Surf The Net, Walk Dangerously

January 10, 2008 at 12:09 am (aldrin meeks, America, Banking, Business, business practices, check, consumer, economy, FTC, income, Internet, Pyramid schemes, scam, scammers) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Don’t you know that while you’re surfing the Net, you’re like walking dangerously? Dangers abound — avoid these menaces by getting yourself familiar with them. Get yourself aware with these landmines that litter the internet.

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Are you new on the internet? You will get invitations as fast as you can say yes. You’re surely come across pop-up advertisements or e-mail messages inviting you to join a program and you will receive rewards or will make you rich.

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I believe that there is really this dark side of cyberspace. And the American watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission has warned and has listed these scams that are most likely to arrive in your e-mail inbox.

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Here are some of them:

  1. Bulk E-Mails. This is considered spamming. Internet service providers prohibit their users to send bulk e-mails. This scam will send you e-mail offering from a list of e-mail addresses. This is by the millions, where you can send your own bulk solicitations. With the promise of scammers that this will make you rich. And they will offer you the service of sending bulk e-mail solicitations on your behalf. Or software will be offered to you that will automate the sending of e-mail to hundreds or even millions of recipients.
  2. Business Opportunities. This is an illegal pyramid scheme. Scammers will entice you to start a business without investing on it, without much work and promises lots of income. That you’ll receive cash without selling anything and someone will do it for you.
  3. Chain Letters. Don’t believe it. Chain letters are only chain letters, there are no valuable in them. You’ll be ask a small amount of money, let’s say $5, to each names on a list, replace one of the names on the list with your own. Then you will be instructed to send the revised e-mail via bulk.
  4. Work-At-Home Schemes. You’ll pay a small fee to get started. A promise of income while you stuff envelopes at home. But you will be offered to buy supplies or even equipment. Spammers promise to buy those later, but never will.
  5. Health And Diet Scams. These are pure gimmicks. Scammers will brag about their herbal formulas and pills. About cures for hair loss and impotence. Believe me, this will never ever work.
  6. Effortless Income. This is what they call, get-rich-quick schemes. This will give you promises of unlimited profits or income. Newsletters with a variety of easy-money opportunities, exchanging money on world markets. The perfect sales letter — the secret to making $4 million in one day! Hahaha.
  7. Free Goods. Another form of pyramid schemes. The scammers will get all the money — little or none at all goes to people who pay to participate. You’ll receive e-mail messages offering valuable goods, such as computers, phone cards or electronic items. You’ll be asked to pay a fee to join a club and you have to bring in a certain number of participants.
  8. Vacation Prize Promos. An electronic certificate will be received, congratulating you on winning a grand vacation for a very attractive price. Believe me, the cruise ship you will be book on may look like a tugboat. Huh!

Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of these landmines that litters the internet.

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Obama unleashed!

January 8, 2008 at 12:59 am (aldrin meeks, America, clinton, Election, Obama, US Economy) (, , , , , , , )

Who will make history?

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Barack Obama will make history by becoming America’s first black president.

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Or will Hillary Clinton will make a history to be America’s first woman president.

Obama’s Iowa caucuses win was a stun. It seems that there will be a wave of change in America. If ever he will be nominated, can he stand up to a barrage of Republican attacks in a general election?

Now, his eyes are set on Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary victory. A freshman senator from Illinois braced for new attack from his opponents. And one of them is Hillary Clinton, who slumped into third place in Thursday’s first 2008 nominating contest.

Are we ready for a president who is perceived to be lacking in experience? Or a president that is ready on day one? This is a risk that we cannot take.

The time is short for the political calendar of four days. Since the time was reduced between Iowa and New Hampshire. As to Clinton, the time is short, but there is enough time for the people to think.

The lead is narrow in polls in New Hampshire that could be threatened by the bounce from his Iowa win. With the back-to-back rallies, Obama hopes to turn his victory in Iowa into a national surge.

The answer is the November 4 vote that will succeed President George W. Bush.

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Chinese-made Toys, No way!

January 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm (aldrin meeks, Baby Boomers, Business, consumer, Manufacturer, New Year, Profit, Toys) (, , , , , , , , )

Chinese-made toys contain dangerous chemicals!

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Toys are expected to be hot seller this holiday season. No matter what, just to maximize profit is what really matter to these retailers and manufacturers. Is this a prize for a cheap labor and bigger profit?

