May 29, 2009

How to Find and Evaluate the Best Car Insurance

By Jon Arnold
Can you find the best car insurance for you? Well, it depends. What you want to do is find car insurance that covers your needs exactly, for the lowest premiums possible. Therefore, let's take a look at how you can find insurance companies that will cover your needs and provide you the best value for the money. First of all, everyone, no matter who they are, needs liability insurance that covers both personal injury and property damage. You need this in the event you're involved in an accident and are found at fault. Keep in mind that this is not going to cover any damage to your car. It's simply meant to pay the other party damages should they become injured or need repairs done to their car because of damage you caused from the accident. Now, on to insurance that actually covers your car itself. If your car is new, less than two years old, or not paid off yet, you're going to want and need to find a company that will cover you fully in the event you need your car replaced. In this case, you're going to need both comprehensive and collision insurance. Comprehensive insurance covers your car for things like hail, weather damage, vandalism, and so on. Typically, these are "non-driving" types of damage incidents for your car. Collision insurance covers your car in the event of an accident whether or not you are at fault. (Note that this is different from liability insurance, which covers the other party in the accident for both property damage and personal injury damages in the event you're found at fault.) What this means is that you're sure to get your vehicle replaced or repaired beyond any deductible you pay if you should damage your car in a moving vehicle accident. Now, there are times when you're not going to want either collision or comprehensive coverage for your car. If the value of your car is less than the premiums you pay for it within a year or so (including deductible), it's not worth covering with comprehensive or collision insurance. This is because the money you save on premiums by simply carrying liability insurance and nothing else is going to be money you can put in the bank to repair or replace the car yourself. This is a good idea if you're someone who drives an older car that's fully paid off and that doesn't cost you any money beyond maintenance, gas and oil. In that case, you're better off putting the money that you would normally spend in extra premiums toward the purchase of another car if this one is rendered undrivable in an accident. Finally, shop around for car insurance. Even for the exact same coverage in the exact same area of the country, different insurance companies are going to give you different premium rates. The Internet is a great way to comparison shop and find a good deal so that you're paying lowest premiums for the greatest amount of coverage you need. When you comparison shop, make sure you read reviews of insurance company performance as well, so that you're sure the company you eventually sign up with truly does provide good service to its customers. For more insights and additional information about finding the Best Car Insurance as well as getting a free no-obligation car insurance quote online, please visit our web site at

How to Find Hot Car Accessories

By Levi Quinn
Shopping for hot car accessories can be a daunting task though very exciting for someone who has no prior experience. Novice car owners have to contend with the many options they will be faced with. The car accessories that can be found are numerous and fit the needs of different persons. For instance, one can find accessories to enhance the security of the passengers in a vehicle. The first step is to put into account the kind of car in which the items will be installed. In order to acquire details on the items that best suit the kind of car, one can search for information online. They may also acquire a list of suppliers of the hot car accessories that they may fancy. Car owners may be in a position to get the details of the latest hot car accessories from various online sites as well as the different types. This may include such things as entertainment systems like GPS and portals for video games. There are many sites that offer comprehensive information to consumers of the car accessories. They offer information such as which kinds of accessories are prohibited in law. One may also find the hot car accessories from auctions that take place online. These offer quality accessories at an affordable rate. Internet marketers can also offer the hot accessories at lower prices since their overheads are few. Once the accessories desired have been selected, one can shop around for them and compare the various price offers. Due to the high demand for these types of things, one will find many shops offering the parts. This will allow them room to make comparisons as well as bargaining for an affordable price for the parts. Before buying from one seller, ensure that you gain a lot of information regarding the car accessory since one may come across sellers who claim to have the most original accessories and charge exorbitantly for them. Inquiries can be made from people who own similar cars on where they obtain their accessories and how to differentiate between genuine original parts and counterfeit accessories. Find out the add-ons to the accessories being bought by inquiring from persons who have purchased the parts or from mechanics to avoid buying other accessories that may not necessarily be part of the main accessory that is required. The accessory should be inspected properly to ensure that it is as ordered and to standard. This will ensure the satisfaction of the buyer regarding an accessory and safeguard against sellers who require one to sign on the receipt waving their right to return such parts in case they are faulty. For persons purchasing online this option of returning faulty parts may not be available. Such online purchases therefore should only be from a dealer who is reputable. The details of the warranty should also be checked before purchasing the car accessories. The seller's policy on repairs and replacement should be fully understood so that one will know what recourse to take in the event that the accessory does not work in their car. With the wide range of car accessories available on local and online shops, selecting suitable car accessories is easy when equipped with the right tips to select the best. Enjoy your car and find the best deal on the insurance coverage you need. Visit us for money-saving tips, free auto insurance comparisons and affordable insurance advice at Auto Insurance Rates Direct.

May 28, 2009

How to Make 'Kilroy'-Style Facebook Profile Photos

Since it first made its appearance in the 1940s, the sneaky-eyed graffito known affectionately as "Kilroy" has become known the world over. Now, thanks to a guy named Max over at Instructables, you can meld your own image with that iconic one, right there on your Facebook profile.The process requires no more than a face, hands, a camera, a photo editing program, and Instructables' supplied stock background. Be warned, though -- that stock background is custom-fitted for Facebook's current layout only. And, as Max points out, Facebook has been known to change its layout more often than it changes its underwear.

May 27, 2009

How Do I Consolidate My Student Loans?

