Money Matters - Simplified


A Walk Through the Process of Applying for a Payday Online Loan

Payday loans have been receiving a lot of wrap lately and for a good reason - the financial charges on a typical cash advance are rocket high - up to $50 on each $100 borrowed. But while many states are rushing to the rescue of less than well-off citizens - this is the target population, arguably, that takes out payday loans, the basic market economy laws are telling us that payday loans can be beneficial in some cases. First, on the myths. According to the Payday Loan Industry Report, an average payday loan borrower's economic profile is far from what state legislators want us to believe:

"The estimates of income range from $20,000 to $50,000 for most borrowers. Some demographic studies indicate that nearly 50% of payday loan borrowers own their homes, and most have a high school education or more."

I am not trying to, in any way, rehabilitate payday loans: the facts are clear on the sky high interest rates charged by many lenders, as well as some shady practices that some lenders engage in: like taking money out someone's account as a result of shady marketing practices that make people click on certain offers they do not need or realize being signed up for. There are also various scams masked as payday loans in which personal information is being harvested and then used in identity theft and other fraudulent activities. At the same time, there are many people who take advantage of payday loans regularly to leverage their personal finances. The most important problem is how to educate people about payday loans. Questions like: "Can I afford a payday loan?", "Why do I need a payday loan?" must be answered before applying for a cash advance. After that, the place where to find the loan that best suites one's financial conditions has to be decided on. Let's focus on this second part.

It is clear that applying online can be very convenient - you do not need to run to a cash advance store, you can have your money directly transferred to your checking account overnight and you can pay off your loan conveniently online as well. But, which online loans are the best and where to avail them?

There are a few things that everyone has to be aware of when looking for a payday loan. These are: the amount, loan term, and loan cost. You have to be comfortable with the amount, loan repayment term and the financial charges. The repayment schedule is another thing to take into account. What we at Payless Payday Loans keep hearing is that people want to take out $1000 in payday funds. Well, you should stop right there before even going any further. You should not take out a $1000 payday loan because it goes against the very purpose of payday loans. These loans are not for plugging in every hole in your budget, they are for emergencies. And if you have an emergency that needs a $1000, you need to look elsewhere. The financial charges on a $1000 payday advance may amount to about $500. So, unless you can find a cheaper loan, just forget it all. It is possible to find a cheaper loan and it is also possible to find several cheaper payday loans if you need a larger amount. Taking time and applying is necessary to keep the costs down.

It is a good idea to go with direct payday lenders - you can see these payday loan lenders and choose direct trusted providers. You can apply to several lenders and see what they can offer in your case. You should pay attention to the terms and costs of each loan and accept it only if it won't entrap you in a debt cycle spiraling out of control. The term can be just two weeks or several months - an installment loan. Many direct lenders also offer an early repayment option so you can repay the entire loan early and save on interest charges. The cost of the loan may be high and the loanable amount low if you are a first time borrower. Thus, it makes sense to build a relationship with a lender over time which will ultimately allow you to borrow more and at lower rates. Finally, it must be said that there are no simple solutions when it comes to payday online loans, but the best piece of advice is to actually take time, compare different lenders and their offers and go with the ones that you can afford and repay on time without taking out yet another loan and falling into a debt trap.

This story was originally published on 07/03/2012.

Internet speed to get doubled, courtesy Cisco

How many time shave you complained about slow internet? Chances are, almost always.

Well, that won't be the case any time soon.

Cisco recently shared their plans of doubling internet speed in the near future. The tech company came up with this solution to enable wireless carriers and internet search providers to manage the in-demand need for video streams, social networks, and app downloads.

New Specifications

The new core router technology, known as "CRS-X," will provide speeds of 400 Gigabits per second -- and that's just for one slot on the router's rack. Each rack is scalable up to 6.4 Terabits per second, and the entire CRS-X system is capable of nearly 1 Petabit per second if multiple racks are set up in tandem.

