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ScottWorld now offers a 10% Bitcoin discount for all FileMaker Pro database development

December 4, 2014

bitcoin_logo

Dear ScottWorld Clients,

Happy holidays! If you love saving money, I’ve got some exciting news for you. Discounts are coming to ScottWorld, and they all revolve around Bitcoin.

Starting today, we are offering a 10% discount to any ScottWorld clients who pay us in Bitcoin for our award-winning FileMaker services. All ScottWorld invoices will give you the ability to pay your invoice in Bitcoin, which will save you 10% off your invoice total.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is both a payment network and a new kind of money. Bitcoin is the world’s first global, international, decentralized, borderless digital money. Bitcoin enables you to send & receive money instantly & securely anywhere in the world, and is easier than sending an email. Bitcoin is the safest, quickest, easiest, cheapest, most secure, and most private payment method on the planet. It is practically 100% free to instantly exchange money with anyone, anywhere on the planet, at any time of the day or night… without any banks nor bank accounts nor credit cards nor middlemen. This makes Bitcoin instantly accessible to everybody on the planet, including business owners of all types, students, children, the poor, the 6 billion unbanked people of the world, and people of all countries & all walks of life.

Many well-known companies already accept Bitcoin for payments and donations, such as:

  • Expedia
  • Dell
  • QuickBooks Online
  • Overstock
  • Wikipedia
  • 1-800-Flowers
  • American Red Cross
  • Greenpeace USA
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • United Way
  • Chicago Sun Times
  • Dish Satellite TV
  • Gyft.com which offers gift cards for Amazon.com, Whole Foods, iTunes, Apple, and much more
  • WordPress.com
  • OKCupid
  • Tiger Direct
  • NewEgg
  • And hundreds of thousands of other businesses accept Bitcoin as well.

One of the primary benefits of Bitcoin is that it is completely decentralized. There is no company nor bank nor government in charge of Bitcoin. It is completely peer-to-peer, and is regulated & backed by the laws of mathematics. With Bitcoin, YOU are your own bank. YOU control your own Bitcoins, not any central bank nor government nor corporation. Bitcoin is controlled by the people, for the people. Think of Bitcoin as a digital version of cash in your wallet or gold in your vault, where you have complete sovereignty & total control over your own money. Because Bitcoin is not controlled by anybody but yourself, and because Bitcoin is regulated by mathematical formulas instead of centralized human organizations, there are no more expensive transaction fees, no more delays, no more banking hours, no more imposed limits, no more payment restrictions. Nobody can ever put your funds on hold, nobody can freeze your account, nobody can stop you from sending or receiving money, nobody can delay your deposits or payments, nobody can do a chargeback several months after they’ve paid you, nobody can charge you high fees, nobody can ever take your money nor charge your credit card without your permission, nobody can write you a bad check, nobody can steal your identity by grabbing your credit card information or other personal information, nobody can fraudulently nor mischievously make charges on your behalf, nobody can attach arbitrary restrictions to your funds, nobody can censor what you do with your money, and so much more.

Bitcoin is revolutionizing financial transactions in the same way that email revolutionized the U.S. Postal Service, and in the same way that the Internet revolutionized the publishing of information.

Here are a few scenarios where Bitcoin can be truly helpful:

