Friday, August 31, 2007

Want tickets for the Houston Rodeo


I have always wanted to attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that takes place over a 3 week period every year at Reliant Park in Houston, Texas. I think it was due to a documentary I saw on TV a long time back as a kid. I think it was the cowboys riding the fierce looking bulls and broncs that fascinated me. It was only later that I learnt that it is also the world's largest livestock exhibition attracting millions of visitors from all around the World every year.

Besides the rodeo, people look forward to the Houston Rodeo concert featuring some of the biggest names in country, rock, hip hop and latin music. They take place everyday after the rodeo events. This year concert lineup includes among others, Sheryl Crow, Beyonce and oldies band ZZ Top, who are still rocking. A lot of people come for the concert as well.

I think the best seats at the rodeo are those along both sides of the rodeo ring and comprise the first seven rows - known as the Action Seats. These seats come with complementary food and beverages. Of course they are also the costliest seats, naturally. Despite their high prices, they are usually sold out fast.

If you are looking forward to buying some great seats for the Houston Rodeo Tickets, go over to the 'Team One Tickets and Sports Tours' website. They have been in the business of procuring premium event tickets since 1979.

Search for MP3s on SkreemR

SkreemR is a brand new search engine that locates MP3 audio files on the web.

I had a sudden urge to listen to the Bee Gees and searching on the site gave me 1877 results. The innovative feature about this search engine is that you can straightaway listen to music straight from the results using their embedded media player.

You can also add SkreemR search to your Firefox search bar by downloading the Firefox Search Plug-In. They also have a new SkreenR add-on for Facebook users as well.

Read their FAQ for more info about the search engine.

What's your favourite location based service application

Buying a Sat Nav system was one of the best purchase decisions we ever made. It was not cheap but it is worth every penny we paid for it. We are not scared of travelling anywhere in the UK anymore.

This is but one example of location based services. The technology has grown cheaper and there are so many applications for LBS and of course, so many different vendors.

TruePosition is the leader in location based services with over 15 years of real-world experience in this field. Their strength lies in the fact that they provide complete solutions to support the wireless location needs of the global marketplace. Thus, business owners don't have to look to different vendors for the various location services needs - from navigation to security. As their website mentions,
Today, only TruePosition can offer hybrid location systems that incorporate Cell ID, Enhanced Cell ID, Uplink Time Difference of Arrival, Angle of Arrival, and Assisted GPS to power the next generation of location-based services.

If you are interested in location services and the industry, do take a look at their resource center. It has the latest market intelligence, expert analysis and news related to location-based services. This includes white papers and articles as well.

Write your CV in a few minutes

Do you have trouble coming up with a professional looking CV? Now that I am on the job market, I did some research on writing a good CV. I came across this site Handsoncv.co.uk, which allows you to create a CV in just a few minutes.

All you have to do is following the step by step process. In the end you have a great looking CV. You can download your CV as a Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or html document.

You have the option of selecting one of the 3 professional template design options for your CV, namely, Traditional, Modern and Compact.

You can try it out totally free for 28 days.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Armand Rousso responds to Saul Hansell

Here's some business news for a change. Read Internet entrepreneur Armand Rousso response to NYT story by Saul Hansell. According to Mr. Rousso, the story which came out on August 22, 2007 had some glaring omissions and "irrelevant mistatements" regarding his past.

For those who are not aware, Rousso started one of the first e-commerce companies in the World (some consider it to be THE FIRST) called The International Stamp Exchange (1984-1989).

Anyway, in his reply, he sets the records straight. I totally agree when he says that
Having once had a criminal record, does not mean that you can’t become a productive member of the society.
I believe that everyone should be given a second chance. Mr. Rousso has shown that he is actively rehabilitating himself and his involvement in fund raising activities for various charities is an indication of this.

ALShow - plays movies in any format

On my PC, I have QuickTime, Real Player, VLC media player and of course Windows Media Player. I am sure you have them on your computer as well. Why do we need to have all of these different media players on our computer? The answer is simple. Because there are different movie formats that only certain players can handle. I also hate downloading codecs every time I wanted to see a movie on DVD or a clip I downloaded from the net.

Wouldn't it be great if we had only one player that could play ALL movie formats.

Well our prayers have been answered. ALShow v1.5 beta 1. According to the website, it plays 24+ file extensions and comes with codecs preloaded. If the codec is not preloaded, it will get the new codecs automatically.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

UK Shopping directory

If you live in the UK and want to save on shopping visit Webbyplanet for the best online deals. This online community is updated daily by it's staff as well as the forum members who list coupons, online voucher, sales, special deals, free shipping and much more.

You will find reviews from the users as well. They can prove to be quite helpful in making shopping decisions. When I last checked, there were loads of offers and according to their website, Webbyplanet promotes over 2000 merchant's online deals in the UK market.

Newbie on Second life

I have just joined Second Life. This 3-D virtual game is amazing. Developed by Linden Research, Inc, registered users known as Residents, build and own stuff in this virtual World.

I am still exploring this virtual world. It's totally free to join in.

They even have a virtual currency called the Linden Dollar wiith which you can buy stuff and can be converted into the US Dollar (Yes! real US Dollars) and vice versa. Right now the exchange rate is approximately 250 Linden Dollars (L$) to one US Dollar.

