Saturday, July 31, 2010

Very little supply of small business borrowers

Trying for making more small business loans more available is the goal of the bill the U.S. Senate is set to vote on. The bill is intended to create $ 300 billion worth of small company capital. The businessman in the lending business are saying this quick cash advance won't help create more loans for small business. Companies say that credit-worthy small business borrowers are simply in short supply.

Small company lending

$ 30 billion could be sent to community banks if the new bill in the Senate passes. Small company loans are the goal of this money, using the $ 30 billion to seed $ 300 billion in loans. This emergency cash loans is intended to increase the accessible credit for small businesses and create jobs. The cash would be accessible for banks with assets of less than $ 10 billion. There are two major supporters of the bill – the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Bankers Association.

Good credit short for small businesses

Large banks are saying that smaller businesses may not benefit from this lending bill. Many banks are skittish about lending to individuals with poor credit, because that is what caused the recession within the first place. There is quite a bit of demand for small company loans, but the demand is mostly from borrowers with bad credit. Until they are seeing sustainable profitability, many businesses don't want to borrow any money.

High small company defaults

There are numerous indications throughout the economy that small businesses need more than just credit. The Small business Administration reports a default rate of almost 7 percent already this year. Bank of America has reported that 14 percent of small business loans were charged off already this year. After half of its accounts went into default, a business that specialized in offering small business credit cards had to declare bankruptcy.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Apple Magic Trackpad brings multi-touch to the desktop

The Magic Trackpad was finally introduced at the Apple Store Tuesday, enhancing the desktop with the multi-touch gestures used for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. A new wireless device that connects via Bluetooth, the Magic Trackpad lets you use your computer with gestures, rather than pointing and clicking. Some industry insiders say the Magic Trackpad provides a glimpse to the future computer interface. The demise of the mouse at the hand of Apple industrial design is premature, others believe. Article source – Apple Magic Trackpad – The beginning of the end of the mouse? by Newystype.com.

Magic Trackpad – an Apple industrial design classic

The Magic Trackpad bears Apple’s distinctive industrial design. The sleek, glass-covered aluminum device matches the very same angle and height as the Mac desktop keyboard it is designed to sit next to. CNNMoney.com reports that Tuesday morning the Apple Store began selling the multi-touch Magic Trackpad. The online store went down for a when shortly before the Magic Trackpad went live, causing the usual intense blogging about what Apple industrial design would come up with next.

Enhanced multi-touch for the desktop

The Apple Magic Trackpad enables two-finger scrolling, pinching to zoom, rotating with your fingertips, three-finger swiping or switching between applications with four fingers among its multi-touch gestures . Apple product details says that inertial scrolling makes moving up or down a page feel totally natural. And users can switch from typing to gesturing seamlessly, or do both simultaneously, as well as swipe through pages online like flipping through a magazine.

Was the Magic Trackpad made for 3D computing?

The Magic Trackpad might be a part of Apple’s long-term plans for changing the future of computing with a 3D interface. Johnny Evans at Computer world believes that since Apple owns patents for 3D user interfaces, the Magic Trackpad is the first step in a plan to get users accustomed to the gestured required to operate it. Evans imagines a 3D user interface in which you virtually reach into your computer screen using MultiTouch. He also described the possibility of computing with head and arm movements or voice via Apple’s motion-detecting iSight camera .

Is the Magic Trackpad a better mousetrap?

The Magic Trackpad may be the device of the moment, said Jared Newman at PC World, but the mouse isn’t dead quite yet. Newman said old habits die hard. His fingers got tired, he said, because of the Magic Trackpad’s absence of ergonomics. He also didn’t like the truth that when you’re dragging something, you cannot hold down a mouse button, lift the mouse and move it back to the center when you hit the edge of the mouse pad. But his number one reason the mouse will never die is that gamers can’t play shooter games without pointing and clicking .

Additional reading

CNNMoney.com

cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.gadgets/07/27/apple.magic.track.pad/index.html?npt=NP1″

Computerworld

blogs.computerworld.com/16607/apples_magic_trackpad_is_more_than_you_think?source=rss_blogs”

PC World

pcworld.com/article/201978/4_reasons_apples_magic_trackpad_wont_kill_the_mouse.html?tk=hp_blg”



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Avoid losing money with personal finance mistakes

Spending money without a plan can be a huge financial mistake. When forgetting there is one more day ahead, you can get yourself in trouble. It’s not fun being tight on spending. But managing your personal finances will help you avoid these mistakes.

Stop mistakes with finances using a budget

Avoid budgeting and you’ll be in for a surprise of what a mistake it is. You will lose all your money if you don’t budget where you would like it to go. Where you spend your money isn’t really all a budget is about. Bankrate.com reports that to create a budget you will have to keep track of where your money is going first. Although it can be hard, tracking expenditures will help you make better decisions on where to put your money. But don’t be too conservative. A spending budget that cuts all the fun out of your life is doomed to fail.

Save money with a planned budget

A spending budget that you keep can help you conserve money. You can be very wrong if it appears like you can’t spare any money to savings. Beginning with a small amount is what Ehow.com suggests. You’ll be surprised by how quickly even $20 a paycheck adds up. Keep in mind nickels and dimes add up to dollars. Pack a lunch and water bottle for work or make your own coffee. Taking an additional job like coaching or tutoring could be your spending money when you conserve money from your regular check.

Late payments to be avoided

Late payments will cost you a lot of extra money. About.com offers some good tips about avoiding late payments. An automatic bank payment with your account with your bank can be the best way to keep away from late payments. If you aren’t confident as part of your cash flow, do not just leave your bills unopened. Set up your own due date a week before the actual payment is due, and write it on the calendar. Set up a free e-mail or cell phone reminder from creditors that offer them. Due dates can be arranged with companies depending on when your paycheck comes in also.

Possible use of cash advances

Living expenditures shouldn’t require you to take out debt for them. A pay day loan or online cash loans is a valuable service for emergencies like medical bills, car repairs and traffic tickets. Buying beer, dresses, or coffee with personal loan or installment loans for bad credit can’t ever be a good thing. When it’s a good idea to get a payday loans no fax, only borrow what you need to resolve the emergency — and by all means make sure you pay it back on time.

More on this topic

Bankrate.com
bankrate.com/finance/financial-literacy/secrets-to-creating-a-budget-1.aspx
Ehow.com
ehow.com/how_2205105_start-saving-money-have-none.html
About.com
personalorganizing.about.com/od/howtoorganizefinances/ht/bills_finances.htm



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Avastin as breast cancer treatment may get disapproved by the FDA

Avastin which is a breast cancer drug can be pulled by a committee on the Food and Drug Administration. Breast cancer may not even be affected by the drug as was shown in a second trial on the drug. The FDA has not ruled on whether the drug’s approval for marketing purposes is being canceled. If the drug loses its approval from the FDA, the manufacturers, Roche, might lose quite a bit. Article source – Avastin as breast cancer treatment may get disapproved by the FDA by Personal Money Store.

Selling all over is Avastin

Avastin is the name of Bevacizumab which is a cancer med. It can be called an angiogenesis inhibitor which stops blood vessels from growing. It works by stopping a hormone called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates blood vessel growth. According to the Los Angeles Times, the FDA fast tracked the drug for approval in 2008, conditioned on follow up studies to prove the drug really works. The drug was tested in a second round of trials by Roche and Genentech which manufacture the drug, and in this second round of testing, it was shown to have little result in helping cancer. The drug sells about $ 6 billion worth annually, and up to $ 1 billion of that is for breast cancer patients.

Losses in Roche business

Following the FDA panel suggested a possible pulling of the drug, shares dropped 4.1 percent for the Genentech, Roche Holding Inc., according to Market Watch. There was also a lawsuit most recently against another drug the company makes called Accutane which treats acne. Numerous cancers other than breast cancer are helped by the drug, even if it was intended for breast cancer.

Drug not going to end

It takes a long time to develop effective medications, especially for diseases like cancer. There may well one day be a cure for cancer, but it will take a long time. Even if the FDA no longer approves Avastin, it will nevertheless sell, just less.

More information available at these sites

Los Angeles Times
latimes.com/news/health/sns-health-avastin-breast-cancer,0,2730048.story
Market Watch
marketwatch.com/story/roche-shares-drop-after-fda-ruling-on-avastin-2010-07-21
Bevacizumab
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bevacizumab



Monday, July 26, 2010

Will T-Mobile and iPhone 4 be a match in 2010?

Antenna issues aside, Apple isn’t recalling iPhone 4and aren’t too afraid of potential costs. The iPad made Q3 2010 a tremendous success for the business, writes PC Magazine. Apple took away a $ 3.25 billion profit after raking in a total of $ 15.7 billion for the quarter. However, there may be even more excitement in store for fans of the technology business. Cult of Mac insists they have a “highly placed source” that has leaked that T-Mobile will begin selling iPhone 4 by Q3 2010. PC World writes that talks are far along between Apple and the carrier, and that there’s an “80 percent chance” this will happen in two months.

