Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recreation and sports: Manual For Bicycle Shoppers - Penareyes ...

Purchasing a ?bicycle can ?look like an ?effortless enough ?job without any ?drawbacks or ?long term glitches. As ?straightforward a ?method as it may seem to be, buying a ?bicycle is more involving than ?just simply ?heading to hardware or ?bicycle ?stores and ?picking the one you want, ?based on color, ?measurements or design. This ?write-up will ?seek to ?provide a novice ?biker's guide to prospective bike ?purchasers and point out ?important ?factors to ?think of before ?getting one.

Bicycles ?are available in different ?forms, ?styles and ?dimensions and are ?geared up for a variety of ?operations. There are ?various ?kinds of ?bicycle to ?pick from and some of the ?elements to ?think about before ?arriving at a final ?selection on which one to ?purchase include where you will ?use your ?bike, what you will ?utilize the ?bike for, how ?frequent you will ride it and whether you have any ?physical health ?problems, amongst others. These are but a ?handful of pointers to ?take into account. These and ?a lot more ?factors to consider will guide you into what ?kind of ?bicycle to buy. It is ?essential to answer all these ?queries before ?getting your bicycle, as these will ?enlighten your ?judgment on which ?sort of bicycle to ?buy .

?Various ?kinds of ?bikes serve different ?features and ?have different ?functions. The cargo bicycles come ?geared up with a cargo carrier and are more balanced to ?allow you to ?hold cargo as you cycle. The ?mtb or BMX bikes as they are popularly known are more suitable for mountaineering and hiking - they also come in handy for uneven off ?route ?surfaces or for bad ?routes. Their ?style and make can take harsh and ?jagged terrain. ?Convenience ?bikes are ?excellent for your everyday and ?normal cycling either for ?health and fitness or for going to work purposes. They come handy for that ?swift cycling to the ?stores ?to buy ?breadstuff or for an early ?daytime ?physical fitness ?biking exercise. These are just a few ?samples of ?kinds of bicycles to consider.

When ?getting a ?bike, it is ?crucial to take the ?dealers advice with some caution. Every seller ?desires to clear their stock and when it ?pertains to ?bikes, you are ?likely to be ?informed that their bikes on display or stock are the ?greatest. Do your own research if possible, shop around and find out more, before ?purchasing, to avoid future disappointment and ?owning a ?bike that does not ?serve for your ?demands and ?passions . ?One more ?aspect to consider is the ?rate of the ?bicycle you ?desire to ?get. If it costs an arm and a leg, it does not ?always ?imply that it is the best on the ?industry. If the ?rate almost ?match-up that of a scooter, chances are you are ?much better off with a ?motorcycle than a bicycle.

Having highlighted a ?couple of ?points to ?think about when buying a bike, the ?decision is now yours. To be ?updated beforehand ?assists you to get ahead.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reports: NFL, referees closing in on new deal

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy addresses reporters' questions about a controversial touchdown call on Monday Night Football during a press conference in Green Bay, Wis., on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/The Green Bay Press-Gazette, Lukas Keapproth) NO SALES

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy addresses reporters' questions about a controversial touchdown call on Monday Night Football during a press conference in Green Bay, Wis., on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/The Green Bay Press-Gazette, Lukas Keapproth) NO SALES

Green Bay Packers fan Mike LePak holds a sign in front of Lambeau Field along Lombardi Avenue, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis., in protest of a controversial call in the Packers 14-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Monday night in Seattle. Just when it seemed that NFL coaches, players and fans couldn't get any angrier, along came a fiasco that trumped any of the complaints from the weekend. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Two days after a controversial call cost the Green Bay Packers a win, the NFL and the referees' union are reportedly nearing an end to a lockout that put replacement officials on the field since the start of the season.

According to several reports, the NFL and the union are close to a new deal that would allow the league's regular officials to return to work, possibly as early as this weekend. ESPN reported Wednesday that "an agreement in principle is at hand," and The New York Times reported that the sides "were closing in" on a way to end the impasse. ESPN cited unidentified sources from both sides; the Times cited a person briefed on the negotiations.

The NFL declined to confirm that a deal was imminent.

"Until somebody tells me differently, it's not really changed," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

Still, even the suggestion that regular refs could be back as early as Sunday was greeted with welcoming words.

"If it's final and they are, I'm sure a lot of people will be happy ? and I'll be one of those guys, too," Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson said on a conference call with reporters from Detroit in advance of the upcoming Vikings-Lions game.

NFL agent David Canter tweeted: "Welcome back real refs. Just remember when you blow a call you'll get no sympathy."

A person briefed on the negotiations told The Associated Press that talks between the league and its officials resumed Wednesday morning after a short break following a 14-hour meeting that started Tuesday. The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the discussions were not made public.

The debate over the use of replacement officials has raged since the start of the season, and boiled over after the final play of the Packers-Seahawks game. A last-second scrum in the end zone was ruled a game-winning touchdown by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate. But Packers players, their fans and much of the football-watching public saw an interception by Green Bay's M.D. Jennings.

"Would you let a Toyota dealership work on your brand new Rolls-Royce? That doesn't work right, does it," Dallas safety Gerald Sensabaugh said Wednesday. "Our brand is so big, it's so important to a lot of people. There's no way you can have guys that don't have experience at that level."

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay's quarterback and the reigning league MVP, used his weekly radio show Tuesday as a platform to lash out at the NFL and question its priorities. However, New England quarterback Tom Brady said he would rather focus on the game and not worry about officiating.

The NFLRA, whose members were locked out in June, wants improved salaries, retirement benefits and other logistical issues. The NFL is proposing a pension freeze and a higher 401(k) match; the union is balking because of the greater risk to the nest egg that comes with the loss of a defined benefit.

And as speculation swirled that a deal was close on Wednesday, the players' association urged caution.

"Having done this before, everyone needs to wait until the ink is dry," NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith tweeted.

The replacement officials previously worked mostly in lower-division college ranks, such as Division III, and in minor professional organizations like the Arena League.

Despite several field fiascos, not everyone is necessarily pointing fingers at the replacements.

"Someone made a good point this morning that maybe we shouldn't be blaming the refs, but blaming the league, the owners, I don't know who it is," Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "Maybe it's not just the officials. We're putting them in tough situations and it can't be easy."

In Cincinnati, coach Marvin Lewis urged the Bengals in a team meeting to not fixate on the replacement-ref issue.

"I told our guys to shut up," Lewis said. "It's none of your business. You have no influence on it. You don't need to worry about it. Just play football."

Even if a deal was at hand, it was still uncertain how it would affect the weekend's games.

"Your loud voices r heard about getting Refs back," Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on Twitter. "We're desperately trying 2 get it done! We want a deal that improves officiating overall."


AP Sports Writers Richard Rosenblatt, Larry Lage, Joe Kay, Will Graves, Stephen Hawkins, Dave Campbell and Michael Marot contributed to this report.

