Domain name “legal threat” or sales letter?

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: , , , , , |

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Watch out for this fax from USNameRegistrar (dot) com! What would you think if you got a fax with the following in it:

  • Final Notice
  • Intellectual property notification
  • False descriptions and dilution of trademarks…
  • Use of a domain name in bad faith…

Why that looks like I may be in violation of someone’s intellectual property! Am I about to be sued? Oh, noes!

However, as best as I can tell, this is sales letter trying to get me to register ColoradoDisability (dot) us because my disability firm already has a similar domain registered. Anyone care to guess how much they would like to charge to sell the domain to me?

But here’s the thing: would any reasonable person think this is a sales letter on first reading? Hell no! Take a look at the letter for yourself:  usnameregistrar fax.


Happiness and Purpose

Filed under: Editorials, Videos | Tags: |

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Larry Port is presenting on “Hacking Your Mind” at MILOfest. He mentioned a some of things I’ve written about before as well as new items. This provides a good chance to review some of the things that make us happy in our lives.

First up is Martin Seligman’s TED talk revealing the importance of meaning, engagement and having pleasure in one’s life.

Next up is Simon Sinek’s presentation on the importance of “Why” – the need to have purpose and how it inspires others.

Finally, is Teresa Amabile’s presentation on how doing one very simple thing, keeping a journal, can keep you happy.


OSX User Interface – Kickin it Like Harry Potter!

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If your desktop is like mine, you have windows on top of windows. So you do your best to have windows sticking out, just a bit so you can click on the window you want.

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However, you don’t want to click the “close” button! Think about it: how many times have you clicked on a background window to switch to it and accidentally closed it, or launched a new email, or switched the view in that window — when all you wanted to do was to get to that app?

Apple, I know you have ways to get to the program…. but they suck:

  • Alt-tab is too slow unless the app is the next app in the list. And if I pass the icon, I either have to go all the way around or play finger twister with shift-alt-tab!
  • Mission Control is fine, but invoking it on a mouse is doesn’t feel right: the mouse jitters, trying to two finger tap twice, but not click is like a little game of DDR for your right hand. The three finger swipe works well, but it means moving the hands off the keyboard mouse combo.
  • Dock? Come on! I don’t want to have to try to find the icon. I just want to get to the program that’s right there (without closing it)!

And sometimes, you aren’t sure which app is sticking out beneath your active app: is that bar for Mail or Finder?

So, how about this Apple: you already allow scrolling in apps that don’t have focus, how about when the mouse is over a background window, you have that window slide out a bit, or have a little tab appear (that doesn’t close, or do anything in that app) to let you select that app? Or both:

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It would be a bit like the group photos in Harry Potter where people rearrange themselves so you can see who is in the back row. If I move over the cursor over an bottom app, it moves out from under the top app to provide a better view. If I want the app, I click the tab (or some other “white space”), that doesn’t close the app, or launch an email, or anything else, other than letting me select the app. How about it?


Social Security Application book drafted

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: |

I’ve been working on a “how-to” book providing a walk-through of the Social Security online disability application. This was meant to be a “brief interlude” between working on the BIG Social Security Disability book which I’ve started several times, but was always a bigger project than I could satisfactorily complete. The Application book was meant to be a smaller project and chance to learn iBooks Author app.

It is now about a year later and I am finally done with the writing. The book is not done by any means. However, it is now goes on to technical editing and proof reading. Which means it is largely in other people’s’ hands for a while. This also puts me in the position of having to figure out publishing, finalizing a title, and hiring someone to design a book cover.

I am trying to break this down into segments.

  • Technical edit and cover design.
  • Final art.
  • Proofing and final edits.
  • And finally publication.

I have no idea if this is a good plan or not, since I have never done this before. However, it keeps me from being overwhelmed.

After this is done will come the conversion of the manuscript into something that will work on the much more widely used Kindle format. At present the book is heavy on screenshots. Considering Amazon’s $0.15 per megabyte “delivery charges,” under the 70% payment option, and I could easily image myself out making any money at all from this project. I could take the 35% payment with no delivery costs, but it sticks in my craw. Still, I may need to be bite the bullet and take the lower percentage to avoid the delivery fee.

Another thing that stops me in my tracks is the fear that no one may be interested in putting down cold hard cash for the book. So, I am trying to stay busy and have started a second book, which is a return to the Social Security hearing tips idea. Over the last few days, I have been working through an outline of the book. Having a skeleton in place makes me feel much more confident that I will be able to get a second book written. And, since it will not require screenshots, it will be a lot easier to distribute through a variety of channels.

photo by: holgabot*


I made Neatorama (and didn’t even know it)!

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: , , |

It just goes to show that it pays to waste time on vanity searches. I just found my Dalek made up of words (using the WordFoto app) on Neatorama.

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How cool is that!


Legal Job Search: cover letter and resume tips

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: , , |

Personally, I feel that a cover letter is more important that resume. First of all, you can change a cover letter. There is not much you can do to a resume except make cosmetic changes. You can’t go back and work an extra summer or add an internship that did not happen.

However, you can make substantive changes to your cover letter.

One common mistake and one tip about resumes:

Most people stop after a recitation of the duties of the job performed. Yes, that gives me some idea about your skills. However, it also screams, “I did the job I was given!” Well, I certainly hope so. That just says, “I wasn’t fired for being incompetent.” Again, I certainly hope not.

What I am getting at is a recitation of duties is setting the bar at about,  oh,  shin level.

