Library review at the U of Chicago

Very cool review of the library at the University of Chicago.  Check out THE AUTOMATED LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO!

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DoublePulsar – WannaCry on steroids

A very scary article from the New York times on DoublePulsar which is another ramsomware built on top of the NSA tools code-named EternalBlue.  To read the full article please see A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For’

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Oracle ODA Maintenance Alert

Some great advice from Dan Morgan at Forsythe

Oracle ODA Maintenance Alert:

Oracle ODAs perform extensive diagnostics immediately following an appliance reboot. Be sure that you do one before you begin a patching exercise. Our standard patching procedure is to always perform a reboot before patching and doing so saved our customer’s data last week as we had an incident where following a reboot the ODA went into an ASM rebalancing with Power = 1 that could not be altered as the result of a physical drive that had unrecoverable read errors.

Had the patching taken place without the reboot the drive failure would likely not have been discovered until too late to guarantee no data loss.

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Emotional Intelligence: The Meta-skill of 21st Century Sales Professionals

Great little article from Art Sobczak in his Smart Calling Tip of the Week from

Emotional Intelligence:  The Meta-skill of 21st Century Sales Professionals

By Jeb Blount, Author of Sales EQ:  How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal

Last year my wife purchased a new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

She did her research up front. Before she ever walked into the dealership she knew more about Jeep Grand Cherokees that the people selling them.

She knew exactly what she wanted: silver exterior, dark leather interior, navigation system, and a sun-roof.

She’d compared prices across multiple dealers and her research was neatly arranged in a folder.

The only thing left was the obligatory test drive.

She began the buying process in early July and on the last Friday in August she parked her new, white, Jeep Grand Cherokee, with …

…a light tan interior, and no sun roof, or navigation system in our drive-way.

After all the research and nearly two months of going back and forth with the dealership, in the end, illogically, she drove away with a vehicle that did not match what she said she wanted.

The Justification for Irrational Behavior

When I confronted my wife, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, about how she ended up with a white SUV when she had her heart set on a silver one, she was incredulous.

“Wipe that smirk off your face. Another dealership had the car I wanted but it was 30 minutes down the road and I didn’t have time to drive all the way down there!”

“What about the sun roof and Nav?” I asked.

 “Well everyone knows that sun roofs can leak and I’ll just use my phone for navigation. It is easier anyway. Why are you grinning at me? I made a good deal here!”

Meet AJ – Car Selling Jedi Master

I’d been watching my wife’s buying process from beginning to end and I knew better.

I was grinning because of my admiration for AJ, the sales rep who sold her the SUV. His sales process with my wife had been masterful.

Carrie first met AJ in early July on her test drive. When she came home she went on and on about AJ:

“AJ showed me this. AJ showed me that. AJ suggested that I take a car home for the weekend to see how I like it. AJ thinks the Grand Cherokee is a great SUV for the money!”

Over the next seven weeks, AJ systematically built a connection, earned my wife’s trust, and gained influence over her buying behavior.

He never pushed. He was never cheesy. He listened and made her feel important. He was transparent, honest, and consistent. Most importantly he answered the five most important questions, buyers ask of salespeople:

  • Do I like you?
  • Do you listen to me?
  • Do you make me feel important?
  • Do you get me?
  • Do I trust and believe you?

With these questions answered affirmatively, when it came time for her to pull the trigger, Carrie bought AJ, not the SUV.

On the surface, she justified the compromise she made on the specs with logic. But I knew the truth. Deep down inside she could not bring herself to let AJ down by going to the other dealership – even though they had the model she liked the most.

A New Sales Paradigm in the Age of Transparency

We live in the Age of Transparency where buyers have access to endless streams of data.

Nowhere is this reality more poignant that in the auto industry where, to the consternation of sales reps, buyers show-up at dealerships armed and dangerous.

But, legions of salespeople across all industries are coming face-to-face with a cold, hard truth: what once gave salespeople a competitive edge—controlling the sales process, command of product knowledge, and a great pitch—are no longer guarantees of success.

In our hyper-competitive global economy, where buyers have an information advantage, it is the buyer’s emotional experience, that has the greatest impact on their propensity to purchase from you.

In other words, the tangible attributes of a product or solution are less important that the emotions derived from the process of buying you.

Buyers crave a real, emotional connections. And, when you connect emotionally, you gain the right and ability to influence rationally.

Neuroscience teaches us that people (including my wife) make decisions based on emotion first and then justify those decisions with logic. With humans, it is always heart, then mind.

Sales professionals, like AJ, who are adept at interpreting and influencing the emotions of buyers gain a decisive competitive edge.

This is why, Sales EQ (sales-specific emotional intelligence) is the meta-skill for twenty-first sales professionals.

