Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Las Vegas just took over your Mac

Ahh, poker. It's a game of skill, bluffs, and battling to keep your cool. It's a game that has a big payoff, and it definitely has a lot more to do with being brilliant than being lucky.

And just when you've finally started scaring your poker buddies into avoiding poker night, ya get all depressed instead of being proud of your achievement. "Well now who am I going to play poker with?", you sulk. Oh, stop your blubbering. Online card games have been around for quite some time. "But I have a Mac, not a PC!", you sob even more. I told you to stop your belly-aching. PokerStars, the hottest game for online Poker playing (not to mention playing to qualify for some of the biggest poker tourneys around) is about to hit the Mac harder than Fat Joe hitting the Vegas strip.

PokerStars has the largest poker room available than any other online poker game. There are more people to play which means more chances to win, which means more changes at world wide recognition, which means more chances to line your pockets with that popular green stuff.

PokerStars for Mac has its own site to tell you guys more. It's updated frequently, so if you want your poker fix, make sure to bookmark it. Perhaps in time you'll be showing the PC poker boys what you and your precious dual core Mac are made of. Hopefully it's cojones of steel, and then gold after all of your wins.Dancing

Mac PokerStars

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Save some green while being green

Over a year ago, I was introduced to the world of free trading. You post on a group (either a newsgroup or a forum board) to either give away stuff to someone else who could use it, or you can request stuff that you've been looking for. This is highly successful; it keeps items that are still in good working condition from landing in the, well, landfills. Plus, users get stuff for free, potentially saving lots of money. I found a web site called Switch Planet, and in my opinion, it's recycling done right.

Switch Planet offers the same service as other trade/recycling groups. However SP is a much bigger venture in that not only can members use the main site to list their owned and wanted goods, they can communicate with other members and site admins via the forums and SP Blog.

Here's how it works: Member #1 has listed all of his items that he wants to give away. He also makes a list of all the items he wants. Member #2 is looking for an item that Member #1 has. She wants to trade with #1. #2 uses her "switchbucs" to "pay" #1 for his item, and gives him her mailing address. Member #1 gets paid SP's mock currency that can be used to "pay" for an item that he wants in the future. With "switchbucs" there's no need for the same people to trade with each other.

The value of SP's currency varies each day, but members can easily keep track with the value of their goods with the "switchbucs calculator". Members can calculate their items' worth by comparing prices with Amazon's prices for new items. This is highly useful, and looks like fun. Never thought that a trading site would have it's own "economy", did ya?

Switch Planet's main site lists a lot of items for trade, and is more organized than any other trading/recycling group. Don't bother coming here for large items like appliances or large electronics though; for that I say stick with a group like Freecycle. Switch Planet offers the trading of DVDs, CDs, Video Games, and Books (software, baby, yeah!). These things can be easily and inexpensively shipped to members. As a matter of fact, Switch Planet doesn't charge its members anything for trading with one another.

The whole [successful] point of SP is for perfectly good movies, games, music, and books to find new homes when their owners don't want them anymore. It's great, it works, and it's saving the planet.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Get paid weekly with Smorty

I've already mentioned this neat little program several posts back, but I'll do it again. ^^ If you have a blog and aren't making bank with targeted ads on your site, it's time you considered getting paid for your blogging pastime.

There are several PTB (paid-to-blog) programs out there that make good use of bloggers to help their clients advertise on blogs about their products and services. With these programs, you can sign up as a blogger or an advertiser. Many companies are more than ever leaning on the blogosphere to bring in more customers, and they're willing to shell out cash for blog advertising. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Smorty is a PTB program where not only do bloggers get paid to blog, they get to cash in weekly, via Paypal no less! Smorty approves of many blogs out there, so if you host your own blog, it's most likely that you will be approved in no time. Just review the rules before submitting your blog to make sure everything is according to their policy.

Smorty's way of doing things is simple: There is no grab-bag marketplace to view ad campaigns at. There is a list of available ad opportunities in your admin panel, which is accessible as soon as your blog is accepted by Smorty. As a member you will also receive email alerts for newly submitted opportunities, so there's no good excuse for you not to know what's current. And it's best that members act fast; opportunities can be filled up as quickly as they're submitted.

Once you submit your blog post, there is a 2-day waiting period until your post is either accepted or rejected. Once it's accepted, it will be a 5-day until you get paid. Basically, it takes a week until you get paid for one assignment. But let's say that you submit one post one day and a second post a day later. In 7 days, you'll receive payment for your first accepted blog post, and then get paid again the day after for the second post. That's how I figure it works, but what it all boils down to is getting paid each week you submit sponsored blog posts. No waiting 2 weeks, no waiting 30 days or more, and no delays in payment.

