All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Sometimes You Should Read The Terms Of Use

Okay, stay with me for a minute. I was going through Kristi’s weekly Fetching Friday listing, where this week one of my posts was mentioned (thanks Kristi), and came upon an article she was highlighting called 10 Firefox Addons For Affiliate Marketers from the blog Ace Affiliates.

Always someone who’s looking for the next big thing, I went to read that article, and one of the Firefox addons it recommended was something called Ghostery. It seems to do two things for you. One, it lets you know how safe a website is that you’re visiting. Two, it allows you to block sites from tracking your IP address and the like.

That second one is very intriguing to me. I was talking to my friend Kelvin about it and saying how freaked out I was when I go to websites, such as MSNBC, and see all the ads that are targeted for me knowing that I live in the Syracuse, NY area. He said he didn’t know of anything that could block that, so I thought this might be the plugin for me.

When I went to the page where the addon is, it looked different than what I’m used to seeing. There’s no description of what the addon is about, and there’s this big block in the middle with only one line: Ghostery requires that you accept the following End-User License Agreement before installation can proceed. And in the box there’s only one thing: http://www.ghostery.com/terms. Now, maybe it looks that way because I’m running Adblock, but it looked strange.

This tasked me (a line from Star Trek II; Wrath of Khan), so I decided I wanted to read the terms of service for using this particular addon. Overall, it was the same standard stuff you see everywhere else, but suddenly I came upon a line I didn’t like, under privacy: You acknowledge that the Software will contact GHOSTERY and send limited information about the websites you visit to GHOSTERY’s databases.

Come on now; y’all know me! I’m the guy who has a problem with Google Toolbar tracking our movements, to the point that I won’t use it anymore once I learned it did that. I’m certainly not letting some other group of folks track where I go; wasn’t the point of using their software so you could go to websites without them knowing where you were coming from, as in “tracking” you? I’m going to give up my privacy to these guys who I don’t know to get privacy from sites that I at least have some idea of who they are?

Many times I don’t read terms of service, just like most people don’t when we want to use something. However, the way this was segregated looked, well, suspicious. They might have specific reasons for wanting to track people, as in making sure the software works. And, of course we all have the right to use or not use something.

I’m choosing not to use it; that doesn’t sound surprising, does it? So, I’m still on a quest to find something that will aid me in my privacy efforts. Sure, I know that there’s no real privacy online, but I’d still like to find a way to decide when I want to give up information about myself and when I don’t.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

Web Courtesy; Don’t We Deserve That Much?

Once again yesterday I discovered that someone had pilfered one of my business blog’s posts from November and presented it as pretty much his own ideas. Well, maybe that’s not quite fair. After all, he did say he was reading a column that he had agreements with, then proceeded to write his post, using at least half of my words for his article. Kind of a rewrite, kind of a plagiarism that I still wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not.

I wrote a comment on the post saying I wasn’t sure whether to be mad because some of my content had been stolen, or happy that he had at least read the article. What I was thinking, however, is that I was upset that I hadn’t gotten any attribution for writing the article in the first place.

We all love having someone notice what we write. It’s pretty neat when people comment on our blog posts. It’s even neater when we find out that someone has written something based on an article of ours, and has linked to it in some fashion. Sometimes, even if they disagree with what we wrote, we love the fact that they’ve taken the time to talk about our stuff.

I like to think that I’m pretty good at linking to people whenever they write something that sparks a blog post to occur. I hope that whenever I do it that some of you follow the link back to the original article to read what that person had to say. I actually hope that sometimes you leave a comment there showing your appreciation for what they wrote, and mentioning where you might have seen the link to their post.

In retrospect, I might have been a bit harsh with the guy who wrote the post based on what I wrote back in November. After all, I found that same exact post on another site as well, and that site copied the entire post. That site has copied other total posts of mine as well; someone wrote me once saying it’s a foreign site that’s supposed to be similar to Digg, but I’ve never heard of Digg posting someone’s entire article. I could be wrong on that one.

I’m not giving these people a link, but if you want to see the site I’m talking about it’s here: luacheia.soup.io. And this is the direction to the latest post I know they took from me: luacheia.soup.io/post/33702719/Three-Syndromes-Consultants-Face. Part of me is wondering how many of my blog posts are on that site; I wonder if any of the posts from this blog are on that site. And in case you’re thinking about asking, I did write these people multiple times; no response. The hosting company is who told me they’re like Digg and that they can’t do anything about it; that just seems so wrong.

