Music Download News

The music download industry keeps evolving, as more players enter the game and alliances are formed within a blink of an eye. We’re all aware of AT&T partnering with giant Apple Inc. to promote the iPhone, which of course uses iTunes for its ringtone capabilities. As more mobile phones encompass multimedia functions, the music and telecommunications industries are realizing their unfolding opportunities to meld together.

AT&T and Napster, one of the original music download services, are joining together and providing direct download capabilities, according to CNNMoney. In an effort to avoid mobile-to- PC connections to transfer music files, direct downloads are growing in popularity. More mobile phone owners are using their cell phones as MP3 players, not to mention the added benefit of using downloads as ringtones.

Similarly, in Australia, Nokia is stepping up to the plate in music downloads, providing free Wi-Fi zones for Nokia Nseries customers. They plan to launch a music download service of their own sometime this year, and with their free Wi-Fi campaign, more and more Australian-based Nokia users will be more apt to try it out come launch time.

Telecommunications companies and mobile phone service providers aren’t the only ones switching up the music download industry. Amazon’s newest service, AmazonMP3, is offering lower prices on individual songs and albums than some of their competitors, such as iTunes.

Their 2-million some music collection stands out in that its music files are DRM-free and iTunes and Windows Multimedia Player-compatible. Though competition amongst music download providers is inevitable, anyone with a mobile phone or MP3 player will continue to be exposed to countless options.

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Winter Recreational Vehicle Vacations

Who can resist those deep discounts offered by RV dealers in late summer when the new model year is being introduced to the market? Discounts of a few thousand on a Fleetwood or Coleman pop-up camper or tens of thousands of dollars on a Class A Winnebago could have major impact on an individual’s budget. But does the new purchase have to sit in the driveway until spring? Never!

First things first though. Pull up a chair in that new unit and look at a book or video on safe operation before heading out to any destination. One possible choice for these can be found in a series of DVD’s offered by KOA (Kampgrounds of America) called RV Education 101. These are available on the company’s website and cost about $25 each.

Then it is time to choose an appropriate destination.

Consider two things above all others: weather and terrain. The pop-up may have a heater but it may not be comfortable in a northern climate when frost settles on the canvas. Similarly, the $100,000 plus price tag on the bus does come with beautiful upgrades and loads of creature comforts. It will not be a good idea to drive it on many mountain roads in the National Park system, however. Since you certainly don’t want your vacation to turn into an accident waiting to happen.

For a first trip with the new RV find a warm climate on flat land. Avoid traffic snarls and hurricane evacuation problems. Play it safe to start. Here are a few good places for winter RV vacations:

o Lake of The Ozarks State Park; Kaiser, Missouri

o Buffalo National River Campgrounds; Arkansas

o Hot Springs National Park; Arkansas

o Elephant Butte Lake State Park; Elephant Butte, New Mexico

o Eight of Arizona’s nine KOA locations near parks are open for RV camping all year around

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Healthy Food Ideas For Weight Loss

More people need to pay attention to the foods they eat. Mainly because the foods we eat are one of the main reasons why a large percentage of the population in most western countries are becoming overweight. Unfortunately many people neglect the fact that they may be overweight and continue with bad food habits until they are faced with a health problem before they take any action.

One of the ways proven to tackle obesity is to take a look at what you are eating. Are you eating too much? Are the foods you eat providing you with any nutritional value? If not then you may need to look at changing parts of your diet to incorporate a healthier and well balanced diet. Here are a few healthy food ideas to help you get started.

Oats, whole wheat or multi-grain breads, potatoes and rice are your main sources of carbohydrates. Include these types of complex carbohydrates in your daily diet. Avoid unhealthy ones such as deep fried fries and donuts they are full of fat and oil.

You should also include good sources of proteins in your diet. Have a variety of meats such as poultry, beef, lamb and pork in your diet. Try to go for leaner cuts when you are at your butchers. Also don’t forget fish as another quality source of protein. Fish also has the added benefit of providing a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

To complete your list of healthy food choices, don’t forget fresh fruits and vegetables to give your body vitamins and minerals. When going down to your grocery stores, these are the main foods you want to have in your shopping trolley.

