Honey: The Browser Plugin That Saves You Money!

One of the better Chrome extensions I’ve used in the past year is Honey.

Honey lets shoppers both access and contribute to a database of crowdsourced coupon codes.

When you’ve populated your shopping cart and are ready to check out Honey will inject any of a number of current coupon codes into the cart to get you a discount.

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Other benefits include gamification – Honey will let you refer friends and earn points to attain Honey Gold status.  With this you can earn cash back when you shop.  It’s truly the easiest way to apply coupon codes without searching on sketchy deals sites.

Recently added is the ability to search for the best priced seller on the Amazon marketplace – a site, like eBay which doesn’t really put out coupon codes.

Join Honey

 

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Clean Install macOS 10.13 High Sierra

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Summary

  1. Download the 5GB macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) Installer
  2. Prepare a USB Drive using Install Disk Creator
  3. Boot holding Option key and install High Sierra from the USB Drive

Overview

If you want to try the newest macOS 10.13, aka: High Sierra you can perform a clean install to get the best overall user experience.  If you have existing data always back it up or, going forward keep it always synced to some cloud drive – such as Apple’s iCloud service which is already included in macOS since Sierra released.  It’s a convenient way to keep your Desktop and Documents folders primarily in the cloud…then synced to your local hard drive.  If you have multiple Macs it also allows you to carry those files to each of your systems.

Full Procedures can be found here:

http://osxdaily.com/2017/10/02/clean-install-macos-high-sierra/

How Did Bluetooth Get Its Name? It’s Royal Nordic Roots

Everyone, by now, is fully aware of Bluetooth technology which is pretty much ubiquitous in many areas – smart phones, entertainment centers, laptops, etc

It’s one of the greatest inventions of recent times – allowing quick and easy wireless connections between electronic devices.  While earlier revisions were super painful at times

The story of how Bluetooth came about – from the pile of competing standards, to the exact name, and its logo itself is quite interesting.

In this Jaba Article all is explained!

 

Dividends – Great Way to Earn Some Extra Gains

Everyone knows about dividends but do they know which stocks pay out the most or what to do with dividend returns once they’re paid?

Basic Dividend Tips for Novice Investors

  • Dividends are basically small cash payouts distributed to shareholders quarterly – by specific companies (see lists below).  Usually measured in $/share they’re paid out from a company’s earnings so obviously if a company does well they have more choices in how they spend their profits – either reinvest them internally or distribute them to shareholders as cash dividends.
  • Dividends allow shareholders to profit while not impacting their equity stake in a company.  Traditionally shareholders profit/lose via trades of a company’s stock through buying/selling that stock. So investors can continue to own the exact same % of a company while bringing in small gains.
  • Dividends are usually seen as a strong indicator that a company is doing well in the market as they can more easily just turn their profits inwards with internal reinvestments.
  • Investors can choose to take the dividends as a cash distribution – deposited in the cash section of their brokerage account or they can enroll in a DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment Program) which takes the cash and immediately and automatically purchases additional shares of that dividend-paying stock to continue the growth of equity in that company.  It’s a convenient way to automate your investment.   Taxes are calculated later on when the stock is actually sold.
  • Note that dividends are seen as capital gains as they are cash earnings – even if they’re reinvested via DRIP (they’re just deferred until the stock is sold)
  • When looking for dividend stocks pay attention to their % Yields not so much their $ yields as favorites like Apple (AAPL) pay good $ amounts but their % Yield is pretty weak (considering the company has cash reserves greater than that of most countries … Apple acts quite stingy on their dividend payouts).  This makes sense when you see some stocks with low share prices…you need to take into consideration the % paid per share.

I’m not a sophisticated investor (my opinion as I do not venture into Options Trading….my own artificially created delineator) but have realized that it’s good to have a diversified mix of high-growth (and by definition…high risk) equities as well as some stable “cash cows” which bring in regular, predictable income.