  • If your business accepts credit cards and you’re currently paying a 3-4% fee to your credit card companies, you can cut that fee all the way down to 0% by accepting Bitcoin.
  • If you send expensive wire transfers to and from other countries, you can cut your fees all the way down to $0 by sending & receiving Bitcoin instead.
  • If you need to send money to your college kid in the middle of the night, you can do it instantly and for free with Bitcoin. The full funds will arrive quicker than an email, and are instantly spendable. No delays.
  • If you would like to instantly send somebody a donation or tip someone on the Internet for some great work that they have done, you can instantly send them any amount of money (big or small) with Bitcoin. Companies like changetip.com are leading this online tipping revolution. You don’t need to know them, and they don’t need to know you. You can just instantly send them a donation.
  • If you need to accept small donations for your non-profit organization, like $1 or $2, Bitcoin makes this possible. This was impractical before, because high credit card transaction fees would have previously made this totally cost-prohibitive.
  • If you do business with other countries or you are traveling to another country, you don’t need to exchange your currency nor pay high currency-exchange fees nor pay international transaction fees, because Bitcoin is a global currency that works in all countries.
  • Musicians or actors or comedians or artists of any sort can accept Bitcoin donations or payments instantly from anyone in the world, simply by holding up a QR code in front of them or embedding a QR code on their videos, websites, CD cases, etc. This is the first time in human history that we can freely send money to anybody, without knowing any of their private information and without them knowing any of our private information. This is truly a breakthrough in financial services.
  • Immigrant workers who use Western Union to send money back home to their family can save 10% in fees by using Bitcoin instead of Western Union, and they can do it without a 4-day delay, and they can do it without driving down to a Western Union branch and filling out tons of paperwork.
  • In the past, many legitimate business owners have had their accounts abruptly frozen or shut down by Paypal or banks or credit card companies, due to a number of reasons that were unpreventable by the business owners. Afterwards, these businesses have had difficult times getting permission to open up another bank account. This can never happen with Bitcoin, because Bitcoin is a permissionless system that lets you be in charge of your own finances.
  • There are hundreds of more great usage cases for Bitcoin as well. Explaining the difference between our current payment systems vs. Bitcoin is sort of like trying to explain the difference between U.S. Mail vs. email. They’re not even comparable.
  • Crazy as it may be to believe, Bitcoin can be used for millions of more things than just sending money. The true revolution behind Bitcoin is something called the Blockchain, which is the world’s first fully transparent ledger that is accessible to everybody in the world. The Blockchain can actually be used for millions of other things BESIDES just transferring money. Transferring money is simply the FIRST APPLICATION of the Blockchain technology. Just as an example, Bitcoin can be used for: creating an indestructible public record of verified contracts with timestamps; programmable smart contracts that can execute at the appropriate time or when a particular condition is met; filing of copyrights & registrations for any important documents without the need for a central authority to manage these documents; fully traceable & instantly transferrable house titles or other important legal titles for valuable possessions (such as valuable artwork or rare bottles of wine or precious antiques); fully transparent and fully auditable political elections; and so much more.

From a privacy & security standpoint, Bitcoin is the world’s most secure & un-hackable network. Furthermore, the Bitcoin network is pseudonymous (i.e. as private as you want it to be) and it uses push technology (instead of pull technology), which protects both your money and your identity because YOU get to choose when you want to spend your money and how much personally-identifiable information that you would like to disclose at any given time. This is completely the opposite of credit cards, for example, where you expose your private information every time you use a credit card. This is why millions of credit card numbers are hacked every week, and this is why identities are stolen every day. Even with checks, a thief can visually see your private address & private bank account number. Bitcoin prevents all of this from happening. Bitcoin is the most secure & most private payment mechanism on the planet.

Best of all, Bitcoin takes financial control away from the reckless central banks and puts financial control back into the people’s hands again. Bitcoins are strictly limited in supply, so their value will stay the same or grow higher over time. Nobody can ever devalue your spending ability by printing more bitcoins out of thin air, because Bitcoin is a deflationary, asset-based currency. All of this is completely the opposite of how our current monetary system works, which is based on an inflationary, debt-based currency where U.S. Dollars are printed out of thin air and then lent out as debt. The U.S. Dollar is no longer backed by gold, so the U.S. Dollar loses massive amounts of purchasing power every year because the Federal Reserve is allowed to print as many U.S. Dollars as they want out of thin air. This is why prices have always risen sharply since 1971, the year that the U.S. Dollar went completely off the gold standard. Currently, the Federal Reserve is printing over $85 billion of new money every single month, completely out of thin air. We pay for this recklessness out of our very own pockets, because our existing dollars lose tremendous spending power every month when this happens due to rising prices. In the last 100 years, the U.S. Dollar has lost 98% of its purchasing power, thanks to the unlimited printing (aka “inflation”) of the U.S. Dollar by the Federal Reserve. Similarly, banks are just as bad as the Federal Reserve. Banks are allowed to lend out 10 times more money than they have taken in in deposits, meaning that they are allowed to create 90% of their money out of thin air. 90% of the money that banks record on their internal ledgers doesn’t actually exist — they simply “will it” into existence. If you or I tried to do this, we would be arrested for counterfeiting. Yet this is completely legal for the banks and the Federal Reserve. If there was a “run on the banks” where everybody wanted to withdraw their money at the same time, only 10% of the people would actually be able to get their money because 90% of the money in the world doesn’t actually exist. The other 90% is “protected” (ahem!) by the FDIC, which we pay for again out of our own pockets… through even more inflation. The solution to all of this craziness is a new type of financial system, one which is based on assets instead of debts. The solution is Bitcoin. None of this financial fraudulence or recklessness can ever happen with Bitcoin, because Bitcoins have a limited supply of only 21 million Bitcoins in circulation. Yet Bitcoins are also infinitely divisible, so they can be used for purchases of all sizes, and can accommodate every human’s purchases forever, for every human on the entire planet.

