Monday, December 22, 2008

Great Abs defining workout

Pilates, yoga, fitball and gyrotonics are the key exercises to do to develop strong core muscles.

“Core exercises are essential for post-natal women as they suffer from poor truncal stability and weak pelvises. The core exercises mentioned here emphasize the core muscles of the body so as to provide a stable linkage between the upper and lower limbs and truncal stability,” notes Dr Tan Jee Lim, consultant orthopaedic sports surgeon.

Think of your body as a tall structure. If the foundation is not strong, the building will be structurally unsound. Core muscles are the all-important foundation. Located deep within your torso, these muscles stabilise the spine, pelvis and shoulders and create a solid base of support, enabling you to generate powerful movements.

“Pilates is known for its ability to redefine body shapes. It works so deep that you develop a natural corset, allowing you to look taller and more svelte.” Pearlin Siow, Pilates instructor

Two exercises to do:
1. Roll ups- Lie with legs hip distance apart and bring arms up. Inhale and exhale as you “peel” your back off the floor.- Stretch on top. Inhale and exhale as you lower your back down to the floor. Remember to draw your navel against your spine all the way down. Do eight reps.

2. Criss-cross- Bring knees up to 90 degrees and lock fingers behind head. Bring head and shoulder off the floor.- Inhale and exhale as you twist and point left elbow to right knee and vice versa. Remember to stretch opposite leg out long and keep lower back on the floor. Do six reps.

“The slow, focused movements in yoga require a strong mid-section to maintain the poses.” Adeline Tien, yoga instructor

1. Plank pose- Kneel and place hands directly under shoulders and knees under hips. Inhale and exhale as you lift knees from the floor, tucking toes under and pressing heels back. Keep torso parallel to the floor and maintain a straight line. Draw your lower abdomen into the spine to engage the core muscles and protect your lower back. Stay for 30 seconds to one minute.

2. Full boat pose- Sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat and hip distance apart. Place hands behind knees from the outside.- Inhale and exhale as you lift your feet off the floor. Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to the floor. Try to keep the lower belly relatively flat. Lift through the chest and breathe easily. Stay in the pose 10 to 20 seconds. Gradually increase the time to one minute.

“Fitball not only gives you defined abs, it also enhances your posture and reduces possible spine injuries.” Sebastain Varguese, fitball instructor

1. Squat- Place fitball on lower back against a wall. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.- Inhale and exhale as you bend your legs till they are 90 degrees on the side. Maintain knees behind feet. Inhale and exhale as you slowly roll yourself up to a standing position. Do six sets.

2. Supine lumbar tilt- Lie down and place feet on fitball. Contract abs to keep torso light.- Inhale and exhale as you lift your torso off the floor. Keep arms relaxed and hold for 10 counts, breathing slowly. Do five sets.

“Gyrotonic develops strong, lean muscles and greatly improves the mobility of the joints. The movement of gyrotonic is generally circular. It starts from the core and involves the whole body.” Ivana Daniell, gyrotonic instructor

1. Side bend- Sit on a chair with feet hip distance apart, keep a lengthened spine and arms relaxed on the side.- Inhale and exhale as you stretch to the right. Inhale to come back to starting position and repeat for left side. Hold tummy tight as you do the gyrotonic stretches. Do six sets.

2. Twist- Sit on a chair with feet hip distance apart and keep a lengthened spine. Place hands lightly on knees.- Inhale and exhale as you slowly twist your body to the right. Inhale to come back to starting position and repeat for left side. Do six sets.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bush whacked!

An incident in Baghdad when President George Bush gave a visit a few days ago gave a new meaning to be "shooed away."

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush in a supreme insult has suddenly become the talk of Iraq. “This is a farewell kiss! you dog! ” "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." he yelled in Arabic. The crowd descended on al-Zeidi, who works for Al-Baghdadiya television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

President George W. Bush ducked a pair of shoes hurled at his head — one shoe after the other — in the middle of a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. When U.S. Marines toppled Saddam Hussein's statue on Firdos Square in 2003, the assembled crowd whacked it with their shoes.

When Bush met with reporters later aboard Air Force One, he had a joke prepared: "I didn't know what the guy said but I saw his `sole.'" Later, he said: "I'm going to be thinking of shoe jokes for a long time. I haven't heard any good ones yet."

Bush got some pretty good reflexes to ducked at the right moment twice.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Dream Match turns into nightmare for De La Hoya

So this is it. This is how it ends for Oscar De La Hoya. An eight-roundAdd Video beating at the hands of a man who to the naked eye looks to be half his size.

Oscar's wife watches her husband getting beat up on the 7th round and her face says it all.

Filipino ring hero Manny Pacquiao continued to validate his status as the world's top pound-for-pound boxer when he defied the odds in knocking out boxing icon Oscar "Golden Boy" De La Hoya in their welterweight Dream Match at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

There was no knockdown but a relentless Pacquiao gave De La Hoya all he could handle, before the "Golden Boy" called it quits at the end of the eighth round, prompting referee Tony Weeks to declare the Filipino the winner by technical knockout.

In facing boxing's acknowledged icon, Pacquiao had to move up two weight divisions -- from lightweight to welterweight. He gave up four inches in height and six inches in reach, massive numbers for even the most skilled boxer to overcome.

We believed De La Hoya's rhetoric. All of it.

We believed him when he said dropping back to welterweight actually improved his speed. It didn't. De La Hoya fought like a man with weights inside his eight-ounce Reyes gloves. He was sluggish. He couldn't put together combinations. Freddie Roach was right: De La Hoya can no longer pull the trigger.

Roach's game plan was flawless. Manny Pacquiao's stick-and-move strategy in the early rounds befuddled De La Hoya. Pacquiao would come in with one or two-punch combinations then deftly sidestep any De La Hoya flurries. As the fight wore on-and as De La Hoya began to fatigue-Pacquaio rained blows on him, fearlessly. There was no power advantage. If anything, it was Pacquiao that proved to be the more potent puncher.

We believed De La Hoya when he told us he felt in "the best shape of my life." Best shape? By round three the Golden Boy looked gassed. Despite a four-inch height advantage, De La Hoya was the one backing up and fighting defensively. When Pacquiao charged, De La Hoya backed off as the Pac-Man used Oscar's left eye for target practice. Punch after punch slipped through the Golden Boy's defenses, smoothly, as though they were on a rope running towards his face.

In the days and weeks before the fight De La Hoya insisted to anyone carrying a notebook that he would press on after this fight. He can't. There's nowhere for him to go. The ease with which Pacquiao's punches penetrated De La Hoya's defense must have had the top welterweights like Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto and Paul Williams licking their chops, salivating over a potentially huge payday against a clearly inferior opponent.

No, Oscar's next move is retirement. It's sad that it had to end like this. It's sad that many will remember De La Hoya for this loss or the one to Floyd Mayweather last year instead of his epic victories against Ike Quartey and Julio Cesar Chavez. That De La Hoya was truly great; this one is something else entirely.

He has to retire. Sure, De La Hoya could rehabilitate himself against a Carlos Quintana or Zab Judah. But to what end? Time is not on the 35-year old De La Hoya's side. In his heyday, De La Hoya's two best attributes were his speed and his power. The speed is gone and the power, what's left of it, anyway, isn't far behind.

He doesn't need this. He doesn't need any further humiliations. He has become a one-man promotional juggernaut, with Golden Boy Promotions quickly becoming the dominant company in the sport. Fighters will still flock to him. That side of his star power will never fade

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Internet fax and paperless office

Internet fax uses the internet to receive and send faxes.

Internet faxing (or "online faxing") is a general term which refers to sending a document facsimile using the Internet, rather than using only phone networks (traditional faxing).

Depending on the specific method/implementation (see below), advantages of using the internet can include

1. No extra telephone line required for the fax
2. Paperless communication, integrated with email
3. Send and receive multiple faxes simultaneously
4. Reduction in phone costs

Note that depending on which method is used, suitable equipment and/or the use of a gateway is required.

