Tag Archive | "credit"

Your Credit Score Can Affect Your Love Life

If you’re looking for love, you might need a good credit score to settle down. A recent survey from FreeCreditScore.com revealed that a good credit score is a big deciding factor for women and men in the dating realm these days. More women than men (75% vs. 57%) place importance on credit scores in dating and more people with college degrees than not (70% vs. 58%) consider credit scores important.

For many people surveyed, financial responsibility is even more important than other compatibility factors like career goals, family planning, and religion.

The topic of credit scores will probably come up at some point before a relationship or within the first year of the relationship, but only 30% of women and 20% of men say they wouldn’t marry someone with a poor credit score. Great news, since a bad credit score won’t necessarily last forever.

Improving Your Credit Score

  • How to Rebuild Bad Credit
  • 9 Things That Boost Your Credit Score
  • How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit
Source: About.com

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Monday Morning Manager: Kershaw showing his value

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in a spending mode, and why not these days? They’re running away with the NL West and seem to have a team that’s built for the postseason.

But even they have to admit that signing up Clayton Kershaw long-term is gonna require another expensive line of credit.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported this week that Kershaw and the Dodgers were at one point close on a deal that would have made Kershaw $210 million over the next seven seasons, which would be the largest ever given to a pitcher. Talks have broken down since then, however.

Giving a pitcher that kind of money is fraught with risks, but if you’re gonna bet on a player with that kind of money, it’s good to make it on a 25-year-old who has won a Cy Young Award already and has never been seriously injured. And oh, by the way, he’s the best pitcher in baseball right now.

Kershaw has given up a total of six earned runs in eight starts since the All-Star break, and just one in his last three starts. He’s gone eight innings in five of those six starts since the break. He’s 13-7 on the season with an MLB-best 1.72 ERA.

Kershaw is making $11.75 million this season. He’s eligible for arbitration this offseason. Look for the Dodgers and Kershaw to get something done by then.

On to this week’s Monday Morning Manager:


Jose Fernandez, Marlins: He’s entering Kershaw’s neighborhood already. Just imagine if this guy didn’t play on the worst-hitting team in baseball. Fernandez has an 0.82 ERA in August, with 41 strikeouts in 33 innings.

Evan Longoria, Rays: Hit a home run on Sunday — his 28th — which is just five away from his career high. He has six homers in August, including four in the last week.

Jason Castro, Astros: If you don’t play fantasy baseball, he’s virtually anonymous. But Castro is becoming one of the best offensive catchers in the game this season with 17 home runs. He’s hitting .348 in August.


Starlin Castro, Cubs: While one Castro is having a career year, another promising Castro has had a disastrous one. The 23-year-old, a lifetime .283 hitter who led the NL in hits in 2011, is hitting .238 overall and .181 in August.

Jeremy Hellickson, Rays: The 2011 AL Rookie of the Year is having a tough 2013. He has an 8.00 ERA in four August starts and his ERA for the season is at 5.01. He’s given up 20 home runs, including two in his last start against Baltimore that only lasted 13 batters.

Brandon McCarthy, Diamondbacks: Seemed like a great breakout candidate, but he’s had a tough 2013, going 2-8 with a 5.44 ERA. He gave up seven earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings at Cincinnati last Wednesday.

TOP 10

1. Boston Red Sox (77-55, last week No. 4)

2. Detroit Tigers (77-53, last week No. 3)

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (76-54, last week No. 1)

4. Atlanta Braves (78-52, last week No. 2)

5. St. Louis Cardinals (76-54, last week No. 7)

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (76-54, last week No. 6)

7. Texas Rangers (75-55, last week No. 5)

8. Cincinnati Reds (74-57, last week No. 8)

9. Tampa Bay Rays (74-54, last week No. 9)

10. Oakland A’s (72-57, last week No. 10)


26. Minnesota Twins (57-72, last week unranked)

27. Chicago Cubs (55-75, last week unranked)

28. Chicago White Sox (55-75, last week No. 29)

29. Miami Marlins (49-80, last week No. 28)

30. Houston Astros (43-86, last week No. 30)

Source: About.com

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Posted in BaseballComments Off

Obamacare Card Calls are Scams

Watch out! A flood of scammers are exploiting the national state of confusion over the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – to steal your credit card, Social Security, and bank account numbers.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers need to just hang up on telemarketers claiming to be “from the government” offering “Obamacare cards,” and even threatening jail time for people who do not buy health insurance.

