Friday, 10 May 2002

Newsletter Issue 44, May 2002

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 44, May 2002
Hi guys,
In order to be productive ourselves, we need to make sure that we don't take a quick route through someone else's sweat. To make sure you don't, check out Copyright & Your Website below.
For those of you who are employees, I have a  Different Interview Technique for you to think about. But remember, it will line you up for a bit of preparatory work.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Copyright & Your Website

Web copyright may seem like a grey area with the ease of "borrowing" text, media and images online. Just because you can click on an image and save it on to your computer does not mean that it's legal. In fact, nearly everything on the Web is protected by copyright law, and violating that law can cost your business serious dollars in prosecutions.  
So what is copyright? 
In the USA, all original works created after April 1, 1989 are protected by copyright, automatically on completion. A special notice is NOT required to protect the materials. So this includes almost everything on the Web.  
You violate copyright if you use someone else's text, graphics or other media without the author's express permission. 
The Truth about Copyright 
OK. So what does and does not equal copyright infringement? 
  • You can use it if you don't make money from it. False. Doesn't matter if you don't make money or don't charge. Using copyrighted media without permission is illegal
  • You can use it if you credit the writer. True and False. You cannot use a writer's entire work without permission. Under the "fair use" clause, (and you must credit the author) you can use small amounts of copyrighted work to prove a point, pass comment, or educate the reader
  • Facts and ideas can't be copyrighted. True. But how you say and how you structure those facts and ideas CAN be. So be sure you paraphrase facts and ideas in your own words
  • If you change a copyright image, it becomes your own. False. If you intend to copy an image or graphic then alter it using Photoshop or other tools, you will still be liable for copyright infringement. 
Keeping your Web site legal
Once you understand what is protected by copyright on the Web, you can make informed decisions about the content you include on your site. Keeping your site free of copyright glitches is pretty easy if you: 
  • DIY. Be creative; if you make your own images and write your own copy for your website, then copyright will never be an issue
  • Use public domain. Some authors will gladly share their creations with the world. The Web features many sites that offer extensive collections of clip art, graphics and buttons that are public domain. However, be careful. Unless a site specifically states that materials can be used, assume they can't
  • Follow fair use. The Fair Use ( a short, attributed abstract) was created to encourage research, comments and education on copyrighted material without the author's express permission. As the author must still be able to make money from the materials after you have used them, you can't print so much of an article that readers don't need to buy their own copy 
  • Ask. Contact the owner of the site that you want to borrow materials from, and ask permission. Explain what you want to use the materials for, how long you want to use it, and how it will appear on your site. And to ensure you are protected and everything is legal, put it all in writing
The best way to avoid getting tangled up with copyright is to be one-off, unique and original. Have your website packed full of your own creativity to show off your OWN business flair instead of someone else's!

Different Interview Techniques

As we all know, job interviews are an artificial construct. You can buy books of interview questions and answers. When employers insist on reducing your business meeting to rehashed Q&A, why bother to interview at all? 
Interviews don't need to be like that. Interviewers can control your interviews, treating you like every other candidate ONLY if you give them that power. A job interview involves two participants and you can have input into how the interview is conducted. 
All you need to do is talk to the interviewing manager (or panel) in advance (NB: this can be a risky approach, as some companies have very set ideas about how they want interviews to be conducted, but would you want to work for a company that was unable to change their habits?).
Contact the interviewers and let them know that as they - and you -  are investing valuable time to meet and consider whether or not to work together, you want to determine your ability to complete the work for them. To achieve this, and because you are selective about jobs that you will consider, you need to make sure that your first meeting will be with your reporting manager and that your first discussion will be about the work they are hiring you to complete. Then if either party feel that you can't do the job, either of you can both withdraw with a minimum of time invested.
In addition, the reporting manager could give you questions to prepare answers for, either at your first meeting, or before via email, specifying;
  • The problems and challenges they want you to tackle if they hire you 
  • What specific tasks they want you to perform during the first week, first month, first six months, and during the first year on the job
Not only will that clarify for you exactly whether you can meet the challenges, but it will let you know whether the reporting manager is a good planner and organiser; whether they are a company that you would want to work for, that will add weight to your CV. 
It is also useful to find out from the reporting manager how your job contributes to the company’s profitability before you get to the meeting. Then you can let them know how you can improve the role (and alternatively - if you don't add to the bottom line - you know in advance that the position could be made redundant at any time and choose not to pursue it further).
At your meeting, demonstrate how you will tackle those challenges, how you will do the work, and how you will contribute to company profitability and success. If at that point both parties are satisfied, carry on and discuss other aspects of your background and meet with other people in the company. 
Approaching interviews using this technique will work best where the employer has a greater need for your skills than you have for the job; where you have been head-hunted; or where the pool of potential candidates is small. The advantages are that you get a VERY clear idea of the work to be completed, whether they have really thought the job through and you know that the reporting manager is competent. 
You don’t need to waste time on interviews that don’t have a clear, focused agenda (the work), and you can reinvent every interview you attend. With the added advantage of knocking out all those companies that you wouldn't want to work for, and making yourself a stand-out candidate.

