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2020.11.25 12:43 Full-Swan-2965 best SEO Brisbane

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2020.11.25 12:30 Full-Swan-2965 best seo australia

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If you think how SEO works there are some content for you related with SEO.
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2020.11.19 04:08 alettejoy Extensive 'Customs Delay' for parcel from US to Australia

Right, I created this account purely to post my woes on trying to order something from a buyer in Illinois to arrive in Brisbane, Australia.
TLDR: It took me two months to find out where my parcel was and what I needed to do to get it delivered. I spoke to the live chat team who gave me the Etsy tracking service and the actual tracking number so I could contact the courier. (I hope this helps others in tracking down lost packages from the US to Aus and NOT how to get free things, I never asked for a refund).
I ordered my package in early September, I was wanting them to arrive before my partners 30th birthday on the 1st of November. The package shipped as normal and, on the 6th of October, 1 week past the date it was due to arrive, it landed in Sydney and was 'delayed' in customs. Thinking "Well... covid..." I let it be and hoped it would just take a few extra days to process. Mid October, I messaged the seller and asked if she knew what was happening. There was no tracking number attached to the parcel on Etsy. She had no clue and just copy/pasted the Etsy Tracking. I asked her what the tracking number she had was and if she had received any messages regarding any further steps I needed to take to push the parcel onwards. No clue. I had multiple other international packages arrive within the standard 3 weeks so I couldn't understand why this one was stuck.
After my partners birthday had come and gone, I raised a ticket with Etsy to try and get further information on how they were tracking the parcel. I asked if they could find me the actual tracking number and the courier service it was registered with so I could at least call the carrier and ask what was happening. No help. The seller just kept telling me to contact my local post office despite me telling her there was no tracking code, and then copy/pasting the Etsy tracking information I could already see. Eventually, I found a different tracking number (when creating the claim, there is a very small 'track packages' link next to the shipping info under the 'reported transactions') which was registered with USPS. This was not registered with any of the major postal services in Aus (Auspost, DHL etc...), so I tried raising a ticket with USPS to speak to someone and find out what had happened to the parcel, but every time I went to submit a ticket, it redirected to a page for US residents only. USPS tracking said the package hadn't left Illinois and was still in the distribution centre. I tried explaining this to the seller and asking her to contact USPS to find out where it was and what the forwarding carrier was so I could call them and find out where my package was. She didn't.
Mid-November, I eventually escalated the case, I still really wanted my item even though the event had come and gone, and I can't buy it in Aus. I just wanted to know who the carrier was and the tracking number. The USPS tracking number was the only one that showed up in the system - even on those generic "Trackmyparcel" websites said the parcel was still in Illinois. Etsy closed the case the next day stating, "The seller adequately proved they shipped the parcel," etc... which didn't help me.
Cut to now, 20th November, over 2 months since I ordered the parcel, I tried again asking the seller to just call USPS and ask where it is, no help. As a last attempt, I started a live-chat with Etsy's help team. I explained my situation and they did a similar thing, sent the tracking info on Etsy, and then they FINALLY sent me the tracking service they use to update their tracking: https://www.asendiausa.com/
The tracking number that Etsy was using was never sent to me, and completely different from the one associated with USPS (obviously).
The guy helping me saw it has been 'delayed in customs' for over a month and just decided then and there to refund me. I never asked him to do so, he just jumped straight to it. He apologised and said he was sorry for the delay and to try and buy the item in Australia. He also said if I eventually received the item I could keep it. I'm moving from my current property to another state in the next few weeks so I had just given up on it by this point.
After this, I was looking at the tracking on this A1 tracking service, I was able to click on the new tracking number. By clicking on this, it took me to a website of a shipping service called DAI Post. FINALLY, I found the shipping service that had the parcel. They had an Australian number on their main website which I called and they explained that the parcel didn't have any invoice or description of contents and they needed that to process it for delivery to me. FINALLY, I was able to find my parcel, I sent them an email with the invoice of the purchased item and apparently, it's going to be shipped in the next few days. I am ecstatic because the item was so unique and perfect for my life. I feel pretty guilty because the refund has already been processed, but I will reiterate, I never wanted a refund, I simply wanted to find out where it was because I knew I had to do something to push it through customs. The seller never helped, only copy/pasted information I already knew and didn't go further than saying "just wait" or "I'll call later".
Moral of the story, for those ripping their hair out. If your parcel is 'delayed' by customs, and the parcel isn't registered with Auspost or anything else, go straight to the Etsy live chat, be nice, friendly and patient. See if you can get the actual tracking number, or at least find the tracking website Etsy uses and not USPS. Find the service that has your package and organise what they need to process it. I hope this helps people out there who genuinely want to receive parcels, and perhaps sellers whose buyers are complaining about delays - a week or two is acceptable, 2 months is not.
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2020.11.19 01:02 TimmyHate 0 New Community Cases - 2 New Imported/Border Cases

NEW CASES
Imported
Tests;
Yesterday; 8,665
Total; 1,208,091
Current active cases
37 (29 Recoveries)
Total Confirmed cases (as reported to WHO)
1654
Press Release;
There are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today, both detected in recent returnees in managed isolation. There are no new community cases.
Of these recent returnees:
One person arrived from Moscow (via London, Qatar and Brisbane) on 14 November and the other arrived from Dubai on 14 November.
There are 37 active cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand. We have seen a large number of cases recovered this week, with 29 recoveries to announce today.
Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,654.
Yesterday our laboratories processed 8,665 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,208,091.
November quarantine cluster Auckland Regional Public Health Service continues to follow up contacts from existing cases that are part of this cluster.
All 23 close contacts of Case A have now returned negative day 12 tests and all occupants of Case A’s apartment (the Waldorf Apartments) have returned negative day 12 tests.
The genome sequencing has shown that Cases A, B, C, D and E are all part of the same outbreak.
As we said yesterday, wide testing around these known cases allows us to have greater confidence that there are not possible undetected links in the chain of transmission.
To provide further reassurance, we continue to encourage anyone who visited a location of interest during the relevant time period to get tested – to ensure we can quickly identify anyone who may have been infected.
Anyone who develops cold or flu symptoms anywhere in the country should immediately get in touch with their health care provider or Healthline (0800 358 5453) and get a test.
Our systems have the best chance of staying ahead of COVID-19 if everyone who becomes unwell with cold or flu like symptoms, stays at home and seeks a test quickly, and all New Zealanders are keeping track of where they have been and who they have seen.
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2020.11.10 08:47 finegrindberlin Does anyone remember the free Mars bar scam that was discovered by kids in the '90s and launched a whole summer of free Mars bars across Australia?

There was a legitimate promo competition in Australia the late '90s where 1 in 6 Mars bars wins a free Mars bar. Inside the wrapping, there was printed either "Try Again" or "Winner!" along with some small print. If you found the winning Mars Bar you could take that wrapper into the store and get another Mars Bar for free. 1 in 6 bars would win but there was a trick to only picking the winning bars.
I don't know how old we were but me and my little brother discovered the scam that was too good to be true. After several successful attempts, we had indeed proven our theory and were ready to run the biggest scam in the world of chocolate since the Russians faked a Golden Wonka Ticket.
The scam itself goes like this. If you looked carefully you could read the reverse indent printing caused by the print on the inside of the wrapper. Without actually opening the packaging you could detect which bars were "Winners" and which were "Try Again". The best method for detecting a winner was found by carefully folding back the plastic seam and examining the underlayer just above the ingredients text. With the correct lighting supplied by most supermarkets, you could fairly accurately read the printed reverse indentation of the word "Winner". Keep choosing the winning bars and you could eat free Mars Bars as long as you can find them.
The summer was wild my friends. As a kid fueled on free Mars Bars is unstoppable. Until that is, the Mars Bar stock starts to dwindle and the free cocoa fuel becomes harder to find.
This is where our sugar high story came crashing down. After our discovery and several weeks of free Mars Bars, we couldn't help ourselves and decided to let our community of kid friends know of our discovery so they too can enjoy the seemingly endless supply of free Mars Bars. It was these actions that cut our escapade short and loose lips sink ships was the lesson we learnt as we watched the supply of winning bars becoming hot commodity across town.
Every kid with the key was on the hunt and word was spreading faster than my rollerblades could take me. One day I set out on a mission to find my next Mars. The journey was longer than expected as without luck I ruffled through the stock at 7/11s and the two Petrol Stations, I checked the newsagents and then headed over to Coles and also Woollies. Nothing. Nothing but losers and the whole town was the same.
If you sold Mars Bars in the late '90s you got hit. Shelves upon shelves of neatly stacked Mars Bars just getting totally messed by a bunch of kids handling every bar until they find their winner. The piles of Mars Bar losers were left unturned and unwanted signalling that many a vulture had feasted in that spot. A free bar would be hard to find. Piles of rejects left as a warning to future kids not to bother with this stash.
Cashiers and shelf restockers hated us and together with my brother were even banned from the local 7-11 and Franklins supermarket. In similar fashion, we were also banned from using Civic Videos "Love the movie or swap it free" promo as we were abusing it as well as Baskin Robben free ice cream samples. I guess it was a running trend in my family to try and get free shit.
The Mars Bar summer was coming to an end and adults were starting to catch on. Every source across town dried up with piles of unwanted loser bars left in the wake. There was a shortage. It led to a total stoppage. A town run dry.
The end of that summer holidays we took a family trip and drove from Queensland into New South Wales stopping at various towns along the way. It was this trip that showed us the widespread devastation caused by the Mars Bar scam. Every town from Brisbane to Sydney was hit and hit hard. Some places had even put up signs telling children to not touch the Mars Bar stock unless they were going to buy each one. Some petrol stations had moved the Mars Bars to behind the counter with the cigarettes so you had to ask for one over the counter. The damage was done and in our eyes, the whole country was in ruins. The scam was over and only a small pain in the tooth was left as a memory.
To this day I sometimes wonder if the Australian Mars corporation ever found out about that scam and if anyone ever faced any consequences.

UPDATE:

