Friday, May 26, 2006

The Betas are Here!

May 26, 2006 @ 8:34 am · Filed under Windows, Microsoft, Free stuff, Office

The 23rd of May was a pretty busy day for the Redmond giant, since Microsoft launched the Beta 2 versions of both Windows Vista and Office 2007. I would have written this post earlier, but I really didn’t have the time to do so until now.

For right now, Windows Vista Beta 2 is only available to IT professionals and developers with MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. In the coming weeks, Microsoft will start the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) for developers and IT professionals who are not members of the subscription services.

The Windows Vista CPP will also be available to technology enthusiasts that want to install and test a copy of Windows Vista Beta 2. You can get a head start on your Windows Vista CPP preparation by visiting the Get Ready section of the official Windows Vista site and downloading the Windows Vista Product Guide (60 MB Word doc - definitely worth reading!).

The Office 2007 Beta 2 is freely available however, if you want to try it out. If you want to keep in touch with the latest information on both Vista and Office, you can subscribe to the Beta Experience site, where you’ll also receive notifications and download information for both products.

You can also ensure that your current installations of Microsoft Office XP and Office 2003 are ready for the new Microsoft Office Open XML Formats by downloading the Compatibility Pack.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

MIcrosoft delays

Microsoft delays could be a good thing, for it means the company is making sure their software is in tip top shape and armed with the necessary files and programming to minimize malfunction junction...

Blog: Can Microsoft Disappoint You Any Further? How Much do Delays Hurt?It's nothing new for Microsoft to hype the heck out of a product, then delay it interminably. It recently announced delays in its two biggest products, in fact, the 2007 version of Office and the Vista version of Windows, which was known as Longhorn when its existence was prophesied long ago in the time of our ancestors. Now the Virtual Server is also on the delayed reserve list. Give us your take on how Microsoft's delays are affecting your business.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lying and telling the truth

by Rosemary Haefner
Vice President of Human Resources
Ever get that sneaking suspicion one of your co-workers isn't being straight with you? Your instincts may be right.

Nineteen percent of workers admitted they tell lies at the office at least once a week, according to's new "Honesty in the Workplace" survey. Fifteen percent of workers reported they were caught in a lie at the office.

When asked why they felt compelled to bend the truth at work, respondents cited the following reasons:

To appease a customer (26 percent)
To cover up a failed project, mistake or missed deadline (13 percent)
To explain an unexcused absence or late arrival (8 percent)
To protect another employee (8 percent)
To get another employee in trouble or look better in front of a supervisor (5 percent)
But be warned: Nearly one-in-four hiring managers -- 24 percent -- say they have fired an employee for being dishonest.

It may seem cliche, but honesty is the best policy. Even if you are motivated by the best of intentions, being deceitful can seriously compromise your credibility with colleagues and negatively impact your career progress. The vast majority of hiring managers -- 85 percent -- say they are less likely to promote an employee who has lied to them or other members of the organization.

The most common lies workers say they have told at the office include:

I don't know how that happened (20 percent)
I have another call to take or I'll call you right back (16 percent)
I've been out of town or out sick (10 percent)
I like your outfit or you look great (8 percent)
I didn't get your e-mail, voicemail or fax (8 percent)
Which ones have you used?

Survey Methodology:'s survey, "Honesty in the Workplace," was conducted from November 15 to December 6, 2005. Methodology used to collect survey responses totaling more than 2,050 workers for this study involved selecting a random sample of comScore Networks panel members. These Web Panel members were approached via an e-mail invitation, which asked them to participate in a short online survey. The results of this survey are statistically accurate to within +/- 2.16 percentage points (19 times out of 20). Note: the sample of 2,050+ included 1,000 hiring managers. The results for the hiring managers alone are accurate within +/- 3.09 percentage points (19 timesout of 20).

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Revamped Internet search engine

SEATTLE (AP) - In its latest bid to catch up with rivals Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. is launching a revamped Internet search engine it says will help computer users find information faster, view it more easily and organize it better. Debuting in test form Wednesday, Windows Live Search is Microsoft's latest move in a major strategy shift that has the world's largest software company focusing more heavily on Internet-based software and services.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I back!

Soooo... What's happening on the Interenet?
Lots...stay tuned...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

On Bullshit

I came home with my wife from our New Years rendezvous, we hung around for a little while and she then decided to go to sleep. I, wanting to change my routines decided that, for a change, instead of watching the same bullshit on TV that I expected to watch, anyway decided to turn the sucker I watched some CNN special they were showing about a brother and two sisters whose parents perished as a result of last year's tsunami...An encouraging story of courage and determination to go on with life in spite of their tragedy...

