Care And Maintenance Of The Human Hard Drive

The human brain is very much like a hard drive. If you stop to think of it, they are both filled with billions of tiny bits of information, stored in the memory cells just waiting to be accessed. They both use electrical energy to find those bits and put them together to recreate something that we have placed there. They work on demand, and we expect them to instantly give us what we want.

And frankly, many people abuse both their hard drives and their brains! They fill them up with information and expect them to perform at top efficiency without the benefit of good maintenance. There are some basic support tasks that are essential to the well being of both. If you do not take proper care of both of them, they will fail you.

Both brains and hard drives need to be de-fragged on a regular basis! De-fragment means that you allow the machine (brain or hard drive) to rearrange the information that has been stored in it, so that it can find what you need more quickly and efficiently. When bits of information get stored all over the place, with no logical order to it, then it takes a lot longer for the machine to find and reassemble what you need quickly.

Probably, you have your hard drive set up to de-frag itself on a regular basis. It is done automatically, maybe while you sleep. Well, your brain does not have a task-scheduler to take care of this for you! It is busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. It can not reset itself while you sleep. That is because it is still working on the things that your subconscious is trying to sort out. It is dreaming and remembering and stressing all the while.

So how do you de-frag your brain? Well, it takes three things: rest, relaxation and meditation. If you are a type A personality, then these three things may be altogether foreign territory for you! You may be in a high-stress job, or always be taking care of others but never yourself, or you may somehow think that taking care of yourself first is something that you do not deserve. Wrong! If you do not take care of this, it will force the issue. You may get sick, depressed or worse.

Meditation is an excellent way of maintaining your brain. It forces you to sit, relax and do "nothing" for a bit. You clear your poor brain of the clutter and the chatter and just let it run free. You do not have to do anything special, really, to meditate; you just find something that transports you! Music works for a lot of people. You can dance if it helps you, or do some drumming. You could get a good meditation tape or CD and listen to that. You could even sign up for a Tai Chi course, or try some yoga. Whatever you decide to do, do it regularly. At least once a week is necessary for the proper de-fragging of the average hard drive and the average brain.

At the very least you should be setting aside some time every week to just do something relaxing. Take a long bubble bath with some candles lit and some soothing music playing. Go sit outside in nature. The trick here is to just DO it, to take the time for yourself no matter what. See that you deserve it and that it is just as important as going to a doctor when you are sick. In fact, it can help keep those doctor visits to a minimum!

And while you are at it, consider getting a good anti-virus too. Your hard drive needs it to protect your information, and your body needs it to keep healthy. Anti-virus for the body means taking better care of you. Eat something healthy, go out and take a walk, and get more sleep! You can find the time to do this if you make it a priority.

If you take care of your hard drive, both the computer type and the body type, your life will improve significantly. Both will run smoothly and have a lot less crashes!

Earn Money Online From Writing Product Reviews

It's surprising to see how many people spend their time writing up their opinions and feelings on the latest Stephen King book, or the latest Red Hot Chilli Peppers album; and then just upload them to their personal blog or article website (like this one). Most people do not realize that there is a website that actually pays people to write their opinion on thousands of products which are listed on their own website.

These product review websites are free to join, and they will pay you every time another member reads and rates one of your reviews. You can also be rewarded at the end of the month, when a selection of the month's best reviews will earn a 'premium fund'; usually around 5 or 10 pounds.

It's probably quite hard to understand why these websites are paying you just to write your opinion on a product. It is also quite hard to explain why they do so, but I will try to do my best. By writing a review and leaving feedback for a product, the manufacturers are getting publicity and (usually) are getting some free praise. These reviews are used on the database of thousands of products, and they help web-browsers to form an opinion on the best products. The product review website would earn a great amount from commission bonuses; people go to the site, read a positive review and then click the link on the site directly to a shop (such as eBay or Amazon) and then they purchase that item. The product review site will then earn a percentage of commission from this sale, and so this is how they can afford to pay its users for writing product reviews – everyone's happy.

There are not many requirements to use these product-reviewing websites; you need to be at least 13 years old and need to be based in one of the supported countries. Obviously it would help if you have a passion for writing, and that you are not too impatient. To earn good money you need to write quality product reviews, and you need to build up a reputation on the website. The more users you get to read and rate your reviews, the more money you will earn. Therefore it pays to be popular.

These product reviews websites already have some very well established communities on them, and this is done thanks to the points system. Every review you read and comment and every rating you receive will all earn you virtual community points. There is a color scale which matches the points earned, and the more points you have the more important the color is that you receive. For example, join the website and write a review and you will probably still be on a white color. Write hundreds of reviews and you will no-doubt become a golden color. Not only does this color represent an active and responsive user, but it will earn you a lot more money. People will be more likely to read and rate your reviews, then e-learning you more far money then usual.

When your earnings reach a certain rate you can cash them in; through Amazon vouchers or you can get paid by BACS (a direct payment into your personal bank account). This is all completely secure and secure, as the websites have implemented some very strict security measures. The websites are also listed as some of the most popular, and gain millions of visitors every month. These figures show no signs of failing or dying down, so I highly recommend that you jump on the band wagon. Start writing your own opinion on any of the thousands of products listed – from TV's to Shampoo to Internet Search Engines. Every individual is catered for, and even if it is not you can still submit another of your own products if they are not already listed. Join a product reviewing website today for free, and start getting paid to write product reviews – you can not go wrong.