The current banking system is really just an elaborate shell game that we pay for out of our own pockets, and this is a very small part of the reason that we had the banking system collapse in 2008, when we were forced to bail out the bankers with trillions of dollars of our own money. Bitcoin prevents all problems like this from happening, because Bitcoin is an actual asset which can’t be created out of thin air and which can’t be manipulated by human corruption. Bitcoin is like gold or silver, but it is infinitely divisible & instantly sendable over the Internet. Bitcoin represents sound monetary policy based on mathematics, cryptology, limited supply, and full 100% transparency. Not broken monetary policy based on political whims, unlimited supply, and banking corruption. With Bitcoin, you can actually SAVE your hard-earned money instead of being forced to spend it or seek out risky investments that attempt to beat inflation. In an ideal world that revolved entirely around Bitcoin, Bitcoin could even end wars because wars are entirely funded by the unlimited printing of U.S. Dollars. In an ideal world that revolved entirely around Bitcoin, we would no longer have such vast income inequality in America (the worst since the Middle Ages!), because the middle class wouldn’t be wiped out by the erosion of purchasing power of their savings.

Bitcoin is the most revolutionary & disruptive technology since the invention of the Internet. Just like the Internet put information back into the hands of the masses, Bitcoin is putting financial control back into the hands of the masses.

Together, we can all create a better & brighter future with Bitcoin.

If you are interested in learning more about Bitcoin, you can explore these links:

VIDEO: What Is Bitcoin?

ARTICLE: What Is Bitcoin? by Erik Vorhees

ARTICLE: Bitcoin for Beginners by Jeffrey A. Tucker

ARTICLE: Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five

VIDEO: The real value of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology (beyond currency)

VIDEO: Bitcoin vs. Political Power by Stefan Molyneux

VIDEO: Why Bitcoin Is Important for the World by Roger Ver

VIDEO: Andreas Antonopolous speaking at Bitcoin Meetup LA

BOOK: “The Bitcoin Big Bang: How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World”

BOOK: “Bitcoin: The Future Of Money”

VIDEO: The Truth About Bitcoin by Stefan Molyneux

ARTICLE: Bitcoin Introduction by Vitalik Buterin

VIDEO: Why Bitcoin Terrifies Big Banks by Andreas Antonopolous

VIDEO: Bitcoin vs. The Federal Reserve by Andreas Antonopoulos & Stefan Molyneux

VIDEO: The True Value of Bitcoin by Stefan Molyneux

ARTICLE: Bitcoin and Mises’s Regression Theorem by Jeffrey A. Tucker

ARTICLE: Bitcoin vs. Gold by Mark Rees

VIDEO: Why Bitcoin is Better Than Gold

ARTICLE: Bitcoin Is the Solution to the Military Industrial Complex

ARTICLE: De-Fund the Militarized Police Sate: Use Bitcoin

ARTICLE: Bitcoin isn’t Money — It’s the Entire Internet of Money

ARTICLE: 22 Reasons Why Bitcoin Has Intrinsic Value

5-PART VIDEO SERIES: The Hidden Secrets of Money, Episode 1: Currency vs. Money (Note: This video series discusses gold, but the exact same principles apply to Bitcoin)

NEWS: CoinDesk, the leading Bitcoin news site

VIDEO INTERVIEW SERIES: The Bitcoin Course by Udemy (7 hours worth of interviews with Bitcoin industry leaders)

