Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort

There should be an image here!Master any skill, subject or aptitude, get better grades on your report card, breeze through your essay tests, and pass multiple choice exams without breaking a sweat…

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Get The Best Grades With the Least Amount of Effort contains a step-by-step formula to help you get better grades without having to study harder and without reading more books or doing extra credit projects to balance out your test scores.

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Get it now and watch your grades jump!

2011 Kia Sorento Test Drive – Nice Car – Now Made In The U.S.A.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Kia offering me $75 if I took a test drive in their new 2011 Kia Sorento. I had seen the Kia advertisements on TV and had noticed a few of the new models running around town already. So this morning I had a doctor’s appointment and on my way back stopped at the local Kia dealership. What surprised me was that there were only a two of the new models on the lot, but I noticed three by the main office with sold signs on them. I was greeted by a sales person and presented the form I had received from Kia and requested a test drive.

I had previously driven a 2008 Kia Sorento a few years ago and found the vehicle rode like a truck since it was built on a truck frame. The ride was solid but bounced like you were riding on a wash board. Though the Sorento I had driven came with a V-6 it felt more like a 4 and the interior was nothing to write home about. The exterior was OK, but looked dated, kind of like a Dodge Durango in styling that hasn’t changed in years.

The sales person brought up a new Sorento which was an EX model that had the new, 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine rated at 175 hp, coupled to a 6 speed automatic transmission and also included the convenience package which was an upgrade to the base model. I took the vehicle for a drive through mainly city streets with only one straight area of roadway in which I hit the gas. The 4 cylinder had plenty of power, was quiet, and the transmission shifted effortlessly.

While we were driving I asked the sales person a few questions and learned more information about the vehicle. He stated the new Sorentos were selling very well. Besides the three they had ready for delivery, they had another seven coming in next week, two of which had been sold already. Of course I have never talked to a car sales person that didn’t say their model was selling well. But in this case he may have been telling the truth.

The vehicle rides very well and is more car-like than the previous Sorento model. The fit and finish inside of the car is very nice and having the radio, cruise control, and blue-tooth controls on the steering wheel is a nice touch. The Sorento also comes with a camera backup system, dual moon roofs, navigation system, and more which drives the price well into $30k. The model I drove was $24k after a $1k rebate.

If you are looking for a CUV you may wish to test drive the 2011 Kia Sorento for yourself.

Kia Sorento Web site

Dude, Get Your Finger Out Of My Butt!

The American Cancer Society is now saying that prostrate examinations are no longer advised and that screening tests may be of limited value. They than go on to say that routine examinations are no longer advisable and that doctors should discuss with patients the benefits and down sides of any prostrate examination. But it was this one statement that drew my attention:

The cancer society’s new guidance calls for doctors to stop routinely giving the digital rectal exam because it hasn’t clearly shown a benefit, though it can remain an option.

I have always had an unflattering opinion of those doctors who have chosen to specialize in urology and more specifically those that concentrate on the prostrate. I had an unfortunate experience with a urologist that left me with a bad opinion of this type of doctor and when possible I steer clear of these types of doctors. But that is just my opinion, one that I am sure is not shared by everyone.

What drew my attention to this article was the fact that many of us have suffered through the one finger salute and now we learn it is of little use. We also now are learning that the cancer society has a skeptical opinion about the blood testing procedure for prostrate cancer. They advise the following:

The cancer society hasn’t recommended routine screening for most men since the mid-1990s, and that is not changing. But its new guidelines urge doctors to talk frankly with their patients about the risks and limitations when offering the blood test measuring prostate-specific antigen. The test checks for a protein that can increase because of cancer or benign prostate conditions.

The widely used test often spots cancers that grow too slowly to be deadly, and treatment can lead to incontinence and impotence. Two big studies last year suggested prostate cancer screening doesn’t necessarily save lives, and any benefits can come at a high price.

This is disturbing news since in my last blood test, my prostrate value was very low, and gave me a feeling of wellness. Now I come to learn that is not the case.  I guess my next question is what do we do now? Do we wait until cancer has over taken the prostate and seek treatment?

Comments welcome.


Welcome to Google, Kansas!

