Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How Amazon is Cheating Millions, and Making Big Bucks Doing It

Believe it or not Amazon the huge internet retailer, comparable to Wal-Mart in the physical world has joined in the massive internet scam marketplace. Okay, they're not pulling off pyramid schemes or engaging in boiler room operations but they are doing something almost as bad. It's name, Mechanical Turk, its innovative way to make money online. Already, you should be suspicious. Apparently, it's name is derived from a wooden chess player that was believed to be run on artificial intelligence but actually had a Turkish chess player inside. And it seems innocent enough with its cute slogan, "Artificial Artificial Intelligence", but trust me, it isn't.
To summarize Mechanical Turk, it is a place where companies distribute small internet jobs such as data entry and labeling and hand a amounts of money for these jobs instead of paying individual workers to specialize in these things. The rewards can range from a penny to $20, requiring from 15 minutes to 2 months of your time. It lets workers complete "HITs" to make money, which will be channeled to you via mail.
Of course, that isn't all. There's a lot more that can be said.
To begin with, most tasks are long and gruelling, and can take days, for a few pennies. This is a distraction from what you should be doing, your job or finding a new job.
Also, this undermines users as ignorant idiots who can't do anything decent, giving them jobs like finding images and RSS URLs for websites. Of course, there is little to no reward for your effort and they set strict time limits on your work. If it isn't done by then, you'll be penalized in approval rating (which you need to "qualify" for other HITs). Can you see a relationship here? I sure can. Slavery.
And other than seeing all these people suffer for nothing, they have other benefits as well. Each time someone publishes a HIT, they get a part of the money that is supposed to go to the worker who completed it. Let's say they get 1% for each payout. For the 4,000 individual workers multiplied by the 100,000 HITs published every day, that turns into a lot of money at the loss of their users. Even Amazon has perpetrated the laws of internet ethics, even Amazon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Adding Annotations to YouTube Videos is Stupid

Yes, we've all seen the incredibly attractive offer of adding customizable annotations to our uploaded YouTube videos. Perhaps some of you have tried it. For those of you have avoided this, good job because they're stupid.
Basically, annotations are little blocks of text- messages that "add" to the video in some way- that you can put in different types of speech bubbles. Anyone who uploads a video or who has permission from the uploader can do it to a video.
However, these things are extremely, unbearably, harassingly annoying. If you're trying to watch a decent video about say, dinosaurs and a block of text that says, "SUBSCRIBE!" suddenly pops up from a desperate user, you're damn right it'll ruin the appeal of the video. It interrupts all the important content in the video. In fact, I don't really see much reason why these annotations can't simply be added into the description to not interfere.
There's no appropriate situation for this horrible offense. Annotations are just wrong. Don't fall into their trap.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Top 10 Stupidest Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets

The post I made yesterday talks about the best and most useful Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets. This one is the opposite. This one talks about those useless gadgets that just serve to take up space on your hard drive:

10. Currency, unit conversions

First of all, half of these aren't even up-to-date with the constant exchange rate changes in terms of currency. But, I'll admit, you may come across a time when you would like a currency conversion and such a gadget would be great, if only it were accurate. However, this is not the same with unit conversions. No average person, has a sudden realization that if he knows how to convert centimetres to inches, his life will be better (sorry, this is the first thing that came to my mind). So forget unit conversions at least, please.

9. Mini-radios

I don't want to listen to India's news or British 88.5, if I live in Canada. If I seriously want radio, I'll either listen to a station that actually has something to do with me. Plus, with the not-that-recent advent of iPods as well as computer media players, there isn't much of a need for a radio, let alone a radio Vista gadget.

8. Countdowns

Ah, aren't these cool to take a look at once in awhile. No. Do you really need to know that there are 324 days until Christmas, or better yet, 243 days until Good Friday? You'll know when these things come; you don't need some geek who made the gadget telling you when Christmas is. And if you're actually customizing these countdown clocks to your birthday or something, get a life.

