Testing Post2Blog

This morning while I was browsing through the net to find something interesting I found one! It’s free blogging software as described below:

Post2Blog - a desktop blogging client for Windows. This is an example of quick snippet that inserts link to Post2Blog and text if you type "Post2Blog". To disable this quick snippet just remove it via "Tools" | "Manage Quick Snippets".

Ever since I have started this blog, I was always bogged down and bothered by how I can upload my posts. It had turned freeware for their version 3.0 and I need this tool. Although, I am always against installing software which I’m not too familiar with, I’m ready to make an exception this time.

This post is going to be the first post that I file in with Post2Blog software. So, let’s see how good it is and how well it works. =)

If you are also interested, you can download it from here:



Unrated Geek humor Released!

If you are tired and drained out from everyday living and needs some good laughter, this is exactly what you need. Check out The 20 Funniest Computer Geek Humor Bits of All Time from Community Credit Discussion Board. Some of these are funniest that I have ever seen online!

Google Green for better or worse?

As I have mentioned and covered many times about Google, it is hunger to expand and marching toward the online dominance. We all hope that Google will not make same mistake the Microsoft has made (from all the indicators are showing Google is definitely have different strategy which seems to be working).

I have received the news from downloadsquad
Google goes Green(border) with another acquisition! Go green here does not mean Google is going energy efficient but they have acquired GreenBorder who's niche technology is the isolation of your online internet sessions. This means that whatever you do online, when the browser get closed, all the information will be wiped out. Where do you say this can be helpful? In many places specially when we are living in a world full of viruses, spywares, and adwares. You got it right, they'll no longer have their way into your system via browser!

This is another cool idea that get evolved as new problem arises. Let's hope that Google get these tools better integrated into what they have now and offer them to us for free! Hopefully with not too much advertisements...


Pink slip indicator!

If you have been working on your career for many years, it does come as natural "feeling" if you are set as a target to receive the dreaded pink slip. However, if you do not have that much experiences to know what's coming, it can really drain out your hopes and dreams when it happens. To get yourself prepared for the inevitable wisebread put together You’re Fired! 20 signs that a pink-slip is coming.

In summary, here are the 20 signs that you can look for:

1 – Are you no longer in the loop about, well, anything?
2 - Did you recently screw up big-time?
3 – Are people avoiding you at all costs?
4 – Did your last performance review read like a train wreck?
5 – Has your company recently been sold or merged?
6 – Are you being given impossible jobs with no chance of success?
7 – Do you now have less responsibility than the intern?
8 – Has your office, cubicle or working space recently been down-sized?
9 – Do people whisper more, or does the conversation change as you approach?
10 – Did your recently receive a pay freeze or, worse still, a pay cut?
11 – Have you seen a job posting for your company that matches your job description?
12 – Does everyone hate you? I mean really dislike you with a passion?
13 – Have you recently been asked to take some time off?
14 – Are you noticing paper-trails between yourself and your superiors?
15 – Are you finding it almost impossible to get approval or ‘buy in’ on projects?
16 – Have you recently been asked to work on a “special project?”
17 – Are your successes and accomplishments being glossed over?
18 – Are you currently being ‘retrained’ or are taking coaching sessions?
19 – Has your immediate boss or mentor gone bye-bye?
20 – Have you recently been promoted to a position of less responsibility?

If you are one of those unfortunate people who are seeing these signs, I think it probably good idea to start looking for a new career and work for another company. If you do find one, you can give your resignation rather then get the slip. If you did, you can use Sample Resignation Letters from emurse. =)


Microsoft -> Google -> what's next?

Among many things, there are so many indications of how similar Google's growth compared to former Microsoft. It had always been in my mind that what is going to kill Google like how Google killed Microsoft.

Microsoft is still somewhat growing strong company. However, when you look at it deep down and follow the news, it seems like Microsoft is trying desperately to somehow beat Google. With such a huge resources that Microsoft has, they've been trying for many years now but for some reason they are not being able to catch up on innovation that Google have shown.

While I was reading through articles, the The Final Days of Google: It is going to be an inside job from I,CRINGLY jumped out of the crowd. I think it is the most likely scenario of how Google can crumble on it's own feet. If you read through the article, the reason for Google's demise can be categorize in three folds:

The flaw is simple and is composed of three parts. First there are those thousands of ideas and technologies that are being developed by Google employees in the 20 percent of their week devoted specifically for that purpose. That number of new ideas is far too high to be practical and too high even to be considered safe.


Google has designed a working environment that provides almost everything their technical people need except a guaranteed sense of satisfaction. By design each worker is no more than 100 feet from a bathroom or food and drink (at Google the food is always free). This creates an environment where people tend not to go home, which Microsoft discovered and leveraged decades ago. But nobody works every minute they are AT work, which means the Google Geeks are constantly talking with each other, team building, bonding, and goofing off. And for 20 percent of that goofing-off time I'll guarantee you that many of these people are discussing their pet projects, 99.75 percent of which have been REJECTED by the company.


