4.18.2008

Download Mp3 Music Safely

Download Mp3 Music SafelyDON'T Download JUNK! Make sure your download mp3 music is a quality mp3 and that your music download doesn't have hidden downloads that will not only ruin your search for great music but will annoy you and invade your privacy.

Here are the four hidden downloads most free music sites install on your computer when you download mp3‘s.

1.Spyware is almost always contained in mp3 freeware and shareware downloads. The spyware gathers information and monitors the activities you perform, unbeknown to you.

2.Adware is also contained in these mp3 download networks. Your computer can and probably will be stuffed with a huge amount of intrusive advertising.

3.Pornography is very prevalent on the Internet. Be very aware that porn peddlers disguise their software as the latest free mp3 download or game demo to redirect your modem to porn sites.

4.Spoofing is when download mp3 networks are filled with fake files. For example, if you download what you think is a popular mp3 song, you will get the same ten seconds of the song over and over again.

So in your hunt to download mp3 ‘s and create your own library of music, be selective of which music download site you use. There are many to choose from but few that offer privacy protection, online service, tech help, spyware-free and adware-free downloads, as well as a large library of quality mp3’s.

Things have come a long way with regards of how we listen to our favorite music. It's as easy as a push of a button with digital music.

Knowing where to start, how you want to listen to your music and what you want to do with it, is the first step. When you download mp3 files from online music services, you need to know what they allow you to do. Some songs are just for listening to, some can be downloaded, and some can be burned to a CD or a portable music player.

A few owners of certain artists publishing rights will not grant the license rights, which means some mp3's are not available for downloading.

The majority of the time, you'll find what you're looking for because the larger download MP3 subscription music web sites have access to the catalog of the Five Big Labels – Sony, Warner, Universal, EMI, and BMG, which account for about 80% of recorded music.

So now that you have the facts on how to download mp3 ‘s, do some research for quality music download sites, take advantage of any Free Trials, download lot’s of music, turn up the volume and don’t forget to Sing Along!

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Downloading Music!

Downloading MusicMP3 technology was the catalyst to one of the biggest revolutions in the media business in nearly 30 years. When cassette tapes became popular in the late 1970's and early 1980's, the music industry did the now-familiar Chicken Little dance about its way of life being destroyed. The industry quickly co-opted that threat, turning albums on cassettes into a very lucrative business.

In the mid-80's, CDs promised superior quality at lower prices, but we wound up only getting the better quality. Consumers never got the promised price break—album prices continued to climb. Those chickens would come home to roost soon enough.

It's taken the music industry the better part of ten years to finally devise some legal alternatives to the P2P file-sharing networks, and now there are well over a dozen online music services legally offering a wide range of genres to satisfy most musical palettes. Aside from one service's downloads being three cents cheaper than the next, what sets them apart? Which one gives you most flexibility about how you enjoy your music? And which one really gives you the most of what you want for your money?

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9 things you must do to maximize your chances of obtaining a small business loan

small business loanTo get approval for your small business loan application, you must be able to meet the lending criteria set down. Some organisations are more risk averse than others, and will therefore have more stringent criteria.

To vastly increase your chances of a successful funding application, you will need to present the following information:

1. The reason for the loan. The lender will be looking for something that fits within the normal range and expertise of your business. The amount may cover a number of items, so you will need to cover each.

2. The amount required, and the repayment term of the small business loan you want. (e.g. $10,000 term 5 years, payable quarterly).

3. Details of how you will repay the amount borrowed. For example, “From the increase in profits of reduced running costs of the Whizzbang Go4It”

4. Details of security you will be able to offer to the lender. This will act as reassurance for the lender. If you’re not prepared to put up some aspect of security, then why should they?

5. You will need to include your business plan which will serve to answer essential questions relating to management capabilities, information about the market you operate in. What kind of business you are in etc.

6. 3 Years financial statements. You will need to present quality financial information from your accounting software, preferably signed off by your accountant or tax advisor.

7. Latest Set of Management accounts. Again produced from your accounting software.

8. Accounts receivables (debtors) and payables (creditors) ageing reports.

9. Principals financial statements. – Particularly required if some form of security is necessary.

If you are a new company, the emphasis is going to be on your business plan, and the security (also called collateral) you or your business can provide against the loan.

You must take the time to practice presenting your case to the bank or lender to iron out any glitches. Practice on your colleagues and family (you never know, they might be so impressed, they'll invest or lend!). It may help to role play the lender and come up with as many pointy questions as possible. The more time you take the better your chances will be. (But remember, don’t fall into the analysis paralysis trap!)

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9 Strategies for Writing Accounts Payable Procedures

Writing Accounts Payable ProceduresThe white flag is just a nose away…toward the Million dollar prize in cash savings for your business…

So far, in Inventory and Accounts Receivable, we've found $250,000 each in cash savings. Then we found another 250K in Sales and Marketing. And so, now, Accounts Payable is the final process within the Cash to Cash Cycle - and also the final $250,000.

The cash cycle is undoubtedly the single most important process to optimize for any business – from when you spend money to when you get money.

Circling the Cash to Cash Cycle

So let’s tie this back to accounts payable - the event that pays for the liability incurred by purchasing, which is for inventory required by manufacturing to meet demand. Sales generate this demand that creates the accounts receivables, which is turned into cash. And now we have come full circle and completed the discussion on the cash to cash cycle.

Increasing the Velocity of Accounts Payable Processes

Your accounts payable is a bit different than the other processes we have examined so far. The first three processes we looked at represented processes where the focus was on reducing the size of assets (inventory or accounts receivable) or expenses (marketing) and increasing the velocity or cycle time. But in accounts payable our focus is on increasing the size of the asset, while maintaining a solid credit rating - and increasing the velocity of the process.

Now let’s look at how to find $250,000 in accounts payable savings. If your organization has $500,000 in accounts payable each month, then STOP! We can find $250,000 in savings right here. Where, you ask? Increasing payables by 25% will produce $125,000 in cash plus $125,000 from automating tasks, taking more discounts, and managing the process better.

Service Business Procedures Case Study

An organization with $600,000 in monthly payables needed assistance. We examined their payables process to understand and quantify workflow, paper processing and credit issues. Then we designed and implemented a process to increase their use of payables and discounts, improve their payables cycle efficiency, and tie it to their purchasing and receivable cycles. We then reinvested $50,000 back into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program to automate some of the processes that weren’t automated already.

The metrics we developed reduced their purchasing & payables expenses by 25% and increased their efficiency from 50% to 75% within 2 months of implementing the new procedures. With these new processes and reports, the company now tracks payables cycle efficiency and average days payables, rather than just bills paid on time or outstanding balance, as the measure of their payables effectiveness. The result: an extra $300,000 in cash plus a 50% increase in process capability (capacity).

But how?

Methods to Design Your News Accounts Payable and Accounting Procedures

• Eliminate Paper. The single biggest cost for any purchasing and payables department is paper, including: purchase orders, purchase order follow-up, small-dollar purchases, delivery tracking & receipts, and vendor payments. Utilizing paperless invoices, Web-based supplier self-servicing, centralized vendor files, automated workflows for electronic or imaged invoices (see ERP below), and payment methods, such as business credit cards, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), can reduce paper handling costs by as much as 90%.

• Integrate ERP Systems. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) automates the purchasing and payables functions, which allows a company to get more work done with fewer personnel. Also, electronic invoice matching applications save time in retrieving paperwork. It is estimated that an ERP system can annually save an organization $300 per million in sales.

