Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

There’s nothing like finding a good spy thriller novel to read for the summer. Oops, this one may well be the real story.
I really enjoyed Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, which I found in the new books section at my local library when i was looking for some good summer reading. It gives an insider’s view of recent economic history and US dealing with what we tend to call the Third World.
Perkins posits the theory that what he calls the corporatocracy has led to more troubling results than any conspiracy we might imagine.
What’s an “economic hit man”? Perkins says: “Economic hit men are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars.”
I found this a good summer read that makes you think and go hmmm from time to time. I’ll let others debate the “truth” of all this – I recommend it for the summer reading list, if only to get one answer to that question, “why do so many in the rest of the world seem to hate the United States?”
[Originally published on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Phishing Email Gets More Sophisticated?

Email efforts to trick you into taking some action to reveal information about yourself or introduce spyware or other malware into your computer (sometimes known as “phishing” efforts) have gotten increasingly sophisticated and clever.
But, not always.
Take the first few sentences of an email I just received, please.
The money quote (all typos in original):
“Dear eBay Member,
We recenlty noticed one or more attempts to login into your eBay account from a more IP address and we have reasons to belive that your account has been used by a thirth party. In order to protect your sensitive information or unauthorized listing we temporality suspended your account for further investigations.”

My favorite part: “In order to protect your sensitive information or unauthorized listing . . . .” Surely I do want my unauthorized listing protected, right?
At least these phishers have a sense of humor, even if they have no spell-checker or grammar checker.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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A Contrarian View of the BlackBerry

I highly recommend Bo Peabody’s wise little book, Lucky or Smart? The book gives you Bo’s insights into the entrepreneurial experience, as filtered through the dot-com era. Great stuff.
I’m a bit of a contrarian on the whole obsession of lawyers with the Blackberry. See this article on the phenomenon featuring my former law partner Jim Gunn (one of the people who I truly appreciate having gotten the chance to work with during my legal career) for an overview of lawyers’ affinity for the BlackBerry. In Jim’s case, he has his usual geat sense of humor about the whole phenomenon.
I don’t really understand the benefits of the Blackberry in most situations, especially as we enter an era of ready WiFi access. It’s a good tool in certain circumstances, but my sense is that some law firms are using the BlackBerry as a way to save money by not buying Tablet PCs, notebooks or full-featured Pocket PCs for lawyers. That’s just my opinion.
Peabody has a great quote about Blackberry’s that I simply have to share. It’s a bit provocative, but it will give you something to think about in connection with the BlackBerry craze.
“Without question, the worst and most dangerous example of this ‘constantly reading’ phenomenon is the BlackBerry. These little handheld devices send your e-mail to you anywhere in the world, so that you can fill all your free time reading penis-enlargement spam and responding to the generally non-time-sensitive queries of your colleagues. I know people who leave the dinner table to go to the bathroom to check e-mail. This is insane. Of course, it’s better than the assholes who sit at the dinner table and answer their e-mail. The best use you can make of a BlackBerry is to buy them for all of your competitors. They’ll never have time for another creative thought.”
An excellent point, made with humor and panache. If you like the attitude and insight shown in the quote, you’ll love the book. I sure did.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www,denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s eBooks – Preparing Your Law Firm for the Internet Era: 150 Steps Toward a 21st Century Practice of Law, Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Primer and Unlocking the Secrets of Legal Technology and Technology Law: Finding Your Way in the First Internet Era.

The End of an Era in American Industry

My Dad would not want anyone to make any fuss over this, but I learned last night that today is my Dad’s last day of working and he is now officially retiring.
We all knew that he wasn’t going to stop at age 65, nearly 4 years ago. Early this year, my Mom said that Dad was talking about actually retiring. Then Dad said something about it. Then we heard maybe the end of July. Then we heard that he had actually gotten the paperw to fill out.
As I mentioned, Dad wants no fuss over this and I’ll say simply that Dad’s retirement is well-earned and that, obviously, much of my work ethic and attitudes about work, working hard and doing good work were learned from my Dad and his example.
It’ll be interesting to see what Dad does in his retirement. He just bought a 1953 Ford pickup to restore and my brothers apparently have plans to get him involved in some of their projects. My daughter has some plans to get him to teach her how to weld one of these days when we get back to visit them in Indiana. However, I suspect that Dad might take a day or two to relax.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www,denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s consulting services, featuring RSS and advanced blogging consulting and technology committee coaching packages for law firms, corporate legal departments and other professional services providers.

A Big Thank You to Canada

I want to send a big thank you to Canada for sending a big cold front down that broke the back of the hellacious heat wave we’ve had in St. Louis.
This morning, I rode my bike very early in the morning and felt that it was the most uncomfortable day yet. This evening, my daughter and I caught the leading edge of the cold front as we picked up a pizza. Disappointingly, the leading edge hadn’t reached our house by the time we got home (about 2 miles away). A few minutes later, the wind started and the temperature dropped a good ten degrees. Yes, that was me dancing around the front yard.
After the last many brutally hot days (including those days where the forecast predicted a heat index of 125 degrees(!)), it was very welcome relief.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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