Associated Press


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?A very Saroyan thing to do?? | The Book Haven

The man from Moscow

Last week, an awards ceremony f?ted the two winners in the fifth William Saroyan International Prize for Writing at Stanford?s Green Library. Each of the two winners takes $5,000, as well as a nifty little crystal book engraved with a Saroyan self-portrait and the particulars of the event, which is? sponsored by Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation.? (Alas! I cannot find a photo of the glass books anywhere!)

The event was informal and, for fiction winner Daniel Orozco, author of Orientation and Other Stories (Faber and Faber, 2011), it was a triumphal return to campus, where (in a pleasant coincidence) he had been a Jones lecturer and a Wallace Stegner fellow in the Stanford English Department?s Creative Writing Program. He now teaches way up north at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.? Yes, he is as charming and affable as his photo (at left) suggests.

For non-fiction winner Elisabeth Tova Bailey, a visit to Stanford was not an option.? As she describes in her book, travel is somewhat difficult for the author, who has been waylaid by the illness she describes in The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2010).? But she delivered these words, which were read at the reception:

?Could I really write a whole book about a snail? It?s the questions that haunt us that take us on the most interesting journeys. Imagine the startled and dubious looks I received when confessing that I was not only writing a book about an individual snail, but it was an adult book! The minuteness of my topic was a conversation stopper.

?Yes, there is mystery and grace in the life of a snail, even romance and sometimes humor! Having chosen my main character I realized I was in a sticky situation, I was going to have to write an entire chapter on slime and another on the strange rituals of gastropod courtship. I thought of all the writers who would love to dip their pens into such topics, but my subject had clearly chosen me.

?When a specific snail came into my life unexpectedly it captured my attention by going about its life. As I observed its nightly adventures I learned that my snail had an epicurean appetite, an opinion on the most comfortable places to sleep, a love life, a memory, complex defense mechanisms, and enviable natural abilities, all of which put human limits into perspective, and that was humbling.

He ought to know.

?At an early age, I fell in love with sentences and the places they took me. Writing a book has allowed me to travel even further. Why write a sentence unless it can take one on a journey both literary and interesting? Thank you for recognizing these aspects of my small book about a humble mollusk.?

Orozco, however, wasn?t expecting to speak at all, and had to ad lib for the occasion ? he delivered his intentional gibberish with improvised brio: ?I don?t have any prepared remarks to make.? I?m hoping to spend most of this time. I don?t have any prepared remarks, but I don?t have any time.? Good reviews, bad reviews ? it?s a surprise, and it?s wonderful.?

I?m not sure I got that quite right.? I?m not sure anyone could.

But Hank Saroyan, the author?s nephew and one of the judges for the contest, seemed pleased with Orozco?s response to his crisis.? ?It?s a very Saroyan thing to do,? he said.


Tags: Daniel Orozco, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, Hank Saroyan, William Saroyan


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Can I Register a Copyright If I'm Still Editing? And More Free Legal ...

On Tuesdays and Fridays, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the?LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss the last?Free Joe? Don?t worry. We?ve got it all right here.

Kenny: Quick question, I am about to buy a copy write for my work, but I am editing. Now, since my editing will involve correcting typos and some unneeded lines, should I finish my edits first?

Joe Escalante: I would copyright the first serious draft you have. Then leave it alone until it?s published. Unless you make huge changes, that copyright will protect the creative expression of your ideas just fine and you wont need another one.

Denise: i have a question my husband and i live in rock hill sc and he is going to be receiving a a workman compensation settelement i was wondering if i am entitled to any of the monies

Joe Escalante: Some of it, at least, would be considered community property to the extent that it was to replace earnings lost during the marriage due to the injury. The amounts determined to be for future losses of income (say, after the marriage is over) could be argued to be separate property.

Carol: If you are an authorized signed for a credit card, and the primary owner of the card has passed away, and the account will be closed, are you then responsible for the debt?

Joe Escalante: Probably yes. I can?t see them not coming after you.

Jessica: I have legal questions about a neighbor tying into out fence, which means they are on our property. The past month, we?ve had the cops called out because we supposedly have parked on ?his? property (in our front, not back where fence is) and he no longer wants us to cut his grass, which is roughly 2?. Keep in mind, our properties in the front have no fence or border, just grass all the way across
and when the renters (he owns the house but doesn?t live in it), didn?t cut that, we did and no problem at all until now. What can I do to get him to to take the fence off our property? Neither lots have been surveyed and I really can?t afford to pay for one but he is acting like an idiot, even if front of the cop HE called, cussing and screaming etc. He has also sprayed a very crooked line in the grass up to our fence to indicate where ?his? property is. I have those documented with pictures also. Any help to get him off out back without having the land surveyed, would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Escalante: Unless the land is surveyed, the courts wont know where to draw the line for trespassing. You need a survey, or a sit down over coffee to hash out an understanding. These neighbor disputes are deadly. Be calm and work it out.

Tanya: After our upstairs neighbor?s washing machine flooded our unit, our renters insurance covered most of the damage, but we are still left with an unpaid balance that is significant. The upstairs neighbor?s (who is a condo owner) home owner insurance denied our claim stating there was no negligence. Because our unit owner did not have home owners insurance, they were not able to act quickly to fix th
e unit, even though they claim they would have, after the fact. We also incurred move out costs for moving our personal property into storage. We didn?t move back in, but had to clear out our stuff for getting the unit fixed anyway. We also had to sign a waver to not go sue our unit owner, in order to get out of the lease early. There was no explanation why the washer overflowed. Is it worth our time to sue the upstairs neighbor for the remaining balance in small claims court? We have read many times, that if we can?t prove negligence, we are out of luck. Thanks.

Joe Escalante: In small claims court you can be victorious if you can show that another person?s actions caused you harm, even if there was no negligence. He?s responsible for his pipes. That shouldn?t be that hard to get across to the judge. There aren?t a lot of rules in Small Claims. You?re likely to get something for your troubles if you make a decent case with evidence, pictures, and a good court demeanor (politeness).

Ruth: I?m owed just over $600 from an art gallery that has owed me for at least 2 years. Every time I call, he doesn?t answer, or replies email saying he will send money. 2 years ago he gave me 2 checks for about $300 and both bounced. I was charged $12 each check from my bank which I then added to what he owed me. He seems to make up excuses for everyone both sellers and artists. I gave him the option to pay me by credit card or even give me money $50 every couple months and it would have been paid off by now. I don?t trust checks from him anymore. Is there an easy not so expensive way for me to get the money from him?

Joe Escalante: Small claims court would be an easy way to get a judgment against him, but you will still be faced with the task of collecting on it. Good luck.

