Saturday, October 16, 2010

Credit Cards

Better options for credit cards

Here's a look at some often-recommended credit cards -- along with alternatives that might be kinder to your wallet.

By NerdWallet for

The Internet is often a great source of information. In fact, these days it seems like it's almost the only place to find information. But there's a real economy behind providing and distributing all that information, and consumers would do well to keep that in mind when looking for advice.

Credit cards are a perfect example, because there is big money in convincing you that certain cards are better than others. This means that almost every website that makes credit card recommendations gets paid to regurgitate the marketing of card issuers, and the sites rarely tell you that their "editor's picks" or "best credit card recommendations" are actually sponsored by the card companies. So you have to be on the alert for misinformation.

Rewards cards
Avoid: Chase Freedom.

Despite the claims of 5% cash-back rewards, you'll be hard-pressed to earn more than 1.5% to 2% rewards with this card. The bonus 5% rewards apply only to quarterly rotating categories, which means you can't earn maximum rewards year-round on everyday purchases such as groceries and gas. The bonuses are also capped, so you can only earn maximum rewards on $1,500 of spending from October through December. You have to sign up online to get these rewards; they're not automatic.

Check out instead: TrueEarnings Costco from American Express.

You'd be better served with a card such as the Costco TrueEarnings, whose 3% rewards on gas and restaurants and 2% rewards on travel are valid throughout the year. Rewards are unlimited except for a $3,000 spending cap on gas, and it's the only card that pays bonus rewards on Costco's discount gas.

Business cards
Avoid: Ink Bold from Chase.

This card does pay a ton of bonus rewards, so you're eligible to earn more than 50,000 points the first year and 47,500 every year thereafter, but you also have to spend a ton of money to get them (more than $100,000 annually to get maximum bonuses). And if you account for the $95 annual fee (the first year is free), your reward rate maxes out around 1.4% and decreases the more you spend.

Check out instead: Ink Cash or Capital One Venture.

Compare this with its cousin card, the Ink Cash, which charges no annual fee, pays 1% on all purchases and pays 3% on bonus categories your business needs, such as fuel, home improvement, dining and office supplies. Another option is the Capital One Venture for Business, which pays 2% rewards in the form of travel credits you can apply against your account statement. Plus the 15,000-mile sign-up bonus makes it well worth the $59 annual fee

Cards for people with poor credit
Avoid: RushCard Prepaid Debit.

The fee structure on this card makes it hard to accept the notion that the card is designed to empower the unbanked. The no-monthly-fee version charges a $19.95 activation fee and $1 for every transaction (up to $10 per month). It also costs 50 cents to check your balance at an ATM and $1.95 if you don't use the card for 90 days. And because it's a debit card, it doesn't do anything to help your credit scores.

Check out instead: Citibank Secured.

Citibank Secured charges a $29 annual fee and no transaction fees, rather than the $120 that RushCard could cost you. Plus your initial secured collateral gets deposited in a certificate of deposit, which earns interest, and you may be eligible for a nonsecured Citi card after 18 months. This helps users build credit and is a feature that the RushCard can't offer.

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Friday, October 15, 2010


Job description
Requisition Number 5696919
Job title Apple At-Home Advisor
Location Kennesaw
Country United States
City Kennesaw
State/Province Georgia
Job type Full Time
Job description You know Apple is passionate about creating the world’s most innovative products. But it’s just as passionate about assisting the people who use them. So as an At-Home Advisor for the AppleCare Program, when customers call in with questions, you won’t just provide answers—you’ll provide an experience. You’ll focus on the small details. You’ll impress, engage, and inspire. And you’ll do it all from home.

A position you’ll love:
• Helping to delight each and every one of our customers.
• Realizing troubleshooting can be rewarding and fun.
• Exercising multitasking skills as you manage multiple systems and applications.
• Giving people yet another positive Apple experience.
• Saving a bundle on gas by working from home!

A candidate we’ll love:
• You have some customer service experience, or just like to help people.
• You have a quiet workspace with a desk, a chair, and a door.
• You have, or are willing to get, a dedicated analog phone line.
• You have, or are willing to get, internet service meeting minimum requirements.
• You don’t need a manager around to get motivated—or coworkers.
• You can navigate a computer running Windows and/or Mac and fix problems that arise.
• You have a passion to learn and develop continually.
• You are good at solving problems and helping others find answers.

The ideal opportunity to use what you know:
A job in the AppleCare is an opportunity for you to use your knowledge, your experience and your passion. With your technical know-how you will continually provide meaningful customer service to enrich our customer experience.

To delight Apple customers—and yourself.

Desired Qualifications:
• Previous experience in high tech customer service
•Flexibility to work varied shift on a 7 day schedule including nights and weekends
•Analyze and resolve a wide variety of complex technical customer issues
•Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
• Leadership skills in an area of technical speciality
•Superior time management and prioritization skills
•Mac and Mac OS experience strongly preferred

Workspace Requirements: (if not currently present, will acquire)
• A private workspace in your house, where ambient noise can be minimized during work hours.
• A workspace with a desk and ergonomically fitted chair that allows proper installation of your technical equipment.
• An analog phone line that can be dedicated to contact center calls (monthly allowance provided by Apple).
• Internet service meeting minimum system requirements (monthly allowance
provided by Apple).
• Self-motivated and able to work remotely from co-workers and management.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Raising Credit Score

Good Read

Raising Credit Score Reduces Mortgage Costs
Megan Mollman, AOL Real Estate Contributor

If you have a credit score at 620 -- generally considered the dividing line between good and bad credit -- boosting it by 20 points could save you thousands of dollars on your mortgage. And there are simple ways to do this in a short time.

An analysis of about 300,000 loan requests received through in September revealed that a homeowner who raises his or her credit score to 640 points may benefit from a 0.10 percent reduction in their annual percentage rate, or APR.

For a $300,000 home loan with a conventional 20 percent down, this yields a savings of $10,000 in interest costs over the life of a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

What about those with credit scores under 620? Without enough loan requests in that segment, Zillow was unable to generate any findings for those deemed to be in the "bad credit" zone. (According to, this is an estimated 29.3 percent of all Americans.)

"People with scores under 620 should not expect the same conventional rates," says Jason Biro, author and founder of the nonprofit, Saving Your American Dream. "Lenders are now looking at entire credit history, such as a bankruptcy or foreclosure, and credit worthiness, not just your score."

However, Biro says that those falling within the threshold of 620 to 719 should keep working on their credit scores to benefit from lower interest rates. Here's what you can do to easily boost your score 20 points within a few months:

1. Pull your credit report. Obtain a free copy of credit report from, which you are entitled to each year by federal law. Request a copy from each of the three repositories (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) and review them for accuracy.

