Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Problem gridlocks a result of China's exploding economy

Americans stuck in traffic shouldn’t complain too loudly. They should consider themselves lucky they aren’t driving to work in China. About 10 days to the Chinese traffic jam, the gridlock extended for about 60 miles. Road construction in Beijing has caused a pileup of vehicles on a road between the capital and also the city of Zhangjiokou that is expected to continue at a crawl until the project is finished. The traffic jam moves at a glacial pace. Drivers make headway for about a kilometer a day. The road traffic jam has trapped some drivers as much as five days. China’s growing traffic jam problem can be traced to exploding need for coal and also the trucks to haul it, as well as the shipping required to meet the needs of a surging economy depending on consumption. Article resource – Epic Chinese traffic jams caused by exploding consumer demand by Personal Money Store.

Gridlocks an indicator regarding getting too hot economy

Drivers in china have learned to expect traffic jams. However, the current congestion is well-nigh intolerable, even by Chinese standards. The Wall Street Journal reports that road construction began the road traffic jam Aug. 14 in Chinese Heibei Province on a major highway leading to Beijing. Congestion worsened as some autos collided and others broke down. The traffic jam is expected to last as long as the construction project-about a month. Gridlock on this highway has become the norm as the capital city’s population of 20 million consumes more goods.

Consequences of demand for coal in China

Demand for coal to produce electricity for the world’s fastest-growing economy has been identified as a primary catalyst for the Chinese traffic jam phenomenon. Bloomberg reports that Inner Mongolia, a huge border province northwest of Beijing, surpassed Shanxi province last year to become China’s biggest coal supplier. Numerous coal mines In Shanxi were closed by the government following a string of deadly accidents. Shanxi used an established set of railway routes to transport its coal. A rail transport network up to the task of shipping Inner Mongolia’s growing coal production hasn’t yet been built. Suppliers are forced to ship the coal with trucks via Beijing to port cities, where it is shipped to power plants in southern China.

Supply and demand is an universal law

Dealing with the disappointment of the Chinese traffic jam took numerous forms. NPR reports that road rage has been absent as people killed time by sleeping, taking walks or playing cards and chess. Local villagers, zigzagging between autos on bikes, reaped a windfall selling noodles, box lunches and snacks. The Chinese traffic jam provided an old-fashioned capitalist lesson in supply and demand. Drivers complained about price-gouging by villagers who became their sole source for food and water. A bottle of water generally goes for 1 yuan, or 15 cents. Traffic jam vendors sold them for 10 yuan, or $ 1.50. Drivers were paying triple the price for instant noodles costing 3 yuan (45 cents) retail.

Find more information on this subject

Wall Street Journal






Google Voice and Gmail user interface intertwined

Within the United States and Canada numerous would love making free calls. They don’t care whether it comes or goes to a cell phone, land line or desktop virtual phone. Everybody but phone services like the idea a lot. Making free phone calls is easier for Google users now. It helps a lot to have Gmail and Google Voice being connected. You are able to make free calls wherever you discover Gmail.

Active phone service comes from Gmail contacts with Google Voice

An internet connection is all you have to access Google Voice and make a free phone call, even if you’re someplace cell phone coverage is not. Two cents per minute is the rate if the call is outside the U.S. or Canada. Tech Crunch reports what is needed for this. All you’ve to do is get the Google Talk plug-in. Your Gmail inbox will save voicemails and your Gmail interface allows you to make and receive calls. There is also another really cool thing. Just transfer calls from Google Voice to your cell phone if you are on the run but want to keep talking.

In Gmail, Google Voice could be here soon

Google is rolling out the new Google Voice features over the next few days to U.S.-based Gmail accounts, according to the official Google Voice Blog. Watch for “Call Phone” to show up in your Google Chat list. There could be a Google Voice feature for those using Google Apps for academic or business purposes. Of course that might take just a little longer to appear and be useable.

More on this topic

Google Voice Blog



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Google Voice humor – testing transcript capabilities


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Past due payments less painful using brand new charge card guidelines

Extreme late costs most recent target with new credit card guidelines

The final package of new credit card rules went into effect Sunday. The last set of rule changes sets out to restrict late payment costs and also other scams disguised as penalties. This completes a major overhaul of the credit card industry that was set into motion by the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. One of the newest federal laws cuts late payment fees to an average of $25.New guidelines have been gradually introduced that are cutting into lucrative penalty charges. In response, credit card companies have dramatically hiked rates of interest. Another rule requires them to justify those increases to federal regulators.

Acquiring late penalties and interest rates in check

The newest credit card rules enacted Aug. 22 prohibit credit card businesses from charging more than $25 for late payments, end the practice for charging customers for not using their cards, and order them to reconsider interest rate increases imposed beginning from Jan, 1, 2009. A CNN article on the brand new credit card guidelines said that if the market conditions that warranted the rate of interest increases no long exist, those interest rates must be adjusted accordingly. Charge card corporations could be held to account by government regulators assigned to evaluate their justifications. However, the new rules give banks wiggle room to hike penalty fees higher than $25 if a cardholder is habitually late with payments or if the credit card business can prove the high fee is justified to offset the cost with overdue repayments. More enforceable limits are possible with one more new rule that bars card-issuers from charging a penalty exceeding the minimum monthly payme! nt, or a penalty exceeding the dollar amount of the violation of the credit limit.

Charge card companies scheme to help you recover shed gigantic amounts

The latest round of new credit card rules could subtract $3 billion a year from credit card business bottom lines. A Wall Street Journal report on the charge card industry’s reaction to the regulations said that issuers have been busy upping the ante for balance transfers, money advances, overseas charges and also annual fees. As a strategy to get around limits on late payment fees and penalties, cardholders can expect their minimum repayments to rise. Charge card companies that have gotten used to huge piles of free money from penalty fees aren’t relinquishing them without a fight . The Journal interviewed an industry executive who said last year banks siphoned approximately $11.4 billion in overdue charges from their charge card customers. The windfall is forecasted to slip to merely $8.1 billion-a 29 percent decline.

Credit card companies know their customers

Rates of interest have been raised by charge card businesses to combat the added consumer protection provided by the new charge card guidelines. A separate CNN story on the subject said that interest rates on existing credit card customers swelled to a 14.7 percent average within the second quarter-13.1 percent higher than 12 months ago . The gap between the average charge card rate of interest as well as the prime rate is presently 11.45 percentage points, the widest margin in 22 years as outlined by Synovate, the market research affiliate with Aegis Group. Synovate also said that credit card spending reached the second-highest level ever within the second quarter.

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Wall Street Journal


'Seamless' isn't the word to describe the Quicken Online to Mint migration program

Mint.com will get to take Quicken Online users and all their personal finance data. This will happen on August 29. On that date, not a soul can be able to sign in at Quicken Online. Intuit, the makers of Quicken, purchased mint.com last year for $ 170 million. All information from the Intuit site was expected to be “migrated seamlessly” to the Mint site considering that is what the message said given to all the Quicken Online users. There has ended up being some problems because of the difference in software. This means that users have to transfer their accounts by themselves if they want the account moved. There have been a lot of issues with the Quicken Online to Mint migrations.

Intuit’s move was a ‘boneheaded move’

Quicken users were amazed by the Quicken Online to Mint migration. The transition was expected to happen all by itself. But a Tech Crunch report said Intuit later decided that the complexity of merging the two platforms precluded achieving the transition with “elegance or accuracy.”. There was one major concern about this. There could be info that is inaccurate in Mint after switching from Quicken Online. Manually correcting errors was the only option after that. Because of these complications, Tech Crunch called Intuit’s policy a “boneheaded move” and said that Intuit should have given Quicken Online users until the end of the year to move or spend more time figuring out how to import their accounts to Mint.

Budgeting site alternatives

Intuit is using August 29 as the day to delete account info. Quicken Online users will lose any account information then. Users have to export info they want into a file before then as to not lose it. The New York Daily News said that Quicken Online users who do not want to migrate to Mint have opportunities for their personal financial data. Intuit is using the Quicken Online to Mint migration to promote Quicken desktop products as an option, but they’re not free. The Intuit desktop products cost between about $ 50 and $ 90. A basic Quickbooks Online account starts at $ 120 a year. In case you are just sick of Intuit, there are other possibilities. These websites are HelloWallet.com, Yodlee.com and GnuCash.org.

