Black Friday Shopping Dos and Donts!!!

Black Friday ‘Do’s’ and ‘Do nots’ basically boils down to the following sentence.

If you owe money on your rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card, or other loan or bill, Black Friday rather than an excuse to buy cool stuff, should be a day to pay down more on your debt.

Now If you have money left over from your PAYCHECK, after paying down on your debt, and want to treat yourself to a great deal. please do.

But not if it adds to your cc debt. Only if you can pay it out of this week’s paycheck.

And that tip should be for any holiday or birthday. If you can’t afford to buy it outright, without adding to your debt, or pay it off in a month, don’t buy it.

 

 

Today’s Tech Tips!

Using Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 10 or OS X and a bit frustrated? If not and completely satisfied, then ignore this post. However if not…

Give Linux a try.

At work I support Windows and Mac machines.

At home I use exclusively Linux for the last decade or so, and it has only gotten exponentially better in that period, till today Microsoft is incorporating Linux pieces into their newest versions of Windows, including giving away Windows 10 for free and collusion with hardware vendors in an attempt to make using Linux more difficult.

And despite all that… Linux Distros just keep getting better.

It’s fun. It’s loaded with apps and utilities and the ability to download same for free.

There are tons of tutorials to help you every step of the way.

And did I mention it was fun. 🙂

Now the biggest thing about Linux on the laptop/desktop is which version do you choose.

Distrowatch which has just celebrated its 15th anniversary, is the best place to learn about and find new Linux Distributions.

Two good ones they have recently covered are:

Gentoo Linux’s new LIVE DVD is a great place to start (The livedvd-x86-amd64-32ul-20160514 ISO which will work on 32-bit x86 or 64-bit x86_64 systems)
http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=09415

and

Debian
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=debian

Use the links to try them!

Now, I do think it is a shame that hardware vendors are releasing new laptops, that while they give us a slimmer size, do so at the expense of DVD/CD players and more importantly longevity and stability. I’ve had the chance to support these newer laptops that are coming out and they are almost across the board, ready to fail in the first year.

It’s close to criminal.

In a future update I’ll review some newer laptops that are still worth your money, but honestly get yourself an older generation Dell Latitude 6430 ATG series, wipe it and put Linux on it, and you have yourself a tank in the form of a computer that will last you years. Like a tank it’s not slim and it’s not the lightest, but hey that’s what your tablet is for. However for getting down to work, it is a reliable desktop replacement (particularly when using Linux) in a portable size.

Now that we have the basic of what you should be using, here are today’s tweaks!

Firefox version 46.0.1 is out and I probably do not have to sell anyone on using this browser.

However two features that do not come activated out of the gate that you may find useful are:

1/ The DO NOT TRACK ME feature

https://www.bestvpn.com/blog/8499/make-firefox-secure-using-aboutconfig/

and

2/ Block Tracking Attempts

Mozilla launches Tracking Protection feature in Firefox Nightly

And beyond those helpful tips, the biggest tip I can give you for security while surfing the web, keep Javascript disabled for all but trusted sites.

Your webmail, bank, paypal, school site, vendors you buy from. Firefox has an exception list you can use to just give Javascript access to those sites you trust, and the rest you let eat cake. Makes a huge difference in your browser’s vulnerability, by closing down the default attack vendor of giving everyone javascript/programming control of your browser.

If you have found this post helpful, pay it forward by supporting the Electronic Freedom Frontier and becoming a card carrying member.

https://www.eff.org/

If you use the internet, whether via desktop, laptop, tablet, or your refrigerator, these are the guys and gals fighting to keep your digital and therefore physical world, just a little more free.

I’ve been supporting them for three years now, and it’s every year some of the best money I donate. These people are Daniel’s fighting in numerous Lion’s Dens. They are doing noble work.

You can view and support them here:

https://www.eff.org/

Well that’s all for today’s Tech Tips!

Website of the Day: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/

Try it both with and without Javascript turned on and you will see a drastic difference.

Thanks for reading and safe computing!

ANOTHER Java vulnerability puts 1 billion users at risk?!!!

Courtesy of Computer World, on the heels of a recently released patch to address a vulnerability in Java 7, a new even more serious flaw has been found affecting users of Java versions 5,6, and 7.

