Google Gmail & Adware/Malware

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Using Google e-mail (Gmail) also means to be aware of a multitude of cyber attacks within private mail server services. Of course, one can always download adware blockers (in Gmail), which sometimes means nothing. Can be overriden. These commercial ads inside my mail (either when sending a private message, or when pressing SEND button (to review what I had sent)), take up an entire page. Commercial advertising via Television, or Radio or other media is OK, as businesses pay more for using those media. But crawling around inside a personal message that I sent to my family is irritating and unprofessional. It is widely known that nobody buys any product from those ‘cyber attackers’. Such type of malware/adware attack within a mail service (even if it offered free, such as Google’s Gmail) is based on criminal organized crime syndicate behaviour. Not only this, who wants to buy anything from those ??

Should I see any of this, I take note and add that particular business or company to my own personal BLACKLIST. I am certain of this: So do other Gmail users.


Condominium ownership versus Rental

Considerations on living options in the light of high real estate ownership. When faced with fixed income and no cash flow to speak of, nor any amassed riches. There are options to ownership: From my own experience, condominium ownership is the worst of those. Not only is an owner (in such a commercial entity) responsible for maintaining their own unit (inside walls, flooring, ceiling, doors, windows, appliances, fixed furniture, plumbing and electrical repairs), but as owner is also responsible for paying large amounts to maintain a more or less big building in which an owners’ unit is housed. The larger the building, the more expensive the repairs to the building (that is the common or shared portions of any unit holder, such as hallways, walls, outside walls, grounds, underground services and all electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems).

Throw in for measure an outside contracted property management company (who may, or may not be corrupt). And some sort of ‘consortium’ that actually runs that building. As an owner in such a condo corporation, there is no control of what is being done with a unit holders’ money. And that money must be paid as a monthly fee. Comes a big repair, an extra levy is raised.

RENTING comes to mind: The money spent on that monthly fee and on extra levied fees can be saved towards monthly rental cost. So can property taxes. On an average I would say depending on the age of building and location a monthly condo fee can amount to a minimum of $400. Rental costs in even expensive areas can vary from monthly $1,000 to over $2,000. Lets say, I can afford $1,200 a month. Deduct $500 (condo ownership and property tax), leaves me with $700. In my case I have spent $35,000 in five years for repairs to my condo and improvements. In the best case, I add an extra cost of monthly $200 for regular maintenance of my condo, that would leave me with a balance for monthly rent of only $500. Home insurance is the same for both options.

But no more nightmare, no worries, no hard construction work. Answer is clear: RENT ! Go travel, and use your money.

Banks and your money

We all know that the Banks own our money. Else they would not reside in big ‘crystal fairy-tale’ palaces. You think – according to your statements – that you own a certain amount of money safely tugged away in some Bank. Not so.

Try this: Walk into your Bank and ask for all of your money (let’s say you have over 30,000 in your account) in cash. Big suitcase full of cash. Cannot be done. Although you paid cash (your hard earned money) to put into that Bank for safe keeping.

Of course, if funds are tied up in some fixed-term interest bearing instrument, then you cannot just ask for its return. But let’s assume, the money just sits somewhere and according to the Bank’s promises is accessible to you.

Case in point: I am on my death bed in hospital and I intend to not leave any money behind. I ask a hospital official to get the necessary papers (from my Bank) for me to sign, and others to counter sign and witness , requesting all of my funds to receive IN CASH and bring back to my hospital bed. Intent, to safely burn all that money.

I assure you, I won’t succeed. There will be a hundred thousand reasons quoted by that Bank to hold on to my money. Of course, one can always keep one’s money in cash under the mattress. Just be sure there is no break and enter event or a fire burning it all down.

But as it is, the money sits in some Bank, earns a low interest (for the Banks to use and invest at higher rates for themselves), and adding to your required income tax bills.

Languages and your brain

This has been known for centuries, “languages expand your brain”. [Or, as we say: “expand one’s horizon”.] New studies (University York at Toronto, Canada) have shown and proven that those who are at least bilingual in old age will show their first symptoms of Alzheimer and Dementia (if at all ) later than those with one single language.  [Autres études: l’Université d’Édimbourg en Écosse, et une équipe indienne.] 

There is also a correlation between widely traveling and thereby being exposed to other cultures and languages, and a healthier brain capacity.

Besides the scientific implications of knowledge of several languages, not just one or two, there is also a practical side of this. When traveling, one who can communicate with the locals in another country often finds better deals and pays less. [My own experiences.]

Language tools are many using the NET, Google Translate comes to mind. Try it and find that the bot programs doing the translations are not sufficient to hide bad grammar resulting in the language being translated from English. One still has to know that language well.