Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 2, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 12, 2013 


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques


By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA

 The New York Times is reporting that its internal network has been under attack from state-
sponsored Chinese hackers for the past four months. The email accounts of several reporters working 
on a story considered critical of high-ranking government officials were targeted and infiltrated and 
the passwords of every single NYT employee was compromised in the process. 

While the Times is being very open about this incident the paper is insistent that no customer data 
was breached during the assault. Security experts brought in to deal with break-in have commented 
that the attack was consistent with other breaches committed cyber spies associated with the Chinese 
military against targets they’ve considered to be critical of official Chinese policies and practices. 
And, while the Times also had been on guard for security breaches for some time now, the company 
was informed by its ISP of suspicious activity in the fall of 2012. By that time the attack was well 
underway and had been so for almost 2 months. The apparent targets of the attack were the accounts 
of reporters assigned to the Times’ China and South Asia desk. The security experts in charge of 
the cleanup estimate that as many as 45 pieces of custom malware code, some consisting of remote 
access tools, which had the net effect of giving the attackers the run of the network. Although they 
group had apparently unfettered access to the Times’ network resources and could have caused the 
potential destruction of network resources, havoc for havoc’s sake is not what they were after. Based 
on evidence and log-tracking the attackers used a botnet of compromised computers around the US 
to obscure the source of the attack. They then infected computers at the Times with malware and used 
the malicious code to install remote access tools on other target systems that allowed them to then 
gather more information from the network. The hackers then used cracked passwords to access other 
systems and created a custom program built to infiltrate the Times’ email servers in order to search 
for items of interest.

Since the time of the breach the backdoors used by the hackers have been shut down and the servers 
used to control the botnet have been blocked. State-sponsored hacking has targeted major media 
companies for years and has had a large degree of success repeatedly breaching the networks of 
newsgathering agencies. The US government has been investigating these incidents for the last few 
years and considers hacking a national-security issue of top-priority. 


Digital social media is here to stay and it is growing 
exponentially. Yes, it has leveled the playing field 
for the David CEO’s and owners of small business, 
against the Goliaths of multibillion corporations 
in key areas of operations like communicating 
with customers and processing sales. But it has 
also created a style of communicating that appears 
frantic with the unrelenting feed of postings, texts, 
pins and tweets. Because of the nature of this online 
culture, it is imperative to develop a marketing plan 
for your business activities that focuses on a limited 
number of social media platforms.

It seems there is a new “must use” social media tool 
introduced every six months – Facebook, LinkedIn, 
Twitter, Pinterest, Instagrams, and the list keeps 
growing …. which is why it is so important to select 
and master a primary set of tools for your business. 
This way you will be able to determine if the return 
on your time and resources invested in social media 
is worthwhile. The traditional measurements 
to assign a value to money spent on advertising 
focus on the total number of (potential) customers 
reached, the sets of “eyeballs” that will see your ad(s) 
and the pairs of ears that will hear your radio ad(s). 
These are becoming less important as the options 
for digital media have become broader and easier 
to use.

Anyone who uses social media using a computer or 
smart phone is connected to receive an onslaught 
of advertising messages. It also allows anyone to 
become an instant broadcaster. The ease-of-use has 
set the stage for millions of users who proudly tout 
their huge numbers of “friends” and “followers” as 
validation of their online fame and success. These 
individuals are filling their coffers with digital 
affirmations of their latest posting of a personal 
photo or opinion about the media’s most pressing 
stories for the week. 

Making the distinction between personal use and 
business use is an important point for entrepreneurs. 
Using social media is one thing, but making sure 
it’s useful for business requires a well-thought 
plan. There is one key question to help make that 
distinction clear: “How do I use social media to 
increase my bottomline?”

It is also useful to ask other questions that relate to 
how social media may contribute to your profits. 
This will help you develop an approach to ensure 
that you are using social media in a way that really 
works to your advantage. You will need to ascertain 
if you use of social media has been a factor in 
bringing in new customers or increasing sales to 
existing customers. If yes, identify the specific tools 
(i.e. Twitter, Facebook), marketing activities, ads, 
or campaigns that have generated the increased 
sales and determine how to strengthen and repeat 
the activity within a appropriate time cycle. If not, 
determine if your clientele is primarily “walk-in” – 
if so, you may need to figure out if they respond to 
special offers or seasonal promotions. 