Intuit math is off

The Quicken Online to Mint migration is hard for numerous. Jonathon Blum at The Street said Mint and Quicken Online just do not get along. Mint and Quicken Online have such a hard time because of different software problems. Data has to go through like it would with a bank or credit card. Half of the accounts moved to Mint from Quicken Online have business transactions lost in there. About 90 percent of info transferred from Quicken Online to mint is accurate. This comes from an Intuit representative. Blum said that 90 percent is a B in grade school and an F in accounting.

Find more info on this subject

Tech Crunch


New York Daily News


The Street


Canada has high hopes in regards to Kestrel pot auto

Kestrel cannabis vehicle a Canadian invention

Green automotive news has received a hit of exciting news. Fast Business indicates that a Calgary, Alberta, business called Motive Industries is bringing a new electric auto with bio-composite design to market in Canada. The Kestrel will hit the avenues with its very green hemp construction. You heard right; it’s a green marijuana auto.

Weed automobile an item of the Hempcar Program

Understandably, the Kestrel has sparked up controversy. We are talking about marijuana, and Americans can’t resist the boogeyman. Canadian activist group Hempcar.org trumpeted a 2001 American road tour of 10,000 miles undertaken by a car comparable to the Kestrel, but not constructed of pot fiber. The experimental vehicle they used ran on hemp biodiesel, which is not currently the case with the Kestrel, although it might eventually come to pass. The U.S. has yet to make cultivating industrial hemp lawful, though, so they won’t know what it is like. Considering the industrial hemp necessary has no psychoactive properties and is not a drug, Hemp-car.org found America’s lack of response bewildering.

With hemp from Alberta Innovates Technology Futures

The Kestrel gets its hemp raw material from a Vegreville, Alberta farm via Alberta Innovates Technology Futures. Hemp for body construction is lightweight, renewable and strong as glass composite, reports Fast Business.When Kestrel nevertheless has a solutions to go before full production, Motive expects they’ll be able to start testing by year’s end.

Back in 1925, Henry Ford knew it would work

”The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like that sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds, sawdust — almost anything,” said Henry Ford to the New York Times nearly 90 years ago, or so Hempcar.org says. ”There is fuel in each bit of vegetable matter that could be fermented”.

Henry Ford most certainly was including hemp in the above discussion. To prove his theory, he made a auto out of hardened hemp fibers and fueled it with ethanol made from hemp biodiesel fuel. Ford could have saved the country’s farmers from the grip of the Good Depression. It would benefit Ford tremendously and revive American agriculture. However, Congress eventually passed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Once the DuPont company and newspaper uber-baron William Randolph Hearst had their say, hemp was buried beneath pages of unnecessary laws. Ford’s path of innovation was closed.

More on this topic

Fast Company






Saturday, August 28, 2010

Helium, not around for long for this world

If you think all helium does is make you sound like Donald Duck, pay attention. Helium has its role in cooling and cleaning various high-tech machinery from MRI machines to nuclear reactors. Most people just know that helium is a cheap way to give lift to birthday balloons. But it might not be cheap for long, reports The Independent – helium supplies are fading fast. The birthday balloons may fall to earth in our lifetime.

The situation without having helium

In 1996, Congress voted in favor of the Helium Privatization Act – and America’s supply has dwindled at a high rate of speed ever since. Helium became cheap as a result. That’s why supplies have dwindled. The 1996 law also requires that all the helium in the United States of America National Helium Reserve near Amarillo, Texas, be sold by 2015, regardless of market price. Similar circumstances exist worldwide for helium, making it seem as though humanity wants to cut off its nose to spite its face.

Exactly what is the big problem with loss of helium?

Hospitals use liquid helium to cool their MRI scanners. Terrorists are tracked via radiation-powered devices that require helium for operation. Birthday balloon individuals should know that nuclear reactors require helium-3 isotopes in order to operate safely. Then you will find wind tunnels that use helium. Surely you would like your outdoor products like automobiles and umbrellas properly tested for safety. NASA even uses helium for safely removing rocket fuel. The risk of explosion is lessened considerably. It could all be gone in 25 to 30 years, as outlined by experts in the know about helium.

According to Nobel laureate and Cornell University physics professor Robert Richardson, “Once helium is released into the atmosphere within the form of party balloons or boiling helium, it is lost to the Earth forever”.

Helium comes from where?

Nuclear fusion from the Sun and also the slow radioactive decay of terrestrial rock are the two means by which helium is made. Earth’s supply comes from the latter method, of course. It can be created by no other means, according to scientists. Waiting around for natural processes to produce more helium will take billions of years, so that option is off the table.

Get ready to spend $ 100 for a balloon filled with helium

Prof. Richardson sees the gravity of the helium situation, and suggests that prices be raised to slow the depletion. If helium becomes 20 to 50 times more expensive than the current rate (15 cubic feet of helium cost about $40 in 2009), motivation to recycle the gas would greatly increase. Thus, expect that a helium-filled Mylar balloon could cost as much as $ 100. There is no other way.

More on this topic

Helium Privatization Act


The Independent


University of Denver study on helium


Friday, August 27, 2010

Salmonella egg recall expanding; Congress launches investigation

Congress interested in Salmonella egg recall that continues

Friday was the day that more producers of Iowa eggs were added to the egg recall list. A total of half a billion eggs are recalled after nationwide salmonella outbreak that has sickened about 1,000 people in 10 states, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Salmonella outbreaks have caused concern by Congress. Congress has decided an investigation needs to be launched. The FDA was given permission to come up with federal egg safety rules that started on July 9. FDA officials said if the new food safety rules had been in effect the salmonella outbreak could are prevented.

Egg producer expected for this

Wright County Egg recalled 380 million eggs, says the FDA, when the largest egg recall ever recorded started last week. One more 180 million eggs were recalled by Hillendale Farms. Quality Egg, supplied by Hillendale, was shown to have salmonella cases by the FDA. CNN reports that Monday the House Energy and Commerce Committee submitted a request for documents from both companies. Wright County Egg and Quality Egg are owned by the DeCoster agribusiness empire in the Midwest and Northeast. DeCoster has always been shady. Numerous were concerned about the business and the way it was being run. 10 civil counts of animal cruelty in Maine were what Jack DeCoster was accused of. He pleaded guilty to these in June. In 1996, DeCoster paid a $ 3.6 million fine after being accused of running a sweatshop for minority workers at a Maine chicken farm. DeCoster was accused of dumping hog manure in 2000. This led Iowa’s attorney general to call DeCoster a “habitual viola! tor” of state environmental laws.

New safety rules for making eggs

July 9 was when there was a change in who inspected egg producers. Until then, the responsibility was solely the USDA’s. About 2,000 reports of illness have been traced to salmonella between May and July, which is nearly 3 times the typical figure, as outlined by the Centers for Disease control. The Wall Street Journal reports that the FDA and the USDA now share inspection duties. Farms now have to test eggs and facilities for salmonella along with safeguarding feed and water from contamination and chicks and hens have to be bought from those who monitor salmonella. One year of leeway is given to farms right now.

Get your egg hot with salmonella

Consumers are being advised to throw out or take back eggs in cartons stamped with certain packing dates and location codes. Almost always there is worry about salmonella when eating a raw egg. The Los Angeles Times was told this by a salmonella expert. You won’t be able to easy discover out if your egg has salmonella. It is not detectable by taste, smell or looks. Eating eggs sunny side up helps one get salmonella poisoning along with making things like hollandaise sauce. Fully cooking eggs will kill any salmonella bacteria. The yolk needs to be cooked all the way. You will be fine if the egg is pasteurized. If your eggs are on the recall list, you’d better be safe than sorry. Just take the eggs back and get you money.

More on this topic



Wall Street Journal


Los Angeles Times

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Vehicles could additionally become stars

A vehicle from a big movie or TV series could become as famous as the stars of that movie or sequence are. A automobile exactly like the one in the famous show is a star in its own way at times. These cars can hold good value over the years. Sometimes, it is deliberate. Hollywood has no compunction about using “product placement” to boost sales for vehicle makers.