The mayor of  Topeka, Kansas is serious about getting Google to use his town as a test bed for broadband. The mayor has issued a proclamation that during the month of March, Topeka will be known as Google, Kansas. In one article it states that:

A campaign to make Topeka a test site for a new, ultrafast Internet service is gathering speed.

Google Inc. announced plans Feb. 10 to build and test new high-speed broadband networks in one or more places around the country. The company says the system of fiber-optic cables would deliver Internet connections 100 times faster than most systems now available.

Over the past week, Topeka city officials have announced they’re completing Google’s request for information from potential trial communities. The City Council has indicated that it’s behind the effort.

And a group called “Think Big Topeka” is campaigning to build community and government support.

What’s next. People naming their first born Google? LOL

I must admit that in these economically challenging times that this would help any city that tries to vie to become a Google test city.  Here is another idea. Maybe California could change their name to Google-fornia!

Comments welcome.


Ford Will Make It Easier For You To Text While You Drive

If you can’t sell cars because of their quality, or for their fuel economy, sell them for their gimmicks. Ford is now in the lunacy business of adding speech to text so you can text message while you drive. Ford has indicated that its $395 option will include speech to text messaging, plus:

The automaker also is incorporating the Twitter social network’s Open Beak application into Sync and is adding Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio and’s online mapping information. Ford developed its own Web browser, which can be operated only while the car is parked, Kuzak said.

Is it just me, or is anyone else getting tired of the craziness with which we allow idiots to drive with a cell phone in their ear, or sending text messages with both hands while their eyes look at their groin area?

Ford, which has endorsed legislation to outlaw texting while driving, said its research indicates that hands-free communication doesn’t distract drivers.

I love you, Ford. If a driver in one of your speech mobiles rear ends me while using your hands free communication system, I’ll be seeing you in court. I could use some extra cash. I hope you have this built into your profit margins. LOL

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testified Oct. 29 that he found Ford’s Sync system distracting when he tested it on a Taurus sedan during a visit to Dearborn.

“As much as I liked driving the Taurus and as much as I liked the Sync system where you put your BlackBerry in and it syncs all your numbers, it’s a distraction,” LaHood told a House highways subcommittee at a hearing on distracted driving.

I love you even more, Ford. Even the Transportation Secretary finds your system distracting. He will make a valuable witness in court when you get sued.

What do you people think? Are you as annoyed as I am that our vehicles are becoming rolling technology labs so the greedy corporate types can make more money?

Let me know.

Comments welcome.


Take This Test To See If You Are Addicted To The Internet

Over at the web site they offer a self-test to determine your addiction to the Internet. I took the test and I scored 35. Not bad, since the score seems to indicate that I am an average user. I wouldn’t want my wife to see the answers I put down for some of the questions, since I am sure she would disagree. LOL

The scoring determines your addiction:

After you’ve answered all the questions, add the numbers you selected for each response to obtain a final score. The higher your score, the greater your level of addiction and the problems your Internet usage causes. Here’s a general scale to help measure your score:

20 – 49 points: You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.

50 -79 points: You are experiencing occasional or frequent problems because of the Internet. You should consider their full impact on your life.

80 – 100 points: Your Internet usage is causing significant problems in your life. You should evaluate the impact of the Internet on your life and address the problems directly caused by your Internet usage.

Take the test and let us know what you think. Please remember that you shouldn’t take the results seriously since there are so many factors that can influence your use of the Internet. I use it for business and rarely play. My answers reflected a working relationship using the Internet as a tool.

Comments welcome.

Internet Addiction Test

Diskeeper Professional 2010 – First Look – Reviewed

On November 10, 2009, I received a free copy of Diskeeper Professional 2010, from the company, to play with and to see what I thought. Featured in this new version is what is called ‘IntelliWrite’ which the company claims is designed to prevent about 85% of fragmentation before it happens.

According to the Diskeeper web site it states their product Diskeeper Professional 2010 will:

Experience a whole new level of system speed and efficiency –
prevent fragmentation before it happens!

Every system, every network, every company suffers from the effects of fragmentation. When fragmentation occurs, the system has already wasted precious I/O resources by writing fragmented files to cluttered spaces on the disk. It’s always a better strategy to prevent fragmentation from happening and work with a clean, fast disk. Now, for the first time ever, you can – only with Diskeeper 2010.