(See how you can build and refine your emotional intelligence with Jeb Blount’s new book, Sales EQ:  How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal )

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Are your salespeople truly ready for Social Selling?

Are your salespeople truly ready for Social Selling?

 Good read from Dennis Wagner at
“If I could give salespeople training in one thing and one thing only, I would pick any one of the ten things on this list before I would train them on “social selling.” GASP.. I know, I know.. Let Me Explain! That does not mean I don’t believe in “social selling”, because I absolutely do, but todays salespeople need to master the basics of selling before advancing to the Expert Level. Here are ten important things sales professionals need to train on in no particular order.
1. How to Set Appointments: There isn’t anything higher on this list because answering sales calls / cold calling and prospecting is what would improve most salespeople’s results faster than anything else. Phone Skills must be Great! Good will no longer suffice. Dialing for dollars says it all.
2. Overcoming Objections: No matter how good you are, without the language and experience to deal with objections, you aren’t creating a win for your customer. If you let them win, they give you an opportunity. That’s a win-win! Master your craft and approach each objection in an open manner. Help your customer and they will be happy.
3. How to Differentiate Yourself From Others: I’ve never asked a salesperson what makes their company different and gotten an exact response, even when their manager believes they know. They don’t. We cannot blame our sales team for not knowing, because we didn’t properly train them. I think this is an easy one. Think about the things customers complain about, and do the exaxct opposite. It is okay to have fun. Be different.
4. How to Negotiate: Most salespeople crumble at the first question about price. I’d teach them to negotiate based on value. Price is what something costs, Value is the products perceived worth, and these numbers are rarely the same. I have always lived by a simple rule of thumb that works well. If the product costs ten thousand dollars, build twenty thousand dollars in value. The customer perceives it’s a good deal when value exceeds price.
5. How to Understand What Makes an Opportunity: Unless your client agrees to pursue change with you, you don’t have an opportunity. We must learn to treat every opportunity with the same urgency as we treat a fresh up with a truckload of Cash!
6. How to Follow The Process: Most companies don’t follow a process, and neither do their salespeople. I’d teach them why they should follow it and how it helps them win. If they follow the process and their paycheck grows larger as a result, they will buy in.
7. How to Nurture Their Clients: Too little time, too many prospects. You have to focus on the clients for whom you create the most value. You need to nurture those relationships. Give your customers the VIP treatment, if you don’t your competition will.
8. How to Plan a Sales Call: Honestly, most salespeople don’t plan their sales calls at all. They end up winging it, and stuttering a lot. It’s a mistake to waste a client interaction. Those cost real monery, not monopoly.
9. How to Qualify a Customer: Without understanding your client’s true needs, forget wants, it’s difficult to even present your case when negotiating, and it’s even more difficult to arrive at an acceptable solution.
10. How to Gain Commitments: Most salespeople don’t know the commitments they need, and when they do, they don’t have the skill to gain those commitments. Once again, it’s most always a lack of proper training. I’d teach them to close and watch them flourish.  A-B-C
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Dealing with disruptive players – like Charlie


Received a very nice article from David Clarke at Soccer Coach Weekly on dealing with difficult players that I thought I would share.  It made me think twice about how I handle players and re-evaluate some of my coaching decisions.

“I’m not having him, he’s trouble,” one of our coaches said to me last month. “He disrupts sessions and doesn’t turn up to matches.”

These are often the players who need to be dealt with differently from the others, ones who cause problems and take much more of your time. But it is very difficult for coaches who don’t have much experience to have this added to their workload.

The boy in question, let’s call him Charlie, is a good player, but is prone to shouting and crying if he gets substituted or if he feels hard done by. The other coaches refused to take him, so despite Charlie being more suited to the development level of the other teams, I said he could join my team as it’s a good chance to put my knowledge of dealing with disruptive kids into action.

After a couple of weeks Charlie’s mother told me one of my players was bullying him and he didn’t want to come to training, but she had pushed him into it. I spoke with the players about how feelings can be hurt and how each one of them was a big part of the team and that we should respect one another.

Since then it hasn’t happened again. The next problem came when Charlie told me he wanted to play as striker. I explained to him how players would be in different positions each week, so while he may be striker one week, he probably wouldn’t be the next.

Later his dad came over and spoke to me about the match that was coming up and how he knew his son wanted to play as striker. Again I explained the club policy and he was reassured that the boy would play striker in some games.

One of the reasons Charlie wasn’t wanted in some of the other teams was his problem of not getting to games. I spoke to Charlie and his dad and I was reassured he would be there on match day. He even turned up on time and played so well in a midfield role that the other players voted him Man Of The Match.

