Readers have from time to time requested a list of the "test" tracks I use to evaluate gear. It's a long list, mostly recordings I've used for many years and heard on hundreds of products, and recordings I made myself or from sessions I attended. They work for me, but wouldn't necessarily help you. More than any specific tracks, I recommend starting with music you know best, favorite tunes you've listened to for years, and then listen to how the speaker, headphones, etc., you're considering changes, improves, or degrades the sound of your … Read more
Apple has a thing for being the biggest in the world. First, it was the biggest company, in terms of market capitalization. Now it's also a hedge fund.
Zero Hedge yesterday reported that little-heralded Apple subsidiary Braeburn Capital has become "the world's largest hedge fund." The company had $117.2 billion in assets under management at the end of June, easily besting Bridgewater -- generally recognized as the top hedge in the world with approximately $100 billion in assets under management.
According to Zero Hedge, Braeburn is adding $15 billion in funds each quarter, and is … Read more
Cash flow may be the single most important measure of your financial health, not only as it now stands but also going forward into the future. Wesley Steiner's My Cashflow is a free tool for visualizing and tracking your cash flow, both in the short term and in the days, weeks, and months ahead. It's not focused on what you've spent but what you spend going forward, so you don't need to enter stuff like receipts. By helping you visualize your paycheck and where it goes, My Cashflow can help you identify and reduce unnecessary expenses, … Read more
For a while now I've extolled the virtues of cash-back sites like Ebates, which make it easy to get money back on nearly everything you buy online.
Nearly everything. Most of these services kick in only when you buy physical goods. But FatWallet is now offering cash back on Amazon Instant Video and MP3 Downloads.
That's a first. I don't recall ever seeing this kind of offer on digital purchases. Ebates comes closest by offering cash back when you sign up for a Netflix subscription, but that's not really the same thing.
With FatWallet, you get … Read more
Hackers have released consumer data stolen from an online loan provider, after the company refused to pay an extortion fee.
"On June 12, AmeriCash Advance received a fax, telling us that part of our Web site had been hacked. The letter went on to demand initial payment of $15,000 from us," AmeriCash Advance, an online payday cash advance provider, said in a statement provided to CNET. "We immediately notified the appropriate authorities and promptly took steps to ensure that no other data could be accessed. We will not cave in to blackmail, and are cooperating fully … Read more
I'm increasingly fond of cash-back Web sites like BeFrugal, Ebates, and FatWallet, which refund you a percentage of your purchase just for shopping via their portals. It's easy money (back).
Granted, those percentages tend to be fairly small: 2 percent here, 4 percent there, maybe the occasional 7 or 8 percent.
Here's your chance to get a much bigger refund. To celebrate its 13th birthday, Ebates is offering 13 percent cash back from 132 stores.
For example, you can get 13 percent back on anything you buy from Accessory Geeks or Cell Phone Shop, which offer inexpensive … Read more
When paying for products online, you almost always need to pay with a credit card. Until now.
Wal-Mart announced a new program today, called "Pay with Cash," that allows online shoppers to sift through a broad selection of products, and after deciding what to buy, pay with cash. Of course, there's no cash terminal sitting in the average person's computer, so in order to complete the transaction, customers will need to head down to their local Wal-Mart store or Neighborhood Markets.
According to Wal-Mart, users will be able to fully check out online, and will be … Read more
Canadian money authorities just can't sit still. Like a hyperactive kid, they have revamped Canadian cash, first introducing plastic bills and then killing the penny. Now they want people to play with glow-in-the-dark quarters.
The Royal Canadian Mint's latest collectible coin features a dinosaur whose skeleton shines at night from beneath its scaly hide.
It's actually two images on one face, which could be a world's first. The other side depicts Queen Elizabeth. Her Majesty does not glow in the dark. … Read more
As a general rule, I am not a fan of toolbars. When I sit down at a friend's PC and see half a dozen toolbars littering their browser, I read them the riot act. (That may explain why I don't get invited over much.)
The latter makes it quicker and easier to identify and score cash-back deals from online stores. As someone who uses Ebates pretty religiously, it's a no-brainer addition to my browser.
For those … Read more
Apple plans to pay a dividend, finally putting to use a portion of its $100 billion cash hoard.
The company said it plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1.
In addition, Apple's board has authorized a $10 billion share repurchase program commencing in company's fiscal 2013, which begins on September 30, 2012. The repurchase program is expected to be executed over three years.
"We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased … Read more