13 30 32 - Do these numbers mean something to you?
Well, there is more to this story if you have the time. I have endless tales of childish misdemeanours from a world before the internet. I would also love to hear some more stories from you all as it's great this sparked such a lovely little trip down memory lane and how interesting it is to hear how effective some of this advertising was on young minds.
I have a whole rant about Dr Pepper, about weird Dr Pepper TV adverts, shameless Civic Video and Pizza Hut scams but also want to acknowledge the comments about the Pepsi CDs, the Lift Magic Eye, the Mars Bar wrapper reprints, as well as the other scams you mentioned.
Firstly I want to thank the people who kindly commented positively on my writing or storytelling. You made my day. I am certainly no professional but I was actually a finalist in the "Nestle Write Around Australia" back in 1995 or 1996. My primary school included it as part of the Engish class for that year. My short story ended up winning my region and a spot moving on to the next round. I was invited along with eight other kids to do a writing workshop with a famous Australian children's author. I even got a little bit of money and a Nestle school backpack that was full of Milo and other chocolates etc. No Mars bars though.
I would like to tell you a fun little story to get things going. This is about the staff at the local 7-11 who in hindsight put up with so much nonsense. There was only one 7-11 in my small coastal town and it was the only 24hr shop available. There was a late-night staff member who was extremely well known for being the late night 7-11 guy. He was always there and everyone knew his name because his name tag read "Conrad". Now Conrad was older and a good and hard worker but he wasn't exactly a people person and up to date with customer service standards. He did his job very very well making sure that 7-11 was run in a neat and tidy manner and wasn't afraid to set a kid straight if he was misusing the Slurpee machine. This 7-11 was one of the hardest spots to hit for free Mars bars because of Conrad and his strict rules.
This story also includes my father who ran a youth group for kids on Friday nights at the local school church. Once a year he organized a huge Scavenger Hunt that had groups of kids racing across town trying to discover the answers the various questions. What colour are the tiles on the roof of the Surf Life Saving House? The type of questions that has everyone on the move looking for answers trying to finish first. It was one year my father made the mistake to include the local 7-11 celebrity in one of the quiz questions. Towards the end of the hunt and the end of the night, one of the questions was "What is Conrads last name?".
The first kid who came into 7-11 that night actually did get his answer out of Conrad who seemed confused but happy enough to entertain. This is the '90s and Conrad I guess was not so worried about data security. As the night went on more kids came into the 7-11 to ask Conrad the same question about his last name. After about the 4th kid Conrad had had enough. The poor unsuspecting 5th kid copped it hard from old mate Conrad. The quiz that night was ruined as one of the final questions could not be answered as Conrad refused to participate while also losing his cool and yelling at all the kids trying to find out his last name.
Today in times of social distancing and respecting the hard work of the essential workers I look back at old man Conrad and say thank you. Thank you for putting up with me.
It was this 7-11 that was my go-to for late-night munchies. It was where I tried the new Doritos flavours or where I drank my first V. If I saw it on TV then I had to try it and it was here that got me hooked on the sweet sweet taste of Dr Pepper.
A few comments were talking about the release of Dr Pepper in Australia and all the crazy odds you had of winning a free bottle. The 1 in 2 chances of winning that were clearly targetted to getting kids hooked. I was one of them. They also seemed to have endless flaws in the competition with the easily replaceable can tabs or being able to tilt the bottle and read the text inside the cap.
To whoever was in charge of advertising at Dr Pepper in the '90s in Australia - Well done, you had me hooked. There were lots of normal ads they ran but it was one late night watching TV where they pulled a stunt that had me bewildered to this day.
To give you some soft history, the first ad was when they launched in Australia was in the '90s. The drink didn't exist in Australia before but I guess we knew of it from the movies and tv shows. We knew of it as an American favourite but nobody ever had a chance to try it. The '90s were ripe with Pepsi Max or Mountian Dues and I guess companies were eager to introduce more varieties to get people hooked. They created an ad where the Statue of Liberty comes to life, shaking off the statue dust, breaks free and slowly starts walking her statue legs off into the ocean. She takes off on a mission across the globe heading for Australia where she finds a new spot to stand right in the Syndey harbour. For a TV ad, it was kind of epic and got me interested.
The drink bombed I believe and Australians didn't like the taste of Dr Pepper. "Tastes like medicine" was often used. The product was failing to find a market. I guess they decided to spice things up a bit and this is when the weird ads began.
One example was a campaign they ran on late-night TV where they just photoshopped a Dr Pepper into another companies advert. Like there was an NMRA or RACQ car insurance ad type of thing that played all the time on repeat. Do you remember the ad playing over and over again? This young guy in his car is pulled up on the side of the road with a lot of smoke and a serious engine problem. He calls roadside assistance. The service guy comes out and pulls a busted engine part from the bonnet and goes "here's your problem here". The confused kids just looks at it in bewilderment. The ad ends and we all buy car insurance.
Then one night. Late at night. The Pepsi sugar high is just about to lose the battle to the Pizza Hut food coma. Laying out in front of the TV. I witness the same car insurance ad again. The ad plays but something is different this time. The serviceman appears from behind the bonnet as normal but this time the busted engine part he is normally holding is replaced by a really poorly photoshopped can of Dr Pepper. They just stuck it into this other ad. A cut-out photo of a can of Dr Pepper, that they then stick into another company's car insurance ad. Not even hidden like casual product placement. Really obviously stuck in there to get your attention.
It was weird as hell and both me and my brother sat up and in confusion pointing at the TV as if we had just spotted aliens. It was so random and it tripped every teenage sensor in my body. It was great advertising by them and honestly to this day I still enjoy a nice cold can of Dr Pepper and think about that weird ad.
On the same topic, there was a comment about the Lift stare at the TV ads. I remember these but remember always missing the beginning of the ad and it never working. What was the story here again? You get dizzy starring at the hypnotic ad and then look at the bottle and it was supposed to look trippy or something? What were you suppose to see? Can you explain what you remember a little more?
As far as scams go it all seemed to come down to shame. If you had no shame you could get away with anything.
Maccas Monopoly was mentioned. With no shame and you could go through all sorts of trash finding unclaimed freebies. Having a friend working behind the counter was always best though. Pretend you don't know each other and leave with six extra cheeseburgers at no extra cost.
Pizza Hut did a deal where they accept competitors coupons. We would call the pizza in the be collected and tell them we had a 5 dollar Eagle Boys coupon. We show up to collect the pizza but accidentally forget the coupon that never existed in the first place. With no shame, you pull that off for a long time. Trust me the staff don't care.
Civic Video. They were maybe only a regional video rental chain but had lots of stores in Queensland and ran lots of ads. They had a never-ending deal as part of TV ads slogan which was "Love the movie or swap it free". If you rented a movie and didn't like it all you had to do was tell the staff when you return and they would let you pick out another for free. If you had no shame then you could constantly return videos for the most ridiculous reasons and get another rental. We worked this for a long long time before getting banned from Civic Video. We even roped my father into this scam after we were banned and he ended up pulling a couple of fake bad movie reviews in our place.
The local Birch Carroll and Coyle never caught onto my scam but I would always come out of the movie while the trailers were playing with both my ticket but also my friend's ticket. I would go back to the ticket counter and ask for a refund as i was feeling sick. As long as you have a valid ticket and the movie hasn't started they always just give it to you without even thinking. You then slip into the crowd and head back into the cinema showing the ticket checker your friend's ticket to get back in. Free movies at the cost of no shame.
To end my storytime I will leave you with another fun family travel adventure that also features chocolate. I was almost too young to remember the experience but certainly remember the story as it was retold 100s of times. The whole family took a trip to New Zealand in 1992. We had plans to visit the famous Cadbury chocolate factory in Dunedin. We had heard stories from families who had gone before who tipped us to arrive with empty pockets and to bring plastic bags. The advice was to take advantage of the offer of as much of the chocolate rejects as you can carry. The story goes that at the end of the tour of the chocolate factory they take you past the end of the assembly line where they have piles of chocolate rejects. Perfectly fine chocolate but with slight defects such as logo being smudged or all the nuts not covered. Piles of chocolate that would be discarded if it weren't for the lucky tour guests.
The whole family signed up for the tour and came ready with pockets full of bags. The whole tour we can't wait but get to the end and see what rejects we can claim. The tour guide leads us into what must be the final room and begins her speech about the assembly line and how the staff are removing all chocolate with slight defects. Our mouths are salivating as shes explains. The chocolate ends up in these piles that she points out and continues to explain how they have been known for offering samples to the guests. Our hearts stop.
"But due to new health and safety regulations. We now just send them off to the farms to use as pig feed."
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2020.10.10 00:58 HisHerMoneyGuide Quarter 3 2020 – Net worth up 4.3%, 92.8% savings rate

Quarter 3 2020 – Net worth up 4.3%, 92.8% savings rate
TLDR; One of those journey posts. Net worth above pre-crash highs; savings rate good, dividends slashed.

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Quarter 3 2020 – Net worth update: Up $103,000

After last quarter’s incredible reversal in fortunes, this last quarter has seemed positively sedate. There have been a few bouncy days here and there on the markets, but no definitive trends upwards or downwards (though I’m sure some chartists would disagree).
Instead, the whole world is waiting with bated breath for news of a vaccine or treatment that puts coronavirus to bed.
I was actually quite shocked at how well the Australian share market held up overall during reporting season. There were some winners, but most results were pretty weak-to-dire. And while you can argue that the market had already baked-in the results in the prices, who can honestly say with a straight face that August/September 2020 had the same outlook as January 2019? Sorry, I digress.
While world governments seem to be still grappling with the health aspects of coronavirus, imminent economic collapse seems to have been averted. I’ll have some more thoughts on possible ramifications from what has already happened later in the month though.
On the balance of things, I’m still quite pessimistic about the shape of domestic and international recovery. A vaccine is still a while away from being approved, let alone rolled out to the masses (mid-to-late 2021 before us plebs get access?). Government debt globally has skyrocketed. And in the personal finance space in Australia at least, the continued scaling back and eventual demise of JobKeeper payments will be one to watch. At stake is only the local economy, house prices, job security, and the state of the ASX.
At least Brexit seems to be going well. Oh, wait. And who knows what’ll happen next month in the American election now that the President has taken a turn. But it won’t be boring regardless of what happens. 2020 keeps on giving.
So with another three months in the record books, how has our net worth fared for Q3 2020?

Our financial goals

Before going further, here’s a reminder to our current early retirement goals. We’re looking to retire early before the age of 45 (and we’re currently 35 and 36) with a pre-tax FatFIRE passive income of $150,000 a year. Our net worth target is comprised of the following assets:
  • $2,000,000 in shares
  • $600,000 in two investment properties
  • $700,000 in superannuation
  • $1 million primarily place of residence
  • Total asset goal = $4,300,000.
You can track our net worth in our previous posts.

July-September: Shares

In personal news, we dipped our toes into the ETF waters for the first time. We made purchases of $15,000 and $20,000 for a pair of internationally-focussed passively managed funds that have a dividend focus. They were both trading at around a 20% discount to their pre-crash highs, so hopefully they’ll be a good long term investment.
Next week I’m writing an article about how domestic shares can have an often unacknowledged level of international market exposure. However, our portfolio hasn’t got sufficient international exposure from that alone give us diversification. So it was time to branch out with some international-only holdings. In fact, about 80% of our remaining share investments will be in funds with an international focus.
That said, we’re not entirely out of the domestic share market investment game. We also took up a Retail Entitlement Offer for one of our smaller share holdings. But that only came to just under $1,000.
After starting the quarter with $1,044,000 in our share portfolio, how did it end?
On 30 September, we had a share portfolio worth $1,091,000 – up $47,000 or 4.5% on Q2. As part of that, in addition to the $36,000 in share purchases mentioned above, we also received dividends – some of which were reinvested.
However, you’ll need to wait for our upcoming Q3 income and expenses report to see what our dividend income came to. Spoiler alert though: it’s not pretty.
All in all though, it wasn’t a bad result, given the ASX200 finished the quarter down around 1.4%. Far better than the devastation we saw back in January-March at least.

July-September: Superannuation

As mentioned above, the local markets finished slightly down for the quarter. So how did our superannuation fare?
Well, we started Q3 on $423,000 and ended with $447,000 – an increase of $24,000 or 5.6%.
Only about a quarter of that is from employer contributions – as we’re not making extra contributions to our superannuation. So that’s great outperformance! Even more impressively, that’s more than the $428,000 that we started the year on before it hit the fan in February.
Given that superannuation is a bit of a black box, it’s hard to tell why it outperformed so much. But I know that a large chunk of my personal super is in international shares, so maybe that explains it.
So while our share performance hasn’t been anything terrific, at least superannuation is turning up to the party.

July-September: Primary place of residence

Property prices have been surprisingly resilient amid the damaged economy. We’re still seeing properties in our area going on sale. How many are forced? Who knows. But prices don’t seem to be falling – yet anyway – in our area. In fact, apparently Brisbane house prices went up 0.5% in September – crazy!
But what do our go-to property sites have to say about our house price?
Well, Onthehouse.com.au prices it at $775,000 – identical to both Q1 and Q2. Conversely, an ANZ property report said our house is worth $711,000 (down $2,000 on Q2, but up $40,000 on Q1).
Like in the past, using a rule of not moving the price unless we have a pair of sources agreeing on a price move in the same direction, we’ll keep the house price at $655,000.
We still think prices in the $700,000s are too much, but would gladly take it when it comes time to sell.
In terms of calculating our net worth, our mortgage is fully paid off in regards to having money in an offset account. So the full capital value is ours in that ledger.