T-Mobile and iPhone 4 would be a powerful combo

Currently the fourth-largest carrier within the U.S., T-Mobile would certainly vault over AT and T, Verizon and Sprint if the iPhone 4 deal happens. Frequency issues could get in the way, indicates PC World. T-Mobile uses a non-standard band, and iPhone 4 hasn’t been tested on all the carrier’s ranges.

Perhaps this should go in the iPhone 4 rumor discard pile

PC World writes that Cult of Mac has missed the mark numerous times before, so don’t count your iPhone 4 chickens before they’re hatched. Yes, T-Mobile may have the available bandwidth for the customer load, as they presently have fewer subscribers than AT and T or Verizon, and yes, T-Mobile isn’t fighting with Steve Jobs. Another plus on T-Mobile’s side is that Apple already works with its parent company (Deustche Telekom) in Europe.

Is T-Mobile your next carrier of choice?

If T-Mobile does indeed enter a partnership with Apple, the pool won’t stay sparsely populated for long. Even with antenna difficulties, iPhone 4 is quite attractive to tech buyers. It more than competes against Droid and other U.S. smartphones. Do you see it differently? Sound off.

Citations

pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2366821,00.asp

pcworld.com/article/201653/report_tmobile_has_80_percent_chance_of_getting_iphone.html



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Never buy a new format, thanks to UltraViolet

UltraViolet is the newest brainchild of a large consortium of tech companies. By acting as a “digital movie locker,” UltraViolet wants to help customers see a movie they have purchased on multiple devices. A Disney-backed competitor is already on the horizon, despite the large list of supporters for UltraViolet. Source of article – UltraViolet aims to simplify movie ownership by Personal Money Store.

Cloud based computing with UltraViolet

With about 60 member companies, the digital consortium that has created UltraViolet is full of heavy hitters. The basic idea is that a cloud-based account at UltraViolet –uvvu.com — will track and record film purchases. Customers will then be able to use this “digital token” that will allow them to play the film on a wide variety of devices and services. You could rent or buy a movie on Netflix, then play it via Comcast. Buy a Blu-ray DVD, then play the film on your smartphone. The goal is ultimate cross-compatibility with minimal hassle.

Challenges facing UltraViolet

Though UltraViolet has a huge list of supporting companies, a format war is already shaping up. Disney is working on its own digital rights management system called KeyChest. Disney’s film library includes all the movies of Marvel Entertainment and Pixar Studios. The Walt Disney Business has Steve Jobs as a board member. Apple did not sign onto the UltraViolet system, and Apple’s iOS technology may not allow app developers to use their system.

Which Digital Management System will end up in use?

There could be a couple of years where both formats will exist, if we are to use indications of previous format wars. Eventually, whichever format the pornography industry sides with is likely to win. However, the music industry has long tried to create similar digital rights management systems, most of which have failed rather spectacularly because of lack of corporate support and customer backlash. The way to win for either Ultraviolet or KeyChest will be a compelling library, huge amounts of corporate support and also the ease of use that so many customers have come to expect.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Suit against Toyota settled

Toyota lawsuit settled for patent infringement

The Toyota patent infringement lawsuit has been settled after being threatened by the U.S. to have a block put on imports. A patent filed in 1994 that covered a “high voltage method to power gas-electric hybrid cars” was at issue. Toyota has agreed to license the technology from the Paice business.

Information on the patent

The patent involves two motors giving torque to wheels. Originally developed by Alex Severinsky, who founded Paice, this patent was granted in 1994. Low current is used in hybrid vehicles with high voltage.

Arguments settled

The International Trade Commission was the only reason Toyota had a case in this issue. Imports will always go out unless there is a “health or public policy issue” in which case, the ITC can’t do anything. Toyota was arguing that blocking Toyota imports would have created hundreds of millions of dollars of lost economic activity and many job losses.

Settling the suit

For six years Toyota has been in this suit against Paice. Both Paice and Toyota agree that the technology used in the Toyota automobiles is “equivalent to the Paice patent.” The invention, design and developing the technology is argued, by Toyota, to be a task of its own. If the litigation had not been settled in both Texas and U.S. appeals court, Toyota may have been blocked from importing hybrids to the United States. Neither side has revealed information of the settlement.

Ford and Paice work together

Paice was licensed by Ford to help with electric and hybrid cars. This licensing agreement doesn’t affect Toyota or the lawsuit settlement, though it does give Ford tested technology for its hybrid vehicles. Paice patented technology can be used in the Fusion hybrid car, as well as others.



Smithsonian including auto crash dummies

GM donated two crash dummies to the Smithsonian. Also donated were costumes for the two dummies in 1980s ads, Vince and Larry. These donations, among others, are destined for an auto-safety exhibit.

Vince and Larry, the dummies

Integrated in the giant donation to the Smithsonian were the “Vince” and “Larry” costumes. The Leo Burnett Agency used them within the 1980s to help people want to use seat belts. Humor was used rather than the vulgar commercials many saw. Vince and Larry became icons and now could be preserved in a museum.

Other things donated to the exhibit

The auto safety exhibit at the Smithsonian museum integrated a number of other major developments in car safety. The donation had a seat and first three point safety belt from 1961 dontation. The first collapsible steering column from a 1967 Chevrolet was donated by the Chevrolet business. General Motors added donations of its Hybrid III and 50H-1 crash test dummies, which are used as most recently as six months ago. The American Automobile Association also donated a number of driver training manuals from the 1930s, including “wartime” and “sportsmanlike” driving manuals.

The evolution of automobile safety

Until the 1960s, vehicle safety wasn’t a public thing, although there were always developments going. Lap and shoulder belts became something required then although it took a lot to get individuals to use them. Drivers didn’t want to be “stuck” in a car because of their seatbelt. Security features within the car, some thought in the 70s, made them look like they were bad drivers and gave them a bad image.

Crash test PSA

youtube.com/watch?v=ziBcZejPPlY



Reforming Wall Street began at signing ceremony on Wednesday

Reforming Wall Street began at signing ceremony on Wednesday

Wednesday, the President finally signed the Wall Street Reform bill. The financial reform bill is called probably the most sweeping financial industry reform legislation since the Great Depression. At the signing ceremony for the financial reform bill after months of debate, Obama called Wall Street reform “the strongest consumer financial protections in history.”. If you ask republicans their opinion, the bill will hurt community banks and make for more unemployment within the country by bailing out Wall Street over and over. Source of article – Wall Street reform set into motion Wednesday at signing ceremony by Personal Money Store by Personal Money Store.

Financial reform bill finally becomes law

The bill was signed by Obama after debate and two years after Wall Street hurt the U.S. economy. Despite the fact that the bill was hoped to be bipartisan be Democrats, it was reported by Politico that it almost didn’t even pass in senate. The bill should have been more focused on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac considering it was the reason for the 2008 financial crisis, as outlined by numerous Republicans. Republicans also said the bill would force financial firms to move jobs overseas to avoid stricter oversight.

Those at the signing ceremony

At the signing ceremony for the financial reform bill, Obama was flanked by the senators who authored the bill- Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, as well as others from Congress who contributed to the reform efforts. But the Washington Post reports that the individuals who weren’t there speak volumes about the bill. Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase, John Stumpf of Wells Fargo, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, and James Gorman of Morgan Stanley weren’t even invited to the event.

Wall Street reform – with a catch

Republicans and Wall Street have given Obama a lot of criticism which he challenged. He said the financial system “only works – our markets are only free – when there are clear rules and basic safeguards that prevent abuse, that check excess, that ensure that it is more profitable to play by the rules than to game the system.” The financial reform bill will leave room for regulators and Wall Street to make their own decisions still. Numerous of the rules within the bill won’t take place for a year still.

Bailing out Wall Street according to Republicans?

Republicans argue the financial reform bill just helps Wall Street and doesn’t even address the problem that caused the financial crisis. CBS News reports that in a statement following the signing, House Republican leader John Boehner (who did not receive a signing ceremony invitation) said the bill “provides permanent bailouts for his Wall Street allies at the expense of community banks and small businesses around the country, when doing nothing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government mortgage companies that triggered the financial meltdown by giving too many high-risk loans to people who couldn’t afford them.”

Find more info on this topic

Politico

politico.com/news/stories/0710/40027.html

Washington Post

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/21/AR2010072101614.html?hpid=topnews

CBS News

cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20011201-503544.html



Boeing Dreamliner flies to Europe for air show

The Boeing Dreamliner, the 787, is beginning to get more airtime. The Boeing Dreamliner arrived at the Farnborough Air Show for the plane’s debut in Europe. The plane has been stuck in what a movie studio would call “development hell” for a while, suffering various setbacks. Boeing appears to be gaining ground easily though. You will find already lots of them on order, so it looks like the Seattle firm is going to have cash dropped by the ton thanks to this plane.