You can create products which you can sell and you retain the copyright over their content. No wonder a lot of companies have opened outlets in this virtual World.

Will keep you updated about my avatar's adventures.

Amazing choice of work shoes

Even if you don't work in a place which requires you to wear work shoes, I would recommend you to have at least one pair at home. You never know when you have to do some heavy lifting. I realised this yesterday when picked up a table we had just bought. While carrying the table top to the room upstairs (which we are converting to an office), it slipped and dropped onto my feet. Fortunately I was wearing my shoes but it still hurt as it doesn't have a protective steel toe. I can imagine what would have happened if I was not wearing any shoes.

If you are looking for work boots and shoes, I recommend MetBoots.com. MetBoots is short for Metatarsal Boots - boots you wear where ever there's a risk of heavy objects being dropped on your feet. They specialise in all types of occupational and safety footwear and carry most of the top brands. Their prices are really competitive as well. Order now to take advantage of their free shipping for orders above $100.

Firefox Campus edition

I was really excited when I learnt that there was a "Campus edition" of Firefox from one of my friends. BTW, would love to have a T-shirt with that flaming logo.

Went to check it out and found out that it was the normal Firefox with 3 add-ons preloaded. The add-ons are:
  • FoxyTunes - lets you control almost any media player and find lyrics, covers, videos, bios and much more with a click right from your browser.
  • StumbleUpon - lets you channel surf the Internet to find great websites, videos, photos and more based on your interests.
  • Zotero - helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work - in the web browser itself.
Firefox 2

Read the 10 reasons why Firefox is the best browser.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

ColorZilla extension for Firefox

Among all the Firefox extensions I regularly use, one of the most useful is ColorZilla. The latest version is ColorZilla 1.0. It really comes in handy while designing websites.

You will need to restart the browser after it has been downloaded. A eyedropper icon will then appear on the left hand corner of your Firefox browser. On clicking the eyedropper icon, your cursor will be visible as a cross. You will then be able to obtain a color reading from any point in your browser by moving the cursor around.

You can also zoom up the page and even measure distance between two points in your browser. Double clicking the eyedropper icon, will load up the built-in palette as a pop-up browser where you can choose from the pre-defined color sets, including web safe colors. There are loads of other stuff you can do with it.

Firefox 2

Save with Coupon Kathy

Coupons have been around for a long time but I only recently discovered that coupons are a great way to save on online shopping. I guess I was not shopping that much online and didn't know that my some of my favorite stores issued coupons and promotional codes. Now I always keep my eye open for them.

Coupon Kathy is another great coupon site for the biggest savings with your online shopping. They carry up-to-date coupon codes for a number of online stores. For example, they have a number of available discounts codes for General Nutrition Centers, Inc. For your information, GNC is a leader in the nutritional supplement industry. When I checked them today, they had three gnc coupons listed. The discounts ranged from 5% Off any order over $50, up to $10 discount + free shipping for product orders above $75. You should note that you do NOT need to fill in the field for promotion / discount code on gnc.com. If you are a regular customer at GNC, this might be a great way to save money. I suggest that you go over the "How To Use Coupon Codes At GNC.com" provided on the page.

I also learnt that GNC is having their semi-annual sale and a chance at winning $5,000. Go over to their site for more details.

Neopets the virtual pets

A lot of people would love to have pets of their own if not for the cost of keeping them. Well you can now have a virtual one at Neopets. You can create and rear up to a maximum of four virtual pets. You then have to buy them food, toys, etc using their virtual currency called Neopoints.

Like in real life, you have to earn these Neopoints by playing games, investing in the stock market, trading and winning contests. There are loads of features like NeoBoards (discussion boards), Neomail, and guilds and everything is totally free.

Lunched on November 15, 1999 by Adam Powell and Donna Williams, they now reportedly have over 144 million accounts . When I last checked there were 66,198 players online and a total of 215,099,130 Neopets.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Going to Real Estate School Anyone?

Becoming a Realtor has become an increasingly popular career choice now. Some of the reasons are the flexible work schedule and of course the income. If you are a good real estate agent, you can make tons of money. Personally, I am not quite familiar with real estate business and I just learnt that there is courses specifically design to master the game. If you want to become a realtor, you may want to check out this real estate school directory that groups various schools offering courses that design specifically for real estate business. These schools offer courses such as appraisal, insurance, mortgage, home inspection, securities and many more.

Yahoo! offers unlimited mail storage



First it was Gmail (or Google mail) that came out with 1000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of free email storage. They were followed by Yahoo and later by Hotmail (Now Windows Live Hotmail).

Now Gmail offers approx. 3 GB and Hotmail, 2 GB of space. However, Yahoo! beat them all by offering UNLIMITED storage to all users - both new as well as existing.


Whatever, Google and Microsoft does means a better deal for all of us customers.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Diadem serpentine & silver?

While browsing for a nice gift for my sister (she is going to have a baby soon), I came across a quite unique Contemporary Jewellery site. Their collections are mostly of their own original designs and they are now offering a FREE jewellery roll if you spend more than £100. My wife has already adding one of the items in their earrings collection, 'Diadem serpentine & silver' into her wish list.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Generate a logo for free with CoolText.com


Have you noticed my new logo?

