What Books Did You Read This Week?

The modern information age has us all dizzy with information flow. Everywhere you look there is more of it, so much you could never review it all, and so much of it is not worth the paper, blog or TV ticker strip it was written on. So, what should one read?

Well, recently, I asked myself this question and so, I have been going through a personal library of some 4,000 books and tossing out a few, donating a few and sending a few to friends along the way. Every so often, I pick one up and notice that it is interesting and thus re-read it. Re-reading goes fast, as you remember much of it already, once you refresh the subject matter in your brain.

So, may I ask what books did you read this week? Well below are a few of the books that I re-read and would challenge others to read as well. It seems most Americans do not read much once they leave High School, as it is not required and so why bother? This is unfortunate because, one should never stop learning.

Let me tell you of the books that I read this week and maybe one of them might strike your fancy and perhaps get you thinking about the books that you can put on your list to read next week. Here they are;

“The Kennedy Wit” edited by Bill Aber – 1964.

JFK had a real sense of humor. This book is full of excerpts of humorous remarks, speech and writing of JFK. The book is a quick read, a few hours at most, it is a great collection of the Kennedy Wit, he sure knew how to get his crowd to think and laugh.

“Getting to Yes – Negotiating Agreement without Giving In” by Roger Fisher and William Ury – part of the Harvard Negotiation Project – 1985.

There are many great tips in this negotiation book such as: separating the people from the problem, stop bargaining over position, focusing on interests not positions, invent options in order to gain mutual respect even if they are more painful, the other side will not play or the other side uses dirty tricks. There are many strategies in this book of value and to find common ground, reach agreement and understand perspectives, without making enemies or giving in.

  • Power Through Responsibility
  • Power Through Trust
  • Power Through Integrity
  • Power Through Knowledge and Information
  • Power Through Respect
  • Power Through Training
  • Power Through Belief

That alone makes you think a little bit doesn’t it?

“Starting and Succeeding in Your Own Small Business” by Louis L. Allen – 1968.

What are the characteristics of a small business? How do you raise the money for your small business? How are you going to get the customers to buy? How can you decide which products to make and market? How will manage your small business? Yes all covered in this book, some great common sense, real case studies and definitely worth reading. Also in the book is a chapter on the Philosophy of a Venture Capitalist. Have you ever thought of starting your own business? Do you know how? Do you own a business and want to make it more successful? Perhaps a business book is in your future then.

“Competitive Intelligence – How to Gather, Analyze, and Use Information to Move Your Business to the Top” by Larry Kahaner – 1996.

The book starts with some quotes from Sun Tzu and one interesting one from Frederick the Great; “It is pardonable to be defeated, but never to be surprised.” Thus competitive intelligence is paramount in business and this book has plenty of case studies and tactics. This book first answers the question; what is competitive intelligence? How has competitive intelligence evolved, what are the tactics, what are the ethics involved, what can it be used for, the difference between information and intelligence, what does it mean to be stuck in the information age?

This book describes both in-house competitive intelligence to make decisions and gathering intelligence to beat the competition, and even more importantly knowing when another company is gathering intelligence on you. Knowing how to do counterintelligence is often of supreme value. For a business owner or someone considering a business of their own, it makes sense to know the reality behind the game, so you can play to win.

“Funny Money” by Mark Singer – 1985. The books sub-heading is: “The wonderous tale of the Penn Square Bank, the high-rolling oil and gas loan broker in Oklahoma City shopping center whose collapse staggered America’s banking community.”

Well there was this little bank that was working with big banks, which were flush with cash to loan, that became a go-between for banks and oil and gas companies. Things were great during the boom period, but when it all collapsed, the problems were much greater and deeper than anyone had suspected. This is an interesting book to read for those who remember the S & L scandals and the more recent real-estate market collapse. This book goes into the reality of what really happened there, you will not believe the truth. Considering what is going on in the world today, this might be a very interesting book to read right now?

“The Power to Get in – a step-by-step system to get in anyone’s door, so you have a chance” by Michael A. Boylan – 1997.

