Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Kilobyte, which can be abbreviated as KB or kbyte, is a unit of measurement equivalent to one thousand bytes of computer memory or disk capacity. For example, a device that has 256k of memory can store approximately 256,000 bytes (or characters) at one time. In decimal systems, kilo stands for 1,000, but the computer world is based on a binary system of twos instead of tens.
So, a kilobyte is actually 1,024 (210) bytes. To distinguish between a decimal K (1,000) and a binary K (1,024), the Institute of Electronics Engineers, IEEE, has suggested using a small k for a decimal kilo and a capital K for a binary kilo. In international English, outside the U.S.A., the equivalent unit is sometimes seen as "KB" or "kbyte." Note: Kb is kilobit, KB is kilobyte
Thursday, April 17, 2008
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY FOR CONSUMERS
- The seller-financed downpayment program today accounts for 35 percent of all FHA loans, up from 2 percent in 2000. Under the program, sellers cover the buyer’s downpayment and typically add it to the total cost being financed through a mortgage. These loans became more popular as homebuyers struggling to qualify for a home abandoned conventional FHA loans in favor of subprime mortgages. Between 2002 and 2006, the number of conventional home loans insured by the agency plunged from 1.3 million to about 314,000. Congress has been urged to take action to discontinue these loans, but opponents of such an action argue the program is necessary to help first-time buyers.
- Despite worries about FHA’s future, since September the agency has helped more than 150,000 homeowners refinance their mortgages. The president hopes to increase that number to 400,000 by the end of the year, and Congress is considering legislation that would expand FHA programs to even greater numbers of Americans.
To read the full story, please click here:
Corporate balance sheets of American businesses – other than banks – are in better shape today to face a recession than in previous economic contractions because they have banked some half a trillion dollars in cash, reduced short-term debt and slashed inventories, according to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspace and current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. That means companies aren’t likely to be as reliant on beleaguered banks to fund their operations.
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY FOR CONSUMERS
- Since the last recession, disciplined companies have been rewarded with 20 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in profits. S&P 500 companies alone have amassed about $615.5 billion in cash, compared with $352.4 billion prior to the 2001 downturn and $95.5 billion prior to the 1990-91 recession.
- Debt as a percentage of net worth for non-bank companies was only 63 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared with 93.6 percent in 1990-91.
Together, these figures indicate that companies may have to do less trimming of excess capacity and workers than they have done in recent recessions. Some companies are even expanding, albeit cautiously.
- While these trends don’t ensure a rapid recovery if the country falls into a recession, it does position companies to ride out the storm.
To read the full story, please click here:http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=ao6RcBfOUJz8&refer=home
- April 15 provides an annual reminder about the tax benefits of owning a home: Most people know that mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible in most cases, as is the interest paid when homeowners borrow against the equity in their home. What they may not realize is that the Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997 provides that owners who have lived in their home for more than two years don’t have to pay taxes on the first $250,000 of profits (if they are single) and $500,000 of profits (if the owners are married) when they sell the home.
- Watch out for Generation Y prospects! The 2008 Swanepoel Trends Report notes that younger buyers represent a larger portion of the total home-buying population than ever before. Between 2003 and 2006, the percentage of under-30 homebuyers skyrocketed. Forty-two percent of the under-30 crowd reported owning a home, but what’s more surprising is that buyers under age 25 accounted for one-quarter of the home sales to this demographic group.
- The economy has replaced transportation as the San Francisco Bay Region’s most pressing problem for only the ninth time in 28 years, according to an annual survey conducted in early March by the Bay Area Council. Twenty-two percent of residents surveyed ranked the economy first, 18 percent said transportation was the biggest issue, and 15 percent cited housing as the region’s greatest challenge in this year’s poll. The economy was last cited as the greatest issue in 2003, but only 7 percent of those surveyed in 2006 ranked it at the top of their list, reflecting the top-of-mind nature of the current mortgage credit and economic situations. Despite economic concerns, Bay Area residents were relatively optimistic: 59 percent said their financial situation would be about the same as last year, with 30 percent saying they expect to do even better this year. Only 13 percent said they expect to be worse off. And 74 percent rated their quality of life in the Bay Area “very well” or “going somewhat well.”
To read the full article go to: http://www.insidebayarea.com/sanmateocountytimes/localnews/ci_8861454
Sunday, April 13, 2008
18. Eat right.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
As such, your credit cards can have a major impact on your financial wellbeing and even your credit score. But did you know that your credit score can also impact your credit cards...specifically your interest rates? Although some companies have abandoned the practice, many won't hesitate to raise your interest rate if your credit score declines - even if you are paying them on time! By following these tips, you can help avoid inflated interest rates on your credit cards...and perhaps even enjoy more trips to the ballpark:
Understand the terms. The best way to protect yourself from high interest rates and hikes is to read and understand your credit cards policy terms. Pay particular attention to the interest rate, how long that rate is in effect, and what actions can lead to a hike - such as a late payment on your card, a declining credit score, or even a late payment on a completely unrelated bill.
Don't be late. Making a late payment can lead to increased interest rates on all your cards. In addition, they can lower your credit score, causing you even more problems down the road. So make a schedule and always pay on time.
Watch the mail. We all get junk mail, but some of it may not be junk after all. Whenever you receive any information in the mail from your credit card, read it carefully in case any policies or interest rates are changing.
Make a call. If your rate does change, call the company. If you've made your payments on time consistently, you may be able to get your original rate restored. If the company seems hesitant, you may want to threaten to transfer your balances to another card - customers in good standing may find they have more bargaining power than they realize. And don't just threaten to make a change...actually do it if it makes sense. You may find the grass actually is greener on the other side.
Be careful what you close. Closing a card that has a current balance will likely send your interest rate soaring. In addition, closing your oldest credit cards can have a negative impact on your overall credit score. So make sure you check and double check which cards are best to close.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY FOR CONSUMERS:
< The riskiest markets are those with high foreclosure rates, slow or no job growth, and a glut of homes on the market. Markets like Detroit, Cleveland, and Miami display all three characteristics.
< By contrast, transactions are rising in San Diego, and that’s a good sign assuming the increase is sustained. Rising transaction numbers may mean credit is becoming easier to come by and buyers are looking somewhat more favorably on the market. In fact, Forbes suggests prices also may begin to rise over the next six months. That’s because there usually is a lag between increases in transaction numbers and price increases.
By viewing your credit activity on a regular basis you can manage any detrimental items that need to be removed or fixed. These actions will create a better rating under your name and benefit you throughout your life. The easiest and fastest way to do this is by going online.
Go Free Credit offers an easy way to check your credit instantly. You can try this service free for 30 days to monitor any activity and make changes in your life so that your score increases. You will get a detailed, personalized analysis of your credit report with advice on how to improve it. You will also find information on how to understand your credit report. Experts advise checking your credit report more than once a year, but checking too often can make your credit score go down.
Credit monitoring, automatic notification of credit activity and a detailed personal analysis are all included in this service. You can find out who has recently viewed your credit report and even see the best ways to improve your credit score based on your personal history. Improving your credit increases your options for financial success. Bankruptcies, judgments, collections and past 30-days late payments are the top damaging factors that can negatively affect your credit score and need to be checked now. Additionally, by being aware of the activity on your credit report you can keep a close eye on fraudulent activity and be confident of your financial future.