7. System control

Seriously, if you have this gadget installed, please get a treadmill and lay off the McDonalds for a little while. If you're lazy to the point where you can't even move your mouse to click on the start button and proceed to click the "Shut Down" function or something of the sort, then it'd be healthier for you not to have a computer.

6. Application launcher

Refer to number 7. Again, you can't just click on the application name on the start menu or even glance to the left and double click the icon on your desktop? May I inform you that sitting by your computer all day munching on Lays and drinking Fanta pop is not good for you.

5. Bobbleheads, animated flags, optical illusions etc.

This seems to amuse some people but doesn't really do it for me. I like Obama but I'm not going to express my support by downloading a virtual bobblehead. And downloading an animated flag is not showing that you're patriotic, it's showing that you're stupid. I don't even want to talk about optical illusions.

4. Anything in safety and security (i.e. terrorist alert, password generator)

I click on the "Safety and Security" category of the Windows Live Gadget Gallery and the first one that I see is "Terrorist Alert". To begin with, I don't trust something hosted by Microsoft with terrorism alerts. Secondly, if you're the type that downloads system control or application launcher, you probably won't be willing to get out of your seat anyway. Just keep munching, don't worry that Osama's knocking at your door.

3. System Usage

You'd better be pretty geeky to care about "system usage". For the most part, ordinary people neither care about, nor understand what "64% computer usage" and "45 GB of hard drive space left". You can buff it up with cool graphs and numbers but I refuse to download this gadget.

2. Date/clock

What the hell. If you download this, you are literally as low, if not lower than the group that downloads system control. In terms of the clock, move your pupils downwards and to the right to look at the digital clock provided instead of peering the second hand moving on a fat orange cat. But here's the hard part for you people out there. To get the date, you'll have to move your mouse all the way down the same place that you just gazed at and put your mouse over it (not click it).

1. UFO news

I just had to mention this one. UFO news. Let me just say that if you still believe in UFOs, you must have been hiding in the well for way to long. You must realize that they don't exist. Now, I'll just tell you some of the description: "Get the latest news on Ufo's, Alien abductions, Cattle mutilations and Crop circles on this planet from 80 of the worlds top researchers and radio programs." Alien abductions? Cattle mutilations? You've got to be kidding me.

If you want useful gadgets though, the best ones are listed here.

Top 10 Best and Most Useful Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets for an Average Joe

For the computer geeks out there this is not for you. That means, if you go on the computer at 6 AM in the morning to check your email, 9 AM to check Facebook and spend all day working on Microsoft Word then come home to play Warcraft, leave. Now. However, if not, you're welcome to take a look at the 10 applications that I personally find most appealing:

10. Blogger Buddy

Simply enter an account username and password and you'll be off and running. Direct links to all the blogs correlated with that account will be provided. Plus, you can compose full posts with many of the necessary formatting accessories including emphasis, hyperlinks and pictures. In fact, you can even preview the post right from the gadget before you publish. The one flaw that I've found is that you can't insert labels into the posts from this gadget.

9. Dictionary/Thesaurus

I don't care what you do for a living, there are those times when you just need a definition, spelling or synonym that you can't seem to find in your head. That's when this very simple but useful application will come in handy. It's dictionary is definitely useful although it has its flaws, with most of its entries originating from the Webster's 1913 dictionary and an odd interface but the thesaurus is surely adequate and sure is better than the few words that Microsoft Office's thesaurus provides.

8. Desk Essentials

Like a pizza, this is a lot of good stuff crammed into one thing. A detailed to-do list that features organization by priority and due date, an easily accessible notepad as well as a decent calculator that will solve small equations. In addition, it's nice to be able to print out the to-do list and notes too.

7. SportsAlert

This gadget has a ton of versatility listing scores to every NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and NCAA basketball game. It's reliable with occasional updates but there's not much more to say; it's just a good application.

6. News

It doesn't really matter what you want here. I'm just throwing this search term out there. Most versions already have a news reader installed but you might prefer a particular brand of news, perhaps the USA Today.

