Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7 Jobs to Skip College For

From Yahoo Jobs

1. Freelance Photographer: $47,800 median salary
Lee says that non-degree jobs tend to fall into one of two categories: technical or entrepreneurial. Being a freelance photographer requires a high degree of business savvy in addition to photography skills. Depending on the type of work you do, you might take product shots, family portraits, corporate head shots, wedding pictures, or other images, and then touch up the pictures digitally and send them to clients for review.

2. Private Detective or Investigator: $50,600 median salary
This is another career that requires a lot of personal initiative. Private detectives or investigators might testify at hearings, analyze data, search databases, or question suspects. Knowledge of psychology and the law, critical-thinking skills, and the ability to listen and read body language are also useful.

3. Elevator Mechanic: $61,500 median salary
"When [elevators] break, people are miserable," Lee points out. He adds that the job often requires travel and working at odd hours (for instance, so you can fix an elevator before an office building opens)--which may pay more. Successful elevator mechanics generally have a knack for understanding complex mechanical systems, assembling and disassembling elevator parts, and following safety standards.

4. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator: $79,100 median salary
Since nuclear power reactor operators work with highly sensitive equipment, they need an understanding of physics and engineering, as well as active learning and troubleshooting skills. The higher pay correlates to the highly specialized skill set required.

5. Personal Trainer: $37,500 median salary
Knowledge of nutrition, anatomy, and first aid are helpful, so many personal trainers have a college degree or specialized certification. Since an independent personal trainer's income is tied to the number of clients he or she trains, time-management skills, physical stamina, and customer service skills are assets in this field.

6. Director of Security: $62,400 median salary
Someone might start out as assistant to the director of security and work their way up. Tasks might include analyzing security data, investigating security breaches, and supervising others. Lee says jobs like this are "not a bad track for someone who is more physical or manual, where it's about on-the-job training and less about formal programs."

7. Air Traffic Controller: $60,200
Although the job doesn't require a college degree, the FAA screens prospective air traffic controllers with a pre-employment test and other requirements, so it's a competitive field. The job might entail monitoring aircraft, issuing take-off and landing instructions, and directing ground traffic.

more @ http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/career-articles-7_jobs_to_skip_college_for-1374


If your thinking about buying read up:

Netbooks are small, very light, and very cheap computers that run all the same software you'd find on a high powered desktop. What you lose in a netbook is performance and flexibility; netbooks are slower and less upgradeable than their bigger counterparts. However, netbooks are plenty fast enough to do almost everything that people use computers for these days: web browsing, instant messaging, email, enjoying movies and music, and basic productivity tasks (writing papers, using spreadsheets, making presentations). The gains are enormous, though -- ultra long battery life, near weightlessness, and a price point so low that you could seriously consider replacing it annually!

Asus was one of the very first players in the netbook market, and their EEE PC line has remained one of the most popular. Their entry level option is the EEE PC 1001p. The 1001P uses Intel's latest low-power Atom processor, letting it deliver absurdly long battery life, weighs less than three pounds, and should satisfy almost any student who isn't into hardcore gaming, video production, or other CPU or graphics intensive tasks that aren't suitable for netbooks anyway. At the magic $299 pricepoint, The EEE PC 1001P makes a good choice for anyone on a very tight budget, although as CNET noted in their review, it's missing a few nice features (e.g. bluetooth for portable mice), which isn't uncommon in the no-frills entry-level netbook category. If you have a little more to spend, you might consider the EEE PC 1005PR, which looks identical to the 1001E, but for $100 more you get a higher resolution screen capable of HD video playback, a bigger hard drive, and bluetooth support. CNET gave the 1005PR four stars in their review, tying it for the highest rated netbook around.

An interesting contender in the ultra-light portable computer space is Lenovo with their ThinkPad x100e ultraportable. The x100e is pricier than most netbooks (the base configuration starts around $449), but you do get something for the extra money: a larger screen (11 inches is 10% bigger than ten inches!), and a slightly faster processor. Nothing is free, though; in addition to the extra bucks, the battery life on the x100e isn't as breathtaking as its slower cousins (although it's still very good), and the performance isn't so good that you'll forget you're using a budget computer optimized for weight and batteries. By far the best feature of the Lenovo is its keyboard; it's truly a joy to write on, and you should seriously consider it for that reason alone if you anticipate doing a lot of word processing on your computer. Engaget loved the design, and the fire-engine red case will definitely turn heads.

What discussion of ultralight computing devices would be complete without the Apple iPad? After I got mine, I found myself using my laptop less and less. In fact, I'm writing this article on my iPad right now! Okay, for the price of an iPad you can probably get two (three?) basic netbooks, but the iPad designers understood that if a device is small, light, and battery-efficient enough so that you're likely to take it everywhere you go, it's possible to do something totally new instead of just making our existing computing metaphors smaller and lighter. If I didn't have to do software development in my day job, I don't think I'd ever buy another "real" computer again. If you're toying with the idea of replacing your primary computing device with an iPad, you'll probably want to invest in the keyboard dock, because while the on-screen keyboard is pretty nice (once you get used to it), trying to write a 20 page report on it would probably result in a smashed iPad. With the iWork suite of productivity apps (word processing, page layout, presentations, and spreadsheets), you'll have no trouble completing most school assignments right on your iPad (make sure to get a VGA connector if you want to hook your iPad up to a projector to give presentations). And please, make the small investment in a case so you don't scratch the screen! CNET has a great list of the top ten iPad cases.

Having a portable computer is really ideal for students, but sometimes it's really nice to expand to a bigger screen and more full sized input devices. While it's not necessary, it's certainly worth thinking about whether you want some sort of docking solution. Note that most netbooks don't have a true docking station per se, so unless you like connecting and disconnecting lots of cables, you're going to want a stand with a built-in USB hub (my favorite is definitely the Logitech Alto Connect). A slightly pricier but much more full featured option is a one-connection external docking solution like the Toshiba Dynadock series. The Dynadock U takes up almost no desk space; connects to an external monitor, wired ethernet, up to 3 USB devices, and a sound system; and can be connected to any Windows computer with just a single USB cord. It even has its own video hardware to drive high resolution monitors that no netbook could possibly keep busy. One connector cable too much for you? Then of course you want the Dynadoc U Wireless, which is a little over 200 dollars but connects to your laptop wirelessly.

If you are planning to dock your computer, you'll want a monitor. There is a dizzying array of choices out there, but fortunately LCD technology has matured to the point where you're unlikely to buy a monitor, turn it on, and be surprised by what you see. Don't go too cheap on a monitor; you're going to spend a lot of time looking at it and if it doesn't offer considerable advantages over your small netbook screen, it will just gather dust. On the low end, the 19" Acer V193 is a good starter monitor that looks great and won't cripple your wallet. At 50000:1, it does have a higher contrast ratio than many of its peers, which will make your images look more vibrant and rich. For only 200 bucks, you can get a 22" widescreen monitor like the ViewSonic VC2227WM. This particular model is too new to have lots of reviews yet, but ViewSonic has historically made excellent monitors; I've used their monitors since the early 90's and have never been unhappy. Widescreen monitors make a good choice if you're either going to be looking at wide spreadsheets or (more likely) watching widescreen movies on your computer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thailand’s most gruesome baker

Since 2006, Kittiwat has used dough as his medium, making a name for himself with his edible creations molded to look like bloody body parts, including heads, arms, feet and legs.

Kittiwat Unarrom has studied fine arts and mastered paintings, sculptures and other media. But it wasn’t until he went back to his roots that the 32-year-old finally found fame and a real passion for his work.

“My family is in the bakery business and I learned to bake when I was about 10,” says Kittiwat. “I want to speak out about my religious beliefs and dough can say it all. Baking human parts can show the audience how transient bread, and life, is. Also, my bread is still bread no matter how it looks.”

To say Kittiwat’s creations are realistic looking would be an understatement. In fact, they’re so lifelike they look like they were swiped from a forensics lab.

Baking with brains

Dismembered human body parts covered in blood are packaged like fresh food found in supermarkets. To achieve this authentically horrific aesthetic, Kittiwat spent a great deal of time studying anatomy and visiting forensic museums while at the same time working to improve the taste of his artworks.

“The first series was edible, but they were not delicious. And I don’t want art to just be an object of art; I want the audience to feel involved. I tried hard to make the artworks more and more flavorful,” says Kittiwat.

In 2008, Kittiwat baked fresh heads for the audience to eat at his Body and the Dead exhibition -- the tiny heads smelled and tasted fantastic -- though it was an odd sensation if you allowed yourself to look into their eyes before biting into them.

