Because, Hemingway.

"Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over."
-Ernest Hemingway

Native.php WordPress Hack

Came across a file in my WordPress files tonight that I didn’t recognize. I was looking through because I noticed I was getting search results for pharmaceutical drugs. This file was located at /wp-content/themes/theme name/native.php.

So, if you come across this, delete it…it’s bad and make sure your all up to date and your site is locked down.

Facebook as an Office Tool?

I like Facebook. I admit it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love them by any means. They do a lot of things I think are downright stupid and evil, but unfortunately, it’s become the best way to communicate with people in a lot of ways. I like that Facebook allows me to communicate daily with people I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to do. Sure, you always get the people you don’t want to communicate with, but that’s your fault for allowing them into your world. (Facebook User Tip: Use the privacy controls. They actually work.) I’ve noticed more recently though that I’m using it for more things. For instance, this week I’m on vacation. I have a part-time seasonal employee working for me. She doesn’t have an office space or anything, but she’s young and therefore pretty techy. Instead of giving her a list, emailing her or passing information along other ways, we’ve been communicating via Facebook. I’ll send her what I need done. She communicates back about status or other things going on. It takes me all of 10 seconds to respond and I don’t have to be in the office or check my work email to do it. I also have another example from this week. I’m a youth pastor to a group of teens. We haven’t met in a couple weeks because of the business with Christmas and I always worry about what they are off doing. Kids minds can change in an instant and sometimes, if there isn’t constant reminders of Hey, we’re here for you, come hang out. Behave, they can move on to the next thing and before you know it, you haven’t seen them in 3 months. During this break time I’ve been casually communicating with them via Facebook. Trust me, I know nearly every thing they’ve done during Christmas break–at least if it showed up on Facebook, and the way they and their friends post things, it’s more likely than not. I generally leave them in the background and make mental notes about things we need to have a lesson on like dating, using bad language, alcohol, bullying, depression, etc…. This week though, rather than wait to see what they were doing, I tagged them all in a post and told them to watch these videos about Ben Breedlove. They all got notified and within a few hours, some of them started commenting on it. Not just that’s cool kind of stuff, but they really watched and took it in and made some good observations about it. In that moment, Facebook really was a great ministry tool and will have them prepped for what we’ll start on when we meet again.

Granted, using it to communicate with kids and young people is different than a workplace. But consider this, what if Facebook had a business side of it. Kind of like Facebook groups or whatever, but just a little more official and business. It could work. I know some businesses have a “cloud” or bulletin board or whatever where they share information, but most small businesses or non-profits are able to have those kind of things because of the cost and technical aspect of having it set up. Anyone can set up a Facebook group or workspace if you will. It surely allows more communication than email in the workplace does.

I’m not saying I think Facebook should do that or even that it would be a “good” idea. I’m just throwing it out there from the aspect of now that I’ve started using it for work communications, the possibilities are pretty great for other uses.

Best Free Software

Support Open Source. Use Firefox.

On nearly a daily basis I get asked about different computer software. What’s the best anti-virus? How can I get rid of this spyware? What should I use to organize my picture? A few years ago I came across this website, bookmarked it and it has hands-down been the best site I ever saved. It’s Gizmo’s Freeware Reviews. You may have seen it, but if not, stop what you are doing and bookmark it now. You’ll save yourself (and me) a lot of time.

Essentially the site reviews different free software for all sorts of things and then gives reviews and recommendations on the best software for different needs. Seriously, any type of software you could need for your computer is probably here. It’s not an old list either. It gets updated frequently and sometimes changes if something better comes along. It’ll lay out the pros and cons and give you safe links to download the software from. It’s not all open-source, but it is free. But if you have a choice, choose open-source.

If you’re not a “computer person” do yourself and your friends and relatives a favorite and bookmark this site.

For the record, some of my personal favorites I’ve found here are:

Anti-Virus: Avast!

Spyware Remover: Super AntiSpyware

Image Editor: GIMP

FTP Client: FileZilla

Parental Filter: K9 Web

Uninstaller: MyUninstaller

Photo Organizing: Picasa

Media Player: VLC