At first I was thinking of getting a Web 2.0 style logo but then changed my mind - Almost everyone has a so called "Web 2" logo now. So I decided to get something different, simple and nice.

In case you are wondering how much time I spent to make it, you might be surprised to learn that I created in less than 5 minutes.

You can create one for yourself as well on the Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator site. You don't need any photo editing skills to generate a logo.

First of all, choose a logo style by clicking it.
Then specify your text, font size, etc.
Click the "Render Logo Design" button and you are done.

Longing for some Greek sun

One of our Greek friends was complaining about the incessant rains a few weeks back and how she wished she was back in her sunny home town. Talking to her, we learnt about so many exotic sounding places, some of which I had heard only in Greek mythology like Crete - related to stories of the Minotaur, Icarus and Theseus and Rhodes, where the Colossus of Rhodes (one of the seven wonders of the ancient World)was one located. I have been fascinated with Greek mythology since I was a child and would definitely love to visit the places associated with them.

Known as the cradle of western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, there is a lot to see and experience in Greece. Their rich cultural heritage, the diverse locations - from thicks forests and rolling countrysides to sunny islands and cosmopolitan cities. The country has something for everyone. It was also nice to know that the crime rate in Greece is among the lowest in the whole of Europe.

A few friends recommended the Island of Myconos, one of the top international tourist destinations in Greece. Popular because of its its cosmopolitan character and exciting nightlife. I would rather visit some of the places off the beaten track. One advantage is that these places would give you an authentic feel of Greece and another advantage is that these places are cheaper to visit as well.

Greece holidays can be affordable. I was delighted to find so many cheap holiday deals to Greece on various sites.

Backup and share files with BT Digital Vault


BT now offers you a secure online location to store, back up, manage and share your files for FREE.

BT Digital Vault has three options:

1. BT Digital Vault Basic offers Non-BT Total Broadband customers 1GB storage for free. However, you won't get auto backups.
2. BT Digital Vault for BT Total Broadband. Free 5GB storage for existing BT Total Broadband customers. Auto backup of files for BT Broadband Option 3.
3. BT Digital Vault Plus. For £4.99 a month you can get 20GB storage plus auto backup of files.

Note:
- For first 2 options, you must the service at least once every 90 days.
- Autobackup is not compatible with Macs. Sorry Apple fans.

Got this from the Great Web 2.0 tools blog.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thousands of Halloween costumes to choose from

Halloween is coming soon and I was thinking that it's been quite sometime since I went to a Halloween costume party. The last I went to one, I went simply dressed as a vampire with a fake teeth and gelled hair. Going out in a full costume is something I have never tries. Maybe this Halloween, I can try it out.

I am tired of seeing the same old typical Halloween costumes - that of ghosts, witches, skeletons. Well come October 31 or any costume parties I am invited to, I plan to go dressed as something different.

This Moria Orc mask similar to that used in the Lord of the Rings movie, also looks really scary.
However, might be a problem if you want to eat or drink.

What about this great "Walking Illusion America SP OR":

This are just some examples of thousands of Halloween costumes listed on Costumecauldron.com, an online Halloween costume store. In fact according to the site, they have 14 000 items in the store when I last checked, including some outrageous ones as well. It's up to your imagination.

Pssst! I got to know about this secret HAUNTED HOUSE backdoor on the website: Go to the homepage halfway down and click on the , in the line that reads:
Our Store now has over 14,000 masquerade items for you to choose from!
Click to get 10% discount.

Well! Do you have a costume ready for this Halloween?

Get a free Web 2 badge

You don't need Photoshoping skills to get a Web 2 badge. Just go over to the Web 2.0 Badges website and create one in a few minutes. Chose the shape of the badge. Change Text you want on it, Font, Font Size and Font Color.

So far they have only a few designs and only 6 fonts to choose from. Plus the size of the badge is quite small so you can't create a high resolution version. But what am I complaining about. It's totally free.

Here's one I created for my blog. What do you think?



Got the link from Eches' blog.

Unsecured Business Loans for small business owners

A lot of small businesses fail because of cash flow problems in the initial stages. Many entrepreneurs found out that the seed money that they had put into setting up the business has disappeared and often securing more capital to keep the business running can be a really challenging task. Most banks and lenders would require your credit history as well as some form of collateral. Searching for unsecured business financing can prove to be a highly frustrating and very time consuming.

Fortunately there are companies like EZUnsecured.com, that are specialized in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs obtain the capital they need to help grow their business. This nationwide Business Financing Consultant has been operating since 2002, help small business owners obtain Unsecured Business Loans and Lines of Credit. They complete and prepare your application so it gets approved the 1st time from their extensive network of financial institutions.

Test your broadband speed with Speedtest.net


I have always been curious whether our broadband connection speed was as fast as the service provider says it is. I found a broadband connection analysis tool at Speedtest.net. This great service is provided free by Ookla. They have a huge selection of geographically dispersed testing servers.

It's very easy to find out the speed. Just click a server nearest to your location. The recommended server is represented by a Yellow Pyramid, which happens to be Maidenhead UK in my case. Just click it and the testing will begin automatically.

