6 ways to freshen up your finances

first_imgThis spring, clean up your credit score and pay off that holiday debt once and for all.by. Holly PerezSpring has arrived, and so has the inevitable seasonal cleaning duties. In addition to packing away the winter clothes, washing windows and cleaning out the fridge, spring is the perfect time to evaluate your financial situation and tidy up your budget, bank accounts, debts and investments. Here are six ways to spruce up your finances:1. Refresh your budget. If you’ve been promoted, transitioned from two incomes to one or are starting a family, this is the perfect time to revisit your household budget. Consider using online personal finance tools to help you set a budget and keep track of your accounts. You’ll see where your money is going and can adjust spending where needed to help you attain your financial goals.2. Pay off holiday debt once and for all. Clear up your credit lines, and pay off the purchases you made over the holiday season. Put yourself on a stricter debt payoff plan specifically to pay off the debt you accumulated over the holidays. Cleaning up this debt quickly will put you in a much better financial position for the rest of the year. It’s easy to fall back in to debt, so put a plan in place while you’re at it to maintain a zero balance.3. De-clutter your countertops and go paperless. A good way to cut down on clutter is to opt for electronic bill payments. It decreases the amount of print mail and can even help prevent identity theft. Secure your online bill payment with strong passwords that you change on a regular basis. Signing up for a vendor’s online automatic pay system (helpful for fixed-payment bills such as cable and Internet) allows you to set up payments as “recurring” so the bills are automatically paid. This can help you avoid forgetting to pay a bill, and it keeps countertops paper-free. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Lack of Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant is a ‘disgrace’ – TD

first_imgFianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has labelled the government a disgrace for not introducing a replacement for the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant. It has been six years since the grant was removed by the then Fine Gael/Labour government. Donegal McConalogue said the government’s failure to reinstate the grant is a sign of abandonment of people with disabilities.Deputy McConalogue said “This situation is nothing short of a disgrace. The government were quick to close the old supports under the premise of a new scheme being introduced shortly thereafter yet here we are, 6 years later and successive Fine Gael governments have failed to address this issue. “Those with disabilities have been completely abandoned by the high handed approach to this matter by successive Ministers.“Their situation is further compounded by the fact the Minister continues to point to the Disabled Drivers & Passengers scheme as a viable alternative and workable support for those with mobility issues. The reality is starkly different, and the Minister is fully aware that the Ombudsman has raised serious concerns about the equity of the scheme.”Deputy McConalogue is calling on the government to address the issue as a matter of urgency.He said: “People with serious disabilities are being told they do not qualify for the scheme due to stricter criteria. Furthermore, the Minister for Finance has confirmed that he has no intention of changing the criteria for this scheme despite this red flag being raised with him by the Ombudsman. “The whole situation points to the reality of a government who are not willing to address this serious matter on the behalf of some of the most vulnerable in our society.“The Minister for Health and the Minister for Finance must come together and urgently address these issues and I will be continuing to pursue this matter with them,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.Lack of Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant is a ‘disgrace’ – TD was last modified: February 12th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:deputy charlie mcconalogueMobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grantlast_img read more

Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of July 29

first_imgTwo words: Universal Express. There are times you can get by without it, and times it can be the shining star of your visit. Learn all about how to make it work for you here!Weekly Weather ReportOoooh baby, it’s summer! And it’s not letting up anytime soon. Ponchos are considered fashionable, right? Weekly Park Hours and Admission Saturday is the only day this week to see Universal’s Superstar Parade at 7pm, and Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories at 9:45pm.CityWalk is still open until 2am daily, and self parking is free after 6pm. We are still at peak summer pricing, so as a reminder:One-day base tickets to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure will run you $124 per adult, and $119 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $179 per adult and $174 per child (plus tax). A one-day ticket for Volcano Bay will be $67 per adult and $62 per child (plus tax).Notable Highlights Big news out of Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure – Dragon Challenge will have its last run on September 4, and a brand new coaster will be taking its place. The new attraction is said to be a “highly-themed coaster experience” – can’t wait to see what it will be all about! Fans will want to get their last ride on Dragon Challenge before it goes away!There are no planned closures or refurbishments scheduled for this week.See you next week! Share This!The Universal Orlando Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney and Universal travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.Before you wonder if you are having a case of deja vu…you aren’t, I promise! Yes, not much is different in the land of Universal Orlando, but let’s look at the details of this week so you can make the most of your visit!Weekly Crowd Levellast_img read more