Now a word about stock options and vesting. Google employees get stock options that vest over a period of four years. In any high-tech company there is an employee change of attitude that comes with being fully vested. At Microsoft in the 1980s some people wore buttons that said "FYIFV," which stood for "F**k You I'm Fully Vested." At companies that have gone public, as Google has, there is often also an outflow of employees around that four-year anniversary. We'll see that at Google, too, no matter how cushy it is to work there.


Bargain deals online

If you are like me, I'm always looking for the great discounted deals for the products that I need to buy. For you to find the discount, it usually require you to be patient and be willing to wait for the product to be either on sale. Or you can browse on these two sites that I check out everyday to see what are on sale.

For discounted rates, http://www.dealhack.com/ provides searched discount prices online with plain discount or coupon prices on electronic items.

Also, there are popular one item per day deal sites like http://www.woot.com/ which provides discounted prices on random items! You usually need to wait for the product you want to be displayed but again if you don't check them out everyday early, you might miss out on the deal. It is kind of fun to track these items just because you don't know what item will be sold next day.

For other general deals, ebay is another good source. However, ebay is usually not my first choice for shopping because I had been scammed few times and ebay nor paypal were providing me adequate steps to reimburse my losses.


Reminicent of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

One of my colleague forwarded me an article written by Dr. Michio Kaku, physicist and author, in an interview at KurzweilAI.net that ranges from the Multiverse to "The Matrix." (Equally entertaining in its own way is the classic geek
fight in the comments attached to the interview.)

When I read the below phrases regarding how we might be able to find/recognize/communicate with extra-terrestrial if we do ever meet them, it does makes perfect sense. Ever since I was a young boy (who was addicted to Star Wars and Star Trek), I always had similar questions because it doesn't always makes sense and not plausible to think that extra-terrestrial would every be in similar size, physical form, and/or in same spectrum of intelligence.

Many people believe that they would be some what recognizable... which I have no idea why would those people who would think such a thing. I believe most of the display of so called "aliens" are drawn in such a way for entertainment reasons as well as for people to be able to relate and recognize them. Think about it. If the aliens are indeed illumination form which are not recognized by any of the human senses and not interactive with people, think of how boring it would be. Human and aliens living together without even noticing each other. You cannot make a movie nor media material with such thing!

I personally think that SETI is looking in the wrong direction. If, for example, we're walking down a country road and we see an anthill, do we go down to the ant and say, "I bring you trinkets, I bring you beads, I bring you knowledge, I bring you medicine, I bring you nuclear technology, take me to your leader"? Or, do we simply step on them? Any civilization capable of reaching the planet Earth would be perhaps a Type III civilization. And the difference between you and the ant is comparable to the distance between you and a Type III civilization. Therefore, for the most part, a Type III civilization would operate with a completely different agenda and message than our civilization.

Let's say that a ten-lane superhighway is being built next to the anthill. The question is: would the ants even know what a ten-lane superhighway is, or what it's used for, or how to communicate with the workers who are just feet away? And the answer is no. One question that we sometimes ask is if there is a Type III civilization in our backyard, in the Milky Way galaxy, would we even know its presence? And if you think about it, you realize that there's a good chance that we, like ants in an anthill, would not understand or be able to make sense of a ten-lane superhighway next door.


Google buying yet another company? (Feedburner)

Google had been on hot streak on acquiring top online companies. Now there is another rumor about Google Acquiring Feedburner? posted by Pete Cashmore in mashable. It does seems makes sense based on what they can offer from Feedburner as the quote below, however, it seems too soon to acquire many companies within such a short amount of time. I can foresee that there will be quite a huge amount of chaos and confusion at Google try to get all the mergers through and put each companies technological and strategic strength together and create synergy.

We’ve seen some ridiculously false rumors over the past few weeks, so we’re not buying into this one until we see a press release. But it does make logical sense: Vecosys hears from a “VERY trusted source” that Google is buying the RSS management and advertising service Feedburner, and that the deal would have been announced sooner if it wasn’t for that itsy bitsy DoubleClick purchase.

For us, it passes the smell test: Feedburner has been a prime acquisition target for over a year, and Google needs to get into the RSS ad market. They could even merge Feedburner’s stat tracking with Google Analytics, providing all your stats in one place. The question is: why wouldn’t Google buy Feedburner?


Google have been holding it's growth rate and buying companies at premium prices like I have posted in my previous posts. Lots of them have been providing Google with more headache than superior gain. YouTube, for example, was purchased $1.65 billion dollars while it is suffering from billion dollar law suite from multiple sources as it have been springs up quite often in the news. Forbes have written a fairly elaborate article on the possible trouble that Google might get into from purchase of the Double Click: Google's TroubleClick.

