RIP Steve Jobs

More than perhaps any other person in the pantheon of technology leaders, Steve Jobs impact on our lives has been immeasurable.  Along with a handful of other luminaries – Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Larry Ellison – Jobs’ singular vision of technology accessible to the masses of non-geeks has truly transformed the ways we live, communicate, express ourselves, work and especially study.  How many of you are reading this on an iPad? An iPhone? An Airbook?  Today we remember one of the founding fathers of the modern era of computing.  He will be truly missed.

Interesting Info on Boosting Your Memory

The AOL/Huffington Post has been branching out into lots of interesting editorial directions since their recent merger.  One that hold particular interest for students is the Memory and Cognition section of the popular web news outlet.  I visited there for the first time today and read a half dozen excellent articles on memory boosting techniques.  One revealed some memory tools and practices that have been handed down since antiquity.  There were ones here and here that revealed the memory eroding effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol intake respectively.  Even one that extolls the memory enhancing benefits of Mexican food (yay tacos!).  And there were plenty more articles dealing with the impact of sleep deprivation on memory and lots of other useful memory and cognition related subjects.  Good reads all if your goal is to improve your aptitude and success in online studies at Allen School Online.

Browser Speed Test Results In

As online students, your web browser is your portal to studies.  It is also your means of communicating between your teachers and fellow students.  So if your browser is slow, your productivity suffers.  Now, we all know that over time, your browser will pick up add ons and other things that slow it down to speeds far below what it was capable of when first installed.  That is an issue of maintenance.  But the underlying speed of the browser, in its optimum maintained condition, is another story.  Assuming you take steps to regularly clear your browser cache and disable unused add ons, your browser should operate at or close to its originally configured speed.   Some browsers are just naturally faster than others.Well, LifeHacker recently tested the most popular browsers’ latest versions including Firefox 7, Chrome 14 and Internet Explorer 9 (among others).  The results are pretty interesting.  And since they’re all free to download, perhaps you might be interested in installing a faster browser if your’s is on the bottom of the list.  Read the entire test results here.

Forbes: “Telehealth Among Top Paying Work-from-Home Jobs”

Love studying medical billing and coding from home?  Then you’d probably love earning a high salary WORKING in medical billing and coding from home.  “Is that really an option” you may ask?  Well, Forbes magazine seems certain that it is.  In a recent article on the best paying work at home jobs, Forbes characterizes the field known as “telehealth” as among the highest paying, work from home career options.  Take it from this blogger who works from home in several of the other fields listed in the Forbes article (PR specialists and writers), earning a good wage while working from the comfort of home is where it’s at!  All the more reason to study hard online to earn your medical billing and coding certificate.

Busy Online Student/Worker/Parent? You Need a Meal Library!

Regular readers of the Allen School Online Blog know that we have some blogging topics that we tend to return to frequently.  One of the regular subjects covered here is “ways to make life easier for the busy online student”.  Another favorite topic here at ASOB is “healthy eats” or in some cases (see posts on KFC’s Double Down sandwich) “unhealthy eats to avoid”.  Well today’s post rests at the intersection of these two favorite topics.Let me tell you about this fantastic idea I came across recently, courtesy of the Simple Dollar website.  In a recent post, the bloggers at Simple Dollar discussed a problem many of us share.  As busy students, parents, workers and spouses, we often have little time to prepare healthy, home cooked meals.  As a result, we often default to packaged, processed or prepared foods which are often not the healthiest options.  But there are only so many hours in the day right?  Well the solution to this challenging problem lies in what is referred to as a “Meal Library”.The idea is to develop a list of satisfying, healthy – and most importantly – easy to prepare, 30-minute meals that everyone in the household agrees are scrum-diddly-rumpcious!   The post which I highly recommend reading is available here and goes into a bit of detail on how to develop such a library and the benefits of building it.  Key benefits include saving on groceries, minimized impact on your time, healthier dietary habits and overall familial satisfaction.

