Citibank and ATT’s Universal Card | Shouldn’t we Boycott?

I don’t know if when I joined ATT Universal Card they belonged to Citibank; I never saw the name ‘Citibank’ or their logo in any statement or communication. If I would have known I wouldn’t have taken the credit card in the first place; Citibank never appealed to me due to a disagreeable encounter I had with one of their pushy sales representatives. When I found out they were the same, I had been with ATT Universal Card for years and they were one of my favorite credit cards, so I figured I would keep it anyway.

Then, recently,  a few months after having paid my balance in full, Citibank sent me a letter telling me that my account would be closed because I wasn’t using the card and apparently “it didn’t fit my needs” or something to that effect. I didn’t object, although I was getting ready to use it; this was the sort of thing I could expect from Citibank and I didn’t really want to do business with them.

But there was never any agreement that I had to use my card at any given time. There was never any warning either,  just the letter closing my account “even if I used the card before closing date”. It was unethical behavior that verified that I had been right about Citibank; it is the kind of institution that we should boycott to get our country going in the right direction.  Why should a credit card company tell me when I or how often I should use my credit card?

By the way, weren’t they subprime lenders that required a 25 billion bailout?

To prop my case I quote from Wikipedia: “In August 2008, after a three year investigation by California’s Attorney General Citibank was ordered to repay the $14 million (close to $18 million including interest and penalties) that was removed from 53,000 customers accounts over an eleven year period from 1992-2003. The money was taken under a computerized “account sweeping program” where any positive balances from over-payments or double payments were removed without notice to the customers.”

An interesting site to visit for more information on Citibank and similar institutions:

My Treasure Is Taken by My Credit Card Company

“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”— Jackie Joyner-Kersee

A Dog Story | A Success Story | Faith | Judy Stringfellow

I recently received an email from Andrew Perri http://myspace.com/andrewperri with the following story:

This is really a  remarkable little dog and a fascinating story!

This dog was born on Christmas Eve, 2002. He was born with two legs and of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want  him.

His first owner also did not  think that he could survive and he was thinking of ‘putting

him  to sleep’.

But then, his present owner, Jude  Stringfellow, wanted

him. She became determined to teach and train

this little dog to walk by himself.

She named him ‘Faith’.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a  surfboard to let him feel the movement. Later she used peanut   butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him for  standing up and jumping around. Even the other dog at home  encouraged him to walk. Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a  miracle,  Faith  learned to balance on his hind legs and to jump to move forward.  After further training in the snow, he could now walk like a  human being.

Faith loves to walk around  now. No matter where he goes, he attracts people to him.

He is fast becoming famous on the  international scene

and has appeared on various newspapers and  TV shows.

There is now a book entitled ‘With a  Little Faith’

being published about him.

He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.



Jude Stringfellow has given up  her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have  a perfect  soul.






In life there are always undesirable things, so in order to feel better
you just need to look at life from another direction.

I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of

thinking to everyone and that everyone will appreciate

and be thankful for each beautiful day.

Faith is the continual demonstration of the strength and wonder of life.


A small  request:

All you are asked to do is keep this story circulating.

I am glad to be able to keep the story circulating.
To see a similar story about an amazing man who was
born without limbs please do a search on “Nick” right
on this blog.
I guess human beings are not that different from animals.
Everything is interconnected; everything is “That”.

Dec. 21, 2012 | Hollywood Stuff

What is really expected to happen around December 21, 2012 is the beginning of a new age; a different energy will reach our planet with positive effects. The Hopis foretold that the change would start when a large blue star appeared. And on the year 2007 comet 17/P Holmes shocked the scientific world with a spectacular eruption which made it the brightest (blue) object in the sky.

