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Why PayPal is so much better. The beginning of a journey into small company and personal automation. CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

I used to be a publisher of magazines. That was before the Internet. In those halycon days a publisher had to mail potential subscribers, beg them to subscribe for a year or two…and then do another round of begging in a year or two.

No longer. These days, publishers are much more intelligent. They entice you with a $1 a month “trial subscription”, then hit your credit card with $50 a month – forever and ever. Unless you cancel.

Cancelling rarely works. The publisher has a call center that doesn’t answer emails or the phone etc.

I have tried cancelling through Visa and MasterCard. But that doesn’t work either. They say they’ve “discussed” it with the vendor. He says I’m wrong and can go pound sand.

Enter PayPal.  Finally a solution.

Here’s Peacock TV inside PayPal.

I wanted to try Peacock. But it’s not for me. I much prefer YouTubeTV.

PayPal has a magic button: “Cancel.”

I hit it and behold:

I tried to get my bank to issue me finite value credit cards — like for $30. But I never heard back from them.

Bricks and mortar banks have zero imagination.

Meantime, I would like to subscribe to Bloomberg. They have $1.99 a month subscription which bounces quickly (not sure when) to $290 and then to $475 a year — automatically billed to my credit card. I like the idea of trying Bloomberg, and they do say I can “cancel anytime.” They just don’t say how, where or when! No phone numbers. No email addresses.

Meanwhile, I think back on all the many ideas I’ve suggested to my standard bricks and mortar bank. And how manyy have been adopted — zilch!

That lack of interest in innovating is reflected in this simple 10-year stock chart of PayPal versus JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup.

Guess why I own shares in PYPL and none in JPM or C?

Please update your Apple software

Apple has released a patch to a zero-day flaw “that affects every iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch,” TechCrunch reports. Update your devices, folks.

I updated Susan’s and my iPhone and my Apple Watch. Easy as pie. Do it now.

Got a great new company idea?

Business Insider has just published of The 50 most important VCs in New York, according to other VCs. 

It’s  really good list. It includes the doyen of them all, namely Fred Wilson, Click here.

Check. Check. Check.

When IBM had “Think”, I had CHECK. CHECK. CHECK. Much better.

+ Check that you gave them your correct address — not the one in their stupid computer.

+ Check that you hit the “one time” button — not the “every month” button.

+ Check that you look both ways twice before you drive across the intersection. Connie, age 95, taught me that one.

+ Check the bottom step going down. That’s the most dangerous one and the one that breaks ankles.

The beginning of a journey

Friends who own small businesses are turning me onto two automation companies — Zapier and

Matt Wood of my brilliant insurance broker MetzWood turned me onto Zapier. He says it’s like an API Bridge which joins his software together. For example, if Harry (me) fills in a form (in one software), Harry will get an email (from another sofware) and then maybe a voice mail…. Matt explains “If this, then that.”

I’m still scrambling to see how Zapier or ifttt would work for me, since I’m not a business with many employees. But I can see how these simple tools — including RingCentral, (which Matt loves) might significantly improve my customers’ experiences where I running a business.

Neither Zapier or ifttt is public but UIPath is. Remember these intriquing words from Path’s website?

After I sent out this blog by email, I found these powerful words on the site:

There’s serious value in these three companies. I don’t which one is best for your company. But I’m already seeing some applications just for me and how to make me more “productive.”

Favorite cartoons

It’s another awful day for our stocks. But all the losses are coming in stocks we’re up big on — so I don’t care.

Most importantly, the weather up here is stunning — blue skies and all that. And I did good on the court today.

I sold LOGI and VMEO. I had small positions and they didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

See you tomorrow. Or so. — Harry Newton