Read the whole article here.

But in short, if you don’t need Java on your computer, now may be a good time to disable or uninstall it.

WEDNESDAYS WORDS

WEDNESDAYS WORDS is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.


Book Description
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
An insider reveals what can—and does—go wrong when companies shift production to China

In this entertaining behind-the-scenes account, Paul Midler tells us all that is wrong with our effort to shift manufacturing to China. Now updated and expanded, Poorly Made in China reveals industry secrets, including the dangerous practice of quality fade—the deliberate and secret habit of Chinese manufacturers to widen profit margins through the reduction of quality inputs. U.S. importers don’t stand a chance, Midler explains, against savvy Chinese suppliers who feel they have little to lose by placing consumer safety at risk for the sake of greater profit. This is a lively and impassioned personal account, a collection of true stories, told by an American who has worked in the country for close to two decades. Poorly Made in China touches on a number of issues that affect us all.

Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the China Production Game


Book Description
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
An exposĂŠ on how the rise of China will affect the American way of life
The End of Cheap China is a fun, riveting, must-read book not only for people doing business in China but for anyone interested in understanding the forces that are changing the world.
Many Americans know China for manufacturing cheap products, thanks largely to the country’s vast supply of low-cost workers. But China is changing, and the glut of cheap labor that has made everyday low prices possible is drying up as Chinese seek not to make iPhones, but to buy them. Shaun Rein, Founder of the China Market Research Group, puts China’s continuing transformation from producer to large-scale consumer – a process that is farther along than most economists think – under the microscope, examining eight megatrends that are catalyzing change in China and posing threats to Americans’ consumption-driven way of life.

Rein takes an engaging and informative approach to examining the extraordinary changes taking place across all levels of Chinese society, talking to everyone from Chinese billionaires and senior government officials to poor migrant workers and even prostitutes and drawing on personal stories and experiences from living in China since the 1990s as well as hard economic data. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of China’s transformation, from fast-improving Chinese companies to confident, optimistic Chinese women to the role of China’s government, and at the end breaks down key lessons for readers to take away.

The End of Cheap China shows:

How rising labor and real estate costs are forcing manufacturers of cheap Chinese products to close, relocate, or move up the value stream
How a restructuring economy moving away from exports to domestic consumption, and rising incomes will create opportunities for foreign brands to sell products in China rather than just producing there
How Chinese consumption will build pressure on the global commodities markets, causing inflation and friction with other nations
How China’s economic transformation spells the end of cheap consumption for Americans

China’s days as a low cost production center are numbered. The End of Cheap China exposes the end of America’s consumerist way of life and gives clear advice on how companies can succeed in the new world order.

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World


Book Description
Publication Date: April 9, 2012

International Bestseller
One of Foreign Policy’s “21 Books to Read in 2012”
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book

After a decade of rapid growth, the world’s most celebrated emerging markets are poised to slow down. Which countries will rise to challenge them?

To identify the economic stars of the future we should abandon the habit of extrapolating from the recent past and lumping wildly diverse countries together. We need to remember that sustained economic success is a rare phenomenon.

As an era of easy money and easy growth comes to a close, China in particular will cool down. Other major players including Brazil, Russia, and India face their own daunting challenges and inflated expectations. The new “breakout nations” will probably spring from the margins, even from the shadows. Ruchir Sharma, one of the world’s largest investors in emerging markets for Morgan Stanley, here identifies which are most likely to leap ahead and why.

After two decades spent traveling the globe tracking the progress of developing countries, Sharma has produced a book full of surprises: why the overpriced cocktails in Rio are a sign of revival in Detroit; how the threat of the “population bomb” came to be seen as a competitive advantage; how an industrial revolution in Asia is redefining what manufacturing can do for a modern economy; and how the coming shakeout in the big emerging markets could shift the spotlight back to the West, especially American technology and German manufacturing.