I think Charlie was surprised how he had been treated and over the last few weeks he has been a revelation to me and to himself. His dad told me that prior to joining my team, he was usually sitting out the second half of matches as a punishment for his behaviour.

Sometimes it takes a little extra effort and some rewards to deal with a disruptive child. This week, Charlie was first at training and the first to arrive on match day. I know the coaches that had turned him away are looking on now and wishing they had kept him.

Yours in soccer,

David Clarke,
Head Coach, Soccer Coach Weekly

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WordRake tackles the ‘He’ pronoun

Taken from by Gary Kinder – To He or Not To He


Fifty years ago, even E. B. White in The Elements of Style used sexist language. Writers should have avoided it then. We can avoid it now and still keep our writing smooth by instead:

1) using the second person, you:

. . . he you cannot plunge in blindly and start ticking off fact after fact . . .

2) replacing the possessive his with the definite article, the:

. . . his the prose will have a better chance if . . .

3) writing in the passive voice:

. . . if he leaves his emotions the emotions are left in disarray . . .

4) repeating the actor:

Only the writer whose ear is reliable is in a position to use bad grammar deliberately; only he this writer knows for sure when . . .

5) making the noun and all related pronouns plural:

The reader needs Readers need time to catch his their breath. . .

6) rewording the sentence to eliminate the need for a pronoun:

after the writer is on his own secure in the language . . .


When I was growing up, everybody was automatically a he—mathematicians and doctors, shoppers and writers, swimmers and inventors. It was the norm. That’s why a writer in the U. S. Patent & Trademark Office would write:

If the applicant is the inventor, he must explain how and when he first used his invention.

Apparently, the writer at the PTO forgot that women invented the first computer language, Liquid Paper, Scotchgard, the rotary engine, medical syringe, submarine periscope, Kevlar. I’ll stop there.

Being a boy and then a man, I never thought about it. Then I raised (or reared, for the grammatically washed) two daughters, and I realized that throughout my life pronouns had been automatically excluding a little over half the world. Even E. B. White referred to everyone as he. Look at his sentence from The Elements of Style, copyright 1959:

But to write a biography, the writer will need at least a rough scheme; he cannot plunge in blindly and start ticking off fact after fact about his man, lest he miss the forest for the trees and there be no end to his labors.

That sentence says that only men can write and that no woman would ever be interesting enough to warrant a biography. Today, almost everybody agrees we should avoid sexist language, but how do we avoid it without making our writing awkward? Alternating between she and he, as we see in books about babies, still jars our reader. She/he is out, so is s/he, and he or she is no better than the other two.

If we compare The Elements of Style, copyright 1959, to The Elements of Style, copyright 2000, we find that editors have quietly replaced White’s sexist language, using six methods that also keep White’s writing smooth. Were White alive today, I’m sure he would agree with the changes.

The Elements of Style copyright 2000 editors recast White’s sentence above like this:

But to write a biography, you will need at least a rough scheme; you cannot plunge in blindly and start ticking off fact after fact about your subject, lest you miss the forest for the trees and there be no end to your labors.

The British might substitute one and one’s for you and your, but that’s one way to avoid sexist language: #1: USE THE SECOND PERSON, YOU. Here’s another sentence from The Elements of Style 1959 . . .

A deeply troubled person, composing a letter appealing for mercy or for love, had best not attempt to organize his emotions; his prose will have a better chance if he leaves his emotions in disarray . . . .

. . . and how the 2000 version deals with the sexist language:

If you are deeply troubled and are composing a letter appealing for mercy or for love, you had best not attempt to organize your emotions; the prose will have a better chance if the emotions are left in disarray . . . .

In that example, besides substituting your for his, the editors also #2: REPLACE HIS WITH THE ARTICLE THE:

 his prose will have/the prose will have


if he leaves his emotions/if the emotions are left

The editors turn another of White’s sentences into a non-sexist statement when they #4: REPEAT THE ACTOR:

Only the writer whose ear is reliable is in a position to use bad grammar deliberately; only he this writer knows for sure when . . . .

Where White uses a singular noun and he/his, the editors #5: MAKE THE NOUN AND ALL RELATED PRONOUNS PLURAL:

The reader needs Readers need time to catch his their breath; he they can’t be expected to compare everything with something else . . . .

If one of those solutions does not solve the problem, do what the editors do frequently in the 2000 version#6: REWORD THE SENTENCE TO ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR A PRONOUN:

The reader will become impatient or confused if he finds upon finding two or more versions of the same word or expression.

I know that a few of you will still insist that he is a perfectly good pronoun to represent both sexes, that over millennia, writers everywhere have accepted it as universal. Don’t believe it; the women are just being polite.

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