Thursday, December 29, 2011

401(k) contributions

When you make contributions to your 401(k) retirement plan on a pretax basis, it means the dollars you put into that account go in before they've been taxed. In effect, your pretax contributions lower your adjusted gross income for income tax purposes. Post-tax contributions, on the other hand, are made with funds that have already been taxed as income. In both cases, money once in the plan will not be taxed for interest, dividends or capital gains.

With a pretax account, when you reach retirement age, the distributions you take from your account will be taxed as ordinary income. Post-tax plans are tax free when you withdraw the money.

Bill Losey, a financial planner in suburban Buffalo, N.Y., suggests investing asmuch money on a pretax basis as possible. "You should max out your 401 (k) on a pretax basis if you can," Losey says. Depending on your tax bracket, Losey says you could save as much as 10% to 30% on every dollar paid into the account. In addition, the compounding effect of having a larger sum of money invested over the years will mean a bigger nest egg when you retire.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Millionaire's Club

While millions of Americans saw their incomes decrease, their job opportunities dissipate and their home values drop as the economy dipped, the 535 men and women they elected to represent them in the U.S. Congress were not only shielded from the economic downturn but gained during it.

The average American’s net worth has dropped 8 percent during the past six years, while members of Congress got, on average, 15 percent richer, according to a New York Times analysis of financial disclosure. The median net worth of members of Congress is about $913,000, compared with about $100,000 for the country at large, the Times’ analysis found.

This wealth disparity between lawmakers and the people they represent seems to be continually growing. Nearly half of Congress — 249 members — are millionaires, while only 5 percent of American households can make the same claim.

Even among the super rich, members of Congress fare better than other wealthy Americans. While the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans has remained stagnant since 2004, lawmakers’ net worth has seen double-digit growth, the Times reports.

Members of the House have fared especially well. From 1984 to 2009, the average net worth of the 435 House reps more than doubled, from $280,000 to $725,000, not including home equity, according to a Washington Post analysis of financial disclosures.

And while lawmakers in the “people’s house” grew significantly richer, the people they represent became slightly poorer, with the average wealth of an American household dropping from $20,600 to $20,500 over the same time period, the Post reports.

This growing disparity may be due, in part, to the rising cost of campaigning, which may deter less-affluent citizens from seeking public office.

To win a House seat, candidates spent an average of $1.4 million in 2010, four times as much as was spent in 1976, according to the Federal Election Commission. Winning a Senate seat is nearly 10 times as expensive, with the average successful Senate campaign shelling out nearly $10 million in 2010.

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Good read form cnet for those interested on domain names

If you always fancied your very own .xxx domain name, it's not too late: plenty of real estate in the Internet's official red light district remains unclaimed, CNET has learned. and are reserved, but,,, and could be yours for as low as $100 a year.

Many school names remain unclaimed.,, and may be off-limits, but and are available. Others, including and have been earmarked for auction. (Playboy, which recently published a "Girls of the SEC" feature, take note.)

That's according to a new analysis by Elie Bursztein, a Stanford University researcher who found that of the 50,000 most popular Web sites in the world, only 24 percent have their .xxx counterpart registered.

"There's been a lot of news about people rushing to buy .xxx," Bursztein told CNET today. "But after the dust settled, it turns out that the data don't agree with the hype."

Early reports suggested that companies and schools were snapping up .xxx domains to prevent them from being used for pornographic purposes--especially, perhaps the types of hardcore parodies the adult industry is known for.

Bursztein provided CNET with the raw data from his review of more than 55,000 .xxx domains, which show that the triple-X counterparts of many popular Web sites, including and, have not been reserved. We've placed some excerpts below (scroll down).

The list of news organizations that chose not to claim their corresponding .xxx domains includes:,,,,,, and will be awarded after an auction, the process that .xxx creator ICM Registry has established for certain popular words. In October, ICM announced that it had sold at auction for $500,000.

The reluctance of some news organizations to venture into the seamer side of the Web might be no surprise, but there are also plenty of popular adult sites that chose not to make the leap. Dot-com sites that rank among the Internet's most popular 5,000 destinations, according to Alexa, that have left their corresponding triple-X domains unclaimed include,, and Porn star Lexi Love has left unclaimed. (See related CNET article.)

Other domains that will be awarded after an auction:,,,,,,,,,, and

For would-be porntreprenuers, there is one catch: ICM's policies for .xxx say that only "sponsored community" domains will actually become live Web sites. To make that happen, your .xxx domain has to "provide online entertainment" or be a supporting business, such as providing legal, accounting, catering, and so on. "Manufacturers" also qualify.

ICM Registry, which operates the .xxx top-level domain, said on December 6 that triple-X domains would be available for purchase by the general public. That was preceded by a so-called sunrise period, which allowed adult and non-adult businesses and universities to claim trademark rights to certain .xxx domains.

That resulted in a list of off-limits names unavailable for registration. Jocelyn Johnson, a spokeswoman for ICM Registry, said that other additions to the list came from government agencies that "submitted names to be pulled out of the registry permanently."

Those were "culturally sensitive names, political leaders--it was a wide variety of names," Johnson told CNET. That's "the list of names that are on permanent reserve.",,, and are all set aside and listed in Whois data as "ICM Registry Reserved." So is,,, and The domain is reserved, but blasphemers can purchase the common variant of

Ex-presidents aren't necessarily treated equally: can't be bought. But was available until it was purchased on December 13 by Chicago-based Skylark Enterprises LLC. was bought by a fellow named Vladimir Karastoyanov in Toronto, who did not respond to an e-mail query asking him what exactly he'll do with it. And was purchased on December 11 and is currently parked at without any content, not even a link to the porn parody Who's Nailin' Paylin?.

Update 11 p.m. PT: Since this article appeared, some of the domains mentioned have been purchased, including Skylark Enterprises, which bought, responded with this message: "Skylark originally intended to syndicate adult content on this site as well as several others. Upon further consideration, we concluded that it would not be worth our time to do so. Thus, Skylark has decided to resell it to other interest [sic] parties instead." And we've updated the article to clarify how ICM's auction process works.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I luv this gif

Man returns $10K to lucky gambler

Not going to lie I would have kept that money :)

(CNN) -- Odds are a lot of people who find gambling winnings stuffed into two envelopes would pocket the cash and move on.

Not Mitch Gilbert.

"Some people thought I was crazy to give it back," the Greenwood Village, Colorado, real estate businessman, told CNN on Tuesday. "I had to give it back. It wasn't my money to start with."

"It" was $10,000 held in two sealed Caesars Palace envelopes and left December 6 by a passenger at the airport in Las Vegas.

Gilbert said he had an inkling the envelopes carried money, but he hesitated to give it someone he saw a few feet away because he wasn't sure the person was the rightful owner.

Gilbert waited about 40 minutes for someone to come searching for the money. He flew home with the envelopes, and found they each held $5,000 in cash.

KUSA reports: Colorado man returns envelopes of cash

Gilbert said he called McCarran International Airport and was told it could not put third parties together. He vowed to follow up and about two weeks later was told an El Paso, Texas, man had reported losing the money.

KUSA reached Ignacio Marquez, who said he dropped the envelopes as he was running to catch a flight.