What emerges is a clear picture of the shifting balance of global economic power and how it plays out for emerging nations and for the West. In a captivating exploration studded with vignettes, Sharma reveals his rules on how to spot economic success stories. Breakout Nations is a rollicking education for anyone looking to understand where the future will happen.
12 photographs
Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles


Book Description
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
G-Zero — \JEE-ZEER-oh\ —n
A world order in which no single country or durable alliance of countries can meet the challenges of global leadership. What happens when the G20 doesn’t work and the G7 is history.

If the worst threatened—a rogue nuclear state with a horrible surprise, a global health crisis, the collapse of financial institutions from New York to Shang­hai and Mumbai—where would the world look for leadership? The United States, with its paralyzed politics and battered balance sheet? A European Union reeling from self-inflicted wounds? China’s “people’s democracy”? Perhaps Brazil, Turkey, or India, the geopolitical Rookies of the Year? Or some grand coalition of survivors, the last nations stand­ing after half a decade of recession-induced turmoil?

How about none of the above?

For the first time in seven decades, there is no single power or alliance of powers ready to take on the challenges of global leadership. A generation ago, the United States, Europe, and Japan were the world’s powerhouses, the free-market democracies that propelled the global economy forward. Today, they struggle just to find their footing.

Acclaimed geopolitical analyst Ian Bremmer argues that the world is facing a leadership vacuum. The diverse political and economic values of the G20 have produced global gridlock. Now that so many challenges transcend borders—from the stability of the global economy and climate change to cyber-attacks, terrorism, and the security of food and water—the need for international cooperation has never been greater. A lack of global leadership will provoke uncertainty, volatility, competition, and, in some cases, open conflict. Bremmer explains the risk that the world will become a series of gated commu­nities as power is regionalized instead of globalized. In the generation to come, negotiations on economic and trade issues are likely to be just as fraught as recent debates over nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.

Disaster, thankfully, is never assured, and Brem­mer details where the levers of power can still be found and how to exercise them for the common good. That’s important, because the one certainty of weakened nations and enfeebled institutions is that someone will try to take advantage of them.

Every Nation for Itself offers essential insights for anyone attempting to navigate the new global play­ing field.
Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World


Book Description
Publication Date: March 23, 2012

The United States is bankrupt, flat broke. Thanks to accounting that would make Enron blush, America’s insolvency goes far beyond what our leaders are disclosing. The United States is a fiscal basket case, in worse shape than the notoriously bailed-out countries of Greece, Ireland, and others. How did this happen? In The Clash of Generations, experts Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns document our six-decade, off-balance-sheet, unsustainable financing scheme. They explain how we have balanced our longer lives on the backs of our (relatively few) children. At the same time, we’ve been on a consumption spree, saving and investing less than nothing. And that’s not to mention the evisceration of the middle class and a financial system that has proven it can’t be trusted. Kotlikoff and Burns outline grassroots strategies for saving ourselves–and especially our children–from what could be a truly catastrophic financial collapse. Kotlikoff and Burns sounded the alarm in their widely acclaimed The Coming Generational Storm, but politicians didn’t listen. Now the need for action is even more urgent. It’s up to us to demand radical reform of our tax system, our healthcare system, and our Social Security system, and to insist on better paths to investment return than those provided by Wall Street (mis)managers. Kotlikoff and Burns’s “Purple Plans” (so called because they will appeal to both Republicans and Democrats) have been endorsed by a who’s who of economists and offer a new way forward; and their revolutionary investment strategy for individuals replaces the idea of financial capital with “life decision capital.” Of course, we won’t be doing all this just for ourselves. We need to fix America’s fiscal mess before our kids inherit it.
The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy


Book Description
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Why the gold standard is due for a comeback
A reserve currency can only function as such if there is a general consensus that it provides a stable store of value. Without this trust, money, no matter what form it takes, will be abandoned–either suddenly in a crisis, or gradually over time–in favor of something else. The Golden Revolution looks at how the world is now moving rapidly toward some form of global metallic standard, in which money, at least in official, international transactions, is linked directly to gold.
The practical reality of the transition to the coming global gold standard is going to be substantially different from the global fiat monetary and financial regime of today. It is not just money that is going to change. The nature and business of banking will also be affected, as will finance in general.

