Monday, October 27, 2008

Tell Me Something I Don't Know - Sunday, October 26th

On the on The Chris Matthews Show, October 26th Chris Matthews leads with: "A different country. America changes. It did in 1932 with the coming of New Deal and in 1980 with the Reagan era. Will the election of 2008 bring an American epoch of Obama? Frustrated by a fitful war. Shaken by a financial free fall. Is the country turning to something truly new?"
The panelists:
-- Anne Kornblut is covering the campaigns for The Washington Post.
-- Clarence Page is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
-- Andrea Mitchell covers the race for NBC News.
-- John Heilemann covers politics for New York Magazine, which has his latest story on the cover this week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yoiks, I lost my files!

Ye, it can happen ... and our first reaction is a blank stare that says "What do I do now?" ... and then, we kick ourselves "Why didn't I backup my files?"

Credit Unions are CREDIT-able

Right for the times? "A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at reasonable rates, and providing other financial services to its members." (Wikipedia)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Phishing Scam Using American Express Identity

This is a forwarded email from my friend that I would like to share with all of my friends and readers. Please be aware of this new scam.

Dear Everyone,

FYI and Warning to all AMEX & other credit card(s) users/holders.

Relative to this email cascaded to us early on, I issued an advisory specifically on this one before and would like to reiterate some points to remember.

1) When paying with use of credit card, bring you card to the counter yourself.

Make sure you witness the transaction

(look out for unusual devices - card reading gadgets the size of beepers or cell


2) Make sure no one is directly behind you during ATM transactions, check the cash dispenser first and the card slot for unusual contraptions, and cover the key pad when punching your PIN;

3) Check your mail box regularly, bank and card company statements and other mails may contain confidential information which criminals use to defraud; (E-Banking; Internet Transactions; Etc)

4) Be cautious in opening email attachments (personal email accounts) criminals make use of cyberspace by sending files that activate a key logger. Once activated, it can replicate key strokes, capture PIN codes, and other information you type in your PC. Especially when you do on-line transactions - bank, e-payments, etc. Be wary of spams, links, and or on-line forms.

5) Avoid bank or payment e-transactions in internet cafes, shops

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tell Me Something I Don't Know (Sun, Oct 19, 2008)

On the on The Chris Matthews Show, October 19th topics were: Can McCain rescue his campaign as the economy sinks? Who benefits as McCain and Obama question each other's character?

The panelists:
-- Mark Whitaker, NBC News, Washington Bureau Chief
-- Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent
-- Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, Writers Group Columnist
-- Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic Senior Editor.

Basic Wine Stuff

Wine is used for drinking, tasting, collecting, cooking, and in religious ceremonies. It is becoming more and more popular, and even has been reported to help with your health.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where's Your Loyalty?

Brands don't compete directly with each other when they are in different brand categories ... but they do compete for your attention, money, and loyalty.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things you should know about Digital Camera

This is another trivia that we should know... just want to share with you guys ^_^

1) Resolution is less important than you think

There is a popular misconception that more megapixels lead to better pictures. This is not the case.

Sure, higher resolution gives you the ability to crop more aggressively or print large pictures, but only a fraction of digital photographers will benefit from this ability. If you're a casual shooter who won't be printing pictures larger than 8x10" or doing extensive computer editing, then a camera with 5- or 6-megapixel resolution will be sufficient.

More advanced photographers will likely appreciate the flexibility of higher resolution, but a 10+ megapixel camera is by no means necessary to create stunning pictures. Choose a camera you can understand and afford, and don't be fooled by glitzy high-resolution specs.

2) Zoom is more important than you think

Whether you're shooting distant wildlife or close-up portraits, you can never have too much zoom. The majority of digital cameras have 3-, or 4x optical zoom, but you will never regret choosing a model with more telephoto power.

Fortunately the extended zoom camera category is growing rapidly, and there is a great selection of models with 8-, 10-, or even 12x optical zoom. For the ultimate in zoom control and quality, look for an extended-zoom camera with image stabilization, which will ensure that shots taken at full telephoto will be tack-sharp, even without a tripod.

3) Travelers should use cameras with AA Batteries

Digital cameras come in two varieties: those that use AA-size batteries and those that are powered by proprietary lithium-ion batteries. If you are a traveler, particularly someone who enjoys remote or rustic locations, choose a camera with AA batteries.

When a camera that uses proprietary batteries runs out of power, you have no choice but to plug the battery into a power outlet to recharge it. This requires an available outlet, a battery charger, and, if you're in a foreign country, a power converter. If access to an outlet is ever in doubt, or if you don't want the hassle of carrying cords and chargers, then the limitations of this system are obvious.

