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Columns

  • Small business disaster planning is almost nonexistent

    If you have watched the news for the past few months, you have seen reports of weather disasters every single day. Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, pick one! What’s your poison?

    In this part of the country, we have the potential to be hit by any of these. While most of these news reports focus on the personal aspect and people’s personal lives thrown into chaos, disaster negatively impacts businesses too.

    No matter if it is flood, wind, or fire, if it shuts your business down, you may be out of business forever!

  • Forget the driveless car, a driveless tractor may be in your future

    You might think that the concept of the Driverless Car began with Google. Actually, we can trace the idea back to as early as 1935 where the idea first appeared in the pages of works of Science Fiction. By 1939 the idea of smart, or automated, highways were seen in early plans from GE and others. But, of course, in the early 1930’s, computers to power these magic devices were also things of Science Fiction, so we would have to wait another 75 years for scientists and Google to come along and make an idea a reality.

  • Can you concentrate?

    The Concatenate function in Excel is one of those great features that few users know about. So what does concatenation do?

    To concatenate is to join together. We use the plus, negative, or slash (divide) symbols to do math inside an Excel cell, but what if we want to join the contents of one cell with the contents of another cell? Let’s see how the =CONCATENATE function works.

  • Laboratories of democracy

    By Terry Mills, State Representative

    States have often been called laboratories of democracy, and for good reason: That’s where most cutting-edge ideas to improve government are first tested. The good ones are widely copied while the unworkable ones teach a valuable lesson as well.

  • Home canning tips

    Watch your headspace. In canning, this is the empty space between the top of the food and the top of the jar. This empty space allows the food in the jar to expand during processing. If too little headspace is left, the hot food may bubble over the top of the jar during processing, leaving a deposit on the rim and preventing the lid from sealing. If too much headspace is left, the processing time may not be long enough to drive all of the air out of the jar. This may cause the food in the jar to discolor and may prevent the formation of a strong vacuum seal on cooling.

  • Celebrating Independence Day

    As it has for nearly two-and-a-half centuries, our nation will pause on Monday to celebrate its “birth” day, commemorating a time 240 years ago when the Founding Fathers declared our independence.

    Since July 4, 1776, we have weathered a war for our freedom, a war against ourselves, and wars against those who would like nothing more than to see us and our values falter.  Although the world has changed in countless ways since Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, our commitment to protect and promote freedom has never wavered.

  • Pressure canner dial gauge testing

    Canning season is here. If you are planning to pressure can this summer, be sure to get the dial gauge on your canner tested for accuracy before you use it. Every pound of pressure on the gauge is important to ensure that the temperature inside the canner is high enough (240 degrees F) to kill the spores that can cause botulism.

  • Windows 10 will no be free much longer
  • Social Networking is dead

    The word is spreading that Social Networking is dead. Or, at the very least, it is on life support.

    There are many active social networking sites, but in the US, it could be argued that the most popular are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. I could continue with sites like Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, etc., but frankly, the majority of users who are out of their teens have never even heard of these.

  • A crisis waiting to happen

    There is a new variation of the Crysis (pronounced Crisis by most) malware and it is a nightmare waiting to happen. When Crysis first emerged a few years ago, it was a simple ransomware virus (see my article from August 5, 2015 for more discussion of ransomware). After many updates from nefarious computer black hat hackers (bad guys,) this malware has evolved.