"Relief is an understatement. Cash money is very difficult to get back. I'm very appreciative to Mitch and his family. You do not find people like this," Marquez said.

McCarran International Airport released a statement to CNN thanking Gilbert, who got the cash to Marquez late last week.

"We appreciate Mr. Gilbert's honesty and willingness to set a great example for others, and we are pleased our Lost and Found staff was able to assist in his efforts to track down the money's owner," the statement said.

Gilbert, who won some money of his own at Vegas, told KUSA he would want someone to do the same thing for him, even if the cash could go toward a mountain of bills.

"I wanted to show my kids the right thing to do," he said.

Which game console should you buy?

Which game console should you buy?

This is an interesting read i guess i will buy an Ebox360

A lot has changed since the Xbox 360 debuted in November 2005. After what has seemed like dozens of upgrades, improvements, omissions, price drops, motion controllers, and bundles, the dust has settled (once again) and we're left with three competitively priced consoles.

Editors' note: This console buying guide was updated on November 23, 2011, for the holiday season.

Such an evenly matched trio of hardware brings up the ultimate question for prospective video game console buyers: which home console should you buy?

This question doesn't necessarily have a definitive answer. Quite frankly, the answer could be any of the three depending on what you're looking for. In other words, there is no default "best console." It's about finding the one that's right for you--and what will be the deciding factor in your case will ultimately depend on what you plan to use the console for. That said, in lieu of detailing every last bit of functionality that each console offers, let's discuss the type of person we think would benefit most from each console.

Nintendo Wii

• Nintendo Wii Hardware Bundle ($170-200)
• Nintendo Wii Mario Kart Bundle ($150)

Last year Nintendo introduced a new bundle for the Wii that included Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and a Wii Remote with MotionPlus built in. This year, the company has chopped $50 off the price and now offers a $150 Wii with just Mario Kart Wii bundled inside. Though the Wii isn't regarded as a "hard-core" gamer's console, the system has served up some pretty compelling titles over the past few years, with more-recent titles like Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid Other M giving Wii owners something to cheer about. A growing trend with the Wii seems to be that of rebooted franchises from the company's past, like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kirby's Epic Yarn. Not much has been seen in terms of pure innovation, but Nintendo seems content with rewarding its loyal fan base. However, we must admit that Nintendo seems to have left the Wii hanging with little to play since the announcement of the console's Wii U successor at E3 2011.

This notion was reinforced with the release of what's probably the Wii's last major title, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. We absolutely love the game, and think it's a fine way for the Wii to go out. That said, at this point in the game it's tough to recommend a new purchase simply because software support is on its last breath. While the Wii does have a respectable library, just know you'll only playing games from its past and the occasional WiiWare standout.

All things considered, the Wii has become best known for its addictive party games, the occasional fitness game, kid-friendly fun, and shooting titles that emulate light-gun arcade games. The number of first-party Nintendo titles is small, and a large number of third-party games are mostly written off as gimmicky cannon fodder.

The Wii's online multiplayer experience isn't anything to write home about, but we definitely recommend playing Mario Kart Wii online. Unfortunately, the Wii's 16-digit friend code system did not catch on with most gamers. The well-established Virtual Console offers an impressive number of classic games from various older gaming systems, and WiiWare provides a platform for inexpensive titles from independent developers.

Aside from games, the Wii doesn't offer much in terms of additional functionality. Only last year did the Wii obtain Netflix streaming, and it can't play DVDs or CDs. Besides Netflix, its only streaming-media compatibility comes from PlayOn's third-party PC software. A cheaper Wii that can't play GameCube titles was recently introduced in Europe, but Nintendo says it has no plans of releasing this system in North America.

Accessories for the Nintendo Wii can add up. The console supports up to four Wii remotes and Nunchuks (the system comes with one of each). Thankfully, Wii MotionPlus is now bundled in most new controllers, so purchasing a separate attachment is no longer needed. However, there are still plenty of accessories to purchase, and all this plus extra chargers and batteries can become quite pricey, creating a lot of hidden costs.

The Nintendo Wii is best for: Parents with children who are just beginning to enter the world of gaming; family gaming; an environment with a lot of people (dorm room or apartment with numerous roommates); loyal fans of classic Nintendo franchises.

The Wii is not the best choice for: Those who are looking for a game console that doubles as an all-purpose entertainment hub, want state-of-the-art HD graphics, enjoy a robust online community, and/or those who prefer a wide selection of adult-targeted titles.

Key Wii exclusives: All Zelda, Mario, Metroid, and first-party Nintendo games.

Microsoft Xbox 360

• Xbox 360 (4GB) ($200)
• Xbox 360 (4GB) with Kinect Bundle ($300)
• Xbox 360 (250GB) ($300)
• Xbox 360 (250GB) with Kinect Bundle ($400)\

The Xbox 360 still remains the better-selling of the two powerhouse consoles of this generation, but by a much smaller margin worldwide. This is partly because the system went on sale an entire year before the PlayStation 3 and because the console had a much stronger lineup of exclusives early on in its life cycle. Also, at launch, Xbox 360 was considerably more affordable than the expensive PlayStation 3. But a lot has changed since then.

With well over 20 million members worldwide, Xbox Live is the most complete online console experience available today. The caveat is that the "Gold" Membership tier--required for online gaming and access to the best perks--requires an annual fee of $50. (By comparison, the standard Sony and Nintendo online networks are free, though Sony does now offer a premium PSN experience called PlayStation Plus for the same yearly price.) That said, there are plenty of opportunities to save money on an XBL subscription, so make sure to keep an eye on the Xbox Dashboard for special deals.

Like Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN), Xbox Live offers downloadable games (both casual "Arcade" titles and full games), game add-ons (downloadable content, or "DLC"), and the capability to buy and rent TV shows and movies, many of which are in high-definition video. Some of the purchased videos can also be transferred to Microsoft's Zune portable media player. (Note that you'll need a hard drive to fully enjoy most of these features; the current "Slim" console includes a 250GB model, but it's a separate purchase for the 4GB model). A dashboard update also gave Xbox 360 owners the ability to use USB sticks as a means of storing media and game saves.

Back at E3 2010, Microsoft debuted a completely redesigned Xbox 360 console. Dubbed as the "Slim" or "S" console, the newer unit is 17 percent smaller than its predecessor, has built-in Wi-Fi, runs much quieter, and has a dedicated port for the Microsoft Kinect. This console is now the standard Xbox 360 system, while a $200 4GB unit has accompanied it on store shelves.

In terms of additional functionality, the Xbox 360 offers streaming Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter applications, in addition to and ESPN content. You can stream digital media from a networked Windows PC through DLNA, and the 360 can double as a full-on Windows Media Extender for those running Windows Media Center on their PCs; third-party products such as PlayOn and TwonkyVision can also expand the 360's default streaming capabilities. Xbox 360 will also recognize most music players and hard drives, so you can manually plug these types of devices into an open USB port and play music, photos, and videos right on the console. However, unlike the Blu-ray-capable PS3, the Xbox 360 can only play standard DVD movies.

On December 6, 2011, the Xbox 360 will be getting a major dashboard update that will overhaul the system's look, which falls in line with Microsoft's new Metro UI. It will also introduce Bing content search and cloud storage for game saves and Xbox Live user profiles.