By Justin Narin
If you graduated in the spring, or will be graduating this spring, now is the time to look into consolidating your student loans. Although your school gave you some information when you took out your loans, they may not give you the full scoop on consolidating after you graduate. If you've been wondering, "How do I consolidate my student loans?" keep reading to find the answer. Student Loan Consolidation Offers Until mid-2007, most people with student loans received numerous offers to consolidate their debts. Due to a change in Federal lender subsidies, many of these solicitations have stopped, but that doesn't mean you can't consolidate your college loans. Consolidation Eligibility If you have Federal Stafford, PLUS, or Perkins loans, you can consolidate them together. Private loans may be eligible for consolidation, but not all lenders agree to become part of a consolidation. In most cases, it's not possible to combine federal and private student loans due to the differences between loan terms. How to Consolidate Student Loans Consolidating Federal loans is a fairly straightforward process. Consolidating private loans is more difficult, but it can be done. Consolidating Federal Student Loans 1. Gather your loan paperwork for all of your loans. Depending on the cost of your school and the number of years you accepted loans, you will have several individual loans. Most students have both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans for each year. You may also have Perkins loans or PLUS for each year. 2. Contact the primary lender for your loans. Depending on your school, this may be the Federal Direct loan program, or an individual. 3. Ask about any additional offers for rate reductions with automatic payments or following a certain number of on-time payments. 4. Research terms available from other consolidation lenders online to see if anyone offers a larger discount for automatic payments or an additional discount after 36-48 on-time payments. Due to the recent changes in funding, most lenders now offer a quarter percent reduction for automatic payments. A few also offer a quarter percent reduction after 36 on-time payments, but these offers are harder to find. 5. Choose your lender and sign the paperwork. Your old loans will be paid off and you'll now receive payment instructions for your new consolidation loan. Sign up for automatic payments promptly. There may be a one-month delay before the program takes effect, so be sure to make on-time payments for that first month. If your grace period expires before you file for consolidation, make sure to make the payments until the consolidation process is completed. Consolidating Private Student Loans 1. Private loan consolidation is more difficult to find, but it is possible if you have a large number of loans. 2. Gather your loan documents. 3. Research private consolidation lenders online for minimum loan balance and interest rate requirements. 4. Contact your current lenders to ask about consolidation offers. 5. If you are eligible for consolidation, ask about discounts for automatic payments. A few lenders offer them, but they're harder to find due to the change in funding laws. Benefits of Consolidation The primary benefit of consolidation is simplified payments. Rather than five, ten, or more payments every month, you have just one or two payments to make. Without automatic payments, you never have to worry about missing a payment. In most cases, consolidation stretches the term of the loan, so you may actually pay more in interest over the life of the loan. If possible, try to accelerate your payments as your income grows to avoid paying additional interest. However, any discounts you receive for consolidating student loans will reduce the total interest you pay over the life of the loan. Finally, consolidating student loans makes it easier to keep track of your total annual interest paid. That figure is important if you're eligible for the student loan interest tax deduction. Although the deduction won't save you a lot of money, every little bit helps. For more articles on Consolidating Student Loan, visit: Justin has 5 years of experience as a financial adviser; his key areas are loan consolidation, debt relief, mortgages etc. For more free articles and advice visit

May 26, 2009

Secured Loans - Cheap and Safer Option For Personal Loans

By Sturat Mitchel
Secure loans are simpler to be obtained and safer as they are given against assets that are held as collateral such as cars or any form of property. Most people prefer secure loans as they come with lower interest rates and with a longer repayment period. Only in case of prolonged default repayments will the creditor repossess the collateral after numerous reminders. Secure loans can be obtained by anyone as long as he has an asset as collateral. Most of them have more flexible and debtor friendly terms. There are few facts one should seriously consider before applying for a loan and should look into all possibilities of getting the loan or being refused a loan. With this you will get a fair amount of idea whether are you eligible for a loan or not? Firstly, why do you need a loan, is it your spending habits, is it your lifestyle, will getting a loan solve your problem or will it further put you under a strain. Next, you should look for whether you can afford to repay the loan on monthly basis without any hassle and it should not have bad repercussions in your daily life. You should have a secure job that will enable you to make monthly repayments and have backup plans to repay your loans if you lose your job. This indebtedness should not further burden your dependents. You should have an asset to be set as collateral against the loan to obtain a secure loan that gives you the advantage of an extended repayment period. You should look for getting the lowest interest rate in the market as the rates vary depending from each financer or banking institution. If your loan application is rejected you should have other options to resolve your financial crisis. If required you should take the guidance of a debt advisor from any debt consolidation company or institutions. In the end you should always know what would happen if you are unable to pay of your loans and how would you cope if your assets or collateral are repossessed. Sturat enjoys writing and sharing articles on topics like secured loans and are you eligible for a loan?.

