• Finance

    Posted on September 20th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    How Online Bank Fraud Could Destroy Your Business

    How Online Bank Fraud Could Destroy Your Business

    In the past 10 years, online banking has exploded, with millions of customers checking their balances and moving money around through Web browsers.

    Such activity has created a goldmine for cybercriminals, who hack into online bank accounts and transfer large sums to accounts they control.

    Under federal law, private, or “retail,” customers in the United States are largely insured against such fraud. But no such protections apply to commercial clients, whose huge losses can lead to bankruptcy.

    Yet many owners of small and medium-size businesses are unaware of the risks of online banking. Stories of businesses being cleaned out by cybercriminals, and then not recompensed by their banks, rarely make it beyond local newspapers.

    Here’s how to avoid being the next victim.

    Understand the risks

    Cybercriminals target small and medium-size businesses for two important reasons.

    First, many business owners often have a limited u[...] Read More...

  • Technology

    Posted on September 9th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    The end of Windows as we know it

    The end of Windows as we know it

     

    A massive reorganization currently underway in the Windows unit foresees a wholesale change in the venerable OS

    Earlier this morning, Ina Fried at AllThingsD dropped a bombshell: Today, the Windows unit is going through a massive reorganization that passes over many Windows stalwarts, bringing in a whole new crop of Windows honchos. Details are only starting to emerge, but this could well mark the start of a massive re-thinking of the way Windows works.

    It’s about time.

    The old guard is dropping like flies. Steve Sinofsky — who brought us Windows 7, the best Windows of all time, as well as the monstrosity known as Windows 8 — left last year.

    Julie Larson-Green, who led the much-maligned UI effort on Windows 8 and brought us Windows 8.1, left to run the Devices unit of the newly reorganized Microsoft. In the past couple of weeks, her future place in the organization has been clouded by Stephen Elop’s return to the fold. Elop[...] Read More...

  • Banking/Finance

    Posted on July 19th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Quick Guide for Paying off Equity Loans

    Quick Guide for Paying off Equity Loans

     

    Life is unpredictable. Even if you don’t want to, at some point you are probably going to need to borrow a large amount of money to pay for medical expenses, home improvements, or to make educational payments.

    Home equity loans can be a great way for individuals to pay for major expenses. The versatility of these loans has made them a popular option for many borrowers because the money can be used to pay for just about anything. There are very few restrictions, and the interest rates on these loans are often significantly less than the interest rates on credit cards.

    Life is unpredictable. Even if you don’t want to, at some point you are probably going to need to borrow a large amount of money to pay for medical expenses, home improvements, or to make educational payments.

    Home equity loans can be a great way for individuals to pay for major expenses. The versatility of these loans has made them a popular option for many borrowers because the money can be used to pay for just about anything. There are very few restrictions, and the interest rates on these loans are often significantly less than the interest rates on credit cards.

    In a home equity loan, the borrower’s home ownership is[...] Read More...

  • Entertainment

    Posted on July 11th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Best Reads for Your Spring Break Beach Escape

    Best Reads for Your Spring Break Beach Escape

    This article reviews several books that are ideal for a beach escape during spring break, including the latest good romance novels that you should be packing in your beach bag.

    Good romance novels are great on a break or vacation.  In fact, many would argue that the most important item to pack when heading to the beach is a book, or a preloaded e-reader full of your favorite titles. Don’t forget the sunscreen though.

    The best novels should have a fun story and be able to hold the readers attention from start to finish.  Here are a few terrific recommendations for your next break away, all of which are good romance novels in their own right:

    First up is “Call me Irresistible”, which is a terrific romantic-comedy. The author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, writes poignant fast paced stories full of good humor. The Washington Post stated “Call Me Irresistible is just a bit irresistible.” Phillips’s lead female character is strong, complicated and sassy and it’s enjoyable to follow her journey of discovery.

    If mysterious and mystical is your thing, then “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness could be the perfect choice for you. It is a fantastic story, full of intrigue, passion, history, an[...] Read More...

  • Social

    Posted on May 29th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    The Hassle of Easing Jet Lag

    Many scientists are interested in studies surrounding how to minimize jet lag for long distance travelers. Travelers have sworn to their favorite practice of how to combat jet lag such as adjusting sleep schedules in the days prior to traveling, taking the hormone melatonin, seeking out or avoiding light at certain times of the day or forcing the body to sleep and eat at local times immediately upon arrival. Scientists and researchers have realized that the best formula is a combination of all these practices.

    As a general rule it takes about a day for each time zone traveled for a person’s body clock to catch up to local time. Thus crossing more times zone makes it more difficult to avoid symptoms. The severity of jet lag varies widely and symptoms can range from sleepiness to confusion. Overall, older people and very young people are affected worse with jet lag. Reasons being that older people’s body clocks are deteriorating while very young people’s body clocks are still developing. [...] Read More...

  • Finance

    Posted on April 26th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Things to Consider When Buying an Older Home

    Things to Consider When Buying an Older Home

    Do you find the thought of owning an old, historic home alluring? Many homebuyers are attracted to homes with a rich history. While historic homes can be beautiful and full of storytelling material, there are certain characteristics of older homes that some might find very off-putting. Here are some things that homebuyers should be aware of before purchasing an older home:           

    Homes older than 50 years old were not constructed with heating or air-conditioning in mind. So you may want to consider the additional cost of installing a central AC or heating unit when determining your financial plan. Other additional costs associated with older homes include repairs or reinstallations of the plumbing and electrical systems. Don’t jump into buying an older home without measuring these costs.           

