Posts Tagged Gary North

How do you remember your passwords? Here’s a neat trick

Update 17 Sep, 2017: Eric at Cloudwards emailed me recently to tell me of an excellent article on this subject that really covers a lot of ground. It’s long but worth the read if you’re concerned, or even just interested, in the security of your passwords. And if you’re not, maybe you should be:

My colleague James recently put together a pretty comprehensive piece on how to set up a strong password.There is a ton of information out there; our guide was designed to cut through the noise a bit. The post is here:

Thanks, Eric.  I also wrote about this more recently here:

How do you remember your passwords?

How do you remember your passwords?

Do you have a lot of passwords? Is the Pope Catholic?!? I use Access Manager to help me keep track of  mine, but I still need a few passwords that I use frequently, and it’s bothersome to open Access Manager and retrieve them each time. But if you don’t use a software program that can create highly secure passwords, you are probably going to end up recycling the same old passwords amongst your various accounts. This is obviously not very secure. So I was glad to read this tip on Gary North’s website.

If you want a password that you can remember easily, but which is close to unbreakable, here is a secret.Forget about symbols, such as @#$%^, which you will forget. Forget about mixtures of upper case and lower case. KISS: keep it simple.But aren’t simple passwords more easily broken? Yes, but only because they are short.Pick a phrase or the lyrics of a song. Then…

via Password Trick / Gary North.

easy-to-remember passwords can be a security weakness

(Graphic from a password hashing website.)

A colleague recently had his gmail account hacked. And then there was the famous case of Honan.

Then today, Gary North offered  this tip:

pick the first letter of each word. Then add five periods, like this ….. or five forward slashes, like this /////.

It is easy to remember five periods or five forward slashes. But this will add so many characters that code-breaking software will bog down.

How about you? Do you have a secure and simple way of creating and remembering your frequently used passwords?

Some have creative ways to remember their passwords. Do you?

(Comic found on Created by Randy Glasbergen.)



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U.S. Tax Burden: 40 Million Government Workers. Is Japan better off?

How many people work for governments in the United States?  Let’s look at the numbers.

via Tax Burden: 40 Million Government Workers. Answer: 40 million, according to a study by Prof. Paul Light of New York University.

A little top-heavy maybe?

top-heavy big-breasted woman


How many people work for governments in Japan? Last month, Saving Japan author Peter Dyloco compared the two countries Japan and the U.S. in terms of their populations and the percentage that is employed by the government. His estimate for the US was 1.7 million.

Perhaps the figure for Japan is also much higher than the 1 million Saving Japan quotes.

Some states are discovering they cannot afford to pay all the workers that they hire. According to Mish, “In a much needed development U.S. Local Governments Cut Payrolls to Lowest Level Since 2006″

Will local governments in Japan have to fire their workers? Few people seem to be considering this possibility. It seems to be another of those “impossible” scenarios that actually happened last year. The Japanese phrase is “soutei-gai” 想定外 unimaginable, completely unpredictable.

But it’s happening in the U.S., in a country that, according to pundits, has an economy that is recovering.



And so is Japan’s:

Recovering from a hangover


More Executives Say Japanese Economy Is Improving.

According to a quarterly survey compiled by The Nikkei on Saturday, 58.6% of respondents said the domestic economy is growing, a significant increase from the 38.6% seen in the previous survey from December.

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Re-organizing my Evernote notebooks

At the end of last year, veteran newsletter writer and web-surfer Gary North wrote about Evernote:

Internet Explorer offers Favorites. Firefox offers Bookmarks. They do the same thing. With the two clicks of your mouse, you can save a link to a Web article. With a little extra work, you can re-name it. It’s there forever . . . or until you lose your hard disk.

You can also create folders for topics. You can place a link into a folder. You then need to remember the link and the folder — not just the link.

You do this, week after week, month after month. The list grows. You may or may not remember to alphabetize the list. Or you may not know how.

At some point, you may have over 3,000 links. I did.

You cannot search the links with a keyword. Whatever information is available a link click away does not appear on your hard disk. You must remember where a link is in the list.

Then, as links get old, some of them die. You click a link. The page is empty. You don’t recall what was on that now-missing page. You know it was important enough to save the link.