Not only DoubleClick's clients possibly compete against Google, but Google's access to user's web browse behavior tracking from DoubleClick can have privacy issues for users. With the Google's huge search and behavioral algorithm combined with DoubleClick's user behavioral model, your whole privacy can be compromised.

"Now that DoubleClick has lost its independence, it's an uncomfortable feeling," says Andy Mitchell, managing director of AdLINK, a British online advertising network that has used DoubleClick's ad service. He says he is considering dropping the service if the deal goes forward and thinks other networks may do the same.

Mitchell says that DoubleClick has always promised ad networks that their data would not be shared or used to work with advertisers and publishers directly. He worries that trust will be diminished now that the company is owned by a possible competitor.

Jeff Green, chief operations office of DoubleClick competitor AdECN, argues that content providers will think twice about dealing with Google. He also predicts that ad networks will fret over working with a company that has direct ties to publishers and advertisers. "They're afraid that Google will want to cut out the middleman," Green says. "As an ad network, you'd be partnering with someone owned by another business basically dedicated to killing you."

Green says he's spoken with six ad networks that have expressed misgivings over the DoubleClick buyout. And he's particularly concerned about the company's new ad exchange, a Nasdaq-style online advertising marketplace announced earlier this month. "Now it's as if Nasdaq owned Merrill Lynch," Green says. "You can't be both a referee and a player in the game."


On top of this long list of conflict of interest problems, DoubleClick also brings Google its history of user-end privacy controversies. The advertising service was one of the first to use "cookies," the often-criticized small files downloaded to users' computers to track their surfing. In 1999, DoubleClick tried to create a database of user profiles that would include personal information like names and addresses. That threat to consumer privacy unleashed a storm of protest against the company, as well as a Federal Trade Commission investigation and a class-action lawsuit, which was settled only in 2002 when DoubleClick agreed to make user data anonymous. Now the company also allows users to opt out of receiving cookies.

But privacy advocates like Alissa Cooper, a policy analyst at the Center for Democracy and Technology, worry that DoubleClick's privacy issues could resurface under a new owner. And given that the new owner is Google, a company with an enormous stock of private data in its own right, the potential for information invasion is even greater.

Cooper worries that DoubleClick's massive amount of private data about users' online behavior could be linked to Google's reams of search data to create detailed profiles of individuals. Privacy watchdogs have speculated that both Google's and DoubleClick's databases would be vulnerable to data leaks and ripe for abuse by a prying government. A combined information pool would be even more dangerous.


How to be in first page in Google

From my previous posts, I have laid out few articles and ways to make money off of online niches. In order for those items to work, you need to be able to increase traffic on your site to add more value return through online ads like adSense or payperclick.

It is much easier said than done. Most people fail because they cannot increase traffic to their web/blog sites. The downloadsqad posted Web Stats for Small Business which provide overviews on how you can increase traffic and what you should do in order to be in the first page from google search.

I cannot even get much traffic on my blog alone, it definitely needs lots of work/diligence in order to get this implemented and working for you. If you are serious about this, you need to really dig into this and get professional help if you can afford it.

1. Be Compliant - Make sure your Web site is W3C compliant [http://www.w3.org/] and search-engine friendly. That's a starting point that involves a careful Web audit and repair. If you're using FrontPage for a business site, it's time to stop. Develop a quality site that meets the rules.
2. Get a Google sitemap added to your site and submitted to Google.
3. Drive traffic to your site with quality links from important other Web sites. This means that you have to contact the Webmaster at another site that you think has great traffic that you want and get a quality link from them (and give them one in return).

"If you want to know more about this, click here." – This is an example of a bad link. Hyperlinked "click here" needs to disappear from Web sites.

"Contact Sue's Bakery to order custom wedding cakes in North Carolina." – That's a better link. Write your own link with the URL you want and send it to the other Webmaster. Like I said, it's human-intensive.

4. Pictures are secondary. Make sure that you have content-rich text on all your site pages; that your page titles use quality keywords; that you use quality meta tags. In short, get a quality Web designer.
5. SEO v SEM Learn the difference between SEO (Search Engine Optimization, more technical) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Check out SEMPO, the professional organization of SEM firms and look for a quality firm using SEMPO's search tool (check the firm's references, too).
6. Marketing - not IT Raising your ranking on any search engine is a marketing, not a technology, expense. Budget for it. Be open to buying keywords. Understand if you want a regional or national campaign.


Examples of Successful online businesses

You will be surprise to know what kind of online business works and successful. Some of the ideas are almost un-heard of and some even looks weird and abstract. However, some of them does works! Work very well indeed.

