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Netflix can save you cash in the long run if you rent lots of movies

Netflix, Inc. If you’re renting a lot of movies, I would suggest you try out Netflix. They do get the movies pretty much day of the release, and the turn around is pretty quick. For those that are into anime, or asian flicks, Netflix gets those too and is one of the few places you can even get a hold of these types of films with a large library to choose from.
It really beats the On-Demand stuff, especially when DVDs are now releasing about a week or two behind the On-Demand. Is it truly that important for you to see it when you didn’t at the theater anyways?
In any case, there really isn’t any reason you shouldn’t be doing this if you do watch a lot of shows and movies. Never had an issue with them, and hopefully will continue to have that wonderful customer service. So remember…Rent movies from Netflix! It’ll save you money in the long run.

Republicans want more H1B visas now but didn’t they cut it before?

Haven’t had time to talk about this, but it is something that really annoys me.
It seems that the House Republicans are now going to Speaker of the House and Majority Leader, and asking for an increase in H1B Visas. H1B’s are the visas pertaining to well-educated immigrants in letting them work within the United States under a corporation’s wing. In fact, you really can’t get an H1B without an employer’s sponsorship and it costs the employer a chunk of change to actually fulfill the paperwork.
So all in all, that’s a good thing, right? Definitely. But the spin is what I have an issue with. Let’s not forget that the decrease of H1Bs before was pushed by the administration and like parties while they were pushing for the migrant worker license. The limit for 2007 was set before Congress swung its slim majority to the Democrat Party.
Seriously. Of all the things in the world, H1Bs can only help so why would you decrease these visas in the first place? Well educated individuals from other countries legally want to come work in US soil, pay taxes, and help drive economics. Corporations want to pay for them to come here. Sounds pretty good to me.
Photo Credit: (kaneda99)

Financial tip: Don’t forget to harness all card bonuses


Discover Open Road
One of things that will definitely help out during a recession is the fact that you still want to spend on your usual luxuries but you also need to cut back.
On certain items, you can always cut it completely from the budget, but what about when there are items that you have to shop for? Suggestion is to make use of your credit card, but make use specifically of all of the bonuses that come with it.
What does this mean? For example, Discover has partnerships with numerous vendors and you actually get cash back bonuses from 5% to 20% depending on the vendor. This means that for items that you would normally buy anyways, you would get another little bit of extra just by using their service. It’s just more efficient use of your money.

ZoomProspector closed beta shows a lot of potential

I got to take a look at ZoomProspector’s closed beta, and I have to say that I’m thoroughly impressed if it’s going where I think it’s going.
Here’s the thing. In the world of information brokering, demographic data is extremely important since not only does it allow historical trending to predict where the economics of an area is going, but it also allows you to determine population densities, shopping patterns, and all sorts of interesting data. Just based on what people make in a city can really be helpful in changing the environment itself, especially for “economic developers”.
For those that have been involved in economic development, they’ll know that shooting blindly into the dark is one way to throw money into a river when there’s no planning involved. Locally, we’d know this information as the McKinsey Report of 2000. This mashup with the GIS data alongside demographic data with Google Maps shows not only what and where, but it also gives a vantage point from what locales are in direct competition with you for jobs, communities, housing, and so forth.
Now ZoomProspector allows you to do all of this data online at the touch of your fingertips. I’m unsure if there will be a price involved at some point but it definitely is probably worthwhile from a city’s economic development perspective if the sources of data are reliable and there is a lot of it in the database.
From a business growth perspective, there is many things that can be achieved through this information resource and depending on how they sell it to the governments (my suspicion is through a subscription based model) on more pertinent data, it can really get into the nitty gritty of graphs and charts to show all sorts of fun stuff. I’m definitely hoping that this sticks around since I can think of a number of things I can use this for to help out my local community.

Google Finance changes portal site

googlefinance-mainchange.jpg
It seems that Google Finance has gone and changed their main portal for the users. At least this morning, my portfolios were all on the left side and tonight it’s on the right side. Now there is more of a market summary section at the top of the page. The middle section is now tabbed out so that it has news from the market, portfolio related, and video. The video section is interesting since it’s basically clips from Google Video.
The bottom runs Sector analysis and Trends.
It’s actually a lot more informational now, and definitely more worthwhile. Not sure when they were going to announce this, or if they even were going to, but it’s kinda neat. At least it’s been around to help me keep on top of my portfolios.

WordPress Plugin: Scheduled Posts

wordpress.jpg With WordPress 2.5’s widgetized Dashboard, you can basically do all sorts of things and set it up to show all sorts of stats.
So if you’re looking to see your scheduled posts, then just install this plugin and … bam! Scheduled Posts will be shown on the Dashboard. There’s not too much to it, and not anything less either. Pretty much, that’s it.

WordPress Plugin: Draft Posts

wordpress.jpg Draft Posts is a WordPress plugin that allows you to see drafts directly on the dashboard.
This is convenient since it’s part of WordPress 2.5’s widgetized Dashboard. Not really too much else to say about this, since that’s pretty much all it does.

Skype Pro takes a shift towards pleasing subscribers

The Skype Pro subscription plans have taken a turn for the better.
Now, not only can you call 34 countries at a flat rate with no hidden fees, the fair use calling per month is now at 10,000 minutes. 10,000 minutes?!?! That’s insanity. In a good way.
That’s five hours a day, every day for four weeks straight. And believe me, when I say that even people that I’ve known to talk a whole lot on the phone, have never been close to that limit. I suppose if you run sales calls all day long, you MIGHT… but that’s a pretty big “if”.
In any case, it’s still costing $2.95 a month for US/Canada. And you get a number cheaper coming in. All in all, it’s looking even better as a business alternative as long as you don’t need dial-tones for whatever reason. For me? They’ve sold it for me. I might be getting some more numbers for my other businesses.

Paul Potts’ singing makes me cry

If you don’t know who Paul Potts is, this was the storybook win of Britain’s Got Talent where a mobile phone salesman comes out nervous and looks like he’s about to cry, but sings absolutely astonishing opera.
So far, I’ve seen both the audition piece and the final umpteenth times and every time, I can feel tears welling up from the brilliant tenor sound that’s coming out of that guy. It’s absolutely astonishing, as well as moving. He has a contract now with Sony BMG and you can get his album One Chance from Paul Potts - Paul Potts: One Chance.
If you haven’t seen the auditions though, here’s the audition piece, and below it is the final performance. And if you like opera, be prepared to have some kleenex around.


Financial tip: switch to reward based credit cards


Discover Open Road
These days, it’s too easy to get a credit card. In fact, not many people pay with checks anymore. Why bother when you can carry plastic and have the benefit of some backup in financial security?
But the one thing that people fail to realize is that there really isn’t a need to carry a credit card for just “sake of credit” any more. In fact, you should switch all your cards to reward cards if you haven’t already. Why?
Well, let’s just say that they pay off better. If you keep on top of your personal finances, then the only bad thing about reward cards is…. there isn’t one. You get free stuff, or money back. How can that be bad? So if you still have one one lone card that is sitting in your wallet not gaining anything but dust, get rid of it or replace it. There’s no reason for you to have it if you can’t gain more than just the benefits of having a credit card.