Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cloud Trends And The Goal of 'Free'

Cloud services such as Google, Dropbox, and Microsoft's Live Mesh have become more reliable and secure than previous versions. These relatively free services work out great for individuals who need to back up a few personal files of music, video and data. Unfortunately, businesses have more at stake with their security and larger file requirements. They need the for-pay reliability of data backup services ... for the moment.

If you've been following computing trends, you have to wonder about the impact of increasingly cheaper memory on online storage companies like Google. No doubt, there will be that transition battle between risk and cost. Some businesses are beginning to risk security requirements of their customers and go with the relatively 'free' storage offerings. This means that customers who are dealing with those particular companies will have to be diligent about risks being taken.

It is possible that security and terabytes of storage will soon reach that level of such extremely low costs -- "free" if you will. Of course, all bets are off as new technology gets introduced into the mix. At that point, the need to recoup the return-on-investment will eliminate any consideration of 'free' services.

earned fat (part 1)

We were scattered in various rooms throughout the house except the one that had the TV. Our high tech, hi-def audio-visual shrine was on with the sound loud enough so we could all hear that annoying yet comforting background noise that only TV can provide. Suddenly, we all heard the announcement "Coming up next, how to get rid of belly fat -- the easiest and most effective ways possible!" Within seconds, we drowned out the noise from the TV with our thunderous stampede to the entertainment room like the rotund elephants we were all becoming. Even the dog has the look of a 3 foot long, roly-poly sausage that waddles rapidly along on 2 inch legs.

A devious television channel would have us all pile in front of its luminescent screen and then proceed with "but first, this piece on adorable puppies." Unless those adorable puppies were covered in creamy milk chocolate, our disappointment would force us out of the room and back to our previous unproductive activities. With a few more "coming up next…" followed a few second later with "but first…", an enterprising exercise channel could have us yo-yoing back and forth without us realizing we were being forced to exercise.

But that's not what happened.

[continued in part 2]

earned fat (part 2)

[continued from part 1]

It wasn't the allure of learning how to get rid of belly fat, but rather the hope of learning the easiest method to do so. What motivated us into getting off of our large hind ends and into the TV room was not health but the possibility of lazy ways to be healthy. The unspoken hope was that doctors had discovered somehthing like: you had to be sleeping with your head oriented north during a full moon. Or that a double-decker hamburger could be turned into a calorie-burning fuel when eaten during certain Eat-iquette episodes of Oprah.

But that wasn't the case. Once again the televised miracle of modern medicine disappointed us. The broadcast told us that we shouldn't eat while watching TV unless we immediately follow that by working out. Apparently, the exertion of consuming a 5 pound dinner during ratings week does not constitute a workout.

We were then informed that we should not eat late at night. I think our good doctors have forgotten how many calories you burn while sleeping. Do they really want us weak and starving when the morning comes?

Finally, the show announced the clincher – the more stressed you are, the more your body protects itself with belly fat. Oh great! We can't eat before going to bed; we can't eat in front of the TV; we have to work out; and we're not supposed to be stressed out by all of this. Right!

So it's either belly fat or belly fat. I guess we will just keep hoping for that miracle cure that doesn't involve exercise or eating small portions. The dog agrees too.

fighting the wall of words

I guess I could apologize for the previous post (which would be the next post after this one due to the wonderful ordering in the nature of blogs). But sometimes these writing assignments get to be a bit much. While they have helped put food on the table and gas in the tank of my family, of friends and of myself, they're not as rewarding as they once were. Looking at my last notes, I earn about two dollars an hour to try and work in references to body blubber, pills to fight body blubber, ravaged skin, and various insurances.

In between these posts about stuff going in and on your body and out of your wallet, I worked add entries about everything else. The most frustrating part is trying to capture the fleeting ideas I have throughout the day. More often than not, these ideas end up disappearing from a mind like fog on a sunny morning. I remember having them, but as to their nature and form – I might as well not have had that brain electricity at all.

Oh well, on to the battle to prevent this blog from becoming a "wall of words".

just another post

Okay. I give up. I surrender. I could spend a few hours racking my brains in a less than rewarding effort to try and come up with something sort of hilarious about my latest assignment, lipozene reviews. If you want to read someone's opinion about the ineffective nature of lipozene, then just click on the link provided. Either way, life will go on for the both of us…

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's Not In Your Wallet?

It is my understanding that part of your credit score is based on how much you owe on a credit card compared to what the credit limit is for that card. Seems straightforward enough. You make your payments, you keep your nose clean, and your available credit goes up along with your credit score. Yet, in all of the games that you get to play as an adult, be it video or mating or career, none will have you doubting the decency of humanity more than that of your credit score.

I don't think anyone has been playing this game more intensely than myself. For the past six years, I've done everything I can to pay down my former spouse's credit cards. (I acquired those treasures six years ago as terms of my divorce --- or as I like to refer to a it "ransom for my freedom".) You would think by now that my efforts should've put my credit score on par with that of billionaires. But no. Every couple years, I get a letter from this one particular credit card company letting me know that, thanks to my excellent payment history, they are reducing my credit limit. This company has mottoes such as "Embracing Integrity", which, of course, differs from actually practicing integrity; and "think what we can do for you" (because it's nothing compared to what we're going to do to you).

I'm not sure why this one company has me in their anti--customer campaign sights. It's not like I have a bankruptcy on my credit report. The only thing my data shows is a stellar record of working myself to death to pay off the marital ransom that I took on.

It's too bad I'm not rich enough to borrow for myself. Or maybe I should become a small democratic nation. I will elect myself to office every four years on promises to do a better job with my debt. And when that doesn't happen, I'll just blame the previous administration.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why the internet traffic?

Four years ago, I did a paid post for an equestrian equipment company (horsie goodies, for some of you). Recently, I had a few minutes to look at the traffic that this site gets. Surprisingly, a lot of people across the globe are doing searches on "girl hugging horse", which points them to my old blog entry. Somehow, I don't think they found what they were looking for. But, hay, I mean, hey! Thanks for stopping by!

The Next Big Thing is ...

Apps. Specifically, mobile apps. Last year, 10 million were sold to users of iPhone, Android, WebOS and the like. This year's projection is more than 25 million!

In the beginning of the PC boom of the late 80s and early 90s, there was a rush for developers to write shareware apps. At first, there was money to be made. Then only a few were able to ride that wealth-making wave as tons of developers and programs flooded the market.

The world has become very much globalized since then. More countries have adopted variations of the free-market. The software world now has a couple billion more programmers with the addition of India, China and Russia to the playing field. So what about you, my fellow American? Are you and I about to missing another opportunity because of our previous obligations of time, family and money? Or will we spend the several hundred hours to come up to speed on a variety of cell-phone operating systems, programming languages, and bureaucratic workings government and app-stores to get our world-changing creations converted into cold, hard cash (some of which, we might be able to keep)?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Did You Get My Invitation to My Child's Graduation?

So there I was at my high school graduation ceremony, sitting on stage with my fellow classmates. We sat there in raptured excitement, identically dressed in our blue caps and gowns as the commencement speaker told us how individuality is the key to success. After many years of living in this post-high school world, I'm not sure whose success he was talking about. Still, I do know that uncommon individuality will make you stick out especially in a crowd of mediocrity.

And crowded is what my mailbox has become lately. I don't remember my graduation from high school being so complicated or expensive. Yet, as soon as my child reached her senior year, the school seems to have notified every marketer in the graduation industry. It's a rare day now that my mailbox doesn't have the latest promotions on caps and gowns, or expensive offerings by local photographers wanting to capture your 12th-grader's once-in-a-lifetime look, or flyers pushing overpriced guilt in the form of school rings and other memorabilia. I know my darling senior is doing all she can to get loans for the brave new world of college partying and crappy jobs. As for me, I seem to be doing all I can to secure loans just to get her graduated.

Not all the mailings have been dismal. I was fortunate enough to get an impressive packet of info from Pear Tree Greetings. When I opened the envelope and handled the top grade card stock of invitations, announcements, and graduation cards, I thought I was having a senior moment of my own (memory, not youth). These invitations weren't like the other companies' flimsy papers that barely survived the handlers of the United States Postal Service. Paper Tree's material was such good quality that it left me wondering if I had already placed an order. But I had not because, after I visited their website, I know I would have remembered their unforgettably inexpensive prices. Besides, it was someone elses good looking kids in these graduation ensembles.

In fact, the only sad part as I looked through offerings from Pear Tree Greetings were the models that they used in the samples. It's not that they used substandard folks as high-schoolers. On the contrary, these kids look like the ones that would be actresses and future politicians. No, the problem is my little sweetie. In the right light, you would say she is cute -- as long as it is night time and the lights were off. The only way she could almost get a date for the Sadie Hawkins dance was by wearing a Nintendo DS for her corsage and a couple of Xbox controllers around her neck. Pear Tree Greetings does have photo editing capabilities. But in my case, I would have had to recommend that their soft lighting be more along the lines of a thick early-morning fog bank - just shadows with a slight hint of features.

But don't worry. I won't be sending you an invitation. You'll thank me but please send cash instead.