Thoughts On Networking

Networking should be about generosity. Giving of yourself, your talents and your skills to better other people. Helping others get what they want or need. Connecting people. Not selling things. Not asking for favors. Not just handing your business card out to as many people as possible, or throwing your sales pitch at everyone who so much as glances at you (you know who I’m talking about). Just my two cents.

Blog Hacked?

As you may have noticed, there are a few broken links and images on my blog. Long story short, my blog got hacked. The hackers broke in, created new users, added strange .php files, got into my .htaccess file, and created a conditional redirect. I ended up with weird iFrames, Javascript, Base64 code, odd things happening to my images – the works. Most of it sent you to another website. For example, if you found my blog via any search engine or social media site, it redirected you to a site somewhere in Russia.

I tried doing cleanup, but the damage was extensive enough (and my time limited enough) that I just exported my posts, destroyed WordPress and the database, and started over from scratch. So now I have no photos, but at least my posts are still here.

So, the blog is back up and appears clean so far. Time will tell. In the meantime, here’s a few sites that I found to be helpful in cleaning this mess up:

UPDATE: Also, I’ve started using reCAPTCHA. Not sure how effective it will be. Hoping it will cut down on the constant stream of spam comments I’m getting (and deleting) lately.

Need a new Bathtub?

Ok folks, I’m selling a brand new, gorgeous White w/ White Trim Lyons Classic 32″ x 60″ x 18″ Right-Hand Drain Whirlpool Bathtub with Inline Heater. It’s still in the box, directly off the factory line in the first week of December 2011. I originally planned to install it in our bathroom but we cannot fit it in without creating a project too large for our pocketbook. Oh well.

Product Features:

  • Inline Heater keeps the water warm as it circulates through the system.
  • Eight whirlpool jets; four directional and four mini.
  • Arm rests, head neck and lumbar support for bathing.
  • Slip resistant bottom for showering.
  • Deck channel drains water away from wall.
  • Easy to install for both new construction and remodel projects.
  • Up to six, 3” diameter feet, 7/16” O.S.B. and fiberglass for maximum support.
  • Screw flange direct-to-stud, no T-brace or clips required.
  • Reinforced integral apron with brace and gussets.
  • High gloss acrylic surface for a bright shine.
  • Easy to clean, scratch and stain resistant.
  • Covered with a protective film to maintain finish during installation.
  • 65 gallon capacity.
  • Meets ANSI and CSA standards.
  • Made in USA.
  • Factory plumbed whirlpool, ready to install.

Color:

  • White

Trim for Jets:

  • White

Drain Side:

  • Right-hand

Other info:

This product retails for $813.51 on Menards.com: (click here to view it on Menards.com)

Make me an offer. Cash only, unless I know you personally (in which case I’m willing to figure out another payment solution). Pickup/drop off details can be arranged if you live within an hour of South Bend.

Facebook Launches Retro Facebook, Switches to Freemium Model

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — Facebook will soon allow users to make their profiles look like previous versions of the popular social networking site, according to an anonymous source inside Facebook, but that change will come with a price.

The site, which receives a large number of complaints with each new iteration, is making the change in response to user feedback. “We found that a large number of users were unhappy with some of our recent updates,” our source told us, “so we decided to give them the tools to make Facebook look the way they want it to.”

Source: Wikipedia

Users will be able to make their profile look like any previous version of the site, including the original profile from 2004 when the site was still called “Thefacebook” (pictured, at right). Users can make the change for a small fee, effectively making Facebook the latest online company to embrace the freemium model – one where users can access basic services for free, but must pay for premium features such as older profiles.

This change hints at a shift in one of Facebook’s core philosophies. The company previously said that it would never charge for its service. According to our source, that shift has not happened. “The thing to remember is that the newest and best that Facebook has to offer will always be free,” reported the unnamed Facebook employee. “We will never charge anyone who wants to use the newest, most updated version of our site.”

The source did not mention that some previous versions of Facebook do not allow ads to be displayed, which is one way the site generates revenue. It remains to be seen exactly how the older versions will be implemented on user profiles, and our source was not clear about how or what amount Facebook planned to charge for them. We’ve reached out to Facebook for more information, but so far they’ve declined to comment.

