Behold the creativity of cheaters.

Need to fabricate an excuse to bail on your meeting? There’s an app for that. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

I am continually amazed at the creativity of cheaters. A few examples in the news recently:

  • Restaurant offering receipts with menu items relabeled as office supplies
  • Generate disruptions to get out of a zoom meeting
  • Fake Covid test results

I mentioned these for the laughter value and more importantly for the educational value.

The stories are amusing. If you work in the finance area or are leading an organization, having an awareness of these schemes might help you recognize one if presented to you.

Your entertainment and anti-fraud training for the day:


Friendly tip to people planning a felony: don’t do it. And if you still want to, you might want to avoid planning your escapade with the internet or your phone.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

If you are planning to do something that our society says is a felony, or even thinking about it, please don’t.

Please change your plans. You won’t like the result.

If you are still pondering something that our society says is a felony, you might want to avoid using electronic devices that record your planning. Definitely don’t use your phone in commission of the actual crime.

Here are a few examples of what not to do, for amusement of people who are inclined to read my blog.  People likely to go ahead with felonious plans probably are not in my audience.


Tip #1

Don’t take along your location recording fitness device while conducting reconnaissance to plan an assassination and definitely don’t take it along for the ‘hit’:  Runners World -1/17/19 – This Runner is a Hitman. His GPS Watch Tied Him to a Mob Boss Murder

A competitive distance runner who moon lighted as a contract hit man took along his fitbit watch as he conducted recon and planning runs for two different assassinations. Also wore it for one of the actual hits. Police looked at the recorded location information on the watch which showed him making recon runs and placed him at the scene of the hit.

Result: Life in prison.


Tip #2

Don’t conduct an Internet search with questions of whether your plans are illegal: – 10/19/18 – Brooklyn Woman falsely accused Parma Heights police chief of rape, investigators say.


Another overview of blockchain technology; time to start figuring out this stuff.

Buzzword Bingo: Blockchain” by planeta is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sure does look like this blockchain technology is going to be a big deal. Might be time to start getting our minds wrapped around the concept.

For starters, check out this short overview:




(Cross-post from my other blog, Attestation Update.)

For a bit more detail:

8/4/17 – Bill Sheridan at Business Learning Institute – Block chain might remake accounting. The opportunities are huge. – Introductory article is one of the better overviews I have read. It introduces the video shown above.

One sentence description of Block chain, quoting from the article:


Things really can go terribly wrong. Do your backups work? How’s your disaster planning?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Disasters can happen. Consider:

  • How will you recover if you lose your wallet?
  • How will your business recover if ransom ware encrypts your server?
  • What is your planning to survive a tornado if your business is in Oklahoma, a hurricane if you work on the east coast of Florida, or a flood if you live in low territory next to river that overflows once a decade?

Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello ponders these questions in her 7/2/17 post If Lost…Then What?

She tells of finding a wallet on the ground, walking into the adjacent restaurant looking for the owner by glancing between the patrons and the photo on the driver’s license in the wallet. No luck.

When she got home she was able to do a bit more research. She located the woman and returned the wallet.

Life hack tip: make sure you have a business card with a current phone number and email in your wallet so that if a kind-hearted person finds your lost wallet the nice person can reach you quickly.

From there she transitions to disaster recovery.  A few questions for you to ponder:


Can you live with mission critical applications disappearing for a week?

Consider your vulnerabilities to a software vendor disappearing overnight.

I changed RSS readers for a third time this week. They keep shutting down on me.

As an active blogger, reading a lot of blogs and news sources is mission critical. Well, I suppose I choose to make it mission critical – it’s a big deal for me.

Substitute your mission critical applications for my reliance on RSS feed and you can think through an assessment of how vulnerable you are to vendors just going away.

On Monday Bloglines disappeared. That has been my RSS feed for quite a while. Might be a server problem. Maybe a software upgrade that failed. Down lines somewhere. I can live with that for a little bit.


Did you know encryption software is consider a munition? Be careful of sending computers and programs to the field.

Do you remember ever seeing this comment on a product when you were shopping at Amazon?

Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.

Ever wonder the reason for that shipping restriction?

For some products it’s because there is encryption software inside the product with a certain level of complexity.