2. Dispute discrepancies on your credit report. By e-mail or mail, you can appeal any inaccuracies on your report with the repository. According to Biro, if you don't get a response from the agency within 45 days, the law requires that this information be removed from your credit file.

3. Pay your bills on time and don't use more than 30 percent of existing credit. Gail Cunningham, vice president of public relations at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says 65 percent of your score depends on paying bills on time and the amount of available credit. She suggests using less than 30 percent of your existing lines of credit to see an immediate jump in your score and being diligent about timely bill paying (all you need to cover is the minimum payment required by the due date).

4. Request a score improvement analysis. Another option is to get a score improvement analysis, says Biro, in which mortgage brokers or credit counselors can use credit software to see what you should do first -- whether it's paying down debt to closing down accounts -- to bump up your credit score the fastest.

While these tips are what can make the biggest impact in a short amount of time, they won't magically discharge your credit woes overnight, experts say.

Once the errors are corrected, you've reduced your debt or made other necessary adjustments, the improvements should only take a month or so to be reflected in your credit score. However, start to finish, Cunningham recommends beginning the process about three months before you'd like to apply for a loan or refinance your mortgage.

But the good news, she says, is that the lower your credit score, the faster you will see improvement.

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Friday, October 8, 2010


15 Best Jobs for the Future

Even in a tough economy, some professions have a bright outlook for 2010 and beyond. According to O*Net, an online tool for career exploration and job search, we may see strong hiring in a number of professions. O*Net groups professions into one of five job "zones" based on levels of education, experience, and training necessary to perform the occupation. Here's a sampling of professions trending upward in each of the five categories.

Zone 1: Little or no preparation

1. Food Preparation Workers

Job description: Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

Sample job titles: dietary aide, prep cook, food service worker, food service aide, dietary assistant, nutrition aide, food preparer, pantry cook, slicer

Find a Job in Food Preparation

2. Landscaping and Grounds-keeping Workers

Job description: Landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, sprinkler installation, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.

Sample of job titles: groundskeeper, outside maintenance worker, gardener, greens keeper, grounds worker, grounds/maintenance specialist, utility worker, grounds supervisor.

Find a Job in Landscaping

3. Construction Laborers

Job description: Perform tasks involving physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, clean up rubble and debris, and remove asbestos, lead, and other hazardous waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

Sample of job titles: laborer, construction laborer, cement finisher, construction worker, helper, post framer, curb and gutter laborer, drain layer, drop crew laborer, punch out crew member.

Find a Job in Construction

Zone 2: Some preparation needed

4. Animal Trainers

Job description: Train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. Accustom animals to human voice and contact; and condition animals to respond to commands. Train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition. May train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.

Sample of job titles: trainer, dog trainer, horse trainer, guide dog instructor, agility instructor, dog and cat behavior specialist, guide dog mobility instructor, licensed guide dog instructor.

Find a Job in Animal Training

5. Bill and Account Collectors

Job description: Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.

Sample of job titles: collector, patient account representative, debt collector, account representative, collections manager, credit clerk, patient access specialist, telephone collector, accounts receivable specialist, biller.

Find a Job as a Bill Collector

6. Customer Service Representatives

Job description: Interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.

Sample of job titles: customer service representative, account manager, client services representative, account representative, customer service specialist, member services representative, hub associate, account service representative, call center representative

Find a Job in Customer Service

Zone 3: Medium preparation needed

7. Acute Care Nurses

Job description: Provide advanced nursing care for patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome, or shock. May care for pre- and post-operative patients or perform advanced, invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

Sample of job titles: nurse manager, nursing director, progressive care unit registered nurse

Find a Job as an Acute Care Nurse

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

HOSPITAL IN TEXAS hiring hospital related jobs

More Medical Jobs|main|dl4|sec4_lnk2|172244

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

NEIMAN AND MARCUS CORPORATE AND ENTRY LEVEL RETAIL different states(locations)¶ms=Kr-bdt54dNfFXnNLoLNJc5lpPv1cc0-S5mIhQHNr.ZO7fteOs0WuVQy4h1KicBza&oas=Ha6KxFBcisFkuYDla76DAQ

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



ANALYST TYPE FINANCIAL POSITIONS$ja=p&source=PS:Google:trading%20careers

Jobs in AFRICA

Radio Shack including corporate

KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken corporate general manager positions 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, 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! has an abundance of resources for students looking to gain valuable professional experience. From a search engine powered by to articles, tutorials, and a virtual community, 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 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. 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). is simple, easy to navigate, and allows you to search for opportunities according to employer, field, location, or date. On you are alerted about jobs in your field, you can post your resume, and browse a plethora of internship listings.

Rising Star Internships 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. is devoted solely to internships and provides excellent services and resources. maintains the largest database of internship opportunities in the world. is an online recruitment network that provides career resources and employment opportunities for students and employers. offers a large database of internship opportunities as well as entry-level job searches.

State Employment Sites:

Six Questions You Should Never Ask at the Interview

Candidates who ask these questions don't remain candidates for long
John Kador, author of "301 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview"
What were they thinking? Whenever I talk to human-resources professionals or recruiters, I always ask them to tell me the worst question they were ever asked in a job interview. How could any applicant actually believe questions like these are in his interests?

Unfortunately, job seekers continue to ask dumb questions every day. These questions demonstrate poor judgment and effectively ensure their rejection.

It's hard to generalize about such stunningly bad interview questions, but they all are "me" questions. These are questions that appear to put your needs before those of the employer. The best interview questions focus on what the applicant can do for the company, not what the company can do for applicant.

-- Get ready for your interview. Know what the job pays.

Be certain that the questions you ask don't raise barriers or objections. For example, don't ask, "Is relocation a necessary part of the job?"
The very question raises doubts about your willingness to relocate. Even if the person selected for the position is not tracked for relocation, the negativity of the question makes the hiring manager wonder whether you are resistant in other areas as well.

If the issue of relocation is important to you, by all means ask, but go with a phrasing that reinforces your flexibility, not challenges it. A good approach: "I'm aware that relocation is often required in a career and I am prepared to relocate for the good of the company as necessary. Could you tell me how often I might be asked to relocate in a five- or 10-year period?"
Here are five more bad questions you might be tempted to ask and what hiring managers will think when they hear them:

What you ask: Is job-sharing a possibility?

What they think: Possibly, but does this mean you can't give us a commitment for full-time work?

What you ask: Can you tell me whether you have considered the incredible benefits of telecommuting for this position?

What they think: Why do you want to get out of the office before you have even seen it?

What you ask: I understand that employee paychecks are electronically deposited. Can I get my paycheck in the old-fashioned way?

What they think: You are already asking for exceptions. What's next? And are you afraid of technology?

What you ask: I won't have to work for someone with less education than I have, will I?

What they think: You clearly have a chip on your shoulder. Why should we take a chance that you don't have other interpersonal issues?