Dreamliner crosses the pond

The Farnborough Air Show in southwestern England, in Hampshire, saw the July 18 European debut of the Boeing Dreamliner. It is the premiere air show in Great Britain, held every two years. The appearance of the Dreamliner, or the 787, is likely to be one of the crown jewels of this year’s event. The plane was hindered by some design issues and a machinist strike, but you will find already planes ordered, and Boeing is expecting to receive a couple of more as a result of air show, as outlined by The Telegraph.

Green, lean, and mean

Part of the plane’s design is greater fuel efficiency and eco-friendly construction. Half the plane is made of metal. The plane’s fuselage is made from a few pieces of carbon fiber composite, instead of sheets of aluminum riveted together. The lighter frame will increase fuel economy and the engines are engineered to produce 20 percent less carbon emissions than comparably sized planes. The interior is intended to be far more comfortable for passengers. The plane is intended to replace older aircraft of the very same size, especially the Boeing 767.

Finally taking off

The Boeing Dreamliner was at first conceived of within the late 1990s, and following the price of fuel went drastically up within the early 2000s (or “Noughties”) the need for an airliner with greater fuel efficiency got Boeing to head to the drawing board. The first flight for the plane was designed to be in 2007, but was postponed until 2009. There are more than 860 of the planes on order already.

More info on this topic

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/farnborough-airshow/7897812/Farnborough-Airshow-2010-Boeing-787-Dreamliner-in-focus.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10676791



Friday, July 23, 2010

Is the five second rule actually true?

Food waste is a severe world problem that we should seek to alleviate. According to Wikipedia, wasted food (raw or cooked) costs the U.K. £10.2 billion annually ($ 15.5 billion). The U.S. never even touches 15 percent of what they produce in food, which costs the nation $ 43 billion annually. Considering those staggering numbers, it would make sense that the five second rule of picking dropped food up within the nick of time would be a vestige of the cash conscious. As outlined by Chicago Tribune, a Clemson University study by food scientist Paul Dawson completely rebukes the validity of any such five second rule. Resource for this article – Is the five second rule giving way to a zero second rule by Personal Money Store.

Make the five second rule a zero second rule to be safe, says Dawson

Considering that salmonella and other bacteria can live for up to four weeks on dry surfaces and instantly contaminate food on contact, possibly Dawson is on to something. Previous collegiate studies used apples and Skittles on a college dining room floor. The apple took a minute to become infected, while the Skittles took four minutes more. Another student collegiate study performed at the University of Maine showed the five second rule could reduce food waste and improve child immune systems.

Mind the location, not a time interval

The five second rule is arbitrary and meaningless, claims Dawson and others of similar scholarly bent. If you need to see significant infectious germs, consider bathroom and kitchen surfaces. They’re scary, but other surfaces like sidewalks are usually less so. Amazingly, public sidewalks could be considerably cleaner, as they don’t provide as numerous germ-favorable substances.

Five seconds in your mind

As outlined by the Chicago Tribune, how much a person really wants what they were eating is the real indicator of whether they’ll pick it back up. Thus, sugary snacks tend to be recovered more than vegetables. And get this, food waste aficionados – gender stereotypes wail and die in light of the observed tendency women show to pick up and eat dropped food more than men.

Read more on this topic here

featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/features_julieshealthclub/2010/07/debunking-the-fivesecond-dropped-food-rule.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_waste



Oil seep causing BP to start over

Oil seep causing BP to start over

The New York Times reports the US government is requiring BP to open the cap that was placed on the oil spill. After 10 tries by BP to seal the oil spill, it seemed that all was progressing as prepared. Now it has become a big concern that the ocean floor itself is leaking oil. Resource for this article – Possible oil seep may force BP to try again by Personal Money Store.

Government difficulties with BP

BP continues to live through the PR and financial disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and it appears that there’s more seep to come. The Jones Act has hurt the response from Obama and is going to hurt the Democrats in elections. Oil seeping out of the floor will make the public angry once again. The Times shows us that although the seep is being investigated nevertheless, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen over the spill is allowing pressure testing to continue Tuesday.

Pressure tests had signaled no warnings as yet

Capping the well just means pressure tests have to be done so the well can be monitored for seep or a possible blowout. Since the well is three miles long past the seabed, monitoring it is a big job. Oil and gas might start seeping into the ground, even if it doesn’t explode. Allen explained that not much can be done if that happens.

Friends with Russia?

Despite the fact that Obama has his own plans, an “independent set of eyes” could possibly be just what we have to fix this thing, according to Andrew Revkin within the Times? Ocean floor oil seep could possibly be occurring at even lower depths. A suggestion was offered to the Obama administration by a panel of deep sea experts organized by filmmaker James Cameron. Russian submarines could help us monitor the spill at lower depths. A seep might be searched for.

Discover more details

Deepwater Horizon Response
deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/791891/
New York Times
dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/bp-pressed-to-assess-seep-near-its-well/
Voices from Russia
02varvara.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/russian-mir-submersibles-may-go-to-gulf-of-mexico-to-fix-oil-well-gusher/
CNN reports on seep near well head
youtube.com/watch?v=DPeoRnWV4vw



Removing the inside car door panel quickly

If your car is having troubles with its power locks, there’s plenty of DIY checklists accessible online. Typically, removing the inside car door panel is necessary to do the job. While this may sound like a daunting task, the reality is that when it comes to fixing car door issues, removing the inside car door panel is not all that difficult. Follow along, and thank WikiHow for getting this rolling. For this undertaking, you’ll want to have a flathead, Phillips and 12-point screwdriver handy. An Allen wrench may also be necessary. Keep in mind that this is general info; consult your owner’s guide for specific information concerning your automobile. Having illustrations is a good idea too, so start Googling. Source of article – Removing your inside car door panel is simple auto repair by Car Deal Expert.

Open the door before removing the inside car door panel

It is all but difficult to generate the necessary leverage if you attempt to do this from inside the car with the door closed. Without the leverage angle, you’re doing it wrong.

Need to spring that pop-up lock?

That is, does your lock extend from out of the top of the inner door panel? If it does, you will have to get it out of there before you are able to proceed. Fortunately, they typically unscrew in a simply manner.

Removing the lever from the scene

The car manage now must be removed from the middle area of the panel. Underneath it, there should be a visible screw. Lift the lever so you can get at the screw. Upon completion of the unscrew, the plastic around the deal with should come out.

Get the armrest now

Look under the armrest. That’s commonly where screws are found. You may have to deal with covers, but a simple screwdriver wedge will take care of those. Get the screws out and the armrest off. One additional step would be unplugging the wires if you have power windows. Don’t worry, it is very safe – they have modular plastic ends. With a simple squeeze or two, the plastic ends will pull out.

Take care of manual window cranks

You may have to remove a plastic case and a snap ring from the base of the crank. The flathead will help you here.

The putty knife’s debut

A putty knife between the plastic panel and the metal door frame is the best method. Pry gently, popping the grommets from the cardboard panel underneath. Do not overdo it – easy does it. You’re almost done, but don’t go for total separation until completing the next step.

Airlift the window out of there

Shattered glass ready to be stepped on isn’t really desirable, so gently lift the window from its housing slot. Once you’re window-safe, pop the panel from the grommets. Take care of your repair issues, then follow the above process in reverse order. Lock and armrest are done last. Use the sticky stuff to ensure the plastic panel adheres to the metal.

Additional info at these websites

Read more here

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-an-Inside-Door-Panel-from-a-Car



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Car loans getting easier for individuals with low credit scores

Car loans getting easier for individuals with low credit scores

Getting car loans has become easier. Easier car loans benefit subprime borrowers at a time when more Americans than ever have low credit scores. More cars could be sold with this credit market. Because low credit buyers can buy more cars, auto lenders will benefit also. Also, more cars being sold mean a recovering economy. Article source – Car loans getting easier for people with low credit scores by Car Deal Expert.

Poor credit, still get car loans

Auto markets expand their cars when they credit market is making loans. The Associated Press tells us that car buyers with bad credit can get auto car loans nevertheless. 60 percent of people under a 620 credit score could get auto loans within the past. 5 percent was the going rate for the last year. Now it is at a whopping 9 percent. Subprime borrowers nevertheless need to make a bigger down payment and will pay more interest, but car buyers with a bad credit score make up a big chunk of the market.