Internet Fax achieves a dramatic reduction in communication costs especially when long faxes are frequently exchanged with overseas or distant offices. Since there is no telephone connection charge when sending a fax over the Internet, the cost of sending faxes is covered entirely by the fixed line Internet connection fee. The recipient machine must also be compatible with Internet Fax.

Hardcopy is converted to TIFF or PDF data and attached to an e-mail in MIME format. Then, taking advantage of a connection to the office LAN, data is sent via TCP/IP directly to any Internet Fax on the intranet or Internet. Because they make use of TCP/IP, Internet Faxes do not incur long-distance transmission costs and reception is verifiable.

On a business side, it may not be entirely possible to run a completely paperless office. After all, sometimes it’s necessary to generate hard copies; many of your customers will want a hard copy for their own records. But you can make every exerted effort to “go paperless” by reviewing ways your company generates paper copies of documents you don’t really need to print out, when such documents can be stored digitally. And eliminating the hoards of paper waste generated by traditional faxing methods, and replacing such inefficient practices with a digital answer just makes good sense not to mention mother earth will like it.

The Internet has enabled development of several other methods of sending and receiving a fax.

The more common method is an extension of computer-based faxing, and involves using a fax server/gateway to the Internet to convert between faxes and emails. It is often referred to as "fax to mail" or "mail to fax". This technology is more and more replacing the traditional fax machine because it offers the advantage of dispensing with the machine as well as the additional telephone line.

Fax machine → Phone line → Fax gateway → email message (over Internet) → computer email account

A fax is sent via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) on the fax server, which receives the fax and converts it into PDF or TIFF format, according to the instructions of the user. The fax is then transmitted to the Web server which posts it in the Web interface on the account of the subscriber, who is alerted of the reception by an email containing the fax as an attached file and sometimes by a message on their mobile phone.

Computer → Internet → Fax gateway → Phone line → Fax machine
From his/her computer, in the supplier Web site, the user chooses the document s/he wants to send and the fax number of the recipient. When sending, the document is usually converted to PDF format and sent by the Web server to the fax server, which then transmits it to the recipient fax machine via the Standard Telephone Network. Then the user receives a confirmation that the sending was carried out, in his/her web interface and/or by email.
An Internet fax service allows one to send faxes from a computer via an Internet connection, thanks to a Web interface usually available on the supplier's Web site.

This technology has many advantages:

No fax machine → no maintenance, no paper, toner expenditure, possible repairs, etc.
Mobility → All actions are done on the Web interface; the service is thus available from any computer connected to Internet, everywhere in the world.
Confidentiality → The faxes are received directly on the account of the user; he is the only one who can access it. The received faxes are then less likely to be lost or read by the wrong people.
No installation of software or hardware → All actions are done on the Web interface of the supplier, on the account of the user.
No telephone subscription for an additional line dedicated to the fax.

Many faxes can be sent or received simultaneously, and faxes can be received while the computer is switched off.

Early email to fax services such as The Phone Company and Digital Chicken were developed in the mid-1990s. Now there are dozens and dozens of companies that offers internet faxing or fax to email services. which a primary prepaid phone card company also has a fax to email feature. Unlimited receiving for only $1 a month, just think how many pieces of paper you will save in a month by getting your fax digitally.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mumbai under siege! About a hundred dead.

MUMBAI, India – Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.

Parts of the city remained under siege as dawn approached Thursday, with police and gunmen exchanging occasional gunfire at two hotels and an unknown number of people still held hostage, said A.N. Roy, a top police official. Soldiers also took up positions across the city.

A raging fire and explosions struck the landmark Taj Mahal hotel shortly after midnight. Screams could be heard and black smoke billowed from the century-old edifice on Mumbai's waterfront. Firefighters sprayed water at the blaze and plucked people from windows and balconies with extension ladders.

The attackers specifically targeted Britons and Americans, witnesses said. Officials said at least 200 people were wounded.

The motive for the onslaught was not immediately clear, but Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.

State home secretary Bipin Shrimali said four suspects had been killed in two incidents when they tried to flee in cars, and Roy said two more gunmen were killed at the Taj Mahal. State Home Minister R.R. Patil said nine more were captured. They declined to provide any further details.

An Indian media report said a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to several media outlets. There was no way to verify the claim.

Police reported hostages being held at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, two of the best-known upscale destinations in this crowded but wealthy city.

Gunmen who burst into the Taj "were targeting foreigners. They kept shouting: `Who has U.S. or U.K. passports?'" said Ashok Patel, a British citizen who fled from the hotel.

Authorities believed seven to 15 foreigners were hostages at the Taj Mahal, but it was not immediately clear if hostages at the Oberoi were Indians or foreigners, said Anees Ahmed, a top state official. It was also unclear where the hostages were in the Taj Mahal, which is divided into an older wing, which was in flames, and a modern tower that was not on fire.

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said U.S. officials were not aware of any American casualties, but were still checking. He said he could not address reports that Westerners might be among the hostages.

"The United States condemns this terrorist attack and we will continue to stand with the people of India in this time of tragedy," White House press secretary Dana Perino said. "President Bush offers his condolences to the Indian people and the families of the innocent civilians killed and injured in the attacks."

Johnny Joseph, chief secretary for Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said 82 people had been killed and 120 had been wounded.

Officials at Bombay Hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a Japanese man had died there and nine Europeans were admitted, three of them in critical condition with gunshot wounds. All were brought in from the Taj Mahal, the officials said.

At least three top Indian police officers — including the chief of the anti-terror squad — were among those killed, said Roy, the senior police official.

Blood smeared the floor of the Chhatrapati Shivaji rail station, where attackers sprayed bullets into the crowded terminal. Press Trust of India quoted the chief of the Mumbai railway police, A.K. Sharma, as saying several men armed with rifles and grenades were holed up at the station.

Other gunmen attacked Leopold's restaurant, a landmark popular with foreigners, and the police headquarters in southern Mumbai, the area where most of the attacks took place. The restaurant was riddled with bullet holes and there were blood on the floor and shoes left by fleeing customers.

Officials also reported that terrorists attacked the city's Cama and Albless Hospital and G.T. Hospital, but it was not immediately clear if anyone was killed in those places.

A British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi hotel told Sky News television that the gunmen who struck there singled out Britons and Americans.

Alex Chamberlain said a gunman, a young man of 22 or 23, ushered 30 or 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and ordered everyone to put up their hands. He said the gunman spoke in Hindi or Urdu.

"They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?" and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything — and thank God they didn't," he said.

Chamberlain said he managed to slip away as the patrons were forced to walk up stairs, but he thought much of the group was being held hostage.

Early Thursday, several European lawmakers were among people who barricaded themselves inside the Taj, a century-old seaside hotel complex and one of the city's best-known destinations.

"I was in the main lobby and there was all of a sudden a lot of firing outside," said Sajjad Karim, part of a delegation of European lawmakers visiting Mumbai ahead of a European Union-India summit.

As he turned to get away, "all of a sudden another gunmen appeared in front of us, carrying machine gun-type weapons. And he just started firing at us ... I just turned and ran in the opposite direction," he told The Associated Press over his mobile phone.

Hours later, Karim remained holed up in a hotel restaurant, unsure if it was safe to come out.

The British Foreign Office said it was advising all British citizens in Mumbai to stay indoors.

Britain's foreign secretary, David Miliband, strongly condemned the attacks. "Today's attacks in Mumbai which have claimed many innocent victims remind us, yet again, of the threat we face from violent extremists," Miliband said in a statement.

India has been wracked by bomb attacks the past three years, which police blame on Muslim militants intent on destabilizing this largely Hindu country. Nearly 700 people have died.

Since May a militant group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen has taken credit for a string of blasts that killed more than 130 people. The most recent was in September, when a series of explosions struck a park and crowded shopping areas in the capital, New Delhi, killing 21 people and wounding about 100.

Mumbai has been hit repeatedly by terror attacks since March 1993, when Muslim underworld figures tied to Pakistani militants allegedly carried out a series of bombings on Mumbai's stock exchange, trains, hotels and gas stations. Authorities say those attacks, which killed 257 people and wounded more than 1,100, were carried out to avenge the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in religious riots that had swept India.

