Please Enable 2FA For Your Own Good and Ours

No one likes to take the time to make passwords online. When you’re setting up your CBSSports account to fill in your March Madness brackets, you just want to get to work. No one’s going to hack you, so you just use the same password there as you do for your Bank of America account and GMail. Who cares, right? You’ve got nothing to hide.

And then you get “hacked” and it’s no fun.

Being a “techy” person, I get lots of questions about how to avoid being “hacked” (it’s fascinating to me how that word has changed its usage as geek and tech culture has become mainstream).

My response is normally:

1) Never use the same password twice. Ever. Use a service such as LastPass if you’re into that (I am).

2) For each of the online services you use, make unique and long passwords that include random characters and even nonsense strings that only you know (I know, I know… this isn’t completely foolproof but it helps prevent the script kiddie hacks). Try to avoid common terms such as “password,” “changeme,” or “123456.”

3) Never use the same password twice. Ever.

4) If you can, enable 2 Factor Authentication.

5) Never use the same password twice. Ever.

Step 1 is usually when the person loses interest in my advice. But you should really enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) as soon as possible if you’re at all concerned about your online accounts or just want to have a good lock on your doors to keep honest people honest.

TwoFactorAuthor.org has a nice list of major services that we all use, with links to relevant instructions, such as Google Accounts, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, even Steam or Etsy etc.

There’s no reason for you not to do this today.

Two-factor authentication! In this age of endless massive hacks we seem to be in the middle of, it’s one of the easiest ways you can dramatically boost security on your online accounts.

But which sites actually support it? It can be a pain to keep track. Fortunately, a new, community-driven list keeps a running list of all the big sites that have some form of 2FA enabled (and encourages you to nag at those that don’t).

via Here Are All The Sites You Should Enable Two Factor Authentication On (And The Ones You Should Yell At) | TechCrunch.

Inflationary Theory Confirmation and Human Nature

That humans have confirmed the Higgs boson and much of the underpinnings of the inflationary nature of the universe shortly after the Big Bang (gravity waves!) in the last two years (not to mention other advances in biological, psychological and sociological sciences) in a time of scientific budget cuts and anti-scientific thinking in our country gives me great hope for our species in this still young century.

We’re explorers, and these understandings of the universe around us leads us to greater deeds here on earth with the right guidance. Or to put it another selfish way, every dollar we put into science leads to many many more in return.

While we are capable of disastrous and terrible actions, we’re also capable of learning from our past and correcting our path as a species. Here’s to our better natures in this incredible time of human exploration…

Reaching back across 13.8 billion years to the first sliver of cosmic time with telescopes at the South Pole, a team of astronomers led by John M. Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics detected ripples in the fabric of space-time — so-called gravitational waves — the signature of a universe being wrenched violently apart when it was roughly a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second old. They are the long-sought smoking-gun evidence of inflation, proof, Dr. Kovac and his colleagues say, that Dr. Guth was correct.

Inflation has been the workhorse of cosmology for 35 years, though many, including Dr. Guth, wondered whether it could ever be proved.

If corroborated, Dr. Kovac’s work will stand as a landmark in science comparable to the recent discovery of dark energy pushing the universe apart, or of the Big Bang itself. It would open vast realms of time and space and energy to science and speculation.

via Detection of Waves in Space Buttresses Landmark Theory of Big Bang – NYTimes.com.

Decomposers and Radiation

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Chilling to see the results of Chernobyl still working themselves out in the natural world…

“Apart from a few ants, the dead tree trunks were largely unscathed when we first encountered them,” says Timothy Mousseau, a biologist at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and lead author of the study. “It was striking, given that in the forests where I live, a fallen tree is mostly sawdust after a decade of lying on the ground.”

Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly: Smithsonian Magazine

Now That’s an Obit

Interesting man…

Nigel Groom, who has died aged 89, was an Arabist, historian, author, soldier, spy-catcher and perfume connoisseur. These pursuits saw him fend off a tribal assassination attempt in Aden, uncover a KGB spy embedded in the RAF and explain the association between frankincense and Christ’s divinity.

via Nigel Groom – obituary – Telegraph.

End of Geek Culture and Rise of Tasteless Marketing

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SXSW has come to epitomize so much of what is wrong with web marketing in 2014.