5. WeatherBug

Although I don't personally like this particularly, it's consider a basic essential that you just have to have. You can set your location very easily and this gadget will retrieve temperatures, satellites, photos, wind gusts, precipitation and HI/LO reports daily.

4. Facebook Sidebar

At this point, pretty much everyone has a Facebook account. Well with this application, you can satisfy your craving for a constant view of Facebook updates. This displays messages, pokes and all invitations as well as friend requests. Moreover, you can update your status as long as you authorize this action.

3. zCalendar

This is a very cool gadget, which, along with showing the date (my favorite part), lets you add events, which you can customize with your own notes. To add, this application will play a little chime as an alert if you enable it at a set time before the event starts.

2. All Search

Type in any search term, select a search engine from the list that includes Google, Yahoo!, Live, eBay, Amazon, the weather, dictionary, Youtube and Wikipedia. This will instantly open your Internet Explorer taking you to the search results page for the particular engine. Really easy, really convenient.

1. Email

Ah, email. How can you forget this. I can't pinpoint you to the exact gadget because I don't know what service you use. But you need this. Trust me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

5 Ways to Save Your Eyes While on the Computer

These days all the talk is about weight loss and keeping your heart healthy. However, not many are as worried about their eyes, with vision probably your most valuable sense. But I understand you have to go on the computer, especially with blogs like this one (just joking!), so I won't tell you how to stop going on the computer or to relieve your eyes once you're done. I'll just tell you what to do while you're on to just help them out a bit.

5. Look away when the screen is white

White is a pretty irritating colour for your eyes, particularly when its on a computer screen. Plus, there's no point in staring at a blank screen so may as well look away, just to give your eyes a bit of a break.

4. Get a better monitor

Believe me, this helps. A flat monitor is always better then a rounded one while the higher the resolution, the better. I recommend any brand other than Acer. Although these ones are cheap, they are incredibly irritating for your eyes.

3. Lower the contrast and brightness

Your eyes hate contrast and brightness. They'll relax a bit more without as much contrast and brightness and you can see everything perfectly fine even with a bit less.

2. Don't stare to intently

I know sometimes you have to stare intently to read but this hurts your eyes a lot. Just train yourself to relax your eye muscles while watching videos or reading. This usually means basically not dilating your eyes and letting them be a bit lazy, if you get what I mean.

1. Take breaks

Ah. I hate to do this but it just helps you so much. It keeps your muscles loose, keeps you energetic and of course it helps your eyes. But don't just walk out of your office to stare at a newspaper's size 10 font or a TV screen. Go for a walk outside or just look into the distance every 45 minutes or so.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Use Your Webcam to Take Photos Online: Cameroid

Before today, I had a pretty Logitech webcam sitting on my desk for the past three months, lacking any possible use. It did make look like I knew a bit more about computers than I actually do and the little neon-green light on the top is always cool to ogle but otherwise, I hadn't really found any use for it (by the way, I also have a sick microphone that hasn't ever been used either but I know how to use that). But that's when I found Cameroid, an free online utility that lets you snap a few pictures using your webcam without any complicated software.
The simple interface is really well-done and error-free made by the good guys at Sideshow Digital. Basically, there are two main pages, the homepage and the "snap" page. The homepage, is just, well, the homepage with your normal introduction and a few sample photos, but the other tab is what will really make your day.
To begin with, you'll be prompted to allow access to your webcam and obviously you should click "allow" so you can actually try this out. After this, you'll see what your webcam sees on the screen so you can be totally satisfied with what will be captured. Plus, if you want to, at this point you can apply several fun edits, from distortion filters that'll screw up the colours to creating a kaleidoscope-like image, to inserting your face into the Mona Lisa. Select a filter or just create an unedited photo and snap.
As a final touch, you can save your image to the public gallery, download it as a JPG or print right there. Of course, if you don't like it, you can just throw it out and try again.
You can take pictures of your face, your thumb, your dog, your hamster or your favorite pencil. And trust me, it'll be a lot more satisfying when you can actually use your webcam.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