Interest rates for car loans diving

The Associated Press reports that those with great credit in the first quarter of 2010 made up 17 percent of auto loans for bad credit. Rather than getting new cars with loans, 53 percent got used cars. Because interest rates are dropping, this rate might increase. Bankrate.com shows us that 7.2 percent dropped to 6.3 percent for interest rates on a four year car loan in just a year.

All buyers welcomed by auto makers needing to sell

Americans have seen their credit fall drastically. Below 599 in credit is now, as outlined by FICO Inc., 25.5 percent, 43 million of people. Subprime lending comes with higher default rates, which hurt the auto lending industry during the economic meltdown. The But the Wall Street Journal reports that GM wants risky buyers now. GM needs to reach buyers with weaker credit scores because they make up a larger portion of its customers than some of its competitors.

Subprime auto lending doing great

To be able to get these loans to buy cars with low credit, GM had to make a special deal with AmeriCredit Corp. Under this arrangement GM augments the loans with cash incentives so it can offer more competitive rates. For subprime auto lending, Americredit Corp. is one of the biggest companies. The business has gone up to 8,000 dealers from the 4500 it worked with just a year ago.

Associated Press
google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gCH7uRdNTEXaUCoNUPeukZZi3qDwD9H22DQ00
Bankrate.com
bankrate.com/
Wall Street Journal



Finding the money trail in the Obama Deception

Recently re-released on YouTube, “The Obama Deception” is a two-hour film. “The Obama Deception” claims to track the lies within the U.S. Government and plans of the “New World Order.” Some believers say that “The Obama Deception” is complete truth, others say it is a proven-invalid conspiracy theory.

The claims in ‘The Obama Deception’

You will find hundreds of arguments in the two hours of “The Obama Deception”. ”The Obama Deception” claims that the current U.S. Government is “a hoax carefully crafted by the captains of The New World Order… the international banks plan to loot the people of the United States and turn them into slaves .”

The way ‘The Obama Deception’ makes financial arguments

According to “The Obama Deception,” banks are behind plots and plans to take over governments. Because the near-failure of the banking system and global recession are huge in the minds of most Americans, this is an easy villain to pick. In other writings and movies, though, Alex Jones has claimed that this “New World Order” organization has been created by FEMA, the United Nations, China, Michael Gorbechev, or even “America and England.” In short, Jones has changed who he believes is heading up the New World Order multiple times.

Following the money

You are asked to “follow the money” in order to verify claims in “The Obama Deception.” Applying this argument to both sides of the debate is essential, though. You will find multiple TV series, talk shows, movies, and books created by media mogul Alex Jones. One time each year for the last couple of years, Jones has held a “money bomb” fundraiser. The goal for all of these “money bomb” events are listed as the same things, but Jones never seems to reach the goal, besides $ 250,000 raised each year:

“Alex will use this money to build a studio, a sound stage, purchase cameras and equipment, computers, expand office space and hire additional staff. Alex hopes to launch a new television show on the Dish Network, thus reaching thousands, possibly millions of additional people…”

Is there truth to be found in ‘The Obama Deception’?

You will find numerous, numerous individual arguments within “The Obama Deception”. Doing your own research on both sides is the best way to choose any argument. No matter what you believe, taking all arguments in financial, social and political context will give you a more complete view. There are some quotes and statistics in the movie that are somewhat questionable. All conspiracy theories, including “The Obama Deception,” need to be taken with a grain of salt.



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Top 10 cheap cars when it comes to maintaining

Aside from the reality of how much money you’ll be paying on your auto loans over the next five years, purchasing a new car is very exciting. More could be considered than just the purchase prices of the car. All recurring expenses should be considered such as fuel and maintenance. The top ten cars, among new cars anyway, least costly to maintain were put on a list at automotive.com. Now you’ll see anything you have to decide on a car. Source for this article – The top 10 least expensive cars to maintain by Car Deal Expert.

10. New Chevrolet Aveo

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo hatchback comes standard with a 1.6 L, inline four-cylinder L4 engine. Estimates for fuel economy are 27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, which is good within the modern market of green hybrid cars. $ 11,965 to $ 15,365 is the price range for the MSRP.

Five-year maintenance cost: $ 1,361
$ 390 is what you’ll pay for repairs in five years

9. New Nissan Frontier

Do you believe me when I say that a truck is number 9? The Nissan Frontier is on the list. This truck gets only 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway with its 4.0L V6 engine with the option engine of 2.5 L L4. It will cost you $ 20,690 to $ 26,840 to purchase. But for maintenance and repairs, the 2010 Nissan Frontier is high-class.

Five-year maintenance cost – $ 1,350
Five year repairs will costs you $ 541

8. New Chevy Avalanche

This truck is bigger than the Frontier. The 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche sports a 5.3L V8 under the hood, which powers away for 10 mpg city, 15 mpg highway. Cost is high, ranging from $ 35,725 to $ 48,865 MSRP. But it doesn’t take a lot to keep it going on the road.

$ 1,343 can be how much you pay for maintenance each and every five years
Five-year repair cost – $ 611

7. New Chevrolet Malibu

The 2010 Chevrolet Malibu gets us away from trucks and back to smaller cars. The Mileage will be 22 in the city and 30 on the highway with the 2.4L four-cylinder engine. MSRP ranges from $ 21,825 to $ 26,605.

$ 1,319 could be how much you pay in maintenance in five years
Five-year repair cost – $ 431

6. Honda Civic most most recently made

The Honda Civic is legendary for its fuel economy, which can be attributed to its smaller four-cylinder engine sizes. 2.0 L is going to be the max of the 2010 Civic, no matter which one you choose between sedan or coupe.

Min price is $ 16,255 when max price is $ 23,800
Five years of maintenance is going to cost $ 1,270
Repairs for five years cost $ 521

5. 2010 Honda Fit

“Fit” is a perfect word for this new Honda. A hatchback that gets 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway is perfect for a value-conscious consumer on the go.

You’ll pay $ 15,700 to $ 17,260 upfront
Five years of maintenance will put you out $ 1,245
Repairs over five years will cost about $ 521

4. 2009 Saab

One of two 2009 autos among the top 10 least expensive cars to maintain, the Saab 9-7x tops out under the hood at 6.0 L V8. That power may only net 20 mpg highway, but other costs (aside from purchase) are low.

MSRP range – $ 42,615 – $ 49,105
Five years of maintenance costs around $ 1,214
Five-year repair cost – $ 600

3. 2009 Saab

Convertible, sedan, and wagon models are all accessible with the 2009 Saab 9-3

$ 30,360 could be the min price you pay with $ 51,330 being the max price you’ll pay
Five years of maintenance will cost around $ 1,183
$ 520 can be the repair cost over a five year period

2. New Saab 9-3

This is the model coming out next year.

It costs between $ 28,900 and $ 45,080
Five-year maintenance cost – $ 1,182
Repairs over five years cost $ 535

1. 2010 MINI Coop

For five years, you will only be paying $ 1,160 in repairs with this baby. The 2010 MINI Cooper is stylish, dependable, and has great gas mileage.

$ 18,800 can be your min price and $ 34,000 could be the max price
Five years of repairs will cost you $ 853

Discover more information

Automotive.com
automotive.com/best-cars/least-expensive-cars-to-maintain/index.html
The 2010 MINI Cooper and “Mission Control”
youtube.com/watch?v=qmX6Ns-we3M



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Federal agents raid huge Medicare fraud operations in five states

The Justice Department struck a major blow for Medicare fraud prevention Friday. No-nonsense health care reform was introduced in these states to health care company owners, medical billers, nurses, and doctors in coordinated raids by the feds. Authorities announced charges against 94 individuals in what is being called the largest coordinated series of federal health care fraud cases in U.S. history. $ 251 million was stolen by the defendants through the Medicare system, and they are being charged for all of it. Article source – Federal agents raid huge Medicare fraud operations in five states by Personal Money Store.

Medicare fraud catches many crooks

Federal agents made arrests at alleged Medicare fraud operations in five cities Friday in Miami, Baton Rouge, La., Brooklyn, N.Y., Detroit and Houston. Reporting on the Medicare fraud scheme, ABC News said that the government said doctors, nurses and health care professionals accepted cash kickbacks from medical service providers to approve services that were unnecessary or never delivered. These services, HIV infusions, home health care, and physical and occupational therapy, would be charged to Medicare although they never happened.

Health care reform requires that Medicare fraud stop
To battle health care fraud as part of its health care reform agenda, the Obama administration launched the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team in 2009. Federal prosecution is used alongside electronic claims by this special team that was put together to find the main way Medicare fraud is done, through illicit billing. The arrests came as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held the first in a series of regional “summits” on health care fraud prevention in Miami. As part of the health care reform agenda, this Medicare fraud raid was essential to let businesses know the Obama administration means it.