COMEDY VIDEO: Scott Rose making his first purchase with Bitcoin

COMEDY VIDEO SERIES: Sh*t Bitcoin Fanatics Say, Part 1, 2, and 3 (Part 3 is the best because it is geared towards a more mainstream audience)

ARTICLE: Current Criticisms of Bitcoin Are at Least 10 Years Too Early

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Joe Rogan interviewing Andreas Antonopolous about the future potential of Bitcoin

ARTICLE: 10 Reasons Why Bitcoin Is The Future

ARTICLE: Bitcoin is like…

ARTICLE: The real advantage of paying with Bitcoin

If you are interested in using Bitcoin in your business, you can explore these links:

To purchase Bitcoins and open up your first Bitcoin wallet:
Coinbase
Circle

To easily accept Bitcoins at your own business:
BitPay
Coinbase

To easily accept tips & donations in Bitcoin:
ChangeTip
Coinbase

Best,
Scott

The Dawn of Post-Steve Apple

June 12, 2013

If you haven’t already done so, I would highly recommend taking the 2 hours to watch Monday’s Apple 2013 WWDC Event. It is absolutely amazing. The brilliant dawn of the post-Steve Jobs era. I practically cried tears of joy at least 4 times during the event. Below are the adjectives that I used to describe the event:

Confident. Elegant. Regal. Human. Thoughtful. Innovative. Intelligent. Witty. Surprising. Bold. Courageous. Inspiring. Touching.

Apple showed the entire world what it means to be a leader, why they are the champions, and how they will continue to be the champions without Steve Jobs. I love the new chapter that began at Apple this week, and I eagerly await the next 10 years of brilliance and masterpieces.

The world can rest easy now, never again having to ask the question: “Can Apple Survive/Innovate/Thrive Without Steve Jobs & Scott Forstall?” The employees at Apple have far transcended Jobs and Forstall now. The students have become the new teachers. Almost makes you wonder how much Forstall (and a little bit Jobs) were holding back the rest of the company, once the company had reached the top of the mountain that Jobs had brought them to.

The future is brighter than ever. I am so incredibly pleased. Monday was my happiest Apple day since Steve died. :)


I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate bitcoins so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.

The trick to remotely installing OS X Mountain Lion on a remote Mac

June 3, 2013

Have you ever needed to remotely log into a Mac that was physically located at another location, and install OS X Mountain Lion on it?

It’s easy enough to use remote access software like LogMeIn to remotely log into the Mac, download OS X from the App Store on that machine, and begin the installation process.

However, a problem happens after the OS X installation process is successfully complete, which is when OS X presents the user with a series of “Setup Assistant” screens. These setup screens temporarily take over the entire Mac… and temporarily disable most remote access software. In fact, these setup screens temporarily disable most of the background services on that Mac, so if you were depending on that machine being up & running for something important, you would find yourself out of luck.

To workaround this problem, you would typically need someone physically on-site in front of the computer to click through all of the Setup Assistant screens for you. At that point, you would finally be able to login remotely again and finish whatever you need to do in terms of configuring that Mac.

But there is a trick to doing all of this by yourself remotely. And by “all of this”, I mean “remotely clicking through those Setup Assistant screens so you can gain normal remote control of that Mac again”. It turns out that OS X’s built-in Screen Sharing service is STILL RUNNING in the background while those Setup Assistant screens are taking over the Mac, so you can leverage that behavior to do the remote install all by yourself.

This trick depends on 2 prerequisites:

A. You need to have remote access to ANOTHER MAC on the same local area network as the machine that you are remotely installing OS X Mountain Lion on.

B. You need to prepare in advance, BEFORE starting the OS X installation process.

Thus, here are the steps to go through:

1. On the Mac where you’re installing OS X Mountain Lion, go into the “Sharing” System Preference and enable screen sharing.

2. Test that you’ve got screen sharing working properly by remotely logging into another Mac on the same LAN.  Bring up a new Finder window. In the left margin, underneath “Shared”, choose the name of the machine where you’re installing OS X Mountain Lion. (Note: If you don’t see the machine listed, then you’ll need to go into your Finder Preferences, click on the Sidebar icon, and check “Bonjour computers”.) In the upper right corner of the Finder window, choose “Share Screen”. Type in the authorized username & password for the first machine, and voila! You are now controlling that other machine’s screen!