Diskeeper 2010 on your systems means clean disks on servers, workstations and laptops. It means unprecedented speed and reliable efficiency. Every minute. Every day. It means systems lasting years longer due to reduced drive wear. It means tight budgets relax and the cost of ownership drops.

Choose the Diskeeper® performance software edition that is right for each system on your network.

I installed Diskeeper Pro 2010 on two systems. My test system is running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit and my laptop is running Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit. Diskeeper supports both 32 and 64 bit systems. Both systems loaded quickly and I was up and running quickly. I set both systems to run automatically and also employed IntelliWrite.

I ran a manual defrag on both systems. One note is that both systems have Windows XP Mode installed. This caused the first scan to run slowly as it needed to move Windows XP Mode, which is about 14GB in size. To be fair, PerfectDisk 10 did the same when I first used it on my test system. Once you run the first defrag the next scan runs quickly.

I have only been running Diskeeper Pro 2010 for one week. So it is a little early to see how IntelliWrite functions and if my system will remain relatively free from fragmenting. But one thing I can say is that this new version seems to use very few resources when it is doing its thing. I have not experienced any slow downs on either system.

My laptop has 3GB of RAM with 4GB via ReadyBoost and my test box has 4GB of RAM with an additional 8GB using ReadyBoost. Both systems use AMD dual cores running at 2.1on the laptop and 3.1 GHz on the desktop test box respectively. Both systems run very well and I have experienced no issues, minus one, that was my own fault. :-)

I am going to run Diskeeper Pro 2010 on both systems for 60 days and do a follow up report. I have set my calender to remind me in Outlook.

Comments welcome

Source – Diskeeper Professional 2010

Mozilla Thunderbird 3 Beta 4 – First Look And Review

Mozilla is continuing their beta testing of their new Thunderbird 3 email program, which is expected to go final towards the end of November, 2009. I have been trying the latest beta, T-bird 3 beta 4 this past week and I like what I am seeing thus far. First of all the new email version opens a lot quicker than version 2 does. But what really is new is the streamlined user interface that can be customized by the user.

New to version 3 is a tabs feature which can show your email accounts, feeds or new messages can show up as tabs, instead of a new window. This makes T-bird function more like it’s sister Firefox and will be familiar to most of us. A new archiving feature makes saving message a snap and is kind of like what Gmail has been offering for their accounts.

Also new to Thunderbird is a faster search feature for finding stuff you have saved or archived that works very well. The account setup feature can add Gmail account, feeds, newsgroups almost automatically for most users. There is also the ability to manually add accounts as well.

I will continue to try Mozilla Firefox as it enters into the RC stages and will do another review once Mozilla goes gold with the program.  As a side note T-bird works fine in Windows 7. :-)

Comments welcome.

How Reliable Is Your Windows 7 Installation? Here’s How To Check It

Microsoft has built into Windows 7 a tool in which users can check the reliability of their Windows 7 installation. The reliability feature uses a graph that a user can use to determine if any problems have been reported and if there is a possible solution. You can start this feature by going to Start and typing in ‘reliability‘ in the search feature box.

Microsoft describes the tool as:

How to use Reliability Monitor

Reliability Monitor is an advanced tool that measures hardware and software problems and other changes to your computer. It provides a stability index that ranges from 1 (the least stable) to 10 (the most stable). You can use the index to help evaluate the reliability of your computer. Any change you make to your computer or problem that occurs on your computer affects the stability index.

The Reliability Monitor is intended for advanced computer users, such as software developers and network administrators.

  1. Click to open Action Center.

  2. Click Maintenance. Then, under Check for solutions to problem reports, click View reliability history.

  3. In Reliability Monitor, you can:

    • Click any event on the graph to view its details.

    • Click Days, or Weeks, to view the stability index over a specific period of time.

    • Click items in the Action column to view more information about it.

Click View all problem reports to view only the problems that have occurred on your computer. This view does not include the other computer events that show up in Reliability Monitor, such as events about software installation.