More recently, Kittiwat and his friend exhibited their sculptures and paintings in a show called Art Now at a clothing shop in Bangkok’s Siam Theatre in May this year, prior to the building being set alight during the city’s recent unrest.

“I want to experiment and think art shouldn’t only exist in galleries or museums. We got good feedback until the fire. The shop wasn’t in the burnt area but the smoke devastated most of our works.”
Cooking up more artworks

Kittiwat is now taking a break from his art and is working full time as a baker at his family’s factory in Ratchaburi, about an hour west of Bangkok.

“When my brother and sister passed away, I had to jump in and run the family’s bakery business. At first I thought I wouldn’t get to work on my art again. Surprisingly, every day when I bake, ideas keep coming to me on how to use dough to make art. My next works will not be related to the human body, I want to do something different. It will take me quite a long time before my next show, though,” he says.

In the meantime, don’t bother making the trip to Ratchaburi to buy a freshly baked severed head for your boss. The factory produces just ordinary bread, as Kittiwat is firm that his art is not for commercial purposes.

Fortunately, curious art appreciators can check out Kittiwat’s 2008 Body and the Dead exhibition, which has been resurrected for Bangkok’s Whitespace Retro show at Whitespace Gallery, on now until August 8. Also on show are exception pieces from 14 other artists, including Michael Chaowanasai, Top Changtrakul, Vasan Sitthiket and Maitree Siriboon. If you are in the mood for violence, check out the pieces by Pornpraset Yamazaki, which were painted with his own blood.

Whitespace Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday, 1-7 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.. The gallery is on the second floor of Lido Theater, Siam Square Soi 3.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

5 ways to keep your cool in a scary market

Good Read:

1. Use fear to your advantage

Stocks have always been subject to sometimes dramatic price swings in the short run. And coming out of the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, it's not exactly surprising that the ups and downs have gotten even more explosive, as investors veer between optimism that the worst of the crisis is over and fear that more nastiness lies ahead.

Get used to it, experts say -- greater volatility is here to stay in the stock market. But understand this too: Bigger price swings over the course of a day, a month, or even a year don't translate to a greater chance of losing money in stocks over the long run. In fact, if you have a time horizon of at least 10 years, those interim price drops can be a real opportunity, allowing you to buy promising stocks at more reasonable values.

Still, big price swings are nerve-racking, so it's important to know what's within the realm of normal. The most common measure of volatility is standard deviation, which tells you how much an investment's short-term returns bounce around its long-term average.

Since 1926, stocks have averaged gains of 9.7% a year, with a standard deviation of 21.4 percentage points, according to Ibbotson Associates. That means that about two-thirds of the time, the annual return on stocks landed 21.4 percentage points below or above the average -- so your results would range from a 12% loss to a 31% gain. A third of the time, your gains or losses would be more extreme.

A balanced mix of government and high-quality corporate bonds, on the other hand, typically has fluctuated less than eight percentage points off its long-term average annual gain of about 6%, Ibbotson found. But while you'd avoid a wild ride with an all-bond portfolio, those lower returns mean you'd run the very real risk of not having enough money to reach your goals in the long run.


Focus on proven growth. Within the equity universe, some stocks are far more volatile than others, and often an ability to stomach big short-term price moves pays off with loftier gains long term. But not always, so it's crucial to tilt the odds more in your favor.

For instance, stocks that trade more on hope than fundamentals (like many fledgling biotech companies working on yet-to-be-approved drugs, with no revenue or profits) can have especially wild price swings. But putting money into unproven entities can be a crapshoot.

A better bet: large-cap companies with established earnings that are growing at above-average rates. These stocks also deliver a bumpier ride than the overall market, but not nearly as rocky as companies that have yet to turn a profit. And while investors usually pay a premium for growth, the market's recent dive means these stocks aren't nearly as expensive anymore, with the average price/earnings ratio for large-cap growth stocks down to 18, from a historic level of 24.

Prices for big technology stocks, in particular, have been unfairly beaten down lately over fears that a strengthening U.S. dollar will crimp the value of profits earned overseas, says David Bianco, chief U.S. equity strategist at Merrill Lynch. The safest way to invest is through a diversified mutual fund with a mix of established tech firms, such as American Funds AMCAP (AMCPX). The fund, which counts Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo among its top holdings, is on the Money 70 list of recommended funds.

If you prefer individual stocks, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) is now on many analysts' buy lists. The stock fell 25% from April to July, yet its earnings prospects remain strong, notes Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar. Also garnering recommendations is Cisco Systems (CSCO, Fortune 500), down 22% over the same period. But Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff expects strong revenue growth of at least 16% next year, as the equipment maker benefits from strong tech spending from companies abroad.

Set a target price. If you have a long time horizon, use market downswings to buy the stocks and funds you want at better prices. But be systematic. You might, for instance, set up a limit order that directs your broker to buy a certain number of shares when the stock drops to a specified price. So if you think XYZ stock, now trading at $100 a share, would be a good deal if the price were 10% lower, set a buy order for $90; if the stock falls to that level, your trade will automatically be executed.

Want to be able to reconsider before the order is actually placed? Instead, set up an alert through your brokerage or a portfolio-monitoring site like our website, cnnmoney.com, and you'll be notified by e-mail or text message when the investment in question drops to the preset price or by a certain percentage. At that point you can decide whether you want to go through with the transaction.

2. Reset your expectations

Coming out of deep slumps, stocks historically have been strong for the next decade. That's been especially true following those rare long stretches when bond returns have bested those of equities, as has been the case for the past 10-plus years.

If you bought stocks in the early '70s, for instance, you would have enjoyed gains of about 12.6% annually over the next 25 years, according to Ibbotson.

Don't count on a replay. Many of the conditions that propelled stocks into long-term bull markets in the past no longer exist. The great bulls of the 1980s and 1990s were fueled by a potent combination of falling interest rates, dwindling inflation, and low unemployment. Today all three of those indicators instead look like they'll be a potentially powerful drag on future gains.

Against that backdrop, it makes sense to assume conservative future stock returns when plotting your investing strategy. Jason Hsu, CIO of Research Affiliates, says you can come up with a reasonable estimate by adding the current dividend yield on stocks (that's the amount of income a company pays out per share each year divided by its stock price, now about 1.8%) to the long-run growth in earnings per share (1.5%) and the long-term inflation rate (2.5%).

Result: a projected gain of nearly 6%, a view shared by many experts.That's well below the historical norm for stocks, but far better than the past decade.


Create an income cushion. While you can't expect stocks to be lifted by the same economic tail winds that drove them in the past, you can boost your chances of earning solid total returns by adding some high-dividend payers to your mix. Those regular payments can also help steady your portfolio when the market gets volatile, especially if you focus on companies with a history of consistently increasing payouts.

During the 10 years ended 2009 -- which included two brutal market collapses -- shares of companies within the S&P 500 that consistently increased dividends returned 6.5% a year, according to T. Rowe Price, while the overall index lost just over 1% a year.

A low-cost way to get yield is with the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY), which tracks the highest-yielding stocks in the S&P 500 High-Yield Dividend Aristocrats index. The fund has beaten the overall market by more than three percentage points a year over the past three years. Another solid choice on the Money 70 list: iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index ETF (DVY), which has returned 25% over the past year.

Pump up your savings. If you can't create a big enough nest egg earning a mere 6%, you'll need to sock more money away. Remember, investing $7,200 a year at 6% will get you to $100,000 just as fast -- a bit over 10 years -- as investing $5,000 at 12%. And the amount you save is something you can control, whereas earning a double-digit return is not.

Not maxing out your 401(k)? Direct your plan provider to ratchet up your contributions by one percentage point every six months until you hit your limit, and earmark half of every raise to your other investment accounts.

3. Look beyond the next move

Depending on whom you ask, stocks right now are either dangerously overpriced or a real bargain, with respected experts on both sides of the debate.

For instance, Yale professor Robert Shiller, who famously predicted the bursting of the tech bubble in the late 1990s, believes stocks are expensive: Investors are paying about 20 times earnings for stocks in the S&P 500, well above the historical average of about 16. To arrive at that price/earnings ratio, Shiller uses 10 years of historical, inflation-adjusted earnings.

But Wharton's Jeremy Siegel, author of "Stocks for the Long Run," says that when the economy is shifting from slowdown to growth mode, it's more appropriate to focus on projected earnings, rather than a P/E ratio that incorporates beaten-down results from the recession years.

Under this forward-looking approach, stocks look like a good deal right now. The consensus estimate among analysts is that 2010 operating earnings for S&P 500 companies will reach $82 a share. That puts the market P/E at 13 times projected 2010 earnings, or about 20% below the historical norm.

