Why leasing is not as good as it seems

I’ve seen several news reports that say leasing is now the No. 1 strategy of automakers and car dealers to reverse the trend that we’re keeping cars much longer. The average age of a car out on the road is now the longest it’s ever been.

One story I saw proclaimed that 200,000 miles is the new 100,000 miles, as more people start to see their cars as being babies once they hit 100,000 miles and keep them on the road.

With increases in car reliability, it’s entirely possible that you might keep a car 10 years without breaking a sweat. That’s not good for automakers and dealers. So you’ll be seeing a strong effort to lease one in three of every new cars that gets sold.

For the most part, leasing is a disaster for you. Edmunds.com has new numbers to give you a sense of just how much of a disaster it can be. Basing their calculations on a car that sells in the mid $20,000 range, they’ve estimated leasing will cost you $6,000 more than buying the car new. That loss goes up to over $10,000 vs. buying a gently used version of that same car a couple of model years old.

When you get on that lease treadmill every 2-4 years, each time you’re taking on an obligation and you have nothing to show for it at the end. Each time you take on 100% of the loss in value of the vehicle for the time you drive it. [more]

Patent Trolls – isn’t it just extortion?

For inventors, patents are an essential protection against theft. But when patent trolls abuse the system by stockpiling patents and threatening lawsuits, businesses are forced to shell out tons of money.

Isn’t this pure extortion? Why isn’t the U.S. government doing something about this? Oh, they are lawyers. Not saying all lawyers are bad, but there surely are enough of them to ruin things for a lot of people.

This kind of shakedown isn’t new.  A few years ago and wheelchair bound man and a lawyer where shaking down businesses in L.A.  It’s disgusting.  It’s thievery.

 

Use a Process Monitor to Diagnose Mac or PC Performance Issues

Activity monitorIf you’re experiencing a dramatic slowdown on your Mac or PC, you may be able to track down the culprit by using a process monitor. This will show you all of the programs and processes currently running on the computer, and how much of your system resources those processes are taking up. If you close out of all programs and still see a process taking up nearly 100% of the system resources, you’ll know what’s causing the issue. Then you can Google the name of that process and find out how to get it under control.

There are process monitors available on both Mac and PC. On the Mac, Apple actually includes an application that does this in the operating system. It’s hidden away in the Utilities folder, and is called “Activity Monitor.” This will break down all of the processes running on the Mac by how much of the processor, memory, energy, hard disk space, or network those processes are using. Just click on the tab at the top to view each category. To diagnose a problem, you’ll mostly want to focus on “CPU” and “Memory.”

Microsoft also has a program that will monitor your Windows PC, called “sysinternals.” You can download it for free at technet.microsoft.com. This is a suite of utilities that contains many tools for troubleshooting issues. If you don’t want the full suite, you can also get just the Process Monitor here.

source – TechGuyLabs.com

Call of the Maestro

Screen shot 2015-02-28 at 12.26.19 PM

Music does not have wings but if it comes from the heart it can fly. – Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar

Call of the Maestro‘ is a journey undertaken to uncover how a 3000 year old tradition of Indian classical Music is surviving a modern world. Passed down from generation to generation there is a threat now that young people are less interested in dedicating their lives to learning the skills of an art form that is a highly complex mix of structure, improvisation and spiritual faith. The current great Maestros of India are now in their 80′s and 90s and unless they can inspire the next generation their music is at risk of dying with them. The film follows a student of music and a promoter of Indian Classical music as they travel around India finding the Maestros who have dedicated their careers to keeping the music alive. There are music schools set up for orphans and blind children, women are taking opportunities to perform in a way that was unheard of historically, technology is being used to help save time so that young people can balance jobs and their musical education , musicians are brought into schools and colleges and Maestros perform in both urban and rural places where the whole community is welcomed. The filmmakers were privileged to enter the homes of the last of the great Maestros to hear them perform in intimate surroundings and be witness to them passing on their knowledge, talent and experience to their disciples in rarely seen scenes that echo back through ancient times. It is on the shoulders of the young that its future lies.