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Retailers around the world including nations around China scrambled to pull popular toy brands off the shelves. This is after selling all of them to not suspecting consumers, our innocent children. Too late! The chemicals from these Chinese-made toys were found to mimic the effects of the so called date rape drug. Spin Master Ltd. Distribute these health hazard toys in North America.

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These Chinese-made toys are being sold by all retailers here in America and that includes Target Corp. and Wal-Mart stores. Are these manufacturers and retailers exists just for mere profit? What the heck! Know what? This is substituting toxic chemical with a safe type of glue during manufacturing. What is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission doing?

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Are these Chinese companies don’t know better? Are they using cheap products or just cutting corners? Their issue about child labor has not been resolved yet. And now there is another bigger issue. And come to think of it, it is about safety issue of children — of our children.

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Recognized one of these? Aquadots, Bindeez, Moose Enterprises of Melbourne, Australia.

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Crash Of The US Economy

December 28, 2007 at 11:05 pm (aldrin meeks, Banking, Banks, Business, career, economy, income, New Year, US Economy) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Slowing US Economy

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Companies will be forced into bankruptcy. And so their valuations and stock prices are falling down across the board. There will be belt tightening this coming year for workers and their dependents.

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The heart of financial system of America will announce a painful write-off of loan accounts. Hedge funds will be closing its doors and equity funds will have a disappointing report on returns. Interest rates are set by people who run financial institutions — Central Bank.

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Is the US economy aging? Slowing down? Is this the beginning of the crash of US economy? Are the US economic planners to blame? The one that benefited from this is the Bush Family, who is with an insider government connection — Carlyle Group.

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The US economy, weighted down by the subprime credit crisis that started in the middle of the year. The global investment banks ended on losses, disastrous note, layoffs and marred by profit warnings. The signs are clear, indeed there is slowing and aging of US Economy.

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There is a slowdown in the US economy and one of the reasons is the tight competition among exporters. There is an anemic performance of exports in the first 10 months, short of meeting the target. Government should protect our exporters.

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There should be overhaul and reform to get back our economy on the right tract. The real cause of this crisis is monetary. Income assurance policy should be set-up for the benefit and welfare of every citizen of this country. Or should we say “In God We Trust”.

Happy New Year to All!

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Merry Christmas “Baby Boomers”, Merry Christmas “Mom” and “Dad”

December 26, 2007 at 2:03 am (aldrin meeks, Baby Boomers, Business, career, retirement, success) (, , , , , , )

The “baby boomer” generation is generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. Since there was indeed a “baby boom” after the second world war.

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“Baby Boomers” are the most educated and successful generation ever. They are taking an active role in their own career and wellness as well. This is a switch from their parents’ generation, who trusted that “doctor knows best.” Distrustful and skeptical, “Baby Boomers” are more likely to seek out information for any given situations. As they reach their golden years, this penchant for challenging authority will no doubt carry over into investigating the best solutions to any given problems.

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Far from growing old graciously and fading away, the generation that taught us to rock and roll, to shop till you drop and to be “Me”, with attitude, with style, is doing it their way, and better than anyone else before. And as life expectancy continuous to increase, they will be doing it for longer period of time.

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The rebellious and carefree attitudes that epitomized the “Baby Boomer” generation have begun to change as they enter the mid-century mark. In their youth, they could afford to fight the establishment, mock the authority, and champion causes. They were looking for something to rebel against, and their parents were an easy target. Now, they are the establishment and their parents are older and need assistance and not resistance.

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The first baby boomers are now in their 60’s and 50’s and are just as “Me” as ever. And unlike their parents, they want to remain active and to carry on working. They want to rediscover learning — often something different from the profession they have practiced in their working lives.

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Bill Clinton, the first “baby Boomer” president, is also the youngest former US president at age 56. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and action star Sylvester Stallone are in their 50’s. Gray is cool for the “Baby Boomers”. Harrison Ford, who was recently voted “The Sexiest Man Alive” at age 56 by People Magazine. Some relatively older women are also cast as sexy stars, like Sigourney Weaver, Cybil Shepherd and Susan Sarandon, who are in their 50’s. And surely our next president would be a “Baby boomer”. Wanna bet?