Who's more likely to be right? Trick question. There's no way of knowing with any certainty. Instead of trying to pick a side and plan your next move accordingly, the better idea is to take yourself out of that game altogether and position your portfolio for steady gains if Siegel is right and cushion your losses if Shiller is closer to the mark.


Add asset categories. A classic mix of stocks and bonds runs less risk of tanking in any given year than an all-stock portfolio, without necessarily sacrificing much, if anything, in long-term gains. But it's not foolproof. For diversification to work, you've got to own investments that don't move in lockstep with your core holdings, which means adding small allocations to real estate and, possibly, commodities.

From 1972 through 2009, a portfolio of U.S. and foreign stocks, REITs, commodities, and bonds produced an annualized return of 9.9%, vs. a 9.6% return for an all-U.S.-stock portfolio. What's more, the diversified portfolio had half the level of risk. That makes it far less likely you'll do something dumb when the market goes into one of its periodic fits.

Although investing in commodities through futures contracts has become popular lately, these complex instruments may not continue to perform as well as they have in the recent past, and Wall Street tends to find ways of charging you more for selling you complexity.

A sound, inexpensive way to invest is through a diversified fund that puts its money into the actual commodity producers, such as T. Rowe Price New Era (PRNEX), a Money 70 fund with two-thirds of its assets in oil and natural-resources companies such as Exxon Mobil and Schlumberger. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned 9.6% a year, vs. a loss of 1.1% for the S&P. Be forewarned: No matter what commodities vehicle you choose, think really long term since these assets can go through long ups and downs, sometimes lasting decades.

Diversify within asset categories too. Small- and large-cap stocks, growth and income-producing companies, corporate bonds and Treasuries. Given the still-shaky economy and the risk that today's historically low rates could rise, keep your bond holdings short and focused on quality. A smart choice: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund (VBISX), a Money 70 fund that invests mostly in the highest-rated government and corporate bonds.

Mix your bets globally. With a good swath of Europe apparently falling apart at the seams and even economic powerhouses like China slowing down, you can't be blamed for feeling skittish about investing internationally. Yet foreign markets generally still provide much-needed diversification benefits.

For starters, you're hedging your exposure to the U.S. dollar; if the greenback drops, the return on your foreign holdings gets a boost. While the dollar's strength against a plummeting euro is instead working against you right now, currencies can change in a hurry.

Emerging markets, meanwhile, offer opportunities you can't get at home; China's economy, despite the slowdown, is still expected to expand 10% this year. "Emerging-market countries have entirely different demographics and economies than developed markets, and that means you can expect stock returns to be different as well," says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.

That difference has already been playing out: Since hitting a low in 2009, the MSCI Emerging Markets index has rocketed by more than 75%, compared with a 57% gain in the S&P 500. A smart way to go abroad: T. Rowe Price International Discovery Fund (PRIDX), a Money 70 fund that emphasizes small and medium companies within developed and emerging countries. The fund has consistently outperformed both the S&P 500 and its international peers, gaining an annualized 7.1% over the past five years.

4. Forget portfolio protection (mostly)

The market's rocky ride of late has given new life to a variety of complex investments that pledge to protect you from big losses. There are "long-short" or "market neutral" funds that use hedge-fund-like strategies to try to produce positive returns, regardless of how the stock market performs. There are heavily peddled equity-indexed variable annuities, which guarantee that you'll earn a minimum return based on underlying investments that you select. There are exchange-traded notes that allow you to place direct bets on the market's volatility as well as complicated options strategies that promise you ways to profit even if stock prices tumble. And there's gold, which is marketed as a refuge from falling stock prices and possible economic Armageddon and recently hit a record $1,265 an ounce.

But for the most part, these investments rarely deliver on their promises of safety in the long run. Gold, for instance, has only recently emerged from a 20-year period of negative returns.

As for long-short funds and equity-indexed annuities, the only real guarantee is that you'll pay hefty fees to invest in them -- often topping 2% for the funds and averaging 2.5% for the annuities, vs. 1.4% for a typical stock fund and 0.8% for index funds.


Use options judiciously only on stocks you own. Options contracts are a bet on the direction of share prices, giving an investor the right to buy or sell a stock at a future date and specific price. If you trade options on a stock you don't own and the shares never hit the preset price, your option can expire worthless and you'll lose all the money you put in.

But there is a more conservative approach involving options on stocks you already own. You can sell a "covered call," granting another investor the right to buy the stock from you at a higher price in the future. You pocket money from the option sale, which cushions your losses if the stock falls. But if the stock takes off, you'll lose gains above the preset sale price, known as the strike price.

Financial advisers recommend limiting the use of covered calls to about 10% of your stock holdings -- preferably shares you don't think are likely to take off anytime soon but don't want to unload, maybe because they pay stable dividends. For example, if you owned 100 shares of Johnson & Johnson, which pays a 3.6% dividend, you might make about 1% a month selling calls at recent option prices.

Trade (a tiny bit) on fear itself. A more aggressive strategy: Buy an exchange-traded note -- a debt security that trades like an ETF -- that tracks the Volatility Index, such as the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (VXX). This ETN can provide some insurance against market meltdowns because the VIX usually rises when stocks fall. In May, as the market cratered, this ETN soared 35%.

Let's be clear about this: You're speculating here, not investing. And you can get crushed if the market has another hot streak. For instance, during the 13-month bull run that ended in April, the VIX ETN lost a stunning 83%. If you're so compelled, put no more than 2% of your portfolio toward playing risky short-term hunches like the VIX. If it pays off, great. If it doesn't, well, you won't have lost very much money and you'll have a good story to tell.

5. Protect yourself from yourself

In the end, your worst enemy isn't the volatility of the market -- it's your own reaction to it. Example: Research by behavioral economist Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago shows the more often people check stock prices, the greater they perceive their risk to be. That in turn can prompt you to make rash moves, like bailing out of stocks just as prices hit bottom or jumping in and out every time the market jolts.

Indeed, numerous studies over a variety of time periods have shown that the typical investor earns just a fraction of the average returns on stocks due to ill-fated attempts at market timing.


Rethink your commitment to stocks. As a rough rule of thumb, advisers recommend this formula for determining the portion of your portfolio you should keep in stocks: Subtract your age from 120 or 110. But if you're prone to the jitters when the market hiccups -- and are apt to tinker with your portfolio when that happens -- you're better off substituting "100" in this equation or, as Vanguard founder John Bogle puts it, invest your age in bonds.

Yes, dialing back your allocation to stocks by 10 or more percentage points will theoretically ding your returns in the long run. But it will also substantially cut your potential losses in any given year. If that enables you to actually stick with the program, you may end up making more money after all.

Rebalance periodically. A buy-and-hold approach generally serves you better over time than darting in and out of the market. But changes in stock and bond prices will eventually throw your mix out of whack if you don't make occasional adjustments (say, once a year) to get back to your targets.

While that may not dent your returns too much in the very long run, you'll have a far rockier ride getting there than if you rebalance once a year. And a rockier ride increases the likelihood that you'll bail out of stocks at the worst possible moment.

One thing's for sure: "Volatility isn't about to subside anytime soon," says Harold Evensky, a Coral Gables, Fla., financial planner. But if you tread carefully, you can brace yourself against the worst a turbulent market can throw at you and stay steady on a path to solid gains.

More @ http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/22/pf/market_volatility.moneymag/index.htm

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


'Yeah, we broke the rules,' debt collectors admit

Collecting on America's unpaid debts is big business. In the past, we here at WalletPop have contacted some of the people who earn a living as debt collectors and gotten them to spill their secrets. Now, CNN/Money is hopping on the bandwagon with this profile of 10 former debt collectors.

Many of them 'fess up to either seeing or engaging in behavior that's unprofessional at best, illegal at worst. One says she heard a co-worker threaten to beat up a debtor with a tire iron, while another said the technically-illegal practice of contacting friends and family about a debt was a good tactic for getting people to pay up. Several admit to raising their voices or deliberately making the people on the other end of the line feel bad, but many said plenty of debtors yelled and cursed right back at them, too.

While one former debt collector admits to being fired after a bout of the flu led to his falling behind on his quota, most claim to have left voluntarily. Their reasons why are remarkably consistent: They cite the negativity of the job and the interactions with debtors as being emotionally draining, even though some said they pulled down literally thousands of dollars a month hounding people over their unpaid debts.

Karolyn Rubin, immediate past president of ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, calls the stories the actions of a "minority group of individuals who behave badly," and goes on to question the validity of the accounts in a phone interview with WalletPop.