Chris: Hello Joe,

This is Chris from HeadMetal Comics again?a few weeks back I ask you about copyright protection for my original comic series. Your response eased my concern, but now I?m wondering about something you said. You mentioned that it could be wise to purchase additional protection for new stories as new characters enter the story.
My question starts here: The original comic I purchased t
he copyright for has been redone by a new artist and the story has been lengthened to go far beyond just the origin story of my character. So if I send in this new lengthened story to be approved for copyright, will there be any red-flags raised when the people who issue the copyright see that there is a similar version of my story that is already protected by the USPTO? The copyright will still be registered under my name, however, the title we are going to use for the updated series is slightly different: the original title was simply BLUESEPH J. HEADMETAL. The new title is THE BLUESEPH J. HEADMETAL SAGA.

Sorry If I confused you. I confused me, kinda?=-)

Thanks Joe, and LegalZoom.

Joe Escalante: Since you are the owner of the underlying copyright, you will be allowed to control and register any derivative versions of it.

Janice: My husband and I moved out of a home we were renting here in San Antonio Texas?.we gave a 30 day notice but it was in person. We cleaned the house from top to bottom, never heard anything until 4 months later when we received an e-mail from the landlord stating we owed her over $3,000 for damages and because we never paid a deposit??that was not true, there were 2 broken mini blinds and one of them i told her about when we moved in and i also just found the receipt she gave us for the deposit?.does anyone in this area know of an attorney or someone i can call for help? PLEASE

Joe Escalante: This is a case for small claims court, where you appear without an attorney. You can consult one for advice, but they can?t appear for you. All this stuff has to be in writing. Whoever has the best evidence at the court will prevail. It sounds like you have at least something more than your opponent with your deposit receipt. Good luck.

Lynda: Good Morning Joe,
This question is regarding education law?
If a school adopts a program that rewards all its students, whom scores an advanced or better on their CST exams, can a teacher in that school adopt her own grading scale, for her class only, in tandem with this program to penalize any student who does not score an 83% or better with a 10% penalty?

Joe Escalante: As long as the penalty doesn?t involve any physical striking of the child, I can?t see a law being broken here. However, it may very well be against some school, or district policy. I wouldn?t know. Good luck.

Michael: Hey Joe! I have a friend who is considering bankruptcy, I told him that credit counseling might be better but he is basically way in over his head with credit card debt. What should he do in this situation? We are located here in NY.

Joe Escalante: This is credit counseling, rather than legal stuff, so I really couldn?t say.

Mark: I am in the middle of a kitcehn remodel?..the salesman for the co, said he could do some of the extra work i wanted done on the side. He ripped me off for $17,500 and had someone else do the work?..He was still a partner in this business when he did this to me and after the company he worked for found out, they fired him and 2 years later I am still waiting on getting the $$ from him??If I was going to take them to court?..could the company be held liabel?.? vicarious liability? ????

Joe Escalante: There?s a slim chance they could be liable if you could demonstrate that they should have known that this guy was acting in this capacity. But if this was a way to circumvent the company, you took a risk and you probably cannot get bailed out by them.

Robin: Will vs Trust. What is the difference and which is best?

Joe Escalante: A will just tells the court who gets your stuff after a lengthy probate process. A trust is an instrument you can use to avoid probate if you establish a trust and have the trust own your property. Then, when you die, your trust lives on. Instructions in the trust dictate where the property will go next so the courts don?t get involved. If you own property and have kids, it is pretty good to have a trust, in simple terms.
A trust should also include a will that allows for things not mentioned in the trust. So you have a trust, and a will is attached. It?s all just paper signed by people, and sometimes notarized, and then pulled out of a shoe box when you die.

George: The LegalZoom company formation questionnaire asks how much the initial founders of the corporations will be contributing (cash, services, property). Are founders required to contribute by law in proportion to their allotted shares? And how are ?services? and ?property? valued?

Joe Escalante: There are lots of ways to evaluate services and other contributions. My advice is to read up on this, because it?s important (see book below that might help), and your specific tax preparer should be consulted on these matters as they relate to your present situation and how your shares are going to be owned, or should be owned (e.g., as an LLC, or another corp, or as an individual). If it still doesn?t make sense, you may need to consult with an attorney, but after reading up on this stuff you at least wont be at their mercy as much. Good luck.

Thomas: What is the best all around corporation type set up for a freelance artist studio that plans to do everything from owning creator properties to publishing to providing artwork on freelance basis. Considering taxes, properties, equipment buying and all. thanks for your help.

Joe Escalante: Most of the time an LLC is the best way to go I?ve found, but you really need to consult with your tax guy to see what?s right for your exact situation. You can also ask tax questions to Gary the tax guy on Legalzoom?s Facebook page on Thursday. See the link below. This is new!!!!!

LegalZoom: Here?s the link, Thomas:

Sophia: im wonderin in the case of immigration and applying for a spouse whos been voluntarily removed.. is it better to reside abroad for hardship or to remain in the united states while applying for the I130 which is better?

Joe Escalante: These immigration laws are in flux right now so I wold only trust the advice of a practicing immigration attorney that is working in the trenches right now. If you are in Southern California, I recommend two smart girls at The Law Office of Molina & Molina, 2266 Zoe Ave. #201, Huntington Park, CA, 90255. 323-277-3280

Alexander: Question regarding musical copyright. Im a recording artist here in southern California. Im inquiring as to What type of form is required for musical compositions/recordings. Also what the fees if applicable would be ? Thank you much (bill handel referred me to legal zoom)

Joe Escalante: I haven?t memorized all the form numbers, or price list, but lucky for you all this is on the web site when you go through the process. It?s about $35.00. You can save some money by combining works into one CD as long as each song has the same author, or goup of authors. Registering a song as an author is a different form than registering a sound recording. You should check out my radio show. This is all we talk about. It?s actually on the air right now on

Alayna: not sure where to start. does a public institution in a potential slander suit have the burden of proving a statement?s falsity?

Joe Escalante: In a defamation suit, the truth is almost always a valid defense. The defendant will have to prove that the statement was true if it was harmful and caused damages.

Nathan: What would be reasons a judge woulde grant a parent full custody??

Joe Escalante: One reason might be that the other parent is a pile and it would be in the best interest of the child to be under the full time custody of the non-pile parent. Having no place to live is a big one; obvious drug problem; living in a Mumbai slum might be another. If one parent moved far away, then the court would likely not want the kid flying every weekend, that kind of thing. Good luck.

Carol: My ex is on facebook and DOCSE have not been able to locate him and he owes me more than $120,000 in arrears. How should I handle this situation?

Joe Escalante: Try the District Attorney?s office.

Kim: Hi Joe. I have a 2 part question. I have an idea for an event that I want to plan. The event is for profit. Should I make this event a business and LLC right away (I want it to be a yearly event) or is that necessary? I really want to protect the name of the event also. I already own a small business and someone told me to just produce the event under my business. Sort of like?Tomboy Chic is the title sponsor of ABCD Event. Is that the route I should go? That?s the first question. Second, is it necessary to trademark the name of the event? Thanks!