When a camera that uses AA-size batteries runs out of power on a trip, you can simply throw out the old batteries and drop in a new set of high-performance AAs like the Energizer E2 Lithium line. Two or three sets of such batteries can usually take you through a 10-day trip. If you're out of high-performance batteries, you also have the option of using standard alkaline batteries, which are available anywhere in the world, and make a cheap and convenient source of backup power (though they only offer a fraction of the life of high performance batteries).

Recent trips to Asia and Africa have borne this theory out—after my companions' cameras had been sidelined by dead batteries, I was still happily shooting away with my AA-powered Canon PowerShot.

4) Small cameras get shots that big cameras don't

Sure, that big, black SLR with the long lens may look fancy, but it won't do you any good if you're not carrying it. Never underestimate the importance of having a camera that is small enough to fit into your pocket—you'll be amazed at the spontaneous pictures you'll have the opportunity to take. While the photo quality produced by an ultra-compact does not equal that of a large SLR, the ability to whip it out and snap a shot while others are fumbling for their bulky cameras more than outweighs this drawback.

5) Canon makes great cameras

Canon digital cameras receive consistently great reviews, and for good reason: Over the last 2+ years, Canon has time and again proven itself capable of producing well-designed cameras that produce impressive results. From the EOS line of digital SLRs to the diminutive PowerShot ELPHs, Canon invests substantial time in the design process, and the results pay off—photographers of all abilities rave about their Canon cameras.

There have been some mistakes along the way—the Canon A70 was built with a design flaw that produces crippling error messages and black lines on the LCD, but newer models seem to be free of this problem. If you're looking for a great combination of features, price, and performance, Canon will almost always deliver. (NOTE: Digital Camera HQ is in no way affiliated with Canon, nor do we derive any benefit from recommending one brand over another).

6) Kodak makes great, easy-to-use cameras

When I bought my mother her first digital camera, I chose a Kodak, having read countless reviews that raved about their user-friendly controls. The reviews were right—Kodak's EasyShare digital cameras are remarkably easy to use: the menus are simple, the LCD text large and clear, and the controls largely self-explanatory. The results are just as impressive, with attractive, saturated colors and crisp definition. Don't be fooled into thinking that Kodak digital cameras are just for beginners, however—their simplicity aside, many of the high-end EasyShare models offer a full suite of manual controls for ambitious photographers.

7) Digital cameras can and will break

Whether it's due to accidental damage or simple wear and tear, digital cameras are not as durable as their film counterparts. Many photographers have film cameras that are ten or twenty years old—don't expect this kind of longevity from your new digital toy. Some cameras suffer from design flaws (like black lines on the LCD screen of the Canon A70), while others fall victim to the kind of mechanical breakdowns that effect every kind of electronic gear.

Does this mean that you shouldn't buy a digital camera? Absolutely not. A digital camera will so fundamentally change the way you think about photography that you will wonder how you ever got along without one. You must, however, be comfortable with the fact that one day your camera will cease to work.

For some, this knowledge may keep them from spending top dollar on a fancy camera; others simply accept it as the sole downside of working with digital. The most important thing is to do your homework before you buy—any fundamental design flaws will be quickly apparent in user reviews.

8. Don't put all your pictures on one card

After returning from a trip to Asia, I eagerly inserted one of my memory cards into a card reader to download my new pictures. For still unexplained reasons (likely a static electricity discharge), a card that should have held over 200 pictures was suddenly rendered blank. Two weeks and $250 later (thanks to [url][/url]), I had recovered about 90% of my pictures, but the rest were lost permanently.

The moral of the story? Like any other technology, flash memory is not flawless. It is very rare to lose images, but it does happen, and the fact that I had spread my pictures between 5 memory cards protected me from the possibility of losing two weeks' worth of irreplaceable vacation memories. Given the choice between choosing a single 1GB memory card, or four 256MB cards, I will always choose multiple cards.

9) Find & use a simple photo editing program

Most digital photographers will never take the time to master expensive and powerful photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop or Jasc Paint Shop Pro—these programs are too complex and time-consuming for all but the most dedicated photographers. Fortunately there are a variety of easy-to-use editing programs that even novice photographers can use to edit, improve, and organize their digital photos.

My favorite program is Picasa, and it is absolutely free at [url][/url]. With Picasa you can perform all the basic editing tasks like sharpening, contrast correction, cropping, and straightening—most with just the touch of a button. Spend a few minutes on your best photographs and you will be amazed at the results. Picasa also make it incredibly easy to organize your best shots so you don't have to sift through hundreds of unwanted pictures to find your prizewinners.

10) Print and display your pictures

Far too many people take great digital images, only to have them languish in obscurity on their hard drive, never to be enjoyed by others. Don't let this happen to you.

Online image hosting and printing companies like Snapfish or Kodak Gallery can turn your digital images into high-quality prints of any size. You can simply upload your pictures onto the website. From there you can order prints of every size as well as photo mouse pads, calendars, t-shirts and other gifts. You can also send a link to friends so that they can view your pictures online and order their own copies.