"If in fact any of these cases are true, it's disheartening that a select handful of individuals could discredit what's a professional and ethical industry." she says. While she admits, "I'd be naive in saying these behaviors don't occur," she defends collectors who are members of her association, saying they abide by "the utmost ethical and professional standards."

Readers, what do you think? We're always open to hearing about a debt collector with a heart of gold, but this appears to be the exception rather than the rule based on the stories people post in our comments section. Did you have a good experience with a debt collector, or was your ordeal more like the kinds of situations described by former collectors in the CNN article?

Read more: http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/07/16/yeah-we-broke-the-rules-debt-collectors-admit/?icid=main|main|dl6|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walletpop.com%2Fblog%2F2010%2F07%2F16%2Fyeah-we-broke-the-rules-debt-collectors-admit%2F#ixzz0uGzQAxCw

Sunday, July 18, 2010

:) Dear Neighbour :)

Not sure if this is real or not, but funny :)

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 Dec 2008 11.04am
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: R.S.V.P.

Dear Matthew,
Thankyou for the party invite. At first glance I thought it may be a child’s party what with it being vibrant and having balloons but I realise you probably did your best with what little tools were available. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. What time would you like me there?
Regards, David.

From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Monday 8 Dec 2008 3.48pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hi David
Sorry the note was just to let you know that we might be a bit loud that night. The house warming is really just for friends and family but you can drop past for a beer if you like.
Cheers Matthew

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 Dec 2008 5.41pm
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Thanks Matthew,
Including me in your list of friends and family means a lot. You and I don’t tend to have long discussions when we meet in the hallway and I plan to put a stop to that. Next time we bump into each other I intend to have a very long conversation with you and I am sure you are looking forward to that as much as I am. I have told my friend Ross that you are having a party and he is as excited as I am. Do you want us to bring anything or will everything be provided?
Regards, David.

From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 10.01am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hi David
As I said, my housewarming is just for friends and family. There is not a lot of room so cant really have to many people come. Sorry about that mate.
Cheers Matthew

From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 2.36pm
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Dear Matthew,
I can appreciate that, our apartments are not very large are they? I myself like to go for a jog every night to keep fit but fear leaving the house so I have to jog on the spot taking very small steps with my arms straight down. I understand the problems of space restrictions all too well. If you would like to store some of your furniture at my place during the party you are quite welcome to - if we move your cane furniture into my spare room for the night and scatter cushions on the ground, that would provide a lot more seating and create a cozy atmosphere at the same time. I have a mirror ball that you can borrow.
I have told Ross not to invite anyone else due to the space constraints so it will just be us two and my other friend Simon. When I told Simon that Ross and I were going to a party he became quite angry that I had not invited him as well so I really didn’t have any choice as he can become quite violent. Sometimes I am afraid to even be in the same room as him. So just myself, Ross and Simon. Simon’s girlfriend has a work function on that night but might come along after that if she can get a lift with friends.

Regards, David.
From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 4.19pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Wtf? Nobody can come to the houswarming party it is just for friends and family. I dont even know these people. How do you know I have cane furniture? Are you the guy in apartment 1?

From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 6.12pm
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hi Matthew,
I understand it is an exclusive party and I appreciate you trusting my judgement on who to bring. I just assumed you have cane furniture, doesn’t everybody? Cane is possibly one of the most renewable natural resources we have after plastic, it is not only strong but lightweight and attractive. Every item in my apartment is made of cane, including my television. It looks like the one from Gilligan’s Island but is in colour of course. Do you remember that episode where a robot came to the island? That was the best one in my opinion. I always preferred Mary Anne to Ginger, same with Flintstones - I found Betty much more attractive than Wilma but then I am not really keen on redheads at all. They have freckles all over their body did you know? It’s the ones on their back and shoulders that creep me out the most.
Anyway, Ross rang me today all excited about the party and asked me what the theme is, I told him that I don’t think there is a theme and we discussed it and feel that it should be an eighties themed party. I have a white suit and projector and am coming as Nik Kershaw. I have made a looping tape of ‘wouldn’t it be good’ to play as I am sure you will agree that this song rocks and has stood the test of time well.
I am in the process of redesigning your invites appropriately and will get a few hundred of them printed off later today. I will have to ask you for the money for this as print cartridges for my Epson are pretty expensive. They stopped making this model a month after I bought it and I have to get the cartridges sent from China. Around $120 should cover it. You can just pop the money in my letter box if I don’t see you before tonight.

Regards, David.
From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Wednesday 10 Dec 2008 11.06pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

What the fuck are yout alking about? There is no theme for the party it is just a few friends and family. noone else can come IT IS ONLY FOR MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY do you understand? Do not print anything out because I am not paying for something I dont need and didnt ask you to do! look I am sorry but i am heaps busy and that night is not convenient. Are you in Apatrment1?

From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 11 Dec 2008 9.15am
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hello Matthew,
I agree that it is not very convenient and must admit that when I first received your invitation I was perplexed that it was on a Sunday night but who am I to judge? No, I am in apartment 3B. Our bedroom walls are touching so when we are sleeping our heads are only a few feet apart. If I put my ear to the wall I can hear you. I also agree with you that having a particular theme for your party may not be the best choice, it makes more sense to leave it open as a generic fancy dress party, that way everyone can come dressed in whatever they want.
Once, I went to a party in a bear outfit which worked out well as it was freezing and I was the only one warm. As it won’t be cold the night of your party, I have decided to come as a ninja. I think it would be really good if you dressed as a ninja as well and we could perform a martial arts display for the other guests. I have real swords and will bring them. If you need help with your costume let me know, I have made mine by wrapping a black t-shirt around my face with a hooded jacket and cut finger holes in black socks for the gloves. I do not have any black pants so will spray paint my legs on the night.
It is a little hard to breathe in the costume so I will need you to keep the window open during the party to provide good air circulation. Actually, I just had a thought, how awesome would it be if I arrived ‘through’ the window like a real ninja. We should definitely do that. I just measured the distance between our balconies and I should be able to jump it. I once leaped across a creek that was over five metres wide and almost made it.
Also, you mentioned in your invitation that if there was anything I needed, to let you know. My car is going in for a service next week and I was wondering, seeing as we are good friends now, if it would be ok to borrow yours on that day? I hate catching the bus as they are full of poor people who don’t own cars.
Regards, David.

From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Thursday 11 Dec 2008 3.02pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

WTF? No you cant borrow my car and there is no fucking 3B. I reckon you are that guy from Apartment 1. You are not coming to my house warming and you are not bringing any of your friends. What the fuck is wrong with you??? The only people invited are friends and family I told you that. It is just drinks there is no fucking fancy dress and only people i know are coming! I dont want to be rude but jesus fucking christ man.

From: David Thorne
Date: Sunday 14 Dec 2008 2.04am
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Party

Hello Matthew,
I have been away since Thursday so have not been able to check my email from home. Flying back late today in time for the party and just wanted to say that we are really looking forward to it. Will probably get there around eleven or twelve, just when it starts to liven up. Simon’s girlfriend Cathy’s work function was cancelled so she can make it afterall which is good news. She will probably have a few friends with her so they will take the minivan. Also, I have arranged a Piñata.
Regards, David.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Layover at LAX

Stuck on a layover at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California? A major hub airport in California, Los Angeles’ LAX airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world. The airport is located in the southwestern part of the city, roughly 16 miles from downtown which makes many destinations accessible for those stuck on long layovers. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your layover look below for some ideas:

Tourist Attractions/Layovers
Shopping areas are located within a few miles/kilometers of LAX in the Westchester community, and several beach areas (including Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach) are located approximately 5 to 7 miles (8 to 11 kilometers) south of the airport. Also, Dockweiler Beach is adjacent to LAX. If you want to visit one of these sites, you will need to use a taxi or other form of ground transportation.

Depending on the length of your layover, you also may want to visit the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau website (www.lacvb.com), which provides extensive information on things to do in various parts of Los Angeles.

When making plans during a layover, however, please remember that traffic is sometimes congested around the airport. In Los Angeles, typical time of travel is a more important factor than actual distance between LAX and the place you are visiting. It is important to allow sufficient time to get back to LAX in time for your flight. Please ask an airline agent when the ticket counter recommends your return.

