Thursday, August 29, 2013

How one man turns annoying cold calls into cash

A man targeted by marketing companies is making money from cold calls with his own higher-rate phone number.
In November 2011 Lee Beaumont paid £10 plus VAT to set up his personal 0871 line - so to call him now costs 10p, from which he receives 7p.
The Leeds businessman told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme that the line had so far made £300.
Phone Pay Plus, which regulates premium numbers, said it strongly discouraged people from adopting the idea.
Mr Beaumont came up with the plan when he grew sick of calls offering to help him reclaim payment protection insurance (PPI), or install solar panels.
He said: "I don't use my normal Leeds number for anyone but my friends and family."
Once he had set up the 0871 line, every time a bank, gas or electricity supplier asked him for his details online, he submitted it as his contact number.
He added he was "very honest" and the companies did ask why he had a such a number.
He told the programme he replied: "Because I'm getting annoyed with PPI phone calls when I'm trying to watch Coronation Street so I'd rather make 10p a minute."
He said almost all of the companies he dealt with were happy to use it and if they refused he asked them to email.
Warning
The number of calls received by Mr Beaumont has fallen from between 20 and 30 a month to just 13 last month.
Because he works from home, Mr Beaumont has been able to increase his revenue by keeping cold callers talking - asking for more details about their services.
He admitted the scheme had changed his attitude, saying: "I want cold calls", and that he had moved on to encouraging companies to make contact.
After a recent problem with his online shopping, he declined to call an 0845 number but posted his number on Twitter in the knowledge that the number could be picked up by marketing companies.
But the premium number regulator Phone Pay Plus says the public should think twice before setting up their own lines.
They say phone line providers must meet consumer protection standards, which include transparency, fairness and complaint handling, which would mean clearly setting out the cost of each call to any organisation that rang.
They told You and Yours: "Premium rate numbers are not designed to be used in this way and we would strongly discourage any listeners from adopting this idea, as they will be liable under our code for any breaches and subsequent fines that result."
A survey for charity Citizens Advice found that two-thirds of those asked had received unwanted calls, texts, emails or letters about PPI mis-selling.
More than half said that they had been contacted more than 10 times in the past year.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23869462

Thursday, August 22, 2013

10 Things Young Employees Need To Understand


By: Rebecca Lewis, Singapore
Published: Aug 06, 2013
Singapore – I’m not exactly old (yet) and am still considered a Gen Y employee (just), so perhaps dishing out advice to “younger” staff is not exactly my place.
However, in my career to date – which has spanned from starting at the bottom of the heap as a lackey junior journalist, to a magazine editor – I have learned a few things along the way.
I have no doubt I will learn a heck of a lot more as time goes on, but I do wish someone would have shared these few points with me when I was 20.
Here are a couple of my tips you might be able to pass on to younger employees to help give them some perspective as they grow and mature in their current role.
1. Own up to your mistakes
The first time I made a mistake at work (quite a bad one) I considered not saying anything. I’m glad I did. Not only was my boss relieved I owned up, he respected me for giving him ample time to sort out the problem withme. I learned that embracing your mistakes makes you a better person – and keeps the people around you happier, too.
2. Job hopping is a bad thing
Job hopping is a bit like fashion – just because something becomes a trend, doesn’t mean it will suit you. We all know younger employees are looking to find their feet in their careers, but explaining to your next employer that you “grew out of” your previous role in a year will have them rolling their eyes.
Stay in one place. Grow. Master new critical skills. Learn from the experience. Then, you can move on. Trust me, this takes more than one year.
3. Don’t work past 6.30pm
I know it’s commonplace in Singapore to want to be the first one in the office and the last to leave, but I don’t believe this is always the best way to prove yourself.
Sure, your boss might admire you for sticking around until 9pm, but what happens when he or she asks to see what you’ve been working on until late every night? If you’ve just been sitting there as a show of commitment without actually achieving much, you’re going to look like an idiot.
My golden rule? Stay late if you actually have work to do, otherwise go home at 6.30pm. If you go home on time, it tells me you’re an organised and efficient worker.
4. Use your b****y initiative!
The number of times I have either experienced or been told about staff members who sit in the office doing nothing because they haven’t been told what to do next is appalling. You will NEVER get ahead by waiting for someone else to tell you what to do.
Make this your new mantra: Do too much, not too little.
5. Don’t email, call
This is something I learnt way back in journalism school, but it applies to every job – business gets done over the phone, or over Skype, not over email.
Young employees are generally intimidated by picking up the phone. I understand this and remember how scary it was to speak to someone on the other end who was older, more experienced, and who might be able to see through my bull****.
But seriously, there’s a reason most CEOs are up at stupid-o’clock making phone calls. Don’t hide behind your computer if you want to get ahead.   
6. Read the news. Every single day.
It doesn’t matter what job you’re in, if you don’t know what’s going on in the world around you, you will always come across as uneducated, uninterested and uninformed.
You might not need to know everything that’s going on today, but you do need to be aware of the latest happenings in the industry you work in. It will become apparent very quickly if you don't.  
7. Try to find a mentor
It sounds easy, but it’s not. Even if your company pairs you with a mentor internally as part of a development or training programme, there’s no guarantee they’re the right person to inspire you and help you grow.
Take the time to find your own mentor (or two) and take their advice seriously. It’s priceless, and might even help you write your own list like this one day, which brings me to my next point…
8. Not feeling confident? Just ACT confident
This advice was given to me years ago by a mentor while I was still in school, but I have carried it with me throughout my career.
It’s not easy to simply act like you know what you’re doing when, quite often, you don’t. But thinking positively, focusing on your strengths and visualising yourself achieving the task at hand will help you become more confident.
As soon as you believe you’re going to be good at something, you will be.
9. It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you
Apart from my first job straight out of university, I have never landed a job through responding to a job ad. I have found employment through people I have met and networks I have built (in real life and online via social media.)
However, it’s not enough to go to an event to simply exchange name cards (although, that seems to be the main purpose for a lot of people). Meet people, tell them about yourself, and then follow up with those afterwards whom you think will be beneficial to expanding your network and growing your career.
Bonus: You’ll make more friends, which is always fun.
10. Be prepared to work hard, seriously
Enough with all this talk about how Gen Y are an "entitled" bunch. I hate the stigma because, for many of us, this is not true. However, there are definitely young employees out there who take advantage of the stereotype and try to get everything they want with little output. Those people will never, ever succeed in life. 
Work for someone who pushes you hard and be grateful when they do. You can handle it, even if you think you can't, and you'll learn from it more than you realise right now.  
____________________________________________________________________________
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Health Alert: You're Taking a Crap Wrong! This Is How You Poop Properly

