Archive for September, 2010

Amazing Stat – 24% of US Home Sales Are For Foreclosed Property

Reuters reports –

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nearly one in every four U.S. homes sold in the second quarter was a deeply discounted foreclosed house, putting the market on pace to work through distressed properties in about three years, RealtyTrac said. Banks stepped up foreclosures through the summer and will take over a record 1.2 million homes this year, up from around 1 million last year and about 100,000 in 2005 before the housing bust, according to a forecast from the real estate data company. Foreclosed homes accounted for 24 percent of all second-quarter sales, at an average price discount of more than 26 percent compared with homes not in the foreclosure process.

Continue reading HERE.

Problems Began Long, Long Ago [pic]

GOP Says Outsourcing Is Good – Let’s Outsource The Republicans

CBS reported –

Republicans, with help from a handful of Democrats, used a filibuster to block a measure that would have used the tax code to punish big companies that shut U.S. manufacturing plants and move the jobs overseas. Current tax law allows companies to benefit in a variety of ways when they move jobs overseas, including deducting the costs of closing American plants. The proposed bill would have raised taxes on companies that move manufacturing jobs out of the country and provide a tax incentive for companies that decide to bring them back.

Continue reading HERE.

‘It’s A Sin To Download Music’ Claims Singer

TechDirt reports –

Apparently, when confronted with changing business models that make your old model less reliable, different people act in different ways. An anonymous reader points us to the news that the singer of the band , has decided to take a religious view on the matter and has declared that file sharers are going to hell. His view of the religion of music economics is apparently that it’s okay to download if you’re poor, but if you can afford to pay, it’s a sin to download and share. He then goes on to thank his record label — whom he refers to as his “paymaster” — and suggest that the band is “lucky.” While I’m sure luck plays a part in all of it, perhaps not damning people to hell for just listening to your music would be a good start.
He notes that the band has a dedicated bunch of fans, which is great, but shouldn’t they be focusing on giving them real reasons to buy, rather than invoking threats of brimstone and hellfire to guilt people into buying? It really comes down to a simple equation. You can make people feel good about buying something, or you can focus on making them feel bad if they don’t buy. I tend to think that, in this day and age, the former is much better than the latter. Why worry about those who are downloading, when you can focus on providing good value and a good experience for those who want to support you?

original source

Emergency Bra – Product Of The Year?

C Net reports –

Remember that bra we wrote about last year that lifted more than just our spirits when it won the 2009 Ig Nobel Public Health Prize? Well, creator Dr. Elena Bodnar–whose inspiration comes in part from having witnessed as a young physician the devastating effects of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986–is introducing the now commercially available Emergency Bra at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Mass., on September 28. She hopes we can all “get a feel of [sic] the product,” as she has grown fond of saying. The bra is, of course, meant to be taken off, something most adults presumably have experience with. Once removed, it separates into two masks which, when placed over the nose and mouth, filter out particles that were found to be as harmful as radiation in Chernobyl. Now, a year later, what was once a bizarre and intriguing idea has turned into an actual bra that can be purchased online for $29.99. Ladies, it’s a sexy red and comes in a wide range of sizes, from 32B to 40C. Gentlemen, Bodnar assures us that in the event of an emergency, the size of the cup does not matter.

Read more HERE

Order one HERE

Free Video Converter Showdown – Freemake Wins

Sept. 23, 2010 This time, I’ve done a side-by-side comparison with two rising stars in video conversion. My personal acid test for video converters is taking a video from YouTube to a DVD with the fewest headaches. Freemake Video Converter passed that test with flying colors and Hamster Free Video Converter did not. While Hamster cannot output .VOB files for DVDs, Freemake converted 18 minutes of video and burned them to a DVD in 10 minutes – outstanding! The DVD was high quality, with a motion menu.

For further testing, 4 videos (2 .FLVs and 2.MP4s) with various framerates and resolutions were batch converted. Both programs converted the 4 videos to high quality .AVIs against the clock. Hamster easily won this test, producing good quality .AVIs about 25% faster than Freemake at about half the size.

Both programs installed without problems and have simple,rather sparse interfaces. Freemake’s is more professional looking; Hamster’s needs more contrast. Both programs handle batch conversions very well and allow drag-and-drop.

Overall, Hamster performed well, converting files quickly with quality results. It has  a lot of presets for handheld devices, but not outputting to .VOB is a deal killer for me.

Freemake’s ability to convert and burn a high quality DVD in one step is truly unusual in free converter software. It packs plenty of power behind a simple interface; the most needed adjustments are present, without overwhelming an inexperienced user. Other features are – rip DVDs, rip CDs and convert to .MP3, create photo slide shows and a YouTube video uploader. I am definitely making Freemake a part of my video toolkit.

Download Freemake Video Converter HERE

Download Hamster Free Video Converter HERE

2017 Update –

Both programs are capable video converters. Freemake is still is the clear winner because of its basic editing functions and the ability to burn dvds with a minimum of fuss. Hamster has improved it’s interface and can now produce files that can be burned to a dvd, but it doesn’t actually burn the dvd or create a menu. Even though dvd burning is much less important in 2017, Freemake is still the best solution for occasionally creating a dvd. Both programs try to install additional software during the installation process, but Freemake is much, much worse. Great care is needed to install Freemake without several unneeded, unwanted programs. Freemake also tries to upsell features such as additional dvd menu templates. For me, the features outweigh the negatives; I still regularly use Freemake.

Visit DanKostecki.com

US Government Idiocracy – 1930 Style

According to the Senate’s web site –

Whereas dial telephones are more difficult to operate than are manual telephones; and Whereas Senators are required, since the installation of dial phones in the Capitol, to perform the duties of telephone operators in order to enjoy the benefits of telephone service; and Whereas dial telephones have failed to expedite telephone service; Therefore be it resolved that the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate is authorized and directed to order the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. to replace with manual phones within 30 days after the adoption of this resolution, all dial telephones in the Senate wing of the United States Capitol and in the Senate office building.

Sponsored by Virginia’s Carter Glass, the resolution passed without objection when first considered on May 22, 1930. Arizona’s Henry Ashurst praised its sponsor for his restrained language. The Congressional Record would not be mailable, he said, “if it contained in print what Senators think of the dial telephone system.” When Washington Senator Clarence Dill asked why the resolution did not also ban the dial system from the District of Columbia, Glass said he hoped the phone company would take the hint.

Continue reading HERE.


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