Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Online Fax on Consumer Rankings.com

The goal of an cyberspace facsimile machine or online fax is to transmit data as rapidly and with efficiency as possible. But consumers who expend hours or a long time researching the best cyberspace facsimile machine software often find that they're trifling instead of saving time. To streamline the operation, we've compiled a speedy guide to choosing the right cyberspace facsimile machine software, so that consumers could stop searching and start up enjoying their online fax.

Once shopping at for any product, almost consumers believe cost to be noncrucial causal factor. Because cyberspace telefaxes require a every month investing instead of a one-time fee, price is often an even more significant consideration. Besides the project every month fees, many internet facsimile machine inspection and repair* impose obscured fees upon their buyers. Consequently, those who are shopping at for an machine-accessible fax service should make a point to understand client reviews and the small print on their contract so that hidden fees are clarified. Hidden fees could let in charges for pages or proceedings used above the contractual limit or for facsimile machine storage. Consumers should also be aware that some companies impose a start up fee with the opening of each online fax account.

Cost, however, shouldn't make up the only causal factor when choosing an internet facsimile machine. Consumers should also turn over which cyberspace fax software system will be ready to hand, easy to use and reliable. Consumers should look at that while a lot of cyberspace fax suppliers offer 24/7 technical support, more or less offer limited client service. Users, specially Consumer-Rankings.com those who telefax ofttimes could also would like to check that their internet telefax software package will have enough storehouse electrical capacity to save their crucial written document*. Likewise, completely consumers should enroll on a prestigious online telefax company that doesn't break up on a regular basis or suffer from defective information transmits. Reading user reviews makes up a practical and effective formula for users to familiarise themselves on their cyberspace facsimile machine software package options before making a final judgment.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Nintendo Will Never Be Great Again

I grew up as a Nintendo kid. The day Nintendo's (NTDOY) 8-bit console hit the market was the day I handed over my old Atari and ColecoVision systems. The gameplay was rudimentary in retrospect, but I didn't care as I guided Mario and Link through their rendered worlds.

The games and graphics ultimately got better. The stakes grew higher. Nintendo survived the onslaught of disc-based consoles. Even today, the Wii is the only one among the three major consoles to not play DVDs. It didn't matter at first, as Nintendo's whimsical motion-based controller overcame what the platform lacked in specs.

It matters now, though.

Shares of Nintendo hit a five-year low this summer, wiping away any gains made during the Wii era and through the last couple of handheld DS introductions. Net revenue fell by more than half in Nintendo's latest quarter, with a steep operating loss to boot.

Nintendo went on to shave its full-year fiscal profit target by 82% this summer, after announcing a 32% price cut on the 3DS portable gaming device that it had introduced in March. All this came on the heels of a 25% price cut on its Wii console back in May.

How optimistic can anyone be for next year's Wii U rollout when Nintendo can't move its gadgetry even at fire-sale prices?
The funk is real, and it's not getting better.

Mario Brothers

Wii Will Rock You

We're now a week away from a Nintendo event in Tokyo, where the Japanese gaming giant is expected to showcase upcoming 3DS games and perhaps even new 3DS peripherals. Some bloggers have posited that a radical redesign is in the works, but that's largely wishful thinking. Besides, it's not as if Nintendo is a makeover away from revisiting its glory years.

Consumers have moved on, even if Nintendo has yet to realize why it wasn't given a forwarding address. Nintendo can be clueless.

In an interview with video game website Kotaku last year, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime dismissed the threat of Apple's (AAPL) App Store and the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone lines it feeds.

"If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, [Apple's] aren't even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get," Fils-Aime said.

He also suggested that the platform isn't a viable profit platform for developers because there are so many free games available and the premium downloads are too cheap.

Well, there were fewer than 100 million devices running Apple's iOS platform at the time. There are more than 200 million iOS devices now. Google's (GOOG) Android is also taking off, at least on the smartphone front.

It doesn't matter if developers don't like swapping a handful of games being sold at $30 for a ton of them at $0.99. It's the consumers calling for free -- or nearly free -- casual games that can be played on Facebook or on a smartphone.
Nintendo just isn't where the gamers are.