July-September: Investment properties

With our PPoR maintaining its value, what about our two investment properties?
Last quarter they rose back to where they were in Q1, and the story was much the same in Q3:
  • Onthehouse.com.au – combined value $700,000 ($700,000 in Q2 2020).
  • ANZ – combined value $616,000 ($617,000 in Q2 2020).
With the ANZ property report coming down just a fraction and Onthehouse.com.au holding firm, we’ll keep the combined values at $605,000.
Unlike our home, these properties do have mortgages on them with money owing. We started the quarter owing $369,000, but that dropped to $367,000 over the three months.
That gives us total equity of $238,000, an increase of $2,000 or 0.8%.
Also stay tuned for a series of articles on our investment properties starting in the next month or so. We’re going to be talking about the finances behind them in greater detail for the first time.

Financial state of the union

We finished Q2 2020 with a net worth of $2,358,000. Here’s how things look three months later after Q3 2020:
Asset Value
Shares $1,091,000
Superannuation $477,000
Investment properties value $605,000
Investment properties debt -$367,000
Primary place of residence $655,000
Total $2,461,000
We landed on $2,461,000, an increase of $103,000 or 4.3%.
Like our superannuation, that’s actually a small increase now on the numbers we saw at the end of 2019 that was our previous all-time high.
While it’s good to actually be making some level of progress at last, it just makes me feel a bit like 2020 has been a bit of a waste. All that work and saving for practically nothing. But, that’s a first world privileged problem to have at the moment.
All in all, a good quarter on the net worth front. Next up we’ll have our Q3 income and expenses report. Sadly, the news there – particularly for our vital dividend income – is much, much worse.
BLOG POST LINK: https://hishermoneyguide.com/quarter-3-2020-net-worth-update/

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Q3 2020 income and expenses: 92.8% savings rate

Life has slowed in the HHMG household. We’re not locked down like we were in April-May, but we’re still keeping socially distant, and minimising going out and about. With vulnerable parents, our actions don’t only risk impacting ourselves. However, it’s terrific to see the reduction in coronavirus cases in Australia over the past few months. Fingers tightly crossed we don’t see another large outbreak like the one that occurred in Victoria.
That said, the individual days go by quickly enough. It’s nice being able to watch TV over lunch, for instance. And you can’t beat regular cat hugs.
However, with an office only 10 steps away from bed, things are kind of all merging into one. It’s a bit disconcerting that this working from home, Covid-normal has now been in our lives for over six months.
The best news of all is that 2020 is 75% done. We can’t wait to see the back of it. Surely 2021 can’t be any worse?
But while the year has been memorable for practically all the wrong reasons, what about our finances? If you saw our Q3 net worth update, you would have seen that we recovered to our pre-crash highs. Sadly though, the news is less good in this update.

July-September: Income and side hustles

In good news, my wife Ellie managed to score herself a minor pay rise from mid-year, bringing in almost $80 a week extra after tax. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s better than what I achieved: triple doughnuts or $0.00, with a pay freeze until next year. Frankly in this economic climate, any increase is a minor miracle, so great work Ellie!
Currently neither of our jobs are under imminent threat. But from next year onwards, we’re both quite worried that we’ll be under the termination microscope. I’m desperately trying to cling on long enough to achieve long service leave in early 2021 to give us a bit more of a monetary buffer if I was retrenched and needed to find a new job in a dire jobs market. Ellie has already reached long service (once again beating my efforts).
We’re also currently trying to max-out our annual leave balances as much as possible to use them as an alternative bank account in case we lose our jobs. It just seems prudent in the current environment.
However, let’s talk money. For our salaries, we had six pay cycles in Q3 – one down on Q2. In total our salaries earned us $38,062 after tax for the quarter. That’s a small increase of $936 or 2.5% on last year.
Coronavirus continues to impact our bottle collection efforts for this year. We managed to make one trip during the quarter, collecting $83.40. We’re only picking up a few here and there these days, with most coming from our parents. That’s well down on the $235 we had this time last year. The blog itself earned $249.89, entirely from Google Adsense payments from ads displayed and clicked.
After seeing our income from online surveys increasing, Ellie also published an article during the quarter on what online surveys are and which ones we use. True to form, our income from them for the quarter hit a new high of $460. That’s an increase of $175 on this time last year. Q4 is already shaping up well on that front as well.
Our side hustles amounted to $793.29 for the quarter, giving us a total active income of $38,855.29 between July and September. That compares to $37,765 last year – an increase of $1,090.29 or 2.9%.
And that, folks, is about as good as the news today is going to get.

July-September: Dividends

Time to take a deep breath.
Okay, that was more like an apprehensive wince.
Q3 is usually an important quarter for our dividends – the biggest of the year when many stocks provide final distributions. Naturally, this year is like no other that we’ve experienced. So let’s see what the damage is while comparing the previous two years:
Q3 2018 Q3 2019 Q3 2020
DRP/DSSP reinvested/Direct debit, excluding franking credits $15,465.78 $16,439.23 $10,218.59
Ouch.
A total of $10,218.59 for July-September represents a dividend reduction of $6,220.64 or 37.8%.
That’s not good. Like we’ve said before, our goal is for share dividends to make up the bulk of our early retirement income. So losing well over a third of that is… bad.
While our Q3 2020 net wealth rose above pre-crash levels, clearly this is an area we’ve gone backwards in.
Our high exposure to the banks is really our biggest undoing here. Thankfully over the last two years we’ve been investing heavily away from them, knowing it was potentially a fatal flaw. In this instance, it has proven to be the case with one hell of a stress test.
Instead we’ve recently been investing in Listed Investment Companies, and only during this last quarter did we buy our first ETFs. On the LIC front, things are actually quite encouraging. These quarterly dividends only reflect three out of six LIC dividends we’re receiving in this half of the year. All of our LIC holdings have now announced dividends, and the biggest cut to dividends was “only” *cough* by about a third, while a couple have actually increased their dividends. So at least the strategy to invest in LICs for their ability to smooth dividends seems to be paying, well, dividends.
All in all, pretty sobering results, but we’re not too depressed yet. We’ve previously discussed that we always expected there to be some lean years once we hit early retirement, and 2020/21 is looking to be a prototype of that.
In retirement, as long as we’ve got enough income coming in to cover our basic living expenses (which will be larger than they currently are), we’ll still have a great life – with the ability to cut back further if required.
In addition to dividends, once we FIRE we’ll also have some rental property income coming in. As telegraphed in our earlier Q3 net worth update, we’re providing an update on these properties in the coming month or two to give a better idea of how things stand there. So a bad result with dividends alone won’t necessarily sink our early retirement hopes either.
That said, from the dividends that have been announced it looks like Q4 will be a little brighter than the drubbing we just experienced. However, one thing that’s certain is that dividends won’t rebound overnight. The second half of this financial year will be very interesting.
\The numbers listed above are ‘somewhat net’ – for the purposes of calculating our savings rate. It includes franked and unfranked dividends – but not* franking credits (which are essentially pre-paid tax credits). For the unfranked dividends (and a small additional 7% portion of the franked dividends due to our marginal tax rates), we pay additional tax towards the end of the calendar year. For reference, we received an additional $3,409.69 in franking credits for the period – giving us a total of $13,628.28 in gross dividends for the quarter.\*

July-September: Expenses

Let’s take a look at our expenses for Q3 2020, with a comparison to Q3 2019:
[EXPENSE CHART IN BLOG POST]
In total we spent $3,528.22 for the quarter, compared to $4,272.89 last year – a decrease of $744.67 or 17.4%. While at face value that should be lauded, in reality our car service (Q3 last year) was pushed forward a month this year (to Q2). So really our spending is roughly flat, which we’re still happy about. That said, there are a few stories behind the numbers worth mentioning.
Our electricity usage went up 28.3% due to working from home. However, our bill was only 19% more expensive thanks to a government relief payment for households due to coronavirus. But with 13.4kWh per day consumption, it’s indicative of what sort of daily usage we’d have in retirement if we were home all day. It adds up having extra TV time over lunch, the microwave and kettle running a few times extra a day, and a couple of computers running non-stop when they previously weren’t. In other news, we’re swapping electricity retailers in October to what should be a slightly cheaper plan. We’ll see how things change next quarter.
Speaking about working from home, both Ellie and I will be claiming the Australian Taxation Office’s shortcut method to claim $0.80 per worker, per hour worked from home between 1 March and 30 June when we lodge our tax returns in Q4 to get some of those extra expenses back! Though look into your tax options to work out what works best for you.
We also started the process of swapping internet plans to the NBN (long story – we’re still not on it and won’t be for a while – more details in Q4). We were only a couple of months short of getting kicked off ADSL, so it was forced on us. The best plan we could find was $55 a month compared to the $50 we have been spending. With extra working from home we felt we really couldn’t do with the most basic of plans available. It also meant we needed to buy a pair of WiFi dongles to go with a new (free) modem. Our existing modem just used good old RJ45 ethernet cables, but because of the location of the NBN outlet we needed to go with WiFi.
Continuing the IT theme, Ellie’s computer also died during the quarter. In the end we bought a refurbished one from eBay for $109, which wasn’t bad at all. It was a mild gamble buying it, but so far it has paid off and she’s happy with it. The event also inspired the article on how we can’t avoid some expenses forever.
My driver’s licence renewal also arrived, so that was an extra expense compared to last year – almost $350 for the year so far with Ellie’s also coming up at the start of the year. At the same time though, the savings in fuel costs compared to this time last year more than make up for the licence fees.
In total, if you take out our New Zealand holiday from the start of the year, our expenses for the year-to-date are very similar to last year’s at this stage – $12,083.81 compared to $12,710.74 in 2019. (If you offset us being away for a couple of weeks in February, our expenses would be a few hundred dollars higher. The more things change, the more they stay the same.)

How are we tracking? Q3 savings rate

As always, let’s throw it all together to work out our savings rate:
Q3 Value
Income $38,855.29
Share dividends $10,218.59
Expenses -$3,528.22
Total savings $45,545.66
Savings rate 92.8%
With total savings of $45,545.66 for the quarter, that’s a 92.8% savings rate.
It’s a good result, though tempered by the reduction in dividends. Regardless, we’re fundamentally in a good place at a horrible time. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to date, and it’s not something we want to take for granted. Our own job security is slowly coming on the line, so we need to make the most of the opportunity we still have for as long as we have it.
Looking ahead to Q4, just like last year our tax bill is now a looming issue. We haven’t lodged our tax assessments yet, but we have calculated them. We anticipate that our tax will be will higher than last year. So that’ll be one giant savings rate killer in Q4.
Even if we hadn’t gone on holidays at the start of the year, and still achieved fractionally small savings during year-to-date thanks to coronavirus, we’d struggle to hit a 90% savings rate for the entire year. It would be possible, but highly unlikely. However, a bigger tax bill will put the final nail in that coffin.
Of course, some of the biggest economic news of the year hit this week after Q3 ended, with the delayed 2020 Federal Budget finally breaking cover. It looks like we’ll be about $4,000 a year better off (too late for 2019-20 and our upcoming bill, though!). But we’ll have to wait and see how things go with backdated tax cuts and the passing of the legislation. Regardless, we hope you’ll get a nice benefit from the tax cuts yourself if you’re an Australian.
2020 has been one heck of a rocky ride so far. Hopefully the end of the year brings some positively and signs of a return to normality. Unfortunately, I think that even once we get past the virus with a vaccine (and that’s really still an if) we’ll have a bit more instability ahead of us as a result of economic and budgetary damage that’s already happened. But before then, we still need to make it through the final three months of 2020. Gulp.
Until we meet again, we hope you stay safe and secure.
Cheers,
Alex
BLOG POST LINK: https://hishermoneyguide.com/quarter-3-2020-income-and-expenses/
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2020.09.21 11:18 emailout How To: Email Authentication – SPF, DKIM, DMARC and BIMI

How To: Email Authentication – SPF, DKIM, DMARC and BIMI

Do you know how to prevent your emails from being spoofed, improve your email deliverability and ensure that people who signed up to your email lists continue to receive your marketing emails?