Beyond all of its impressive media capabilities, the Xbox 360 is also an excellent game machine. Most triple-A titles are available on the 360, save for a few PlayStation 3-only games, and the games generally look as good as or better than their PS3 counterparts. The console also has its fair share of exclusives, including the Gears of War, Halo, Forza, and Fable series. Also--especially for the past two summers--Microsoft has impressed us with some major exclusive Xbox Live Arcade titles like Bastion, Fruit Ninja Kinect, and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

There are plenty of Xbox 360 accessories that can extend the overall cost of owning the system. Additional controllers and rechargeable batteries represent the core add-ons, but you can also spend money on wireless headsets, charging docks, and messaging keypads.

Note that the older Xbox 360 consoles have a notorious (and deserved) reputation for bad reliability, thanks to the "red ring of death" problem that afflicted far too many early models. However, the slim Xbox 360 has proved to be a much more reliable piece of hardware.

In an effort to compete with PlayStation Move and the Wii's motion control, Microsoft debuted the $150 Kinect accessory add-on (previously referred to as Project Natal). We like Kinect for its unique take on motion control, and the fact that it's nearly impossible to cheat or fool, unlike the Wii. Though it does have a large launch library, there are only a few titles really worth checking out. Also, Kinect requires much more space to play than any other motion system, so this should be the primary factor when deciding on a purchase. Almost a year after its initial launch, the Kinect gaming selection is still a bit scarce. We really like innovative titles like Fruit Ninja Kinect and Child of Eden, but Kinect's showing at E3 2011 left us a bit concerned for its immediate future. Still, games like the Dance Central and updates that allow Kinect to bring voice control to Xbox 360 apps keep it relevant.

The Xbox 360 is best for: People who want an easy-to-use interface; gamers who take online gameplay seriously; gamers who already have friends on Xbox Live; hard-core and casual gamers; anyone who wants a good all-in-one gaming and entertainment system; fans of full-body motion control; workout fiends.

The Xbox 360 is not the best choice for: Those who want the PS3's added value of built-in Blu-ray; do-it-yourselfers who want more media-viewing options.

Key Xbox 360 exclusives: The Halo, Fable, Forza, and Gears of War series; some Xbox Live Arcade titles like Bastion and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet; small number of DLC for multiplatform games like Fallout: New Vegas.

Sony PlayStation 3

• PlayStation 3 (160GB) ($250)
• PlayStation 3 (320GB) ($300)
• PlayStation 3 (320GB) Move Bundle ($350)

There's no doubt about it, the PlayStation 3 did not get off to a great start when it was released in November 2006. Fast-forward five years, and the console has definitely righted the ship. The PlayStation 3 now offers a solid library of games (including the Uncharted, Killzone, InFamous, LittleBigPlanet, and Resistance series) and access to the PlayStation Store, and is one of the best Blu-ray players on the market. (It also plays DVD movies and CDs, of course.) Now with an entry-level price of just $250, it might be the best time to consider buying a PS3. Sony has strategically positioned the console with a competitive price and promising list of future titles.

Though the base plan is totally free, the PlayStation Network doesn't necessarily provide you with the best online gaming experience around, but if you don't consider such a thing important, it is more than sufficient. At E3 2010, Sony announced PlayStation Plus, a fee service that promises to enhance the overall PSN experience. We've had some time with PlayStation Plus and have to report that its benefits simply don't justify a $50 per year subscription.

Like Xbox Live, the PlayStation Store is host to tons of movies, TV shows, demos, and downloadable games. PlayStation 3 also offers Home, a Second Life sort of experience where you can set up shop in a virtual world. Sony had been hyping the feature for years, but PlayStation Home is now generally regarded as a dud despite the company's numerous attempts to revitalize it.

Just like the Xbox 360, there are plenty of ways to get digital media streamed over the console via a home network or a third-party product like PlayOn. You can also hook up a device via USB and play media that way as well. The PS3 offers Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, NHL, MLB, NFL Sunday Ticket, and HBO content support.

Though the Xbox 360 and Wii have various accessories available, you probably will need to purchase only a few for the PS3. Aside from additional controllers, there is not much you'll need. (The biggest annoyance: you'll need an infrared-to-Bluetooth adapter if you choose to use the PS3 with a universal remote.) The console uses Bluetooth technology so you can use almost any headset for chatting purposes.

Sony has marketed the PS3 as an exceptional deal because of its built-in Blu-ray player. While getting a built-in Blu-ray player is one of the console's major selling points, its benefits to the gaming experience remain mixed. It offers game developers much more space to work with than a standard DVD, but that hasn't translated into a quantum leap in graphics quality--the PS3's graphics are essentially on par with those of the 360. Also, the Blu-ray drive's fixed speed is problematic: it requires many PS3 games to do a preliminary hard-drive installation when playing a game for the first time. To this day, some titles--including major ones like Gran Turismo 5--suffer from long load times.

Sony's answer to controller-based motion control is PlayStation Move, which it released September 19, 2010. Though Move feels a lot like the Nintendo Wii experience, it offers better precision control and adds HD graphics. Like Kinect, the Move's initial library of games is lacking, but motion junkies should find safe haven in first-party titles like Sports Champions and light-gun games like The Shoot. A year after its release, Move support has been implemented into a handful of existing PS3 titles. Its functionality is being incorporated into new games, but only a few upcoming titles have Move-only mechanics.

The PS3 also now supports 3D movies as well as a growing list of 3D games. Of course, you'll need a new 3D HDTV to enjoy this content, but it is the only console pushing the initiative.

The PS3 is best for: Hard-core and casual gamers who aren't concerned with the ultimate online experience; early adopters and fans of 3D; do-it-yourselfers; videophiles who need the latest and greatest in Blu-ray; content-conscious media consumers.

The PS3 is not the best choice for: Those who don't care about HD graphics or video.

Key PS3 exclusives: The Uncharted, InFamous, Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, Gran Turismo, and Resistance series.

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How to Jailbreak Your iOS 5 iPhone

How to Jailbreak Your iOS 5 iPhone, iPad and iPod—Except iPad 2 and iPhone 4S

Good read from Gizmodo

Saturday, December 24, 2011

PATRON - Silver

I know most prefer it mixed, but i like it straight....

Patron Silver is called young or "joven" tequila. A similarity may be made to a young or nouvelle wine.

It is known for its light, fresh, crystal clear look and an elegant smoothness not found in other silver tequilas. Many prefer this smooth, soft and light tequila over an aged and slightly oaky flavour. Those that know the difference may find Patron Silver the finest silver tequila available. It is perfect for blending with a high quality mixer or may be easily sipped.

Patron Tequila, like the great wines and congacs of the world, is exceptional for a reason. It begins with the finest growing region in Mexico. High in the mountains of Jalisco exists a region which allows with perfect soil and climate which allows the sugar and acid balances of the Weaber Tequilana Blue Agave to mature and produce an 'Agave Pina' unequalled elsewhere in the world.

Like premium wine grapes, the sugar acid balance must be perfect before harvest.

