Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anonymous Hacking continues

The holiday week saw the resurgence of the online vigilante group Anonymous. Their latest operation, Operation Lulzxmas, sought the attacks on major firms such as strategic intelligence company Stratfor, Mastercard and government websites around the world. Operatives within the group called the Christmas weekend release of data pertaining to customers of security firm Stratfor one of the biggest actions the group has ever accomplished. The goals according the Anonymous spokesman Berrett Brown is to reveal major players that have “conspired against Wikileaks and other activist groups.”

The second is to use the credit card information gathered from its top executives and use it to donate funds to charities. “We steal from the rich & give to the poor, taking from the 1% and giving to the 99% and giving Santa Claus a break,” as one hacker described it when interviewed on the mission of #Lulzxmas. Members of the internet community would ask what they would like for Christmas and with funds generated from the hack many of them received what they asked for in forms of “iPads mostly but also iPhones. We gave away PS3′s VPS Servers & gift cards, just to name a few.

The attack on Stratfor is only the latest in a continuous set of hacks targeting supporters of what Anonymous calls “colossal attackers on freedom and the flow of information.” As the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed through Congress and Senate, activists opposing the legislations have embarked in similar operations to expose congressman and corporate sponsors that supported the bills.  The next step according to one hacker is Operation #FireSale, which is set to target “everything to do with the media. We’re going to take over and hijack T.V. and radio shows, hack media and news websites.”

So are these guys Santa Clause or the Grinch? You’ll have to be the judge.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Online Profiles Need Scheduling, Too

At one point or another we have all bowed down to the social networking sites, becoming slaves of this online community. The virtual persona we muster up, whether our profiles are personal or business oriented, seems to be so significant in our world today. We know the precautions one must take when posting content online, but have you ever thought about how others perceive how often you post?

According to the article How to Create a Social Media Marketing Schedule written by John D. Levy for Entrepreneur Magazine online edition, November 11th, “your commitment to social networking should be consistent, compelling and informative.” Creating a social networking presence is important no matter how small or large your business is. You have to find your balance; neglecting your online profiles can be hurtful to your business, yet being a “social media maniac isn’t the right persona either.”

How do we maintain a balance? Developing a social networking schedule that doesn’t run into your personal or business life makes your online and offline worlds more organized. The article suggests to “Choose a schedule and stay the course for at least six months. As you find success, you can slowly grow your social networking persona.”

Some examples of how to become more balanced are given. Weekly or on weekends build Twitter lists, scan Linkedin for discussions and updates, add new content to Facebook and keep an eye open for new social networking venues. Throughout the week schedule out what days you will tweet, when you will join various conversations, when to blog and update your website.

These tips will help you maintain a healthy online presence as well as a healthy time management plan. To read How to Create a Social Media Marketing Schedule, please visit

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Big Business the Angels for the Small Guys

As capital and investments start shrinking for small businesses in these economic hardships, a glimmer of hope has appeared for small businesses looking to grow. Angel investors are not as commonplace as we would like them to be, but if you and your company have what it takes you can be seeing major growth and experience in the future. With uncertain and tentative bank financing, big companies have become an alternative to small and mid-sized companies looking for venture funding. Angel groups usually invest in only 1%-10% of those who applied.

Small companies on the prowl for extra cash may benefit from the deep pockets large companies possess. According to a recent study, more than 800 companies cash balance have quadrupled since 2001. Those deep pockets can help growth companies find weary investors with renewed liquidity.

“If the large corporates make more acquisitions and create more exits, they may get people more excited about investing again” -Jeffry Sohl Center for Venture Research

Large companies looking to speed up their growth are looking to sink their money into companies that can help them do so. With the new partnership established, investors and small and medium CFO’s can become closely involved with the business. The experience gained from these partnerships will not only benefit the CFO in regards to management but would also progress the company in new ventures.

 “In the past, they kind of stood back and did not take board seats or an active role. Now they want to be integral part of helping that company grow to the next level.” – Mark Hessen, President of National Venture Capital Association

So what’s the moral of the story? With some creativity and persistence high growth companies can find ways to acquire much needed capital from investors both large and small. To do this successfully, CFO’s should research what investment groups are looking for and sweep them off their feet once your meeting is penned in. Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crime Reviews

Two books published by Soho Press were mentioned in the New York Times Book Review for the Sunday, December 4th edition. The review titled, Favorite Crime written by Marilyn Stasio showcases Soho’s Stagestruck by Peter Lovesey and The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis.

In the review, Stagestruck was recommended for someone who has a “hankering for a civilized British detective story.” The Boy in the Suitcase was classified under the paragraph titled, “Favorite Mystery with a Social Conscience.” Stasio gives a brief description of the book: “The criminal mistreatment of children is [in] the focus of the Danish thriller, which follows the efforts of a nurse to identify the 3-year-old boy she rescues at the Copenhagen train station.”

For more information about our client, Soho Press, please visit their website at