2012 in review: Better Than I Thought It Would Be!

This is a nice way to kick off 2013!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Umpqua Branches Update

Ok, I didn’t look hard enough. My bank has WAY more than two branches. They’re all over Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Northern California. In Seattle alone they have about 15 branches, around one branch in each neighborhood.

Check it out for yourself: http://www.umpquabank.com/locator/new/

I Found A Bank That Will Take Me!!

Edit: I thought Umpqua only had two branches. That is beyond not true. My new bank has WAY more than two branches. They’re all over Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Northern California. Check it out for yourself: http://www.umpquabank.com/locator/new/ Ok, carry on with the post. 🙂

I am now a member at Umpqua Bank, “the greatest bank in the world”. And I have to say, they’re pretty cool. Here’s how it happened:

The regular readers here know I’ve been on a quest since September of 2011 to find a new place to move my banking. At first it was about our “too big to fail” banks and their attitudes around customer service, fee rollouts, etc. I decided to move out of Wells Fargo. It was a difficult choice in a way, because my family banked at Wells for years when I was a kid, and they have branches everywhere I have people.

But I have been learning that where you have your money matters ethically, even if you don’t have much.

I started by looking to join a credit union. Boy did that backfire on me. None of the credit unions wanted me. Once because my credit score wasn’t high enough (looking at you Salal, with your minimum 600 score requirement). Another time Chexsystems blocked me out.

So, after feeling like the school nerd trying in vain to get a date with the prom queen, I sucked it up again and started looking at local banks.

Continue reading

Fanslave v. Fandealer

Hey folks:

You may have seen the Fandealer banner I put up on the side of my blog. Fandealer is a site where people can get paid for liking Facebook pages or +1 something on Google, following Twitter accounts, or liking Youtube videos. It’s similar to Fanslave, another “pay for Like” service. So, which one do I like better?

I’d have to go with FanDealer, and here’s why.

First, Fanslave is strictly Facebook likes, while Fandealer also works with Google, Twitter, and Youtube. This means more chances to earn money. Second, Fanslave has been down quite a few times since I joined. It can also be a little hard to use. Fandealer, on the other hand, is a sharp, clean, easy to use site.

The hard thing about both sites is that earning money is a really slow process. Even logging in every single day since I joined has only earned me around 2 Euro on each site. You can’t cash out until you’ve earned 15 euro. If my earnings rate holds steady, it’ll probably be four months before I can cash out.

I think the main point here, aside from Fandealer is the higher quality of the two sites, is that neither of these should be used as primary income gainers. Even though it only takes five minutes to deal with each site, it’s still a bit of a time suck for the amount of reward.

Log in for the fun of getting paid to like pages. But do realize that if you’re concerned about your facebook security and would rather keep your page private, this isn’t for you.

 

Let’s See: Fanslave

Hey folks:

Don’t worry, I’ve started to do research on rental assistance resources for my readers, because that seems to be a hot search topic right now. So you’ll have either a post or a separate page (prolly both) very soon.

In the meantime, something odd caught my eye. A couple of weeks ago, I paid $5 to get 1,000 facebook fans for my nonprofit’s page. And I’m not ashamed of it either. 🙂 But that got me thinking: If folks are selling facebook likes, then there should be a way to get PAID for liking pages. And lo, there is.

Fanslave: http://www.fanslave.net/ref.php?ref=268115

Fanslave lets you sign up and get paid (usually about 3 cents a shot) to click like on Facebook fan pages. I figure it’s worth a tryout, even though it’s not much money per click. I’m on FB a lot anyway, may as well do something with it.

You can click on that link and check it out for yourselves, and I’ll keep you updated here as well.

Have You Been PWNED?

What does the word PWNED mean? There are a lot of definitions, but the easiest one comes from the site internetslang.com

PWNED is “Owned, dominated” or “Perfectly Owned”. A lot of theories about the origin of it abound, and I won’t get into that here. The biggest reason I’ve heard for it catching on so well is that it sounds like the definition of it. Hard, fast, and tough.

So, why am I talking about this at all? Because I came upon another website, of course. A way to check yourself and your email security.

PWNED LIST lets you enter your email address or user name into their search engine and see if it has been compromised at all. So far they have found over four million people with compromised addresses. Thankfully mine is not one of them. 🙂

Of course one of the first things I wondered was if  this is a front for someone who wants to collect email addresses for their own use. For those of us worried about the security of our user information, they offer the option of generating a SHA Hash to mask it. I did it, and it still gave me the same result.

The PWNED people say they are a group of security researchers who are doing this in their spare time. They have a contact page where they accept any type of message, including anonymous ones.

Go ahead and check it out for yourself!

 

 

Free Book Download: Ready Player One

I’m always on the lookout for a new book to read. This one seems really interesting. Boing Boing was the site that put me on to it. It’s a science fiction book called Ready Player One. In this article http://bit.ly/pUsbgs  a member of their team gives the book a great review. Here’s a quick description of the book:

“Cline’s first novel starts out in the year 2044. The Great Recession (the same one we are in right now) is in its third decade. Unemployment is higher than ever (there’s a two-year wait for a job at fast food chain restaurants), liquid fuel is extremely scarce, the climate is in awful shape, and famine, disease, and poverty are rampant across the planet.

The story is told by Wade Watts, an 18-year-old orphan who lives with 16 other people in trailer near the top of a tall stack of trailers in a crowded, crime-ridden trailer park on the outskirts of Oklahoma City (the suburbs are deserted, because hardly anyone can afford to buy fuel to travel by car). He doesn’t remember his father, who was shot by cops who caught him looting a grocery store for food after a power outage. And his mother overdosed on adulterated drugs when he was a kid. Wade now lives with his hateful young aunt and her creepy, fresh-out-of-prison boyfriend. They allow Wade to live in the trailer only because he’s worth a weekly ration of food vouchers.”

So I followed the link at the end of the article to download the preview of the first three chapters. It’s pretty awesome! Just thought I’d pass it along.

Here’s the download link:

http://d.pr/WqKO

Enjoy!