Saturday, August 17, 2013

6 Things Happy People Never Do

POST WRITTEN BY: MARC CHERNOFF
Happy people do a lot of things.  They spend time expressing gratitude, cultivating optimism, practicing kindness, nurturing loving relationships, committing to meaningful goals, savoring life’s little pleasures, and so on and so forth.
But they NEVER…

1.  Mind other people’s business.

Forget about what others are doing.  Stop looking at where they are and what they have.  Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you.  YOU are walking your own path.  Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel.  We listen to the noise of the world, instead of ourselves.  So stop the comparisons!  Ignore the distractions.  Listen to your own inner voice.  Mind your own business.
Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day.  Don’t be scared to walk alone, and don’t be scared to enjoy it.  Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama, or negativity stop you from being the best you can be.  Keep doing what you know in your heart is right, for YOU.  Because when you are focused on meaningful work and at peace within yourself, almost nothing can shake you.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

2.  Seek validation of self-worth from others.

When you are content to simply be yourself, without comparing and competing to impress others, everyone worthwhile will respect you.  And even more importantly, you will respect yourself.
How are you letting others define you?  What would you do differently if youknew nobody would judge you?
Truth be told, no one has the right to judge you.  People may have heard your stories, and they may think they know you, but they can’t feel what you are going through; they aren’t living YOUR life.  So forget what they think and say about you.  Focus on how you feel about yourself, and keep walking the path that feels best under your feet.
Those who accept you are your friends.  Those who don’t are your teachers.  If someone calls you something and it’s true, it’s not your problem because it’s true.  If someone calls you something and it’s not true, it’s not your problem because it’s not true.  Either way, whatever they call you is not your problem.  What other people call you is their problem…
What you call yourself, and who you decide to become, is your problem.