Joe Escalante: Your friend is right, but speak with your tax adviser to be certain it?s right for you guys. Yes, trademark the event name if you think someone will steal it.

Carlton: Would you recommend a series LLC if I were to start businesses with significantly different activities (e.g., baking and bookkeeping) or would you recommend keeping it all under one roof (i.e., one LLC)?

Joe Escalante: This is best answered by your tax person after looking at your situation. Legally, it depends on the type of activities each is involved in. If some are high risk, it might be a good idea to keep them separated.

LegalZoom: You can ask a tax pro for free on Thursday, Carlton:

Shelia: I want to shop for a publisher for the book I have written. How do I know which are legitimate and which are not? I don?t want my material stolen.

Joe Escalante: You should call my radio show for a longer conversation about how this works but if you register your material with the U.S. Copyright office, you will at least have recourse if someone steals your stuff. Call the show. Thanks.

Tabatha: We make Braille shirts as a fundraiser for a 501(c)(3) we helped create If my husband and I pay for the materials to make the shirts, can the donation (price paid for the shirt) be a fully deductible donation for donors? Furthermore, can we deduct expense of materials to make shirts on our personal tax return as a charitable expense?

Joe Escalante: You need to go over this with your tax person. Or try Gary who answers questions here on Thursdays. Gary will set you straight. Thanks.

LegalZoom: Join us on Thursday:

Minister: Want to register a ministry?what do I need to do?

Joe Escalante: Look into registering with the state as a non profit corporation. Check with Gary the tax guy who answers tax questions here each Thursday. If it?s right for you, Legalzoom can help get it started.

Florentin: When Self-Publishing A Book (Music Book Containing Original Music):

1. Is there the need for a publisher name, or can it be published simply under the author?s name?

2. How does one go about ?registering? the book for an ISBN number?

3. What is the procedure for obtaining copyright for the included content?


Joe Escalante: There?s no ?legal? reason for having a publisher name when self publishing. To get an ISBN number, click the link below.
To copyright the book, register it with the U.S. Copyright office. You can use legalzoom to help you with that if you are doing it for the first time.
Good luck!

David: My name is David Walker and I had 2-D.U.I?s in a 5-yr. period. When it was time for me to reinstate my Drivers Licence the DDS advised that the Clinical Evaluation I attended was not on the State of Georgia?s Program Registry! I?m indigent, so the Judge advised that I would have to attend a State agency (Pathway?s-37-weeks), which I did, and also while on probation fro the 2nd D.U.I. I attended
another (37-week Clinical Evaluation) which my probation officer also gave me paperwork showing yet another completion, but when I got to the DDS the first thing I heard was, The State of Georgia (DOES NOT), except anything but DUI Intervention Program Registry Query! So with these facts what advice can you give me if any? Thank You in advance for anything you can Help me with. I?m trying to care for my 85yr. old parents, taking them wherever, buying groceries, going to the drug store,Doctors,Dentist ect?, You surly can see what a mess I?m in, and to date I?ve already paid $3000.00 plus dollars for court cost, probation, and now they want me to pay a $100.00 more for a Clinical Evaluation?!~ Please Help!

Joe Escalante: Each county in each state has different rules. I would have to have intimate knowledge of the rules in your county, sorry. I don?t have any answers. I could give you a b.s. answer but it seems like you?ve been through enough of that. Good luck.

Gerard: I feel my job suspended me without proper cause. 3 attorneys said that since the incident occured in 2009 my time ran out to act. but 1 said i could sue myself that i can present my case to the courts.. be help me with this one Joe..

Joe Escalante: I would go with the majority opinion here and move on. Litigation is to unhealthy to risk when the odds are against you this much.

William: What is the fastest way to get my late Dads estate in my name after my Mother put her husband whitch is not my father on my birth certificate.

Joe Escalante: The probate court will decide who owns what in your dad?s estate. They are so slow they could use only their own blood to type the forms without harming themselves.

LegalZoom: Have a great weekend! We?ll be back next week with free tax advice on Thursday and free legal advice on Friday. Join us!

Ask the Tax Pro:
Free Joe:

Sign up for the LegalZoom newsletter!


  1. Are Portions of a Painting Covered Under the Original Copyright? And More Free Legal Advice ? Free Joe Friday 2/3/12
  2. Copyright for Educational Material and More Free Legal Advice ? Free Joe 11/18/11
  3. Do Copyright and Trademark Provide the Same Protection? And More Free Legal Advice ? Free Joe 1/27/12
  4. Do I Need a Copyright or a Trademark? And More Free Legal Advice ? Free Joe 6/26/12
  5. Is My Pinterest Board Breaking Copyright Law? And More Free Legal Advice ? Free Joe 7/3/12


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

UK's Cameron speaks to Merkel, Hollande on BAE-EADS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron has held talks with the French and German leaders in an attempt to ensure UK interests are protected if a $45 billion proposed merger between BAE Systems and EADS goes ahead, his spokesman said on Monday.

European aerospace group EADS and British defense contractor BAE announced this month that they were in advanced talks over a merger to create an industry giant.

BAE's UK workforce stands at 35,000, while EADS has about 15,000 employees in the country.

"Given the nature of the companies' activities the government will clearly have some involvement and we need to ensure that the UK's public interest is properly protected," Cameron's spokesman told reporters at a briefing on Monday.

"We are talking to the companies to ensure that that is the case," the spokesman said. "The prime minister spoke to Chancellor (Angela) Merkel on Friday night and has spoken to President (Francois) Hollande this morning."

Cameron's spokesman gave no further details about the talks but added that the prime minister had yet to raise the issue with U.S. President Barack Obama.

BAE, which has 40,000 staff in the United States, has a Special Security Arrangement with the Pentagon that allows it to work as a subcontractor on classified contracts.

Britain's cross-party parliamentary defense committee on Monday launched an inquiry into the possible merger, which would be the biggest shake-up in Europe's aerospace and defense sector in more than a decade.

The influential committee said it would take evidence during October and November to establish the impact any merger would have on the protection of British sovereign capabilities, defense exports, Britain's relationship with the U.S. and European allies, and jobs and trade.

The two companies' manufacturing sites in Britain include BAE's shipyards in Scotland and EADS' Airbus wing factory in north Wales.

"BAE are leading talks with the British government but EADS are very much involved - they (the government) are seeking assurances on jobs from the Airbus side as much as the BAE side," said a source close to BAE.

BAE received a fresh boost to its plans to merge with EADS when former British Defense Secretary Liam Fox told the country's Sunday Telegraph newspaper that he backed the deal as long as important hurdles could be overcome.

"Liam Fox's support for the deal is especially significant given his Atlanticist leanings. He is one of the key people of the traditional (Conservative) right and without his support it would be more complicated," said a UK defense industry official who asked not to be named.