That is insanely fast ; double anything that currently exists on the market.

A single CRS-X rack will be able to provide streaming HD video to every New
Yorker simultaneously, Cisco claims. A full, multichassis setup is capable of downloading the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress in a split second and can stream every movie ever created in about a minute.

Core routers sit at the epicenter of the Internet, serving as the traffic cops at the biggest intersections on the busiest data highways. They connect visitors' requests to sites like Google , Netflix and Facebook and they send data back to the right place in return.

They're a crucial part of the Internet backbone, and one that Cisco has a comfortable lead in. Cisco has 750 CRS customers, selling 10,000 systems to date, and it commands a roughly 65% share of the core routing market. That's more than double No. 2 Juniper's (JNPR) share.

The Future

Cisco says the CRS-X will help customers prepare for the "Internet of Everything," a much-discussed (but yet-to-arrive) world in which household items, cars and even clothing will connect to the Internet. Instead of connecting 4 million devices simultaneously, carriers and ISPs may soon need to connect 40 million items at the same time.

Though the CRS-X won't go on sale until the fall or even begin shipping until
the end of 2013, customers are already saying they're impressed. Mike Haberman, vice president of network operations at Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) Wireless said the new CRS system will help the nation's largest wireless provider meet its service demands "well into the future."

If Internet traffic is going to triple over the next five years, as Cisco predicts, we're gonna need a bigger boat.

Well, thank you Cisco! S7JTV3JR9ZS6

Flipkart creates record by raising $200 million, largest in Indian e-commerce space

The mega online retail store, FlipKart is in news for raising a whopping $200 million, i.e. 1,200 Crore from its existing investors. According to the sources, this is the single largest Indian e-commerce space round of investment.

Revealed by the sources familiar with the latest development, FlipKart is valued at $1.5 billion by the investors.

The investors for the company has generated after almost 5 rounds of funding, a massive turn over of more than $380 million. Previously the investors, the South African Internet major, Naspers has bought out bus ticketing startup redBus, private equity firms Accel Partners and Tiger Global, and San Francisco-based family office Iconiq Capital.

Sachin Bansal-co-founder and the CEO of FlipKart:
According to the co-founder and the CEO of the Online retailer, Flipkart- Sachin Bansal, this investment model was an e-commerce growth story and a major validation of the FlipKart model.

He said, "There have been skeptics on Flipkart and Indian e-commerce. Today's development should put to rest these arguments,".

Recent investments:
The massive investment and its validation received by FlipKart is an indication towards global acclamation of the interest of Indian technology startups. The other major investments are as follows:

-In 2011, SoftBank, Japan's telecom and Internet company invested $200 million in Bangalore-based ad network Inmobi.

-Naspers invested in redBus an estimated amount of $120 million last month.

-In 2011, $108 million were invested on analytical services firm Mu Sigma by a consortium led by General Atlantic.

Future plans of company turnover:
Currently the total amount generated by FlipKart considering it annualised run rate is over $500 million, however according to the company co-founder and the CEO, Sachin Bansal they will soon hit the $1 billion mark by 2015.

He also confirmed that the company is not able to make profits only with the massive investments it has been making, the company would still be profitable if the huge investments were stopped.

He said, "We can be profitable if we stop investing. But we want to be market leaders in a number of categories, and the market is almost doubling every year, so it's a strategic decision to invest. Binny (Binny Bansal, the other co-founder) and I are thinking very, very long term,"

When asked how could the money generated through profits be used, Sachin Bansal suggested that they would be used for developing emerging talent, improving the current supply chain and also investing on technology.

He added, "One day last month we shipped 1.3 lakh items. That's 1.5 items a second, or, if you look only at daytime, about 4-5 items a second. In a few years, this will become several million shipments a day. The only way to handle that kind of volume is through automation, and that will require a lot of investment,".

With the growing popularity of the Online retail store which originally started with selling of best seller books has now laid its hands on numerous other products too which include electronics, apparel, watches, cameras, footwear, beauty & personal care, baby care and many many others.