May 25, 2009

Student Loan Consolidation – Shed Debt Burden Instantly

By Peter Taylor Higher education comes with such high cost that by the time you finish all those years in college, you find that you are under huge debts because of the loans you had to take for books, hostel charges, traveling, research works to name a few. Now you have no other alternative than to take a student loan consolidation for pruning the debt burden. Student loan consolidation is a very simple and most effective way of lessening debt burden. All you do is take a new loan that is at least equal to the amount you owe to different lenders. With the new loan amount you or your new lender immediately pays off all the previous loans. The student is thus relieved of the previous debts in one go. There are many advantages in taking student loan consolidation. As the new loan is essentially availed at lower interest rate as compared to the average of interest rates on previous loans, student saves a lot of money in paying interest. While so far student was paying loan installments to different lenders, now he pays installments to just one lender. There are many payment plans available to a student in repaying student loan consolidation. These repayment plans include standard payment of set monthly payments; graduated payment plan involving low monthly payments initially that gradually increases; variable plan that adjusts amount of payments as per changes in your income and expenses and extended payment plan allowing you to extend the loan pay off period and reduces monthly payments. While choosing a student loan consolidation provider company make sure that it is a reputed company and does not charge high upfront fees. Also note that Federal Student Loan Consolidation makes no credit checks as the loan is backed be federal government and requires no credit checks. Student loan consolidation comes with many discounts on interest rate on some conditions. Make sure that you have noted down the conditions laid down by different lenders for these discounts before you sign a deal. Prefer applying online for student loan consolidation for a fast approval. Clear monthly installments of the loan in time as this goes a long way in improving your credit score that would be a great help in taking loans in future. Peter Taylor is a senior financial analyst at Loansx with an acumen for finance and insurance. In recent years he has taken up to provide independant financial advice through his informative articles. His articles are widely read because of the lucid manner of wriiting and thoroughly researched datas. To find Student loan consolidation, Bad Credit Loans, Self Employed Loans, No Equity Loans, Debt Consolidation Loans, Fast Loans, Direct Loans that best suits your need visit

Understanding WiFi Wireless Internet Access Terminology

There are a lot of different terms floating around when it comes to wireless Internet access. Terms such as WiFi, wireless and hotspot can be confusing. They are often used interchangeably although this is not always appropriate. If you are thinking about offering some type of wireless Internet access in your business location, you need to know what these terms mean so you can make smart decisions. This article will decode these terms to help you understand what they mean, and more importantly, how they can help your business. If you are a small business owner who is considering adding WiFi wireless Internet access as one of the amenities offered by your business, you probably already realize how providing this service can improve your profit margins. Many businesses such as coffee shops and cafes are already offering wireless Internet access and realizing the financial gains. Not only do they attract more customers but these customers also tend to stay longer and purchase more when they use the wireless Internet connection provided in the establishment. Additionally, providing wireless Internet access is very inexpensive. You will pay a one time amount for hardware and software when the hotspot is first setup and you will pay nominal monthly fees to provide and maintain the Internet access. As you can see, offering wireless Internet access is typically a good idea that will help you to make money. However, if you are not technologically savvy, you probably do not even know where to begin. Furthermore, you are likely to become easily confused when you start to sort through the terms and explanations. We will simplify everything for you in one sentence. Basically, what you want to do is utilize WiFi technology to provide wireless Internet access. This means you will utilize technology and devices which are WiFi certified by the WiFi Alliance to provide visitors of your business the ability to access the Internet without using wires. Hopefully, this clarifies things a bit for you. One of the biggest mistakes make is assuming wi-fi refers to the Internet connection itself. However, once you realize that the term WiFi is referring to the technology used to provide the Internet access, everything becomes less confusing. So, now you are really ready to provide your customers with a hotspot. This just means you will be creating an area where they can access the Internet through their mobile devices such as laptops, cell phones, PDAs and even gaming devices. Now that you understand all of the terms, it is time to get your hotspot up and running. It really isn't incredibly difficult to set up your own wireless hotspot. However, if you are apprehensive about the project it is a worthwhile investment to hire a consultant to setup and maintain the hotspot for you. They will not only make sure the installation is done right but they will also respond to outages and perform periodic maintenance to ensure maximum efficiency. Perhaps most importantly though, they will make sure your sensitive information is kept private. Allowing your customers to access your network can be risky if the right precautions are not taken. You should ensure all of your personal and business information is either on a private network or is well protected on the shared network.

May 22, 2009

How to Reverse Phone Numbers

There are many reasons someone wants to know who is hiding behind a phone number and decided to learn how to reverse phone numbers. Performing a phone reverse look up could occur in the following situations: Recurring prank calls Harassing telemarketers Suspecting your spouse of cheating on you These are the most common occasions when you very much would like to identify the person on the other side of the line and try to reverse a phone number. If the call is made from a listed phone number it is an easy task, you could just use a free service widely available on the web. But do you think your spouse's lover is dumb enough to call from his/her home phone? Chances are all these unwanted phone calls are made from either unlisted land lines or cell phones lines. And all the data related to these phone numbers are private data not available by any free directory. There are companies specialized in phone data gathering and mining. They buy databases from phone and cellphone companies and resell private information on the phone numbers owners. It is a legitimate business. Of course you'll have to pay to access these information. Did I say it is a business? Fees are reasonable: a single phone number look up report is worth around 15 dollars and a yearly membership will cost you 40 dollars, which enables you to perform as many reverse phone look ups you may need. You'll just have to type the 10 digits of the number you want to perform a reverse look up on and quickly you'll be provided with the name of the phone number owner, his/her address, information about his/her household. Everything you need to take action and stop the mysterious calls. So, if you think your peace of mind is worth something between 15$ and 40$, learn how to reverse phone numbers, even unlisted or cellphone numbers. For more info one of the most up-to-date and trustworthy reverse phone look up service just visit How To Reverse Phone.

