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Mindconnection eNL, 2007-03-04

Past issues

In this issue:

  1. Product Highlights
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Time tip
  4. Finance tip
  1. Security tip
  2. Health tip/Fitness tip
  3. Miscellany
  4. Thought for the day

1. Product Highlights

Translate Chinese
Updated in 2015.  Chinese translation devices:

   Chinese Electronic Translator Ectaco 900Ch

Click an image above, for more info.


Here's the original text, below.

Translate Chinese with the Chinese-English Ectaco EC-800 Electronic Translator, featuring voice output, speech recognition, and sentence builder.

Over 560,000 words and 14,000 categorized phrases. It can display possible replies you may hear in response to a phrase it just spoke to the other person..

This is an incredible bargain in a Chinese translation device. Click the picture, and you'll see that this sells for under $300.
Convenient flip-open case, color touch screen for enhanced visibility, adjustable color schemes, adjustable font sizes, and physical keyboard. Designed to PDA interface standards for ease of use. Add other languages via inexpensive MultiMedia Cards (MMCs).

Best value in a Chinese electronic translator. Buy from us for the best combination of service and savings.     

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 or whatever. You get the product, and have a problem. You couldn't reach 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 tell them.

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 cased!
  • 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

Here's a Supplecity for folks who want a great body but don't know where to start:


7. Miscellany

  1. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem. Draw your own conclusions!
  2. See: Special Offers (expired link now removed). It has some great offers that are worth following up on.

  3. We don't run ads in our newsletter. We do get inquiries from advertisers, all the time. To keep this eNL coming, go to and do your shopping from there (as appropriate).

  4. Please forward this eNL to others.


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 sooner.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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