|     |     |  

LinkedIn is a great place to find a job, stay connected with your current and former coworkers, and also to learn about the people you're working with (or selling to).

As a premium Spotify user, I love having my music on my iphone. I even have it wired up to my Google Home which is hooked up to my home stereo so I can have great sound throughout the house.

Good question, especially since it's getting closer to the tax filing deadline.

I’ve used TurboTax Online several times, and each time received about $2500 back from Uncle Sam.

TurboTax knows about all of the latest tax laws. For example, this year you can claim a $60 deduction on long distant phone charges without even having to provide a receipt. It’s one of the questions asked by TurboTax, which saved me the cost of using the software right off the bat! :)

I refinanced my home last year as well, and TurboTax walked me through all of the deductions I could take, included points, prepaid interest, and real estate taxes. I like the “interview style” approach that it takes, where it asks you relevant questions and you just have to answer yes or no… and then they tell you if you’re eligible for a deduction.

Even with my self-employment income, TurboTax greatly simplified the Schedule C filing, and helped me find several home office deductions that completely offset my self-employment taxes for the year!

Digital cameras have been on the market for several years and have come a long way in features and quality, but the one drawback still remains - the slight delay when you take the picture. It's not as bad as it used to be, but even a half second is far too long to capture the perfect facial expression or snap a shot of your child scoring the winning goal.

Digital SLR cameras eliminate this delay completely, and also provide an auto-shoot feature that lets you snap a few shots each second.

I highly recommend the Nikon D50 DSLR camera, which I have owned for about a year. It's available at Buy.com for about $500 (and here's a coupon link to save $15 on any camera purchase at Buy.com).

I also bought a SanDisk Ultra II SD 2GB Card that holds about 1100 pictures, and took the D50 to Disneyland with my family last year. We took hundreds of priceless shots with this camera, and never had to worry about timing the shot to account for a delay - because there is absolutely no delay. The D50 instantly captured the shot every time.

Yes, I think Digital SLR cameras are very much worth the extra cost! :)

The wife of one of my best friends sent me this question via email recently, wondering which one she should get her husband for his birthday.

First of all, I applauded her thoughtfulness - I mean, wouldn't you love to get an iPod for your birthday? My wife gave me a 4GB Black iPod Nano for Christmas a year ago and I still use it every single day. :smile:

The answer of course depends on how your husband will use his new iPod (working out, passing time in rush hour traffic, etc). But I recommended the iPod video because of its large storage size, bright monitor, and highest cool factor.

Here's the lineup of iPods from Apple, with the pros and cons of each one. As you can see, they range in price and size from small to big. Any of these would make a great gift, but they do have different uses.

  • iPod Shuffle

    Apple StoreThe smalles of iPods, it stores about 240 songs and is great for working out or other activities where you can't stop to change songs. However, it doesn't have a screen or display to indicate which song is playing, and it simple plays each song at random - hence the name "Shuffle".

  • iPod Nano

    The sleek Nano is what I have, and it ranges in storage size from 1 GB to 8 GB - enough to store about 2000 songs. Apple just redesigned it with a 1.5-inch color display that's 40% brighter than before (and it was already great before).

    One thing I like about the Nano is that it doesn't have any moving parts. It's great for working out with and I never have to worry about it skipping.

    There are also tons of add-on gizmos you can buy for the Nano, such as the landyard headphones or the armband for working out. You can even get an FM-transmitter attachment if you want to listen to the radio on your Nano (hey, ya never know).

  • iPod Video

    This is what my friend ended up getting for his birthday, and at my recommendation too.

    It's about twice the size of the Nano, but still just right. It comes in 30GB and 80GB sizes for up to a whopping 20,000 songs! He has the entire Battlestar Galactica first season series loaded on it, along with ALL of his music, and he still has plenty of room left for more.

    Oh, and don't worry about whether your husband will ever actually watch videos on it. The fact that he can is what makes it such a great gift, and the show-off cool factor is out of this world :cool:. (it turns out the video is good quality and fun to watch too)

If you spend any time shopping on the Internet or reading email, then the answer to this question is most likely yes.

Most people don't realize just how many spyware programs are currently running on their computers. In fact, I thought my home computers were clean until I ran an antispyware program and found 444 various forms of spyware infections lurking on my system!

The program I used to clean my system was Spyware Doctor. I'll discuss it in more detail below, but first - here's some helpful information about malware, spyware, adware, trojans, and viruses:

What is Malware?
Malware is a generic term used to encompass malicious spyware, adware, Trojans, browser hijackers, keyloggers, dialers and tracking cookies.

Spyware is an application that makes use of your Internet connection, gathering and transmitting information on various activities you conduct on your computer to third-parties. This information is often collected and sent without your knowledge or consent. Like adware, spyware often installs as a third-party component bundled with a freeware or shareware application, which can make the distinction between the two somewhat ambiguous.

Trojans (also known as Trojan horses) can slip into your system and run without your knowledge. However, they are capable of possessing a variety functions. For example, some use your computer's modem to dial long-distance or toll numbers (like a dialer), potentially generating expensive phone bills. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not replicate themselves.

Adware components install alongside a shareware or freeware application, after you have provided initial consent and bring targeted advertisements to your computer. These advertisements create revenue for the software developer. Adware displays web-based advertisements through pop-up windows or through an advertising banner that appears within a program's interface and can be very annoying.

Keyloggers, also known as 'key loggers' or 'keystroke loggers', these are programs that run in the background on your computer and are capable of recording every keystroke you make on your keyboard. Keyloggers can store such information, which could very well include personal details and passwords that you have typed into your computer, such that it can later be retrieved by third-parties.

Tracking Cookies - Internet browsers write and read cookies, which are small text files with small amounts of data (such as web site settings) which are placed onto your computer by visiting certain web sites. In many cases, cookies provide a benefit to users as they can retain settings for when you next visit a web site. In some instances, however, cookies are used to consolidate and track your behavior across different web sites, providing marketers with information about your web browsing habits.

As you can see, there are numerous ways that malicious software can barge into your system and make your life miserable. Some spyware programs can even collect your sensitive logon information, helping spyware vendors gain access to your financial accounts - personally I consider that a very high threat!

Fortunately there are programs like Spyware Doctor that will search and destroy these threats and keep your system protected from future threats. After running Spyware Doctor, it showed me a list of each threat on my system, along with a description of how dangerous it was.

Here's a link to a free Spyware Doctor download, which includes a free scan of your system. You'll be able to see how many threats are lurking around and will learn what kinds of damage they can do if left unchecked.

You might be surprised at what you find, and I recommend taking a few minutes to run the scan to make sure your system is clean.

If you own two or more computers, you can connect them together on the same network and gain some immediate benefits.

With two or more computers on the same network, you'll be able to print to the same printer, which is the set up I have at home. My wife's laptop is downstairs in the kitchen desk, and the printer is upstairs next to my workstation. We can both use the same printer, which means we don't have to keep a printer in the kitchen - a big plus for saving precious desk space.

You'll also be able to copy files from one computer to another if they're connected on the same network, and can even share an Internet connection.

To set up a home network on Windows XP, you'll need to run the Network Setup Wizard on each computer. Click the Start button and then select Control Panel --> Network and Internet Connections --> Network Setup Wizard.

Choose one computer to be the main server, through which the other machines will connect to the Internet. The other computers will then connect to the Internet through this main server.

Run the Network Setup Wizard on the other computer(s), but select the option to connect to the Internet through the first computer.

Give each computer a unique name and description, so they can be identified on the network.

Use the same WORKGROUP name on all your computers - this is how Windows figures out that they need to all be on the same network.


Subscribe to Front page feed