Scenes are easy to steal behind the right wheel

Chances are just about anybody can think of a couple of famous autos from TV or film that have a special place in their hearts. Some individuals even purchase a car based a movie they saw this summer or remember from their youth. Here’s a small list of some legendary vehicles.

  • The Chevy Camaro. Camaros are in lots of movies and shows. There was a recent “Lost” auction of props and other things from the show. One of the lots was a Camaro from various episodes. The sales for the brand new Camaro was probably boosted a lot by the vintage and brand new models in the “Transformers” film series.
  • Ford Mustang – Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” famously drove a 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback. Other famous Mustangs contain a 1967 Shelby GT500 and a 1973 Mach 1 from the remake and original, respectively, of “Gone in 60 Seconds.” The 2001 Mustang even had a “Bullitt” factory mod.
  • The DeLorean DMC – 12; the only automobile ever made by DeLorean was made a star by “Back to the Future”. When it came out, though, it wasn’t the smash hit the movie was. It was considered an underpowered mechanical lemon that happened to look cool.
  • The Dodge Charger; A Charger was chasing Steve McQueen’s GT Fastback in “Bullitt,” jumped the bridges Uncle Jesse advised were out in “The Dukes of Hazard” as the “General Lee,” and was the villain’s automobile within the latter half of Quentin Tarantino’s “Deathproof.”
  • The Pontiac Trans Am. The ridiculously fast Firebird package was “KITT” within the “Knight Rider” series and featured heavily in “Smokey and also the Bandit” as Burt Reynolds’ auto of choice.

One film series along with a automobile producer possess a special Bond. James Bond

No car, before or since, has come anywhere near to the iconic status of the Aston Martin DB5. An auction held several years ago had as one of the lots a DB5 that was actually used within the film “Goldfinger.” It went for over $2 million. James Bond flirts almost as much with Aston Martin as he does with Moneypenny. ”Goldfinger” made the auto famous. The auto also made it into “Goldeneye” and “Casino Royale”. A late 60s DBS was in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” The newer generation of Aston Martins, such as the Vanquish, were featured in “Casino Royale,” “Die An additional Day,” and “Quantum of Solace”. No one expects the link between Bond and Aston Martin to die. The motion picture series might have given the car maker the Midas Touch.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apple seeks patent to stop everyone jailbreaking iPhones

Jailbreaking iPhones with Apple patent

Copyright laws say jailbreaking your iPhone is currently legal , even though Apple is pretty mad about all of the stuff going on with their iPhone devices they have put together. Apple wants their technology to be exclusive to itself. The Register made reports on the patent apple seeks that can be “covering an elaborate series of methods.” This will make certain to “protect iPhone owners from thieves” or anyone else a user wants from their iPhone. The patent is called “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device,” and will make sure a user’s iPhone gets locked down supposedly with jailbreaking exploits.

Jailbroken iPhones can offer up data to prying eyes

Apple has an excellent story when trying to convince individuals not to jailbreak their iPhones. This is that personal info is available to identity thieves when an iPhone has been jailbroken. Private data such as geotagging or also being able to turn on an iPhone’s camera is easier when the iPhone has been jailbroken, says Apple. If the patent is approved, Apple would be able to tag and lock down any jailbroken iPhone it detects – and also the business says it’s for the user’s own good.

Apple and Big Brother one in the same

If a user’s iPhone suddenly shows a rise in memory usage, The Register suggests, then Apple could identify the phone as having been jailbroken, as such activity is, in Apple’s estimation, consistent with hacking programs. Unlocking an iPhone means it can be used on other networks besides AT and T. If the patent goes through, Apple can be able to detect which of its phones do that as well. ”Thieves in transit” is what Apple is trying to detect when tapping an iPhone’s accelerometer. This helps Apple determine, as outlined by the Register, which iPhones have “fraudulent use.” Thus, the company believes that such new security measures as required voice-print identification is necessary, although technical experts and consumer rights groups are having a field day with that idea.

Who can active your iPhone camera with this patent?

Apple will be able to activate your iPhone camera if the patent is approved. Imagine yourself in a world where Steve Jobs can see what you are doing at any time. It is just a little scary to think of Apple having the power to watch you all the time. Is that really something you want? Steve Jobs could know more about your life than anything else at that point.

Further reading

The Register


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fugitives exercise comes to an end as Casslyn Welch and John McCluskey behind bars

Two of the most wanted criminals within the nation, Casslyn Welch and John McCluskey, are arrested. For some reason, you will find repeated comparisons to Bonnie and Clyde. They escaped from an Arizona State prison about a month ago. They’ve been on the run ever since. Places the two were thought to have been spotted in ranged from Yellowstone National Park to Arkansas. The two were captured because a Park Ranger called in their vehicle’s license plate in an AZ state park.

Park Ranger makes the difference

A Forest Service Park Ranger was patrolling the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. The park ranger found a campsite, with a suspiciously parked car, as outlined by ABC, which he called in to have checked out. When it came back stolen, he alerted police. Officers arrived to take them into custody, and they found the people who had the automobile were the two criminals. They were arrested peacefully. John McCluskey said that he would have fired on police had he not been caught off guard. Casslyn Welch, his fiancé and also his cousin, went peacefully also.

The actual hunt is actually off

John McCluskey and Casslyn Welch didn’t break out alone. Inmates Daniel Renwick and Tracy Province went with them. Province and Renwick were captured soon after, and McCluskey and Welch were spotted in Yellowstone National Park and in Butte, Mon. Butte was the last sighting of the two. McCluskey and Welch are thought to be connected to the murder of Gary and Linda Haas in New Mexico, according to the Associated Press. The bodies of the Haases were found in their burnt trailer around Aug. 4. The stolen car Welch and McCluskey were driving had New Mexico plates.

A lot more like Stalin and Hitler as compared to Bonnie and Clyde

For some reason, people idolize violent criminals. These two have been compared to Bonnie and Clyde. The actual Bonnie and Clyde weren’t romantic at all. Clyde was supposedly gay, and they robbed banks before the FDIC existed, so the very same people they were stealing from were the ones rooting for them. They are violent criminals, and it is better they go back to behind bars. The ranger who called police is to be commended.

Discover more info about this subject

ABC News

acnews.go.com/US/bonnie-clyde-fugitives-john-mccluskey-casslyn-welch-captured/story?id=11442877 and page=1

Google News


Calling 888-5-OPTOUT can save you from identity theft

The mail might be the place to discover all of your pre-approved credit offers, especially if your bankruptcy has gone through. There doesn’t have to be all the customers given to the “buy now, pay later ” philosophy. Call 888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) and you’ll be safe from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian in their offers. This is beneficial not only for consumers looking to rebuild their credit without the need for emergency money, but for those who would prefer to give perpetrators of identity theft less ammunition.

No more credit card offers with 888-5-OPTOUT

888-5-OPTOUT calls help anybody who needs to stop all of the direct marketing that comes their way. The mail won’t bring you offers for credit products such as credit cards any more. Your home line is needed and your social security will be asked for also. The Federal Trade Commission has recommended this meaning it is safe to give out these numbers.

Letters are another way

Similar to the 888-5-OPTOUT telephone option, consumers can opt-out of pre-approved credit offers and related advertising via mail. This is what a letter can look like. Make certain that your request is sent to all 3 credit bureaus:

Equifax, Inc.
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123

901 West Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521
Attn: Consumer Services Department

Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094

Why numerous were previously confused with 888-5-OPTOUT

Details that wasn’t quite clear was sent with an email that talked about how great 888-5-OPTOUT really is. As outlined by the email, info would be given to “anyone who requests it” unless you opted out with the number. Clearinghouse reports that this was not true considering the laws it would have broken, being the Financial Services Modernization Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 888-5-OPTOUT is not connected to either of these laws which is what was confusing. This means the controversy didn’t matter.

The take-away here is that 888-5-OPTOUT is a useful tool for consumers. Avoid the credit card trap, keep away from identity theft and perhaps you’ll be in a position where you won’t need a bad credit score loans.