My own broadband provider promise broadband download speeds of "up to 2Mbps". However, I got speeds of only 982kbs for download and 211kbs for upload yesterday night. It improved to 998kbs (download) and 234 kbs (upload) today.

Test your Internet connection speed at Speedtest.net

Got to know about it via Shawn Knight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chat about your favourite American idols

Do you follow American Idol show on Fox? Well if you do, I suggest you go over to idolme.com. They call it "Adult & teen chat rooms - American Idol and music" but technically it's a message board. As the name suggest, most of the topics are on American Idol. However, there are separate rooms for Australian and Canadian Idol as well. Also under "Idol me chat", there are separate rooms for Music, Television, Sports, Funny Stuff, Politics & Religion, as well as 'Off Topic Chat'.

I nearly fell of my chair while reading this post titled "Why American's Should Never Be Alloed To Travel" under Funny stuff (yeah 'Alloed' is a spelling mistake). I give you one sample:
A businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. "Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express."


The discussion group seems to be very popular with 4,630 threads, 81,163 posts and 12,371 members, when I last checked. I didn't need to register to read the threads, many of which are hilarious. However, you need to sign up first in order to post any reply.

At first I didn't pay much attention to it, but later on I found out that the short biographies of various music artists on the right hand sidebar were quite informative - a brief biography, lists of songs and usually a YouTube video featuring the artist as well. The site is also linked to their blog called "Idol Based Informational Nonsense". Several hilarious posts on the blog.

Before posting on the blog, I recommend that all teenagers should read the "Be Safe Online" thread.

Create free polls with PollDaddy

I got to know about PollDaddy.com though the recent Blog Battle Royale organised by PayPerPost. In case you didn't know, I just missed the 5th position by a few votes. Read my post Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Anyway, this online tool is totally free and you can place the polls on your site, blog, Friendster profile and anyplace via JavaScript, flash, direct link, widget or RSS. It's really flexible.


Buying dining room furniture hassle free

When we go to buy furniture we prefer to go to places where we are are undisturbed - shops where there are no salesman following you around and pressuring us to buy some "amazing" furniture. Unfortunately most furniture shops seem to have these men prowling on their shop floor. I wish they could read our minds: "If we need you help, we will ask. Thank You!"

Like many other customers who don't like all the hassle of physically shopping including enduring traffic jams to get to the store and then being annoyed by the salesman, online shopping does certainly appeals to me. If you are looking for dining room furniture, you can buy them online at various online furniture stores. Look for those which have a network of physical furniture outlets in many major cities throughout the country. Even if you are not near an actual outlet, the company should be able to deliver furniture to all customers in the country.

Also check whether they have a wide selection of furniture - contemporary or formal, etc. Finally keep an eye out for discounts. For example. I noticed that one store have slashed the prices of many of their furniture, some by more than $100. Also some allow you to pick up the furniture yourself from the nearest outlet thus you can save on shipping as there will be no shipping charges.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bank account information

Did the title catch your attention? No! I am not going to tell you my bank account information or any related banking details but point you to some great links related to bank accounts.

I am sure some of my close friends have heard about the ordeal that we had to go through to open Bank accounts after moving to the UK. After applying with several big banks without any success, I was finally able to open a current account with this bank just around the corner from my house. All they needed were my identification paper (my passport) and 2 recent consecutive utility bills for proof of address. Unlike some other banks, I didn't even need to put in a deposit. They also have internet banking facilities. I wholeheartedly recommend my bank -Lloyds TSB to everyone.

Right now I am saving up whatever I earn from blogging and other sources, and putting it into my account to pay for my PhD fees. However, I now realise that a current account is not exactly the right choice for this purpose. It looks like it might be wiser to open a Savings accounts. The present high interest rates would work in my favour as well.

If you are looking for some tips and information regarding bank accounts, go over to the Nations Finance website., one of the best independent financial comparison sites in the UK.They have a wealth of information on finance and banking related issues. For example check out the article on bad credit bank accounts. Should prove be useful for people with a bad credit history.

Please vote for me

I am through the first round of the "Blog Battle Royale" competition organised by PayPerPost. My entry is # 15. iByot - the multi-tasking next generation house robot that I wrote on my SEO Expert blog.

Please visit the poll page Blog Battle Royale: iRobot Voting Begins and vote for me.

Just to remind you again, my entry is #15.

Voting ends on Monday, August 20th at 12:00pm EST.

Thanks a lot.

Adam

Eco-friendly music festival coming to Atlanta


Now for some news for the music lovers.

An annual Atlanta Concert Music Festival - The Echo Project is coming to Atlanta, Georgia. The eco-responsible music and arts festival will run for three days from 12 to 14, October 2007. This
multi-stage event will be held on 350-acres of scenic Chattahoochee river front property on a privately owned 1250-acre farm just south of metropolitan Atlanta.

The Echo Project will showcase a revolutionary eco-friendly event production - including carbon emissions, power consumption and creation, alternative energy sources, and waste management and recycling initiatives.

The festival has a diverse lineup ranging from hip-hop to rock. Some of the artists expected to perform at the festival include The Killers, Phil and Friends, moe., Stephen Marley, The Roots, Cypress Hill, Polyphonic Spree and lots more. Check their website for more updates.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Prevent laptop theft - install Laptop Alarm

Quite sometime back there was a warning from the West Midlands Police for students to be extra vigilant with their laptops and hand held devices as the exams near. It seems that this is the time when most thefts of electronic devices occur, usually from libraries or other communal areas.

