Monday, April 29, 2013

Do you really They Services -? And costs

With five family members in the AT & T plan my phone, my monthly bill typically runs in the triple digits. But a few months ago I noticed it was usually high. Finally I found the reason: One of us accidentally managed to sign up for half a dozen games, ringtones and other subscription services, adding more than $ 60 per month on our bill. After an hour on the phone with AT & T, we get the subscription canceled and money refunded.

How could I let this happen? In fact, even though I hate to admit it, I did not examine my personal bill almost close my business expenses. I was too busy to notice that I was being charged for services that I did not want or need. And that is subscribed to mobile services rely.

Next time phone, cable or utility bills you come, take a closer look. You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year for games, movies, and interactive services you have asked to receive. These services are often bundles as part of the premium package or start a free trial subscription to be paid if you do not cancel them.

"Beware of the free," warned Arleen Kahn, president of MCA Associates, a New York consulting firm that helps small businesses to analyze their costs. "Bundling phone, data and voice can be cost effective for your business, but it will not always save you money in the home. You should really do your homework to find the best deals for your home and family. '

Here are five tips to cut the family phone bill, cable and utility to measure:

Approximately shop

Web offers many resources to compare prices and service packages, as well as cutting your utility costs. Here's a sampling:

in CellCalc and features of the site allows you to find the mobile service plans are available in your area and side-by-side comparison of features, cost and hours dedicated. Enter your address on the site to get the list up-to-date option for phone, internet and TV service for your home - and to see whether bundling is the best way to go. This property online energy saving advice offers articles on everything from the proper insulation on how to keep your microwave from burning money.

Avoid teaser rate. Cable companies are able to offer rock-bottom price for a bundle package in return for two-or three-year commitment. "Sometimes the price is good for only the first six to 12 months," said Kahn. "Then the rate through the roof."

Beware cancellation penalties. Depending on the contract you sign, you may have to pay a hefty fee to continue your life. That "free" cell phone will be worth more in the long run than if you pay the sticker price and keep your options open.

-Adjust your plan. "Family Plan" and "rollover minutes" may sound appealing, but they only make sense if you use it. "You can save more money by choosing a plan according to the number of minutes," said Kahn.

Beware the free trial. New cable, phone and internet accounts often have a "free trial" subscription automatically begin to grow. Contact customer service if you see charges on your bill that you do not recognize.

Pull the plug. The best way to save money on utility bills, Kahn said, is to unplug your coffee maker, charger for mobile phone, air conditioning units or other tools you use every day. "As long as the equipment is connected to the outlet, they run your electric bill," he says.It's worth spending a few extra minutes to save hundreds of dollars a month for a year without charge.

Rosalind Resnick founder and CEO of Axxess Business Consulting, New York consulting firm that advised startups and small businesses, and author of Getting Rich Without Going broke: How to Use luck, Logic and Use of Building a Successful Business Ever. He can be reached or through the website,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