Salesmen often complain about the difficulty to get into meet the decision makers, as they are busy and go to great lengths to be hard to get at, and for good reason. This book explains how to break down those barriers and how to get in to meet them. The book explains several strategies, some unique, some obvious and all worthy of note if this problem persists in your endeavors. Boylan explains how to do your home work, why things are the way they are, how to know your competitors, what attitude to have, when to blitz and how to leave the perfect voice mail, more importantly how to leave one.

The author continues to explain what to do once you do actually get in. There are lots of stories of success, and case studies along with encouragement, understanding of the numbers game and how to incorporate the author’s strategic access system into your sales career.

“Fair-Weather Flying – for VFR pilots whowant to improve their skills and flying enjoyment” by Richard Taylor – 1974.

Mr. Taylor also wrote the book “Instrument Flying” and probably sold a heck of a lot more of these books than that one. Richard writes with a sense of humor and does not hold back on the reality when it comes to safety issues. If you are a pilot then you will really enjoy this book, it is very interesting, well paced and fun to read. It makes you want to go flying and so even if you are not a pilot, it might make you think about getting your pilot’s license or learning to fly?

“Innovation and Entrepreneurship – practice and principles” by Peter Drucker – 1985

By the time Peter Drucker wrote this book, he had already written the following books:

Management:

  • The Changing World of the Executive
  • Managing in Turbulent Times
  • Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices
  • Technology, Management and Society
  • Managing for Results
  • The Effective Executive
  • Concept of the Corporation

Economics, Society and Politics:

  • Toward the Next Economics
  • The Invisible Revolution
  • Men, Ideas and Politics
  • The Age of Discontinuity
  • The Landmarks of Tomorrow
  • America’s Next Twenty Years
  • The New Society
  • The Future of Industrial Man
  • The End of Economic Man

This book brings all of Peter Drucker’s philosophy and focuses it on entrepreneurial endeavors and helps those interested in going all the way, re-balance their strategies so they can. It is relevant and having been an entrepreneur all my life, I would say that his wisdom is worthy and I wish more people would learn how to do it right the first time, because the hard knocks along the way, well many can be avoided you see?

“Personality in Business and Life” by Louis Thorpe and Evan Croft – 1951.

This is a very old business book that tells of days gone by and business etiquette, how to dress and how to adjust one’s personality to succeed in business. The book talks about character, ethics, social skills, leadership, personality, dealing with conflict, statesmanship, taming emotion, hygiene, appearance, conversation, phone techniques, selling, business letters, Career and diplomacy.

Boy have things changed and yet in a way they have not changed at all, things have just been re-labeled, re-packaged and re-taught. What an interesting case study on it all. Looking at the pictures of someone in a suit with labels attached to how everything must look if one is dressing for success, is fascinating indeed.

“The Art of Case Analysis – A guide to the diagnosis of business situations” by Robert Ronstadt – 1980.

Often business students work with case study analysis, yet how do they know that they are interpreting what happened correctly, as much of the real data and information is laced with PR and opinion, worse the victors re-write the history. If the company lost the competitors tell us of their mistakes and the writers of the era have the last word. If the company won, then they sugar coat the truth and thus, nothing is as it seems.

This book discusses how to read a case efficiently, effectively and correctly. Then how to analyze and various strategies and approaches that can be used and combinations thereof. The authors speaks to discussing cases in a classroom situation, playing devil’s advocate, debate and hypotheticals. Next, how to write a very good case study report. Still the author then describes how to look at financials in determining the case study analysis.

Learning should be a life-time endeavor and you should never stop reading books, you can learn something in fiction and non-fiction books. Please make a list of books you might like to read and start reading more today. It will serve you well.

What Is Fusarium Fungus?

Fusarium fungus is a type of fungus that is commonly found in soil and plant material in subtropical and tropical locations. Somehow this fungus made its way into eye care products from a major United States eye care product manufacturer leading to serious complications for a number of unsuspecting patients.

If eye drop medications are not used for a period of two to three months after becoming infected with fusarium fungus, the infection can cause scarring of the cornea leading to blindness. Symptoms of an infection can include pain and redness of the eyes, sensitivity to light, excessive amounts of discharge coming from the eye, and blurry vision.