It was not surprising that most thefts occur when people go for a coffee or toilet break. I mean, it would be awkward to take a laptop to the toilet.

The Laptop Alarm (only 188KB) just might be the perfect solution. The latest version, LaptopAlarm 1.13 fixes a bug in the previous version.

A loud alarm will be emitted from the computer's speakers when someone:
- tries to shut off or log off the laptop.
- pulls the AC adapter plug out.
- pulls out your USB mouse.

Just make sure that you are not using your earphones as the alarm is extremely loud. In a place like a library, any attempt to steal your laptop will definitely attract a lot of attention. Just make sure you don't forget and trip the alarm yourself.

UK recruitment site launches innovative search engine

While going through various UK recruitment sites, I came across JumptoJobs.co.uk the search engine for jobs. They announced the launch of their innovative job search engine today. This system facilitates the delivery of very targeted jobseeker traffic to job-boards, recruitment agencies and corporate HR departments. When I last checked they had 511,905 jobs listed from various sources.

Recruiters don't have to worry about entering the data or any other administration work as the jobs advertised are indexed from their current location on the internet. Unlike other online recruitment sites, recruiters pay based on pay per click or pay per application (their choice). This ensures that they are paying only for results delivered. Go to JumpToJobs.co.uk for more details.

Create your mobile code

Found something really cool today. Create your own mobile code - a code that can be scanned using a camera phone. I found it while going through the Nokia site here. Most of the N Series Nokia phones including the N93, N93i, N95 or E90 already has the Nokia barcode reader preinstalled.

You can encode a website link, text, or a phone number.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Buying a used Vauxhall car


Diesel cars are not really my choice. I always thought that they were noisy and smelly vehicles.

I did an about turn recently when I got to drive a Vauxhall Corsa Sxi 1.3CDTi. One of our friends had recently bought it and I gave it a test drive. It is a 5 door, manual car with a 1.3 litre 16V diesel engine. The car comes with all the frills - airbags, air conditioning, alloy rim with low profile tyres, ABS, CD player, etc.

After driving my 1.8 Litre car, I felt that the pick up was a bit slow but it was smooth sailing after that. The seats were quite comfortable and once on the highway, the engine suddenly seem to come to life. My friend told me that it was the turbo kicking in. I imagined that it must be guzzling fuel and I was surprised when my friend told me that that it was more economical than his previous car.

Though it looks quite small from outside, it quite spacious inside. Though I have to admit that I didn't get in the back passenger seats.

I really loved that car and when I upgrade my car, the Vauxhall Corsa Sxi would definitely be in my list. 

Gum Tree - UK's favourite classified site


Gumtree.com is the largest, free, classified advertising website in the UK. It was started as a community site in London in March 2000 by Michael Pennington and Simon Crookall. Since then, it has expanded to 60 cities across the UK, Ireland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Gumtree.com was acquired by eBay in May 2005.

It has become our favourite site to search for accomodation for friends who are coming over the UK for furthering their studies like us. I am also looking for jobs on it. Every day, there are also a lot of ads where people are giving away their stuff for free. The only thing is that you have to go and pick it up from them.

Do check out their list of Gumtree users' favourite ads! Should bring a smile to your lips if not rotflol.

Selling your home fast in the UK

As I have already mentioned in a previous post some time back, a lot of people in the UK are facing enormous financial problems in repaying their house mortgage due to the increase in interest rates. This isn't good news for people who have been laid off from work and several kids to feed. Sometimes the only option available is to sell of the house and fast. You wouldn't want your house to be repossessed.

Other reasons you might want to sell off your home fast besides paying off mortgage arrears are debt problems, relocation to another country, illness or even divorce.

In such as case, I too need to sell my home as soon as possible. MPG Investments is a company that buys people's property quickly and for cash. Their website mentions that they can sell your house within 24 hours. This company is offering free legal services (worth approximately £1000 plus VAT) when you use their recommended property solicitors. You can also get a FREE valuation of your property. No harm in trying as there is no obligation.

My Celebrity look alikes

I definitely do not look like Johnny Depp. However, the face recognition software from the MyHeritage site seems to think so.

I have no idea who the other people are apart from Debb and Wen Ziabao who's the 6th Premier of the People's Republic of China.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Largest source of free coupon codes

A lot of my friend shop online but most of them are unaware of a great way to save on their purchases. I am talking about free online coupons. Most major online stores and and shopping sites issue coupon codes which can give you a discount or rebate when purchasing a product.

Now a number of websites have come up, which list these online coupons. Most of them operate by getting a certain percentage from the store for every referral that goes through them. Out of all these websites, I found that Deal Locker has one of the largest number of coupon codes. Though fairly new, this site lists thousands on coupons on nearly every online retailer on the net.

On their site you can search for coupons either by 'Store' or by 'category'. I checked two of my favourite online shopping sites, namely, Amazon and found out that there were 54 coupons listed with various offers, when I last checked. Coupons are also not limited to online stores selling physical products. Another favourite site of mine is Godaddy.com. They are one of the leading domain name sites on the web and they had 59 coupons listed when i last checked.

