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Don't use anything with Palm Oil

The massive coconut type palm trees you see on postcards that grow about 20 metres tall provide palm oil in their fruit typically every 2 weeks or so about 20 kg of the fruit.  That oil has often been used in soap, ice cream and other things, but now it is actually getting used in fuel for diesel engines and bio-diesel. 

The whole concept of palm oil sounds great, other than when you realise the tropical rain forest that has been destroyed so as to grow all these palm oil trees and in doing so the large amounts of carbon that was trapped in the soil and in trees in the forest that has been replaced is now getting released into the environment!  Apparently, the forests in Indonesia have been absolutely destroyed like this and that is now dramatically affecting the environment and global warming as well. 

We will never stop the problems of climate change if we don’t stop destroying forests.  It is one of those things though that you can do something about – when you buy anything look and see if it is made with palm oil and if it is don’t buy it ever again.  It is common in a lot of snacks, including things like chips, but what we cannot afford is to further damage our environment simply so that people can make more profits selling their palm oil.  Stop buying products that are made with or use palm oil and you can help save the forests and ultimately our own environment.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 13-Dec-18   |  Permalink   |  27 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Cyber security jobs

I read a recent report that by 2021 there will be 3,5 million available, but unfilled, cyber security jobs.  The report emphasised how scary it is, in terms of our power, cars and everything else that are becoming controlled by computer chips and where security is needed to avoid hackers, etc.  The cyber security jobs that are available all differ, but they are all basically about protecting companies and includes people who are known as penetration testers who have to try and hack into a computer of their company so that they can try and see where the weaknesses are as well as malware analysts who need to find out what malicious programmes do so that they can prepare their companies against the attacks.  The report indicated that for example right now there are 5,000 jobs available in New York alone for people with cyber security skills which the companies cannot even fill with qualified people. 

As the article concludes though, one of the most important things with cyber security is, “training people not to do dumb things like click on phishing links” in their e-mails.  Most of the e-mails that lead to hacks are obviously fake and our firm receives numerous fake e-mails every week with links that one has to hope staff members don’t click on.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 10-Dec-18   |  Permalink   |  28 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
What are celebrities really worth?

I enjoyed a recent article in the New York Times having a go at most of the figures that one reads on the Internet as to what celebrities are worth.  Most of these figures come from a website www.celebritynetwork.com and what is quite interesting is that the company has no computer scientists or data specialists on its staff, so nobody has any idea as to how they get those figures.  They recently listed the Cosby Show actor, Jeoffrey Owens, as being worth $500,000 until it was discovered he was working as a packer at Walmart at which time they revised his figures downwards. 

Apparently, most of these figures are vastly inflated and nobody complains about it, because publicists prefer it if you believe that their clients are rich.  All the websites seem to get their figures from the same Celebrity Network Website and even Google, for example, if it refers to Lindsay Lohan, saying that she is worth $500,000, gets their information from Celebrity Network.  Many people will recall that Donald Trump used to have arguments as to what he was worth and apparently often tried to game Fortune 400 List by inflating reports of his wealth so that he could obtain a higher position.  In many respects, this is fairly simple to do – you buy a golf course, most golf courses are actually struggling and then you value the golf course at an amount that you cannot sell it.  I had my own experience of that with my house in Blair Atholl, Lanseria.  A few people who have left the estate seem to have left it on a basis of being virtually bankrupt and have had their houses auctioned and yet, when you were around them they all made out that they were multi-millionaires and extremely rich.  The reality is that the vast majority of them undoubtedly have mortgages on their houses that are bigger than what their houses are now worth, given the shocking state of that particular property where more than 120 houses are on the market, but only one or two are sold a year.  In other words, you cannot say somebody is worth R25 million because their house is on the market for R25 million.  It is probably worth R16 million and it might very well be that they have a mortgage bond of R20 million which actually means a deficit of a negative R4 million in terms of the house as an “asset”.  The vast majority of people are driving cars that are financed on credit, so it is very easy to fake money and it seems that when it comes to celebrities this is equally true!  We only have to think of our own athlete and murderer, Oscar Pistorius, who used to drive a McLaren car which ultimately turned out not to be his as well as boast about a property he owned in Italy which was also not his and which was just lent to him for him to stay in. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 04-Dec-18   |  Permalink   |  27 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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