17/P Holmes

“Some have claimed an alignment of planets occurs on winter solstice, 2012, and will cause a catastrophic reversal of the earth’s magnetic field. There is no such planetary alignment on winter solstice, 2012, and even if all the planets did align in this fashion, it would not cause such a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field. There have been numerous planetary alignments and they have had no effect on the Earth.”  Griffith Observatory at:  2012.html

“Several prominent individuals representing Maya of Guatemala decried the suggestion that the world ends on b’ak’tun 13. Ricardo Cajas, president of the Colectivo de Organizaciones Indígenas de Guatemala, said the date did not represent an end of humanity or fulfillment of the catastrophic prophecies found in the Maya Chilam Balam, but that the new cycle “supposes changes in human consciousness.” Martín Sacalxot of Procurador de los Derechos Humanos (Guatemala’s Human Rights Ombudsman, PDH) said that end of the calendar has nothing to do with the end of the world or the year 2012.” Wikipedia Main_Page

More information on 2012 at: http://www.december212012.com/articles/mayan/2012_From_the_Mayan_Elders_Themselves.htm 


Web Browsers | Firefox VS IE | ComputorEdge

Have you ever seen this message when working with Internet Explorer? “Internet explorer cannot open this page etc…” Then you open Firefox to look for the page and guess what? There is the page right in front of you.

An article by Michael J. Ross at Computoredge will tell you more about Firefox’s competitive edge. Excerpts below:


“Of all the Web browsers that are challenging the multiyear dominance of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), the one that has the best chance of unseating IE from its throne is Mozilla Firefox. Like the other alternatives, Firefox continues to eat away at IE’s market share.

According to the Mozilla Awards page, Firefox has garnered no fewer than 38 awards. In contrast, it is difficult to imagine Internet Explorer winning any awards, aside from such hypothetical categories as: The Most Egregious Violator of Web Standards, or perhaps The Biggest Security Headache Since Outlook, or, my favorite, The Ultimate Shortener of Developer’s Lives. Fortunately, the latest version, Internet Explorer 8, is apparently much better than its predecessors, and is intended to rectify most of the types of damage it has caused in the past. (If only Microsoft could return to designers and developers everywhere their countless lost hours wrestling with IE’s idiosyncrasies.)”


To read more go to: http://webserver.computoredge.com/online.mvc?article=in1&issue=2751&zone=SD&src=1 or do a search at: www.computoredge.com

Amazon Kindle 2 | Review by Lance Ulanoff

The amazon kindle 2, a fair review.

by Lance Ulanoff  Editor in Chief, PC Magazine 

I want a Kindle 2. In fact, I’ve wanted a Kindle for almost a year now. The fever reached its height right around the holidays when I thought I’d buy my wife one. My attempts failed, but my techno lust for the device did not. When I heard about the new Amazon Kindle 2, I tried to ignore it. I was still smarting from Amazon’s rejection. Of course, in the days leading up to the Amazon Kindle 2 announcement, you couldn’t turn a virtual corner without stumbling over leaked information about the second-generation e-book reader.

Now, sitting at my desk after my first lengthy encounter with the new device, I realize just how much I want a Kindle 2, and you should, too. No, I’m not blind to the issues surrounding this product and the technology it uses. I still want it. To be fair, let’s look at all that’s good, bad, and ugly in this elemental, 21st-century device:

