Simpsons Propel Burger King to Most Popular Website in July

The internet is a form of media with resources on every subject imaginable. It’s always interesting to find out what types of websites that the visitors to this immense resource visit the most though. ComScore, Inc. has announced their findings on this specific subject in a recent press release. The study which reveals the most popular websites for the month of July found certain categories controlled the visitors in July. These categories were movies, travel, and job searching.

The website with the biggest gain in the percentage of visitors for July was Burger King’s website. The press release credits the release of The Simpsons Movie as a large factor in this increase in traffic. Burger King along with The Simpsons Movie were marketing partners in the movie, and it has paid off for Burger King. In July they had 4.2 million visitors to their website. This was an increase of an astounding 774 percent over June’s visitor total. Movies didn’t just help Burger King’s website though.

The success of several movie releases in July drove web traffic to movie related websites as well. The more popular movie releases of the month included Transformers and Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix along with The Simpsons Movie. These releases drove visitors to move related websites including moviefone.com, fandango.com and movietickets.com. The movie industry websites as a whole saw a 12% increase according to the study in the press release. Moviefone had the most visitors among the three websites in July with 13.7 million of them, Fandango.com had 10.2 million visitors, and Movie tickets.com has 6.7 million visitors, which was an increase over June of 107 percent for that website.

Other websites that were popular in July included vacation websites and job searching websites. Among the more popular travel related websites were car rental websites, and ground and cruise transportation websites. Meanwhile many web visitors were looking for summer jobs, or jobs after graduating college. Traffic to job searching websites increased by 11 percent according to the press release. Careerbuilder.com had a total of 7.9 million visitors in the month of July which was a 3 percent increase over June. Monster.com had fewer visitors than Careerbuilder.com but it’s 6 percent increase over June was larger. The third most popular job searching website of July was HotJobs Job Search which had a total of 4.9 million visitors and the largest increase in the category of 11 percent over June.

The numbers and increases in percentages were based on the number of unique visitors to each website in the month of July. ComScore measures the use of the internet by the digital world, and monitors the use of over 2 million customers which allow comScore to track their browsing in a confidential manner.

SOURCES:

Prnewswire.com. “ComScore Media Metrix Releases Top 50 Web Rankings for July”.
URL: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=ind_focus.story&STORY=/www/story/08-17-2007/0004647461&EDATE=FRI+Aug+17+2007,+02:07+PM…

Merchant Services Transaction Fees: Understanding Authorization Fees for Credit Card Transactions

In addition to paying a percentage rate when accepting credit cards, there are also transaction fees. Sometimes, multiple transaction fees can be charged on the same transaction. Here is an explanation of the fees found on a merchant services or merchant processing statement.

Transaction Fees on a Credit Card Processing Statement

In addition to paying a percentage of the dollar amount of the sale, the merchant pays a transaction fee. This fee ranges from $.02 to $.45. Some processors offer a reduced transaction fee for merchants who process small ticket sales (e.g. ice cream parlor, coffee shop, doughnut shop, diners).

American Express (AMEX) is almost always separate, but often, the processor will charge a transaction fee in the range of $.10 to $.35 for AMEX transactions. American Express then bills its rates (a percentage of the sale amount) separately.

 

What are the MC Network Access Usage Fees and Visa Authorization Processing Fees?

“AUTH” on a merchant services statement is short for “authorization.” For more information on abbreviations on credit card processing statements, see Credit Card Processing Statement Explanation: Understanding Abbreviations & Meaning of Fee Types.

The MC Network Access Usage Fee is currently an additional transaction fee of $.0185 from MasterCard. This is a surcharge of roughly two cents.

The Visa Authorization Processing Fee is currently an additional transaction fee of $.0195 from Visa. This is a surcharge of roughly two cents, as well.

Sometimes, there are also additional authorization fees for Discover and American Express as well.

Debit/Check Card Transaction Fees

Debit and check cards sometimes have a lower percentage rate charged than the qualified rate, but the transaction fee is often higher. For example, if the transaction fee is $.10, then the debit transactions might be $.15 or even $.25.

Debit cards that are processed as a pin-based transaction will have 0% rate plus a flat $.50. Processing the debit and check cards this way generally makes sense with ticket sales over $20. If the sale is smaller than $20, then it is usually less expensive to run the card as a credit card.

AVS and Other Authorization Fees

AVS stands for address verification system and represents a surcharge per transaction using this system. This is a good idea for merchants to use, especially for sales with a high dollar amount as it reduces risk of fraud.

