For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Are Online Survey Panels Worth the Effort?

February 28th, 2010

paid-survey-panel.jpgBecoming a member of an online survey panel can allow you to claim vouchers or cash, but for many people, they require too much effort for the rewards that are received. This article looks at some of the pros and cons of participating in online survey panels to earn cash rewards or vouchers.

The Pros: Rewards

Most people who sign up to online survey websites do so because they want to be rewarded for their time and effort. While the actual rewards vary from panel to panel, it is common to receive either vouchers (such as Amazon) or a cash amount as compensation. For vouchers, you will often need to accumulate a set number of points to be able to exchange them for a voucher of a specific denomination (for example, 10,000 points may be equivalent to a $10 voucher). Alternatively, you may earn a small amount per survey (for example, $2 per survey), and this can be exchanged for a voucher, check, or cash in your Paypal account once you have reached a certain threshold. The rewards situation often differs depending on the survey panel in question, so it is best to look into this before you sign up to ensure that it will be worth your while.

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Are Printers Cheaper Than Ink?

February 27th, 2010

cheapest-printer-ink.jpgPrinter ink has always been ridiculously expensive, but in today’s recession buying replacement ink cartridges hits the pocketbook even harder than usual. Some out-of-the-box-thinking computer users are actually resorting to buying new printers each time they run out of ink rather than purchasing replacement cartridges or ink refill kits. As more and more printer manufacturers resort to the “give away the razor and sell the blades” marketing strategy, it would seem as though consumers are now fighting back with simply purchasing a new razor and skipping blade refills altogether.

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What Is Employer Sponsorship?

February 26th, 2010

employer-sponsored-job.jpgIf you’ve already got an undergraduate degree under your belt, you might be contemplating the idea of continuing your studies with a postgraduate degree. These courses can be extremely expensive but you may be able to get sponsorship from your employer to fund your studies if you can convince your employer that your additional skills and qualifications will make you an invaluable asset to the company.

Generally speaking, the grants and loan options that are available to undergraduate students aren’t extended to postgraduates so you may otherwise struggle to find the money without some financial help from your employer. If your intended postgraduate degree is closely linked to your current job, you stand a better chance of securing sponsorship from your employer as the company will benefit from your improved qualifications. However, it can be difficult to persuade an employer to commit to sponsoring your studies as it will almost always mean that they’ll be footing the bill for your studies while continuing to pay your salary, and this can become very expensive for them, especially if they can’t see the obvious benefits in doing so.

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Harnessing the Social Internet to Benefit Your Business

February 25th, 2010

social-media-marketing.jpgAs business budgets continue to tighten thanks to the global economic downturn, more and more small businesses are seeking less expensive and more effective forms of marketing. Online marketing, in its many guises, has been one of the big beneficiaries of this recent trend with social media marketing showing especially large gains. Essentially a form of guerrilla marketing, social networking can offer potentially great returns for comparatively little financial outlay.

The social Web has not only arrived but has witnessed several distinct incarnations and while each evolutionary progression may be slightly different, the underlying value for Web users and consumers is one of interaction. Users can get involved with websites like never before, making them feel more involved and closer to the individuals, websites, and businesses that they deal with.

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Filezilla 3.1 FTP Client

February 24th, 2010

filezilla-ftp.jpgThis stable, intuitive FTP client is yet another excellent product from the prolific open source community. Boasting a truly intuitive Explorer-style twin-pane tabbed interface, it enables secure file transfers to and from multiple servers simultaneously, drag-and-drop support, filename filters, remote file editing, keep-alive, and a host of other advanced features.

Directory caching enhances blisteringly swift performance, and automatic transfer speed adjustment helps you manage bandwidth allocation based on date or time of day. Manage your connections either through Site Manager, or on-the-fly using the QuickConnect feature. Robust security is assured through support for proxy connections and firewalls including SSL and Kerberos GSS.

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A Buyer’s Guide to Flat Screen HDTV Accessories

February 23rd, 2010

hdtv-accessories-review.jpgOwning a flat screen high-definition television (HDTV) without the right accessories is like driving a Ferrari at 25 mph; it will do the job, but there is a whole world of untapped potential under the hood screaming to be set free. To enjoy the full benefits of that crystal clear picture and digital sound that have revolutionized the television industry, it is important to have the correct mounting hardware, a high quality antenna, a home theater system, the right cables, and some power protection.


Instead of taking advantage of the compact size and light weight of a flat screen television, most units come prepackaged with a table stand which requires the consumer to have ample free space on a table or in an entertainment center. Mounting brackets reduce space by hanging a flat screen television on a wall like the work of art it is.

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Where Did the Ugg Boot Come From?

February 22nd, 2010

ugg-boots-review.jpgAmerica’s love-hate relationship with the fuzzy footwear phenomenon known as uggs has gone on now for almost a decade. Sadly, the go-go boots of the naughts (’00s) show few signs of going away. This fashion fad has left many wondering where exactly uggs came from. More importantly, people want to know, “Is the ugg is here to stay?” Often this question is followed by the thought, “Where can I get my own ugly footwear?” because, after all, no one wants to be left out.

If you’ve somehow missed this brand name buzz, or thought that ugg was just a hip, slang word for ugly, used when describing this fuzzy slipper-boot, chances are good that you’ve seen them whether you realized it or not. Uggs have been worn by many A-list celebrities throughout the 2000s. Oprah Winfrey dedicated almost an entire show to them in 2005 and they have adorned the feet of many women (and some men) both young and old since they arrived in American stores around 2003.

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The Culture of Deafness

February 21st, 2010

deaf-pride-culture.jpgIn Britain alone, there are as many as eight million people with a hearing loss, only fifty thousand of whom are sign language users. So, who uses sign language and who doesn’t?

If hearing is present at least up to the age of eighteen months, a child is classed as post-lingually deaf, meaning that he or she has become sufficiently accustomed to the sound and order of words to be able to understand the use of spoken language. A child who is pre-lingually deaf may have no concept of audible language and may therefore become part of a different culture, which is found in the deaf community. The language will be that of signing, with its own syntax and grammar, a language with its own regional variations and with more of a reliance on body language and facial expression than is called for in spoken communication.

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GourmetNut.com Affiliate Program

February 20th, 2010

GourmetNut.com - 200x200 - 10% OFFAlthough it has been a few months since I have reported on any affiliate programs, there certainly has been no shortage of them. The latest affiliate-related email to come through my inbox advertises a relatively new possibility for people who may want to try something different from the old Clickbank or Amazon routines.

This particular company is an e-commerce site called GourmetNut.com, which as the name implies offers different kinds of nuts, although they also have some other delectable goodies like chocolates, dried fruits, snack mixes, candies, and even 22 different varieties of sea salt. They seem to accept PayPal payments (at least according to the logos at the bottom of the site), so I might try some of their mixed nuts later and see how they compare with the major name brands of nuts that can be purchased locally. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more information on the affiliate program or coupon codes, you can read the text of the newsletter below.

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How to Keep Motorcycle Insurance Costs Low

February 19th, 2010

motorcycle-insurance-cost.jpgTypically when a person buys a motorcycle, insurance costs are not a high priority. The average rider is more interested in the freedom a bike provides — the exhilarating liberation of riding on two wheels and having direct control of a machine whose power pulses directly beneath them. Nevertheless, insurance is an important consideration, and many factors dictate its cost. In fact, a motorcycle can be considerably more expensive to insure than an automobile, depending on such variables as the rider’s age, experience, and the specific motorcycle.

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The Jaguar XJ: Affordable Elegance

February 18th, 2010

jaguar-xj-review.jpgMany vehicles aspire to be labeled as luxurious. Sadly, their approach is often gimmicky and superficial. Scratch beneath the surface of a Lexus, for example, and you will simply find a primped and preened Toyota. Mechanically it is a fine car, but it does not carry the heritage of a true luxury automobile. Not so with the 2010 Jaguar XJ.

Where the underpinnings of a Lexus are straight Toyota with better fit, finish, and appointments, the Jaguar exudes its heritage throughout. This is evident in the gleaming paint work, the Jaguar badge inset in the grill, and the signature wood and leather that grace the cabin. The stance of the car suggests performance, yet the growl of the twin exhausts is a clear reminder of the 5.0 litres of power under the hood. So what does a starting price of $72,000 get you?

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