3. Now that you know that you’ve got screen sharing working properly, you can go ahead and remotely install OS X Mountain Lion on the first machine. Note that you won’t be able to visually monitor the entire installation process remotely, because the OS X installer needs to restart that machine and it does most of its installation while ZERO SERVICES are running. So after the OS X Installer restarts the first machine, you should BE PATIENT and wait about 45 minutes before attempting to log into that machine via screen sharing.

4. After about 45 minutes have passed, remotely log into the 2nd machine on the LAN via LogMeIn, and use OS X’s screen sharing to remotely control the first machine. You will find those lovely Setup Assistant screens which have taken over that first Mac, and you can very easily click through those screens until you are taken to your familiar Mac desktop again.

5. That’s it! Once you can see the Mac desktop on the first machine, you can go back to using LogMeIn (or whatever remote access software you’re using) to remotely control that Mac.

I hope you find this trick helpful!


I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount via Paypal so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.

Donate

You can also donate via Bitcoin to my Bitcoin Address of: 1McG4jrzZ7UPPPneWVjv9141vnDRH7ksza

Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

Scanning: How to scan from a Canon ImageRunner in Mavericks (OS X 10.9), Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) & Lion (Mac OS X 10.7)

May 7, 2013
Canon ImageRunners are all-in-one photocopiers, scanners, and printers… but they have always had notoriously bad Mac support, so it can be very tricky to figure out how to integrate them into your Mac network. Luckily, here at ScottWorld (where we provide the best Mac consultants and best Mac IT support), we have figured out how to get these ImageRunners to work in all sorts of Mac environments.

In regards to scanning from a Canon ImageRunner to a Mac, this used to be done via SMB. But then Apple modernized the SMB protocol in Lion & Mountain Lion & Mavericks, and Canon decided to remain in the dark ages with their old-fashioned SMB protocol support. So therefore, Canon ImageRunners are now incompatible with Lion (OS X 10.7) & Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) & Mavericks (OS X 10.9) for scanning via SMB.

The solution is that we now have to use the FTP protocol for scanning, when scanning from a Canon ImageRunner to a Mac running Lion (OS X 10.7) or Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) or Mavericks (OS X 10.9).

To use the FTP protocol, you first need to enable it on your Mac by going into the Terminal and typing this command:

sudo -s launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ftp.plist

After enabling FTP via the Terminal, go into the Sharing system preference. Enable File Sharing in the left margin. Add the shared folder where you want the scans to end up. We usually like to create a folder on the Desktop entitled “Canon Scans”, so you can just drag this folder into the list of folders. Click on the “Options” button to make sure that AFP is enabled, but you do NOT need to enable SMB.

Now you can go into the Network system preference where you will need to manually assign a static IP address for your machine. The Canon ImageRunner will need this static IP address so that it can find your Mac.

Once you’ve done all of the above, you can now create a new “one touch entry” on the Canon ImageRunner printer to scan to the shared folder on the Mac.

To do this, click on the physical button on the copier that says “Additional Functions”, then press “Address Book Settings”.

Then, on the Canon ImageRunner screen, press “One Touch Buttons”.

On the next screen, press an existing name to edit it, or press a numbered button to edit a new name. (You can scroll through the pages with the arrows on the right.) You must press the “Register/Edit” button to add or edit that button.

If you’re adding a new button, then on the next screen, you’ll have to press “File”.

Then you’ll be taken to the next screen. The information to type in is the following:

Name: Give the button a name
One-touch Button Name: Give the button a short name that will fit on a button.
Protocol: FTP
Host Name: The static IP address that you assigned to the Mac. Do NOT use any special characters or slashes… just enter the IP address.
Folder Path: shared folder name. The trick to this is that you have to give the path from the starting point of the home folder. So if the shared folder is named “Canon Scans” and it sits on the desktop, then type in this file path: “Desktop/Canon Scans” (without the quotes).
User: the full account name of the account which owns the shared folder.
Password: the password for the account which owns the shared folder.

And that’s it! You are now all set to scan from your Canon ImageRunner to your Mac!