Other transaction fees are surcharges for different types of cards, as well as international credit cards. Surcharges also apply for most online access services.

It is normal in the credit card processing industry to charge transaction fees. It is also normal that they vary. However, if there are gross inconsistencies on the merchant services statement, then call the processor and ask about the items in question.

Make sure that when receiving a quote from a competing processor to ask about the transaction fees as well as the percentage rates.…

What to Consider When Joining the Military

Seniors are nearing the end of their high school days. Military recruiters salivate at this thought, since this is when they make the most money. Our kids see them in the lunch rooms with their brochures scattered over one of the tables. They are there in full dress blues, whites, beiges, and blacks trying to make a lasting impression on their young minds. That is exactly how I remember them during my senior year, all those years ago. How do our kids know which branch to join? One well spoken recruiter, from any branch, could paint a pretty picture in anyone’s mind. This could become a major blunder on our kid’s part, if they do not choose wisely. Hopefully, this will help assist you with your future soldier.

The Army is a pretty well-rounded decision for anyone. It is not as strenuous as life in the Marine Corps, they will not have lengthy periods away, and they provide the soldiers with an opportunity to take some college courses while they serve. You will have to spend at least one year on foreign soil, but they give you an option to choose where you want to deploy. Of course, it is on a ranking system, meaning you have to choose three places on a scale of one to three. Any soldier in the Army will spend a moderate amount of time in the field. There is a drawback. You do not have a choice where you will get stationed after Basic Training and AIT, which means you could end up being stationed on a rapid deployment base. Rapid deployment bases are the ones that are sent to hostile areas first.

The Navy offers better overall training than the other three branches. Here your kids could end up getting a decent paying job right after his or her service in the military. One major downfall to joining the Navy is the lack of time for family, since the soldiers end up spending a great deal of time away at sea. You need to make sure you swim well, before joining too. If you are not a very good swimmer, you may want to consider joining another branch of the service. Your children will not have as much time as they would in the other branches to get ahead with their college courses.

The Air Force is the least strenuous of any other branch in the service. Their training is as lackluster as they get. Your kids will have more than ample down time and will not travel as frequently as they would in the other branches. This is my least favorite of all the branches in the military.

The Marine Corps. is the most physically strenuous of the bunch, but the camaraderie within this branch is unequalled. New marines and retired marines treat each other with the same amount of respect as they had for their own units. It is not uncommon to land a job, because their boss was a former marine, as well. This happens quite frequently. This is the primary difference between the branches. A marine will have his share of down time, but he is also likely to find himself deployed more rapidly than if they were in the Army. The pride a marine feels within will carry throughout his lifetime. Any type of down time is the right time to work on gaining college credits. This would be the third best option, if they want to work toward college credits.

The Coast Guard is another branch of the military, though they will fall under Naval command if …

Gardening in New Albany, Mississippi

I love my Mississippi garden and I have grown one each and every year for 5 years now. The feel of warm moist dirt between my fingers and toes is indescribable. Plants reaching upward for the the suns rays and the rains touch is simply beautiful and a comfort to my soul. To be able to nourish a seed into a young plant is a very rewarding experience. Growing a garden in New Albany Mississippi is not as hard as it may seem. The soil here is rich and filled with nutrients. The humidity provides just the right amount of moisture and the sun is plentiful. New Albany Mississippi is a perfect area for gardening.

When preparing your garden for planting here in the south, you must first decide what you will be growing. I have found that Cabbage, Tomatoes, okra and Peppers are some of easiest plants to cultivate. Cabbage is so strong and hardy that even prolonged drought doesn’t seem to harm the this tough crop. Okra is another example of a garden trooper. In fact, Okra loves the dry spells that New Albany is famous for. This crop continues to thrive even as the soil cracks open from lack of moisture. Tomatoes, on the other hand, require a little more attention. These and most types of Peppers require more hydration than Mississippi can provide naturally. A little extra attention ensures these crops the proper amount of nutrition to flourish. In my gardening experience, I have found that strawberries are one of the hardest plants to grow and require lots of nourishment in addition to what the soil provides. The secret to growing these moody plants is lots and lots of hydration and soil additives.

The best time of year in New Albany Mississippi to start the garden, is in late April/Early May. At this time, the ground should be completely thawed from the winter freeze and most chances of frost have passed. Planting this early can produce a large quantity of crops before the weather becomes unbearably hot in July. If you plan to grow Squash, you must certainly get the seeds in the ground by the first of May. Squash easily suffers from intense heat and sun scorch which ultimately kills the crop. By August, most of the Squash crop is usually dead or withering badly. Fruit is almost completely gone.

