How to Write a Mission Statement That Doesn’t Suck [video] | Switch | Fast Company

So you’ll call your colleagues around the conference room table to unveil the mission, and all of the sudden, these people that you like and respect are going to transform into 10th-grade English teachers, nitpicking every word. Everybody starts chiming in with opinions: “Hey, I really like the word ‘present’ better than ‘serve,’ it has a nice resonance.” And someone else will say, “Well, we obviously can’t say ‘damn,’ that’s just offensive.” And so it begins. And as you go around the table, your mission statement will be pecked to death.

Read the rest and watch the video at How to Write a Mission Statement That Doesn’t Suck | Switch | Fast Company.

Twitter to block malicious links

twitter logo

Twitter is launching a new service designed to stop users of the social-media site from getting duped by phishing links that steal their login credentials and other attacks.

The company will route all links submitted to the site through a filter created to catch links that lead to malware, the company said on the Twitter blog on Tuesday.

“A couple weeks ago, Biz [Stone, Twitter co-founder] explained how Twitter users were being victimized by phishing scams spread primarily through links in direct messages,” the post said. “Basically, people click the link and bad things happen. My team can only detect these scams after malicious links have already been sent out.”

With the new filtering service, even if a bad link is already sent out in an e-mail notification and somebody clicks on it, the user will be safe, according to the post.

The filtering will focus on links sent via direct messages and e-mail notifications about direct messages since the attacks occur primarily in those communications.

Twitter users were hit with a series of phishing attacks in February.

Source: Twitter to block malicious links | InSecurity Complex – CNET News.

ECan councillor likens review to Nazi action

A key moment in Nazi Germany history is the inspiration for the “hatchet job” on Environment Canterbury (ECan), says regional councillor Rik Tindall.

Tindall, ECan’s Christchurch East representative, is warning that the review by former National deputy prime minister Wyatt Creech poses a threat to democracy.

In a letter to the editors of The Press and the Timaru Herald, he says there is no “dysfunctionality” at ECan.

Creech’s review recommended sacking the 14 councillors, replacing them with commissioners, and the establishment of a new regional water authority.

Tindall called the Creech report unfair and “an error-ridden hatchet job”.

“The report attempts to inflagrate a Canterbury version of the 1933 Reichstag fire incident, to justify curtailment of democracy. New Zealanders should be very, very concerned as to the direction their country is taking,” he said.

“The unconscionably severe attack upon local democracy is simply a smokescreen to cover for … an asset and power grab by the most threatening of New Zealand forces.”

On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building in Berlin went up in flames. Nazis claimed this was the start of a Communist revolution, which led many historians to believe the Nazis started or helped start the fire.

Adolf Hitler then convinced President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree granting Nazis sweeping powers and consolidating their authority, laying a foundation for a police state.

via ECan councillor likens review to Nazi action |


I wonder if those that had to deal with the “functional” Ecan in the past years feel the same as Tindall. Here we have an organisation that to a certain extent makes the rules, administers them and to some extent is the judiciary. Democracy was overboard anyway. I do not rule out that some parties will have had similar sentiments about their dealings with Ecan in the past.Please spare me the populist conspiracy theory.

Is someone maybe somewhat worried about his job?

Beyond Believers

The study of religion is too important to be left in the hands of believers.

So claims David A. Hollinger, a professor of American history at the University of California at Berkeley, in his response to religion emerging as the hottest topic of study among members of the American Historical Association (AHA).

Perhaps surprisingly, leading evangelical scholars voiced general agreement with his basic premise.

“The practice of history is best served by many historians working from all their separate angles,” said Rick Kennedy, president of the Conference on Faith and History (CFH) and a professor of history at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. “What is good about the new surge in religious history is that something that was neglected is now gaining its rightful place.”

Barry Hankins, resident scholar at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, said he shared Hollinger’s sentiments, “as long as the understanding of faith is not left only to unbelievers.”

“The trick for insiders is to think critically about their own tradition, while the trick for outsiders is to try to develop a feel or affinity for the group he or she is studying,” said Hankins.

Read the rest at: Beyond Believers | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.