Paying the Price for Aiming Young

Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) have cornered the diehard gamer market, and that hasn't been exactly a picnic, either. However, Nintendo's emphasis on low-tech titles that appeal to younger gamers, retro purists, and multigenerational families playing together is at the very heart of the App and Android games that continue to flood the market.


If you don't think that gamers are warming up to Nintendo-less apps, check out GameStop (GME).

"Did you know that GameStop now buys your old iPod, iPhone and iPad devices," reads GameStop's website. "Trade them in at GameStop for in-store credit."

It's not just about buying back iOS gear, GameStop is likely to begin selling it, too. Apple-watcher 9to5Mac is reporting that GameStop recently told dealers at a trade show that it's about to begin offering iPads, iPods, and iPhones through its stores.

Nintendo is in a quandary. Will it simply settle for thinner and thinner slices of the gaming pie, or will it go the Sega route and begin licensing its proprietary games and characters on rival platforms? The former is a recipe for a slow-death casserole. The latter simply speeds up the process, but with a little more licensing revenue on the way out.

Don't Let a Lifetime of Saving Be Ruined by Bad Planning

Tom Binns officially retired 15 years ago. It took a lifetime of saving -- careful planning at every step and short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term goals -- for him to finally reach that milestone of financial freedom. Still, even though his 9-to-5 earning years are now a memory, new financial responsibilities are ever present.

As many retirees have discovered, even if you've saved enough to live comfortably, the golden years don't buy you a reprieve from money worries. In fact, being retired can make you even more vulnerable to fiscal strife if you're not prepared. According to a survey done by TD AMERITRADE, 57% of baby boomers will help their children out financially while putting their own retirement savings at risk.

A couple of years ago, for example, Binns' son was laid off from a manufacturing job. Since then he hasn't been able to find employment with the same level of pay and benefits. So Binns helps out with his son's expenses -- including those associated with caring for an autistic granddaughter. What's more, Binns also pays for the care of his mother, 97, who is in assisted living.

"This wasn't part of my retirement plan but was dealt with under 'planning for the unforeseen,'" Binns says.

The Best Laid Plans...

Anyone can make a plan and stick to it, but when life throws a curveball, it's hard to not lose your footing. Binns, a self-described Southern boy from Tennessee, has been able to handle life's financial curveballs better than most.

The 73-year-old said he has a genetic trait of frugality in him, and he developed a flexible financial plan that allowed him to retire -- on time -- despite the death of his wife, job losses, salary cuts, and caring for others.

"There are a lot of twists and turns that will affect your retirement funding. Job loss, recessions, birth of children, unexpected uninsured calamities, divorce, illness, death of a spouse, lawsuits, relocation expenses, dot-com meltdowns, housing bubbles, inflation, stagflation, and on and on," Binns says. "You can't plan for all of them, but you must be aware of their possibility."

Five Pillars

Binns' saving practices may be a little on the extreme side (he sold eggs and milk from his farm to his own family -- granted, at a discount). But his idea that retirement would bring him freedom is pretty typical.

For Binns, work was simply a means to make money to retire. Mapping out a plan to maximize his earnings every step of the way was how to achieve his goal. He based his strategy around five basic guidelines -- rules that can help steer anyone toward a successful retirement.

1. Invest in yourself. "The decision to pay myself first was the best investment decision I ever made," Binns says. "It's a guaranteed way to accumulate wealth as opposed to accumulating things."

Much like an athlete spends countless hours in the gym, Binns invested in himself. A portion of every paycheck would go back into his 403(b) plan. He remembers back when he earned $325 a month and would immediately take $50 of it to put toward retirement savings.

According to a Fidelity Investments study cited by 401k Planning, employees who continued to contribute to their 401(k) plan over the past 10 years have seen their retirement account balances more than triple, even accounting for the bear market in 2008 and early 2009.

2. Live below your means whenever possible. In a credit-driven society, it's all too easy to spend beyond your means and accumulate debt. The financial meltdown of 2008 was due in part to people (including those who work on Wall Street) taking on costs beyond what they could handle.