So, you know what to plant and when to plant it. But do you know how to take care of it? The most important maintenance tips are to fertilize and use weed control. There are several types of fertilizers available including: Organic blends and natural additives like manure. I, personally prefer to use manure and Triple 13 for the best results. Plants are twice as big as plants with out these fertilizers. After the garden is established and has seen some growth, you will have to start removing weeds either with chemicals, ground covers such as dark plastic or mulch or pulling and hoeing the grass out of the garden soil. Without this proper maintenance, your garden will suffer and will not produce as large of a crop as with care. Plants have to compete with weeds for nutrients from the soil. When weeds are removed, the crop can absorb all the plant foods it needs. Another great tip for gardening in New Albany Mississippi, is to use Miracle Grow. Miracle Grow is an amazing growth stimulant. When using Miracle grow on your crops, you will notice a drastic difference in the quality and quantity of your plants.

Gardening is one of the most rewarding …

Protect Your Computer

Security of your computer is very important. Your computer has your work, your private stuff and it participates by some means or another in your brilliant future. So you should spend some time to protect it against Viruses, Worms, Trojans and rootkits. Anyway, you are not supposed to know the definition of all of the previous terms, you can just know these things may destroy your computer. So how to prevent them from accessing your computer, and if any of them exist on your computer, you must get rid of them.

First of all, you must have an Anti-Virus, and I recommend two for you, you can choose one, as it is not supposed to have two Anti-virus at the same time on one computer. The first one is Avira Anti-Virus you can download it for free from the website http://www.avira.com/en/download/index.php . The second one is AVG Anti-Virus and it is free too from its official website http://free.avg.com/ww-en/download-free-antivirus . Then you will install it on your computer, I am using both , one on the pc and one on the laptop. Both are good, don’t worry. Then after Installation, you have two important things to do. First , To update it daily, and the second thing is to scan you full system weekly at least.

Second Step Is To, to have a FireWall which is the last part of your computer before the network, whatever this network was, the Internet or a smaller network. About Anti-Virus I wrote two common ones, but here I recommend just one which is Zone Alarm and it is free too, yeah a lot of free software here!!!! you are lucky, Zone Alarm link is
http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/free-upgrade-security-suite-zonealarm-firewall.htm just download it and install it, it will schedule its updates and fortunately the FireWall doesn’t make a system scan.

Good Luck and see you in coming articles.

My Blog is www.mahmoud1987.blogspot.com…

Denver Computer Networking when You Need It

Yes, you can get IT services remotely from almost anywhere on the planet – but locally-based Denver IT support and Denver computer networking services mean working with folks in your own community, keeping the money here at home – and knowing who you are working with. If you live and/or work in the Denver metro area, it pays to hire Denver IT support specialists. Likewise, if you find your computer hardware is becoming obsolete, Denver computer support people can advise you on upgrades – meaning you may not have to replace your whole machine.

Control Over Your IT Systems and Networks

Aside from the fact that business IT systems and home networks can be vulnerable to viruses and hackers, having reliable Denver network management can help you to take control. Are your employees surfing the web where they shouldn’t during business hours? Are you worried that your children may access harmful websites? Let Denver computer networking experts take those worries off your hands. A reliable Denver computer networking service can show you how to block sites that are inappropriate as well as put up rock-solid protection that will make your system virtually invulnerable to hackers. But this is only one of the benefits of locally-based Denver network management.

Business owners take note: you can save a lot on your overhead operating expenses with IT outsourcing. Denver businesses that keep an IT staff on an ongoing basis – even when there’s nothing to do – are spending unnecessary money that could be invested in more productive ways. One of the smartest moves you can make is IT outsourcing; Denver IT experts that are on call but are not part of your payroll and work only when you are in need of technical services means lower overhead costs.

Replace – or Upgrade?

Computers are notorious for becoming obsolete. Fortunately, you normally do not have to replace your entire machine every two years; Denver computer support experts can show you what components can easily be upgraded – and often, the problem is as simple as adding more RAM. Even Macs, which cost more than PCs have upgrade options available. Denver computer support people can also help identify problems that may be slowing down your system, such as spyware and adware.

Supporting the Local Economy

Of course, the best part about Denver IT support is that it puts people to work here at home and keeps dollars in the local economy. Get to know some of your local Denver IT support technicians and we’re sure you’ll agree.

