Problems With Forum Auto-Login Feature

Recently, this topic came up on a forum I belong to. Let’s call this forum MM. Here’s the original question.

“Can anyone tell me why, for the last 2-3 weeks, I must log on each and every time I go to the MM forum? It doesn’t matter whether I check the box ‘Log me on automatically each visit.’”

An obvious answer was this:

Web-browser settings for saving cookies may be the issue. These settings may have been changed by program updates. If you use a web browser like Internet Explorer, you should be able to check and, if necessary, reset these cookie settings so that cookies are saved from visited web sites on which you sign in. If cookies are saved from these sites, you won’t have to sign in each time you visit.”

And another answer was this:

“Another possible reason why you are having to sign in each time you visit this site is you may have an anti-spyware program that deletes cookies. The setting for the program might have been changed recently, from keeping to deleting cookies, without your knowing it through an update, and that’s why you have seen a change. I see from internet forums that losing needed cookies for sign-in has been a problem for some customers using various anti-spyware products. Most of these products have options to turn off cookie detection and removal. Maybe you can find that option and reset it.”

Or it could be a complex problem and solution, like this answer:

“I was having exactly the same problem during that period with my office computer, but not with my house computer. At the time I chalked it up to ATT having recently forced us to convert to Uverse or whatever it’s called, which was messing with our ability to use pages at all (randomly about 1 out of 3 attempts the load would hang and might or might not ever complete, but almost always attempting the pageload again would work.)”

“Turned out after many annoyed calls to ATT tech support there was a rare router malfunctioning happening at a node in town somewhere.”

Somone suggested Ccleaner, to which I’ve added:

“I have to agree with CCleaner. If you actually install the File Hippo updater at File Hippo , it will tell folks when a new version of the free CCleaner is available. If you run a good paid or free anti-virus, then I would install the free version of Malwarebytes and run a weekly quick scan, along with a weekly one from your anti-virus. Malwarebytes doesn’t deal with cookies, but it’s a good check for bad stuff on your machine.”

I ended up with this suggestion:

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth”

.-Arthur Conan Doyle

The problem here is that the obvious (i.e. cookies) has been looked at and I conclude from the conversations – eliminated. I conclude other suggestions (i.e. like static vs dynamic IP) were tested and eliminated. There’s also no clear tech forum discussions – given the keywords I’ve used – showing similar problems, other than the one I shared. It could then be any number of unknown variables.

The most logical approach is for some admin here, who is tech savvy, to work on the problem with a remote tool – with permission. If this approach is taken, I recommend the free for private use tool Team Viewer Team Viewer, installed on the tech admin and user machines. You can also use Skype for voice conversations during the diagnosis.

What was my final forum suggestion? It’s one the original questioner had also implemented:

When I can’t find a solution, I look for an effective substitute. For example, the recipe for Venison stew Venison stew calls for 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. But a search of the Internet said I can substitute Soy Sauce instead. In this software issue, why not just install a free login password manager, with an auto-log-in feature?

Moral Dilemmas, War and Pacifism

I was on a Christian forum, where the questions was: “Are Christians allowed to fight?” Let me inject theological answers from Got Questions (Got Questions) – a Protestant biblical site and philosophically – by introducing the moral dilemma.

Moral Dilemmas

The problem with taking absolute positions is that it would open you up to Ethical dilemmas, like those found at Ethical dilemma; Ethical dilemma 2.

  • The first article says, “Ethical dilemmas, also known as a moral dilemmas, are situations where there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in an ethically acceptable fashion.”
  • Wiki in the second article says, “An ethical dilemma is a complex situation that often involves a clear mental conflict between moral imperatives, to obey one would result in transgressing another.”

A perfect example is this. Suppose I had a child and suppose someone is running towards them, to kill them with a knife. I have a gun and can shot the killer dead. Should I do nothing and let the child die? Or should I shoot the killer and save the child? Which would it be? Whose life is more important – the killer’s or the child’s?

We could even make the above example more interesting. Suppose the killer was your wife (or husband, if you are female), who has a psychotic problem. She forgot to take her medication today. She is the one coming at your child with a knife, saying she is going to kill them. And you are too weak from a flu virus, to physically stop her. You only have the gun option. What would you do?