3.  Rely on other people and external events for happiness.

Unhappiness lies in that gap between what we have now and what we think we need.  But the truth is, we don’t need to acquire anything more to be content with what we already have.  We don’t need anyone else’s permission to be happy.  Your life is magnificent not because someone says it is, or because you have acquired something new, but because you choose to see it as such.  Don’t let your happiness be held hostage.  It is always yours to choose, to live and experience.
As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be.  If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault.  Take full responsibility for your own unhappiness, and you will instantly gain the ability to be happier.  Stop seeking in vain to arrange conditions that will make you happy.  Simply choose to appreciate the greatness that is yours in this moment, and the right conditions will start to line up around the contentment you seek.
The greater part of your happiness or unhappiness depends upon your outlook, and not upon our situation.  Even if things aren’t perfect right now, think of all the beauty still left around you.  A good reason to smile is always one thought away; choose to tap into it any time you like.  (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)

4.  Hold on to resentment.

Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghosts from your past.  What happened in the past is just one chapter in your story; don’t close the book, just turn the page.
We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others, and while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  Feelings of resentment urge us to relive the same pain over and over, and we have a hard time letting go.
Forgiveness is the remedy.  It allows you to focus on the future without combating the past.  To understand the infinite potential of everything going forward is to forgive everything already behind you.  Without forgiveness, wounds can never be healed and personal growth can never be achieved.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

5.  Spend prolonged periods of time in negative environments.

You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.  So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people and the environments they inhabit.
When other people invite you to act like victims, when they whine and moan about the unfairness of life, for example, and ask you to agree, to offer condolences, and to participate in their grievances, WALK AWAY.  When you join in that game of negativity you always lose.
Even when you’re alone, create a positive mental space for yourself.  Make it a point to give up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just a few of them that have been troubling you, and see how doing that changes your life.  You don’t need negative thoughts.  They are all lies.  They solve nothing.  All they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason.  (Read Buddha’s Brain.)

6.  Resist the truth.

It is a certain deathtrap when we spend our lives learning how to lie, because eventually these lies grow so strong in our minds that we become bad at seeing, telling and living our own truth.  Lives come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.  If you resist the truth, you will live a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night.  You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next.
So don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to hide the truth with deception; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion of what’s popular.  It is better to offer no explanation or excuse than a false one.  It takes courage and strength to admit the truth, but it is the only way to truly live.  Accept what is, embrace it fully, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead.

Your turn…

What would you add to the list?  What’s something you should NOT do if you want to be happy?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

10Mbps Home BroadBand

Discover a smooth online experience with 10Mbps Home BroadBand!
$31.90/mth
Comes with:
- FREE 21Mbps Mobile BroadBand (1 GB)
Click here for more details



Guess what? I called to terminate my plan, and was offered to continue my plan at $23.45 for another 12 months. Without the mobile broadband thought. Not a bad offer, in my opinion.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

NERF VORTEX PYRAGON

Guess what I had bought to entertain myself? A NERF Vortex Pyragon.  :)

Product Description:

Shock your targets with an unstoppable swarm of rapid-fire discs! With a huge 40-disc capacity and slam fire technology that gives you total control over your rate of fire, the PYRAGON blaster is the ultimate blaster for an all-out assault! Load up and blast your way to victory with the ultimate high-capacity disc blaster!

40-disc rapid SLAM FIRE

Blast your targets with an overwhelming rapid-fire flood of long-range discs! The PYRAGON blaster features an innovative 40-disc drum that ensures you’ll have enough ammo to see almost any mission through to the end. Plus, the SLAM FIRE Handle gives you total control over your rate of fire – aim and blast one disc at a time for precision placement, or hold the trigger down and slide the handle repeatedly to unleash an unstoppable swarm of discs. You can also equip your other clip-fed VORTEX blasters with the drum for high-capacity blasting!

Unleash a storm of discs

VORTEX disc blasters are the cutting edge in long-range, high-powered technology. Revolutionary XLR Disc Tech hurls ultra-distance discs for the ultimate battle experience. Do you have what it takes to handle the VORTEX blasters? And now you can add high capacity to your VORTEX arsenal with the PYRAGON blaster and its 40-disc drum. This SLAM FIRE blaster lets you unleash a rapid-fire flood of discs on your target. Or you can equip your other clip-fed VORTEX blasters (sold separately) with the high-capacity drum.

Do you have what it takes?

The PYRAGON blaster features 40-disc rapid SLAM FIRE action. Load up 40 discs in the drum, then attach it to the blaster. To activate SLAM FIRE, just hold down the trigger, and slide the SLAM FIRE Handle repeatedly to unleash a nonstop stream of discs. The 40-disc drum also works with any clip-fed VORTEX blaster (other blasters sold separately). The PYRAGON blaster also includes 40 bright-orange discs.

Includes: PYRAGON blaster, 40-disc drum, 40 bright-orange discs and instructions.

Features:
• Slide SLAM FIRE Handle repeatedly while holding down the trigger to unleash a storm of discs.

• 40-disc drum works with any clip-fed VORTEX blaster (other blasters sold separately).

• Upgrade with any Tactical Rail accessory (sold separately).

• Fires 40 high-visibility, bright-orange discs.