If you are a Firefox browser user, you cab install the '1-Click Coupon bookmarklet' on your toolbar. It's an easy way of checking whether an online store has coupons listed. All you have to do is click the bookmarklet to find out.

I really like the fact that outdated coupon codes does not show up on the site - one of the major thing that turns me off other coupons sites. All coupons on Deal Locker are working coupons and best of all, they are user rated. If you do come across any free coupon codes, do go over to their site to share with other users.I order to do this, just go over to the add coupon page and then fill up the details including Website, Coupon code and Description.

Sponsored Review

Friday, August 10, 2007

Russian bride?

More individuals now are comfortable in finding love, dates and even life partner online. One of the reasons is of course due to time poverty. This is especially true for those of you who are still single and are very busy climbing up the corporate ladder. Utilizing online dating sites can give you the opportunity to meet new individuals faster and more efficiently.

I would like to introduce you to a unique online dating site. It is quite distinct because it’s only specialises in Russian brides. According to this site, Russian wives are by nature more devoted, dedicated and loyal to their life partner and they are likely to make a marriage work. If you are curious, why don't you visit the site now. You can also consider putting up your ad up for free.

Create your own radio station with Slacker.com

Got to know about this new music site called Slacker.com, that allows you to create and customize your own radio stations. You can create a station by choosing your favorite artists or by selecting one of the existing stations based on genre.

Slacker Personal Radio allows you to log in from any PC or Mac to hear personalized stations play CD quality music. Playback is through web player, jukebox software and portable devices

The site also allows you to view album cover art, band profiles, reviews and artist photos. You can even share your stations with friends.

FYI, Slacker is completely free.

NOTE:
Unfortunately, Slacker is currently only available in the United States. However, the site mentions that it will soon extend licenses to other parts of the world.

Thanks for the info Anders.

Are you ready for Business 3.0?

1% of businesses know how to know what they don't know
4% of businesses know what they don't know
95% of businesses don't know what they don't know
I read these thought provoking words on the website of Disrupted Horizon, the Business 3.0 Consultancy. The firm was launched this year by John Straw, who has over 30 years experience in the advertising and IT sector.

After spending a few minutes pondering the words above, I have to admit that it's really true. From experience, I realise that several companies especially small and medium companies, remain completely oblivious of developments threatening their business, especially technology. It is evolving so fast that well established technologies are being displaced by newer ones - the phenomena known as "Disruptive Technology". I guess the company's name is derived from it.

Disrupted Horizon asks whether your business is ready for the next industrial revolution, referred to as Business 3.0 - a revolution where only those firms with creative strategies in place to tackle technology will survive. To find out, go through their Business 3.0 Health Check list. 

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hi Ethan promoter of bigstring.com

Thanks for dropping by my blog and taking your time to cut and paste a comment (you left the same comment on my ah ok lah blog as well). I would like to let you know that I don't really appreciate spam comments (which it was).

I did look up the service that you are talking about and it does seem like a good idea. If you are looking to promote your site or are helping to promote a site, this is definitely not the right way. You may be actually driving away potential customers. For example, a negative review from me will definitely not help.

If you want a review or want to advertise on my blogs, you are most welcome but please contact me via my email: ahoklah[at]gmail[dot]com

You will never forget an occasion

Forgetting an important occasion can be disastrous. I have heard of couples getting divorced because the husband forgot their wedding anniversary. To be entirely honest, I am not that great at remembering dates either. Remembering special dates can go a long way in improving relationships with your clients and employees as well.

Anyway found a great service that will remember the occasion for you - whether it's an anniversary, a birthday or any other special occasion. Touted as the “greeting card fulfillment manager”, GREETINGster helps you remember all the special occasions.

All you have to do is pick a card, fill up the recipient's and your own particulars. Even if you had forgotten all about it, just one week before the occasion, you will receive the card along with a stamped and addressed envelope. All you have to do is sign and post it. All of this is for only $2.99 including postage.

For visitors to my blog only: Go over to GREETINGster to take advantage of their FREE TRIAL offer. You do not need to sign up or give away your credit card information. This is for a limited time only.

Finding cheap insurance on the net

Our car insurance is due for renewal soon. I remember the tough times we had to go through, searching for the ideal and of course cheapest insurance when we first bought our car here in the UK and mind you, it cost us a bomb.

Searching for the cheapest insurance on various comparison sites brought me to Thriftyscot.co.uk. I was able to get a free no obligations quote for the car insurance. The site claims to be able to search over 95% of car insurance companies in just 2 minutes. I learnt a very important tip from a friend here. After you get a quote, contact the company to see whether they would be able to reduce it even further and they often do.

The site is a great place to compare home insurance and life insurance as well.

Crystal Clear icons

Are you having a nice day?

If you are looking for Window's XP style icons for your site or other applications, visit the Crystal Clear page on Wikimedia Commons. All of the icons were designed by Everaldo Coelho. You are free to redistribute and/or modify them under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Solution for acne problems

Most people assume that acne is something that happens to teenagers with raging hormones only. Well it's true that it affects mostly adolescents and I too suffered when I was younger. I tried out all kinds of stuff including anti pimple creams available in the stores and even some natural therapies such as sandal wood paste. It was kind of hard on your social life when you had a dozen red pimples on your face. Fortunately it cleared up by the time I got to University.