UPDATE: Don’t take this post seriously – consider it my poor attempt at imitating The Onion. It was inspired by the many cries of outrage and wild speculation over the latest round of Facebook changes. I thought, “What if Facebook actually *did* everything that these people are yelling about?” And the idea for this post was born.

So many networking opportunities…

I was going to hit the sack, but I just can’t get this out of my head – there are a ton of networking, event, business, professional and volunteer groups in the Michiana area, not to mention the various Chambers, Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and other organizations like them. Here’s a list I came up with just off the top of my head:

Help me out here, who have I missed? I know there’s more. Or am I off-target? Let me know in the comments.

Donations Needed for Homeless Babies

The PEDS program at the South Bend Center for the Homeless (CFH) is in critical need of donations of baby wipes, diapers, formula and baby food.

Wipes are the most critical area of need. For diapers, any size diaper works. Sizes 3, 4, 5 (actually 4-5) are their biggest need right now.

On the food end of things, they need baby food, stages 1 and 3, and formula. The formula they prefer is Enfamil, but they’ll take anything.

If you live in the Goshen/Elkhart area and wish to donate, I can pick up your donation and take it to the Center for you.

More Info:

There are about 60 kids under age 18 currently living in CFH housing. PEDS = Pediatric Medicine, which is a medical or other specialty dealing with child patients.

The PEDS program at CFH is for children from newborn to age 3. They currently have about 20 children in the program.

Help To Warm Up Freezing People

The Center for the Homeless in South Bend could use your help. They are offering winter amnesty right now, where they basically open up their extra floor space so that people don’t have to sleep outside in the cold and snow.

These extra people use up more resources, so the Center is in need of donations – warm clothing, towels, socks, granola bars, non-perishable foods, handwarmers, etc.

During my last conversation with them, a Center representative also noted that they have 60 kids there whose needs are often overlooked when people bring in clothing. So kid-sized warm boots and winter clothing are welcomed.

If you have anything you like to donate, please let me know. I’m willing to pick it up and take it to the Center for you. Also, it’s a good excuse to clean out your closets ahead of spring cleaning time. Below is a list of needs the Center has:

IMMEDIATE NEEDS

  • Blankets
  • Cold-weather outerwear
  • Winter boots for adult men and women
  • Socks
  • Towels
  • Double or triple-edge razors
  • Full size bath soap
  • Copy Paper
  • African American Hair Care products
  • Feminine Hygiene Products (super and long)
  • Full-sized bottles of shampoos/conditioners
  • Q-tips
  • Band-aids
  • Diapers/wipes
  • Deodorant

CRITICAL NEEDS

  • In-kind donation of routine maintenance on CFH vehicles
  • New socks and underwear (men’s and women’s)
  • X-Large – XXXL shirts, men and women
  • Women’s dress shoes (sizes 8 and up)
  • Towels/wash cloths
  • Men’s Shoes: size 9-14
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Common toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, powder, etc)
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ear Plugs
  • 2 to 3-inch 3-ring binders
  • New spirals
  • Good Quality Books
  • Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, aspirin

Switching from AT&T to Verizon? Here’s an Early Termination Fee Cost Calculator

Verizon just announced that the iPhone 4 will be available on their network on February 10. Just in case you’re an AT&T customer wanting to switch, here’s a helpful tool from CNN and Wolfram|Alpha that will help you figure out the cost of switching:

http://developer.wolframalpha.com/widgets/gallery/view.jsp?id=e1241d1b9692c1e9f4ebbf6896f0e33e

Cola Plunges To Its End

KITCHEN NEWSWIRE– A can of Meijer brand Diet Cherry Encore Cola is no longer with us after it plunged more than 36 inches from the top shelf of the refrigerator to meet its end earlier this morning.

“I am deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” said Edgar Diaz, witness at the scene. “I was putting my food in the refrigerator when I saw it fall.”

The can reportedly sprayed cola all over the kitchen floor and walls. Cleanup crews wiped the area down with paper towel, and there are reports that a mop and bucket could be required to finish the job. “It was a mess,” says Diaz, “and the floor might still be a little bit sticky.”

Diaz said he is troubled by the thought that there might have been something he could have done to prevent the accident. He is offering cola-replacement therapy for others who may have been affected by the loss.