Here's 10 Unconventional But Successful Online Homebusiness Ideas submitted by Dmitri in Online Niches. Check out the summary of those 10 listings:

http://www.hardtofindseminars.com reselling old seminar materials

http://www.hungrypod.com/ uploading music to other people’s iPods

http://www.idonowidont.com/ sell their engagement rights for a better price

http://www.pickydomains.com/ risk-free domain naming service

http://www.greekgear.com/ researching what kind of products his former fraternity brothers

http://rickspicksnyc.com/ Pickling Windy City Wasabeans (soybeans in wasabi brine) and Slices of Life (sliced pickles in aromatic garlic brine)

http://www.militaryexits.com/ find companies value employees with military backgrounds, and she wanted to provide a one-stop link between the two

http://www.hotsauceblog.com/ blogg about hot sauces

http://amazingbutterflies.com/ a live-butterfly distributor

http://www.laneigepurse.com/ fashionable fanny pack


There are censored stories? No way!

While I was browsing through the net I found Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007 posted in projectcensored.org. By looking at the censored story title alone, you can tell probably reason why they might be censored.

However, in today's open media world, I don't think censoring anything is very hard if not possible. Internet provide us with such a great information transfer medium. The stories get wide spread within seconds like a wildfire!

#1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media
#2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran
#3 Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger
#4 Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US
#5 High-Tech Genocide in Congo
#6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy
#7 US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq
#8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act
#9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall
#10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians

I'll just post first 10 story titles. For the full stories and their details, please refer to Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007.

For these stories, do you think that they needs to be censored? If so, why?


Almost nonsense online business which worked!

When I first stumbled upon 10 Totally Stupid Online Business Ideas That Made Someone Rich submitted by Dmitri Davydov in Online Niches, I was amazed how these people made money with their online businesses. Most of them made at least 1 million dollars and lot more with their ideas! I can see that some of those ideas might have worked but I really think it's not as great as I would imagine to be a multi-million dollar business ideas.

1. Million Dollar Homepage
2. SantaMail
3. Doggles
4. LaserMonks
5. AntennaBalls
6. FitDeck
7. PositivesDating.Com
8. Designer Diaper Bags
9. PickyDomains
10. Lucky Wishbone Co.

I'm sure these are something that have worked among lots of online businesses that have failed. Also, owners of these ideas must have worked so hard to get them working. Prop to those owners that have made their business idea working! Someday I wish to have something similar. I just need good ideas. =)

Too bad we don't get to see something like "Totally Stupid Online Business Ideas that didn't work." I'm just interested in what people would consider as their online niche business ideas. Do you have any online business idea? If you do, what are they and how would you rate them?

Please visit 10 Totally Stupid Online Business Ideas That Made Someone Rich for full detail stories.

Love writing? You can make money online! Here's how.

I did not realize that there are lots of services that you can provide online that can contribute to your income. If you can do it well and do it full time, you can make quite a bit. 10+ Unusual Ways To Make Easy Money On The Internet If You Love Writing. submitted by Dmitri Davydov in Niche Marketing shows listings of what you can do.

Here are some easy ways to make money, if you like writing. (I probably should have said simple ways to make money, rather than easy ways to make money, because there is a difference between simple and easy. But who cares, this is about how to make easy money quickly).

1. Make easy money online naming domains.
2. eBay arbitrage.
3. eBay copywriting.
4. Get Paid Writing Reviews.
5. Social Bookmark Whoring (oops, I meant to say PR).
6. Writing Google AdWords Ads.
7. Wacky blogs.
8. Blog whoring.
9. Unique Personal Ads.
10. Poet For Hire.
11. Don’t EVEN THINK about majoring in English, Medieval Literature, Journalism or GET A REAL JOB, IF YOU WERE DUMB ENOUGH TO DO SO. Just kidding. If you love writing, just write, and the money will follow.

As you can see, it's again not such a great idea as you might have imagined. But by looking at the success that some online companies like Google/Yahoo/eBay are offering for their ad services for example, these are viable money making scheme! If you can write something that people are interested to read, you can definitely make big lump sum in no time!

Please see full story details from 10+ Unusual Ways To Make Easy Money On The Internet If You Love Writing..


Must have for an entrepreneur

Codswall have gathered together The Freelancer’s Toolset: 100 Web Apps for Everything You Will Possibly Need written by Yoav Ezer. If you are an entrepreneur who is looking for tools to get started, here are all the things that you'll need.

Running a business for yourself means you have to be inventive and always on the lookout for a new and better way to get things done. Innovation junkies, take note: the Internet has a lot to offer. From invoicing to marketing, these are tools that freelancers need to know about.

