Posted on 04 October 2012.
Daryl Hannah was arrested Thursday. She was protesting the building of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline by standing in front of a bulldozer ready to start clearing the area.
Protesting was taking place east of Dallas, about 80 Miles. Hannah has been an environmental activist for many years. Last year she was also arrested protesting yet another pipeline plan. That time the arrest was in Washington.
Plans for the Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from Canada to the Texas Golf Coast in excess of 500,000 barrels per day. The Keystone XL project belongs to oil giant TransCanada Corp.
Hannah stood by the owner of the property in front of bulldozers waiting to start the project. Eleanor Fairchild, age 78, had the her land forcibly taken under context of eminent domain.
TransCanada Corp ensures that the pipeline will be built “Safe and Secure” Although activist have their doubts.
The portion of the project being protested by Hannah will bring the oil supply from Cushing Oklahoma to Texas refineries.
President Obama supports this part of the project, but rejected the northern half of the project, which would bring crude oil across the border from Canada. There have been concerns about building over the water supply in Nebraska.
Posted in Entertainment
Posted on 14 March 2012.
Nikon is legendary in the photography space. But that has nothing to do with PCAdvisor from giving it the best compact camera award for 2012. Nikon just plain builds great high quality cameras.
This compact camera includes a pop up flash which helps with glare and is standard on any high end SLR. Very sharp photos even at the end of its telephoto range and great range of focus give this camera an edge. This is a 25mm to 450mm or 18x optical zoom compact. Features include anti-shake technology, rubberized surfaces, 12.1 megapixels and the ability to take Full HD clips with stereo sound.
Runners up in this category included cameras like the Canon Ixux HS 230, the Fujifilm FinePix HS20, the Panisonic DMC-TZ20 and the Sony DSC-HX9V.
This Nikon model was released in 2011 and continues to be an Amazon Best seller currently in the number 8 spot for Compact Digital Carmeras.
Posted in Shopping
Posted on 28 November 2011.
Cyber Monday at Best Buy is here once again. If you are in the market for a laptop, you may find that their deals are lacking. But they still have plenty of other deals going on for Cyber Monday in an attempt to pull in huge sales for the day.
Check out the XBox 360 Kinect for $99. Then head over to the music section and pick up a $50 iTunes gift card for $40, you’re essentially getting one whole album for free. You can get a HP Web cam for $7.99 or buy an all-in-one Gateway computer for just shy of $400.
Best Buy has deals on computers, tablets, tv’s, music, phones, mp3 players, cameras and camcorders, appliances, gps, video games, etc… So they pretty much have a deal on everything you might need. If you need to do shopping, today will be your best bet of the year for Best Buy. Best Buy Cyber Monday deals are only good Sunday and Monday and are available online as well.
Posted in Shopping
Posted on 07 April 2011.
Fox officially announced on Wednesday that Glenn Beck decided to “transition off” his show on the TV network. The show’s ratings have dropped significantly over the past few weeks. However, it remained to be the third-most popular news on cable TV.
Fox said they will continue to work with Beck and Mercury Radio Arts – the host’s production company. They have programs both on television and on the internet, lined up for Beck.
However, many critics see this move as a blow to Beck as he was “crowned” just months ago as Fox’s crown jewel and a very important personality in US politics.
The show, broadcasting in the very challenging 5pm time slot, has about two million viewers; way more than all its competitors. However, it has lost an average 30 per cent of its viewers in the last 12 months.
Moreover, Beck was criticized for allegedly rising personal attacks on billionaire George Soros. Beck has also been mocked for his very apocalyptic analyses of basically everything that goes on around the world. Just February of this year, William Kristol, high-profile commentator, dismissed the host’s warnings that the uprising in Middle East will cause an Islamic caliphate. Kristol viewed it as hysteria on Beck’s end and said that it is not healthy.
Fox news is also feeling the financial pains of advertisers pulling off from Beck’s program after he accused President Barack Obama of racism. Media Matters of America, a group that is against Beck’s commentaries, said that there are about 300 firms that refuse to advertise with Beck’s shows.
On Wednesday, Glenn Beck announced the news after paying tribute to Fox News and its president.
Posted in Nation and World
Posted on 29 March 2011.
The internet marketing space is full of big product launches. Some of them good, some of them not so good. Brian Johnson is one of the leaders of better quality product launches over the years. His products are not only how to videos, but live coaching programs.
His last big launch was last year for Halloween Super Affiliate and was widely successful. Both in terms of sales and Students who did well with the course. His new course is prices twice as high as the last one, but its launch could still do as well if not better.
He also managed to stir up some Google related controversy when he had his Google Adsense account banned shortly after the launch of Halloween Super Affiliate. Instead of hiding this fact from his students, he was first to acknowledge that this happened in a video. He stated that he was manually targeted with his Adsense account for teaching what he teaches and the students should have no worries about anything like this.
That is what happens when a teacher publicly reveals real life example of websites currently ranking and making money. But according to Brian Johnson the risk is worth it.
Today Brian is Launching his new coaching program . This coaching course includes; 3 months worth of live interactive weekly webinars, live case studies, a premium WordPress theme, 1 month access to Blogging Underground, complete set of prerecorded training videos and a private forum exclusively for members of the program.
Many programs falsely indicate that there is a limited time offer or the doors will be closed soon. Since this is a true coaching program, the doors will be closed once coaching begins in mid April.
Posted in Business
Posted on 14 March 2011.
Your spending habits may soon be changed after a reliable source disclosed that JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the nation, will consider capping transactions using your debit card at $100 or even $50. This decision is due to interchange fees.
At the moment, retailers pay around 44 cents for every debit card transaction. Those little charges sum up to $16 billion annually; this goes directly into your bank’s profits. However, the Wall Street reform
submitted in 2010 proposed that those fees be slashed to 12 cents beginning July of this year.
This could cost JPMorgan Chase, and all other major issuing banks, more than $1 billion annually. Joe
Price said that this overwhelming decrease in interchange fees will force banks nationwide to increase
their debit card transactions fees and possibly limiting their payment.
On top of the $100 to $50 limit on debit card transactions, Chase is also considering imposing a $3
monthly debit card fee. Also, the bank has stopped issuing debit reward cards since November of 2010.
However, the spokesperson of Chase Banks refused to comment on this issue.
Major Banks said that the interchange fees help them make up for fraudulent transactions. If banks
cannot find a way to cover that cost, they will need to pass on the charges to their consumers by issuing
If this pushes through on July, people will be forced to issue checks or withdraw from ATMs. This will
greatly affect those who have bad credits and are not eligible for a checking account or a credit card
Posted in Finance
Posted on 07 March 2011.
Many investors who viewed target date funds as a relatively safe investment were rudely shocked when in 2008 the average fund with a stated target date of 2010 reported a loss of 24.6%. Investors believed that a fund that was investing for someone just two years away from retirement would have had a mixture of investments that would be less vulnerable to a sell -off in the equity markets.
Congress, the SEC and the Department of Labor have each conducted their own investigation and publicly asked for more transparency and possibly implement new rules on disclosure.
Have there been retirement investing within date targeted funds shifts? There has not been any change at least according to Vanguard Group, which has maintained its mandate of 68% equities 10 years before the target date at which time equities will be 50%.
However, the shifts do not necessarily have to be as clearly defined as a simple change in the equity allocations. Some portfolio managers are adding a more diverse mix of assets to their portfolios by using REITS, Inflation protected securities, commodity funds and by increasing exposure overseas to both developed and emerging markets. Fidelity and Vanguard, among the leaders of 401(k) managers, have increased international exposure from 20% to 30%.
Target date funds are mutual funds that follow a predetermined glide path, which is simply a change in the broad allocations that will occur between now and the targeted date. Lincolnshire Ill. consulting firm Aon Hewitt, Who deals mainly with benefits, states that more than 80% of 401(k) plans have target date funds available.
Posted in Finance
Posted on 04 March 2011.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released their year end reports regarding the housing market. What these reports have shown is that the housing market is still in a decline. The enormous amount of foreclosures that are available on the market are driving home prices even low. Lenders, looking at the escalating amount of properties on their books are driving prices even lower in an effort to get faster sales.
Fourth quarter reports show that home prices fell 4% compared to the same quarter in the previous year. This was the largest drop in value since 2009. The report also indicates that the drop in prices varies from state to state. Idaho saw the largest drop in home prices, 16% and North Dakota saw an increase of over 5%, proving home prices have much to do with the local economy.
Foreclosed homes accounted for 37% of all sales in the last quarter. This is a rise from the previous quarter by 1%. Foreclosed properties also sold for 28% less than equivalent properties in the same area that was not distressed.
It is estimated that 1 in 7 homes are currently behind in their mortgage payment or are in the process of foreclosure. 1 in 4 homes are “upside down” meaning they owe more than what the home is valued. Both of these figures lead analysts to believe there will be more foreclosures flooding the market and driving prices lower during 2011.
Home inventory has risen to an all time high, estimated at over 12 months, and it is anticipated that the figure could remain that high during the first quarter of 2011. Other reports released by Zillow and the National Association of Realtors show that anticipated home purchases have dropped in January and February as potential buyers are holding out for another drop in pricing.
Posted in Finance
Posted on 27 February 2011.
The recession has reminded Americans that they need to be saving for their retirement future. Average 401(k) balances are now hitting a 10 year high as the recession is winding down and allowing Americans to contribute more.
As 2010 came to a close the average balance had reached $71,500. That is a jump of 11.5% from 2009 when the average was $64,200. This is pulled strait from a report by Fidelity Investments released on Thursday.
401(k) have become the most popular way to save up for retirement. They have great earning power because the allow workers to deffer taxes on growth until they begin to withdrawal the money after retirement.
The average American taking advantage of 401k plans puts about 8.2% of their income into this investment vehicle. According to Fidelity, 51 million plus workers are funneling money into their 401(k).
With the recent economic stress, more people are thinking about their future. The report sites that Americans have increased contributions for the last 7 quarters in a row. This latest quarter has seen 6.1% of workers increase the amount contributed with only 3.0% of workers lowing the amount contributed.
The report also said that at the height of the recession, the number of employers reducing or getting rid of matching programs reached 8%. Contribution matching is a program that many employers have in place to encourage use of their 401(k). This makes it easier for employees to justify the savings since they are getting “free” money for retirement from their employer.
About 50% of those companies have told Fidelity that they are planning to restart those programs as the economy improves, some have already put the plans back in place.
Posted in Featured News, Finance
Posted on 22 February 2011.
The announcement that the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) fell from the recent high last week of 5.05 percent to 5 percent this week was welcome news for potential home buyers who have been on the sidelines recently.
Last week’s average rate on a 30-year FRM was the highest since April 2010 (Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac), and dipped this week based mainly on the weakening of the 10-year Treasury yield which it tends to follow.
The vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, Frank Nothaft, indicated that, until 2009, the rate of a 30-year FRM had not been as low as 5 percent once in the years since 1971 when Freddie Mac started their survey.
Weakening also, the rate on a 15-year FRM dropped on average .02 percent to 4.27 percent from last week’s 4.29 percent. Also, the rate on the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) dropped on average .05 percent to 3.87 percent from last week’s 3.92 percent. Interestingly, the rate on the one-year Treasury ARM increased on average .04 percent to 3.39 percent from last week’s 3.35 percent.
The White House published its intended $3.7 trillion budget this week. Although there were fears of higher inflation last week which saw a rise in these rates, the budget request appeared to be instrumental in bringing them down again this week.
The average rate on a 30-year FRM bottomed out at 4.17 percent in November; the lowest in 40 years. The average rate on a 15-year FRM dipped to a low of 3.57 percent that month; the lowest since 1991.
Posted in Finance