Think I'm going to tell you who to vote for? Nope. Everybody's different.
What I DO recommend, though, is you check facts... and be suspicious.
(Could be my New York upbringing!) One of the best places to do that?
Factcheck.org. There's a link for that on your left.
A 'firewall' is a program that keeps you safe on the internet. It keeps bad people from
getting INTO your computer, and bad THINGS (such as spyware) from sending
information OUT of your computer.
Windows has a built-in firewall... but it only keeps things from getting IN. It lets
anything... and everything... out.
I recommend you download and install a very good, free firewall: ZoneAlarm.
You can find it at www.zonelabs.com. Click the button on the left. (Then search through
their offers for the free firewall. Be careful to bet the Firewall ONLY, not the combo set.)
Anti-virus software is also important. You already know that. But did you know you can
get a really good program... for free? It's called Avast. It updates by itself whenever
necessary, scans your entire system once a day, and doesn't charge you $39/year for
updates! You can get it free. Ask me about it at any party.
Remember, though: Unless your computer is updated all the time, you are NOT
protected. Keep your anti-virus, firewall, and Windows updated!
Try getting a straight answer from the TV salesperson! Some work on commission, some
get bonuses for selling a certain brand, some stores turn the brighness up on the models
they make the most profit on. Here are some tips:
Plasma TVs can use LOTS of electricity, but they have no bulbs to burn out. They get
dimmer over time, so you may need a new TV... in ten years or so.
DLPs use bulbs, which can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. When you replace the
bulb, though, you have a nice, bright, new looking TV.
LED LCDs have no bulbs, and use very little electricity. But, they can cost a bit more.
ALL new TVs have HD built in, meaning you can hook them to a cheap antenna and get all
your local channels in HD. For free. Visit antennaweb.org for details on how to do that.
Big screen TVs
Fuel savers don't work. Additives you pour into your tank, metal devices that swirl the air
going into the engine, magnets you attach to your fuel line to 'align the particles'... NONE of
them do anything. This does explain, though, why some of these products come with a
'driving tips guide'. Follow those tips, and yes, you WILL get better gas mileage. But those
tips (accelerate more slowly, keep your tires inflated properly, etc) are FREE.
"Save on a gas guzzler!" Interesting how car manufacturers are telling you that since they're
discounting their vehicles so much, you can use that savings to pay for YEARS of gas...
Well, what happens at the end of those years? Now you're stuck with an unsellable vehicle...
that gets bad gas mileage! READ the window sticker!
"30mpg!" Yes, everyone's ads are now claiming great gas mileage. But that's the HIGHWAY
mileage, and some '30mpg highway' cars get 18mpg in town. What's even worse, some of
these cars require you to use premium fuel. Ouch.
If you're vehicle shopping, NEVER buy anything before reading a Consumer Reports buying
guide. It'll be the best pre-purchase money you ever spent.
I don't care what the photos show, Amish people don't build electric fireplaces.
ANY sign stuck into the ground promising refinancing, a great deal on mattresses, or a
wonderful dating site... are bogus. I've had a number of people ask about the signs for
phoenixsingles.com and others. If you head to the site, you'll see it's a one-page form
asking for all your personal information. Who's behind these websites? A huge,
nationally known, very expensive dating service. Once you complete the form, you've
given them permission to harass you at home, work, your cell phone, etc. NEVER fill out
anything on these sites.
There's a company now placing ads in the local papers that claim to do speed dating here
in Phoenix. If you go to their website, though, you'll see it's one of the one page forms
mentioned above. NEVER complete those forms.
In a related scam, you'll get a phonecall or e-mail to call an 800 number for an 'important
message'. It's an 800 number, so how can it hurt to call? The national 'Do Not Call' system
works well... unless YOU initiate the call. Once you call this number, they now know
whatever number you've called from. Since YOU called THEM, they have the right to call
you back... whenever - and how often as - they want. Delete the message and/or e-mail.
Hope I've helped. More to come.
If YOU know of something that should be added
here... come talk to me at any of my parties!
ANY e-mail that says "Send this to everyone you can" is fake.
Microsoft never said to do it, Norton didn't already check it, if you
click 'here' you won't be getting money or giving it to a sick child in
Texas... so delete it!
If you forward a funny photo, that photo may be tracking every
address it goes to. And when you send an e-mail to thirty people at
once... if ANY ONE of those people doesn't have their anti-virus
software up-to date, that virus just got all those addresses. You've
infected you and your friends because you thought an e-mail was
NEVER forward around an e-mail. That's how the bad guys win.
So what are these tips?
I have an engineering background, one of my old college friends is a top
engineer for General Motors, I'm a Microsoft Certified computer geek, I
know so much about consumer fraud I worked for the BBB for awhile...
I figured I'd share some of this with you.
When YOU have something you'd like added here... come talk to me at any
of my parties!
I do have a 'Dave's Advice' page on this site.
That one's for love/dating/relationship advice.