Medicare fraud shown easily

There were numerous Medicare fraud operations that weren’t even hard to see. In Brooklyn, NY, $ 70 million was stolen in an operation with a “kickback room” that gave 1,000 kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries according to the Washington Post. There was one investigation showing individuals lined up for illegal payments with a sign of a woman speaking in Russian, “Don’t gossip.”.

Miami for Medicare fraud

All arrests were made by 350 agents that worked for either the FBI or Health and Human Services’ inspector general’s office. Since 1965, when the Medicare started, it was the biggest takedown of fraud. Most of the people were arrested in Miami on the same day as the fraud summit. The Miami Herald reports that About 25 suspects, including a longtime general practitioner, were charged in Miami-Dade County for allegedly submitting about $ 103 million in fraudulent bills for home health care, HIV therapy and medical equipment services, as outlined by federal indictments.

More information available at these sites

ABC News
abcnews.go.com/WN/government-agents-uncover-medicare-fraud-operations-cities/story?id=11180320&page=2
Washington Post
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/16/AR2010071603876.html?hpid=topnews
Miami Herald
miamiherald.com/2010/07/16/1733354/crackdown-nets-about-100-medicare.html



Monday, July 19, 2010

Changes to student loan programs make repayment easier for numerous

With the fall semester of 2010 coming up for many college students, some of the recent changes to student loan programs are taking effect. Some of the biggest changes include an alteration of income based upon repayment standards. This might reduce payments for students with debt. New formulas and regulations for student loans are likely to, in the end, help in making it more affordable to seek out higher education. Source of article – Changes to student loan programs make repayment easier for some by Personal Money Store.

Dropping rates for student loans

July 1, the rates on a form of small personal loan subsidized by the government dropped. Rates for Stafford loans dropped from 5.6 percent to 4.5 percent. Subsidized loans that originated before July 1, 2010, and unsubsidized loans will maintain the exact same rate as before.

Repayment changes for income based payment

The changes to student loan programs that will have the biggest effect are changes to income depending repayment formulas. Many recent graduates are discovering that with a tough job market and banks with no money to lend, it is nearly impossible to make student loan payments. The income depending repayment recalculation will change the program that was introduced last year. The point of income-based repayment is to keep debt manageable for students who are saddled with huge loans and few job prospects.

Removing the marriage penalty

For married couples who have two sets of student loans, the new income depending repayment formula won’t penalize married couples. Combined loan payment amounts can be used to calculate eligibility as long as couples file their taxes jointly. Only a single money loan balance could be measured against total household income.

Repayment balance vs current balance

Previously, income depending repayment was calculated using the amount borrowers owed when they first entered repayment. Now, income-based repayment calculations can be calculated using the current amount owed. This will help reduce the load on former students who have had loans in deferment, building interest without making payments.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

New currency symbol for rupee shows rising status for India

When India announced that it will implement a unique symbol for the Indian Rupee in world financial markets Thursday, the arcane subject of currency symbols became a hot topic. Before the new currency symbol for the rupee was announced, the abbreviations Rs, Re, or INR represented it within the marketplace. India’s Union Cabinet is expected to finalize the new currency symbol, a cross between the Roman letter R and its Hindi equivalent with a double slash, on June 24. Implementing the new rupee symbol, depending on recent history with the new Euro symbol, may take a few years and cost billions of dollars.

New currency symbol marks the rise of the Rupee

The currency of India, the world’s second largest democracy, had no consistent means of identification in world financial markets. As reported within the Deccan Chronicle, the new rupee symbol was selected as the winner of a design competition to create a mark that reflected the historic culture of India. Indian official said the use of abbreviated Rs as currency symbols by neighbors such as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan cause confusion in world financial markets and the new rupee symbol will end that confusion. As India angles to become a financial superpower, a distinct identity for the rupee also makes the currency more tradeable within the west.

Will elite club of currencies welcome the rupee?

Until now unique currency symbols existing only for the U.S. dollar, European Euro, British Pound, and Japanese Yen. The BBC reports that India has declared itself one of the elite world economies with its new rupee symbol. A panel of artists, officials and bankers picked the new rupee symbol design from up to 36,000 entries in the contest. The winner was submitted by design teacher at the Indian Institute of Technology. The contest awarded him Rs 2.5 lakh in winnings, or about $ 5,350.

Euro symbol introduction cost billions

Experts say implementing a new currency symbol is an costly process. Testing the new symbol, Suite 101 reports, is difficult due to rigorous testing across a broad range of applications, from sites to mobile phones. In addition, the government has to design and print new money and existing computer keyboards become obsolete. The BBC article pointed out that to update computer systems to deal with the new euro symbol cost them upwards of $ 50 billion.

More details about this topic at these websites

deccanchronicle.com

bbc.co.uk

suite101.com



Saturday, July 17, 2010

PT cruiser rolls off production line

For the last ten years, the Chrysler PT Cruiser has inspired both love and hate. The retro look made the PT Cruiser one of the biggest moneymakers for Chrysler company. Just a couple years ago, in 2008, the car was put on life support. The final PT Cruiser is rolling off the line, and also the 10-year history of the car is coming to a close.

Post resource: Final PT Cruiser rolls off the production line by Car Deal Expert

PT Cruiser beginnings

The PT Cruiser was initially introduced by Chrysler in 2000. The PT Cruiser began the styling trend of automobiles. Sales of the PT Cruiser were originally very high, and the car made money for Daimler-Chrysler. In 2005, the automobile was redesigned, a convertible coupe was added and turbo engines were an option. There were also limited editions added.

Decline in sales for the PT Cruiser

In late 2007 and early 2008, Chrysler began discussing a possible full re-design of a second-generation PT Cruiser. The business decided against it and instead let their advertising and attention to the PT Cruiser drop. Cruisers were down $ 50,000 a year by 2009. During bankruptcy proceedings, Cerberus Capital Management discontinued the automobile. The remaining parts and pieces for the PT Cruiser would be used, but no additional parts would be ordered. This announcement led to sales of PT Cruisers tanking even further.

The PT Cruiser factory second life

Since Cerberus Capital Management, the previous owner of Chrysler, decided to cancel the PT Cruiser, Fiat is a partner with Chrysler. The employees that have been finishing out the Chrysler PT Cruiser aren’t going to lose their jobs. The Toluca, Mexico plant will build the Fiat 500C. The re-tooling and retraining of the factory will take at least six months, but Fiat is hoping to re-create the PT Cruiser’s success.Chrysler can be focusing instead on more traditionally styled and popular sedans and vehicles.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Emcore Fiber Optics in Albuquerque attacked by armed gunman

In Albuquerque at 9 am local time, a 911 call reported a shooter at Emcore Fiber Optics. Reports are nevertheless mixed as to how numerous employees were injured or killed by the Emcore shooter. Classified as a “domestic dispute in the workplace,” this act of violence doesn’t appear to be related to Emcore’s business or recent patent infringement rulings.

Article resource: Emcore Fiber Optics in Albuquerque attacked by armed gunman by Personal Money Store

Albuquerque offices hit by the Emcore shooter

The Albuquerque shooting at the Emcore offices appear to are carried out by a former employee. At 9:29 a.m. local time, the 911 call reported “multiple individuals injured.” Police officers that were on the scene found between two and five individuals dead on the scene and at least four more have been transported to local hospitals. The believed shooter was also found dead on the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Albuquerque shooting was a ‘domestic workplace dispute’

According to police on the scene, the Albuquerque shooting was most likely a “domestic workplace dispute.” This means that a domestic dispute between the shooter and his wife had been taken to the Emcore offices. There isn’t really any reports saying what the situation of the shooter was. The shooter was a previous employee of Emcore, and his wife is a current employee. There is no report on how the shooter’s wife is doing.

Business difficulties faced by Emcore

The specific office where the Albuquerque shootings took place, Emcore, is the headquarters of an embattled fiber optic and solar manufacturing company. On the very same day as the Albuquerque shootings, Emcore was barred from importing some of their fiber optics. The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that some of Emcore’s technology violated a patent. Today, the U.S. Trade panel officially barred the business from importing the products that infringe a patent owned by competitor Avago Technologies.

Resources:

CBS News

cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20010291-504083.html

Reuters

uk.reuters.com/article/idUKN1226453320100712

ABC News

abcnews.go.com/US/shooter-kills-albuquerque-business-killing/story?id=11146499



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Toyota asserts Matrix power steering not defective

Toyota claims Matrix steering defect is not a defect

During the height of the Toyota recalls earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated nearly three-quarters of a billion 2009 and 2010 Toyota Matrix and Corolla cars. Power steering issues were up for analysis. Toyota says the possible safety defect isn’t a defect, according to Auto Blog. Toyota is prepared to fix it for free, but do not feel the need for a recall. Source of article – Toyota claims Matrix steering defect is not a defect by Car Deal Expert.