Ten years later, in 2003, 52 people were killed in Mumbai bombings blamed on Muslim militants and in 2006 a series of seven blasts on railway trains and at commuter rail stations killed at least 187.

Relations between Hindus, who make up more than 80 percent of India's 1 billion population, and Muslims, who make up about 14 percent, have sporadically erupted into bouts of sectarian violence since British-ruled India was split into independent India and Pakistan in 1947.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Should your business rely on phone cards?

Buying prepaid phone cards could be compared to playing a card game, as the right card can make all the difference.

However, if you want to make the odds work for you, you'll need to shop around for the right call card. If you've picked up a phone card recently, you're in good company.
According to an estimate by the International Prepaid Communications Association, an industry trade group, Americans use them to make more than 8 billion calls yearly.

These call cards are very popular with students, immigrants, military personnel, teens and travelers. Retirees and small to medium-sized businesses also use them to control their expenses, while roommates buy them to avoid fighting over phone bills every month. An online prepaid phone card company, has a specific type of prepaid account for business use, which helps control over company expenses on long distance.

What Makes Phone Cards Work? To know why phone cards offer reasonable, and competitive call rates, here's quick overview of how the prepaid card market works. We all know that the major telecommunications carriers are responsible for the telephone lines that carry calls, while it's the card resellers who buy telephone minutes in bulk from the carriers.

The issuers then set the card rates and provide toll-free customer service and access numbers. From hereon, the distributors sell the cards to the retailers., and the retailers sell the cards to consumers, although it is important to take note that a store may not have control over the quality of the card or the service it provides.

Phone Cards Offer Businesses Better International Call Rates - The rates for international calls may dramatically vary based on the country that you call, or the method used to make the call. These often offer rates that are generally much lower than a telephone company's basic international prices. Businesses can also make calls from a phone that is not international-calling enabled. Consumers also choose phone cards when they want to call up their friends, relatives or business partners who live half way down the globe. The good thing is that businesses need not sign any formal agreements, and wouldn't have to wait for monthly bills.

Savings: The Best Reason To Use Phone CardsBusinesses and individual customers generally save from 50% to 75% on international and domestic calls with prepaid phone cards. With advancements in technology, consumers can today cut costs of international calling by as much as 50%, simply by using these.

For instance, the cost of calling to India from USA starts from 5 US cents a minute plus local call charges if theres any. For toll-free access of international calls, per-minute charges may be a little bit higher.

The customer also doesn't have to pay hefty taxes as much as they would if they use their regular telephones or mobile phones to make long distance international calls. Phone card users also can keep track of how much of a card's calling time is used through the providers website.

Consumers may add time to some prepaid phone cards, and the added cost can usually be billed to a credit card or debit card. However, if you cannot add time on a particular card, you will need to buy a new one once all the time has been used. In addition, they often have expiration dates, so ensure that you keep track of the date your card expires so you don't lose any unused minutes. Some cards let the unused balance roll over the next expiration date.

Michael Jordan lose to a 5'11" guy

Ok, so this was less than a half-court battle, best to three points and Michael Jordan’s “Flight School.” MJ was just having a good time and giving maybe 10 percent effort. He also hit two long balls when his opponent, CEO and Chairman John Rogers if Ariel Investments, got his buckets with layups.

But the fact remains that this dude beat Michael Jordan. And even if you beat Michael Jordan in Rock, Paper, Scissors, it’s still a big deal

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama wins!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama won a grueling two-year struggle for the White House on Tuesday, U.S. media projected, beating Republican John McCain to become the first black president in U.S. history.

Obama, 47, a first-term senator from Illinois, will be sworn in as the 44th U.S. president on January 20, 2009. He will face a crush of immediate challenges, including easing the economic crisis, ending the war in Iraq and striking a compromise on overhauling the health care system.

Barack Obama told supporters that "change has come to America" as he claimed victory in a historic presidential election.

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there," Obama said in Chicago, Illinois, before an estimated crowd of up to 240,000 people.

With Obama's projected win, he will become the first African-American to win the White House.
Obama had an overwhelming victory over Sen. John McCain, who pledged Tuesday night to help Obama lead.

"Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant," McCain said.

McCain called Obama to congratulate him, and Obama told the Arizona senator he was eager to sit down and talk about how the two of them can work together.
President Bush also called Obama to offer his congratulations.

Bush told Obama he was about to begin one of the great journeys of his life, and invited him to visit the White House as soon as it could be arranged, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Obama will be working with a heavily Democratic Congress. Democrats picked up Senate seats in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, among others.

"While the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress," Obama said.

Flanked by American flags, Obama told the roaring crowd, "This is your victory."
"To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too," he said.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sleeping Less: What to Do About It

Generally, it has been assumed that the need for sleep does not decrease with age, but rather that other factors gradually come to interfere with our ability to sleep through the night.

Older individuals, for instance, are at greater risk not only for developing medical and psychiatric disorders but also for taking medications that can disrupt sleep. In spite of these influences, however, it may be that an actual biological deterioration of the sleep drive might also be playing a role.

A new study published in the journal Current Biology has been able to shed some light on this puzzle of sleep and aging. The researchers, who wanted to determine the maximal sleep capacity of both young and older persons, arranged for groups of younger adults (ages 18 to 32 years) and older adults (ages 60 to 76 years) to lie in bed for 12 hours during the night and for another 4 hours in the afternoon.

The subjects tended to sleep significantly longer at the beginning of the experiment, presumably because they were making up for a sleep debt accrued during their usual daily sleep routines. When the sleep patterns stabilized, however, the younger adults were capable of sleeping for much longer times — an average of 8.9 hours daily — than were the elderly people, who got only 7.4 hours daily. This 1.5-hour difference in maximal sleep capacity is impressive.

If your biological drive for sleep seems to have decreased, make sure that you are following the kinds of routines and behaviors that will give you the best chance of getting as much refreshing sleep as possible. Here are some examples of good sleep hygiene:

  • Make sure that you're going to bed early enough to allow yourself to get an adequate night's sleep.
  • As your bedtime approaches, develop a relaxing routine in the evening — don't keep busy until the moment before you expect to fall asleep.
  • Avoid watching TV in bed.
  • Sleep in a cool, relatively dark room.
  • Consider going to sleep to the sound of white noise, either from a bedside fan or a machine that generates calming sounds.
  • Increase your exercising, but don't do it so near to bedtime that it gets your adrenaline flowing and keeps you awake.
  • Limit your daily intake of caffeinated beverages and avoid them completely after lunchtime.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Meet Joe the plumber

From one week ago, Obama canvassing in Holland, Ohio: Then a big, bald man with a goatee asks if he believes in the American dream.

He tells Obama he’s getting ready to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year. “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?”

Obama tells him he’d get a 50% tax credit – a cut in taxes for health care. “if your revenue is above 250 – then from 250 down, your taxes are going to stay the same. It is true that from 250 up – from 250 – 300 or so, so for that additional amount, you’d go fro 36 to 39%, which is what it was under Bill Clinton. And the reason why we’re doing that is because 95% of small businesses make less than 250. So what I want to do is give them a tax cut. I want to give all these folks who are bus drivers, teachers, auto workers who make less, I want to give them a tax cut. And so what we’re doing is, we are saying that folks who make more than 250 that that marginal amount above 250 – they’re gonna be taxed at a 39 instead of a 36% rate.”

The man says he’s a hard working plumber for 15 years – why should he be taxed more?
Obama says, “over the last 15 years, when you weren’t making 250, you would have been given a tax cut from me, so you’d actually have more money, which means you would have saved more, which means you would have gotten to the point where you could build your small business quicker than under the current tax code. So there are two ways of looking at it – I mean one way of looking at it is, now that you’ve become more successful through hard work – you don’t want to be taxed as much.”

The man says, “Exactly.”

