Amazon fake reviews controversy reemerges; the company isn’t alone

From time to time media publish stories about fake reviews of products on sites like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and others. Right now there’s a story bouncing around from site to site about fake reviews specifically at Amazon. A British consumer group is the source. What’s an online shopper or artist in search of reviews to do? Continue reading “Amazon fake reviews controversy reemerges; the company isn’t alone”

‘Florida Man’, ‘Florida Woman’: Arts potential crosses all genres

Five or six years ago I remember the meme “Florida Man” popping up on social media. There was a rebirth recently with ‘memesters’ recommending people input the term “Florida Man” into a search bar and add their birthday to see what popped up. The term is now part of the pop culture media canon, with the equivalent “Florida Woman” gaining ground as well. These themes have potential for all manner of art. There is, however, a serious equality problem with these memes. Continue reading “‘Florida Man’, ‘Florida Woman’: Arts potential crosses all genres”

Combat flip flops—a “mission” to manufacture “stoke”

During a TED talk in 2015, Matt Griffin told the audience he and some of his fellow military veterans bet they could “manufacture stoke.” He’s talking about the same term we use when we say, “I’m stoked!” After serving in war zones and seeing combat up close and personal, Griffin and his fellows turned that stoke into a fashionable item popular in my home state of Florida and in others too—the combat flip flop. I didn’t know about Griffin’s venture until we experienced it personally here at home. Continue reading “Combat flip flops—a “mission” to manufacture “stoke””

How will new EU copyright regulations impact US musicians, bloggers, and others?

The European Union, a work of art itself in many ways, is addressing what media refer to as “copyright reform.” The consensus on doing this seems to be that the digital age requires such reforms and artists aren’t getting what they deserve for their content. Advocates include Paul McCartney, although it’s hard to accept he hasn’t gotten gobs of money without copyright reform. Web titans like Google and Facebook will be impacted, and so will anyone in the US working on music, blogging, news writing, and in other genres.

Why? Continue reading “How will new EU copyright regulations impact US musicians, bloggers, and others?”

ACH fraud happened to us and it could happen to you

In a recent column I mentioned a fraudulent transfer of funds from one of our bank accounts. The bank worked with us quickly to resolve it because the account in question is one we use a lot. Temporarily, because of the size of the fraud, that account was useless to us. Fact is this type of fraud can affect anyone. Chances are you’ve seen ACH on your own bank statement. There’s a good reason—the Automated Clearing House Network moves trillions of dollars each year. For many of us, fraud is rare, but I had no idea about specifics of these transfers until we experienced it ourselves. Continue reading “ACH fraud happened to us and it could happen to you”