When Google's Search Statistics Masterpiece, Google Trends, Stops Working

Cataclysm. Halo pet food. Danbury mint. All very cool phrases. All meaningless. All prominently appearing on Google Trends' Hot 100 searches list. Since it's launch as a part of Google Labs, Trends has been hailed as one of the best tools for marketers. I've been making a decent effort to use this service but it just doesn't seem to do much other than satisfying my craving for interesting search facts.
Sure, it'll make you go "Hmm. That's interesting," but otherwise, I don't see much of a use. This is mostly because it doesn't really do much in the means of working as a keyword research tool (don't worry if you don't know what that means) with the constant sight of peculiar search terms like, today, "ice hotel", "in plain sight", "rejuventation pills" and "catching grapes with my mouth" (what the hell?).
In my mind, this doesn't exactly help me in finding something to blog about that people will read. Of course, comparing keywords is always cool to see although only occasionally helpful.
This is mainly because all of the numbers that Google Trends provides are in comparison to the average volume for that search term. This means that instead of giving you a straight number like 10,000 searches in the past two days, the service gives you, three times the average at the time or two times below average at this time (all on a fancy line graph, obviously). This means that often perception would be distorted because sure something can be at five times the normal volume or even twenty times for all I care. Then, you might get all excited thinking that this is a truly hot trend in terms of searches. On the other hand, the normal volume could be three searches every day. So sixty searches every day is what you're getting all excited about. In fact, even the hot trends are based on how much a particular search surpasses its average volume. "Catching grapes in my mouth" happens to "not have enough search volume to show graphs."
That means a possible explanation for this could be tampering. For instance, if "catching grapes in my mouth" has five searches every day (I wonder who these five people are), and some mischeivous computer geek decides he wants to screw Google up, he'll just call all his friends and he and all these people might each search a this twenty times. This would lead to quite a bit of corruption to the Trends. And even if Google tracks IP address, if a prankster's smart, then he'll just go behind a proxy, which hides IP address.
So maybe Google Trends will serve its purpose some day in the next few years and somebody at Google will find a sick new algorithm, but for now, Google Trends will never pass through my bookmark filter.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Ultimate Spam Filter: Create a Disposable Email Account with NowMyMail

If you're like me, you love to sign up for a lot of things and you end up with a lot of spam in your inbox (how about 10 every hour). And sure Yahoo! has got a decent spam filter and Gmail's is even better but none are flawless. But you've gotten used to it; you just have to give out your email for some of these contests even though they send you the prize in your mailbox.
But there's no need to face deleting all those messages anymore with NowMyMail, the disposable email service. It's pretty simple and there's not very much to talk about so I'll make this quick.
Whenever you see a contest that you just have to sign up for because they're giving away a $150 Starbucks gift card, but you don't see much of a point in giving your email away, just go to NowMyMail.
With a single click, you can create a disposable email that might be something like "". This will create an inbox where you can view emails in plain text and delete them as well. Of course, you can't reply (and it wouldn't be smart replying anyway). This email account will be remembered for up to an hour if you have cookies enabled on your browser, even if you close the page.
And after your done with it, it just deletes itself so you don't have to worry about it anymore while the sender's email will be flooded with Mail Delivery Errors.
Plus, it's free!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Track Changes to Any Site, Without RSS: Create an RSS Feed with Feedity

Finding a new site is always fun, especially when it's actually has some use. But having to check for changes every single day isn't. You're probably thinking, "RSS feeds, idiot!" The thing is though, that not every website has one of these little things. But you don't have to worry about that anymore with Feedity. Yes, you probably have never heard of this page before and not many have, but boy can it be useful.
Say, you're a mechanic or something of the sort, and want to track anything new at GM. Naturally, you would go to GM's corporate site, and naturally, you would find that the RSS feed button is greyed out (meaning that there's no feed for those of you who don't know). Then you're thinking, "Screw this, I don't need some stupid GM site to stay on top of things." Of course, because GM is the best car manufacturer that has ever existed (better than your Toyota and Honda), you do happen to need to know what's happening at GM.
So you go over to Feedity! The first thing you'll see is a little bar where you enter the URL of the website you want to track. Therefore, you just enter your little "" after the http://.