What you ask: The job description mentions weekend work. Are you serious?

What they think: We're serious about the job description. We're suddenly less serious about you.
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7 Things Your Boss Should Never Say to You
So, bosses, are you listening? Here are seven things you, as a boss, should never say to your employees:

1. "I pay your salary. You have to do what I say." Have you not heard? It's the 21st century. Threats and power plays just do not cut it anymore (and they were always a terrible way to manage). Yes, you pay people's salaries but that doesn't mean you're their lord and master. You are their leader, however. Leaders lead by inspiring, teaching, encouraging, and, yes, serving their employees. Good leaders never need to threaten. So keep your word, set a good example, praise in public, criticize in private, respect your employees' capabilities, give credit where credit is due, learn to delegate, and when you ask for feedback don't forget to respond to it. (Another sentence to be avoided: "Do what I say, not what I do.")

2. "I don't want to listen to your complaints." Hey, boss, you have this backwards. You do want to listen to employees' complaints. That's part of your job. You should be actively seeking feedback, even negative feedback. It may be annoying, even painful, but that's why you get the big bucks. Complaints point to where your processes and practices need improvement. And even if a problem absolutely can't be helped, allowing your employees to vent can go a long way toward restoring morale and building loyalty.

3. "I was here on Saturday afternoon. Where were you?" This kind of "subtle" pressure to work 24/7 is a good way to burn out your employees. You won't get that much more productivity out of them, and you will destroy morale. You may choose to work seven days a week. That's your call. But your employees shouldn't have to. If you observe that they are working way more than their job descriptions call for, consider that maybe it's because you're overloading them. Look for ways to fix this problem.

4. "Isn't your performance review coming up soon?" Maybe you're trying to motivate an employee to do a better job. Maybe this is just a ham-handed way to remind underlings of who has the power. Who knows. Either way, a statement like this is not only tacky and passive-aggressive, it's ineffective. If you really want to motivate people, consider giving them a stake in the success of your enterprise. Show employees you value them. Let them know what they have to gain by doing a good job. The results may surprise you.

5. "We've always done it this way." Want to crush your employees' initiative? This is a good way. News flash: Your employees may actually have a pretty good idea of how to do their jobs. Maybe they know even more than you. Your job as boss is to encourage them to have the energy and motivation to be innovative. In fact, employees who come up with better ways to do things should be celebrated and rewarded. (Hint: Cash is nice.)

6. "We need to cut costs" (at the same time you are, say, redecorating your office). Nothing breeds resentment more than asking employees to tighten their belts while you, to their eyes, are living it up. Even if the office redecoration can be totally justified in business terms, or the budget for it was a gift from your uncle, it still looks hypocritical and is demoralizing. Being sensitive to other people's feelings is good karma. Leading by example is the best way to lead.

7. "You should work better." Managers need to communication expectations clearly, to give employees the tools they need to do a good job, to set reasonable deadlines, and to offer help if needed. When giving instructions, ask if they understand your instructions. Don't assume. You may not be the stellar communicator you think you are. If your employees are making mistakes, or not performing up to par, consider that maybe it's because you're giving them vague instructions like "you should work better."

The bottom line is that in the workplace respect, a little tact, and a good attitude go both ways.

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Jobs that earn over 30$ an hour
1. Finance
Career: Loan officer
Average hourly wage: $30.39
Loan officers help people navigate the process of borrowing money for houses, cars, education, and more. Though there are no formal education requirements for loan officers, an associate's degree in finance can help qualify you for these positions, particularly if you want to become a mortgage loan officer.

2. Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Career: Diagnostic medical sonographer
Average hourly wage: $30.60
Sonography is mostly associated with ultrasound technology used to see how babies are developing in utero. An associate's degree in diagnostic medical sonography can teach you how to use the medical equipment that directs high-frequency sound waves to diagnose many medical conditions in addition to pregnancy. Job opportunities are expected to grow by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018.

3. Nursing
Career: Registered nurse
Average hourly wage: $31.99
Registered nurses administer medications, monitor patients, assist doctors, provide medical care, and more. To prepare yourself for a career in nursing, you can complete an associate's degree in nursing, which will qualify to take a state licensing exam--a prerequisite to becoming a registered nurse. Between 2008 and 2018, the number of jobs for registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent. Many states are offering grant- and loan-repayment programs for nursing education, and hospitals are also offering signing bonuses to new nurses.

4. Applied Science
Career: Nuclear technician
Average hourly wage: $32.07
Nuclear technicians operate nuclear testing and research equipment and help with research initiatives, and around half of them work for utility companies. An associate's degree in applied science or in nuclear-science technology should qualify you for the job, which will also likely require on-the-job training. This industry is expected to see average growth as nuclear-energy technology develops.

5. Nuclear Medicine Technology
Career: Nuclear-medicine technologist
Average hourly wage: $32.91
Nuclear-medicine technologists use radioactive drugs and special cameras that detect those drugs to diagnose diseases. An associate's degree in nuclear-medicine technology teaches you radiation safety, imaging techniques, and how to use various diagnostic computer applications. Around two-thirds of nuclear-medicine technologists work in hospitals, and the rest work in diagnostic imaging centers, laboratories, and physicians' offices.

6. Fashion Design
Career: Fashion designer
Average hourly wage: $35.78
Fashion designers are responsible for the bad, the good, and the ugly trends. The job requires planning and research skills, as well as being able to make predictions based on the fashion market. Fashion designers are also responsible for envisioning and sketching designs, selecting fabrics and colors, and managing the production of clothing, purses, shoes, sunglasses, and more. An associate's degree in fashion design, artistic talent, and a good eye can qualify you for careers in fashion design.

7. Computer Programming
Career: Computer programmer
Average hourly wage: $35.91
Though computer-programming jobs don't necessarily require formal education, they do require you to know how to create code and have an understanding of programming languages--the specific languages depend on the job. If you need a refresher course or want to learn from scratch, an associate's degree in computer programming, computer science, information systems, or math can qualify you for some computer-programming positions.

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Jobs that pay $50.00 an hour|main|dl6|sec1_lnk1|178044

7 Computer Terms

Computer Terms You Should Know

Popular tech terms

A majority of Americans own computers, yet the average user doesn’t know what ‘URL’ stands for (it’s Uniform Resource Locator, by the way -- a fancy term for an Internet address). Though most users have come a long way since the early days of the digital age when they mistook the CD-ROM drive for a cup holder, many are still baffled by tech-speak. Mastering just a handful of definitions may help users bridge the wide gap between the experts and the rest of us.

Firewall: A part of your network, a firewall allows certain communications to get through while blocking others. As Sam explains, “[Think of] a firewall as a doorman that stands outside your home (computer). It prevents unwanted users from just walking in to your home, and (with Windows 7 and Vista) checks that strangers that snuck into your home are allowed to leave.”