However, it was shocking to learn that a lot of adults suffer from ache as well — more than half of all adult women and about a quarter of adult men, according to the Acne.com site. This website is from the same people who makes Proactiv® Solution. I am sure you have heard about the Proactiv® Solution 3-Step System, as it is quite famous. The proactive solution was developed by dermatologists to help heal the blemishes that you already have and stop new ones from forming. It involves three steps, namely: 1. Renewing Cleanser, 2.Revitalizing Toner and 3. Repairing Lotion.

Well, I wanted to inform you that if you order it now, you will get two bonuses valued at $20 for free. This includes a Refining Mask and the "Face the Facts" guide on solving acne problems. If you are not satisfied with it, you can always get your money back as they have a 60-day money back guarantee.

Watch movies, tv show and more for free

I recently got to know about this amazing site - allfg.org, (automatically redirects you to www12.alluc.org) from my wife, where you can find links to loads of movies, tv shows, music videos, documentaries, etc. totally free.

I was able to catch some episodes of 'Heroes'' that I had missed and loads of other TV shows and movies as well.

However, watch at your own risk. Their disclaimer says:
By clicking on any Links to videos while surfing on Allfg.org you leave Allfg.org, Allfg.org cant take the responsibility for any content hosted on other sites.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hard to find perfumes

Just the other day some of our friends visited our house and the conversations slowly moved to fragrances. It was interesting to note that all of us had one favourite perfume or fragrance, even though all of used used others as well.

Buying a new perfume as a gift is always a gamble as people have different preferences. I am talking from experience as a costly perfume that I once bought my wife remained unused forever. My suggestion is to find out their favourite fragrances and stick with it.

My all time favourite has always been L'Eau D'Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake.I have used others but I will have at least one bottle always. Come to think of it, it was actually the sleek bottle with the frosted glass that attracted me. My wife on the other hand has always loved the DaliFlor, Salvador Dali. Unfortunately this Eau de Toilette is so hard to find. I was really happy to find this perfume for her on Sendmescent.com, a UK perfume website. Best of all, I found out that it was £13.25 cheaper than the retail price on their site. In fact all the perfumes I checked were cheaper then the prices at high street stores. I definitely recommend this site.

Skirmish paintball game

Found this great online Flash game called 'Skirmish'. Shoot your enemies with your paintball gun. The games gets progressively tougher as you move up the different stages.

It was a bit sluggish when I played - not sure whether it was due to my connection or my computer. I killed 191 enemy soldiers and my score is 4505 (on my first try).

Got this via the GadgetLite Blog.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Source for Backgammon news and info

What had Backgammon got to do with Boxing? They are totally different. The former is a board games where two players moves pieces according of the roll of dice, whereas the later is physcial game where two players slug it out in a ring.

BackgammonMasters.com, an onlinebackgammon operator , is sponsoring the yet undefeated heavyweight boxer Roman Greenberg 25-0 (17).

The 25 years old London based boxer was born in Russia and raised in Israel. He is going to face 35 year old veteran American Damon Reed 43-11 (30) at the South Town Exhibition Center in Sandy, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA on August 18. This will be Greenberg's 26th professional fight. His last fight was in March when he beat Michal Simms in a match lasting 10 rounds in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Rumours also put Greenberg on a list of three possible opponents to face Vitali Klitschko in a come back fight in September.

BackgammonMasters.com has been a major sponsor of Greenberg since early on in his career when he was relatively unknown. According to their spokesperson, they did so because they saw his potential as a World boxing champion.

Got this news from Gammonish.com, the online source for news and information about backgammon. I didn't have any idea on how to play this game but fortunately the site has all the game rules . 

More free blogger templates

One of the classic Blogger templates was the K2 Theme created by Michael Heilemann, Chris J Davis, Zeo, Steve Lam and Ben Sherratt.

Adam, a blogger who's studying in Australia has come up with several templates inspired by the original. These include several 3 column templates including some which are adsense ready. All the templates can be downloaded from his blog called 'K2 Modify | A New Variation on a Classic Theme'.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Playing with virtual dolls

The Cartoon Doll Emporium (www.cartoondollemporium.com) should appeal to young girls who like to play dress up games with dolls. The only thing is that the dolls here are virtual and kids play with them online. While kids play with stuffed animals on webkinz, this site has more than 800 virtual cartoon dolls to play with. These virtual dolls are sorted by categories, artists or popularity. One thing unique and interesting about these dolls is that all of them are hand drawn.

The website also has its own chat forum where kids can create their own Avatars and participate in make-belief games such as get employed and earn money, go shopping, do business (using virtual currency) and earn their reputation in social communities. The number of unique visitors that the site receives per month (4 million) is an indication of it's popularity. Though you can play without signing up, doing so will allow access to the full features.

Social bookmarking widget

Previously, I used to have separate buttons for Digg, Del.icio.us and Technorati. However, with the sudden mushrooming of social networking sites, it is simply not possible to put bookmarking buttons for each and every one of them.