Subsequently, you can click the preview button and quickly, Feedity will generate a preview of what will be included in your feed. Of course, you can apply any changes you might want to apply to your new feed, selecting a specific part of the GM page that you want to look at with the "Refine" section. You might want to keep track of "Current Offers", the "Help Center" or perhaps the "GM Heritage Center". You can even enter an "Advanced Refine", which allows you to select the exact HTML tags you want your new feed(ity) to track the content between- that is, if you're into that sort of stuff.
Finally, you just select a category, obviously, "Automotive", press "Get Feed" and you're pretty much done!

When you do this, they'll immediately provide you with a link that leads you to another page, which will be your generated RSS. Plus, you can subscribe to this feed using your Google Reader, My Yahoo!, Bloglines and more. And if you create a free account, you can save this feed to your account, get more frequent updates and make multiple feeds.
But don't be turned off by the "Pricing" tab; it's all a free service as long as you're not asking for a 99.5% uptime, 100 items per feed, advanced statistics and updates every half hour (if that's what you're interested in, you'll have $369 less to spend on premium auto parts).
And trust me, you'll be this enthusiastic too, once you visit this free RSS feed generator.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Can Google Answers 3 Compete with Yahoo! Answers?: Google TipJar

Yet another re-birth of Google's original futile fee-based attempt at getting into the knowledge market market, launched in April 2002. This initial site, dubbed Google Answers, has since shut down (December 2006) and was replaced by Google Questions and Answers. This version has made little to know progress since its beginning in June 2007 still posing no competition to Yahoo! Answers, which was actually launched three years after the launch of Google Answers. Questions and Answers is still available only in Russian and Chinese, although it is possible to access the actual websites, you just won't be able to use them (unless you're loyal enough to use a translator to translate every page on the site).
However, the long-awaited truly Yahoo! Answers-esque Google version of a knowledge market has arrived in the form of TipJar. This site is barely a few weeks old so it's hard to give constructive criticism that is really valid but right now, I must say, it is crap. If Google continues like this, they can forget about their ambitions of competing with Yahoo! in answers sites, let alone beating them.

Firstly, the entire website is extremely confusing to the point where you can almost sue them for criminal harassment. There are several different question views, links that take you to blank pages and links that serve to confuse you. Bunches of useless features also exist that include organizing specific users' tips by most popular and least popular as well as organizing your votes by most recent and least recent.
Also, there is no incentive for giving sharing tips or voting with no understandable points system, no ranking system, no levels and no profile customizability to show the outside world your expertise. This pretty much takes away the factor of addictiveness from the equation making TipJar a sure failure.
In addition to this, looking to capitalize on the economic downturn Google has created this site bearing only money-saving tips with no other aspects being covered. Nobody is going to check TipJar daily for money-saving tips. Plus, you can't really ask questions. You can share tips but you cannot ask questions. You're just basically stuck with seeing if you get lucky and find exactly what you're looking for in their database of roughly 5000 tips, not exactly the easiest task in the world.
And they must have really rushed to get this site up because the design is unbelievably poor. It's apparent that they made an effort the create a modern-looking site but failed miserably, creating a Yahoo!-like stuck-in-between-modern-and-oldies site. The icons suck, the logo sucks, the font choice sucks, the layout sucks and even the favicon sucks. And the lime-green color scheme is an utter eyesore that will turn you off immediately.
Further, the vote system that Google uses to decide which tips are good and which are bad is useless. If a money-saving tip is good, people know it's good and don't need green bars telling them what advice they should take.