If you are using your domain name to send emails then email authentication is crucial to your email deliverability. It’s like the digital signature for your domain designed to protect your brand’s identity, content and reputation.

“If you spend more time on making your coffee than on securing your email communications, you’ll be hacked.” – EmailOut
Email authentication is an unnerving subject. More often than not, as an email marketer, you’ll come across an alphabet soup of different abbreviations and acronyms that will make your head spin. With the increasing number of spam and phishing emails, implementing email authentication has become essential. As daunting as the topic might be, the basic concepts are not as complex as one might think. Do you know which are the top email authentication methods that will help you ensure the security of your email marketing messages?

In this article, we’ll cover the following topics on email authentication:

  1. What is email authentication?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Email authentication methods
  4. How to set up your email authentication in EmailOut?
Ready to dive in?
The foundation of successful email marketing is for email campaigns to reach the subscribers’ inbox. You can devote hours upon hours on crafting the most highly-personalised, perfectly designed email campaign but… how will your subscribers see it if it ends up in the spam folder?
Most email providers (like Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, etc.) are always on the lookout for ways to make sure the emails they deliver to the users’ inbox are relevant and secure. However, with the increased distribution of unsolicited and harmful phishing emails, email servers have placed numerous security protocols to help verify the authenticity of an email message, and it’s sender, before it reaches the intended recipient. If the email does not pass the required email authentication process, it’s highly likely your email campaign will experience deliverability issues like ending in the spam folder or not being delivered at all.
To prevent your marketing emails from going to spam, you need to follow four essential email deliverability best practice –
1) only email people who’ve asked you to; 2) ensure your content is relevant, well-designed, engaging and avoid spam words/phrases (for example, free, best, download now, etc.); 3) never send emails with hard-to-read or unexpected content; and 4) don’t bombard your subscribers with tons of email campaigns or send so infrequently that they forget about you.

Five factors can have an impact on your email deliverability (aside from not having email authentication) –

a) spam complaints – when a recipient marks your email as ‘spam’; b) bounces – when an email address is invalid or doesn’t even exist; c) spam traps – email addresses created for the sole purpose of catching fraudulent emails; d) IP address reputation – it measures the reputation of your IP address based on the quality and type of the emails you’re sending; and e) domain reputation – it measures the reputation of your email address based on the quality and type of emails you’re sending.
With these factors and best practice covered, you need to move your focus on how to improve your emails’ performance. Cue, implementing email authentication. But, before I give you details on the four main email authentication methods, let’s first find out what email authentication is and how it works.

The Nature Of Email Authentication

In technical terms, email authentication is a process that helps identify the sending source (for example, sending domain or IP) of an email so that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can route the email accordingly.
Simply put, email authentication is a process set to help you, the sender, prove you are who you say you are (not that [email protected] D0e from M1cr0s0ft urgently requesting users to update credit card details) and that the email you’re sending is not forged/spoofed. In other words, email authentication allows email marketing tools to send emails on your behalf AND as your domain.
Every email you send to a recipient gets processed by the recipient’s email client incoming server. It gets analysed and based on your email authentication method, it either passes or fails the authentication process. Once the email server has this information, it will determine if your email should be delivered to the recipient’s inbox (pass), flagged as spam (fail) or completely disregarded from the server (fail-filtered). If you have no email authentication in place, the chances of your email being considered as spam and rejected are very high which will subsequently lead to decreased email deliverability.

The Way Email Authentication Works

Email marketers can approach email authentication in several different ways. However, as much as the implementation of each approach comes with its specific technicalities, this is how the general email authentication process works –
1) the sender establishes a policy defining the rules by which emails from their domain name can be authenticated; 2) the sender configures its email servers to implement and publish the rules; 3) the email server receiving the email authenticates the message by verifying the details of the incoming email against the rules defined by the domain owner; and 4) the receiving email server takes action based on the results from the authentication process to either deliver, flag as spam or disregard the email.
When the receiving email server gets your message it looks for specific information in your email and the Domain Name System (DNS) records of your domain to determine the legitimacy and security of your message and whether it is safe for the recipient to receive, and, consequently, if the email came from an authorised source.
It is important to note that even if you’ve set up one or more email authentication methods but they failed the authentication process, your email can still end up being flagged as spam or rejected by the mail servers. Hence, rather than quickly setting up only one email authentication method, ensure you have multiple email authentication methods in place and regularly monitor the effect they have on your emails and your deliverability.

Email Authentication Methods

To set up an email authentication method, you have to create a few DNS records (or upload a file) to your domain hosting provider using the information rendered by your email marketing platform.
Beyond just looking at the sender’s email address, there are four email authentication methods (or standards) ISPs use that email marketers can take advantage of to ensure their emails will not end up in the spam folder or be rejected by the mail servers.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Sender Policy Framework or SPF is an email authentication method whose purpose is to detect falsification of the sender address (return-path header) during the delivery of the email. It’s a DNS record that specifies which IP addresses and/or servers are allowed to send email communications from that particular domain.
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When implementing SPF, always keep in mind that each domain can have a maximum of only one SPF record.
When an SPF record is checked, there are five possible results –
a) None – no SPF record exists; b) Neutral – an SPF record was found. Yet, neither a positive nor negative assertion was made about the sender; c) Pass – the sender is authorised to send email communications on behalf of the domain; d) Fail – the sender is not authorised and the mail server may disregard the email; e) Soft fail – the sender is not authorised but the mail server may not disregard the email only based on this.
The disadvantage of SPF email authentication is that this method alone cannot authenticate the original author of the email. Instead, it authenticates only the source of it (return-path). The best course of action to prevent email spoofing is to combine SPF with DMARC and DKIM.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM is an email authentication method focused on detecting fake/fraudulent sender addresses in emails (email spoofing). Just like an SPF record, DKIM is a TXT record added to a domain’s DNS. It allows the email’s recipient to check if the email message has been indeed authorised by the owner of the domain.
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This email authentication method is done by adding a digital signature linked to a specific domain name to each outgoing email and affixed to the email as a header. By checking the sender’s public key published in the DNS, the email can be verified.
Unlike SPF, DKIM uses an encryption algorithm to create a pair of electronic keys – public and private. The public key is placed in the DNS record, whilst the private key remains on the servers it was created on (i.e. your mail server).
To implement DKIM, you are required to update your DNS – just like with SPF. However, it’s a bit more involved than setting up SPF since you’ll need to –
1) choose a DKIM selector – it can be anything – word, number or a combination of both (see an example below, the selector is highlighted);
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; d=example.net; s=brisbane; c=relaxed/simple; q=dns/txt; t=1117574938; x=1118006938; h=from:to:subject:date:keywords:keywords; bh=MTIzNDU2Nzg5MDEyMzQ1Njc4OTAxMjM0NTY3ODkwMTI=; b=dzdVyOfAKCdLXdJOc9G2q8LoXSlEniSbav+yuU4zGeeruD00lszZ VoG4ZHRNiYzR
2) generate both public and private keys; 3) publish your selector and public key; and 4) attach the token to each one of your outgoing emails.
This tool can be particularly useful for generating a DKIM public and private key.

Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance or DMARC is an email authentication method focused on handling the problem of email spoofing by protecting both the sender and the recipient. Your DMARC record instructs the receiving server not to accept an email if it fails DKIM and SPF checks.
https://preview.redd.it/tn7i8wklxgo51.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=d6fc7ad1471f5fde1d41289a9a35a44843e1e288
Is DMARC enough for email authentication? On its own – no. DMARC needs SPF to work.
What is DMARC authentication and how does it work? >>>

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

Brand Indicators for Message Identification or BIMI is an open standard allowing businesses to verify their identity and be easily recognised in recipients’ inboxes. Similar to SPF, DKIM and DMARC, BIMI is a text record which lives on your servers. It works alongside all the other three authentication methods to show email clients you are you. Some even call this email authentication method DMARC 2.0.
https://preview.redd.it/u031j8nmxgo51.png?width=768&format=png&auto=webp&s=5bb9709ebcdb3b6a627017af2ed746d9f45be92b
What differentiates BIMI from the other three methods is that it allows businesses to display their logo in supported inboxes.
For more information about the BIMI standard click here.

Email Authentication Methods Review

1) SPF – to authenticate the sender’s identity this standard performs a check similar to verifying a return address. Simply put, the sender can define which IP addresses are allowed to send an email for a particular domain;
2) DKIM – this standard is also used to authenticate the sender’s identity, however, it looks beyond just the sender’s email address to ensure the content of the email is not altered by utilising an encryption key and digital signature which verify the email is authentic and not spoofed;
3) DMARC – think of this standard as a courier. It ensures emails meet SPF and DKIM requirements before they are even delivered; and
4) BIMI – this standard focuses on improving the sender’s credibility and legitimacy by displaying the sender’s logo in the inbox next to the email. If a brand has set up a BIMI record, once the receiving email servers receive the email it’ll run the usual DNS checks for the sender domain and if a BIMI record is found, it’ll ‘fetch it’ and show it.

Setting Up Email Authentication In EmailOut

By updating your Domain Name System (DNS) settings, you will benefit from DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) authentication.
Before you even begin with EmailOut’s DNS settings set up, make sure the email address you plan to send from is set up correctly. (N.B. EmailOut allows users to add as many ‘alternative email addresses’ as they’d like.)
Your next step is to access the dedicated DNS tool. There you will see three CNAME records that you’ll need to update your DNS settings –
https://preview.redd.it/3m92dy3oxgo51.png?width=618&format=png&auto=webp&s=67e00b56206bf4f9ae6d2acedcfd4faeaf967137
With these CNAME records at hand, head to your hosting service provider and search for a feature called ‘Manage DNS’ (or something similar), select your domain, then ‘Add New’ record and set the ‘Type’ to CNAME and ‘TTL’ to default. Afterwards, enter one record at a time like the example below:
https://preview.redd.it/kan5ewcpxgo51.png?width=597&format=png&auto=webp&s=b93266db80dbe930e2a10cc4b0bb8c1265f1da3d
If the DNS set up is successful, EmailOut’s DNS tool will have three green status ticks –
https://preview.redd.it/esd9bjaqxgo51.png?width=956&format=png&auto=webp&s=65aad69ba31c78ba49170c69ffbe7a4bba81c799
How long will the DNS set up take? The TTL (Time-To-Live) determines the time the records will take to propagate. This will vary for each domain hosting provider and may display as ‘1 Hour’ or ‘3600 seconds’ for example. Most providers will tell you it can take up to 48 hours but it’s usually a lot faster than this. The average time is 2 hours.

Final Thoughts

Email authentication is like a digital ID. It protects your brand’s integrity, identity and reputation. Implementing the proper email authentications methods like SPF, DKIM, DMARC and BIMI, will help you improve your email deliverability, email engagement and also, reassure your subscribers that you are who you say you are. Thus, creating a trusting relationship between you and the recipient.
To ensure everything with your email authentication is going smoothly, I recommend keeping an eye on email security metrics such as bounce and deliverability rates. If you notice a spike in bounces and a decrease in email deliverability, there might be something wrong with your email authentication. Ah, and remember, it’s always better to have more than one email authentication method in place.

Highly recommended further reading –

1) How to Improve Email Deliverability 2) Email Engagement: Paramount For Email Deliverability 3) How to Improve Your Email Sender Reputation

Changing DNS settings in common Domain Hosting Providers

GoDaddy: How to add a CNAME record AWS: Supported DNS record types 123Reg: Creating a CNAME record FreeParking: Managing DNS Resource Records NameCheap: Creating a CNAME record for your domain G Suite (Google): Add a CNAME record to your domains DNS records
submitted by emailout to Emailmarketing [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 11:17 emailout How To: Email Authentication – SPF, DKIM, DMARC and BIMI

How To: Email Authentication – SPF, DKIM, DMARC and BIMI

Do you know how to prevent your emails from being spoofed, improve your email deliverability and ensure that people who signed up to your email lists continue to receive your marketing emails?