Binns made a point to live well within his means. "I resisted raising our standard of living by getting a more expensive car or house and only gradually replaced hand-me-down furniture," Binns says. "We sometimes had some very creative meal planning when we had to delay a trip to the grocery. Through it all, we never felt deprived of anything. You have to remember that this was before cellphones, Internet, cable TV, $4 coffee, computers, BlackBerrys, iPads, iPods, GPSes, and all the other things we can't live without now. "

Avoiding debt kept his family's finances from being thrown off-kilter. For example, when his son was born, their salaries were cut in half for a while. "I took up some of the slack by teaching night classes at a prison and teaching a GED course at night. It's amazing how a loss of income can be adjusted for if you have minimal debt," he says.

3. Plan for the unexpected. It's difficult to plan for The Great Unknowns in life, but Binns knew hardships would arise at some point, so he created a just-in-case emergency fund.

Binns says it helped him when his first wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It also means that he is prepared to help out his elderly mother. "My dad didn't leave her much, and she has been making it on a small pension and Social Security, which doesn't come close to covering her expenses. She is coming to the end of her resources as we pay more and more to keep her safe and comfortable. When her money runs out, I am prepared to take up the slack. "

4. Be an investor, not a gambler. Investing has been an evolving process for Binns. "I saw inflation and recession and 'stagflation' but just kept on looking for investments to put salary increases into. I took profits from time to time (and a few losses), but I was always looking for something else to invest in rather than toys to buy."
That said, not all of Binns' investment decisions were winners. "My worst financial decision was to get a $50,000 home equity loan and put it all in Intel (INTC) stock," he says. "That was not investing; it was gambling."

He also learned the hard way not to blindly follow "hot tips." "I lost a small percentage of my net worth by listening to some hype from my friends who knew some 'sure-fire winners' back before the dot-com meltdown," he says. He got off lucky, compared to a friend of his who ignored Binns' pleas not to put every penny he had into one stock. "He had to go back to work at the age of 70."

5. Never stop being a student. While there is no one-size-fits-all investment strategy, there is one thing that all investors need in their plan: knowledge. Without it you will shortchange your future, Binns says.

Many people have seen their savings trickle down to nothing because they have not read up before investing. The best approach is to invest in something they understand. More importantly, Binns says, know the rates, the risks, and especially what it costs to make each investment.

"Study investing as much as possible so you can take care of things that otherwise would require a fee from somebody," Binns says. "One thing that will increase your retirement nest egg is to avoid fees and commissions as much as possible. Everything taken out lessens the final value of your investments. You want to fund your own retirement, not the person's who is taking the fees and commissions."

Let's Get This Party Started: Mass Retailers Gear Up for Fashion's Night Out

Step aside, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs. Mass retailers -- from Macy's to QVC -- are grabbing a piece of the Fashion Week spotlight.

On Thursday night, New York City will transform into one big after-hours shopping party for Fashion's Night Out, a whirlwind of festive, quirky store events where shoppers can rub elbows with celebrities and designers, drink, dance, undergo makeovers, and scoop up product giveaways to kick off New York Fashion Week.

Although the runway shows where designers will unveil their Spring 2012 collections are the main attraction in the Big Apple this week and next, retailers are increasingly using Fashion's Night Out -- now in its third year -- as a venue to assert their fashion cred not only in New York, but nationwide.

"National retailers are using the notoriety and reach [of Fashion Week] to show that they are tuned in to what's cutting edge," Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail leasing, marketing and sales division of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, tells DailyFinance. "Participating in FNO gives them the platform."

"This is fashion for the masses, says Consolo, who is also known as "the queen of retail." "Everyone across the nation and beyond can shop and be part of the movement. We are a country of shopaholics [and] FNO is the biggest and best fashion party of the year."

Fashion's Night Out, conceived by iconic Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, plays as both a love letter from the fashion industry to itself, and an opportunity for us regular folk to be a part of the in crowd -- even if just for one night.

"The simple genius of Anna's idea is that consumers are social creatures, and if everyone else is out shopping, then the logical conclusion is that it must be in vogue -- sorry -- couldn't resist!" Susan Scafidi, professor and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, tells DailyFinance. "Throw in a label magically coming to life in the form of designers' personal appearances, exclusive merchandise, music, and free drinks, and you've got a potent commercial cocktail."