Patron tequilas are the only tequilas truly produced in the traditional handmade fashion. After harvest the 'pina' are carefully selected, trimmed and then slowly steam baked. When cooked to perfection the 'pina' is macerated with large, natural, stone-milling wheels. The fermentation is done with the fiber of the 'pina' which helps impart its unique flavour and smoothness. After a double distillation process the tequila is aged in small oak barrels. When properly aged the tequila is fine filtered and ready for careful hand bottling.

Sprint Changing Discount Policy

Heads Up....

A few months ago Sprint underwent a handful of changes that weren’t too appealing. Many blamed the coming of the iPhone, which definitely was the culprit for some of the Now Network’s policy changes. However, looking at the meat of things, a company does need money to run.

With that said, we’re hoping that we’ve braced you for today’s bit of bad news. Our beloved Super Spies have obtained an interesting piece of intel that outs yet another Sprint policy change. Starting on February 1st 2012, Sprint will no longer offer discounts on secondary lines. This means if you’re currently receiving any type of discount on your monthly bill on an account with multiple lines, you can expect your bill to receive a slight increase.

Once in effect, Sprint will move the charge of $19.99 from your plan’s primary line to its secondary line. Depending on the percentage of your discount, you’ll see a dollar increase in the amount of your discount percentage based off of $19.99. For example: If your discount is 25%, under the new policy you’d take 25% of $19.99 to determine your new monthly increase. In the example given, your increase would be approximately five dollars.

This new change will definitely help Sprint save some cash. However we’re wondering if it may come at a cost of a few customers? Please keep in mind that this will only affect customers receiving discounts on their monthly bill with multiple lines, which means a lot of you are exempt from this change. In the meantime, here’s to hoping Sprint puts that new cash to good use, like getting that LTE network up and running.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Kenny Powers: K-Swiss 'Muthafukin' CEO

AT&T Data Usage

Are you in AT&T's top 5 percent of heaviest data users?

Good read from cnet

Did you get a notice recently from AT&T stating you use more than your fair share of wireless data? Ask Maggie explains why this is happening and offers some advice to help you keep the data flowing. Ask Maggie also offers some advice on deciding between an iPad and a MacBook.

Throttled by AT&T

Dear Maggie,
I have an unlimited data plan on AT&T. I've been with AT&T for a few years. But just recently I received an e-mail from AT&T saying that I'm in the top 5 percent of heavy data users. And if I go over the 5 percent usage they're going to make my Internet slow every time I go over this limit until the new billing cycle starts again. I don't think that's fair since I am paying for unlimited data. What can I do? Please, HELP!!!!!!


Dear Mark,
You aren't the only AT&T customer to be surprised by the company's new unlimited data policy. I've received several questions about this.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to fight AT&T on this. AT&T warned in July that it would throttle speeds for heavy data users starting October 1. The policy is designed to curb usage of people still on AT&T's unlimited data plan. As you probably know, AT&T eliminated the unlimited data plan as an option in the summer of 2010. But it allowed existing smartphone customers to keep their unlimited data plans if they made no changes to their plan.

But what AT&T soon discovered is that lots and lots of people held onto their unlimited data plans. And the company claims that heavy users, such as yourself, are using an inordinate amount of data.

The new policy only applies to unlimited data plan users. People who pay for the capped service can go over their limit, but they're charged for going over it.

The problem with AT&T's policy is that it hasn't made it clear how much data is too much. It simply states in its e-mails, text messages, and letters to consumers that they are in the top 5 percent of data users. AT&T explains that customers in this category use up to 12 times more data than the average customer.

I reached out to AT&T for more clarity on this policy and to get a sense of what the actual limit is in terms of data usage. And here is the response I got from AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel:

"As we note in the letter (to subscribers in the top 5 percent), the amount of data usage of our top 5 percent of heaviest users varies from month to month, based on the usage of others and the ever increasing demand for mobile broadband services."

I find this policy somewhat frustrating since the usage cap is not only unknown, but it's essentially a moving target, since it's based on a percentage that can change from month to month. I think this makes it hard for subscribers who have been pegged "heavy users" to figure out what level of usage is acceptable.

AT&T has said it needs to limit users who use too much wireless bandwidth to keep the network functioning properly. Since AT&T introduced the Apple iPhone on its network, it's seen data traffic increase rapidly. And the increase in traffic has hurt the performance of its network in certain places, like densely populated cities.

AT&T has also said that it needs more wireless spectrum to add capacity to its network. And that's why it tried to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Unfortunately for AT&T, regulators put the kibosh on that plan. And AT&T is once again on the look-out for more spectrum.

So what does this mean for you and other AT&T wireless customers? Well, it means that AT&T is likely to get more strict about wireless usage and it will do all it can to get customers to migrate to its capped service, where the company can command more revenue for more usage.

The switch to paying for what you use is taking hold throughout the wireless industry. Verizon Wireless also now offers new customers tiered data services. Existing customers can still keep their unlimited data plans. So far, Verizon hasn't announced plans to slow down these users if they consume too much data.

T-Mobile also employs a throttled approach. If subscribers use more than their allotted data the company slows service. The difference between T-Mobile's plan and AT&T's service is that T-Mobile's supposed unlimited plan clearly states that it begins throttling after 2GB.

Sprint Nextel is the only carrier that still offers unlimited data with no caps or throttles. The company, which recently got the Apple iPhone, says that it will continue to offer the unlimited data plan. In some ways, it needs to if it wants to remain competitive with AT&T and Verizon Wireless. But I suspect that eventually even Sprint will abandon its unlimited plan.

So what can you do? As I've stated before, there's nothing you can really do to fight AT&T and to continue using as much data as you like unfettered. All wireless companies in the fine print of their service contracts have included language that allows them to limit data usage.

That said, there are steps you can take to reduce your usage, so that you aren't in the 5 percent every month. The first thing is that you need to figure out how much data you're actually using. There are several apps that you can download onto your smartphone to see how much data you use over a period of time. I have mentioned these in previous Ask Maggie columns.

Once you know how much data you're using, you can start to reduce the amount of data you're consuming to stay under this 5 percent limit. But before you start deleting apps and games from your phone, you may be able to reduce your data consumption without having to limit the use of apps or Web surfing.

The first thing you should do is get an app that not only tracks your usage, but also compresses data downloads. I use one called Onavo on my iPhone. The company claims users can save up to 80 percent of your data usage per month by using this app. I have been using the app since July and I've reduced my data usage by at least 50 percent.

The other thing you can do is seek and use Wi-Fi more often. When you're at home or in your office, if it has Wi-Fi, use that network to stream Pandora, watch videos from YouTube, or do whatever else it is that you're doing that's eating up your data plan each month.

When you're out and about, look for free Wi-Fi hot spots. AT&T offers free access to its mobile hot spots throughout the country. You can find these in Starbucks coffee shops and other locations, as well as hot zones in places like Times Square in New York City and near Wrigley Field in Chicago. Remember that when you use Wi-Fi you are not gobbling up your carrier data plan.

And if you still find that you're exceeding this mysterious AT&T limit that puts you in the 5 percent of top data users, consider ditching AT&T and switching to Sprint Nextel while it still offers unlimited data.

I hope this helps!

more @;topStories

Underworld Awakening


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kindle Fire Software Update

Kindle Fire Software Update Doesn’t Fix Laggy Browser,

Good read from

As reported earlier Tuesday, Amazon has released a software update for its Kindle Fire tablet, promising enhanced “fluidity and performance” and improved “touch navigation responsiveness.” But nowhere in its update language does Amazon speak to improvements in the speed of its Silk browser.