In April of 2006, a major eye care product manufacturer in the United States voluntarily stopped shipping one of its most popular contact lens solutions after federal health officials found it was linked to a fungal eye infection that caused temporary blindness. The CDC has reports of fungal infections in hundreds of patients across the United States, and health officials in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia have also received reports of contact lens wearers being affected with this type of fungal infection.

As if it were not bad enough to suffer a fungal infection of the eye, it is further complicated because the fungus can be difficult to diagnose. This is because in order to diagnose the infection, a lab culture is needed and not all doctors know how to do this or how to read it. The fungus can also grow so slowly that it can weeks for a culture to be returned. On top of all of these issues, the medication needed to treat fungal infections is not always stocked at pharmacies and many times has to be special ordered.

Fusarium fungal infections can be extremely serious and can cause a variety of symptoms such as eye strain, irritation, pain, and swelling, to more serious issues such as permanent corneal damage which can lead to permanent blindness. These issues can cause people to have to undergo serious medical procedures such as corneal transplants in order to have some of their vision restored.

The major manufacturer appears to be aware of the concern with its products, but failed to report a number of fungal eye infection cases that were linked to their contact lens solutions. Because of this failure, which was a direct violation of the law, consumers were not immediately made aware of the problem and continued to use the product as sales were not suspended as they should have been.

The FDA sent the manufacturer a condemnatory letter because the fungal infections were serious in nature, were not properly reported as is mandated, and was directly related to manufacturing conditions at one of its plants. An inspection revealed a large number of quality control problems, as well as a number of violations for the manufacturing process in general.

If you or someone you know is a contact lens wearer who developed a Fusarium fungal infection because of using a contact lens solution, you should understand that you have legal rights that need to be protected. The best way to go about doing this is to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in product liability. These professionals are quite skilled in this area of the law and know how to get the most compensation for your injuries.

Compensation can be sought for a variety of issues such as past, present, and future medical bills, a loss of income, loss of quality of life, for permanent disabilities and loss of vision, as well as pain and suffering. Punitive damages can also be sought since the manufacturer was negligent in reporting the infections early on and warning the general public about the imminent threat.

Personal injury attorneys who specialize in product liability will review all of the details of your case and will manage it appropriately from start to finish. This will include gathering medical information, data from other people who have suffered the same consequences, as well as talking with experts and officials to determine what was known by the manufacturer and when. Your attorney will make a determination as to who should pay for damages, and will take proper steps to make sure all those responsible are brought to justice.

Fungal infections of the eye are not something to take lightly as serious; potentially lifelong consequences are possible. When such injuries are suffered because of the negligence of a product manufacturer it is extremely important to bring forth legal action to not only protect yourself, but to also protect others from falling victim to a similar situation in the future.

Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis in most cases. This means that no payment is due in advance or as your case progresses through the legal system. In most instances, no payment is made until the time your case is settled. Removing the financial burden from a stressful ordeal such as this can mean so much and will allow you to focus your attention on more important matters such as your personal recovery and well being.

Since these cases are quite complex and are often based on a great deal of information and many small details, they should not be filed without the professional assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney. There are many criteria that must be followed as well as various statutes of limitations that need to be met. Missing just one detail can cause your case to become disqualified or dismissed entirely. This is not something that you should risk.

While a personal injury attorney cannot undo the harm that has been done because of a Fusarium fungal infection of the eye, they can help you to rebuild the broken pieces of your life and move forward in a more positive direction. Taking the appropriate steps to stop product manufacturers from harming innocent consumers is extremely important. Manufacturers should never be allowed to get away with knowingly harming people and must be accountable for their actions.

Does My Computer Have a Virus? Some Quick Checks Can Tell

You cannot be protected and safe from the online threats like virus, Trojan, worm etc. when you are online unless you are proactive and exercising best practices. Despite that you are exercising best browsing practices, your computer may catch a virus. Here is a comprehensive, free virus removal support guide that answers your “Do I have a virus” question by letting you run a series of self-tests.