It takes time to go through them one by one in order to cull them.

Like a pile of papers on your desk, the list grows. You know where this is heading — to a digital version of this:

There is a solution. It’s called Evernote:

via Deliverance from Favorites and Bookmarks: How I Overcame a Crippling Addiction.

Before I started using Evernote, I was using Delicious to bookmark everything I found interesting, including “to read later” items. Delicious works very well as an alternative to bookmarks and Favourites. It’s main advantage is that it is independent of the computer you are on (although it’s a little clunkier to save bookmarks if your computer does not have the Delicious bookmarklet installed), and it is platform-independent.

But last year, Delicious was off-line for extended periods twice within a short time. I decided to move all my Delicious links over to Evernote – all 7,041 of them? Yikes! That could take a while. First, I saved all my delicious bookmarks as an html file and saved it on my hard-drive.

My next Evernote project is to get rid of all my notebooks except my GTD ones: Inbox, Todo, Agenda, Business ideas, Read/Review, Someday/Maybe. All other existing notebooks will be converted to tags. Everything in Evernote is “Reference”. What needs to be specially designated is specific “Next Actions”.

Another advantage is I can put items into several “categories” at once. Items can be project support materials, project details and also GTD items (such as Read/Review). Once I’ve read it or performed the action, I just delete the “read/review” tag.

This reduces the number of steps that need to be taken with each note, and it also facilitates searching on ipad, where the layout is different from on pc.

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Cars 2 Isn’t a Lemon. Its a Saab.

I haven’t seen Cars 2 (and probably won’t; Cars didn’t grab me), but I enjoyed this contrarian review of Cars 2 and other Pixar movies.

Wall-E is about a robot that is programmed to pile up trash and search for any signs of a plant. Plants are seen as socially redemptive. This is the theme of organicism vs. mechanism — a 200-year-old theme in Western civilization. Liberals cheer for plants. Libertarians cheer for machines. Conservatives can’t make up their minds.Fundamentalists are unaware of the debate.

Every time the Pixar writers let their liberalism creep into their plot lines, they weaken the appeal of their films. When they keep their liberalism to themselves, they get Toy Story. Why? Because Toy Story is about doing good, not do-goodism.

The strength of their films is their commitment to the theme of doing good. The bane of their films is their commitment to do-goodism. Do-goodism is corporate. Doing good is personal. Do-goodism leads to self-satisfaction — the same moral weakness that undermined the old Lightning McQueen. Doing good produces inner change.

Do-goodism fights The Uncaring System. There was no Uncaring System in Finding Nemo. There was no Uncaring System in Toy Story and Toy Story 2. There was in Toy Story 3: the bad section of the day care. But it was the extension of one toy’s paranoia, not because of the day care as a system. Liberals believe in day care. When Pixar ignores Uncaring Systems, the company makes more money.

via Cars 2 Isnt a Lemon. Its a Saab..

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The Remnant Sings!

Gary North has a knack for finding media items – videos, commercials, emails from forum members, articles in professional journals or newspapers – and greatly adding to their initial value through his cogent comments, insights and creative suggestions. The link below is to an article that is an exception: in this case, Dr. North has found a TED video that is truly stunning and stands head and shoulders above any kind of commentary (even Dr. North’s, altho he gives it a run for its money). This video is entrancing and makes a powerful statement all on its own. Watching this, I felt the truth of the words of guitarist John McLaughlin, “The true language of the human spirit is music.”

You are about to see a video that will amaze you. I want you to view it. This will take 15 minutes. Do it on your own time. It isn’t going anywhere.

via The Remnant Sings!.

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“Don’t panic!” “What else is there to do?”

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The video below was taken March 15 and concerns the lack of information and news about a third explosion at Fukushima (see the Wikipedia timeline). The young man in the video is frightened and concerned, as are many people in Japan, not only the foreigners.

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I do not blame him (some do, even those also  living in Tokyo like the young man in the video).

He is caught between a rock and a hard place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hope is a Theological virtue?

In the chapter on Hope, in Book Three of Mere Christianity, Christian apologist C.S. Lewis wrote, “Hope is one of the Theological virtues.” And that put me off right there.