• Increase Payment Terms. Negotiate payment terms based on receipt of goods or the invoice. This can add one week or more to your terms, which can be 25% of 30 day terms. Use EFT for just-in-time payments to maximize your payables terms and minimizing the impact to your credit.

• Take Payment Discounts. If you are getting 2%/10 net 30 terms, then consider taking it. This means you are offered a 2% discount if you pay within 10 days, instead of the normal 30 day terms. This translates into an 18% return on your capital, and for many organizations this is a good return on your investment.

• Review Purchases. Purchasing is a continuous process that requires continuous review. Consider: transportation charges, expedited fees, odd lot penalties, new pricing, new products, consolidating vendors, new vendors or buying groups, payment terms, and more. Communicate with your suppliers to improve the process. And review and monitor everything to account for changes in your environment.

• Communicate with Suppliers. Communicate with your suppliers to improve the process. Ask suppliers to submit their invoices electronically. This will save you time, resources and losses due to waste.

• Eliminate Disputes. Disputes with your suppliers are typically the result of a problem with your purchasing/receiving process. When disputes occur, review your purchasing procedures to ensure that they are producing the correct metrics and that you are not forced to pay for your mistakes.

• Reduce Errors. Overpayments, payments made to the wrong vendors, fake invoices, or even late payments represent a common problem for payables. Increasing your focus on error control, along with written procedures and audits, can reduce these errors considerably.

• Train personnel. Provide your accounts payable staff with regular formal training. This will arm them with better knowledge of frauds, negotiating skills, and an understanding of the economics of payables – which will result in improved effectiveness.

Accounting Policies and Procedures for Cash in the Bank

In the past few weeks, we have showed you four parts of your financial statements that will each contribute $250,000 in cash savings. The last hurdle was Accounts Payable, and we sailed through it. And now we have crossed our final goal: $1,000,000!

Time was - and is - the key. All you have to do is own it. And, remember, next week we will put together each of the four elements of the cash to cash cycle, and look at how it affects the working capital of your business.

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7 Things to Consider Before Buying Small Business Accounting Software

Small Business Accounting SoftwareThe world of small business accounting software can be a minefield for any business owner. However choosing the right package is one of the most critical business decisions you will make.

Here are the seven things you must consider before making a purchase that will help you achieve your businesses goals.

1. Scalability

Businesses change over time so it's critical that the small business accounting software you choose can change too. Some things that often change are the number of products and services offered and the number of employees. When you choose your package try and imaging the business in 5 years or 10 years time and how different it will be. Use this information to guide your purchase decision. It may well be better to pay a little more now for the software knowing that it can be easily upgraded when needed with minimum disruption and cost to your business.

2. Support

It is important that any software has great support for when something goes wrong (and it always does). Most major companies offer support but you also need to think about support in your local area. It's often much easier to have someone locally come in and do things you need done with your software than have someone trying to help you over the phone. Make some
enquiries with other businesses about the package they use and who helps them.

3. Accountant Interface

It's most unlikely you will handle every aspect of your businesses accounting. Your accountant is an important factor in making the right decision. What software are they used to working with and what do they prefer? Can you easily supply them data and reports from your package without the need for any extra work (which you'll have to pay for). Don't be afraid to ask their opinion as they live and breathe this stuff.

4. Best Value For Money

Once you have selected the right package for your business you may as well get the best value. Shop around as the price can vary greatly and the product is exactly the same. Online merchants such as Amazon may offer better pricing because of the sheer volume of products they sell. However price is only one part of the equation so if their is great merchant locally with support or installation assistance this may be far more valuable.

5. Major Brands

There are two major players in the small business accounting software market. They are QuickBooks and Peachtree. Microsoft is expected to enter the market soon. I recommend choosing a major brand so that you can get regular updates and you know the company will be around as long as your business needs them.

6. Ease of Use

Ease of use is a personal thing but it is worth trying the software before you buy it if you can. Remember to get the person who will be the main user to test the software as well. Also consider how well the package can interact with other software you use. This is an advantage the Microsoft package may have when it's available.

7. Features Needed

I touched on this earlier when talking about thinking ahead as to where you business will be in 5 or 10 years time. Most accounting software packages come in several different versions. If you don't need certain features now and can't see a need for them in the future then don't buy them. The major differences are usually - number of users allowed, inventory management capability and number of reports available.

To sum up think ahead when planning your purchase of small business accounting software. You will make a much smarter business decision that will save you plenty of trouble and money in the future.

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3 Essential Tools for Starting and Maintaining a Small Business

Maintaining Small BusinessWe believe that there are 3 factors that drive the success of small businesses.

1) Acquiring start-up capital
2) Finding customers
3) Accounting for, budgeting and controlling sales and expenses

The following resources will help your small business achieve these success factors.

Acquiring Start-Up Capital

An adequate supply of capital is essential as many profitable businesses fail because they don’t have enough cash to pay their employees and suppliers. But what is an adequate supply of capital? The only way to tell is by doing a significant amount of research on your potential market and formally documenting this in a business plan. I’m sure you know that a business plan is a very important document that is crucial to convincing your banker to lend you money.

There are two ways to obtain a business plan.

1) Do it yourself by amending a business plan template, or
2) Hire a professional to do it for you.

Obviously obtain will be a great deal cheaper.

Our research led to a website that has over 60 high quality and free business plan templates. We also found a directory that you can use to easily find a business plan writer in your city – where ever you live in the world.

Finding Customers

Finding customers is a difficult and expensive task for service business owners such as accountants, lawyers and plumbers. We believe that a cost effective marketing strategy for service business owners is to simply give all their personal contacts a few business cards.

Our research led to a few websites that have pre-designed business card templates. We felt that the diversity and quality of these designs was outstanding. In addition, we found that you can obtain a significant saving by finding a printing service on the Internet. We found that you could get 2,000 full color business cards for as little as US $150.

Accounting For, Budgeting and Controlling Revenue and Expenses

Accurate accounting is very important for small business owners. It’s essential that you have timely access to information that could make or break your business. If stocks are running low – you need to know about it. If a large proportion of your debtors haven’t paid – you need to know about it. If you do not react to these situations quickly you may have a situation where you don’t have enough money to pay your employees – or worse still someone is stealing cash out the till.

Our research led to a website that compares and reviews top accounting software for small businesses. The cheapest software cost US $89.99 and the most expensive software cost US $1,499. It was interesting to note that the top 3 ranked websites were not the most expensive and cost between US $250 - US $300.

Hopefully you now have an idea of some of the tools that you can use to grow and maintain your small business. If you would like to benefit from our research please visit our website. We do not charge for this research and offer the content freely on our website.

by: Ryan Hough
http://www.best-quality-small-business-resources.com/

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4.03.2008

Benefits of A Golf Fitness Stretch Trainer

A Golf FitnessHardly any professional worth his name today will dare approach their game without a golf fitness stretch trainer of sorts.

The game of golf has changed tremendously in recent times. No longer is it viewed as the leisure sport of old. Golf is now recognized as an athletic sport where performance depends a lot on your fitness level. Thus the wide introductions of golf fitness stretch trainers and training.

Stretch training plays an important role in improving the flexibility of a golfer and therefore the quality of the swing both in terms of controlled direction and much more power and distance.

A stretch training program from a qualified golf fitness stretch trainer will also help in increasing strength in the golf-specific muscles of the golfer.

A golf fitness stretch trainer also helps a professional golfer to recognize the correct warm-up exercises to carry out before any session on the course. This not only improves performance greatly, but it also reduces on the risk of injury.