I gave up on the idea of attending SXSW every year after things took a turn for the worse (in my opinion) back in the 2009-2010 timeframe. We saw the first real takeoff of Twitter at SXSW in 2007 then Foursquare hit it big at the show in 2008. Since then, it’s been a place to “find the next Twitter” or “improve your brand marketing.”

As an agency person who cares deeply about social media and about marketing in general, I just can’t bring myself to go see this spectacle. That might make me an elitist hipster or whatever, but the truth is I have taste (again, in my opinion). That taste doesn’t correlate with things like fashion but I do have good taste (imo) when it comes to marketing.

I’ll keep doing what I’m doing with our agency here in sunny SC and leave the “idea vomiting” and “hashtag highness” surface level approach to “marketing” to my friends who go to SXSW from the larger agencies with insane expense accounts but a shallow grasp of tasteful marketing.

Given SXSW’s status as a birthplace of social media, the festival attracts an outsized number of self-styled gurus leading panels to educate the less savvy. Attendees flock to standing-room-only sessions with names like “Idea Vomiting” in the hopes that beyond the bluster, the social media ninjas and rockstars in attendance will share some pearls of wisdom. “Eighty percent of it is useless,” confides a man who is attending on behalf of a large American company. “You’re looking for those diamonds in the rough.” We are sitting next to one another at a session named “High On Hashtags”. A colleague of his, overhearing us, raves about a session she attended the previous day called “The Digital Cronut”. “I heard that was awesome,” her colleague says.

via Hucksters and hustlers: inside the hidden brand orgy of SXSW | The Verge.

I kept checking our mail all day (working from home with pups) until I just realized it’s President’s (Presidents’ ?) Day.

Running a business certainly turns you into a strange person.

SC Earthquake!

Merianna and I were watching House of Cards Season 2 and I happened to be sitting on the floor playing with the pups when I remarked “was that an earthquake??”

Turns out… yep.

No Depression Legacy Edition

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Uncle Tupelo’s No Depression is one of my favorite albums of all time. So excited to see this release…

Released in 1990, No Depression, is a genuine milestone in American rock n roll, a still striking fusion of traditional folk and country with post punk innovation and hardcore ferocity.

Amazon Link

Don’t Make Any Plans During This Window of Time

Good luck getting Comcast to show up for the closing [CARTOON] | ITworld.

I can’t say I’m excited about the impending deal in which Comcast buys Time Warner, but things couldn’t get much worse.

Ultimately, I’m still hopeful we’ll get either Google Fiber here in SC soon or a cable provider will give me the “dumb pipe” I want in particular since I’ve been a “cord cutter” for eleven years now.

Either that or T-Mobile just allows me to use its network for data.

via JR Raphael on Twitter

ZeroScope Launch

zeroscopecontact

I’m really excited that Harrelson Agency is helping out with the launch of ZeroScope this month. We’ve been working hard on this project for the past six months.

Here’s a little info:

Stethoscopes should not be a cause of the spread of disease by healthcare providers. ZeroScope is a one-use and easily applied device that attaches to the drum of a stethoscope and provides immediate and complete barrier defense between the instrument and the patient receiving care.

We’re looking to raise the money needed to help us launch ZeroScope as a cost effective and ubiquitous device to solve the problem of hospital acquired infections that lead to more costly treatments or even death.

via ZeroScope Stethoscope Barrier Protection for Patients | Indiegogo.

If you can, go help us out with the manufacturing and shipping costs. If you can’t do that, spread the word on your favorite social networks of choice.

Many thanks!

Here’s the official IndieGoGo widget:

ZeroScope Stethoscope Barrier Protection Fund Raising

We’ve spent the last six months working hard with Jack Krupnick and Fred Heys to launch ZeroScope. To say this has been a labor of love for Jack and his family would be an understatement. I’m so excited to see this project get its wings and move from pre-planning to production to full on launching this month.

Today, we’re launching an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund the manufacturing costs of the ZeroScope devices.

This is a very worthwhile cause and here’s a little info from the campaign page:

“Your doctors and nurses wash their hands, wear gloves, sometimes wear a mask, and cover or seal many of the instruments they use to provide you with healthcare. But why are stethoscopes not included?