Malware: Malware is a catch-all phrase for viruses, adware and Trojans, which can cause damage to your computer. The best way to prevent malware from infecting your system is to regularly update your anti-virus program.

Cache: Your web cache stores all your web browsing info. You should clear your cache every so often to free up space on your hard drive and help protect your privacy.

RAM: Random-access memory (RAM) is a type of computer memory. “RAM is memory, and hard drive is space. Users often get these two mixed up,” our tech expert, Sam, says. “The best analogy I have is a room: RAM is the height of a room, and hard drive space is the square footage. The greater the ceiling height (RAM), the easier it is to move items (programs) around the floor (hard drive).” When you receive messages that your computer is low on memory, it’s usually time to add more RAM.

CPU: The Central Processing Unit (or more commonly, processor) is basically your computer’s 'brain,' which processes all the information. sums it up best by saying that it’s “responsible for interpreting and executing most of the commands from the computer's hardware and software.”

HTTP and HTTPS: HTTP, or hypertext transfer protocol, is the standard prefix used for website addresses. HTTPS (Hypertext transport protocol secure), on the other hand, signals that the website you have visited is secure. When browsing bank, credit card or shopping websites online, for example, look for ‘HTTPS’ before entering any sensitive information.

Defrag: As we reported earlier, hard drives eventually become fragmented with daily wear and tear -- meaning that files are scattered and stored in various locations, rather than being neatly lined up on the drive. Hence, it’s important to “defrag” your hard drive, which basically reorganizes the files correctly so your computer can access them more quickly.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


When we change our clocks - Daylight Saving Time

Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.

Worldwide daylight saving

Today, approximately 70 countries utilize Daylight Saving Time in at least a portion of the country. Japan, India, and China are the only major industrialized countries that do not observe some form of daylight saving.

Not the tropics

Equatorial and tropical countries (lower latitudes) generally do not observe Daylight Saving Time. Since the daylight hours are similar during every season, there is no advantage to moving clocks forward during the summer. China has had a single time zone since May 1, 1980, observing summer Daylight Saving Time from 1986 through 1991; they do not observe DST now.

List of countries

Most countries that observe Daylight Saving Time are listed in the table below. They all save one hour in the summer and change their clocks some time between midnight and 3:00 a.m.


Start: Last Friday in April
End: Last Thursday in September


Start: First Sunday in September
End: First Sunday in April


Start: Last Sunday in March
End: Last Sunday in October

Most states of the former USSR.

Start: Last Sunday in March
End: Last Sunday in October


Start: June 19, 2009
End: September or October 2009


Start: First Friday in April
End: Last Friday in October

Israel (more info)

Start: Last Friday before April 2
End: The Sunday between
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur


Start: Last Thursday of March
End: Last Friday in September

Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan

Start: Last Sunday in March
End: Last Sunday in October


Start: Fourth Friday in March
End: Last Friday in September

Palestinian regions (more info)

Start: First Friday on or after 15 April
End: First Friday on or after 15 October


Start: March 30
End: September 21


Australia - South Australia, Victoria,
Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales,
Lord Howe Island - See link

Start: First Sunday in October
End: First Sunday in April

Australia - Tasmania

Start: First Sunday in October
End: Last Sunday in March


Stopped in 2000

New Zealand, Chatham -

Start: Last Sunday in September
End: First Sunday in April


Start: First Sunday in November
End: Last Sunday in January


Start: Last Sunday in March at 1 am UTC
End: Last Sunday in October at 1 am UTC


Start: Last Sunday in March at 2 am local time
End: Last Sunday in October at 2 am local time

North America

United States, Canada (excluding Saskatchewan and parts of Quebec, B.C., and Ontario), Mexico
Bermuda, St. Johns, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos

Start: First Sunday in April
End: Last Sunday in October
U.S. and Canada beginning in 2007:
Start: Second Sunday in March
End: First Sunday in November


Start: Third Sunday in March
End: Last Sunday of October.


Same as EU

no longer observes DST



Start: May 7
End: August

Mexico (except Sonora)

Start: First Sunday in April
End: Last Sunday in October

no longer observes DST


South America

Started Sun Dec 30, 2007
Ending 16 March 2008.
In the future, the government will set the dates for daylight savings without congressional approval. Officials say the measure is likely to take effect again next October. See Reuters article.

Start: Third Sunday in October
End: tbd

Equatorial Brazil does not observe DST.

Start: Third Sunday in October
End: Third Sunday in February

Chile -

Start:October 11
End: March 29


Start: First Sunday on or after 8 September
End: First Sunday on or after 6 April


Start: Third Sunday in October
End: Second Sunday in March


Antarctica (more info)

(varies, see below)

Note that there are many oddities. For example, some parts of the U.S. and Canada do not observe Daylight Saving Time, such as the state of Arizona (U.S.) and the province Saskatchewan (Canada).

Observance can also be erratic. For example, Chile delayed its changeover date for the Pope's visit in 1987, as well as for a presidential inauguration in 1990.


Clark Dam at Butlers Gorge in Tasmania. The bulk of the electricity in Tasmania is generated by hydroelectric stations, causing an energy shortage in the drought of 1967.

In Australia, daylight saving was first introduced during World War I under Commonwealth legislation which, due to wartime emergency, was binding on all the states. During the World Wars, Daylight Saving Time was implemented for the late summers beginning January 1917 and 1942, and the full summers beginning September 1942 and 1943. (Western Australia did not use DST during the summer of 1943.)

In 1967, Tasmania experienced a drought, which depleted their reserves of water. The state government introduced one hour of daylight saving that summer as a means of saving power and hence water. Tasmanians reacted favorably to daylight saving and the Tasmanian government has declared daylight saving each summer since 1968. After persuasion by the Tasmanian Government, all states (except Western Australia and the Northern Territory) passed legislation in 1971 for a trial season of daylight saving. The following year, New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria joined Tasmania for regular daylight saving, but Queensland did not do so until 1989.

Tasmania, Queensland, and Western Australia have had erratic schedules, often changing their dates due to politics and to accommodate festivals. In 1992, for example, Tasmania extended daylight saving by an additional month while South Australia began extending daylight saving by two weeks to encompass the Adelaide Festival. In some years, Victoria extended daylight saving to the end of March for the Moomba Festival and South Australia and New South Wales followed suit for consistency. Special daylight saving arrangements were observed during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Queensland does not have daylight saving, although they implemented it from 1989 to 1992 before it was voted down. Although DST was well received in South East Queensland, it was a major inconvenience to the rest of the state. As resident Samantha Rannard commented, "You do not need an extra hour of daylight when it is 98% humidity and 35 degrees Celsius in the tropics!" On the Gold Coast, which borders New South Wales, some businesses do adopt it, but many do not.