Toyota Matrix power steering can suffer locking or drift

Shockingly, reports of Toyota Matrix and Corolla power steering units causing drift of freezing completely do not register as safety defects with the automaker. The automaker has 437 complaints (11 of those related to injury and 18 to crashes), but their term for the issue is that it’s a “customer satisfaction” problem, rather than a safety defect. That did warrant a Technical Service Bulletin from the brain trust to Toyota dealers, says AutoBlog. If that does not fix the steering issue, then a new unit that has been tuned with a different feel should be inserted into the Matrix or Corolla in question.

It should be noted that General Motor’s has a Matrix twin call the Pontiac Vibe, and that may have the same power steering troubles, as outlined by AutoBlog.

Bottom line – Toyota could save money

Toyota may be allowed to forego recalling the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Matrix and Corolla, which would conserve them an excellent deal of capital and keep them out of the regulator’s office. However, the NHTSA may have to agree with Toyota’s assessment of the “non-defect”. At this time, they’re still investigating. Toyota would rather stay away from a PR nightmare. Another recall would knock down the flimsy rebuild Toyota has managed to this point.

Citations

AutoBlog

autoblog.com/2010/07/13/report-toyota-says-corolla-matrix-steering-issue-not-a-defect/



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Money Magazine Best Places to Live are not big cities

Small town living comes out on top as Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” are revealed. Big cities hurl the difficulties of overcrowding, safety issues and huge costs, making them not so family friendly. To rank on the Money Magazine “Best Places to Live” list, a city must rank well in jobs, school quality, family safety, recreation and overall veneer. What cities make the list are the best of the best when it comes to America’s family-oriented communities.

Source of article: Money Magazine Best Places to Live highlights small town life by Personal Money Store

Money Magazine ‘Best Places to Live’ – a sample

As a sneak peek at the full list of Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” for 2010, here are the five best places to live in The United States. Data provider Onboard Informatics provided CNN Money with stats on population size, median income, area sales tax and other categories to help within the decision-making process. Short term loan are typically used less frequently in cities on the list, as job availability and income levels tend to lead to the kind of financial stability that make short term loans and unsecured personal loans less essential.

1. Eden Prairie, Minn. (Pop. 64,000; Unemployment 5.1 percent)

Eden Prairie is first in large part because of its beautiful hills and access to multiple lakes. People love outdoor pastimes and schools rate highly on the quality scale. Unemployment is far below the national average and Eden Prairie’s AAA rating with Moody’s indicates the city’s overall financial health. With multiple major employers in town, it’s no wonder that Eden Prairie has as many as 50,000 jobs in town.

2. Columbia/Ellicott City, Md. (Pop. 155,000; 5.2 percent)

Great schools, housing residents can afford, a fantastic downtown area and population diversity are a few of Ellicott City’s key elements. Military and government employment through Fort Meade and also the National Security Agency presently provide the area with 8,000 jobs, and government has promised thousands more in the very near future. Baltimore and Washington D.C. are within commuting distance, where more job opportunities exist.

3. Newton, Mass. (Pop. 82,000; 6.0 percent)

Boston College and Newton-Wellesley Hospital are major employers within the area, and a great deal of public transportation is available, thanks to Newton’s proximity to the Greater Boston area. New England charm is a highlight of the grouping of 13 villages that make up Newton.

4. Bellevue, Wash. (Pop. 124,000; 5.8 percent)

Bellevue is a tech mecca, thanks to the presence of Microsoft, T-Mobile, Verizon and Expedia, among others. There are a plethora of culturally enriching entertainments and activities accessible, and also the forest containing the Bellevue skyline makes the city a beauty to behold, as does Lake Washington. While housing is far from cheap, everything else about Bellevue makes it a cinch for the Money Magazine “Best Places to Live” list.

5. McKinney, Texas (Pop. 125,000; 7.8 percent)

Visit downtown McKinney and also the well-preserved 19th century buildings are among the first things that hit you.And with employers like defense contractor Raytheon in town providing jobs, the have to drive an hour to Dallas for work is far from inevitable, even during the recession. When it comes to family fun, McKinney offers lots of parks and places to go hiking, which makes a big difference when it comes to overall quality of life.

Read more on this topic here

CNN

money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/top100/



Monday, July 12, 2010

Collision in Philadelphia stops Ride The Ducks tours

Ride The Ducks may sound like a funny name, but Ride The Ducks tours are a severe business. A Ride The Ducks tour vehicle collided with a sludge barge. While the incident is being investigated, the Ride The Ducks tours in every city are stopped.

Post resource: Ride The Ducks suspended after Philadelphia collision by Personal Money Store

The Ride The Decks amphibious tours

Family company Hirschend Family Entertainment operates Ride The Ducks Tours, among other things. Hirschend Family Entertainment owns and operates multiple parks, including Dollywood. Ride The Ducks tours are amphibious sightseeing tours that go both around cities and into the waterways around them.

Philadelphia Ride The Ducks accident

A barge rammed into a disabled Ride The Ducks boat, as outlined by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 35 passengers and two employees were dumped to the river. Two people are still missing.

Philly Ride The Ducks accident under investigation

In Philadelphia, the National Transportation Safety Board has began investigating the accident. Depending on who’s at fault for the accident, the NTSB may levy fines. Tours in every city are shut down until the investigation is well under way.

The business of Hirschend Family Entertainment

A private business that is very quiet and family owned, Hirschend Family Entertainment tends to not broadcast business information. The business moved to Norcross, Georgia in 2005. Though they have only been around for 60 years, the company is a growing player in theme park companies.As the company is family-owned, it is not required to publish any financial data, and has not in any year of operation. The business began out with a lease on just one entertainment park, but quickly grew to their current portfolio of 24 different “themed entertainment parks” in nine different states, centered mostly within the Southern and Eastern United States.



Saturday, July 10, 2010

Federal student loan move ends taxpayer gravy train for big banks

A better way to get government loans for college began on July 1. All federally guaranteed student loans are now issued directly through the Department of Education. Bank lobbyists were kicking and screaming when the change was added to the health care reform bill earlier this year. The government has removed banks as the middleman for federally guaranteed student loans, and ended the billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies paid to banks for pushing paper on those loans.

Resource for this article: Federal student loan move ends taxpayer gravy train for big banks by Personal Money Store

Billions in tax dollars saved with federal student loan overhaul

The end of student loan subsidies for big banks will create $ 68 billion in savings over the next 10 years, according to government estimates. Colleges and universities are required to offer all loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) from July 1 forward. The FDLP, the government says, can be a more reliable lender for students and a better value for taxpayers.

Federal student loans – what changes?

Students getting government loans for college now do so exclusively through the Department of Education. USA Today reports that the FDLP eliminates the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), which had allowed banks and other commercial lenders to offer federally guaranteed loans. Affected loans consist of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) for parents and PLUS loans for graduate and professional degree students.

Students get scholarships, banks lose easy money

Most of the savings reaped by eliminating commercial banks from government loans for college can be applied toward the Federal Pell Grant program. Pell Grants are scholarships given to students from lower-income families that don’t have to be paid back. Native Times reports the maximum Pell Grant increases by $ 200 this fall to $ 5,500, and stay there until 2014.

Students must do their part now

This year students with a federally guaranteed student loan must file electronic forms through the federal government's secure site for the new program at studentloans.gov. Kenosha news reports that colleges and universities are under pressure to meet their responsibility to process the volume of student applicants. Financial aid directors are advising students and/or their parents to contact their college's student financial aid office with questions sooner, rather than later.

Discover more info:

usatoday.com

nativetimes.com

kenoshanews.com



Friday, July 9, 2010

Clean-energy bonds at risk from federal agencies

PACE loans, otherwise known as Property Assessed Clean Energy Bonds, are quick personal loans provided by cities to homeowners. Property taxes provide the way to repay these loans that are used to retrofit homes for more energy efficiency. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, though, have muscled these loans out of the market.

Source of article: Federal agencies question clean energy bonds for homeowners by Personal Money Store

How PACE loans work

PACE loans, which are used everywhere from San Francisco to New York City, are “bond-backed loans”. The homeowner applies for finance loans in order to make energy improvements to the house. The city then turns around and sells these loans as bonds. Property taxes on the house are increased by the payment of the loan. Because the energy-use improvements stay with the house, the payments stay with the house also. Making improvements to a home can be costly, but this program helps personal payday installment loans find their way to the homeowners. The federal stimulus package helps provide the money to get these programs going.

Why PACE loans present a problem

Why are some federal agencies against these PACE loans? In short, because they might not get paid. To make their money, a mortgage holder has to sell a house that goes into foreclosure. Taxes and liens on the property have to be paid before the house could be sold by the mortgage lender. If the homeowner stops paying their mortgage, then the PACE loan gets paid off before the mortgage.