Well, then came surfing, click, click...not a damn thing worth watching for longer than 1 or 2 minutes at best...While surfing, C-Span caught my eye. In Miami, recorded earlier this month, was Professor Frankfurt of University of Princeton, answering questions about his recently published book. I have not read many books recently as I've spent enormous amounts of time writing, creating blogs and basically reading up other people's posts and interpretations of life and living as they see it.
This time, it was different! There, in front of a camera, and in front of numerous attendants to his book review was Dr. Frankfurt talking about a book I think will be on my new year's resolution of must read's: On Bullshit.

Here is an excerpt off of his web page:
Harry G. Frankfurt

On Bullshit

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern. We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, as Harry Frankfurt writes, "we have no theory."

Frankfurt, one of the world's most influential moral philosophers, attempts to build such a theory here. With his characteristic combination of philosophical acuity, psychological insight, and wry humor, Frankfurt proceeds by exploring how bullshit and the related concept of humbug are distinct from lying. He argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. In fact, bullshit need not be untrue at all.

Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.

Harry G. Frankfurt is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University. His books include The Reasons of Love (Princeton), Necessity, Volition, and Love, and The Importance of What We Care About.


"[Frankfurt] tries, with the help of Wittgenstein, Pound, St. Augustine and the spy novelist Eric Ambler, among others, to ask some of the preliminary questions--to define the nature of a thing recognized by all but understood by none. . . . What is bullshit, after all? Mr. Frankfurt points out it is neither fish nor fowl. Those who produce it certainly aren't honest, but neither are they liars, given that the liar and the honest man are linked in their common, if not identical, regard for the truth."--Peter Edidin, New York Times

"The scholar who answers the question, 'What is bullshit?' bids boldly to define the spirit of the present age. . . . Frankfurt's conclusion . . . is that bullshit is defined not so much by the end product as by the process by which it is created. Eureka! Frankfurt's definition is one of those not-at-all-obvious insights that become blindingly obvious the moment they are expressed."--Timothy Noah, Slate

"Immediately, I must say: read it. Beautifully written, lucid, ironic and profound, it is a model of what philosophy can and should do. It is a small and highly provocative masterpiece, and I really don't think I am bullshitting you here."--Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times (London)

"This is what the world has long needed. . . . Bullshit is now such a dominant feature of our culture that most of us are confident we can recognize and rebuff it. But Frankfurt shows the reader just how insidious (and destructive) it can be. . . . This book will change your life."--Leopold Froehlich, Playboy

I can't wait to get my hands on his book, hoping I will understand and continue to learn how to fight and cope with the bullshit that goes on in this world of ours...

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

PNN-Positive News Network

Ahhhhh! Positive News! Cool way cool!

PNN-Positive News Network

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Focus of Our Attention

Focus of Our Attention
By Jeanie Marshall

"A weak mind is like a microscope,
which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones."
- Lord Chesterfield

The focus of our attention determines our life experiences. Where we put our attention, we put our energy. Where we put our attention, we put our consciousness. We draw into our lives the thing to which we give our attention, whether we want it or not. We seed the thing or idea that has our attention. That seed grows into the experiences of everyday life.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - Internet Tips: Better Browsing: Add-Ons, Plug-Ins, and Extensions - Internet Tips: Better Browsing: Add-Ons, Plug-Ins, and Extensions: "
Topics > Tips & Troubleshooting > Internet Tips > Browser >

Internet Tips
Contributing Editor Scott Spanbauer offers incisive tips, tricks, and commentary on a broad range of online issues.
Better Browsing: Add-Ons, Plug-Ins, and Extensions

Free Web image tool for Internet Explorer; managing bookmarks in Mozilla; the best way to remove an add-on.

Scott Spanbauer
From the January 2005 issue of PC World magazine

Any plain-vanilla Web browser will display most sites just fine. But some enhanced browsing experiences require help from what Internet Explorer calls 'add-ons,' and what Netscape, Mozilla, and Firefox refer to as 'plug-ins.' While Adobe's Acrobat Reader, Macromedia's Flash player, and other common plug-ins suggest themselves the moment you encounter a site that requires them, other browser helpers are harder to find. Here are some of my favorites, all free.
Not every plug-in you can add to your browser is a boon, of course. I've taken care to weed out products that also install spyware or adware, or that otherwise jeopardize your privacy and sneak around behind your back. And I'll show you how to make browser add-ons go away, should they become tiresome."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Holiday shopping ideas...