Here are list of tools that are linked and described in Codswall's site in categories:

Calendars & To-Do Lists
Money Managements
Project Management & Productivity
Writing & Design Tools
Security & Privacy
Mobility & Contact
Marketting & Networking
Business & Legal
Client Contact & Feedback
Website Tools
Printing & Packaging
Tools to Give & Take
and more

Money saving advice for college students

If you are a college student or parent with their child going into (or already in) the college, you might want to take a look at these lists and use them or pass them along to someone who needs these. The scholarships-ar-us.org have publuished 118 Ways to Save Money in College. They cover cost saving tips on following categories:

Managing the Money You Have
Computers - Hardware and Software
Entertainment- Music, Movies, Arts and Culture
Off-Campus Apartment Living
The Cost of Keeping in Touch
Make a Few Bucks


Google, GOOD or EVIL?

I have posted about how Google merging through the whole online scene couple days ago on May 11th "Google = Web technology absorbent?"

Apparently, I'm not the only one who think that Google might be growing too fast too big with too much control and power. San Francisco Chronicle presented article WHO'S AFRAID OF GOOGLE? written by Verne Kopytoff, Chronicle Staff Writer on Friday, May 11, 2007 wrote about "Firms in Silicon Valley and beyond fear search giant's plans for growth."

In the valley's cutthroat culture, Google is the equivalent of king. And as in many monarchies, the subjects are both submissive and restive.

Rich Skrenta, chief executive of Topix, a local news and community forums Web site in Palo Alto, described Google as being so ahead of everyone else that there is no real No. 2. Startup executives cower at mounting a challenge, he said.

"It's past fear -- it's the stages of grief, it's resignation -- and now everyone's depressed," Skrenta said.


Google building Big Brother?

Fear of Google also extends to its amassing of vast amounts of information about user behavior. Privacy advocates have called the repository of search query histories and e-mail the ultimate Big Brother that law enforcement and civil litigators could use to glean juicy personal information.


"People can get sensitive about that kind of information being known. But if Google didn't keep that information, people wouldn't be able to get to it," Opsahl said.

In response to the complaints, Google vowed recently that it would make it harder to link users to what they search for online. Under the plan, the company would shroud the information it collects about users in anonymity after keeping it for 18 to 24 months. Opsahl said the idea doesn't go far enough.


But he cautioned that the warning sign will come when Google becomes so dominant that customers cannot do without it. How well will Google deal with its customers' problems then?


Wary of Internet giant

Google's long tentacles have many running scared:

Silicon Valley: Concerned that Google's outsize ambition is squashing startups and raising salaries in the tech industry.

Madison Avenue: Fears that Google is taking over the advertising business and making established ad agencies irrelevant.

Hollywood: Takes umbrage at widespread piracy on Google's YouTube video service, claiming it violates copyright law.

Privacy advocates: Worry that Google's collection of personal information will create a massive database that can be mined by government.

Source: Chronicle research


Google = Web technology absorbent?

Google has the most recognized brand name (source: news.com) of year 2007 beating Microsoft and many other widely well known companies by fairly large margin. From this results, more people know about Google compared to Coca-Cola or Microsoft or GE! Take a look at the following figure for yourself.

1. Google--$66.4 billion
2. General Electric--$61.9 billion
3. Microsoft--$55 billion
4. Coca-Cola--$44.1 billion
5. China Mobile--$41.2 billion
6. Marlboro--$39.2 billion
7. Wal-Mart--$36.9 billion
8. Citigroup--$33.7 billion
9. IBM--$33.6 billion
10. Toyota Motor--$33.4 billion

Even after the incredible growth that Google has enjoyed, they are still looking into expanding and dominating the online market space. Not only developing and improving their own technologies, "Google Searches for Mergers Big and Small." Acquisitions of the big and well establishes companies in the recent months were meant to plug holes in businesses according to Chief Executive Eric Schmidt.

Google paid $1.65 billion to acquire video-sharing site YouTube in November, it's biggest deal at that time. Then, a month ago, it announced a $3.1 billion deal to buy DoubleClick, which offers advertising delivery technology and services.

On top of it, purchase of the smaller and developing companies are to acquire their engineering talent and their technologies to incorporate to Google of which most of them succeeded with astonishing figures.

Schmidt said that the company continues to view small technology acquisitions as the bread-and-butter of its merger strategy, mainly as a way to obtain new technology and talented engineers.

"In the past, we would buy businesses in lieu of (hiring) engineers," Schmidt said. These days, Google buys a start-up once every few days, or around one a week, he estimated.

Two examples of this approach—Keyhole (Google Earth) and Urchin (Analytics)—had strong technical teams, a technology head start, and were bought relatively inexpensively in the hopes of later generating billion dollar revenue streams, he said.

It looks like Google is absorbing all innovative technologies while other similar competitors like Yahoo and Microsoft is missing the opportunities. Because Google is web based and user base, such a fast growths and popularities Google has enjoys was possible.