I recommend splitting up the description into for every job in the “Experience” section into “Duties” (this is where your recitation goes) and “Noteworthy.” Here is where you add how you reorganized the office categorization process to reduce processing by 20%. Think 6 Million Dollar Man (is that too dated a reference?): how did you make things better, stronger, faster? Yes, I know you did the job. What did you accomplish that is noteworthy? Did you exceed expectations? Did you go beyond your duties?

Ok, cover letters. How do you pick out a cake? Imagine going into Whole Foods and going to bakery section. They have fruit topped cases, ones with multi-colored chocolate shavings. It’s like an amazing party right-there-on-the-cake! What kind of cake it is, is a consideration, but come-on, you’re picking the pretty one.

Your cover letter is the decoration on the cake. It’s that important in getting selected.

The resume, that’s the cake underneath. Now I’m going to mix up the metaphors. I am asked to review a quite a few resumes. Well, a resume is a tool like a screwdriver. You’re asking to me to tell you is it a good enough screwdriver? Well, I don’t know! What do you want to use it for? That’s where the cover letter comes in! A cover letter says what you to do with your screwdriver.

  • What kind of job do you want?
  • What do you like about the firm your are contacting?
  • Why you feel you could do for the firm?
  • What sets you apart?
  • What are your passions and goals and how those fit in with working at the firm.
Then you end with a “let’s meet!” Not literally, but I am sure you already know how to request either a call or a meeting with the office so you can shine in person.
Passions? Goals? I just want to be the perfect drone!

Yeah… that’s how a lot of interviews come across. Let me tell you, if you want a job. You have to be someone. You have to want things, you have to be interested in and passionate about things. Everyone is the hero of their own narrative. Yes, I know you are. But what you miss is that the person interviewing you for the firm is also the hero of his/her story too. Part of their story is are the heroic things their firm is going to do (while hopefully make a nice amount of money).

Pitfall: what they don’t want is someone who tells them, “personal injury is my passion, even when I was little I went up to the parks office after my brother scraped his knee on the playground and shouted ‘I’ll sue!’ ” Actually, that’s pretty good. Usually, though, sucking up is pretty transparent because it is inauthentic.

The person you are interviewing with is looking for heroes. Not necessarily another Superman. But you may be able to show them that they really need an Aquaman on their team. That takes passion and believing in things. You can’t just be the person who scrubs tanks at the aquarium.

So, cakes, screwdrivers and superheroes: stand out using your cover letter, tell the employer why you choose them and what you can do, and show them why you are a hero!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Waponi


Legal job search mistake: hiding behind your resume

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: , , |

 

I was recently asked to review a new lawyer’s resume. I wrote back to the new attorney and offered to set up a meeting at my office to go over the resume and the lawyer’s cover letter. The timing of the meeting did not work out. However, instead of trying to reschedule, here is the response I got back:

Thank you for agreeing to review my resume. I am working full time for another week at a seasonal position, and then will be out of town for several weeks. Also I see that your office is on Colorado Springs, and I am in Denver. Despite these scheduling problems, I would still like to have your feedback on my resume. Is there a way we could review it electronically? For example, you could use the Word “track changes” feature to show your edits. Old fashioned paper and pen would be fine as well. Please let me know your thoughts.

I get the importance of making your current employment a priority. It shows loyalty which is a trait all employers want. And sure, I don’t expect you to change your travel plans. But, “send me your revisions”? I am not reviewing your resume to see if your spelling is correct or if you are using active verbs. Your law school career services office can do that.

I want to do a meeting to see if the resume, and even more importantly, your cover letter, conveys your strengths and individuality. Does it capture who you are and why you should be at the top of your prospective employers pile of applicants? Your resume is not is applying for a job, you are.

I consider trying to suss out what makes a person valuable and original to an employer, something worth showing up for. As someone out of law school for more than a decade, and who looks at resumes from an employer’s perspective, I can provide insight.

Also, I prefer to do an in person meeting because we can communicate faster and, hell, we can do revisions during the meeting. I like techie stuff as much as the next uber-geeky lawyer. However, I do not feel we can get as much done, or done as well, by swapping revisions.

Plus, you’re looking for a job and you don’t want to make another connection in the legal community? Really? Even you if you are only looking for work in the city you live in, you never know where a job lead, or introduction, will come from.

So, the next time you want help with your job search and someone wants to meet with you, JUMP AT THE CHANCE!

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

Creative Commons License photo credit: nasrulekram


Gmail phishing scam

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: , |

I came across this in my “All Mail” category while trying to find an email I deleted.

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Yup, I’ll get right on that!

You know… just putting this into the spam box is probably not enough. Eh, Google?


Ikea Jerusalem syndrome

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I have been Ikea’d.

I took my first trip to the Denver Ikea last week. It’s massive. Larger than you can imagine. Two floors of parking just for one shop. It doesn’t even feel like a store — arriving at Ikea feels like arriving at an airport. You traverse the multilevel parking garage and then trek to the entrance lined with loading and unloading areas. You expect to hear “the white zone is for loading and unloading only.”

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Attack of the list post: Denver

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Denver has become quite an international city. While up at the Ikea, I heard German, French, Swedish and a half-dozen other languages I could not recognize. And not just occasionally, but about every fourth person! Of course, this may be something of a self-selecting group, considering the strong “It’s Swedish!” marketing. It could just be that Ikea is this decades United Colors of Benetton.

However, it got me wondering. Where does Denver fit into the big US cities. Top 10? Top 20? Over the past 16 years (!) I have watched Denver grow: the massive buildup of the downtown and Lodo, the spread. We’re up there now, right?

Cue Wikipedia. Denver is 26! Hmmm. 26? Who else is up there? Sure, you can name the BIG cities, New York, LA, Chicago. Beyond that, though, I’m not sure. There were some surprises:

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