MBA Admission decisions are Coming Down to Wire

For applicants to the MBA business school pending acceptance or rejection, of the officer receiving some information from leaking. Many top schools report that they expect to announce a second round entry is decided by March 28 and a lot of schools, including Virginia, Chicago, Stanford, Duke, Harvard, and Cornell, is accepting applications for the third round. Here are some updates from entry to top schools: the University of Michigan Ross School of Business: Office revenues are expected to begin calling the round-two candidates admitted on Tuesday, March 12 the first call was made to the applicant in New York, Washington, DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Contact candidates in other U.S. cities to resume on Wednesday, and a notice to admit international students are expected to begin today, writes Ross Director Soojin Kwon Acceptance. According to the school application timeline, all decisions must be posted by March 15 unanimous decision of the three announced May 15.University of Virginia Darden School of Business: Assistant Dean of MBA Admission Sara Neher said the round-two applicants interviewed will begin receiving news on March 20. He also reminds applicants that the deadline to apply for the third round is March 28. Office still sending round two invitations to lecture and examination of applicants. People may not be allowed to register in May to feed Neher office phone calls, which will take place at the Chicago Booth School June.University of Business: All candidates for the two rounds notified by March 28. The deadline to submit three rounds of April 4. Associate Dean of Student Recruitment and Admissions Kurt take Ahlm school admissions blog last week to meet the "general perception of round three." He told the students not to "use the opportunity to re-enforce a few months later as a backup plan," stressed that the petition filed in this round candidate should best efforts and not "the last resort to be able to receive" Do. Applicants are concerned that the committee will come to question their decision in round three, he suggested sending the optional essay by University of Pennsylvania Wharton School: On Friday, school admissions officers are looking forward to meet candidates in London, Mexico City, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, San Francisco , Shanghai, and Philadelphia, where they will oversee the office-based interviews incoming group discussions. Round-two admission decision is expected by March 26, and three rotation by May School 3.Stanford University Graduate of Business: Schools do not have to update his blog with the receipt of information from the applicant since the end of February, while giving tips on how candidates can make their applications were absolutely not "over-strategize." Round two decisions are expected to go through March 27. The deadline to apply for the third round in April 3.MIT Sloan School's Management: Hospitality Senior Director Rod Garcia writes in Bloomberg Businessweek team will spend a week or two rounds of interviews applicants before negotiating. The final decision will be released on April 2. Garcia reported that he had personally interviewed the applicants in East Asia by the end of next week. School is not a third application round.Duke University Fuqua School of Business: Schools will notify the office entrance round-two applicants on March 18. The deadline to apply for three rounds March 21 interview with the invitation sent by 10 April. Round-three notices are expected in May 10. Receive director Megan Lynam writes: "We released Monday. We were on the committee to make a final decision in the 2nd round, so we are not in every city doing interviews now. The deadline for the third round was not until about March. We follow this schedule is posted online for the group. We will try to focus in the coming weeks with soft round admits of two. We had our deposit deadline for the first round and had a great class shaping up "Harvard Business School: Accepting Director Deirdre Leopold last updated his blog in late January, when the school began shipping its first wave of round two interview invitations. The school will notify the round-two applicants by March 27. The deadline to apply for three rounds at noon EST on April 8.Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management: Schools will hold four rounds this application unique. Round-three decision expected by April 3, and the deadline to apply for the fourth round March 27. Christine Sneva, executive director of the school and financial aid, the applicant provides insight into the admissions process for his team January.Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management: Round-two admissions decisions for full-time program is expected by March 21. The deadline to request an off-campus interview with the application for round three 3 April three round decision over can 15.Join Forum discussions with the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School, visit us on Facebook, and follow @ BWbschools on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Barnes & Noble getting ready to Spin Out Nook

The Nook should help usher in a Barnes & Noble (BKS) in the future. It does not look like it. Now, the book chain chairman and biggest shareholder, Leonard Riggio, said in a regulatory filing that he was interested in buying the company's stores and website, but no e-reader business.Riggio, and many others, has hopes that Barnes & Noble can compete with, if not surpass rivals, first Amazon (AMZN) started and then (AAPL) Apple iPad. The belief that Barnes & Noble will make the transition to the digital era, and then developed in it, is a factor Riggio is to restrain activist billionaire investor Ron Bürkle 2010. The next year, the company introduced the black-and-white e-reader recently, the All-New Nook, designed by Robert Brunner, who has worked at Apple. Both Microsoft (MSFT) and Pearson (PSO) taking a minority stake in Media Nook last year.In January 2012, William Lynch, CEO of the company, said: "We have a Nook business growing rapidly year-over-year and should be about $ 1, 5 billion in sales over this fiscal year. Between continued projected growth in the U.S., and the opportunity for Nook internationally in the next 12 months, we expect the business to continue to measure rapidly in the future. "But, as the attention of computer companies and consumers will be full-feature tablet, Barnes & Noble has struggled to achieve a deeper-pocketed rivals. Compete in the market with the Nook and Nook Color Tablet, a device with a 7-inch screen running both versions (GOOG) Google's Android operating system. And this game is not just about the device, it is about developing a comprehensive ecosystem services and applications. Barnes & Noble just does not have all the assets needed to build something like that, Amazon, Apple, and Google clearly will do. Booksellers also bested the previous e-reading, as Amazon has built a catalog of titles exclusive to light with the publication of various divisions and e-book lending library, which is available free to members of its Prime shipping service. Barnes & Noble now find themselves in a fight can not hope to win. Companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are jockeying for position in the rapidly growing tablet market. Amazon sells the kindle fire costs, Google could easily open the store to show the growing variety of hardware, including the Nexus tablet 7. Microsoft is spending millions to market the tablet surface. And with the iPad Mini, Apple has recovered quickly from the ceding tablets.Not market for smaller, 7-inch surprisingly, in front of them withering competition, slowing momentum Nook. This division had sales of $ 160 million in the quarter ended in October. Revenue the company reported in February 28.So what future Nook hypercompetitive environment? With shrinking revenue and same-store sales, retailers can not make the kind of investment necessary to compete with the big boys. If the Nook division was spun out, the company has long contemplated, probably one of the deep-pocketed investors, Microsoft will double down control, shift the operating systems from Android to Windows 8, and then use it to try to make further inroads in the tablet market . It's hard to imagine another situation where live many ironies on.There Nook to go here. A decade ago, Microsoft pioneered the market with touch screen enabled tablet stylus running Windows. But Microsoft did not quite get it right and do not take the iPad tablet market. Similarly, back in the 1990's, Barnes & Noble to sell one of the first mainstream e-reader, ebook Rocket. If it does not sell, Riggios cover their initial efforts in e-reading and then got turned on by the introduction of flat-footed in 2007. In a sense, Microsoft's Nook brand will provide the perfect synchronicity of endangered seal two holding hands in the middle of opportunities shocking and inevitable market moves away from them.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ubitricity German Startup a New Way to recharge electric cars