Who would have thought Google could have beaten both Microsoft and Yahoo in such a short time in their established online market space? This shows that other companies innovative edge can do something similar to Google as well. Perhaps, Google knows this and that might be why they are trying to absorb all the big and small companies with good prospects or technology base.


Important document replacement strategies

For all the important documents, you would never want to lose them. First and most important thing to do is, of course, not to lose them in the first place. Put them in a safe or some dedicated place where you know you can find them. Also, it is very important to keep a copy of all the important documentations.

When you do lose them, most of the time you don't know how to replace them nor who to contact to get more information. Now not to worry and put the panic aside. The bargaineering.com put to gather How To Replace Destroyed or Lost Important Documents page.

Birth Certificate
Driver’s License
Social Security Card
Property Deed
Title Insurance Policy
Car Title
Marriage License (and Divorce papers)

How to deal with companies as their consumer to protect yourself

Ron Burley has put together Consumer Guide: Fighting Back with excellent guidance to help yourself against the companies who refuses to help you with the problem that they have caused you.

Sometimes you need to be a bully to get what you deserve

Rather then me summarize what's been already said by Ron, here is the quote of seven items that he iterates.

Your time is money. Resolving a business dispute should never cost more than what the bungled product or the service is worth.

Appeal to the company's bottom line by making clear that it will cost more to ignore you than to give you what you want.

If speaking up makes you nervous, write yourself a script of what you will say to the unscrupulous business.

If you're getting nowhere with customer service, call Investor Relations or the Sales Department. Both are trained to make happy customers, rather than just make them go away.

When on the phone, get every representative's full name, agent number, and call-center location. Don't believe lines like "I'm the only Mike here."

If you shout or swear, the biz has an excuse to label you a "problem customer" and not take you seriously.

Your credit card company can be your best friend. Ask for a charge to be put "on hold" to give you additional leverage when dealing with a problem company.

Also, don't forget to visit AARP site for full details.


Microsoft on a buying streak

The inquirer.net have published that Ballmer still fancies buying something to expand already a huge company.

THE SHY and retiring, softly spoken, CEO of Microsoft, Steve "sounds of silence" Ballmer has told Reuters that he is still shopping and has not given up hope that he will be able to buy something big quite soon.

The recent decline of Yahoo purchase shows that not that many companies are willing to join Microsoft if they have a choice. The cultural differences (or lack of culture) provided negative views toward Microsoft as a whole, not to mention their actions to seek for dominance in the software and internet market as a whole.

In the past, Microsoft has acquired many companies over past years, where not all of them worked out toward Microsoft's favor. Giant AntiSpyware for example, was a huge failure. Giant AntiSpyware itself was a great company until it got acquired by Microsoft. Now, their defender product shows miserable performance against their competitions.

However, these are risk that Microsoft needs to overcome especially when Microsoft is looking to acquire more companies to obtain instantaneous market share rather then doing their own ground up developments. Now that i think about it, I think it would have worked out better if they did indeed developed their applications ground up with their talented resources... What do you think?

Joost funding of $45 million

It is no secret that Joost is moving forward specially running close to the public release. With such prestigious founders from Skype, there is no question that it'll move forward and at least will make some noise.

Joost raises $45 million

The internet television platform started by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström has raised $45 million in capital.

Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, Li K-shing, and CBS have all put some money in, although that's not a comprehensive list. So far, Joost had been funded primarily out of the pockets of Friis and Zennström.


Apple + Sun = ???

We all know that there are lots of talk of possible merger between Apple and Sun. Their had been talk of the merger before and there is no reason for that to fire up again in the future. Even now, lots of work are being done between the two companies including open-office and J2EE. In a long run, it does makes sense against the competitions. Their cultural behavior are similar and their innovative directions are somewhat similar. With their alliance, they can definitely fire-up the heat against their competitions.

Seth Weintraub has written a good summary on his site: Sun and Apple Forging Alliance.

Futuristic hotels!

Wow, when I first saw World’s Top 10 Futuristic Luxury Hotels compiled by bornrich.org, my eyes almost popped out. It really is something that you would see in the movie but these are the once they are under planned or developed! I would really wanted to post some pictures but I think you should goto their site for full details. But again, I cannot resist putting few of them here!


SuTree, watch and learn

In a fast phased work environment like today, work related training or interest related training is very important. Not only being able to learn but to learn fast is more important when you are always running out of time. The SuTree.com offers something you might be interested if you are one of those people who want to find some tutorials that you would like to go through. Here's the description of what SuTree does from their web site.

SuTree is a knowledge community.
We nurture the ultimate tree of knowledge:
the world's largest index & library of free video
lessons, video tutorials, video lectures & video how to guides.

Our content is handpicked by our users and then
examined by our team/community.

