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Computer Repair Fraud Is On The Rise

What do you do when your computer stops working for an unknown reason? If you’re like most people and know how to use a computer but don’t really think about what’s going on inside of it, you probably call someone who is an expert at diagnosing and repairing computer problems. That’s what I did and the following is an abbreviated version of what happened.

As a rule, I’ve always tried to trust the people I meet and do business with until I’m given a reason to feel otherwise. More and more frequently, I don’t have to wait long for someone to show their dishonest nature. This week it was the guy I called on to fix my computer after an electrical problem fried the power supply and mother board. He called himself “The Computer Doctor” and according to his ad in the paper and our brief phone conversation, he could heal my injured PC and make it better than it ever was. It was only after the fact, I learned that instances of computer repair fraud are on the rise in our technology driven society.

The good doctor suggested salvaging the good hardware from my computer and using it to build a new PC with new parts in place of the ones that were damaged. He said he could do that as well as upgrade the mother board and video card, transfer all my software and install a better system of security. He also agreed to my budget of $500.

The machine I left with him had a 2.7 gig processor, a 40 gig and a 250 gig hard drive, a CD-ROM player/burner, DVD player/burner, a 18-month-old video card with dual monitor capabilities, 1 gig of memory, a brand new TV Tuner card, 8 USB ports (2 front, 6 back), Ethernet and fire-wire ports, and mic, headphone and speaker jacks on the front as well as on back of the tower. I bought this computer 3 1/2 years ago and had it built to do what I needed it to do.

What was returned to me the next day consists of what seems to be a collection of spare parts he had lying around his shop. The mother board has a 3 gig processor and the video card is slightly more powerful but only supports one monitor. It has a 250 gig hard drive that sounds as if it has a muffler dragging. As far as I can tell he used my memory, DVD burner, TV tuner and fire-wire card. Missing were the 40 gig hard drive including my operating system and other software, CD burner and front audio ports.

Doctor Frankenstein installed an apparently pirated version of 2003 Windows XP Pro as well as numerous other programs that appear to be pirated on this monster. I suppose he’ll install the XP Home operating system that was installed on my 40 gig hard drive in a computer for his next trusting victim.

When I called the Computer Doctor, a.k.a Benedict Varella to express my concern about the scraping sound coming from this hard drive he immediately went on the defensive and told me I didn’t know anything. He then commenced to obnoxiously berate me for questioning his integrity, which I hadn’t done yet. That’s when my,”I could have had a V-8!” moment hit me.

After a minute or two of his self-righteous tirade, I hung up on Doc and started putting two and two together. No matter how I worked it I didn’t come up with four and realized I had been taken for a ride. He charged me $500 for an inferior computer full of illegal software and then kept all of my legitimate software, as well as much of my good hardware.

Since I paid for his “services” and the damage is done, I can only chalk this up to experience and try to warn others of this type of scam. Oh, I also reported him to the Business Software Alliance, a federal organization whose sole purpose is to pursue and prosecute people and businesses that use pirated software.
Hindsight is 20/20 and you can’t sue a “Computer Doctor” for malpractice, but from what I understand, the BSA will make his life hell and hopefully shut down his shady business.

Because we can’t all be experts on all subjects, we must often place our trust in people and businesses that specialize in a particular field. This is the case with attorneys, doctors, politicians, contractors and even grocers. It’s despicable, unethical, and in many cases illegal, when one of these people intentionally mislead and take advantage of the people that seek their counsel.

Before you trust the machine that contains everything from your bank records to your personal correspondence, take some time to make sure you are dealing with an honest company or individual. I suggest you always get referrals and check the references of anyone that you are going to trust with a significant expense or project. And if you do get the short end of the stick in a business deal, find a way to ensure the perpetrator is held accountable for their actions.

Cancer and Sleep Problems

For someone who has cancer getting a good nights rest can challenging.