May 20, 2009

An Overview of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0

By Andy Spilling The BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) as we are all aware is specifically designed to create a secure, central link between a company's communications software, applications, wireless network and BlackBerry device. The server integrates with existing infrastructure, which may include collaboration and messaging software, calendar and contact information, wireless intranet and internet access, all of which aim to provide BlackBerry device users with mobile access to an organisations resources. From a security perspective the BES supports AES, this is an encryption standard adopted by the U.S government and the Triple DES encryption standard used within the electronic payment industry, it is so named because it applies the data encryption standard (DES) cipher algorithm three times to each data block, this provides a relatively simple method of increasing the key size of DES to protect against brute force attacks, without requiring a completely new block cipher algorithm. These two security standards protect and ensure the integrity of the wireless data this is transmitted between the BES components and BlackBerry devices. BES administrators can in addition select from more than 450 IT policy rules that can be configured to control the features of the BlackBerry device used within the organisations mobile environment. The BES supports several optional components and configurations to meet an organisations requirement. The BlackBerry Collaboration Service integrates with supported third-party instant messaging (IM) servers to permit users access an organisations IM system from their BlackBerry devices using the BlackBerry IM client. The BlackBerry MDS Integration Service supports bespoke application development and distribution. The BES and BES components are fully configurable to support high availability and to enhance the consistency and reliability of the BlackBerry environment. The BES, BlackBerry devices and user accounts can be managed using the BlackBerry Administration Service (BAS), a web application that is accessible from any computer that can access the computer that hosts the BAS. The BAS can be used to manage the BlackBerry Domain, which consists of multiple BES instances that use a single BlackBerry Configuration Database. I have detailed below a selection of new features and benefits available in BES 5.0: As mentioned above from an IT administrator's perspective one of the key benefits is in providing the ability to manage the BlackBerry environment remotely using the BlackBerry Administration Service which provides web-based access to centralised management tools. In addition the administrator can customise the BES to permit a 'tier-2' BES administrator different levels of access to server functions, this will free up management time for the key BES administrator. Devices, applications and IT policy updates can now be scheduled to minimise the impact on end users and business operation and the deployment of hundreds of applications to thousands of users with enhanced job management, throttling and scheduling is now very realistic. It is possible to monitor the overall health of the BlackBerry environment with scalable monitoring capabilities combined with improved reporting, alerting and troubleshooting all help to minimise potential issues before they occur. Colour code monitoring provides a simple unified view of information to easily identify server or user related issues. The end user also benefits in a number of ways of BES 5.0, providing a greater control of desktop features on smartphones, this helps bridge the gap between employees and the business tools required while away from the office. Some of these features and benefits include, organising emails that require a follow-up with the use of flags and they do in Microsoft Outlook, users can where permitted access network drives using the remote file explorer directly from their device, open and forward calendar appointments including attachments. It is now possible to view and attach files stored in the device folders to email messages. Email folders can now be managed better by adding, renaming, deleting and moving as required. I am now in my 11th year working within the mobile voice and data communications industry. Having successfully worked with and advised local, SME, key corporate and government sector organisation around the UK and Europe.

5 Things You Must Check Before You Buy the New SEO Software Or Trust a Google Expert

By Tinu AbayomiPaul Here's a trick people fall for all the time. It's so common the really scuzzy people have a name for it - it's called "False Proof." The one that has been chapping my behind is when a supposed search expert will say, "I'm number one out of 33 million results." And you think, really? 33 MILLION? Then you get their software, ebook, or system, and you find out that even though you're also able to rank number one for a term that gets 33 million results, none of it sent you any sales, or leads - and really, not much traffic either. Don't get me wrong - it's not that this ranking isn't an achievement for some people. It's just that it HAS to be put into perspective. If someone is telling you - hey, I'm kind of a newbie to search, and I figured out how to do this. Let me share my research with you - that's information to trust. The same person claiming it makes them an expert? Not so much. If you don't want to get hustled by this little trick, remember that proof has to be MEANINGFUL. It's fine to profit from a JV deal with a friend or colleague, I'm not knocking it. I've done it and when I have, I've slept great, because I make a conscious effort to only promote the highest quality products from my peers. So I think endorsements are okay. What's NOT Okay is when the testimonials of friends are the Only testimonials a person has for their product. What did their peers think? What did their clients think? What do people who didn't know them before they tried it think? If a person selling you an SEO product or search consulting is a layperson, and they figured out how to get results better than the next guy, and they say so, that is completely above board. But if they're claiming to be a guru or expert in any way, and they're using keyword rankings or number of links generated, or anything else to prove their results, make sure they stand up to closer scrutiny. Here are some things to look for: 1- The number of results doesn't always tell you how comparatively difficult the keyword is to rank for. A good keyword difficulty check like the one at will help you figure this out. 2- If the keyword phrase is 4 or more words long, a monkey could probably rank for it under the right conditions. 3- Even if it is hard for a newbie to rank for, and the software tool/person will help you get to the next level of expertise, if the terms you would rank for are those that don't send any traffic, or won't help you build up to terms that will send traffic, it's a waste of time. 4- If just one keyword ranking is their claim to fame, they aren't an expert if they're saying they are, or that their tool is worth paying for, based on this, be wary. You do NOT really know what you're doing with search until you have been able to maintain hundreds or thousands of rankings for a few years. You can get to number one by cheating in the short term - until they catch you and ban your site. Luck or cheating doesn't make you an expert. 5- If the number one or first page result they got is one of many, and passes all the difficulty and traffic tests - is the result they have in Google or Yahoo for their own site? It if it, and that's all the information they're selling, don't buy it. I'll tell you how to do that for free in a minute. First let me explain one thing: it's not that it's a bad thing to get to number one using Ezine Articles or Hub Pages. It's that you don't control the ranking when it's not on your site. It's that you don't need someone to teach you something fancy to get that ranking. Anyone can get a popular site to rank at the top for an article they've contributed - there are free articles for how to do this around the Net. If I'm not mistaken, Chris Knight wrote about it last year on this blog. That's not some coveted secret worth the price of a large pizza or a fancy dinner. How do you do it? You use your keywords in the title of the article you're contributing, and make your article semantically relevant enough to out rank whatever listing is presently number one. It won't work with every keyword, but when it does, that's how it happens. The real trick is getting that ranking to mean money for you. That ranking doesn't automatically mean they'll click the link to visit your site. (How do you do make sure they do? That secret takes way more room than one article.) So again, this Can be a good technique. But knowing that doesn't make you an expert. Now, I won't sit here and say that every expert trying to get you to buy a search or traffic related product is full of it. There's a lot of good programs out there. But the instant you're being promised outlandish results with a minimum of effort, it's right that your BS radar should go off. The second you're being peddled a quick fix that is meant to supersede or replace good knowledge, you have to ask yourself if what you're paying and the results you're getting are worth the risk. It's not that there isn't good stuff out there - it's that you have to really look at whether what you're paying is going to yield results worth your investment. There are a bunch of great experts and great sites that can help you get better search results in Google and Yahoo. I could name ten off the top of my head. Just remember, in order to see what's worth your money, scrutinize your expert, and investigate the promises of your favorite search tool. You may be surprised at what you find. Great product, no traffic? I'll teach you every web site promotion technique from search to social media, all that I've tested and used myself. No hype or unrealistic promises. Just real-world techniques that actually work. Come to to see video proof.