    Historical homes may pose several health concerns due to the outdated methods used to construct them. The majority of older homes have walls coated with lead-based paint. This paint must be removed before you move in, so make sure to factor in this cost. Also be cautious of homes[...] Read More...

  • Real Estate

    Posted on April 22nd, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    How Energy-Conscious Homeowners Earn 2012 Tax Credits

    How Energy-Conscious Homeowners Earn 2012 Tax Credits

    American homeowners who made energy-efficient home improvements in 2012 will be pleased to know that the federal government would like to reward their efforts. The American Taxpayer Relief Act, enacted January 2, reinstated a tax credit available for home energy improvements. The credit is set at a maximum of $500, which may be disappointing to some since a credit of up to three times that amount was available in previous tax years. Also, the $500 credit is a lifetime maximum credit amount, meaning that homeowners who have previously earned this much in tax credits for energy improvements cannot claim more of these credits on their 2012 tax returns.

    The home energy tax credit policy posits several stipulations for eligibility. Energy upgrades must have been made to the homeowner’s primary place of residence. In addition, the credit only applies to improvements made to an existing home – self-built energy-efficient homes do not qualify. December 31, 2012 is the cutoff date for upgrades. Any improvements that were still in progress after this date will not qualify for tax credit eligibility. When calculating your available credit, you can include the installation costs of regular water heaters and air-conditioning and heating units but not those of windows, doors, roofs,[...] Read More...

  • Internet Marketing

    Posted on March 13th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    How much is a “like” worth?

    How much is a “like” worth?

    While it is not uncommon for a company to use Facebook as a part of their marketing campaign, it raises the question: just how helpful is it, really? Recently, 701 marketers were polled and 85% said that they use Facebook for marketing purposes. Fewer than 30% paid for sponsored stories. 15% were very satisfied with the results, 65% were somewhat satisfied, 15% were somewhat satisfied and 6% were very dissatisfied. I was on Facebook earlier today and noticed a type of advertisement that had never before caught my eye.  It was a poll asking whether I remembered seeing an ad for a beach getaway. The poll gave three options: yes, no, or “I don’t know” and claimed that your response would be anonymous. I didn’t feel particularly moved to respond so I left it blank.

    I wonder how well marketing on Facebook actually does. My main reasons for going on Facebook are to catch up with friends and to keep up with news. I find myself annoyed at the advertisements on the side, but for what it’s worth, I do not really mind advertisements from pages that I “like” on Facebook. Occasionally, because I am a fan of “Cholula Hot Sauce” on Facebook, I’ll get a cleverly worded advertisement which reminds me of how good Cholula Hot Sauce really is. The power of Facebook [...] Read More...

  • Internet Marketing

    Posted on March 11th, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Best Marketing Practices: Personal Social Media

    Best Marketing Practices: Personal Social Media

    Twitter has been a part of my life since the very beginning. I have tweeted about restaurants I like and dislike, the sweltering hot, crowded green line trains before and after red sox games, and as a way to easily meet up with multiple friends at once. This summer, sitting at my desk on the 10th floor office of a building in downtown Boston, I took out my phone and started composing a tweet about the lunch I had just had. I had a burrito at Boloco, thinking to myself how chewy I thought the steak was—how the rice was on the dry side. It was still good…but it was still bettered by a burrito from Anna’s. My mental comparison of Boston’s best burritos manifested itself, as many fleeting thoughts do, in the form of “Tweet.”

    “Anna’s > Boloco > Chipotle > Felipes > Qdoba”. I hit the send button and put my phone down to get back to work. Minutes later, I heard a little buzz and my phone lit up. I checked my notifications and saw that Boloco had tweeted back at me, saying “I guess second best isn’t half bad.” Overwhelmed with excitement, I ran around the office, telling the other interns about how Boloco tweeted at me. The restaurant that we walked by every lunch break, THE Boloco tweeted at me. I couldn’t be happier. I instantly retweeted th[...] Read More...

  • Internet Marketing

    Posted on February 21st, 2013

    Written by Edward Burke

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    How to Build a Content Marketing Empire in 3 Steps

    How to Build a Content Marketing Empire in 3 Steps

    According to social entrepreneur and search engine optimization (SEO) expert Neil Patel, content marketing is “the new SEO” in today’s internet marketing environment.  SEO marketing strategies ha
    ve been more difficult to effectively implement due to Google’s recent steps toward making certain that only the most authoritative sites top its search results pages.  Content marketing, however, has opened up entirely new avenues of internet marketing.  A company is given tremendous potential for attracting new customers through developing a strong presence on blogs and social media.  With this in mind, businesses should be asking themselves, “How can we put ourselves ahead of the curve in the field of content marketing?”

    The answer lies in networking.  Businesses should be allying themselves with non-competing businesses that they share a target audience with.  Allied businesses can then cross-promote each other’s online content and gain customers through each other.  Here are three simple steps to follow when developing your alliance marketing campaign:

    1. Find your allies: Determine which non-competing business[...] Read More...

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