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The Age of Piracy

Theft is a problem endemic to human nature. But what if theft were a victimless crime? In the computer age, copying a file from a friend or from the web has become easy and widespread; and it is often criminal in nature. The following books give insight into whether this is a problem of enforcement, of intellectual property laws, or of both:

The pirate's dilemma : how youth culture is reinventing capitalism by Matt Mason

Downloading copyrighted stuff from the Internet : stealing or fair use? by Sherri Mabry Gordon

Michigan Scanner Law

As part of the 2011 Shopper Reform and Modernization Act, the new Scanner Law goes into effect September 1st. The actual document for this act is very lengthy, but the most important fact is that consumers should know is the following: If the consumer is charged more than the displayed cost, they are entitled to request the difference between the displayed price and what they were charged, plus additional compensation ("bonus") of ten times the difference. The bonus must be at least $1.00, but may not be more than $5.00.
[Photo courtesy of eLibrary]

Back to Business School

We're going Back to Business School with a series of presentations geared to our local business community and entrepreneurs during their lunch hours at Noon. This five series offering begins September 13 and includes the following:

Accel­er­ate Michi­gan Inno­va­tion Competition

The Accelate Michigan Innovation Competition is an international business plan competition designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity.

Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled for at least 2 classes in a Michigan public or private university or college for the fall 2011 semester are eligible. The deadline date for students' entries is September 30, 2011.

(Photo Credit: Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service. 08 Jul. 2004. eLibrary. Web. 10 Aug. 2011.)

Not Just Business As Usual

If you're looking for that next great idea or just want to know how to think outside of the box, give these titles a try.

Breakthrough creativity: achieving top performance using the eight creative talents by Lynne C. Levesque

Discover your genius: ten secrets to breakthrough thinking from history's most revolutionary minds by Michael J. Gelb

Customer Service — A Survey

Some recent viewpoints regarding society's business customer service ratings make for some interesting reading in the July 2011 issue of Consumer Reports. The article on the Consumer Reports website contains these comments. CR is part of the CPL adult magazine collection and is also available for patron in-library use located at Adult Reference.

BOOM! The Entrepreneur

Join TechTown on June 30 at NextEnergy for BOOM! The Entrepreneur, the latest in a series of programs for would-be entrepreneurs over the age of 50.

This two-hour workshop, sponsored by BOOM! The New Economy, motivates and inspires baby boomers to take the next steps in starting a business.

Randal Charlton, executive director of TechTown and a serial entrepreneur in his own right, will lead the group in a discovery of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The program also includes one-on-one counseling sessions with TechTown business experts.
Date: Thursday, June 30, 8:30 to 11:00AM
Location: NextEnergy, 461 Burroughs Street, Detroit
This program is free, but you must register to attend.

Managing Employees and Social Media: How To Keep Yourself Out of Trouble

Are you concerned about the potential ramifications of your employees and social media? Aaron Graves, a labor and employment attorney, will discuss the ins and outs of your rights and your employee's rights when it comes to social networking. This Strategies of Success (SOS) seminar takes place on Tuesday, May 17th from 7:30-9:30AM in the Summit on the Park Banquet Center. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by calling the Canton Chamber of Commerce at (734) 453-4040.

The Power of Teamwork

If "two heads are better than one," then a whole team working towards the same goal is an awesome concept. However, there can be more to team dynamics than meets the eye. If you are leading a team, a member of a team or just in need of more information, try these books:

The orange revolution: how one great team can transform an entire organization by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

Extraordinary groups: how ordinary teams achieve amazing results by Geoffrey M. Bellman, Kathleen D. Ryan

Social Security Suspends Annual Statements

Effective April 1, 2011 the Social Security Administration has suspended annual statements to all workers. At present, this mailing cost the government $70 million dollars. SSA estimates they will save $30 million this year and $60 million dollars next year when they resume mailing, but only to those 60 years and older. An online Social Security benefits estimator is available as well other retirement planning information.

Talk Back to Lansing

Michigan State Capitol BuildingThe Center for Michigan is providing opportunities for citizens to speak out.  "Talk Back to Lansing" forums are scheduled in Wixom (April 20), Grand Rapids (April 25) and Lansing (April 27).  Register today.

Let your voice help shape Michigan's 2012 Budget.

Mint Launches "Quest for Money" Game

Parents, are you looking for a fun way to teach your kids and teens about saving money? Have them try out the new game from Mint.com called Quest for Money. Its goal is to teach money management in a fun and entertaining way. Learn more about the game or jump right in to playing it. Enjoy!

Apple Computer

Apple Computer was founded on April 1, 1976. Can you believe it's been 35 years since Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer?

Read about these genius geeks and visit the Apple museum. Check out Apple's history and find out more about these inventors.

Shred, Baby, Shred!

Spring is a great time to clean out your file drawers for old documents and paperwork. However, many people worry about the safety of throwing away sensitive records and most home shredders are not powerful enough to handle large amounts of paper at one time.

If you are considering shredding for those piles of paper, Office Max offers a secure shred service for $.59 per pound. Those documents that are shredded are then recycled, making it an environmentally good choice as well.

Employee Engagement 101

Although it's not a new concept, management books regarding employee engagement are a popular trend. They are an interesting point of view for both managers as well as employees.

The 2020 workplace: how innovative companies attract, develop, and keep tomorrow's employees today by Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd

Employees first, customers second: turning conventional management upside down by Vineet Nayar

The talent masters: why smart leaders put people before numbers by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan

Winter Farmers Market Continues This Sunday

The Canton Winter Farmers Market returns this Sunday, March 13, from 10:00AM-2:00PM, but with a different location due to the soggy weather: Come to historic Cherry Hill School on the Northwest corner of Ridge and Cherry Hill Road at 50440 Cherry Hill Road. Eighteen local vendors will be there this Sunday. Don't miss it!

Save the Date

One more Canton Winter Farmers Market is slated for Sunday, April 10 from 10:00AM-2:00PM

Pasta Drive

The Farmers Market will continue its pasta drive to help restock the shelves at Open Door Ministry's Food Pantry in Canton during all three Winter Markets. Drop off any boxed, dried pasta at Cherry Hill School during the Market.

Dollars and Sense

Four quick things every citizen should know from Governor Rick Snyder's new Dollars & Sense: How State and Local Governments in Michigan Spend Your Money guide to the public's checkbook. State Treasurer Andy Dillon says Lansing is about to experience "shock therapy."

Free Tax Help for Michigan Residents

Free tax preparation is available for qualified Michigan residents at sites around the state. You can call 2-1-1 (1-800-552-1183 if 2-1-1 is unavailable in your area) for help locating the free tax site nearest you.

Greening Your Business

Are you looking for some environmentally friendly ideas for your business? Join Eco-Coach Lori Sullivan and Bill Clemens of DTE Energy for some great solutions. Vendors will also be present for even more green tips and products. This Strategies of Success (SOS) seminar takes place on Thursday, February 3rd from 7:30-9:30AM in the Summit on the Park Banquet Center. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by calling the Canton Chamber of Commerce at (734) 453-4040.