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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Save Big Money at Restaurants!

A local favorite of mine
    This is one of my favorites because we like to eat out. Restaurantdotcom offers gift certificates that allow you to save a lot of money at thousands of restaurants across the country.

     Simply select the restaurant and certificate denomination of your choice, complete the purchase process, and present your certificate to the server on your mobile phone or take a printed copy with you just like any other coupon. The savings will appear on your bill. Plus, Restaurant.com Gift Certificates never expire.
     Just some examples from where I live: A favorite Mexican restaurant: $5.00 certificates cost $2.00. A fine dining restaurant that overlooks Lake Erie: a $25 certificate costs $10 and a $50 certificate costs $20.
     We first learned of these when our house flooded last May. My wife’s employees took up a collection and bought us some coupons to use while we were living at a motel. We ate well at the hotel next door and there was no catch. They are also a great way to save money if you are going on vacation and will be eating out a lot.

Clean infected computers with a collection of repair tools...free

     Emsisoft Free Emergency Kit's can scan and clean malware-infected PCs without having to be installed. Free Emergency Kit runs from USB drives and similar devices which makes it pretty handy for, as the name implies, emergencies. It detects, quarantines, or removes viruses and malware, adware, PUPs and other programs that may be annoying, unwanted, and unnecessary but not a threat.
     The Scanner program searches for viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware, worms, dialers, keyloggers among others. Also included is Commandline Scanner but doesn’t have a GUI and is for professional use; it’s not something most of us will want to mess with. The same with HiJackFree; it helps advanced users to detect and remove Malware manually. BlitzBlank is another tool for experienced users or anybody else who is plagued with Malware on a daily basis. It deletes files, registry entries and drivers at boot time before Windows and all other programs are loaded. Not something computer illiterates will want to mess with.
    You begin by running Smart Scan, which ferrets out malware and then run a full scan. The program recommends quarantining any items in the scan results if you're not sure they can be safely deleted. If everything runs OK, you can delete the quarantined files later. If your computer is packed full of crap the process can take a long time, but normally it’s fast and will often find stuff other software won’t. That said, you should not rely on this software as your only protection.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Do NOT Eat this Crap!

    I am not a health nut, but do like to eat healthy. I DO eat junk food sometimes, but generally avoid eating it by the boat load if possible. The following foods provide virtually no health benefits while posing health risks.

White bread, refined flours. White bread and refined flours in general are toxic because they have been stripped of almost all vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients. Refined white flour has been bleached with chlorine and treated with bromide, two poisonous chemicals that have been linked to causing thyroid and organ damage.

Frozen meals (aka TV Dinners). They are loaded with preservatives, processed salt, hydrogenated oils and other artificial ingredients, not to mention the fact that most frozen meals have been pre-cooked, reducing their nutrient content. Most of them are pretty nasty tasting anyway, so they are easy to avoid. See my Blog post HERE.

White rice. White rice has been stripped of most of its nutrients, and separated from the bran and germ. Even “fortified” white rice is nutritionally deficient. Brown rice is absorbed more slowly and does not cause the same spike in blood sugar that white rice does.

Microwave popcorn. Unhealthy is the best way to describe this stuff. Genetically-modified corn kernels, salt and preservative chemicals are used to enhance its flavor. It also contains diacetyl, a chemical that can actually destroy your lungs. It’s better to eat organic kernels that you can pop yourself.

Cured meat products with nitrates.  Deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, and many other meats sold at the grocery store are often loaded with sodium nitrite and other chemical preservatives that have been linked to causing heart disease and cancer.

Most protein and energy bars. They are marketed as being part of a healthy diet which is another advertising lie.  They usually have processed soy protein, refined sugar, hydrogenated fat, and other unhealthy additives. Before buying them read the ingredient labels!

Margarine. This stuff is an ingredient in all sorts of processed foods. It’s a hydrogenated trans-fat oil, which is something you should avoid.

Soy milk and soy-based meat substitutes. This is a big health fraud these days. Most soy additives are processed using a toxic chemical known as hexane which is linked to causing birth defects, reproductive problems, and cancer. Soy that has not been fermented is also highly estrogenic, which can throw your natural hormone balance out of whack.

“Diet” anything. Most of this stuff contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), both of which are linked to causing neurological damage, gastrointestinal problems, and endocrine disruption. They also usually have chemical flavoring to take the place of fat and other natural components that have been removed in order to reduce the calorie content.

Time for supper...

Credit Karma

    Get your free credit score with no hidden costs or obligations. Scam or not? After considerable research I have used it with no problems. They don’t ask for your credit card. However, when you sign up you have to give them your social security number. This is how all credit is tracked. You have to supply your SSN with all the credit bureaus and any time you apply for credit. After the first use, Credit Karma does not need your SSN again and it is not stored on any of their systems. The site also offers financial tools, credit advice, articles, a Blog and other financial resources. They make their money from advertising so the site does have a lot of offers, but they can be ignored easily enough.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Want a Job That Does't Pay Anything?

One of my favorite sites, Gizmo's Freeware, is recruiting. Gizmo's Freeware is a non-commercial community website staffed entirely by volunteers. Their primary function is to help you select the best freeware product. As they point out, sometimes the best freeware programs are as good as or better than their commercial counterparts.

They are looking for the following:
Mobile Platform Review Vacancies They currently have vacancies for iOS and Android including Antivirus, Image Viewer, image editor, eBook Reader for iOS, iPlatform Games, Office Suite, Radio Broadcasting, SMS app and Web Browser.
Digital Image Editor If you are capable of testing out multiple products from this software category to update our review, please apply.
Best Free Tune-up Program For Computer As the editor of this category it will be your responsibility to thoroughly test out the claims made by the various vendors and then rate their products accordingly. Particular emphasis should also be placed on safety.
Best Free Video Streaming Sites Online web streaming is one of the most popular Internet activities whether you want to watch video from across the world, news recaps or TV shows. Their current review of these services needs updating so if you have this ability, offer to share your favorite streaming sites with Gizmo's Freeware readers
Best Free CD-DVD Burning Software Despite the onward march of flash drives and external HD's, many users still prefer to use CD's or DVD's to store their media on. As the editor of this category it will be your responsibility to test out a variety of freeware programs and report on what you find.

If any of these positions sounds like you and you have a few free hours each month to spare then why not join Gizmo's Freeware as a volunteer editor of one of these software categories?