I found the feature easy to use. I believe that this could be of value to the casual user as well. Why Microsoft thinks that only techies may want this information does not do just to the million of users who may have a need to know this information. I personally believe that most people using computers these days are very knowledgeable compared to 10 years ago.

Comments welcome.

* Information came from the help menu which described the ‘reliability’ feature.

Performance Test – Windows 7 vs Snow Leopard – And The Winner Is?

Over at CNET, writer Dong Ngo has an interesting article in which he has made a comparison of Microsoft’s Windows 7 and Apple’s Snow Leopard. The writer states he used the same computer to run both operating systems individually, using the new Bootcamp version 3.0 which he states made Windows run even better on a Mac. He also went on the explain exactly what Bootcamp does, which I personally found interesting, since I know so little about Macs. He states the following:

Just to clarify, Boot Camp is not a virtual environment but simply a bundle of native Windows drivers–software that makes the OS work properly with hardware components. These drivers include chipset, video, networking, and so on. As a matter of fact, you can get most of these drivers from the components’ manufacturers (or via Windows update). However, Boot Camp also contains drivers for Apple’s proprietary hardware including the iSight Webcam, keyboard backlight, and multitouch mouse pad, and therefore it’s best to get this bundle instead of looking for drivers individually.

For the sake of transparency (I know a lot of you feel passionately about one operating system or the other), I will disclose how I conducted my testing so you can duplicate it if you want. There’s no rocket science involved here; all you need is a good stopwatch, a MacBook Pro, and a lot of time.

About the test system:

First off, the test machine is a 15-inch unibody MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, and a 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT video card. This is the 2008 model of the computer that comes with a removable battery and doesn’t have the SD card slot. (This is not the latest 2009 model that comes with a nonremovable battery, which packs a lot more juice.)

He then used two identical hard disks, which he was able to swap out to do the testing. He basically used a stop watch to time the experiment and came up with some not so startling results. I believe that most of us are familiar with the assets and limitations of both operating systems and the tests tend to prove what we already know.

Here are some of the results condensed. You can read the entire article and see the charts at the link below.

Snow Leopard consistently beats Windows 7 in many general performance areas.

Windows 7 noticeably outdoes Snow Leopard in the 3D image rendering benchmark.

Windows 7 plays 3D games better than Snow Leopard.

Snow Leopard lasted significantly longer than Windows 7 on a single charge.

So there you have it. This experiment seems to me to be straightforward. What I would like to see is this same experiment done using Windows Vista. :-)

Comments welcome.

Source – CNET

Head First PMP

There should be an image here!More than just passing a test, a PMP certification means that you have the knowledge to solve most common project problems. But studying for a difficult four-hour exam on project management isn’t easy, even for experienced project managers.

Drawing on the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, Head First PMP offers you a multi-sensory experience that helps the material stick, not a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep.

This book will help you:

  • Learn PMP’s underlying concepts to help you understand the PMBOK principles and pass the certification exam with flying colors
  • Get 100% coverage of the latest principles and certification objectives in The PMBOK® Guide, 4th edition, including two new processes: Collect Requirements and Identify Stakeholders
  • Make use of a thorough and effective preparation guide with hundreds of practice questions and exam strategies
  • Explore the material through puzzles, games, problems, and exercises that make learning easy and entertaining

Head First PMP puts project management principles into context to help you understand, remember, and apply them — not just on the exam, but also on the job.

Memory Usage – Firefox, Chrome, Safari & Opera – The Winner Is?

During my roaming around the Internet, I stumbled upon Dot Net Perls site that had an interesting profile on the memory usage for several browsers. The browser tests included Firefox 3.5RC, Chrome 3.0, Safari 4 and Opera 10b. The testing is described as follows:

Here we note that the previous study of browser memory usage on was performed by monitoring a user’s actual interactions with the browsers in a memory tabulation program. Due to the burden of having to use certain browsers for three hours in a row, this experiment automates all URL visits through the command line. This means that each browser was tested for exactly 150 remote URLs, using the same command-line arguments for different executables.

And also:

Because every user has a different selection of sites he uses, the sites tested programmatically in this examination were taken directly from the Alexa top sites CSV file at This list is the property of the Alexa service and will not be made available on The CSV used was downloaded on June 19, 2009.