The risk to PACE loans?

No federal agency has yet taken action to shut down PACE loans, officially. In places where PACE loans are available, though, mortgage installment loan programs are tightening their standards. The PACE program has gotten a letter written by Henry Waxman and Barney Frank “urging officials to work together easily to resolve the uncertainty”.



California state employees offered low cost loan possibilities

California state employees offered low cost loan choices

Employees in California are facing a gigantic pay cut as the spending budget has yet to be passed. California's governor has asked that all paydays be cut to federal minimum wage until a spending budget is passed. Some banks and credit unions are offering a instant cash to these employees, including no-interest installment payday loans.

Source of article: California state employees offered low cost loan possibilities by Personal Money Store

Cutting employee pay in California

At the beginning of the California fiscal year on July 1, the state had passed no official spending budget. Without actually passing a budget, California is going to have a $ 19.1 billion budget deficit . Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered that all 200,000 state employees have their wages reduced to minimum wage until a budget is passed. The state budgeting and payroll system, though, needs an overhaul and state Controller John Chiang said the reduction wouldn't be possible.

Banks and credit unions offer employee "impasse" loans

Bank of The US and Wells Fargo have began offering no faxing payday loans called “budget impasse” products. There's no credit check and no interest on these “impasse” loans. These loans either provide money or extended credit to state employees. When a state budget is passed, eventually, the employees will get a retroactive payment they can use to pay back these loans.

Qualifying for impasse loans

California state employees who need to get a personel loans to cover the spending budget impasse do not right away qualify for these zero-interest loans. Instead, the state employees must already have an account with the bank or credit union. Given that California has only passed a balanced spending budget by the beginning of the fiscal year in 10 of the last 34 years, it is not surprising that numerous banks have created solutions to help employees that are left in the dust.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scammers use Apple App Store hack to steal money, boost rankings

An app farm infestation is being battled by Apple App Store users. The App Store is being hacked by Apple App scammers who hack iTunes accounts to make purchases of some bogus apps. The hacks steal money from iTunes accounts and increase the App Store rankings of the bogus apps.

Source of article: Scammers use Apple App Store hack to steal money, boost rankings by Personal Money Store

Greedy scammer blows App Store cover

The App Store scam may have gone undetected longer if not for a thieving app farm developer known as Thuat Nguyen. Nguyen got too greedy and 40 of his apps within the books category showed up within the top 50 App Store rankings. Other app developers smelled something wrong and Apple pulled the Thuat Nguyen apps. Thousands of dollars have been stolen by Nguyen and some of the other App Store scammers, who are nevertheless active.

Compromised were the rankings of the app store

News about the App Store scam broke when thenextweb.com reported that Thuat Nguyen had hacked some iTunes accounts and purchased his own apps using those accounts. When their popular titles were displaced in the App Store rankings by Nguyen apps, two iPhone app developers sounded the alarm. To purchase apps, numerous iTunes accounts were hacked. On their accounts, numerous had spent between $ 100 and $ 1400. All iTunes users should check their accounts for bad purchases of cheap apps ($ 1-$ 3) followed by one at an outrageous price ($ 90 ). It was reported by Thenextweb.com that hackers are also signing users up for a free app called World War that sends their money to scammer accounts.

From app store scam, you need to protect yourself

To verify that you’ve or haven’t become a victim of the App Store scam, it is easy to check the security of your own iTunes account.

PCWorld gives this procedure:

Click on your account name on the right hand side of the iTunes menu bar. After entering your password, click on the View Account button. You’ll be taken to the Apple Account Info page where you’re able to view your purchase history. From there, you can make sure that all your app purchases are ones that you’ve made. If you spot an app you didn’t purchase among your recent purchases, click the Report a Problem button. To safeguard against a compromised password, you can click on Edit Account Info to change it. Longer passwords containing numbers and special characters are harder for hackers to crack.

Bogus app farms nevertheless scamming

The Apple App Store scam hasn’t been eliminated with the purging of the Thuat Nguyen apps. Beranews.com explains that two other developers at least are using comparable practices. Charismaist is somebody you need to stay away from 3 apps from. One Charismaist app is an apparent sonic mosquito repellent that has scammed users out of $ 100 at the most, even though it is marked as free. Storm 8’s App Store scam has in-game point purchases costing as much as $ 150. One iTunes user reported up to $ 1,400 in bogus charges from a Storm 8 game. Nevertheless in the App store is Charismaist and Storm 8.

More of the app store scam details

The Apple App Store scam is used primarily make bogus purchases that elevate all of the apps within the iTunes ranking so that numerous users can be attracted to the apps based on their high sales. Be on the lookout for app icons that are low-res images from the web. The scammers’ support links direct users to non-existent web sites or landing pages. The Next Web said that all the bogus apps are owned by unknown, Asia-based developers. Apparently the scam has been happening over the last four weeks.

Citations:

thenextweb.com

thenextweb.com/apple/2010/07/04/app-store-hacked/comment-page-1/#comment-11929

PC World

pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/200503/apps_disappear_from_app_store_amid_hacking_complaints.html

betanews.com

betanews.com/article/Apple-still-silent-as-more-scams-are-found-on-App-Store/1278363193



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

EPPICard has the fees to make up for less frequent phishing

Unemployed Americans seeking to access their state benefits have had a difficult time with the EPPICard debit card system within the past. The ATM card-style distribution system was intended to make it easy for the unemployed to access their benefits money. Unfortunately, numerous media reports have indicated the program failed to go off without a hitch. Case in point: one Fayetteville Observer reader using EPPICard found that hidden fees were waiting within the wings.

Resource for this article: EPPICard – Less phishing, more administrative fees by Personal Money Store

EPPICard separates the unemployed from their money, thanks to fees

We already know that unscrupulous 3rd parties have, in the recent past, exploited holes in the EPPICard debit card system to create a phishing scam to dupe uninformed consumers into revealing sensitive personal data for the purposes of identity theft. EPPICard officials have claimed phishing is a thing of the past, but not all welfare recipients agree. It’s all good unless you mistype your EPPICard PIN or have to go for quick payday advances multiple times. One Fayetteville Observer reader reported that making more than two EPPICard cash payday withdrawals per month from his bank of choice (Wachovia) produced an “excess use” fee of $ 1.50. Entering an incorrect PIN generates an “ATM denial” fee of 50 cents. EPPICard makes such potential fees apparent up front, but that certainly doesn’t make them right.

Charging the unemployed for state benefits

Quick payday advances can come without fees, said Larry Parker of the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina to the Observer. What he failed to mention is why consumers should be subjected to fees in the first place. How is it that state governments failed to negotiate the consumer exploitation elements out of their contracts with big banks?

And EPPICard phone calls will cost you, too

Consumers with question can’t escape fees if they call EPPICard via telephone, either. That’s the kind of service welfare consumers in 19 states are presently receiving, to horrible reviews. As Personal Money Store has suggested before, possibly a return to paper checks and direct deposit is indeed the way to go.

More details about this topic at these websites:

Fayetteville Observer

fayobserver.com/articles/2010/06/20/1007753?sac=Home



BP looking to get short term loan to cover oil spill cleanup costs

A short-term loan is good for unexpected expenses such as car repair, a crown at the dentist or a traffic ticket. But when you’re the culprit within the 2010 oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico, a short-term loan comes in handy — in spades. Oil giant BP is talking with banks to try to somehow raise $ 5 billion in short-term loans to help finance liabilities arising from the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico, the Financial Times newspaper reported Thursday. By the end of last week BP had already raised about $ 20 billion in cash and credit to tackle costs from the spill.

Source of article: BP looks for short-term loan to cover costs in oil spill cleanup by Personal Money Store

Quick unsecured loans are easy to figure out, unless you are BP

For most, getting a quick unsecured loansis easy. With just a little online research some fairly reasonable rates can be found, but if you run an oil business with a criminally negligent sales record and are trying to purchase your way out of an environmental disaster, it’s a little tougher. As outlined by Investment Week, in seeking its $ 5 billion in short-term loans, BP is having to pay more than commonly charged by banks in margins and fees, individuals close to the transactions said. They noted that the banks are holding the cards in this deal. BP, regardless of how big and rich it has become, will soon be desperate for cash. As the undersea gusher continues unabated, banks have grown more concerned over the potential size of BP’s liabilities — so they are going to hold the oil company over a barrel.

