Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Change your Password Now!

If you care for safety and security of your online passwords and credentials, you may consider changing them again. Security experts have spotted a new massive database of login credentials — over 560 million emails and passwords — put together by an unknown person and for unknown reason. In any case, that is not information that you would be happy to share with the World, especially when it includes financial and other essential records.

The database was discovered by the Kromtech Security Research Center, while performing a regular scan of easily accessible devices connected to the internet. Most of the information has been already included in the website Have I Been Pwned, allowing users to see if their accounts have been compromised in the captured data breaches. The site is compiled and managed by Troy Hunt, an Australian Microsoft Regional Director and one of the top Security Experts.

Checking your accounts is simple, easy, and fast, so I do not see any reasons not to check the user name or email address against the security leaks discovered.

The information, contained on this database, represent the numerous former and recent breaches at sites such as LinkedIn, LastFM, Tumblr, and Dropbox. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Free Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Training Class

This online MBSR training course is 100% free, created by a fully certified MBSR instructor, and is modeled on the program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The site provides all interesting students a complete eight-week MBSR course, designed for people who are not able to take a live MBSR course for financial or logistical reasons. All of the materials used in the live course, including guided meditations, articles and videos, are freely available here by the course facilitator Dave Potter.

Offering something for nothing does seem a little suspicious these days and I get many emails about this free online MBSR course, many of which ask one or more of the following questions:
Is this online MBSR course really, truly, 100% free?

The short answer is “yes”.  There is no catch: no fees, no spam, you don't even need to identify yourself or give an email address. I receive no income personally from the site, not even indirectly. Contributions make the course even more accessible to people around the world, but this is not expected nor required.

What are your credentials and why don't you charge for the course?

In Dave Potter words: “I am fully certified as an MBSR instructor by the University of Massachusetts Medical School and have been teaching live, in-person MBSR classes in my community for 12 years. I'm also a professional psychotherapist who has had a daily meditation practice for 25 years, and when I discovered MBSR, I wanted to offer it to my clients and my community. I started teaching my twice-yearly in-person classes in 2004 and, as a service to my students, began to put some parts of the class online. I soon realized that with a little work, the material could be useful to people who might not ever be able to attend a live MBSR class.

Creating and incrementally improving this resource has been a labor of love, and I'm happy to provide these materials without asking for a fee, something that is made possible given the economies of the internet, how the course is structured, and the generosity of other teachers. It pleases me to know that anyone with an internet connection, whether they live in Moscow, Idaho or Moscow, Russia, can find and use the rich set of materials here”.

Is taking an online course an effective way to learn MBSR?

A live, in-person Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class is still the best way to learn mindfulness, because it is more likely that you will complete the course, due to the live interaction and group support. (NOTE: To find in-person MBSR offerings in your area, try a web search such as "MBSR Minneapolis" or "MBSR London".)

But doing an in-person course is not always possible, for financial and logistical reasons. This online course uses precisely the same course curriculum and resources that are used in my local in-person course, and if you follow the suggestions and practices for each of the eight weeks of the course, the learning can be just as deep and profound. In fact, the end-of-course reports I've received from online graduates indicate that they benefit just as much as people who complete the in-person course. For some recent end-of-course reports, see Testimonials / Gallery of Learning. There are currently over 800 graduates of the Palouse Mindfulness course, from 72 countries.

It is a significant accomplishment to complete a course such as this on your own, and for that reason, I've done my best to make the experience interesting and varied, something made possible by the generosity of the world-renowned teachers whose videos and writings are posted on this site, including Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are), Pema Chodron (When Things Fall Apart), Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance), Sylvia Boorstein (Don't Just Do Something, Sit There), Sharon Salzberg (A Heart As Wide as the World), Robert Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers), Marshall Rosenberg (Non-Violent Communication), and Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart).

To get more of a sense of what the course is about...

The Introduction is designed to give you a sense of mindfulness and an idea of how this course is structured. For each of the eight weeks, videos, readings and practices help you build a base of both knowledge and experience. MBSR "At a Glance" provides a brief outline of the MBSR course.

All of what you will need is accessible through this web site, and whether or not you actually take yourself through the course, the wealth of material here, including videos and writings by the teachers mentioned above and others, is freely available to you.

No registration required - begin whenever you are ready.

This course is completely self-guided (there is no registration and only you will be monitoring your progress, using the provided practice sheets). If you successfully complete the eight weeks of practice and study and send the materials indicated in Requesting a Certificate of Completion, you will get a personal note from the teacher with congratulations and a certificate of completion. There is no cost for this. You simply submit the seven sets of practice sheets and a one-page description of what you've learned and how you will be incorporating what you learned into your life.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Why Pay for Quickbooks?

FrontAccounting is an open source accounting and business management software, which may be successfully replacing QuickBooks Pro ($249.95 or $12.95 per month), or, for example, Sage Peachtree Complete Accounting ($379.99 and up) for small and medium sized businesses.

