Best Excel Reference Book

Over the years, I have used many Excel reference books to continually try to find new tips and tricks. There have been several that have been pretty good. Some were too basic, others just not helpful.

This book is aimed at the intermediate level users. This feature made the book attractive as I don’t need pages of introductory material in Excel.

Picture of book

The book has great descriptions of methods to analyze and manipulating data — perfect for accountants. It also has tons of practice exercises for those wanting to use the text in the classroom.

For more information on the book, go to https://amzn.to/335Elez for Excel 2016 or https://amzn.to/358w77B for Excel 2019.

Fool the prof — Make any Wikipedia article look like a legitimate journal site

A recent Buzzfeed article (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/wikipedia-fake-academic-journal ) claimed that a new website would convert any Wikipedia page into a PDF that looks just like a respected journal article. It even gives users the appropriate MLA or APA citation with a preview of what a professor would see if they clicked the link.

So, I had to try the website myself.

The first thing I see on the website is a field to enter a link the Wikipedia link. So, I put in the URL for the Blockchain site.

M-journal.org first page
M-journal first page

After a few short seconds, it gave me a view of a PDF looking file, complete with ink blotches of an article on blockchain. Weird title, but possible.

Initial view of copied article.
Initial view of copied article

To get the citation, a student clicks on the button and different formats are provided. An URL is provided as part of the link.

The second button shows what an instructor would see if they viewed the link.

Instructor view
Instructor view

The page looks like a valid journal at first glance it looks like a legitimate journal, complete with a fake ISSN number. From what I can see, the article is pretty much a straight copy of Wikipedia.

So, this leads the question. Would you rather have the student cite Wikipedia directly, than trying to falsify the source? At least then the citation could be judged on its own merit.

AI part of Microsoft 365

Microsoft is infusing AI into many aspects of Microsoft 365 for Office users. Check out the following video for some of the new user friendly options.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6567816925953556480/

FaceApp – Invasion of Privacy?



A recent trend in social media is the use of FaceApp. Upload your photo and it will return an image of how you would look in the future. You may also use the app to change your appearance in a variety of manners. Although it appears to be a fun use of Artificial intelligence, are you also giving them permission to use your photo?

Images using FaceApp aging filter
Images using Faceapp aging filter

From FaceApp’s Terms and Conditions: ” You grant FaceApp consent to use the User Content, regardless of whether it includes an individual’s name, likeness, voice or persona, sufficient to indicate the individual’s identity. By using the Services, you agree that the User Content may be used for commercial purposes.  “

According to this, they can use your photo as they like — including selling it.

To read more about their policy:

https://www.businessinsider.com/faceapp-privacy-data-terms-service-russia-2019-7