Fee cuts pull call centre investors

first_img7 September 2007The offer of discounted telecommunications prices has lured three foreign call centre companies to commit to investments worth around R400-million that will create up to 10 000 new jobs in South Africa, Business Day reported this week.Department of Trade and Industry director-general Lionel October told Business Day that one of the three unnamed firms – two European and one US-based – would be setting up an operation running to a few thousand seats, while the other two would set up 500- to 600-seat centres.According to Business Day, the government had finally, after months of negotiations, reached agreement with state telecoms company Telkom on a “developmental pricing model” for the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector – although Telkom had not released details of the agreement.Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said in March that South Africa was looking to its BPO sector to help drive economic growth, and would be offering investors incentives in the form of start-up and expansion grants and reduced telecommunication fees.BPO involves relocating certain business processes that are usually performed in-house by a company to a third party service provider, such as customer care or call centres, to carry out the services on behalf of the concerned company.Traditionally, countries such as India and the Philippines have led the way in servicing markets for the United States and Britain, among other countries. South Africa is quickly catching up, however, thanks to a range of factors working in its favour.South Africa is mainly targeting clients from the UK, Europe and the US due to closer cultural ties, use of the English language and, in the case of Europe, being in a similar time zone.BPO is considered a key sector under the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), which seeks to achieve an annual economic growth rate of 6% between 2010 and 2014, in order to halve poverty and unemployment by 2014.Mpahlwa said in March that the sector had the potential to create up to 25 000 direct and 75 000 indirect jobs, and contribute about R7.95-billion to the country’s economy, by 2009.“In the first six months of 2006, South Africa created 3 000 jobs in this sector. Based on this evidence, we are of the view that we should achieve our targets of 100 000 new jobs by 2010,” he said.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Our New PC Delivery Process Cuts Employee Downtime

first_imgGetting a new PC used to take valuable time out of the workday.   But as part of our focus on a user-centered model of delivering IT services, Intel IT recently optimized our PC delivery process, resulting in improved employee productivity, a better employee experience, and reduced operational costs.  These process improvements allow our employees to return to work more quickly, reducing their downtime from an average of 4.5 hours to 1 hour, a 77-percent reduction. Read the paper “New PC Delivery Process Cuts Employee Downtime” to learn about the changes we made.last_img

