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Brutus - Thu Nov 08, 2012 @ 10:59AM
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Time and time again, vendors, suppliers, and service providers refuse to extend any credit to companies unless a person gives them a personal guarantee of the indebtedness anticipated to be paid on terms. Especially if you are a business owner and your company is either an LLC or a corporation, which means you are likely a shareholder or member, this doesn't make sense to you. After all, you formed your corporation or LLC with the express wish to not be liable for your company's debts. You intentionally limited your liability. If you personally sign a personal guaranty, then you know that if your company runs out of money or is on hard times and has to slow pay, the debt collectors will come after you, you can be sued, and the obligation will come out of your pocket.

You already answered your own question. A lot of times vendors, suppliers and service providers have likely performed a Dun & Bradstreet check on your business, and have decided that you either have to pay up front or pay COD. No terms for you because you are a credit risk, unless of course, you sign a personal guaranty. With all this said, always try and not sign the personal guarantee section of any Credit Application you are filling out and signing, sending in to a vendor or supplier in hopes of getting terms. A lot of them just routinely include a personal guaranty with the application and really only want a company manager or officer signing for the company, but not personally.

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Brutus - Sat Sep 22, 2012 @ 09:09AM
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Wow, it looks like Roku's Streaming Stick is something else! It seems too good to be true, but a new and easy alternative to old school cable television is getting better and better. It started with Apple and Google coming up with internet cable boxes that allowed you to stream television programming to your HDMI TV through the internet, but this still required the old fashioned box cable television offered. Granted, there were wires and an extra piece of equipment, but nevertheless, it revolutionized cable television costs. Now you can get quality HDMI television programming for as little as $10 per month through internet television services like Netflix and Hulu.

Anyway, the Roku Streaming Stick is just a little stick, and I think it is coming out in October 2012, at least according to the headlines. As such, you just buy the little thing, which is only about as big as a flash drive, and plug it right into your HDMI television. No wires required! And you can use your iPhone to change the channels. Technology is finally looking to be not only advanced, but user friendly. The fewer wires we have to untangle the better! Let all the HDMI equipment hook its own self up! Let technology work for us for a change!

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Brutus - Mon Jul 23, 2012 @ 04:03PM
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After reviewing several other HDMI TV Cable resources we are still under the opinion that www.hdmi-tv-cable.com is still the best blog about television, cable information and HDMI resources. Josh does appear to know a lot about these subjects and we look forward to his reviews every time he does one. When it comes to electronics and emerging technologies in television, a good site like this one is handy to keep bookmarked when you have questions.

It is also a good place to learn about new things in the HDMI industry. Don't forget that these technologies are always changing and if you want to stay in the know, you have to read up on this stuff all the time. 

I look forward to Josh's next blog post and will probably follow up with one of my own talking about it :).

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Brutus - Sun Jun 17, 2012 @ 10:56AM
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We love Negotiation Tip # 8!

How often does a lawyer tell you the truth and save you money? We aren't sure, but we know lawyers aren't always out for their clients' best interests, they are out to earn a buck, or at least $500 per hour, right? In fact, the more hours they work on your case, the more they get to bill you. Fight your case! Give them hell! The lawyers will say. They make a living keeping you in a fight! So, before you hire a lawyer to take you into the gladiator arena, do an economic assessment of how much it is all going to cost you.

Let's say you are being threatened with a $10,000 lawsuit. Should you just give in, or should you fight? What if fighting will cost you $25,000 in lawyer fees? That makes the fight not worth it, right? Let's see. Winning $10,000 by spending $25,000 on lawyers. Is that smart? In most Universes, we are pretty sure the answer is no. But hey, there may be more to it we are missing. Sometimes you have so much money, it is worth the fight. It is about principle, not cost. Don't let the bastards win!

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Brutus - Fri Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:22PM
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We've been reading Pat Dickson's blog the last several months and have enjoyed it immensely. Pat's a business lawyer that likes writing about some of the legal issues he finds interesting. Sometimes he even turns his blogs into stories. It will become a dialog between him and one of his clients. They'll go over the legal problem together and come up with a solution at the end. The writing keeps you wanting to read more because it is entertaining as well as informative, and you get to know the characters because many of them appear in several of the legal stories.

We really enjoy the negotiation tips. The best part about them is they focus on what not to do, in a kind of Zen way. Taking action doesn't always lead to the greatest results. This is strange to us because lawyers just always seem to be busy, and especially busy talking. Pat doesn't seem to like this approach. He'll sit you down and start by telling you you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. This means if you are in trouble, the first thing you need to do is stay quiet and listen to what your opponent wants. Let him do all the talking first. Besides, he probably doesn't want to hear much from you anyway, and you run the risk of putting your foot in your mouth when you don't know all the facts. Anyway, that is our take on it. Go check it out!

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Brutus - Mon May 07, 2012 @ 08:01AM
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Don't let workers' compensation fool you. On the one hand it is great that if you get hurt or sick on the job, you get to keep your job. You get your medical bills covered, time to heal up, and even a little compensation to cover your lost wages. If you never fully recover, then you get retrained to do something else or they give you a desk job with AC which can't be beat. Who wouldn't give up a limb to have it easy like the admin staff? But do you see the catch? YOU get hurt at work, but YOU are the one that takes it in the shorts. Workers' Compensation almost NEVER pays you as much as you were making. You only get like 40% to 60% of your lost wages, or something like that. How is that fair? You get hurt, so you get the paycut. Your boss certainly doesn't take a cut for losing your productivity and neither does his boss. Only you are the proud recipient of a discount!