Don’t get me wrong. I admire C.S. Lewis in many ways, especially his erudition and the conversational style in which he writes (he writes as he speaks, a a skill much praised by such luminaries as Fleisch).

As a Christian apologist, I’m grateful to him for introducing me to several key Christian ideas, and also some which are pertinent even withoutt the Christian theology, such as “Men without Chests” and “Punishment”.

No. I’m sorry, but hope is not  “one of the Theological virtues”. It is much, much more crucial than that. Would you say that food is a “theological virtue”? Or love? Or joy? I don’t think so.

Lewis may have meant well. He may even be technically correct. But to talk of hope in this way, trivialising this virtue (which it undoubtedly is), is almost unforgivable. And this sentence opens the chapter, for crying out loud: he really thought categorizing hope in this way was the single most important thing he could do right at the beginning of the chapter.

Hope: without it, humans curl up and die. There is a story about two Africans in a medical study who were diagnosed as HIV positive, and who promptly took to their beds. Some time later, they were tested again and this time it was negative. Did they stay abed? No! They started to “recover”. Nothing in fact had changed; the test had been defective (as is not infrequently the case, I hear). But now they had hope, whereas before they had none.

“There is no hope.” “What hope is there?” These are famous “last words” that usually precede abandonment of effort and struggle: what’s the point, if there’s no hope? Yet there are those magnificent words uttered by, I think, Aragorn, in the last part of “Lord of the Rings”; when Gimli the dwarf says, “There is no hope”, Aragorn counters, “Then we must do without hope.” A stout heart, indeed.

“Give them legitimate hope” counsels veteran speaker Gary North. The last part of a good speech should do this, he says.   Would it sound the same, do you think, if he said, “Give them a legitimate Theological virtue”? Just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Here’s Gary North talking at Mises University, October 2010, about an opportunity for young Austrian economists and  at the same time teaching how to give a good speech.

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Making the most of your time at work, or “your clock is ticking”

alarm clock, bought from IKEA
Image via Wikipedia

Are you concerned about your future? Are you worried about the possibility of being fired? Or of your company going belly-up? What should you spend your time doing? Up-dating your resume? Checking your rolodex? Maybe joining LinkedIn? Facebook?

These are certainly some questions I’ve been asking myself lately. What skills will I need? What should I be spending my free time doing?

Time that I spend and consider it well spent is reading Gary North’s website. Here’s a sample from today:

If you go with the start-up, don’t get mired in the technology. Focus on the marketing. These skills are transferable. If they want you to push digits around a screen, pass. You will be investing your time into the owners’ dream, not yours. Time is too precious to waste on other peoples’ projects. Look only to put food on the table from a job. Don’t make it your Big Payoff. The odds are against you.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Film-maker predicts hyperinflation; an economist disagrees. Which to believe?

On a forum I visit daily, a member had posted a link to an article describing a hyperinflation scenario in the U.S. I visited it. Later in the day, the website owner, economist and historian (and music buff) Gary North responded (members only):

I am writing this in response to a site member’s question. The member asked my opinion of this article.

Usually, I do not take the bait. If someone does not know enough to ask specific questions, it’s an “I’m wetting my pants” question. “It sounds so bad. Is the sky falling?” I then refer him to this article:

[I would also refer him to this article: Self-Inflicted Confusion and Paralysis: Thinking About the Economy Without Understanding Economics]  I am making an exception with this article, because it is so utterly, incomparably wrong-headed. It is so awful that it stands out like a beacon of incompetence. There is a grandeur to it. It is written with such confidence, yet it so completely illogical that it is breathtaking. This is World Cup finals nonsense…

It’s long. It’s also dead wrong. It’s long because it starts off wrong and tries to recover. It never does. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Our fathers lied”

Kipling, aged 60, on the cover of Time magazin...
Image via Wikipedia

24hGold, a website devoted to precious metals, includes a  randomly selected relevant quotation. Today’s:

If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.

This anti-war sentiment  is uncharacteristic of Kipling, and so I had to look it up: where did it come from? When and why did he write it? Read the rest of this entry »

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