How would pacifists resolve this and other ethical dilemmas?

We could even inject some interesting alternatives to the above ethical dilemma. Like:

Do we still face the same moral or ethical dilemma? Unless you have a solid theological and philosophical solution to ethical dilemmas, then you are threading on shaky ground.

Let me leave you with some interesting moral dilemmas to reflect upon at:

Ethical or moral dilemmas can be even be situations where nothing drastic will happen. There’s a popular Pentecostal Chicago preacher on local access TV. His wife is always shown on TV – in the audience – wearing awful hats. She once had one on that looked exactly like a flower-pot – full of flowers. It was the ugliest hat you ever saw. Imagine you are friends with the TV reverend and his wife. Then the wife asks you, “how do you like my new hat?” You can tell her it’s awful and hurt her feelings. Or you can say it is great and lie. Or you can say something like, “this hat brings out the real you” or “It’s nice that the flowers are the same color as your hair.” How would you answer her?

Sometimes there’s not enough information in the Bible, to make a solid case either way. And we also get into the problem of when to interpret something figuratively or literally. This can be the topic of a debate – in and of itself. And some groups – like the Quakers – rely more on the inner light than biblical verses. As the old saying goes (i.e. re-adapted from Jewish lore), if you get three theologians in a room (i.e. regardless if they are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Protestant), you might have five different opinions. The martial arts – if taught from old traditions – has a great philosophy behind it. They don’t go out looking for fights. Hence, Pacifism is a good quality to mimic. But the martial artist (i.e. a good one), would be well-trained to respond to any reasonable, philosophical ethical or moral dilemma imposed. Hence, live for peace, but if war or battle is needed – respond. But there’s always the Conscientious objector route available – to those who object.

Let’s look at some Got Questions theological answers:

There’s another site called CARM, who tries to answer this question at Should a Christian go to war?  I like these points from the article, which I shall quote.

  •  “This question has caused a lot of division in the body of Christ. Should a Christian go to war where he might kill other people when the Bible says to ‘turn the other cheek’ (Luke 6:29)?

  • From this we can easily conclude that going to war is not a sin, that is, if it complies with the biblical instructions of self-defense and protection of the innocent.

  • Finally, notice that some soldiers approached John the Baptist and inquired about repentance. John did not tell them to stop being soldiers but to do their jobs properly–honestly.

  • “From all of this, we can see that going to war is not wrong it itself and that a Christian can go to war under the right circumstances.”

Finally, notice that some soldiers approached John the Baptist and inquired about repentance. John did not tell them to stop being soldiers but to do their jobs properly–honestly.

is interesting to me. I’ve used a similar argument in the past against groups that dismiss secular healing. This can be anything from Christian Science to a Christian grief group, that dismisses any secular counseling and help. Or whether depression should only be treated by Christian biblical direction, instead of with, secular counseling and medical medications. My response to them was:

“In all the time Luke hangs around Christ, Paul and the apostles and sees all the miracles going on,not once did he renounce being a physician.”

I believe a person should avail themselves to the best that conventional medicine, alternative or complementary medicine, and spiritual healing and prayer – working hand in hand – have to offer.

It should be noted that I’m not always in accord with what CARM and Got Questions always says biblically, but they do offer some good starting points for discussion.

So I guess the original question is

“Are Christians allowed to fight?”

The answer would be yes. But we should then follow up with a second question:

“Should ALL Christians fight?”

The answer is no and should be left up to the Christian and his Conscience – whether guided by the inner light of Quakerism, their understanding of Biblical directives, church teaching and affiliation or reflections on the Just War criterion. But whatever the choice made:

  • The Christian will have to deal with any secular repercussions from any decision, other than conscientious objection.
  • The moral or ethical dilemma might be something a person could be confronted with.

3 Ways to Use Content Curation to Increase Marketing Penetration

There are pros and cons of both content creation and content curation. Creating your own content gives you ownership, but it can be expensive and time consuming. On the other hand, curation does not give you ownership, but it can help you establish your web and social media profiles as one-stop shops for information about your field. If done right, content curation can be economical and impactful while still being creative and helpful to your market. Here are a few ways to think about using content curation:

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Almost Automate It

The website Alltop was one of the first content curation success stories. Founded by marketing evangelist Guy Kawasaki, the site promises to be the place for all the top stories. The site uses a mix of automatically pulled topics, community submitted articles and staff selected stories to make several robust sites all under the Alltop umbrella.