Top Recommended Layover Activities:

1. Balboa Beach
400 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92660 • 949-673-5245
One of Orange County's most popular beaches. Its historic pavilion has been a tourist attraction for scores of families over the years. Covered by a cupola and famous for its steep gables, the pier dates from the early 20th century and has worn many hats in its time: terminal point for the Pacific Electric Red Car, venue for Big Band acts in the 20s and 30s (ever heard of the "Balboa Hop"?), bathhouse for vacationing well-to-dos from L.A., and departure point for whale-watching and sightseeing cruises. Meanwhile, Balboa Fun Zone (circa 1936) is a classic beachside amusement park that boasts its original Ferris wheel and merry-go-round.

2. Crystal Cathedral
121414 Lewis St, Garden Grove
, CA 92840 • 714-971-4013
Designed in the shape of a four-pointed star, Garden Grove's Crystal Cathedral is a sight to behold. This impressive structure is comprised of more than 10,000 panes of glass. The congregation, more than 10,000 members, enjoys visits by scores of tourists each Sunday (services are at 9:30am an 11am) as well as guest-speakers ranging from the Lakers' Derek Fisher to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Crystal Cathedral because provides the backdrop for Reverend Robert A. Schuller's popular "Hour of Power" weekly television broadcast.

3. Edison International Field of Anaheim
2000 Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806 • 714-634-2000
Baseball greats like Rod Carew and Reggie Jackson once trod this field and wowed fans with their heroics, paving the way for the modern generation of Angels. Until 1995, the NFL Rams shared the stadium, but after they moved to St. Louis, the Angels became the sole resident. A massive renovation project gave the entire structure a much-needed facelift, adding terraced bullpens, the Nestle Family Zone, the interactive Pepsi Perfect Game Pavilion, a handful of restaurants, and the KnotHole Club sports bar. Contact the ticket office for game times and ticket prices.

4. Orange County Marine Institute
24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629-2723 • 949-248-0503
Hop on the "Pilgrim" and prepare to be amazed by the diversity of California's marine life! For a small fee, you can learn about life aboard a 19th century sailing vessel, explore a real tidal pool, and take part in the marine lab's open house. If you want to experience something a little wilder, then make arrangements to take one of their cruises, which range from the Bioluminescence Night Cruise to the Marine Wildlife Cruise. Snorkeling excursions to Catalina or San Clemente are also available.

5. Orange County Zoo
1 Irvine Park Rd, Irvine Regional Park, Irvine, CA 92862 • 714-633-8072
Once home to the dearly departed Samson the Bear, the Orange County Zoo is a terrific place to spend the afternoon with the family. On the one hand it's inexpensive, and on the other it's a terrific place to get up close and personal - at a safe distance, of course! - with some of California's famous wildlife, from harbor seals and North American beavers to mountain lions and black bears.

Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:

1. Disneyland
1313 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802-2309 • 714-781-4565
The happiest place on Earth! This world-renowned theme park features great rides, games, and thrilling shows. With eight individually themed “lands,” this park offers plenty of fun for the entire family. Walt Disney’s favorite was Fantasyland, but you may prefer the futuristic adventure of Tomorrowland, the outdoorsy fun of Critter Country, or the zany shenanigans at Mickey’s Toontown. Rides, shows, shops and restaurants are located in each section of the park. You could easily spend several days here without doing the same thing twice, but even if you’ve only got one day, don’t miss Disney!

2. Downtown Disney
1510 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802-2319
Downtown Disney provides a fun, adult-friendly alternative to mouse ears and high-octane rides with its bustling nightlife and restaurant scenes. Spanning more than 20 acres, this area in between the Disney resort hotels and the theme park gates bustles daily and nightly. Guests browse through its myriad shops, stop off for cocktails, brews, or tunes at ESPN Zone and the House of Blues, dine at unique restaurants, and dance the night away at trendy discos. Those wanting to "take it easy" should check into catching a flick at the 12-screen AMC movie theater.

3. Disney's California Adventure
1313 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802-2309 • 714-781-4565
Disney’s California Adventure celebrates the Golden State, with themed attractions like a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge, a Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and Paradise Pier, which celebrates the state's old oceanfront amusement parks. Children love “A Bug’s Life” themed rides and shows, like Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, and on a hot day, Princess Dot Puddle Park can’t be beat. This place isn't just for the kids, though. In addition to the expected pizza, burger, and hot dog stands, there is a winery and several adult-oriented restaurants, plus rides and other attractions just for grown ups.

4. Knott's Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90001 • 714-220-5200
Billed as America's first theme park, Knott's has 150-acres of thrill rides, live entertainment, historic exhibits, and world-class dining that are divided into six themed areas. One favorite is Ghost Town, an 1880s Western boom town with cowboys, gun fights, stagecoaches and gold panning. Boardwalk resembles a coastal amusement park of the 1920s. Wild Water Wilderness and Camp Snoopy are children's top picks. You'll also want to see the full-size replica of Independence Hall or hear a major performer at the Good Time Theatre.

5. Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608 • 818- 622-3036
This world-renowned theme park features exciting attractions representing popular movies and television shows. The park houses thrill rides, great attractions and terrific live shows year-round. Attractions include a replica of the famous "Psycho" house, "Jaws" adventure ride and "King Kong" adventure. Located off the 101 Hollywood Freeway.

6. If you prefer to just stay at the airport check out relaxloungelax they have PCs and wireless comfy chairs and snacks check out website for more info ( There located in Terminal 3 on the departures level) http://www.relaxloungelax.com.

7. There's an In-N-Out Burger just around the corner from the airport, and theres a free shuttle that can take you there and back.

An In-N-Out is located on nearby Sepulveda Boulevard right next to the Parking Spot--a parking structure that conveniently provides free shuttle service. All you have to do is wait under the red "Hotel and Courtesy Shuttle" sign outside of any airport terminal, and when the yellow and black polka-dotted Parking Spot shuttle swings by, jump on board. It will take you literally next door to In-N-Out. Follow your nose through the back door, across the parking lot, and right inside where you need to order a double-double and fries to enjoy the best layover of your life.

There are a few things to be very careful about.

First off, you need to make sure that you get on the Sepulveda Parking Spot shuttle; otherwise you will end up at the Parking Spot's Century location. Additionally, you should allow yourself at least two hours to be extra safe. The shuttles come pretty regularly and the drive is only five to ten minutes, but the line at In-N-Out can be as long as 20-30 minutes during peak hours. And then you've got to get back to the airport and through security once again. So you you got the layover time check them out if you tried them already then you can relate.

Pics of the burgers @ http://www.badmouth.net/in-n-outs-secret-menu/


Here is a video someone made up of directions to IN-N-OUT at LAX, a must see for newbies at LAX.

Marina Bay Sands - Singapore

55 stories over the city of Singapore.

The £4billion Marina Bay Sands tourism development opened in the Singapore city yesterday, and the 150-meter long pool - three times the length of an Olympic swimming pool - was a highlight.
Infinity pools are designed to make it seem as though the water extends to the horizon. In reality, the edge of the pool is usually about an inch below the water level. The water therefore spills over the edge into a catchment below, and is then pumped back into the pool.

The concept is said to have been inspired by the terraced rice paddies in Bali, Indonesia. They are often seen in luxury resorts such as the Marina Bay Sands.
The enormous hotel, which dominates the Singapore skyline, has 2,560 rooms and suites, a fleet of celebrity chef restaurants, shopping areas, theatres, a museum, a casino and a crystal pavilion.
The resort is set to employ 10,000 people directly and generate up to £48million each year. Entrance to the casino alone is nearly £50 a day - but an average of 25,000 people have visited the casino daily since its initial phased opening two months ago.

Thomas Arasi, president and chief executive officer of the resort, said he expects to attract an astonishing 70,000 visitors a day, 18 million a year.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Virus and Malware in Bidvertiser ads

Several days ago my website starting having a Malware and Virus . The reason Google told me : script of Bidvertiser contain virus and malware . I removed all ads of Bidvertiser in my site . And now ,my site works well . So, beware of Bidvertiser Ads. I tried contacting Bidverstiser and have not received any contact from them so I‘m posting it here, Do not use Bidvertiser you risk affecting your daily Traffic/Money and possible site banned by Google
Below is from my Google Help…

“Members of the Bidvertiser publisher network, a Google AdSense alternative have been seeing their sites flagged as dangerous to users’ computer. These webmasters are finding their legitimate websites serving users "Reported Attack Site" warnings instead of their actual websites.”

One of the Malware pages in question i seen was greatestsecurityworld.com and com.openx.a1.43openhost.com

Windows Registry

When considering which computer files you absolutely couldn't live without, what comes to mind? The photos of your baby's first birthday? Your tax returns for the last three years? The resume you just spent hours updating? Actually, it's none of those things. It's the Windows Registry.