Google's new layout?

While I was searching thru the web with google, all of the sudden I noticed that the layout of search results from google seems to be somewhat different! Google is known to run tests on unsuspected people. When I first saw this layout, it was quite useful. It almost had similar feel as the google desktop application.

Also, it seems like I wasn't the only one who saw the new layout. Check out the story on techcrunch.

You have a child? Let's become a great dad!

If you have a child and you are a man, obviously you are a dad! I'm not sure about how would some people might think but as a proud father of my daughter, I really want to be a great dad. Zen Habits, as a father of 6 kids, has written down 12 tips to be a great dad.

How to be a Great Dad - 12 Awesome Tips

1 Put their interests first,
2 Protect them. As a dad,
3 Spend your spare time with them.
4 Give them hugs.
5 Play with them.
6 Do the “mom” stuff.
7 Read to them.
8 Stand by mom.
9 Teach them self-esteem.
10 Teach them about finances.
11 Be good to yourself.
12 Be good to the mom.


I'm up for gadgets but these are strange even to my standards

I'm always looking for new astonishing gadgets that are developed all over the world. I'm very open minded and acceptable when I find the new gadgets with new concepts. However, the Top 20 Strangest Gadgets and Accessories shows some really weird gadgets even to me! The "1. Synthetic Human Skin Laptop Bags" really freaked me out which you can see why in the attached image on the right...

Here are all 20 listings. For pictures and descriptions, please visit techeblog site for further information.

1. Synthetic Human Skin Laptop Bags
2. Shower Belt
3. Knife Block Shaped Like Human Head
4. BriefSafe
5. RSStroom Reader
6. Touch Rubik’s Cube
7. SatuGO - Bouncing Digital Camera
8. The Head Bath Cap
9. The Sauce Dispensing Chopsticks
10. Radio Toaster
11. Rat Race Clock
12. Headlight LCD Combo
13. Wood LED Clock
14. The Mini Desk
15. Gas Powered Blender
16. Cup Noodle Stove
17. The Baller Cheating Pen
18. Talking Japanese Watches
19. Portable Cardboard Speakers
20. The Talking Lips

Want to improve your presentations? Here's how!

For most engineers, presentation usually comes as a horror since naturally most of us are not used to speaking in public (of-course there are few exceptions). If you are one of us common engineers and needed to set-up a tutorials or presentations, ririanproject.com have excellent guidance which is posted by their guest note from Scott Young.

5 Powerful Hacks to Immediately Improve Your Presentations.

Those five hacks are as follows:

Hack #1: Rephrase Questions
Hack #2: Pause, Don’t Trip
Hack #3: Write Out the Tricky Parts
Hack #4: Watch Your Apologies
Hack #5: Don’t Distract With Powerpoint

Bored again? Check out 118 "You Know You're in College When..."

These "You Know You're in College When..." statements reminds me of my university years! Although, not all of them but there are so many of them I can relate to and lot more of which I can see that happens during those years! I have listed first 10 listing for your viewing pleasure!

1. High school started before 8am, but now anything before noon is considered "early".

2. You have more beer than food in your fridge.

3. Weekends start on Thursday.

4. 6am is when you go to sleep, not when you wake up.

5. You know many different ways to cook ramen noodles or macaroni and cheese.

6. The health center gives out free condoms, and people take them… just in case.

7. Instead of falling asleep in class, you stay in bed.

8. You know how late McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Qdoba, etc. are open.

9. You think it’s the weekend on a Wednesday and you don’t know what month it is.

10. You can't remember the last time you washed your car.


Microsoft + Yahoo???

Apparently Microsoft is hoping to join with Yahoo in order to overcome Google's dominance in internet related businesses success that Google have shown. According to forbe Microsoft is lagging behind both Google as well as Yahoo by large margin. The formal negotiation of $50 billion dollar have been initiated.

Microsoft has asked Yahoo! to enter formal negotiations for a proposed acquisition worth about $50 billion. Something along the lines of “all your search are belong to us” or “you will be assimilated, resistance is futile” comes to mind regarding this possibility.

However, according to WSJ from gizmodo have reported that Yahoo have turned down the Microsoft's offer due to lack of MS vibe!

According to the WSJ, it looks like Yahoo is going to turn down Microsoft yet again. They claim that Yahoo just wasn't feeling the MS vibe.
And thanks to the reader, only known to us as "Dean", for envisioning what the possible merger could of looked like down the road. Mmmm, pie.– Ben Longo


Amazing body hack from Lifehacker!

Gina did it again. She have listed out Top 10 Body Hacks on her lifehacker site. Here are the listings of 10 body hacks!