Although Alltop is a good example of content curation, it may not be the best example of how to set up your marketing strategy because it does not tell a story. If you want to automatically pull content, then you need to weave it into your marketing campaign. Use a tool like Storify to help you. This tool is a drag-and-drop content finder that lets you mix, add and collaborate until you have the perfect story. Once you have your story, you can embed it into whatever media you wish. This type of curation lets you add your own spin to the story without needing to write the post yourself.

Let Wi-Fi Boost Your Analytics

Every social media expert knows that one message a day is not enough. Several posts are needed daily to keep your site relevant and fresh from a Google Analytics point of view. In our global economy, these messages need to be staggered throughout a 24 hour day so that everyone has an opportunity to see them. Systems like HooteSuite are great for scheduling your social media posts, but they lack the personal touch that is inherent with social media.

To make your campaign more organic, use a cloud-based service like Dropbox to store your curated content. Have your team place these stories onto your social media feeds from different locations, preferably throughout the world. Even though these people may be employees, analytic programs do not know this and will classify your information positively.

Mix The Platforms

Pulling from other’s work has its advantages, but sometimes there is nothing better than fresh content to draw in new readers. This is where a smart blend of curated content and new content can have the most impact. Social media marketing and content curation firm Buffer points out that the natural upside of curation is that you have more time to write great articles based on other’s work. To create a good mix, post curated articles, and then add your own in-depth and unique perspective.

One way to mix the two types of content is to use Pinterest. Use the image as inspiration to create unique content, and then link both the Pinterest image and your content to your social media feeds. Doing this will drive viewership to your social media platforms.

Alternative Viewpoints

This week found me dialoging on a Christian theology forum.

I did a bit of reflection on alternative viewpoints.  There is a movie called God is Not Dead. The movie presents a philosophy professor, who insists folks take his viewpoint in class. Yet my experience in philosophy classes, is they are open to multiple viewpoints. And sometimes it’s good to argue a viewpoint that’s not your own. I remember taking a business ethics class at the College of DuPage. The professor has some projects for us to work on, with a partner. My partner and I found the one on the porn industry fascinating. Then I went on to defend the position of a porn producer and my partner took the place of a TV interviewer. The professor said he can envision me as a porn producer – something that would go against every ethical grain in my fiber.

And sometimes we might discover an unusual and interesting new viewpoint. The best response I’ve seen started on evil and the Christian response to it, came from the Journal of Christian Theology and Philosophy. It’s called Eternal Selves and The Problem of Evil at Problem of Evil . Or someone argues for reincarnation. Let me propose an alternative explanation. How do we know that a person having reincarnation memories of past lives is not tapping into genetic memory (see genetic memory )? We could have access to everyone’s experience who ever lived. It would be akin to the collective unconscious of Carl Jung.

Then I reflected on two other things:

  • I was asking an Indian friend about something the Muslims believe, as he was married to a Muslim wife. But he was a scientific type and an agnostic. He told me that western university scholars had the best understanding, what the Muslims believe and practice.
  • Then I read a story about a holy person or saint in India. Some of this students asked what a certain popular figure’s place on something was. He told them to pick up the telephone – call them – and ask them.

So I do like both these pieces of advice. Go and see what the western academic scholars say – who don’t belong to that group. Or pick up the telephone and ask them.

I also thought about a story from a popular health and prosperity gospel minister – Larry Ollison. He had a dream in which God taught him all the secrets of the universe. He remembered that everything was very simple. Yet he couldn’t remember the details.

Then I remember emailing a Baptist minister, who had a PhD in theology from a Catholic university. He taught church history at the College of DuPage. I asked him if there was a rational way to tell which Christian group is right. He got mad at me and discussed the topic the next day in class. But he didn’t mention me by name. He said there is no rational way and it end up being a matter of belief.

I’m not so hard pressed on positions and it’s good to see alternatives – at least, be aware of them. I can appreciate reading a great work of literature like Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Yet I am opposed to her atheistic and self-centered philosophy.