Incisive and thoughtful, The Golden Revolution is a treatise on the broad effects of the current and future monetary structure
Looks at why the world is headed inexorably back towards a metallic money standard
Explores what the transition period might look like, including some historical examples of both orderly and disorderly transitions
Examines how the world of banking, finance, and investment, including asset valuation and portfolio management techniques, will work under a future gold standard and which industries, countries and markets are likely to benefit and which are likely to suffer

Full of advice on how investors can profit and protect themselves during this critical time of change, the book knows that those who are prepared will prosper, while those who aren’t stand to lose.
The Golden Revolution: How to Prepare for the Coming Global Gold Standard


Book Description
Publication Date: August 28, 2008 | Series: Rich Dad’s Advisors
“Throughout the ages, many things have been used as currency: livestock, grains, spices, shells, beads, and now paper. But only two things have ever been money: gold and silver. When paper money becomes too abundant, and thus loses its value, man always turns back to precious metals. During these times there is always an enormous wealth transfer, and it is within your power to transfer that wealth away from you or toward you.” –Michael Maloney, precious metals investment expert and historian; founder and principal, Gold & Silver, Inc.

The Advanced Guide to Investing Gold and Silver tells listeners:

The essential history of economic cycles that make gold and silver the ultimate monetary standard.
How the U.S. government is driving inflation by diluting our money supply and weakening our purchasing power
Why precious metals are one of the most profitable, easiest, and safest investments you can make
Where, when, and how to invest your money and realize maximum returns, no matter what the economy’s state
Essential advice on avoiding the middleman and taking control of your financial destiny by making your investments directly.
Rich Dad’s Advisors: Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver: Everything You Need to Know to Profit from Precious Metals Now


Book Description
Publication Date: December 13, 2011 | ISBN-10: 0982301871 | ISBN-13: 978-0982301876
Want to lose weight without counting calories, starving yourself, giving up your favorite foods, or eating bland packaged foods? Would you like to look and feel younger and healthier than you have in years without diets and exercise? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, this book is for you! JJ Smith’s revolutionary system teaches proven methods for permanent weight loss that anyone can follow, no matter her size, income level, or educational level. And the end result is a healthy, sexy, slim body.

JJ’s breakthrough weight-loss solution can help you shed pounds fast by detoxifying the body, balancing your hormones, and speeding up your metabolism. You’ll learn which foods help you stay slim and which foods cause you to get fat. If you have been on a roller-coaster ride of weight loss, you will finally be able to get off, lose weight, and stay slim for life!

You will learn how to….

Detoxify the body for fast weight loss
Drop pounds and inches fast, without grueling workouts or starvation
Lose up to 15 pounds in the first three weeks
Shed unwanted fat by eating foods you love, including carbs
Eat so you feel energetic and alive every day
Get physically active without exercising
Get rid of stubborn belly fat
Trigger your 6 fat-burning hormones to lose weight effortlessly
Eat foods that give you glowing, radiant skin

This is your last stop on the way to a new fit and healthy you! Look and feel younger than you have in years. Create your best body–NOW!
Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out: Discover Secrets to a Slimmer, Sexier and Healthier You

If I do say so myself, I think this is a very interesting WEDNESDAYS WORDS. It is a very finance heavy installment, all the books with one exception revolving around our current and impending financial crisis, our changing world order… and what we can do to protect ourselves.

And wraps up unexpectedly, for me as well as everyone else, with a health/diet book. I stumbled across the final title by accident, I admit it… it was the boobs (I’m so evil :), but give me a break.. the author, the cover model I believe, JJ Smith is GORGEOUS!), but once I was able to look beyond the boobs (Oh come on! Like you weren’t just looking!), I found it an incredibly intriguing sounding book.

So enjoy!

The WEDNESDAYS WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list!

If you’re a publisher, writer, or other creative representative looking to submit items for WEDNESDAYS WORDS, just leave a comment on this post with your email/contact info, comments don’t get posted they come right to me, and I’ll reach out to you with the snail mail details.

And as far as readers, if you see items on WEDNESDAYS WORDS you’re considering purchasing then, if you are able and would like to support this blog, please utilize the attached links.

Your helpful purchases through those links, generates much appreciated pennies to keep this blog running. Your feedback and support… just way cool, and way appreciated. Thanks!

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