May 19, 2009

10 Android Apps We Will Actually Use

Yesterday, Google announced the winners of the Android Developer Challenge I, a contest that awarded cash prizes to the most innovative and promising applications designed for the upcoming mobile OS, Android. The ten top teams received $275,000 and 10 other teams received $100,000. The ADC Gallery lists all the winners as well as the finalists. Although Google has already named their winners, we decided to browse through the gallery to find the apps that we're most excited to use. Some of the apps, like for example, cab4me, may have been declared a winner, but we know not everyone lives in a major metropolitan area where hailing a taxi is a part of everyday life। Instead, we picked out some apps that have more universal appeal। They are as follows:

The App That Backs Up Our Contacts: PhoneBook 2.0

An app that backs up your contacts for you to a remote server can give you piece of mind in case your phone is ever lost or stolen। However, the app isn't just a backup tool. PhoneBook 2.0 combines mobile social networking with your address book to let you share your mood, location, and photos with your friends.

The App That Keeps Us From Getting Lost: BreadCrumbz

Sure, sure, the phone has Google Maps, but BreadCrumbz is even better। Instead of getting directions, you get picture-based routes so you know to turn at that huge oak tree or the building with the blue awning. Your friends can make routes for you and record them with the camera and GPS.

The App(s) That Save Us Money: CompareEverywhere and GoCart

There are not one, but two, apps that basically do the same thing: compare prices and save us money। Using the camera, you can "scan" the barcode of an item by snapping a picture. The app will then comparison shop for you. You can read online reviews and even create price alerts if the price drops. CompareEverywhere also lets you use the GPS to find nearby stores and then call them directly.

The App That Lets Us Store Files in the Cloud: Teradesk e-Storage

This one wasn't a grand prize winner, but looks like a handy app to have around। With Teradesk, you can store files in the cloud with file transfers that allow for pause control, resume, and full recovery of broken transfers. You can share files with friends via Bluetooth and MMS and the app even integrates with Google Docs.

The App That Keeps Us Informed: Life360

There were several of these "alerting" apps, but only one that won the grand prize। Life360 is an app that sends you messages from your family and local community. You can be alerted to a danger in the community (rabid dog on the loose!), but you can also just receive messages from family, too (mom's running late today). This is a personalized alert system that displays only the messages you need to hear.

The App That Lets Us IM And Blog: Maverick

No Google phone would be complete without an app that lets us use GoogleTalk to IM our friends। Maverick lets you exchange messages, location, and multimedia content in the form of audio clips, photos and scribbles (drawings created on the mobile phone) with other Maverick clients, Gtalk users, or iChat users. You can also use the app to publish content to Blogger.

The App(s) For Social Music: TuneWiki or Diggin

Another case of having two great apps - this time, for music। TuneWiki won the grand prize with their social music maps that displays audio, video, and lyrics. You can also use the GPS to see what other people are playing nearby in real-time. Although only a finalist, Diggin looks interesting, too. This app lets you listen to thousands of streaming radio stations and downloads the album art for what you're listening to automatically.

The App That Lets Us Whiteboard With Colleagues: ShareYourBoard

Did your co-worker miss the meeting? Now you can get them up to speed with ShareYourBoard। Designed specifically to capture and enhance whiteboard images with edge detection, geometry transformations and image enhancement, ShareYourBoard takes great pics in any angle, any lighting, and with any type of whiteboard or markers used.

The App That Tells Our Phone How To Behave: Locale

Maybe you shouldn't have those rockin' ringtones turned on at the office...and perhaps that wallpaper is a bit inappropriate, too। Instead of having to adjust your profiles yourself, you can use an app that knows how to do so automatically. Using Android's built-in GPS, Locale will let you set up "Situations" (like At Work, At Home, In a Meeting, etc) which you can have automatically triggered by setting conditions like location (via the GPS), time, or other conditions which you add. The app can then adjust your ringtone, wallpaper, and other settings automatically.