As it turns out, the new software update doesn’t seem to improve browser performance to a significant degree. And that’s a shame, because laggy web-page load times are a real problem for Amazon’s tablet.

When I reviewed the Fire a little less than five weeks ago, I found the tablet’s browser performance to be bizarrely, inexplicably slow. The Fire, after all, has a 1GHz dual-core processor, just like the iPad 2 and all the Android/Honeycomb competitors. So on processing power alone, the Fire should have all the hardware it needs to deliver fast web browsing.

What’s more, the Fire is also supported by Amazon’s much-ballyhooed Silk technology, which splits processing and data-fetching workloads between the tablet itself and the cloud. As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated in a Sept. 28 press release before the Fire’s launch, “We refactored and rebuilt the browser software stack and now push pieces of the computation into the [Amazon Web Services] cloud. When you use Silk — without thinking about it or doing anything explicit — you’re calling on the raw computational horsepower of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud to accelerate your web browsing.”

On paper, Silk web browsing sounds marvelous. But when I tested the Kindle Fire in November, I found page load times to be double and sometimes triple that of an iPad 2.

So, now, some five weeks later and updated for improved performance, how does the Kindle Fire stand up? After all, it’s not only received a software update to improve “fluidity and performance,” but the Silk browsing architecture has theoretically had time to “learn” the browsing behaviors of all Kindle Fire owners.

As Amazon describes it, “Traditional browsers must wait to receive the HTML file in order to begin downloading the other page assets. Silk is different because it learns these page characteristics automatically by aggregating the results of millions of page loads and maintaining this knowledge on EC2 [Elastic Compute Cloud].”

I’m sorry to report that even after updating my tablet to the 6.2.1 OS build, Fire page loads still lag significantly behind the very same loads on iPad 2.

Yes, it appears the Fire’s browsing performance has improved, and during testing I didn’t see 300 percent performance gaps between the Fire and iPad 2. But the numbers I’ve collected still indicate the Fire isn’t delivering on Amazon’s silky promises.

Below are some specific page load comparisons. Before testing anything, I cleared each tablet’s browser cache and history. For each test, I loaded a site’s URL into the browser’s address bar, and used a stopwatch to measure the time between hitting “go” on the onscreen keyboard, and when the very last object loaded in the page. Also, for the Kindle Fire, I left on the system default “Accelerate Page loading.” This toggle allows the Silk browser to tap into Amazon’s back-end cloud servers. Load times are measured in seconds; lower scores are better. — Fire: 7.1; iPad 2: 5.2 — Fire: 13.6; iPad 2: 11.0 — Fire: 13.6; iPad 2: 5.3 — Fire: 5.4; iPad 2: 2.6 — Fire: 13.4; iPad 2: 11.1 — Fire: 20.0; iPad 2: 13.8 — Fire: 9.8; iPad 2: 5.3 — Fire: 8.0; iPad 2: 6.6 — Fire: 5.8; iPad 2: 2.7 — Fire: 8.5; iPad 2: 4.6

I’ll be the first to concede my testing lacks a number of important controls. While I tested both tablets just two feet away from a Wi-Fi router, I didn’t test each page load simultaneously, but rather sequentially — and varying server loads on the content-provider end can affect browser load times. And, of course, I used a simple stopwatch, not sensitive testing equipment, to measure page load times.

Nonetheless, my testing backs up my own anecdotal user experience: Web browsing on the Kindle Fire is still palpably slower than on the iPad 2. I’m no longer seeing page loads that take three times longer, but the performance delta still ranges from “noticeable” to some 200 percent.

Fire apologists will try to “explain away” the poor performance by reminding critics that the tablet is still only $200, a veritable impulse buy. And even I will concede that the Fire offers a nice set of features for its low entry price. Nonetheless, Amazon has celebrated Silk as breakthrough technology that supercharges browser performance, and nothing about the Kindle Fire experience delivers on that promise.

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Hot Chick

Happy New year

Is It Time to See a Neurologist?

The average headache doesn’t require a call to a neurologist or even your family doctor. But if you're experiencing frequent headaches and using medication for them on a regular basis, that may be a different story. Taking OTC headache medication 10 days or more out of the month can put you at risk of getting a rebound headache, a low-grade headache that’s caused by taking too much pain-relieving medication.

Signs You Need to Find a Neurologist

As a general rule, for non-severe headaches, your family doctor is a great place to start. However, if the recommended treatments are not working well or you have unusual symptoms, you may need a neurologist, who specializes in disorders of the nervous system.

Warning signs that you need specialized medical attention for your headache or migraine include:
You are over 50 and having chronic headaches or a new type of headache.
Your headache is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, or blurry vision.
Your headache is accompanied by weakness or loss of control of part of your body, speech, or vision.
You have two or more headaches in a week.
Your headaches are getting worse, not better, with time and treatment.
Your headaches are not responding to recommended OTC treatment or prescription drugs.
Your headache is sudden and severe and is accompanied by a stiff neck or fever.
You have a new headache and a history of cancer or HIV/AIDS.
Your headache begins after you hurt your head.
Your headache is making it hard for you to carry out your daily life.

Diagnosing Your Headache

According to headache expert Peter Goadsby, MD, director of the Headache Center at the University of California San Francisco, a valuable tool in diagnosis is your headache history. A thorough history, aided by your detailed notes, can help pinpoint causes, triggers, and even potential solutions. Make careful notes about your headache experiences before you go to the doctor and include:
When the headaches occur
What, if anything, makes them feel better or go away
Whether sound, light, or noise bothered you during the headache
Whether there were any changes in your vision before or during the headache, such as blurriness, black spots, or flashes of light
How well you slept the night before
If you are a woman, where you are in your menstrual cycle
Unusual weather at the time
Food or drink that you have consumed in the 24 hours before the headache
Activities you were engaging in when the headache began or just prior to it
Previous headache diagnoses and treatments you’ve tried

Dr. Goadsby recommends using a monthly calendar so that the pattern of headache days is clearly visible to you and your doctor. However, if you are having severe or disabling headaches, don’t wait a full month to get checked out — make notes about what you recall and get the appointment you need.

Diagnostic Tests for Headache

The tests your doctor orders will depend in part on what she suspects could be causing your headaches and whether it’s a primary headache, such as a migraine, or a secondary headache, which means that it’s a symptom of another health concern. The process of diagnosis may include:
Medical history. Your doctor will want to know about other health conditions you have as well as medications, supplements, and herbal treatments or teas that you rely on.
Family history. You will provide details of any family members who have headaches or migraines, at what age the headaches started, and other health diagnoses. Goadsby notes, “Very often family members won’t know they’ve got migraines, but they will know they are prone to headaches.” This helps to indicate that migraine is the problem.
Physical exam. Your doctor will examine you, paying close attention to your head, neck, and shoulders, which can all contribute to headache pain.
Neurological exam. A neurological exam may include vision, hearing, nerves, reaction time, and mobility tests.
Blood tests. Blood tests may be ordered to help rule out infection and other health conditions of which headaches are a symptom.
Spinal fluid test. This may be necessary if your doctor suspects that your headaches are caused by certain types of infection or by bleeding in your brain.
Urinalysis. A urine sample may be ordered to help rule out infection and other health conditions of which headaches are a symptom.
Imaging tests. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered. These imaging tests can show changes in bones and blood vessels as well as the presence of cysts and growths that may be causing your headaches.
Neuroimaging. Imaging tests may be given during a headache episode to get a clearer picture of what is going on during an actual headache.
Electroencephalogram (EEG). This test can show your doctor whether there are changes in brain wave activity. It can help diagnose brain tumors, seizures, head injury, and swelling in the brain.

