For decades, I’ve pleaded with you to not use debit cards because they are not safe. And for years, I warned my sons about the dangers of riding motorcycles because they are not safe.
Has anyone listened and taken heed? Debit cards are more popular than ever. And on the subject of motorcycles in my family, to date I have a 50-percent fail rate. For me, debit cards are the motorcycles of custom bobbleheads
I’ve concluded that the best I can do now that so many refuse to give up their debit cards (and motorcycles) is to nag, preach and harangue on the importance of crash helmets and safety equipment.
The odds are stacked against you in both debit cards and motorcycle travel. You must know what you are dealing with, how to react and what to do when things turn ugly.
Think like a bank. For you, a debit card is a convenience. For your bank, it’s a huge moneymaker. If you allow your account balance to get too low, you could get socked with big bounce fees. If you forgot to track a few small debits and a large check comes through later in the same day, many banks will hold the small debits and honor the large check first and then charge you a $34 bounce fee for each debit transaction that exceeds your balance.
Create a cushion. If you use a debit card, you cannot afford to let your account run low. Figure out a way to keep a cushion that you never use as your protection against inadvertent bouncing.
Keep track. Banks will not stop you from using your debit card just because your account runs dry. In fact, they are quite happy when this happens so they can whack you with huge fees. Get online access at your bank’s website so you can check your balance and account activity every day.
Stick to cash. Cash is cool because it is limiting. Cash can’t bounce. I find spending cash keeps me more aware of what I’m doing. Plastic just isn’t the real thing. Retailers love to see you swipe a plastic card for payment because they know you’ll spend more in their store than if you are limited by the cash in your wallet.
Deposits slow, debits fast. Don’t assume you’ll have immediate access today to funds you deposited today. Most banks place a hold on deposits for a few days; others for up to a week. And if your debits come through while the deposit is on hold? Brace yourself. It will be just as if you had never made the deposit.
Speak up. Don’t assume anything. A bank’s policies and guidelines can change overnight, so keep up. And if you get burned by your bank, don’t take it lying down. Explain your situation, and ask them to waive the fees and penalties. If your bank or credit union isn’t known for its customer-friendly policies, remember there are plenty out there that are.
What do small businesses get for their $299? First, the Square Stand is pretty. In glossy, rounded white plastic, the device is the most Apple-like thing not made by Apple I’ve ever seen, right down to its packaging. Compared with the ugly cash register you’ll find at your favorite lunch spot, it’s stunning. More than that, the Square Stand is fast. Square’s free credit card reader sometimes requires patient, slow swiping, which isn’t ideal for businesses that attract long lines of customers at peak times. Jack Dorsey, Square’s founder, says the Square Stand incorporates two credit card sensors and has a long swiping strip, allowing cashiers to swipe your card in any direction, make your own bobblehead
The Stand also makes for quick integration with other payment hardware commonly found in small stores—just plug your cash drawer, barcode scanner, or receipt printer into the system’s USB hub and you’re done. This sounds like a small thing, but it’s not. My sister owns a bakery in Southern California. A couple of years ago, when I set up her cash drawer and receipt printer with a rival iPad payments system, it took me an hour or so of impatient technical fiddling to get the whole thing to work. That won’t be necessary with the Square Stand.
Though this new product seems cool and useful, the fact that Square put so much into improving the credit card-swiping experience caught me off guard. Square has always seemed like a software company masquerading as a hardware firm. The credit card reader was just a bridge to the future—a future in which customers and businesses would connect to one another wirelessly, making payments invisible, frictionless, and elegant.
As Dorsey explained to me last year, most other companies that are working to digitize payments are just trying to improve what he calls “payment mechanics”—that is, they’re trying to find a way to replace cash and credit cards with your phone. But Dorsey rightly sees no great benefit to paying with your phone instead of your card; you’ve still got to pull something out of your pocket and wave it in front of a payment device. In Dorsey’s perfect future, we’d all dispense with phones and cards and cash, and instead we’d pay by doing nothing: The cashier would recognize you, add your purchase to your tab, and you’d be on your way, the payment never becoming an awkward barrier between buyer and seller.
Topic:Life's Story - Genre:Diary
- 2013/05/15(水) 16:29:54|
- Bond cleaning sydney
There’s a corner of Amherst center where railroads are bought, cities are built, timber is traded for grains, and then later it’s all packed back into a box and put away.
