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The Time value of money and tiffany and american express – or just save $1.50 per day.

An in-law  just received two crystal Tiffany glasses from American Express worth about $100 for being a platinum “member” for 50 years. If one assumes that the cost is $550/year as it is now, so excluding any future increases one can calculate the time value of the money. For some, the travel benefits may be worth the annual fee, but for many, perhaps not.  This isn’t to pick on American Express, for many people, their cards are worth the cost, but it illustrates the value of even saving $1-$2 per day over time.

For example, you may get $200 in Uber credits, an annual airline fee credit of $200, lounge access, elite status with Hilton and Marriott. These are benefits that are worthwhile for big travelers, but the in-law hadn’t travelled significantly in at least 25-28 years. He was in his 90s and he passed away several months prior in his to the 50 year gift, but his wife is still a member.

Don’t have an Amex Platinum? Just save $1.50 per day or $45/month (or $550/year) and invest it in stocks – S&P 500, small-cap value, growth blend. If you start at 20, by the time you are 70, you’ll be well positioned.

At $550/year for 50 years at 11% (invested in stocks) it grows to around $1.3 million.  At 10% it grows it about $850k. At 12% it grows to about $2 million.

So, would his widow prefer two crystal glasses worth around $100 or $1.3 million in stocks?

Where is DVD Player in macOS 10.14?

Apple has hidden their “DVD Player” app in macOS 10.14 (Mojave) Now it is located here:


You can open that by copying the link above, then in Finder, under the “Go” menu selecting “Go to Folder…” and pasting the link in there.

There are some other apps hidden in that folder too and you can drag them to the dock or make a link to them for your Applications folder.

Warren Buffett says bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared” – only to rats

Warren Buffett say bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared”. Of course if you aren’t a rat, you don’t have to worry, so thanks for self-identifying.

The hypocrite from Omaha speaks again while complaining about not paying enough in taxes, he fails to make extra payments, while using his foundation to avoid other taxes. And of course complaining about climate change while private jetting around.

So take what he says in stride: bitcoin is rat poison to authoritarians and statists who want freedom for themselves, but not everyone else.

Apple Pay and apple wallet picks the best Credit card

What will be a killer feature for Apple Pay and Apple Wallet?

Using a database, Apple Wallet will pick the card that gives you the best reward. For example, it will know that your Bank of America Visa will get you 2.625% on every purchase and 5.5% on food and travel. It will know that Discover for the 3rd quarter will get you 5% at gas stations up to $1000. It will know that your Citi Dividend will get you 5% at grocery stores in the 3rd quarter. (All these are just examples).

Whenever you are at a particular location (based on your location as tracked in iPhone etc) it will see that currently the best card to use is the Visa card and when yours Apple Pay it will pick that card.

It might even know that some other card could get you a better deal and give you the option to apply for it.

Then it will manage all the rewards, maximizing your returns on what you would spend anyway,

Apple TV Doesn’t show Photos under my computer

The issue is that “Photos” do not show up on the Apple TV under “My Computer”, I see it too consistently.  What I found that fixes it temporarily, is this:

1. In iTunes, go to “File->Home Sharing->Choose Photos to Share with Apple TV…”  (That is the name on iTunes 12.3.1)

2. Then turn on or off an album. (It did this for the Apple TV 2, 3 and the new ATV 4).

3. Then hit Apply and close that window.

4. Then it starts showing up on the Apple TV.

So, every time I restart iTunes, I go in there and just have an album that I don’t care about and turn it on if it was off, and off if it was on.

This has helped some people who didn’t get it fixed by rebooting everything etc.

What is the best Eggnog?

After trying a few more than a dozen different eggnogs that are available, the top three are listed below.  And best of all the Horizon Eggnog is low fat and organic.

Horizon Organic Eggnog – best of all it is low fat too.

Fresh Market Jersey Milk Eggnog.

Gustafson Farm Traditional Holiday Egg Nog.


All three are sold in one quart containers.  All three are rich and creamy.  Images of Horizon Eggnog, Fresh Market Eggnog and Gustafson Farm Egg Nog are below so you know what to look for!