In response to the problems caused by the lack of uniformity, a Private Members Bill, the National Measurement (Standard Time) Amendment Bill 1991, was introduced into Federal Parliament in May 1991 by Ron Edwards, Member for Stirling in WA, to define a national system of time zones and Daylight Saving Time for Australia and its external territories. But in March 1992, the Federal Government decided not proceed with the bill, and the setting of time zones and daylight saving remains the responsibility of the state and territory governments. The lack of uniformity of daylight saving in Australia continues to cause significant problems for the transportation and communication industries. It also reduces the number of hours in the working day that are common to all centers in the country. In particular, time differences along the East Coast cause major difficulties, especially for the broadcasters of national radio and television.

Western Australia enacted a three-year trial of Daylight Saving Time beginning in December 2006 and ending in March 2009. The issue of Daylight Saving Time was placed on the ballot in May 2009, and almost 56 percent of Western Australia voters gave DST a thumbs down. Rural areas of the state were overwhelmingly against the measure, and younger voters split fairly evenly for and against. Even DST advocates don't expect another vote on the issue for at least a decade.

New South Wales enacted legislation in 2007 to have DST commence at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in October and revert back to Standard Time at 3:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in April.



Bangladesh instituted Daylight Saving Time at 11:00 p.m. local time on June 19, 2009. DST was launched in an effort to address severe power shortages and outages in the country. The government has not announced an end date for DST, but some sources say it will continue through September 2009, while others say it will end in October 2009.


In Japan, Daylight saving was introduced after World War II by the U.S. occupation but was dispensed with in 1952, following opposition from farmers. Despite efforts by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to have daylight saving introduced to cut Japan's energy consumption, opposition from farmers and the Ministry of Education (which was concerned that lighter evenings would entice school children from their homework) has continued to win the day


Israel always has Daylight Saving Time, but until 2005, it was decided every year by the Ministry of Interior. There was no set rule for Daylight Saving/Standard time changes, and there was long-running debate between the majority of the secular public who wanted to extend daylight saving as long as possible, and the religious public who wanted to end it before Yom Kippur. One element was entrenched in law, however: that there had to be at least 150 days of Daylight Saving Time annually. From 1993 to 1998, the change to Daylight Saving Time was on a Friday morning from midnight IST to 1:00 a.m. IDT; up until 1998, the change back to Standard Time was on a Saturday night from midnight Daylight Saving Time to 11:00 p.m. Standard Time. An exception was 1996, when the change back to Standard Time took place on Sunday night instead of Saturday night to avoid conflicts with the Jewish New Year. From 1999 to 2004, the change to Daylight Saving Time was on a Friday morning, but from 2:00 a.m. IST to 3:00 a.m. IDT; and the change back to Standard Time was on a Friday morning from 2:00 a.m. IDT to 1:00 a.m. IST.

The disputed territories have had varying Daylight Saving Time rules as the dramatic politics of the region have swayed the occupying power. Being closer to the equator than Europe, there is less need for DST, but it has generally been observed anyway. At present, as a sign of independence from Israeli rule, the Palestinian National Authority uses a different schedule for Daylight Saving Time than Israel.

Early in the twentieth century, the British were quick to standardize time, and from 1917 until May 15, 1948, all of Palestine, including the parts now known as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, was under British rule and followed British time changes.

From May 15, 1948 to June 5, 1967, the Gaza Strip was mostly under Egyptian rule and followed Egyptian policy. The rest of the area was under Jordanian rule at that time, formally annexed in 1950 as the West Bank. So the rules for Jordan for that time apply. Major towns in that area are Nablus (Shchem), El-Halil (Hebron), Ramallah, and East Jerusalem. Both areas followed Israeli time when they were occupied by Israel in June 1967, but not annexed (except for East Jerusalem). The Palestinian National Authority was established in 1993, and controlled most towns in the West Bank and Gaza by 1995, at which time the Palestinians began using their own time change dates, separate from Israel's.


Kyrgyzstan began keeping Daylight Saving Time year round in 2005.


Over the years, Pakistan has experimented with Summer Time. It was observed from 12:00 midnight on the first Sunday in April through 12:00 midnight on the first Sunday in October 2002. In 2008, Pakistan again observed Summer Time, which began at midnight local time on May 31 and reverted back to Standard Time on October 31.


The Philippines introduced short periods of Daylight Saving Time between 1986 and 1998 to conserve energy, and in April 2006 the Department of Trade and Industry proposed that Daylight Saving Time again be implemented to combat rising oil prices.

South Korea

Although South Korea does not currently observe Daylight Saving Time, the country did adhere to DST from 1948 to 1951, 1955 to 1960, and 1987 to 1988.


Taiwan has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Daylight Saving Time, having observed it from 1945 to 1961 and 1974 to 1975.


European Union


This clock is viewed from within the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

While European nations have been taking advantage of the time change for decades, in 1996 the European Union (EU) standardized an EU-wide "summertime period." The EU version of Daylight Saving Time runs from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. Iceland observes the Western European time zone year round, and does not change its clocks for Daylight Saving Time.


During the summer, Russia's clocks are two hours ahead of standard time. For example, Moscow standard time (UTC+3) is about a half-hour ahead of local mean time (UTC+2:30); this is about the same situation as Detroit, where the standard time (UTC-5) is also about a half-hour ahead of local mean time (UTC-5:32). During the winter, all 11 of the Russian time zones remain an hour ahead of standard time. With their high latitude, the two hours of Daylight Saving Time significantly extend daylight during waking hours.

North America


Cuba has observed Daylight Saving Time since 2004.


Honduras observed Daylight Saving Time during 1994, and again in 2006, though for only three months. Honduras will also observe DST from 2007-2009.


Mexico, with the exception of Sonora, has observed Daylight Saving Time since 1996, adhering to the same schedule as the U.S. Although the U.S. is slated to change Daylight Saving Time dates in 2007, Mexico will maintain the original schedule of starting the first Sunday in April and ending the last Sunday in October.


Nicaragua implemented Daylight Saving Time as an energy-saving measure from 1992 to 1994, then again beginning in 2004.

South America


After years of variability, in 2008 the Brazilian government standardized Daylight Saving Time. In previous years, the government announced DST starting and ending dates each year, resulting in durations ranging from 14 weeks to over 20 years.

Legislation enacted in 2008 dec

Sunday, October 3, 2010

10 Ways to Score That Job

10 Ways to Score That Job Offer

1. Be a great match on paper

"Getting the job offer is often a function of the quality of match between you and the job requirements. That's why your résumé needs to have key words and achievements that are relevant to the specific job," says Catherine Jewell, author of New Résumé New Career: Get the Job You Want with the Skills and Experience You Already Have.