The company has seen a drastic increase in the number of registered subscribers from just about 2.5 Lakhs users to a massive 96 Lakhs within a span of two and a half years.

Hackers attack Microsoft Windows using flaw that a Google researcher discovered days ago

Google researcher recently discovered a bug affecting Windows which was disclosed a few days ago, now publicises the working exploit of the new flaw without contacting the software company first.

Just few days ago, Google posted details of a flaw in Microsoft Windows which causes the PC's to crash or gain additional access rights.

Dustin Childs acknowledged unpatched vulnerability in Windows:
Acknowledging the unpatched vulnerability in Windows, Dustin Childs, a spokesman for the company's security response group of Microsoft on late Wednesday reported in an email, "We are aware of claims regarding a potential issue affecting Microsoft Windows and are investigating, We have not detected any attacks against this issue, but will take appropriate action to protect our customers."

Further questions related to the release of the patch or whether Microsoft had been aware of the vulnerability before it surfaced on the Full Disclosure security mailing list May 17, were totally avoided by Childs.

Google Researcher-Travis Ormandy:
Google researcher, Travis Ormandy revealed the vulnerability disclosure on Full Disclosure, discussing the flaw in the Windows kernel driver, "Win32k.sys," in Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 and 8 as well as Server 2003 and 2008 and also the publishing the working exploit, releasing a patch for the flaw.

He said, "I don't have much free time to work on silly Microsoft code, so I'm looking for ideas on how to fix the final obstacle for exploitation,".

The release of the exploit was made by Ormandy on Sunday, three weeks after the details of the flaw were published and new ways to exploit its working with a help of a patch was released on Full Disclosure.

The claims confirming the existence of a flaw was being investigated by Microsoft Windows. However it was later confirmed that neither any attacks were detected nor an advisory confirming the vulnerability of the attacks had been issued resulting in no fix at all.

From the recent release by the Google researcher, Travis Ormandy, Microsoft acknowledged a bug affecting Windows, however the attacks which caused the bug was not detected as yet.

Ormandy yet again posted to Full Disclosure on Monday stating, "I have a working exploit that grants SYSTEM on all currently supported versions of Windows,Code is available on request to students from reputable schools."

"As far as I can tell, this code is pre-NT (20+ years) old, so remember to thank the SDL for solving security and reminding us that old code doesn't need to be reviewed ;-)," Ormandy said on Full Disclosure.

HD Moore's say to Ormandy's release:
Metasploit founder and CTO of security firm Rapid7, HD Moore says, Ormandy's release of the exploit in this case was fair enough despite Micrsoft's approach.

"Personally I think [releasing the exploit] helped. After all, Tavis published a note to the full-disclosure list a few weeks ago, and Microsoft (as well as the media) had an opportunity to respond then. It wasn't until a third-party took his proof-of-concept and released a working exploit that Tavis posted his own."

Previously the patch or the working exploit for the flaw was released on a Chinese website before Ormandy's. Moore added that it was Travis Ormandy, who first released details of the flaw in the month of March.

In a couple of disclosures released in the year 2010, Ormandy has released information and demonstration code before for Windows vulnerabilities.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at TripWire's nCircle Security
Andrew Storms, director of security operations at TripWire's nCircle Security said, "While the bug cannot be exploited remotely -- by sneaking attack code onto a compromised website, for example -- it still should be considered serious."

Storm added in an email, "If you consider that it takes a number of different vulnerabilities to successfully exploit Windows or a Microsoft application, a local EoP is an important step in that chain of breaking into a Windows system,".

"Note that one person responded to his [Full Disclosure message] requesting some code in hopes of adding it to Metasploit, So it might not be a big remote code bug, but it could be useful for attackers nonetheless.", Storms continued, referring to the popular open-source penetration testing framework used by security professionals as well as by cyber criminals.