I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount via Paypal so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.

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You can also donate via Bitcoin to my Bitcoin Address of: 1McG4jrzZ7UPPPneWVjv9141vnDRH7ksza

Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

My review of Earth Class Mail: An indispensable service for me!

April 4, 2013

I use Earth Class Mail to solve a dilemma for me. My dilemma is that with over 200 clients for my business (where I create FileMaker databases and provide the nation’s best FileMaker consulting), I am constantly receiving checks in the mail that need to be deposited into my bank account.

But because I work alone and because I travel quite frequently to visit my clients all across the nation, I’m rarely at home to receive & deposit these checks. So, if I go on a lengthy business trip, the checks will accumulate in my mailbox, and therefore not make their way into my bank account when I need the money deposited.

Sure, I could hire a personal assistant to check my mailbox for me, but that seems like overkill. And yes, I already accept credit cards on my iPhone and iPad with Square, but I provide services for many large corporations who will only pay their invoices via check. Even if the companies DID pay me via credit card, I’m not totally into giving Square a 3.5% + 15¢ cut of each transaction. So I’d actually prefer to get paid by checks. (Now granted, Earth Class Mail costs money too, but their minimal fees compared to how many checks I process in a month make them significantly more cost effective for me than Square.)

Enter Earth Class Mail, a virtual mailbox service that I signed up with to receive my incoming mail and deposit my incoming checks for me (this service is called remote check deposit). Note that Earth Class Mail will receive ANY TYPE of mail or packages for you, but for the purposes of this review, I’m going to focus primarily on the check deposit feature. The check deposit feature works with any bank in America… I’ve seen some other reviews on the web that state that Earth Class Mail only works with Wells Fargo, but that’s not true anymore… that was only true many, many years ago.

Earth Class Mail has a very slick website that you log into, and the site works very well on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The website will show you scanned images of all the envelopes that they have received on your behalf (but note that it will cost you extra $$$ if you actually want them to DO anything with your envelope, outside of throwing it away). For example, they can forward you the envelope to wherever you are physically residing at the current moment, they can open up the envelope for you & scan the contents within, and they can electronically deposit any checks that are found within.

The best thing about Earth Class Mail’s remote check deposit service is that it is completely automated. You don’t need to be manually involved with the process at all. There is a setting on their website which tells them to “automatically scan the contents of every envelope” and “automatically deposit any checks that are found within an envelope”. If a check is found, they electronically scan the check and email it to a company called FundTech, which then makes an electronic ACH deposit into your bank account.

All of this works extremely well and is extremely reliable. Not to mention that their customer support staff is extremely helpful & extremely friendly, and they’ve really figured out how to make a great website that lets you keep track of everything. The website is just so wonderful, because they’ve got literally dozens & dozens of settings that you can tweak to make the service work perfectly for you. (For example, there are about 8 different levels of email notifications that you can opt in or out of; they can notify more than one email address for notifications; they can keep track of multiple forwarding addresses for you if you forward a lot of mail; etc.)

For example, below is a screenshot of all the settings you can choose for your “Content Scan Options”:

ecm_scan_options

The only minor problem with Earth Class Mail is that you’ll need to become slightly more patient with the receiving & processing of your mail, because it does take several days for the check deposit process to complete. Earth Class Mail requires up to one (1) business day in between every step in the process, but Earth Class Mail doesn’t work on Saturdays nor holidays, so that could add some extra delays.

Here is a real-life example of how the days could potentially add up with Earth Class Mail:

- I have a premium address with Earth Class Mail in Los Angeles, so I get the fastest speeds. A premium address is an address where they process all the mail on-site. A non-premium address is a P.O. Box that simply collects mail, and then has all its mail forwarded to one of the premium addresses before it gets processed. So if you want the quickest turnaround times, do what I do and get a premium address. You can also get a significantly cheaper premium P.O. Box as well, where they process the mail on-site too, but you can never receive FedEx or UPS packages at a P.O. Box… only USPS shipments.