A startup called in Germany trying Ubitricity electric car charging electric meter ubiquitous mobile driver can carry on their chests. The company made the first of thousands of these plugs year.The expansion of the electric car is anything but impressive, and a major stumbling block is the lack of charging infrastructure and the "range anxiety" get a better consumer. Late last year the luxury electric sports car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA) began addressing at least the perception that the solar-powered Tesla charging stations where drivers can charge for it based free.Berlin Ubitricity strive to meet this increased cost option for electric cars in different ways the same once. Companies want to take away from what you say it is a big and expensive charging station and replace it with a mobile power meter to keep the ark of the electric car and allows you to charge Ubitricity sockets if they are in your home, your office, or take advantage Ubitricity claim mall . the socket itself that at a fraction of the cost of conventional charging stations, and the business model is to subsidize the price socket, making it more competitive with the price of a standard electrical plug installed in a garage or parking lot. The company said to do so because the intelligence is in the meter remains car.If to plug in at home and at work, two locations, "said founder and Chief Executive Ubitricity Hechtfischer Knut us during a recent interview. "? So why should you install the full brilliance of the two sites instead of bringing to you "as he explains the benefits:" It saves half wit, half of their costs, and half of the operating costs. "To fill the car using Ubitricity system, public charging plug is inserted into the socket Ubitricity white, which is about the size of a large brick. Meter mobile, attached to the charging cable, said plug from the circuit and allows the payload, and the meter keeps track of how much electricity is used. Once charging is complete, sends back Ubitricity total via cellular connection. Ubitricity then passes the information to the relevant utility.The system works very much like infrastructure and charging mobile phones. Customers have a billing account with the electric utility, and Ubitricity only track electricity usage between network operators and utilities. From Ubitricity then charge extra for approximately € 0.10 per transaction for network congestion is the key to success Ubitricity service.The model, said CEO Hechtfischer and cost advantages that are responsible for important stations to attract organizations and businesses to install Ubitricity plugs, rather than the station more expensive electric car charging. "We think it is highly unlikely that the city, which means taxpayers will invest in such equipment," said Hechtfischer. He said if you do not have a clear business case for how electric vehicle charging stations could make a profit at the moment, and he pointed to a European utility RWE (RWE), who reported that the rate of utilization of multiple charging stations were installed in Germany is very low, especially when compared with the high cost of installation and hardware maintenance.The Ubitricity itself is not remarkable, and the startup is determined to maintain existing standards when working may naturally conservative utility and automotive industries. Startup has been working in the German equivalent of the U.S. National Institute for Technology to ensure standardization and the German federal government received a grant to do so.The socket itself is common, with the power, voltage fuses, and RCD, with access management add-on, for call the meter to allow charging. Meter smart meter itself is pretty standard, with mobile communication gateways, to allow access to the backend system utilities. If the mobile network is temporarily unavailable charge at the end, the data is stored for later transmission.One granted patents for the technology, and more are pending. For European competitors, with activity in the mobile measures in Sweden. An ongoing research project at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden working on this technology, and Ericsson (Eric) has collaborated with both local utilities and Volvo (VOLVB) in his Elviis project. The project also puts Elviis communication and feet inside the car and not charging station.the smart grid is actually the original starting point for Ubitricity in 2007. Founder Frank Pawlitschek Hechtfischer and exciting to experiment what electric cars can play a role in the smart grid with renewable energy. One consequence of the billing model that consumers seem to be able to stay in the utility they believe in and support the sale of electricity from renewable sources if they choose to do so.Households rooftop solar panels can also convert their roof access electrons in a remote location, so close. "You'll be able to get your PV power socket in your employer's location," said Hechtfischer.Ubitricity closed Series A round of VC financing in 2010 and expects to close the round B for the first six months of 2013. This is a test pilot project with a number of European utilities, and instructions detection data on the internet players who are not named. Expected in 1000 socket mounted on the end of the hardware Ubitricity year.At now produced locally, but in October 2012 announced a partnership with TE Connectivity to mass produce Herlaut components.Fabienne, French VC firm managing partner Ecomobilité Ventures, Ubitricity learning about new events recently in Düsseldorf Cleantech. He said that he felt it was the investor GigaOM likely interested in technology-based solutions. "When you look at solutions like Ubitricity, technology wins, then I think it is very attractive to investors, because it is not only based on the number of users you have," Herlaut Ubitricity said.Whether may succeed in getting density socket needed to sustain services utility to consumers indicate that year.Also from GigaOM: Cleantech Fourth-Quarter 2012 Review (subscription required) What Nextdoor do and Right On hyperlocal patch Is Just One Reason to Consider WrongThere do RT For Windows Windows 8Dropbox get more IT-friendly with good ControlsWi Hopefully Fi Expansion Plans Car worry About the Future Connected Car

