s Christmas Time

Merry Christmas to everybody. Here in Nova Scotia, we’ve had fairly mild weather this last week so it’s a green Noel. Weather predictions were initially about a rough winter but that has now changed to mostly mild with a scatter snow storm.

I’ll take it where here in the city, it doesn’t take much snow to make a mess of the roads. A lot of traffic and the snow removal equipment can’t do their job efficiently. Different out in the country where operators have the time and space to do a decent job.

Kind of cool last night, listening on the radio just after midnight where NORAD, our northern satellite defence tracking station came on with an operator in serious tone watching Santa enter our airspace and scrambled jets to offer safe passage with a pilot adding comentary as if he was speaking into his helmet mic.

It’s quiet time in the Biz for a few days now over the holidays where there’s not a lot happening and probably very little news until 2017 flips up on the calender.

The only real buzz is still about Bitcoin, spiking over $900 US yesterday on Christmas Eve. The secure minded on the net advise folks who own a lot of the digital currency to ensure you have the best protection available in the outfits that have secure BTC wallets like Blockchain to keep the Grinches away,

 

 

Social Engineering

I’ve written several articles about Hackers and it’s common sense to watch what you are doing online, specially with personal information. Birth dates, PIN and SIN numbers … even addresses and phone numbers can be used as a tool to swipe money.

We can be as diligent as possible in these matters but to quote a snippet from an interesting article from Forbes (with link attached to the post) about the elaborate Hacker system …

“It’s incredibly sophisticated and incredibly organized. These are the kind of people who, if they were on the other side, I would hire in a heartbeat. They’re incredibly good at being criminals.”

As I mentioned, we can be changing up passwords on a regular basis and watch where and who we give personal info to but Hackers have another plan of attack that takes us out of the loop … social engineering.

First they hack a victim’s cell or phone number then call/con a representative of a cell phone company for example to move the line to theirs. On their smartphone they can then change the victim’s email passwords and that’s when they go to work with the victim being shut out. Phoning banks, getting into Bitcoin accounts … remembering Bitcoin transactions are not reversable, Paypal accounts, etc.

This can all happen very quickly because the Hackers are trained to know what info Reps want such as providing a birth date to change a PIN. Wicked stuff.

Where do they get that information … that’s where the social thing comes into play where they scan over profiles looking for what they need on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social sites. They can even try and mimic a victim’s voice through the videos they post and kind of build an idea of what that person is like, mannerisms and dislikes … habits.

So, if you suddenly lose your cell line and can’t get into your email account because passwords are not working, phone the ‘rep’. Hopefully you don’t get … “You transferred your phone to another company.” and after giving the rep a severe tongue lashing about security measures … get it back while blocking access to your financial accounts if not too late.

Just another route Hackers use to try and steal money and information from you so It’s good to be aware of all the tricks they use. That Forbes article is long but interesting reading to show how these organized crooks work.

 

Bits of Coin

According to CoinDesk news and what I have witnessed with my own BlockChain account, Bitcoin is in a ‘bullish’ market these days. Currently at US $790 or 1061 CDN, speculators figure it will go higher but Christmas week is approaching so see what happens.

Google is the king of the search engine fueling their multi billion dollar empire while hundreds of start ups wanted to get in on some of that action. My choice where I rarely use Yahoo.

AdClickXpress, still paying me within 24 hours on it’s ACX-Moonsoon site, has been working on it’s own Search Engine system and it’s up and running now. I’ve tried it and it’s decent while getting some coin for doing searches. There’s also the option to purchase ‘Keywords’ and sell them in their market place.

I figured Marijauna Stock and Oil Stock are hot items these days so entered them and they have already been bought by other members.

ACX … love or loathe em’ over the years, their plan is to boost their processor funds with the new ‘Search’ pages and in turn, continue to pay members in a timely fashion.

Currently, only the ACX-Monsoon and Search sites are keeping up with that commitment.

Besides that, there is not a lot happening with joining new ventures this close to the holidays where scams are usually everywhere this time of year; by phone, letters, email or online. I’m hoping that a few doable opportunities will surface during the first few months in the new year.

 

 

Sharing the Spirit

The Christmas spirit. Talking to some folks and family, they say Christmas is not the same anymore while others enjoy the holidays to the fullest. Being a ‘young’ family and as a kid growing up … it was one of my fondest memories. Mom always said Christmas is for the children but she was the first one to begin decorating the house and remind Dad … where’s the tree? At 90 years old, It’s still her favorite time of year.

In May of this year and added to the massive layoffs due to the oil glut, Fort McMurray residents, in northern Alberta endured a massive fire and folks lost everything along with cherished items. No doubt recordings of Christmas’s past and pictures.

For a business dealing with the day to day challenge of keeping everything running smoothly, devoting time to the Christmas spirit and keeping it under ‘wraps’ with their plans is awesome in my mind. The result can be sheer joy along with bringing past grief to the surface to share with others.