Scrutinize the job ad for tips on what might be most important to the employer. Ditch the generic résumé in favor of a document tailored to the position at hand, and consider cutting out details that don't contribute to your suitability.

2. Keep your references up to speed

Send a quick e-mail alerting references to the position for which you are applying. "Let them know the specific skills sought after for this job and the strengths you are stressing in your own positioning for this opening so they can support you," says Harvey Mackay, author of "Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You."

3. Do your homework

Candidates who are unable to hold a basic conversation about the company they would like to join appear unprepared and disinterested.

"Do your research on the employer," stresses Julie Rulis, a senior recruiter for Western Union's talent acquisition team. "This goes beyond just looking at the company's website. Review the company's financial statements. Google the company and look for recent news -- and bring it up during your interview. Use social networking to your advantage. Lots of companies these days have Facebook pages or a following on Twitter."

4. Be consistent in multiple interviews

"A foremost reason why companies conduct multiple interviews is to make sure that candidates present a credible and consistent picture of themselves to various members of the team," Mackay says. While the interviewers' questions may or may not differ greatly, be sure that you are accurate in presenting your history (which should match your résumé) and that you continue to play up your relevant strengths throughout the whole hiring process.
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5. Ask positive, intelligent questions in the interview

"Candidates appropriately spend the bulk of their time preparing to answer questions they anticipate being asked," Mackay says. "Always be ready to ask two or three questions yourself that show you have studied the company and that you are thinking about the top-of-mind issues that the company is considering."

6. Translate your past into future success

Show your capabilities. Weave real examples from your past into your interview, and quantify production whenever possible ("Sales went up 10 percent after my team implemented ...").

"We find that those professionals who successfully secure employment fully understand the value of their previous contributions and can communicate this from the employer's perspective. They are also able to anticipate and communicate how their proven history of achievement can positively impact a prospective employer," says Jennifer Dunleavy, president of The Accuro Group, a professional services organization based in Cary, N.C.

7. Be specific about the contribution you can make now

You may be dying to know the salary scale or how fast new hires move up. Remember, though, that you need to prove your worth before worrying about these issues. Focus on the position at hand and why you are the candidate best-suited to fill it.

"Companies want a short-term boost from almost everyone they hire. Research and probe in your interview conversations for things the company needs now to ratchet up its performance. Show how you are part of the solution," Mackay says.

8. Be likable

Get the interview off to a good start by being on time. Smile at people you pass. "When it's all said and done, people hire people they like," Jewell says. "Try to relax in the interview and show that you are a likable, fun person. Don't be afraid to laugh."

9. Ask for the job

Leave no doubt in the interviewer's mind about your enthusiasm. Jewell recommends ending the meeting by saying, "I would really like to contribute to this company. I am hoping you select me."

10. Follow up

Finally, don't sit around thinking an employer will call if interested. Keep your name in the forefront by taking a few minutes to convey gratitude for the opportunity and excitement for the company.

"Don't underestimate the power of a thank-you note," Rulis says. "It can really set you apart from the competition." Although an e-mail thank you will do, you can make an even greater impact by sending a handwritten letter instead.

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Nasa Vegas Complex Luxury Hotel

Article by WN Guest Writer Tom Kidd

(BANGKOK THAILAND)- SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 - The Rapper/ artist "Ribkat" and band members are asked to leave their Hotel "Nasa Vegas Complex Luxury Hotel" in Bangkok because as they were told by the hotel manager "they had to respect the Hotel policy" which is to discriminate against blacks and Indians". The hotel staff and manager also refused to refund the amount they paid up front for their hotel rooms.

"Ribkat", a well known member of the multi-platinum selling group "Fort Minor" with Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park was told by the Hotel Manager that they did not allow blacks or Indians at their Hotel.

"Ribkat" asked them why they accepted his payment in the first place if this was part of their racist policy. Nasa Vegas advertises long term stay deals which is exactly what Ribkat was inquiring about to begin with due to several business engagements in Thailand only to be lied to by the Nasa Vegas staff stating that there were no rooms available for long term rent which in the end turned out to be a big fat lie all because Ribkat is an African American.

"Ribkat" a hip hop artist preparing for several performances in Thailand and a deal for his soon to be released album "Theory of Addicts" with Josy B. has now been publicly humiliated with the most outrageous blatant form of racism that he will now have to postpone all of his public appearances and performances to resolve this unfortunate ignorant issue.

His friends and Thailand hosts were in complete shock, one of his hosts called the hotel and asked if the hotel room was available and they confirmed with her that it was, but only to her because she was not black. Ribkats drummer who is white and his female friend who is Thai, couldn't help but notice how Ribkat was constantly singled out and always had the fingers pointing at him with the entire hotel staff uttering comments such as "The Black People are bad and Always Cause Trouble" and "The Black People Never Pay or check out of the Hotel and they're too loud and Dangerous and they sell drugs"

His Drummer and Friend were immediately shocked by such blunt stereotypical racism and felt equally offended. The entire Hotel Staff showed no respect or courtesy to the star and insisted on telling him to respect they're racist policy because its in their "Law Books to discriminate". As a result of this, the U.S embassy and police were immediately notified of the discriminating acts that were cast upon the International star and have now addressed the Thai media in efforts to resolve this incident along with compensation and a public apology. The Thailand Police department and associates expressed their sympathy and sorrow and were completely ashamed by what has just taken place.

"Ribkat" who has been received greatly and greeted by fans in the streets of Bangkok was completely surprised by all of this and does not feel that the rest of the people in Thailand hold these type of sentiments towards African Americans or any other foreigners visiting their country and extends an Olive Branch in the hopes that this was only an isolated incident from misguided individuals working in this Hotel and looks forward to completing his scheduled performances and enjoying his extended stay in Thailand in good faith simply hoping that this will be a wake up call to the entire world. "Although many of us are misguided and blinded by the plague of racism, we are all "One" and the beauty of being "One" which to many appears to be a small number, is the amazing magical variety of a beautiful color spectrum that exists amongst us all by nature, so in actuality, that "small" number of "one" contains a lot more than we all think. Colors are not only seen but they are also heard. If music was monotone or only "one color", then we would not be able to appreciate the beauty of "All" different genres of music created by Multi Cultural races of color around the world. With that being said, why don't we as "One" try "Listening" to color and feeling with our hearts for a change rather than judging a color simply by sight missing the message of beauty and all it truly contains within". "Ribkat" quotes....

Friday, October 1, 2010

10 things

10 things you'll be paying more for soon

1. Coffee
The price of coffee futures recently hit a 13-year high, which drove up the price of a cup of Joe at places like Starbucks. Blame bad weather in South America and low U.S. stockpiles of coffee beans.

Coffee from Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts and Millstone already cost an average of 9% more. Kraft Foods raised prices on Maxwell House Coffee and Yuban coffee products by about 9% in September, translating into a price hike of 5 to 30 cents per pound of ground coffee and an increase of 2.5 cents per ounce for instant coffee.