This article came to me in a newsletter I am subscribed to:
* Self Improvement and Personal Growth Weekly Newsletter * Issue # 378
Week of December 6-7, 2005
Publisher: David Riklan -

***Article: The Most Important Gifts of All – By Pauline
Wallin, Ph.D.***

In This Season of Gift-Buying, Don't Ignore The Most Important Gifts ofAll.
In this season of holiday gift buying, advertisers bombard us withmessages, some
of them contradictory.
One ad tells us that the best way for men to show love is to spend three
months' salary on a piece of diamond jewelry.
On the other hand, MasterCard commercials remind us that there are some
things ("Priceless" moments) that monëy can't buy."Oh, that's a sweet
sentiment," you might say, "but can it reallysubstitute for the latest video
game or hot toy?"
Very few children raised in this materialistic culture would say, "Gee mom,
thanks for making my favorite meal.
What a great Christmas gift!"
Yet 20 years from nöw, these same children probably won't remember the
items they got for the current Christmas. They will, however, recall the special
games that their family played together, the time that their older brother took
them to a movie, or the way their parents tucked them in at night.
These are the little moments, which over time, have a huge impact.
Unfortunately people tend to take them for granted.
With so much emphasison holiday shopping, and on buying the perfect
gift, we can losë sight ofthe importance of the less flashy, but "priceless"
gifts: gifts such as thoughtfulness and gratitude that we can give to one
another all year round.
A diamond may be forever, but its value is nothing compared to a lïfetime
of moments that monëy can't buy.
I'm not suggesting that you forego the presents this holiday season, but
don't worry so much about how "perfect" they are.
Go ahead and buy somegifts, but more importantly, resolve to focus your
energy on helping others feel valued and appreciated. They will remember your
acts of thoughtfulness and compassion long after the material gifts are
Hëre are some examples of small gestures that can help people around
youfeel valued:
1. Show your appreciation with a thank-you, a smile or a hug (or allthree).
It takes just a moment, but it can make a person's day.
2. Practice a random act of kindness every day. Make this your "gift" to
astranger. For example, let someone in front of you in line. Hold a door open
for someone. Smile and greet people you pass at work. These acts take only a few
seconds or less, yet they create a mood that can last for hours.
3. Call up someone you haven't spoken to in a while, just to catch up on
how they are. You've probably been meaning to do this for a long time. Nöw is a
good time.
4. If you have children, give one child at a time your full attention foran
afternoon: Go for a walk; go to the library; or just sit and read or draw
together. The activity itself isn't as important as sharing time and interacting
together. Going to a movie or watching a video doesn't count.
5. Write a note of appreciation to someone who is important to you. Don't
be surprised if that person keeps the note for years to come.
6. Think of the way you'd like to be remembered by those around you, and
give of yourself accordingly throughout the year. The added benefit for you is
that you'll be in a more positive frame of mind overall.

About the Author:Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in Camp Hill, PA,
and author of"Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating
Behavior"(Beyond Words Publishing, 2001).
for more information, and subscribe to her frëe, monthly Inner Brat

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Friday, December 02, 2005


I was looking for content to this blog, and I came accross this interesting article about competition. It is inspiring to know there are like minded people out there, willing to stand for their convictions and live by their moral code. I am very grateful to cross paths with people like Ms. Giovanni.


By Katharine C. Giovanni
Today's topic? Competition.
I can't tell you how many phone calls we get about this topic. It's number one on everyone's list ... who is the competition? How do I beat them? They're going to take all the clients!!!
NOT TRUE. Plenty of business out there for everyone folks.
Let's take a look at the realtors in your town. How many are there? I'll bet you five dollars that none of them are stepping on each other's toes and that there is plenty of business for them all. One company couldn’t possibly handle all the business in one town … they would be overwhelmed and would soon be out of business. Trust me on this one … this has happened to a few clients of mine. They were one of the only concierge in town and advertised their business ... and WHAM! It worked!! However, they soon became overwhelmed with all the business and had to close down for a few months while they re-organized. Clearly one company can't possibly handle all the business.

Here’s another way to look at it … what would McDonalds be if Burger King hadn't come on the scene??

Wendy's? Taco Bell?

Think they spend their time sending each other hate mail?? I was first! You can't set up your restaurant! It was my idea!!!

See my point? PLENTY of business for everyone. One town can certainly handle more than one company offering the same basic services with no problem at all.

I think competition is good for the soul. It forces us to do better and offer a better product. I also firmly believe in building relationships and working together towards the common good. Working together will get us farther than working apart.