The App That Scans Our Eyeball and Saves Our Passwords: BioWallet

Honestly we wouldn't care what this app did, but it happens to be a "safe wallet" that stores sensitive information (passwords, certificates, documents, conversations, notes, pictures, etc.). The info can only be accessed through iris or handwritten signature based authentication. Oh come on! It does retina scanning! We didn't get an Android phone to play space monkey games, now did we? This one delivers pure geek cred.

May 18, 2009

How to make a solar iPod/iPhone charger -aka MightyMintyBoost

I wanted a charger for my iPodTouch and the MintyBoost was definitely my first choice. I wanted to take it a bit further and make it not only rechargeable but also solar powered. The other issue is that the iPhone and iPodTouch have large batteries in them and will deplete the two AA batteries in the MintyBoost rather quickly so I wanted to increase the battery power as well. What I really wanted was a MightyMintyBoost!Apple has sold over 30 million iPodTouch/iPhone units- imagine charging all of them via solar power.... If every iPhone/iPodTouch sold was fully charged every day (averaging the battery capacity) via solar power instead of fossil fuel power we would save approximately 506.62mWh of energy, roughly equivalent to 760,000 lbs. of CO2 in the atmosphere per year. Granted that's a best case scenario (assuming you can get enough sunlight per day and approximately 1.5 lbs. CO2 produced per kWh used.) Of course, that doesn't even figure in all the other iPods, cell phones and other USB powered devices that can be powered by this device. I even use it to power an Arduino microcontroller.There are some really nice features about this charger:It's solar powered!It's small.Large battery capacity- 3.7v @2000mAhOn board charger charges via solar, USB or wall wart. Accepts input power from 3.7v to 7v.Remove the solar cell and you have a nice compact USB power supply.Unplug the solar cell and use the Velcro to secure the MightyMintyBoost inside a backpack or messenger bag- now plug in a larger solar cell attached to your bag for even faster charging. Using a slightly larger solar cell (6v/250mAh) you can generate enough power to fully charge an iPhone in about 5.5 hours and an iPod Touch in 4 hours.Building this is really easy and straightforward- it only took me around an hour so follow along and build one for yourself!Safety note and general disclaimer: Be careful cutting the Altoids tin as it can have some really sharp edges- file them smooth if necessary. Assemble this at your own risk- while it is really easy to build, if you mess something up there is the potential to damage the electronic device you are trying to charge. Be careful in your assembly and soldering work and follow good safety practices. Only use a type of battery charger specifically designed for the type of battery you are using. Please read through the entire Instructable before asking questions- if there are are any questions just ask and I'll help out as best as I can!

Mobile Phone Buyer's Guide

Buyers guides providing up-to-date information on the latest products and technologies. Each buyers guide contains comprehensive impartial advice for consumers. Read our guides to help your decision making and to ensure you choose the best product to meet your needs. Individual guides are thoroughly researched and written by an independent expert. The mobile phone revolution looks to be unstoppable. The chunky house bricks of the 1980s have been replaced with lightweight, slim handsets incorporating the latest in communication technology allied to a strong sense of fashion. Prices of handsets range from nothing to several hundreds of pounds - a range caused by the eagerness of the network owners to entice us on to their expensively acquired airspace। As a result of this competition, it is now perfectly possible to find yourself being given the latest phone, combining voice, data, camera and video in a handset sometimes considerably smaller than your hand "absolutely free". To avoid being dazzled by such offers you will need to keep your wits about you in the maze of features available. This guide will give you everything you need to know about the features that really make a difference. And we will give you some helpful advice on how to navigate the tariff jungle.

What you need to know when choosing a Mobile Phone... With the number of mobile phones on the market and the variety of tariffs, features and extras on each, picking the right phone can be something of a nightmare. To simplify matters we have identified three types of user and outlined the type of phone that might suit them best.

Making and taking calls

If that is all you want to do then any basic handset will suffice. You will be able to make calls, access voicemail, and send text messages. But even on the simplest phones there is more on offer, including games, the chance to download ring tones and some additional services. There will also be a calculator, calendar, address book, and alarm clock. And even with all this functionality the handset will still be smaller than you might think. With a pay-as-you-go tariff you can guarantee that you will never have any nasty surprises with the bill, (though it will limit the choice of handsets) and while full access to the mobile internet may not be available you will definitely be able to stay in touch।

Phones Plus - exploiting तेच्नोलोगिएस

More and more technologies are converging in phone handsets to give the savvy user the chance to communicate with more than just speech. Mobile phones that include digital cameras are becoming the norm. The ability to take a picture and send it to a similarly-equipped friend is an increasingly common phenomenon. Picture quality will be limited by the resolution, most camera phones use only 2.0 megapixels rather than the 8-10 megapixels now common in digital cameras, but they do work and convenience seems to be outweighing quality. You will also find full-colour screens to facilitate game-playing and to display WAP information (web pages redesigned for the small screen size of the phone). And most phones will now take video clips which can be sent via multimedia messaging. Colour flip screens for viewing digital images are also common and are a big benefit for the dedicated games player. Also available are phones with built-in radios and/or MP3 players for listening to music. To get a feature-laden phone for free you will need to be on a monthly contract tariff.