Worlds Apart Games is the country’s first not-for-profit gamer collective, the top of their website reads “America’s first all-volunteer, collectively owned game store.” This past February marked their fifth year since opening in 2008. Since then, their popularity has increased with gaming groups.
The collective has grown from about 30 original members to nearly 1,500 guest members. The fee for membership – which varies depending on the desired length of membership – helps keep Worlds Apart Games running. Members receive voting privileges and a 10 percent in-store discount, and each member has a say in store decisions.
Worlds Apart Games differs from game stores by selling less mainstream tabletop games, such as “Dominion” or “Agricola,” instead of the typical board games found in chain stores like Monopoly or make your own bobblehead
. These standard games don’t turn a big enough profit for smaller stores like Worlds Apart, since big box stores offer them for cheaper.
Likewise, World Apart Games sells an assortment of Magic cards, used games and consoles from generations past. While the game selection is small, customers are able to find gems from the Nintendo Entertainment System or Super Nintendo grey cartridge era behind glass cases.
The extra money from profits goes into the game library or upkeep of the community space, and true to its not-for-profit status, 48 North Pleasant Street, room B2 is staffed entirely by volunteers.
Because of the large influx of people entering the shop throughout the day, equipment gets used often and wears out. The games are not impervious to wear and tear.
“Running a space like this, I buy new chairs every three to four months,” said Gulick-Sherrill. Card games or games that have a card component are covered by a plastic casing to prolong their usage.
Creating a community environment where it is enjoyable to play games is important for the members of Worlds Apart Games. In a press release, Gulick-Sherrill said that a focus of the organization is “supporting the local gaming community and providing a safe space for gaming.”
If a patron is unsure of a game they want to buy, there is a demo rack that has a couple hundred demo games that are free to play. Playing for fun isn’t frowned upon. In fact, it’s encouraged.
In the past five years, Worlds Apart Games has been active in the gaming community in the Pioneer Valley, donating upwards of $500 to various students groups at the Five Colleges and conventions that involve gaming. Groups include Game Hobbyists’ League at the University of Massachusetts, Excalibur Club at Hampshire College and Sisyphus at Smith College.
Worlds Apart Games is also looking to add more table-top games to the store. Games like “Magic: the Gathering” are “hugely popular around here,” Duval said, but they want to introduce as many games as possible to reach out and connect people with each other.
The most popular board games at Worlds Apart Games fall under the Euro-Style category. As opposed to games like Life or Monopoly, there isn’t a lot of writing on the boards, and the games tend to be language independent and usually end right before you stop having fun. This creates a desire to continue playing.
ABnote USA, Inc., a global card manufacturer and provider of financial and secure credentialing solutions, has acquired all of the shares of Custom Card Systems (CCS), a personalized bobbleheads
systems company that specializes in providing Financial Instant Issuance solutions for banks and other financial institutions. As another element of ABnote’s global technology solutions, the CCS acquisition will dramatically upgrade ABnote’s capabilities in the area of instant financial card issuance at branch locations.
Custom Card Systems founder and President Joe Jett said, “ABnote brings an unprecedented business history dating back to 1795, strong marketing team, a global network of secure data centers, EMV expertise, mobile payment solutions and a strategy that includes Financial Instant Issuance. CCS brings a proven track record of successful instant issuance solutions and satisfied customers. It’s a perfect fit.”
“With approximately 100,000 branch institutions in the US, all subject to the upcoming EMV smartcard migration, we believe the Financial Instant Issuance market will experience significant growth in the coming years”, said ABnote North American CEO Keith Goldstein. He added, “The CCS team pioneered instant issuance and has more experience with Financial Instant Issuance than any other organization. Financial Instant Issuance is definitely something our partner network has been looking for. We believe that coupled with our EMV issuance and mobile payment solutions will prove to be an offering unmatched in the marketplace.”