Find more information on this subject

CBS Money Watch



ftc.gov/privacy/protect.shtm”>Federal Trade Commission

Privacy Rights

privacyrights.org/ar/optout_truth.htm”>Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Opt out of junk mail


Clickjacking is another social network scam but for Facebook

Clickjacking is one more social network scam but for Facebook

This has been a busy week for Facebook scams. Today Facebook warned users about a new clickjacking scam that milks $ 5 a week from cell phone accounts by exploiting Facebook’s “Share” feature. It appears that Facebook has let the clickjacking scam and dislike scam emerge together. Facebook buttons that don’t really exist, like the likejacking scam last May, are what these scams use. Facebook users can protect themselves against the growing list of scams by learning how to recognize typical red flags.

How to Facebook clickjack

Friends are told to click on the posts, posted to their profile, with the Facebook clickjacking scam. PC World explains:

A user clicks a link to a Facebook page for “10 Funny T-Shirt Fails” for example. Once on the page, a message says Facebook’s new three-step human verification process is required to see the content. On step two, users are asked to click the “Next” button. The Next button is a dummy. Hidden underneath is a real Share button. When users click Next to get to the final step, they actually post that page to their profile wall. Lured to step three, users are asked for personal information to enter a contest. Among other things, the survey asks for a cell phone number. Down in the survey’s fine print it says providing the data tacks an extra $ 5 per week onto the users cell phone bill for a service called “The Awesome Test.”

Facebook also had the dislike button scam

The Facebook dislike button scam only ended up happening because users wanted the button. There is no “dislike” button on Facebook. Walletpop reports the scam involves a bogus “Dislike” button designed to install malicious spyware for identity theft. The bogus button appears with a message: “Get the official DISLIKE button now,” followed by a link. An “install” page is where you head next. Users would automatically get a dislike button if it were real. Installing it simply means letting the application run like it needs to. Then they are asked to complete a survey — the exact same trick used within the Facebook clickjacking scam.

Watch out for Facebook scams

The clickjacking scam on any fan pages meant an automatic removal from Facebook. Anyone who filled out the survey should call their cell phone company. As outlined by Reuters, Facebook users should be looking for different patterns of these scams. Be skeptical and use common sense. Status updates from individuals that seem odd or out of the ordinary should be ignored. The way the message was written, and just how it was delivered, will help you with this. Apps like the “Official Dislike Button” won’t be needed for Facebook to give you something. Going from Facebook to another site is always a good sign of a scam.

More on this topic

PC World


Wallet Pop




Sunday, August 22, 2010

U.S. News college rankings

Tuesday was when the U.S. News college rankings came out: Harvard is yet again the top. Princeton is in second place … once more. On a podium bearing a distinct Ivy League bias, Yale is number three. Those are just the national college rankings: A predictable list of well-moneyed heavyweights that is often criticized as meaningless by folks in academia. However, the U.S. News Best Colleges 2011 offers a useful matrix that students and parents can use to help decide which school is best for them, despite the fact that some higher education pundits would disagree.

U.S. News vs. World Report

The U.S. News college rankings sort schools into categories for comparison. The highest level of degrees conferred by discipline is how the Best Colleges 2011 groups all of the colleges and universities in America. The four main categories, National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges, were what the 1,400 and more schools were divided into. Regional categories were essential for Regional Universities and Regional colleges using North, West, South and Midwest as the categories. Each school had data on 16 indicators of academic quality gathered. The total score is how colleges get ranked.

General Motors returns towards the black side of the books

Higher education has many things such as the U.S. News and World Report college rankings. Because of the Princeton top party schools, the Princeton Review is noticed with its comprehensive evaluation of schools. Usually there is more seriousness when referring to the U.S. News Best Colleges 2011. CNN’s MoneyWatch had Lynn O’Shaughnessy say the whole thing is a joke. She writes that U.S. News doesn’t try to measure the type of learning taking place at schools across the country. Instead U.S. News and World Report is simply conducting a high-stakes beauty contest, where 25 percent of each school’s score is depending solely on its reputation.

Important to remember value

U.S. News college rankings have put either Harvard or Princeton in the number 1 spot for 10 years. David Gura at NPR explains that getting on top with college rankings doesn’t matter to most. Colleges have less money, making for spending budget cuts and enrollment caps. There is a wider range of students applying. College admissions are more competitive than ever. Ranking a college for the U.S. News involves considering alumni giving, faculty resources, freshman retention, graduation and academic reputation. But within the increasingly costly world of higher education, finding value is still one of probably the most important — if not the most essential — factors in choosing a school

Further reading

U.S. News and World Report


CBS Money Watch



npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/08/17/129248940/what-do-best-college-rankings-tell-us?ft=1 and amp;f=103943429 and amp;sc=tw and amp;utm_source=twitterfeed and amp;utm_medium=twitter

Only one guilty verdict given to Rod Blagojevich

The trial of disgraced former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich has just concluded. After two weeks of deliberation, the grand jury returned only a single guilty verdict. One count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation was given to Blagojevich. Since he gave false statements to the government, five years in prison might be given, although sentencing hasn't happened yet. Federal prosecutors have already announced they fully intend to re-try Blagojevich.

Verdict took two weeks to decide

Because he was trying to sell the seat in the U.S. Senate vacated by Barack Obama on surveillance, Rod Blagojevich got arrested two years ago. This led him to be impeached and removed from office. 24 accusations of corruption were charged against him. After two weeks, the jury, which had been mostly deadlocked before then, came back with only one clear verdict. Mistrial was announced for 23 of the accounts while he was considered guilty of giving statements that were lies to the FBI.

U.S. Attorney wants a retrial

According to the New York Times, officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office said they’ll try to retry Blagojevich. He did get convicted of lying to the FBI. Up to $ 250,000 in a fine or five years in prison will be given to him because of this federal crime. Some individuals may be hoping for both.

Blagojevich as stereotype in Chicago

Politics in Chicago, Illinois have just been expected to be corrupt. Rod Blagojevich has a previous governor, George Ryan, who was convicted after being removed from office. Ryan was convicted of corruption putting him in federal prison. Rod Blagojevich has an additional possible trial in his future making it hard to say where he'll end up. Five years in prison could be where his life goes.

Android OS causes problems when Oracle sues Google over copyright issues

While Google Android smartphone sales may have passed the iPhone worldwide in the second quarter of 2010, it doesn’t take an Oracle to see that there’s trouble ahead for the company whose unofficial motto is “Do no evil.”. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Android OS violates Oracle’s Java copyrights which is why Oracle Corp. is suing Google Inc.. The suit makes it seem like Google’s founder, previous Sun chief technology officer, Eric Schmidt, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison are enemies. Oracle became the owner of the company that made Java, Sun, in January 2010. The Android Smartphone also as hundreds of other electronic devices use Java. Article resource – Oracle sues Google over Android OS copyright violations by Personal Money Store.

All damages sued for in Oracle lawsuit

WSJ explains that the Oracle lawsuit would like “unspecific damages and an injunction against ‘continued acts of infringement’ by Google.” Google has not officially responded to Oracle’s lawsuit yet, but it had been widely assumed that it was allowed to use free open-source Java licenses, as Sun traditionally authorized use of such licenses. However, no licensing deal between Oracle and Google had been officially announced. If the California court decides to grant the injunction, developers would be barred from creating applications for Android OS while any and all Android shipments would cease.

Protecting all of your intellectual property

The Journal interviewed tech analyst Ray Wang who said that the Oracle “takes a lot more care in terms of protecting its IP, and Java is one of the crown jewels of the Sun acquisition,” although Sun would traditionally be respectful of open-source software and free exchange of ideas. PC World thinks the Oracle is scared because if its tax evasion which is why it needs its IP. Now that the company is rivaling Google rather than Microsoft, a court system is looked to in order to get some more money flowing in.

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PC World


Wall Street Journal


“Trade the Trend” report on the Oracle-Google lawsuit


These personal finance tips can help you stay away from all that debt

The best way to deal with debt troubles is to keep away from getting into debt. Too many individuals end up owing tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards, student loans or car loans. If you haven’t yet joined the crowd, there’s still time to adjust your personal financial behavior for debt proof living. The best results are found for personal finance with a few key things. Figure out what those things are and focus to them. Stay away from debt with simple financially literate things such as purchasing wholesale, learning about credit card debt and saving some money once in a while. Source for this article – Easy personal finance tips for debt proof living by Personal Money Store.