If you are using your domain name to send emails then email authentication is crucial to your email deliverability. It’s like the digital signature for your domain designed to protect your brand’s identity, content and reputation.

“If you spend more time on making your coffee than on securing your email communications, you’ll be hacked.” – EmailOut
Email authentication is an unnerving subject. More often than not, as an email marketer, you’ll come across an alphabet soup of different abbreviations and acronyms that will make your head spin. With the increasing number of spam and phishing emails, implementing email authentication has become essential. As daunting as the topic might be, the basic concepts are not as complex as one might think. Do you know which are the top email authentication methods that will help you ensure the security of your email marketing messages?

In this article, we’ll cover the following topics on email authentication:

  1. What is email authentication?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Email authentication methods
  4. How to set up your email authentication in EmailOut?
Ready to dive in?
The foundation of successful email marketing is for email campaigns to reach the subscribers’ inbox. You can devote hours upon hours on crafting the most highly-personalised, perfectly designed email campaign but… how will your subscribers see it if it ends up in the spam folder?
Most email providers (like Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, etc.) are always on the lookout for ways to make sure the emails they deliver to the users’ inbox are relevant and secure. However, with the increased distribution of unsolicited and harmful phishing emails, email servers have placed numerous security protocols to help verify the authenticity of an email message, and it’s sender, before it reaches the intended recipient. If the email does not pass the required email authentication process, it’s highly likely your email campaign will experience deliverability issues like ending in the spam folder or not being delivered at all.
To prevent your marketing emails from going to spam, you need to follow four essential email deliverability best practice –
1) only email people who’ve asked you to; 2) ensure your content is relevant, well-designed, engaging and avoid spam words/phrases (for example, free, best, download now, etc.); 3) never send emails with hard-to-read or unexpected content; and 4) don’t bombard your subscribers with tons of email campaigns or send so infrequently that they forget about you.

Five factors can have an impact on your email deliverability (aside from not having email authentication) –

a) spam complaints – when a recipient marks your email as ‘spam’; b) bounces – when an email address is invalid or doesn’t even exist; c) spam traps – email addresses created for the sole purpose of catching fraudulent emails; d) IP address reputation – it measures the reputation of your IP address based on the quality and type of the emails you’re sending; and e) domain reputation – it measures the reputation of your email address based on the quality and type of emails you’re sending.
With these factors and best practice covered, you need to move your focus on how to improve your emails’ performance. Cue, implementing email authentication. But, before I give you details on the four main email authentication methods, let’s first find out what email authentication is and how it works.

The Nature Of Email Authentication

In technical terms, email authentication is a process that helps identify the sending source (for example, sending domain or IP) of an email so that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can route the email accordingly.
Simply put, email authentication is a process set to help you, the sender, prove you are who you say you are (not that [email protected] D0e from M1cr0s0ft urgently requesting users to update credit card details) and that the email you’re sending is not forged/spoofed. In other words, email authentication allows email marketing tools to send emails on your behalf AND as your domain.
Every email you send to a recipient gets processed by the recipient’s email client incoming server. It gets analysed and based on your email authentication method, it either passes or fails the authentication process. Once the email server has this information, it will determine if your email should be delivered to the recipient’s inbox (pass), flagged as spam (fail) or completely disregarded from the server (fail-filtered). If you have no email authentication in place, the chances of your email being considered as spam and rejected are very high which will subsequently lead to decreased email deliverability.

The Way Email Authentication Works

Email marketers can approach email authentication in several different ways. However, as much as the implementation of each approach comes with its specific technicalities, this is how the general email authentication process works –
1) the sender establishes a policy defining the rules by which emails from their domain name can be authenticated; 2) the sender configures its email servers to implement and publish the rules; 3) the email server receiving the email authenticates the message by verifying the details of the incoming email against the rules defined by the domain owner; and 4) the receiving email server takes action based on the results from the authentication process to either deliver, flag as spam or disregard the email.
When the receiving email server gets your message it looks for specific information in your email and the Domain Name System (DNS) records of your domain to determine the legitimacy and security of your message and whether it is safe for the recipient to receive, and, consequently, if the email came from an authorised source.
It is important to note that even if you’ve set up one or more email authentication methods but they failed the authentication process, your email can still end up being flagged as spam or rejected by the mail servers. Hence, rather than quickly setting up only one email authentication method, ensure you have multiple email authentication methods in place and regularly monitor the effect they have on your emails and your deliverability.

Email Authentication Methods

To set up an email authentication method, you have to create a few DNS records (or upload a file) to your domain hosting provider using the information rendered by your email marketing platform.
Beyond just looking at the sender’s email address, there are four email authentication methods (or standards) ISPs use that email marketers can take advantage of to ensure their emails will not end up in the spam folder or be rejected by the mail servers.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Sender Policy Framework or SPF is an email authentication method whose purpose is to detect falsification of the sender address (return-path header) during the delivery of the email. It’s a DNS record that specifies which IP addresses and/or servers are allowed to send email communications from that particular domain.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
When implementing SPF, always keep in mind that each domain can have a maximum of only one SPF record.
When an SPF record is checked, there are five possible results –
a) None – no SPF record exists; b) Neutral – an SPF record was found. Yet, neither a positive nor negative assertion was made about the sender; c) Pass – the sender is authorised to send email communications on behalf of the domain; d) Fail – the sender is not authorised and the mail server may disregard the email; e) Soft fail – the sender is not authorised but the mail server may not disregard the email only based on this.
The disadvantage of SPF email authentication is that this method alone cannot authenticate the original author of the email. Instead, it authenticates only the source of it (return-path). The best course of action to prevent email spoofing is to combine SPF with DMARC and DKIM.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DomainKeys Identified Mail or DKIM is an email authentication method focused on detecting fake/fraudulent sender addresses in emails (email spoofing). Just like an SPF record, DKIM is a TXT record added to a domain’s DNS. It allows the email’s recipient to check if the email message has been indeed authorised by the owner of the domain.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
This email authentication method is done by adding a digital signature linked to a specific domain name to each outgoing email and affixed to the email as a header. By checking the sender’s public key published in the DNS, the email can be verified.
Unlike SPF, DKIM uses an encryption algorithm to create a pair of electronic keys – public and private. The public key is placed in the DNS record, whilst the private key remains on the servers it was created on (i.e. your mail server).
To implement DKIM, you are required to update your DNS – just like with SPF. However, it’s a bit more involved than setting up SPF since you’ll need to –
1) choose a DKIM selector – it can be anything – word, number or a combination of both (see an example below, the selector is highlighted);
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; d=example.net; s=brisbane; c=relaxed/simple; q=dns/txt; t=1117574938; x=1118006938; h=from:to:subject:date:keywords:keywords; bh=MTIzNDU2Nzg5MDEyMzQ1Njc4OTAxMjM0NTY3ODkwMTI=; b=dzdVyOfAKCdLXdJOc9G2q8LoXSlEniSbav+yuU4zGeeruD00lszZ VoG4ZHRNiYzR
2) generate both public and private keys; 3) publish your selector and public key; and 4) attach the token to each one of your outgoing emails.
This tool can be particularly useful for generating a DKIM public and private key.

Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance or DMARC is an email authentication method focused on handling the problem of email spoofing by protecting both the sender and the recipient. Your DMARC record instructs the receiving server not to accept an email if it fails DKIM and SPF checks.
Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)
Is DMARC enough for email authentication? On its own – no. DMARC needs SPF to work.
What is DMARC authentication and how does it work? >>>

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

Brand Indicators for Message Identification or BIMI is an open standard allowing businesses to verify their identity and be easily recognised in recipients’ inboxes. Similar to SPF, DKIM and DMARC, BIMI is a text record which lives on your servers. It works alongside all the other three authentication methods to show email clients you are you. Some even call this email authentication method DMARC 2.0.
Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)
What differentiates BIMI from the other three methods is that it allows businesses to display their logo in supported inboxes.
For more information about the BIMI standard click here.

Email Authentication Methods Review

1) SPF – to authenticate the sender’s identity this standard performs a check similar to verifying a return address. Simply put, the sender can define which IP addresses are allowed to send an email for a particular domain;
2) DKIM – this standard is also used to authenticate the sender’s identity, however, it looks beyond just the sender’s email address to ensure the content of the email is not altered by utilising an encryption key and digital signature which verify the email is authentic and not spoofed;
3) DMARC – think of this standard as a courier. It ensures emails meet SPF and DKIM requirements before they are even delivered; and
4) BIMI – this standard focuses on improving the sender’s credibility and legitimacy by displaying the sender’s logo in the inbox next to the email. If a brand has set up a BIMI record, once the receiving email servers receive the email it’ll run the usual DNS checks for the sender domain and if a BIMI record is found, it’ll ‘fetch it’ and show it.

Setting Up Email Authentication In EmailOut

By updating your Domain Name System (DNS) settings, you will benefit from DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) authentication.
Before you even begin with EmailOut’s DNS settings set up, make sure the email address you plan to send from is set up correctly. (N.B. EmailOut allows users to add as many ‘alternative email addresses’ as they’d like.)
Your next step is to access the dedicated DNS tool. There you will see three CNAME records that you’ll need to update your DNS settings –
https://preview.redd.it/fegu54d6xgo51.png?width=618&format=png&auto=webp&s=67b4ed530367c0066793ec774b12921023d4cc32
With these CNAME records at hand, head to your hosting service provider and search for a feature called ‘Manage DNS’ (or something similar), select your domain, then ‘Add New’ record and set the ‘Type’ to CNAME and ‘TTL’ to default. Afterwards, enter one record at a time like the example below:
https://preview.redd.it/q0kf3n87xgo51.png?width=597&format=png&auto=webp&s=e8951bbaf7cdd0d652b0c1338a3e38d3a035f571
If the DNS set up is successful, EmailOut’s DNS tool will have three green status ticks –
https://preview.redd.it/xemc3x28xgo51.png?width=956&format=png&auto=webp&s=e6bd0099e99ac3a5bfcfa6908d4550d837564e05
How long will the DNS set up take? The TTL (Time-To-Live) determines the time the records will take to propagate. This will vary for each domain hosting provider and may display as ‘1 Hour’ or ‘3600 seconds’ for example. Most providers will tell you it can take up to 48 hours but it’s usually a lot faster than this. The average time is 2 hours.

Final Thoughts

Email authentication is like a digital ID. It protects your brand’s integrity, identity and reputation. Implementing the proper email authentications methods like SPF, DKIM, DMARC and BIMI, will help you improve your email deliverability, email engagement and also, reassure your subscribers that you are who you say you are. Thus, creating a trusting relationship between you and the recipient.
To ensure everything with your email authentication is going smoothly, I recommend keeping an eye on email security metrics such as bounce and deliverability rates. If you notice a spike in bounces and a decrease in email deliverability, there might be something wrong with your email authentication. Ah, and remember, it’s always better to have more than one email authentication method in place.

Highly recommended further reading –

1) How to Improve Email Deliverability 2) Email Engagement: Paramount For Email Deliverability 3) How to Improve Your Email Sender Reputation

Changing DNS settings in common Domain Hosting Providers

GoDaddy: How to add a CNAME record AWS: Supported DNS record types 123Reg: Creating a CNAME record FreeParking: Managing DNS Resource Records NameCheap: Creating a CNAME record for your domain G Suite (Google): Add a CNAME record to your domains DNS records
This article was originally published on 14 September and can be found here.

Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.

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2020.09.21 06:40 nathanrayau Small Business Accounting Services in Brisbane

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2020.09.15 10:03 lawriencejack Excess Cleaning Pressure cleaning Gold Coast

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submitted by lawriencejack to u/lawriencejack [link] [comments]


2020.09.09 01:49 SACBH Queensland records 8 new local cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours

8 new local cases today in Queensland.