Creativity as a Factor of SSD Performance

first_imgHow would you measure your comfort, user experience, smoothness, and happiness while producing music?Intel® Optane™ SSDs open a full horizon of new application usages and use cases. But how would you translate your device-level performance into an application performance improvement? And how would that be translated into the user experience improvements — the ultimate goal of any technology progress? Well, that’s a question I ask myself while evaluating new technologies. In most conditions that can be measured by benchmarks, pure comparing scores or runtime could mean an advantage of one technology over another one. In certain cases that can be just tangible, such as how would you measure the smoothness of your experience or how would you score your feelings? Well that’s more difficult, as everyone can have a different perspective. In this blog I’ll attempt to make some formal assessment of those feelings based on the recent story. If you haven’t had a chance to see Intel’s interview with top electronic music and film composer, BT, find a moment now. It’s worth it!BT is one of the most innovative musicians who utilizes newest technologies in his music production and creates his own. His work for movie scoring is impressive (The Fast and the Furious, Solace, Stealth), and uses the latest advantages of massively sampled orchestration available in real-time. While sampling has existed for years, the way he pushes it to the limits with hybrid orchestra approach and granular synthesis is quite remarkable.As a user of Intel® SSDs 750-series, he was excited by NVMe SSDs and the performance advantages PCIe interface brings into that. Combining multiple SSDs in the RAID volume allows him to improve the overall bandwidth and, of course, expand the capacity. That’s a great deal, and RAID capability is built in all operating systems today. However, RAID can’t improve the access latency. No matter how many drives you combine together, the access latency would represent the worst drive in the array. That means it’s always equal or higher than a standalone SSD latency. There is a class of applications that can’t keep up scaling the performance by only SSD bandwidth improvements and that story is a demonstration on that. Device latency is one of those requirements for the audio sample playback performance improvements.A complete orchestra is sampled into terabytes of a sample data with a playback of up to 3,000 tracks at a time. Available DRAM is only capable for the small pieces of those sounds (attacks), while the body of the sound is streamed directly from storage. For real-time playback, it is critical all data processing is completed within an audio buffer time — say 5ms, which is common latency these days. Otherwise the user will experience audio drops and other artifacts, including fatal interruptions. This is the case where scaling storage bandwidth can’t help to solve the problem.Let’s look at the facts. A single sample is a contiguous piece of a data. Let’s assume each sample is running at 48kHz * 32bits Stereo, which is translated into 0.37 MB/s bandwidth. You would expect that with PCIe SSD, which as an example can read data sequentially at 2.5GB/s, you can play ~7M samples at a time (2.5*1024*1024/0.37). Why would I ever need faster storage if this number far exceeds any real use case? Well, the conclusion is wrong. Sample libraries are based on the thousands of samples played at a time. Different layering, microphone position, and round robin sample rotation are multiplying that by the order of magnitude. Also, streaming of many sequential fragments at a time causes I/O randomization naturally. Now, a workload is randomized with a lowest denominator, which is an application request size or even file system sector size in a common case. With that the storage workload is no longer sequential and must be measured in the IOPS form on a small block size. This is fully random I/O condition for the device-level perspective and it’s distributed across full span of sample library with no hot area.Here we came to the point where NAND-based SSD performance has significant variation based on workload parameters. That’s easier for a drive to run a single threaded sequential workload than a random one or even than many parallel sequential. Of course, the difference is not as noticeable as with hard drives, where you must physically move a head, which has significant latency impact on results and unbelievable performance degradation. But the performance impact is meaningful, too. The root cause is in the NAND architecture, which consists of sectors (minimal read size), pages (# of sectors, determines minimal write size) and erase block size (# of pages, minimal erase size). Combined with a specific NAND-based SSD acceleration on aggregating sequential I/O into a bigger transfer size, we see performance improvements in sequential I/O, which are not available for Random small block I/O.A 3D XPoint™ memory cell solves that problem. It’s cache line addressable by the architecture, requires no erase cycle before write, and significantly lowers access time compared to NAND. Implemented on a block device, Intel Optane™ SSDs are optimized for a low latency and high IOPS performance, especially on low queue depth. This directly correlates with an exceptional quality of service, which represents max latency and latency distribution. As a consequence of that, Optane SSD is capable of delivering similar performance no matter the workload — random vs. sequential or read vs. write.Let’s run some tests to visualize that. I’ll be running this experiment on Microsoft Windows 10. You may expect Linux or OS X charts similar or better, but as we’re evaluating an environment similar to the one installed in BT’s studio, I’ll try to match it here.Configuration: Asus X299-Deluxe, Core i7-7820X, 32GB DRAM, Intel SSD 750 Series 1.2TB, Intel Optane 900p. You may download all FIO configuration scripts from my repository: www.github.com/intel/fiovisualizerNAND-based SSD is in the sustained performance state before every run. Optane SSD doesn’t have this side effect and delivers performance right away. As you see on charts, I’m only considering a scenario of the I/O randomization, and the overall delta in absolute SSD performance under different conditions. I’m leaving other workloads to the side, which are evaluated thoroughly by a third party such as Storage Review, Anandtech, PC Perspective, and others. All of the simulated workloads are stressful for a SSD, in regards of getting to the maximum performance of the device by pushing many I/Os. Intel Optane SSD leads not only on the absolute numbers, but also on the performance variability between workloads. In a real application scenario, such as in the story above, that means stable and predictable performance for a sample playback that doesn’t change its characteristics based on the number of samples, their sizes, the way they are played or any other activities while doing that, such as multitrack record. You may call it “a performance budget” you can split between workloads without sacrificing overall performance.For a musician that means Optane delivers a smooth experience without audio drops, even at peak demands. That also means no need for the offline rendering, channel freezing and sub mixdowns, which equals more time for being creative and unique.last_img read more

Azzurri: Verratti out, Tonali in

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Italy have called up Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali to the senior squad after Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti pulled out through injury, reports ANSA. Tonali had been called up to the Italy U-21 squad to face Iceland and Armenia next week, but has now been pushed to the first team for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia instead. PSG star Verratti picked up a knock to his calf yesterday in the 2-1 win over Brest in Ligue 1 and has had to pull out of the squad. This follows Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi also withdrawing after his injury during Friday’s win over Bologna. Tonali, who made his debut for the Azzurri last month, has only played for the U-21s five times, and had been expected to start for Paolo Nicolato’s team. The Brescia man will now be replaced by Chievo’s Salvatore Esposito in the Azzurrini squad.last_img read more