  1. It’s too expensive. In talking to friends and followers on Twitter I found that more than one would prefer a sub-$299 e-book reader. One even suggested a price of $199 (in yer dreams, buddy). Sony’s starts at $299 and it has a touch screen. I’m not sure why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos insists on selling the Kindle for $359. Perhaps the funniest part of the press conference (which was pretty short on laughs) was when Bezos said that Amazon had a deal for Kindle 1 owners: If they ordered within the next 24 hours, they could jump to the front of the queue. There’s no discount or even an upgrade price, just the privilege of spending $359 a little bit faster. Gee, how thoughtful. Thing is, the Kindle really isn’t too expensive. Have you looked at the price of books lately? I’m talking about new books and best sellers. They’re still pretty expensive at Barnes and Noble. Even on Amazon, you’ll pay $15.39 for the Malcom Gladwell bestseller Outliers. Most e-books are $9.99 or less.
  2. Where’s the color? For now, commercial e-ink is still limited to gray scale. Amazon did bump up the technology from 4 to 16 shades of gray, which makes the photos a lot more detailed, but no amount of gray can turn a black and white face into flesh.
  3. The five-way joy stick is simply replacing one bad navigation metaphor (the scroll wheel) with another. I tried out the five-way navigation (it’s like what you find on some smartphones) and found it pretty intuitive though not perfect. The joystick felt a bit stiff under my thumb and because of the idiosyncrasies of e-ink, it’s not always obvious where you are on the screen. I wasn’t sure, but there also seemed to be a momentary delay between moving the joystick and the screen highlighting the next item. I actually wish Amazon would replace the joystick with something like a BlackBerry track ball (or glowing pearls).
  4. It only does one thing. One Twitter follower called the Kindle 2 “monotasking hardware.” I don’t mind single-purpose gadgets. My favorite digital camera really only does one thing very well. Yes, I also like the point and shoots that add video, but ultimately, I want a good camera that can help me take excellent photos. Video recording is just a nice extra. Plus, the benefits of the Kindle 2’s do-one-thing status—even at $359—are pretty significant. You’re not sharing storage for all kinds of content, so you can store 1,500 books on it. You’re not multitasking (watching for calls, downloading maps, mashing in GPS, etc.), so the hardware can apply all its processing power to your reading activities. The network, which is free to use, is dedicated to helping you download more content. If you finish a book, you simply download another one (as long as you’re within 3G wireless access, which you usually are). Also, the Amazon Kindle 2 may have one broad purpose—reading—but it lets you read a number of different content formats: books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs.
  5. It doesn’t always tell you what it’s doing. The Kindle 2 is easy to use. During the presentation, Bezos showed a video where one beta user said he never read manuals (who does?), and he had no trouble using the Kindle 2. I agree, for the most part. However, I did notice that the Kindle never tells you what it’s doing. When I selected the new Text-to-Speech feature, I waited about 20 seconds for the computer-generated speech to start. In that time, there was no visual indication of what the Kindle 2 was doing. I kept flipping over the device, and pressing my ear to the stereo speakers to see if maybe I just couldn’t hear it. When the speech abruptly started, it almost blew my ear out. If Amazon really wants to replace books with Kindles, there should be no surprises.
  6. It’s still too slow. Amazon sped up the Kindle 2’s page turning by 20 percent. I noticed the difference. The screen flash—a function of the e-ink refresh—was much faster than in the previous version. But, it’s still a bit slower than I would like. Plus, loading books and navigating menus was, in my opinion, at times too slow.
  7. It’s too fragile. This is a tough one. Nothing can replace the durability of a good-old-fashioned book. You can drop it, kick it, soak it (but not burn or tear it), and it will still be readable. The Amazon Kindle 2 is a complex piece of technology. Yet, it doesn’t feel flimsy at all. The screen is, of course, the primary concern, and I can understand that. I jam a lot of books and magazines into my backpack, along with my laptop. There’s a lot of pressure in there. Could a Kindle 2 hold up to that? I don’t know. However, if I had a Kindle 2, I’d be carrying half as many magazines and books. Problem solved.
  8. I can already read books on my laptop and iPhone. True. In fact, this past weekend I downloaded a $0.99 novella to my son’s iPod touch. The iPod book reader has gesture-based page turning and is pretty easy to read. However, it really doesn’t fit enough text on the page and I could feel my eyes strain as I stared too intently at that backlit screen. Likewise, I stare at a computer monitor all day. I really want my leisure reading to be far less visually stressful.
  9. Why no touch screen? As I held the Amazon Kindle 2, I had to fight the impulse to touch the screen and navigate and turn pages with gestures. This, too, is something the Sony Reader offers, as does, as noted, the iPod touch and iPhone. While my hope is that Amazon will address this shortcoming in the Kindle 3, this isn’t a deal killer. The Kindle 2 provides ample hardware controls on both sides of the screen—you can operate it right- or left handed (usually with just one hand).
  10. E-books will kill books, publishing, and reading. Bezos’s presentation featured testimonials from Kindle 2 users, saying that they read now more than ever. I buy this. I often leave heavy books and past issues of my favorite magazine (The New Yorker) at home because I simply can’t carry all of them. Plus, I only read what I have on hand. In addition, I tend to end up in the same sections at Barnes and Noble, buying the same kinds of books over and over. I can imagine that the Kindle, with its instant access to a vast number of books (over 230,000) would expand my reading horizons. As for the Kindle killing books or publishing, I think I have to side with author Stephen King (who gave a reading of his new Kindle-inspired novella at the event). He said, “E-books and books are not in conflict. They’re like peanut butter and chocolate. When you put them together, you have a whole new taste.