- Normally, a check mailed from New York to Los Angeles only takes 3 days. So, if someone mails you a check on Tuesday, Earth Class Mail will receive it on Friday. But it could potentially take Earth Class Mail up to one business day to scan the envelopes, so you might not get notified about this envelope until the next business day, which would be Monday. If Monday is a holiday, then you wouldn’t get notified about that envelope until Tuesday. (This exact scenario happened to me when using Earth Class Mail for the first time, but the delays aren’t typically this long. You will often get notified of the envelopes on the very same day that they receive them.)

- Even if you’ve got the option set to “automatically scan the contents of your envelopes”, your envelope won’t typically get opened up & scanned until the next business day, which could be Wednesday. (Although sometimes this does happen on the same exact day as the receiving of the envelope.)

- If you’ve got the option set to “automatically deposit any checks within an envelope”, your check might not get scanned & emailed to FundTech until the next business day, Thursday. (Although again, this can often happen on the same exact day as the content scan above.)

- FundTech requires 2 full business days to simply initiate your check deposit for you. The first day is a required one-day hold on the check, when they don’t do anything. The second day is the day that they will actually initiate the check deposit with your bank. But they don’t initiate the check deposit until the very end of the business day, which is apparently too late for Bank of America (my bank) to recognize that a check deposit was initiated. More on this below, but what all of this means is that your deposit might not get initiated until Monday.

- But hold on a moment! Just because you waited 2 full days for FundTech to initiate your check deposit doesn’t necessarily mean that your bank is even aware of the deposit yet. It might take your bank at least 1 more business day to recognize that an ACH check deposit was initiated, which would be Tuesday.

- But wait just a second! The funds are not yours yet! Your funds might not be made available for you to withdraw until the next business day, which is Wednesday. Although a lot of this depends on your bank.

So this is definitely a “worst case scenario”, where it could take a grand total of 15 days from the time the check was sent, to the time that you can withdraw the funds from your bank account. And while I am obviously listing the maximum amount of time here that this process could take with a premium street address, this exact situation happened to me with the very first check that I received through Earth Class Mail.

However, ever since that first-time experience with Earth Class Mail, things have been happening MUCH MUCH faster with Earth Class Mail. Often times, Earth Class Mail will open the envelope, scan the envelope, and deposit the check all in the same exact day! Then, I just have to wait out the FundTech process. So, if Earth Class Mail receives a check of mine on Monday, it will often be in my bank account for me to withdraw by Thursday or Friday of the same week.

So is Earth Class Mail worth it, considering these multi-day delays? For me, the answer is: ABSOLUTELY!

To start with, I’ve simply changed my expectations about “how quickly” things should happen. I simply chill out & relax & take some deep breaths in between the stages! :) Waiting an extra day or two really isn’t that big of a deal! The fact that I can travel around the world while my mail is being handled in a professional manner MORE than makes up for any time delays.

And, have I mentioned how wonderful the ECM website is? I love having a website that’s structured just like webmail. My real-life postal mail comes into ECM just like webmail! It’s so awesome.

So if you are a solo entrepreneur who travels all the time — especially if you’re traveling internationally — Earth Class Mail is an excellent, indispensable solution because it is very reliable, it works very well, the website is very slick, and it has great customer support! In fact, I spent weeks comparing Earth Class Mail to several other virtual mailbox companies that offer remote check deposits, and Earth Class Mail was the quickest and the cheapest amongst all the other companies. Earth Class Mail also offered the most customizable options, and in my opinion, Earth Class Mail had the best, most knowledgeable, and friendliest support team of all.

So, if you’re going to go down this path (either the virtual mailbox path or the remote check deposit path), you have to go with Earth Class Mail. There is just no comparison. In my opinion, they are definitely the best remote check deposit service & best virtual mailbox service out there.

