Secure email with Gmail.

by Admin 6. August 2008

For those of you that use Gmail as your primary email address, you can now set the web based email service provider to encrypt your communications as a default. While this will make it harder for third parties to snoop your email, it could also make email delivery slower too.

"Your computer has to do extra work to decrypt all that data, and encrypted data doesn't travel across the Internet as efficiently as unencrypted data," Gmail engineer Ariel Rideout said in a blog post. This is why they have left the choice up to the user.

The encryption is possible through HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer -, a secure version of the HTTP protocol that allows us to click on links, view pages, request information from servers and generally makes the web possible. The encryption is only between the browser and Gmail servers which is unlike other encryption software that encrypts email all the way from source to destination.

To encrypt your email, simply log in to your Gmail account and go to your account settings. You will find a section labeled Browser connection: where you will see two radio buttons. Select the option labeled Always us https to set as your default.


Elvis is alive… on MySpace

by Admin 30. July 2008

Did I get the attention of all of the Canton Hons?! That's right; Elvis is going to be performing on MySpace! Ok, well not the real Elvis. Just hundreds of impersonators who will be competing in the Elvis karaoke contest on MySpace. No joke. I am not sure if this is a marketing ploy to introduce Elvis to a younger generation or MySpace to an older one, or if it is just for kicks.

The well known social network owned by News Corp. is better known for attracting a demographic for which the King has always been dead, announced that it will be hosting an official Elvis karaoke competition for “Elvis Week 2008,” running from August 9th to the 17th. This is through a partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises. Members can enter starting August 4th by submitting videos of Elvis song performances to MySpace’s karaoke site. Elvis Presley Enterprises has also launched an official MySpace page too.

The winner will perform live onstage at Elvis’ historic Graceland home with other entertainers who actually performed with Elvis himself. Ten second-place winners get a DVD of Viva Las Vegas as well a MP3 player loaded with Elvis songs. Twenty third-place winners will receive a one-year membership to the “Official Elvis Insiders” club.

Note: The contest is one of singing, not impersonating. Although I am sure we will see many lip-curled, cape wearing entrants.


Paying for College through Friends and Family

by Admin 29. July 2008

I just read online that two major colleges increased their Fall 2008 tuition by almost 10%. For many of us, paying for college is a struggle, especially in the midst of shaky economic times. Some options are financial aid and government loans, borrowing from family, or if you are like me, going into some major credit card debt; I highly recommend not using the last option…trust me.

Looking further into possible options I Stumbled Upon – pun intended – New York based Fynanz offers students an “open loan” process for financing their education. This “open loan” process is simply a peer-to-peer lending network that allows students to borrow money from friends, family, or alumni of a specific institution, along with major lenders.

To apply for a loan, students fill out an application and create a personal profile, including the amount and interest rate desired. Utilizing 15 years worth of loan data, Fynanz uses that information to give each student a grade and place them in one of six groups reflecting both their credit score and their academic characteristics. The individual lenders – friends, family, and alumni – are then given priority as they bid alongside lender networks to fund the loan. The more participants bid on the loan, the lower the winning rate is likely to be.

Servicing fees will be no more than what other market places charge according to Fynanz CEO Chirag Chaman. There will also be no application fees or hidden costs for the borrowers. For lenders, the attractiveness is in the high returns and performing social aid.

It is projected that these peer-to-peer markets could grow to between $5 Billion and $10 Billion in annual volume within 10 years according to Previously, taping into a homes equity was a top choice for college funding. Now this new form of borrowing could become the best option.

For more information visit Fynanz's website, blog, or get alerts and releases directly from their CEO on Twitter.

How are you planning to pay for your – or your children’s – education? Let us know by commenting below and be sure to check this post regularly; you may be surprised by some of the responses.

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