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Levi Wheatcroft
Accountant, geek, and student of life
Accountant, geek, and student of life

Levi's posts

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awesome weather in #albanywesternaustralia over the weekend!

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What the actual? If cutting 18% of a low income earner's disposable income is "Nation Building" then the obvious question is what kind of nation we're trying to build here...

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Hip Spectacles No Testicles

Scooter the Neutered Cat

Awesome marketing campaign, Scooter is a got amongst cats.

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I'm not usually into browser extensions, but if people banging on about "the cloud" makes you want to punch a kitten.. then cloud-to-butt may be just the ticket! Love it :)

Is buying local good business? Or is it more complicated than that?

I think this is a really interesting topic, and I'd absolutely love to hear what the community feels and where you all stand.

Manufactured products have taken advantage of low-cost labour markets for years, but the internet is allowing more and more services to be outsourced to low cost markets also. So the core issue is the jobs which provide products and services.

There's a fairly prominent feeling that buying local is good for your town / state / country. Certainly, it's logical that if you spend your money in a locally owned store, there's a good chance that the owner might spend his or her profit in your own store. By keeping it local, you're propping up your local economy.

Having said that, there's a bunch of hidden factors to consider.

If I'm a shareholder in a supermarket chain, then assuming I can buy a share equal to my own patronising of the same chain, then whatever profits the store makes off me come right back to me. In a way, that's still supporting my local economy. Further, if the locally owned store faces difficulty matching supermarket prices (because they're not vertically integrated), then the local store option might mean more money going to external economies (the suppliers' economy) than the supermarket shareholder option.

The free market economist's model is also interesting. Essentially outsourcing labour to low-cost labour markets frees up a local work force to up-skill and deliver more complex and valuable products and services. At first that might sound like an impractical theory, but consider that this happens even within local markets. Where an individual is unwilling to work a low-income job, they advance their skills in order to seek higher paying jobs. Even saying that, it's still a fairly bitter and uncomforting notion if your job has just been outsourced to another country, people are often quite unwilling to advance their skills and qualifications.

Thirdly, buy sourcing services or products from distant markets, you can often access improved services and economies of scale. This is particularly true of specialised services. As an accountant in rural Western Australia, there are some projects that we could provide locally, but we outsource them to a specialised Melbourne firm because they can offer an excellent service at a rate we can't match in-house.

One of the most ethically confused conundrums, is whether buying foreign products is good for the people engaged in providing them. Australia buys a lot (ok.. all?) of our tinned tuna from Indonesia, the Phillipines, and Thailand. Large industries have developed surrounding this product, employing thousands of fishermen and factory workers. In regions of high unemployment, these jobs provide reasonable conditions, and respectable incomes. If everyone in Australia instantly decided to buy local, there would be a huge detrimental impact on the quality of life in these communities. There's still complicating factors here though. Employment practices and labour regulations are often dubious in these economies, environmental considerations (such as depleting fish stocks) are also often ignored.

Back on the pro-buy-local bandwagon, you have to consider product miles. There's a local weekly fresh produce market, where local fruit and vegetable growers sell their produce. Not only are the wares much fresher than what's available in the supermarket, but they have travelled just a few kilometers. Much of what's available in the supermarket has literally travelled half way around the world. 

So.. what are your thoughts on buying local? Is it good business to buy local? What are your own policies? What buying decisions have you made and why?

#buylocal #socialenterprise #economy #goodbusiness 

I could use some help with SSL.. it's so confusing!

Basically, I want to configure my home server (Debian 7 & apache) to identify me by an S/MIME certificate. So, I'm not just talking about installing a ssl certificate and enabling https, I want to identify users by client certificates. 

I already have a class 2 crt & S/MIME from, so I don't really need to deal with self signing, but if self signing is easier to configure then I'm not averse to the idea.

Anyhow, looking into it, the directives I keep coming back to are:
SSLCACertificateFile file-path (or SSLCACerfificatePath)
SSLVerifyClient required

But looking at the mod_ssl docs it says that you specify the path (or catenated file) containing the certificates of the certificate authorities who's clients you want to deal with. 

I interpret that as, I could install the startssl CA CRT and then apache would verify that my S/MIME was signed by that CA. Obviously, I don't want to provide access to all the other certs signed by them.

I read a thread where someone catenated their S/MIME onto the CA CRT, but they couldn't get that to work, and the docs don't say that it should work, so I don't know if that's just a red herring.

Next up, I could create my own CA with openssl, but to avoid self signing I'd have to get my CA cert signed by, which I'm not sure if they do, but I figure would be expensive. Also, in this case it seems superfluous given that I only need one certificate (mine!).

Thanks in advance!! could really use some help!

I'm just curious to know what innovative ways members of our awesome good business community have found to be more socially responsible? I know we all minimize our carbon footprint, and donate to some charities, but what cool, original, out of the box stuff are you doing?

I'll start...

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what the hell did I just watch?! That's awesome.. +Julius Jeppe +Julie Gagné  you will love this! 
You seriously, seriously, seriously need to watch this. Seriously

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That's kindof cool..

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+Malcolm Turnbull Come on Malcolm, don't be that guy...
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