The office in your pocket

For the truly mobile worker the ability to connect to all of the tools back at the office is a major plus. Now available on an increasing number of handsets, operating systems like Symbian and Smartphone turn a phone into something closer to a laptop computer providing connections to data through browsers, e-mail clients and other custom-built applications. The long-promised third generation (3G) phones have arrived and although take-up is not quite as quick as that desired by major manufacturers, network coverage permitting, full mobile internet access to reach your e-mail, video phone calls, and video services like TV and sporting clips delivered straight to you are now all possible. All this comes at a cost, of course, with charges for the amount of data transferred or specific content prices being the norm; and even now network coverage in the UK, for example, is limited largely to urban areas. But things are moving fast and where 3G does not work it reverts to 2G - so you may find it worth investing in the near future right now. The number of features on phones of this type mean that the connections between it and your PDA, laptop or desktop computer become important as you try to co-ordinate your activities.

May 17, 2009

Names for babies in the United States

HOT!!! The most popular baby names in the US for 2008 have just arrived from the SSA! Here they are: Top ten girls' names 2008Emily's 12 years at number one have come to an end - and Emma finally bags first place! Chloe joins the top ten this year: Emma Isabella Emily Madison Ava Olivia Sophia Abigail Elizabeth Chloe Check out what's been going on rankings-wise in the top ten baby names for girls 2008. Top ten boys' names 2008The only thing to shout about here is that Alexander joins the top 10: Jacob Michael Ethan Joshua Daniel Alexander Anthony William Christopher Matthew Find out more about the top 10 baby names for boys.

May 15, 2009

Seven Simple Steps to a Healthier You

In a World of "No" Health advice seems awfully restrictive, these days, doesn't it? Don't do this, less of that... In a world full of negatives, no wonder a person doesn't know where to start! If your goal is improving your health and well-being, shouldn't there be positive steps you can take? In fact, there are. And here are the top seven. Tip: Don't get overwhelmed. ;) Do set small goals, and integrate these principles into your life, step by step. Say "Yes" to More 1. More Water Proper hydration is essential to our bodies' functioning. Drinking enough water is an easy way to improve your health, and not drinking enough has got to be the one of the silliest (and most common) mistakes people make. I'm sure you've heard before that 70% of your body is water, but take a minute to visualize that. Every day that you don't take in enough water to maintain that percentage, your body's reserves shrink a little bit more. How long has your body been in a state of drought? Water is also necessary to rid your body of toxins. If your body is trying to conserve water, it will not be able to properly rid you of the chemicals and byproducts that pollute it. Headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, and dizziness can all be products of dehydration. Your body is trying to get your attention, and once you listen, it'll go on doing its job, and leave you to do yours. 2. More Sleep You know you should be getting more sleep, but as a working adult, it can be hard to find the time. While it might be sad to think about in this way, you really do need to schedule your sleep. Instead of setting a rigid "bedtime," which may seem unattainable when you have deadlines to meet, try a range of an hour to an hour and a half in which you'll do your darndest to wrap things up and get to bed. If you still have things to do, program an alarm clock an hour or so ahead of your normal wake-up time. You'll be more productive after you've rested up.