The Windows Registry, sometimes simply called "the Registry," has been described as the DNA for Windows. It stores much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations and more.

Windows and other programs continually reference the Registry so that when you make a change to almost any setting--from the wallpaper on your desktop to installing new software or hardware--that change is also recorded in the appropriate areas of the Registry. Without the Registry, Windows cannot run. It is the Registry that tells Windows which drivers to load, the settings to apply and what resources need to be allocated for everything to work properly.

While editing the Registry is not recommended except for expert users -- modifying it incorrectly can cause your operating system to malfunction -- knowing how to restore the Registry is essential for all users because viruses, spyware and malware can corrupt and damage it.

Creating a System Restore snapshot is one way to backup the Windows Registry so you can return your computer to a previous snapshot without losing recent personal information, such as documents, history lists, favorites or e-mail. Do note that System Restore takes multiple snapshots or backups of the Windows Registry by default at least every 24 calendar days, but you may want to do it more frequently. Why? If a failure occurs, you can boot into restore mode and select which "backup" from which to restore. Manually running System Restore once a week or before installing new software is ideal.

How to restore the Windows XP Registry:
1. Click Start, then Run, then type "%SystemRoot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe" in the pop-up box. Click OK.
2. On the Welcome to System Restore page, click "Create a restore point" and then click Next.
3. On the Create a Restore Point page, type a name for the restore point and then click Create.
4. After the restore point has been created, click Close.
NOTE: If System Restore is turned off, you'll receive a message that asks whether you want to turn on System Restore now. Click Yes. In the System Properties dialog box, click to clear the Turn Off System Restore check box, click OK.

How to restore the Windows 7.0 Registry:
1. Click Start. Type "systempropertiesprotection" in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
NOTE: Administrator permission is required. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation or click Allow.
2. On the System Protection tab, click Create to create a restore point.
3. Type a name for the restore point and then click Create.
4. After the restore point has been created successfully, click Close and then click OK.
NOTE: If System Restore is turned off, click to select the local disk, click Apply and then click Create.

More @ http://daol.aol.com/articles/the-most-important-data-to-backup-is?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl5|link2|http%3A%2F%2Fdaol.aol.com%2Farticles%2Fthe-most-important-data-to-backup-is


Job Postings

From computer tech to social worker,retail,overseas etc...

HOSPITAL IN TEXAS hiring hospital related jobs


Different locations (states)mainly in the south Virgina, TX all kind of positions tech etc..administrative careers, tech jobs


U.S. Government jobs different states most people know about this site. Just apply and see what happens might take months so apply to many as possible.


National Park position


GAP retail corporate administrative positions and entry level few states like San Francisco , NY Chicago


Coast guard


Different states non profit and various


Retail entry to high end administrative different states


Job search portal different states


Jobs worldwide


Careers in Africa


Non profit jobs etc..


For young folks jobs training program and stipend


GOOGLE is hiring tech related etc. different locations including overseas


Different states and countries various position




Social Services jobs, counseling, social worker, administrative, sometimes computer techs




Hospital positions California


Hospital positions. I did not check this one


Hospital jobs different states


Online Forex brokerage company computer related based in El Segundu California


IBFX online brokerage company in UTAH tech related


Walmart various positions corporate to entry level to trucking to overseas positions








Jobs in AFRICA


Radio Shack including corporate


KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken corporate general manager positions



Idealist.org is the resource for finding volunteer, employment, and/or internship opportunities at non-profit and non-governmental organizations. With literally thousands of job/internship postings, and a catalogue of (approaching) 100,000 organizations, Idealist.org provides an extensive look of what opportunities are available at non-profit organizations (NPOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) both domestically and internationally.


Get your feet wet at WetFeet.com! WetFeet.com has an abundance of resources for students looking to gain valuable professional experience. From a search engine powered by Indeed.com to articles, tutorials, and a virtual community, WetFeet.com is a must-visit site for students looking for either internship or entry-level employment opportunities.


Jobs in Government. Search thousands of entry level jobs & internships available with local, state, or federal government on CampusGov.


Join GovLoop, the premier social network for government connecting over 30,000 federal, state and local employees, contractors and academics.

Additional Search Engines and Online Resources


InternZoo.com offers featured employers and a host of resources for students looking for internship opportunities, from interview advice to cover letter and resume tips. At InternZoo you can browse thousands of internships according to your field or geographical location as well as create and post a resume for employers to view.


InternSearch.com publishes a National Internship Directory that provides detailed descriptions of internship opportunities, while also allowing students to browse internship opportunities by geographical location (allowing for you to look for internship opportunities according to where you are located on a map).


InternshipPrograms.com is simple, easy to navigate, and allows you to search for opportunities according to employer, field, location, or date. On InternshipPrograms.com you are alerted about jobs in your field, you can post your resume, and browse a plethora of internship listings.

Rising Star Internships

RisingStarInternships.com posts internship opportunities located inside and outside of the United States and uses detailed categories to organize listings.


Get that Gig is a site tailored specifically for college students, or recent college graduates, looking for opportunities in a multitude of different fields. Get That Gig is updated regularly, a superb resource, and is one of the first places to consult if you are looking for an internship or job.


Internships.com is devoted solely to internships and provides excellent services and resources. Interships.com maintains the largest database of internship opportunities in the world.


InternJobs.com is an online recruitment network that provides career resources and employment opportunities for students and employers. InternJobs.com offers a large database of internship opportunities as well as entry-level job searches.

State Employment Sites:


Citi-Diamond Mastercard

Citi Diamond Preferred Card Mastercard

I know some of you where asking about American Express but here is a good card from Citi Bank MasterCard not to mentioned that MasterCard is accepted in more places than AMEX right now.

The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers many great perks, ranging from travel and Emergency assistance to virtual account numbers. For a card with no annual fee, Citi offers reputable service and great value. Let’s take a few minutes to explore the

Citi Diamond Preferred Card, and determine if it fits your needs.

• 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for up to 12 months, based on your application and credit history.

• $30 Statement Credit, after you make $30 in purchases within the first 3 months of becoming a cardmember

• Extra Cash from Citi – a free benefit that gives you access to discounts online

• No Annual Fee

• Great low rate on purchases

• Price protection & extended warranty on qualified purchases
0% Introductory Rate

One of the best features of the Citi Diamond Preferred credit card is its 0% rate.

On both balance transfers and purchases, the card offers no interest for up to 12 months. This feature makes the card one of the best interest free credit cards currently available.

$30 Statement Credit

Citi Diamond Preferred also offers new cardholders a $30 statement credit. All that is required is that you make $30 in purchases that are not returned in the first three months. Here are the details:

The statement credit can only be earned by new Citi Diamond Preferred Card cardmembers approved through this offer. In order to receive the statement credit, you must make at least $30 in purchases that are not returned within the first 3 months of account opening. The statement credit will appear on the card billing statement after the purchase has posted to the card account, not on the receipt. Please expect to see your statement credit within 8 weeks of end of promotion period.

Other Citi Diamond Preferred Features

Private pass access: With Private Pass, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to purchase presale tickets, preferred seating and more. Log-in to the Private Pass website, where all available events are listed, including golf, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping, sporting events, theater and other great events.

Concierge Service : The Diamond Preferred Concierge Service can take care of just about everything, from booking flights and hotel rooms to purchasing concert tickets or making restaurant reservations. This service is also available 24/7 anywhere in the world.

Extra Cash from Citi : Extra Cash from Citi is a free benefit program that offers you discounts on travel, entertainment, merchandise and more. Earn Extra Cash totaling up to 10% of the purchases made with your Diamond Preferred card.

Price Protection: If you buy something with your Citi card and then see it advertised in print for less within 60 days, you will receive a refund for the difference up to $250 (excludes Internet purchases and certain items).

Retail Purchase Protection : Most items purchased with your Citi Diamond Preferred Card are eligible for protection against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

$0 Liability on Unauthorized Charges : Shop anywhere and never lose a penny on unauthorized charges. With $0 Liability you won’t pay for any unauthorized charges made on your Citi credit card.

Travel & Emergency Assistance : You’re protected when you’re traveling in the U.S. and abroad. Travel & Emergency Assistance include medical and legal referrals, lost luggage assistance, emergency transportation, and translation services. Also included in this service are MasterTrip Travel Assistance, Travel Services Medical Assistance and MasterLegal Referral Service.

Automatic Travel Accident Insurance : Charge plane, train or bus tickets to your Citi card and you, your spouse and eligible dependent children are automatically covered for Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance at no additional cost.