There are many different factors for this reason. First the cancer patient has a lot to deal with just in regards to their cancer. According to doctor Josee Savard, PhD, “First, they may worry about what would be the consequences of the diagnosis, will they be treated, what kind of treatments they will receive, what will be the side effects. And then, when the treatments are over, then they tend to worry about the future.” Second the treatments such as the radiation and chemotherapy can make it difficult for someone with cancer to get a good nights rest. Some of the symptoms of a cancer treatment are hot flashes, nausea, insomnia and fatigue. These symptoms can disturb a person’s sleep. Third is the bad habit developed in being in bed the whole day even when it’s not time to sleep. Cancer patients are often tired from all the medication and treatments that they have to go through. Many cancer patients just want to stay in bed. Any activity such as eating, watching television and reading are done in bed. So when it comes time to go to sleep at night it is difficult for the body to do so. There are things a person with cancer can do to help him or herself to get a good nights rest.

A person with cancer can go to bed only when it is time to sleep. Doctor Josee Savard has a wonderful suggestion. He states, “Go to bed only when you feel sleepy, get out of bed after fifteen or twenty minutes if you are awake. Another goal of the behavioral strategies is to re-associate the bed with sleeping. So they are instructed not to do other things in their bed than sleeping and also having sexual activities.” Once this mental connection occurs better sleep patterns can be formed.

A cancer patient needs to avoid taking naps so close to bedtime. It becomes more difficult to fall asleep during bedtime if a person is well rested. Doctor Josee Savard states, “For cancer patients who feel fatigued, we suggest them to day-nap early, early on during the day. So ideally before three in the afternoon.”

Physical activity can be hard for a cancer patient who is frequently feeling tired. However any type of physical activity such as walking can help a cancer patient to get better sleep at night. Simple exercise such as stretches could make a big difference.

The final suggestion is to seek help from a doctor who will most likely prescribe sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can be effective however it is a drug that can be habit forming if used over a long period of time. It is important to talk with the doctor about the length of time used and the side effects of the sleeping pills.

Getting a good nights rest for a cancer patient is important. Sleep helps replenish the body and fight off the cancer. Sleep will also help the body gain energy and strength to handle daily tasks in life. By using these suggestions someone with cancer can get a good nights rest.

Being Recruited to Play College Soccer

As an alumni of a Division 1 women’s college soccer team and presently as a girls varsity high school soccer coach; I want to let people know the things that they should to do if they want to play college soccer. Soccer is a very competitive sport in a lot of areas over the United States these days, and if you are wanting to play college soccer than you are most likely playing on a club team or travel team. Soccer players are most likely going to be recruited during club soccer or what the also call travel soccer.

Some college coaches do see players at High School tournaments, but are usually going to recruit players at nationwide tournaments and college showcase tournaments. A lot of the big soccer tournaments are held during the holidays. Such tournaments that college coaches recruit at include The Orange Cup, which is held in Florida around Christmas time; The Surf Cup, which is held in California; Wags, which is held in Washington D.C. during the summer; and The Texas Shootout, which is held in Spring, Texas around June. There are many other big soccer tournaments, that was just a few of them.

First, if you are wanting to play soccer in college than recruiting yourself needs to start in the beginning of your junior year of high school. If you play on a pretty well known club soccer team than a lot of your trainers for that club will help talk to college coaches, but sometimes we’re not all lucky to have that option. Start thinking about where you might want to play soccer at , what you want to study, and what state you think you might be interested in living in. Sometimes you do not even have to go quite that much into detail. If you know you want to play soccer in college, but your not quite sure what you want to study that is okay. After you get your tournament schedule, start finding out which colleges are close to the area in which your going to be at.

Then type up and send a brief email of how your team is playing in the specific tournament, what team your on, what your number is, what time your playing at, what field your playing on, and that you are interested in the school and their soccer program. You can also add schools that you are personally interested in playing soccer at to your list and email them the same information. College coaches emails can be found on pretty much all of the universities websites in the athletic links to the soccer team. The more coaches that you send information to the more likely you are going to be to get recruited. Do all this preparation before each tournament you go to and you are definitely going to increase your chances to be recruited to play soccer in college.