We aim to solve that problem.

Stethoscopes should not be a cause of the spread of disease by healthcare providers. ZeroScope is a one-use and easily applied device that attaches to the drum of a stethoscope and provides immediate and complete barrier defense between the instrument and the patient receiving care.

We’re looking to raise the money needed to help us launch ZeroScope as a cost effective and ubiquitous device to solve the problem of hospital acquired infections that lead to more costly treatments or even death.”

We’ve made some huge leaps and bounds over the last 182 days since our first brainstorming session. We’ve had our first large batch of devices designed and manufactured and invested so much of our own personal time and money into the project. So, we’re looking for help to get the costs of manufacturing and shipping lower in order to provide more ZeroScopes to hospitals, clinics, burn clinics, urgent cares and physician practices.

It’s been an amazing ride, and we’re hoping you’ll help us reach our goal!

My Grandfather’s Name

When I was seven (maybe eight) years old, I decided that I was going to start my own company one day. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and DIY’ers. My dad has run his own business my entire life. My grandfather before him did the same and dabbled in a number of areas. I blame my dad and “Grandpa Frank” for my compulsion to have my own business, and to dabble myself in many different areas of entrepreneurship from marketing to publishing to racing to a music label to a few things I haven’t made public.

When I decided to make my own business at that early age, I knew I needed a good name and a good logo. I had notebooks full of drawings for imaginary baseball teams and comic book characters that hadn’t found their homes yet, so I knew my company logo would need to be something special. One Sunday morning, I remember seeing a piece of crystal in my family’s china cabinet in our living room that had a very calligraphic “H” etched into it. I decided that the logo would be an H and I would name my company “Harrelson Corporation.” I didn’t know what Harrelson Corps was going to do yet, but I had a name and a good idea for a logo.

Decades later, I sit in my office in downtown Columbia and look over our company’s client list. Things are going well. I was right all those years ago.

When I’m in my hometown of Mullins, SC I like to visit my Grandpa Frank’s grave. He passed away when I was only three and I’m sad to say that I really don’t remember him as a person. However, he’s been a large presence in my life and I always use his name when I get that silly “Who would you want to have an hour long conversation with if you could talk to any human – living or dead – for 60 minutes?” question. I think we would have much to talk about and I know he could give me some good advice on running a company / companies and what it takes to tread down the untrodden path of starting your own business/es.

I was back in Mullins for just a few minutes on Tuesday and stopped by his grave where I took a picture of that H above. His gravesite has four H’s at each corner and it matches the font on his tomb. I think it’s a great stylistic choice and I was taken aback for a moment when I realized that Grandpa Frank still has such a large role in my own professional and personal life as to inspire me with the font on his grave.

When you start a company, you have to know the starting point. You might never get to the end point or finish line, but you have to have a point where you know that this is what you’ve decided to do and understand that after this singular point in your life, nothing will ever be the same. That realization came at an early age for me but has been an extended realization over the last 25 (or so) years.

You also have to know where you come from in terms of your own identity and backing. Even though Grandpa Frank has been dead for some 32 years, he’s been there (in my own head at least) coaching me on the way to starting this agency and helping me to find people to surround it and make it into something that will last so that my children will one day be able to work with us (if they hopefully choose to do so).

So start your business. Go out on a limb. But don’t forget where you come from and don’t let those 3 A.M. panic attacks keep you from hearing the still small voices of your biggest supporters.

More Blogging in 2014

We’re going to be doing more blogging about marketing, business building, and ways to help your business or non-profit or church grow in 2014.

We’ve got a long archive over in the sidebar, but it’s time to get back in gear!

Finally, Basecamp Android App!

Basecamp has a native Android app now! Fantastic… big part of what we use at Harrelson Agency to do what we do.

Basecamp for Android was designed from the ground up to work great, look sharp, and take advantage of the capabilities of your recent Android phone and tablet. Create new projects on the go. Open links directly in the app. Jump to any project from a shortcut on your home screen. You can attach or save Basecamp files in Dropbox, Google Drive or wherever you store them. You can even start a new message with text you wrote in another app. Basecamp works the way you do on Android.

via Basecamp Announcements.