FEEL the universe around you. Fall into the moment and let all your senses explore this now.
When you’ve done that, slowly take your focus to the spot on earth where you are located, in this moment.
Feel the whole earth, this amazing planet, splayed out around you.
SEE how it is connected as one thing with this NOW, this moment you are experiencing.
This planet beneath you
swings a wide arc around the sun
and the sun likewise makes it’s way
with a host of other suns and planets
along an arm of the Milky Way galaxy,
which itself is fleeing nearly all other galaxies,
some at almost the speed of light,
which is as far as we can see.
FEEL this moment SEE how this one NOW is all a seamless wavefront of light, a scintillating dance of photon energy escaping along the axis of time outwards at the speed of light relative to the farthest stars at the horizon.
IMAGINE these moments as veils of time, arrayed in layers from past to future. Your path through this layered veil is a cloud chamber trace of ADJACENT POSSIBLE moments that were realized and made matter in you. By you, along with the rest of the universe in each moment.
A pearl string of glittering NOWS tracks the course of your life in this universe.
From each vantage point in the veil, you have choices presenting themselves, inviting you to CHOOSE THEM and go one way and not the other.
The lattice of spacetime holds ALL these moments, all the possibilities and their many branching adjacents, and they are all real, many more than you can imagine.
This is THE MULTIVERSE where everything that could have happened or may yet happen IS being forever in the oneness of ALL-THAT-IS.
March 18, 2014: TimTech SOLD NerdBux.
It was TimTech’s first foray into PTC ownership after a series of impressive business successes, starting with the I Love Hits, StartXchange, and Sweeva triumvirate of traffic exchanges, and the ongoing success of the video training program and downline builder, Click-Track-Profit. These are all excellent programs I use every day to advertise and build my business.
NerdBux has been one of the “core four” Paid-To-Click (PTC) advertising sites I use to promote and earn in my professional online marketing business. If you are not already familiar with my story you can read it here: “The Amazing Tale of 4 PTCs.”
NerdBux has been one of the “winners” in this Amazing Tale, earning A LOT of money for many folks including ME, right up until the day of sale. Earnings dropped off quite a bit after sale… but have not declined to zero. The site has not vanished. Over the past 10 days I’ve been logging in and clicking all available ads, and am continuing to earn money every day, though not at previous levels.
So in my view, NerdBux is not dead, at least not yet, but TRUST — one of the most important facets of successful business operation — has been significantly eroded.
THE WARNING SIGNS
There were warning signs that TimTech was having trouble managing the growth of their fledgeling PTC. Because of their previous string of successes, people were ready and willing to join this new NerdBux PTC that launched in early June, 2013. Within a few weeks, membership was growing by 500 to 1,000 new signups per day. They were able to sustain this growth into 2014 because so many members were earning really decent income from the site, and spreading the word that NerdBux was a fantastic opportunity.
That fast ramp up in late 2013 happened to coincide with the annual increase in 4th quarter ad spending which has become a familiar pattern. Lots of money was flowing, and NerdBux members were reaping the benefits. Then 2014 came, the torrent turned to a trickle, members were no longer earning anywhere near the levels of previous months, and opinions began to sour.
By February 2014 it became apparent NerdBux was having cashflow problems. Cashout requests were being delayed, cashout thresholds increased, and other restrictions regarding rental or renewal of referrals were implemented. This compounded a growing disillusionment among the membership, many of whom were new to PTCs and not familiar with the business cycle ebb and flow of earnings.
Then on February 26, 2014 TimTech reported in a forum post that NerdBux was the victim of massive cheating. In a video chat a couple days later, CMO Jon Olson said they had lost “tens of thousands” of dollars to cheaters, without going into details about how the fraud and abuse was perpetrated. They began a thorough housecleaning, deleting the accounts of all members where there was evidence of cheating.
That caused an abrupt decline in member earnings because some of those deleted accounts had also been rented to other active members. Plus the delayed cashouts remained problematic, and members were very vocal on the NerdBux Forum about not getting paid.
TimTech made a couple attempts to revive cashflow by offering some great ad deals, and that helped spur member earnings, but did not immediately solve the cashout issues.
News of the sale of NerdBux to a well-known but apparently not well-liked individual came on March 18, 2014. It’s likely that a good portion of the membership just stopped clicking at that point, and wrote off the site as dead and gone.