Working closely with your family practitioner and a neurologist, if needed, will bring you closer to headache relief.

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FedEx guy tosses computer monitor over gate

A monitor... this guy should be fired. bad service!!!.. Hope I other delivery drivers doesn't do this, this never happen to me but makes you wonder..........


follow up...

The FedEx delivery guy who lobbed a computer monitor over a customer’s fence has been disciplined, the company said Wednesday.

The delivery guy “did not display behaviour we consider to be reflective of customer service,” FedEx spokeswoman Shea Leordeanu told the Star.

Whether the reprisal was a stern talking to or outright dismissal she wouldn’t say, nor would she describe the employee’s reaction when FedEx confronted him.

A 21-second video called “Fed Ex guy throwing my computer monitor” that was shot by the customer two days ago has hit 2.2 million views around the world on YouTube.

“The sad part is that I was home at the time with the front door wide open. All he would have had to do is ring the bell …” the customer, who posts on his YouTube channel goobie55, wrote.

His other videos are of air shows and military plane displays in California and Nevada.

The FedEx video shows a burly young man in shorts lifting a computer monitor from his truck, then walking up to a long, high black metal gate along a green and windy street without sidewalks. Then he dumps the package over the other side before walking nonchalantly away.

“We have identified a real situation,” said Leordeanu in answer to questions about whether it was staged.

FedEx, using its own tracking system, traced the customer and the rogue delivery guy quickly yesterday, she said.

“The situation has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. The customer has what they need and is happy,” she said.

Leordeanu did say the employee didn’t appear to have delivered anybody else’s package that way on Monday.

The video has sparked thousands of stories and dozens of reaction videos from customers who have had similar issues with package home delivery services.

What is

This is referrer spam. It poses no danger to your blog, but


If you have, run a full virus/malware scan on your computer. and clear your browser's cache and cookies.

Do not click on it. Just ignore it. There is nothing you can do, it's called referrer spam

P.S. I have not heard of any specific danger from, but some referrer spam sites are malicious, so it's good to run a scan as a precaution.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

iPhone OS 3.1.3

Read up iPhone OS 3.1.3 users, from

iPhone OS 3.1.3 users unable to download new apps.

iPhone owners still running OS 3.1.3 are apparently bumping into trouble trying to download new apps from Apple's App Store.

Several users of the older OS have chimed in on Apple's Support Communities reporting that they can update existing apps and sync apps from iTunes to their phones, but they can't install new apps directly to their devices.

One commenter described the problem in part as follows:

Whenever I go into a specific app in the app store, none of the buttons work properly. 1) clicking on the price no longer downloads the app, 2) the ratings button does nothing, 3) the 'tell a friend' and 'git this app' buttons jump back to the top of the app window, 4) pictures usually don't show up...

The issue seemed to start around December 15 and apparently is still causing headaches.

The glitch affects both iPhone and iPod Touch units running OS 3.1.3 and, in some cases, earlier versions of 3.x. However, at least one user reported the same issue with an iPhone 4S. And CNET Senior Editor Bridget Carey also ran into this problem on her iPhone 4S, explaining that she had to back up her phone and then restore it to get the app downloads to work again.

But a restore doesn't necessarily do the trick for those with older devices.

Two forum commenters said they went through a factory restore but were still unable to download new apps. Several users also confirmed that their previously downloaded apps now show prices instead of the Installed button when viewed in the App Store, leading them to pin the blame on an incompatibility between the latest App Store version and OS 3.1.3.

Tech news site Engadget was also able to confirm the issue by testing one of its devices.

Some forum users who contacted Apple said they were advised to upgrade their operating system. But those with older iPhones and iPod Touches are stuck with version 3.1.3 since iOS 4.x and 5.x support only newer devices.

Another user reportedly received a response from an Apple rep who said that he had not "received any news stating that there was an issue with iOS 3.1.1, and accessing the application store."

We contacted an Apple representative, who said the company is looking into the matter and promised to get back to us with more information.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Payroll tax cut

Good read from cnn money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In two weeks, the payroll tax cut that has saved workers an average of $1,000 this year will expire -- unless lawmakers in the next few days do what both parties swear they want to do and extend it.

This being Congress, however, there is no longer any such thing as simple.

Both parties agree on extending the cut, but they're still at loggerheads over how to pay for it and still disagree as well over other measures that should be in the bill.

That means the Senate could be in session this weekend duking it out, and the House will have to return next week from its Christmas break to vote on what the Senate produces.

The likelihood is still high that a payroll tax cut extension will be approved. But if it's not, it would affect everyone's wallet and could hurt the economy.

The impact on your wallet: Thanks to the payroll tax cut, employees only had to pay 4.2% of their first $106,800 in wages into Social Security this year, instead of the normal 6.2%.

If the cut expires, workers in 2012 will pay the extra 2 percentage points of their income up to the wage cap, which next year will be $110,100.

That means low-income workers will pay several hundred dollars more than they're paying now, while high-income workers will pay roughly $2,340 more.

If the cut is extended as is, workers would see no difference in their payroll tax liability next year.
Bush tax cuts: The real end game

The economy: The payroll tax cut for individuals was originally passed at the end of 2010 to help boost the flagging economy.

Given the disappointingly slow pace of recovery since then, however, many politicians and economists have pushed to keep the tax cut in place for another year.

"This is the medicine that we can use in the near term to help strengthen the recovery and to help to provide insurance against shocks that might be coming," said Alan Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, during a White House press briefing earlier this month.

Were the tax cut to expire, many economists say it could take a bite out of their already modest economic growth forecasts for next year and result in job loss. If lawmakers don't extend the cut and they let long-term federal unemployment benefits expire, too, that could reduce economic growth by 1% to 1.5%, they say.

But relative to other ways to spur the economy, some say a general payroll tax cut isn't the best way since it isn't narrowly targeted to low and middle-income households, which are most likely to spend the extra savings.

"[M]any relatively high-income workers -- who are more likely to save rather than spend some of this windfall -- would benefit. And if the idea is to boost the economy by increasing demand for goods and services, giving the money to savers isn't helpful," Urban Institute resident fellow Howard Gleckman wrote in TaxVox.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates payroll tax cuts would generate between 10 and 90 cents in economic activity for every dollar of budgetary cost.

The tax cut could help increase production and jobs, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee earlier this month. But, he added, "those effects would be spread over time [since] CBO expects that the majority of the temporary increase in take-home pay would be saved rather than spent." To top of page.

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Zynga IPO gets off to inauspicious start

Zynga Inc( ZNGA :NASDAQ)

Social-gaming company Zynga is officially trading on the Nasdaq, and so far, things aren't looking too good.