The scammer’s call might go like this:

“Good morning. I’m calling from the government. We’re about to send out national Obamacare medical cards for the new Affordable Care Act. You’re one of the lucky people to get yours first, so I just need to confirm your name, address and phone number. Oh, and your bank account number, too…”

With the information these telephonic goons are trying to get out of you, they can: charge your existing credit cards, steal from your checking account, open new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, write fraudulent checks, or take out loans in your name.

As the FTC warns, “The government and legitimate organizations you do business with already have the information they need and will not ask you for it.” No agency of the federal government makes unsolicited phone calls or sends unsolicited email to citizens.

In a related scam targeting Medicare enrollees, scammers claiming to be “from Medicare” tell consumers that Obamacare requires them to report their personal financial information in order to keep getting benefits. They may even claim that Obamacare is replacing Medicare, which of course, is not true.

The truth is that the Affordable Care Act does not affect the benefits of current Medicare enrollees.

And It Will Only Get Worse

The FTC expects the volume of Obamacare-related scams to grow even larger with the approach of the October 1, 2013 deadline for the opening of the state insurance exchanges required by the Affordable Care Act.

To help uninsured Americans buy insurance from the exchanges, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will employ “navigators” trained to explain coverage options and help consumers get the most affordable policy that will meet their specific health care needs.

The Obama administration has made $54 million in grants available for organizing and training the navigator, who must be trained and certified before being allowed to assist consumers.

However, Lois Greisman, associate director of the FTC’s division of marketing practices told the Washington Post, “What we’re very likely to see is (fake navigators saying), ‘For an upfront fee we can help you,’ but there shouldn’t be an upfront fee, it should be free.”

Greisman told the newspaper the FTC would advise consumers on how tell real navigators from scammers as soon as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized certification standards for navigators.

Also See:
Congress Gets an Obamacare Break
Latest Text Message Scams: Don’t Text Back

Source: About.com

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Posted in EconomyComments Off

cassette tape

Back in the Day – The Death of Magnetic Tape

cassette tapeToday’s dying media spotlight is magnetic tape. By definition magnetic tape “is a plastic ribbon coated on one side with an iron-oxide material that can be magnetized by electromagnetic pulses for storing data.”

Magnetic tapes came in open reel-to-reel as well as (housed in) cartridge formats and were used for audio or video recordings, and the storage of information in early computers. Tapes are played back and recorded on decks which wind the tape past a read/write device or “head”. Photo Credit: Freefotos

Why is Magnetic Tape a Dying Medium?
Finding something on magnetic tape involves moving the tape sequentially, and even with the fast forward button, tape does not provide the same random access that newer recording mediums do. Copying from one magnetic tape to another results in a loss of quality with each generation of copying.

  • Examples of Magnetic Tape Media
  • Early History of Magnetic Tape
  • Cassette Tape
  • 8 Track Tape
  • Video Tape
Source: About.com

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How A Photovoltic Cell Works

photovoltaicThe “photovoltaic effect” is the basic physical process through which a PV cell converts sunlight into electricity. Sunlight is composed of photons, or particles of solar energy. These photons contain various amounts of energy corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. Photo Credit: NASA

You might also be interested in Solar Power, Timeline of Photovoltics, Photoluminescence, How a Photovoltic Cell Works, and The History of Electric Vehicles.

Source: About.com

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Off to College? Here’s How to Build a Good Score

If you’re going off to college for the first time, expect to hear a lot about credit. Granted, the most important credits to worry about are your college credits. You might also start hearing some buzz about credit cards, from marketers near campus, from your school credit union, or from your peers. If you apply for a private student loan, you’ll soon learn that credit history is one of the deciding factors.