Making a few simple changes to your diet can help you kick start your weight loss program. Of course you will have to combine this with a good fitness program in order to tackle weight problems.

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Popular Tourist Spots Near The Best Bangkok Hotels

Bangkok has always been fascinating for foreign travelers, given its visual delights, diversity and cosmopolitanism. Its diversity demands that tourists spend at least four to five days on exploring the city. The best way to explore it is by staying at the most well-located Bangkok hotels, which may range from five-star luxury to budget, boutique and airport hotels. Although Thailand’s hotel industry experienced a dip in 2007, leading hotels have experienced healthy booking rates during the following years.

Must-Visit Places near the Best Bangkok Hotels

While staying at the best Bangkok hotels, tourists can visit popular destinations, such as the Grand Palace, floating markets, and the ancient temples. Here are the details:

Grand Palace: Built in 1782, the Grand palace is representative of the culture during Thailand’s monarchy. The palace was the residence of the Thai King, and the Royal Court and the government’s administration were held here for 150 years. Known for its architecture and sophistication, the palace mirrors the creativity and skillfulness of the Thai people. It accommodates the famous Wat Phra Kaeo Temple, the Thai war ministry and the mint, and is located near the best Bangkok hotels.

Temples or “wats”: Bangkok’s temples are architectural masterpieces that are adorned with intricate gold gilded structures. Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho are the two most popular temples here. The Wat Phra Kaew or the “Temple of Emerald Buddha,” is the most revered Buddhist temple. Wat Pho, called the “Temple of the Reclining Buddha”, is located behind the “Temple of the Emerald Buddha.” The largest temple in Bangkok, it has a huge reclining Buddha.

Floating Market: Noisy, colorful and vibrant, the floating market carries boats full of tropical fruit and vegetables, and local food cooked in the boat kitchens. Take a guided tour of the market in long tail boats to sink in the atmosphere. Famous floating markets include Damnoen Saduak, Taling Chan Market and Tha Kha.

Chinatown: It is the historic area of trade started by Chinese immigrants, who migrated from communist China and settled down here. This 1-km stretch is packed with shops and stalls that sell Chinese medicines, gold and Chinese food. After sunset, the market is thronged by Chinese food lovers, while during the day the street is packed with traders and people visiting the Chinese temples. The best time to visit Chinatown is during festivities, such as the Chinese New Year, and the October vegetarian festival.

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A VA Repo – I Won the Bid But Lost the House

I had been initiated into real estate about ten years earlier when I decided I needed a house of my own. In order to get it I had to bring up my salary quite a bit, although I had a relatively good job as a computer programmer-analyst at a large corporation. I did, by switching jobs. I switched jobs three times in about two and a half years, each time getting a big increase in salary. Had I not had a job that was in demand I would have had a difficult time doing that.

After the job switching maneuver I ended up buying my first property, my home under the GI Bill with A VA loan and no money down. Yes I did happen to make the first offer on a house my sister, a real estate saleslady, had just gotten a listing for. Some might consider it just luck. I did, since I had planned and executed a strategy to get a house once I got my salary at a point high enough to qualify for a loan. Had I not bought that house it surely would have been another.

The second house I bought was an investment and not to live in. It was a near new home, only about a year old. Someone I knew well had asked me if I wanted to buy their house. It just happened to be about three weeks after I had gone to one of those weekend real estate seminars. I had borrowed several hundred dollars off my credit card to attend – against my wife's wishes. My goal at that seminar was to come out with one good idea that I could eventually apply. I got several.

So when I got that unexpected call to see if I wanted to buy their house I immediately said yes, not having the foggiest idea how i would accomplish it. I did, however and with no money down by allowing one of the original tenants to stay in the house for two months rent free with me taking over the loan and house ownership. I used a credit card loan to cover the two months house payments.