Blogging really is about community, in my opinion. When we can, we should open up our community to others whose stuff we read. Some folks do that once a week, like Kristi and her Fetching Fridays posts. But everyone doesn’t have to go quite this far. Think about how good you feel when you know someone has been inspired by you; do the same for others.

Olympus 141540 Pearlcorder J500 Voice-Activated Dual Tape Speed Microcassette Recorder

Olympus 141540 Pearlcorder J500 Voice-Activated Dual Tape Speed Microcassette Recorder

Price – $71.57






Solid State Drives – The Way Of The Future?

A little over a week ago I wrote a post about this hard drive that I was going to be buying for myself, the Apricorn secure hard drive. For me, it’s a needed commodity to protect some of the confidential information given to me by my clients, as well as one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Yet, there’s something else that’s been on my mind lately that I want to talk about. That’s this thing called solid state hard drives. From what I’m understanding, solid state drives are much faster, much more durable, and definitely much lighter than conventional hard drives. This last one I can easily confirm because while I was out of town, someone allowed me to pick up their relatively new laptop, and it had almost no weight to it.

What makes it durable? It has no moving parts and is smaller and more contained. You know that noise you hear when you turn on your computer? That’s the hard drive and fan powering things up, but mainly it’s the hard drive. With solid state drives, you barely hear anything.

As for it being faster, well, I haven’t seen that in person, but research indicates that, depending on what you’re testing it against, in some instances it’s a bit more than twice the speed of a traditional hard drive, and more than three times as fast in other tests.

How does solid state technology work? I have to admit that one is beyond me, not knowing anything about electronics, but I’ll make kind of a comparison. For those folks old enough to remember, televisions used to contain these big tubes, multiple tubes, which powered the television and produced the images. By the late 70’s, tubes had been replaced by transistors, kind of flat panels that could handle all of that stuff. The same thing occurred with radios, and many of us remember that we could finally walk around with these small, light radios when they became transistor radios; before that, we couldn’t easily walk around with our music.

Anyway, solid state drives are something like that. Instead of spinning plates and the like, it’s something like transistors that’s replaced them. That means you can’t shake them and damage them, don’t have to worry as much about an electric shock destroying one, and it would take a lot for it to burn out like hard drives do now, since they don’t heat up the same way.

What’s the catch? Right now, solid state drives can cost tons more than regular drives. You can get a 300GB hard drive for less than $100 in many circumstances nowadays. A 120GB solid state drive will cost you at least $250; that’s kind of steep. The price of some drives is even higher. Of course, most people will never use more than 50GB, but that’s not quite the point. We all have our reasons for wanting something different. The friend who showed me his laptop, which weighs less than 2 pounds overall, travels a lot, and he can just toss it into a shoulder bag and go on his way, instead of having to put it in a bag like mine, which weighs about 7 pounds on its own.

Think I’m kidding? Ask yourself why the laptop below costs so much with only a 128GB hard drive; it’s not just because it’s a MacBook.

15.4 MacBook Pro Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz 2GB RAM 128GB SOLID STATE Hard Drive NVIDIA GeForce 9400M SuperDrive

Price – $2,049.00






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Sunday Question – Do You Take Care Of Your Physical Self?

Suffice it to say, many of us aren’t doing all that we can to get ourselves into optimal shape. I’m sure Aaron is probably doing well at it, but for the rest of us, we’re sorely lacking in almost all of these areas; someone tell me I’m wrong. 🙂

Most of you know I’m diabetic. Some of you know that I don’t always do well with it. I have had some good times when I’ve been able to fully control my diet, and if I can get myself to exercise more then I do better also, but I’m not the best at any of this.

Here are my issues. One, even I get sick of eating the same thing every day here and there, in which case I go off the eating plan. Two, when I’m depressed from the diabetes, which means I’m in an “I quit” mode, it’s hard to get out of because one doesn’t know they’re in that mode.

Absolo Core Intensive Training System

Three, I hate exercise; plain and simple. Whenever I exercise, I end up feeling worse than I did when I began. I don’t mean the huffing and puffing; I can handle that. I mean physically my body hurts, my feet hurt, and all I feel is tired, not energized. I used to feel energized after playing sports, which I could do for hours on end, but exercise just doesn’t do it for me. That, plus now I’m having foot problems, and I’m fighting my instincts which tell me that sneakers shouldn’t cost $150, especially since I bought a pair for $50, but I might have to move up in quality to protect my feet, which is something else diabetics have to be careful of; sigh.