You can't really lose with any PTB program, as you're getting paid to do what you like to do already, which is to write stuff in your blog. However with Smorty, you get paid QUICKER than any other PTB program out there, and there is no restriction on where you live. If you don't live in the U.S., it's ok! Just make sure you have a PayPal account, and you'll be able to blog for money.

get paid to blog

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Monday, July 16, 2007

With great summer weather comes great gardening opportunities

The summer is in full swing. Here in the United States, we're experiencing some pretty hot days. Last week was our (here in St. Louis, MO) cooling off period. It was a good thing too; the plants needed the break from the sun's rays. I'm not much of a green thumb type. I do love to plant things, but I wet behind the ears when it comes to keeping my saplings flourishing. Now my mom, she's great.

She doesn't have much by means of fancy gardening tools, but her blood, sweat, and hard work pay off. It really shows; many of her flower trees are in full bloom and are very lovely. Now she wants to expand into yard decorations, like yard lights. She's the reason I'm glad I found Online Discount Mart; it's a store that vendors home and garden goods. I checked out the store, and it seems that garden gnomes are back in popularity thanks to tv commercials (hahaha, The Traveling Gnome). And this summer Online Discount Mart is doing a great promotion: 10% off of all orders from now until the end of summer.

Nowadays, offline retail stores can't beat the bargains that can be found in online retail stores. Even you green thumbs and interior decorators can save even more at Online Discount Mart. Come take advantage of the savings while they're hot. And seriously, it's friggin hot outside! @o@;;

Online Discount Mart

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

A better use of your text messaging

I'm such a gadget geek. I got my Nokia 6620 just so I can play a MMORPG on my cell phone, surf the web, play mp3s and stream internet radio, and text people like mad. But with such a use, you need a data plan, which I promptly paid for. Unfortunately under the current circumstances, I can't afford to play with my phone anymore. So I got rid of my $20 per month feature. It had unlimited internet usage, but only 200 text messages. Yeah, it sucks to be broke. It's not that text messaging is expensive, but over a period of sending and receiving it can be. But alas, it's cheaper for me to have no data plan than to have a plan with unlimited anything. I can't even afford to get my Xbox 360 now. Or so I thought.

Bid4prizes.com is a  web site where you use your cell phone to win cool prizes and be entered into the daily sweepstakes. The way to play is to bid the lowest, and you use to phone to find out if you're the lowest bidder. You can play using the Bid4prizes.com web site or straight from your cell phone (this feature is premium member-only). There is proof of someone even winning a 2007 Scion car. Seriously, how cool is that? This site reminds me of the bid wars that occur on eBay. The majority of the best bids come when there's the least amount of time left. I have to admit there is a rush that occurs when duking it out with others for the best bid. Fortunately, this isn't anything like eBay, as you don't have to pay a cent for any of your winnings. :)

The Bid4prizes.com web site has a bunch of cool free gifts and a cash prize, but you can only bid so many times each day. This is a good thing, if you're like me (with no data plan whatsoever for my cell phone), you'll want to keep text messages to a minimum. The average cost of text messaging is $.10 per message, whether sent or received. To get unlimited text messaging shouldn't be expensive at all, but if you're trying to keep the costs down, I suggest you get clever with the way you bid. After all, only the lowest and most unique bids win prizes. 

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Good times ahead!

I finally got a company to respond to me. Cepia LLC. of Clayton, Missouri called me up for an interview, and I went there that very day. I was so nervous, and me traveling in a car with no air conditioning (it does have it, but it will make the car stall) didn't help keep me cool either. I made sure to have as much in my portfolio as possible, scrap notes and sketches included.

As far as the interview went, I was REALLY early. I made sure to leave early enough in case traffic was murder, but I got there pretty much 30 minutes before my scheduled time. I think that's a good thing. I always did that with previous interviews. When I finally got to sit down with the recruiters, I feel like I fumbled through my portfolio a bit. Despite my nervous wordiness, they liked a number of my pieces, especially my paintings. I felt the portfolio review of the interview went well, all things considered. Then I went on a tour of their main office. It's really nice. They mostly do toy design, but before that they did lawn care products. They now handle a wide range of product lines, and everyone there helps with a wide range of assignments, from design to modeling for package design, to human resources.

I REALLY want to work for Cepia, and it's not just because I'm desperate for work. I love all of what they offer, and I like that they provide guidance and a friendly environment for the employees. They seem really close to each other, but still professional enough to make sure everyone's doing their best. I want that, and I really hope I get the job.

I haven't stopped looking for work. I've been applying for any job I feel I'm qualified for. St. Louis Community College is now offering a graphic design job. Ironically, this 2-year college institution is looking for an applicant with a 4-year degree. I'm going to apply anyway; surely my recent college would be happy enough to employ one of their own recent graduates. Harrah's Casino is still posting that they need a graphic designer. I've applied twice for that job, and still no response. I've planned to continue bugging them with constant applications until I receive an answer from them. I feel it's unprofessional and very rude that I do not get any response from an employer. At least let me know if I'm not what your company is looking for.

