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Mindconnection eNL, 2009-02-22

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In this issue:
Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Miscellany | Thought for the Day

 

1. Product Highlight

iTravl translator now in red, limited time promotion
The amazing iTravl is now available in three different colors. Most customers are buying the Corrida (red) color.

We have the iTravl in more than 30 language pairs, plus combination packages (e.g., 9 language pairs on one device) and deluxe (includes a scanning pen).

The iTravl features voice output, speech recognition, a anguage learning program, and an extensive travel guide. Every language pair has a huge word count (some are over 1 million), plus 14,000 categorized phrases.

The iTravl has a color touch screen, and virtual keyboards with full character sets. It's about the size of a cell phone, with similar controls. Just tap iTranslate and start translating. It really is that easy to use.

We have a special promotion going, for a limited time. Click a picture for more info.
 

Electronic Translator Ectaco iTravl Corrida 

http://www.mindconnection.com/categoryLANG-003ECTACOiTravl.html
 

What about that Deluxe version? You get a scanning pen and cradle charger, plus double-sized virtual keys. A sweet package.

Consider the 9c Deluxe: Scan text and engage in 2-way communication with others in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. It has sentence translation, voice output, speech recognition, travel guide, 5.2 million words, and 126,000 categorized phrases (14,000 per language pair).

The 9C Deluxe is the same thing as the 8W Deluxe, but adds in Chinese for free (limited time offer on this pricing).

8-Language Electronic Translator Alpine Corrida 8W Deluxe


2. Brainpower tip

The deluge of disinformation is a problem for the brain-enabled among us. These days, it seems nobody cares to check basic facts before spewing forth on some topic or another. We used to call these people liars or idiots. Now we call them everything from "nonfiction author" to "Mr. President."

(I'm not picking on President "can't get my facts straight" Obama, who is just upholding what has become a tradition for that office).

There's a difference between being a little off and being fundamentally wrong. There's a difference between getting some tangential fact wrong and basing your entire position (or speech) on a set of fundamentally wrong facts. If you have a point to make or a position to present, base it on verifiable facts or stay silent.

How can we prevent ourselves from:

  1. Doing the disinformation shuffle ourselves?
  2. Believing disinformation just because someone said it or wrote it?
  3. Becoming detrimentally reliant on disinformation?

Believe it or not, there are standard methodologies for vetting information. Arguably one of the best ways to learn these methodologies is to obtain formal training in debate. I am not referring to the kind of "debate" that the so-called candidates perform during our so-called "elections." Those are not debates. Those are posturing. They have no substance. Real issues aren't discussed. There are no rigorous arguments.

In high school, I was on the Debating Team. This was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. To win a debate, you must construct logical arguments based on information from reliable sources. There are primary sources, such as researchers. There are secondary sources, such as experienced practitioners or professionals. There are other kinds of sources, and the further down the line you get the less "authority juice" the information has. Most of what passes for news today comes from sources devoid of authority juice.

One solution to all three problems posed above is to visit your library and check out one book per month on formal debate until you have read several such books. Focus on the areas that discuss information sources.

Other solutions are available, and many are just as good. I offer this one because I am familiar with it.

3. Finance tip

Bad financial news hits all the time. In the USA, we are shouldering the largest tax burden (roughly $600 grand per working person) of any nation in history. And most of that money has been spent in an unconscionably reckless manner. This crushing debt is a root cause of the current crisis, and yet many of our politicians are pushing for even more debt. I suppose bringing a gasoline truck to a housefire sounds smart to some people, though I don't follow the logic.

The good news is multifold, here. Consider:

  • The entire system isn't collapsing. Banks in the Midwest are generally doing pretty well.
     
  • State and city governments are actually cutting back on "services" (read, "wealth transfers and wasteful spending") because citizens are saying no to ever higher costs.
     
  • The Fair Tax is gaining stature, despite the best efforts of the mudstream media to misrepresent it. One of the MM's absurd claims is that the federal income tax is progressive, despite the fact that its compliance costs are far larger than the 1040 taxes and are a tax in themselves--a highly regressive tax. Passing of the Fair Tax would be a financial boon to the general economy and to everyone who makes an honest living.
     
  • People are re-assessing their spending patterns. Getting a 9 year loan for a land barge instead of buying a practical car is just stupid. Slaving away to support the costs of a McMansion is also stupid. People are jumping off of the stupidity wagon and getting smart about their spending.