The new owner, Jeffrey Johnson, moved the site to new servers and for several days site availability was spotty. Since then the Nerdbux Forums have been closed except for announcements from Johnson himself, and Rented Referral pages have been removed from navigation. So for the moment no one is able to manage their rented referrals, which in most PTCs is where a large part of earnings are generated.
Here are the forum announcements from the new owner (with my comments in parentheses):
- “No longer need to click to earn from refs.” (Surely this is temporary.)
- “No bashing of TimTech allowed on this forum.” (People will do it anyway, and probably bash the new owner too, at risk of having their accounts deleted.)
- “PayPal has blacklisted the nerdbux.com domain.” (This will be a challenge to remedy until Johnson can refresh his PayPal account with enough funds to satisfy all pending cashout requests.)
- “SolidTrust pay added.” (It’s likely that quite a few members do not have SolidTrust accounts.)
- “Removing inactives for next few weeks.” (This may explain why the Rented Referrals pages have gone missing. And if you want to stick around and see what happens, you probably ought to click once in a while. ;)
At the time of sale, I had over 400 rented referrals, and a good portion of them were extended out to 90 days or more. I have to wonder if I’ll have any rentals left by the time Johnson completes his purging activity. And yet I still seem to be earning from rented referrals, because my direct referral clicks are not substantial enough to account for all my earnings.
One obvious bright spot in this whole picture is that advertisers have upped their spending at NerdBux — there are more and more ads to click on every day. If that trend continues, I think it will bring back a lot of the existing membership that has been sitting on the sidelines.
DID TIMTECH SELL TOO SOON?
Jon Olson, Tim Linden, Justin Ledvina, and Larry Dame — these are really smart guys and it must’ve badly shaken their confidence to be unable to figure out how to turn the NerdBux debacle around and stop the hemorrhaging. It’s actually not the first time they quit something that showed promise. (Remember Sitizens, anybody?)
We don’t know what they saw that caused them to cut bait and sell out as quickly as they did. The relentless daily complaints, accusations, and badmouthing on the NerdBux forums must have been demoralizing. Maybe they’d just had enough of it and wanted out. One thing they made clear after the sale was that NerdBux was taking way too much focus away from their other successful business ventures.
Did they sell too soon? NerdBux came from nowhere in mid-2013 to become one of the most-visited properties on the internet, briefly breaking into the Alexa Top 1000.
Today NerdBux is ranked as the 1,052nd most popular site on the internet.
That is still an amazing rank.
And there’s just a hint, at the far right edge of that chart, that the slide in popularity may be leveling off. Now it’s up to Jeffrey Johnson to see if he can reclaim the trust that has been lost and make NerdBux fly again. I wish him the best of success.
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To begin with, I have downloaded Litecoin-QT for Mac OS X to run on my desktop Mac, a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacMini with 8GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM, that I got in late 2010. Litecoin-QT is a wallet app. I have encrypted my wallet with a password to make it harder to hack. :P On launching, the first thing Litecoin-QT starts doing is synchronizing with the blockchain of transactions, starting from the beginning… this can take quite a long time.
Here is Tame Bear’s Litecoin address you can use to test the sending capabilities of your own digital wallet:
All donations welcome!
EARLY APRIL, 2014
Why Litecoin and not Bitcoin? I have read about the kind of computing power required for Bitcoin mining these days, and I’m not going there.
But then here’s Litecoin — Bitcoin’s little brother — and it can be mined on an older Mac at over 6 kilo hashes* per second (KH/s)
Ok, before we get too far here, let me explain that you can’t mine Litecoin very fast on an old Mac like this. In about three days, I’ve earned 0.003 LiteCoin. Current price of Litecoin in US dollars is $11.00 so I have earned 3 and a third cents. Next I will put the kilowatt meeter on my mining computer and see how much electricity I am using, and how much it costs.
To get there, I had to create an account at one of many mining pools that have emerged in this new economic ecosphere. I chose https://www.wemineltc.com/ and set up a couple “workers” there to connect to the mining app running on my computer.
The mining application I found for Bitcoin/Litecoin mining on a Mac is “Asteroid,” a free download, set it to use your mining workers, and start mining.
Ok, it wasn’t exactly that easy. Asteroid is not a finished product, it’s still in beta. So perfection has not yet been achieved. What I found was that the default worker in my wemineltc.com account never was able to sync properly with Asteroid. Solve that by creating an additional miner such as “tamebear.2” password “x” and that’ll work. (Go ahead and try my worker if you like, I’ll use every bit of processing you care to give.) So then you’ve initialized your miner and now you’re mining.