In the article (i.e. from Dr. Mark E. Ross – associate dean and associate professor of systematic theology at the Columbia campus of Erskine Theological Seminary in South Carolina) at Unity it says, “How, then, can we be one in Christ and show the communion of saints? It would seem that either we must ignore our doctrinal differences and treat them as inconsequential, or we must remain permanently divided and in opposition to one another until Christ returns. Is there not a more excellent way? (1 Cor. 12:31).”

Perhaps when things finally end in time – we might find things as simple as the dream of Larry Ollison.

 

Getting the most out of your office phone system

Productivity at office is often directly linked to the type of communication system a business possesses. It is imperative to equip your business with an integrated complete office phone system and not using individual telephone lines. phone systems Modern office can be a bit confusing during the first few days as the operations are different from the ones that you presently use. The basic functioning (the internal workings) are similar to the phones that you use and it is the phone type, provider and features that make these phone systems different.

Prior to understanding about the functions of office phone systems, you will have to find the types. The two primary types of phones that are used are multiline phones and private branch exchange. The first type or the multiline phone is the one that can have anywhere between 8 and 10 lines connected to one phone. The individual phone lines are identified as “Line 1”, “Line 2” etc. The multiline phones have to be operated manually. The second type or Private Branch exchange system (PBX) is more suited for larger businesses. The PBX systems can be used to connect more lines and since it is an automated system, the need for the central receptionist is eliminated.

The functioning of multiline phones depends on the available options. Here every single line is allotted a unique phone number and each of the phone number is treated as a unique line. The incoming calls on a particular line will produce a ring and the light for the number will start to blink. In case the line is being used, the caller will get a busy tone or will be redirected to the voicemail. Another very popular option that we get to see with the multiple phone service is Rollover. In this you are going to publish only one phone number and the incoming calls are going to occupy the lines in a descending order. Thus, if you have three lines to your phone system and two callers place their calls at the same time then the first calls would automatically be allotted Line 1 and the second call will be allotted Line 2, and so on.

The PBX system is similar to the multiline phone system and the only difference is that there is no human intervention for call transferring or other operations. There is an electronic buffer systems that is used to queue up the calls and depending on the extension number chosen by the caller, the calls are transferred to the designated receiver. Both the PBX as well as the multiline phone systems offer advanced features like voicemail and call transferring. There is also the facility of speakerphone where the receptionist can alert an employee about a call.

VoIP has given a paradigm shift to the idea of PBX or Multiline phone systems as now the users can avail a hosted PBX system. The user does not need to install the PBX system at office and they are able to use their central system by logging in over the Internet. The Internet connection is used to make or receive calls and there is an intelligent computing system that performs all the critical functions like call queuing, call transferring, voicemail and call routing.

As a user, you will only have to worry about subscribing for the right packages and setting up the basic infrastructure for availing the VoIP system. The VoIP office phone system is very efficient and users are able to log in to the central communication from anywhere around the world. There are many other advanced features like presence, music on hold and Interactive Voice response system that we get with the VoIP office phone system. VoIP is being termed as the ideal office phone system that could be used for business communication.

About The Author
Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

7 Steps To Choosing A VOIP Service Provider

The expansion of broadband service is directly helping the penetration of VoIP services to every corner of the US. VoIP has not only impressed the corporate world, cloud-based technology has even found a place in the households through offerings such as Skype and Vonage. The number of VoIP service providers in the US is growing with every passing day. VoIP can help you save a lot of money that you otherwise spend on your telephone bills. However, you need to judiciously choose the right VoIP service provider that fits both your budget and needs.

Here is a list of 7 steps to choose a VoIP service provider:

  1. Internet Connection Speed: Determine whether your Internet connection is ready to carry out VoIP or not. There are several instances where people are not satisfied with the quality of VoIP service. The problem often has its roots in the poor Internet connection – VoIP service providers are not the culprits. You need to run the vital VoIP speed test to decide whether the connection is fast enough to handle VoIP calls or not. Slow Internet connection is the biggest impediment of VoIP calls. Consult your VoIP service provider to understand how much speed you need in your connection, and how to divide a specified bandwidth for VoIP calls.