Directed by Lou Hamilton. A Create Lab Production with Blue Elephant Films.

View on YouTube

Drone Sale – Deals and Instant Rebates are valid through 2/25/15

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Spammers, Do They Feel Less Guilty Now?

spamLately, I’ve been receiving an increased amount of email that have the following tag line at the end.

Note: We are not spammers and are against spamming of any kind.

Well let’s see – you are sending me UNSOLICATED emails of a commercial basis, wanting me to purchase your product or service. That is the very definition of spam.

So yes, you are a spammer and are for spamming of any kind.

But, I guess you feel less guilty putting that little tag line in your spam.

In addition, you add:

If you are not interested then you can reply with a simple \”NO\”, We will never contact you again.

Now it’s beholden on ME to tell you that I don’t want anymore of YOUR spam. So if I don’t respond am I to assume that you will continue to spam me?

Oh, but wait, I forgot, you’re not spamming me. Sorry.

________________

Joe Randeen :: 3 Penguins Design

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A Toshiba hard drive deal for two days only, February 17th and 18th!

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One Man Behind All Biggest Pop Music in 2014

No doubt talented – but for my opinion, pop music is in the toilet. Can’t even turn on the radio anymore.  Martin found the formula.  Not his fault the masses have lost their taste for a delicious meal – settling for a Big Mac instead.

The Producer of the Year award didn’t get any air time during the Grammys’ televised broadcast, but it was arguably the most important of the night. On Sunday, it was the award that said the most about the state of pop. It revealed that one man is behind our music’s dominant sound: Swedish pop savant Max Martin.

Martin has been one of the most secretive but influential contributors to pop music in the past two decades. One glance down the long list of hits he produced and co-wrote last year shows just how important he was in crafting 2014’s pop — and why his genius is leading our popular music towards a homogenized sound. Here are a few of his year-defining hits:

“Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
“Break Free” by Ariana Grande featuring Zedd
“Dark Horse” by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J
“Problem” by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea
“Shake It Off ” by Taylor Swift
“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

And these were just the ones that made that top 10. Martin produced and co-wrote seven of the 13 tracks on Taylor Swift’s 1989, 10 of the 13 tracks on Katy Perry’s Prism and all of the biggest hits off Ariana Grande’s My Everything (including “Problem” and “Love Me Harder”). He co-wrote Jennifer Lopez’s comeback earworm “First Love,” Shakira’s World Cup anthem “Dare (La La La)” and Pitbull’s “Wild Wild Love,” the lead single off his Globalization album. [read]

Teach For Finland? Why it won’t happen.

If you ask anyone why kids do better in school in Finland than other countries, you will probably hear one answer more often anything else: They have great teachers. It is true that Finnish teachers are well prepared, widely respected and commonly trusted professionals. But are education systems successful just because of great teachers? Many would emphatically say “yes.” I would say, however, “not so fast!”

Many of us are delighted that teachers are now recognized as key players in efforts to improve the quality of education systems. The International Summit on Teaching Profession, an annually organized gathering of education ministers and union leaders around the world, is just one of the new forums where teachers are at the center of attention. We now know more and understand better teachers’ lives and their work as a result of increased academic research and global surveys done by international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Education International (EI). However, the extent that teachers can make a difference in student learning in school remains a question with different answers. [read]

Shine On You Crazy Diamond – the story behind the song

pink-floydThis is a tribute to Syd Barrett, an original member of Pink Floyd – notice the title, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. He was their lead guitarist and wrote most of their early hits, but he gradually went nuts and was kicked out of the band in 1968, 3 years after the group started. Drugs played a big role in his mental illness.

During the final mixing sessions of this song in June of 1975, Barrett wandered into the studios, ready to help out. He was fat, bald, and as crazy as they remembered, but they let him stay for a while. Barrett wanted to rejoin the group, but they learned in 1967 and 1968 that having an insane member was not good for a band. Before he was kicked out, Barrett would get on stage and either refuse to play or play the same note over and over. [read more]