Live, From Macy's and QVC, It's Fashion's Night Out!

Macy's (M) is bringing its FNO festivities to a national audience for the first time on macys.com by live-streaming the event from the seat of the action at its flagship store in Manhattan's Herald Square.

There, shoppers can schmooze with Tommy Hilfiger in the men's department, take in a concert from singer Joss Stone and get makeup tips from Bobbi Brown.

Macy's is also holding FNO events at select Macy's stores in Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, among other cities.

Meanwhile, shopping channel QVC (LINTA) will transform its televised self into a brick-and-mortar merchant on FNO with a "multimedia shopping experience" in New York's Soho neighborhood that it will broadcast live.

The party will showcase QVC's latest lines, including Wildlife by Heidi Klum and the Kris Jenner Fashion Kollection. Shoppers can also pick up fashion and beauty tips from QVC designers.

Missoni and 'Mocktails'

With or without the Fashion Week halo, Target

(TGT) is one retailer that has been burnishing its style cred for years.

And for FNO, the nation's only mass merchant couturier has launched a Missoni pop-up store in Midtown Manhattan, featuring its new limited-edition collection from the Italian fashion house, known for its zigzag patterns.

The shop features "Little Marina," a 25-foot-tall doll decked out in Missoni knitwear that will be operated by puppeteers.

The Missoni for Target apparel and home collection hits stores nationwide this month, adding another high-end name to a long list of exclusive designer partnerships that includes Jean Paul Gaultier, Isaac Mizrahi and Zac Posen.

J.C. Penney (JCP) has set out to bring a "fun and light hearted" spirit to its FNO events this year, April Dinwoodie, divisional vice president of brand communications and publicity, tells DailyFinance. The retailer is urging shoppers to bring a fashion "miss" from their closet to its store at the Manhattan Mall and trade it in for a fashion "must."

Shoppers will get an early preview of the retailer's "must have" fall apparel and accessories -- items that have been hand-picked by fashion editors at People magazine's StyleWatch. DJ Chachi will spin some tunes, while shoppers are treated to "miss for a must mocktails," and can apply to win J.C. Penney gift cards.

Fashion Where You Wouldn't Expect It

Even Stationery chain PAPYRUS is getting into the act. Yes, you heard right. What does stationery have to do with fashion?

"We are excited to present our fashion aesthetic as it relates to paper as a fashion statement," Dominique Schurman, CEO of PAPYRUS's parent company, Schurman Retail Group, tells DailyFinance.

"We have partnered with Rami Kashou of Project Runway, the students of Pratt Institute's School of Art and Design in New York, as well as with our own internal design team to develop a gallery of couture gowns made exclusively with stationery, wrapping papers, cards, ribbons and trims from the PAPYRUS stores."


The gowns will be worn by models at fashion shows during Fashion Week at PAPYRUS's Orange County, California, store in South Coast Plaza and its Soho store in New York.

"These gowns are truly works of art and the capture the amazing, unique quality of how paper can become incredibly fashionable," Schurman says.

During Fashion Week,the retailer is also launching NIQUEA.D, its new collection of jewelry, accessories, home d├ęcor and high-end greeting cards and stationery.

"We will be unveiling 30 boutiques within some of our PAPYRUS stores, a perfect fit for the occasion of FNO," Schurman says.

Obama Unveils Key Jobs Package to Jumpstart Economy

President Barack Obama is proposing an ambitious, $447 billion jobs plan to Congress whose key feature is a sizable 2012 payroll tax cut for workers and employers. The package represents Obama's response to stubbornly high unemployment and a weak economic recovery.

The president is unveiling his plan to a joint session of Congress.

In its size, the plan matches the top annual spending of the stimulus bill that Congress approved in 2009. That $825 billion plan was spent over three years. Most of the new package would be spent in 2012.

Obama's proposal calls for cutting payroll taxes form the current 4.2 percent to 3.1 percent for workers, and from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent for businesses. Businesses also would get an additional payroll tax holiday for new hires.