Enough about my job search. I have even cooler news. Picture.com has photo contests going on, with an annual competition with a grand prize of $10,000. Pretty sweet, huh? Well, my photo, which I have dubbed "Focused on The Fountain" has been entered into the Open Amateur Photography Contest for this summer, and I've been chosen as a semi-finalist for this competition. Not only that, but my photo will be published in the upcoming anthology currently named "Endless Journeys". I feel this is a great honor, so I plan to get 2 copies of the book, for myself and one for my family. It feels like a hefty cost, but if I want to be recognized, I have to pay to have my artist profile in the book. And since I'm going to pay for people to read about me, I'm going to buy the book so I can read about me too. :)

More good news: I've been approved for Smorty and Blogvertise, paid-to-blog sites similar to PayPerPost. While PayPerPost actually gets opportunities in everyday, the availability of the opps depend on how popular your blog is and how fast you are at accepting available opportunities. The popularity thing is a HUGE turnoff, but it seems to be a big payoff. The wait to be paid for approved blog posts also depends on the opportunity.

Smorty is a great way to get paid for blogging, and has a week wait on being paid for blog posts. After accepting an opportunity, the wait for your post to be approved or rejected is two days. Once your blog post is approved, you must wait five more days to be paid. Thus, you can get paid every week for each successful sponsored blog post you make. Unlike PayPerPost, you get email notifications when opportunities are available (I had to search the PPP site to even find the RSS feed). You have to log into your account as soon as you see the opp or else you might miss out on it. The opp availability is not based on popularity like PPP, which I like. With the number of companies looking to advertise on blogs, the number of opportunities increase. Very important: make sure your current sponsored blog posts can be seen from your blog's homepage. If they cannot be seen or not somehow linked on your homepage, your posts will be rejected. I don't believe the posts have to be permanently linked on your homepage, but please keep this rule in mind when you submit your blog posts for review.

get paid to blog

Blogvertise has a 30-day wait after blog post approval. Like Smorty, you get email notifications on new opps, and they are not based on popularity. However, if you choose to neither accept or reject an opportunity, it will go to someone else, and the less opps you will receive in the future. If you're not a very active blogger, accept at least one opp to make sure the Blogvertise team doesn't deem your account inactive.

Regardless of what paid-to-blog program you stick with, don't make consecutive sponsored blog posts. The program's moderators will assume your blog is a blog made strictly to get paid from, which they frown upon. So to avoid getting rejected in the future, keep your blog fresh and full of multiple topics. Also it is recommended that you have a blog that is hosted at your own domain. Most opportunities will not accept blog posts from MySpace, Blog*Spot, Vox, or Wordpress blogs. For instance, Smorty will not approve of blogs unless they have their own domain (i.e., www.yoursite.com). There are other excluded domains, so find a place that has reasonable hosting for your blog.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

IBackup: Second to none while offering drag-and-drop simplicity

There are a lot of places on the web that offer storage space for all kinds of files. Maybe you went a little bat crazy converting your favorite vinyl albums to digital. Maybe you're a small businessman who has a lot of records to transfer to another computer but can't because your removable storage just doesn't have enough space. Maybe you have a huge collection of family photos that need saving, but the files are large in order to keep the pictures high in quality. In all of the above cases, sometimes your own local hard drive storage is not enough.You need web storage that's reliable, high in performance, and above all else affordable. IBackup has the perfect solution, its Online Storage system.

IBackup's online storage comes with exclusive access to either a web browser-based and desktop-based drag-and-drop file transfer protocol client. Both are made to be easy for anyone who's beginner to intermediate concerning using FTP for web storage. Just like Window's Explorer program, all you have to do is drag your file to your IBackup drive, mapped onto your computer as a network drive, and just drop it in the drive. With fast and secure access, you can access your IBackup account for storing files from anywhere. This service cannot be beaten by other competitors due to the high quality in service and affordable plans offered. If you need more file space, then please consider IBackup. It makes online file storage simple and convenient for everyone no matter the situation.

Online Storage

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Monday, June 25, 2007

You know you like goods at a Discount. Peep Coupon Chief!

I like buying products online, especially my computer parts. My first ever internet purchase was pack of RAM for my computer. It was cheaper than getting computer parts at the retail stores in my area. Fortunately most retail stores, such as Best Buy, Circuit City, and Office Depot have their own online stores nowdays. Not only can I shop at the retailers from home, saving time and gas, but I can have my product shipped to me. It's even better if I can pick up straight from the store instead of waiting for my product to arrive at my home. It's even EVEN better if I can get free shipping with my purchase, or even just a discount on the product. That is where online coupon codes come in. No more cutting coupons out of the paper, wasting time and energy. A very popular website provides the masses of internet users with coupons to use at their favorite retail web sites - Coupon Chief!

Coupon Chief has many online store coupons to choose from: Hewlett Packard, Dell, The Gap, Staples, Real.com, Comp USA, and even department stores such as Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart. Thousands of stores to find coupons for, it's fantastic. I've signed up at www.couponchief.com already to take on the deals provided for Best Buy. After all, a geek girl's gotta have her gadget fix, not to mention taking advantage of buying my usual ladies apparel at discount prices. You just can't beat the savings found at Coupon Chief!

promo codes

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