Work hard, play harder: successful time management in college

Work hard, play harder: successful time management in college By Marlize For the past three years, I've lived and breathed the mantra "work hard, play harder," and I've become increasingly convinced that it's a phrase to live life by. College is not only one of the biggest time-management tests you'll have to pass, it is the test that determines how much you'll be able to achieve in your entire life ahead. Now, as an undergraduate, is the time to figure out how you'll be able to live the life you want; how you'll be successful and productive and still enjoy opportunity that comes along to the fullest. When I decided to double-major in college, I very quickly became annoyed by my fellow students' exasperated gasps or looks of sympathy that seemed to say, "you poor thing, you won't have time to enjoy anything else!" I've always wanted to smile back sweetly and say, "but I enjoy everything I do and I'm doing so much more than you are!" The "work hard, play harder" mentality has turned college into the best years of my life so far. I've been able to throw myself into doing a double-major, stayed up all night at wild parties and once-in-a-lifetime concerts, made the Dean's list, work part-time, made my closest friends and craziest memories, and have had time take off and travel the world, all while maintaining an A-average. Pushing myself harder than even I knew was possible has allowed me to enjoy free time and my own company that much more. A lazy day spent reading a book at the beach is that much more enjoyable after successfully completing several weeks worth of midterms, essays and deadlines at work. Taking it even further, the quarters that I've taken off to travel have been the most relaxing, guilt free months of my life simply because I could enjoy the time knowing I had just spent a year pushing myself to the limit. What has enabled me first and foremost to take 20 units a quarter and work 20 hours a week has been time-management skills. I'm not inherently a good time-manager and it has taken some stringent self-discipline as well as some resourcefulness and plenty of trial-and-error moments. Here are some rules and tips I've picked up along the way: 1. Understand "the law of forced efficiency," which says no matter how much you have to do, it will inevitably get done. I've experienced this over and over again, and its actually one of the most gratifying feelings when the law proves to be true. Maxing out my course load is possible because I've accepted the fact that I'm too responsible and too passionate about my academics not to get it done. You will get it all done, even if you do have to force yourself to pull a few all-nighters, so don't underestimate your own productivity. 2. Recognize the unnecessary parts of your day that eat away at your time and cause undue stress. In college and with the Internet, there are unlimited distractions to take you wandering off on endless tangents. The biggest culprits are probably MySpace and Facebook, followed by television. In my 3rd year of college I de-activated my Facebook account and never bothered to get a TV when moving into a new apartment. I haven't missed either, and I spend the time I probably would have been wasting online or on the couch instead reading, running, getting homework done or hanging out with friends. 3. Learn not to stress - it's counterproductive. This is a skill that goes far beyond college and in effect defines how you'll react to pressure in your career and with the curveballs life will throw at you. Employers want clear-headed people that can work through problems rationally and calmly, and college is the place to begin that. Not to mention that stress makes you into a cranky, unhappy person. I had a roommate once who would get herself so stressed out about schoolwork that nobody could stand to be around her for weeks at a time. I finally asked her once if she planned to spend months at time not talking to anybody once she started her career. Her answer was to slam her bedroom door shut. 4. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, remind yourself why you have so much on your plate to begin with. The answer should be that you have so much going on because you're motivated and passionate about so many things. I decided to double-major because I enjoy Journalism and Economics so much that I didn't want to have to choose between the two. 5. Make use of time management tools and technology. Take some time to play with all those fancy gadgets you have, and use them to their full potential. Many textbooks now have additional online tools such as practice tests and flashcards that you can access online or download to your Ipod. If you have a laptop, take it with you and know where free wireless is available. You may also want to invest in a PDA such as a Palm Pilot. My Palm alone probably makes the difference between whether or not I can afford to add another class to my schedule, because it keeps me so on-top of dates and deadlines. Whatever your preference, be it paper or electronic, develop a calendar and to-do list system that fit easily into your life. 6. Be creative in how you use your time. My job is a 30-minute commute from campus, but I've learned to enjoy that half-hour of alone time. Most of the time, it's a good "breather" to listen to some good music, clear my head, and think about what I'm going to do once the weekend rolls around. Other times, I've used my commuting time to listen to foreign-language tapes and practice my verb-tenses, etc, or even to practice upcoming speeches out loud. I also occasionally study at the beach or a local coffee shop simply because it's an enjoyable change of pace from my room or the library. 7. Stay neat and organized, at least around your desk and with schoolwork. While I haven't yet managed to get rid myself out of the lifelong habit of leaving my clothes on the floor, my desk is always cleared, my notebooks tabbed, and my assignments organized. It all comes back to efficiency and always having everything ready when you need it. 8. Put some effort into planning your schedule for each upcoming semester. Try to block classes together as much as possible so that you have either the first or the second half of your day off, or an entire day of no classes to spend catching up on other work. Understand what your most alert time of the day is for each subject and plan accordingly. One quarter of 7am Spanish told me that I never again wanted to take a class that early again, especially not one that required me to speak a foreign language. 9. Coffee is a good thing ;-) 10. Enjoy what you do! Imagine first the career you want to spend the rest of your life doing, then find the major that will give you the greatest chance of doing that. The biggest key to a successful academic life and a career afterwards is the same everywhere: enjoy what you do so much that you couldn't even begin to imagine wanting to spend your time doing anything else. Time-management is not just some abstract notion or desirable skill; it determines what you get done with the time you have, whether it is your day, the next four years, or your entire life. College is the best place to plunge headfirst into doing everything you've always imagined yourself doing, and time-management is the tool that will enable you to do so. Work hard, play harder - there really is time to do it all.

May 06, 2009

Your Information Technology Career: Beware The Comfort Zone

I've seen it happen time and again to programmers, network engineers and administrators, and other IT personnel.   They get a solid IT position, a good-paying job, and they get comfortable.  They stop keeping up with the latest technologies, they stop studying, they no longer keep their CCNA, MCSE, and other industry certifications up-to-date.... and then one day, their comfortable job is gone. 
Maybe they get laid off, maybe the company moves and they don't want to move with it... but for one reason or another, they're in the worst position possible.  They have no job, and they have allowed their IT skills to deteriorate to the point where they are no longer employable.

If you're in IT, you must be constantly learning.  You must continually take the long view, and ask yourself three important questions.  First, where do you want to be in three years?  Second, what are you doing now in order to reach this goal?  And finally, if you were laid off today, are your current skills sharp enough to quickly get another job?

That third question can be the hardest of all to answer honestly.   I'm reminded of Microsoft announcing years ago that they would no longer be recognizing the MSCE 4.0 certification, since the network operating systems that certification was based upon would no longer be supported by MS.  (Keep in mind that this change was announced months in advance, giving those holding the MCSE 4.0 plenty of time to earn the latest MS certification.)

May 05, 2009

Your Information Technology Career: Certification vs. Experience

Whether you're just starting your Information Technology career, or wanting to get further ahead in your current IT career, you have probably thought about earning one of the many popular computer certifications such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, or the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) cert.

A major point of frustration for individuals pursuing one of these certifications is a possible lack of experience with these technologies.  Many future CCNAs or MCSEs simply stop trying to earn their certification, feeling that their lack of experience will hold them back.  

Adding to this are those in IT who will stop everything they're doing at the drop of a hat to stomp on the dreams of others.  I recently saw a post by an IT newcomer on a popular website where he declared his intention of earning his CCNA.  Within minutes, several naysayers popped up and told him that he shouldn't bother, it wouldn't do any good due to his lack of experience, etc.  (Did you ever notice that people who bash certifications generally don't have any themselves?)

I am in no way discounting the importance of experience.  What I am saying is that every single one of us was a beginner at one point, and a lot of IT professionals forget this.  None of us was born knowing everything we know today, and we shouldn't spend any time dismissing the goals of others in the IT field, or those just breaking in.

May 04, 2009

Where we Are Now ?

is the economic crisis over ? is the economy coming back ? Unfortunately, the economy is not coming back. The economy has moved on, and the people asking if it's coming back are being left behind.