Golf related injuries can be quite frustrating to a golfer especially when that golfer continues to ignore the possible benefits in quick and permanent recovery that are possible with the help of a golf fitness stretch trainer.

There is one compelling factor about golf that makes the work of a golf fitness stretch trainer so important. In other sports, it is possible to increase fitness level and muscle strength by simply playing the game itself as much as possible.

Sadly this is not the case with golf. One of the reasons is that the most common and strenuous activity in the game, the golf swing, usually lasts barely a second.

This means that the only way to improve golf fitness and the strength of muscles is by exercising away from the course and generally making use of the services of a golf fitness stretch trainer.

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Beginning Billiards

Beginning BilliardsPocket billiards or pool refers to a game played on a six pocket billiard table. It mainly consisit of 15 object balls and a cue ball. Snooker on the other hand is played on a billiard table with 21 object balls and a cue ball. Carom billiards to a game played with 3 balls on a table and no pockets.

Basic skills are required or almost the same for playing either snooker, pool or billiards, or carom billiards.The most noticeable smilarities are the way the player hold the billiard cue, the stance and the movements of the arms.

Despite all these smilarities in playing billiards, snooker and carom billiards., there are of course differences that distinguish itself from one another. In billiards, the player is suppose to pocket the 15 balls with a cue ball as quickly as possible, while the carom billiards must keep 3 balls in the game.

Anyone interested in billiards must have played a game of pool at any one time.Or maybe it all started because your friend invited you to have a game of pool. And after observing for a while, you become fascinated by the technique and the way the game has to be strategized in order to beat the opponent. Soon you picked up a billiard cue, aim at the cue ball and the object ball, and started playing. Maybe not for too long, you bought a two-piece billiardcue for the pride of ownership. And all the bullshit about how you started playing billiards or pool are history, you are a frequent player at a pool hall near you.

It is not an accident that pool ranks among the top sports in American, while the english version, snooker ranks number one in Britain, not soccer. And billiards has been playing all around the world as a leisure sport or favorite past time. It is mainly because pool halls are everywhere and to play the game, you don't need to bring or buy loads of equipment, mostly one billiard cue is all you need. The game not only challenge your opponents but also challenges yourself in attaining higher level skills as you go along.

Probably it will not take long for you to realize that the cue ball don't respond to what you desire the cue ball to react. The cue ball may run too far or sometimes too near, maybe the cue ball bank at the wrong angle and rest on the wrong spot, or worst you miss a cue. These are beginner's mistakes, but never let this mistakes ruin your pleasure in billiards or pool or don't make it a habit. Mistakes are normal as part of the learning process. But mistakes are only beneficial when you try to learn from them.

Pocket billiards is a game that everyone can learn to play. If you practice it, you will soon discover that the game requires planning, strategy, concentration and intuition. Very soon you will instill an intuition of strategizing the game against your opponents 5 steps ahead of them. Billiards or pool is not a game of chance, it is but a game of physics, it relates to the build of billiardcue to the strength you exert on the cue ball. Read some of the articles on banks shots, follow shots, follow shots, straight shots or break shots. After reading them, practice them, and soon you can feel the game.

Another tip to know is that, whenever you are planning for a practice session, practice it with an experienced billiards player. If you are playing billiards or pool, play with an expert or a more advance billiards player. Only by playing with them, then he can spot your mistakes, like the way you hold your billiard cue, your stroke or he may impart some useful tips to you. Never be embarrased to ask a more experience billiards player, I believe they will be more than happy to help you.

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Basketball: Becoming More and More Popular Worldwide

BasketballOn any given day, all around the world, people are playing basketball. Today, basketball rates as one of the all-time most popular sports worldwide. Basketball tournaments are played out between players of all age groups from little five and six year olds to adults of all ages and levels. Sports networks around the world, on any given day, will report on professional basketball tournaments around the world and broadcast local and international games.

Basketball continues to grow in popularity, because it is a relatively cheap game to get into, can be played indoors and outdoors, in summer and winter, by girls or boys, men and women, anywhere in the world.

When one thinks of basketball one normally associates it with the United States and the legendary Harlem Globetrotters. Americans have been playing basketball professionally since 1896, but today, there are up to 300 million people playing basketball all around the entire globe. In fact, these days, American basketball teams even recruit foreign players into their teams.

According to Wikipedia.com, basketball didn't evolve from older more primitive versions of the game, but was invented by a man called Dr. James Naismith, in 1891, so that his college students could keep fit in the winter. In fact, that's how college basketball began! The game was initially played with a soccer ball. Then a brown ball was designed. The characteristic orange ball that we know today was designed in the late 1950s.

From American college basketball to professional league, basketball first evolved into an international sport in 1932 and became an Olympic sport in 1936. Since then, its popularity worldwide has grown exponentially.

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Investing the Profits from Your Home Based Business

Home Based BusinessHaving made the bold and glorious decision to sack the boss and go it alone you are one of the few who have what it takes to succeed. You have an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong will and these are rare and valuable attributes that will guide you throughout your professional and personal life.

Now that your business is up and running and you’re profiting from your efforts, it’s time to turn your attentions to investing the profits from your home based business wisely and for maximum gain.

One of the most consistently returning asset classes over the long term and the one that the majority of us can profit from is real estate.

Understanding market cycles

Now, you’re most likely aware that property markets are cyclical – this is because there is a direct correlation between the underlying price of real estate in relation to individual buying power. Simply explained: when property prices rise above what first time buyers can afford to pay the market slows down, stagnates and sometimes readjusts – but as soon as purchasing power increases again, either with a drop in interest rates or an increase in GDP, so property prices begin rising again.

And there are even ways to make money from real estate during a market downturn!

Investing in real estate for income

Depending on the nature of your home based business your monthly income may be slightly erratic – some months being better than others! If you invest in property assets in a buy-to-let or even jet-to-let capacity you can secure yourself a consistent monthly income which may afford you an added degree of financial security.

Buy-to-let is when you purchase property for rental purposes – this make be an apartment you corporate let, it could be a house you student let or even a family home you rent out long term.

Jet-to-let is similar but it involves purchasing overseas property for short term weekly or fortnightly rental to tourists. This type of letting is usually very lucrative indeed during peak holiday periods but may mean you have a property that is empty for a few months out of season.

Both types of property investment return you a regular income and at the same time the physical real estate asset will grow in value over the long term and if ever you wish to release the profits from your investment you can sell on the property and take the gains you have accrued.

Investing in real estate for profit

The alternative to building up a property portfolio for income generation purposes is purchasing property and selling it on relatively quickly to realize the gains the asset has accrued.

You can do this in a number of ways…firstly you can purchase run down property in need of renovation, tidy up the property and turn it into a home before selling it on at a higher price and reaping the profits gained.

Alternatively you could seek to beat the curve by buying into up and coming areas, waiting for prices to boom and then selling on for profit. This is quite a risky strategy for a first time investor as timing the market is hard!

An alternative to this is looking overseas for the latest emerging property markets worldwide and buying properties to renovate or properties off plan and then flipping them on for maximum gains in the short term.

Financing your investment

As a self-employed individual it can be tricky to get a mortgage unless you have audited accounts, bank references etc., etc. If you don’t have all of these requisite documents there are other options available to you.

The main options are re-mortgaging your primary residence and releasing the equity that you have accrued already for reinvestment in another property project or taking out a self-certification mortgage where you make a large down payment and basically tell the lender how much you can afford to borrow!

A winning attitude

You’ve already proved you have what it takes to succeed against the odds by establishing a profitable home based business, now apply the same steely determination to your real estate investments and you will succeed in making the maximum gains. Start small, begin gently, test the market and your understanding of it and slowly build up a profitable real estate portfolio from the profits of your home based business for maximum financial gain.

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Flipping Houses for Gold: How to Find the Perfect Fixer

Flipping Houses for GoldMany real estate investors enjoy "flipping houses," or buying and selling houses quickly for profit. Not all flips are fixers. However, rehabbers make millions turning ugly houses into dollhouses. On the other hand, some inexperienced investors lose money buying houses that just don't turn a profit.

If you're looking to get started investing in real estate by fixing and flipping houses, you'll want to know what type of property to buy.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT FIXER

1. Know Your Market

Your first task, exploring your market, helps you know a bargain house when you spot one. Look at many houses for sale in your area. Keep track of sales and how long the houses take to sell. Ask selling real estate agents about the terms of these sales because this helps you understand how sellers market their property (some of this information is public record). For instance, if a seller paid closing costs for the buyer, did the price rise from the listed price accordingly? Or, did the seller come down on the price and also pay the buyer's costs?

Examine the sales that sell quickly. What home features and financing options prompted the fast sale?

Also, look at model homes. Buyers often buy resale homes because they can't wait for a new home to be finished. However, these buyers like the distinctive features new homes offer. Visit model homes and take notes on how details like a water fountain or a new state-of-the-art appliance makes a house sell itself. When you remodel your fixer, you'll know what attracts buyers and you'll make smart redesign choices.

2. Know When "Ugly" Means "Gold"

When you first start out in your real estate "flipping fixers" business, you'll want to look for houses needing only cosmetic work. Look for houses that just need cleaning up, painting, and new flooring. Use your imagination when viewing these homes. Try to visualize the finished dollhouse as you look at structural features and the surrounding homes. Make offers on the ugliest houses in decent neighborhoods.

Don't be afraid of stinky houses that show horribly. Search for fixers with peeling paint, holes in the wall, stained carpeting, and trash in the yard. Remember, these houses won't look good to most buyers, but other real estate investors see them as gold mines.

3. Know When "Ugly" Means "No Thanks"

When you're new to real estate investing, always remember your limitations. Use caution when considering houses that need structural repairs. Some rehabbers replace walls, plumbing, structural beams, sub-flooring, and electrical systems. These experienced real estate investors acquired those skills after years of experience or they have the money to pay for professional help.

If you find a house with structural problems, get estimates from reliable contractors to do the work. If the walls have too many cracks and bumps, you may need to hang new sheet rock or hire a professional plaster refinisher. Check for signs of plumbing problems such as water stains under sinks and loose flooring, and get estimates for professional repair. Take professional estimates into account before deciding whether or not to purchase an investment property. Any big expense decreases your eventual profit.

Turn Yucks into Bucks

Why would anyone want to do this hard work? How much does the average rehabber make? In Ohio, real estate investors buy houses expecting a profit of about $30,000. In Southern California, many investors make $50,000 to $100,000 on each house.

When you find a garbage-filled, flea-infested house in a family neighborhood, take your bug spray, hold your nose, and get ready to make a difference, in the neighborhood and in your bank account.

You can make a fortune fixing nasty houses. Know your market. Know when "ugly" means profit in your pocket, and when to keep looking for the house with the hidden gold mine.

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Don’t Let Passions Rule When Buying A Business

Buying A BusinessFor many, the American dream of owning a business is in queue right behind owning a home. I was a teenager when I owned my first business. Since then I have bought or started many businesses and helped others do the same. Here are some common mistakes I have witnessed or committed myself.

Paying too much

This results from the combination of all other mistakes. Many new business owners set themselves up for failure by paying too much, which results in higher loan payments, lower operating funds, and reduced borrowing capacity.

Letting your emotions rule

If you have always dreamed of owning a business, it is very easy to get caught up in the strong emotions invoked by seeing those dreams coming true. To counteract your emotions, take your time, do your homework, and enlist the help of objective advisors.

Paying for potential

You should only pay for the business as it stands at the date of purchase, not what it could be in the future. You will have to spend time, effort, and money to develop its potential. The seller chose not to invest these things, so he does not deserve to be paid for them.

Not evaluating yourself

Do you have what it takes to run this business? Try to match your strengths to the important duties you will be required to perform. Running a small business requires the owner to do many things. No one can be good at them all, so make provisions for those areas in which you are the weakest. Some tasks like payroll and bookkeeping can easily be contracted to outside vendors. Possibly your spouse, other family member, or a partner could do things that you cannot or do not want to do.

Not building a team of experts

At a bare minimum, you should enlist the aid of an attorney and a CPA. The attorney can prepare and review documents, help structure the deal, and make you aware of legal and liability issues. The CPA can provide a financial analysis of the business, and advise you about tax and accounting matters. You should consider adding a business valuation professional. His valuation report can be used to determine the reasonableness of the asking price, negotiate a lower price, and provide valuable information about the business, the industry, the competition, and the economic conditions.

Relying on bad information

You should verify all important information about the business. Your CPA can check financial information like receivables, payables, and inventory. Your attorney can review loan documents, leases, and contracts. Your business valuation professional can analyze the competition, the industry, and the economic conditions. Use independent appraisers to value real estate and equipment. Get a credit report on the business through your CPA or banker. You can do some of the investigating yourself to save money, but do not cut too many corners – it may cost you in the long run.

Changing too much, too fast

Once you own the business, you will be tempted to start making wholesale changes from day one. You risk alienating long-time employees and customers. Unless the business is in bad financial condition and needs immediate action, its better to take some time to get to know the business, your employees, and your customers before making changes. This is a perfect time to solicit suggestions from employees and customers.

Buying a business because you like to do what the business does

One reason restaurants have a high failure rate is people buy or start them because they like to cook. Very few restaurant owners spend time cooking. Their time is spent managing staff, ordering supplies, doing paperwork, and handling daily crises. A small business owner must wear many hats – including that of manager.

Not being interested in the business’s product or service

I made the mistake of thinking that because I am a CPA and smart that I could own and operate any business. I bought a business that sold high-performance auto parts to young men who drove jacked-up, four-wheel drive pickup trucks and went to the drag races every weekend. I did not do either and never understood why anyone would. I could not relate to my customers and went out of business in about a year.

Conclusion

Buying a business is a complicated, emotional process. By avoiding these costly mistakes, you can prevent turning your dream into a nightmare.

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Building Wealth: Don't Waste Your Money on Real Estate Investment Schemes

Building WealthYou've seen the real estate guru advertisements for books, DVDs, programs, seminars, and mentoring coaches promoting no-money-down deals. Perhaps you've watched the infomercial on TV with the people telling their stories of how they made millions investing in real estate with no-money-down and cash back to the buyers.

Maybe you, like me and many others, have purchased books or expensive systems based on these no-money-down and lease-option investing schemes. Here's the rest of the story.

Perhaps you've seen an ad in your local newspaper offering a home with 100% financing from the seller or a lease option. You should know that the investor offering these types of deals makes money by purchasing the property at a discount and selling the property for an inflated price.

Lease-option real estate investors play the odds. They bet that most people won't be in a position to purchase the lease-option home in a year. So the investor seeks a hopeful tenant to make higher than average rental payments, pay more move-in cash, and make the investor's mortgage payment. Those tenants who do eventually purchase the home paid much more for the home than the investor. Many tenants never come up with a new mortgage loan to purchase the property when the time runs out. Either way, the real estate investor makes money.

First-Time Home Buyers

If you need to buy your first home to live in, these home-purchase methods may help you if you have terrible credit and can clean it up in time to finalize the purchase in a year. Just understand that you're paying too much for the property and may not make any money on appreciation. On the other hand, if you have strong credit, you can purchase a bargain house with no money down legitimately.

Tips for Beginning Real Estate Investors

Don't buy overpriced property! Avoid 100% investor-financed "deals." You will have to wait too long to make any money. Plus, the rental income most likely won't come close to making the mortgage payment for you.

Don't waste your money buying real estate guru books, DVDs, programs, seminars and mentor-coach promoting no-money-down deals. Would you buy a book on how to make a fortune on the Internet that was written in 1995?

These out-of-date, no-money down schemes, tell you to look for home sellers in distress who will let you buy their home for no-money down with the seller financing the property for you. This system worked last century. Today's home sellers know that they can get a buyer who can get their own financing.

Plus, today's home sellers know that other sellers have lost money selling with no-money down. They've heard the stories where home sellers didn't get paid and had to foreclose on a property. They've heard the stories where the investor-buyer rented the house to tenants who trashed the property. They've heard the stories where the investor-buyer collected the rent and didn't pay the home seller.

To get started building wealth in real estate today:

1. Get your credit ready for mortgage financing. (Mortgage credit differs from consumer credit.)

2. Buy right. Don't overpay for deals that sound too good to be true. These schemes are too good to be true!

3. Guard your money. Don't get yourself in over your head with high mortgages on rental properties that cause you negative cash flow and jeopardize your financial well-being. The best way to do this is to make sure you get the best mortgage rates on a bargain-priced property.

You can buy investment property for little -- or even no-money down. Get started by buying your home or a second home. Real estate investing offers you the most tried and true way to build wealth when you avoid investing schemes.

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Asset and liability basics

Asset and liabilityKnowledge of accounts can make life much easy. If you are to invest in a new business or joining your forefather’s business, planning to take some loan, looking for job in any marketing company, desire to be the manager of a multinational company or have the onus to manage your own assets and liabilities, knowing some basics of accounts becomes mandatory.

Broadly, accounting is bifurcated into two categories- Cash Bases Accounting and Accrual Accounting

The Cash Based accounting pertains to the management of an individual’s personal monetary transactions. In this case, he keeps a track of the money he withdrew, deposited, gave or received from someone etc. This accounting comes to life when actual cash transactions take place.

The Accrual Accounting requires an accountant who notes the transactions even if no money has been actually exchanged. This method works on the principle of comparing or seeing the ratio of the expenses to expenditure. If the expenditure is more, you need to cut down your luxuries, if not then it’s always good to have some savings for future. This type of accounting tells you the amount that you owed; this might not match with the figure of your bank balance.

In the language of accounting there are several key terms that one needs to be familiar with. Some of the crucial ones are discussed below-

The Assets- the assets are generally those possessions of an individual that have a good market value or are quite valuable. Assets are mainly classified into three types-

Current Asset- the cash is the most basic asset of any individual. The money that is being held in accounts like the checking and savings accounts is also included in the cash. Also inclusive are the marketable securities in the form of bonds, stocks, shares etc. The money lent or payments due from clients, even form a part of it.

Fixed Asset- comprises of all the tangible valuable things like property, machines, equipments, land and the like that are not meant to be sold.

Intangible Asset- incorporates all the untouchable things like copyrights, patents, trademarks etc. that have tremendous monetary significance.

The law of opposites governs the nature; where there are assets, there will be liabilities. These are the debts that you have to pay back to your creditors. This can be done through giving cash or any other asset like jewelry, some other goods etc.

Liabilities again are of two kinds-

1. The Current Liabilities- the liabilities that are to be paid back within a certain time limit and most often through your current assets. These include the accounts payable i.e. type of bill that you have to monthly, the Notes Payable-loans taken from banks meant to be repaid within 30 days and the Accrued Expenses- the compulsory expenses like taxes, wages, interests etc. where the bills are not received but the balances of each must be repaid.

2. Long Term Liabilities- those debts that can be repaid at ease for the tenure is more then a month.

The Financial Capital- is the economic capital. It is any liquid medium or merchandise that stands for wealth or other styles or capital. There are four ways to manage and display the financial capital.

First, this capital is needed when a contract is made with any sort of capital asset. The financial instruments work in the form of currency in case of sale, purchase or trade of goods i.e. the medium exchanges.

Second, it works as a settled medium or mode like gold for the Standard of Deferred Payment.

Third, The Unit of Account has a market value attached to it which in turn varies with the economy of the country. Fourth, The Source of Value is concerned with financial capital that needs to be saved and recovered. It is a collection of things like gold, real estate, collectibles etc.

Petty Cash is an important factor in business. It is the smallest account within a business setting or the cash in bills and coinage required to pay little expenses.

Types of Business- there are several kinds of business one should be aware of like

Sole proprietorship- where a single individual who starts the business owns it too.

Partnerships- the companies or businesses started by two or more persons where they conjointly own it.

Corporations- involve lot many shareholders or investors who are responsible in taking decisions for the company.

Limited Liability Companies- can be said to be sisters of corporations. Here the business members are not under a legal obligation to pay the debts if the business fails.

Payrolls- the term payroll designates the manner in which you will be paying the employees of your company and even yourself. Many multinational companies cater to payroll service provider companies that do the work quite efficiently.

These are some of the broad guidelines that will help you grasp the basics of accounting. It is essential to have some such wisdom for accounts as it is fruitful in all walks of life.

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4.02.2008

Downloading MP3's made easy

Downloading MP3'sThe MP3 movement started out with a huge audience of music enthusiasts on the internet. The MP3 digital music format has had, and will continue to have, a huge impart on how people, gather, listen to and share music.

The MP3 format is a compression system for digital music that helps reduce the size of a digitized song without disturbing the sound quality. Digital music is converted to MP3 format and made available for use, usually via the web. MP3 files can be downloaded onto your computer from the internet and special software, either commercial or freeware. Using your computer and software you can convert digital music from a CD into MP3 format.

MP3 files can be played in three different ways:

1. They can be played directly onto your computer.
2. They can be decompressed and recorded onto a CD.
3. These files can be played on a portable MP3 player.

The advantage of MP3 players is that they are small, lightweight and rugged. They are a great way to carry your MP3 files with you!
With a portable MP3 player, a personal computer, and the appropriate software, you can do the following:

1. Obtain free or low-cost music from the web.
2. Create your own mix of music by downloading MP3 files from the web and converting the tracks from CDs.
3. Listen to near-CD quality music wherever you go.
4. Listen to more music (up to 10 hours' worth).

If you want to convert your songs from your CDs into MP3 files, you can use ripper and encoder software. A ripper copies a song's file from the CD onto your hard disk. The encoder compresses the song into the MP3 format. By encoding songs, you can play them on your computer or take them with you on your MP3 player. The ripper and encoder software may come with your MP3 player.

The specific instructions will vary with the individual software programs, but the following steps will definitely take place:

1. Place the CD from which you want to convert songs into your drive.
2. Select the track(s) that you want to convert to MP3 format.
3. Convert the selected track(s).
4. Copy the new MP3 files on to your computer's hard disk.

Now you are ready to download these MP3 files into your portable MP3 player.
Once you have MP3 files on your computer, you can use the software that came with your MP3 player to download the files into your MP3 player. Again, the specific instructions will vary depending upon your software program and player, but you will:

1. Create a playlist from your MP3 files.
2. Plug the player into your computer's parallel of USB port.
3. Transfer the MP3 files according to the instructions.

Once you have downloaded the MP3 files into your portable MP3 player, you are ready to take your music anywhere. Most MP3 players are small, lightweight, and solid-state. Because most players are solid-state, there are no moving parts to break down or skip, so the sound quality is uninterrupted regardless of your physical activity. MP3 players are equipped with various types of headphones or earpieces.

Portable MP3 players can play music longer than a portable CD player. The length of play for a CD player is about 74 minutes, the length of one CD. However, the length of play for an MP3 player depends upon its memory capacity, which can be upgraded on some models. A standard MP3 player can play for about half an hour (32 MB) to a few weeks (40 GB)! Some models can be upgraded with additional memory devices.

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Are Free File Download Services Really Safe

Free File Download ServicesOn Monday June 27, 2005 the Supreme Court ruled that Grokster and Streamsoft, two free file download services, were operating illegally because they were allegedly encouraging illegal downloads of copyrighted material.

Encouraging it...that was what the Supreme Court said. These were free services that were encouraging illegal activity.

Would this have happened if they had had paying customers? In other words, would a paid file download service be better than a free download service?

I think so, and here's my reasoning why...

If you consider that every dollar paid is like a vote, then it becomes clear the paid file downloading services are much more accountable than free file downloading services.

If you follow my metaphor so far, then you may see how a paid file download service is like an elected official, and a free file download service is like a dictator.

Here's how they differ:

1. If an elected official doesn't get enough votes, the elected official doesn't get re-elected and is "out of there".

2. A dictator doesn't care about votes. A dictator does whatever they want. And, if you get hurt by what they do....well, it's YOUR problem.

Basically, it's all about accountability. A legitimate business has to make money to survive. If a business hurts people, customers will stop buying from that business and go elsewhere. And, if people stop buying from that business, then that business is "out of there" (just like the elected official which loses votes).

But a free file sharing service can "do what it wants", just like a dictator, and if they even go to the level of encouraging you to do things that are illegal, even lying to you by telling you that it's perfectly legal... well it's no skin off their nose. It's your problem!

Or so they thought...up to now.

For the first time, the Supreme Court has made these shady liars legally responsible for their bad behavior. They got away with it in the past by "advising" people to do things that were potentially illegal. They rationalized it by saying "Hey, we aren't the ones actually doing it, so we
shouldn't be held responsible."

But the Supreme Court has finally cleared this up. They are responsible, and can now be sued for their actions. Even if they did it for "FREE".

"FREE"... that was the draw that got so many innocent kids downloading songs, videos, movies, games, etc. illegally without knowing it. The "FREE" file downloading services were just exploiting these kids' ignorance.

Paid download services can't afford this kind of behavior. They look at this as a business. If they start getting their customers in trouble, word gets around pretty fast on the internet, and their business will become toast!

Think of this like NetFlix, who doesn't sell download services, but sends out CDs and DVDs through the mail. What would happen to them if they "encouraged" purchasing illegally copied movies or music from them? Yeah you got it... toast!

But the "FREE" file sharing services that are encouraging kids to do this thought they could get away with this indefinitely because "they weren't making any money off of it, and after all, they weren't the actual people doing the downloading."

Nice legal trickery... good thing it won't work anymore! So... the question still begging to be asked is:

"Are paid file download services better than free file downloadservices?", I'll let you take it from here... ;^)

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Alternatives to Digital Audio

Alternatives to Digital AudioAlthough MP3 is the most popular format for encoding music, it is by no means the only one. There are two basic methods for compressing audio – lossless and lossy, and for each of these methods there are many formats.

Lossless compression means that none of the audio data is removed during compression. Lossy compression means that audio data is permanently removed from the audio file. Lossy compression results in smaller files, but there is no way to rebuild the audio data to its original format. MP3 is an example of lossy compression.

Lossy Compression Formats

There are many alternatives to MP3 when it comes to encoding audio files. Microsoft reportedly developed the WMA format to avoid the licensing costs associated with MP3. WMA files can be played with the Windows Media Player that is included with the Windows operating system as well as many other audio players. It features similar encoding rates to MP3 and similar file sizes.

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is the format preferred by Apple and is used for its popular iTunes and iPod products. AAC files can be smaller than MP3 files because it uses more efficient encoding technology. A 96 kpbs AAC file is similar in sound quality to a 128 kbps MP3 file.

Ogg Vorbis is another type of lossy compression and uses .OGG as the file extension. It is an open-source product and unlike MP3, there are no patent restrictions on its use.

Lossless Compression

For the audio purist who insists on the best quality sound possible, lossless compression offers CD quality sound. The tradeoff is larger files sizes – while MP3 can compress audio in the range of 80% - 90%, lossless compression typically compresses the file by half.

Popular lossless formats include FLAC, Monkey’s Audio, and SHN (Shorten). These formats are supported by many audio players and are popular for archiving CD collections as well as for trading music.

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Cable vs. Satellite TV -- Which is Best?

Cable vs Satellite TVThe move is on. Last year millions of Americans switched from cable TV to satellite TV.

Why? When you compare satellite TV to cable TV you'll discover the main reasons are cost, picture quality, program choices, and customer satisfaction.

Let's check out the differences ...

Cable vs. Satellite TV Fees

Cable TV fees across the country average $39.99 per month. In our area the cost for cable TV is $37.30 a month for 64 channels, plus $10.95 a month to add digital channels. Installation in one room is $39.95, plus $9.95 for each additional room.

Satellite TV fees from Dish Network are $31.99 per month for 60 channels, while DirecTV charges $41.99 per month for 115 channels. Both satellite TV providers currently offer free satellite TV equipment and free installation in up to four rooms.

Cable vs. Satellite TV Programming

Cable TV in most areas offers almost as many channels as satellite TV, and is broadcast in analog (over-the-air) format. If you want to have digital picture and sound you'll have to pay an additional fee, usually $10 to $15 a month.

Satellite TV offers more channels than cable TV (more than 250 channels), and more HDTV (high definition TV) programming. All satellite TV channels are broadcast in digital format for the highest quality picture and sound.

Cable vs. Satellite TV Equipment

With cable you only need cable boxes that connect the incoming cable line to your televisions. There is usually no charge or rental fees for cable boxes, however, If you want a digital video recorder, you'll have to pay an extra fee.

With satellite TV you need a satellite TV dish and TV receivers. Both Dish Network and DirecTV offer that equipment, plus installation, for free. Dish Network will give you a DVR (digital video recording) receiver or an HDTV receiver at no charge, while DirecTV charges $49.99 for DVR receivers and $299 for HDTV receivers.

Cable and Satellite TV Reliability and Customer Satisfaction

Cable TV outages average 3% to 5% per year. J.D. Powers and Associates ranks cable companies as good to poor in customer satisfaction.

Satellite TV outages average about 1%. J.D. Power and Associates has ranked the two satellite TV providers -- Dish Network and DirecTV -- higher in customer satisfaction than any of the cable TV companies for the last five years

The Bottom Line

If you only watch a couple of shows a week, and you live in an area where you can't get over-the-air TV and cable TV costs less than $20 per month, then cable may be your best option.

If, on the other hand, you want the biggest variety of shows, movies, sports, and news for the least amount of money ... you want to watch your all your shows in digital video and sound ... and you want the option of watching them in HD format and recording them on a DVR receiver, then satellite TV is what you're looking for.

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Benefits of Satellite TV

Satellite TVSatellite TV seems to be the way of the future. With many people already switching from cable, it makes you wonder what is so great about Satellite TV. Some of the main reasons people are switching over is due to the free offers of equipment and installation, the HDTV picture quality, the channel selection, as well as the range of service.

Due to the intense competition between DirecTV and Dish Network, the prices have been getting lower and lower. These price wars have caused the most recent offers to include free satellite dish, free receivers, free installation, free DVR's and more. The two are very similar in what they offer to their customers, but do differ in a few areas such as channel selection, and sporting packages.

As many know, satellite television has excellent picture quality. Now is the best time to purchase a HDTV and link it up to your satellite and enjoy the best of the best. Once you plug in the satellite, the television, and the surround sound, you will be ready to enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience!

The channel selection with satellite TV is also one of their strengths. Satellite TV allows the customer to pick which package they want, which can be quite difficult when they are choosing from 300 available channels.

One of the main benefits to satellite TV is its range of service. If you are living in a rural area, which most likely doesn't receive cable service, its is very likely that you will be able to receive satellite service. The one draw back may be that you need one of the older, larger dishes in order to tune in the programming.

Satellite TV has a lot to offer its customers. By switching over now, you will be able to reap all the rewards and offers that are available through DirecTV, and Dish Network.

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All About Free Satellite TV Deals

Free Satellite TVI am sure you've seen these ads online and offline -- "Free satellite TV!" "Get a 4-room Satellite TV System Free!" and "Satellite TV Dish and Receivers Absolutely Free!" But are these deals really free? Are them worth for the money? But are these satellite TV offers really free?

The answer to that question is yes ... and no.

It's a 'yes' because you got the satellite TV systems for free. Further more you get other promotions gifts such as digital video recorder (DVR), DVD player, home theater systems and HD systems for free. As the ads say: No equipments to buy at all. However, the programming service will cost you money. Each month, these socall "free satellite TV deals" are going to take out some dollars from your wallet.

Let's examine the facts about free satellite TV deals.

Due to the demise of Pegasus and Voom services, there are only two major satellite TV providers in the USA -- Dish Network and DirecTV. Both companies are providing 100% digital satellite pictures; both companies are offering amazing free satellite TV systems; and both companies have the finest sales support team for their customer services.

Dish Network Satellite TV

When you order a free satellite TV system from Dish Network, you will be asked to pay a $49.99 activation fee. This fee will be credited to your programming bill, so in essence, your satellite TV system is free. Installation of your satellite TV system is also free.

With Dish Network you have the option to upgrade to a DVR (digital video recording) receiver, or an HDTV (high definition TV) receiver at no charge.

You can get Dish Network services at a monthly cost of $19.99. However, Dish Network standard programming fees start at $31.99 per month (for standard 60 program channels). The monthly subscription fees then goes up to around $86.00 for 230 channels including Showtime, Starz!, HBO, Cinemax, and Sirius radio.

Dish Network offers more movies, shows, and HDTV than cable or DirecTV, and with one of their free DVR receivers you can record, pause, and fast forward live TV with a click of your remote. All Dish Network programs are broadcast in digital format for crystal-clear picture and sound.

DirecTV Satellite TV Service

Depending on your credit rating, when you order a free satellite TV system from DirecTV you may be required to pay a deposit or prepayment. Because the deposit is refunded to you and the prepayment goes toward your programming fees, the DirecTV satellite dish and receivers are free. Installation is also free.

If you want a DVR receiver you will be charged an additional $49.99. The charge for HDTV receivers is $299.99.

DirecTV programming packages start at $29.99 per month for 115 channels (including 31 music channels), and go up to more than $90 per month for 185 program channels, including Showtime, Starz!, HBO, Cinemax, and 31 music channels.

DirecTV offers more sports programs than you can get with cable or Dish Network, including the popular NFL Sunday Ticket which Dish Network does not cover. All sports channels are broadcasted in all-digital format.

Wrapping things up

Both Dish Network and DirecTV's deals are lucrative. As mentioned before, you will get sets of satellite systems and home electronics for free but the programming services will cost you anywhere from $32 to $94 a month.

If TV is one of your primary forms of entertainment and you want the biggest variety of shows, movies, sports, and news -- then we satellite TV deals should be something you should seriously consider. Cable TVs nowadays doesn't looks like a good deal to go for as their monthly fees increase a lot every year. For football fans that wish to get every NFL games- DirecTV is what you are looking for; for normal family, Dish Network seems to be a better choice. You can check out some of the reputable dealers (both Dish Network and DirecTV) at here.

However, if you watch just a few television programs a week and have access to over-the-air TV, then satellite TV probably isn't for you.

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50 Inch Daewoo Plasma HDTV

50 Inch Daewoo Plasma HDTVThe Daewoo plasma hdtv is definitely a fantasy for alot of people, especially the Daewoo model DP-50SM because it is equipped with an advanced huge 50 inch screen. This Daewoo plasma hdtv provides numerous benefits to the observer, clarity and sharpness are two of many.

To begin with, this Daewoo HDTV provides a 160 degree angle. Now if your watching from a distant side angle away from the Daewoo plasma you can still view the screen. For a clear picture this Daewoo plasma hdtv DP-50SM has 720 pixels, along with a 16:9 big screen picture, that simply makes it 50 inches wide.

There are many advantages to choosing the DP-50SM 50 inch Daewoo plasma tv such as a HiFi stereo sound audio system, five band equalizer control, digital 3D comb filter, plus 11 different languages to choose from for the OSM screen.

The Daewoo model is protected from allowing images to become burned into the plasma, because of its built-in plasma screen protection. An alarm is offered if you like your Daewoo to awaken you each day. You can easily buy this Daewoo plasma hdtv and experience all the benefits of this model today and enjoy them for yourself.

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12 Practical Uses of GPS for Everyday People

GPSGPS or Global Positioning Systems is a term that most commonly conjures up images of vehicle navigation systems, space-age satellite technology, and interactive maps for outdoors-types and sportsmen. But the reality is that there are far more applications of Global Positioning Systems beyond GPS vehicle tracking or map navigation that everyday people like us can benefit from. All it takes is a bit of creativity, and some trial and error. Here are a few of the many possibilities that can benefit you right now in your busy and hectic life.

1. Know where your children are using services from companies like uLocate Communications.

2. Keep track of elderly members of your family, so that they don’t wander off alone.

3. Plan a road trip around interesting points of interests, landmarks, campsites, diners, etc, and hear fewer "Are we there yets?"- and of course get the most out of that expensive gas.

4. Get emergency road side assistance at a touch of a button from your vehicle, so you can get help exactly where and when you need it.

5. Keep a visual journal and bookmark collection of your favorite hot spots, sceneries, and points of interests, that may not be listed in any travel guide (You can create your own mini travel guides and memories).

6. Find lost pets easily using collars with built-in GPS, better than running around in your pajamas hollering like a maniac.

7. Feel safer with cellular phone 911 calls, so emergency personnel can pinpoint your location once you make an emergency call. Please double check your carrier service to see that it has GPS features and get a primer on how it works if possible.

8. Get to your interview, or any important time sensitive destination or engagement, faster by finding shortcuts and correct directions.

9. Find a good Italian restaurant near your movie theatre on the fly.

10. Track your luggage, laptops, and anything of importance while traveling.

11. Track and find family, friends in a crowded concert, graduation, or any social gathering.

12. When going on a vacation, feel free to separate from group for a while to venture on your own based on your own interests and find them later on with your GPS enabled device- even in an unfamiliar place.

Our ability to use GPS so far is limited by the relatively poor connection to the satellite feeds when we are indoors in buildings, homes, or behind anything that could obstruct the GPS connection. However with the investment and development in a new satellite network called Galileo which should be completed in the near future, these problems should be eliminated drastically. Despite these problems, GPS still offers a world of benefits as mentioned earlier, and with any technology, it will only get better.

In addition to more practical usage applications, GPS will make a great educational and fun gift for your loved one’s and friends as well. Consider just two of the many creative and educational uses of GPS:

1. Stay physically active and fit by playing RayGun! A locational based cell phone game based on GPS technology.

2. Become more cultured, make global friends, and learn about the world playing GeoCache, a global GPS based treasure hunt.

With many affordable feature-rich models to satisfy anyone’s preferences and budgets, now is as good a time as any to learn more about GPS technologies, which are surely to become more assimilated into the mainstream within the decade. One day we will take these things for granted just like we do now for the internet and cell phones. The key is to dive in, without paralyzing yourself with the overwhelming array of choices in the GPS market, and enjoying some truly amazing technology.

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10 Questions About Cellular Phones Answered

Cellular Phones1. What's the difference between analog and digital phones?


Analog phones operate on an older and less effective technology. This technology doesn't scale well and is more costly. Analog service is not compatible with numerous new features. Digital phones are lighter and more compact and have a longer battery life. When you are inside of a calling area the quality is better than analog. Digital phones support new features like caller ID, text messaging or wireless internet services.

2. What is a Dual Band Phone?

A Dual band phone is a phone that can operate on an analog and digital service.

3. What type of battery has the longest life?

Lithium-Ion or Li-Ion batteries have the longest life. They also happen to be the lightest in weight. The two pluses means there is minus attached, which is price. A li-ion battery will always be the most expensive type of battery available.

4. What's the difference between the Stand-by time and Talk time?

Your phone is in standby mode when your phone is on but you aren't talking. The power consumption is minimal and the phone can stay in this mode for a longer period of time. When you are using the phone you are using talk time. This consumes battery power at a much quicker rate. Your battery life will be somewhere between talk time and standby time

5. What is a roaming charge?

A roaming charge is when you make a call from outside of your calling area. Your calling area is defined by plan local, regional or national.

6. What are peak and off peak hours?

Peak hours are during the day when the cellular networks are very busy. These minutes are at premium and your plan will typically include the smallest amount of these. If you use more than your allotted peak minutes they will be billed at a much higher rate than off peak minutes. Off peak is the exact opposite of peak time. Each cellular provider has their own definition of off peak.

7. What are anytime minutes?

Anytime minutes are simply put minutes you can use anytime, peak or off peak. On most plans you will use anytime minutes first.

8. Do I pay for the call when someone calls me?

Usually yes. You are billed for the airtime when you receive a call. However some service providers are offering unlimited in network calls.

9. Should I buy a cell phone or look for a free cellular phone?

Free phones generally speaking don't have the latest features, they are anywhere from 6 to 12 months behind. Also, free cell phones generally come with longer contracts. But, it is still possible to get a great deal on a free cell phone.

10. What to do if you want to upgrade/downgrade or cancel your service plan?

You can usually upgrade to higher plan without any cost. Some may force you to extend your contract for 1 to 2 years from that point. Downgrading your plan is often times not an option and when it is there is usually a penalty or fine.

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Finding The Right Cell Phone

Cell PhoneTen years ago, cell phones were just beginning to appear. Today, it seems every person on the street has one. However, not all cell phones are equal. How do you find the best one?

Ask yourself what qualities are important to you. First, the physical aspects. Do you prefer flat cell phones or those with a flip? Are slim cell phones more attractive, or does size really matter?

Cell phones seem to come in all shapes and sizes, and color can also be a determining factor. Have you seen the changeable covers? Who knew cell phones would become such a fashion statement?

A critical factor to consider is ring tones. Some cell phones come with standard rings that could drive anyone crazy. Others have downloadable tones, letting you show off your taste and personality. If you've ever been on a crowded train where six cell phones started ringing at once, you know how important it is to have the pleasant ring tone. No one wants to draw negative attention.

Cell phones have all sorts of new features, and they keep improving. Some cell phones allow you to take pictures. Other cell phones give you internet access on the road. And like most technology, there are new improvements made on a weekly basis. Remember that you'll be paying for these features; make sure you'll use them before you spend the money.

Manufacturers of cell phones have done extensive research to find out what is important to you, the buyer. The carrier, though, is also important to consider. What good are cell phones, after all, if you can't get service? Find out who in your area has the widest service and the best rate plan.

Most of us have become spoiled by our cell phones. It's hard to remember the days when no one could reach you until you got home from class or from work. Cell phones have opened up our lines of communication considerably. (Sometimes it's questionable whether that's a good thing….) The fact is, it looks like cell phones are here to stay. Is it possible anymore to escape? Of course! The best thing about cell phones is that you can use them when you need them, but sometimes the best cell phones are the ones that are turned off.

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3 Crucial Elements For Jumping Sales Numbers

Jumping Sales NumbersMarketers from every niche have common ground when it comes to bills. Yeah, every month there’s a new stack of bills demanding to be paid. Will there be enough profit to slide right through bill paying time without a flinch? Or do you find yourself fretting about whether you’ll even break even? You don’t have to be victimized by envelopes and 8x10 sheets of paper. Implement these 3 techniques to boost your sales.

1. Find More Customers
The first thing that comes to mind when we think of making more money is getting more customers through our doors. In fact, the majority of advertising focuses on doing just that. There are several things you can do to entice more customers to buy from you.

Implement Follow-Ups
Marketing gurus have discovered that follow ups can increase your customer conversion rates by as much as 50%. Now, that’s a whopping improvement! Don’t let potential customers fade away. Keep the doors for future communication open, and watch the drastic growth in your profits.

Encourage Referrals
Every satisfied customer will tell 3 friends or family members about your business - without encouragement. Imagine what would happen if you start rewarding their efforts.

Get Free Publicity
Nearly everyone keeps a sharp eye on the local news. Hey, it’s funner to know what’s going on when you personally recognize the names and faces in print! Find ways to make your business newsworthy and catch the attention of potential customers without even paying advertising fees.

2. Sell More Per Customer
Think about it... how can you get every customer that walks through your doors to spend more money before walking back out the doors? Here are 3 sure-fire, profit increasing tips:

Increase your prices.
Hey, that might not be as bad as you think. Along with the price increase, focus on increasing the perceived value of your product. Yeah, we all expect to pay a little more for high quality stuff. Not everyone is bent on finding the absolute cheapest price in town... they may be more interested in lasting quality.

Add some higher end products or services to your business.
It’s never wise to put all of your eggs in one basket. That’s why wise marketers diversify their products and services. Think of it this way... higher priced products may not make as many sales, but each sale will bring in a much greater profit. You don’t need to make as many sales to come out on the best end of the deal.

Upsell
Offer every customer an additional product that accents his current purchase at the register. Hey, maybe they forgot they’d need batteries to go with the toy they're getting for their niece's birthday gift! You can be a hero... a richer hero.

3. Sell More Often
The fact that it’s easier to sell to the people who know and trust you is obvious. Sometimes we get so focused on new customers that we miss the gold mine in our own back yard. Take advantage of the hard work you’ve invested in winning the loyal customers you already have with these ideas:

Create a Special Deal
Show your customers you appreciate them and understand their needs with a special offer catered just for them. You’ll be thanking them, and selling more in the process.

Add New Products
Increase the number of products you already have available - especially products that your customers have asked for. They’ll know that you’re looking out for them, and you’ll take their thanks to the bank.

Communicate
Resell yourself on a regular basis. Don’t forget to let them know about upcoming specials that they’ll appreciate. Most of all... keep selling them on the benefits of the products or services you offer.

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