Topic:Life's Story - Genre:Diary
- 2013/04/25(木) 16:23:20|
- Bond cleaning sydney
For the first time in the show's history, "American Idol's" Top 5 is all-female and this week, the powerhouse ladies were able to showcase their wide range of abilities. Each girl performed twice, first singing a song from the year they were born and second paying homage to a great diva. The night was packed with numbers from Mariah Carey, Beyonce, and Celine Dion, making it one of the most empowering and inspirational shows yet. Each girl proved her place in the Top 5, but which ones truly stole the night? And which ones might make your own bobblehead
Candice started off the night with the Paula Abdul classic "Straight Up." After her star-making performance last week, nothing could bring Candice down and she commanded the stage with ease. "You don't choose them. You feel them," Keith said of her effortless runs, and Mariah declared her musical choices to be genius. For her diva song, Candice chose "When You Believe" by the ultimate power duo Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Candice brought the night to life, receiving a round of standing ovations and further establishing herself as the contestant to beat. Mariah was moved by the performance, telling her that she had done Whitney Houston justice.
Janelle chose her childhood favorite "When I Call Your Name" by Vince Gill. Nicki felt that she was right at home on the stage with her guitar, telling her, "It's kind of like you're bringing us into your world." Mariah and Randy agreed that the performance brought Janelle back where she belonged and though Keith loved the vocals, he didn't feel the emotion of the song. Next, Janelle sang the Dolly Parton classic "Dumb Blonde." The judges agreed that it was a fun number, but didn't think it was a great choice for her. Nicki told her that she thought Janelle might be in jeopardy of going home tomorrow, but thinks that her lovability as a person and a performer will ensure her success post-"Idol," regardless of what happens.
Kree performed the Black Crowes song "She Talks to Angels" and once again, wowed the judges with her vocal ability. "What I love about you is the naturalness in your spirit and your voice," Randy told her. Mariah and Keith both agreed that vocally, she was perfection, but thought she could have lost herself in the song more. Nicki aggressively voiced her disagreement with the pair (even managing to get in a tiff with Mariah) and declared, "That was the best performance of the night" in a British accent. For her second performance, Kree strayed from her country roots, singing Celine Dion's "Have You Ever Been In Love." Her ease on the stage had all of the judges speaking of her extreme versatility as a performer. "You're not country. You're worldly. You're iconic. You're everything, Kreedom," Nicki passionately told her.
Angie touched the judges when she dedicated "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders to Boston, her hometown. At home with the piano, she connected with the song and the audience. "You've got such an amazing voice that, it makes me want to cry every time," Keith told her.
For her second song, Angie took a risk with Beyonce's "Halo," but her powerful rendition did the diva proud and had all of the judges on their feet. "You did that song justice like a queen could. You did your thang!" Nicki told her.
Amber made the bold decision to sing Mariah Carey's international hit "Without You." Nicki was unimpressed by the performance, thinking it didn't quite live up to Mariah's rendition. The other judges, however, were blown away by her bravery and growth and Mariah was honored by her decision to sing it and loved a lot of her choices. Amber ended the night with the impossibly difficult "What Are You Doing With the Rest of Your Life" by Barbra Streisand. The judges were blown away by her performance, with all of them pleading with America to vote for Amber. "I really, really hope America gets to see inside the beautiful human being who stands before me," Nicki told her.
On our first morning in Dushanbe, the Tajik police stop our car. We had been driving less than three minutes before hearing the siren squawk. Behind us, a police officer emerges from his compact Soviet-era Lada wearing a peaked military cap that seems almost as large as his vehicle. Our host, Shuhrat Soliev, motions us to stay seated. He walks behind his car to greet the officer. Fast-paced negotiations in Persian ensue.
Finally, Soliev climbs back into the driver’s seat and we proceed to our first meeting, navigating along wide boulevards that are conspicuously smooth, quiet, and clean. On-the-spot fines from the police are common here in Tajikistan. The hundreds of dollars of fines Soliev incurs each year are part of the price he pays for his matte black BMW X5.
Soliev is one of Tajikistan’s most successful technology entrepreneurs. We are partners at an investment advisory firm, here to learn about his company and its implications for Afghanistan. The night before this traffic stop we had flown to Dushanbe from Kabul. The contrast between the two nations is striking.
Tajikistan shares ethnicities, religion, language, and a border with Afghanistan. Their common legacy stretches through the empires of the Persians, Bactrians, and the Seleucids, and the Arabian Caliphate. Yet a century-long interlude of Russian control has left a concrete- and vodka-infused stamp of Soviet influence on Tajikistan.