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why do you (finally) Take Home Office Tax Deductions

home office deduction has long been a nightmare for the American taxpayer documents, including many of the millions of small business owners who working from home. There are no instructions for IRS tax relief runs to 28 pages (actually shorter than the previous year). Small business lobby has asked Congress to streamline the process for years.In a blog post Tuesday, the Obama administration announced recess a home office will be easier to claim for tax year 2013. That means that we still over a year away from the new rules make the difference in your wallet. These changes will save taxpayers 1.6 million hours together preparing tax time next year, the IRS estimates (which are more than 182 years, if you're counting). Under the new option, you can write off the $ 5 per square foot of office space of the home, up to $ 1,500 for 300 square feet. The current process involves a 41-line form which requires the calculation of the taxpayer, among other things, measure the total area of ​​their home, their home office area, and then calculate the percentage of home used for business.It's kind of superabundance fine print in the tax code that encourages crazy people and prevent them from getting cut. Kristie Arslan, president of the National Association for the Self-employed, praised the move in a statement, saying "it will give our members some tax relief next season by allowing them to take their important reductions eligible for long but often leave because of the complexity of the past "is. New IRS rules are not final, and they are looking to cut more than $ 1,500 should probably stick process.Last year I dove into the convoluted history of this part of the tax code. With no clear definition of what type of work at home is allowed to write-off, reducing the original home office is open to abuse: That standard, loose blur invite liberal interpretation of people like Stephen Bodzin. He is an attorney for the IRS, Bodzin try to write off the portion of the rent because he was doing some work at home in the evenings and on weekends. In 1975 (eight years after the tax return is concerned), Bodzin lost the case against the agency he worked as an appeals court found that the house was not his place of business. Instead, "he once, by choice, do some reading and writing at home." Next year, Congress passed a tax reform bill that narrows the definition of home office deductions to avoid news . Today misusing taxpayer not ask questions: If the IRS can simply change the rules without Congressional action, what took them so long?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Does the Internet Make Us sad sad or Less?