Privacy Issues Surrounding Biometric Technology

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have provoked in-depth discussion and study of existing security measures, their deficiencies, and how to enhance security to prevent similar terrorist attacks from occurring in the future. Biometric technology has risen to the top of the list as a possible solution. The government is not the only entity exploring biometric security systems. The financial services industry see biometrics as a way to curb identity theft. Biometrics are intrinsic physical characteristics used to identify individuals. The most commonly used biometric is fingerprints but others include, handprints, facial features, iris & retinal scans, and voice recognition.

Soon after 9/11 there were calls for the issuance of national ID cards containing biometric information on an RFID chip implanted on the card. The argument is that national ID cards will increase security by identifying individuals with their unique fingerprints which are much more difficult to counterfeit than standard photo ID cards. There is also a movement toward biometric passports. It looks like biometric passports are coming soon. National ID cards may follow.

Biometric identification is nothing new. Humans have been identifying other humans biometrically since the beginning of time. You recognize people you know by their facial features, their voice, and other biometric features. What’s new is introducing technology into the mix that compares a given biometric with a stored database of biometrics to verify the identity of an individual. An individual place their finger on a fingerprint scanner and the image is compared with the database to verify the person’s identity. Promising as it is, biometric technology has not been without hiccups but biometrics are advancing quickly and becoming more and more prevalent in security systems.

Fingerprints are the most commonly used biometric identifiers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a study that showed single fingerprint biometric systems had a 98.6 percent accuracy rate. The accuracy rate rose to 99.6 percent when 2 fingerprints were used and an almost perfect 99.9 percent when 4 or more fingerprints were used. The study results show that biometric identification is nearly perfect which is not surprising given the uniqueness of human fingerprints.

The US-VISIT program, which is an acronym for United States Visitor & Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, currently requires foreign visitors to the US to present a biometric passport containing 2 fingerprints and a digital photo for identification purposes before being granted admission to the U.S. Of course the biometrics are compared against a vast network of government databases full of known and suspected terrorists and other criminals.

On the surface biometric technology may sound like a panacea but it’s use has raised significant privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are six major privacy concerns: storage, vulnerability, confidence, authenticity, linking, and ubiquity.

Critics wonder how the data will be stored and how vulnerable it will be to theft or abuse. Confidence issues center around the implications of false positives and false negatives. Can the biometric data be used to link to other information about the individual such as marital status, religion, employment status, etc.? And finally ubiquity. What are the implications of leaving electronic “bread crumbs” to mark a trail detailing every movement an individual makes?

Until these issues are addressed, privacy advocates will lead a charge to resist biometric technology claiming it as a way for the government to assume a “Big Brother” type of rule as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984. But protest as they may, it’s likely national security concerns and the ability of biometric systems to enhance the security of US border and possibly prevent another major terrorist attack will win out over privacy concerns.

Affiliate Commissions

Affiliate marketers participating in affiliate programs earn their keep through transactions. Commissions vary from program to program depending on the salability of the product. Some programs give as much as 45% to their affiliates while some affiliate programs give a mere 10%. So small compared to the effort an affiliate marketer puts into his task just to generate a sale.

So what do you do to increase your commission earnings? Do not join affiliate programs which commission rates are only 10%. Investigate the type of products or services that the affiliate programs are promoting to find out if the commission rate of 10% is justified. Beside, an affiliate marketer getting only a 10% commission rate needs to have an extremely large customer base to be able to earn a reasonable amount of money.

Consider this scenario: Suppose you were selling a product that costs about $ 100. To be able to earn enough money from this product you will need at least about 250 visitors to your website. If 60 customers out of the 3,000 visitors bought a product from the website that would give you a commission of $ 6000 a year.

Compare it with this scenario: You are selling a product that gives you $ 1 commission per affiliate program. You would need to sell at least 500 items per month to be able to earn a $ 6000 commission a year! A sales ratio of 2% would mean that your website would have to generate 300,000 visitors a year or 25,000 visitors a month.

Based on the two scenarios, I believe it would be more practical to sell a product of high value. As difficult as it is to attract visitors to a website, it is more difficult to make a sale. Selling a product of higher value would mean generating less traffic to the website but would still earn the affiliate marketer a reasonable amount of money.

And ask yourself this; is the product manufacturer serious with his affiliate marketing program? A manufacturer who is serious in promoting his products would not give a meager 10% commission to his marketing affiliates. You see, to be able to attract effective marketing affiliates the manufacturer would have to use generous commission as bait. So if a marketing program offers you a 10% commission, think about it overnight. You might find out that the effort you placed into selling the product can not be compensated with a 10% commission.

I know of an affiliate program that pays 45% commission to their top affiliate marketers. Second tier affiliate marketers of their program are given 10% commission. The affiliate program is giving away a generous 55% to their affiliate marketers and only keeps 45%! In my opinion, this is a smart marketing strategy. By paying high commissions to their affiliates, they are actually appealing more affiliates to their program. This means that the products they are promoting are moving at a higher volume. This means higher earnings for the manufacturer with no extra effort since the affiliates of his marketing program are doing all the work. This is like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey in order to make the donkey move! In order to make higher volume sales, a generous commission must be dangled in front of affiliate marketers!