Another small thing you can do to increase your likeliness to be recruited is have your parents help you put together a player profile portfolio that you, your parents, or your coach can hand out to college coaches that are at tournaments that your are playing in. You might think that this sounds like a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it in the long run. Getting your school paid for and not having any debt from school is such an advantage when you start your career after you graduate.

Article Tips- Use Your Netbook To Write More Articles Today

If you have a netbook, there are so many great ways you can use it to your advantage starting today. In fact, you probably bought your netbook because you wanted to be able to work on the go and keep in contact through WiFi and more.

I purchased my netbook through an article writing project. I set aside this particular project for the purpose of buying the netbook and now that I have one, I will continue to earn my money back time and time again with it. It’s great because it’s more easily portable than my full sized laptop. There are some times when I just don’t have the time or space to pull out the laptop. But the netbook is quick and easy to pull out and type up something wherever you are and whenever you need.

You can use your netbook to begin writing more articles today because there are tons of opportunities that arise when you have free time and if you have your netbook handy, you can just pop it out and type up some notes. It’s just that easy!

They are small enough to go in your purse or bag and easy to pull out even if you are in a crowded area such as a bus or waiting room. Think for a minute about how many times you have been in one of these situations and you had nothing to do.

You could have pulled out your mini laptop and typed up a quick article or at very least, typed up some notes for an article. There are article ideas all around us. Some people carry a notebook or note cards to help them keep track of the many ideas they come across. But if you’re like many article writers, you may find that squeezing the time in for writing some new articles can be difficult.

This is why it is so important to learn to prioritize your day and your writing and find time to squeeze articles in wherever and whenever you can. When you have your netbook, you can pull it out during lunch, on a work break, while riding the bus or carpooling, waiting for a doctor’s appointment and more.

Since it is small, lightweight and easy to carry around, you can pull it out when you need to and start typing your ideas. This will save you time since you can upload directly to Websites when you have a WiFi connection or you can transfer it to your main PC later.

If you want to write more articles, this is a great way to squeeze out articles in all amounts of free time that you have throughout your day. Never spend wasted time in a waiting room again when you can pop out your netbook and type up an article or two.

A Better High Speed Internet Arrives in Tyler, Texas

To my utter surprise I learned about a very intriguing new form of Mobile High Speed Internet service today. Imagine driving around town and being able to have High Speed Internet Service no matter where you find yourself. The practical benefits are staggering.

In my hometown of Tyler, Texas I can count the free WiFi locations on one hand and yes they are great when you are near enough to use them, but who wants to ride around town in a predetermined pattern so that you can get WIFI connection? That’s not mobile that’s “Spotty Internet” at best and is really limiting to say the least. However, if you could have High Speed Internet everywhere you were, or everywhere you knew you were going to be, that would be something that would be extremely worthwhile.

We all know that with High Speed Internet we can pretty much control every aspect of our daily lives, from paying bills, renting movies, scheduling appointments, making telephone calls — Basically all the things that you normally are limited to doing while at your home or office. In our fast paced lives access to a reliable Mobile High Speed Internet is something that is becoming more and more important every single day and WiFi is taking us all the way and in an affordable way.

This new local Mobile High Speed WiFi caught my attention immediately, for one thing it is plug_and_play — I said that correctly, no big dish, no big antenna and no cable line and not software to install. To my understanding you plug in a special modem/receiver and you have High Speed Internet on the go as long as it is in their coverage area. This of course is very similar to Internet Service via Cellular Internet Service except where you have to pay around $120 or more per month under limited access plans with cellular services. With this new Mobile High Speed Internet Service the rates start at just $29.95 per month. Compare that small cost to a $75 a month cell phone bill and then an additional $120 bucks for Mobile Cellular Internet Service — that’s around $200 bucks per month!