BillGuard Protects From Unwanted Credit Card Charges

If you’re like me (and since you’re an online student, chances are that you are), online the better part of the day every day, you probably use the internet to manage your credit card accounts.   Ever come across a charge that you’re sure you didn’t incur?  Maybe it is some annoying fee charged by the bank.  Maybe it is something more sinister, like a fraudulent charge made to your account.  In either case, it can be difficult to determine.  You could spend hours navigating automated call centers or clicking around confusing websites.  Or, if you’d like to avoid the $300 the average American pays every year in bogus or otherwise unwanted credit charges, you could join BillGuard.  BillGuard monitors all your credit accounts for erroneous charges and cross checks suspect items against known scams and chatter from the Better Business Bureau and other online sites dedicated to tracking fraud.  If you’re online as much as I am, this service is great because it alerts you to suspicious transactions very early, before real damage can be done to your accounts.  Read more about how it works at Credit.com.

Interesting Intersection Between Medicine and Gaming

Raw Story has an article out today recounting the story of how an AIDS enzyme which had puzzled scientists for decades has been unraveled by computer gamers.  Trying to figure out the structure of certain proteins in the molecular makeup of pathogens is a difficult task.  Scientists cannot determine which pieces of the enzyme may be vulnerable to medical compounds until they understand the three dimensional shape of the enzyme itself.  Computers analyzing the two dimensional images of the proteins as viewed through a microscope were not up to the task.  But a group of video game mavens, using a specialized software tool, applied their well-honed (and likely Cheetos stained) gaming abilities to unlock the shape of the enzyme in the AIDS virus.  Click here to read the details of this stunning story.

Top 10 Most Hated Jobs – Not One In Healthcare!

So, CNBC recently published a report listing the top ten most hated jobs based on a survey they took of workers in many fields.  You’ll be happy to learn that not a single one of these odious employment opportunities was in the healthcare field.  The top 10 worst jobs are:1.  Director, Information Technology2.  Director, Sales and Marketing3.  Product Manager4.  Senior Web Developer5.  Tech Specialist6.  Electronics Technician7.  Law Clerk8.  Tech Support Analyst9.  CNC Machinist10.  Marketing ManagerSo, this blogger is happy for all you Allen School Online students who will NOT be entering a hated field.  Please feel sorry for me though.  I am a marketing director/manager, web developer and product manager for a living.  Maybe it is my cheerful natural disposition that keeps me from hating my job.

Negotiating Tips for New Employment Opportunities

So you thought you’d get all the information you needed in your Allen School Online studies to land a killer job with a great salary in Medical Billing and Coding?  Well, that’s mostly true.  But there are some very important, non-verbal negotiation strategies that can mean the difference between decent compensation and extraordinary compensation.  And these tips are not something you’ll learn in class.  These are tips that come from the hard won experiences of the job seekers who came before you.  Instead of learning them the hard way in this tough economic climate, read up on them here so you can prepare yourself to negotiate like a seasoned worker.Click here to read a piece from Yahoo! HotJobs written by consultant, Pat Mayfield about how to communicate using non-verbal cues such as “the power of body language”, “the power of the eyes” and “internal and external power”.  Then go out there and get the best compensation you can for the value you bring to a new employer.

Remembering 9|11

So this weekend marks the 10 year anniversary of the 9|11 attacks on America.  As a school with headquarters and campuses in the NY metro area, we have an extra connection to the events of this fateful day.  Born and raised in New Jersey, within site of the Manhattan skyline, this blogger watched the towers being built as a very young child.  The towers were an indelible part of my upbringing.  I was working in a financial services firm in California in September of 2001 and was up at 6AM Pacific (9am Eastern) to be ready for the stock market’s opening even on the west coast.  I’ll never forget turning on the TV as I did every morning with my coffee to see the image of flight 175 striking the second tower as the first tower burned in the background.At the ten year mark, the country seems ready to reflect on the tragedy that befell us all that fateful morning.  National Geographic magazine has put together one of the better photo essays in remembrance which you can view here. Where were you when you heard the news?  Share your recollections in the comments.  It is part of the healing process to relive the trauma of this scar on our national psyche.  God Bless America!