And of course, who can forget the unbearably buggy system pops up a "[log] Google Moderator" page filled with random text every time you move to a different page on the site. Other smaller things that will begin to piss you off is the all lower-case alt text, screwed up mouseover reactions and the bottom toolbar that never moves from your screen.
Naturally, with all this, users are taking this service as an utter joke. In fact, some of the more popular tips include "Don't eat yellow snow", "Don't speed" and "Don't do drugs", which sure, are all good tips, for idiots.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How You'll Be Able to Survive When Internet Ads Stop Working: Part Two of the Two-Part Series

This is the second part of the two-part series commenting on internet ads. This post will tell you what you can do when internet ads inevitably stop working. If you want to read the first post, click here.

So when Google Adwords, Yahoo's ad service or whatever else you use stops working in a half a century, here's your toolbox for what to do. Be sure to bookmark this post because you never know when you'll need it.
First of all, if you're so keen on staying loyal to internet advertising, one way to use it would be to make any ads less apparent. The latest innovation has been content links, which are the double-underline links that are actually ads. However, most people have realized what these do by now and internet-saavy users will quickly see through any trick ads so if you choose this option you'll have to just keep making your ads less and less discreet.
And of course, there are many other means of advertising a site as well. Print ads (which are fading even faster than their internet counterparts), TV ads and billboard ads are all alternatives. Further, soon you'll have to start being creative with how you market. Some sites have robot voices who shout out their URL in the background of MP3 files while some people put bumper stickers with their URL printed on them onto their cars.
What is essential though because of all the scams that go on these days is establishing a good image. You must demonstrate that your company/website isn't one of those scam sites. This means obviously no scams. However, you can go a step further; make your page look professional and even help out in the community.
The important part of all this though, is SEO. If you don't know what this is (shame on you if you have a full domain and don't know what this is), it stands for search engine optimization. Basically this means modifying your site to make it appear more prominently in search engines, the main tools that people use to look for web pages. And the our love for Google and the likes will likely not cease for a long, long time because of how much they have been engraved into our everyday lives. Hence, you can keep feeding off of search engines, which will probably always be your top referring sites in terms of visitors. However, SEO isn't exactly an easy process; it takes a lot of time and effort. There are tons of guides on the internet that tell you all about the meta tags, alt tags, keyword research, emphasis, directory submission, incoming links and all the other boring stuff involved in creating a website.
But face it, that's what you'll have to deal with if you want to make it in the internet world. This is what you will be subject to do when the day comes.

Why Internet Ads Will Stop Working: Part One of a Two-Part Series

The heavily favoured internet advertising, whether it be search-engine ads, banner ads, pop-up ads or link ads, are gaining in popularity every day. They're flexible, dependable and proven to improve traffic- at least for now. Google, Yahoo! and some of the biggest tech corporations in the world run on the effectiveness of these ads and the massive number of people who use them. However, this huge number is the reason why the effectiveness is slipping.
In the world today, a lot of people are trying to get your attention. There are the pesky tele-marketers, the store managers and the CEOs, each wanting to take some benefit from you, possibly leaving you worse off than before. In the old days, if somebody wanted to chat, we'd quickly grant that request with a genuine trust and friendly spirit.
But these two crucial aspects are becoming endangered. People are now more aware and don't want to fall into any traps. They won't agree to anything unless they've digested all the information coming at them carefully. Still, sometimes this is not careful enough, leading some to simply stop agreeing.
And this is not without merit. Scams, lies, corruption and deception are profuse these days with everyone taking a shot at the big market of exploitation. Identity theft, hacking and viruses are just a few of the ways that we are cheating.
After this, comes awareness campaigns enforcing that people be heedful of any of these scams. The only problem is that sometimes people are a bit too heedful. They won't give anything a chance. In fact, they won't even click on a link.
That's the important part.
So many people are attempting to trick people that nobody's trusting anyone else, which could lead to disaster for the internet world. We've defined conditions in our mind for legitimacy that filter out even pages with some degree of decency. Is this fair? No when you consider the good sites but yes when you consider what can happen.
Moreover, our time is more valuable than ever now. We aren't willing to spare a single second with something that we don't immediately deem useful, making for a bit of a dilemma.
Plus, our knowledge and demands are getting higher by the second, we direct our attention to the left column with the actual search listings on Google and totally ignore any sponsored links.
So our love of taking advantage of others and need for wariness is going to bite us one day. The countdown has started and is limited. We'll never know when we'll lose our patience and the clock will hit zero.