Then take a look at everything that will contribute 
to answering that question with positive and 
profitable results. If your current social media 
activities are not translating into more customers 
within a reasonable time frame, it’s important to try 
something different. It’s all about integrating the 
tools that make sense for your business. If the ones 
you are currently using are not working, then find 
the ones that will work.

Serious entrepreneurs understand the uselessness 
of increased visibility and brand exposure. But we 
also understand that we must use social media to do 
more than generate a constant stream of lookie loos 
and window shoppers who have little to no chance 
of becoming paying customers.


1. Reach out to your existing customers with an email campaign and let them know you are 
ready for more business.

2. Start creating great content that is gobbled up socially. Become a content provider. If you 
can’t come up with your own original content, order some curated content and share that. There 
are several ways you can curate the web to find great content. You can use Google Alerts or install a 
news feed channel on your Facebook page that searches for trending news about a specific topic or 

3. Update your web site and tell people about it on social media and in your email campaigns.

4. Create visual info-graphics to make some of your complicated information easier to digest. 
Use visuals to make it easy for people to understand what you offer and how it can make their lives 

5. Get visual. Come up with interesting photos to share, post to Instagram, Pinterest or 
Facebook and ask your audience to come up with the caption. Try to get more interaction with your 
posts by asking for participation. 

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, a creative services business that specializes 
in Internet Marketing strategies and Social Media Education for businesses and non-profits. “Like” 
them on Facebook for trending news in social media, internet marketing and other helpful tips, www.

Sign up for their upcoming classes and presentations at: 


By Carl Davis, CIMA


As we settle into the New Year, it’s the perfect time to think about self improvement. Losing a few 
pounds, reaching a personal goal and getting the financial house in order are all great ideas. If you’re 
looking to reach a financial goal in the next few years, there are many “financial diets” you can adopt 
to better manage your household budget and allocate more of your income for savings. Consider 
doing a few – or all – of the following things to help you.

Keep a money journal. Just like dieters often begin by tracking what they consume each day, try to 
make a habit of tracking and recording where your money really goes each day. Write down what you 
spend each day on gas, coffee, food, clothing and other essential and discretionary expenses. Once 
you have weekly averages for all of your expenses, you can identify areas where you can start saving 
here and there by making small, easy adjustments – or bigger changes where you may be largely 

Slim down your utility costs. When was the last time you negotiated better rates with your satellite or 
cable company or cell phone provider? Pick up the phone and start dialing for possible savings. Even 
your local gas and electric companies offer discounts designed to help you save money each month. 
For example, installing a programmable thermostat to control your air conditioner and furnace will 
quickly pay for itself and help you save on utility costs well into the future. 

Count dollars like calories. You know how easy it is to spend $10. So put $3,650 back in your pocket 
each year by eliminating $10 per day from your daily expenses. You may buy specialty lattes or bottled 
water or soda, and eat out more frequently than you even imagine. Keep track of your success and 
congratulate yourself every so often by indulging in something you’ve cut back on. 

Dine out less frequently. Many of us grab lunch and dinner out far more than we realize. Take stock 
of you and your family’s eating habits and consider having friends over for a potluck or appetizers 
instead. Eliminating one or two dining out events per week can easily save you $80 per month. That’s 
nearly $1,000 per year that you can put to good use.

Downsize your shopping trips. As the U.S. economy yearns for more consumer spending, the 
availability of discounts and coupons is prevalent. Register to receive emails from discount aggregators 
to track and save on the products and services you normally buy. Before making a purchase, search 
online for discount codes and special offers. If you’re a teacher, veteran or active military, you may 
qualify for special discounts at some of the stores where you shop regularly. Just ask the store clerk 
when making your purchase.

Take care of yourself. The average trip to urgent care costs about $100, while the average cost for 
an emergency room visit can exceed $500. There are, of course, appropriate times to use both kinds 
of care, but it’s important to understand where to go for health services. Also, remember to take full 
advantage of the best employer-sponsored health care plan for you, and consider if a flexible spending 
account or health savings account is a better option. 

There are many ways to put your budget on a diet and create opportunities to save more for your 
future. If you’re unsure about how to start, consider working with a professional financial advisor. He 
or she can help you establish a sustainable financial plan and achieve your New Year’s financial goals.