Citi Photocard : Citi Photocard offers a great form of photo identification by putting your picture and signature on the front of your Citi card.
Virtual Account Numbers : With virtual account numbers you never have to give out your real credit card number online. With one click, you can generate a substitute credit card number and make it impossible for anyone to steal your account number while shopping online.

More Info or to apply: http://creditcards.citicards.com/usc/value/diamond_preferred/0510pricing/default.htm?ProspectID=A3F0F275BF91419D8337FF99C52B3553&_u=visitor&promotion=Rate&sc=4DNZ1Y40&m=5CTNMDN910W&B=M&product=DiamondPreferredMasterCard&siteId=CB&t=t&lid=ILC-2080805&uc=4BM&placement=Topper&app=UNSOL&langId=EN&screenID=3000&cmp=ILC-2080805&venue=Citibank.com


The Songkran festival (Thai: สงกรานต์, from Sanskrit saṅkrānti, "astrological passage") is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year's Day from 13 to 15 April(But some areas it ends on the 19th Like Pattaya). It coincides with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia.

The most obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. People roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby. This, however, was not always the main activity of this festival. Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends and neighbors.

Besides the throwing of water, people celebrating Songkran may also go to a wat (Buddhist monastery) to pray and give food to monks. They may also cleanse Buddha images from household shrines as well as Buddha images at monasteries by gently pouring water mixed with a Thai fragrance (Thai: น้ำอบไทย) over them. It is believed that doing this will bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year. In many cities, such as Chiang Mai, the Buddha images from all of the city's important monasteries are paraded through the streets so that people can toss water at them, ritually 'bathing' the images, as they pass by on ornately decorated floats. In northern Thailand, people may carry handfuls of sand to their neighborhood monastery in order to recompense the dirt that they have carried away on their feet during the rest of the year. The sand is then sculpted into stupa-shaped piles and decorated with colorful flags.

Some people make New Year resolutions - to refrain from bad behavior, or to do good things. Songkran is a time for cleaning and renewal. Besides washing household Buddha images, many Thais also take this opportunity to give their home a thorough cleaning.

The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then using this "blessed" water to give good fortune to elders and family by gently pouring it on the shoulder. Among young people the holiday evolved to include dousing strangers with water to relieve the heat, since April is the hottest month in Thailand (temperatures can rise to over 100°F or 40°C on some days). This has further evolved into water fights and splashing water over people riding in vehicles.

Nowadays, the emphasis is on fun and water-throwing rather than on the festival's spiritual and religious aspects, which sometimes prompts complaints from traditionalists. In recent years there have been calls to moderate the festival to lessen the many alcohol-related road accidents as well as injuries attributed to extreme behavior such as water being thrown in the faces of traveling motorcyclists.

The water is meant as a symbol of washing all of the bad away and is sometimes filled with fragrant herbs.

Songkran is also celebrated in many places with a pageant in which young women demonstrate their beauty and unique talents, as judged by the audience. The level of financial support usually determines the winner, since, to show your support you must purchase necklaces which you place on your chosen girl.

Top 5 credit score killers

Top 5 credit score killers: What you don't know can hurt you

Read up peeps stay in the know..............

Mistake #1: Foreclosure. "I foolishly believed my attorney (and the rising real estate market) when I didn't force my former husband to refinance or sell our house during our divorce proceedings, and [he] left my name on the mortgage," Cynthia Burnham of Descanso, California says. As a result, when her ex stopped making payments, the bank came after her, and her credit score took a beating.
Burnham is not exactly sure where her score stands today, but she recalls that it was in the high 700s before the fiasco began.The lower score hit her most severely when it came to her credit limits; she had one card's limit slashed from $14,000 to $2,000, while another one went from $5,000 to $2,000. "I've always been proud to maintain my credit as excellent," Burnham says. Having to deal with the fallout once her credit wasn't good anymore left her "irritated and angry."

Shane Fischer of Winter Park, Florida, is also struggling with the fallout of a low credit score due to foreclosure. "The foreclosure killed any chance I have of getting a new car loan or even a credit card," Fischer says. "My car is getting older, and I'd like to consider trading it in, but with my bad credit, no bank will give me the time of day."

Not surprisingly, foreclosure is the big kahuna when it comes to actions that can sink your credit score. According to Barry Paperno, consumer operations manager at FICO, "In addition to a foreclosure preventing someone from obtaining a new mortgage for at least a couple of years -- regardless of the score – this person could expect to lose anywhere from 80 to 160 points, depending on his score level prior to the foreclosure." Ouch.
Foreclosure is a "scarlet letter," adds Gary Nitzkin, a debt-collection lawyer in Southfield, Michigan.

Mistake #2: Being a guarantor on someone else's loan. Nitzkin, who is hired by creditors to collect on debts, says this is another no-no that's sure to take a bite out of your credit score. If the person you're guaranteeing the loan for - a child, close friend or other relative - defaults on the loan, you could be responsible for paying it back all at once. Not only would this likely cause significant financial hardship for you, you potentially could see your credit score plummet by as much as 100 points.

Mistake #3: Making a late payment on a credit card debt. While foreclosure and debt settlements might sound like drastic steps, you may be surprised to learn that the next biggest credit-killer is actually something almost all of us have done from time to time. Making a late payment on a credit card debt doesn't seem like such a bad thing -- until you learn just how much it can affect your credit score.

As Nitzkin explains, "If a consumer has a [score of] 750 or above and they're late with just one payment, their score can drop to 650." However, FICO's Paperno adds, someone who already has a few late payments on their report as a result of previous late payments would be more likely to lose less (somewhere between 60 and 80 points).

Mistake #4: Maxing out one of your credit cards. While it may be surprising to find out a late payment can drop your score anywhere from 60 to 100 points, you might be even more shocked to learn that even actions that are allowed by lenders can hurt your score. "The act of maxing out a single card could drop your high FICO score by as much as 50 points," Paperno says. People with lower scores could see theirs drop by up to 30 points, although it's likely they'd have much lower minimums than their high-score counterparts.

Mistake #5: Settling with a debtor for less than the amount owed. This is another major strike against your score that Paperno says can drop your credit score by as much as 160 points. While we've written about people who've settled their debts for less and found the option to be a godsend, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't an action without consequences. Reaching an agreement with a lender to settle a debt for less than what you owe can certainly free you from a crushing debt, but the trade-off is that you'll have a lower credit score to show for it.

Getting - and keeping - your score high is an uphill battle for many people these days, Nitzkin says. "Lenders don't like to lend money to people who need it."

More @ http://www.walletpop.com/credit/credit-reports/article/top-5-credit-score-killers-what-you-dont/1123383

Browser Security

One of the most basic ways to protect your computer from potentially harmful online content or malicious software is easy, fast and free. How? Just make sure your browser's security settings are set at the appropriate level.

But even if you use the highest security settings, you are only as safe as the actions you take online.
No matter which browser you use, always follow these top five security tips:
1. Delete spam messages without opening them or replying to them.
2. Use great caution when clicking on links sent to you in e-mail or text messages.
3. Do not open e-mail attachments unless you know the sender and you're expecting the attachment.
4. Create strong passwords. Use different passwords for your online banking accounts.
5. Make sure you use a firewall, as well as antivirus and antispyware software that is automatically updated.
What are the security settings on your browser? Here's how you can find out in Internet Explorer and Firefox.

How to check your Internet Explorer security settings:
1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. Click the Tools button and then click Internet Options.
3. Click the Security tab.

You will see four security zones:
• Internet: The level of security for the Internet zone is applied to all Web sites by default. The security level for this zone is set to medium-high, but you can change it to either medium or high. The only Web sites for which this security setting is not used are those in the Local Intranet zone, or sites that you specifically entered into the Trusted or Restricted Site zones.

• Local Intranet: The level of security for the Local Intranet zone is applied to Web sites and content that is stored on a corporate or business network. The security level for the Local Intranet zone is set to medium, but you can change it to any level.

• Trusted Sites: The level of security for Trusted Sites is applied to sites that you have specifically indicated to be ones that you trust not to damage your computer or information. The security level for Trusted Sites is set to medium, but you can change it to any level.
• Restricted Sites: The level of security for Restricted Sites is applied to sites that might potentially damage your computer or compromise your personal information. Adding sites to the Restricted zone does not block them, but it prevents them from using scripting or any active content. The security level for Restricted Sites is set to high and cannot be changed.
As you move around the Internet, IE automatically changes the security zone as needed and sets your security level for each Web site by default, ranging from low or medium-low for a corporate Intranet site, to high for a restricted site.