Know of one that you think is great that we should try?  List it in the comments below!

What are the best eggnogs?  These three are the tops.


Mac OS X Virus help and tips – And a Walled Garden for OS X?

ZDNet’s Microsoft report has a hyped report today on malware hitting the Mac.  This issue in this report is not a virus or a worm, but a trojan.  A trojan does not exploit any security hole in Mac OS X, it relies on social engineering. This means that it tricks people into installing software that then does something to the computer.  This trojan tricks you into thinking it is an “official update” when it is not.  In this case the malware calls itself “Mac Defender” or “Mac Protector” when it is exactly the opposite to further confuse people.

One solution for Apple is that they may end up going to a completely App Store approach for installing software eventually for OS X.  I suspect that Apple will start by making the App Store the default for software installation.  Apple will likely leave an option for users to turn that off, perhaps in the Accounts section of System Preferences.  This gives a compromise where people who need to do so can use whatever method they want to install Mac OS X software and naive users will be much more protected.  Remember that 99% of computer users out there know very little about computers.  They think a Computer Science degree or Computer Engineering degree means you “know how to fix computers” when it means nothing of the sort.  Kind of like an “electrical engineer” can come and wire your house or a “mechanical engineer” knows how to fix your car.  It is a question of lack of knowledge.

The question here is: how much do you protect users from their own naivety/credulity/stupidity (depending upon how you want to phrase it)?  I believe that in the long term, like it or not, the trend will be that Mac OS X (and most operating systems) will migrate to the walled garden approach for just this reason.

In the mean time, some steps you should take to help keep your Mac safe from viruses, trojans, worms, and other malware:

1. You should never run as an “admin” account.  This means that in the Accounts section of System Preferences your user should not have “Allow user to administer this computer” checked.  You should have one account, perhaps named “admin”, that can administer your computer.  Your regular account should not do so.

2. You should not type that “admin” account name and password in unless you are absolutely sure that you know why you are being asked to do so.  For any trojan to be installed and infect your computer, you have to have typed in the admin name and admin password.  And then the first time you launch it you have to click okay to launch something downloaded from the Internet.

3. Run software update automatically and frequently.  Daily, automatic is best.

4. Do NOT click on unknown links in emails.

5. Do NOT open unknown email attachments.

6. Only download software from the Apple Mac OS X App store or from known, trusted websites.

7. Do NOT ignore warnings from Safari, Firefox or other browsers about sites that contain malware.

8. In Safari, turn OFF “open ‘safe’ files after downloading”.

9. Use HTTPS – secure encryption when possible.

10. Some anti-virus software to consider:

ClamXav is free anti-virus software (real anti-virus)


(* I use the word ‘virus’ in the title merely because most people do not know the difference between a virus, worm, trojan or other malware.)

Samsung WB700 review – missing vivid mode

The Samsung WB700 digital camera has been out for a few weeks now, and while many of the features are nice, it does not perform as well as the HZ30W and HZ35W.

I can only give it an “OK” rating. Compared to the HZ30W and HZ35W the pictures are not as vibrant and the colors are not as true to life.  I have to also say that the same is true compared to the TL34HD. Photos are plenty clear, and certainly the zoom function is good, but the colors just don’t look life-like, unlike the HZs and the TL34HD.  The better parts are, of course, the 18x opitcal zoom and some other little improvements in the camera. The zoom on the WB700 works well and the camera itself feels a bit more compact and solid than the HZ30W/HZ35W.

One thing that it is also missing one function I liked on the HZ30W/35W (and TL34HD) and that is the “vivid” mode. I believe all the other modes are all still there, but not “vivid.” Seems like a strange thing to leave out and it would be helpful in order to get the camera to record the colors closer to what the eye sees, since the Samsung WB700 isn’t doing that on its own.

In general, the camera is an okay upgrade to the HZ30W. Personally though I would keep my HZ30W and wait until the next upgrade before buying. Hopefully Samsung will realize that the vivid mode is handy and add it back in.