When I was in college, an older woman I worked with paid me $25 to come over and program her VCR, and that is not a euphemism. Clearly I missed a valid business opportunity when I didn’t think to package that skill and resell it as an in-home service for idiots everywhere. You know, sort of like what InstallerNet offers with universal remotes for the low low actually-sort-of-high price of $250.
The Daily News says that one Brooklyn man is fed up with writing emails to potential dates on Match.com and never getting a response. It’s not that he has a “bad personality” — it’s that the profiles are of people who have canceled.
Sometimes”‘free” means “wow what a great bargain,” and sometimes it just mean worthless. CareerBuilder offers a free resume review on their site—enter your email address, upload your resume, and “we’ll email you the results of your free evaluation, including tips on writing a resume that will help you land the interview.” All it really does is collect your address so it can send you unsolicited email (we got spammed 30 minutes later), and your “review” is just a boilerplate page of generic advice.
If you have an account with Mint, and you’ve enabled mobile alerts, you can now text “Bal” or “Balance” to 696-468 (MyMint) and receive a summary of all of your accounts. [Mint]
We spent yesterday at Finovate, a yearly roundup of new personal finance services available online. Here’s a recap of some of the afternoon presentations, including a mortgage comparison service that promises greater transparency, a new credit simulator feature from Credit Karma, and a site that uses reverse auctions to get banks to bid on your money.
Round 2 of the Finovate presentations includes online financial planning, the “match.com” of stocks, and Facebook banking. Let’s dive in and find out what they’re all about:
I’ve been dispatched by our cigar-chomping editors to midtown NYC to check out the 14 new personal finance software apps getting demoed at Finovate 2008. I’ll be reporting here and letting you know about the latest tools from the frontlines of the personal finance revolution.
We first discovered the very useful FeedFlix back in May, and since then the site’s been updated to present more data on how well you utilize your Netflix membership. By pasting in any of your private Netflix RSS feeds, you’ll see a breakdown of your activity stats, like how long on average you keep titles and your average cost-per-rental. A handy new feature is the “email alerts” function, where you’ll receive a weekly reminder if you’ve kept a title past a certain number of days. We’ve included a screenshot below.
Comcast has joined pretty much every other ISP in New York by shutting off access to newsgroups, effective two days ago, although current users will still have access through October 25th. A lot of stories on this topic have focused on how New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has led the overall “crackdown” due to kiddie porn, but we think this is really just a politically convenient business decision to cut costs on a service that’s declining in popularity. DSLReports seems to agree, and they offer some advice on where you can get affordable newsgroup access now that your ISP is no longer footing the bill.
Payment Reporting Builds Credit (PRBC) is an alternative credit reporting agency that will record your payment histories for things like rent and utilities bills. PRBC says you can then use this verified credit history to supplement your FICO score and credit history from the big three reporting companies. It’s meant in part as a way to help people who don’t have extensive standard credit histories, or who have always paid monthly expenses on time but have other blots (like medical bills) on their official credit histories.
BillShrink’s free credit card comparison service launches today, and you should check it out to see whether your current credit card is the best available option for you. The great thing about BillShrink is it doesn’t try to get you to sign up for a particular card—it simply aggregates the information on each one, then helps you quickly navigate your options to find the best choice for your specific needs. (The site makes money when you sign up for a new service.)
Rudder is a new personal finance service that differs from the dozens of other ones now available in two key ways: it presents a simplified overview of your available funds, which it calls “What’s Left,” and it delivers it (along with bill reminders and balance notifications) to your email inbox instead of requiring you to visit a website. Think of it as a highly customized “Very Short List” or “Daily Candy,” only the topic is always your current financial health.
Reader Mike consulted Best Buy about removing a Trojan that was infecting his computer. They suggested that he buy an external hard drive, pay Best Buy to back up his data, and use his computer’s restore disc. Mike agreed. 5 days later he got his computer and his external hard drive back — mostly empty, except for the shortcut to the folder where the data was stored. None of the files within the folder had actually been transferred.