The company started selling its shares for $10 around 8 a.m. PT this morning. The stock initially jumped to over $11 a share, but soon dropped about 5 percent to around $9.50. Since then, the stock has been teetering between small gains and small losses, despite the market trading up on the day.

Earlier this month, Zynga said that it would price its shares at $8.50 to $10 a share, but decided yesterday to trade at the top of that range to raise $1 billion. While the move might have seemed sensible to Zynga, analysts view it as too bullish.

In fact, earlier this week, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said Zynga should be priced at just $7 per share, due to the company's financial troubles.

"While we believe in the potential for social games, we think Zynga's growth is slowing even faster than what is obvious at first, its margins are under pressure, and free cash flow has been declining recently," Bhatia wrote to investors. "Thus, we believe the implied valuation in the IPO is not justified."

Bhatia isn't alone. Morningstar analyst Rick Summer said last week that a $6-per-share stock price would be justified.

Other Web startups that went public this year had a strong showing on their first day of trading. LinkedIn had the best IPO day, kicking trading off at $45 per share and ending the day at $122.90. Groupon's shares were up 30 percent in their first day of trading last month.

That said, the day is young, and Zynga still has a lot of time to match its predecessors' strong opening performances. The only question is, will the company's many troubles, including declining profit margins and 94 percent of its revenue originating with Facebook, turn investors off?

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iPhone 4 owners can legally get Siri, know-how required

f you own an iPhone 4 and really want Siri on it, a new update has paved the way for you to get your wish.

Apple yesterday launched a new version of its iOS 5.0.1 update that, according to well-known iPhone hacker MuscleNerd, leaves the platform's RAM disks unencrypted. Because of that, those with a little technical know-how can write a script to extract from the software update all the files needed to bring the virtual personal assistant to the iPhone 4.

Apple's update can be automatically downloaded to devices that currently aren't running iOS 5.0.1. Those who are already running the software version will need to download the revised iOS 5.0.1 update from Apple.

The new method for getting Siri onto the iPhone 4 stands in stark contrast to the other methods folks have used to run the software, including obtaining an iPhone 4S' unique identifier and so-called "validation tokens." Those methods have been viewed as potentially dangerous, since Apple likely wouldn't take kindly to users obtaining another device's files. This new method, on the other hand, uses the user's device files, leaving no doubt of its legality.

Exactly why Apple left ramdisks unencrypted in its latest iOS update is unknown at this point, and it should be interesting to see if they're back to being encrypted in iOS 5.1. But until then, folks hoping to run Siri on the iPhone 4 can download the new iOS 5.0.1 update and get started.

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Airport Screening

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Loud mouthed guy gets knocked on his ass


Try to remember when you go out that cameras are everywhere..


This hapless sheep has become a real life 'ram-bo' after inadvertently abseiling down a hill when its horn became snagged on an electricity wire.The unfortunate sheep was spotted bleating for help more than 15 feet above the ground next to a telegraph pole. Luckily it did not catch the current from the wire.

The drama unraveled at the small town of Helgoysund on the Norwegian coast. Tourists at the scene mounted a rescue attempt and eventually roped it to pull it back to ground level. After nearly an hour, and some ingenious rope work, the German tourists managed to bring the sheep down unharmed. Spectators suggested the sheep may have been grazing on the hill, and while trying to reach a field of ewes, it got its horn stuck on the zip wire. As it got more agitated, it was pulled down the hill on the wire it was attached to and ended up more than five metres above the ground

Alex Sim-Wise makes a stop at Kabukicho, the infamous red light district of Tokyo where tourists can visit over 3,000 bars, night clubs, love hotels, massage parlors and clubs. Alex finds out if she has what it takes to be the perfect hostess!

A blonde walks into a electronic store and asks the manager, "Can I buy that TV"
"Why not?"
"Because your a blonde."
So the blonde goes out and dyes her hair red. She returned to the electronic store and said, "Can I buy that TV?"
"Why not?"
"Your a blonde."
So the blonde goes and shaves her hair off and returns to the electronic store and says, "Can I buy that TV?"
"Why not?"
"You're a blonde"
"How can you tell I'm a blonde, I dyed my hair red, then shaved it off!"
"Because that's not a TV, that's a microwave!"

A blonde calls her husband at work one day and asks him, "Can you help me when you get home?" "Sure," he replies. "What's the problem?"
"Well, I started a really hard puzzle and I can't even find the edge pieces." "Look on the box," he said. "There's always a picture of what the puzzle is." "It's a big rooster," she said. The husband arrives home and tells his blonde wife, "Okay, put the corn flakes back in the box."

After a bizarre cliff side accident, all eleven members of the women's outing found themselves hanging perilously from a rope over the edge of the cliff. Ten of the women were blondes and one was a brunette. After dangling there for a only a short while it became obvious that the rope would not hold all their collective weight. They decided that to prevent the rope snapping and killing them all, one of them must sacrifice themselves and let go, to save the others.
Well they talked about it for a while but no-one could decide a fair way of of choosing who should jump. Finally, the brunette, exasperated by the indecisiveness of the blondes, could see that if nobody acted soon the rope was going to snap.

To save the others she bravely decided that it must be her who made the sacrifice. She plucked up a little courage and told the others that she would jump to save them.

After giving a short but very moving speech that she hoped would be remembered after she'd gone, the blondes were so moved that they all started clapping!


Answers below. Don't cheat.

1. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years - Which room is safest for him?

2. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 10 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together - How can this be?

3. There are two plastic jugs filled with water. How could you put all of this water into a barrel, without using the jugs or any dividers, and still tell which water came from which jug?

4. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

5. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

6. This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out! Try to do so without any coaching!

1. The third. Lions that haven't eaten in three years are dead.

2. The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry.

3. Freeze them first. Take them out of the jugs and put the ice in the barrel. You will be able to tell which water came from which jug.

4. The answer is Charcoal. In Homer Simpson's words: hmmmm... Barbecue.

5. Sure you can: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!

6. The letter "e", which is the most common letter in the English language, does not appear once in the long paragraph.

was a year without parallel. Threat Level’s bread-and-butter themes of censorship, hacking, security, privacy, copyright and cyberwar were all represented in tug-of-war struggles with unprecedented outcomes.

Google defeated China’s censors, but caved to corporate censorship in the United States. The largest computer-crime case ever prosecuted ended in the nation’s longest prison term. A small-time Xbox modder who advertised his services online beat the federal rap. And a mysterious computer virus called Stuxnet finally put proof to decades of warnings that malware will eventually be used to kinetic effect in the real world.

A myriad of court decisions seemed to be a boon for online rights, while others clearly were a step backward. The year 2010 saw the rise of the newspaper copyright troll, and judges pushed back on absurd jury verdicts for music file sharing and outdated electronic spying rules.

And a secret-spilling website flirting with insolvency and dissolution suddenly burst onto the world stage. WikiLeaks was without a doubt the biggest 2010 development in Threat Level’s world.
WikiLeaks Takes On World Powers

As the year began, the project appeared to be on its last legs — just another cypherpunk fever dream destined for the same dustbin as digital cash and assassination politics. Site founder Julian Assange had abandoned the wiki portion of the concept, after crowds of volunteer analysts failed to congeal around WikiLeaks’ impressive, but not yet explosive, trove.