That too could have been considered luck, but it took some thinking and talking to pull it off without using any of my money. That was a direct consequence of remembering some of the finer points from that real estate seminar "that I shouldn't have gone to" according to my wife, because it was too costly.

I could have just been lucky on both those house purchases, but I tend to feel that in spite of those opportunities that seemed to just come to me that my resulting actions I certainly would not have bought those houses. I hadn't really thought much about "no money down" as a way to buy a house, those transactions just happened to be that way.

During that time of buying my second house I was also looking for another house to buy. I thought it would be nice to eventually own a few houses myself. Since I could get two houses with little or "no money down" why couldn't I get a third one? That first one really did not count as far as I was concerned since it was to live in.

Are HUD or VA Repos ok?

I did some research and found VA / HUD repos in my area were going for more than they were worth. In other words, people were bidding too much for them, thinking they were getting a bargain. I did not want that to happen to me. At certain times and in some areas, HUD / VA repos are very good deals, but not always.

I found a VA Repo to bid on

I decided that I would consider those government repos since it was possible to get a good if one knew the property values. I had a pretty good idea of ​​what houses should cost. I checked HUD and VA listings from lists I got from Real estate brokers looking for homes in my general area. I found a nice size home near Ontario California, with a nice size yard, a big pool, in a nice neighborhood.

It was just a few years old. Everything was in good condition except the pool was empty and filled with trash. It also needed cleaning, aside from the trash. I had some questions, but the VA was not open and bidding was closing so I hurriedly put in a sealed bid of $ 103,000 which was reasonable in my view.

I was lucky and won the bid!

I was shocked that I won the bid. How lucky I was. What was my next move? I checked with the VA for their financing details.

A Disaster! I needed financing

My heart sank! They were not offering financing for that auction. Normally they do on repos. That was one of the questions I was confused about that I couldn't get answered. The terms had mentioned getting your own financing, but it seemed they applied to investors buying several houses at a time or those buying apartment complexes. What a disappointment! I now had to find financing which I knew would be difficult and require a big down payment. I never would have bid had I known that.

Three days to find financing

I had three days to get financing for the home. All lenders I called told me I needed about 20 – 25% down payment, to get a loan. I didn't have that. After many fruitless calls I could not get financing because I did not have a sufficient down payment.

No financing for me

I sheepishly called the VA, explained my situation and asked if they could they disqualify me because of my misunderstanding their financing and could not get a loan. I did not expect much since it was a government agency but was pleasantly surprised. They removed my bid and there was no penalty. I was very relieved.

VA / HUD auction rules: understand them

I new there would be other chances to buy a house. I did learn a lesson there. One needs to thoroughly understand auction rules before they make a bid. In my particular case, it was on the last evening of the bid and too late to contact the VA for answers to my questions. My normal caution went out the window because I was so anxious to bid. It turned out I won the bid alright, but lost the house.

Copyright © Charles Harmon

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What Motivates Sales People?

If you think sales people are motivated by money, think again. SalesMax is one of our highly validated and reliable assessments for selecting consultative sales persons. It is a unique psychometric test in the assessment arena because it not only measures sales personality (the most important measure), but also sales knowledge and sales motivations. It's the latter measure I wish to address in this article.

From years of observing SalesMax reports I have always been puzzled why the motivation of money is not a key sales driver. Last week the team at AssessSystems dived into the SalesMax database and crunched the numbers from the motivations scale. The results were in line with my casual observations. Of the eight motivators measured, the extent to which one is motivated by financial rewards, such as money and material possessions, ranks number five on the list.

Before expanding on possible reasons, lets look at what the motivations scales in SalesMax measures.

1. Recognition / attention – The extent to which one values ​​recognition for work well done; enjoyed being the center of attention

2. Control – The extent to which one prefers positions of leadership with control, like being in charge.

3. Money – The extent to which one is motivated by financial rewards, such as money and material possessions.

4. Freedom – The extent to which one values ​​personal freedom to make decisions and function independently.

5. Developing expertise – The extent to which one values ​​becoming an expert in developing skills in their chosen field.