If you look at your largest expenses, they are all beyond your immediate control. And they are all government spending related or the result of excess regulation. I want to qualify that remark by saying not all regulation is bad and the "excess" I am talking about are insane things like Sarbanes-Oxley that are expensive yet accomplish none of the goals that "justified" the legislation in the first place.

To reduce these expenses, prevail upon your misrepresentatives in CONgress to have some mercy on regular citizens and think about the consequences. Ask them to cancel govt programs, reduce the size of agencies, and roll back regulations. For example, which regulations were enacted in 2008? We survived 2007 without those, so can we just repeal them?

On the other expenses, look for waste and stop creating it. Do you really need new ring tones, for example? Why?

Financial gurus advise us, "Track your expenses." But have you ever done this? Most people do not and will not, because there isn't an easy way. Ditto for budgeting. So, what can you do instead?

In project management, one way to deliver on time is to limit the scope. For expenses, you can do the same thing. Since most "discretionary" expenses (definitions of "discretionary expense" differ) are probably unnecessary, start off by tracking those. After a few months, you'll have made significant progress and you can switch to looking at other expenses.

You have "fixed" expenses such as mortgage (or rent) and insurance. You may consider downsizing your digs and re-evaluating your insurance for some savings.

You have "variable" expenses, such as utilities, clothing, and groceries. The average person can cut these in half, easily. For example, most of what's in the typical grocery cart is some packaged crap that damages your health and costs more than what you should be eating instead. If you eat out, look very closely at that.

One tool for getting a handle on where your money goes is financial software. You just have to discipline yourself to use it. Doing so is nearly always worthwhile.

4. Security tip

From the experts on theft:

Ten Things the IRS Wants You to Know About Identity Theft

1. If you receive a letter or notice from the IRS which leads you to believe someone may have fraudulently used your Social Security Number, respond immediately to the name and address or phone number printed on the IRS notice.

2. If you receive a letter from the IRS that indicates more than one tax return was filed for you, this may be a sign that your SSN was used fraudulently.

3. Another sign that you may be the target of identity theft is an IRS letter indicating you received wages from an employer unknown to you.

4. The IRS has a department which deals specifically with identity theft issues. The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is available if you have been in contact with the IRS about an identity theft issue and have not achieved a resolution.

5. You can contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling the Identity Theft Hotline at 800-908-4490 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific Standard Time).

6. The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is also available if you believe your identity may be at risk of being stolen due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet or due to questionable activity on your credit card or your credit report.

7. The IRS never initiates communication with taxpayers about their tax account through emails. If you receive an e-mail or find a Web site you think is pretending to be the IRS, forward the e-mail or Web site URL to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

8. The IRS has many more resources available to help inform taxpayers about identity theft on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov. On IRS.gov you can access information on how to report scams and bogus IRS Web sites. You can also visit the IRS Identity Theft Resource Page, which you can find by typing Identity Theft Resource Page in the search box on the IRS.gov home page.

9. The Federal Trade Commission is also available to assist taxpayers with identity theft issues. You can reach them at 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).

10. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for protection tips from the federal government and the technology industry.

 

Of course, with the IRS still "at large" all other groups of criminals are statistically insignificant. There is a solution. See www.fairtax.org.

5. Health tip/Fitness tips

Check out these Free Reports

Back pain is a constant, for many people. In my own case, I have to go beyond "normal" prevention because I have an abnormal back. But for most people, their back pain is their own fault. The upshot there is it is within your power to reduce or eliminate back pain.

The free reports above will help you move in the right direction toward a strong, pain-free back.

On a related subject, people have asked how many sit-ups I do each day. The answer zero. I don't do sit-ups, and neither should you. Strong abs are important to preventing back pain, but you don't get them from cranking out sit-ups. My favorite exercise for developing powerful abs is the front squat, and I do those twice a month. I do hanging leg raises once a week (skipping some weeks).

Fitness supplements for bodybuilders

6. Miscellany

  1. At the deepest point in the ocean, the pressure is more than 8 tons per square inch. That's the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets. However, that's nothing compared to the burden on the US taxpayer, trying to support millions of millions dollars in wasteful spending by CONgress.
     
  2. We don't run ads in our newsletter. We do get inquiries from advertisers, all the time. To keep this eNL coming, go to www.mindconnection.com and do your shopping from there (as appropriate).
     

  3. Please forward this eNL to others.

7. Thought for the Day

Neither how hard you work at the wrong things nor how busy you are doing them will define how successful you are.

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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