Bradley Manning as he appeared in his Facebook photo.

Assange also experimented with auctioning early access to leaks for news outlets, without immediate success. By January, the site had hit financial bankruptcy, and its homepage and archive were replaced by a public plea for donations.

Then came Bradley Manning, a disaffected 22-year-old Army intelligence officer who wanted “people to see the truth.” With one disturbing video and nearly a million leaked U.S. documents later, WikiLeaks had raised more than $1.2 million, and ignited a battle over the meaning of journalism, national security and censorship.

The WikiLeaks saga began in earnest with the April release of the “Collateral Murder” video showing more than a dozen people in Iraq being killed in three U.S. Apache helicopter attacks.

Victims included two Reuters employees, one carrying a camera that was apparently mistaken for a weapon. The partial release of 92,000 reports from the war in Afghanistan followed in July. Then came 400,000 Iraq war reports in October, and finally the slow, steady disclosure of 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables that kicked off just after Thanksgiving.

The human race learned long ago that cooking meat before eating it would protect them from certain diseases. Since then this practice of cooking has grown to include all types of foods and is now considered an art. Very few meals are eaten which include raw elements, except for the leafy green salad.

One advantage of eating raw is that it brings Nature’s intentions into focus. When I speak of eating raw I am referring to fruit, nuts, and vegetables, which taste good to the majority of humankind in their basic simplicity direct from tree, bush or vine.

I realize it isn’t easy to simply abandon thousands of years of tradition and revert back to 100% raw food. Margaret Mead once said, “It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” So to the point, there are 10 advantages to a diet of fresh, whole raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts, which may lead you to find a greater place for them in your diet.

1. Raw foods are better quality, therefore you eat less to satisfy your nutritional needs. The heat of cooking depletes vitamins, damages proteins and fats, and destroys enzymes which benefit digestion. As your percentage of raw foods increases you feel satisfied and have more energy on smaller meals because raw food has the best balance of water, nutrients, and fiber to meet your body’s needs.

2. Raw foods have more flavor than cooked foods so there is no need to add salt, sugar, spices, or other condiments that can irritate your digestion system or over stimulate other organs.

3. Raw foods take very little preparation so you spend less time in the kitchen. Even a child of 5 or 6 can prepare most items for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This gives children a sense of self-esteem and independence, not to mention the break it gives Mom or Dad.

4. When you are eating raw there’s little chance of burns, unless you’re in the middle of a forest fire or out in the sun too long. Just think! No burns to tongues, the roof of your mouth, or fingers, and many fewer house fires.

5. Cleaning up after a raw meal is a snap. No baked-on oils or crusty messes. And any inedible parts go directly to the compost pile.

6. Eating a diet of raw foods can reverse or stop the advance of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Remember, cooking creates free radicals, which are the major cause of cancer. When you lower the number of free radicals your cells are bombarded with, you lower your risk of cancer.

7. A raw food diet can protect you from acute diseases such as colds, flu, measles, etc. Raw foods maintain a healthy body and a healthy body will not become diseased.

8. As long as you combine raw food properly according to the rules of Natural Hygiene, you will soon reach a level where you no longer suffer from heartburn, gas, indigestion or constipation.

9. It is environmentally sound. With humanity on a diet of raw foods, the food industry would close up shop and take up organic gardening. This would save us enormous amounts of natural resources used to produce power for these industries. Nuclear power would be clearly unnecessary. And think of how many trees and oil reserves could be saved without the need for the paper and plastics used in packaging our processed foods. There would also be less carbon dioxide released in to the atmosphere when all the cooking stopped and more oxygen produced from all the new orchards and gardens, thus helping to reverse the Greenhouse Effect.

10. Eating raw saves you money on food, vitamins, pots and pans, appliances, doctor bills, drugs, and health insurance.

So don’t waste your food, yourself, and our planet by cooking what you eat. Fruits, nuts, and vegetables which are whole, fresh and raw are brimming with life and have the ability to transmit their life force directly to you.



There are many types of raw food diets. A list, with descriptions, follows.

* Sproutarian - one whose diet is predominantly sprouts. Those eating only sprouts are extremely rare; most sproutarians have a varied raw food diet.

* Living Fooder - version of sproutarianism. The Ann Wigmore-style living fooder has a vegan diet centered on sprouts, raw fermented foods, and raw blended foods. Hippocrates Institute (Brian Clement) and Gabriel Cousens teach similar, yet slightly different, versions of living foods diets.

* Natural Hygiene - natural hygienists disagree sharply among themselves regarding the details of natural hygiene. A diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds. The diet is usually vegan, but Tilden (co-founder of natural hygiene in modern times) encouraged use of non-vegetarian foods. Following high (%) fruit diets is discouraged by most hygienists. However, some who consider themselves to be hygienists, do advocate high fruit diets. There is very wide variation in diet and health practices among hygienists; e.g. Disagreements on the use of sprouts, seaweeds, dried fruit, etc. Some otherwise "orthodox" hygienists make occasional use of raw milk/cheese/eggs in their diet (this is discussed by Ward Nicholson in the January 1997 issue of the "Health & Beyond" newsletter). The American Natural Hygiene Society reportedly promotes a predominantly raw diet, but advocates a place for cooked grains and steamed vegetables in the diet. (Note: the preceding remarks are intended to show the wide diversity of hygienic views; it is not meant as criticism.)

* Instinctive Eating (Anopsology) - sequential mono-eating, guided by the senses (smell, and taste change = signal to stop eating). In practice, instincto diet often centers on raw fruit, seafood, meat, with some vegetables, and excludes dairy and grains. Some instinctos eat very little seafood/meat. A similar diet, the Paleolithic diet, has recently become more popular in raw food circles.

* Essene - one whose diet is based on the Essene Gospels of Peace, which claims that Jesus was a member of the Essene sect, and a raw food vegetarian. Diet consists of raw sprouts, wheatgrass, vegetables, and fruit. Use of raw dairy is explicitly authorized by the Essene gospels, so the diet is often lacto-vegetarian rather than vegan. Many Essenes use fermented dairy products, specifically yogurt.

* Fruitarian - one whose diet is predominantly fruit. As a standard, suggest using 75+% fruit as the marker for using the term fruitarian. Here 'fruit' usually conforms to the common usage of the term - the reproductive product of trees, vines, bushes, rather than the botanical definition. Some fruitarians do eat small amounts of sprouts, and many fruitarians (but not all) do eat leafy greens.

* Liquidarian - one who consumes only liquids/juices. Usually a short-term cleansing diet, extremely rare as a long term diet.

* Breatharian. Not really a diet; one who does not eat but gets energy from the air. A rare practice of an obscure Tantric sect. If you want to be a breatharian, you should go to India and try to find a genuine teacher. (This is a difficult/dangerous path - not to be pursued for frivolous reasons!)

* (Generic) Raw Fooder - one whose diet is raw foods but who doesn't fit so neatly into a category, or prefers to not be categorized. Generally a vegan diet, but can be lacto-vegetarian (those who consume raw dairy), or non- vegetarian. Suggest that the diet should be 75+% raw before using the term 'raw fooder'.