Before you get derailed, know that your goal is to achieve a good credit score, whether you start while you’re in college or you wait until after graduation.

At age 18, you’re old enough to qualify for a credit card on your own, if you have your own income. That first credit card will be the starting point of building your credit score. Use it wisely and you’re on your way to good credit.

Some actions (like not paying your bills) can jumpstart your credit score without you even trying. Unfortunately, that’s not how you want to get your credit score started.

Here are some tips for building a good credit score in college. Keep in mind that you don’t have to start working on your credit score right now. Your education is the most important thing.

More Credit Articles for Students

  • How to Get Your First Credit Card
  • Don’t Let a Roommate Ruin Your Credit
  • How to Choose a Student Credit Card
Source: About.com

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Don Imus is Still Radio’s Top Cowboy

I took some time this week to watch Don Imus’ radio show on Fox Business Network. (And yes, I realize the irony in saying I’m listening to radio on the TV.) I have been a fan of Imus for a very long time and in my view, he can do little wrong. I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea and surely over the years he has been too controversial for some and offensive to others. But, if there is anyone who typifies how a radio personality should conduct himself, it’s Don Imus. Read more and I’ll explain. (Photo Credit: © WABC-AM/New York)
Source: About.com

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robot factory photopin.jpg

Data Center Automation: Why Are We Still Sending Humans to Do a Machine’s Job?

Robots are on the rise. One forecaster, the Freedonia Group, predicts that the use of robots in manufacturing globally will grow nearly 11 percent annually for the next three years. Robots are growing 15 percent in the U.S., says Freedonia, and 17 percent in China.

robot factory photopin.jpg

photo credit: avramc via photopin cc

What do robots have to do with the Data Center? Well, in the same way the manufacturing sector has transitioned from a manual, human-driven industry to one that is automated and controlled by intelligent machines, the Data Center is poised to go through a similar transformation (albeit without the mechanical arms).

(This is a guest post by Camille Campbell, a senior product marketing manager at Avaya Networking).

The Software-Defined Data Center is a new paradigm in application delivery in which compute, storage and networking components are virtualized and delivered as a service. Software will be able to intelligently combine, customize, and commission resources from the server, storage and networking pools to ensure that applications remain available and responsive. This takes us humans, with our slow, expensive and error-prone ways, out of the equation.  

(Read this Q&A with Avaya Networking’s Chief Architect Paul Unbehagen to learn more).

Deploying applications are not easy today. A series of independent provisioning tasks must occur across different silos. Virtual machines, server adapters, storage partitions and network appliances must all be provisioned and then interconnected to build an end-to-end service. This is typically done across different management systems requiring coordinated effort across multiple teams. No wonder it typically takes weeks or even longer – and why – according to a Gartner 2012 whitepaper – 40% of IT operational expenses (OPEX) go towards labor! 

 data center silo slide.jpg

Additionally, components within Data Centers have evolved at different rates. Some are virtualized. Some are not. Also, networks lag behind servers and storage in power and ease of use. Turning on network services still requires painstaking, error-prone provisioning processes.   

Avaya is addressing the evolution to the Software-Defined Data Center through a combination of its Fabric Connect technology (based on enhanced Shortest Path Bridging) and OpenStack cloud orchestration software. A project co-founded by NASA and Rackspace, OpenStack enables companies to build cloud-based networks by providing a control layer that sits above the compute, networking and storage devices in the data center. This enables IT managers to easily control those resources as a service through a set of APIs and a common dashboard. Turning on applications becomes simple and automated. Avaya Fabric Connect enhances the current OpenStack environment by eliminating the constraints of traditional Ethernet to bring more design flexibility, agility and scale to networks.


sdd data center slide.jpg

Provisioning Virtual LANs on a port is a great example of a task we should leave up to machines! And with Avaya Fabric Connect, provisioning VLANs through the core of your network is completely eliminated. Services are deployed at the edge only – and you can even automate that provisioning through intelligent systems like OpenStack (Avaya joined the OpenStack consortium in May). You also have much better scale (16 million services as opposed to 4,000) and the freedom to move VMs anywhere that you need them to go whether it’s across the data center or across the country. And even automate the network and storage provisioning to follow the VMs as they migrate across and between Data Centers.

