Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BEWARE!…ALERT!…ALERT!……And yet another online SCAM…


This came in my email “SPAM” box…I just love these junk filters…
This time the scam uses a fear tactic…
If you get this email DO NOT OPEN the attachment.

NOTE: This graphic is not part of the email…only used to designate
ambiguity, puzzlement, questions…
I will use this symbol as my SCAM ALERT icon… --




Here’s the email:

“ FROM: Your Internal Revenue Service
1 Attachment…file name is “Calculations”

Tax notice,
There are arrears reckoned on your account over a period of 2010-2011 year.
You will find all calculations according to your financial debt, enclosed.
You have to sick the debt by the 17 December 2011.
Internal Revenue Service. “


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

…Scam here…scam there…a little scam everywhere…

Top 10 avoidable scams


On Wednesday October 5, 2011, 10:17 pm EDT

j0382702 The Vancouver Police Department and the Better Business Bureau of B.C. have released their annual list of the Top 10 scams that consumers can avoid, and it includes a few new ones and few old cons that have been around for a while.

(1) The computer virus scam

This is a relatively new scam in Canada that has been active in the U.K. for a number of years, say police.

The victim gets a phone call from a major computer company offering to fix a virus on the victim's computer. Once the victim logs on to a website, the screen goes black and the scammer, who is often based in India, charges the victim $150 to make the computer work again.

Police recommend simply hanging up on the caller and avoiding the websites they recommend.

(2) The fake lottery scam

The victim, who is often elderly, is sent an email saying they have won a lottery, but they are told they need to send money before they can claim their prize. The lottery is a fake and the money is lost forever.

Police recommend warning elderly friends and relatives about this common scam.

(3) Concert or sports ticket reselling scam

The victim pays cash for an authentic ticket to a concert or sporting event from a reseller who was advertising online.

When the victim tries to use the ticket to enter the event they are denied entry because the ticket has been bought with a stolen credit card by the fraudster, and cancelled by the original company once they discover the fraud.

Police recommend only buying tickets from established ticket resellers and only to using a credit card to buy them so you can cancel the payment if the tickets are invalid.

(4) The grandson in trouble overseas

Type 1 - The victim, often an elderly person, gets a call from some saying they are their grandson or another family member, and they are in trouble overseas and desperately need money to get home. The scammer also tells the victim to wire them the money, but not to tell anyone, because they want to keep the situation secret.

But victim later discovers the grandchild is fine and was never in trouble, and it was just an imposter who got their phone number by digging through their garbage.

Type 2 - The scammer gains access to the victim's email or Facebook account and sends a distress email to all of the victim's email contacts.

The email states that the victim is in distress in a foreign country and to keep the information confidential. As in the first type, the victim is asked to wire money to the foreign country, later discovering their friend was never in trouble.

Police recommend you don't put personal information in the garbage and protect your passwords online.

(5) Fake property rental

In this scam the victim appears to find a great deal on a rental property and meets with the landlord online or in a coffee shop to close the deal.

After paying a damage deposit in cash or by wire service, when the victim tries to move in, they discover the landlord was a fake and somebody else might even be living in the home.

Police recommend you inspect all property in person and ask the landlord for photo identification, and pay with a post-dated personal cheque.

(6) Counterfeit currency used to buy electronics online

In this scam the victim posts an ad online to sell an item, often a popular valuable electronic item.

But the scammer pays for it with counterfeit currency and takes off before the victim notices the fraud.

Police say watch out for fake money when selling electronic items such as iPhones, Xboxes or PlayStations, and know at least three security features to ensure bills are not fake.

(7) The secret shopper scam

The victim gets a job from an online ad to be a mystery or secret shopper. The fake employer sends them a bank cheque and asks them to cash it, keep some for themselves and wire the rest back to test out a service such as Western Union.

But when the bank determines the cheque was a fake, the victim is charged for the money they sent the scammer.

Police say whenever you are asked by a stranger to wire money based on a cheque deposit, it is normally a scam

(8) The Nigerian Scam

This well-known scam is also known as the 419 scam after Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code that prohibits this activity. The victim gets a letter from an official in a foreign country asking for help getting a large amount of money out their country in exchange for a share of the loot.

The victim wires money to the scammer, but they get nothing in return.

Police warn that all advanced fee requests are scams and if you receive a letter in the mail or via fax, simply ignore it

(9) Fake bank security scam

The victim gets an email that appears to be from their bank asking them to open an attachment and enter their bank information in order to protect or verify their account. But the message is a clever fake and the scammer uses the information to access the victim's bank accounts.

Police warn no bank will email you regarding security issues and any requests should be deleted and ignored.

(10) The fake charity collector, home or fire inspector

In this scam, someone knocks on the victim's door claiming to be collecting for a charity or claiming to be a fire or building inspector. The victim feels pressured and donates or pays the person with cash.

Police say real charities and inspectors don't collect money door to door and you should lock the door and call police if anyone suspicious comes knocking asking for money.

Related article: BEWARE a new G+ Scam…


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIM’s BlackBerry on decline???

Rogers to offer companies alternative to BlackBerry


On Tuesday October 4, 2011, 10:28 am EDT
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Frank McGurty)


TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Rogers Communications is teaming with a mobile device management company to enable corporate customers to use Apple and Google Android devices to send secure business email.

In a blow to Research In Motion 's BlackBerry , Canada's largest wireless company said on Tuesday it is partnering with Montreal-based Trellia to give more options to businesses that once relied exclusively on Blackberry's security features to protect employee email.

The Trellia service will adapt the growing number of non-BlackBerry devices turning up in the hands of employees so they can handle business communications securely.

IT departments will be able to configure devices remotely, enforce company policies, control international roaming costs and manage corporate applications.

The move by Rogers is a response to a broad shift by consumers to Apple's iPhone and iPad or devices using Google's Android software. Rogers wants to ensure its corporate clients can use these devices for business as well.

"This is driven by customer demand," said Mansell Nelson, vice-president for Rogers' machine-to-machine business, which also covers smart metering, fleet and home management.

RIM's BlackBerry has long been dominant in boardrooms due to the speed and security of its email and other messaging, superior keypads and long battery life.

As touchscreen devices such as the iPhone grow more popular with consumers, employees want to hook them up to corporate systems.

"My 19-year-old daughter with her iPhone would say 'why do I want to be given that RIM thing, why can't I just use my iPhone in the enterprise that I'm working for now'," Nelson said. "That's a tide that I'm not sure you can stop."

The Trellia service will cost around C$3.50 ($3.33) per device a month with no upfront costs, and will be incorporated into the Rogers bill, Trellia Chief Executive Giovanni Forte said.

"We can get on the phone with any company and activate an iPhone and provide security in five minutes," he said.

RIM charges carriers a monthly subscription fee per BlackBerry device. ThinkEquity analyst Mark McKechnie estimated last week that RIM gets an average of $4.67 a month from each of its 90 million subscribers globally and that service fees make up more than 80 percent of RIM's earnings.

He called on RIM to support rival devices on its network operating centers and BlackBerry Enterprise Solution (BES) servers before rivals catch up on the company's strengths.

In May, RIM said it had bought a device management company, Ubitexx, and would manage Apple and Android devices on its secure servers, but McKechnie said he had "not as of yet witnessed any moves in the direction."

At the time, RIM said the service would be available this year but would not include its push messaging capabilities or data-squeezing and encryption technology.

Nelson, who estimates Rogers has hundreds of thousands of enterprise BlackBerrys on its network, thinks alternatives will take at least ten percent of that market within five years.

Rogers was one of the first network operators to work with RIM, which built software for a data-only network called Mobitex that Rogers operated in the early 1990s. ($1 = $1.05 Canadian)

(This story corrects previous one to say Rogers is Canada's largest wireless provider, not largest telecom company, in second paragraph)


The “New” iPhone 4S


Before reading this article I encourage you to watch the iPhone 4S videoGuruDan


Yahoo! News Canada

Upgrade Your Life: What’s missing in the iPhone 4S

By Taylor Hatmaker, Tecca | Upgrade Your Life

It's not what you would expect: Apple just announced the next iPhone and its legions of fans are acting... well, disappointed. Today's debut of the iPhone 4S comes as a bit of a surprise. Most of us were waiting with bated breath for the iPhone 5 — Apple's true next-generation smartphone — but here we are with routine upgrade instead. So what's missing in the iPhone 4S that makes it such a letdown? Is it still worth upgrading? Or are those missing features enough to have you holding out for the next generation of Apple's wonder phone?

No Design Upgrades

The iPhone 4S doesn't improve upon the look of its predecessor — in fact, the two phones are essentially identical. While early rumors had pointed to a slimmer, rounded, and maybe even teardrop-shaped iPhone, the iPhone 4S has the same squared-off design we've come to know since Apple unveiled it in 2010. It will come in black and white. The 16GB model starts at $199 with a contract, 32GB costs $299 and a new 64 GB model will be a whopping $399.

Worth Upgrading for Design? No-brainer, not worth it!

Hardware Improvements

While the iPhone 4S may not have a flashy new look, its real changes can be found under the hood. The phone's biggest upgrade is its new dual-core A5 processor. With the A5, the iPhone 4S joins the lightning-fast ranks of the iPad 2 — the other Apple device that runs on the powerful new chip. Processing power may not sound all that exciting, but this performance boost means the iPhone 4S will be blazing fast, with speeds that can double those of the iPhone 4.

Since the iPhone is all about apps, the A5 will make running them a smoother process than ever — a change mobile gamers are sure to celebrate. Apple demonstrated this graphical prowess with Infinity Blade 2, the upcoming sequel to the original iOS role-playing game known for its good looks and lifelike in-game visual effects.

Beyond the processor, the iPhone 4S has a neat trick: it can switch between GSM and CDMA cellular networks. The addition should make toting your iPhone on international trips much less of a hassle, since the phone is built to run on the two major flavors of mobile network around the world. Speaking of networks, Apple announced that Sprint will be the newest carrier for the iPhone, but unfortunately T-Mobile users are left out in the cold again. Sprint's unlimited data plans could make the carrier an very attractive choice for heavy data users.