Cash til payday loan being looked for by BP

A unsecured loans, also called a pay day loans, provides the cash loan most people need to prevent credit problems like missing a credit card payment, preventing a bank overdraft fee, or simply getting the car out of the shop to get to work. But BP surely has a bigger problem on its hands. To solve it, it was reported by Reuters that BP is looking at various debt-financing possibilities, which consist of extending bank credit lines as much as $ 7 billion. The oil spill company had considered a corporate bond offering and additional asset sales. But those ideas are on hold for now. Although it is trying to get some short-term loans, BP has said it has enough cash resources to meet oil spill cleanup costs without having to resort to these options.

more than a secured loans is needed by BP

For most individuals a quick unsecured loans or pay day loan for cash now solves their financial dilemma and they move on. BP costs are likely to continue to mount higher. It was reported by the Street reports BP said this week the costs of cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had reached $ 2.65 billion. This figure is already more than $ 300 million more than its estimate from the week before. On June 16, BP agreed with the Obama administration to create a $ 20 billion fund to compensate for the economic damage being wrought by the oil spill.

BP needs to find a way to get debt management

Nobody really seems to know if $ 20 billion can be enough money. It was reported by the Associated Press that on July 1 BP’s oil spill became the largest-ever in the Gulf of Mexico. Its broken oil well has been gushing out oil for about two and a half months now, surpassed the formerly record-setting 140 million gallons spilled by the Ixtoc I spill near Mexico’s coast from 1979 to 1980. It’s doubtful that BP’s short term loan strategy could be adequate to deal with the long-term debt that lies ahead for the Gulf of Mexico.

More info about this topic at these websites:

Investment week

investmentweek.co.uk/investment-week/news/1720119/bp-raise-funds-papers

Reuters

reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65G44C20100617?type=ousivMolt

The Street

thestreet.com/story/10796965/1/bp-in-short-term-finance-talks.html?cm_ven=GOOGLEFI



Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Terrafugia Transition flies, drives and folds into the garage

Is it a flying car … or is it a drivable airplane? Actually, the Terrafugia Transition is the world’s first “roadable aircraft” according to Terrafugia, the aviation — or automotive? — startup company developing the hybrid machine. Whether the Transition flies in the air or down the highway became a stronger possibility, the company announced Wednesday. The Terrafugia Transition was granted an exemption to be classified as a "light sport aircraft" by the Federal Aviation Administration. Because of the classification, Transition owners will find it easier to get certified by the FAA to live their dream of driving a flying car.

Resource for this article: The Terrafugia Transition – a flying car that fits in your garage by Personal Money Store

The flying car you park in your garage

The Terrafugia Transition fits in a garage and blends into traffic—as a car. "A Volkswagen in the belly of a carp" is the aesthetic assessment of the Terrafugia Transition by CNET's Johnathon E. Skillings. He reports that the Transition runs on regular unleaded gas from the corner pump on the road or in the air. It has a top speed of 65 mph on the highway and gets 30 miles to a gallon of gas. In flight it cruises at 115 mph and has a range of about 450 miles. According to Terrafugia, the plane can be transitioned from aircraft into road going vehicle in just 30 seconds.

A light sport aircraft with a twist

As a light sport aircraft, the Terrafugia Transition now belongs in the FAA's smallest private plane classification. Normally it wouldn't exceed 1,320 pounds. But Terrafugia couldn't work in the air bags, crumple zones and roll cage mandatory for cars at that weight. Jalopnik reports that Terrafugia regards the light sport aircraft classification as critical because as such, owners will only need 20 hours of flying time to be cleared for flying the Transition. With the FAA exemption, now Terrafugia is free to sell the Transition as long as buyers are informed of the extra 110 pounds.

Will Terrafugia fly with Transition?

Safety, according to Terrafugia, is one of the major advantages the Transition has over traditional light aircraft. If the weather is too severe for safe fight, The Telegraph reports, pilots can simply fold their wings and drive home. But don't expect to see the Terrafugia Transition in your rear view mirror for awhile. The Transition that performed for FAA inspectors is a one-off prototype. Sometime in 2011 is Terrafugia's target for a customer-ready production model. Even so, 70 people have enthusiastically thrown down a deposit on the $ 194,000 Transition. Each potential buyer throws down a fully-refundable $ 10,000 held by the company in escrow, just in case Terrafugia crashes before the Transition gets off the ground.

Citations:

cnet.com

jalopnik.com

telegraph.co.uk



Friday, July 2, 2010

The Ireland recession may not be over

It was just a year ago that Ireland was in recession and losing a job every five minutes. The Wall Street Journal must think that Ireland has had enough, because they’re reporting the nation’s 2.7 percent GDP growth in exports for Q1 2010 is the sign that they’ve officially exited the recession. However, Ireland’s road to economic recovery remains long. Ireland lost 14 percent in GDP figures from 2008 to 2010, placing them squarely among the worst off euro zone nations during the global recession. Prime Minister Brian Cowen is urging Ireland to be prepared for hard times for the next 10 to 15 years.

Source for this article: Has Ireland exited the recession? A quick fix seems unlikely by Personal Money Store

Investors’ role in Ireland and also the recession

Sky-high benchmark bonds are keeping Ireland in the recession, reports the New York Times. Investors are downcast and guaranteed loan borrowing continues to fly, both of which has made things tough for the Dublin brain trust. Ireland’s primary goal is to restore investor confidence through deficit reduction, but higher taxes, lower salaries for public workers and the fallout of the burst housing bubble – including an uptick in the origination of low cost loans – have made it difficult for Ireland’s population to wait patiently.

Relying heavily on exports

Ireland attracted companies like Intel, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn to address previous recessionary woes, but this time, the Irish government is depending upon an export revival, according to the Times. The Times reports that lower public pay and decreasing energy costs are on Ireland’s side within the economic recovery, but lack of jobs within the export market and also the falling euro cast a considerable shadow. Wage cuts are making Irish graduates think twice about staying home. Irish college grads do not want to wait 10 to 15 years for instant money.

Cowen worried about 2012

The long, hard road to economic recovery via tough deficit reduction might be the only way that Ireland will escape recession. But it will likely not happen fast enough for Irish voters in the next election. Prime Minister Cowen has promised that the already slashed public salaries won’t go lower, but that might be a case of too little, too late. Irish voters might not be able to wait any longer.

Find more information here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703426004575338433422665358.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/business/global/29austerity.html?hp=&pagewanted=all



Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rodolfo Torre slaying puts spotlight on peso, border security

The recent assassination of Rodolfo Torre has proven once more the northeast Mexican state of Tamaulipas is not only a flash point in Mexico’s drug war, but of great concern within the ongoing battle for U.S. border security. Reuters reports that Torre – an opposition candidate representing the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) – was slain along with four of his aides in the border town of Valle Hermoso. The responsible group of 16 hooded gunmen is believed to represent the notorious Los Zetas gang.

Article source: Rodolfo Torre slaying puts spotlight on peso, border security by Personal Money Store

Rodolfo Torre’s killing has border security agents and investors worried

Since it started in 2006, Mexico’s drug war has claimed more than 25,000 lives, when violent gun battles began spilling to the streets, but Rodolfo Torre’s death is allegedly the largest-scale example to date of a drug cartel attempting to influence Mexico’s politics. Tourists are reportedly avoiding Tamaulipas and foreign investors have bailed on the peso in large numbers. Reuters indicates that its recent position at 12.71 per $ 1 U.S. was .46 percent weaker. Televised images of Rodolfo Torre’s body in the media don't seem to help to reverse this trend. In addition, local stocks remained flat as news out of the recent G-20 summit point toward an end to fiscal stimulus in the region.

Border security is apparently influencing Mexico's credit picture

According to the Wall Street Journal, Credit Suisse has had some optimistic things to say about Mexico’s financial condition. Particularly, Credit Suisse praised the nation’s “record or near-record low yields on government debt,” and pointed out to numerous that Mexico’s central bank is enjoying a nice level of inflation that rests within what experts consider to be a comfort zone. Lately the inflation level has ranged from 2 to 4 percent. Furthermore, Credit Suisse believes that Mexico’s recovering growth is, “as good as it gets.”

Mexico's ongoing drug war violence has given creditors pause. ”The violence problem has worsened notably in 2010, with the number of drug-related killings making new highs, and with organized crime defying the state more openly than ever before,” Credit Suisse explained. “We are not certain this is as bad as it gets on the security front, unfortunately.”

Washington appears to be watching closely

The United States is no doubt taking notice of this. The death of Rodolfo Torre appears to be just a stone’s throw from American soil has the U.S. on alert. Border security against bold drug cartels just a small measure in American politics, from the president’s funding of additional forces to the ongoing immigration debates. When Los Zetas might not represent any of the illegal traffic that crosses the U.S. border, their actions do little to dissuade states like Arizona from abandoning their own bold stance against the hazards of illegal immigration.

Find a lot more info here:

Reuters

reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN28512369

Wall Street Journal

online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100628-709931.html

Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Zetas

Rodolfo Torre campaign video (en EspaƱol):

youtube.com/watch?v=FqAtnZ6B5BE