Obama contined, “But another way of looking at it is, 95% of folks who are making less than 250, they may be working hard too, but they’re being taxed at a higher rate than they would be under mine. So what I’m doing is, put yourself back 10 years ago when you were only making whatever. 60 or 70. Under my tax plan you would be keeping more of your paycheck, you’d be paying lower taxes, which means you would have saved down to the point where you (inaudible).

Now look, nobody likes high taxes. Of course not. But what’s happened is is that we end up – we’ve cut taxes a lot for folks like me who make a lot more than 250. We haven’t given a break to folks who make less, and as a consequence, the average wage and income for ordinary folks, the vast majority of Americans, has actually gone down over the last 8 years. So all I want to do is – I’ve got a tax cut. The only thing that changes is I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well - even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. Now, I respect the disagreement. I just want you to be clear – it’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.”

The man says it seems like Obama would be for a flat tax.

Obama says, “you know, I would be open to it except here’s the problem with a flat tax is that if you actually put a flat tax together, in order for it to work and replace all the rvenue that we’ve got, you’d probably end up having to make it like about a 40% sales tax. I mean that’s the value added, making it up. Now some people say 23 or 25, but in truth when you add up all the revenue that would need to be raised, you’d have to slap on a whole bunch of sales taxes on. And I do believe for folks like me who have worked hard, but frankly also been lucky, I don’t mind paying just a little bit more than the waitress that I just met over there who’s things are slow and she can barely make the rent.

Because my attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody **** and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody. **** But listen, I respect what you do and I respect your question, and even if I don’t get your vote, I’m still gonna be working hard on your behalf because small businesses are what creates jobs in this country and I want to encourage it.”

The crowd cheered and Obama added, “for small business people, I’m gonna eliminate the capital gains tax, so what it means is if your business succeeds and let’s say you take it from a $250,000 business to a $500,000 business, that capital gains that you get – we’re not gonna tax you on it because I want you to grow (inaudible). So you’re actually gonna get some, you may end up – I’d have to look your particular business, but you might end up paying lower taxes under my plan and my approach than under JSM’s (inaud). I couldn’t guarantee that, ‘cause I’d have to take a look at ---

The man says, “Oh yeah, I understand that.”

As Obama walks away he says, “I gotta get out of here. I’ve gotta go prepare for this debate, but that was pretty good practice right there!”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Market crash explained

This was recorder last year even before Wall Street crashed and bank meltdown left and right. Even though this is like comedy of sorts, in reality theres a big resemblance of what really happened.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Choosing the right VoIP provider

There are many VoIP providers and choosing the right one can be an arduous task and what work flawlessly on your friend from another state doesn't guarantee that it will work on you without a hitch too.

The basic concept of Voice over IP communication is that VoIP to VoIP calls are
totally free while VoIP calls towards a PSTN (i.e landline) have a cost.

Typically you get many more features and pay far less for your calls on VoIP than you would be getting from your local telephone company. In most cases the VoIP is a little box that you receive when you sign up for VoIP service through a VoIP provider. You simply plug your
internet cable into one side and then plug your telephone into the other and voila! you are ready to make voip calls.

You can imagine the cost benefits for large scale companies giving dozens and dozens of phone calls abroad or national to other subsidiaries companies, or even partners. BPOs and Call centers overseas also masively benefited from this cost effective way of communication. Most call centers now rely on voip for their customer service hot lines and the same thing for those companies who make cold calling to solicit members or looking for prospective customers.

End users or individuals like most of us will also gain from voip technology in terms of cutting cost on our long distance fees. A typical $20 long distance cost monthly now can be cut to more than half by calling through voip instead of your local provider, more if you make lots of international calls.

VoIP also allow us to make free calls locally or internationally through VoIP to VoIP or PC to PC calls. Skype, Yahoo Voice, Google Talk, Onesuite, Vonage, ViaTalk and other VoIP providers usually provides free voip to voip calls. Not all voip provider are created the same though. Skype for example has their own protocol and can not be use on your over the counter ATA devide or USB phone. You need to buy Skype phone to use it without having your PC turned on. Yahoo Voice can be use with ATA but you need to tweak your device or at least has a good voip knowledge, not for your average joe. Onesuite on the other hand is a prepaid phone card with voip feature which is SIP based so it can be use on a softphone (X-lite, Portsip, etc) or ATA device.

The thing about choosing a quality VoIP provider these days rely on the provider size and on their ability to offer a 'Pay as you grow' service. I assume you think the bigger is the better right? Well, this is precisely the opposite, not that a major VoIP provider isn't providing a good service but its network is more prone to be saturated and obviously giving poor quality phone calls to its customers. It is very similar to the multiplicity of internet connection providers available 2-3 years ago and stretching out to the horizon: If you chose a small to medium size one, you had great chance to get an excellent bandwidth but in the other hand this one may
bankrupt after one year (remember Sunrocket?). And if you chose a big and well established internet connection provider, chances are you got slightly slower bandwidth (in these early days), but with a reliable and constant service (most of the time).

5 things to consider when choosing yor voip provider.

1. Your VoIP provider should have the ability to "Port" your phone number. Meaning
that you should be able to keep the same phone number you already have, if you want
2. Your VoIP Provider should have a money back guarantee so you can try their
service and if you aren't satisfied you can get your money back.

3. Your VoIP provider should have pay as you go plan or no plan so you can easily
quit whenever you want to and not worry about your unused minutes or remaining

4. Your VoIP Provider should have live customer service department AND a 24/7 at
that is a big plus. You will never know what time of the day you will need help.

5. Your VoIP provider should be accessible through your computer or as a stand alone
without having your PC turned on all the time.

I personally use Onesuite services and I actually followed the guideline when I decided to go with Onesuite voip. But always remember though, what works with your friend doesn't necessesarily mean it will work for you. The best way to find out if the VoIP provider you choose will work out fine on your end is to actually try and use it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The 2008 Emmy Awards

The 60th annual Primetime Emmys finally got real – and finally funny, too.

In terms of the former, for the sixth year running, CBS's The Amazing Race was named best reality series. But in the newly-created best reality show host category, it was Survivor's Jeff Probst who raced away with the Emmy Sunday night.

"Thank you for allowing reality in," said Probst during his acceptance at Los Angeles's Nokia Theater.

As for finally getting funny, after an otherwise slow start, 30 Rock was showered with Emmys – and an octogenarian comedian named Don Rickles showed he could still bring an audience to its feet.

Overall, the top winners were those with the most nominations: HBO's miniseries John Adams, NBC's comedy 30 Rock and AMC's drama Mad Men.

For the second consecutive year, 30 Rock was named outstanding comedy series. Its male lead, Alec Baldwin, won in the acting category. "It's the greatest job I ever had in my life," he said, calling the show's creator, writer and star Tina Fey "the Elaine May of our generation."

Fey Shouts Out to Julia Louis-DreyfusNot long afterwards, Fey picked up her second Emmy of the night – the first was for writing 30 Rock – as that show's outstanding lead actress in a comedy. She revealed that when she doesn't know what to do in a scene, her husband advises her to act like Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

"So, thanks, Julia. It's really working out for me," said Fey, as a bemused-looking Louis-Dreyfus flashed her a thumbs-up.

Damages star Glenn Close, the outstanding lead actress in a drama series, said of her sister nominees – Sally Field, Mariska Hargitay, Holly Hunter and Kyra Sedgwick, as well as Helen Mirren and Judi Dench – "We're proving that complicated, powerful, mature women are sexy, high entertainment and can carry a show."

Zeljko Ivanek, outstanding supporting actor for dramatic series winner, also on Damages, thanked Close and the TV academy voters, "who," he said, "made my parents very, very happy tonight."

Best actor in a drama series winner, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, whose victory was something of an upset, gasped when his name was announced. Picking up his trophy the AMC-series star said of Emmy, "She's bald, too."

HBO's historical drama, John Adams, was voted top mini-series, with producer Tom Hanks collecting the Emmy from presenter Sally Field, who played his mother in Forrest Gump. She asked, "You been a good boy?" "Yes, Mom," he replied. The project's leading man, Paul Giamatti, received the genre's best actor Emmy, and said his casting proved "Anybody can be president. Anybody."