Part of this Russian legacy are the 1.5 million Tajiks--a fifth of the population--who work abroad, primarily in the remnants of the old Soviet Empire. Soliev lived this statistic. He began his career in Russia early last decade. While there he had an insight that has changed the lives of personalized bobbleheads
However, to tell Soliev’s story we must briefly return south, back across the Hindu Kush, into Afghanistan. Ubiquitous along the dusty roads of Kabul are Afghanistan’s ambassadors of telecommunications: the mobile scratch-card phone dealers. As cars creep through Massoud Circle, these men hold up plastic cases of cards to vehicle windows. Buyers scratch the foil strips on the backs of the cards to reveal codes that can recharge their prepaid accounts. For the half of the Afghan population who own a mobile phone, these card dealers are the primary means of paying for mobile credit.
Yet the scratch card salesman may be slipping into the past. Visit the Khair Khana neighborhood of northwestern Kabul and you’ll likely see people gathered on the street corner, purchasing airtime from a modest metal box with orange paint and a glowing touchscreen. This is Soliev’s innovation.
Topic:This 4-star modern hotel is a member - Genre:Diary
- 2013/04/19(金) 15:42:14|
- Bond cleaning sydney
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the inexpensive technology finding its way into everything from our credit cards and cellphones to passports. The chips allow for the sharing of information over a short range making it possible to make purchases with just the tab of a card or to pass through a security checkpoint more quickly. But the technology has also shown a penchant for being easily hacked, allowing someone to obtain a host of data simply by scanning for nearby RFID-enabled items. This has led to a rise in identify theft while consumers scramble to protect themselves from yet another personalized bobbleheads
Enter ID LOCK from Tumi, a company well known for creating high-end luxury bags and luggage for the seasoned traveler. When the designers at Tumi saw the threat of identity theft via RFID hacking becoming a bigger issue, they put their heads together to come up with a way to defend their customers from this new form of high-tech pickpocketing. The result is ID LOCK, a specially designed pocket on Tumi bags that helps to prevent RFID signals from passing through, making it nearly impossible for anyone to capture private information from the chips.
The secret to keeping your data secure while on the go is in the fabric of the ID LOCK pocket itself. Tumi has woven metal threads into the cloth, forming a barrier that prevents RFID signals from getting in or out. The pocket is easily identifiable on any Tumi bag as it is always a distinct color of red. Placing your passport, credit cards, mobile phone or any other item packing an RFID chip inside the zippered pocket instantly dampens its signal, greatly reducing the chance of anyone tampering with your information.
The ID LOCK pocket is an example of how Tumi is always looking for ways to innovate in an attempt to make their products better while also providing travelers with peace of mind in the process. It is a welcome addition to the company's wonderful Ticon leather backpack, although it is just one small part of what makes this bag stand out from the crowd. In terms of carry-on packs for the typical traveler, this is a backpack that delivers everything you could possibly need in a compact, durable and attractive package.
The pack includes more storage than you would think possible at first glance. The main interior pocket is spacious enough to carry most things you would need on a typical flight, including books, magazines, headphones, an iPod and more. Tumi says that it has been designed to support notebooks with up to a 12-inch screen, but my 13.1-inch MacBook Air had no problems slipping into the laptop sleeve as well. A dedicated pocket just for the iPad is a nice touch too and adding a tablet to the load didn't make the Ticon feel over burdened in any way. A zippered external pocket provides another versatile and easy to reach storage option, while two side pockets, each with magnetic closures, are suitable for small water bottles. Pen loops, a key clasp and an internal card pocket help round out the pack's other features.
Listing the storage options for a Tumi bag is a bit like reviewing which items come pre-installed on a BMW. They sound good on paper but they do very little to convey the true quality of the overall product. Quite simply put, the Ticon leather backpack is one of the finest bags that I have ever seen. It is lightweight, incredibly well put together and designed with frequent travelers in mind. The pack is built from extremely high-quality leather that will likely look just as good in ten years as it does today. The Ticon has a timeless ascetic about it that somehow manages to appear both modern and classic at the same time, and while using the bag over the past few weeks I've had numerous people comment about how much they like it. Several of them I even had to run off with a stick as they eyed the pack a bit too longingly.
The Ticon is versatile enough that it certainly can be put to good use even when you're not traveling. For example, I used it as a commuter pack for a couple of weeks and found that it served well in that capacity. I occasionally felt like I could have used a bit more room, but overall it handled the job admirably. Ladies looking to ditch their purse when they head out on the town will find the pack to be a great alternative as well, providing all the capacity needed for a night out.
Of course, considering the price of this bag you'll definitely want to maximize how often you put it to use. Tumi is well known for making high-end products and that is certainly reflected in their pricing. The Ticon leather backpack comes with a luxury sized price tag of $595, which puts it beyond the means of most consumers. But if you're someone who appreciates very high quality travel gear and has the cash to spend on such products, you certainly won't be disappointed with what Tumi has delivered here. The Ticon really is in a class all its own, deftly melding form and function into a beautiful package. Throw in the added benefit of the ID LOCK and you have a product that will serve you well on numerous travel adventures for years to come.
“The release of the TC7000 is particularly exciting when you look at the potential for new levels of safety, accuracy and efficiency offered to personnel performing IR scans on equipment while working within hazardous areas. An intrinsically safe, fully radiometric, infrared imager simply did not exist and we committed to creating a device that is highly accurate, lightweight (under 3 lbs), safe to operate, efficient, and comes standard with the latest features available in imaging devices today,” states Tony Holliday, Managing Director, CorDEX Instruments Ltd.
TC7000 is a fully featured, handheld thermal imaging camera and is ATEX and IECEx certified for the use in Zone 1 hazardous (explosive) gas, dust, and mining environments. The TC7000 can measure temperatures up to 600C and reference each individual stored image to an RFID tag using its onboard RFID scanner. It boasts a full color screen and thousands of fully radiometric files can be stored easily with 8GB of onboard memory and downloaded via USB into the cross platform report and database software provided free-of-charge with make your own bobblehead
Holliday continues, "CorDEX Instruments Ltd. has a long history of manufacturing certified, high quality, handheld digital cameras for hazardous areas. The TC7000 Intrinsically Safe Thermal Imager represents the culmination of extensive research and development resulting in the ultimate thermal imaging tool for hazardous area professionals.”
Topic:industrial network - Genre:Blog
- 2013/04/03(水) 16:41:37|
- Bond cleaning sydney
That personalized bobbleheads
is down 11 points from when it was featured last summer. The two most serious problems were common ones: some food wasn't within the safe temperature range, and the bleach solution being used to sanitize surfaces wasn't the correct concentration. In this case, it was too strong. The wiping cloths weren't being soaked in sanitizer between uses, either.
The Waffle Company was also docked because one of the grill cooks didn't have a hat and beard guard on, someone's lip gloss was left out, and water-damaged ceiling tiles and a hole in the wall needed to be repaired. The critical violations were fixed on the spot, snd the Waffle Company was given until its next inspection to take care of the others.
Some spray bottles that weren't labeled with their contents cost the restaurant five point and another six were lost because Blend was using a wooden batter spreader. The report notes wood is not an approved food contact surface; the spreader was being stored in a tub of water with a spatula used on raw egg which is cross contamination.
Vienna's Jumbo Char-n-Grill received an 88 from the health department. The inspector asked that the restaurant stop using silk and plastic decorations near the salad bar, because they're difficult to clean. Jumbo Char-n-Grill was also instructed to stop draining clean dishes on cloth towels, because they can harbor contamination.
This was the starting attacking option in a 4-4-2 formation. Apart from the flighted ball Katongo sent in the 75th minute to allow Mbesuma to score, there was not a single threat that was conjured up by this partnership. The two were unequally yoked together. Like during AFCON 2013, they did not click. Katongo’s naked individualism does not lend him to team work that creates goal-scoring chances. When others are in more threatening positions, he opts to shoot than pass. Mbesuma, on the other hand, is selfless and drops to fetch the ball and looks to pass or hold on until others arrive. As a team, Chipolopolo are not playing to the strengths of Mbesuma. He is the one who needs to be fed with the ball but against Lesotho; he had to consistently drop into the midfield position to collect the ball. He needed to be more in the box than outside it. Mayuka should have been given a chance to partner Mbesuma. Renard’s unfruitful loyalty to his captain may be his undoing, in the long run.