And prices on single-serve K-cups -- sold as Tully's Coffee, Timothy's Coffee, Newman's Own Organics, Caribou Coffee and other Green Mountain Coffee brands -- will rise 10% to 15%, starting Oct. 11.

2. Cotton clothing
Again, blame the weather in part for this increase. A drought in China is damaging cotton crops there, causing the world's largest cotton producer and consumer to increase prices. Another major cotton producer, Pakistan, was devastated by floods, and another, India, is restricting its exports.

All that should add up to another $2 on the $12 t-shirt you planned to buy next year, reports CNN Money, along with higher prices for jeans. With 80% of U.S. cotton exported, it may be good news for U.S. cotton farmers, who are at an advantage compared to their competitors in the far East. For consumers, maybe it's time for a polyester revival?

3. Health insurance
In what the New York Times called a "deflationary apocalypse," medical care prices fell in July for the first time in 35 years. But that doesn't mean health premiums are dropping. Workers are paying more of their health care costs as businesses look to cut costs. The average employee contribution toward premiums for family coverage climbed 14% this year to nearly $4,000, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. Contributions for single coverage grew 15%.

4. Postage
You've got to give the United States Postal Service some credit for at least being creative while raising prices, or making "price changes," as it calls them. The USPS is recommending a 2 cent increase (about 5%) on a first-class stamp to 46 cents beginning next year and buyers will see a new "Forever" stamp coming out in October. Out with the Liberty Bell and in with the evergreen trees on the new "Forever" stamps going on sale in October for 44 cents each. They are valid literally forever.

The proposed price increase starts Jan. 2, 2011, giving people a few months to stock up on 44-cent stamps. It's the first stamp price increase in almost two years, so it's not like grandma has been paying more each year to mail you that birthday card. Along with first-class stamps, other USPS services will increase in January, including the price to mail a postcard, first-class package, and periodicals.

5. Miami Heat games
Variable or "dynamic" pricing is popular in Major League Baseball, and it's expanding to the NBA whenever LeBron James and company come to town. The New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets are charging three to four times more for games against the Miami Heat, according to a New York Post story.

The same Knicks seat against Atlanta in November that costs $34.50 goes up to $129.50 on Dec. 27 when the home team plays Miami. Knicks tickets for the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics also demand higher prices than other games. An NBA spokesman told the paper that most teams are experimenting with variable pricing. Prices on football tickets also went up this year.

6. Bacon
The price of pork bellies -- from which bacon is cut -- jumped to an all-time high of $1.42 a pound, soaring more than 200% from a year ago, according to a CNN Money . Retail prices are up nearly 16% over the past few months -- from about $3.64 per pound in April to $4.21 in July -- according to the Department of Agriculture.

Bringing home the bacon is more expensive because there is less bacon to be had. After corn prices soared in 2008, livestock producers cut their inventory of animals ready to slaughter, which led to a near doubling of hog prices in the summer 2009. The beef industry is experiencing the same problem, which could lead to higher prices in the beef section of the supermarket.

7. Gold
Known as a safe-haven when times are tough, gold recently sold at $1,300 an ounce, continuing a recent record-breaking run. Gold is seen as an attractive investment when the dollar weakens and the financial markets slide. Gold has become so popular that the U.S. Mint has run out of the 1-ounce, 24-karat American Buffalo bullion coins -- the purest gold coins offered by the Mint.

Since the recession began there have been plenty of outfits (both legit and not so legit) offering consumers money for their old gold jewelry and coins. Consumers willing to let go of some gold could stand to make a profit. There are plenty of ways to sell gold; just be sure you're getting the best price.

8. Utility bills
The latest increase in the Labor Department's Producer Price Index , which tracks the change in the average price paid to manufacturers for goods, was attributed to a 2.2% increase in energy prices.

Electricity and natural gas prices are expected to continue to climb in 2011, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration. Maybe it's time to think about getting a solar charger for the iPad and other gadgets sucking power at home.

9. Home prices
The housing market may not be as hot as they were before the recession, but home prices are indeed climbing. According to the Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller national home price index, second quarter home prices in the 20 metro areas that it tracks were up 3.2% in July compared to where they were in July 2009. Of course, we have to put that in perspective: home prices are still down 27% since July 2006.

10. Airline tickets
Airlines have raised their fees by as much as 50% from a year ago, and that's just the beginning. Fees have increased so dramatically it's difficult to determine just how much more ticket prices have increased.

With fewer planes flying, and thus fewer seats, airline ticket prices are projected to increase this fall and winter and airline experts are recommending booking soon for holiday travel. If you do pay more for an airline seat for Thanksgiving or Christmas, save some money by packing light and bringing your own snacks onto the plane.

See full article from WalletPop:


Follow up on NO#4

Postal Service denied rate hike

NEW YORK ( -- Christmas is not coming early this year for the U.S. Postal Service, after regulators denied a request Thursday that would have raised the price of a first-class stamp by 2 cents, to 46 cents.

The Postal Service argued that it needed the hike in order to cover lost revenue from a decrease in mail volume, stemming from the economic recession.

While the Postal Regulatory Commission agreed with USPS' argument, they denied the request, saying that the rate hike was an attempt to address long-term structural problems not caused by the recent recession.

The committee wrote in its unanimous decision that the "Postal Service has failed to meet its burden under the law, and the Commission is unanimous in denying its request for an exigent rate increase."

While USPS was able to demonstrate that the recession created the kind of "extraordinary or exceptional" circumstances that would merit the proposed 5.6% average increase on mail costs -- the requested increase was due to retiree benefits.

"The documentation provided by the Postal Service demonstrated that the primary cause of the liquidity crisis was structural, and related to an overly ambitious requirement for the Postal Service to pre-fund its future retiree health benefit premiums," the committee said.

Postal rate hikes are usually capped at the rate of inflation. This is the first time USPS has requested a demand for a price increase, an action that is allowed under the 2006 Postal law.
0:00 /2:26USPS Postmaster: We will survive

But as the committee noted, the Postal Service reduced costs by $6 billion in 2009 -- a sign that the price cap is forcing the organization to improve efficiency.

Postmaster General John E. Potter said the ruling was a disappointment, and that it would require more study.

"We are disappointed to learn that the Postal Regulatory Commission has denied our price filing. But we are encouraged by their acknowledgment and understanding of the larger financial risk we face, through the mandated pre-funding of Retiree Health Benefits," Potter said in a statement.

Meanwhile, business groups long opposed to the rate hike cheered the decision.