MS Office NGO

If you're wondering what .NET capabilities we'll see in NGO (Next Generation Office) - that is, features that are available for a monthly subscription fee - it looks like it will contain the following: 
  • A "MyOffice" home page, where you can store and retrieve documents and Outlook information (email, appointments, contacts, etc.) from any computer. It isn't clear what will happen if the computer you use to access MyOffice isn't running NGO
  • An email account "where you can consolidate email from multiple accounts" (not sure what that means though)
  • Faxing to and from your Inbox (hope it works this time as opposed to the Symantec one in 2000!)
  • Notifications sent to you when you receive certain kinds of email, or when files that you're tracking get changed. According to the presentation, the notifications will appear in an Instant Messaging-style window, in your Inbox, and/or via your cell phone (can do all but the cellphone now though via rules, so not exactly rocket science)
  • Shared calendars (YAY!)
  • Meeting Workspaces, which look a lot like SharePoint Team Workspaces, with a nip and a tuck to specifically handle meetings (though SharePoint Team Services are currently a feature in FrontPage 2002) 
  • Team Workspaces, which look a lot like SharePoint Team Workspaces (hmm... Sounds familiar, doesn't it?!)
  • A big collection of templates
  • Easy access to "Office Market Places" (third-party services from non-Microsoft companies... anti-trust reaction?)
  • Online training (not clear if there will be extra charges, but probably) 
  • "Communities" or self-help centres
This information comes from a PowerPoint internal marketing presentation leaked by an MS employee, snatched up and reported by . You can check out the original PPT at 

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • API, Application Program Interface, the specific method prescribed by a computer operating system or by an application program by which a programmer writing an application program can make requests of the operating system or another application
  • BPR, Business Process Reengineering. The analysis and redesign of workflow within and between enterprises, based on seven principles of work process streamlining and achieving significant quality, time management, and cost improvements
  • PAN, Personal Area Network. A technology enabling wearable computer devices to communicate with other nearby computers and exchange digital information using the human body's own electrical conductivity as a data network

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
All the Function keys for you - this time it's all you can do with Alt, Ctrl & F8;
  • Access "To turn on Resize mode for the active window when it’s not maximized; press the arrow keys to resize the window" CTRL & F8 
  • Excel "Carry out the Size command (workbook icon menu, menu bar), or use the arrow keys to size the window" CTRL & F8 
  • PowerPoint "Carry out Size command (presentation Control menu)" CTRL & F8 
  • Word "Doc Size" CTRL & F8
  • Excel, Word  "Display the Macro dialog box " ALT & F8 
Hot Linx
For those of you who have nagging PC problems and can't get a solution, you really need to check out This place is a must
And while you are into resolving problems mode, perhaps you might like to swing by and see what they have to offer your business as well
For those of you who enjoy the Purple Ronnie cards, check out the Purple Ronnie's site and send some e-cards to friends at: 
And for anyone, like me, who has nearly forgotten who most of the characters of Greek Mythology actually were, check out for a very down-to-earth guide

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here