Negotiating Cloud Computing Agreements

Cloud computing has been characterized as a paradigm-shifting phenomenon that will change how we purchase IT resources. Though given different names, cloud computing has been around for some time, and the legal lessons learned from experience with traditional software licensing and outsourcing agreements can and should be applied to cloud agreements, but there are new issues which will need new solutions.

Cloud computing is a loose term that describes a variety of data storage, processing, and application services, normally provided by a third party using equipment not located on the customer’s site. These services include providing raw processing power on demand, special purpose applications on a subscription basis, and remote data storage. An early form of cloud computing was Application Service Provider or ASP services, and another is currently known as software as a service or SaaS. Cloud services are normally provided using internet technology, where the customer uses inexpensive hardware and an internet browser to access the service and/or remotely stored data.

The ease of access and simplicity of using cloud applications are part of its attraction. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the legal issues related to cloud computing. While traditional software licensing and IT outsourcing agreements can be used as a model for cloud computing, there are new risks and business practices not addressed in those older agreements that must be considered.


Read the rest via Negotiating Cloud Computing Agreements.

Book Review: Timothy J Keller, The Reason For God. Belief in an Age of Scepticism

Most recently I had the pleasure to read the book The Reason for God, by Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan New York.

The Reason for God is written for sceptics as well as believers alike. It responds to the the writings of popular authors like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.  What I thought was especially attractive about the book was the currency. Many introductions to Christian belief were written longer ago and do not address what today’s skeptics are concerned about. The timing of the book is impeccable as it arrived in a time frame where both skepticism and conversion appear to be on the rise. More importantly the discussion is being polarized by popular fundamentalists of both camps.

Going over some apologetic notes that will probably be part of another post I noted that perhaps a lot of these books (and similar to what happens with many Christians in general) are focusing on fellow believers and not so much on the group that really deserves serious and respectful attention: the skeptics.All too often other (apologetic) books merely gloss over the important questions or come up with answers that may be convincing to the average believer but do not seriously address the questions by skeptics.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Scepticism

The Reason for God:
Belief in an Age of Scepticism,
Buy here>>>

Keller does not distinguish between believers and unbelievers. Instead he talks of believers and skeptics. His theory: we all believe something. And rightfully so I guess as the questions or concerns discussed by Keller are more than once similarly difficult for people that do consider themselves to be a Christian.

“If you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and if you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christians for theirs—you will discover that your doubts are not so solid as they first appeared.”

The first seven chapters of the book cover seven of the most common objections and doubts about Christianity and discerns the alternate beliefs underlying each of them. This section is titled “The Leap of Doubt” and answers these seven common critiques:

  1. There can’t be just one true religion
  2. A good God could not allow suffering
  3. Christianity is a straitjacket
  4. The church is responsible for so much injustice
  5. A loving God would not send people to hell
  6. Science has disproved Christianity
  7. You can’t take the Bible literally

In the second half of the book, titled “The Reasons for Faith,” he discusses seven reasons to believe in the claims of the Christian faith.

  1. The clues of God
  2. The knowledge of God
  3. The problem of sin
  4. Religion and the gospel
  5. The (true) story of the cross
  6. The reality of the resurrection
  7. The Dance of God

This book places Keller’s apparent influence C.S. Lewis into this day and age and I could not help but thinking how in some respects the experience of reading Keller’s book was similar to reading for instance Mere Christianity.
Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity,
buy here>>>

Publishers Weekly has advises that this is a book for “skeptics and the believers who love them.” Believers will rejoice in this book that carefully and patiently answers the most important objections of their skeptical friends with integrity and grace and Biblically consistent way. Skeptics will see that even their skepticism may well be based on some kind of faith. They are challenged to discern those underlying beliefs. A GREAT READ. It is most certainly one of the most compelling and at the same time highly accessible apologetic books I have read so far, and one that mist certainly addresses the right crowd.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Scepticism

The Reason for God:
Belief in an Age of Scepticism,
Buy here>>>

But perhaps even better: why not let the author explain about the book himself.

An extensive chapter by chapter summary of the book can be found at the Set ‘n’ Service blog here >>>

Also highly recommended is the next video in which Keller visits Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters to discuss his book. This event took place on March 5, 2008, as part of the Authors@Google series.

I think that by now you should have enough reason to get the book for yourself. Follow the link below to order online. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Scepticism

The Reason for God:
Belief in an Age of Scepticism,
Buy here>>>