I got really excited when I realized that laptops pretty much go anywhere you go now days. With VOIP, which you can still get FREE believe it or not; I could dispense with my cell phone bill and still have the flexibility of an ear piece for my telephone conversation and be paying less for mobile telephone as well as Mobile High Speed Internet than I would be just pay a cell phone alone bill. Yeah, it would take some time to adjust to it, but the benefits for change are clearly evident.

I run a business that has remote monitoring capabilities. I know what is being sold, what is left in inventor and more importantly when I need to restock. It would be ideal to have Mobile High Speed WiFi service available 100% of the time as I drive around performing my normal daily tasks. I’d be better able to stay on top of my business, that’s for sure.

Here is the problem. The service is limited to the reach of the towers of the WiFi network can reach — same as cellular phones. It looks like it’s about a 30 mile area from the map displayed on the company’s website. That is great for Longview, Texas, which is about a 20 minute drive from my home town of Tyler, Texas, but of course this service isn’t available in my area yet.

What a bummer!

The Company name is Clearwire and was founded by telecom pioneer Craig McCaw in October 2003, The company is headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, but they have nine locations in Texas right now and there also multiple locations in 14 other states. Don’t know if the company is incorporated, but it would make an interesting stock to keep tabs on. Go to clearwire.com and see if this next age of Mobile High Speed Internet is available in your area. If not, wait for it. This promises to be the rage. I expect that cellular Internet Service will begin to drop dramatically as this new Mobile WiFI begins to spread.

A Slap in the Facebook: New Social Media Reopens Old Wounds

When I was in grade school I called a classmate to invite her over to play. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I was young enough that it was a thrill to be using the phone. I asked her to come to my house, and she said she had to ask her mom. She put the phone down. Back then we didn’t have fancy things like push-buttons or mute buttons, so I heard the conversation very clearly. She told her mom who it was and that I had invited her over. Her mom asked her if she wanted to go. “Not really,” she said. Then she got back on the phone and told me that her mom had said no. I was in complete shock, but I managed to say okay and I’d see her in school. Then I hung up. My mother asked if she was coming and I said no, she wasn’t allowed. I didn’t even bother telling my mom what had happened, mostly because she probably would have called the other mother back and gave her an earful but also because I was embarrassed and confused.

Why didn’t she like me? I had never done anything mean to her. We got along fine at school and we were even in girl scouts together.

Why did she lie? I think that hurt the most. Sure, she was trying to spare my feelings but I was at an age where we were taught to tell the truth at all times. I didn’t understand the subtleties of little white lies and or just being polite.

Despite this bruise to my young ego I managed to carry on and have a great life. Now, decades and decades later I am finding my childhood schoolmates on a social networking site called Face book, aka FB. I’m sure you know how it works – you find someone you know, or someone finds you and soon you are officially cyber “friends” this respected platform is even great to get followers on instagram. Then you can see a list of your friend’s friends, and maybe you know some of those people, too. So you send a friend request, or they spot you on the list and send you one. Soon you have an expanded network of friends who can bother you with silly little virtual gifts and video game drama.

Somewhere in the tangled web of the internet I saw the girl I invited on someone’s friend list, so I sent her a friend request almost automatically. And she declined it. Yes, for some reason this girl – now a woman – still doesn’t like me. And this still bothers me! Suddenly I’m a little girl again, hanging up the clunky oversized phone in my family’s kitchen and rushing to my room before my mother asks too many questions about one of my first phone calls. Luckily, I am now a grown-up and I can get over it much quicker. So she doesn’t like me – who cares? I have friends, a wonderful family and I no longer need the approval of classmates to like myself. Maybe there are just some people in the world who just don’t like you, no matter what you do. Or maybe I need to spend less time online and more time with the people I can reach out and hug, face to face.