* 1. Hold your breath longer
* 2. Cure warts with duct tape
* 3. Stop brain freeze with your tongue
* 4. Scratch your leg to make it to the loo
* 5. Power use your ears
* 6. Free your mind under a high ceiling
* 7. Think while you sleep
* 8. Cure hiccups with water
* 9. Whistle with two fingers
* 10. Tell if someone's lying

Tired of dying laptop batteries? Here's how to prevent it.

After the technological booms and cost reductions, nowadays most people owns their own laptops either for work or for home usage. However, most people are not familiar with how the batteries in the laptop is being used and because of that same reason, they do not know how to improve the battery life. Timothy Captain from LaptopMag.com has excellent illustration of 5 tips that can save your laptop. Take a look at his article Five Tips For Better Notebook Battery Life and "Find out how to get the absolute longest endurance possible."

How to avoid speeding tickets

If you are a driver, you would be dreaded to receive a speeding tickets. When you get one, you end up with fine and on top of that, you end up with insurance premium increase and lot more! With small investments in preparation before your trip and taking little bit of caution, you can always avoid this costly mistakes. At least for your preparation part, check out this Bear Trap site for information on where the cops might be hiding in the corner!


Scripting in Unix/Linux to make you life easier

If you are a dedicated engineer or in programming, you probably are familiar with unix or linux operating systems. However, not all of you know how to use all the tools to make your life easier.

One of the most useful scripting that I have learned in my career is perl scripting. If you are interested, follow the resource links and learn what it is all about! You can get perl tools if you don't already have one from perl.com. The Perl tutorials are provided by perldoc.perl.org with excellent references.

Another useful tool is Shell/Bash programming. You can refer to shell scripting resources and Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide.

Again, if you are stuck or out of ideas or need example syntax, you can alway goto Google code search and search for how other people have implemented their codes.

In case, some people who are interested but only have MS-Windows systems. You can take a look at cygwin for unix environmental setting without having to change your operating system. Take a look at Introduction to Cygwin for more details.

Let's remove files in your hdd once and for all!

Most people are not aware the delete button on your operating system does not in fact delete the file content itself but it removes the pointer to that content within the hard drive space. Therefore, unless it is overwritten by some other file or some other contents, it will stay there for a long time. This is basically what data recovery service provides. They try to recover the un-overwritten content in your hard drive to recover what once was "deleted." This can pose problem if you have sensitive data within the computer that you are using. If you need to throw away your old computer, you better clean out your hdd content, otherwise, someone else can get hold of your personal data!

Robin Harris have excellent article on How to REALLY erase a hard drive

Amazing world of new species!

World definitely is full of amazing things. Who would have imagined that there could be an animal looks like Pikachu from Pokemon! Alas, it is actually called octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis. The comparison of both is shown from boston.com site. This octopus species apparently is one of many amazing looking species that is living in a deep sea! If there can be such a diverse species types, imagine what we can find from outer space! I cannot wait until we discover the true aliens that we are dreaming about. I bet you that it won't be anything like the gray black eyed aliens that we are familiar with from many sci-fi books. Any comments? Thoughts?

Joost unlimited!

If you haven't heard, joost is now offering unlimited invitations to the current beta users. Previously, they were only limited to the hand-full of beta users and anyone who wanted to join had to receive limited invitations from current joost beta testers just like that of gmail during it's initial test phase. As of today, joost have removed limitation to amount of invitation that can be given out by current beta testers.

It is like YouTube but with more legal television contents as well as better resolution. According to Joost:

Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping.

I am fortunate enough to get myself an invitation and have been very pleased with quality of the television that I can see. If you would like to join and require an invitation, please leave me a comment with your email address. I'll send you an invitation as soon as I can.


Joost unlimited! ==REMOVED==

Due to technical difficulties, this post could not add comments. Thus, I'm removing this post and re-creating the new one. Please repost your comments in my new post since I have lost the once that were posted here.


Put better use of your USB drive

If you are somehow related to working with computer one way or another, there is a real good chance that you own USB drive no matter what their size is. Most people just store some files on the USB drive and not being able to explore the full potential of it's use. Did you know that you can have portable application that you can run off from your USB drive which does not require installation to your desktop or laptop? Did you know you can have fully functional OS or browse the net or check your emails or have recovery application all stored in one USB drive (provided that it has enough memory size)?

If you are interested, pcstats have excellent Beginners Guides: Essential USB Memory Drive Projects & Tips.

Encryption, Firefox browser, word processing, arcade games and yes even an operating system can be run off your USB hard drive... if you know how! - Version 1.0.0

Also, lifehacker has her LH Top 10: USB thumb drive tricks.

Hugh housing price decline in US

According to CNN Home sales: Worst drop in 18 years. There were many speculations whether housing bubble will burst anytime soon and here is one of the indication that we might be at reflection point of the price fall.

Sales pace much lower than forecasts, prices show year-over-year drop for eighth straight month.

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer