There are many free ways to check if a web site is safe (BTW webmasters and bloggers – check out your own web site!). Here are the Top 10.
If you are looking for free ebooks, free audiobooks, free music and other information on the web then it is a good idea to check out the web site before you go and visit the web site. When your search engine gives you a list of links, you can Copy and Paste the link of the web site into free online web sites like Norton Safe Web, McAfee Site Advisor, Google Safe Browsing, WOT Web of Trust and Virustotal. (We usually start with Virtustotal!)
Web sites like WebPagetest and domaintools can show you a lot of information about the web site and the exact files that the web site will put on your computer.
Finally, you can check out the popularity and usefulness of a web site at Hubspot and Alexa. Read the rest of this entry »
There are several simple ways to do this with common computers and common software. Whether you are a student or a teacher, you will enjoy this short overview of simple ways to slow down audio and video files. Tips for Windows Media Player, QuickTime, Audacity and the Sony PSP 3000. Read the rest of this entry »
The Lifehacker web site has a good article about hard sell techniques that cost you money. The secrets of discounts, free gifts, 2 for one, limited purchases and more. A commissioned salesperson added some very useful comments. Read the rest of this entry »
Not only that : the surprising truth about the source of the best ideas. If you are interested in motivation in the workforce, understanding people a bit better, need a sneak peek inside the thinking at the Fed or you just like very innovative videos then I think you will enjoy this 10 minute video.
Why does Open Source and Free software inspire so many people? Why do people make music in their free time? Why is the Fed so worried about “group think” and high paid buffoons making important policy ?
It’s by the RSA at www.theRSA.org. From their mission statement :
The RSA: an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.
The video uses a very innovative and effective video presentation technique! If you are interested in motivation or create videos then you might want to Read the rest of this entry »
Unhealthy personalities make unhealthy policy.
The European Association of Psychology and Law Student Society has published a handy Fact Sheet about a personality pattern called the Dark Triad. (Click the image to read the full Fact Sheet)
“The Dark Triad is a set of three personality constructs: Machiavellianism, subclinical narcissism, and subclinical psychopathy, which have been deemed to be socially aversive. That is, individuals who possess characteristics of any of the personality disorders that make up the Dark Triad are likely to be selfish, possess a grandiose sense of importance, and feel an increased sense of entitlement. Further, these individuals are often pre-occupied with dominance and power and will use aggressive tactics such as manipulation and exploitation to get whatever it is that they feel that they deserve. Because of this, individuals with dark triad characteristics are possibly over-represented in offender samples (e.g., prisons). The current fact sheet discusses each of these three personality constructs in more detail.”
Gee, why does that sound relevant to the Economic symposium of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City that will be held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA on August 25th? Just saying…
Now, I’m not suggesting that policy at the Fed is necessarily being skewed by the possible influence of rather unhealthy psychological patterns. On the other hand, it is not impossible that current economic and financial policy in the world might attract and reward people suffering from these unfortunate patterns.
On thing is clear : there is a reason that we have our current global economic, financial and ecological mess. Every problem and disaster we see in the world started as an idea in somebody’s mind. Any brilliant solutions will also start the same way.
As the Dark Triad Fact Sheet states in the Conclusion :
Individuals who possess characteristics of the Dark Triad do not make for good friends. Not only are they not concerned with others, they are constantly focused on their own wants and needs and will do whatever they feel is necessary to achieve their goals, regardless of the consequences to others. This blatant disregard for others may lead individuals with these aversive personalities to behave anti-socially and to commit crimes.
Contrast the Dark Triad with these thoughts from Buddhism about the importance of associating with (and I would add : hiring) good people.
…Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, “This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.”
“Don’t say that, Ananda. Don’t say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life.”
Read the whole text at : Upaddha Sutta
And a couple more interesting thoughts about associating with the wise :
15. “Young man, be aware of these four enemies disguised as friends: the taker, the talker, the flatterer, and the reckless companion.
16. “The taker can be identified by four things: by only taking, asking for a lot while giving little, performing duty out of fear, and offering service in order to gain something.
17. “The talker can be identified by four things: by reminding of past generosity, promising future generosity, mouthing empty words of kindness, and protesting personal misfortune when called on to help.
18. “The flatterer can be identified by four things: by supporting both bad and good behavior indiscriminately, praising you to your face, and putting you down behind your back.
19. “The reckless companion can be identified by four things: by accompanying you in drinking, roaming around at night, partying, and gambling.”
That is what the Buddha said.
20. Summing up in verse, the sublime teacher said:
“The friend who is all take, The friend of empty words, The friend full of flattery, And the reckless friend; These four are not friends, but enemies; The wise understand this And keep them at a distance As they would a dangerous path.”
21. “Young man, be aware of these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend who endures in good times and bad, the mentor, and the compassionate friend.
22. “The helper can be identified by four things: by protecting you when you are vulnerable, and likewise your wealth, being a refuge when you are afraid, and in various tasks providing double what is requested.
23. “The enduring friend can be identified by four things: by telling you secrets, guarding your own secrets closely, not abandoning you in misfortune, and even dying for you.
24. “The mentor can be identified by four things: by restraining you from wrongdoing, guiding you towards good actions, telling you what you ought to know, and showing you the path to heaven.
25. “The compassionate friend can be identified by four things: by not rejoicing in your misfortune, delighting in your good fortune, preventing others from speaking ill of you, and encouraging others who praise your good qualities.”
That is what the Buddha said.
26. Summing up in verse, the sublime teacher said:
“The friend who is a helper, The friend through thick and thin, The friend who gives good counsel, And the compassionate friend; These four are friends indeed, The wise understand this And attend on them carefully, Like a mother her own child. The wise endowed with virtue Shine forth like a burning fire, Gathering wealth as bees do honey And heaping it up like an ant hill. Once wealth is accumulated, Family and household life may follow. By dividing wealth into four parts, True friendships are bound; One part should be enjoyed; Two parts invested in business; And the fourth set aside Against future misfortunes.”
May all your beneficial wishes come true in beneficial ways!
Click the map to visit Global Incidents Earthquake map :
GlobalIncidents has a great web site for checking reports about earthquakes, hazardous material accidents, forest fires, disease outbreaks and much more. Their maps are instantly updated as the accidents are reported. Easy to read and fascinating to see. Read the rest of this entry »
On August 25th the Economic symposium of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City will be held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA. Since many of the participants are quite old, I thought that this very nice talk by a Buddhist monk might help everyone to keep a little perspective on the long-tail risk of their policy decisions.
The talk is remarkably practical. Ajahn Brahm presents useful information from three areas. First, of course, the daily experience of meditation. Spiritually minded people of all faiths will understand him due to their own personal experiences in meditation and prayer. Second, his experiences of being with people at the moment of their death. Third, he talks about the very common “Near Death Experience”. As you will see in the video below… Read the rest of this entry »
Will we soon have the search engines and social networking sites controlling and filtering all information on the Internet that we see? Will the web of wonder become a web of one? Eli Pariser gives an interesting talk about the different ways that you are identified, info-isolated and controlled by web services. (What is info-isolated? It’s a word that I just invented but it expresses the idea very nicely. Look for it as meme of the month at Wired?). To watch the video click here to Read the rest of this entry »