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If you’ve already splashed out on the huge flat-screen tv, a state-of-art Blu-Ray player, and a satellite dish with a monthly subscription that brings with it hundreds of channels, then it probably seems like it’s a small price to pay for HDMI cables. But, this is exactly the mentality that gets people to pay for this habitually over-priced bit of technological excess. The truth, as our infographic points out, is that there is absolutely no difference between the cheapest and most expensive HDMI cables, at least over shorter runs. If you’re wiring an entire house, you may find these cables to be worth it.
To understand why you shouldn’t pay extra, you need to understand the difference between analog and digital. With analog cables, the signal degrades, with digital cables such as HDMI, it either works or it doesn’t. The signal doesn’t degrade any more than your JPEGs degrade when you put them on a thumb drive.
Our country’s history is rife with examples of unscrupulous individuals and financial institutions that have preyed on the unfortunate. Con artists seemed practically as common as bankers in the industrial age (some even consider them to be one and the same thing). From Charles Ponzi, so infamous he had a “Get Rich Quick” scheme named after him, to the former chairman of NASDAQ Bernie Maddof who pled guilty in March 2009, to 11 federal crimes built on Ponzi’s example, those in a position to offer loans do so in a manner guaranteed to get the maximum amount back. Here’s a look at a few schemes (not all strictly illegal but certainly of questionable ethics) that deliberately prey on people who are poor and unsophisticated about money.
From the Kindle to the iPhone to the Wii, the hottest products in consumer electronics this season are those that connect consumers to a world in which everything; books, music, films, and games are available 24/7 on-demand. This lust for digital tech shows no sign of abating as, even in times of recession, consumer electronics sales remain strong. Our data shows that even more discretionary income is being spent on the gadgets needed to maintain a connected lifestyle.
If you spent most of your Christmas morning tearing and swearing as you tried to get the packages open, you may be wondering if all of this wasteful packaging is really necessary. Consider these facts about the role of packaging in our consumer economy. One third of our waste comes from packaging from the 430 billion dollar global packaging industry. That’s larger than the global auto manufacturing industry. So what can you, as an individual, do about it? Here is one look at the disposable stuff that comes with a famous 11.5 inch doll, herself an icon of American consumer culture.
Americans lead the world in charitable contributions, giving $300 billion a year to charities. Sounds like a lot right? But this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the over One Trillion Dollars needed to keep US charities in operation, more than the US government collects in taxes. The rest comes from their own assets, government support, and foreign investment. Our visual guide to giving shows who’s paying and offers some tips on how to pick a charity of your own.
With recent government regulations in place, the Reverse Mortgage is a financial instrument set to explode with the wave of retiring baby boomers. These mortgages not only affect the borrower, but their heirs as well, so it’s important to understand the ins and outs of process and product. The Reverse Mortgage can be a lifesaver for some, but is not for everyone. This factsheet will show you how it works.
Relations between the former Soviet Union and the United States thawed a long time ago and we no longer live in fear of mutually assured destruction. But Russia remains an economic powerhouse and a major player on the world stage. Russia has a rich cultural history and a sometimes brutal military legacy and for most Americans, it remains the “undiscovered” country. Russia’s economy has been in a state of flux since before the Bolshevik revolution but it is interesting to note how the differences in geography, population, and the role of the military ultimately play into the entire economic relationship. A country with that many Grandmasters can’t be counted out.
Rewards points programs can turn saving money on the purchases you make seem like a game. But the game you’re playing is more like skee ball than frisbee. Playing for points means you’ll be tempted to buy things you can’t afford just to acquire points. But even worse is the fact that the game is rigged before you even begin. Most people will never acquire enough points to pay for the luxury items they desire. And many rewards programs are deliberately deceptive in describing how they work. Not all points are created equal and some are downright worthless. Our guide to rewards points programs will teach you the tricks you need to be a points ninja.