A KILLING IN ADVERTISING

Over 40 million people have downloaded “AdBlock,” a free program for blocking ads on  the web. We were skeptical initially but are now converts. Often, when a web site comes in slowly it’s because it’s loading ads. Lately, Joy’s computer has been so slow, she could put on water for tea and come back before the site had loaded. Then she loaded Adblock, and it helped. It counts the ads it kills and gives you totals; it knocked off 2,500 in the first week. What made Bob turn to AdBlock was pants. He bought some pants online and by the next day the entire clothing business had ads for pants on whatever web site he called up. It was clear […]

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SELL YOUR OLD GAMES, CDS AND DVDS

Decluttr.com is an online service that buys your unwanted DVDs, CDs and video games. They noted that “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” was the most traded video game over Christmas Day.

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GOLDMAN SACHS 21 CHARTS

“Goldman Sachs 21 charts.” has 21 of what they consider the world’s most interesting business charts. We liked the chart listing the biggest companies in the world. Apple is number one, but didn’t even make the top 20 before 2009. It’s been number one for the last five years in a row.  

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RAISING MONEY FROM STRANGERS

Raising money from strangers is all the rage these days. It happens online.

Kickstarter is the most well known “crowd-funder” and Indiegogo (pronounced Indi-go-go) isn’t far behind. Do the strangers get their money back if the product doesn’t succeed? Good question, for which the answer is: sometimes and mostly no. The answer is blowing in the crowd. Here’s our experience.

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UNLIMITED FLYING

“OneGo,” coming this Fall, is for frequent flyers who just can’t stop. For $1500 a month, you get unlimited flights on major airlines such as American, Delta, United and Virgin America. But as they say in late night TV, that’s not all you get. You’re also enrolled in faster security screenings and free Internet on the plane. The flights must be booked seven days in advance, and you’re limited to four open reservations at once. Initially, OneGo will only be available for West Coast flights. The service FlyRise has a similar deal for flights in Texas.

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TEAMCHAT

If you’re in a big company, how do you communicate with thousands of employees? Some, such as the ride-sharing service Flywheel, an Uber competitor, are using “TeamChat.” In Mumbai, the police force uses it to communicate with officers. It’s a messaging service for an unlimited number of participants. The party of India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, used it to rally the vote and he won in a landslide. TeamChat  is from the same people who made Elance, a website for freelance workers.  It’s a chat service for an unlimited number of people and works by organizing and summarizing messages to make them easier to read. The service is free, but premium extras have fees. More info at TeamChat.com.

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HOW AN ENGLISH TEACHER MADE A BILLION DOLLARS IN CHINA

There are books and articles that offer advice on how to become a millionaire, but this one could be called How to Become A Billionaire. Instead, it’s called “Alibaba’s World,” written by Porter Erisman, a man who was there at the beginning of a company that went public in America last year at a valuation that exceeded Amazon and eBay combined. It was the largest initial stock offering ever.

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ECONOMICS VIDEO ENDORSED BY BILL GATES

Economicprinciples.org has a 30-minute video explaining economics. It’s recommended by Bill Gates and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

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LET’S DO LUNCH

If you’ve ever gone round and round trying to schedule a meeting, you know what a hassle it is. We suggest using Doodle.com, a free tool. Email the group once and it will come about.

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AVOIDING GERMS

Whenever a retail clerk hands Bob a pen to sign with, he says, “Do you know where that pen has been?” and whips out his own pen. He’s only partially kidding. If cell phones are as dirty as public restrooms, according to a recent study, we wonder about the pens stores hand you to sign credit card receipts?

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