(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Pravin Char)


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Not Running a Hospital: Attempting to block the world's news

A friend works as an analyst at a major investment house in New York City, and wrote the following after I sent the link below about the opening of The Waiting Room in that town:

Thanks. Reminds me that I have to get re-approved to open your blog at work. I had it okayed when?I first started here.? Since it is a blog I had to get permission, and it was okay, but then they tightened the rules on what we can access and I got knocked off again.

I responded:

Wow.? Think of that.? You are expected to be knowledgeable about things that could affect securities valuations, and the firm is closing off the major source of information to the world--not my blog, but all of them.

The reply:

We can't access New York Times articles if the paper calls them "blogs" either. I do understand that they are trying to protect us and the system and not have us frittering our time away.

Nonsense.? This is just a Neanderthalic view of the world. First, think of what it says about the lack of trust the firm has for its professional staff.? Second, it is an ineffectual measure, in that people can just bypass the company's server and use their iPhones for the same purpose.

I previously discussed hospitals and other firms that blocked social media on their servers.? This is just plain dumb in the new information age.


The sequel!? Just received from my friend:

Yeah, I sold out and upgraded to iPhone 4. So I got to read your blog post after all. Well written. I am in the process now of gathering the approval emails to attach to the Web Site Blocking Exemption Request. Need one from my boss's boss, which he sent quite promptly with a nice GOOD LUCK on it. Now I have to get one back from compliance, and as I don't know the guy from Adam nor he, me, goodness knows how long this is going to take. Plus I am spending half my morning on this, plus the form said it would take 3 days to approve once I submit. And do you know what the crowning glory is? Even if I get approval again I won't be able to open any videos!

My eternal motto is: "Ya can't make this stuff up."


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Monday, September 24, 2012

Buying Back-To-School Fashion For Teens | Product Reviews by ...

Back-to-school shopping is an exciting opportunity for teens to reinvent their style and get a fresh lease on fashion for the school year. Getting fun, unique and affordable clothes can be a hassle though, and local stores don?t always sell what a student needs. Here are a few tips for finding the latest fashions and rocking the new semester with a great sense of fashion.

Look For Handmade

Some of the best fashion can be found by handmade artists that create their own accessories and clothing. The texture trend, neon trend and preppy trends can all be found from handmade shops. It?s often very affordable, and it will be unique compared to the teens that get their wardrobe from the local mall.

Order Online

Online storefronts have a great diversity of options. You can find a wider variety of sizes, styles and colors by shopping online. If you are concerned about your teen shopping on the Internet, then a GreenDot card is a safe alternative to credit cards or debit cards. You can buy from tons of online retailers without risks. You can make online shopping safe.

Go To Unexpected Websites

There are indie retailers and retailers that specialize in Korean or Japanese fashion. These unexpected places can provide you with the hottest trends from around the world, and they will be priced reasonably.

Try Customized

Customized clothes are a great way to get the hottest fashion in your hands tailored to your specifications. Every outfit from a big-box store has been purchased by thousands of others. You can set yourself apart by getting customized clothes inspired by fashion trends but special to you. Custom colors and fabrics can really make an outfit stand out from the crowd of teens wear the same Abercrombie & Fitch outfits.

Shop Sales

You can get great sale prices when you shop online. There?s often clearance-price t-shirts, dresses, pants, accessories and more when you look on retailer websites for good deals. There are also online-exclusive deals you can?t find in stores. This could help you save even more money. A Green Dot card is the easiest way to ensure you don?t miss out on these valuable sales for back-to-school fashion.

Look For Free Shipping

Shipping can be a bummer, but plenty of retailers offer free shipping over a certain minimum. There?s nothing better than back-to-school clothes, but free shipping on those clothes might be pretty close.

Is It Safe?

Buying back-to-school clothes online can be intimidating. You have probably heard about the risks. Using a third-party card will help you shop securely without putting your identity at risk. It will also give your teen a sense of responsibility for online shopping. Never shop with a website that doesn?t have security certificates, and you will be fine.

Back-to-school shopping is an exciting time. The above tips will help you get your teen a cool wardrobe for the new semester in high school, but you will also be able to save money and shop safely online.

This post brought to you by guest author, Jenna Smith.


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Why SEO Consultants Are Needed In Businesses Today | Studio 39

Roles of SEO Consultants

In order to beat the competition and maintain high page ranking, business owners and SEO Consultants are now working together to use the full potential of every website. Although it takes some effort and time to find an excellent consultant, over all you can say it?s worth it since you need one to stay on top of the game. You can say that you?re already familiar with search engine optimization, but do you know how to utilize it for your full benefit? Having your own website is just a start of marketing your services or products worldwide. Making it easy to search and increasing the visibility will initiate many visitors into potential clients. This is where the search engine optimisation experts come in, they are individuals and firms who know just what to do.

SEO Consultants and their advantages:

1. An increase in your website?s page rank in most search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing, and a lot more because seo consulting becomes simpler and more concise.

2. A sure way to monitor the development of your pages in terms of how they compete with other competitors, owners can now see this progress in the form of a report submitted to them.

3. Stress free life for you since your effort and time can be focus on other things without worrying about your page ranks.

4. Maintained top rank in most search engine results that can lead to human traffic who want?s to know more about your business. So basically more clicks means more potential customers, and an increased in revenues.

5. Visibility of your site and pages to your target market will be maintained which is a great advantage for you towards other competitors in the same category.

6. With the continued effort of your search engine consultant, you can be assured that whatever seo issues you encounter will be solved.

7. You have a choice to either continue working with your SEO Consulting, or look for another one especially if your not satisfied with the results. Thus, finding an excellent professional to do the job for you is critical and must be done wisely.

8. More time for your other marketing strategies since you don?t have to worry about your page rankings.

9. Optimizing keywords to generate human traffic will be faster, not to mention that your target URL will really be in the spotlight.

10. The keywords with its important pages you are targeting are guaranteed to appear in search results whenever searched, an output only a proficient SEO Consultants can accomplish.

Let the SEO Consultants do the job

Search engine optimization is a very broad topic and a complex process. Indeed it is, particularly if you?re not a tech savvy person since only skilled individuals in this field like SEO Consultants can do the process so websites becomes visible in the search results. The entire process of seo is not easy, so don?t ever think twice to look for someone who are proficient in their field of expertise such as seo because in the end it?s still you who can benefit from it. Just be sure that you employ someone whom you can trust and is an expert in this field. That person must be driven enough and can carry out good results in a matter of time. Once you find the SEO Consultant you need, high page ranking will never be a problem for you again since someone will have an eye on it all the time to make sure it?s maintained.

For more information about SEO Consultants please visit the website.


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Friday, September 21, 2012

GOP senators take to the floor to hammer Obama

More than 30 Senate Republicans took to the Senate floor this morning in back-to-back coordinated speeches with attacks aimed at President Obama and the Democratically-led Senate.