Stay tuned for the next part of the series: How You Can Get Through.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day: 5 Ways to Keep Track of the Baseball Game If You Don't Have a TV

You're on the subway, you're at work, you're at school or you just want an excuse not to watch your team lose miserably in high-definition (ahem, Seattle, Toronto and Washington fans). Either way, when everyone's talking about the game tomorrow and you didn't even catch the highlights, then watch your neck, especially when your boss is a drunk baseball fan. Here's a few ways to (half) catch the game without ever having to leave your computer:

5. Check the score

If you do this for opening day, then you can no longer consider yourself a baseball fan. However, it is one of the techniques, although it can only be reserved for loners. And if you don't know how to do this, you need help: There's Facebook applications, sports websites, Windows Sidebar tools and everything in between.


Another thing you can do is pay a hundred bucks for something you'll never actually used. I don't recommend this. Yes, you have your pause and rewind, DVR features, "high-definition quality" and everything else, but it's a hundred friggin' bucks (that's over 50 beers).

3. Radio live audio broadcasts

Chances are your baseball team has some sort of a radio station that broadcasts its games in audio. Also, this station hopefully supports online listening. This is the best way if your team has a station. The thing is though, most radio broadcasters are washed up commentators who got cut from ESPN.

2. Yahoo! Sports GameChannel

Don't we all love Yahoo? Here's another reason to love the good guys at Yahoo! Sports. The GameChannel. Not as bad as checking the scores as they support play-by-play, box-scores, full stats, player info and a better interface.

1. ESPN the next morning

If you're that keen on not watching the game but not getting fired, then just watch ESPN the next morning; they'll have the juicy parts, they'll tell you the score, they'll give you a few interesting facts.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

How to Find a New Job: The Part CNN Doesn't Talk About

With unemployment at an all-time high, the economy barely limping, your money being channeled directly to Wall Street CEOs and the general progress of America and the world at a seemingly endless halt, sometimes it's hard to find the energy to get up and look for a job. Sometimes determination, drive and tenacity just fails you. This is when motivation is essential.
However, these days, the talk seems to focused only on how bad unemployment is getting, more job cuts and people's unfortunate stories; all negative. And even the things telling you how to get your job back are centred around your resume, social networking and the laborious searching.
Wings For The Heart will give you that extra boost to actually start doing these things. On the other hand, only a few people have even heard of this website.
With a great library of motivational articles as well as articles of guidance of the kinder sort, this site will truly bring out your brighter side. Wings For Heart Can help you with weight loss motivation, stress management, self-esteem, gratitude, positive thinking and a lot more.
Plus, the e-mail newsletter is great for motivation on your mobile device or when you just don't have time to go to the website. As well, specialized e-mail e-courses as well as e-books and the always wonderful motivational quotes will definitely set you on the right track.
And of all the websites I've talked about, this is one of the few that can truly change your life and let you "love, trust, open, surrender, believe, live, breathe, shine, soar, become ... and more".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why You Should Stop Searching For An Online "Stay-At-Home" Job

In your days, you've probably seen quite a few "Take Surveys for Cash" or "Click for Cash" or "Fill in Forms for Cash" and the likes. I've seen my share of these and tried way too many. Now my inbox is filled with spam telling me that I can "Make $10,000 in 1 week".
It's never bad to try things on the internet because you never know what you'll be able to find that's of use. However, this general rule has the exception of "high-paying" online jobs that "let you work your hours" from the "comfort of your own home".
In this recession some begin to get desperate and instead of looking for honest ways to earn money, they look for easy ways to do it. They surf the web looking for online jobs and try out every last one that they find, with the glimmer of hope never ceasing to shine. They get optimistic every time they see the cheesy fake testimonials, six-figure promises and half-professional website designs.
But these don't work. You've heard the success stories and it is true, perhaps a handful of people have actually done well on the web (mind you most of these stories are fabricated), but just because the guy down the street did it, doesn't mean you can do it. It's not like cooking or knitting or fixing a car. There's no good recipe. On the other hand, there sure are a lot of recipes that'll result in burned chicken.

To begin with, it takes a ton of time to do each form, filling out your contact information and then trying to get off the ground just to find that nothing's happening. This is precious time that you can be using to try to find a job with a steady, honest income.
Also, there are sites that work, but these sites won't be close to enough to support a family or even a single person. Most might give you a few cents every third day for hours and hours of work but that won't even be enough for an ant.
Moreover, the scams that happen every day should immediately turn you off. If you stay in the business long enough, your identity will be stolen. I guarantee it. You can get into a lot of trouble with the law yourself as well because many of these pages are illegal or get you into legal trouble.

A rule is, if it's too good to be true, it isn't. Another rule is that if there's tons of emphasized and capitalized letters, neon bright colours, highlighted words and video testimonials, don't trust it. And finally,
you can't make money online with anything. It could be reading emails, sending emails, taking surveys, or even writing reviews. You just can't do it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

10 Reasons to Stick to Google Adsense

Google Adsense is the most used ad program in the world and with good reason.

10. Integrated into Blogger.

If you have a blog that you didn't pay for, chances are, you use Blogger and it's always nice having a convenient little tab called "Monetize" that lets you add and customize ads that you want to display on your blog.

9. They'll help.

This is great for newbies. Like all Google services, Adsense has one of the most useful help sections in all of the internet, detailing every feature, fact and technique there is. They'll guide you through pretty much everything.

8. No spam ads.

A problem with a lot of smaller Adsense alternative is that they have to resort to misleading ads that link to malicious, cheat or illegal sites that pay more. However, with the larger audience, Google doesn't have to so you're safe from any complaints or lawsuits.

7. They find the ads for you.

The problem with a bunch of ad publishers is that they make you link up with an ad displayer, which is a long, gruelling process suited only for sites with a ton of views. And in the meantime, they often display ads that don't pay you a single penny, which is really frustrating.

6. No traffic conditions.

A bunch of the "premium" ad sites that are pretty much the same as Adsense demand that you have at least 100,000 individual page views every month, or some other outrageous number for smaller pages. However, Adsense doesn't require a certain number of views or clicks or click-through rate. On the other hand, it's not like they don't have conditions; there's a great deal of restricted types of content, quality guidelines (you need a site map), rules you have to follow and other things, but it's easier to obey these than traffic conditions.

5. They will actually pay you.

You can trust a company like Google to pay you because they want to retain their reputation. But other sites aren't as trustworthy and have not reputation to retain. There are a lot of scam ad publishers that just keep the money to themselves with creative little schemes. However, it's not going to be a way to earn a living; and the $10/click that Bidvertiser offers is pretty attractive compared to the few cents that Google is giving you. Trust be though, it'll be better in the long run.

4. Relevant ads.

It's hard not to find an ad that has something to do with what your site's about in Google's massive database. And you know the deal with their amazing search algorithms that are bound to find something.

3. Low payment threshold.

Last time I checked (a few minutes ago), the minimum payment was only $10 (US) while many other companies demand $20, $50 or even $100 worth of clicks/impressions for you to claim anything. This is fine for some people but definitely not for the hardworking little guy on main street.

2. Most reliable.

First of all, it's not like ads are suddenly all going to disappear because the server crashed or the code screwed up; that'll probably never happen. Also, that little symbol that reads the familiar "Ads by Google" is enough to tell someone that they aren't going to be mislead, obviously leading to more clicks.

1. Most feature-rich.

I can't really stop talking about Adsense's features. You can display the ads in different formats, on different types of sites, in different places, with easy earnings tracking, on multiple different sites with the same account. This is just the beginning.

On the other hand, I'm going to stick with my Bidvertiser just because my blog isn't exactly at an advanced stage yet. When it reaches a decent number of page views though, I'll definitely make the switch.