And yes ... I practice what I preach. I've actually trained a few of my competitors (although I'll admit I didn't know it at the time) and have even given them some referrals. Should I get mad every time someone publishes another book on the Concierge industry"

Monday, November 28, 2005


One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute.
— William Lyon Phelps


Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Wealthy Blogger - Money Management Musings from two Decidedly Un-Wealthy Bloggers

Interest trends found out there in the blogosphere world. I think Fabian did the right thing and that he will definitelly get the return on his investment.

The Wealthy Blogger - Money Management Musings from two Decidedly Un-Wealthy Bloggers
August 24th, 2005 by admin
Filed under: Uncategorized

I want to thank Jeremy and Mike for the smooth transaction.

Yes I bought a blog! Why on earth would somebody buy a blog?

The answer is simple: it's called a return on investment. Where better to prove this then here ? : "August 24th, 2005 by admin
Filed under: Uncategorized

I want to thank Jeremy and Mike for the smooth transaction.

Yes I bought a blog! Why on earth would somebody buy a blog?

The answer is simple: it's called a return on investment. Where better to prove this then here ? ;-)

Many of you now will think: what's next.?

My plan is to keep the Wealthy blogger alive. On a personal level I am more interested in how to keep
my earned money (tax related) then credit cards and investment tips.
If I blog about credit cards it will only be about anonymous South American cards.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

BusinessPundit: Your Daily Dose of Competitive Advantage

BusinessPundit: Your Daily Dose of Competitive Advantage: "Doing the Right Thing: TypePad Has Guts

After outages affected TypePad users, the CEO let's them pick how many days of free service they get for their incovenience. There's a whole school of business thought that says 'but wait, what if they all select the maximum amount? We will miss $$$ worth of revenues.' But I'm with Typepad, believing that they just sent a message to their customers saying we trust you and we care about your blogging experience, and that it will pay off in the long run. It never hurts to build good business karma.
Posted by Rob at 08:34 AM

I love a company that bends over backwards for me, as a human being and a customer. I will buy what I don't need, just to reciprocate, but I hate companies that do not give a rats ass about their users or customers. I am very sorry for the folks at Yahoo. The more they ignore me the more I will fight for my needs, wants and humanness. I am still being totally ignored by a company that built its reputation around customer service. I know I have not bought anything directly from them (that I know of). But at least Yahoo could have the decency and right human relations to respond to my pleas for help. Instead, they continue to ignore me. Cool. I love blogging!

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

8 Rules For Good Customer Service

I just had to blog this in it's entirety. It will not only help you go a long way in sales and marketing, it will also help you in life...

8 Rules For Good Customer Service
Your Guide, Susan Ward From Susan Ward,
Your Guide to Small Business: Canada.

Good Customer Service Made Simple
Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.
If you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything to anyone once. But it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to pursue.
How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”

1) Answer your phone.
Get call forwarding. Or an answering service. Hire staff if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. (Notice I say “someone”. People who call want to talk to a live person, not a “fake recorded robot”.) For more on answering the phone, see Phone Answering Tips to Win Business.
2) Don’t make promises unless you WILL keep them.
Not plan to keep them. Will keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. If you say, “Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday”, make sure it is delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t say it. The same rule applies to client appointments, deadlines, etc.. Think before you give any promise – because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one.
3) Listen to your customers.
Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention and needs to have it explained again? From a customer’s point of view, I doubt it. Can the sales pitches and the product babble. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem.
4) Deal with complaints.
No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time - and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.
5) Be helpful - even if there’s no immediate profit in it.
The other day I popped into a local watch shop because I had lost the small piece that clips the pieces of my watch band together. When I explained the problem, the proprietor said that he thought he might have one lying around. He found it, attached it to my watch band – and charged me nothing! Where do you think I’ll go when I need a new watch band or even a new watch? And how many people do you think I’ve told this story to?
6) Train your staff (if you have any) to be ALWAYS helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
Do it yourself or hire someone to train them. Talk to them about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so he never has to say, “I don’t know, but so-and-so will be back at...”
7) Take the extra step.
For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don’t just say, “It’s in Aisle 3.” Lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if he has questions about it, or further needs. Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to provide good customer service, take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people.
8) Throw in something extra.
Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. The local art framer that we use attaches a package of picture hangers to every picture he frames. A small thing, but so appreciated.
If you apply these eight simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And the best part? The irony of good customer service is that over time it will bring in more new customers than promotions and price slashing ever did.

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