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The Balance of Power

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
May, 2019 Issue

I just finished reading a thought-provoking book titled, The Power, by Naomi Alderman. Following its publication in 2016, it won the Baileys Women\'s Prize for Fiction in the UK, was named one of the 10 best books of 2017 by The New York Times and was also cited by former President Barack Obama as one of his favorite books that year. Yet two of my “smart friends” who read the book didn’t find it well written. So much for literary criticism.

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Why Do We (Still) Go To Work?

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Apr, 2019 Issue

I work. My spouse works. And both my adult kids work. I’m going to assume that you work, too. And chances are, we all go somewhere else to do it, at a not-inconsiderable expense when you consider time and money. At the same time, particularly here in the Bay Area, we read stories about how people can no longer afford to live where they work.

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Parlez-vous Francais?

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Mar, 2019 Issue

My wife and I were fortunate enough to spend time in Paris last October. A friend of mine, who has traveled extensively in Europe, gave me some terrific advice: regardless of where you’re traveling, learn how to say hello, goodbye, please, thank you, and excuse me in the local language. It will get you much more polite treatment, even if you have to lapse back into English, because you’re making an effort to speak their language.

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Virtual Private Networks

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Sep, 2018 Issue

Everyone is concerned, to various degrees, with online privacy and security. You’d like to be sure that personal information—like your home address or what you buy from Amazon—is kept private, and that your online banking information is secure from thieves. Making purchases and handling electronic accounts over a public network (the Internet), which we access through our Internet Service Provider (ISP) means you don’t control who touches the data on its way from your computer to Amazon or Wells Fargo.

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Living in the JS World

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Aug, 2018 Issue

It’s August, and there’s nothing new in tech. Lots of concern over privacy and security: not new. Facebook and Google know too much about us: not new. Smartphones are the dominant lifeform in the universe: not new. Small businesses (for good reasons) are reluctant to embrace new technology: not new. Life may seem boring for a tech columnist.

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A World without Facebook

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Jun, 2018 Issue

Since my last column, Facebook has admitted that the data of its 2 billion users has probably been taken by unscrupulous applications, for whatever reason. There’s been a lot of lamenting about how a service, which so many people use, took such poor care of their privacy. But the truth remains, most people willingly give Facebook access to information about them in return for a free service, which lets them post words and pictures, and stay in touch with people and organizations doing the same.

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The Facebook Scandal & Your Business Presence

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
May, 2018 Issue

The news has been buzzing about Facebook and the ways in which it accumulates and reveals information about its users. There have been calls for people to #DeleteFacebook, and chances are that by the time you read this, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer, will have testified before Congress. The proverbial feces hit the fan this month when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm mined data on about 50 million Facebook users and provided that to the Trump campaign during the 2016 U.S. election. It’s also important to note that this was not a “hack” of Facebook’s computers. The data—at the time the exploit occurred—was accessible to anyone writing a Facebook App.

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Advice and Consent

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Apr, 2018 Issue

When you stop to look closely, there are lots of technologies in use at your business. There’s a computer, your Internet connection, maybe a computer network and various types of servers. There are also printers and copiers as well as your phone system. For retail operations, there are point-of-sales systems. There’s credit card processing, word processing and spreadsheets. There’s accounting software, scanners, document storage and retrieval, computer security. The list goes on and on. (In all the excitement, I forgot to mention email, text messaging and social media.) Frankly, it’s overwhelming.

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Driving Your Business with Technology

Columnist: Mike E. Duffy
Mar, 2018 Issue

I just looked at the “10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018” from Gartner (formerly the less-impressive-sounding Gartner Group), who makes their money by being smart about technology for big companies who can afford their subscriptions and consulting services.

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In this Issue

Rebuilding: Sonoma County Housing Sites

Take a spin through Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood and you’ll see what recovery and resiliency look like. Efforts to rebuild thousands of lost homes have ramped up to full speed i...

Fighting Fire With Forethought

As new homes rise in North Bay neighborhoods leveled by fire, it appears life is slowly returning to normal. There is, however, a factor we cannot underestimate: the ever-present risk that comes wit...

Rohnert Park Renaissance

For decades, the city of Rohnert Park has longed for a downtown. Rotary president, Pat Miller remembers moving to Rohnert Park with her boyfriend, now husband, in 1978, and finding disappointment....

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