6. Affiliation – the extent to which one is motivated by interactions with other people. Enjoys helping and dealing with people

7. Security / stability – the extent to which one is motivated by stability and security of life and their career

8.Achievement – the extent to which one is motivated by overcoming successful challenges: enjoys challenges for their own sake.

The development of the motivations scale began with the research into existing literature concerning sales motivations and values, as well as more general theoretical frameworks of human motivation. In addition, existing measures of sales values ​​and motivations were also reviewed.

Based on this research, the list of eight motivational dimensions (outlined above) most relevant to sales persons were selected. Psychometrically appropriate items were then created to measure each of these dimensions.

Each item presents the respondent with the beginning phrase of a sentence and asks the respondent to choose three endings (ranked, most, second most and third most) that closely matches his / her opinions, feelings, or attitudes. Each ending is associated with a particular motivational dimension.

The SalesMax motivation scales provide insight into the relative strengths or importance of each motivator to the candidate. This is indicated as a percentage of the times the candidate selected this particular motivator over the other possible motivators presented.

The result of the motivation section helps the new manager in selecting motivational techniques that are appropriate for the individual. The hiring interview provides further opportunities to probe that the candidate's motivational needs fit with the organization.

Now to our results

In rank order, these are the scale scores (as a percentage) prospective sales persons chose one motivator over the rest. Scores have been rounded:

Achievement = 50%

Developing expertise = 20%

Affiliation = 8%

Security = 7%

Money = 7%

Freedom = 4%

Control = 2%

Recognition = 1%

Although we did not go to the extent of grouping scores by sales types, we did do this by clients. In all cases the Achievement scale came out a clear winner.

However, the Money scale did have variations depending on the sales process and method of remuneration, identified by client type. For example, where the sales process involved selling a consumable item on a retainer / commission basis the Money scale score was 19%; on the other hand, if the processing was more "service orientated", or consultative, the score was 2%. Despite this obvious difference, I remain quite surprised that the Money scale still rates low.

One of our distributors did make the comment that there may be some management of self-impression going on here; the candidates did not want to be perceived as "money hungry". I made the counter comment that this may work against them, in that a potential employer may feel that if the person had no drive to earn good money then their sales drive could be equally lethargic, particularly if remuneration was commission orientated.

Another explanation could be the "cart before the horse" approach, that is being driven by the recognition and attention for a job well done will naturally result in increased earnings. What are your thoughts?

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Respect Cash Advance Online Loan Terms to Minimize Final Costs

When money options are not treated with respect, borrowers set themselves up for future money problems. Never take fast cash opportunities for granted. Just because they are easily accessible online, it doesn’t make safe cash advance loans a service to abuse. Overusing short-term loans will only limit your available income that much further. Finance charges for a fast cash advance are easily ignored until it is time to pay them off.

When terms and conditions are not respected, mistakes are soon to follow. There are two major errors that online cash advance borrowers make. They do not have a plan to pay the loans back in the short time allotted and secondly, borrowers use fast cash advance online help too often. Both mistakes are costly. For those applicants who typically fall short each month, the finance charges associated with long-term balances and multiple loans.

The short-term loan is associated with extremely large APR rates. Borrowers must know what kinds of finance charges they are up against if their debt is left unpaid for a year or more. Since the average term for one of these loans runs about two weeks, most direct lenders laugh at the figure. In a year’s time, a borrower will spend anywhere from 300% to 700% on finance charges. There is a long time between two weeks and 12 months to get a few hundred dollars paid back. If a person was to take a year paying off a $300 loan, they would spend around $75 every two weeks rolling the loan over. The borrower would spend $1950 in finance charges alone. This amount would only increase if the lender was one who took advantage of the borrower and charged additional fees for each rollover or increased interest rates. If a borrower does in fact end up with a lender with such practices, it is one of the only times getting a new loan with a different lender is recommended. Pay that initial loan off in full as quick as you can.