FrontAccounting includes both accounting and basic ERP planning that are suitable for small businesses. It supports multiple languages and currencies, as well as multiple businesses. Operating System: OS Independent


Basic features

Sales and Accounts Receivables
ü  Open Customer Accounts and Customer Branches
ü  Make Sales Areas, Sales Types, Sales Groups, Salesman Groups
ü  Make Sales Groups for grouping Customer Branches
ü  Prepare Sales Quotations (with inquiry and creating of Sales Orders)
ü  Prepare Sales Orders and Goods Delivery Notes
ü  Prepare Customer Invoices and Credit Notes
ü  Make Batch Invoicing for more than one delivery order.
ü  All of the Sales documents are completely editable and printable
ü  Point of sales definitions for better handling of cash sales
ü  Customer Payments and Allocations
ü  Company logos can be attached to sales documents
ü  Dimensions can be selected for Sales Delivery and Invoices
ü  Shipping Costs and Legal Text can be added to Invoices

Purchase and Accounts Payable
ü  Open Supplier accounts
ü  Make Purchase Orders, Goods Receival Notes and Payment Terms
ü  Clearing of Goods Receival Notes
ü  Entry of Supplier price lists & related conversion factor into purchase prices
ü  Prepare Debit Notes and record Credit Notes from Suppliers
ü  Supplier Payments and Allocations
ü  Company logos can be attached on documents
ü  Option of attaching scanned documents with transactions

Inventory and Stocks
ü  Record Stock Items
ü  Define Item Categories and Item Locations
ü  Record location transfers and other adjustments
ü  Set re-order levels for Inventory Items
ü  Automatic calculation of average material cost (per unit)
ü  Application of standard and overhead costs, into material prices
ü  Quantity of Items can be measured into standard units
ü  Foreign codes registration for barcode scanner entry

ü  Prepare bills of materials, Work Center inquiries and Work Order entries
ü  Feasibility of adding advanced production and simple assembling features

Cash and Bank
ü  Open Bank and Petty Cash Accounts
ü  Record payments, deposit and withdrawals in related accounts
ü  Various currencies can be added and foreign currency translation is also done
ü  Record bank enquiries and reports
ü  Prepare bank accounts reconciliation
ü  Transactions can be made void and reprinted

General ledger
ü  Open general ledger accounts, account classes and groups
ü  Record journal entries and budget entries
ü  Generate ledger accounts detailed enquiries with drill down reports
ü  Make journal enquiries with an option to view journal entries
ü  Closes the fiscal year and brings forward retained earnings
ü  Record depreciation entries on period based
ü  Make journal entries with corresponding entry in supplier / customer account
ü  Filter General Ledger reports by dimensions
ü  Quick entries (preset GL transactions) in bank deposit/payment, journal entry and supplier invoice/credit
ü  Ability to enter a back dated transaction.

ü  Print, Email and Convert into PDF; all the reports
ü  Export the reports in MS Excel/Open Office Calc format
ü  Generate reports on periodic and financial years basis
ü  Email documents directly to customers
ü  Make graphical analysis (Horizontal/Vertical Bars, Dot Lines, Pies and Donuts)
ü  Tag and save report selections

Access levels and adaptation
ü  Different companies can be set-up simultaneously
ü  Separate financial years can be created and closed against entries
ü  Multi user access with different privileges
ü  Make backups and restore for companies
ü  Date Picker with week numbers for all date fields
ü  Simple Audit Trails
ü  Extensions for customizing menu tabs and applications

Advanced Features

Multi-Currency Support
ü  Historical Currency Rates
ü  Multi-Currency Bank Accounts, Customers And Suppliers
ü  Multi-Currency needs improvement at transaction level - For every sales transaction currency is stored in related customer data. To change this you will have to add currency in sales transaction (sales_order/debtor_trans record) and use customer setting only as default for new transaction. Beside this you will have to extend upgrade routines and standard sql database script en_US-demo/en_US-new. All the work should not take more than a couple of hours (plus tests). The same have to be done probably on purchase side.

Advanced GST/VAT handling
ü  GST/VAT can be selected on Customer, Supplier and Item basis
ü  Advanced GST/VAT report for details and outputs/inputs

Language and Calendar Support
ü  Full support for localization by the GNU's gettext package
ü  Multi language support with right to left support in Arabic language
ü  Different chart of accounts can be installed and activated
ü  Jalali and Islamic calendars are supported

Other Details
ü  Every document can be emailed and printed simultaneously
ü  PDF can be formatted for every document
ü  Projects, Cost Centers, Departments can be added, using Dimensions

Installation Pre-requisites

ü  A working HTTP web server eg. Apache, IIS.
ü  PHP installed on the web server.
ü  A working MySQL server - with innodb tables enabled (see notes below)
ü  Adobe Acrobat Reader - or another PDF reader for viewing the PDF reports before printing them out.

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