So, yes, there are many reasons to dislike the Amazon Kindle 2, but as I see it, the benefits still far outweigh the disadvantages. Trust me, you’re going to want a Kindle 2.

See Amazon Kindle 2 at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00154JDAI?tag=thenet-20

Referring to Plagiarism and Google Slacking

Okay, I admit, I have to correct some information I posted before referring to the way Google handles plagiarism (to see all related posts please do a search on plagiarism in this blog).

First of all, do not expect an answer in 48 hours when you complain to Google; it takes weeks. And this is the procedure that Google wants you to follow, and that I will follow as soon as I get a chance. I expect the information will be useful to many.

“Hello,

It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website: http://www.copyright.gov/) and other applicable intellectual property laws. In this case, this means that if we receive proper notice of infringement, we will forward that notice to the responsible web site publisher.

To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and attorneys’ fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when you in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.

To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following format (including section numbers):

1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon. For example, “The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on http://www.legal.com/legal_page.html.”

2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing upon the copyrighted work listed in item #1 above. You must identify each page that allegedly contains infringing material by providing its URL.

3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred).

4. Include the following statement: “I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing webpages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”

5. Include the following statement: “I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”

6. Sign the paper.

7. Send the written communication to the following address:

Google, Inc.
Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043

OR Fax to:

(650) 618-8507, Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints

Regards,
The Google AdSense Team”

Free Day of Dance | Malashock Dance, San Diego CA

Free Day of Dance on Saturday, Dec. 26 beginning at 8 a.m. at Malashock Dance!

Malashock Dance & The Malashock Dance School
2650 Truxtun Road, Suite 202, San Diego, CA 92106 (Point Loma) (Call for more information.)
Phone: 619.260.1622 – Fax: 619.523.0603 – info@malashockdance.org or www.malashockdance.org

Schedule:

Time Studio Class Level Instructor Company
8-8:45 a.m. 207 Stretch All Levels Javier Velasco SDB
8:45-10 a.m. 106 Modern All Levels Minaqua McPherson SDDT
10-11:30 a.m. 207 Ballet Intermediate Javier Velasco SDB
10-11:30 a.m. 200 Creative Dance Ages 3-6 Diana Nicastro MD
10-11:30 a.m. 106 Modern With Experience Jean Isaacs SDDT
12-1:30 p.m. 200 Modern With Experience Michael Mizerany MD
1:30-3 p.m. 207 Jazz Beg./Int. Javier Velasco SDB
1:30-3 p.m. 200 Contemporary All Levels – Teen Molly Puryear MD
2:30-3:30 p.m. 106 Tango Beginner Colette Hebert SDDT
3-4 p.m. 200 Hip Hop All Levels Kruciaal Element MD
4-5 p.m. 106 Tango Advanced Colette Hebert SDDT
4-5:30 p.m. 200 Modern All Levels Erica Buechner MD
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