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Nordstrom Rack’s Roving Cashiers Are Exactly What We Want

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

C’mon, admit it: You hate people like I do, right? OK, maybe not hate hate — but the fewer of them around, the better. Well, here’s a secret the next time you go shopping.

At the Nordstrom Rack on Chestnut Street, you don’t have to wait in line with other annoying people to purchase an item any longer. You can if you want. But instead, just find a store employee on the floor and ask to checkout. Chances are that the floor employee will be able to ring up your purchases and take your credit card with a smartphone that they’re now carrying around. They’ve only been doing this for about a month. Unfortunately for the employees at Nordstrom, this will ultimately result in fewer cashier jobs. That’s bad for them. But it’s reality. And it’s our fault. Read More…

Actually, There’s a Very Simple Way to Protect Yourself From Ransomware

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

So, now you know what ransomware really is.

For the past year, I’ve been talking to my clients about it. I’ve been speaking and writing about it. I’ve watched it turn into an enormous, profitable, underworld industry. Now you’ve seen the effects. You read the reports over the weekend about how the WannaCry virus found a flaw in Windows XP and infected something like 10,000 organizations and 200,000 individuals in more 150 countries, even risking lives by shutting down Britain’s National Health System. You now know how real (and dangerous) it is. Read More…

If Pennsylvania’s Drinking Age Were Lower, Timothy Piazza Would Be Alive

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

I have a niece who is British. A couple of years ago she visited and stayed with my daughter, who attends a large out-of-state university. Both had a great time together. But when I asked my niece what she thought of the social scene at my daughter’s college, her response wasn’t as great — in fact, she was kind of shocked. “The Americans drink way too much,” she told me. “It’s like their whole life revolves around alcohol.” My niece was 19 years old at the time. Read More…

This Is Why You Should Respect the People Who Voted for Trump

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

“The first 100 days used to be a honeymoon period for presidents, but not for him. Everybody’s hammering him, especially the news media, but he’s doing the best he can.”

That was said by Jack Bednarksi in this recent Philly.com article. Bednarski is a small-business owner in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. I don’t know him. But I’m going to bet, like most people, he’s a pretty good guy. And yes, for Pete’s sake, he’s a Trump supporter.

Can you still respect him? Of course you can. Read More…

Bill O’Reilly’s Firing Wasn’t “Capitalism at Work”

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

Ellen Gray, who is an excellent TV critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote a commentary last week in which she said that Fox News’s recent dismissal of Bill O’Reilly was just “capitalism at work.”

“Make enough money for a company, and allowances get made,” she wrote. “Threaten the bottom line, and even the most understanding bosses get antsy.”

From a business owner’s perspective, I really don’t agree. O’Reilly’s firing had nothing to do with capitalism. Read More…

Excited About Tax Reform? Don’t Be.

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

It’s tax deadline time, and regardless of whether we’re receiving a refund or we owe money, most of us usually take a moment to look at our returns and reflect and on just how much we’re paying to the government. Sure, we know that taxes are a necessity and we’re all willing to pay our fair share. In fact, a Gallup poll released last week found that 61 percent of us believe our federal income tax is fair. But that same poll also concluded that more than half of us still feel that our taxes are too high. So if we could pay a little less, that would be nice too.

That’s what the Republican party believes. Which is why tax reform is such a high priority on their agenda. The Trump administration and congressional leaders feel that making the system less complex and — most important — lowering tax rates for both individuals and businesses will spur economic growth and investment. That’s the reason behind their push for tax reform. Read More…

This Organization Is Implanting Chips in Its Employees … and They Love It!

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

Imagine if your employer wanted to implant you with a microchip. What would you say? According to a CNBC report, workers at Epicenter, a Swedish startup hub that’s home to more than 100 companies and 2,000 workers, are saying “Yes, please!”

Epicenter employees are being given the option to have the implant, which is the size of a grain of rice, placed between the thumb and forefinger on one of their hands. It’s reportedly a painless and bloodless procedure. Read More…