Laura Linney (who played Abigail Adams) picked up a best actress Emmy, as did Tom Wilkinson (Benjamin Franklin). Adams was also honored for its screenplay.

AMC's Mad Men creator and executive , Matthew Weiner, also clinched the Emmy for dramatic-series writing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Biggest football blunder of all time!

How stupid can you get? I mean everyone knows the ball needs to cross the line right? Anyhow the play started as usual and after looking left abd right Mcnabb found DeSean Jackson deep and just a few yards away from the goal. He did a perfect pass, DeSean catched it with no defender in sight then the unthinkable happened.

Monday, September 15, 2008

U.S. market biggest slumped since 9/11

NEW YORK (AP) -- World stock markets turned sharply lower Monday after a double-fisted blow from Wall Street -- news that Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch would be sold to Bank of America.

Wall Street dropped precipitously with the Dow Jones down more than 504 points to 10917, the sixth-largest point drop ever and their worst showing since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The U.S. stock market suffered as investors reacted to a stunning reshaping of the landscape of Wall Street that took out Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co.

In Europe, the FTSE-100 share index was down 3.9 percent in London, the Paris CAC-40 was off 3.7 percent and Germany's DAX 30 index of blue chips sagged 2.7 percent.
Asia's biggest stock exchanges in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea were closed for holidays, but India's Sensex tumbled 3.4 percent, Taiwan's benchmark plummeted 4.1 percent and Singapore dropped 3.2 percent.

In Latin America, stocks also plunged, with Brazil and Argentina falling the hardest, with 6.2 percent and 3.28 percent drops. In Mexico, the market slipped 1.94 percent, while in Chile stocks were down 0.8 percent.

In Russia, where stocks were already suffering from falling oil prices and worries about political interference in business, the MICEX index was down 6.2 percent and RTS index was 4.8 percent lower.

The declines in Europe were led by insurance and financial stocks, with shares in French insurer AXA SA down 8.5 percent, Germany's Commerzbank AG falling 9 percent, and Britain's HBOS 17.55 percent lower.
"In the short term, we are looking at a fresh wave of weakness hitting financial markets," said Chloe Magnier, chief economist at Saxo Bank in Paris. "I'm not optimistic about the coming months."

U.S. bond prices surged as investors fled to the security of government debt. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, plunged to 3.54 percent from 3.72 percent late Friday. The dollar was lower against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Europe's major central banks moved quickly to calm markets Monday, pumping billions of euros and pounds into the financial system. The European Central Bank loaned 30 billion euros but said it received 51 bids for 90.3 billion euros ($127 billion) on its one-day tender with a bid rate of 4.25 percent -- a clear sign that demand for cash is over the top.

Similarly, the Bank of England offered up £5 billion (nearly $9 billion) in a three-day auction -- but bids were nearly five times higher, at £24.1 billion ($43 billion).

The 158-year-old Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed Monday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company was crippled by $60 billion in soured real-estate holdings and unable to find an investment partner to throw it a lifeline.

Officials from the government and various banks failed to find a solution during weekend meetings. During the talks, when Bank of America balked at buying Lehman, the government urged it to buy investment bank Merrill Lynch instead. Merrill rose 18 percent, while Bank of America fell 2.4 percent.

The $50 billion deal may stop speculators whose next target after Lehman would have been Merrill, according to Stephen Pope, chief global market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in London.

The moves will create a "firebreak in the financial structure," and once disappointment that Lehman didn't manage to make a deal has been digested, stocks will start to recover, he said.
"You are going to have a torrid day today, probably tomorrow as well, but then I think people are going to start thinking there's some opportunity out there to be engaged," he said.

Before that, markets also have to react to a possible restructuring of the world's largest insurance company, American International Group Inc. AIG's troubles a week after its stock dropped 45 percent are perhaps most worrisome for some investors because of the company's enormous balance sheet -- and the risks that its troubles could spill over to its customers.

A sharp drop in oil below $100 also weighed on energy names, including several Dow components. Exxon Mobil Corp. fell 1.8 percent, while Chevron Corp. fell 2.7 percent.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deadly train crash in SoCal

LOS ANGELES - Emergency crews found more victims early Saturday, boosting the death toll to 17, as they delicately picked apart the mangled wreckage of a commuter train that collided head-on with a freight train on the same track.

More victims were feared trapped in the wrecked Metrolink commuter train. About 135 people were injured. The impact rammed the Metrolink engine backward into a passenger car, which rested on its side with the engine still inside it early Saturday, and accordioned the freight train cars.

Two other Metrolink cars remained upright. Crews had to put out a fire under part of the train.
It was the deadliest U.S. passenger train accident in 15 years.

During the night, the teams used hydraulic jacks to keep the passenger car from falling over and other specialized rescue equipment to gently tear apart the metal. Fire Capt. Steve Ruda said the goal was to eliminate every piece of metal and gradually work down into the passenger spaces, but by midnight crews were just getting through the top deck of the double-decker train.
"There's human beings in there and it's going to be painstaking to get them out," Ruda said. "They'll have to surgically remove them." His firefighters had never seen such carnage, he said. The crews would have to work carefully to document the incident for investigators and so relatives could identify bodies, Ruda said.

Officials say there were 222 people on the Metrolink train and four Union Pacific employees aboard the freight train. The cause of the collision had not been determined.
"This is the worst accident I've ever seen," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "Clearly the injuries are going to mount and so are the fatalities."

Asked how the two trains ended up on the same track, Steven Kulm, a spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration: "We are nowhere near having any information on that."
Kulm said the federal investigation will be headed by the National Transportation Safety Board, while his agency will conduct a review of whether any federal rail safety regulations were violated.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Zoe Richmond said it is common in California for freight and commuter trains to be on one track. "You see it a lot in California where commuter trains share tracks with freight trains," Richmond said, adding she couldn't speculate about the cause of the crash. Dr. Marc Eckstein, medical director for the city Fire Department, said 135 people were taken to hospitals — about 85 of them in serious or critical condition.

In the initial hours after the disaster, firefighters treated the injured at three triage areas near the wreck, and helicopters flew in and out of a nearby landing area on evacuation flights. Dazed and injured passengers sat on the ground and wandered about. Leslie Burnstein saw the crash from her home and heard screams of agony as she ran through a haze of smoke toward the wreckage. She pulled victims out one by one.

"It was horrendous," said Burnstein, a psychologist. "Blood was everywhere. ... I heard people yelling, screaming in pain, begging for help." Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said the Metrolink train left Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and was headed northwest to Moorpark in Ventura County. The trains collided at about 4:30 p.m. in the Chatsworth area of the San Fernando Valley, near a 500-foot-long tunnel underneath Stoney Point Park.
On the north side of the tunnel, there is a siding, a length of track where one train can wait for another to pass, Tyrrell said.

"I do not know what caused the wreck," said Tyrrell who broke down crying and was shaking. "Obviously two trains are not supposed to be on the same track at the same time."
Until Friday, the worst disaster in Metrolink's history occurred on Jan. 26, 2005, in suburban Glendale when a man parked a gasoline-soaked SUV on railroad tracks. A Metrolink train struck the SUV and derailed, striking another Metrolink train traveling the other way, killing 11 people and injuring about 180 others. Juan Alvarez was convicted this year of murder for causing the crash.

That was the worst U.S. rail tragedy since March 15, 1999, when an Amtrak train hit a truck and derailed near Bourbonnais, Ill., killing 11 people and injuring more than 100.
The Sunset Limited was involved in the worst accident in Amtrak's 28-year history. On Sept. 22, 1993, 42 passengers and five crew members died when the train plunged off a trestle into a bayou near Mobile, Ala. The trestle had been damaged minutes earlier by a towboat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Remembering 9/11

The 19 names of suspected hijackers released by the FBI don't point to Afghanistan.

They come from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates; all across the middle east without a focus in any one region.

Indeed, even as the FBI was admitting that its list of 19 names was based solely on identifications thought to have been forged, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saudi Al-Faisal insisted that an investigation in Saudi Arabia showed that the 5 Saudi men were not aboard the four jet liners that crashed in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania on September 11.

"It was proved that five of the names included in the FBI list had nothing to do with what happened," Al-Faisal told the Arabic Press in Washington after meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House.

A sixth identified hijacker is also reported to still be alive in Tunisia, while a 7th named man died two years ago!

The 19 names of suspected hijackers released by the FBI don't even appear on the passenger lists of the hijacked planes. Check it out for yourself - here's the full list of alleged hijackers along with the passenger manifests.

CNN reported that the men who hijacked those aircraft were using phony IDs, using the names of real people still living in Arab nations in the middle east.

In another development, the BBC is reporting that the transcript of a phone call made by Flight Attendant Madeline Amy Sweeney to Boston air traffic controls shows that the flight attendant gave the seat numbers occupied by the hijackers, seat numbers which were NOT the seats of the men the FBI claimed were responsible for the hijacking!

FBI Chief Robert Mueller admitted on September 20 and on September 27 that at this time the FBI has no legal proof to prove the true identities of the suicidal hijackers.

Yet in the haste to move forward on the already planned war in Afghanistan, our government and the FBI (which does not have the best record for honesty in investigations to begin with, having been caught rigging lab tests, manufacturing testimony in the Vincent Foster affair, and illegally withholding/destroying evidence in the Oklahoma Bombing case) are not taking too close a look at evidence that points away from the designated suspect, ex(?) CIA asset Osama Bin Laden.

In particular, the FBI, too busy harassing political dissenters to find spies in its midst, the long rumored mole inside the White House, or plug leaks in high-tech flowing to foreign nations, has willfully and criminally ignored the implications of some vital pieces of information the FBI is itself waving around at the public.

We are being told that this crack team of terrorists, able to breeze past airport security as if it wasn't there, wound up leaving so much evidence in its wake that the bumbling Inspector Clouseau (or the FBI) could not fail to stumble over it.

The locations where the terrorists supposedly stayed are so overloaded with damning materials that they resemble less a crimes scene, and more a "B" detective movie set, with vital clues always on prominent display for the cameras.

Yet another problem lies with the described actions of the hijackers themselves. We are being told on the one hand that these men were such fanatical devotees of their faith that they willingly crashed the jets they were flying into buildings.

Yet on the other hand, we are being told that these same men spent the night before their planned visit to Allah drinking in strip bars, committing not just one, but two mortal sins which would keep them out of Paradise no matter what else they did.

Truly devout Muslims would spend the day before a suicide attack fasting and praying. Not only does the drinking in strip bars not fit the profile of a fanatically religious Muslim willing to die for his cause, but the witness reports of the men in the bars are of men going out of their way to be noticed and remembered, while waving around phony identifications.

Because of the facts of the phony identifications, we don't really know who was on those planes.

What we do know is that the men on those planes went to a great deal of trouble to steal the identities of Muslims, and to make sure those identities were seen and remembered, then to leave a plethora of planted clues around, such as crop dusting manuals, and letters in checked baggage (why does a terrorist about to die need to check baggage?) that "somehow" didn't get on the final, fatal, flight.

Fake terror is nothing new. According to recently released files, our government planned Operation NORTHWOODS to stage phony terror attacks against American citizens in the wake of the Bay Of Pigs, to anger Americans into support for a second invasion of Cuba.

The plan was spiked by JFK. If our government has ever actually carried out such plans to stage phony terror attacks, the documents have remained classified.

But given the reality of Operation NORTHWOODS, or the manner in which FDR maneuvered Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor, one cannot rule out the possibility that, once again, the people of the United States are being lied to by their own government, to manufacture consent for a war of invasion already being discussed with other nations the previous summer.

It is also quite possible, indeed likely, that the United States is being spoofed by a third party to trigger a war. It has happened before. According to Victor Ostrovsky, a defector from Israel's secret service, Mossad, Israel decided to mount a false flag operation designed to further discredit Libya, and provoke the US to attack an Arab nation. A transmitter loaded with pre-recorded messages was planted in Tripoli, Libya, by a Mossad team.

The `Trojan Horse' beamed out fake messages about Libyan-authorized bombings and planned attacks that were immediately intercepted by US electronic monitoring.

Convinced by this disinformation that Libya was behind the 1986 bombing of a Berlin disco in which a US soldier died, President Ronald Reagan ordered massive air attacks on Libya, including an obvious- and illegal (under US law) attempt to assassinate Qadaffi himself. Some 100 Libyan civilians were killed, including Qadaffi's two year old daughter. Libyan officials had no idea why they were attacked.

It is worth remembering the motto of the Mossad is, "By way of deception, thou shalt do war.

"Whether they were involved in the attacks or not, it cannot be doubted that Israel has benefited from the attacks in New York.

While world attention is focused on what the US will do in Afghanistan, Israel has escalated its attacks against Palestinians towns.

Israel has repeatedly tried to claim that Palestinians were involved in the New York attacks, hoping to bury the Palestinian cause under the rubble of the World Trade Towers.

Because of the faked IDs and stolen identities, we don't really know who planned the World Trade Towers attacks. We only know who they wanted us to blame.

And we know that the United States has been tricked in the past into bombing someone who did not deserve the attack, and that those who were bombed then embarked on what from their point of view was justified retaliation that culminated over Lockerbie. And while bombs were falling and planes were crashing, Israel was laughing at us that we had been so easily fooled into bombing Israel's targets for them.

Are we being hoaxed again, by Israel, or by our own government, or by both?

It's impossible to rule that out. Right now there are a lot of people who want war. Oil companies want Afghanistan's petroleum products. Our corporations want "friendlier" markets.

The CIA wants all that opium. And all those war-mongers, with all their greed and agendas, will not hesitate in the least to pour your tax dollars and your children's blood all over Afghanistan, to get those "friendlier" markets, oil, and opium.

Because of the vested interests at work here, American citizens must, more than at any other time in recent history, rely on themselves to decide what is happening in our nation.

Too many of those who purport to report the "truth" to us are eager to grab more tax money and more children to pour into a war of invasion, poised at a region which has swallowed up every army that has tried to conquer it since the time of Alexander The Great.

And one more thing. Take a good look at the map of Eurasia and plot out where the United States has military deployments.

They march in a straight line through the middle of Eurasia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan.

The United States is prepared to cut the Russian Federation off from the oil rich middle east, and to control transportation routes from China and India into the Middle East.

When Russia realizes that this is the real agenda, that's when "Dubya Dubya Three" will really get going!

Originally published @

Saturday, July 5, 2008

International mobile roaming tips

Everytime we travel there's a constant need to communicate, whether personal or business related and usually people are not prepared. A trip abroad and it will hugely hike call costs that can charge up to $4 a minute not to mention receiving calls aren't free either.

There are simple steps that will take some cost of from your mobile bill.

1. Use SMS more frequently and make fewer calls.

Sending text messages will cut your cost by huge chunk. Texting is a simple way to communicate too plus you can say what you want briefly and cut down unnecessary chit chat. Receiving text messages is also free compare while receiving a call is not.

2. Call back home for less

There are other ways of calling back home aside from your mobile which charges very high just in case you don't know.

a. Buy a local phone card and check their rates. You can compare it to your mobile rate before hand so you can pick a good phone card. You can also buy online or better yet sign up with prepaid phone card service like which has access numbers around the globe like in Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America, etc. You can check out the Onesuite rate comparison here to see how much the difference from mobile providers like AT&T or T-mobile is.

b. If you have internet access, arrange the date and time where you can call using Yahoo Voice or any other free PC to PC call provider like MSN. You can also use the same Onesuite account for VoIP calls or check out other VoIP providers that suits you best.

c. A service, Vyke SMS Callback, allows you to call most countries for the cost of a text. Once you've signed up, you just text the word "call" followed by the number (inc. international code & no spaces) you'd like to call to the Vyke SMS number, which varies depending on your provider.