Starting debt proof living

One of the most basic tenets of financial literacy will help you one of the most: understanding credit card debt. The “power of 50″ is discussed by Practical money Skills. Eight years can be required to pay off a card that has a $ 3,000 balance with 18 percent APR which only required a 2 percent minimum pay of $ 60 a month. To settle the card, you pay $ 5,780 instead of the $ 3,000 you at first had intended on. But if you are able to pay an additional $ 50 per month for a total payment of $ 110 you will pay it faster and leave less money for the credit card company to charge interest on. The result: the debt is gone in 3 years and more than $ 1,800 in interest payments has been saved.

Conserve your money just a drop at a time

Saving money is easier than you think. Things like car repairs are what you conserve money in an emergency fund. Saving money for something you really want is a good idea since you are able to better appreciate it. Succeed by starting small, recommends ehow.com. You can simply pay $ 20 to savings every time you get paid. You may be interested to see how fast it climbs. You may conserve a lot more when do simple things like making your own coffee or using your own refillable water bottle. You need to try adding what you spend every week on water bottles and coffee together. You are able to save a ton with that simple step.

Buy your stuff at wholesale

Buy your stuff at wholesale with wholesale prices and stop using the extra man in the middle. Purchase wholesale and conserve money at essorment.com with its tips. Go ahead and ask your local wholesalers if they sell to the general public. Sample sales can really help when you are trying to get wholesale stuff. If you’ve friends who are interior designers, contractors or beauticians who can buy wholesale, offer to buy their lunch if you are able to go with them next time they shop. Buying around is always good. Even a simple torn box might mean a price markdown. You will always be able to find prices cheaper with just a little work.

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Practical Money Skills






Saturday, August 21, 2010

Video games help U.S. economy

Video games have come a long way since Pong, Pac Man and Space Invaders. Economists incorporated decided to do a study for Entertainment Software Association that was called “Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2010 Report." This study showed that in 2009, there was $ 5 billion added to help the economy from the video game industry. The U.S. economy was shown up by the industry which grew between 2005 and 2009 10 percent.

More jobs with video games

Job creation has been going at a “rapid pace" when making “an significant contribution to our nation’s economy when stimulating technological innovations and expanding the impact of games on our daily lives," says ESA CEO Michael Gallagher. The survey shows us that 32,000 have jobs with video games typically with an average salary of $ 89,781. More than 120,000 people have jobs because of video games.

A lot in California

California is the largest employer of video game industry workers. In just 2009, $ 2.6 billion was given to direct and indirect employees for compensation. The state got about $ 2.1 billion in just revenue.

Texas has 13,613 employees with Washington at 11,225. Virginia also showed tremendous growth from 2005 to 2009, expanding its video game industry presence by a whopping 77 percent.

Why entertainment is so valuable

Families tend to buy less entertainment things in a recession. Consoles cost between $ 200 and $ 500 for video game systems. This is why seems like costly to work with video games. Also, games themselves will still cost between $ 20 and $ 60. Since movie prices have gone up, seems like like video games might be better considering one can spend between 40 and 100 hours playing most of the games bought. Hand-eye coordination gets much better along with development when using video games. Plus the video game industry has had good effects on the U.S. economy.

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Washington State Lt. Gov. Brad Owen knows ‘Pong’


Terror babies - Sleeper agents in diapers threaten U.S. security

Illegal immigrants having children in the U.S. are called “terror babies” by Texas Republicans who would like for the U.S. constitution to repeal the 14th amendment. The 14th amendment grants U.S. citizenship to all persons born on American soil. Texas congressman Louie Gohmert and state representative Debbie Riddle said that pregnant illegal immigrants come to the U.S. and have babies on the taxpayer’s dime. Then they take their little U.S. citizens home to be trained as deadly sleeper agents, who return as an adults to attack from within.

The terror babies conspiracy

CNN’s Anderson Cooper talked all about the conspiracy theory about terror babies. Texas Republicans Riddle and Gohmert claimed they got the information about the terror babies from conversations with “former FBI officials.”. Gohmert wants the 14th amendment to be changed which is why terror babies were brought up. Riddle explains that immigrant women have children in America “with the nefarious purpose of turning them into little terrorists, who will then come back to the U.S. and do us harm.”

When pressed by Cooper, neither could provide any evidence of the existence of terror babies. Riddle complained on camera that before the taping no one warned her that she would have to come up with actual facts during the interview.

Law makes this scenario unlikely

Think Progress explains that these terror babies are unlikely to exist considering U.S. law. It can be very hard just to get a simple U.S. visa. An officer at the U.S. embassy has to interview these people who will provide evidence of their trip purpose, fingerprints and photos. The purpose in the country is typically to work for those immigrant women who do really have kids in the U.S. who become American citizens.

Anchor babies a slow boat to citizenship

The terror babies idea is an escalated perversion of the “anchor babies” talking point used by Republican senators who argue the 14th amendment needs to be rewritten to curb automatic “birthright citizenship.” It isn’t easier becoming a U.S. citizen by having an anchor baby within the U.S., reports PolitiFact. More than 30 years are wasted in this process. Until kids are 21, children can’t sponsor their parents within the country. Before applying to re-enter the U.S., parents have to then return home for 10 years.

FBI evidence a fabrication}

Cooper interviewed on CNN Tom Fuentes, FBI’s assistant director in international operations from 2004 to 2008, following the terror babies story came out from Gohmert and Riddle. Fuentes said there was never a credible report on terror babies. The Texas Tribune got on this with Elise Hu who wanted to learn about any records made between a former FBI agent and Riddle. Apparently the records were never made.

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Think Progress




Mobile phones - Do they cause fuel pump fires?

Gasoline fires are no laughing matter, even if people do find the strangest ways to endanger themselves with the increasingly expensive petroleum product. One Daytona Beach, Fla., man gave himself second degree burns, and all because he thought it was a good idea to replace his car’s fuel tank with a plastic fuel can – then move the can to a space under the hood, next to the engine. It’s stranger than fiction. Then there is the old story about cell phones and gas pump fires. Has this ever happened, or is it merely an urban legenddesigned to frighten hapless motorists? Article source – Do cell phones cause fires at the gas pump by Car Deal Expert.

Cell phone lies burning up the Internets

According to urban legend investigative website Snopes.com, it is a myth that cell phones cause fuel pump fires. Cell phone manuals may have some token verbiage on the subject, but for one of the most part, Snopes has found that there is no hard science behind the idea that cellular signals cause gas pump fires. Sure, it may sound feasible – electromagnetic waves producing a static charge that ignites the gasoline vapor – but you will find simply no cases to back it up. Do not fire up the smartphone around your cousin’s iron lung or during takeoff from Istanbul, but it seems to be safe to use it around the gas pump. China and Indonesia have supposedly had their share of flare ups, but Snopes.com tracked those yarns down to an Internet meme from 1999. Years later, “Mythbusters” burned the whole story to the ground.

’Shell Oil’ sounded the alarm

A group claiming to be the Shell Oil Company circulated a warning in June 2002. They cited 3 examples that sounded specific enough to be real. The erroneous claim made in the e-mail message is that all a cellular phone has to do is ring to emit an EM pulse powerful enough to ignite gasoline fumes in the air (such as those produced at the gasoline pump). Yes, cell phone batteries may be of the exact same voltage (12 V) as car batteries, but that doesn’t mean cellular batteries emit the exact same amount of current. There was once a circulating claim that cell phones use “more than 100 volts,” but that seems to have been a rumor traced back to the traditional land-line telephone industry during the first phases of competition with the emerging cellular industry.

Needless to say, Shell Oil denied they’d ever produced the message.

When being careful is more than the situation calls for

Even if a gasoline station tank does go up – it has happened – cellular phones cannot be connected. Talk away, but be sure to get the gasoline in the tank, rather than on your shoes; distraction can be a bad thing.

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Daytona Beach News-Journal




Friday, August 20, 2010

Groupawn tries to live on nothing but Groupon coupons for a year

Groupons are assisting the lifestyle of Josh Stevens for a year. Earlier this year the online coupon company threw down the gauntlet with the Groupon Challenge. Groupon challenged all comers to see if they could live off nothing but unlimited free Groupons for 12 months. Stevens took them up on it. Living life as the “Groupawn,” he’s about a quarter of the way through his year of travelling the country chasing Groupon deals for his basic needs. The necessities of life can include yoga classes, carriage rides and lots of food in Stevens’ Groupon world.