The speeches were one part airing of grievances, one part campaign rhetoric, in a not-so-veiled attempt to influence the message as lawmakers go back to their districts next week. This could be the final day the Senate is open for business before the election.

The short one- or two-minute speeches covered a broad range of topics from the budget, to debt, to high unemployment and foreign policy. But no matter the topic, the message that Senate Republicans hoped to send is that Obama and the Senate Democrats have "failed" to lead - and Republicans can offer something "better" for the nation.

Fierce criticism came from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., over the president's touting of his foreign policy successes.

"Four years later, almost, after the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded, where do we stand as a nation? Osama bin Laden is dead. That's good. That's a great accomplishment. The president should take pride in that. We should all celebrate the death of that evil man. But that's not a foreign policy. Is anybody deterred from attacking America in the Middle East because bin Laden is dead?" Graham asked.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, called on Senate Democrats to not take recess until progress is made on the so-called fiscal cliff, the battle over taxes and spending, which needs to be resolved before the end of the year.

"We're facing another manufactured crisis this year with a fiscal cliff that never would have existed if the Senate had remained in session, had fewer recesses, and maximized every legislative day based on the job we were elected to do," Snowe said, "I call on the majority leader to continue to have us remain in session, to lay the groundwork for the bipartisan solutions on these monumental issues."

Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said that under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Reid the Senate has not tried to do hard things.

"What it has attempted to do is abandon the tasks that should be in front of us. America deserves better, it deserves better leadership, it deserves leadership based on bringing this country together rather than dividing this country," Coburn said.

Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., addressed her comments directly to President Obama.

"You have been AWOL on this critical issue and our troops and nation deserves better," she said. "Lead. Be the commander in chief. Your leadership has been absent."

Senate Democratic leaders dismissed the Republicans' coordinated speeches, calling them a "dog and pony" show.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., likened them to her time as a former preschool teacher, when, on the last day of school before summer, there was always one student who hadn't done any homework all year long and finally showed up on their best behavior, homework in hand, hoping to leave a good impression.

"They thought maybe that this last ditch-effort could help them avoid a bad grade, and unfortunately it doesn't work that way," she said, "so let me assure Republicans of one thing. Their record of obstruction and their refusal to compromise will not go away at the 11th hour."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., chalked up the move today by Senate Republicans to presidential candidate Mitt Romney's "drag effect" on their own poll numbers.

"Their presidential nominee just offended half the country. His flailing campaign is now having a drag effect for Republican Senate candidates across the country, and this has them a little cranky, as we saw on the floor this morning. This is not where Republicans thought they'd be with 50 days left before election."

Also Read


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The Best Neighborhoods To Buy Commercial Properties | Eric Chua ...

So, after much deliberation, you have decided that you want to enter the commercial real estate market? While you may have many questions in mind, keep reading to get the best answers. This article contains helpful advice that will start you on your way in seeking your commercial property.

You should always remember that, when dealing with a new lease, one of the things that will effect the success of your investments the most are your rent rates and general strategies. Decide on a rent amount before your first meeting with prospective new tenants. This will give you a foundation for meeting the goals that you set for yourself and your investment.

Before you talk about a lease in commercial real estate, make sure to lower anything that might be thought of as events of default, wherever possible. If you are thorough, you are less likely to experience a tenant default. This is something that you don?t want to happen under any circumstance.

TIP! Always check the credentials of the inspectors you hire. This guideline is especially important when working with people who deal in pest management; these specific fields are often populated by practitioners who lack proper credentials.

You should meet with a tax adviser before you buy anything. They?ll be able to discuss the long-term cost of the building, and what the tax rate for owning the building will be. Let your adviser help you find a building that won?t require you to pay too much in taxes.

Pest Control

Before you consider leasing or renting, look into whether or not pest control is covered in the lease. Talk about pest control with your agent if the area is known for rodents and bugs.

TIP! There are many factors to consider as you view available properties. For example, you should take note of statistics regarding local employers, workforce availability and the accessibility of skilled labor.

This is done so you can verify that the terms match the rent roll and the pro forma. If you do not look over these key terms, you could find a term that was not considered in the rent roll, which could cause a change in the pro forma.

See to it that you initially make use of the right type of financing. Loan products and commercial lenders are different than that of home loans. They can be better for you as a borrower. While it is often more difficult to get a commercial loan, it becomes more worthwhile when you consider that this route allows you to sidestep personal liability. Furthermore, financial institutions are ultimately able to approve loans in larger amounts.

If you are viewing more than one property, you may wish to create a checklist for each site. Certainly take down initial proposal responses, but don?t get into anything further without informing the property owners. You should not have any hangups about letting the owners know that you are still deciding on other properties. Making them aware you have other options may get them to accept a lower offer.

TIP! Don?t be led by hype and fads when searching for commercial real estate. Do not invest into anything before thinking carefully.

Interest Rate

One of the biggest concerns of people involved in commercial real estate is the rise and fall of interest rates. With the current economic state, rates can be unpredictable and investors run the risk of a drastic interest rate hike. Interest rate fluctuations should be taken into account when evaluating your long-term goals and profits.

During the commercial loan process, the person who is the borrower will need to order the appraisal. The bank won?t let you use one not ordered by you. Order the appraisal yourself to avoid a headache.

TIP! Before you invest in real estate, be certain that you understand the implications regarding your taxes. Investors receive interest deductions on top of depreciation benefits.

Real Estate

Have an excellent attorney go over all documents pertaining to the financing of a commercial real estate property before signing the paperwork. If something does not go correctly in your real estate deals, you are going to need the right person working for you in order to keep your name clean and unblemished.

Go as big as you can when you?re looking at a commercial real estate investment. You may find that upkeep and operations for a twenty-unit property may actually be comparable to those required of a five-unit property. That many units still need commercial financing like the larger ones do, and the larger ones generally cost less for every unit.

TIP! The location of your commercial property is key to its value and its potential suitability for what you have in mind. Find out more about the neighborhood.

Take photos with a digital camera. Try to make sure that your pictures shows the defects.

Anyone in real estate would be wise to keep the possibility of inflation or an economic downturn at any time. Years ago, it was common for leases to protect people from inflation via adjustments made through Consumer Price Index. However, these days, this is rarely done, which means inflation could hit you where it hurts the most.

Commercial Real Estate

TIP! There are many benefits to building a personal relationship with your area real estate brokers, lenders and other investors. The more people in your real estate network, the more likely you are to find opportunities to buy.

When obtaining financial for commercial real estate ventures, you need to have your personal and business financial statements available. The bank won?t be able to help you at all if you can?t prove to them that you have the means to cover any loans you get to buy commercial real estate.

You should learn how to calculate the (NOI) Net Operating Income of your commercial property. To succeed, have positive numbers.

When you?re on the market to buy commercial real estate, keep an eye out for properties slightly larger than what you originally had in mind. The thinking behind this is that if you have been able to get the financing and deal done on a property with five units you rent out, then you can handle a property with ten or even twenty units and get a lower average unit price.