Multiple fast cash advance loans eat at paycheck. One full payoff or even just the finance charge cost can and will create additional problems for a budget. How much of your paycheck can you afford to do without and still make it through to the next one? With all the expenses involved with running households, vehicle costs and other debt obligations, short-term loan payoffs are difficult to manage. When there are multiple loans, the demand from a paycheck multiplies as well. Even if only the finance charges get paid, the amount is still quite taxing on a budget.

How can charges like these be ignored? Third party money must be taken seriously and given the respect they deserve when used to support unexpected costs. A cash advance lender deserves payment just as the mortgage lender. The money may not seem as important, but a borrower must respect the fact that the lender was there for them during their emergency need. Pay attention to the method used to correct problems, especially when it comes to paying it off. You may discover that certain types of loans are not great choices for your budget problems. The last thing you need is to create additional debt trouble when looking to get away from problems in the first place. Could you have sold some unused property in a garage sale or online instead of using multiple fast cash advances for easy money? You will pay for convenient money. Treat your budget well by using methods with the least amount of negative impact. If you have to uses a short-term loan, don’t let it sit out for a year. On average, these loans will get paid off within 3-5 months. If that amount of time is not enough for your budget to handle. Say “Thanks for the offer” and move on to another money solution.

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What is Renters Insurance and Why Do You Need It?

Are you renting a home, condo, or apartment? Do you own a computer, clothing, and other personal belongings? If so, then you need to know the answer to, what is renters insurance? There is a reason why you need to know this and you need to have renters insurance. Here is the answer and what you need to know.

First, imagine this for a moment…..

Your neighbor falls asleep while leaving the stove on and it catches fire. By the time this neighbor awakes to see the fire it is way to large for him to put it out. This fire spreads as the neighbor flees and calls 9-1-1. By the time the fire trucks get there this fire has already made it next door into your home.

The firefighters are able to put the fire out, but not before your home is destroyed along with all the belongings inside. Since you do not own the home none of your personal belongings are covered by the home insurance and you are stuck with no place to live and all of your stuff is gone.

Now, your landlord may be nice and put you up in another unit or a hotel for a little while, but that will not last forever and you still have to replace all of your things.

If you had renters insurance you would have no worries. It only cost you a couple hundred dollars a year for around $20,000 worth of coverage and if your things are destroyed they cut you a check to cover what you lost in the fire. This is great because it will help you get back on your feet much faster and you do not have to worry about what you would do in this type of situation.

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Guitar Books – Three Music Theory Books For Guitarists

Sooner or later any serious guitarist comes to realize that a solid theoretical background is the only way forward. Your ear can only take you so far, that’s when your musical theory can kick in and remove any musical obstacles in your way to fully expressing yourself.

Seems pretty straight forward… just go to the music shop and pick up a theory book and away we go; away we go alright… pick up the wrong book and you’ll end up more confused than you ever were before.

Musical fact of life # 1: Not all theory books are created equal.

I remember when I started my first job, it was at a music store teaching music; I had a bit of a reputation as a player in the local area playing in dance bands etc., and since I had already sold quite a bit of musical equipment for the music store based on my track record they thought I would be the obvious choice; if

the store had a potential guitar or amp customer they would leave a message with my mum, then after school I would go down to the store and demonstrate the gear.

Everything started out fine, I stumbled and fumbled my way through the guitar lessons, I’m not sure who learnt the most me or my students I know I learnt heaps everyday mostly about how not to teach.

Anyway, very early in the piece the store manager informed me that if I was going to continue teaching for the store I would need to be “qualified”; I didn’t know exactly what that entailed but it did sound scary

As it turned out what he meant was I needed to be formally qualified… just being able to play the guitar was not good enough if I was going to teach guitar for them.

The good news was they were going to pay for my lessons so that was neat… there was even more good news I could go to the theory lessons instead of having to work at the shop.

So I began my theory lessons and very soon became frustrated, confused and perplexed… things I knew worked on the bandstand the night before didn’t match up with the theory lesson the next day.

The more confused I became the more determined I was about finding the “truth”; so I started studying with other teachers to augment my “paid” lessons from the music store… boy, did that make matters worst; it seemed as if each theory teacher had their own slant on things many basic concepts did not match up.