We have recently seen a rash of Essays and articles in the mainstream press takes a rather panic-mongering towards social networking and digital communications of various types: the Atlantic piece raised questions about how Facebook makes us sad, and the New York Times op-ed by Sherry Turkle MIT professor a few days ago found that all use of SMS and social media we are involved in bad for us as a society because it prevents us from having a "real" conversation and connect with other people. This is a real problem or just one example of how new technology is often blamed for behavior that existed long before they were created? The essence of the argument is that while Turkle text messages, Facebook status updates and Twitter messages can make us feel though we are in touch with friends and family in a small way, it "sips" online connectivity is not add up to much. This is similar to the case he makes in his book, alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, where he talks about how social networks like Facebook is actually that keeps us at a distance from one another, not helping to connect us. As Turkle puts it in his NYT piece: "We live in a technological universe in which we're constantly communicating. But we have to sacrifice for conversation only connection. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of them have their place in politics, commerce, love, and friendship. But no matter how important, they do not change the conversation. "Is that true? There is no question that Facebook or Twitter chat can not replace face-to-face conversation with someone important to you. But does anyone really say it should be? Feels like Turkle suggests a false dichotomy, as if all our online communications somehow involved in the conversation taking place "real world". It's like an updated version of the old image of a young man sitting alone in their basement playing video games instead of going to meet their friends in the "real world". (Susannah Fox has a great integration of some of Turkle's reaction to the piece.) This argument has a number of drawbacks, including the research show that people-especially young Internet users are more social Using online networks and tools are also more social world offline. Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci written about this time a false dichotomy, including exchange with former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, who echoed Turkle fears that an online connection is forged "real" human relationships. Tufekci found online world and the real world is called virtually indistinguishable now, and in many cases they tend to mutual support, not opposite.In recent piece in the Atlantic, writer Stephen Marche asked if Facebook is making us more more sad than, in the end, he looked "quieter" of the equation, said: "In a world destroyed by ever more social novel fashion, we have a society that is less and less the actual . We live in a contradiction acceleration: the more connected we become, the loneliness. We promised a global village, but we inhabit gloomy cul-de-sacs and endless highway information Suburbs "As poetic as it sounds, however, it does not appear to be the case .. Even "experts Sad" Marche mentioned in Atlantic not agree that we become quiet, and there is no real evidence to suggest that Facebook helped or hurt in this case. As Turkle analysis, it seems certain that Marche social networking, text messaging, or other forms of online connections to exchange real communication between people. At least in my experience and also other studies Tufekci it is not at all what any happening.If, online connections are likely to trigger or promote the real- world connections. I met dozens, maybe even hundreds of people I never would have known except for Twitter, thanks to the meetings of coffee for Foursquare check-in automatically, and create other relationships between countless online and offline world. Does everyone do it? Of course not. I'm sure there are people to be more lonely or sad because they use the Internet, as there are unhappy people who watch a lot of late night television. That does not mean that television causes loneliness.As any activity, too much can be harmful to your health that applies to many "real" world events as well. Alexandra Samuel, director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University, wrote in response to Turkle: "[W] orrying about children who choose to live online is alarming as seniors choose to live offline. Results seeing an emerging digital lifestyle through the prism of the generation, who considered the conversation just means when they look like the conversations we have growth "for me., It feels very similar swirling debate in 2010 about whether the internet making us stupid theories move forward in part by the author Nick Carr the shallows. Like many people, including the theory of Media Clay Shirky at Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker POINTS is, the internet does not really make us, in addition to strengthening the practices or patterns of behavior we can have. Internet use in ways that make us stupid, or at least look at us like that? Sure you can. So can almost any other human invention gathered for wheel.Pinker show that almost every technological development associated with the media of newspapers and television and internet novel-the devil at one point, as people try to People blame the nature of some external force. In any case, it is how we choose to use the new tool is important, and it is something that we all have the power to change, for better and for worse.Also from GigaOM: Connected World: Consumer Technology Revolution (subscription required) Think you BYOD issues? Wait Stealth ITT-Mobile Acquisition Galaxy Note? Evidence says YesPodcasting 101: Apple management PodcastsA Canal Way Solar Rises in India