Carl H Davis, CIMA®, CRPC® is a Financial Advisor and Vice President with Ameriprise Financial 
Services, Inc. in Los Angeles , CA He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management 
strategies and has been in practice for 36 years. To contact him at 310-954-2566 or via email @, or at 10880 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90024

Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. 

This communication is published in the United States for residents of California only

© 2013 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. File # 149484


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


One thing about me that has 
not changed all these years is 
that I refuse to waste my time 
on anything not important. 
There is too much to do in 
this world to waste time on 
unimportant things.

 This, however, sometimes gets me in trouble with 
the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Do not let 
this get back to her, but I sometimes refer to it as 
the GMP syndrome. She is standing up about something 
and I am sitting in my easy chair not knowing 
what she's talking about.

 My wife's idea of what is important sometimes 
does not jive with my sense of importance. The 
real problem is that I do not understand what she 
thinks is important and she, on the other hand, does 
not understand that I do not think it is important. 
On those rare occasions when our sense of what 
is important collides, we celebrate. That is what is 

 She thinks she won, and I know I won. Does it 
really matter? Very few times in life do we both get 
what we want. When that happens she stands up 
and gloats, while I sit down and grin.

 I am not sure what the difference is between a gloat 
and a grin, but then, does it really matter?

 I must confess we are on a different wavelength at 
times. The only time our waves are synchronized is 
when I am driving out of the driveway and waving 
goodbye and her returning the jester.

 Do not get me wrong, we have been a marvelous 
working team for more years than I can remember. 
Of course, that does not mean anything because 
I cannot remember yesterday. However, we have 
worked together most marvelously for many years 
and I look forward to many more years of such marital 

 In spite of that, we have our differences. One of 
the great differences we have is in the definition of 
importance. It is a rare day in June when our definitions 
are united in holy macaroni and cheese. It 
does happen though and we both revel in those 

 It is wonderful when we can stand together on 
some project or some issue. Now that I think of it, 
I believe we stand together more often than I have 
given credit.

 The thing that makes our relationship so marvelous 
and wonderful is that we allow the other person to 
have their differences. She is a broccoli [yuck] kind 
of a person and I on the other hand am an Apple 
Fritter kind of person.

 It just goes to show there are certain things that a 
person should stand for and then there are things 
that really do not matter.

 Looking out at the world, I notice a few things I 
just cannot stand for. Some do not make any difference 
one way or the other, while others really makes 
a difference. The problem is by the time we understand 
the significance of something we are too old 
to do anything about it.

The Pennsylvania Dutch have a wonderful saying, 
"We grow too soon old and too late smart." By the 
time we have grown enough to become smart about 
something that something is no longer in vogue. At 
my age, of course, I am learning that I cannot stand 
too long for anything.

 Out in the world of politics and religion, people 
are always coming up with solutions to nonexistent 
problems. It takes a good politician and religious 
person to spend a lot of time working on a solution 
of which there is no problem.

 Our world is full of problems, to be sure. It would 
be a rare day when people would get their heads together 
and work on problems. All we have today are 
solutions. The trouble is finding the right solution 
for the right problem.

 Only in politics and in religion can we spend all 
our time working on a solution that does not address 
any particular problem. As this stands today, 
I think I am just going to sit down and let it go by, 
because it will.

 My father taught me the most important thing in 
life was never to try to fix something that ain't broken... 
or ain't broken too bad. It is amazing what a 
little duck tape can do to put off fixing something 
that is not broken too bad. Not every crack needs 

 Silence is golden and noise can be expensive especially 
when somebody else is talking. I like surrounding 
myself with the wonderful sounds of silence. 
I do not even like talking to myself. I do not 
listen anyway so what is the use.

 Often in my life, I have regretted saying something, 
but never, to my knowledge, have I regretted keeping 
my mouth shut. Yes, I will stand up for some 
things, but many things I will just sit down and take 
it. No reason to get all riled up when what people 
are talking about is like a breeze on a summer afternoon. 
It comes for a moment and then it has gone, 
and where it goes, nobody knows.

 The apostle Paul knew what to stand for. "Stand 
fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath 
made us free, and be not entangled again with the 
yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1).

 If you do not stand for something good, you will 
fall for anything, usually bad.

 Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO 
Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver 
Springs Shores.E-mail ( mailto:jamessnyder2@ ) . His web site is ( http://www. .