Groupon blog tracks discounted adventures

Former corporate auditor Stevens accepted the Groupon challenge in May and left his cubicle behind. He told CNN that he started with one pair of shoes, socks, underwear and a paper suit made of Groupons. Groupon gave him a laptop, camera, internet card and phone.Stevens is supplied with online coupons that can be used for sleeping, eating and buying, but he’s not allowed to get his hands on money of any kind. He must travel solo and only five visits from family or friends, lasting no more than a day, are allowed.As he barters his way across the country using Groupon coupons, his exploits can be reviewed in the Groupawn blog.

Groupawn guy gains in popularity

If Stevens completes the challenge, he wins $ 100,000. Last weekend, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel caught up with Stevens.He was passing through in pursuit of the next Groupon deal. Stevens told the Sentinel that he thought he would have to do a lot more bartering on the street. He said individuals want to pitch in and help when he tells them about his adventures.He showed up in Milwaukee after pursuing Groupon offers for just a little more than three months in several United States of America cities including Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York.

The Groupon business model – buying in

On the Groupon site, daily discounts from local merchants are offered for sale. Groupon sells offers online to about 11 million subscribers in 165 markets from 22 countries. The deal becomes valid when enough individuals purchase in. If the quota is reached, buyers get links to print out their Groupons. If the sales quota falls short, the offer is pulled. If the offer is cancelled, the charges are voided.

Groupons can catch a business off guard

The Groupon business model has been so successful that the Chicago Tribune said more than 500 Groupon clones have emerged online. But selling Groupon coupons can go haywire for an unprepared business . The Tribune reports that a growing list of local merchants have been overwhelmed by the Groupon response. A Chicago bagel company’s Groupon promotion cost $ 3 for an $ 8 voucher good for any menu item. Local subscribers to Groupon snapped up $ 10,000 coupons. The bagel shop netted about $ 15,000 on food that would have sold at a regular price of about $ 80,000, after splitting the take with Groupon.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Chicago Tribune


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stashitwear foils pickpockets which makes drug dealers happy

If you live or have ever traveled in countries where petty theft is conducted openly on busy streets, you know it is important to take protective methods against pickpockets. A travel belt makes you an clear “tourist” when you put your money and identification in them for safe keeping. It can really help to get Stashitwear which is designed comfortable to those who have had it. Drug trafficking may become much easier with a hidden compartment in underwear, which is the law officials’ concern. Article resource – Stashitwear foils pickpockets, but pleases drug dealers by Personal Money Store.

Drugs, weapons concealed with Stashitwear

According to the Wall Street Journal, Police in New York have found that small amounts of narcotics and small caliber firearms are being kept in Stashitwear by drug dealers. Suspects have to be searched better with this according to Police Captain Vincent Pattie of Brooklyn, New York. Stashitwear owner Phillip Scott, 55, told the WSJ that none of his customers gave “even a hint at illegal activity for their purchases.”

Scott’s answer is not enough for Patti.

“A lot of drugs or a small .38 or .22 caliber handgun… They’re not advertising these things for drug dealers but they have to know they’re going to be used by some people who break the law.”

Stash it in style

Florida-based Stashitwear and comparable secret-compartment underwear companies offer styles ranging from briefs and boxers to thongs. A wholesale purchase is much cheaper, says Scott, than the $14 paid for one pair. The pocket could be 12 inches deep depending on the size of the garment while it can accessed through an eight inch opening in the waistband.

Stashitwear explains the pocket goes from front to back which “basically makes your whole crotch area a secret place for your valuables.”

Changes occur by Scott on the Stashitwear site

Personality was what Scott was thinking when posting a country picture of himself on the Stashitwear website. Since the Wall Street Journal contacted him following NYPD concern over the product, Scott put on sunglasses and business dress clothes for a new photo. Of course, underwear with a hidden compartment are still there.

Further reading

Wall Street Journal


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Closing costs increasing for mortgages

Greater closing costs on mortgages

Closing costs are part of any mortgage, and they’re assessed when you either sell the home or pay down the mortgage. The costs can be considerable, and the average closing cost nationally is a number of times more than the average payday advance. The national average for closing costs has been going up. You will find more costs and regulations involved for real estate lenders, and it might be awhile before the real estate industry has totally recovered.

Where closing costs are the greatest

According to Bankrate, one of the most costly state within the union for closing costs is New York. The closing costs people pay in New York would have just about anyone hard up for a cash loan advance. In New York, it costs $ 5,623 in closing costs on a $ 200,000 mortgage. It’s too bad there isn’t closing cost modification to go with mortgage loan modification. Most people would have to look into getting a personal bank loan for those kind of costs, as not every person has enough instant cash on hand to pay that much. After New York, the most costly states were Utah, Texas, California, and Alaska.

Closing costs rise nationwide

Since last year, closing costs for mortgage loans went up by 36.6 percent. Lender costs rose 22.8 percent, and third party fees went up 47.2 percent. The average for this year went up to $ 3,741 from last year’s $ 2,739. The increase of $ 1,000 is about three times more than the normal loan until payday. As the market has become somewhat depressed, getting funding together for mortgage loans is a harder thing these days. There are also more rules governing numerous aspects of consumer finance.

There is more cost to lenders

The costs for lenders has also gone up, which is part of what fueled the fee increase. Mortgage lenders are required to estimate what the closing costs will be, and if they lowball the estimate they get fined. As outlined by the Los Angeles Times, the Federal Reserve just made it illegal for brokers to get incentive payments on selling higher interest rates to customers. However, if turning a profit depends entirely on bilking the consumer, then change is needed to a business.

Read more on this topic here



LA Times


Prop 8 stay granted by Judge

Judge in California grants Prop 8 stay

The California initiative that banned gay marriage in California, called Proposition 8, was overturned by Judge Vaught Walker causing a hold on new marriages taking place to get a hold. He then made the decision today to extend the hold on same sex marriages. It is expected that the defense for Prop 8 will appeal the ruling.

Prop 8 not eliminated because of Judge

Judge Vaughn Walker anticipated that his overturn of Proposition 8 would be appealed. He decided to enjoin same sex marriages from taking place and give Prop 8 defenders the chance to appeal the case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Walker placed an injunction on any further same sex marriages Aug. 4, to determine how long the injunction should last. The injunction granted today will only last till August 18. If the defense from Perry v. Schwarzenegger don’t appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by Aug. 18, very same sex marriages will resume.

Lacking a realistic basis

Prop 8, as outlined by Walker, hasn’t a legal basis for not accepting same sex couples to “marry” instead of being called a “civil union” or “domestic partnership.” He decided Prop 8 violated the 14th amendment which was also held up in Griswold v. Connecticut and Loving v. Virginia. Upon announcing his ruling, he stayed the ruling on Prop 8 to give defenders ample time to appeal.

Where the case is to go

To appeal a decision, one must go to the Federal courts, or the Court of Appeals, and California is within the Ninth Circuit for that. (Their circuit is the largest in the U.S.) Once the decision is made within the Court of Appeals, then it can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. The case may or may not be taken by Appellate courts. Six days is the time frame proponents have to decide whether or not to appeal.

More on this topic

LA Times




Different kinds of debt consolidation

Different kinds of debt consolidation

Many want to divest their debt when the economy is so bad. Trying to get a better interest rate with a mortgage loan modification is an idea while many nevertheless settle their additional debts by just getting a second mortgage. The market began to tank making many of the strategies fail miserably. It is hard to discover somebody who you can trust to help you get true debt settlement relief when it is so rare to find. Resource for this article – Not all debt consolidation is created equal by Personal Money Store.

Fixing debt with more debt?

Many people had credit card debt, or other outstanding debts, they’d pay by applying for a second mortgage or refinancing before the economy tanked. This is like borrowing debt from one to pay the debt of one more. If you are able to get a mortgage refinanced to the market rate, at the moment less than 5 percent, that can be helpful. However, according to Newsday, that is if you have the credit rating to qualify. So if you have any negative dings on your credit score, you may not be able to get a cash advance from your budget with a lower rate if you can’t qualify.