And now for the winners:

Here we see the results of the experiment when performed as described above. During the experiment, 384 memory checkpoints were taken, which amounts to 1152 seconds or 19.2 minutes. Google Chrome posted the highest maximum memory usage when all chrome.exe processes were summed, reaching 1.18 gigabytes, while Firefox posted the lowest maximum memory levels of 327.65 megabytes. This means Firefox used 73% less memory during peak periods.

With this chart comparison:

Peak memory usage measured during experiment.

Chrome:  1216.16 MB      [Largest]
Firefox:  327.65 MB      [Smallest]
Opera:    554.11 MB
Safari:   517.00 MB

There is one thing missing. What about Microsoft’s IE?
Comments welcome.


GM – Volt Test Drive

The GM – Volt is still in the experimental stages, but development continues at GM, even though they are experiencing financial problems. The web master at GM -Volt was invited to test drive the new electric car at the GM proving grounds. Having written about the test driving of other electric cars such as the Tesla, I found the story about the Volt should be interesting. If GM fails as this, they might as well hang it up.

So here is some of the basics of what the review contained:

The car is started by a push button that lights green, no key is needed, and the turn-on process is utterly silent.

The interior was sufficiently roomy and comfortable, and nicely ergonomically designed. It was lacking the elegant high-tech and sophisticated double LCD display the production Volt has, and all the sure to be wonderful bells and whistles the production Volt will have. There was no engine/battery feedback for the driver. Technicians normally would connect a laptop to the mule to monitor, manage, and tweak the cars behavior. This interface had been removed for my drive. My only feedback was Km/h on the speedometer and number of miles driven.

The mule was like the Volt, functionally a four-seater, the T-shaped battery pack running down the middle was low enough that the rear seat bench had no bulge, but legroom in the center of the bench was replaced by the battery.

Once started there was only a very slightly scarcely audible and occasional whir within the engine compartment but was overall strikingly and serenely silent.

And then with one small step for man and one large step for mankind and with the collective goodwill of the thousands of you GM-Volt readers on this journey with me, I depressed the accelerator.

Instant silent and sustained torque ensued.

The car had considerable brisk acceleration and power. It was smooth as silk and utterly quiet. It was truly a marvelous thing of beauty. I sailed up hills and muscled around the curves of the sterile and peculiarly industrial landscape of the proving grounds. The car handled marvelously. Greg told me that this car wasn’t near final refinement yet and that the production Volt would handle even better. Hard to believe.

But there is more:

There was of course no transmission so whether driving 5 or 75 mph the same gear was maintained. This was pleasant and comfortable and provided appropriate dynamic power at all velocities, there was no perceived “need” to shift.

I found the car to be light, nimble, agile and very fun to drive. Acceleration was terrific and spirited.

I had the chance to take the car straight up a very treacherous-appearing pure 16-1/2% grade. It was a hill that I cannot recall seeing a similar version of in real life. The car had no trouble making it to the top, and with it floored could hit about 50 mph.

16 1/2% grade? Obviously this person has never had the pleasure of driving in San Francisco. LOL Over all the test results sound good. It will be more interesting to see how the vehicle performs once the batteries drain and the car runs on its rather smallish gas engine.

Comments welcome.

Full test review.

Windows 7 To Reduce Click Fatigue + Plus Other Stuff

According to one recent article, Windows 7 will provide a 29% reduction in the amount of clicks one will use for UAC. Interesting. I can reduce that number by 100%.  Just turn the darn thing off! Problem solved.

If you are in a hurry to receive the RC build of Windows 7, make sure that the download has not been tampered with.

CRC32: E8A1C394
MD5: 8867C13330F56A93944BCD46DCD73590
SHA-1: 7D1F486CA569EFFFFB719CFB48355BB7BF499712

In addition the CD-Key you received for the Beta of Windows 7 will be valid for the RC release.

The official release will be made on April 30, 2009 to TechNet and MSDN and the public release is scheduled for May 5, 2009.

From the Windows Blog concerning XPM – virtual mode for Windows XP:

We will be soon releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate.

This will be the feature I am most interested in. It will be interesting to see how well or not so well XPM will function in Windows 7.


Comments welcome.