"The PRC today has helped countless businesses stay competitive and saved tens of thousands of jobs," said Affordable Mail Alliance spokesman Tony Conway. "The Commissioners recognized that imposing an additional tax on Postal Service customers is not the way to address its financial troubles." To top of page

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10 dumb reasons

10 dumb reasons to take out a loan

Buying a timeshare.
It's one thing if you have $15,000 in cash burning a hole in your pocket and you want to throw it away on a timeshare vacation home, and can still afford monthly maintenance fees. But to borrow that money and pay interest on something that will likely turn upside down and be worth less than you paid is a bad idea. They're lousy investments that sellers are practically giving away, and borrowing money to buy one is throwing money away.

Payday loans.
It's common to run out of money at the end of the month, but payday lenders are sharks that should be avoided at all costs. Better to get a low interest, low limit credit card and pay it off in full each month for such last-minute expenses while you wait for a paycheck.

Payday loan fees are usually a percentage of the amount borrowed or so much for every $100 borrowed, according to a story. Additional fees are piled on for rolling over the loan. Most lenders don't quote accurate interest rates, which range from 390% to 900% APR. A $45 fee on a $300 loan equates to 15% for two weeks, or about 30% per month, and 390% for a year. If things are so tight that you have to have a payday loan, ask your creditors for more time to pay your bills.

Plastic surgery.
Unless you have a job lined up that will increase your income for enhancements made through plastic surgery, you'll likely regret taking out a loan for this. At least you will if you're the lender, as one man found out on "Judge Judy" when he loaned a woman money so she could have her breasts enlarged.

One reason cited for getting casino credit is that if the casino is in a bad neighborhood, you don't want to walk around with large sums of money in your pocket and are better off borrowing money from the casino to gamble and paying it back within a week if it's less than $1,000. If more, you'll get 14 days to pay it back, up to 45 days for $5,000 or more. But be careful: Casinos will automatically take the money owed out of your checking account if you don't send them the full amount by the due date.

There are also ATMs at casinos, but the high fees won't leave you with as much money to gamble with. Filling out a casino credit application is like filing for a credit card, although the casino requires the amount of money you're borrowing to be in a bank account it can link to. If you can't control you're gambling, this is a bad loan to get.

401(k) loan.
Unless you're retiring, borrowing money from a 401(k) retirement plan before age 59 1/2 will lead to some heavy fees that the federal government levies as a way to discourage people from using the money for anything except retirement. There are 401(k) loans and there are debit cards tied to accounts.

The money from this retirement account isn't taxed until withdrawn. There's a 10% early withdrawal penalty on top of being taxed on whatever amount is taken out. It will leave the 401(k) account with less money to invest and a big loss at compound interest, which could make you a millionaire with more money saved early. Taxes and penalty could put you in a new tax bracket and eat up half of your money. According to the website Own The Dollar, leaving a job before completely repaying a 401(k) loan is expensive. Borrowers have 60 days to repay the entire loan before the IRS considers it a regular withdraw and not a loan.

Going into debt so you could afford hosting the party of a lifetime isn't much of a way to start a marriage. Having a loan, whether for a wedding or any of the other ways outlined here, along with legitimate reasons such as a home loan, is something that will follow you for years unless it's paid off quickly.

As a couple, you'll be behind before getting started on a new life together. The debt will affect every decision you make together. Will you be able to afford new furniture or household emergencies that pop up if you're paying off a $30,000 loan with a photo album and memories to show for it?

Helping a friend.
If you loan money to a friend, you might as well consider it money gone and a gift. If you are paid back, consider yourself lucky for getting the money and avoiding that bad blood a loan gone sour can create between friends.

There are just so many things that can go wrong, especially if the money is loaned to a boyfriend or girlfriend. Without a written contract, you're screwed. And if you have a contract, such as for taking out a car loan for someone else, you're legally responsible for paying back the money. And what rights do you have to getting that money after a breakup? You'll probably need a lawyer, and don't expect that to be cheap.

Like weddings, taking out a loan to buy Christmas gifts is a dumb idea that shouldn't need much explanation. Christmas loans are easy to get, with all kinds of businesses eager for your money so you can look like the generous gift giver while going into debt and making your financial life hell.

Disappointing the kids on Christmas morning is something no one wants to do, but a loan isn't the way to pay for gifts. Take a look at your finances now and start keeping track of where your money goes. You may find, as one family did, that $2,300 a month in expenses can't be accounted for.

Buy a new car.
All of these expenses would be easier if you put money aside beforehand and don't have to get a loan to afford them. The same goes with a new car loan. Making a car payment for three or five years is painful not only for the monthly interest on the loan, but for the monthly reminder that you're paying for something that is falling in value every time you use it.

Halfway through the car loan your car could depreciate by 20%-40%, making the car less valuable than what's left on the loan. A new car smell is nice, but it won't last as long as the loan payments. You're better off putting the money in a savings account each month, years before you'll need to buy a car.

Stock market.
Buying stocks is always a gamble, although a better-educated one than going to a casino. But borrowing money from a broker or bank to enter the stock market is a bad decision unless you have money to lose. Broker fees will eat into your profits, and buying on margin through credit from a stock broker is too risky. You're better off buying stocks slowly and only with what you can afford -- meaning money you have in hand and not through a loan but by buying directly through the company you want to invest in.

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Marvel Takes Down Comics Invasion

Marvel Takes Down Comics Invasion

August 26, 2010

Sender Information: Marvel Entertainment, LLC Sent by: Legal Affairs New York, NY, 10016, USA Recipient Information: Google, Inc. Mountain View, CA, USA

Sent via: email Re: *RE: DMCA Notice -*


Dear Blogger Legal Support:

Marvel Entertainment, LLC (?Marvel?) is a character-based entertainment company with a proprietary library of over 5,000 characters. Marvel owns or controls the copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights in and to the following publications and characters featured in such publications: Alias, Alpha Flight, Annihilation, Ant-Man, Avengers, Black Panther, Blade, Cable and Dead Pool, Captain America, Civil War, Daredevil, Dark Tower, Defenders, Elektra, Excalibur, Exiles, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Heroes for Hire, Hulk, Iceman, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Nick Fury, Nova, Punisher, Sabretooth, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, Spider-Girl, Spider-Man, Sub-Mariner, The Thing, Thor, Thunderbolts, Ultimate Universe, Ultimates, Weapon X, What If, Wolverine, X-Factor, and X-Men, among others.

The following permalinks contain images that infringe Marvel?s copyrights and trademarks. Additionally, these links contain access to downloads that contain complete unauthorized reproductions of Marvel comic book publications:

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted material described above on the allegedly infringing web pages and the linked pages on these pages is not authorized by Marvel, its agent or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Please act expeditiously to remove the material identified and contact me at [redacted], or [redacted] if you have any questions.

Marvel reserves the right to take all available remedies available at law and in equity to protect its interests, and nothing in this letter shall be construed as a waiver or relinquishment of any rights or remedies available to it.