Steer clear of wolfish debt counselors

Be careful of who you let take your debt and consolidate it. You may be better off if you get a personal loan to do it yourself. You are able to get help doing this from non-profit organizations like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. There is no charge for the services meaning you are able to get out of debt without an extra payday loan. Also, getting a debt consolidation loan at a higher rate of interest than the debt you already have because of your credit rating guarantees paying more in the end.

Dirty debt practices stopped by the FTC

For a long time there has been talk of financial reform. One of the big projects for the Federal Trade Commission is quashing crooked debt relief services. The Washington Post explains that customers can’t be charged an introductory fee, and any fees must be disclosed before being charged as well.

Additional reading at these websites

Washington Post




Odd widening with the trade deficit meaning an increase being recorded

Wall Street started going crazy after a trade deficit increase was shown Wednesday by the Commerce Department for the month of June. $ 7.9 billion was how much in June the trade deficit widened. Stocks immediately went down. The trade deficit also led analysts to believe that U.S. economic recovery slowed more than they thought last quarter. The recession could go into a double-dip with the trade deficit so unstable.

June U.S. trade deficit caused by strong dollar

The dollar became much stronger when those within the U.S. decided to start getting more exports from China because they’re cheaper, reports the Commerce Department. May was when the gap went from $ 42.0 billion to $ 49.9 billion. According to the Washington Post, oil prices have dropped meaning the gap should have gotten smaller. In May imports were at $ 194.4 billion. They then rose to $ 200.3 billion in June while more consumer products, auto parts and other things were being bought out of the country. Exports then went down from $ 152.4 billion to $ 150.5 billion. Industrial supplies, food and consumer goods weren’t sold out of the country as much that month.

Trade deficit is not as forecasted

The anticipated trade deficit for June was $ 42.1 billion — the median forecast of 73 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The decline ended up being $ 42.3 billion instead which was a 19 percent decrease. Bloomberg reports the June trade deficit adjusted for inflation, which is the figure used to calculate gross domestic product, increased to $ 54.1 billion, the highest since February 2008 during the worst of the financial crisis. This has caused economists to lower their estimates from 1 to 1.5 percent within the second quarter.

More work needed on unemployment issues}

Economists nevertheless argue whether a double-dip recession is about to occur because of June’s deficit numbers. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the trade deficit isn’t really as much of a problem as U.S. unemployment rates. Nobody cared as much about the deficit in years past when unemployment was not at all an issue. We should focus on consumer demand and business investment to help the economy.

Numerous still think unemployment would decrease with better trade deficits

If global commerce is hurt because the U.S. fixes the trade deficit problem, economists are concerned that economic recovery might just take longer, reports the Monitor article. To others, the trade deficit is a critical problem that must be addressed. Peter Morici, University of Maryland economist, explained that unemployment is about 10 percent in the U.S. while China accounts for almost all of the trade deficit with the oil and consumer goods bought from them.

More on this topic

Washington Post


Elyse Porterfield says Jenny DryErase quitting was a fake

Jenny DryErase and Slater, the Jeblue flight attendant are things many employees have looked towards when it comes to taking care of business with jobs. On Wednesday morning, TheChive.com revealed the whole Jenny DryErase story was a hoax, with actress Elyse Porterfield playing the part of Jenny.

Elyse Porterfield gets hired on by TheChive.com to be a part of a joke

TheChive.com is a humor website run by a team of two brothers. First the “Jenny DryErase” joke was thought up and then done by the boys who hired Elyse Porterfield to play the part. Elyse Porterfield moved to Los Angeles from Colorado and is an actress. She is a fairly cute girl meaning the new Facebook group suggesting “Jenny DryErase” pose for Playboy has a ton of followers already.

Humorous hoaxes in history

The humorous “Jenny DryErase” joke isn’t really the first joke to be based upon off a “real” story that happened. Generally these stories are picked up easily after being posted online. An additional example would be the hoax claiming that Donald Trump left an $82 tip at a restaurant. It can also be seen on TheChive.com’s previous hoax, the “Teen Texting Disaster.”. Either way, it is a formula that has been used many times: take something seemingly real, mix it with something believable but slightly out there and add in a famous figure or attractive woman.

Elyse Porterfield fielding job offers

TheChive gets a lot of advertising to their website from “humor hoaxes” such as this. Elyse Porterfield is working in Los Angeles although she was increasing in Colorado. She gets hired as an Angelina Jolie look-alike sometimes. Her official Facebook page has grown to more than 3,000 “likes,” and seems like she may get even more exposure from this hoax. This job benefits Elyse probably more than it benefits TheChive.com showing that “Jenny DryErase” really was worth the time

Further reading



Monday, August 16, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World reviewers are awestruck

”Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” reviews seem to agree: the hyper-stylized comic book and video game world is a hoot. It’s a world with which veteran video game players – particularly fans of fighters like “Street Fighter” – are well familiar. The augmented or artificial reality of “Scott Pilgrim” tends to sit well with those critics who found something of value within the ultra-violent comic book film “Kick Ass”. Reviews of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” have largely been more good, nevertheless.

’Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ reviews trumpet the wild mix

New artistic forms are born from the fusion of a dizzying array of popular influences in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”. Young musician and professional slacker Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is looking for true love. He finds it in delivery girl Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but there’s a problem – seven problems, to be specific. Scott must take down Ramon’s exes before he can “win” her love. It’s a simplistic plot ripped straight from a video game, and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” pays constant tribute to such games, comics, television shows and other pop-culture artifice in a dizzying fusion. Plot is secondary to the visual style. “Enjoy the ride” appears to be the mantra of critics with good things to say about Pilgrim’s progress.

Review fusion for the Pilgrim in you

The New York Daily News loves the visual flair of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”. It’s a surreal mix that Film.com rightly tabs and on-the-mark for its intended audience of 20-somethings. The nerdiness of Scott Pilgrim himself is also quite appropriate to the video game loving nerdfest mix, says the L.A. Times.

What matters is getting there, not where ‘there’ is

Scott Pilgrim rocks on, and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” reviews generally seem to understand the film. ”It’s the playing that matters,” not who wins the skirmish of exes, says the Los Angeles Times reviewer. The New York Post is one of few major reviewers who don’t feel that’s enough, however. Their review points to a self-satisfied animism. But maybe that misses the point. ”All games, no joystick” is the Post’s verdict, yet judging by box office receipts, people are lining up to play.

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Los Angeles Times


New York Daily News


New York Post


Drug trafficking at an auto dealership

Automotive News reports that illegal drug trafficking at auto dealerships has occurred with increasing frequency in recent years, perpetrated either by less-than-honest employees or corrupt ownership. It seems that “parts is parts” takes on an entirely different meaning when boxes of wiper blades headed for the parts department contains bricks of marijuana.

Drug ring found at Maryland Honda/Volkswagen dealership

According to DealershipForum.com, Maryland police most recently seized 120 pounds of marijuana (worth $ 1.6 million) from a local Honda/Volkswagen dealership. One employee in the parts department was paid $ 100 per illegal delivery. The drug dealer was where he was intended to be sending the drugs. A Detroit-area Mopar Parts Distribution Center was found to have 10 pound bricks of marijuana with a batch of wiper blades, reports Automotive News. Is good help that hard to find, when everybody needs a job?

Auto dealership hijinks

Are these the only cases? Try thinking about it. The Seattle Times tells the story of the previous Huling Brothers Auto Center of Seattle, where money laundering, drug dealing and a smorgasbord of illegal activity allegedly occurred. A Florida auto dealership was getting used by Richard Carlson, who owns Nova Motor Group, as a “massive drug trafficking business,” reports Fox 29 WFLX of Hollywood, Fla.. Apparently Carlson stashed cocaine in SUVs that were shipped to Sweden. In Abington, Massachusetts, a couple partners working with Duane Glenn in a Midway Motors selling cocaine. Marijuana was being sold in this situation also.

The story behind John DeLorean

The DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in 1982 after making luxury sports cars since 1975. In the 1980s, the DeLorean DMC-12 was one of the best cars to get, although John DeLorean could not figure out how to maintain all of its operating capital. Drugs began to be sold be DeLorean as proved in a film. Because entrapment was supposedly used in this, DeLorean was cleared of all charges.