Long story short… after a lot of playing, thinking and research I discovered….

Musical fact of life # 2: there are different types of theory… in fact there are three distinct types of theory: classical, jazz and rock/blues!

These are very broad categories they are all important and the complete musician needs to be aware of their similarities and differences.

They world is full of traditional classical theory books so I won’t discuss them here. Modern theory as applied to improvisation and the music of our time is what I’m about… it’s great to know what happened 400 years ago but it’s unlikely to help you secure that rock gig next Friday night,

Here’s my top three modern theory books for guitarists

Title: Modern Method For Guitar – By William Leavitt (Berklee Press)

Available from:

Overview: if you want to get in on the ground floor and study guitar and theory as applied to the guitar fretboard, this is the place to start!

Available in three volumes; the first sixty pages of volume one covers the basics of reading music in the first position of the guitar.

Part two of Berklee volume one introduces the five standard fingering patterns for reading music over the fretboard.

Title: Jazz Studies – by Bruce Clarke (ed clinch v.i.s.e text)

Available from:

Overview:A fantastic book that takes off were the Berklee book volume one finishes; the Jazz Studies book is ideal to use in conjunction with Berklee Volume two.

Fantastic explanations of how modes, cycle 5 and cycle 7 concepts work Jazz studies is a great introduction into the world of improvisation, if you have studied traditional theory this book will “blow the lid off” how you look at theory. Step by step instruction, very easy to understand. Highly recommended.

Title: “See It – Hear It / Hear It – Play It” – by Dick Grove

Available from:

Overview:A complete course with DVD/text instruction from the man himself Dick Grove, you could easily pay $100,000 in college instruction and never get this type of tuition.

Everyone learns differently the DVD’s bring the written text to life helping to maintain the student’s motivation and enthusiasm. Any one of these individual courses or combination of all three theory texts will clear the way for you to express yourself on the guitar.

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Why Should I Engage in Outdoor Recreation Activities?

More and more people engage in outdoors activities these days, as outdoor sports are becoming very popular. The top recreational activities include kayaking, jogging, walking, hiking, and camping.

This article is for the people who love to spend their time outdoors, enjoying new adventures in fresh air.

How can outdoor recreational activities be beneficial to you?

The foremost advantage of spending time outdoors is gaining a good mental spirit and healthy balance of your body. Not only will it help in giving you the liveliness that everyone should have, but it will also pump your life force and the love of living.

Activities such as walking, bird watching, kayaking and camping all make you feel happier while appreciating the beauty that we often forget during our busy hours at the office. Nowadays the stress level has increased so much in everyone’s life that everyone, without exception, deserves a small break to get rid of this stress. Sometimes a small walk in the park will do the trick and can lighten up your tensions and make you feel happy.

In today’s hectic life styles, we hardly find time to spend with our families and friends. Engaging regularly in various outdoor activities can help you create much stronger bonds with your family and friends. You can interact and talk more with your friends and family while sharing the astonishing experiences of a different outdoor activity each time you go out.

How can outdoor recreation help you in saving money?

Our lives are never smooth and secured; everyone comes across various difficult times in their lifetime. Taking the time to engage in simple outdoor recreations will not only help you mentally, but you will also find that it costs close to nothing. For example hiking does not cost anything when compared with cycling. All you need is a pair of good shoes and a mountaintop to hike to. Another example is simply playing outdoors with your kids. Nothing will beat playing soccer or tags with your kids, especially when you take time off from a stressful job.

While there is other activities like hunting that are somewhat costlier however they will provide you with a lot of thrills and great sense of accomplishment. If you can’t afford spending money on such activities then you still have many options that will definitely suit your pocket.

You should try to spend as much time as possible in these types of activities. You should also encourage your friends, family and kids to spend such a wonderful time together building good memories. Nothing can be more enjoyable and beneficial than gaining a good and healthy lifestyle by being in the outdoors.

Take full advantage of the beautiful world we live in and its alluring nature that surrounds us that we inheriting for centuries from our ancestors.

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