Step 1

Open your antivirus software, update it with the latest virus and spyware definitions, and then run a full virus scan (not a custom scan). Wait for the scanning to complete. When done, you will see the infected files in search results. Prompt the antivirus software to delete the infected items and clean your computer.

Step 2

Some viruses are too powerful to be detected by your antivirus. Yes, they can easily dodge your antivirus when it runs a virus scan by masquerading themselves as legitimate applications. So after having run a virus scan from your antivirus, download Malwarebytes, a powerful virus scan and removal tool and install on your computer.

Step 3

When done, open Malwarebytes and start updating it. When done, run a full virus scan. Wait while the scan completes. If Malwarebytes scan results show infected items, remove them. Other than this, you can run an online virus scan from a legitimate website like McAfee or Trend Micro etc. You can run online virus scan even if you have an antivirus program installed on your computer and even if you have none.

Step 4

Download the online virus scanner and install it on your computer. When done, run a full virus scan and repeat the procedure. If you have a firewall installed on your computer, you can easily detect if you have a virus on your computer or someone has tried to hack it. A firewall program is designed to scan the incoming and outgoing traffic to and fro your computer and block unauthorized users (hackers) from breaking in without your knowledge and consent.

Step 5

A firewall program always logs the entries of programs that try to automatically connect to your computer or send or receive data without your consent and knowledge. It blocks such programs and logs their details. You can view the details and take the desired action against such programs. Another way of finding out if you have a virus on your computer is checking your emails. If you see lots of spam emails in your email account, a virus might have intruded in your PC.

Step 6

If you occasionally or repeatedly see weird error messages while rebooting your computer or opening, running, or closing a program, it indicates that a virus is present on it. One such error is the Blue Screen of Death error or blue screen error that mostly appears when your computer encounters a virus infection and immediately shuts down to prevent it from breaking in the Windows Kernel system. Though the BSOD (blue screen of death) error can occur due to hard drive fail, software compatibility, or driver among other issues, but virus infection is the main reason for it to occur.

Step 7

If you cannot access your antivirus program and run a virus scan, open Task Manager, internet connection, or anything on your Desktop computer. The only way you can get into your Windows is by rebooting your computer in Safe Mode. It clearly indicates the presence of a virus or many viruses. When you open your web browser, it shows a different home page but not yours and takes you to malicious, sales, or adult websites when you search for something. Yes, it alters your search engine and search results.

Step 8

One such virus is Google Redirect virus, which when gets on to your computer alters your searching and redirects you to fake search results and websites of fake free virus removal tools. Another self-test is checking if your computer is trying to reboot or shut down without your intervention. If you desktop shows programs other than your regular ones, which might also be missing, you can be sure that it has a virus.

Step 9

If a program is eating higher memory resources and CPU amount, it surely is a virus and not a legitimate program. Some high-end applications like heavy graphics software, financial applications may consume higher memory and CPU resources, but they may not slow down your computer like a virus does.

Step 10

When you have determined that your computer has a virus, immediately end its process in Task Manager and then run a virus scan from your computer. if you cannot access any of these programs, forcibly shut down your computer and reboot it in Safe Mode. If you are unable to get rid of the virus, contact the professional virus removal support service.

Automated Palletizing Saves Workers Backs and Cuts Production Costs

Years ago when I worked as production supervisor for a major pharmaceutical company I had the envious job of assigning workers to do some manual tasks that were not very pleasant. One of these tasks was the stacking of product cartons on pallets for shipping to retail stores. This was a mindless job, you could disengage your brain to do it. All that was required was fairly strong hands and arms, and a strong back. It was usually the back that went first, whether the worker was stacking cartons on the pallet or unloading cartons from the pallet, the job involved bending over multiple times per hour to accomplish the desired result. This job was rotated from one worker to another based on the union rules in the department because it was so bad for the back.

Thankfully those days are gone, at least in most manufacturing operations. Now we let automation do those painful tasks so the workers do not have to go to the doctor for back injuries. There ought to be a law that states that if a manufacturing operation is going to automate that the first operation that is automated is pallet loading and unloading. Obviously one of the biggest benefits for automated pallet loading and unloading is the fact that a company keeps its workers from injury. Other benefits of palletizing include an increase in speed of production and efficiency. Automated palletizing, as this automated procedure is sometimes called, can be configured to do this onerous, but necessary, work in many different ways. The most straightforward way is to have one robotic device that loads or unloads one pallet of product cartons, one at a time. From this configuration there can be devised many variations in this loading and unloading process. All of these variations incorporate automation that saves backs and make production more efficient..