Worth upgrading for Hardware? Yes. If you have an iPhone 3GS (or even older model), the speed of the new chipset will make navigating your daily tasks on the phone a breeze. iPhone 4 owners could still appreciate the boost, but it isn't a wholly necessary upgrade.


The iPhone 4's camera is widely regarded as the best around, but the iPhone 4S will put the already great camera to shame. In fact, the 4S camera improvements could be Apple's biggest selling point for the 4S.

* 8 mp camera sensor
* 3264 x 2448 maximum resolution
* f/2.4 aperture lets more light in for low-light shooting conditions
* High performance in very bright and very dark conditions (Backside illuminated CMOS)
* Zero shutter lag lets you snap images in quick succession
* Hybrid IR filter allows better color accuracy, more color uniformity.
* Refined LED flash
* 5 element lens assembly that's 30% sharper
* Improved multi-face detection
* Camera app accessible from the lock screen for fast shooting
* 1080p video recording

Worth upgrading for the Camera? For budding mobile photographers and anyone with a 3Gs or older iPhone: Yes. For iPhone 4 owners who only casually use the camera: No.

Hardware That's Missing

What you won't see in the iPhone 4S is NFC (Near Field Communication), a technology that many thought would be included in the update. NFC lets you make mobile payments by using your cell phone as a credit card — just wave the phone over a special sensor to pay.

Something else the iPhone 4S is missing is "true" 4G. The new iPhone offers support for HSPA+, which theoretically doubles the speed of data on AT&T's network — but it's arguably not real 4G. Unfortunately, the 4S can't connect to Verizon's LTE 4G network or Sprint's WiMax 4G network.


Beyond the camera, the iPhone 4S has one more unique selling point: Siri. Siri is a voice command and dictation app that Apple has deeply integrated it into the fabric of the new phone. We knew some interesting voice-to-text features were in the works after Apple acquired Siri last year. For now the app's advanced voice features will be exclusive to the 4S.

Beyond normal dictation in text and email, Siri lets you issue verbal commands that trigger an action on your phone. Android has a similar feature with Google's Voice Actions app, but Siri takes it to the next level: Not only do you speak into your phone, but Siri will talk back with the information you need. As your personal voice guide, Siri can execute many different tasks, but here's a sampling:

* Set a reminder
* Set your alarm
* Send a text
* Check the weather
* Set a meeting
* Send an email
* Look up directions

* Find a phone number
* Conduct a web search

Worth upgrading for Siri? Until it's fully tested, you should hold off if this is your only motivation to upgrade. Then again, Apple doesn't bet the farm on flaky products and they are all in on this one.

iOS 5

The iPhone 4S will run Apple's newest operating system, iOS 5. The new software, which debuts on October 12 for most new iOS devices, features a host of improvements, and the 4S will be the first Apple device to run on the new mobile operating system out of the gate. Some of the new features:

* Drop-down notification menu rather than pop-up alerts
* Improved Safari browser
* Location-triggered reminders (for example, through GPS, your phone could remind you to mail a letter before you leave home)
* iCloud, Apple's new media syncing service for music, photos, videos, and apps
* "PC free" wireless updates that don't require you to plug your device into a computer
* Newsstand for keeping your digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions in one place
* iMessage, a messaging app for communicating with other iOS 5 users

Worth Upgrading for IOS 5? No. You can download a free upgrade to iOS 5  if you have an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 3GS (original iPhone, iPhone 3G, and early iPod touch models will not be upgradable to iOS 5).

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Monday, October 3, 2011

BEWARE…a “new” G+ “SCAM”…???!!!

GuruDan received the following in his email inbox today…he believes this is a SCAM:

“ Google Team: You have a new alert
Google Team []

Sent: Mon 10/3/2011 11:20 AM   To: GuruDan (NOT A G-MAIL ADDRESS)



This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message. If you have any questions, please our Help Center to find answers to frequently asked questions.


Dear Valued Customer,

Please update your primary and backup payment information, even if you plan to use the same information. Please follow the steps below to update your payment information.

Your credit card will only be used and stored as part of re-enabling your account.

We will not display or share it without your permission.

1. Log in to your account at

2. Enter your new or updated payment information.

3. Click 'Save Changes' when you are finished.


The Google Team 2011


Please do not respond to this message.

If you'd like to contact us,

please log in to your account and click 'Help'.



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facebook’s “De-friending” Faux Pas

Facebook changes inadvertently allow users to see who defriended them

Digital Trends

By Mike Flacy | Digital Trends – Tue, 27 Sep, 2011

Assuming that a user has already enabled the new Timeline profile page on Facebook, there’s a feature built into the Timeline that allows to users to view how many friends were added each year. Go to the Timeline page and choose a year on the right side of the page. Scroll through the posts and locate the “Friends” box. Within the Timeline, Facebook groups actions that occurred over the course of the year including new friendships, photos uploaded, events attended and new likes. On the “Friends” box, click the “Made X New Friends” link and this should load a pop-up window that lists all friendships created during that year.

Scroll through the list and anyone that terminated the friendship will appear with an “Add Friend” button rather than a “Friends” button. However, the “Add Friend” could also mean that the user terminated the friendship. Users that deleted their profiles at some point over the years won’t appear on this list and users that have been blocked won’t appear here as well. For instance, an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend won’t appear within this list if the blocking feature was enabled to completely cut out that person from a user’s social network.

The Timeline change to the profile page represents a massive alteration to the original Facebook design. The new design allows users to select both a banner picture to go across the front of the profile as well as the identical profile picture. Users can scroll through the profile timeline by month or by year. Information that was listed on the info link of the profile page is now within the Timeline design as well. For instance, users can scroll through the years and view previous jobs. Users can also assign photos to previous jobs, both on the start and the end dates. Timeline should be available to all Facebook users within the next two weeks.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Venture Capitalists Bring Home the Bacon

Why venture capitalists invest in pigs, not chickens

pigs01 – Jeff Bussgang is a former entrepreneur and partner at Flybridge Capital Partners. This article originally appeared on his blog Seeing Both Sides. The views expressed are his own. –

There is an old parable about the concept of commitment when it comes to breakfast. The story goes that when looking at a plate of the traditional fare of ham and eggs, it’s obvious that the chicken is an interested party, but the pig is truly committed.

When I tell this story to entrepreneurs, my point is usually to contrast the approach venture capitalists have to startups as compared to entrepreneurs. The VC is an interested party, but at the end of the day, if their startups live or die, they typically still have their job, their office and their portfolio of other investments. The entrepreneur, on the other hand, is the pig – truly committed to the outcome, with no fallback.

But lately I’ve been thinking about the parable of the pig and the chicken in the context of the characteristics that make a great entrepreneur – and the kind of entrepreneur that we VCs in general, and my firm Flybridge Capital in particular, like to back. In short, we like to back pigs – entrepreneurs who are truly and completely committed to the outcome of their venture, have a lot of stake, and no fallback.

How do we discern the difference between the two entrepreneurial archetypes? It’s usually relatively easy, but sometimes subtle. Here are a few of the top characteristics we see in entrepreneurs who appear to be exhibiting behavior that suggests they’re more like “chickens” when it comes to their startup:

1) Prefer to wait to start their venture only after they receive funding (“We are ready to go, as soon as you give us your money.” …um, does that mean you won’t start the company if I don’t give you my money?).

2) Don’t quit their day jobs before receiving funding. (“This has been a side project for a year, and I can’t wait to focus on it full-time” … um, if you can’t wait – why are you waiting?)

3) Don’t physically move themselves or their teammates to be in the same geography when starting their venture (think Eduardo Saverin in the Social Network spending his summer in NYC).

4) Prefer to play a hands-off chairman role or look to quickly hire a COO/president in the early days rather than operate as the hands-on CEO/president. (I’ll leave out the numerous examples to protect the innocent, but as a rule of thumb, companies with fewer than 40 employees don’t typically need a COO).

5) Are unwilling to fully leverage their own personal and professional networks to drive recruiting, fundraising and business development.

On the other hand, the top five characteristics we see in “pig” entrepreneurs include:

1) Commit to the new company everything they have – even if that means moving their families, quitting their jobs, or even dropping our of their schools (as much as I don’t want to condone or encourage this).

2) Put themselves “out there” publicly and visibly with the industry, their relationships, family and friends. If the company is a failure, it will not be a quiet one.

3) Have not yet achieved a mega-success already and/or yet achieved wealth beyond the point of needing to work again. (I remember my mentor and boss at Open Market, CEO Gary Eichhorn, congratulating me when I became a first-time homeowner in the mid-1990s and observed: “I hope you got a large mortgage so that you are locked in and highly motivated to create wealth.”).

4) Participate in a minimal set of outside interests and hobbies that aren’t directly related to their business. Starting a company is a consuming, obsessive, 24-7 endeavor. Raising a family and remaining healthy is enough of a battle. When we see entrepreneurs with long lists of hobbies and outside interests, it’s a red flag. One of my partners went so far as to look up the number of times an entrepreneur played golf one summer (which apparently is public information somehow, although I’m not a golfer so still don’t know how he figured this out) as a barometer for how hard they were applying themselves to their new venture.

5) There exists a rare breed of entrepreneurs that have already had mega-success are so special and driven that they remain obviously hungry and scrappy. For these entrepreneurs, the key is to watch and see if they’re still as hands on as they ever were (e.g., obsessed with the product, knee-deep in the financial model, out in front of the organization in selling). Again, these entrepreneurs are very special.