Equities Trading via a Real Estate Analogy

  • Think of the volatile tech stocks as properties in hot areas which you want to flip in < 5 years while dividend-paying stocks as solid rental properties which will appreciate in the long term but pay a nice, regular stream of income in the short term.  Think SF Bay Area + Anywhere Else …

References

Nasdaq’s Highest Yield Dividend Stocks

Warren Buffet’s Top 4 Dividend Stocks: AAPL, KO, IBM, GS

Reboot Your XFINITY Router from Your Mobile Device

How many times have you needed to leverage your decades of IT experience in network troubleshooting only to have the end result be, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?

I just had an experience where my parents’ internet stopped working, as it occasionally does when things get stale on the router (technical term I just created) and it needs to renegotiate with the ISP. Think of it as an “ipconfig /release and /renew”.

So not wanting to schlep over to their house I quickly Googled whether or not I could power cycle their router remotely in the off chance this was possible it’d really make things very efficient if they ever had internet issues.

Woah and behold – you can now do this with the XFINITY My Account mobile app for Android or iOS.

If you know your login credentials for Comcast (which I never do so I use LastPass on all my devices) you can log into your XFINITY account and manage your account, profile, customer service calls, WiFi settings, and even your router.

To reboot your router you can go to Internet Device > Restart this device and the app will send a reboot command through the internet directly to your router.  In a few minutes your router will complete its power cycle.

Of course, first you may want to disconnect your mobile device from the actual WiFi network/router which you are trying to reboot.

If you support friends/family then you’ll want their login info so you can remotely support them (I wouldn’t endorse having other people’s security info in most scenarios but if you have parents who yell at you about “the emails are broken” then this is a great tool.

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – First Trailer

The first official teaser trailer has been released for Rogue One and it was worth the wait.

  • Yes, we’re in an age where we need teasers to teasers-to-trailers-to-movies-to-post-credit-scenes!

First Impressions

  • I’m really enjoying Disney/Lucasfilm’s new Agile Film Development methodology…where they are planning to release one Star Wars film every year until the end of time. This will keep nerds in a constant state of anticipatory ecstasy and drowning in merchandise forever.
  • Love the action sequences – there’s a nice emphasis on actual martial arts and hand-to-hand combat which was a bit lacking in Episode VII (I did really enjoy the lightsaber fights between Anakin, Kenobi, and Dooku in the prequel series).
  • Liked seeing the “old” ships from Episodes IV-VI such as the Star Destroyers and AT-ATs along with a new/old black stormtrooper design
  • After listening to the Star Wars 7 x 7 podcast there were some interesting points made as to how to properly containerize the stories and characters of Star Wars: Rebels – the ongoing animated show on Disney XD and the Rogue One film.  The big question is regarding the statement that there would be “no Jedi” in Rogue One as well as Yoda’s mention to Luke that after he is gone…Luke would be the only Jedi left. As we’ve seen in Rebels, not all force-wielders need to be Jedi, or even Sith for that matter. Examples include Ahsoka Tano (former Jedi) and Darth Maul (former Sith).  This should be interesting to see if there are just no force-wielders (except maybe Vader) in the film at all or if we see hints of some ancillary characters.  Also, we may/may not find out the whereabouts of Kanan and Ezra during this time frame.

KTM 390 Duke Review

No, this is not my review but one of the bikes I was originally interested in as a beginner bike was the not-yet-released-in-the-USA-til-recently-in-late-2015 KTM 390 Duke.

This is a really great bang-for-the-buck upright sitting intro bike that has some excellent performance parts on it from the factory – namely big, 4-piston brakes and a nice exhaust sound.

Here is one of the best reviews I’ve found by RevZilla’s Spurgeon

The KTM 390 Duke just looks badass!

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The other version to consider is the same-size but less-naked KTM RC390

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Future consideration, if I were to go up a size would be the KTM 690 Duke

 

 

 

I did ultimately decide on one of the best all-around starter bikes – the Kawasaki Ninja 300 SE in this exact color scheme which I have dubbed First Order Stormtrooper white. It marks some significant upgrades over the Ninja 250R it replaces including digital fuel injection, new clutch, and some very sporty, agressive bodywork while retaining a slightly more upright sitting position which is very comfortable.  To top it off there is a very nice multi-function digital display.kawasaki-ninja-300-s-2_800x0w