Wayne Hemrick is a consultant in the Information Technology industry. Wayne writes about trends in Denver IT Support & Denver Computer Networking.…

College Education Costs Increasing; Family Income Remains Steady or Falls, Recent Study Says

Most colleges around the country have seen students return to campus for the fall semester in the past several weeks. According to a recent study, many of those students or their families who support them financially are in a financial crunch. According to a study released recently by the Campaign for America’s Future, the average tuition cost is rising across the country. At the same time the average American family’s income is either remaining steady, or dropping. This is resulting in some serious financial implications for college students, including leaving college under significant debt according to the press release from the Campaign for America’s Future.

The report studied the cost of college tuition along with the median American Household income levels starting in 2000 and ending in 2006. The report found that the average undergraduate tuition and other expenses for four year colleges increased $1,431 in the six year period. For private colleges that increase is higher with it being $1,670. The percentage increase is much more significant for public colleges though according to the press release with it being 37% in that six year period compared with 6% for private college tuition.

Meanwhile, the study results are reported in the press release indicating that the median household income during that six year span has decreased $957, which is a 2 percent decrease. It is higher for African American families with a decrease of 8% in median household income, and Asian American families who saw a three percent decrease. Median household income for men has dropped three percent from 2000 to 2006 for males, and increased one percent for females.

Unfortunately for college students, financial aid is not making up for these differences either, according to the press release. Comparing the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years, the press release notes that Pell Grant expenditures dropped from $13.6 billion to $12.7 billion. Pell Grants today according to the study are $294 lower than their peak amount in 2002-2003.

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which will provide assistance to college students would take effect on October 1st, if it is passed by both houses of Congress and the President signs the bill, according to the press release.

“This is a first step. Students and their families are scrambling to pay for college. Many families have no choice but to borrow heavily to meet the costs,” said Robert Borosage, who is the Campaign For America’s Future’s Director.

SOURCES:

Prnewswire.com. “New Government Data Shows College Costs Are Soaring Further Out Of Reach”.
URL:http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/09-07-2007/0004658703&EDATE=…

Top Three Websites for U.S. Military Families

Websites  photoPhoto by Military families are faced with a number of challenges that most families are not. They are faced with the possibility and reality of deployment, leaving moms essentially single for 6 months or more. They face the challenges of service-related disabilities, different financial options, an endless amount of confusing paperwork on various issues and much more. Because of this, many websites have popped up that cater to the unique needs of military families. Listed here are the three that I have found the most helpful in my four years as an Army wife.

The first website is run by the National Military Family Association. It can be found at www.militaryfamily.org. The National Military Family Association’s website has resources regarding deployment, childcare, health care benefits and soldier, spouse and children education benefits that are available to soldiers and their dependents. They also have very helpful tips for military families regarding finances and more.

The National Military Family Association is run by military family members with experience in the issues that military families face. They are there for to answer the questions of our service members and their families with caring and understanding. Not only are they available online, but they are also advocating our military families in the political arena.

The next website that I have found very helpful is Military Homefront. Military Homefront is a website that is run by the Department of Defense. It can be found at www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil. Military Homefront contains virtually everything that a military family needs to know. Their information is accurate, timely and covers all branches of the military.

Military Homefront, being the run by the Department of Defense, is one of the most trustworthy sites that a military family can find online. They are there with resources on everything from childcare to suicide prevention. They even have information on adoption and moving. They are very thorough.

The last site I am going to mention is run by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. It can be found at www.va.gov. I mention this site because many of our service members are also veterans. Veterans and their families have unique needs, even in the complicated world of military families. Therefore, no list of helpful military family sites would be complete without this site. Their information is relevant for veterans of all types, active or not.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is there to help veterans with their medical needs, homelessness, readjustment counseling and much more. My husband has been treated in VA hospitals for more than six years and my grandfather died in one. I can tell you that as overworked and understaffed as they are, they are there to help and their website has all the information you need about getting help from them.

There are other sites out there, but I have found these three to be the most helpful, well intentioned and accurate of them all. They are easy to use, so even the busiest on-the-go military family can find what they need.

If you have found this article because you are a service member or a family member, thank you for your sacrifices and good luck finding what you need. I have often heard military counselors say that military family members often do not reach out for help with their unique situations because they feel alone. Remember, there are groups of military family members all over the country who know exactly how you feel. Do not be afraid to contact them.

Sources

*Personal Knowledge

va.gov

militaryfamily.org

militaryhomefront.dod.mil…