Why is that a biggie?


Glimpse of what Ulvog CPA website looked like before move to blog

Previously mentioned I’ve moved the website for my CPA practice from GoDaddy using their Website Tonight software to a blog at WordPress.  If you don’t like this blog-as-a-web-site idea, I would heartily recommend you check out GoDaddy’s Website Tonight service.

This post will give a picture of what the site was like before the move.

You can see the previous discussion here, with my current website here.


What do you do if your cloud-based mission critical application is down for an indefinite time? Illustration from a reader for RSS feeds.

Update: The Old Reader back up at end of work day Thursday – that makes 1 1/2 days of the weekend and 4 workdays it was down.

Your tech provider may go off-line for an indefinite time. Another reason not to let your technology hold you captive.

The Old Reader went down around lunchtime on Saturday, 7-20, and isn’t back up just before lunch on Wednesday, 7-24. That’s four days – most of the weekend and one-half of a work-week. No public estimate when it will return.

Don’t be held captive by your technology.


Impact of the technology revolution has barely begun

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

That we haven’t seen the full impact of IT is a comment I heard the first time a few years ago. That sort of made sense but didn’t really register. This blog is focused on sorting out that change. The idea that the technology revolution has barely begun finally clicked for me with a column by Matthew Yglesias – Why I’m Optimistic About Growth and Innovation.

A few industries have seen huge impact from technology. Think of book publishing, journalism, and music. Those industries have been turned upside down. I read a lot and listen to a bit of music so am quite attuned to those areas. The way everyone consumes news has been transformed. I regularly read dozens of blogs a day. They just appear on my computer screen with a mouse click or two. I’ve always been a news junkie, and my consumption has soared in the last few years.

However, as big as those industries are, they are a small part of the total economy.


3 posts on implications of technology change

Here are three posts from my other blog, Outrun Change, looking at some implications of the rapid technology change taking place around us.

New technology is very cool, yet we need to ponder the implications:

5 warnings on how technology can trap you

There is danger in letting any vendor have too much control over your life. That warning applies doubly so to software and double again for social media.

I have five different ways to tell this story. 

A simple change in rules or pricing can devastate you.

That big ol’ company can dump a software that doesn’t have enough customers for them to bother with but is mission critical to your operations. 

If some of those little things happen, you will suffer.


Don’t let your social media platform control you

There is danger in letting any vendor have too much control over your life. That warning applies doubly so to software and re-doubled for social media.

Don’t let your marketing be controlled by Facebook or MySpace or anyone else that can wipe you out with a rule change or by fading away.

Many businesses build their entire marketing campaign on Facebook. I even made that suggestion. Nonprofits can do the same.

One rule change can wipe out years of marketing.

Mark Schaefer explains the risk in his post, A cautionary tale: Putting your business in the hands of Facebook.


Do you own your data that is stored in the cloud? If your cloud provider gets in a jam with the government, can you get your data back?

Those are two extremely serious questions that everyone who is storing data in the cloud should start asking.

What would happen to your business or ministry or hobby if the feds seized the server of your cloud provider and you had to fight in court to get your data back?

How would you cope with this situation:

Megaupload is a cloud provider who stands accused of essentially being a storehouse of pirated videos. Their servers were seized by the federal government. That means the data of every user was also seized.


Nothing like recovering from a computer failure to show how much change is going on

(cross-posted from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

One of the main computers I use in my business failed Sunday night. For various reasons, I’ve held off on making several major upgrades, like jumping to Windows 7 and Office 2010.

So I shopped for new computer, have it in place, and as of yesterday have almost all the software running. Still have a couple of things to bring online, but they can wait for the moment.

Making the jump to a host of new technology tools all at once highlights the volume of change surrounding us.


Technology can be used at the government level to monitor e-mail and social media

Some ministries are engaged in activities overseas that are moral and ethical by our standards but may not meet with full approval of the government of other countries.

If that is the case (and you know if that description applies to you!), you would be well advised to ponder the incredible technology capabilities available to governments.

I have a post at my other blog, Outrun Change, discussing a series of articles that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal.  My post:  Cool internet capabilities can be used for censorship and suppression of dissent.

Might be worth checking out that article.