Update

The ABC understands the child is a Year 11 student at St Edmund's College. The Catholic boys' school in Ipswich has closed for at least 48 hours for cleaning and contact tracing. All parents have been contacted.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-09/coronavirus-case-ipswich-student-st-edmunds-college/12620292
Please visit the following link to view the full contact tracing list of places visited by confirmed cases: Current contact tracing alerts.

Cases to date

Last 24 hours Total
Confirmed cases +8 1,143
Active cases +4 29
Recovered +1 1,091
Current hospitalisations 12
Patients currently in ICU 0
Deaths 6
Tests conducted +12,075 990,944
Cases of First Nations people 0 10

Likely source of infection

Last 24 hours Total
Locally Acquired—close contact with a confirmed case +8 227
Locally Acquired—no known contact 42
Interstate acquired 21
Overseas acquired 0 852
Under investigation 0

Active cluster

Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours Total Reported
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre / QCS academy Wacol Brisbane +5 29 Sept: 9, August: 31, 30, 29, 28, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20

Affected educational institutions

Outbreak Suburb Last 24 hours TOTAL cases Reported
St Edmund's College - Catholic boys' school Ipswich +1

Sources:
submitted by SACBH to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 01:16 Stoaticor Queensland records 2 new local cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours


Please visit the following link to view the full contact tracing list of places visited by confirmed cases: Current contact tracing alerts.

Cases to date

Last 24 hours Total
Confirmed cases +2 1,128
Active cases +2 30
Recovered +2 1,086
Current hospitalisations +2 18
Patients currently in ICU +0 0
Deaths +0 6
Tests conducted +14,273 935,702
Cases of First Nations people +0 10

Likely source of infection

Last 24 hours Total
Locally Acquired—close contact with a confirmed case +0 212
Locally Acquired—no known contact +0 42
Interstate acquired +0 21
Overseas acquired +0 851
Under investigation +0 4

Active cluster


Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours Total Reported
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre / QCS academy Wacol Brisbane - 24 August: 31, 30, 29, 28, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20

Sources:
submitted by Stoaticor to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


2020.09.01 09:05 marekvse A religion-less society actually exists right now!

Hello Jodan,

I'm sending this letter to you, Sam Harris and Douglas Murray, and hoping that it will reach at least one of you directly as I believe it could move all of your individual viewpoints as well as your future conversations forward. I'm sending it in the interest of possibly alerting you to at least one country, the one I grew up in, which seem to have completely evaded your research efforts and leaving you all, it would seem, agree on one, to me a very curious and strange point, that a successful and happy society without a (major) role of religion in it does not exist or have ever been tried. Sam is sure it would work, you say it did not work in Stalin's Russia case (you also add Hitler, who clearly was not an atheist and his most brutal forces had "God is with us" written right on their belt buckles which pretty much destroys the non-religious assertion), but none of you seem to be aware that it worked and is still currently working already very well.

I respect all of you greatly. I identify most with Sam's points of view at matters - perhaps unsurprisingly given the country I grew up in and the personality I am - and least with you Jordan, but that's only because of the religious part of views he seems to insist on deeply. I admire Jordan for your abilities to reason and, most of the time, reason so for clearly logical things. I admire the other two for the same reason without the need for that exception.

I've watched a great many videos featuring you 3 plus of course other very intelligent people like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and others in the past few years. The one thing that always keeps surprising me is the point where the discussion gets to the point of arguing about "how viable would a theoretical society" built basically purely on reason and no religion look like and what state it would end up in. Not even Christopher Hitchens seemed to ever have any other answers than a very good, but yet still purely theoretical arguments regarding such a society. From all of those occasions in those conversations, I am basically forced to believe that you all guys, however much-traveled and intelligent, have completely missed at least this one real-life, well-working example, which is my country - The Czech Republic. I think that if you haven't and if you then talked to a few people who grew up there at least at the time when I did - born 1973 - you would find not theoretical, but very real examples of a great many people who not only grew up completely without any religion or any stories coming from it and yet, still grew up very nice, intelligent and maybe surprisingly to you all VERY HAPPY people.

I'm not sure how many people exactly like me you would find because I really set up my life to be very happy, not even knowing how exactly stress would feel - I just maybe get hints of what it may feel like when I'm cold, which is why I have relocated to Queensland, Australia a long time ago - but you would definitely find heaps and heaps of people who are undergoing the same stresses in life as in any other western-type society with handling family, work and the other aspects of life, yet without any regard whatsoever to notions of any religion or any need to any type of any kind of comforting mythical stories.

That, of course, is not to say that many of us do not enjoy fiction books or entertaining stories in the form of books, tales, or other arts. We can enjoy it all the same with the full knowledge that those are fiction.

All the above is the result of the socialist/communist system we grew up in which not necessarily stifled but certainly did not promote any religion. It is the one thing I am grateful for to that system I grew up in, apart from a very happy childhood since nobody's parents had existential struggles. I do believe that there were efforts to eradicate the religion, many of which may probably be identified as forceful, but we've always kept our history including its buildings like castles and churches as opposed to destroying them, which would be an extreme way to get rid of something. Even clergy was tolerated and some very tiny minority of mostly the old-times people were attending services even at those times.

The actual real fact of life was, however, that we never were taught about religion apart from being a part of history, including ours. And we would still go on school trips some of which may include admiring a great cathedral purely for its architecture and art.

Strangely, even the name of the "person" who brings the presents at Chrismas (which in the Czech language is called "vanoce", which has nothing to do with Christianity - at least not obviously - I did not study its etymological roots) is "Jezisek", which, funnily and very interestingly enough I personally only realized when I was about 14 years old, means "a little Jezis = Jesus - "little" here meaning a kid, a baby). So the presents were being brought by a baby Jesus and yet, for almost all of us it was just a name, same as the west had Santa Claus or any other name you could use for a fictional character. It had NO religious meaning whatsoever to us, nor any story was attached to it at all. It was (and is for us) simply a holiday with the ritual of decorating a tree and having a very nice, extraordinary family dinner before (mostly the kids) would enjoy the present unwrapping under the tree. (Yes, our Christmas all happen on 24th Dec). We had no idea that it was originally a celebration of the winter solstice or that it was then stolen as a Christian holiday. We enjoyed it and frankly still enjoy it for the same family reasons, all the same. Actually now knowing that it has been for the past many hundreds of years appropriated by a religious cult if anything taints the experience. It probably would not if that cult was a thing simply belonging and part of the history of "less educated" times of us humans. The fact that this magical thinking still sways great sections of global citizens' everyday lives is what taints Christmas for some us Czechs. It surely does for me. I feel more at ease with it knowing that actually it is the winter solstice celebration. I would surely be more fine with it if it was just a date that someone decided to arbitrarily put on a calendar rather than thinking of it in terms of a cult that brutally killed and tortured so many innocent people in history and still thinks that magical thinking is just a fine idea.

Similar to Christmas, we in the Czech Republic also celebrate Easter (another holiday appropriated for itself by Christianity as I learned much later in my life). We also enjoy it purely for the tradition or maybe just for the fact that it is a day off work :). In Czech, a part of the tradition regarding Easter is that man create a nice looking weaved supple "sticks" from the branches of a willow tree, and in the morning we go around as many girls/women we know as possible to "hit" their behinds with it so that they stay young and supple too. I'm sure that in today's "politically correct" society many would find something very wrong with it, but the simple fact was that it ended up being a very nice and very social day for everyone. (By the way, I never knew that anybody would consider women as any lesser than men. I grew up in a society where had no reason to even suspect such a thing.) In the afternoon the girls and women had the right on the other hand to pour buckets of water over the men's' heads, even though that part was never really practiced. (At least in our parts of the Czech Republic. There are more traditional areas.) I suppose that is because it is not as convenient to run around with buckets of water around than it would be with sticks. Also, we - boys and men - would get a colorful ribbon bound to the ends of the sticks by each female we've visited and "paid off" - we don't really call it hitting or beating. It would leave the omitted girls and women feel neglected rather than happy not to get hit. I'm sure that the absolute majority of us were always as gentle as myself and my friends in performing that "stick-and-behind" ritual. I actually never wanted or was planning to do this whole thing, but I had a friend who always came on the morning of Easter Monday to my home with a couple of those "sticks" - one for himself, one for me, and basically had to talk me into joining him every single year. And it always ended up being one of the best days of the year, finishing in a mixed group having a great time (including a bit of drinking in our later teenage years). It was very nice and social and NOTHING to do with any religion or anything other than "this tradition actually turns out to be fun" and we did not need some deep explanation for it that I'm sure Jordan would try to dig out at this point. It was the same fun we can end up with when we come up with brand new social events, out of which, when they turn out fun, we often try to make a tradition of too. All that being completely atheist and secular. I really don't understand what seems to be so hard to comprehend even to Sam - not that he could not seem to be able to imagine it - clearly, he very much is - but that it actually has already been tried and is still going on successfully. Admittedly though, traditions like the Easter ones in Czech are fading as the capitalist style of life requiring most of us to work more and more puts a strain on that too, together with an overload of other modern culture distractions obviously.

In any case, my point is that what Sam is saying, what Christopher used to say and others too, is NOT a theoretically working "utopia", it IS a reality for millions in just my own country of origin and we suffer no ill effects from it!

On the contrary, despite being a tiny nation of 10 million people we have (even though thanks to globalization, corruption, and not in small part thanks to the totalitarianism of the European Union) we are loosing great industry and very clever people. We used to be (before EU) totally self-sufficient in basically everything, were exporting fighter jets, cars, atomic reactors, locomotives, food, and much more to the rest of the world, gave the world some amazing people and inventions like contact lenses, nanofibres, the lighting rod, or even small things like sugar cubes, pencils or Koh-i-Noor snaps for our jeans :) and we needed no religion or the related stories to do that. And that is the one thing I'm happy the "communist" regime gave us - true freedom from religion, freedom from bullshit stories if you pardon me. It lets us concentrate on interesting and important stuff in life instead of trying to solve mute problems like why are we here. We are, so enjoy it. I must say that without the religious ideas surrounding us that most of us don't even think about it as something to worry about. We worry about "we are here now, what can we do to live well" and some of us also "what can we do to leave my imprint on humanity". The more curious of us sure ask "how" did we get here and maybe do think about how in the great scheme of things we are totally insignificant, but I don't think it makes us unhappy. I know it does not make me unhappy for sure. I enjoy learning new things, discovering, making logical conclusions, and, apart from other things, being truthful to myself and others, which is probably why I'm also so happy in my life and have always been, which all of you I'm sure will very easily understand.

All of you guys seem to imply or straight away say that "sure, there is not a person who would not have major problems in life, who would not have "demons"" etc. Well, sure, I've encountered problems in my life. I'm solving software problems every day (I'm a software engineer) I've traveled around the world on a motorbike so I've encountered life-threatening situations, I've lost family members (fortunately for me just the ones who naturally died of old age, no tragedies so far, so yes, I've been lucky in that respect). But problems are here, to my eye, to be solved. They are a challenge, not a tragedy. They make life interesting. And demons? No, I do not have any. Things I regret? Maybe, a tiny little ones like not asking that beautiful girl on a bus for a coffee. But I've never done anything I would be ashamed of. That does not mean that I never failed of course. But I freely admit and not try to hide my failings so I have no demons. Am I really the only person in the world you think? I may be rare, but I'm sure I'm not alone.

Regardless, many, or basically I'd say almost all of my friends, much as they may have more normal everyday problems and stresses than I have (and it is not at all related to money - I'm not wealthy at all - we even still rent the place where we live), would tell you the same thing regarding the role of religion or religious stories in their lives and their decisions - NONE whatsoever.

