How to Get out of a Cellular Service Contract

from MyMoneyBlog, SmartMoney and wikiHow pages
Some of the methods which may catch your attention are:
+ wait until a "Terms Of Service" change from your provider potentially effecting you, and request a cancellation
+ say that you are moving to a location with no service provided
+ use a cellphone contract swapping site

Online invoicing/job tracking applications

from MyMoneyBlog article:

BlinkSale (free)
SideJobTrack (free)
FreshBooks (moped level free)


Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak, Robert D. Hare (2006)

Ever wondered of the behavior of a coworker or a family member showing strange signs? No suprise maybe, as psychopaths are amongst us, making 1% of the general population, and a good bit higher in white collar office environments. This collaboration between a criminal psychologist and an HR manager explains this phenomen, and offers some practical suggestions on improving hiring practices to help filter candidates better and personal suggestions on how to deal with and deflect the abuse. Basically try not to get into confrontations (in the open or behind closed doors) and document the issues risen and abusive behavior (maybe to use during your exit interview, as if used earlier your image of "complainer" would be proven). But your best option likely would be to simply run, as by definition psychopaths are better at politicking, as this is the only thing they do and can do, and it will be very hard to beat them at their own game ... An interesting tidbit form the book, apparently the selection criteria for succession plans in major corporation has lots in common with testing criteria determining psychopathic behavior.


The Coffeehouse Investor: How To Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, And Get On With Your Life by Bill Schultheis (1998)

is a promising little book, basically suggesting that one should ignore the day-to-day noise coming from Wall Street and concentrate the longer term results. The three tenents offered: asset allocation, index funds and appropriate savings. This detached approach is sound at a high level (unless you can make money on the day-to-day fluctation, competing with a good number of very smart people running hedge funds going after the same profits), you have to step up your timeframe into where is less competition. But the actual details on all three approaches are very mainstream and less sensible. On the index funds (which are offered instead of trying to figure out which mutual fund is the winner, I did like the Outfox-the-Box game, you can get better results than 80% of mutual funds pitched by simply indexing, and doing so, you would also join great number of pension funds, who are approaching the market this same way), it is said that you need to have large value, large growth, small value, small growth and international. Beside these being arbitrary (why not than get into international growth and value, and midcap growth and value, and all other combinations coming to mind), the yearly rebalancing (between these and/or between your stock and bond funds) is likely a bad idea, as trends in segments this large run usually much longer than one year. Although following the advices given in this book, you would be better off than other investors chasing hot mutual funds, there are even simplier approaches available for investors open to understand the nature of risks taken and the rewards offered, when investing in the market. As the mountain climbing methaphors are very apt in the book, maybe the author would serve us better sticking to books about climbing instead.


The Bug by Ellen Ullman (2003)

A story placed in the "dark ages" of personal computer based software development. With the introduction of complex windowing user interface and networked setups, nor mindset, nor tools are not prepared to deal with complexity. This is also the world a VC (venture capitalist) owned dysfunctional companies, driven by impossible demands and deadlines. Could one bug push a person through the edge? How about destroying a whole company? This book will give you a glance to the inner life of a small software development shop. The book also offers multiple actual(?) code samples illustrating the bug, which is quite unusual for a work of fiction.

Kept: A Comedy of Sex and Manners by Y. Euny Hong (2006)

is a humorous "only in America" (or maybe even "only in NY") story of a Korean royal descent girl, who becomes a courtesan to pay off accumulated debt, as being an aristocrat does not mean one has money too. From the Anthology of Pros (as in prostitutes) owned by an ex-ballerina Russian emigree, through the members of high society looking for companionship, to the gay only club (where there is a good number of non-gay members, because of social connections and companionship offered), this book will keep you entertained with its twists and opinions of all matters of class, race, art, society and more.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)

Losing a loved one is something you don't want to experience, but it will visit you anyway. In this memoir, Joan describes the empty place created with her husband's death, the irrational (and rationalized) thoughts on him suddenly coming back, and the pleasure and pain of associations of her late husband with people and places and times. A deeply personal and memorable story on grieving.