3. Beware of your voice mail

a. Switch off your voicemail. Ask your network to switch off the voicemail before you go, and you won't be charged when people call you (unless you answer it).

b. Answer your phone. If your voicemail isn't disabled, keep the phone on as it's cheaper to answer than pay double to receive and then listen to a voicemail; provided you don't natter on once you're called.

c. Change voicemail message. Re-record your voicemail message, keeping it short and asking others only to leave short messages that are strictly necessary.

4. Limit the use of your mobile

a. Only use it when really necessary.

b. It is usually cheaper to receive than to make calls so try to tell your friends and relatives to call you insterad of you calling them.

c. Remember you also pay when receiving calls so make sure you don't stray too much and get into long conversation.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

VoIP for dummies

Using voice over IP, from any computer or telephone (IP phone or regular phones with ATA) connected to the internet with a broadband connection (though dial ups can still make calls) can call another computer or phone at a fraction of usual cost, or absolutely free. In other words VoIP can turn a standard Internet connection into a way to place free phone calls or almost free.

The main idea is to use a software like softphones or hardware like IP phones and to make a phone call bypassing the phone company together with its charges.

VoIP is slowly replacing traditional voice communications and access to it can take place today from most any kind of telephony device whether physical or digital. Traditional telephones can easily access low-cost VoIP services like what Onesuite voip has to offer while maintaining their telephony hardware intact.

Even mobile phones can now access VoIP telephony services from multiple providers making it possible for users to save significantly on long-distance and international calls and taking greater advantage of new complimentary services like conferencing, scheduling, recording and more.

Voip works by taking the voice and sampling it. Most of us have recorded our voice to a digital device be it a computer, a mobile phone or a digital dictaphone. You can even get applications for iPODs to record your voice. The voice samples are converted into data and then stored on the device to be played back at a later date. V0IP works in the same way, taking the voice, sampling it and converting it into binary data. The different is that data isn't stored locally but the samples are transferred them via the network to the recipient at the other end.

In order for the data to flow smoothly from one point to the other the samples are compressed with a CODEC and sliced into packets or smaller samples. These packets are then pulsed across the network and reassembled at the other end, decompressed and played backed. The whole process is so quick that the users do not notice the process taking place. If the process does become slowed down then jitter can take place. The voice or video then becomes choppy or glitch ridden. In order to over come the problem a fast Ethernet network dedicated to voip improves the flow of data.

There are two major types of equipment used for voip transmissions. The first is the soft phone, this is a system that utilizes a computer with the addition of a microphone and either headphones or speakers. The computer has software installed that acts as the gateway to the network providing the sampling, CODECS and the steaming of the data.

The vast majority of Skype users use soft phone route when accessing the service. Although you can use handsets these are still pseudo soft phones as Skype cannot be used with voip analogue telephone adapters (ATAs) and therefore they are restricted to the Skype network which kinda disadvantage to most users.

The other devices for using a voip network are unsurprisingly called hard phones. These are stand alone devices that look like a regular phone but instead of a phone jack they have an internet cable that can be plugged directly into the network.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Knowing VoIP

VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or IP telephony is rapidly changing the way we communicate. Aside from being a lot more cheaper than traditional phones, certain features such as portability makes it attractive for residential and business owners alike. But as with all modern technologies, VoIP has its own disadvantages. These flaws are minor, and solutions are being worked out as you read this. One thing is clear, though. The advantages of VoIP clearly outweighs its disadvantages.

VoIP is dependent on bandwidth. Even the best of the best ISP (Internet Service Provider) experience technical issues. Since VoIP uses your Internet connection, it is bound to be affected. If your Internet is down, you will not be able to make or receive a call. If your connection is exceptionally slow, then expect low voice quality. A user might also encounter problems if he makes or receives a call while streaming videos or audio, or while downloading a large amount of data. If bandwidth is the problem, then it might be time to change your provider. Search for a more reliable and stable ISP and don't forget to ask your friends for referrals.

Voice quality issues. This has been a problem attributed to VoIP calls ever since its birth. Static noise, echoes, and delays are a common complaint of users. There are a number of factors that affects VoIP's voice quality: internet connection, the hardware in use, the VoIP provider, distance of call, and many more. It is best to try out the service before committing to it. Also, try different combinations of hardware until you get the results that you want.

VoIP needs power. Unlike traditional phones, VoIP needs electricity to work. You have to plug in your modem, ATA, and other VoIP hardware for you to be able to make and receive a call. You can not use your phone if there is a power interruption. Emergency power generators might be a little far-fetched for a regular home to have, but if you are running a business then you should probably get one.

Emergency calls. If you use traditional phones to dial 911, it will be diverted to a call center nearest to you where the operator has the ability to see where exactly you are calling from. Using VoIP, there is no way to trace where your call is coming from. In addition, if the emergency involves a power interruption then you will not be able to make a VoIP call. There is a new service called E911, which a lot of VoIP providers are offering. It is for your best interest to ask your provider regarding this and other emergency calling issues.

To be on the safe side, having a traditional phone aside from the VoIP phone is a good idea. It will also help if you could write down individual phone numbers of emergency facilities (local police, fire station, hospitals, etc.) and post it near your phone.

Keep in mind that these are just minor inconveniences and every passing day VoIP is advancing. Its advantages and benefits are too many to pass up. Soon it will replace traditional phones as the communication technology of choice.

From Hero to Zero

Lewis Hamilton went from hero to zero after crashing into Ferrari's world champion Kimi Raikkonen in a bizarre pit-lane pile-up at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Lewis, a near champion last year (lost by a point) made a silly stupid mistake by ramming to Kimi Raikonnen in the pit lane. The 23-year-old McLaren driver, who covered himself in glory by winning in Monaco two weeks ago, kissed goodbye to his championship lead with the most embarrassing moment of his fledgling Formula One career.

Hamilton, who was branded "stupid" by Raikkonen, was handed a 10-place grid penalty for shunting the world champion out of the Montreal race in a pit-lane collision last Sunday.

Leading the race from pole position at the scene of his first grand prix victory last year, Hamilton ploughed into the back of Raikkonen's stationary Ferrari after they pitted on lap 20 while the safety car was deployed.

The Finn had stopped at the red light at the end of the pit lane, with BMW Sauber's Polish driver Robert Kubica waiting alongside for the all-clear to rejoin the race. Lewis who came in first was probably mad coming out third after Kimi and Robert and eager to take back the position lost.

Hamilton failed to brake in time, with German driver Nico Rosberg then adding to his misery by shunting the McLaren with his Williams.

"We got into the pitstop, it wasn't a great stop and I saw the two guys in front of me and they were battling in the pit lane," Hamilton told Britain's ITV television.

"I was obviously trying to make sure I didn't get involved with those guys. I saw the red light but by the time they had stopped and I had seen the red light it was a bit late," he continued.

"It's a lot different if you crash into the wall and you are angry with yourself. It's not like that. I apologise to Kimi if I've ruined his race but that sort of thing happens."

The incident happened at the exit from the pit lane after the first round of stops and took both drivers out of the race. Raikkonen, whose car was stationary at a red light signal, said: "My race was ruined by Hamilton's mistake.

"Obviously, anyone can make mistakes - as I did two weeks ago in Monaco [when Raikkonen shunted Force India's Adrian Sutil out of the race].

"It's one thing to make a mistake at 200 miles per hour but another to hit a car stopped at a red light."

He added: "If I go 300 kph, lose control and hit somebody it is natural. But if there is a pit-lane speed limit and two cars stopped and you hit them, it is stupid. I saw a red light and chose to stop, someone else saw a red light and chose not to.

"I am not angry - because that doesn't achieve anything and does not change my result! I am unhappy, because I had a great chance of winning."

Whitmarsh agreed that Ferrari and Raikkonen were the "innocent victims". And he explained that the pitlane had been unusually congested, with drivers pitting during the safety car period, and Hamilton had to monitor the cars ahead of him as well as the keeping an eye on the lights.