The Czech Republic is very rich in culture too. Our country has one of the biggest concentrations of castles for example. I do not think that religion was necessary for those structures to be built for powerful people in our history. Yes, many, many churches too. Beautiful buildings. Some of them truly amazing, as some of the castles, too. And our secular society still builds and creates amazing things with no religion required for it. Just yesterday I was sent a link to a video about the biggest chandelier and at the same time, the biggest jewel ever built anywhere. (Link here if you are interested: https://www.youtube.com/embed/AQ2udSvqx28 .) It could very well hang in a cathedral of some type. But it was built by a Czech company for a Saipan casino. Only human talent, work, and lots of money was needed to build this wonder. No religion whatsoever. So I'm pretty sure, Jordan, that you can stop worrying about losing culture if there was no religion. Sure, cassino may not be considered culture by many, but it is simply a fact of today's world that casinos are one of the areas where the money is. If you want to start to argue that we need religion as a way of extracting money from the population to build such marvels, as was historically exactly one of its functions and is one of the reasons those grand structures like great cathedrals exist, then fine. I would, like Sam, argue that it is possible to do without the pretense of magic, but at least that would be a simple point to defend. Not the only way though!! An example - and I'm sure there are also many modern ones too.. The National Theatre in Prague... It is a grandiose building with high ceilings covered with similar gold ornamentry and paintings to any cathedral you may find. It also has a huge painted curtain - a great painting of its own right. This all was built from money collected from donations of the citizens expressly towards building a national theatre, which was opened in 1881. The first idea came in 1844 at a congregation of Czech patriots. As far as I can tell no religion was involved. Certainly, none needed. And that great building is also a part of our and the world's registered cultural heritage sites.

So to summarize, the reason for this letter was to let all of you three guys know that you can stop only theorizing about a society without religion. Look at the Czech Republic especially before the Velvet Revolution (after which slowly more and more religion starts very slowly creeping in again), but where still today three-quarters of the population are completely irreligious. We are one of the safest, most educated, and happiest countries in the world. And if you look over the state ideology at any one time, where communism was making some people unhappy with restrictions on travel for example, and capitalism in its demands on sacrificing more of one's private / family time for work time, we are generally really happy people, nice to each other (without having to be threatened by hell or whatever other stupid magic idea), helping each other. And it is probably partly thanks to the LACK of any religion that we are that way. There is one less thing to partition us into opposing groups which argue about something they actually cannot even know.

Actually, that makes me think about my friends and people I know. I know and have experienced that my friends or even friends of my parents, for example, would (and in the past have) helped me when I really needed help, despite it being a great inconvenience for them. Yet, I was in similar situations when I only had a religious person to help me and they would not. It would seem to me that religious people like to listen to the stories that Jordan insists are shaping majorly their principles and behavior, rather than actually behave according to them. And then some feel great to tell you how good they are thanks to Jesus.

Ok, I think that concrete examples would be good here:
I know, that every time I go back to the Czech Republic for the summer I have offers from my friends to take me to the airport - both in Czech and in Australia (still from Czech friends interestingly enough). In both cases, it is over 100km and I do not want to inconvenience them if it is not necessary so I thank them and decline. But I know that even if I called them at three in the morning that I needed an urgent lift to the airport they would just tell me how long it would take them to pick me up.
Contrast that with this:
I've known a great person for 7 years and actually shared a house with her for 5 of those years. I consider her a very nice person and considered her a very good friend. I still visit her once a year or so when I have a chance, but thinking back on the story I'm about to tell you certainly makes me feel less worm towards her than I always thought she otherwise deserved.

So the story: I found a new life partner while again staying for the whole European summer in the Czech Republic. For reasons irrelevant to this story she could not join me permanently in Australia for the first few years of being together, so we were overcoming that problem by her periodically visiting me in Australia for 3 months, then we would not see each other for another 3, then I would go to Czech for 3 and a bit, again 3 months apart and then the cycle would repeat.

At the end of one of her stays in Australia with me, while I was still sharing the house with my friend, Jean, my partner was flying home the next day and I, shortly before that, decided I would actually fly back with her. I could not get a seat on the same flight so my flight was at 8 AM and hers the same day at 1 PM. My partner is a bit lost when traveling and she did not speak English at that time yet either, so we decided to travel the 150km to Brisbane in the evening before and arranged to stay with a friend there overnight. We were supposed to catch the second one of the only two trains that goes from that place to Brisbane daily. It was leaving around 9 PM. The nearest train station is about 8km from the place I lived in with Jean, who agreed or maybe even offered to take us to that train station, I can't remember that bit for sure. What is for sure is that once we got there it become clear that the train was not coming as the train tracks were not there and the workers currently working there under the floodlights confirmed that the trains were not operating on that track for the past 14 days and will not be going for another 14 more. I was amazed and surprised, especially after we got back home and I confirmed on the computer that the online time schedule directly on the Queensland Rail website still insists that there are no exceptions or delays and that that train is scheduled as per normal.

There was no other public transport for us to use from that place. So after another couple of hours of trying to figure out any other possibility of getting us there on time, I finally asked Jean if she would be so kind and took us to the airport (we did not want to bother the friend in Brisbane to sleep over anymore because we would arrive too late for that we felt) so that we could make our flights. Jean told us that "she would but that she promised her sister to accompany her to a church service the next morning and that if she took us she would be too sleepy for that the next day"..................

I probably don't have to say that I was a bit disappointed that someone I considered a friend and a good person would refuse to help us in a situation in which I would have no other safe viable option. I never analyzed it further beyond the disappointment. However, a couple of years later I was telling this story to a friend and he, I think very spot on, pointed out that "So she would rather go to church to listen to the preacher to tell her that she should be helping people rather than take the opportunity to actually help someone in a real need.". How is that for "Christian" values? I know my non-religious friends would not hesitate to help me in that situation as I'll give you an example of in a couple of lines.

Just to finish the story, Jean was "nice enough" to suggest that we can try hitchhiking on the highway (at 1 AM no less!!) and "kindly" offered to take us there. We had no other choice so we accepted. To start with, there were literally 2 cars in 40 minutes we stood there. Fortunately, the second car actually stopped for us, and also fortunately we survived that. I say the second "fortunately" since it was a German traveler who told us that he stopped because he needed someone to keep him awake since he has been driving at that point non-stop for 16 hours from Cairns. Needless to say that traveling in a car 20km over the highway speed limit with someone who is grossly falling to sleep is quite scary... The story still developed into having quite a few very interesting twists, but those are not relevant to this anymore.

So now a concrete matching example:
When I was 15 I was to travel by bus 150 km to my brand new high school. I was obviously gonna have to be staying at a boarding school there so I wanted to take an earlier Sunday bus to have a chance to choose my new bed. But after waiting over an hour over the scheduled time for the bus I concluded that it was not coming and I was going to have to take the late afternoon one. After returning to the bus station and waiting for that one for almost an hour again I finally figured out that it was actually a brand new holiday celebrating the two (religious - interestingly enough :)) men who managed to enforce the recognition of our language as a language recognized by the religion, based and thanks to which our writing was established. (Religion would not allow our writing if it did not recognize the language as being worthy.) It was never celebrated before as it was shortly after the Velvet Revolution so I had no idea. Anyway, the result was that there was no other bus that day and that not only I would arrive dead last to the boarding school, but I would also miss probably the important first half of the first day at the actual new school as a freshman since my dad was away somewhere at that time with our only car.

That evening, at about 10 PM, a neighbor and my parent's friend came to pick something up from my mum. He was surprised to see me still at home and so he asked how come? When we told him he said that we should have told him earlier because he would have taken me there. He also told us that he was supposed to be at work the next day at 5 or 6 AM so it was too late to drive me there now. I remember thinking that it is easy to say now if he can't prove he would have done it anyway. Three minutes later I hear him saying: "You know what, let's go, I'll take you there." It was a 3-hour drive one way!!! The Czech Republic is quite dense with towns and villages and there were at that time many quite large detours on the way, too. So this man would get home about an hour or two before having to go to work!

How big of a difference this is to a church on Sunday where you go by your own volition, you are not required to go and being able to take the highway instead of in that case basically the whole way, so that trip would have cost Jean 3 hours max!

So the person who is NOT compulsed to help me for fear of any hell or any other even slightly unpleasant result helps me for purely the good feeling that one gets from helping others by his own choice despite majorly inconveniencing himself is the one that actually helps me and the one that thinks of themselves as the chosen and the most kind people chooses to go listening about how kind they are rather than actually be. Does not that give you a pause? :)

Another example. I was renting a room in a home of another of my friends and I happened to accidentally either drop the clear plastic fridge bucket for fruits and veggies or drop something on it (I cannot remember), resulting in its cracking. The, for me absolutely obvious thing to do, despite that it was "just a crack" and the bucket was still capable of fulfilling its function (and in fact until this day I still use it in my garage to store stuff in), I went ahead and spent almost a whole day trying to find where I could buy the correct replacement and spent something like 60 bucks on it at a time I did not have much money at all. Just because it was a normal logical thing for me to do for the pure "golden rule" reason. And Jordan would maybe say "ha, see, Christian values". And I, same as Sam or Christopher or probably Douglas too, would say that that rule is very logical, self-evident, and much older than the Christianity that appropriates that too for itself. It is just logical. I did not ever need any kind of story behind it and definitely not one where I would be punished other than that others may start doing the same to me seeing me do that to others. And since I want others to be nice to me, I, quite logically and without complicated explanations that some try to fit to some ancient stories they happen to believe in, will behave nicely to them.

And now again, contrast this to a very similar situation the other way around, this time, however, the other person is a church-going Christian.

I now live in a nice big house, which we rent as I mentioned. For the past 10 years, it has been our home and we can only afford it because we are sub-letting one of its rooms directly connected to the main bathroom. And we do this because we fell in love with the house and felt immediately at home as soon as we inspected it. And we originally inspected it purely just as a point of comparison with other houses we went to see afterward because it was available for inspection first that day. Later, comparing it to the other houses, I realized we could make it affordable (same price as the others) by renting out just those two of the 4 rooms that were on the top of what we actually needed. So we did and it has been 10 years since.

We look for people who want to stay longer-terms. Last year, a guy from the Christian part of Nigeria was finishing his stay of over 2 years with us. He would go to church every Sunday without fail and was obviously a devout Christian. He was studying nursing and was working as well, earning quite good money too. In the home, we usually all fit in our big fridge together with our boarder. This one, however, said he needed more space so we bought an additional fridge for him. It was one of the smaller ones which still needs to be periodically defrosted. When we noticed that he is leaving the freezer to become overgrown with ice we told him that he will need to do that so that the fridge does not break. We asked him to do that several times over several months until the plastic hinge of the plastic freezer door broke by the ice pushing it out. It was obviously not even an accident. He would ignore that. So eventually I told him that now he, unfortunately, had to find a replacement freezer door for it because otherwise, the fridge will be consuming much more energy (and we are paying all the energy bills, the boarders have it included in a single unchanging rent amount, which is by the way cheapest in this area) and that it will freeze over faster and that the person after him will surely need the door, too. Nothing at all happened until he left.

I meant to force him to do that before I'd return his bond when he would eventually be leaving, but it happened just at a time when we were holidaying aborad and I forgot about the freezer door. So I remotely returned his full bond. Sometime after that, when he came to pick up some of his post that he still did not change the address for, I gave him the broken door and asked him if he could please finally get a replacement. It's been almost a year now and he tells me he did not find it. So I asked him obviously if he actually tried. He said he did. A couple of simple questions later it is clear that he actually did not even try but is happy to lie about it. So what exactly has the church taught him?? I know it has neither taught him for sure to be responsible for his own actions nor to be honest. Clearly. Qualities that I and all of my close friends who I grew up with, who have never been touched by religion of any kind, have.

I am not necessarily saying that these almost exactly one-to-one comparable examples are totally indicative of the difference of morals between Christians and completely irreligious people, but since it does fit pretty well with many others we see in history and also currently around us, I think it is time to stop theorizing about the necessity or even utility of religious values for modern people. I'm not disputing that religion does have utility for people who follow it, but it certainly is not the necessary or even important tool for people in general.