I am just so incredibly pleased with Earth Class Mail that I wrote them an email that included this paragraph in it:

I would really like to take a moment to congratulate you & say thank you for the amazing job that you and your team have done with Earth Class Mail… ECM is truly becoming a lifesaver for me, and it is absolutely ASTOUNDING as to how much detail & thought & technical expertise had to go into creating EVERYTHING that Earth Class Mail does. Just the sheer magnitude of settings that we’re allowed to tweak on your website goes to show how much time & how much care went into building Earth Class Mail, not to mention the hundreds of different things that your nationwide staff has to manage every single day. I absolutely love the website!! And I can’t even imagine all the “magic” that takes place behind the scenes to make it seem so easy & seamless for the user. I’m a FileMaker programmer myself, and what I do pales in comparison to the massive technical accomplishments that you have achieved with Earth Class Mail. I mean, on a daily basis, I am truly astounded at how many different things ECM handles, and how it handles all those things FLAWLESSLY! It is worth every penny that I pay for it, and it really gives me the freedom to travel around the country, visiting my clients, and not worrying about my mail or my checks while I’m gone. I am just so incredibly pleased with ECM. Your company truly makes it possibly for entrepreneurs to live a “virtual lifestyle”… without ECM, I would still be “crippled” by my mailbox at home. I don’t know how anybody could ever live a “virtual lifestyle” BEFORE Earth Class Mail, in fact! So, many thanks to you and ECM. Earth Class Mail makes “virtual” actually possible. Not to mention that the customer service staff is sooo incredibly friendly!

If my readers have any questions about Earth Class Mail, I would be happy to answer them in the comments below!


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Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

Why U.S. Internet Access is Slow, Costly, and Unfair

February 13, 2013

If you use the Internet in America, this is an outstanding video on why U.S. Internet Access is slow, costly, and unfair.

We have some of the slowest & priciest Internet in the ENTIRE WORLD, prohibiting huge percentages of Americans from easily getting online. And for those of us who ARE wealthy enough to get online, we are not even close to having the Internet experience that people in other countries, such as Hong Kong, are experiencing.

Yet more reasons why America has fallen behind the rest of the world in almost every metric imaginable.

 


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Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

What’s Your Password?

January 24, 2013

Here’s something that might surprise you.

I don’t know what any of my passwords are, and I can’t figure out what any of them are.

And that’s exactly how it should be. Because if I can’t figure out my own passwords, then hackers won’t be able to figure them out either.

All of my passwords are complex, random passwords like wj7xL2p4Q0dz3nY, and I have a different password for every single website that I visit.

Yet this doesn’t slow me down at all. I never need to remember any of these random passwords, I never need to copy-and-paste them into websites, and I never need to handwrite them into a notebook somewhere.

All I need to do is remember my one master password, which is a strong password that I can easily remember (such as scott@world?8472!), and I can instantly log into any website.

How do I do this?

I’m using the award-winning, best-selling program named 1Password. 1Password creates strong passwords for every website that I visit, and it securely stores all of my passwords for me.

Best of all, 1Password synchronizes all of my passwords between my Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad.

Why am I doing this?

I’m doing this to stay as safe & secure as possible on the Internet.

As you know, you need a different password for every single website that you visit. And if you’re like most Americans, you visit almost 100 password-protected websites per year.

So you probably decided a long time ago that it would be completely insane to come up with 100 different passwords, so you standardized on 2 or 3 passwords that you use for everything. Even worse, you probably made these passwords really easy to remember. And worst of all, you probably wrote down those passwords in a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel document, or you scribbled them down into your notebook in your desk.

I’m here to tell you that all of this is a terrible idea, because it makes it much easier for hackers to take over your entire identity, empty your bank account, and destroy your life. Because once a hacker breaks into the Zappos.com website or breaks into the Yahoo website (yes, this stuff happens all the time), they’re going to take your password and try to use that password on all the other sites on the web.

So if you’re using the same password everywhere, once the hackers get into one of your accounts, then they can easily get into all of your accounts.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to come up with a unique, strong, and completely random password for each website that you visit.

This would be a major exercise in frustration if you had to do it on your own, but luckily,1Password easily & quickly manages the entire process for you. It’s so quick, it’s an almost-invisible process.

Whenever you visit a website, you just type in your one easy-to-remember password, and 1Password will type in your complex password for you.

(1Password will also securely store your credit card information as well. Just type in your one easy-to-remember password, and 1Password will type in all your credit card information whenever you’re ready to shop on the web. In fact, 1Password can store all of your confidential information, so nobody can see anything that you don’t want them to see.)

Contact ScottWorld to get help setting up 1Password!

If you would like to take control of your security & privacy with 1Password, just let us know and we’ll be happy to install, configure, and train you on 1Password for all your devices!

Sincerely,
Scott


I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.

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Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

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