Update: Here is a screenshot of the Management Suite we have built with OpenStack integration. This specific shot shows the creation of an Avaya Aura virtual machine running over an Avaya Fabric Connect virtualized Layer 2 service. As the Virtual Machine is created, we can automate the provisioning of the network service through Fabric Connect integration into the Neutron module of OpenStack.


What does automation mean for the network engineers performing these tasks today? Liberation from today’s drudgery and menial tasks! This gives them time to focus on moving the business forward. Rather than trying to troubleshoot an issue across three separate teams, or configuring Spanning Tree Groups device by device across the network, IT can engineer better applications or roll out new ones that enhance productivity or maximize efficiency. Plan for the future. The possibilities are endless. 

Granted, we won’t see the likes of WALL-E in our Data Centers anytime soon. However, there will be intelligent software systems – virtual robots – making the job of changing and turning up new services a whole lot easier and a whole lot faster. 

Learn more about Avaya’s Software Defined Data Center Framework:  

SDDC Whitepaper from ZK Research:  The Software-Defined Data Center as Key to IT-as-a-Service

Packet Pushers Podcast: Software Defined Data Center and Fabric Connect

Software Defined Data Center on avaya.com

Avaya Fabric Connect video 

camille campbell head shot.JPG

Camille Campbell is a Senior Product Marketing Manager within the Avaya Networking Business Unit, focusing on Network and Data Center Virtualization.  She has over 10 years of experience in different networking technologies and has held a variety of sales and marketing roles throughout her career.

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Dr. Oz Leaps to Aid of Woman Struck by Taxi

Not more than a week or so ago, talk show host Stephen Colbert did a story on celebrities leaping into action to save people’s lives. Celebrities like Kate Winslet, who carried billionaire Richard Branson’s mother out of a burning house, and John Malkovich, who helped save a man who slashed his neck on scaffolding.

That story ended with Matt Damon saving Colbert’s life after a vending machine fell on top of him. It was a clever spoof that twisted into an unexpected interview.

But for Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show,  the hero act was no joke on Tuesday. The daytime talk show host leapt into action after a man and woman were struck by a taxi cab in New York City. The taxi jumped a curb and the driver accidentally hit the gas.

According to report, Dr. Oz heard the crash from his office and rushed down to the street to help. First responders were already on the scene treating the woman, according to Dr. Oz’s reps.

But other reports say the cab severed a British tourist’s foot at the ankle. Good Samaritans stopped the bleeding with a belt tourniquet and retrieved her foot. A food vendor stored the foot in a cooler.

As one Good Samaritan, David Justino, was applying the tourniquet, someone tapped him on the shoulder. “I was a little bit angry. I said, ‘I’m waiting for a doctor.’ He said, ‘I’m Dr. Oz,’” Justino told Los Angeles Times reporter Tina Susman.

Dr. Oz gave credit to the Samaritans, saying their fast action saved the woman’s life.


Source: About.com

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Four Points by Sheraton LAX

Four Points by Sheraton LAX Review

I recently had a number of business meetings in Los Angeles. While I was there, I wanted a hotel that was convenient to the airport (LAX), so I chose the Four Points by Sheraton LAX.

Four Points by Sheraton LAX

The Four Points by Sheraton at Los Angeles International Airport is a good fit for business travelers that want a hotel that has all the basic amenities, plus a bit more, but doesn’t break the budget. The Four Points by Sheraton LAX is a business-traveler-friendly hotel that has a good rooms, an outdoor pool, on-site restaurant and bar, and more. Read my full review of the Four Points by Sheraton LAX. (photo credit: Four Points by Sheraton).

Source: About.com

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