It seems to me that religion has a utility of a rock that you use to beat in a nail. Take the rock from me and you leave me with a hammer that actually makes much more sense, similarly to taking away the stories and threat of hell and replacing it with something that has been there all along - the genuinely nice feeling of helping someone even if I am otherwise not compelled by anything else than the great feeling and the very logical realization that I have a much better chance to be treated nicely if I treat everybody else nicely. And that I am much more likely to be helped by others if I unconditionally help them. And I may help someone who never helps me, but helps somebody else. And somebody I never helped may actually help me because he was also at some point helped or at least sees it as all so logical how this works.

Jordan, your well-researched arguments on many societal topics are great and helpful and make sense. But I must say that even though I heard a couple of ways you very interestingly matched biblical stories on some current situations or general human behavior, I also think that you are totally overcomplicating stuff in these cases and you are getting many, myself included, lost as to what you are in fact trying to do other than somehow trying to reconcile your Christian belief with current reality and as you just discussed during the talks with Douglas and Sam, smuggling the Jesus into it where really, it is not necessary at all, objectively.

I understand that it is important to many, you including, but it really is not necessary. We can very nicely do completely without it. As an exercise in reasoning it is, or can be, for sure interesting, especially for scholars like you. For us, normal people (or normal engineers like myself :)) it seems pretty pointless otherwise. And the case of the Czech Republic, I think, even takes a base from your case completely, even though I'm sure you could find connections.

As an engineer I can tell you I can map anything to anything if I put enough abstractions in between. But the simple truth is, that almost everybody in a real country that has been historically doing well, grew up a perfectly decent person, arguably in a bigger percentage more decent than the majority in much more religious countries. And we do not suffer. Again, I'd say we suffer less because we are not burdened by any traumas like worrying about ending up in hell.

Sure, in our folklore we have another tradition where St. Nicholas (we never used the "St" part, for us it was just "Mikulas") comes on 5. December together with one or more devils to our home and gives our children presents or coal if "they were not good". And yes, for most children the devils are scary and some parents use that to elicit the promise of being good "from now on", but I think that at least most parents (certainly mine) were not trying to persuade us these were real beings.

It was a (scary) theatre happening in almost everybody's homes. And as soon as you figure out those under the masks are just normal people you feel clever as a kid. And you feel like you've grown and maybe also that you outsmarted the adults who would not tell you straight away those are just people. When you are like 6, 7, or 8, you are looking forward to running outside with the Mikulases and devils despite sometimes still being scared by them if they play the role well. It is thrilling. But it never needed to be shoved down our throats as a reality and not even a story was needed.

We have folklore fairytales that feature devils punishing bad people, yes. But we do not need them to tell us what is right and what is wrong. We can figure that out for ourselves and the stories are just a nice entertainment, if done well. And yes, we can see the useful allegory in it. We would still, however, know quite naturally the difference between clear right and wrong, between hurting others and not hurting others. But we recognize the difference between entertainment and reality. We still enjoy stories all the same.

You do not need organizations that actually believe those, are exempt from paying taxes and are praying on those who cannot reason themselves out well enough or prevent themselves being reasoned in by these fantastical stories and the ability of the storyteller to manipulate. I'd say that the about 25% of people in the Czech Republic who identify themselves as somehow religious are exactly those types of people. Ones who severely lack logical thinking. I have an uncle and a stepdaughter both like that. Neither of them has very good reasoning ability and so they are hanging there to be hooked on by the use of fantastical and magical stories, despite the fact that they were not indoctrinated into it as children, which then makes it more understandable when even pretty intelligent people still have this illogical partition in their brain reserved for god.

OK, that's it. Quite a bit longer than I intended it to be, but I hope it will eventually reach at least one of you in person and maybe give you some more arsenal for good arguments. It is obvious that you are very busy people so I do not expect any reply at all, but it would be great to get something like: "Hey Marek, it reached me, thanks." so that I know that I haven't completely wasted almost the whole day today instead of fixing my server and getting back to my coding in which I'm so much behind.

Wish you all all the best.

Sincerely,

Marek Vsechovsky


Aside:
As I'm reading what I wrote after myself I realize that although not absolutely necessary to explain this, you may wonder if I'm not "telling you stories" since at one point I mention that I am a software engineer and in another talk about affordability of rent. Well, I really don't revolve my life around money. And since I very much enjoy my job and have large amounts of ideas, I'm trying to implement them running it as my own business. However, I am kind of a Wozniak without a Jobs, meaning that rather than marketing a finished product I immediately start working on the next one since I just can't wait to work on it, so I end up with no income to my business and so from time to time I have to accept a paid outside contract. Since my expertise is large and well valued, and since I am a very frugal person (if I compare myself to most other people who say they are too :) ) I only need to work for about 3 months to be able to live from that for the next two years developing my own ideas. That's why I'm still renting rather than owning. I do what I love, I spend as much time on it as I want and I live at a very nice place where I can take a 30-minute holiday jumping in the surf basically all-year-round, so I'm really happy.
submitted by marekvse to JordanPeterson [link] [comments]


2020.08.31 01:32 SACBH Queensland records 1 new local case

New cases reported in the last 24 hours

Please visit the following link to view the full contact tracing list of places visited by confirmed cases: Current contact tracing alerts.

Cases to date

Last 24 hours Total
Confirmed cases 1 1,122
Active cases 1 27
Recovered 1,084
Current hospitalisations 18
Patients currently in ICU 0
Deaths 6
Tests conducted 895,789
Cases of First Nations people 10

Likely source of infection

Last 24 hours Total
Locally Acquired—close contact with a confirmed case 1 201
Locally Acquired—no known contact 40
Interstate acquired 21
Overseas acquired 851
Under investigation 5

Active cluster

Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours Total Reported
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre / QCS academy Wacol Brisbane - 21 August: 30, 29, 28, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20
Sources:
submitted by SACBH to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


2020.08.30 04:53 pinelife What is Best Way News? A bot Farm? An art Project?

Best Way News is a website purporting to be a news site. What's unusual is that all of their articles appear to be clumsily rewritten versions of articles that were published on other websites - apparently run through some kind of rewrite tool.
For example: The first paragraph of the Daily Mail article Devastated dad reveals the tragic reason he believes his son, 14, took his own life just weeks before another boy, 15, at the same Catholic school committed suicide in mysterious circumstances goes as follows:
The father of one of the teenagers who committed suicide at one of Brisbane's largest independent Catholic schools believes the COVID-19 lockdown contributed to his son's death.
The first paragraph of a similarly titled article, published by Best Way News, is as follows:
The father of one of the youngsters who dedicated suicide at a person of Brisbane’s biggest unbiased Catholic colleges thinks COVID-19 contributed to his son’s dying.
Clearly this is the same text, but one has just been garbled to hell. The copy-paste job is actually so lazy that The Daily Mail byline is included in the Best Way News article text.
Some Best Way News articles, naturally those which are more inflammatory, get thousands of views (assuming we can trust the site's view counter).
My first instinct was that this was some kind of fake news engine or a scam for ad money. But the website doesn't run ads. It doesn't appear to be editorialising or pushing a particular agenda. There are not affiliate marketing links. Thousands of these terribly written articles have been published - this has been going on for months! I can see articles on the site dating back to February. So what is it? Is it some kind of niche trolling? Is it an art project? Is this an experiment to see if anyone would notice that the whole site is full of poorly written, stolen articles?
The writers' profile pictures appear to be pictures are computer-generated using a GAN (the give away is the weird amorphous backgrounds) - these aren't real people. The writers don't seem to exist at all outside of Best Way News. The writing on this site would also suggest that they are terrible writers! Look at the bio for the supposed Editor of Best Way News:
My Name is Dale Coulombe, I am Editor and the main source from the ‘Bestwaynews.com’ of all the exclusive and most delicate visualization of the activities in the business and services sector. My first step towards this journey was taken in the very early years of my life. I started with an independent financial consultant. However, I only had almost 4 years of skills and experience in this market. I have always been a free personality and like to fly one place to another, to explore more and more. Moreover, this passion and craze of traveling gave me a chance to report a section for best news associations. Last but not least, I am presently working full-time as an editor.
It's completely nonsensical. The street addresses provided for the writers do not exist. It would actually be very weird to publish street addresses for a publication's writers anyway. Best Way News provides contact details on their site, but these are fake email addresses - there doesn't appear to be a mail server to send and receive emails. The site's social links don't lead anywhere. Best Way News' supposed office address appears to be a house. This has all been put together to look like a legit news website - but it's so poorly constructed that surely most readers would clock that these articles were written by a machine rather than a person.
Again, I really don't think Best Way News has a particular agenda - articles on the front page include:
I don't detect a strong political angle here, which makes me suspect this isn't some kind of fake news bot farm. And again, these are all articles that have been published on other news sites with a much larger reach - so who would benefit from reposting them on a smaller site?
Does anyone have an idea what this website is? And why someone would have bothered to put this together?
submitted by pinelife to RBI [link] [comments]


2020.08.30 02:06 CoronavirusAU_MOD Queensland records 4 new local cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours


Please visit the following link to view the full contact tracing list of places visited by confirmed cases: Current contact tracing alerts.

Cases to date

Last 24 hours Total
Confirmed cases +4 1,121
Active cases +4 28
Recovered +0 1,084
Current hospitalisations +1 19
Patients currently in ICU +0 0
Deaths +0 6
Tests conducted +10,558 888,924
Cases of First Nations people +0 10

Likely source of infection

Last 24 hours Total
Locally Acquired—close contact with a confirmed case +3 207
Locally Acquired—no known contact +0 40
Interstate acquired +0 21
Overseas acquired +0 851
Under investigation -3 2

Active cluster


Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours Total Reported
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre / QCS academy Wacol Brisbane +4 24 August: 30, 29, 28, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20

Sources:
submitted by CoronavirusAU_MOD to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


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submitted by IdolA29Augl to u/IdolA29Augl [link] [comments]


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submitted by HaulA29Augl to u/HaulA29Augl [link] [comments]


2020.08.29 03:53 Stoaticor Queensland records 4 new local cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours


Please visit the following link to view the full contact tracing list of places visited by confirmed cases: Current contact tracing alerts.

Cases to date

Last 24 hours Total
Confirmed cases +4 1,117
Active cases +4 24
Recovered +0 1,084
Current hospitalisations +1 18
Patients currently in ICU +0 0
Deaths +0 6
Tests conducted +18,763 878,366
Cases of First Nations people +0 10

Likely source of infection

Last 24 hours Total
Locally Acquired—close contact with a confirmed case +4 200
Locally Acquired—no known contact +0 40
Interstate acquired +0 21
Overseas acquired +0 851
Under investigation +0 5

Active cluster


Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours Total Reported
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre / QCS academy Wacol Brisbane +4 20 August: 29, 28, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20


Sources:
submitted by Stoaticor to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


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2020.08.28 01:24 Stoaticor Queensland records 3 new local cases

Queensland records 3 new local cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours

  • 3 cases linked to the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) academy in Wacol. 2 are in Gold Coast and 1 in Forest Lakes.

Please visit the following link to view the full contact tracing list of places visited by confirmed cases: Current contact tracing alerts.

Restrictions extend to the Gold Coast - AnnastaciaMP

Cases to date

Last 24 hours Total
Confirmed cases +3 1,113
Active cases +3 20
Recovered +1 1,084
Current hospitalisations +2 17
Patients currently in ICU +0 0
Deaths +0 6
Tests conducted +21,653 859,603
Cases of First Nations people +0 10

Likely source of infection

Last 24 hours Total
Locally Acquired—close contact with a confirmed case +0 196
Locally Acquired—no known contact -1 40
Interstate acquired +0 21
Overseas acquired +0 851
Under investigation +4 5

Active cluster


Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours Total Reported
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre Wacol Brisbane +3 15 August: 28, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20


Sources:
submitted by Stoaticor to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]