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Most of all “Baby Boomers” want to keep looking good. Plastic surgery, face-lifts, Botox, Spas, gyms are the booming business to be in. As “Baby Boomers” got adapted and older, they never quite forgot the obsession with youth. For them, what in means to be middle-aged is now re-defined. No more or no longer is it “over-the-hill”. Now, when they want to do something, it is a new opportunity to do what they want to do. It’s “baby Boomers” second chance to relive their youth.

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Recognize any of these? Jackie O, JFK, Women’s Lib, Mary Quant, Mrs. Robinson, Viet Cong, My Favorite Martian, hot pants, bell bottom, Love Story, Let it be, “I like to teach the world to sing”, and disco fever. hahaha

Merry Christmas “Baby Boomers”! Merry Christmas “Mom” and ” Dad”!

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The Danger of Plastics

December 17, 2007 at 2:33 pm (aldrin meeks, business practices, fraud, income, Manufacturer, Profit) (, , , )

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It is with regret that some companies or stores still use plastics to sell or promote their products and services. Manufacturers use plastic in packaging since manufacture of plastics is cheaper than making paper and ceramics, thus increase their profit. This is clear detrimental to the safety and health of their customers. And this is purely trading safety for convenience.

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This Christmas Season, let me share something that is truly helpful and healthful to you and your love ones especially your children:

  1. Avoid microwaving in plastic containers.  When heating your food this Christmas, use ceramic or glass. When plastic is used, heat release chemicals into food.
  2. Store you food in ceramic containers. Metal canisters made for cold and hot food, brown paper bags and waxed paper may be used as alternatives too.
  3. Avoid cling-wraps. Use paper instead. Most cling-wraps used by grocery stores contain high level of PVC or polyvinyl chloride.
  4. If you can’t avoid plastics, limit your exposure to it. If you buy food in plastic, transfer it into a friendly container once you get home.
  5. Look for PVC-free brands of plastics. Plastic containers come with label, those  triangles with numbers inside and found at the bottom. Avoid numbers 3, 6 and 7. The safest are 1, 2 and 5. These are the type of plastics used in soda and water bottles.

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This Christmas season, enjoy the holidays by not adding to the sky high profits of these companies that don’t care about the welfare and safety their valued customers.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

 

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Property Agents: True Bugs

December 14, 2007 at 2:17 am (aldrin meeks, Banks, consumer, fraud, Loans, property agents, security) (, , , , , )

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Do you have problem with property agents? There are reports of countless complaints from helpless property buyers. And believe me it is on the rise. Because of fierce competition, overly aggressive property agents promise the earth and the moon just to capture or close the deal with prospective buyers. Pertinent information are deliberately withheld or not explained properly during the selling process. Do we have enough laws as a shield for these grieving buyers?

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Do these property agents have completely abandoned the concept of value for money? Many Americans tend to buy almost they were blindfolded. This is what we call buying without researching. There are several reasons for this, and one of these is some buyers are too busy to bother about the details. Another thing is that others were intimidated by the legal gobbledygook in the sales contract. More and more Americans are more than willing to stretch their finances to the limit to have a home of their dreams.

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Should you buy properties or just rent for the rest of your life? The property should be valued by at least three separate estate agencies. If you have suspicion that the valuation seems too low or too high, steer well clear. Believe me it is notoriously difficult time-consuming and difficult to prove that property agents have deliberately undervalued a property for the agent’s own gain or interest. To those who are interested to join a sealed bid, be sure that you are present or your representative is present at the moment the sealed bids are opened.

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If you are interested in buying properties from subdivisions, you should first see and carefully read the Public Offering Statement filed with the Division of Land Sales that are required by law. Public Offering Statement discloses the physical characteristics of the subdivided lands and its material features or circumstances. This includes the location, size of the land and any other information with regard to zoning, restrictions affecting the value and use of the land.

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Online options to check the different aspects of the property you want to invest for:

  • Websites of government agencies can be checked by buyers for the plans or the projects that may affect the value of property
  • Use Google Earth. Check the location of the property. Buyers can check the actual distance and accessibility. Maps provided by property agents are some times not accurate
  • The buyer can approach a bank for possible valuation or assessment of property within the locality. You can get information online on the appraisal and how to get a loan with lower interest rate as well
  • The buyer must check a list of registered companies, real estate brokers and property agents. This can be done online too
  • Websites of other real estate firms can be checked to verify the prices of nearby properties. There are helpful online information that the buyer can get especially if the you are planning to rent out or to sell out your property in the future

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There is lying to would-be buyers and dodgy deals with prospective customers. Buyers and sellers of flats, apartments, real estate and condominiums should be aware of the secret world of property agents’ dirty tricks.