He position of a creative midfielder to feed the strikers does not exist in the current squad. The team appears to be set up to allow Isaac Chansa, to play the role but he tends to be too defensive-minded and drops quite deep. Against Lesotho, Mbesuma could be seen dropping into midfield to look for the ball in the “hole” behind him. The role in question best suits Rainford Kalaba who is physically not up to the challenge of running up and down the wings where Renard prefers playing him. Kalaba’s involvement in defensive physical duels is negligible and this puts a lot of strain and pressure on the wing backs. He is wasted on the wings and needs to be brought more into the centre. Power Dynamos’ Mukuka Mulenga also naturally fits into this role, as was seen during the Africa Cup of Nations.
Against Lesotho, Herve Renard deployed Rainford Kalaba and Fwayo Tembo to wing roles. Fwayo was a threat in the first half and combined very well with Collins Mbesuma. The Romanian-based Tembo showed that he had a good touch and a sensible football brain. However, in the second half, his physical levels dropped maybe due to the high altitude or African heat or something else. He was rightfully sacrificed when Mweene was shown a red-card and the team needed to defend. Kalaba, on the other hand, tried to push forward but lost the ball on several occasions. He also did not track back to lend a hand in defence. Davies Nkausu was quite exposed as a result of Kalaba’s consistent failure to help defensively by tracking back. However, it appears Kalaba is not suited to the physical demands of a winger in modern football. Such a role demands pace and high energy levels of tracking back to help with defending.
It is indisputable that Mweene sacrificed himself for the good of the team when in the 54th minute he was shown a red-card for up-ending Lesotho’s Tsepo Lekhoana when the Likuena striker was free on goal. The team reacted well after the sending-off by pressing forward and attacking incessantly until they scored in the 75th minute, despite being a man down.
After Mbesuma’s goal in the 75th minute, Chipolopolo went on to put up a display that is best forgotten. Renard removed Mbesuma. Was this correct? Yes it was. Mbesuma was tired as he had worked his socks out the whole afternoon. The coach moved the fresh legs of Jonas Sakuwaha, who had come for Kalaba, to a central striking role to hold the ball and delay play in order to defend the sole goal! It is for this reason that William Njobvu was drafted into the midfield battle to contain Lesotho who had central numerical strength as their 4-1-4-1 flexibly allowed more bodies in midfield and defence. Njobvu’s coming on was a logical change of personnel given that Zambia was a man down. Though he replaced Mbesuma, his script, judging by his positioning, was not to play as a centre-forward but to help Chansa and Sinkala in the middle.
Was it tactically astute to defend Mbesuma’s headed goal? The answer is a resounding yes. This is because Zambia was a man down and it made sense not to open up and allow Lesotho to equalise. Therefore, shoring up the midfield with numbers and leaving a fresh Sakuwaha upfront to hold the ball and allow Katongo to join him made a lot of sense. Of course Sakuwaha proved inept at holding the ball. His loss of the ball of the ball is what ultimately allowed Lesotho’s equaliser.
While Zambia’s draw with Lesotho cannot be solely attributed to the plastic pitch, the turf of the Setsotho stadium slowed down the Zambians. The ball also had a higher than usual bounce. The Likuena had better personal control of the ball because they obviously are used to the condition of the unnatural turf.
It was clear that Sunzu was not in the best of physical conditions. His right leg was heavily strapped. In the closing stages of the match he was running with a limp. The fact is he should not have played given his condition. Owing to Sunzu’s lack of fitness and game time under his belt, his aerial lapse led to the sending off of Mweene. Sunzu actually touched the ball with his hand but because it was a powerfully delivered-ball, it could not stop and drop. Had it stopped, Sunzu would have been red-carded. Sunzu’ mistake aside, the failure of Hichani Himoonde and Nkausu to track the run of Tsepo into Zambia’s box after Sunzu had aerially committed itself was symptomatic of the defensive lethargy that ailed Chipolopolo’s game on the day. Nkausu and Joseph Musonda were in the first half repeatedly caught out of position because of senseless overlapping and a lack of cover from Fwayo Tembo and Rainford Kalaba.It was Sunzu and Himoonde who had the serious task of covering the usually vacant flanks.
Topic:industrial network - Genre:Blog
- 2013/03/27(水) 16:38:51|
- Bond cleaning sydney