So what are you – the chicken or the pig? Investors clearly prefer one model over the other, not just in the founder, but in the entire team. As a result, as you are assembling your start-up team, be careful not to hire chickens. In the eyes of prospective investors, you may find it’s even less kosher than hiring pigs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

University Degree Not Required…

WorkopolisThe highest paying jobs - that don't require a university degree

Elizabeth Bromstein| Sep 6, 2011 11:15 AM

jobs01 It’s become ingrained in North American society that smart kids go to university and that’s what you need to do if you want to get a good job. But that’s not always the case anymore, reports 24/7 Wall St. There are a lot of folks out there with degrees - and heavy debt - who can’t find jobs. (Not that this wasn’t always the case in certain areas of academia. How’s that English Lit degree working for you?)

Take heart kids. According to the 24/7 Wall St. report, there are “hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs that don’t require a degree,” and while I sense a possible whiff of hyperbole in that claim, they’ve compiled a list of the ten highest-paying jobs that they say only require a high school education -- which is, again, misleading. A lot of these jobs require certification and a post-secondary education is often helpful, just not mandatory. Still, worth a look, right?

Here they are:

10. Captains, Mates, Pilot of Water Vessel

Median annual income: $64,180

High-end annual income: $117,310

Long hours, isolation and danger are among the reasons commercial ship jobs pay well. To become a sailor on a merchant vessel, one can either enroll in a marine academy, or sign on as a deckhand, which has no prerequisites and a median annual wage of $35,000 -- and sounds kind of like an old time-y musical or pirate movie. Then you just work your way up through the ranks. Swab that deck.

9. Gaming Manager

Median annual income: $66,960

High-end annual income: $116,070

This one isn’t exactly a breeze, apparently because there aren’t that many casinos, and so there are only 6,900 jobs in the US, and, of course, fewer in Canada. Also, 24/7 Wall St. says you usually have to work your way up from being a dealer “one of the worst-paying jobs in the country.” I searched around and found an annual average salary of just over $14,000. Yikes. 24/7 lists the gaming manager’s potential salary at over $110,000 a year. More snooping came up with an average of about $60,000 in Canada.

8. Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Median annual income: $68,820

High-end annual income: $119,320

24/7 says, “A high school diploma is usually all one needs to become a detective for a city, state or the federal government. Detectives, as well as police officers, are subjected to ‘rigorous personal and physical qualifications.’ Very rarely do these qualifications extend to a bachelor’s degree.”

How does this translate in Canadian? The RCMP doesn’t use the rank “detective” but a post-secondary education, though helpful, is not required to join. Constable salaries range from $48,000 - $78,000 and, I’m told by the RCMP’s press office, go up from there.

7. Elevator Installers

Median annual income: $70,910

High-end annual income: $101,390

Really? Huh. This job also apparently extends to “escalators, chairlifts, dumbwaiters, moving walkways, and similar equipment.” So you spend a lot of time climbing things or hanging in service shafts, which is not fun, and the higher risk of injury accounts for some of the good pay. An apprenticeship program, which involves both on-the-job training and classroom instruction, is required.

6. Web Developers

Median annual income: $75,650

High-end annual income: $119,940

24/7 says “While most web developers are now required to have a bachelor’s or associate degree, certification can be enough to get a job at a major company.” Also, this really is the sort of skill that will put you in high demand if you become a whiz.

Jobs can involve managing networks, designing and building company websites, and maintaining web security.

5. Nuclear Power Plant Operator

Median annual income: $75,650

High-end annual income: $119,940

Apparently a post-secondary education is useful but not necessary. 24/7 says most training is provided on the job and in plant classrooms. Operators are subject to

random drug and alcohol screenings, a medical examination, and must maintain a license, and take regular refresher courses.

4. Police Chief

Median annual income: $78,260

High-end annual income: $123,630

You don’t need post-secondary to join the force and from there, the idea is that you work your way up. For the Toronto Police force, post-secondary is “advantageous” but not required. You do need to get the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Certificate and you can’t have a criminal record (sorry).

3. Construction Managers

Median annual income: $83,860

High-end annual income: $150,250

Some companies require bachelor’s degrees, but not all or even most. 24/7 says “Any construction worker with significant experience and skill has the potential to make manager after gaining some additional classroom experience.”

2. Software Developers

Median annual income: $87,970

High-end annual income: $133,110

Software developers research, design, develop and test software. A certificate will often do to land a post (not always, though) and it helps if you can amass a lot of experience. Certification courses are available all over the place, and a lot of people teach themselves sitting alone in their rooms and geeking out.

Back in 2007, Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, a “leading provider of IT professionals,” told Forbes, "It would be extremely unlikely for a high school graduate to obtain a position as a developer making six figures. But after some years of experience, and in the right marketplace like the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Boston, Seattle or Washington, D.C., where technical skills are in high demand, a talented person could make $100,000 lacking a college education."

1. Commercial Airline Pilot

Median annual income: $103,210

High-end annual income: $139,330

24/7 says, “Former Air Force and Navy pilots have traditionally had the fast track to a commercial license because of the flight time and experience they’d gained. That holds true today, and most major airlines also require some college education from their pilots. However, there are plenty of smaller companies that will take any individual with enough logged flight time and aircraft knowledge.”

So, there you go. Drop out of school and let the fun begin! Kidding, of course.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Debit Card…to use or not to use…???

From Yahoo! Canada Finance

by Andrew McKay, On Monday August 29, 2011, 1:23 pm EDT

It's a dangerous time for Canadian debit card users.  More transactions than ever go through the plastic cards in our wallets, but full protection against fraud won't be rolled out for another four years.

debit_cards01 Americans are beginning to catch on to what has become a truly Canadian staple: cards instead of cash.  According to a recent survey, debit has surpassed cash, credit, and the age-old cheque as the preferred mode of payment.

It's not surprising that Americans are only starting to get the feel of when it is an isn't safe to use a debit card. For example, this story from our sister site tells users never to use debit cards at restaurants, or at wi-fi hotspots - habits Canadians have managed to navigate safely for a while now. Other examples, like rental deposits or credit transactions, aren't generally available to Canadians.

Still, according to the Canadian Antifraud Centre, Canadians lose $10 billion a year to mass market fraud. Chip technology has meant a drop to $119 million in plastics fraud in 2010. Chip technology is almost impossible to duplicate, and by December 2015, all point-of-sale transactions in Canada will use chip cards exclusively.

That's all well and good for 2015, but how can you protect yourself now? There are a few situations where it's wise for Canadians to put the bank card away.

Expensive items: Buying a TV or an appliance? A credit card offers better warranty protection, and better support in case of a dispute.

Future delivery: if you're paying now and getting it later, use credit. Again, the card's protection mechanisms will help you if something happens between purchase and delivery.

Off-brand machines: if the ATM or card swiper doesn't look familiar, skip it. You can always get money, or the product, somewhere else without risking your savings.

The Office of Consumer Affairs at Industry Canada offers a number of tips to keep you from being separated from your money.

Protect your debit card and PIN

-Never disclose your PIN to anyone — including family, friends, financial institution employees or law enforcement agencies.

-Keep your debit card in a safe place and never lend it to anyone. If you suspect that someone knows your PIN, change it immediately or contact your financial institution to cancel the card.

-If your card is lost, stolen, retained by an ATM, or you find that there has been an unauthorized transaction, notify your financial institution immediately.

-If you have made a purchase which does not appear on your monthly statement, change your PIN immediately and notify your financial institution as the information on your card and PIN may have been stolen at a bogus machine and you may be targeted for theft. Always check with your financial institution to determine if any additional action is required to protect your card.

When purchasing goods or services or when using an ATM

-Never let your debit card out of your sight; swipe the card yourself, if you can't — watch to make sure that it is not being double swiped.

-Watch out for "shoulder surfers" — people who read your PIN as you enter it.

-If anyone tries to distract you at a banking machine, complete what you are doing and retrieve your card before talking to them.

-After completing a transaction remember to take your card and the transaction record.

Managing accounts

-Regularly check your statements or passbook updates and look for any discrepancies or suspicious transactions.

-Know your daily cash withdrawals and daily purchase limits. If they exceed your needs, you may want to ask your financial institution to reduce those limits.

-Check your authorized daily limits regularly. Financial institutions reserve the right to change withdrawal limits and thus you may not have noticed that your limits have increased.

-Check which accounts your debit card currently accesses, e.g. lines of credit, overdraft, savings accounts, and contact your financial institution if you want to change this arrangement.

-If you feel that a family member or dependent may be vulnerable to fraud, encourage them to talk with their financial institution about lowering their daily withdrawal limits.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Determining Workspace For Your Startup

What kind of workspace is best for your startup?
by Lauren Drell  August 2011
This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum

Startup life is all about bootstrapping, but you need a place to work, right? Here’s a breakdown of three workplace styles — home-working, co-working and traditional office space — with pros, cons and input from startups utilizing each environment so you can figure which the right choice is for you.

Working From Home


Why work from home: For those just starting out for those who are one-man bands, it makes the most sense to work from home. “There’s simply no budget for [an office], as I bootstrap the company,” says Paul Molluzzo, founder of Baby Goes Mobile, a web app that lets parents create a private baby book they can view and update from their mobile phones. “I have the space and tools — computer, cell phone and coffee machine — to get my work done, so paying for a space didn’t make sense.” Plus, digital tools like email, Skype, screenshares, smart phones and mean you can do work anytime, anywhere and communicate with just about anyone, so it’s not a must to splurge on an office. There’s also the perk of being able to take work breaks and spend time with his wife and son, says Molluzzo.

Greg Golkin, co-founder of the in-the-works social learning platform ThinkBinder, takes working from home to a new level — he lives with his coworker, Dave Lee. For them, “working from home is the most efficient situation for us to build our product — we can be machines over here,” says Golkin, explaining that the two simply “work, eat, sleep and gym, all with a constant Spotify soundtrack.” The partners actually welcome the lack of separation between work and personal life — “if we are home and not working, we do not feel comfortable, and that is great.” Plus, for nocturnal types who work late, it’s pretty convenient to be a few steps from your bed at 4 a.m. instead of having to travel home.

And let’s not forget that working from home means you don’t have to pay for office space. David Rostan, cofounder of communications startup Umagram, says that his decision to work from home (his cofounder works from his own home, so they’re remote) was financial, but “less in the ‘we can’t afford it’ sense and more in the ‘if we saved that money, we could spend it on something way more important’ way.” As his company grows, he likes the option of hiring flexibly and being able to consider job candidates from other cities and countries. He and his cofounder John meet a few times a week at a coffee shop to touch base and update one another on their respective worlds and solve problems in real-time, which helps to keep them efficient.

But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. As expected, it can be hard to maintain a work-life balance when your living room doubles as your corporate headquarters. “When your baby son and your developer are vying for your attention, it’s challenging to work the two out,” says Molluzzo, admitting that to-dos sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

Another downside, not surprisingly, is that working from home can be lonely. In an office, there’s camaraderie and water cooler chit-chat. “Had I taken a spot at [a coworking space], I’d have people to go to lunch with to chat about startups and tech, which would have been nice,” says Molluzzo. “But that seems more of a luxury than a necessity.” Rostan agrees — he thinks coworking spaces can be great for networking, but he says he spends so much time on the phone that he probably wouldn’t get to network that much.

Of course, a home office can only get you so far — most homes have a capacity at which things just get chaotic and awkward. “We’ve maxed out our capacity, and we’re beginning to recruit more developers — it would be quite odd to ask them to sit on the couch to work,” says Golkin. Once they solidify the next hire, the ThinkBinder team will be moving to their own offices.

If you work from home but are finding that your digs aren’t cutting it for business meetings and interviews, you can always hit up a local coffee shop, but be sure to follow coffee shop etiquette.

Co-working Space


Co-working spaces, like General Assembly, Coloft, Dogpatch Labs, Hive at 55, COOP and CoHabitat, are used for office space by many startups.

For a small business with two to three people, coworking is a great option. The cost is much lower than traditional office space, and you have access to a lot of resources — conference room, printers, scanners, Wi-Fi, snacks, coffees — that you’d otherwise have to pay for all by yourself. And don’t forget the other coworkers who could become potential partners or clients down the road.

Dylan Goelz of Roadify works out of Hive at 55 and says he finds the coworking environment to be “a big plus.” He says his team’s focus has benefited from having other work-minded people around, and they’ve even worked with a design team a few seats away. “I’ve learned more about other types and styles of business just by walking to lunch with fellow coworkers than I would have anywhere else,” says Goelz, adding that the occasional inconvenience (not finding a seat) or distraction (laughter or loud conversations in the room) is “outweighed by efficiency, cost-effectiveness and camaraderie.”

One of Goelz’s fellow coworkers, Michelle Weiss, does systems implementation consulting online at the Hive, and though she admits she could do it from home, she comes to the shared office space because of the people. “Everyone there is working towards something, and it’s stimulating to be in that environment,” she says. So Weiss pays $150 a month to have access to the Hive two days per week.

Brian DiFeo, the Hive’s community manager, says the trend is to be professional but have a sense of humor and be ready for the inevitable group laugh or room-wide joke. Whether that’s a funny ringtone or an impromptu blast of Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” coworking can be a great way to network, make friends and have a built-in advisory board of people from many different industries. Plus, a lot of coworking spaces offer classes and seminars on new technology and tools. And of course, all of this comes without the burden and risk of finding and paying for your own office space.

Traditional Office Space


Once your startup has grown to 10 or so people, it might be time to get your own office space. And that’s a good thing, because growing is good, but getting your own office space is not without potential pitfalls.

Zozi, which sells unique experiences and activities, is headquartered in San Francisco’s Financial District and has its own pad. The startup launched in CEO and founder TJ Sassani’s house in Byron Bay, Australia, and then became a coffee-shop-based company when he moved to the U.S. Soon they had grown into a shared space in San Francisco, and finally zozi got its own office space in August 2008. (There’s also a small New York team that works out of a co-working space.)

Having their own office space really enables the various departments to communicate and work together to improve zozi and the customer experience. “We are one team, and the energy is felt by everyone in the office — that’s the gas we run on everyday,” says Sassani, who describes their office space as an open, collaborative and creative space, in which “everyone can tangibly interact with zozi’s vision everyday.” Also adding that energy are trek road cycles stashed throughout the office and inflatable sharks — things that might not fly (or float) in a shared-office space … and probably wouldn’t fit in an apartment.

Zozi’s growth is admirable and enviable, but startups should realize that getting your own office space is a big commitment. Real estate agent David Goldberg of Living NY offers some guidelines and wisdom. First, find an area that matches your companies needs and budget. In Manhattan’s Silicon Alley, for example, commercial office space varies in price from block to block — highly desirable offices near Union Square and the Flatiron District can be $35 to $50 per square foot, and it’s estimated that there should be about 100 square feet per person. Goldberg says the challenge with getting office space for a startup is that quality small office spaces (less than 3,500 square feet) are in high demand, and there’s a very low supply. Most startups anticipate growth, so your first small office likely will not sustain much growth. However, many landlords won’t consider a lease that is shorter than three years, because the expenses both for landlord and tenant — lawyer fees, office build-out, vacancies and moving fees — add up. (Hence, the coworking trend.)

If you do find a space that fits your needs, you’ll likely need bank statements, the first three pages of the past two year’s tax returns, and profit-and-loss statements — of course, if you’re just starting out, you might not have much of this paperwork, so you’ll need to explain to the landlord what your startup is all about so they feel comfortable renting space to a fledgling business. Then there’s the security deposit, moving fees, good-guy clause, personal guarantee and insurance — yeah, it can be a costly endeavor. Fortunately, most buildings these days are set up for Internet, phones and other business infrastructure, so you don’t have to worry about installing those modern amenities. Landlords will also often agree to build-out of a conference room or private offices if your offer is strong enough, Goldberg says. Otherwise, you can do the build-out and eat the costs. Be careful not to ask for too much work, however, which can make the landlord more hesitant to lower the rent in negotiations. One rule of thumb is that the longer the lease is, the more work the landlord will be willing to do.

Before you sign on the dotted line and start renovating, make sure that you’re truly ready for an office of your own. “The timing really should be right before you decide to move into a space and call it your own,” says Sassani.

What kind of working environment does your startup call home? Let us know in the comments below


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Concept of Facebook's P2B and B2B "Like" Exchange

I know that you know this already…just wanted to share my point of view on FB Page biz…you can find these Exchanges in many groups on Facebook and Linkedin…

Recently FB introduced the tools to connect our bizs in two ways:
1) P2B "Like": Personal Profile to Business Page...This has been around since FB launched its first FB Page…this is the original "Fan" which evolved into "Like". The major problem was the tracking of the Personal Profile to ownership of the FB Page. Second problem is that each "Like" counts towards your Personal Profile "Friend" which max. at 5000 "Friends".
2) B2B Like: Business Page to Business Page…This was recently introduced to overcome the problems of the P2B method…this works perfectly for bizs networking when used correctly. To use this biz feature go to the menu at the top right of your FB homepage and click the dropdown menu of the "Account" tab…select "Use Facebook as Page"…a little window with your FB pages will appear... then click on "Switch" next to the FB Page you wish to use, and VOILA!'ve now assumed the identity of your biz (FB Page)…when you're done simply "switch" back to yourself following the same steps.

My preference is B2B for business…then I become "Friends" with the biz owners with whom I do biz, or plan to pursue biz relations…I find this most efficient or else the FB Pages become a complete "waste of time"…at least for me…
I usually make a check of my most recent B2B Likes (every 2 weeks or so)…check their FB pages to see if my FB page is included in their B2B Likes…if not then I simply "Unlike" the page…unless their Personal Profile show up on my wall which means that they prefer the P2B Like…

Note that FB does not notify you of a Like…it notifies you of comments or comments on your comment…on the walls…hence its very important to plug a brief note on the wall which indicates that you've "Like" the page…if the FB page is not interactive then that FB page is not in the game! And one of the biggest "no-no's" in social networking protocols is to barge into a discussion with something completely irrelevant…:(
My take on this is that if you want to play the game then learn to play it right…but not to worry…FB will change this very soon anyways!

Let's stay connected…:)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mirror me and my Social Networks

What are you truly interested in? Do your Tweets reflect those passions?
Are your followers learning about what matters to you?
If you’re not certain, then is a great way to find out.
The site aggregates information from your Twitter timeline into a seriously cool looking
info graphic. Right in front of your eyes is the proof: you may not be
putting out into the world the things that are closest to your heart.

People build communities around their interests to increase their
enjoyment and expand their knowledge. The team behind this new service
calls these "Interest Communities." They believe these groups are the
cornerstone of why – and how – we build social networks. These networks
are a true testament of who we are and where our interests lie. invites you to put your face in front of the proverbial mirror
and find out if your online personality reflects the real you.
The service takes a look at what you're doing not only on Twitter, but
on Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog and even Foursquare. They paint a
picture of what you're sharing on the Internet. Then, they give you
tools to help you interact within each of these communities. Use the
gathered information to help you decide if you need to shift your online
activities in another direction to better meet your personal and
professional goals if need be.

If you're happy with your social mirror, share it with your friends on
Twitter or Facebook with one click. Prove to the world that you really
do mean what you say and say what you mean. Let your true self shine
through and allow it to lead you in the directions you want to go. I've
said many times in the past that the key to being successful online is
being your true self. Be transparent. Be YOU. shows that I am
walking the walk that I talk!
Not only will you get the cute little graphic to share, you can take a
hard look at your community. Find out at a glance what your followers
are most interested in – and what the people you follow are focusing on.
The metrics as I've seen them are pretty accurate – at least in my case,
and that of my assistant. Adding more of your social network connections
(such as your Facebook, LinkedIn and blog) allows you to widen the data
net that is cast.
It's important to know if you are cultivating the right community. It's
equally as important to find out if you are presenting yourself to that
community in the best possible way. can help you on both
So check out yourself and your social networks at
remember to check out my “metrics” and follow me…
my Twitter handle is @gurudan