The solution is the "Add This! Social Bookmark and Feed Button". This widget is totally free and with only one button, your blog looks less cluttered.

IDrive-E - up to 2GB online backups for free


As most of you know, to avoid possible headaches and heartaches of loosing important documents or files (especially if you are a PhD student who are about to submit your 20,000 word long PhD thesis), you must have some form of back up system. There are many options available to do that - on CDs, DVDs, flash drives, external hard disk or online with a backup service provider. The last option is the best one in my opinion because of two major factors: you can access it from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This means you don't have to go around carrying an external hard drive, which can be damaged or lost or stolen. secondly, it is more secure than the off-line back up system.

Out of all the Online Backup providers on the net, I personally fancy IDrive-E (http://www.idrive.com). They offer 2Gigabytes storage space for online backups totally FREE OF CHARGE. You definitely must go and check this out!

Digital camera that I fancy

I have been using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 digital camera for quite sometime now - a birthday gift from my wife. It's light, easy to use and the results are great.

However, after seeing the results of pictures taken by some of my friends with their digital SLR cameras, somehow I am not happy with . Maybe it's time to move on to the next level and get myself a goog digital SLR.

Camera.co.uk and Digital Photography Review are two great sites I usually refer to.

Going through them I found my dream SLR camera:

This is the Nikon D2X (12.4 Megapixels). Most of the reviews I have read so far say only god things about this camera. It won the best product accolades for 2005-2006 from the European Imaging and Sound Awards and was also named European Professional Camera of the Year. There's only one thing stopping me form buying it - the price. It is rather on the expensive side and I may have to consider one of the cheaper entry level cameras. Any suggestions?

Share and edit files online with driveway.com

The attachment file size limitations posed by various free email providers including Yahoo!, Hotmail and Gmail (ranging between 10-20MB) means that we won't be able to send our huge movie clips or multimedia files.

However, there is a solution. Driveway is a new web based file sharing service. They allow you to share files of up to 500MB in size. the amazing news doesn't end there. It's totally FREE plus there is no limit to the storage space and no download limits. You don't even have to register in order to do this. It almost sounds too good to be true.

Once you have uploaded your file to the site, all you have to do is provide the 'Parkit' links to whoever you want the file delivered to. Another extra feature (Yes! There's more) is the ability to edit shared documents online. Isn't that simply amazing. 

Optimize your PC's power consumption with LocalCooling


Read about this cool application on the Download.com site. The LocalCooling application (2.5 MB) for Windows XP is totally free and once loaded up will automatically optimize your PC's power consumption by using a more effective power save mode.

Check how much energy you are saving in real time. They will translate this savings in a fun way in terms of how many trees you have saved.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Customized letter heads

I was recently talking to a fiend who become an entrepreneur - starting his own consulting business and explaining the importance of having custom printed stationaries including business cards. Using blank generic stationeries can give the impression that you are not serious about your business - and some may question your professionalism.

If you are thinking of getting custom printed letterheads, I would recommend Vistprint, one of the best and cheapest places on the web to get customized stationaries. The prices start at only Starting at $19.99.

You can choose a design and customize it by uploading your logo or you can upload your own designs. If you want it really special, they can even create a professional design for you according to your instructions. Once you have created and ordered them, you can have it delivered to your doorstep as fast as 3 days.

You have the choice of getting matching envelopes when you are about to checkout. Vistaprint uses full-color printing on 70lb. paper stock and so far I am quite satisfied with their service.

Free Blogger templates

if you are a Blogger user, you are probably using a generic template provided by them. That means that your blog looks like thousands of other blogspot blogs on the web.

if you want to stand out from the rest, it would be a good idea to select a unique template. If you are good at XML and graphics, go ahead and design you own. If not pay someone to design it for you. You can also choose from among the various blogger templates available for free on the net.

Blogcrowds is one of the best sources for free Blogger templates. They are all free for you to download and tweak. You can also see a demo of each template before you adopt them.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Customise your sofa

I am sure all of you have faced the situation where you found the product you wanted but in a colour you didn't like. What about a sofa? We often have no choice but to choose from the selection of sofas they have in their showrooms.

Wouldn't it be great if we could design our own sofa, size, fabric and course the colour. The one we have now in our rented house was provided by our landlord and I hate the colour (green) and the ancient looking design. I want something modern looking and one that I could really stretch my leg out.

Coolsofa.com allows you to build a custom Sofa online. After you have designed it, they will build it in their factory in Southern California and deliver it straight to your home.

Their custom sofas can be seen in places like the Playboy Mansion, Google office and in homes of celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Dennis Rodman and more. Their range of sofas are amazing and they are not limited to sofas for homes. They also carry Nightclub Furniture, Hotel Furniture and more.


Several of their sofas had their prices cut. Take this Canal Sofa in Black Vinyl Leatherette as an example. It used to be $595.00 but it is now only $395.00. There are more great deals on the site.

Firefox 2.0.0.6

The latest version of Firefox to come out is version 2.0.0.6, which was released on July 30, 2007. I am not sure why but the auto update didn't work and I had to install it manually.

The following security issues have been fixed:

MFSA 2007-27 Unescaped URIs passed to external programs
MFSA 2007-26 Privilege escalation through chrome-loaded about:blank windows

Firefox 2