How to view or change the security settings on Internet Explorer 7/8:
In addition to these default security levels, you can customize individual security settings.
1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. Click the Tools button and then click Internet Options.
3. Click the Security tab.
4. Click the "Custom level..." button.
5. At the bottom of the pop-up box, you can reset the security setting to something higher or lower. Settings that are not at recommended levels will be highlighted in red.
6. If you modify your security settings and want to change them back to the default level, follow the above instructions through step 4. Then click on the "Reset all zones to default level" button.

How to view or change the security settings in Firefox 3x:
To make sure your security settings offer you the most protection, do the following:
1. Open Firefox.
2. Click on the Tools button and then click Options.
3. Click on the Security tab.

Step 1: Make sure the first three blocks are checked:
• Warn me when sites try to install add-ons.
Firefox will always ask you to confirm installations of add-ons. To prevent unrequested installation prompts that may lead to accidental installations, Firefox warns you when a Web site tries to install an add-on and blocks the installation prompt.

• Block reported attack sites.
Firefox will check whether the site you are visiting may be an attempt to interfere with normal computer functions or send personal data about you to unauthorized parties over the Internet.

• Block reported Web forgeries.
Firefox will actively check to determine whether the site you are visiting may be an attempt to mislead you into providing personal information, often referred to as "phishing."

Step 2: Passwords
Firefox saves your passwords by default, but if anyone else ever uses your computer, turn this feature off to protect your password security. To do this:
1. Open Firefox.
2. Click on the Tools button and then click Options.
3. Click on the Security tab.
4. Uncheck "Remember Passwords for Sites."

If you share your computer with others, you can set a Master Password in Firefox. This allows you to keep secure the username and passwords of Web sites you visit so no one else but you can access this information. To set a Master Password:
1. Open Firefox.
2. Click on the Tools button and then click Options.
3. Click on the Security tab.
4. Click "Use a master password." You'll be prompted to enter a password. (You can also follow these steps to change your Master Password.) A password-quality meter will judge the security of the password you have chosen.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you remember your Master Password! Without it, even you will not be able to access any of the information it protects or change the password.

Step 3: Warning Messages
1. Open Firefox.
2. Click on the Tools button and then click Options.
3. Click on the Security tab.
4. Click the Settings button that appears to the right of "Choose which warning messages you want to see while browsing the web."
5. At minimum, make sure the box is checked for "I am about to view a page that uses low-grade encryption."

More @ http://daol.aol.com/articles/how-to-tighten-your-browsers-security?icid=main|main|dl9|link1|http%3A%2F%2Fdaol.aol.com%2Farticles%2Fhow-to-tighten-your-browsers-security

Internet Speed Test

Internet Speed Test: The Fastest ISPs in the U.S. 2010

Is your Web browsing as fast as it could be? Fifteen years after Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer to compete with Netscape Navigator, there are still browser wars going on, as Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, Apple, and others compete to create the software that loads Web pages the fastest. But the number one factor in page load speed (or any kind of download) isn't your browser. It's your Internet service provider (ISP). After all, a Web page can't finish loading until all the bits arrive.

Interestingly, while cable and phone companies compete to provide fast connections, 80 percent of Americans have no idea how fast their connection is supposed to be, according to a recent FCC study. Still, nearly three quarters of the respondents (71 percent) said that they felt their connection speed is as fast as their ISP promises most, if not all, of the time.

The reality is that no one is experiencing speeds anywhere near to what their ISP claims to offer, at least not when it comes to Web surfing. This isn't entirely the ISP's fault. The ISP's claimed throughput rates are for sustained downloads of an individual file. Web pages are typically made up of several files: the HTML code, graphics, Flash elements, and so forth. For each file, there's latency, essentially the time it takes from when your computer requests the element and when the Web site's server starts sending it to you. And then there are all the vagaries of the Internet as data from the Web site hops from router to router down to your computer. This is why, when ISPs advertise download speeds, they're only referring to downloads directly from their own servers.

There are several good bandwidth testers on the market to test connection speed, including Speedtest.net and Broadband.gov's new Consumer Broadband Test. But these tools typically test downloads of a single, very large file and provide a result that isn't very applicable to Web browsing. So to answer the question, "Is your Web browsing as fast as it could be?" PCMag created SurfSpeed, a free Web surfing speedometer. On a scheduled basis or on demand, SurfSpeed downloads Web pages from 10 popular Web sites, including Google, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo.

urfSpeed lets you compare your results to those of other people in your zip code, state, and country. It even lets you drill down by time period, ISP, and connection type. At the same time, it sends data to us for this story.

Keep in mind, when it comes to the speeds reported in this story, SurfSpeed takes into account the complete, real-world download time of a Web page to a browser. We're not saying your own ISP's claims of double-digit megabit-per-second (Mbps) throughputs or more are false. But those are marketing numbers, based on direct downloads from their own servers, using some abstract math like the number of users divided by the theoretical line speed. The numbers in the SurfSpeed tests compare everything you get in the download of a Web page, not just a single, contiguous file, so the numbers are smaller than the data-rate numbers quoted by your ISP. They provide an example of the real-world throughput you're experiencing when you browse and with speeds comparable to what others customers of the same ISP would get.

To help create a more complete picture, we also include the ISP Speed Satisfaction rating from our 2009 Reader Satisfaction survey. (Updated results for 2010 will be available late this summer.) In addition, we'll show you what people are paying on average for their broadband connection and what percent of eligible households has installed broadband, thanks to Centris, a research firm that gathers extensive data on the consumer purchase preferences and behavior for voice, video, and data services.

We report SurfSpeeds in Kilobits per second (Kbps) and Megabits per second (Mbps) since these are the units of measurement used for network throughput. A Kilobit is 1,000 bits and a Megabit is 1,000,000 bits or 1,000 Kilobits. File sizes, on the other hand, are typically reported in bytes instead of bits (measured in multiples of 1,024) and this can often cause confusion. The abbreviation for bytes is a capital B and for bits is a small b. One byte is eight bits.

To understand the difference, consider this example: Downloading a 10 megabyte (10 MB) file at 5 Megabits per second (5 Mbps) will take 16 seconds (10 MB equals 80 Mb (10x8=80) and 80 Mb traveling at 5 Mbps will arrive in 16 seconds (80/5=16)).

It's important to note that these numbers are from PCMag readers, not the entire spread-out population. The numbers here are a guide to help you pick an ISP, but they are not an absolute rating of the speeds you'll get from your local ISPs. This assumes that you even have a choice when it comes to picking broadband; we know not everyone does. (In our 2009 Reader Satisfaction survey, one in four respondents said their ISP was the only broadband ISP available to them.) That said, on the following pages, you'll find out which major broadband ISP in our tests provides the fastest browsing experience, both across the country and in the four major regions.

, sets the gold standard and that if you can't get FTTP, go with cable and lastly DSL. Only select satellite if you have no other alternatives. While we did not have enough SurfSpeed users on satellite connections to measure its throughput, the few PCMag readers who use satellite have typically given it very mediocre marks.

Perception and reality are mostly in sync here, though the differences may not be as great as you think. Verizon FiOS did, in fact, take the top spot, with a SurfSpeed score of 1.22 Mbps. Consumers are, by far, the most satisfied with FiOS' speed, giving it a 9.0 average rating on a scale of 1 to 10 in last year's Reader Survey.

However, the second and third spots were taken by two cable providers, Cox and Optimum Online, which scored SurfSpeeds of 1.14 and 1.12 Mbps, respectively. Both of these results are less than 10 percent slower than FiOS and are unlikely to be perceptible to any user. It's no coincidence that Cox and Optimum also had the highest satisfaction ratings last year, though at 7.9 and 7.8, respectively, they didn't come close to Verizon FiOS' superior satisfaction rating with our readers.

The fourth fastest ISP was AT&T U-verse, which just topped the 1 Mbps mark. Unlike FiOS, AT&T is providing fiber-to-the-node—the node being something like that that big junction box on your block, which then splits the signal around the neighborhood—rather than bringing a fiber optic line all the way into the home.

DSL brings up the rear. Earthlink was the fastest at 882 Kilobits per second (Kbps), edging out one cable provider, Charter. But none of the other DSL providers approached either of these ISPs speeds, ranging from AT&T's SurfSpeed of 722 Kbps down to FrontierNet's 544 Kbps. Not surprisingly, DSL providers also had the lowest speed satisfaction ratings.

The Fastest ISP in the Nation: Verizon FiOS
There's no doubt about it from info we get in our Reader Satisfaction Survey that fiber optic is loved by users. Our tests with SurfSpeed tell why. With a speed that's higher than anyone else nationally, across all areas it services, what's not to enjoy?

More @ http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2365347,00.asp