- Product Highlights
- Brainpower tip
- Time tip
- Finance tip
- Security tip
- Health tip/Fitness tip
- Thought for the day
1. Product Highlights
|Updated in 2015. Chinese translation devices:
Click an image above, for more info.
Here's the original text, below.
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case, color touch screen for enhanced visibility, adjustable color
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Best value in a Chinese electronic translator. Buy from us for
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2. Brainpower tip
I deal with people all day long. I have noticed an
interesting correlation. People who are mean and surly are also stupid. No
exceptions. Problem solvers are invariably polite and respectful.|
- Example 1. Don is a customer in CA. He had a running
problem with a $400 order, lasting 3 weeks. Don is a businessman. He
understood what the issues were, and simply focused on the problem without
personally denigrating me in any way. He was helpful, and his suggestions
moved things along. His problem was solved.
- Example 2. Sandy (not her real name) is a customer
(also in CA, coincidentally). She made a series of mistakes in trying to
return a $25 order for a refund. The bottom line is I wasn't able to return
her product to the distributor or the mfr to get her a refund. I sent her
multiple e-mails, telling her what the circumstances were and what her
options were. She never replied. Then she called me after several weeks, and
ranted like a lunatic. She didn't care what the facts were, she just wanted
her money. I had her product here and wanted to help her recover the value
that was in it. But rather than work with me on that, she spewed insults and
hung up on me. Her problem was not solved. I printed out her e-mails and
snailed them to her.
What I think is going on here is people can wear
either a thinking cap or a stinking cap. When someone ceases to be civil,
that person simultaneously ceases to be intelligent.
Try to keep these two examples in mind, or think of
some from your own experience, when you face a problem and need assistance.
When you face a choice of mistreating another person or minding your
manners, I think you are also choosing between stupidity and intelligence.
3. Time Tip
4. Finance tip
I find the principle of "save money at any cost" in
play, quite often. You do not save money by purchasing inferior goods.
Generally, you get what you pay for. Too often, people focus on price
and that ends up costing them more. Here are some other considerations:|
- Service. Suppose, for example, you contact an
online merchant who proves to be very helpful in helping you decide
what product will best suit your needs. You then decide to be cheap
and buy from lowprice.com or whatever. You get the product, and have
a problem. You couldn't reach lowprice.com before the sale,
and now you don't have their help after the sale.
- Total cost of ownership. This is easily seen
in cars. You can save several thousand dollars, if you buy a piece
of crap Kia. But over the next few years, you are going to pay more
in repairs, maintenance, efficiency losses, etc., than if you'd
bought a Honda or Toyota instead. Further, the Kia will be a huge
step down in comfort, dependability, and other attributes. It turns
out to be much more expensive than a quality vehicle.
- Suitability for purpose. Get the features you
need. If the product you're buying doesn't quite cut it but only
comes close, you will be frustrated with it.
- Ease of use. That cheaper model may lack the
interface or various usability features that the slightly pricier
one has--for a reason.
Can you think of some other considerations? You
might take a close look at a dozen or so items you own and ask yourself
why you bought that particular item rather than one that was more
expensive or less expensive. Analyzing your past purchases can help you
approach future purchases more intelligently, thus saving you money.
5. Security tip
How much information do you give away about yourself?
Most people would be highly surprised at the number of security holes
they open up, if they stopped to analyze a day's worth of mistakes.|
You've no doubt heard of the "need to know"
principle. If other people don't "need to know" your business, don't
Here are some examples to think about:
- Having your phone number or address on a
luggage tag. Instead of your phone number, use that of a neighbor or
a coworker who can act as a proxy. This way, someone can't look you
up and determine that your home is presently vacant. If you
generally don't give out your cell number and have never put that
down along with your address somewhere other than your cell
provider, you can use that.
- Conducting business via cell phone. It never
ceases to amaze me how many people think they have to shout over a
cell phone. The shouting isn't necessary--those phones are not
programmed for low volume. Shouting won't improve the connection,
either. If you're in public, act like you're in public. Anything you
say is public information, simply because you said it in public..
- Giving out all of your contact information.
If you don't want sales people calling you at work, don't give them
your work number. Decide one way in which you want people (by type)
to contact you, and provide only that contact information and no
more. For example, all sales people can reach you at
- Be careful of surveys. If you know anything
about survey design, you know that the typical survey is poorly done
and fairly worthless. This prompts me to ask, "What's the real goal
of this survey, anyhow?" Often, it's not to get your opinion. It's
to get information about you. Related to this is the political
survey accompanied by a donation form. Those surveys get trashed,
not read. Only the check that you send with it matters. I save these
people the trouble of trashing my survey by trashing it myself rather than
filling it out. I don't send them a check, either.
- Door to door callers. Yes, some legitimate
salespeople and fundraisers go door to door. But so do con artists.
One con involves having you fill out an order form for a nifty
product that's dirt cheap or for a charity that helps very
disadvantaged college kids or whatever. No money is due until the
product is delivered. But there is no product. However, the form provides
your name, address, and phone number. Now the thief can just call
during the day to establish that nobody is home at your place during
certain hours. Congratulations--you've just been
- The information verification scam. The caller
asks you to verify your phone directory information, bank
information, or whatever. The first few questions will be for
information available in sources like the phone book. But there'll
be another question or two that will give away something that can be
used to rip you off or to sell your "demographic" to a company that
will bombard you with junk mail or phone calls. Just claim you can't
speak English and hang up.
Many other scams get run all the time. To avoid
these, keep the "need to know" principle in mind. Someone else may want
to know something about you, but for your purposes that person doesn't
need to know. Don't let anyone mislead you with promises of great deals
or hints about preventing some kind of problem.
6. Health tip/Fitness tips
- Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South
Carolina State anthem. Draw your own conclusions!
See: Special Offers (expired link now removed).
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8. Thought for the Day
We should start fining people who commit acts of gross stupidity. That
would pay off the $9 trillion national debt in about a week. Maybe
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