Or at least it looks like Asteroid is mining, but a scan of the logs appears to indicate that no actual processing has been accomplished yet. If that’s your situation, then dig into your Asteroid preferences ( Asteroid > Preferences ), click the Scrypt tab and choose a different Kernal. (Mine is set to ckolivas.)
Stop-and-start Asteroid for new preferences to be used. Then check Intensity (it’s the little down-pointing triangle to the right of your processor bar in the main Asteroid window.) Start with an intensity of 10, and try clicking it higher to see if you can process faster without generating hardware errors or rejected work units.
* A “hash” is a chunk of computation. Parallel processing built into modern graphics processors is an excellent platform for receiving, processing, and communicating chunks of data in parallel.
We perceive things in layers. From one room through a doorway into another room, and then out through the back door into the backyard, where I can see across the block to the next street in several directions.
- one room
- another room
- (back door)
- the backyard
- (the block)
- the next street
- (the treetops)
- the sky
You can envision these as concentric spheres-within-spheres, approximated by visual distance.
Now compress the 3-D sphere into two dimensions, and examine the resulting wavefront of light moment by moment as it passes through the vacuum of space, along the axis of time.
If we can be computed as a complex wavefront of light, traveling at light speed… who’s to say we are anything more than that?
I read Seth Godin’s essay earlier today on “Are you an elite?,” and it got me wondering about one word that I couldn’t quite splice into the story’s meaning.
That word was shipping.
Because it puzzled me, I sent out this tweet…
One item in Seth Godin’s essay “Are you an elite?” strikes a dissonant chord — shipping. What’s the meaning there? http://t.co/OERhGevl78
— Tame Bear (@TameBear) February 16, 2014
Just a few hours later I received this email from Seth, with an explanation. He begins by quoting the line I was referring to…
On the other hand, the cycle of discovery and engagement and shipping the elites have started is going to accelerate over time, and you have all the tools necessary to be part of it–to lead it, in fact.
it’s not art if it doesn’t ship. it’s not generous or risky or important, either.I write a lot about this in Linchpin and The Icarus Deceptionthanks for reading=============================Seth Godin
When the hubbub finally settles, and all the remaining web site glitches have been ironed out, and society at large has grown tired of the dull critique from politicians on the sidelines, and the roll-out of “ObamaCare” becomes a done deal across the land, then some 33 million Americans who have not previously had access to any medical care — other than the last chance hospital emergency room — will finally have adequate health insurance they can afford.
I am one of them.
My partner Treesh and I went online at healthcare.gov the day it opened, on the 1st of October 2013, and attempted to create our Healthcare Marketplace account. This is the main portal for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) where Americans from every state can go to explore their health insurance options.
We encountered the same problems that millions of others have reported — error messages, slow servers, unsaved credentials, non-functional email links, bad browser cookies, login failures, page hangs, blank pages, you name it.
7 STEPS TO AFFORDABLE CARE
But over the next three weeks we were able to make our way through the process, which can be described by these 7 steps:
- Creating your user account
- Verifying your identity
- Estimating your 2014 income
- Receiving notice of your eligibility for subsidy
- Choosing how to allocate your subsidy
- Reviewing the plans offered
- Selecting your plan and enrolling
Within the first week we had a working account that we could actually log into… but our “profile” page was a blank screen.
NOTE: If you’re seeing this problem, try my solution: I deleted cookies from my web browser that were associated with the healthcare.gov web site. (If you want to try this solution, and you don’t know how to delete browser cookies, just post a comment below and I or other readers will be able to help.)
Once we solved that problem, it was another week before Treesh and I returned to the site to make further progress.
The next step — verifying identity — was eye-opening. The HealthCare.gov web site interfaces with Social Security to ensure you are who you say you are. We were asked a series of questions, about previous places we had lived, previous phone numbers, previous employers, and more. What the government already knows about us is, quite frankly, kind of eerie. But within just a few minutes both my sweetie and I were able to assure healthcare.gov of our true identities well enough to satisfy the verification process.
Then about a week ago we worked our way through the process to estimate our 2014 income. The Affordable Care Act was designed to ensure that health care should not cost more than 9% of your income. Assuming that 12% goes to taxes, and 12% goes to charities, that leaves 67% for your own use — for your mortgage, utilities, food, car repair, clothing, vacation, cable TV, cell phone plan, computer/internet, gifts for family & friends, and everything else the heart desires.