The disclosure timeline was set from 60 days to 7 days by Google for actively exploiting the bugs. If within this time the vendor does not have a fix, Google researchers suggested publishing mitigations which could help in disabling a service of restrict complete access to it.

Facebook introduces smartphone video-sharing to Instagram!

Seems like Facebook is on an innovative spree these days. After adding the photo-as-comment feature, it has now moved to some drastic changes to its own popular photo-sharing app, Instagram.

In an urge to keep up with Twitter's growing video-sharing app, Vine, Facebook is adding video to Instagram.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said on Thursday that users will be able to record and share 15-second clips by tapping a video icon in the app. They can also apply filters to videos to add contrast, make them black and white or different hues.

"We need to do to video what we did to photos," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said while unveiling Video On Instagram at a press event at Facebook's headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park. "This is the same Instagram we all know and love but it moves," he added.

Keeping up with Vine
Vine, which launched in January, has 13 million users and lets people create and share 6-second video clips. Instagram has 100 million users, up from 20 million when Facebook bought the company more than a year ago. If users like it, Facebook's move could propel mobile video sharing into the mainstream.

Instagram video apps tailored for iPhones and smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software feature 13 filters for special effects and post to people's Facebook pages the same way pictures do, according to Systrom.

Instagram engineers worked with leading video scientists to develop a "cinema" feature that stabilizes shaking that is typical in smartphone video.

How to use
To use the video feature, Instagram users can tap on the same camera icon they use to snap photos. A new video camera icon will appear on the right side. Tap it and a screen with a red video button will let you record clips of sunsets, kids running in parks or co-workers staring at their computer screens. The app will record as long as your finger is on the red button or for 15 seconds, whichever comes first.

Facebook acquired Instagram last year. The original price was pegged at $1 billion but the final value was less because of a decline in the social network's share price.

Twitter earlier this year launched Vine, a service that lets people share video snippets up to six seconds long.

It's going to be a neck-to-neck battle between the two networking giants. We as customers are are in for a treat.

Facebook goes down; people panic and resort to Twitter

In a rather bizarre news, Facebook servers seemed to have had a crash of some sorts, as the website was down for a few minutes this morning.

However, there is nothing to freak out folks, as the glitch has been resolved.

Users logging in to the social network, were taken aback when they were faced with an error message instead of the plethora of posts and invitations on their walls.

The site was down for about five minutes for some users, up to 10 minutes for others.

However it was resolved quickly and it was back providing respite to avid facebooker.

Facebook has apologized after its website went down, attributing the outage to an internal issue.

"Earlier today, an internal issue in our web infrastructure caused the site to be slow or unavailable for a brief period of time," a Facebook spokesman told AAP.

"We resolved the issue quickly, and should now be back to 100 per cent. We apologize for any inconvenience."
Messages posted online, apparently linked to hacking group Anonymous, have claimed responsibility for attacking the site, but this has not been verified.

If the outage was orchestrated by Anonymous, it's possible it was an attack over Facebook's involvement in the US National Security Administration data-mining scandal.

The social network revealed last week it had received between 9000 and 10,000 user-data requests from US government entities.

BuzzFeed recently put together a summary of the Internet in 60 seconds, estimating that more than 208,000 photos were uploaded to Facebook and more than 1,875,000 posts were liked.

By that we infer that in the 5-10 minutes that passed without facebook, 1,041,500 photos have gone un-uploaded, and 9,375,000 posts went un-liked.
Sounds horrific, doesn't it?

Desperate Facebookers turned to Twitter to find out if the outage was affecting anyone else; with tweets ranging from the dramatic: "the end is near, Facebook is down." to the rather blunt: "While Facebook is down, all you're missing is that a friend you haven't seen since 3rd grade posted a new photo of her kids."

Seems like all we need nowadays is to let all our thoughts flow directly from our brains to the welcoming walls of facebook and twitter. Presumably the "world" is indeed coming to an end giving birth to another "virtual world".

Oh! I just got a notification.

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