Sunday, October 3, 2010

Home (in)security

When it comes to home security - GET A BIG FUCKING DOG!

A big intimidating dog. It doesn't need to be aggressive, just needs to bark loud at people wanting to jump your fence.

If you are going away for a while

1. have your neighbor or a friend park their car in your driveway (not garage) every so often.
2. Go to the hardware store and buy timers to put on your lamps so they turn on and off at intervals.
3. Get someone to retrieve your mail (thats a big one).
4. If your going for a LONG time, get someone to mow your lawn.

I worked in the security industry for over 10 years. There is typically a 500% markup on all electronic devices. They are ALL flawed and will either not work properly or be crazy senesitive. Technicians are extremely lazy and expensive, they cost the company roughly $30p/h and you will be charged about $75-80 p/h. As an example - For a monitored security system - you will pay somewhere between $1500-$6000. The actual cost to the company is about $300 (incl installation time charged by tech). Monitoring will cost $300-400 a year. The cost to the company is $25. And after all of this, the alarm will activate like crazy for false alarms (bugs, heat, cold etc) which creates extra charges on your home phone bill and insane charges for having to get a patrol car to respond. The police more than often will not respond to an alarm activation. I had the rare case that they said they would respond to a priority 1 duress alarm, and called back 6 HOURS LATER asking for the address because they lost it and were going to check it out.a

Security systems are NOT preventative measures. The do nothing other than alert you to the fact you have been robbed, at which point, you are helpless. It is an absolute criminal industry, and yes I couldn't take trying to do the right thing in that environment so I left.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

At 2 Grand a pop, Apple's doing alright.

I have read that if you want to buy anything expensive from Apple on their website you can save 15-20% . Log in/create an account, go customize whatever it is you want, then go to checkout, but do not buy it. Do nothing. Just close the window and do nothing else on their site for about 7-10 days. You should then get a call from Apple offering a deal if you buy then and there. I am currently waiting for my call from Apple to see if this works. If not, I will remove this post because I have no time for hearsay.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Or Just Never Rent A Car... That's Even Better!

Anytime you rent a car, look out for the gas trick. Typically, the policy is that all rentals come ready with a full tank of gas. If the car happened to not be full (lazy employees/busy day), the employee would just say "so, the meter's at 3/4 tank, just bring it back at the same." This sucks for the driver, because you can't really estimate distance against the meter level, so you'll likely come back with too much gas, which they keep. Or, you come in under, which they charge you ridiculous rates to refill. Or, you drive around the block wasting gas and time to spite them 'cause your meter's too high. Lesson: always request them to fill up the tank and just wait a few minutes.