To the majority of the population, taking care of the previous year’s taxes is someone else’s job. Most people don’t thoroughly understand the ins and outs of tax laws, deductions, and credits. It’s all a big mess of mumbo jumbo to the laymen. There are plenty of software programs out there to assist you in filing your own taxes each year, but you’ve got to know what you can and can’t claim. If you’re not sure about what gadgets and electronics count as a tax deduction, then we’re here to help. Here is a quick summary of the top gadgets you can claim as deductions on your taxes. [Read more…]
Finding Your Way Around Online Banking
It seems like you can pretty much do anything and everything online nowadays. Not only can you shop with your credit card, but many online retailers will take money straight out of your bank account, or you can use one of many online paying apps like PayPal.
Most of these online money systems come with extra security to protect your funds from hackers and other fraud, but you always run some risk whether shopping online or even using your debit/credit card in a brick and mortar store.
There is a ton that can be done with online banking. These days people can pretty much live without having checks to write out. However, paying by paper check is still the preferred method for many people, and it’s made easier with the ability to order checks online too. Even businesses can order payroll checks online, if they still pay their workers the “old-fashioned” way. [Read more…]
Google Maps Borders and the Senkaku Islands
Small islands are often the source of dispute among countries near them. Several countries have been in conflict owing to their claims of ownership of islands with rich marine resources and great potential for gas and oil reserve.
In Asia alone, the Philippines, Vietnam and China are claiming some areas as theirs and this remains unsettled up to now. In fact, this has prompted the U.S. to make its stand amid the tension among the nations involved.
The Philippines and China are both in territorial disputes over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. The Philippines has called for international support amid this ongoing row. While the country has sent its troops to the shoal, China has also sent vessels to the area and word is out that the Chinese may be building an airstrip in the disputed reef. Philippine Navy members have arrested Chinese fishermen in the area several times for gathering marine species protected by the government. [Read more…]
Tech and Christianity 101: Teh Resources
In Part 1 of my Tech and Christianity series, I talked about how important tech would be to a Christian’s ministry. Today, I will talk about what resources there are for the pastor and the lay Christian.
First up, there are a myriad of articles on how to walk the Christian life. From Apologetics to devotionals, and even a series of webpages on how to deal with hard issues the Christian/Biblical way, there is no reason for a Christian to fall away from the faith if he is online. Not even the threat of pron could hurt a Christian’s walk, if he loves his God unequivocally. The resources are so many, I even stumbled upon an exposition on the book of Revelation (Chapter 12) that finally seems accurate and highly objective. [Read more…]
Microsoft Surface: Cafe/Bar/Resto Computing of the Future?
While everyone was still reeling from the iPhone’s release, Microsoft had unveiled a project that is up to, or above Steve Jobs’ caliber in terms of innovativeness. Announcing, Microsoft Surface.
Table Tennis Review
1Up.com has a review up on Rockstar’s Table Tennis. I have been wondering if this game was going to live up to the hype, and even if it was worth renting, and finally I have the answer.
And while it’s conceivable you’ll be playing head-to-head matches obsessively, you really have no other choice. Bare-bones features include only exhibition, tournament, and online play. I gotta wonder, where’s the dorm-room staple 2-on-2 match? (Or beer pong, for that matter? For shame, Rockstar.) The lower $40 price point helps offset these negatives, which is pretty good for a game that can so easily suck in both sportos and your nongaming friends.
The game, which some basically everyone have given it an above average rating earns an average rating of 7.0 from the editors, and 7.9 from visitors to the site. Looks like there is still a big audience for these types of games.
Kameo: Elements of Power Review
Xboxic has a review of Kameo: Elements of Power, a game that was one of the launch titles for the Xbox 360, but recently got a price reduction.
I’ve got some mixed feelings with this game. It has a nice atmosphere, and the sound is really great. But when you’re done with the main quest, there’s just not much left to do unless you’re an achievement whore. It’s definitely not a bad game and with its price cut it’s definitely worth the money. And finally because it’s the only action adventure available on the Xbox 360 and the only one that’s next-gen worthy, I still give it a good rating.
And so in the end, the launch title still comes out looking pretty good, especially at its new lower cost, and they gave it a final score of 8 out of 10.
John Woo’s Stranglehold Hands-on
Someone over at Joystiq was able to score some time with John Woo’s Stranglehold, an upcoming game for the Xbox 360 that has John Woo’s name attached to it.
Take the gun out of your mouth folks. John Woo’s Stranglehold looks like more than just a shot-to-sh-t cash-in on the Hong Kong action auteur’s single-syllable last name. Senior Game Designer Patrick Curry (a loyal Joystiq reader) pulled me out of the crowd for a little quality time with Midway’s homage to Woo’s bullet ballets and I came away impressed. This 360 game is from the same team that did Psi-Ops: Mindgate Conspiracy, an awesome Xbox title that was on everybody’s “best game that no one played” list. After commiserating with the staff over the inexplicable disappointing sales of that game, I picked up the controller to try out its “spiritual” next-gen sequel. Stranglehold plays like Max Payne with, better graphics, more style and more ridiculously cool slow-mo moves. Midway’s pitch focused on the destructable environment, which allowed me to blow up everything from wall tiles to frozen pigs.
I will hold off on giving it a thumbs down until I get a chance to play it, but so far it does not sound as though there is really anything innovative in this game. Red Faction mixed with Max Payne…yawn.
Blazing Angels Review
Pocket-lint reviewed the Xbox 360 game, Blazing Angels, WWII arcade style flight sim.
When it comes actually flying the plane, everything is very simple and although the planes don’t have any real differentiating flying physics they are easy to control.
In game you aren’t left to your own devises, but have other wingmen to help you fight it out against the axis of evil. These wingmen can be commanded into different formations, and gamers who’ve played any of the Ghost Recon series will be right at home ordering them around.
They give it a rating of eight out of ten though wish there was more difference between planes in the game.
Top Spin 2 Review
Pocket-lint reviews Top Spin 2, a tennis game for the Xbox 360.
Sometimes you just have to get the bad out of the way first. In the case of Top Spin 2 that means you’ve got to be prepared for plenty of load screens and more annoyingly for those load screens to load, load, and then load some more. Just like an old Spectrum +2 loading from tape the game takes an age between matches and training sessions. This is noticed even more so when some training sessions last seconds rather than minutes.
After that, it is all good stuff about the game and in the end it earns a nine out of ten thanks to the graphics, gameplay, and depth of game. Pretty good for a Tennis game in my opinion.
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