  2. Costs Savings: You need to thoroughly analyze your current telephone bills and find out the amount you are spending every month. You also need to find out the features that you need like call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID and 3-way calling etc. Now you need to calculate the money you spend for these features. If your primary goal behind installing VoIP is to save money, you need to find out the savings you will incur for cancelling bundled services like television, DSL and land line phone services.

  3. Compare Offerings: You will need to carry out some research work and find out about the features being offered by the different service providers. You need to compare the features along with the charges (monthly/yearly). Compare standard services provided like SIP Trunking, Video Conferencing. Companies offer both free as well as the paid services.

  4. Read The Terms & Conditions: You will also need to have a look at the contract term, equipment return policy and money back guarantee. You need to find out the VoIP service providers who are providing at least one month guarantee. In case a service provider does not offer the guarantee hen it is better to avoid them. As far as the major providers in the market are concerned, all offer the guarantee. The contract needs to be understood properly because there are many things that you might find a bit tough to comprehend.

  5. Broadband or DSL: In case you already have a DSL, cancelling your phone services might not be that easy. Majority of the phone service companies offer metered services where you pay on the basis of every call. As your new VoIP service would be using only the Internet connection, you might not be using the copper line while only running the DSL on it. Try to understand all the aspects of your metered service. Does it make sense to completely do away with your copper lines, and get a cable broadband? Moreover, there is no point in paying for a PSTN line when you are hardly going to use it to make or receive calls.

  6. Portability: Portability is also an important factor to consider, so you need to verify whether you will be able to keep your present phone number or not. Do not consider the VoIP service providers who do not allow you to keep your present phone number.

After you have finalized all the above things, it is time to call up the VoIP service provider and start enjoying the latest telephony features.

About The Author

Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

Does Your Company Need a Blog?

It seems as if no matter what the industry, every company has a blog—leaving you wondering if your stand-alone web page is enough. Does your small business also need a blog? Here we explore some of the companies that are doing great things with their blogs, and the benefits they are reaping in return.

How others are profiting from blogs (and you can too)

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1. Bike Bandit: The Bike Bandit blog identifies as “The web’s largest source for power sports parts, accessories, gear and tires,” boasting an inventory of over 8 million products. They support a presence on every major social media site and actively keep up with and share industry news. They excel at getting customers to engage with their brand and refer to their blog as a community. Customers have come to recognize this “community” as a place to share experiences, “talk shop,” and keep the conversation going about all things motorcycle-related.

Takeaway: A blog can be used to inviting customers to feel like they’re a part of your business. Like chairs and newspapers in an old-time barbershop, a company blog can become a place to gather and swap stories. For the right clientele, that approach is golden.

2. Culinary Connection: This company helps aspiring chefs get the training they need without breaking the bank in high tuition fees. The Culinary Connection program doesn’t use a traditional classroom model, rather they place students in working kitchens for apprenticeships with professional chefs. Because of their interactive atmosphere, they support their business with a blog that discusses all things cooking and food. From sharing recipes to discussing techniques, they support themselves as an authority in the cooking industry and keep their clients returning for new information . No big sales pitches, just relevant content.

Takeaway: Your blog should stay consistent with your primary topic, and should focus on quality. You don’t need to push sales with your blog, rather, use it to attract potential clients and maintain existing ones.

3. Get Found First: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is big business, and Get Found First is one of the best at helping companies leverage their ad spend to bring in revenue. These guys know the value of content marketing, using well-informed articles, videos, infographics, and other media to attract the selected audience. Their company blog is called the “Knowledge Center,” and they keep their look and content fresh and valuable. Their focus is on continued education across topics someone involved with PPC would appreciate.

Takeaway: Make your blog visually appealing and use it as a space to educate your customers and shed light on emerging industry trends.

Tips on blogging for business

  • Don’t publish junk. If your editorial calendar calls for a post twice per day, and you’re not ready with a well-written article, don’t throw in something just to make the schedule. Make every piece of content count, and continuously strive for quality.
  • Do post regularly. A general rule of thumb is to create a new post at least twice per week. Find what is right for your industry and be consistent.
  • Do include a call to action. Have a call-to-action on your blog and in every post. Never leave the reader with nowhere to go, wondering how to do business with you, or where to go from there.
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