TIP! Check a commercial property for access to electricity and other utilities; make sure there is good access. Every business has unique requirements, but for most, electric, water and sewer access will be required.

Don?t depend on just one financier when purchasing commercial property. Ask friends or family members you can trust to help you finance property in addition to applying for bank loans. The more sources of financing you have, the more likely you are to obtain the cash you need to finance your purchases. The best way to establish a solid group of partners is to have preset contracts in place that document the rate of repayment or how they can earn a portion of your profits from the real estate.

Commercial Real Estate

With this newly learned information, you are better prepared to handle commercial real estate. You?re ready now, more than ever! The advice of this article should be a good base of knowledge for you to build your success in commercial real estate on, and meet or exceed all of your hopes and

TIP! Make sure you are clear about the actual amount of square footage that?s available. There are two ways to measure commercial real estate, by total square feet and usable square feet.


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PFT: Bochy, Giants support 49ers' Smith

Washington Redskins v St Louis RamsGetty Images

After Rams running back Steven Jackson left Sunday?s win over the Redskins in the second quarter, it widely was believed that he?d been benched for spiking the football in frustration and drawing a 15-yard penalty.

After the game, coach Jeff Fisher said that Jackson has an injured groin, but that he could have re-entered the game.

Regardless of whether Jackson could have returned to the game, he has now missed two days of practice.

?He did not practice today and we?ll have him on the injury report for you on Friday,? Fisher told the media on Thursday.

Fisher added that he doesn?t have a policy that requires a player to practice in order to play.? Jackson said he has played with worse injuries.

?I?m not 100 percent, but day-to-day,? Jackson said. ?The injury is not as significant as we once thought it was and we?re just going to go from there. I still have the three days before the game, I believe. Each and every day buys me time.?

It?d be interesting to know when the Rams specifically thought the injury was significant.? The fact that the Rams gave no in-game injury update on Jackson could pique the league?s interest in that regard, too.

Nine years ago, former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was fined for reporting during a game that quarterback Jake Plummer had left with a concussion when, in reality, Plummer had a separated shoulder.? Shanahan said at the time that he lied in order to conceal the true nature of the injury from the Chargers, in the event the team?s other quarterback (Steve Beuerlein) had gotten injured, forcing Plummer back into the game.? (And, yes, in 2003 a guy could re-enter a game with a concussion.)

?To share with somebody that Jake has a separated shoulder and could not throw and our quarterback goes down, we have a good chance to lose the football game,? Shanahan said at the time.

In this case, with Shanahan on the other sideline, Fisher likely didn?t want the Redskins to think that Jackson was injured in any way, in the event that he had to re-enter the game.? And despite the friendship between Shanahan and Fisher, Shanahan should be asking 345 Park Avenue whether Fisher will be making the same involuntary contribution to the NFL?s charities that Shanahan once did.


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Thursday, September 20, 2012

HTC Windows Phone 8S hands-on: a bright Windows phone that holds promise (video)

HTC Windows Phone 8S handson video

HTC is making a two-pronged attack on Windows Phone 8, and while it may not match up to the specs on its new flagship, the Windows Phone 8S by HTC (yes, that's the official moniker) has some charm all of its own. The screen is a pretty underwhelming Gorilla Glass-coated 4-inch WVGA LCD, with a similarly middleweight 5-megapixel camera peering out from the other side. Given that it's looking to be priced closer to the One V than the One S, we're not all that surprised. The phone itself is a good-looking slab, thanks to the breezy color schemes and while the build is certainly solid enough, we'd be hard-pressed to put it in league with the 8X, which felt at home in our hand from the start. The 8S is cocooned in a matte plastic finish, arriving in four different color options -- depending on carrier and territory.

The two-tone color scheme, aside from a few color licks around the lens and ear piece, keeps the second color limited to the bottom edge and the detachable cap. This offers access to the microSD slot (upgrading the built-in 4GB of storage up to 32GB), but like the 8X, no access to the battery. Yep, these new Windows Phones look nothing like HTC's One series, and while the same design studio is responsible, this time, it took its inspiration from Microsoft's tile interface. There's a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 processor inside, but the phone wasn't quite ready to be put completely through its paces. While the software was still locked down, you can take a video tour -- and read more of our hardware impressions -- after the break.

Continue reading HTC Windows Phone 8S hands-on: a bright Windows phone that holds promise (video)

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HTC Windows Phone 8S hands-on: a bright Windows phone that holds promise (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Sep 2012 11:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Relationship Effective Communication | Activity

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Relationship Effective Communication

Two people in a relationship are supposed to work together as a team to meet life?s challenges.. Without effective communication , however, the partners are left to .. Want to communicate better? These tips will help you avoid misunderstandings and improve your relationships .. Communicate: Improve Your Relationships With Effective Communication Skills.. By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., Guide.. Relationships & Effective Communication .. A relationship involves two people with independent ideas.

Sometimes there are disagreements and conflicts.. This is normal .. Effective Communication In Relationships .. Communicating effectively is a fundamental aspect in a healthy relationship .. If you maintain a strong level of consistent .. Effective communication in a relationship can help both of you understand each other and live happily.. Learn about the conversations that matter here.. by Phil Rich, Ed.D., MSW .. Communication involves almost every aspect of our interactions with others; for this reason, communication and relationships are . 81f752fb58 6

Communication is important in many aspects of life, especially in forming and maintaining healthy relationships .. In addition to being compatible personalities, two .. Learning good communication skills and effective self development is the perfect combination to enhance your life inside and out.. ?How Effective Relationship Communication Skills Will Get You Close To Him? Stop Walking On Egg Shells And Learn Certain Words Of Communication Magic.. Without a doubt, effective oral communication is needed in the workplace.. We can spend many years struggling with our relationships , or we can learn the effective communication skills that will make our lives much easier, with less conflict .. Dr.. Nadig, Clinical Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist, gives useful tips, principles and guidelines on communication , relationships and effective living.. Effective Communication & Relationships .. I am a little skeptical of self-help titles, but this one is different.. When you first listen to your Relationship Listening program, it may seem a little corny, but .. Develop your interpersonal communication skills to create value from your relationships .. Overcome Communication Breakdown in Relationships Using this Effective Communication Tool .. Effective communication is frequently replaced with conflict and .


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How Email Hurts Your Business | Best Outsourcing Partners

You use it every day, all day to do almost every aspect of your job. But email might be what?s holding you back.

5 tech trends that won't go out of style

shutterstock images

Email. You probably know it as that lovely little tool that pretty much rules your life. In my eyes, it?s both the greatest?and also the worst?innovation impacting business today.

Email is great for short follow-up questions, forwarding presentations, and sending around office humor. Emails suck, however, for explaining a point of view, sucking up, getting angry, scheduling meetings (have you ever had an email tennis match to schedule a lunch?), getting the best seat at a restaurant, screening new employees, and negotiating a deal (though lawyers love negotiating via email as it makes it last longer).

So how do you balance email?s pros and cons?

At Yes To we have built our business over the past few years at lightning speed, growing to be the second largest natural beauty brand in the country. We never would have achieved this by emailing people. We did this by picking up the phone. Yep?that old-fashioned device connected to the curly cord. We cold called, we bantered with a unique sense of chutzpah (more on that later)? and we always (without exception!) met face-to-face. We accumulated millions of frequent flyer miles, packed countless overnight bags, and consumed copious amounts of wine with the best of them.

I cannot think of one major business relationship where we didn?t take the time to nurture it in person. However, I can think of many times where a relationship was nearly destroyed over an email that was taken the wrong way, or where the tone came across as angry or arrogant?none of which would have happened had they heard our cheery voices.

I recently had a close business associate comment that she was happily surprised that I always replied to her emails with a phone call. I wanted to her to know I had plenty of time for her and that a phone call was more personal. The phone call took the exact same amount of time and allowed me to introduce other important topics into the conversation.

One last tip for those of you who are determined to use email as your primary communication tool: When you write an email, please start with a friendly greeting such as Hi, Dear, G?day, Bonjour (even Yo! if that?s your thing). Please, please don?t start with someone?s name and a comma. It?s curt, it?s lazy, and it?s unnecessarily cold. It?s a pet peeve of mine, and the upside is so worth it.

So remember, business is done face to face and email is for follow up.



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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BBC Media Player to give Android users their iPlayer fix in a mostly Flashless world

BBC Media Player to give Android users their iPlayer fix in a Flashless world

Remember how the BBC was asking Adobe to keep Flash for Android on life support for a short while? The broadcaster just removed any doubts as to why with the launch of BBC Media Player, its solution for that day when the mobile plugin is well and truly buried. Starting with iPlayer on the mobile web and moving on to both radio as well as an updated version of the Android app due next week, the BBC will be using close Flash cousin Adobe AIR for streaming playback on Android phones and tablets. It can't quit Flash technology cold turkey given the sheer number of devices still running Gingerbread or earlier, which rules out HTTP Live Streaming for now. Media Player isn't necessarily the most elegant solution -- we're seeing reports of sub-par video and other hiccups -- but it will keep those episodes of Doctor Who rolling on most Android hardware and let the BBC push out updates that address as many of the Google-inclined as possible.

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BBC Media Player to give Android users their iPlayer fix in a mostly Flashless world originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Sep 2012 15:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Popinator shoots popcorn at you on command

4 hrs.

Want to have more fun eating popcorn? Skip the movies and head to the offices of?Popcorn Indiana?and say ?pop? when you spy the red gumball-like dispenser filled with popped kernels. It will raise its gun in your general direction and fire a piece your way.

?When you?re shooting a piece of popcorn, there?s only so accurate you can get it; you might have to maneuver a little bit to catch it,? an electrical engineer with the company?explains in the video below.

But shifting a little to the left or right to land the kernel is a small price to pay for the joy of snacking on command.

The Popinator, as the dispenser is called, is billed as ?a fully automated, voice activated launching machine that is triggered by the word ?pop,?? he says.?

It uses what?s called a binaural microphone system which operates akin to our human ears, calculating the location of the person asking for a kernel based on small differences in the arrival time of sound waves and their reflections.

The contraption appears to be a big hit around the Indiana Popcorn offices. No word yet on when or if a version will be available for consumers. For the sake of our movie theater enjoyment, though, perhaps it?s better if the device is never mass produced.

???via Gizmag

John Roach is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. To learn more about him, check out his website. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.


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Russia's Putin raps budget plan, ministers

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a rare rebuke to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's government on Tuesday, criticizing its fiscal plans and accusing cabinet ministers of failing to act on orders he issued after returning to the Kremlin in May.

Putin's comments, in a meeting on budget strategy in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, suggested his patience was wearing thin with Medvedev just four months after the formation of his new government.

The 59-year-old Kremlin leader, who has dominated Russia since 2000, said that the three-year draft fiscal plan failed to take into account commitments in the decrees he issued after returning to Russia's highest office.

"If everything remains as laid out in the (budget) plan, then some or other of the points of these decrees cannot be implemented, I already see this. But they must be implemented," Putin said.

Putin's comments ran counter to his typical leadership style, which is based on strong loyalty to his political allies and continuity in government, and where disputes are rarely aired in public.

They were made in Medvedev's absence, as the prime minister was outside Moscow chairing a meeting of his 'open government' initiative, a forum widely criticized as a talking shop that has generated few worthwhile policy results.

Putin has been Russia's paramount leader since Boris Yeltsin resigned in a New Year's Eve speech in 1999 leaving him the presidency. Putin steered Medvedev into the presidency when he faced constitutional limits on serving a third consecutive term.

After the two switched jobs in May with Putin's return to the presidential office, speculation has grown that Medvedev could be ousted.

"If Putin really intends to change the prime minister and the government for a stronger team in the autumn - and I don't think there is any other choice - of course he needs citizens to understand why he is doing it," said Nikolai Petrov, analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Centre.


Putin called on Medvedev to reprimand two cabinet ministers for failing to implement measures contained in the batch of decrees setting out the policy priorities for his six-year term.

In addition to raising questions about Medvedev's authority, Putin's comments also raised doubts over Russia's commitment to balancing the budget over the medium term after heavy spending ahead of the presidential election in March.

Andrei Piontkovsky, a political analyst at the prestigious Russian Academy of Science, said that there are signals that show Medvedev may not have long as Putin's prime minister.

On the fourth anniversary of a five-day war with neighboring Georgia, a group of Russian officers accused Medvedev, who was then acting as president of indecision at the time and having been "kicked" into action by Putin.

"This is a derisive slap at Medvedev's self-esteem in a series of humiliations," he said, adding that there was speculation that broad personnel changes could be expected in the government in the coming months.

"Medvedev is no good as Prime Minister? And Putin has had enough of it."

Putin singled out for criticism Labour Minister Maxim Topilin and Regional Development Minister Oleg Govorun.

He said that, while it was not his personal responsibility to reprimand ministers, he was drawing Medvedev's attention to "the need to issue a reprimand to the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Regional Development."

"The work of a minister implies personal responsibility for the sector. And if something scheduled has not been implemented, then this responsibility should be borne," Putin said.

Putin said that despite his earlier order to the government to produce a plan for pension reform by the end of this month, no plan had yet been produced.

He also said that the government had failed to produce proposals for accelerating the development of Siberia and the Far East, also called for in his earlier presidential decrees.

The budget plan is due to be formally discussed by Russia's cabinet on Thursday. Putin's harsh criticisms mean that the plan is unlikely to be adopted in its present form.

(Additional reporting by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya, Writing by Jason Bush and Thomas Grove; Editing by Douglas Busvine)


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