But he said McLaren had never considered protesting the penalty. "We're going into France with a 10-place penalty for Lewis so that will clearly affect our approach. Without giving too much away, I suspect he'll run a little bit longer in the first stint than would otherwise have been the case," he said. "We haven't modelled it yet, but intuitively that's what we'll probably do."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol: and the winner is...David!!!

Cook that is. It doesn't came as a suprise but I was hoping David Archuleta could pull this one off. Cook is already a celebrity and almost guaranteed a success even without the Idol trophy but Archuleta is the underdog here and is not as Youtube famous as Cook. Anyhow, the 12 million voters placed their bets on Cook.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Earthquake in China!!!

First there were tornadoes in U.S. then Cyclone in Myanmar now a powerful 7.9 Earthquake in China that claims 10,000 lives and thousands more missing.

A powerful earthquake toppled buildings, schools and chemical plants Monday in central China, killing more than 10,000 people and trapping untold numbers in mounds of concrete, steel and earth in the country's worst quake in three decades.

The 7.9-magnitude quake devastated a region of small cities and towns set amid steep hills north of Sichuan's provincial capital of Chengdu. Striking in mid afternoon, it emptied office buildings across the country in Beijing and could be felt as far away as Vietnam.

Snippets from state media and photos posted on the Internet underscored the immense scale of the devastation. In the town of Juyuan, south of the epicenter, a three-story high school collapsed, burying as many as 900 students and killing at least 50, the official Xinhua news agency said. Photos showed people using cranes, mechanical hoists and their hands to remove slabs of concrete and steel.

Buried teenagers struggled to break free from the rubble, "while others were crying out for help," Xinhua said. Families waited in the rain near the wreckage as rescuers wrote the names of the dead on a blackboard, Xinhua said.

Parents of the dead students built makeshift religious altars at the site, resting the corpses on any available piece of plywood or cardboard, and burning paper money and incense in a traditional honor for their child in the afterlife, according to NPR's Melissa Block.

The earthquake hit one of the last homes of the giant panda at the Wolong Nature Reserve and panda breeding center, in Wenchuan county, which remained out of contact, Xinhua said.

In Chengdu, it crashed telephone networks and hours later left parts of the city of 10 million in darkness.

"We can't get to sleep. We're afraid of the earthquake. We're afraid of all the shaking," said 52-year-old factory worker Huang Ju, who took her ailing, elderly mother out of the Jinjiang District People's Hospital. Outside, Huang sat in a wheelchair wrapped in blankets while her mother, who was ill, slept in a hospital bed next to her.

Xinhua reported 8,533 people died in Sichuan alone and 216 others in three other provinces and the mega-city of Chongqing.

Worst affected were four counties including the quake's epicenter in Wenchuan, 60 miles northwest of Chengdu. Landslides left roads impassable Tuesday, causing the government to order soldiers into the area on foot, state television said, and heavy rain prevented four military helicopters from landing.

Wenchuan's Communist Party secretary appealed for air drops of tents, food and medicine. "We also need medical workers to save the injured people here," Xinhua quoted Wang Bin as telling other officials who reached him by phone.

To the east, in Beichuan county, 80 percent of the buildings fell, and 10,000 people were injured, aside from 3,000 to 5,000 dead, Xinhua said. State media said two chemical plants in an industrial zone of the city of Shifang collapsed, burying hundreds of people and spilling more than 80 tons of toxic liquid ammonia.

Though slow to release information at first, the government and its state media ramped up quickly. Nearly 20,000 soldiers, police and reservists were sent to the disaster area.

Disasters always pose a test for the communist government, whose mandate rests heavily on maintaining order, delivering economic growth, and providing relief in emergencies.

Pressure for a rapid response was particularly intense this year, with the government already grappling with public discontent over high inflation and a widespread uprising among Tibetans in western China while trying to prepare for the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics.

"I am particularly saddened by the number of students and children affected by this tragedy," President Bush said in a statement.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge sent his condolences to President Hu Jintao, adding: "The Olympic Movement is at your side, especially during these difficult moments. Our thoughts are with you."

Premier Wen Jiabao, a geologist by training, called the quake "a major geological disaster," and traveled to the disaster area to oversee rescue and relief operations.

"Hang on a bit longer. The troops are rescuing you," Wen shouted to people buried in the Traditional Medicine Hospital in the city of Dujiangyan, on the road to Wenchuan, in comments broadcast by CCTV.

"As long as there was a slightest hope, we should make our effort a hundred times and we will never relax," he said outside the collapsed school in Juyuan.

The quake was the deadliest since one in 1976 in the city of Tangshan near Beijing that killed 240,000 — although some reports say as many as 655,000 perished — the most devastating in modern history. A 1933 quake near where Monday's struck killed at least 9,000, according to geologists.

Monday's quake occurred on a fault where South Asia pushes against the Eurasian land mass, smashing the Sichuan plain into mountains leading to the Tibetan highlands — near communities that held sometimes violent protests of Chinese rule in mid-March.

Much of the area has been closed to foreign media and travelers since then, compounding the difficulties of getting information. Roads north from Chengdu to the disaster area were sealed off early Tuesday to all but emergency convoys.

In Chengdu, the region's commercial center, the airport closed for seven hours, reopening only for emergency and a few outbound flights. A major railway line to the northeast was ruptured, stranding about 10,000 passengers, Xinhua said. Although most of the power had been restored by nightfall, phone and Internet service was spotty and some neighborhoods remained without power and water.

Nervous residents spent the night outside, some playing cards or heading to the suburbs. State media, citing the Sichuan seismology bureau, reported 313 aftershocks.

"Traffic jams, no running water, power outs, everyone sitting in the streets, patients evacuated from hospitals sitting outside and waiting," said Ronen Medzini, an Israeli student in Chengdu, via text message.

When it hit shortly before 2:30 p.m., the quake rumbled for nearly three minutes, witnesses said, driving people into the streets in panic.

"It was really scary to be on the 26th floor in something like that," said Tom Weller, a 49-year-old American oil and gas consultant staying at the Holiday Inn. "You had to hold on to something like that or you'd fall over. It shook for so long and so violently, you wondered how long the building would be able to stand this."

While most buildings in the city held up, those in the countryside tumbled. On the outskirts of Chongqing, a school collapsed, killing at least five people. Residents said teachers kept the children inside, thinking it was safer.

The city of Mianyang ordered all able-bodied males under 50 to take water and tools and walk or drive to Beichuan, where most of the buildings had collapsed.

State TV broadcast tips for anyone trapped in the earthquake. "If you're buried, keep calm and conserve your energy. Seek water and food, and wait patiently for rescue," CCTV said.

Although initially measured at 7.8 magnitude, the U.S. Geological Survey later revised its assessment of the quake to 7.9. Its depth — about six miles below the surface, according to the USGS — gave the tremor such wide impact, geologists said.

The earthquake also rattled buildings in Beijing, 930 miles to the north, causing evacuations of office towers. People ran screaming into the streets in other cities, where many residents said they had never felt an earthquake.

In Beijing, where hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors are expected for the Olympics, stadiums, arenas and other venues for the games were undamaged.

Li Jiulin, a top engineer on the 91,000-seat National Stadium — known as the Bird's Nest and the jewel of the Olympics — was conducting a site inspection when the quake struck. He told reporters the building was designed to withstand a 8.0 quake.

"The Olympic venues were not affected by the earthquake," said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing organizing committee. "We considered earthquakes when building those venues."

Some 660 miles to the east in Anhui province, chandeliers swayed in the lobby of the Buckingham Palace Hotel. "We've never felt anything like this our whole lives," said a hotel employee surnamed Zhu.

The massive Three Gorges dam, the world's largest about 350 miles to the east of the epicenter, was not affected, according to the information office of State Council Three Gorges Construction Committee. The area around the enormous dam remains increasingly precarious as rising waters in the reservoir have led to landslides.

Premier Wen, after arriving in Chengdu, traveled to Dujiangyan, near the collapsed high school. On his plane, he appealed for people to rally together.

"This is an especially challenging task," state TV showed Wen saying, reading from a statement. "In the face of the disaster, what's most important is calmness, confidence, courage and powerful command."