Plaxico Burress Is Tweetstorming After Michigan State’s Win Over Ohio State

first_imgPlaxico Burress close up picture.plaxico burress tweets after michigan state winMichigan State alum Plaxico Burress is tweetstorming again, but this time around, he’s singing a much different tune. Burress, who infamously went on a ridiculous rant after the Spartans’ loss to Nebraska earlier this year, is currently taking on all comers on Twitter. He’s very excited that Michigan State beat Ohio State.YEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 21, 2015I TOLD YALL! #gostate— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 21, 2015ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE A SPARTAN!— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 21, 2015Ohio St fans, THANK YALL FOR COMING OUT. GOODNIGHT!— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 21, 2015By the way, We should be #1 in the country, but unfortunately we were cheated a few weeks ago in Lincoln. But, we will take it.— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Michigan State basketball should also be on their way to the top 4. We beat Kansas, North Carolina lost today, and Duke lost last week. Hmm— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015I wish y’all could see me doing the George Jefferson. Hahahhahaha #movingonup— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Go State! Hahhahaha. He mad RT @cam2cocky: @TevonD @plaxicoburress ceo of a self inflicted gun shot wounds attorneys office— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015It’s a reason why Notre Dame took us off the schedule. Haha.— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015We’d love to play those guys! Haha— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015I guess Oregon and Ohio St aren’t quality. RT @croner2110: @plaxicoburress @PeteSampson_ MSU has yet to beat a proven quality— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015I love when I get Notre Dame fans attention! Haha Didn’t know you guys were following me so close. And ladies. Haha #gostate— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Hahahha RT @rawdog_rANDYs: @plaxicoburress you’re trash. Shut up— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Everybody mad because we beat the defending Nat’l Champions. Haha #gostate hahaha— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Haha. Everybody so serious and just laughing. Haha. Something tells me some of you never played football before.— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Where I come from a win is a win! RT @Mrcoffey33: @plaxicoburress dude that was the ugliest game ever— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015This is so much fun! Hahaha— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Then why are you following me? Haha RT @21cavsallday: @plaxicoburress nobody loves you.— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) November 22, 2015Plaxico’s alma mater is in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten East. He appears to like that.last_img read more

Football Ohio State a shooin for playoff spot in next College Football

OSU redshirt junior tight end Marcus Baugh (85) carries the ball during the first half of the Buckeyes 62-3 win against Maryland on Nov. 12. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorCOLLEGE PARK, Md. — In 2014, Ohio State was blessed with the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff poll. They received scrutiny and were bashed by opposing fans, but ultimately climbed college football’s highest summit to win it all. And now, it could happen again.On Saturday night, No. 2 Clemson lost to Pittsburgh on a last second field goal. After a season of close games and nail-biting finished, it seems coach Dabo Swinney’s luck finally ran out. And for the Buckeyes, that is a blessing.Following Saturday’s 62-3 win over Maryland, redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis overheard a reporter talking about the loss. Unaware of what had transpired at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina during his post-game interviews, he could hardly contain his excitement.“Clemson lost?!” he said.With the Buckeyes perched at No. 5, and Clemson losing to an unranked opponent, OSU will be in prime position once again with the season winding down. The Buckeyes need two more wins to solidify their spot in the playoff.Junior H-back Curtis Samuel said now is the time to go for it, and keep themselves in the top-tier of college football.“It’s just that time of year that you’re getting closer to the playoffs and closer to championship games and we know we got to step it up and come out here every day and get right on them and put up numbers,” he said.The numbers OSU has put up the past two weeks have been eye-popping. 124 total points, 1,171 total yards, and just 380 yards and six points allowed.Prepare yourself for a wild ride. read more

Report Ohio State to hire former Penn State defensive line coach Larry

Then-Penn State interim football coach Larry Johnson sits courtside at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa., Jan. 8. The Minnesota Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions, 68-65.Credit: Courtesy of MCTOhio State lost defensive line coach Mike Vrabel to the Houston Texans of the NFL last week, but it looks as if coach Urban Meyer hardly wasted any time finding his replacement.The Buckeyes are on the verge of hiring former Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson to replace Vrabel, according to a report by SI.com late Monday.An OSU spokesman told The Lantern Tuesday, however, that the move may not be official.“I don’t have any information that I can share at this time,” the spokesman said in an email.Johnson spent 19 seasons with the Nittany Lions, and the last 15 as the team’s defensive line coach. He helped develop seven first-team All-Americans in State College, Pa., including the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NFL Draft in Courtney Brown.Johnson was offered the defensive line coaching job by new Penn State coach James Franklin, but declined, according to PennLive.Vrabel announced his departure from OSU via Twitter Thursday, and the former Buckeye great is set to coach the linebackers with the Texans. Houston announced the hiring of former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien to head coach Jan. 3. read more