Four, I hate doing all of it alone. My wife is way beyond me; she’s doing that P90X program, or whatever it’s called, and says that when she works out with me she’s getting no benefit from it, including walking, because it’s not intense enough. Yeah, I could still take her if I needed to. lol

And five, I’ll own up to this, I have a sugar addiction, which isn’t a real addiction as far as I know, but I just can’t stay away from sweets. Okay, more chocolate than anything else, since I’m fairly picky about things I eat, including sweets, but still it counts.

So, those are the “buts”. Here’s what I have done, or try to do. I have cut way back on how much I eat, without seeing any results. I think it’s probably the result of the insulin, which I was told would encourage me to put on weight.

Though people don’t believe it because I talk about it all the time, I actually have cut down on how much dessert I eat. My wife helps greatly with that one when she’s around. When she’s not… well, I have good days and bad days. This past week, with her on a cruise and us not being able to talk to each other, has been challenging, but I haven’t overindulged. I won’t quit desserts, though.

I’ve pretty much cut pasta out of my diet. I may eat it once every couple of months, or if my wife is feeding a bunch of people for something and she makes it as the main meal because pasta can go a long way. Pasta shuts me down, and is actually worse than sugar. I’ve reduced my rice intake as well as breads. My friend Danny, the food doctor who answers nutritional questions, has actually created a pasta that reduces the carbohydrates by more than 1/3rd, which is a good thing, and is working on getting it marketed. He’s given me some samples, but I haven’t had the opportunity to test it yet, which I will.

As it’s starting to warm up, I’m starting to go for more walks. However, last Sunday I went for a walk at the lake, walked an hour, and my feet weren’t happy with me all week; hence the talk about new sneakers. I did get new inserts and have tested them on the trampoline, with lousy results; sigh.

And I’ve started my back stretching exercises to help alleviate some back pain I’ve been experiencing lately. It’s the residual from shoveling this winter instead of hiring someone else to do it; nope, not getting any younger.

Anyway, that’s how I’m taking my shots at working on my physical self. What about you?


Ultimate Fitness

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Blogging Step Six – How To Start Getting Visitors

Recently I was asked by a friend of mine to talk to someone who’s just started a new blog and hopes to help it spread. I wrote 5 things that I believe are the way to go when you’re just starting out to get visitors to come to your blog. Actually, I believe all of these are good even with existing blogs if you’re not doing them, so I’ve decided to post what I wrote here, with a few modifications of course, and it will be added to my Blogging Tips at the top.



I Want To Explore Time

1. Post each blog article to Twitter. Of course this means you have to join Twitter and have followers who will see those posts, and some will retweet them, which gives them the opportunity to be viewed by a much larger audience. Blogging packages like WordPress has many plugins that can help you automate the process; I don’t know if Blogger allows blogs to do it, in which case you’ll have to copy and paste your link every time, something I don’t have to do. As a sidebar, I hate Blogger! lol

2. Set up both Facebook and LinkedIn to grab each blog post. On FB there are multiple apps that will do it. On LinkedIn, you can set it up within your profile.

3. Comment on like-minded blogs. This one is the most time consuming, but the truth is that, unless you’re already famous, the best way to get visitors is by commenting on other blogs, mainly blogs that are similar in content in some fashion to what you’re writing about. People get used to seeing your name and will follow you back to your blog to check you out. Of course, commenting on other blogs works pretty well also, especially if it’s something else you’re interested in.

4. Add the link to your blog in every correspondence you send out, and of course to your website if you have one. In email, if you send email to someone who opens their mail online, it helps provide a link that, if they click on it, helps build up web prominence a little bit. Of course, being on Blogger, it won’t help as much. However, just to say this, by being on Blogger you’re going to get some random traffic because of that link thing at the top where it says “next blog”, but it’s not targeted traffic so you might not get many comments, or people who will stay long enough to read what you’ve written.

5. Send out one big email to all your friends and business associates, if you’re comfortable with that. Those are pretty much considered “friendlies”, and they’ll visit at least once, and some of them will subscribe and tell others. It’s a great place to start.

NQ Industries Air Purifier Includes Both the HEPA and Carbon Filters

Price – $285.00






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell