Friday, November 21, 2008

Fix the Economy in one easy step!

A friend of mine had an interesting thought about how to practically overnight fix all of the problems in our current economy. I thought I would blog it here, for the small chance that someone might respond with their thought on whether or not it would work.

Here it is:
Our problems stemmed from many things, but the catalyst was the adjustable rate mortgages hitting and causing foreclosures and bankruptcy. So, lets get mortgages to a more affordable rate than the world has ever seen. The government should introduce very low, say 2.5% mortgage rates to anyone that could fit some simple criteria. The government already owns the two largest mortgage giants in the world, and is responsible for eating the cost of many foreclosures, so this is an opportunity to save on losses and increase government income.

Why does this make sense? Banks are screaming that they cannot cover the loans they have out. If anyone and everyone was able to refinance into lower rate loans direct from the government, all of these banks would instantly see their capital returned to them. Because the banks have more money, they could then free up other lines of lending, such as credit cards, business and auto loans (which will help the auto-crisis). Sure, the banks would miss out on mortgage revenue, but aren't they crying that they are not getting this revenue now anyhow? Besides, they would then have an opportunity to make money with other types of loans.

With super low mortgage rates, consumers that did not have problems with their existing mortgage payments could now reduce their monthly payments, which frees up tons of capital for consumer spending including: buying new cars, savings, and debt repayment. People that were soon-to-default on their adjusted mortgages would now have an option to refinance into a much lower rate loan, which is lower than the amount they were paying before it adjusted, in effect ending many of the upcoming foreclosures.

Over time (a couple of years), the government could move the mortgage rate higher in half point increments, until a few years out we are back to "normal" rates and the banks could now compete in the marketplace again.

As I write this, the treasury bond is trading at 0%. That is 0%! The feds are lending to banks at 1%! So, the government could offer out these 2.5% loans to credit worthy people, make more than they are making now, free up the banks to develop and sell other types of loans, stop the decline in the housing market, get more people into homes, get more people to upgrade to bigger homes, and free up personal capital for consumer spending.

Why wouldn't this work?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hacking Mio C220

If you are looking to hack or crack your Mio C220 GPS system, here are some easy instructions for you.
For those of you that do not know, most GPS systems are actually running a version of windows called CE. However, the device is locked so that the only thing that runs is the GPS software itself. This is true for most GPS systems out there, and especially true of the really cheap ones, such as MIO (which can be had for less than $75 new!)
What do you gain? First off, windows CE is a true operating system for portable devices, so you can actually do a lot with it. After hacking my mio c220, this is what I gained:
  • The ability to view microsoft office documents, such as excel and word
  • The ability to rip movie and video files to the device and watch them just like a portable media player
  • The ability to listen to multiple music formats, such as mp3s and wavs
  • The ability to view pictures or slideshows
  • The ability to play games, dozens of them, from solitare to doom
  • The ability to run other GPS software other than the Mio version
So, how do you do it?
Its actually super easy. I do not warranty that this will work, with all hacks you risk "bricking" your device, so dont come complaining to me if you break yours.
  1. First, you will need a sd card reader (or a usb cable to access your device)
  2. Eject the SD card from your MIO. Pop it in your card reader, and back up all the files to your local computer.
  3. Format the SD card as FAT32. This is the step that most other tutorials forget to tell you.
  4. Move the files back to your freshly formatted card.
  5. Download Mio Pocket 2.0 from here:
  6. Follow these instructions: Instructions --- Don't worry, all you really are doing is unzipping files and renaming a couple of them, and then move them to your card. If you need good free software for unzipping rar files, click here for 7-zip.
  7. Take the card out of your reader, insert it into your mio device (that is already turned on) and click the yes button when it launches.
  8. After about a minute, you will now have a mobile pc. If you want to go back to the original, simply hard reset (hold power down for about 10 seconds) turn it back on, and do click no when the installer prompt loads.
Here is an example of a hacked unit: YouTube

FYI: Once hacked, if you are good enough, it is not hard to install other GPS systems on your unit. For instance, I have gotten MIO, Navigon, and TomTom to work in concept.

Have fun.

Tips to Save Money for Small Business

I recently learned of a new website, that provides pre-negotiated discounts and contracts for small and medium businesses to save money. For instance, they have reduced telecommunication rates, payment processing (credit cards) and even upcoming deals and savings on purchasing uniforms.

Check it out at

Read the press release at The Strategic Sourceror
at Source One