 

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Eyes Looking at You

December 14, 2007 at 2:01 am (aldrin meeks, Banks, Business, surveilance camera) (, , , , , , )

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Security measures have a quantum leap from what we knew before. This is a result of increasing paranoid world where the fear of terrorist attack looms.

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Today, there are many kinds of surveillance devices available. They sound straight out of science fiction but they are, in fact, very real and are actually being used especially here in America. This  includes covert video surveillance cameras, video transmitters, recorders, monitors, wireless security camera systems and remote video surveillance technology.

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Here, we use the “backscatter x-ray machines” that can enable a person to see through truck walls to detect weapons, explosives, bombs, drugs or even illegal immigrants trying to cross our boarders. Extreme surveillance such as the infrared thermal imaging cameras are being used as security accessories to government, commercial, law enforcement agencies and even residential houses.

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In Great Britain, the government has saturated the nation with closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTVs). An average visitor to London gets captured on surveillance video about 300 times in a single day. Would you believe that there were more than four million CCTV cameras all over Great Britain? This will translates to around one CCTV camera for every 15 people! Huh!

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Surveillance cameras are not just to deter terrorism or a crime. They can also help with employee quality assurance, productivity and traffic flow. By having these cameras management can make decisions about safety, compliance and the best service to their customers.

 

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BIOMETRICS: Highest Security for your Business

December 11, 2007 at 12:43 am (aldrin meeks, Banking, Banks, Biometrics, Business, business practices, security) (, , , , , )

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Companies of today use the state-of-the-art technology or computer systems that identify and verify authorized personnel to access their facilities. This system is called biometrics.

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Here at Meeks Management, Inc., we employ biometrics to give authorized personnel access to our facilities or data centers. Information are kept in confidential and in high-performance and high-speed computers.

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This advancement in biometric technology that we use is the same as the ones used by banks to prevent unauthorized access to or fraudulent use of automated teller machines. It can be used during transactions conducted via Internet and telephone (e-banking and e-commerce). This is the same technology used in mobile phones, smart cards. We use biometrics on our desktop personal computers, workstations and computer networks.

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There are various types of biometric techniques for real-time identification and verification that you can use. The most popular are the face recognition and fingerprint matching system. In addition, there are other systems that use retinal scan and iris, facial recognition, hand geometry and speech.

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So, why not say goodbye to the primitive and the traditional methods of identification, the use of passwords and Personal Identification Number (PIN). Here are my reasons using biometrics system in our workplace:

  • Point-of-verification. On our time-clock and work stations, the person authorized to access the facility is required to be physically present.

  • Biometrics avoids the need to remember a password or carry a token. This token-based method of identification, such as driver’s licenses or passport may be forged, stolen or lost.

In this information age and increased use of computers, we need to restrict access to sensitive data, company secrets, financial information and other data confidential and important to our line of business. This biometric system is either a verification system or an identification system. I suggest that in designing the system, it is important to know where, when and how you will use this system that counts.

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The road less traveled

December 6, 2007 at 12:51 am (aldrin meeks, Banking, Banks, business practices, retirement) (, , , , , )

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I chose banking as my career. I rose from the ranks and have achieved senior position in a banking institution. Still, did I choose to stay long? What is the significance that I built my career around a theme that is fast disappearing today — bank.

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Alfred Meeks, a professional, an achiever and a banker, and in his time — it was the road most traveled.

My father, my mentor, a traveler who passed a road only few others negotiated successfully. And stand after all that arduous struggle.

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I progressed on the back of this fine man through my whole history of banking career. Proud in what he has accomplished and satisfied in what he has helped to build. The man who demonstrated hard work, excellence, a strong will to succeed and the stamina to see the whole thing through to take the road less traveled. It is because of him that I did not grow and prosper accidentally as a banker.

My career and my future achievements shall be measured against the high standard that my father has set as a banker. It reflects on the discipline and intelligence needed to perform well. Find within him the qualities and example as both inspiration and challenge.

With the values that enabled success that gets transmitted from one generation — my father, to the next — to me, through his achievement and journey. I am looking to life outside this journey. This is my choice, I am so sorry Dad… to follow your journey… the road less traveled.

For any comments or suggestions, please visit my site. Thank you.

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