As it happens, Treesh and I are in a period of transitional income; I am in the midst of reenvisioning my own business, and Treesh is exploring new directions in her career. For the first time in our lives we are living primarily on savings, plus interest, dividends, and capital gains. We’ve set a very frugal monthly budget for our spending, and we anticipate that will continue through 2014.
Many people applying for health insurance will be surprised to learn they are eligible for a health care subsidy, in the form of a tax credit they can apply directly to their monthly insurance premiums. This is the mechanism that ensures healthcare will not exceed 9% of income.
SUBSIDY OR NO SUBSIDY
If you have plenty of income, you may not receive a subsidy; and your health insurance premiums will be affordable without subsidy. But if you earn a more modest income, or your income approaches poverty level, then you’ll discover how the subsidy makes healthcare a truly affordable part of your ongoing cost of living.
So long as your income is not below the poverty line! (For more about a significant oversight that emerged from a Supreme Court ruling regarding the ACA and state mandates for expanding medicaid, read this: “Locked Out of the Insurance Marketplace.”)
As Treesh and I worked through the healthcare.gov step regarding 2014 income, we found the series of questions very helpful to us in guesstimating how much income we could expect to earn from various sources. Thankfully it looks like our income this next year will be above poverty level.
That done, we received notice within minutes that we are indeed eligible for a subsidy. In fact it is (in our view) a quite generous subsidy. That was very reassuring.
HOW TO ALLOCATE?
Next step, how much of that subsidy should we allocate each month towards our premiums? Our 2014 income is uncertain enough that it seemed prudent to not use it all, in the event that we actually earn more than we’ve anticipated (and consequently see a reduction in our total subsidy.) We chose to hold back 20% of the subsidy, just in case. If we end up earning our estimated income, or earning less, we will get the remaining portion of that subsidy in the form of a tax credit — money back on our taxes.
With that assurance in mind, last night we ate a quick dinner and then went online one more time to peruse the actual plans that have been provided for our state, and make a selection.
If you haven’t figured it out already, Treesh and I are savers. We have never lived in debt. We have always spent less than we earned. We are on the positive side of interest payments. And we’ve always thought a Health Savings Account would be perfect for us, if only we could get a qualifying health insurance plan that permitted it.
Of the 52 plans we could choose from, there were eight Bronze- and Silver-level plans that allowed medical expenses to be paid out of a Health Savings Account. YES! After some additional online research at insurance web sites, we narrowed it down to two Bronze plans (lower premiums, higher deductibles).
We picked one, clicked “Enroll” … and were finally done. Mission accomplished.
We were not able to pay our first month insurance premium online, but it looks like that will be possible for some selected plans in the future.
We should be receiving paperwork in the mail from our chosen plan provider in just a few days, and we’ll head to our local bank soon to set up our HSA.
THE END OF THE STORY
We’ve had a very basic temporary (6-month) health insurance policy since Treesh left her job earlier this year. That insurance expires at the end of the year, just as our new ACA insurance is scheduled to start. With subsidy applied, our new monthly insurance cost is nearly one third of what we’ve been paying. We’ll take the money saved and use it to fund our new HSA.
MORE INFO: Read the New York Times “Guide to New Exchanges for Health Care.”
What’s your story? Add comments below.
Isn’t it interesting, corresponding with the Congressional Blockade and Government Shutdown, there is a similar suppression and shutdown of government web sites that normally disseminate government information to the public.
Specifically, over at nasa.gov where astronomical and space news is normally ongoing; that web site is shuttered.
I noticed one brief mention in TheDenverChannel.com story today titled “Colorado-Built Spacecraft Encounters Glitch on Earth Flyby” 11 paragraphs down:
“Despite a government shutdown that has prevented NASA from updating its website or tweeting, the space agency’s missions continue to operate.”
And then I remembered just a couple days ago when I wanted to visit one of my favorites, The Astronomy Picture of the Day — that web site was shuttered.
Just some of the gifts of government science that the Congressional Blockade has silenced while the Government Shutdown continues.
What’s your favorite .gov website that’s been shuttered?
An article in the April/May 2013 issue of AARP Magazine (yes, I am old enough to be a card carrying member of AARP) talks about “Superfoods that Power You Up” and why they contribute to health and slow the processes of aging.
Here is a list of the “longevity” foods:
Turns out I eat nearly all of these foods! That must be why I’m so good lookin’. And about half a dozen of these are growing in my own garden! Did you eat your superfoods today?