If you want to see more of your own pictures, nothing beats using them as a screen saver on your computer. Simply right-click on your desktop, choose Properties/Screen Saver/Settings, and you can direct your computer to the pictures you wish to use. Set the screensaver to change images every 10 seconds and you'll have an instant slide show every time your computer is idle.

credit to: rentao_15(symbianize)

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

October 12th, on The Chris Matthews Show, Chris asks his roundtable to "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" ... this weeks roundtable: Gloria Borger of CNN Howard Fineman of Newsweek Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution David Ignatius of The Washington Post

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall 2008 TV: dNeero-ites want to know

Many, many good questions from dNeero-ites about TV shows and viewing habits ... '24', House, genre, time, hi-def ... we'll do more in future convos.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Safety Tips For Using Public Computers

Public computers at libraries, Internet cafes, airports, and coffee shops are convenient, cheaper than buying your own laptop, and sometimes even free to use. But are they safe? Depends on how you use them. Here are 5 tips on using public computers without compromising your personal or financial information.

1) Don't save your login information

Always logout of Web sites by pressing logout on the site, instead of by closing the browser window or by typing in another address. This will help keep other users from accessing your information. Many programs (especially instant messenger programs) include automatic login features that will save your username and password. Disable this option so no one accidentally (or on purpose) logs in as you.

2) Don't leave the computer unattended with sensitive information on the screen If you have to leave the public computer for any amount of time, logout of all programs and close all windows that may include sensitive information.

3) Erase your tracks

When you're done using a public computer you should delete all the temporary files and your Internet history.
To delete your temporary Internet files and your history
1. In Internet Explorer ###### Tools and then ###### Internet Options.
2. On the General tab, under Temporary Internet files ###### Delete Files and then ###### Delete Cookies.
3. Under History, ###### Clear History.

4) Watch for over-the-shoulder snoops
Because there's so much in the news about how hackers can digitally sneak into your personal files, we sometimes forget about the old fashioned version of snooping. When you're using a public computer, be on the look out for thieves who collect your information by looking over your shoulder or watching as you enter sensitive passwords.

5) Don't enter sensitive information into a public computer
The measures listed above will provide some protection against casual hackers who use a public computer after you have. However, an industrious thief may have installed sophisticated software on the public computer that will record every keystroke and then e-mail that information back to the thief. Then it doesn't matter if you haven't saved your information or if you've erased your tracks. They still have access to this information. If you really want to be safe, avoid typing your credit card number or any other financial or otherwise sensitive information into a public computer.

credit: showstopper28(symbianize)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall TV Season Has Begun

We're roughly two weeks in to the new Fall TV Season. What have we seen? What do we like?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Papa Cholo tie the Knot!!! ^o^

If you still remember the koreanovela Stairway to Heaven aired on GMA 7, who will forget the very handsome and papable korean actor Kwon Sang Woo who is known as Cholo in the Philippines.

Actors Sohn Tae-young, 28, left and Kwon Sang-woo, 32 wave to reporters ahead of their wedding Sunday at Shilla Hotel, Seoul. The couple invited some 300 guests to their closed-doors wedding ceremony, but fans and reporters swarmed the venue to catch a glimpse of the celebrity duo. / Yonhap

Actors Kwon Sang-woo, 32, and Sohn Tae-young, 28, tied the knot Sunday at a three-hour private wedding that drew a crowd including top Korean stars, reporters and fans from Japan.

Before the wedding, the elegantly dressed couple appeared in front of fans and photographers, smiling and holding hands. "I thank everybody for coming, even those who came all the way from Japan. We promise we will do our best to live happily" Kwon said.

The two actors met through friend and fellow actor Kim Sung-soo and when Kwon was asked if he talked to anybody before the wedding, he smiled and said he talked to Kim.

When asked of how many children they were planning to have, they had their differences. "I would like to have three children, but I don't know about Sohn," Kwon said, while Sohn answered that she wanted to have two in order to stay fit.

The wedding was held at the Shilla Hotel with 300 guests. Singer Jo Sung-mo sang the nuptial song, while Sohn's brother-in-law pianist Yiruma performed just for the occasion. The star-studded guest list was known to include fellow actors So Ji-sub, Lee Byung-hun, Lee Jung-jae and Song Seung-heon.

When asked what they wanted to do after the wedding, the groom smiled and said that he wanted "to dance with the bride to beautiful music."

Kwon shot to stardom by appearing in hit dramas like "Stairways of Heaven (2003)," "Bad Love (2007)" and movies "My Tutor Friend (2003)" and "Fate (2008)."

Sohn, a former Miss Korea who came in as second runner up in 2000, also gained popularity with her acting and her sense of style with movies "Sad Movie (2005)" and "The Railroad (2007)." She currently hosts a cable network beauty and fashion program "Sohn Tae-young's Life Magazine."


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