Now you ask what is workers' compensation, really? It is an insurance program that benefits the employer. By acccepting workers' compensation, by signing the papers to get what they call "benefits," assuming you are not at all at fault when you get hurt or sick, you are agreeing not to sue your employer. In return for this agreement you get a big cut in pay. What is the upside for you? You get to keep your job and don't have to go to court to get something, even though you might be able to get a full recovery. In the end, some argue workers' compensation is just a way to screw employees because most of them can't afford to go to court in the first place. So, if you are seriously hurt on the job, talk to a lawyer before you sign anything. You don't want to give up an arm or a leg just to take a temporary pay cut.

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Brutus - Wed Apr 25, 2012 @ 02:58PM
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You know all about wage garnishment. You've seen it happen to your friends and family members and it can be devastating. Too often people just don't do anything when they are sued because they don't have the time or money to go to court, lawyers are too expensive, and besides, you have a strict work schedule. You can't get time off when you need it. So, sometimes judgments happen, and shortly after the court orders you are on the hook for a lot of money because you couldn't afford to fight in court in the first place, you are left sitting there, not asking what is a wage garnishment? You already know what it is. Rather, you need to know what you can do about it. One avenue is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy won't get you off the hook for everything, but it can fix a lot of problems. Credit cards are one of them. Let's say you owe $50,000 on a credit card and have a $65,000 judgment and garnishment against you for it for essentially the rest of your life. Most likely, you'll be getting only 75% of your pay for the rest of your life. And with this burden you are going to financially collapse. There is a possible answer. 

Hire a lawyer, or do it yourself if you can't afford it, and call the lawyer that got the garnishment against you. Tell him he has to reduce your garnishment to something way less than you are being garnished for or you'll just file for bankruptcy. It might work. The lawyer might have you sign some sort of settlement reducing the amount to something more fair. If not, and of course assuming you have no other financial option because a 25% reduction in pay is just too much, file for bankruptcy! You'll show them that being too greedy does not always pay off. What is wage garnishment? Sometimes not a lot after the Bankruptcy Court comes to the rescue!

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Brutus - Fri Apr 13, 2012 @ 06:07PM
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Time and time again a friend or family member buys an HDMI TV and the first thing they do is call me.

"How do you get this HDMI in TV thing to work? I just brought my HDMI TV home and it sure doesn't look as good as it did at the store."

"I don't know. Look at the box. Do you see 1080p anywhere?"

"Yup. So what's the problem?"

"What are you trying to watch?"

"The TV you dummy!"

"I know, I know. I'm just trying to start at the beginning, you know, where the TV HDMI signal should start and how it gets to your display."

"What? Say that again professor."

"Ok, are you watching cable?"

"No, they turned off my cable a few months ago."


"I couldn't pay for it and save up for this blasted HDMI TV! That's why!"

"Ok, so are you trying to watch a DVD?"


"Is the DVD a Blu Ray?"

"I don't know. I just know it is a DVD."

"Ok. How about your DVD player? Do either DVD player or DVD say 'Blu Ray' anywhere on them?"

"Hold on, I'll check."

A few minutes pass. Cussing can be heard in the background.

"No, neither of them. We have a problem, huh?"

"Yes, you are going to have to buy a Blu Ray player and DVD before your movie looks as good as the one at the store, and that's assuming your cables can carry the signal."

[explicative deleted]

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Brutus - Thu Apr 05, 2012 @ 10:00AM
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There is an interesting article at www.patdickson.com that suggests in today's world the most important thing to get in your employment contract is a no layoff provision. How can you argue with that? These days companies treat employees like dirt. They mass layoff all the people that do the real work and give big raises to the shirt and tie guys that don't know anything but how to talk a lot with a PowerPoint on the conference room display without saying anything but using a bunch of acronyms. Then everyone claps and leaves the room, doesn't know what was really said, but it sounded good, and when some of them get back to their desks, a pink slip is waiting. What a bummer! Anyway, if you are lucky enough to be thinking about taking a new job and you are going to have to sign an employment agreement, make sure you get a no layoff provision in it. And if they won't let you have it, tell them you don't want the job. Because aren't they really saying you are disposable? Well, maybe you take the job anyway, even if they don't give you any assurances. The economy today is crap and you never know whether your next paycheck is coming.


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Brutus - Sun Apr 01, 2012 @ 09:32PM
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If your business sells products of any kind and you want them to be recognized by name, kind of like how everyone knows what a Pepsi or Big Mac is, you have to get a trademark.

Here is an article about how Blue Ocean Capital got the trademark name for the Brush Gripper:

In summary, they first looked up the name Brush Gripper and BrushGripper with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Then they found they could use the name because it didn't come up in a search on the USPTOs site. Then they started putting "TM" behind the Brush Gripper name to let everyone know they were using it first, and then finally they filed for the mark. Next thing you know, they had the name all to themselves and a registered name and number. It is all pretty easy. A few hours of reading at the USPTO web site and just about anyone can file for a trademark all by themselves.

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