There can be single pallet, double pallet, or multiple pallet configurations. Demands of the marketplace and requirements of the manufacturer can dictate what the configuration and speed of automated loading or unloading of pallets is to be. One of the great attributes of automating this process is the fact that the loading and unloading configuration can be changed quite easily. A few changes in the programming of the robotic can change the process from a single pallet to a multiple pallet operation. There can be a lot of variation in the process to meet the needs of the production process. This makes it very easy to use the automated palletizing in a multiple of production jobs with varying speeds and varying production setups. Just like quite a lot of other industrial products, the cost of automation has been coming down as technology has improved and the demand for technology products has increased. It is much less expensive now to implement an automated solution for palletizing products. The benefit of reducing cost and increasing production output will bring the return on investment that is required when implementing automated palletizing robotics..

There is some variation in the types of palletizing solutions that are available to do this job of stacking and unstacking. The layer palletizing solution puts all of the products that are to be placed on a single layer of a pallet together. An entire layer of product cartons are deposited on the pallet at a time. There is only one pattern of cartons that can be deposited by this process on to the pallet. There is additional floor space required by the stacking process to accumulate all the products to be places on one layer of the pallet. Because of the demand by retail operations that are to receive products that are stacked on these pallets, this conventional method of palletizing is not acceptable. Retailers are now demanding that each pallet has some mixture of products in each layer of the pallet. Historically pallets have been loaded with one product and shipped to the warehouse of the retailer. In this warehouse the products have to be removed and re-stacked on pallets that have many products mixed on each pallet, for shipment to retail stores. To meet the demand of the retail operations and eliminate the need to re-stack products onto new pallets for shipment to stores, manufacturers are using automated palletizing to stack the “mixed product” pallets before shipping them to retailing warehouses.

The programming of automated palletizing can handle the multiple product mix that is required by the retailers. The supply of several different product cartons just needs to be made available to the robotic work station, so that automation can load the mixed pallet in the order that has been programmed.

As the cost of robotics has come down over time, the cost of automated palletizing is comparable to initial installation of the limited layer palletizing solution. Even the area that the robotics occupy is similar to or less than the layer palletizing solution. Further limitations of layer palletizing are striking. Conversion times between production jobs can be extensive due to the fact that this conventional method of palletizing does not adapt well to different product production scenarios. This fact causes an increase in the amount of production floor space that is required for different production lines. Sometimes it is not possible to change layer equipment to a different production job because of the specific design of the product handling tool. It is just not able to handle a different product.

It is apparent that it is much more judicious to seriously look at installing automated palletizing equipment when any manufacturing company is building new production facilities. Even more it would behoove a manufacturer with existing production facilities to evaluate the prospect of replacing existing layer palletizing equipment with automated palletizing equipment.

What Do Maintenance Mechanics Do?

With the economy is shambles, and with many people without jobs, what jobs are hiring and are actually available? Well there are many jobs available that require a certain skill set. This article is dedicated to those interested in pursuing a job in maintenance mechanic work. We will explain exactly what is is they do and the skill set you will need to succeed in a career path in this job selection.

This type of job takes a person who can think out of the box and who can easily detect a problem and in turn, find a simple low cost solution to fix it. You must have machining experience as you will need to create new parts that can improve a process or replace existing parts that have broken or gone bad. You must also know how to troubleshoot and repair electro-mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. If you have management skills you can also become a shoe in as a manager over other mechanics. There is a lot of money in the management positions compared to just being a regular worker.

The pay is great for both types of positions. You can make up to $17 dollars an hour as a regular worker and up to $30 dollars an hour as a manager. Large companies are usually looking for employees in the automotive and construction manufacturing areas. These companies are usually very large and offer lots of benefits such as health insurance. These companies usually always have a 401K option to help with retirement.