Conserve money with these automobile financing

Further reading

Automotive News


Massachusetts Law enforcement Network


Seattle Times






Man sues Texas auto dealership that sold him ‘drug car’


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Money for grades, thanks to Ultrinsic

New York-based company Ultrinsic’s site now provides college students with a platform where they can take part in what amounts to betting on their own grades. Ultrinsic offers wager tiers ranging from straight A’s to “grade insurance” against bombing out of the semester; all opportunities give students incentives via potential moneymaking. Post resource – Betting on college grades with Ultrinsic by Newystype.com.

Ultrinsic CEO says this isn’t online gambling

Ultrinsic chief executive Steven Wolf wants everyone to know that his business is not an online gambling portal. According to the Associated Press, Wolf makes the distinction between “betting on grades” at Ultrinsic and using a standard online gambling portal- Ultrinsic involves skill, instead of luck. It isn’t gambling, he says, but a platform where students can inspire themselves by investing within the future of their academic career.

”The students have 100 percent control over it, over how they do. Other people’s stuff you bet on – your own stuff you invest in,” said Wolf to the Associated Press. “Everything’s true about it; I’m just trying to say the underlying concept is just a little bit more than just making a bet – it’s really an incentive”.

How Ultrinsic does it

So long as a college student is 18 years old or older, they are eligible to register and begin wagering on their future success in school. Odds are tabulated based upon the student’s past academic history. Based upon upon data provided by participating colleges, odds are also affected by specific course information. The student can wager up to $25 to start, but the cap increases with repeated use of the site. Currently, 36 colleges participate in the Ultrinsic network.

And this isn’t online gambling how?

I. Nelson Rose of Whittier Law School in California identifies standard online gambling as revolving around chance, fees for the broker and small carrots to egg customers into greater wagers. Sometimes, grades are partly influenced by instructor grading theories that prevent A’s from being assigned, for instance. Nevertheless, students are the driving force the vast majority of the time. Thus, luck falls largely by the wayside as skill becomes the prime determinant.

Wolf understands that variables can exist in the grading equation. Student effort reigns supreme. ”The biggest variable is how much effort the student wants to put in,” exclaimed the chief executive. “In general, if anybody would study 10 hours a day consistently for one class, they would get no matter what grade they wanted to get”.

Further reading

Associated Press

articles.moneycentral.msn.com/news/article.aspx?feed=AP and amp;date=20100810 and amp;id=11861854



Border security bill passes while senators are on vacation

Border security bill clears Senate, to become law Friday

A border security bill passed the Senate Thursday and headed for the president’s signature. The Senate, on its August escape, had only two Democrats present to handle the vote. The border security bill allocates $ 600 million to hire more agents and buy more equipment to police the U.S./Mexico border. The federal government has been pressured by border states struggling with drug trafficking and illegal immigration to do something about border security.

Bill pays for 1,500 new border security jobs

The border security bill was passed in a special session convened by the Senate Thursday. The bill passed by unanimous consent, a parliamentary term for a voice vote that does not require the return of the entire Senate chamber. In a rare moment of consensus, Republicans agreed to go along. The Associated Press reports that jobs created by the bill contain 250 more Customs and Border Protection officers, 250 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and 1,000 new Border Patrol agents. Money will even be allocated to new communications gear and more flight hours for unmanned surveillance drones. About a 3rd of the cash goes to the Justice Department to help agencies for instance the FBI, the DEA and the ATF deal with drug dealers and human traffickers.

Bill penalizes law-abiding companies

The border security bill is election year theatre both parties both parties hope convince voters the Washington is capable of addressing border security within the wake of Arizona’s immigration law. The Los Angeles Times reports that the $ 600 million price tag of the border security bill will be paid for by substantially boosting fees on businesses that hire foreign workers using U.S visa programs. Immigration advocates have denounced the package as an election year stunt that will do little to address the complex troubles of illegal immigration. Politicians say a broader debate on immigration reform that consists of a route to citizenship for about 11 million illegal immigrants can be made possible when the border is secured.

Results from a rare special session

The Senate convened during its summer trip for only the second time since the August break was institutionalized in 1970, the Senate Historical Office said. The New York Times reports that Charles E. Schumer of New York and Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, both Democrats, were the only senators present. The House and Senate had already passed the bill earlier in the week. But a re-vote was unavoidable after one of the Senate’s byzantine procedural rules was overlooked. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the first and only other time the Senate has convened during summer recess.

Additional reading at these sites

Associated Press


Los Angeles Times


New York Times


Michelle Obama faces criticism for expensive trip in Spain

According to Fox News, first lady Michelle Obama is under fire for taking a private, luxurious trip to Spain with daughter Sasha and several Obama family friends. Naturally, anything the first family does, whether private or not, is always a public affair, as the media is already towering over Mrs. Obama’s every movement. Everybody now wants a piece of the pie, hungering to know anything the first lady’s private getaway entails.

First lady takes a trip in Spain, where travel warning is issued

When the president celebrated his 49th birthday with mega-star talk show host Oprah Winfrey in Chicago, first lady Michelle Obama, along with daughter Sasha, 9, and a couple of friends of the family, took a four-day “private trip” to Spain’s exotic southern coast. While some are avoiding talking about the trip’s price, others are voicing concerns of safety.

According to Fox News, the State Department had issued a travel warning for Americans traveling to Spain, saying that “racist prejudices can result in the arrest of Afro-Americans who travel to Spain,” a message that was posted on its website. Nevertheless, following the first lady and daughter Sasha left on their trip, it appears the wording has been easily removed. When asked if there was a travel warning for Spain, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “I do not believe so.”

How will the first lady’s vacation in Spain be paid for?

The primary concern regarding the first lady’s trip trip to Spain is the overall cost of the trip and how it affects taxpayer money. On Thursday, New York Daily News writer Andrea Tantaros trash-talked Michelle Obama, calling her a “modern day Marie Antoinette” for taking such a lavish vacation when many of the United States is financially struggling. Yahoo News reports that the first lady and her companions are staying at the luxury Hotel Villa Padierna, a hotel that’s often called one of the world’s top ten, with rates that range from $ 500 to nearly 3-grand per night.

Regardless of who is responsible for choosing the location, whether it was the Obama delegation or Secret Service, who typically has the last say on where the protected resides, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated that the first lady, also as the private entourage traveling with her, will pay for each personal expense. Nevertheless, since the first lady has full-time Secret Service protection and has to travel on board an official Air Force charter plane, which is covered by taxpayers, the entire trip’s cost will not be fully covered with personal out-of-the-pocket cash.

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Elias Abuelazam as a serial killer

A man was arrested within the Atlanta airport who is believed to have killed five but stabbed 20. He was attempting to board a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. The man in question, Elias Abuelazam, is an Israeli citizen who came to the United States legally. 16 of these incidents happened in Michigan, three happened in Virginia, and one occurred in Ohio. African American is the race that was believed to be targeted in these crimes as a majority of the victims were from that race. Article source – Elias Abuelazam believed to be serial killer by Personal Money Store.

Beginning attacks in May

May was when reports of a man coming up and asking for help with a automobile or getting directions started coming in, and the man fit Elias Abuelazam’s description. The man would then stab the victims with a knife and run. According to ABC, Elias Abuelazam was lately arrested for a simple assault, which led police to believe that he was the person behind the stabbings. Law enforcement officials in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio began coordinating efforts and trying to get leads from the public to identifying the man.

Killing for race

The crimes are thought to be motivated by race considering most of the victims were male African Americans. Since 16 of these victims were stabbed in Flint, Michigan, that is where the police did most of their research. Three other stabbings took place in Leesburg, Va., and one took place in Toledo, Ohio. The stabbings caused a Flint judge to issue a warrant for the arrest of this man. A tip was given to Michigan police where they found him boarding a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel at the Atlanta International Airport. Police took him into custody after a page was issued through the intercom.

Nevertheless hasn’t been convicted of crimes

He is only a suspect right now although there is plenty of evidence suggesting otherwise. He won’t be sentenced to death considering Michigan, where five deaths happened, isn’t a death penalty state, and that is where he is being convicted.

Further reading

ABC News

abcnews.go.com/US/TheLaw/serial-stabber-suspect-identified-elias-abuelazam-federal-officals/story?id=11382102 and amp;page=1